Pakistan not closing down its embassy in Kabul: FO

Pakistan on Sunday said that it has not decided to close down the embassy in Kabul and is monitoring the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

According to the spokesman Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, all security measures have been taken for diplomatic staff in the Pakistan embassy and relief is being provided to Pakistanis currently stranded in the country.

“The situation in Afghanistan is changing at a rapid pace,” he said adding that Pakistan has always desired peace in the neighbouring country and hoped that the security situation should not deteriorate.

 The foreign office said that Pakistan does not want to close down its embassy in Kabul.

The statement from Foreign Office came after it was reported that the Taliban have begun entering the Afghan capital Kabul from all sides, the Afghan interior ministry said on Sunday, as U.S. and European Union staff sought safety.

“Core” U.S. team members were working from the Kabul airport, a U.S. official said, while a NATO official said several EU staff had moved to a safer, undisclosed location in the capital.

After its lightning advance on the capital, the Taliban group ordered its fighters to refrain violence, allow safe passage to anyone seeking to leave and request women to head to protected areas, said a Taliban leader in Doha.

Taliban took control of the key eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad without a fight on Sunday, leaving the territory controlled by the crumbling government to little more than the capital Kabul.

The United States was sending more troops to the encircled capital to help evacuate its civilians after the Taliban’s lightning advances brought the group to the door of Kabul in a matter of days. Just last week, a U.S. intelligence estimate said Kabul could hold out for at least three months.

The fall of Jalalabad has also given the Taliban control of a road leading to the Pakistan city of Peshawar, one of the main highways into landlocked Afghanistan.

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