AUSTIN, Texas — The Afghan community in Austin held a demonstration outside the Texas Capitol on 9/11, protesting the Taliban and its regime.
The group that gathered at the Texas Capitol grounds on Saturday implored for the U.S. government to impose sanctions on Pakistan to stop supporting the Taliban and other terrorist groups, should support the National Resistance Front against the Taliban, not allow the Afghanistan chairs in the United Nations to be given to the Taliban and continue humanitarian assistance to the Afghan nation.
President Joe Biden notably withdrew all U.S. troops from Afghanistan amid the Taliban taking over the country.
Twenty-four hours after the departure of the last American C-17 cargo plane from Kabul, Biden vigorously defended his decision to end America's longest war and withdraw all U.S. troops ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline.
“I was not going to extend this forever war,” Biden said in an address from the White House State Dining Room. "And I was not going to extend a forever exit.”
PHOTOS: Afghanistan demonstration held at Texas Capitol on 9/11
Biden has faced tough questions about the way the U.S. went about leaving Afghanistan — a chaotic evacuation and spasms of violence including a suicide bomb that killed 13 American service members and 169 Afghans. He underwent heavy criticism, particularly from Republicans, for his handling of the evacuation, though it successfully airlifted more than 120,000 people from Kabul airport.
But he said it was inevitable that the final departure from two decades of war would be difficult with likely violence, no matter when it was planned and conducted.
“To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan I ask, ‘What is the vital national interest?’" Biden said. He added, "I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan.”
The group that held the demonstration on Saturday sent KVUE the following statement:
"We all have seen in the past two decades that the Taliban has claimed responsibility for hundreds of suicide attacks and explosions that killed thousands of innocent Afghan citizens including women and children. Horrendous attacks to which our fellow American soldiers have unfortunately not been an exception. This terrorist group has left many Afghan and American children without a father figure in their life, many women without their husbands, and many mothers without their loving children, sorrowful wounds which will remain forever in our hearts. As citizens and residents of this country, we are saddened to see that the United States has signed a peace treaty with this terrorist group, an action that contradicts American values, especially human rights. On the other side of the world, Pakistan is the number one state sponsor of terrorism. They have created, supported, and harbored the Taliban from day one. We have seen a clear and direct political interference of Pakistan in Afghanistan’s political system. Osama Bin Laden was found in Pakistan, Mola Mansour the second Taliban Leader was killed by a US drone in Pakistan territory. Countless pieces of evidence prove the Taliban are supported by Pakistan. The United States should take a stronger and more firm position against Pakistan, and it is long due. Just recently, the head of ISI, the Pakistani Intelligence Service came to Kabul to help the Taliban defeat the National Resistance Front in Panjshir of Afghanistan. Therefore, we, the people of Afghanistan who gathered in this protest, have the following demands:
- Taliban are terrorists and their regime should NOT be recognized by the United States and the United States’ allies.
- The US should impose sanctions on Pakistan to stop supporting the Taliban and other terrorist groups.
- The United States and its allies should support the National Resistance Front against the Taliban.
- Afghanistan chairs in the United Nations should not be given to the Taliban. Taliban is a terrorist group.
- The United States and the world society should continue humanitarian assistance to the Afghan nation.
As a result of the Taliban being in power, there will be poverty and a shortage of food in Afghanistan. We encourage everyone to stand by human rights, do as big or as little as they can to help the National Resistance Front of Panjshir to fight for the rights of women, men, and children, for justice of not only Afghanistan but for humanity as a whole. We stand against the Taliban and support Ahamd Masoud and the National Resistance Front of Panjshir! May God bless Afghanistan, and May God bless America."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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