This handout photo taken and provided by the German armed forces Bundeswehr on August 17, 2021 shows evacuees from Kabul, Afghanistan, sitting inside an aircraft upon arrival in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, during a military evacuation operation to fly out German nationals, local workers and other people at risk from Kabul, Afghanistan, where people try to flee the country after the Taliban swept back to power. - On August 18, the German cabinet approved the mandate for the German armed forces' ongoing evacuation mission in Afghanistan. Up to 600 soldiers can be deployed for the mission until September 30 at the latest. (Photo by Marc Tessensohn and Handout / BUNDESWEHR / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO / HANDOUT / MARC TESSENSOHN / BUNDESWEHR' - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

On the anniversary of the takeover of power by the radical Islamic Taliban in Afghanistan, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) promised all former local Bundeswehr personnel still in Afghanistan the opportunity to emigrate to Germany. “We won’t leave them behind,” said Faeser of “Bild am Sonntag”. She is working with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) on a new “Federal Admissions Program for local Afghan workers” with clear criteria. The biggest problem is getting particularly threatened people out of Afghanistan.

In the meantime, 15,759 Afghan local workers and family members have been brought to Germany. Faeser told the “Bild am Sonntag” that there would be no returns to Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. “The deportations to Afghanistan are currently on hold,” said Faeser. In view of the current situation there, it will certainly have to stay that way.

On the anniversary of the taking of Kabul, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock lamented the suffering of the people under the government of the militant Islamist Taliban. “Since then, Taliban rule has descended like a dark veil over Afghanistan. Today, many Afghans don’t have enough to eat, they live in daily fear of persecution and their fundamental rights are being curtailed,” said the Greens politician on Sunday in Berlin, according to a statement. “For women and girls, this means life in prison.”

After the end of the military operation, the international community now has a responsibility for Afghan civil society and all those who stand up for human rights and democratic values ​​in the country. “They are the beacons of hope for a more peaceful future,” stressed Baerbock.

Despite obstacles, more than 70 percent of those in need of protection have already been evacuated with a confirmation of admission. “We are working flat out to enable more people to leave the country,” said Baerbock. Together with Federal Interior Minister Faeser, she will therefore “soon” present a program that will focus on the most vulnerable people, especially women and girls. In addition, humanitarian aid for people in Afghanistan will be increased again.

A year ago, the radical Islamic Taliban regained control of Afghanistan after the hasty withdrawal of international troops.

Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani predicted a large flow of refugees from his country. “Millions will try to flee Afghanistan,” Ghani told Bild am Sonntag. Most of the refugees would therefore try to come to Germany.

According to the newspaper, Ghani, who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates, also said that he still considers himself the legitimate head of state in Afghanistan – and would therefore welcome being received by the German government. “If they’re interested in solutions, I have a lot of ideas,” Ghani said.

He himself defended his flight from the country a year after the Taliban returned: “I left because I didn’t want to give the Taliban and their supporters the pleasure of humiliating an Afghan president again,” he told US broadcaster CNN in an interview aired on Sunday. At that time, the entire protection force of the president had disbanded and put on civilian clothes. The defense minister also fled. “I was the last to leave,” he said. Ghani fled abroad on August 15, 2021.

Ghani was convinced that the majority of refugees had Germany as their destination. Whether they make it to Germany depends “also on the smugglers”. They are part of a criminal network. The possibility of coming to Germany is “a question of affordability”.

Ghani justified what he believed to be the massive refugee movement by saying that many people in Afghanistan were losing their sense of belonging and their hope. After 44 years of uninterrupted violence, the people of Afghanistan are fed up “of being a battlefield,” Ghani said. In addition, the health system in his home country is currently collapsing due to the pandemic.

According to the Taliban, there is no terrorist threat from Afghan soil. Referring to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, the Taliban spokesman and Deputy Minister for Information and Culture, Sabiullah Mujahid, told Welt am Sonntag: “There is no place for them here.”

The Taliban had pledged in the Doha Accords with the US and its allies not to allow any group from Afghan soil to operate against them. “We are serious about that,” Mujahid said.