Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:

IT was just the right time for the embattled Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani to disappear; with his tail tucked between his legs, he did without looking back.

The cover the American government gave him and his fading governmental structure was gradually eroding with the announcement of the final withdrawal of troops from the Afghan soil come August 31st.

The 20 years of America’s occupation was becoming both a moral and financial burden to America, hence the former Republican President Donald J Trump fixed a terminal date for a final withdrawal of troops of which President Biden was determined to keep.

One wonder why President Ghani didn’t see this coming, especially against the backdrop of the negotiation the American government had with the officials of the Taliban in Qatar the previous week.

In the meeting, the Americans had warned sternly that any action by the rampaging Taliban that appears to put US personnel in harm’s way will be met with a commensurate “strong US military response”.

Perhaps, this explains the calm and cool nature (with a more moderate face) of the Taliban, this time around such that an interim, transitional administration arrangement, likely to be headed by a former interior minister and a US-based scholar, Ali Ahmad Jalili, is being taunted by a power-hungry bunch like the Taliban.

The Americans didn’t want to take any chances, which is why President Biden ordered the immediate redeployment of about 5000 troops to ensure a peaceful evacuation of citizens and the orderly drawdown of military personnel a day before Kabul fell.

Again, the fall of the big Eastern city of Jalalabad, without any form of resistance from government forces, was a sure pointer that the game was up.

The big question now is whether or not the helpless citizens will enjoy better governance from a potentially authoritarian rule of the Taliban. We only hope and pray that this time around, their heart will be as white and pure as the Taliban flag.

  • Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online

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Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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