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Top US general relinquishes Afghanistan command

08:35 PM | 12 Jul, 2021
Top US general relinquishes Afghanistan command

KABUL — The top commander of the US Army in Afghanistan relinquished command at an official ceremony in the Afghan capital on Monday. 

This is the latest symbolic gesture bringing America’s longest war close to its end in Afghanistan.

Amid the Taliban making sweeping advances across the country, General Austin “Scott” Miller – the highest-ranked officer on the ground in Afghanistan – handed command to General Kenneth McKenzie at a ceremony in Kabul.

General Miller has been in Afghanistan since 2018, but in May was charged by commander-in-chief President Joe Biden with organising the final withdrawal of US troops, to be completed by the end of August.

Since May, most of the 2,500 American troops remaining at that time have left. Several US troops left Afghanistan’s Bagram Air Base under the cover of darkness almost two weeks ago, even without notifying the Afghan government or the army. Bagram Air Base was the bastion from where coalition forces carried out operations against the Taliban and armed groups for the past two decades.

About 650 US service members are expected to stay in Kabul to guard Washington’s diplomatic compound where Monday’s ceremony took place.

Top Afghan officials and military officers attended the ceremony inside the heavily fortified green zone.

Taliban gaining control

The handover took place in the heavily fortified Resolute Support headquarters in the heart of Kabul at a time of rapid territorial gains by Taliban fighters across Afghanistan.

At a flag-passing ceremony, Miller remembered the US and NATO troops killed in the nearly 20-year war as well as the thousands of Afghans who lost their lives. He warned that relentless violence across Afghanistan is making a political settlement increasingly difficult.

The outgoing US general said he has told Taliban officials “it’s important that the military sides set the conditions for a peaceful and political settlement in Afghanistan … But we know that with that violence, it would be very difficult to achieve a political settlement.”

The Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces, mostly funded by the United States and NATO, have put up resistance in some parts of the country, but overwhelmingly Afghan government troops appear to have abandoned the fight.

In recent weeks, the Taliban have gained several strategic districts, particularly along the borders with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib who attended the handover said the US and NATO withdrawal has left a vacuum that resulted in Afghanistan’s national security forces stranded on the battlefield without resupplies, sometimes running out of food and ammunition.

In comments after the ceremony, Mohib said the greatest effect of the withdrawal is a lack of aircraft to resupply troops.

Currently, the government is regrouping to retake strategic areas and defend its cities against Taliban advances.

The Taliban control more than one-third of Afghanistan’s 421 districts and district centres. A Taliban claim that they control 85 percent of the districts is widely seen as exaggerated. 

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 14 April forex rates

Pakistani currency remains unchanged against US dollar and other currencies in open market on April 14, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.5 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 299.95 for buying and 302.9 for selling while British Pound stands at 349.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.45 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 14 April 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.5
Euro EUR 299.95 302.9
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45
 
76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 182.7 184.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206.2
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86
 
1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.91 912.91
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.92 59.52
New Zealand Dollar NZD 167.63 169.63
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.35 77.05
Singapore Dollar SGD 206 208
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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