Malala Yousafzai 'Deeply Worried About Women, Minorities' as Taliban Seizes Power in Afghanistan
Malala Yousafzai is voicing her concerns over the Taliban's recent control of Afghanistan.
On Sunday, the 24-year-old human rights activist — who was 15 and a student in Pakistan when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the face — expressed how she worries for women, minorities and human rights advocates in the country while also calling upon global, regional and local powers to provide aid.
"We watch in complete shock as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan," she tweeted. "I am deeply worried about women, minorities and human rights advocates."
Added Yousafzai: "Global, regional and local powers must call for an immediate ceasefire, provide urgent humanitarian aid and protect refugees and civilians."
In just the past week, outlets including The New York Times reported that the Taliban seized over a dozen provincial capitals in Afghanistan. The group, which ruled Afghanistan in 1996 until the invasion of U.S. forces post-9/11, is now in control of more than half of the country.
Months after President Joe Biden announced the end of a decades-long U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, his administration is sending additional troops to the country to provide aid while Americans and allies evacuate. The large majority of the troops are expected in Kabul by the end of the weekend, CNN reported.
A White House official issued the following statement Sunday morning.
"This morning, the President and Vice President met by secure videoconference with their national security team to hear updates on the drawdown of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul. The President and Vice President met with Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, Chairman Milley, Director Burns, Director Haines, National Security Advisor Sullivan, Ambassador Wilson, Ambassador Khalilzad, General McKenzie, and other senior officials."
In a statement on Saturday, Biden, 78, said he authorized the deployment "to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of US personnel and other allied personnel and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance."
The troops being sent to the Kabul airport will not be directly involved in Afghanistan's war against the Taliban. Instead, they are being deployed to assist with security and aid in the evacuation of embassy employees, Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby said previously.
President Biden has been insistent that the U.S. will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, marking 20 years since the Twin Towers fell and sparked the country's longest war.
"It is time for American troops to come home," Biden said during a speech from the White House in April. "We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result."
U.S. troops were first sent to Afghanistan in 2001 by then-President George W. Bush.
In the years since, over 2,000 U.S. troops and more than 100,000 civilians have died or been injured in the years-long conflict.