South Asian Countries

Taliban pleads for unfreezing of Afghan reserves at Doha talks

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban delegation has asked US administration to unfreeze Kabul’s financial assets enabling it to function as the government as it faces a tough economic crisis in the talks held in Doha, Qatar.A delegation of US officials led by Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West met a Taliban delegation led by Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, according to News International. Further, the US State Department spokesperson said that the two delegations discussed the international community’s ongoing and urgent response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.“The United States remains committed to ensuring that US sanctions do not limit the ability of Afghan civilians to receive humanitarian support from the US government and international community while denying assets to sanctioned entities and individuals,” the statement mentioned.Earlier US has frozen $ 9.5 Billion assets belonging to the Afghan central bank and stopped shipments of cash…

Europe International

Russia to deliver humanitarian aid to Kabul

Moscow [Russia] : Russia will deliver humanitarian aid to Kabul on Wednesday and organize another return flight, Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told Sputnik.“Yes,” Kabul said when asked if Moscow plans to deliver aid to Kabul on December 1, and confirmed that another return flight will be organized, Sputnik reported. The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15, causing the US-backed government to step down. Later in September, the outfit announced the composition of the new interim government of Afghanistan.The country is currently battered by the deepening economic, humanitarian, and security crisis following the Taliban takeover. The international community, from governments to non-governmental organizations, has been providing various assistance to the Afghan people.As the economic crisis is looming on the Taliban-ruled country, the US has also frozen nearly USD 9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank and stopped shipments of…

South Asian Countries

Causalties feared as blast hits Kabul

Kabul [Afghanistan] : A blast rocked Darul Aman road in Police District 3 of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Tuesday.Casualties are feared, Xinhua reported citing eyewitnesses. No terror group has claimed the responsibility for the attack.Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, attacks by ISIL-affiliated terrorists against them have increased.The rise in terrorist attacks has raised the possibility of a wider conflict between the two groups.

South Asian Countries

Fifty pc private education centres shut since Taliban takeover

Kabul [Afghanistan] : Over 50 per cent of private education centres have been closed within the past three months across Afghanistan since the Taliban take over the country, local media reported citing the Union of Private Education Centers.As per the union, the deteriorated economic status of families is the main reason for the closure of these educational centers. “With changes happening in Afghanistan, many educational facilities–40 to 50 per cent–stopped their activities. The reason for that was the small number of students in the educational centers,” Sanjar Khalid, head of the union said.Some students said that the long time period has affected their morale for continuing education.“We are still hopeful to study to become a person who can serve their country,” said Shabana Habib Yar, a student, according to Tolo News.“We lost the motivation for the lessons because it is still unclear whether we…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

EU will not recognise Taliban regime, says European Commission President Ursula

Brussels [Belgium]: The European Union will not recognise the Taliban regime, imposed through violence, said European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen on Saturday.EU’s President, in a statement, said: “European Union does not recognise the new regime, imposed through violence, but we need to prevent the imminent economic and social collapse that the country faces. We need to stand by the people of Afghanistan.” She also highlighted the humanitarian aid provided to Afghanistan. “This is why, last month, we announced a package worth EUR 1 billion, including EUR 300 million in humanitarian aid. The European Union will keep on engaging with the countries in the region,” the statement said.Meanwhile, Russia, the United States, Japan, Canada, France, UK have expressed that they are not planning to recognise the government formed by the Taliban.The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15, causing the US-backed government to step…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

India supports inclusive, representative govt in Afghanistan, says EAM Jaishankar

New Delhi [India]: Expressing concern over the recent developments in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Friday said that India, as a neighbour and long-standing partner, supports an inclusive and representative government in the nation.Addressing the 18th meeting of the Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers on Friday, Jaishankar said: “As a neighbour and long-standing partner of Afghanistan, India is concerned about the recent developments in that country. India supports an inclusive and representative government in Afghanistan.” He further spoke about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and urges RIC countries to work together to ensure that assistance reaches the Afghan people without hindrance and politicisation.“RIC countries need to work together to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches the Afghan people without hindrance and politicisation. It is necessary for the RIC countries to coordinate respective approaches on the threats of terrorism, drug trafficking and radicalisation,” Jaishankar said…

South Asian Countries

Pakistan govt releases over 100 TTP prisoners as ‘goodwill gesture’

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan government has released more than 100 Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) prisoners as a “goodwill gesture” to reciprocate the ceasefire announced by the group earlier this month, local media reported.The majority of the freed Pakistani Taliban prisoners were undergoing de-radicalisation and rehabilitation at the internment centres set up by the government, The Express Tribune reported citing government officials. “Most of the released inmates have not completed a six-month mandatory de-radicalisation and rehabilitation programme,” one official said. “The rest were ordinary foot soldiers.”According to the Pakistani daily, the officials also clarified that the prisoners were not released in compliance with any demand from the TTP, which is currently engaged in negotiations with the government. “The Taliban prisoners were released as a goodwill gesture,” the official added.Pakistan and the TTP entered into a month-long truce starting November 9. The ceasefire was the result of a…

South Asian Countries

Chinese firms arrive in Afghanistan to conduct on-site inspections of lithium projects

Beijing [China]: Looking to ‘explore’ nearly trillion-dollar worth of rare earth materials, a group of Chinese delegations have arrived in Afghanistan on special visas and are conducting on-site inspections of potential lithium projects.Despite growing interest from Chinese companies, major uncertainties remain in Afghanistan in terms of policy, security, the economy and infrastructure, the state media tabloid Global Times reported. The report said that five Chinese companies obtained special visas and arrived in Afghanistan early in November to conduct on-site inspections. “[They] have arrived in the Chinatown and are conducting inspections in Afghanistan as planned,” said Yu Minghui, director of the committee, which has been helping Chinese companies explore business opportunities in Afghanistan. Yu told GT that he believes these company representatives received the first batch of special visas issued to Chinese investors.Back in August, Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asia had reported that China is positioning…

South Asian Countries

Taliban expand interim cabinet, 27 new members named

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban on Tuesday said that they have expanded their interim cabinet by adding 27 new members. Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the interim government, said the appointments had been made in compliance with orders from Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.More than two dozen high-level officials, including ministers and deputy ministers, were named. Maulvi Shahabuddin Delawar has been appointed as acting minister of mines and petroleum and Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund as acting minister of disaster management. Twenty-five others have been appointed as deputy ministers, corps commanders and heads of independent departments, according to a list released by Mujahid, reported Pajhwok Afghan News. The new names in the interim cabinet of Islamic Emirate include – Maulvi Shahabuddin Delavar, acting minister of mines and petroleum; Haji Mullah Mohammad Esa Akhund, deputy minister of mines and petroleum; Mullah Mohammad…

South Asian Countries

New Taliban order targets ‘immoral’ Afghan TV shows featuring women

Kabul [Afghanistan]: In yet another setback for women’s rights in Afghanistan, the Taliban on Sunday ordered television channels to stop airing shows featuring women artists and said female scribes must wear hijabs as per the group’s interpretation of Islamic law.This order is part of the newly issued guidelines by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or moral police, American broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) reported. One of the eight directives issued by the virtue ministry states that films and dramas should not have female actors. The new policy prevents television stations from showing men who are considered indecently exposed or not covered from chest to knees, the report added.The Taliban defended the directive, saying it is aimed at countering propagation of “immorality” and airing of videos that “are against the principles of Sharia.”“Foreign and locally produced movies that promote…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Taliban insists on release of Afghan Bank assets

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Highlighting the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has called on the US to immediately release Afghanistan’s central bank assets.Muttaqi made these remarks during an interview where he said the US was no longer engaged in a war with Afghanistan and that freezing the Afghan assets lacked “logical” justification, TOLOnews reported. “The assets should be freed immediately. The Americans don’t have any military front with us now. What is the reason for freezing the assets? The assets don’t belong to the Mujahideen (Islamic Emirate) but to the people of Afghanistan,” Muttaqi said. “The US froze our assets and then told us that it will provide us humanitarian aid. What does it mean?” Muttaqi questioned.Some experts believe that the holding of Afghan assets is affecting the people of Afghanistan who are struggling with severe economic challenges.Political analyst Tajar Kakar…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

US to pursue ‘over-the-horizon’ mission in Afghanistan

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Underlining that the network of US allies and partners in the Middle East and beyond is a huge force multiplier, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Washington will pursue an “over-the-horizon” mission in Afghanistan in response to counterterrorism.“We must work together to combat terrorism–including in Afghanistan from al-Qaeda, and from the malice and sectarian hatred of ISIS,” Austin said during the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ (IISS) Manama Dialogue 2021. “As I made clear last month when I convened the members of the Defeat-ISIS Coalition during the NATO Defense Ministerial, the United States remains committed to supporting our partners in Iraq and Syria to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” he added.US Defense Secretary further said that the US is focused on the evacuation of its citizens from Afghanistan, and will keep working on it.“We remain focused on making sure currently that…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

UNICEF to keep its digital platforms shut on World Children’s Day in solidarity with Afghan children

New York [US]: On the occasion of World Children’s Day, UNICEF Afghanistan has decided to close all its digital platforms on Saturday, in solidarity with Afghan children who are bearing the rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis in the country.“In solidarity with the children of Afghanistan who are bearing the brunt of a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis, this year, as UNICEF marks World Children’s Day (WCD) globally, UNICEF Afghanistan will not celebrate,” a United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) statement read. November 20, marks the International Day of Children with several governments and organizations celebrating the day. But, this year, UNICEF Afghanistan has said that this day will not be celebrated in Afghanistan.“Today, UNICEF Afghanistan is ‘blackwashing’ its WCD online assets and, tomorrow, November 20, the day on which UNICEF typically ‘goes blue’ for children, UNICEF Afghanistan will close its digital channels, going dark to…

South Asian Countries

Afghan heroin flooding global markets, motivating narco-terrorism

Amsterdam [Netherlands]: After the Taliban assumed power in Kabul, a fresh threat has emerged and that is heroin from Afghanistan, which has started flooding global markets and motivating narco-terrorism, making a severe threat to peace, a report said.Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer, accounting for about 87 per cent of the global production despite a USD 9 billion effort over a two-decade period by the United States (US) to deter illegal production in the country, European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) said in a report. Soon after coming to power on August 15, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid had said that “Afghanistan will not be a country of cultivation of opium anymore. However, he added that “it is only possible when the whole world helps us in empowering the farmers and providing them with an alternative to earn their livelihood”, according to the…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

35 female Afghan footballers, who escaped Afghanistan after Taliban takeover, land in London

London [UK]: The 35 women Afghan footballers who escaped Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, landed in Stansted Airport of London on Thursday.A total of 130 people along with the families of footballers boarded the flight funded by American celebrity, TV media personality, socialist, and businesswoman Kim Kardashian, reported Khaama Press. The Afghan female footballers had escaped Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. The Taliban have restricted football for girls in Afghanistan saying that the sport is neither appropriate nor necessary.All the Afghan evacuees will be spending a 10-day quarantine before starting new lives in the UK, reported Khaama Press.Before going to the UK, all the young girls were waiting in Pakistan for any humanitarian flight to take them out.Earlier, another team of Afghan male and female footballers along with their families was evacuated to Qatar.

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Do not oppose female education, will make curriculum Islamic, say Taliban

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Claiming that the Taliban does not oppose female education, the Islamic Emirate said that this was girls’ Islamic and legal right.Acting Minister of Education of Afghanistan Noorullah Munir during his recent interview with Bakhtar News Agency, a local news agency, said that they will bring changes to the current curriculum and will make it Islamic, reported Khaama Press. The Taliban, after taking control of the country in mid-August, had closed the schools with thousands of girl students confined to their homes, attracting criticism by the international community.The Islamic Emirate which banned girl schools for grades 7 to 12 in many provinces, claimed earlier that they are working to provide a safe environment for female students in Afghanistan.While claiming girls’ education as a legal and Islamic right, Munir, however, did not elaborate on the new Islamic curriculum.Meanwhile, he said that the Islamic scholars…

South Asian Countries

Taliban officials meet German, Dutch diplomats, promise to prevent cultivation, smuggling of opium

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Afghan officials on Thursday met diplomats of Germany and the Netherlands and promised to prevent the cultivation and smuggling of opium in the country.Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate in a series of tweets said, “We will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan’s soil against the region and the world. We will make efforts to prevent the cultivation and smuggling of opium and we are trying to provide alternative economic schemes in cooperation with the international community for the farmers,” reported Tolo News. The meeting took place in Kabul and according to Samangani, the Afghan officials discussed bilateral relations with the German and Dutch envoys.“The deputies of prime minister Abdul Salam Hanafi and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar today before noon met with representatives of the Netherlands and Germany and delegates accompanying them at the ARG (presidential palace),” tweeted Samangani.He said…

South Asian Countries

IS claims responsibility for two blasts in Kabul

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for two explosions that hit western Kabul on Wednesday, Sputnik reported citing Arab Al-Arabiya broadcaster.The first blast hit the Dashte Barchi area and killed four people leaving two more injured, according to locals. It was followed by another explosion, which claimed the lives of five civilians and injured seven others, Sputnik quoted a source as saying. Deborah Lyons, UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, has said that the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) is now expanding to nearly all Afghan provinces and the Taliban are unable to stop them.“Major negative development has been the Taliban’s inability to stem the expansion of the Islamic State Khorasan Province,” Lyons said during the United Nations Security Council meeting on Afghanistan.

TOP NEWS UPDATES

UN calls for more inclusive Afghanistan government as rights of women, girls curtailed under Taliban

New York [US]: The United Nations calls for a more inclusive government in Afghanistan as the country has seen a curtailment of the fundamental rights of women and girls under the Taliban rule, a special UN envoy said on Wednesday.Deborah Lyons, UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said “These range from limiting the right to work to the absence of women from major decision-making fora and from senior echelons of the civil service.” “We continue to call for a more inclusive administration in which government institutions reflect Afghanistan’s broad diversity. We have seen limited progress on this issue,” the envoy said.Lyons said in her interactions with the Taliban, the de-facto authorities recognized that they have made mistakes on women’s rights and inclusivity and are now trying to address them. However, the Taliban made it clear that there…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

US designates Taliban, IS as ‘entities of particular concern’

Washington [US]: The United States has designated Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS) as ‘Entities of Particular Concern’.Besides Taliban and IS, the US also designated al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal-Muslimin as Entities of Particular Concern. In a statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said that the challenges to religious freedom in the world today are structural, systemic, and deeply entrenched.Blinken also designated Myuanmr the People’s Republic of China, Eritrea, Iran, the DPRK, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as Countries of Particular Concern for having engaged in or tolerated “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”The US administration will continue to press all governments to remedy shortcomings in their laws and practices and to promote accountability for those responsible for abuses, Blinken said.“I am also placing Algeria, Comoros,…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Opium production rising under Taliban regime

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The opium cultivation and production has increased in drought-affected southern Afghanistan, Kandahar and Helmand after the Taliban took control of Kabul in August.Under the Taliban regime, the people have no work and the country is drowned in debt. Lack of work alternatives and drought in the region have left farming the only option for the people, reported TOLOnews. Farmers in the Kandahar and Helmand region of the country said they are happy about their opium products in the fall season of this year, reported Afghanistan’s TOLOnews.“There is no work, all the families are in debt and everyone’s hope is opium,” a farmer in Kandahar told TOLOnews.The Islamic emirates, with the help of international organizations and communities, is on the look for alternatives to opium farming for the poppy growers.“The Islamic Emirate through using government facilities, and in coordination with various international organizations…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Afghanistan’s central bank announces auctioning of USD 10 million to prevent fall of country’s currency

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Da Afghanistan Bank, the central bank in the country, has announced the auctioning of USD 10 million to prevent the plummeting move of the country’s currency Afghani, reported local media.Private banks and forex traders have been asked by the central bank to participate in the bidding. The bidders will be paying Afghani for the number of dollars they buy in the auction, reported Khaama Press citing a statement of Da Afghanistan Bank. Afghani has hit the lowest level against the US dollar in the past twenty years currently, with 1 USD trading for 95 Afghani.The auction will not be beneficial as the dollars will be trafficked abroad and will have less impact on the value of the country’s currency, said economic analysts expressing concerns over the central bank’s decision.The announcement comes amid calls from the Taliban leaders to the international organisation to…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

India, France discuss Afghanistan, threats posed by LET, JEM, Daesh, other UN proscribed terror outfits

Paris [France]: In a counter-terrorism meeting in Paris, India and France on Tuesday shared their assessment of the evolution of the terrorist threat on their respective territories and in their regional environment. They also underlined the need to ensure that Afghan territory does not become a source of radicalization and terrorism and is never again used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter, recruit or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist attacks in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021).They also exchanged views on threats posed by UN-sanctioned terrorist entities and individuals and emphasized the need for taking concerted action against all terrorist networks including al-Qa’ida and ISIS/Daesh, as well as Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizb-ul Mujahideen etc, including making sure that perpetrators of terrorist attacks are systematically and expeditiously brought to justice. India and France stressed the…

Asia International

Taliban deputy PM Baradar meets Iran’s special envoy, discusses Afghan political, security issues

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban co-founder and acting Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met with Iran’s special envoy to Afghanistan Hassan Kazemi Qomi and discussed political, security, economic and cultural issues, local media reported on Tuesday. Deputy PM Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met with Iran’s envoy for Afghanistan Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Tolo News reported citing Mohammad Naeem, Islamic Emirate political office spokesman as saying. They discussed political, security, economic and cultural issues, he added.Earlier, Qomi also met with acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and acting Commerce Minister Nooraddin Azizi. “Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and acting Commerce Minister Nooraddin Azizi met with Iran’s special envoy to Afghanistan Hassan Kazemi Qomi and discussed the economy and the development of trade between countries,” Tolo News reported citing the Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying. Qomi arrived in Kabul on Monday to hold meetings with officials…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Afghanistan: Taliban undertake military parade on US vechiles, Russian helicopters

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Hundreds of members of the Taliban on Sunday gathered upon the US-made armed vehicles to undertake a military parade in the capital of Afghanistan.This was the second time when the group has undertaken a military parade after it ousted the democratically elected government in the country in August. The parade was supported by Russia-made helicopters, Khaama Press reported. Spokesperson of Taliban-formed Defense Ministry Enayatullah Khwarazmi said that the military show was held by the newly graduated soldiers.The developments came as the Taliban has said that they will soon form their own army, Khaama Press reported.Earlier in September, a bunch of helicopters was also seen flying over southern Afghanistan while jubilant Taliban members below stood aboard captured US military hardware as the Islamist group paraded them with pride.Meanwhile, more than ten weeks since the takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban government is now facing…

South Asian Countries

Attendance of girl students drops after cancellation of final exams in Afghanistan’s Herat

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The attendance of girl students has dropped as Herat provincial school teachers’ council decided to cancel annual examinations and promote them to the next grade without appearing for end-term examinations.Educational officials in Herat province of Afghanistan said school teachers’ council’s decision to waive off annual examinations and promote students to the next scheduled grade was the reason for the reluctance of girl students to attend schools, reported Afghanistan’s TOLOnews. “The student of grade seven will be directly promoted to grade eight. The students of grade 12 will be graduated from school. And therefore some disorder is resulting at schools,” TOLOnews quoted Mohammad Sabir Mashal, head of the council as saying.The government had last week permitted girl students from grades 7th to 12th in the Herat province to attend schools. Out of 34 provinces in Afghanistan, education of girls from grades 7th to…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

US dropping bombs on Taliban their punishment for destroying Budhha statue 20 yrs ago: Yogi Adityanath

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India] : Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday lashed out at the Taliban, which, he alleged, destroyed a statue of Gautam Buddha in Afghanistan 20 years ago.He further alleged that the Taliban ‘got punished’ by God for destroying the statue when the US dropped bombs on them. The Chief Minister also stated that Lord Buddha will always be the source of inspiration for humanity and the centre of devotion.While addressing Samajik Pratinidhi Sammelan in Lucknow, Adityanath said, “You must have seen the scenes when Taliban destroyed the 2,500-year-old statue of Gautam Buddha in Bamiyan, Afghanistan 20 years ago. The world saw the barbarism of the Taliban. Buddha never imposed war on the world. He will always be the source of inspiration for humanity and the centre of devotion. But no Indian or anyone supporting peace and harmony anywhere in…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Imran Khan stresses on immediate release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday stressed the need to immediately release Afghanistan’s frozen assets to enable the country to overcome economic challenges.Khan highlighted Afghanistan’s frozen assets at a meeting with a Taliban delegation headed by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Islamabad, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, reported Pajhwok Afghan News. He stressed the need for the immediate release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets and facilitating banking transactions to prevent an economic meltdown.“Pakistan has been consistently calling for the provision of immediate humanitarian relief for Afghanistan,” said Khan.The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and along with that, the security situation has worsened since the Taliban took control of the country.Millions of Afghans will face starvation this winter unless urgent action is taken, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has warned.Nearly 23 million people, or 55 per cent…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Afghan girls calls on Taliban to reopen schools

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Facing an uncertain future of their education under the Taliban regime, Afghan girls and activists called on the Islamic Emirate to reopen schools that remain closed to women across the country.Some girls, worried about their uncertain future, accused the Islamic Emirate of selective treatment in the reopening of some schools but not others, reported Tolo News. “We want to go to school. The Islamic Emirate should not apply a double standard to allow girls in some provinces to go to school but then ban them in other provinces,” said Sahar, a student.According to claims of the Taliban officials, girl students of secondary and high school have been allowed to attend schools in seven of 34 provinces.Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on Friday said 75 per cent of girls in Afghanistan had resumed their studies in schools while replying to a…

South Asian Countries

Young Taliban recruits refuse to believe 9/11 ever happened

Bagram [Afghanistan]: Many children born after 2001, growing up hating America and trained by the Taliban say that they do not know if the 9/11 attacks ever happened with some refusing to believe that the attacks were orchestrated by al-Qaeda.One such child who never benefited from billions of dollars in Western aid money that elevated the lives of countless Afghans is Esmatullah Omari who said that when he was 12, he was trained by the Taliban to plant roadside bombs and at 16, he was attacking military convoys near Bagram airfield, the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan and the epicentre of America’s longest war, reported The Washington Post. The Americans are now gone, however, the 19-year-old Omari stands guard at one of the Bagram’s entrances and still does not understand why did the Americans come in the first place.Thousands of Americans who were…

South Asian Countries

Pakistan joins hand with Taliban to destroy Afghan identity, culture: Former Pak senator

Amsterdam [Netherlands]: A former senator of Pakistan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has accused Islamabad of joining hands with the Taliban to “destroy” Afghan identity and its culture.In an interview with the Amsterdam-based European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS), Afrasiab Khattak, who is also a Pashtun rights activist said, “Pakistan expanded into Afghanistan through its strategic depth policy. During the Afghan civil war, the Pakistani military establishment, aided by the US and the Arab Gulf States, enrolled Afghan refugees in Pakistani madrassas to brainwash them with extremist Islamist ideologies”. Khattak believes that these measures were aimed at ultimately emphasising the Afghans’ Muslim identity over their identity as Afghans and Pashtuns, and thereby deconstructing the Afghan/Pashtun component of their communal identity.He observed that this erosion also played out in practice as the Taliban sought to destroy cultural products and practices that were seen as Afghan, replacing…

South Asian Countries

Pakistan, Taliban-led Afghanistan agree to establish joint trade commission

Kabul [Afghanistan] : Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to establish a high-level interstate commission that will deal with trade issues between the two countries, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.The decision was made at a meeting of Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting Afghan foreign minister, appointed by the Taliban and his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on Thursday. The commission is expected to be tasked with monitoring the implementation of a bilateral trade strategy, Sputnik reportedLast month, the Pakistani top diplomat said that the countries had agreed to simplify travel between the countries. At the meeting in question, Qureshi detailed Islamabad’s initiatives regarding Kabul, including free access to all Pakistani ports for Afghan traders, the free movement of heavy vehicles, resumption of the movement of passenger buses, and an increase in air traffic.During his meeting with acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi,…

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Pakistan skipping Delhi Security Dialogue shows its attitude on issues concerning Afghanistan, says India

New Delhi [India]: India on Thursday took a dig at Pakistan for not attending Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, stating that skipping such an important meeting shows its approach towards issues concerning Afghanistan.External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at the weekly media briefing that India had also invited China for the NSA-level meeting in Delhi but they did attend due to “scheduling reasons.” “We had also invited Pakistan. Skipping such an important meeting shows their attitude towards the issues concerning Afghanistan,” Bagchi said in response to a query.India hosted the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on Wednesday.National Security Advisers or Secretaries of the Security Council of five Central Asian countries – Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan besides Russia and Iran – attended the security dialogue and adopted Delhi declaration.The dialogue was chaired by NSA Ajit Doval.The participants condemned in the…

South Asian Countries

US special representative to Afghanistan to meet Taliban FM in Pakistan

Kabul [Afghanistan] : Thomas West, US special representative to Afghanistan, and Amir Khan Motaqi, one of the top leaders of the Taliban are intended to meet each other in Islamabad, where they are scheduled to attend Troika Plus meeting, reported Khaama Press.Motaqi, Foreign Minister in the Taliban government, leading a high-level delegation arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday evening. Pakistan will host senior diplomats from the US, China and Russia in Islamabad to discuss the situation in Afghanistan on Thursday.Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and its National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf will chair the ‘Troika Plus’ meeting.The representative of the four countries will also meet Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, Dawn reported. Muttaqi also arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday. It is the first visit to Pakistan by an Afghan minister since the Taliban seized control of Kabul in August.Pakistani officials have said…

South Asian Countries

Imran Khan govt’s talks with Pakistani Taliban called into question in Senate

Islamabad [Pakistan] : The opposition in the senate in Pakistan has called into question Imran Khan government’s talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban, reported local media.Mian Raza Rabbani, former Senate Chairman and Pakistan People’s Party’s stalwart, underlined that it was the mandate of the Parliament to decide on negotiations with a banned outfit. Stressing that it would be better to lock the parliament if is to be treated this way, the PPP Senator emphasised that all the decisions on national security are neither being taken from the platform of parliament nor is the Senate being taken into confidence.Pakistan Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary had earlier said that the government has reached the deal with the TTP and a ceasefire was agreed upon.TTP has been active in several parts of Pakistan since 2007 and is responsible for carrying out several attacks and blasts in the country.

South Asian Countries

Afghanistan’s acting FM to discuss Kabul-Islamabad relations, economic issues with Pakistani side

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, will discuss Kabul-Islamabad relations, the economy, transit and as well as refugee issues with the Pakistani side, local media reported.“Transit and Economic issues will be discussed. Traders’ problems and as well (de facto) border crossing problems will be addressed,” Tolo News quoted Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid as saying. Muttaqi has arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday. It is the first visit to Pakistan by an Afghan minister since the Taliban seized control of Kabul in August.This comes after Pakistan earlier on Tuesday sent a special invitation to Muttaqi to attend the Troika Plus meeting, the Pakistani media reported.“Special Representatives for Afghanistan from the United States, China, Russia and Pakistan will be meeting on Thursday and we hope that Muttaqi will also be able to attend,” The News International…

TOP NEWS UPDATES

Taliban appointed FM of Afghanistan arrives in Pakistan for three-day visit

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on Wednesday arrived in Pakistan for an official visit as head of a high-level delegation to hold talks with the Pakistani leadership.Senior Pakistan officials welcomed Muttaqi on his arrival, Xinhua news agency reported citing state television of Pakistan. The Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said that Muttaqi’s visit is taking place as a follow-up to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s visit to Kabul in October.The Pakistan foreign ministry said the exchanges will focus on bilateral ties with a particular focus inter alia on enhanced trade, facilitation of transit trade, cross-border movement, land and aviation links, people-to-people contacts and regional connectivity.Earlier on Tuesday, the Pakistani media reported that Pakistan has sent a special invitation to Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi to attend the Troika Plus meeting.“Special Representatives for Afghanistan from the United States, China,…

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No sacred cows in Pakistan: Imran Khan to SC after being summoned in 2014 Peshawar school massacre case

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that there are “no sacred cows” in Pakistan as he appeared in connection with a case pertaining to the 2014 Army Public School massacre in Peshawar. The Pakistan Prime Minister was summoned by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed in a suo motu case pertaining to the 2014 school massacre in Peshawar where Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists stormed the school and killed over 140 people, mostly schoolchildren on December 16, 2014, reported Geo News.In a plea to the SC, the parents of the children demanded that the top leadership of the country be nominated in the case and a transparent probe be conducted into the incident. At the time of the incident, Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was the ruling provincial government and seven years had passed since the tragedy took place. Justice…

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PM Modi meets participants of Delhi Security Dialogue, lays thrust on zero-tolerance against misuse of Afghan territory

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met the participants of the Delhi Security Dialogue and called for focus by the countries of the region on the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan and a zero-tolerance stance about Afghan territory being used by terrorist groups.Outlining four aspects, he said that the countries of the region also need to focus on a strategy to counter trafficking of drugs and arms from Afghanistan and address the increasingly critical humanitarian crisis in the land-locked country. The Heads of the National Security Councils of seven nations participated in the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan hosted by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.They collectively called on the Prime Minister after the completion of the dialogue.Prime Minister also expressed the hope that the Regional Security Dialogue would work to revive Central Asia’s traditions of moderation and progressive culture,…

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Ajit Doval to chair NSA-level regional security dialogue on Afghanistan today; 7 nations in attendance

New Delhi [India]: National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will chair the regional security dialogue on Afghanistan here on Thursday which will be attended by his counterparts of five Central Asian countries, along with Russia and Iran.The Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan — which will be held at the level of National Security Advisers or Secretaries of Security Councils — will witness expanded participation of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. During the meeting, the countries will review the security situation in the region arising from recent developments in Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had earlier said in a press release.Iran had hosted dialogues in a similar format previously. It is a continuation of the format started by Tehran in 2018 and 2019, however, this time dialogue will see the highest participation of seven nations.The dialogue will deliberate upon…

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Imran Khan urges global community to fulfil ‘moral obligation’, save Afghans from hunger

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated his plea to the international community to intervene and save Afghans from hunger pointing out that it is their “moral obligation” to avert the humanitarian disaster confronting people in Afghanistan, reported local media.Imran Khan once again reiterated that Pakistan will continue to provide “all possible relief” to the Afghans in an attempt to avert a hovering humanitarian crisis in the country, reported The Express Tribune. Imran Khan shared a report by the BBC that quoted the executive director of the World Food Program (WFP) stating 23 million Afghan people heading towards mass starvation, reported The Express Tribune.Citing this report, the Prime Minister said that it was the “moral obligation” of the international community to “avert this humanitarian disaster confronting Afghan people”, reported the newspaper.With each passing day, the situation in Afghanistan is worsening under the…

South Asian Countries

Tens of thousands of needy Afghans receive relief aid: UN humanitarian office

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Tens of thousands of Afghans have received relief assistance as the aid agencies scaled-up effort to provide assistance to more people before the winter in the Asian country, a UN humanitarian agency said Tuesday.The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in a statement that 150 organizations, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies were delivering effective and principled aid in Afghanistan. Last month, the aid agencies reached 4 million people with food aid, 48,000 children with community-based education, and 580,000 people with primary healthcare, according to the UN agency.Director of UN World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley has called the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan “the worst crisis” on earth.As many as 95 per cent of people in Afghanistan do not have enough food and added that 23 million people are on the brink of starvation in the country, Khaama…

South Asian Countries

Taliban say US support of Afghan NRF would violate Doha Agreement

Kabul [Afghanistan] : Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday warned the US of the 2020 Doha agreement between Washington and the Taliban becoming null and void if the country supports the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), reported Sputnik citing his interview with Afghan 1TV News broadcaster.After the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban on August 15 2021, Panjshir, the last province to resist the Taliban, surrendered on September 6. However, the NRF leader Ahmad Massoud called on the Afghans to rebel against the Taliban, according to Sputnik. The US and the Taliban had signed the peace agreement in February 2020 under the Presidency of former US President Donald Trump. The deal stated the withdrawal of the US troops from the Afghan soil and the Taliban would abate violence and guarantee that its soil will not be a safe haven for the terrorists.Meanwhile, the…

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Why India is hosting NSA-level dialogue on Afghanistan and what is the message to Kabul

New Delhi [India]: India has played a key role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan over the years, spending more than USD three billion in the last two decades on people-centric projects in the country with even the Taliban acknowledging New Delhi’s contribution.Whether it is G20 Summit, BRICS or bilateral discussion, India has been a key participant regarding the issue of Afghanistan. Seven security czars from Russia, Iran and all five Central Asian countries will be landing in Delhi on Tuesday to attend first of its kind regional dialogue on Afghanistan hosted by India.National Security Advisers of five central Asian countries – Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan besides Russia and Iran – will attend the Delhi meet on Afghanistan.The meeting will be chaired by India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Earlier, Iran had hosted dialogues in a similar format.This is a continuation of the…

South Asian Countries

Taliban appoint new provincial governors, military commanders

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban on Sunday unveiled the names of new provincial governors, deputy governors and military commanders.Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement said that Qari Baryal has been appointed governor of Kabul, Mufti Mohammad Idrees will serve as his deputy and Wali Jan Hamza will be the military commander of the Afghan capital, reported The Express Tribune. Taliban on Tuesday had appointed governors and military commanders on key positions at the provincial level on the directives of the group’s supreme leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.The interim Afghanistan government headed by Akhunzada appointed Abdul Ghani governor of Badakhshan province, Muhammad Ali governor of Paktia province, Nisar Ahmad governor of Kunduz province while Qari Bakhtiar and Haji Mali Khan have been appointed as governors of Baghlan and Logar provinces, respectively, reported The Express Tribune.Likewise, Abdullah Mukhtar will serve as governor of Paktika province, Abdullah Sarhadi…

South Asian Countries

Afghan exports stopped at Iran’s Chabahar Port

Kabul [Afghanistan] : The Afghan exports through Iran’s Chabahar port have been halted for the last three months, reported a local media citing officials from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI).The economists believe that the political challenges that Afghanistan is facing are the primary reason behind the slow rate of exports from the country, reported TOLOnews. “When we do not export, it does not mean that we do not export through Chabahar port or somewhere else, it means that we do not have exports and rely entirely on the imports,” TOLOnews quoted economic analyst Sayed Masoud as saying.The economists have also credited the decline in the country’s GDP has also had an effect on the exports through the Chabahar port.“When our traders export their goods to other countries, they receive their money through bank accounts. But banking services allows around 30,000 afghanis…

South Asian Countries

TTP may consider ceasefire after Pak govt agrees to release its terrorists

Peshawar [Pakistan] : After Islamabad reportedly agreed to release several Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists in the first phase, the terrorists might declare a nationwide ceasefire in return, reported a local media.“The prisoners were supposed to be freed on November 1 this year but then there were some technical issues that delayed the release process. Then they were required to be freed on November 4 but again it didn’t happen due to some reasons,” The News quoted a source privy to the negotiations as saying. Some of the prisoners including top Taliban leaders in Swat, Mehmood Khan and Muslim Khan, were taken to Afghanistan for their “likely release”, said the newspaper citing the source.Former spokesperson of the TTP, Maulvi Omar was reportedly in the first batch of prisoners who were supposed to be free as a “goodwill” gesture.However, the development has not been confirmed by…

South Asian Countries

Taliban bars women from operating as aid workers in Afghanistan

Kabul [Afghanistan] : Taliban has prohibited Afghan women from “operating as aid workers,” which is preventing the desperately needed lifesaving aid from reaching Afghans, reported a local media, said the Human Rights Watch (HRW).“The Taliban’s severe restrictions on women aid workers are preventing desperately needed lifesaving aid from reaching Afghans, especially women, girls, and women-headed households. Permitting women aid workers to do their jobs unfettered is not a matter of agencies or donors placing conditions on humanitarian assistance, but an operational necessity for delivering that assistance,” TOLO news quoted associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, Heather Barr as saying. Only three out of 34 provinces officially allowed the female workers to operate, reported the news channel citing HRW.“The document, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, indicates that, as of October 28, 2021, Taliban officials in only three provinces had provided a written agreement…

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Imran Khan govt reaches understanding with banned TTP group for truce

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistani officials have reached a “tentative understanding” with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to seek a “peace agreement” following nearly two decades of militancy. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that this truce has come after direct talks between the two sides in Afghanistan’s south-western Khost province for nearly two weeks.These “face-to-face” talks had resulted in a tentative understanding to declare a countrywide truce, conditional to the release of some TTP foot soldiers as part of confidence-building measures, according to Pakistani publication. The acting interior minister in the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan, Sirajuddin Haqqani is reportedly playing a role of a mediator between Pakistan and the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to reach a “broader” “peace agreement” to bring an end to the two-decades of militancy in Pakistan. Even though an understanding has been reached between the two sides, it is not yet clear who…

South Asian Countries

Rise of Taliban adversely affecting South Asia

Kabul [Afghanistan] : As the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating by the day, there have been reports emerging that radical Islam is on the ascent in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and even India since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, said a media report.Writing in The J.CA, Rachel Avraham, a political analyst cited an interview of Shipan Kumer Basu, President of the World Hindu Struggle Committee where he stated that with the rise of the Taliban to power, there are fears that the situation will further deteriorate. “Over the past few weeks, extremists Muslims have carried out barbaric attacks on Hindus by placing the Qur’an in a Hindu puja mandap (temporary places of worship). The people of the Buddhist community were not left out either. Due to false rumours of blasphemy, in more than 31 districts, Hindu idols were vandalized, Hindu homes were attacked and looted, and…

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Taliban Interior Minister mediates peace talks between Pakistan and TTP

Peshawar [Pakistan]: Acting interior minister in the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan, Sirajuddin Haqqani is reportedly playing a role of a mediator between Pakistan and the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to reach a “broader” “peace agreement” to bring an end to the two-decades of militancy in Pakistan, local media reported.Pakistan has reached a possible understanding with the TTP after the “direct, face-to-face” talks between the two sides that are being held in South-western Khost province of Afghanistan for almost two weeks, reported Dawn citing the sources. However, it is not clear who on the Pakistan side is negotiating with the TTP.The understanding includes the declaration of a nationwide truce and the release of some TTP terrorists based on certain conditions, as part of confidence-building measures.However, the TTP has yet not confirmed or denied the possible understanding reached between the two sides.The number of terrorists who…

South Asian Countries

Key Taliban member among those killed in Kabul attack

Kabul [Afghanistan] : A key Taliban member was among those killed in an ISIS’ attack on a hospital in Kabul on Tuesday, according to reports.Maulvi Hamdullah Mukhlis, the head of Kabul’s military corps, was killed in Tuesday’s attack on the 400-bed hospital here, Pajhwok Afghan News reported. At least 25 people were killed and more than a dozen suffered injuries in the attack.The attack was carried out by armed gunmen and at least one suicide bomber. The terrorists targeted the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital in one of Kabul’s more affluent neighbourhoods, the New York Times reported.The Islamic State, also known as ISIS-K, has taken responsibility.Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the attack was carried out by several members of the Islamic State, including a suicide bomber who detonated his explosives at the gate to the hospital.A car full of…

South Asian Countries

ISIS takes responsibility for deadly attack on Kabul hospital

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Islamic State, also known as ISIS-K, has taken the responsibility for the deadly attack on a hospital in the Afghan capital of Kabul.At least 25 people were killed and more than a dozen suffered injuries in the attack on Tuesday. The attack was carried out by armed gunmen and at least one suicide bomber. The terrorists targetting the 400-bed Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital in one of Kabul’s more affluent neighbourhoods, the New York Times reported.Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said the attack was carried out by several members of the Islamic State, including a suicide bomber who detonated his explosives at the gate to the hospital.A car full of explosives outside the hospital also exploded, wounding dozens, and several Taliban fighters were killed and wounded in the ensuing gun battle, Mujahid said.The Islamic State Khorasan, also known…

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US trying to set up military bases near Afghanistan, says Russian Foreign Minister

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has said that President Vladimir Putin has told his American counterpart Joe Biden at the Geneva Summit that the country is against the US attempts to form agreements with Central Asian countries to deploy the US military on their territory, reported TOLOnews.The foreign minister claimed that the US is continuing the efforts to establish military bases in a country neighbouring Afghanistan, reported the news channel citing his interview with the Russian Television. The proposals have been sent to Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, however, the countries rejected the proposal, according to TOLOnews.“Well aware of the Americans’ intrusiveness, I do not rule out that they will be pressing for the same aim from different sides. I’ve heard that they have been trying to persuade India to grant the Pentagon some opportunities on the Indian territory,” the news channel quoted…

South Asian Countries

Taliban deny reports of former govt security personnel joining IS

Kabul [Afghanistan] : The Taliban has denied reports that former Afghan security forces have joined the ranks of the Islamic State terrorist group, Sputnik reported citing Tolo News on Tuesday.On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that a small number of former Afghan intelligence officers trained in the United States and ex-employees of elite military units joined the local IS militants after the Taliban captured Kabul in mid-August. “It is impossible for representatives of the former government security forces to join the IS… we have not seen the evidence of this, and it cannot be possible,” the broadcaster quoted the Taliban representative as saying.According to the WSJ report, the former security personnel are mostly US-trained Afghan spies who have been joining the terror group in northern Afghanistan.As per Khaama Press, the WSJ report further states that the former Afghan spies are joining ISIS-K as…

South Asian Countries

Militancy, sectarian violence engulfs Pakistan after Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

After the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the complexities including militancy and sectarian violence are widely arising in the country, according to a media report. Islamabad [Pakistan] : Pakistan’s government hinted earlier at these challenges, but its voice is muted after what it perceives as its “strategic victory” with the group that it sheltered for long taking power in Kabul. According to Al Arabiya Post, these complexities depend on two factors –one, Taliban themselves encounter more extremist Al Qaida and local affiliates of the Islamic State-Khorasan and other, the Kabul government is unwilling to curb their ideological allies, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).In Pakistan, the Imran Khan-led government is facing challenges from the TTP that are from the Deobandi section of Islam and from Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) that belongs to the rival Barelvi section.TTP is consolidating itself with help from Kabul and the TLP has unleashed…

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Taliban pledge to support freedom of expression based on Islamic values

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban on Monday pledged to support the freedom of expression under the Islamic regulations, local media reported citing officials.Talking at a ceremony held to increase coordination between the media and related institutions, the spokesman for the Interior Minister Sayed Khosti said that the Islamic Emirate would not allow anyone to silence the freedom of expression, Tolo News reported. “The Islamic Emirate supports the freedom of expression based on Islamic values and the country’s interest, and is committed to not allow anyone to make obstacles for the media,” he added.According to the publication, the journalists and media watchdogs called on the officials of the Islamic Emirate to form a clear scheme for freedom of speech and media policy.“An amendment should be formed for the media. So, based on the scheme of the Islamic Emirate the media should run their activities,” said Abdul Moyed…

South Asian Countries

Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing to reopen after talks between Pakistan, Taliban

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Khan on Monday said that an agreement had been reached with Afghan authorities to reopen the Chaman-Spin Boldak border from Tuesday, nearly a month after the border crossing was closed for pedestrians and trade by the Taliban, local media reported.“As a result of a meeting between border authorities, Afghanistan and Pakistan have decided to open [the] Chaman-Boldak crossing from tomorrow for pedestrians as well as trade. The two sides will now look forward to ensuring smooth operations of the important border crossing,” Dawn quoted Khan as saying. The envoy said he had recently called on Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and, among other issues, they had discussed the need for opening the Boldak-Chaman crossing at the earliest, ensuring the facilitation of cross-border movement of people and trade vehicles on both sides, especially because it was the…

South Asian Countries

Taliban say 65 Islamic State terrorists surrendered in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar

Kabul [Afghanistan]: As many as 65 terrorists affiliated to Islamic State (IS) have surrendered to Taliban-led authorities in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan, Anadolu Agency reported on Sunday.“Through the mediation of tribal elders in Kot and Batkot districts of Nangarhar province, 65 Daesh surrendered to the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) through the intelligence department and expressed remorse for their past actions,” Anadolu Agency quoted the statement issued by the provincial administration in Nangarhar. The men were pardoned for living under “special conditions,” the statement cited Dr. Bashir, the director of the National Directorate of Security in Nangarhar, as saying.“But if (they) violated (the surrender terms) the most severe legal action will be taken,” it added.Nangarhar has been witnessing an evident spike in targeted assassinations and bomb blasts, with the pro-Daesh/ISIS claiming multiple attacks, said the publication.Earlier this month, the Taliban claimed to have dismantled…

South Asian Countries

35 IS terrorists surrendered to Taliban in eastern Nangarhar province

Jalalabad [Afghanistan] : As many as 35 terrorists affiliated with Islamic State (IS) surrendered to Taliban-led authorities in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province Sunday, an Afghan intelligence official said.Head of intelligence agency in the province Bashir Khan said the former IS terrorists gave themselves up to the authorities in the provincial capital Jalalabad city, Xinhua reported. They have previously been active in Kot and Spinghar districts.According to the official, 149 terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State group locally known as Daesh have earlier surrendered to the authorities in Nangarhar.The hardliner IS outfit, which has been vying with the Taliban-led Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan, has not made any comment on the report. 

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Taliban supreme leader Akhundzada makes first public appearance in Afghanistan

Kandahar [Afghanistan] : Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada reportedly on Sunday made his first public appearance in Afghanistan.According to Taliban officials, Akhundzada met his supporters in Kandahar, reported Al Mayadeen. The Taliban official was thought to be outside his country until Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced that Akhundzada was indeed in Afghanistan. “He is present in Kandahar. He has been living there from the very beginning,” the spokesman announced.He remained a reclusive figure even after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August and was avoiding politics and only delivering a religious address.The leader’s low profile has fed speculation about his role in the new Taliban government and even sparked rumours of his death, reported Al Mayadeen.Akhundzada visited the Darul Uloom Hakimah Madrasa on Saturday to “speak to his brave soldiers and disciples,” officials said.No media has emerged from the event, as there was…

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Must recognize Taliban if the world doesn’t want to be threatened from Afghanistan, says Spokesperson

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban have warned the international community, saying that the world must recognize the outfit if they do not want to receive any threat from Afghanistan.Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that they must be recognized as a responsible side, Khaama Press news agency reported. Two months have passed since the outfit took over Afghanistan. Aside from a handful of countries including Pakistan and China, no other country has shown any keenness to increase engagement with the Taliban.The rest of the international community is observing the rights situation in the country and are focused on curtailing the humanitarian crisis in the country.In a statement that appeared as a possible warning, Mujahid stated that the Taliban will not take any responsibility to avert threats to other countries until and unless they are recognized by the international community.…

South Asian Countries

Committee to Protect Journalists expresses concern over situation of journalists in Afghanistan

Kabul [Afghanistan]: As violence has increased in Afghanistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has expressed concern over the situation of Afghan journalists, and said that hundreds of journalists have recently fled the war-torn country.Citing a CPJ statement, Tolo News reported that some journalists have recently been detained or beaten in Afghanistan. “Taliban leaders appear even less likely than Afghanistan’s previous government to respond to local and international calls to end the country’s culture of impunity for crimes against journalists,” Tolo News quoted the New York-based media rights group.“After the recent evolution in Afghanistan, the cases of violence against journalists have increased. This issue has caused concern to the Afghanistan National Journalists Union,” said Masrror Lutfi, head of the ANJU.According to the publication, the deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi, denied the report of the CPJ.“Sometimes when some exceptional cases happened, we…

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Deprived of education for months, Afghan girls urge Taliban to reopen schools

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Young Afghan girls have called on the Taliban regime to reopen girls’ schools across the country. Since the Taliban took control over the country, school-aged girls and young women from grades 7 to 12 are still deprived of education in many of the provinces, reported TOLOnews.Expressing concerns over not being able to complete her secondary education, Mariam — an Afghan girl in the 12th grade, told the Afghan news organisation: “It has been over two months that we have been deprived of education, and I feel that all the girls who have stopped going to school feel the same way.” Urging the Taliban to reopen the doors of schools based on Islamic regulation, Mariam said that delay in the opening of girls’ schools is “very dangerous” for the students.According to the United Nations Educational Organisation, nearly 4 million students in Afghanistan have…

South Asian Countries

Taliban will not last beyond two years, feels former Afghan Chief of Staff

Amsterdam [Netherlands]: Malaiz Daud, formerly Chief of Staff of Afghanistan’s former President Ashraf Ghani, has predicted that the Taliban will not last beyond two years and they are losing their hold on the country right now as the crisis deepens in the war-torn country.In an interview with European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) on Thursday, Daud said, “It would just be just a matter of time… people like me predict Taliban will not last beyond two years. All the Taliban observers– they don’t even give six months. They are losing the country right now. People dying of hunger on the streets, young children being sold by their parents, a girl was sold for USD 500 yesterday. Anyone who’s joining ISIS will get USD 500. You join ISIS and then you fight against the Taliban.” The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has deteriorated ever since…

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US to provide nearly USD 144 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

Washington [US]: The United States is providing nearly USD 144 million in new humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said on Thursday.“The United States is providing nearly USD 144 million in new humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” Sputnik quoted Horne as saying. In a statement, she said that the total of Washington’s assistance to Afghanistan has reached USD 474 million this year.“This brings total US humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly USD 474 million in 2021, the largest amount of assistance from any nation,” Horne said.“Our partners provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihoods support, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by healthcare shortages,…

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Imran Khan govt should not ‘uplift’ Pakistan Taliban, says Malala Yousafzai

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Pakistani Taliban as a schoolgirl, said that the Imran Khan government should not “uplift” the Taliban.After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government held talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Malala told during an interview with Dawn News, “In my opinion, you enter into agreements when you believe that the concerns of the other side should be taken seriously [or] they are a powerful authority. ” “But the Taliban have no public-level support, [people] from none of the areas [in Pakistan] are saying that they want a Taliban government. So, in my opinion, we should not uplift the Pakistan Taliban,” she added.Earlier this month, Imran Khan had said that his government is in talks with some groups of the banned TTP with the aim of having the group…

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Afghan women criticise global ‘silence’ on limitations in exercising their rights post-Taliban

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Afghan women on Tuesday criticised the world community over their ‘silence’ on the restrictions put on them after the Taliban took control of the country.They said that the international community must not stay silent over the situation of Afghan women, reported Tolo News. A number of Afghan women took to the streets in Kabul in reaction to what they said are limitations in exercising their rights, and criticised the silence of the international community, including the United Nations and human rights institutions, over the issue.The women protesting in Kabul said although more than two months have passed, the Islamic Emirate has failed to pave the way for girls to return to schools or women to return to their jobs, reported Tolo News.“We have come here to raise our voice in reaction to the international community’s silence over the situation in Afghanistan,” said…

South Asian Countries

Taliban say it will form committees with China for “strengthening” bilateral relations

The Taliban have said that it will form three separate joint committees with China to facilitate “strengthening” bilateral relations, reported local media. Kabul [Afghanistan] : Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Taliban, said that the committees were mutually agreed upon during its acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Motaqi’s meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Doha on Tuesday, according to Khaama Press. The first committee will be dealing with political and diplomatic relations and issues, said Mujahid, adding, the second committee will be assigned to follow up with bilateral cooperation and making agreements, and the third committee will be addressing economics among them excavation of mines in Afghanistan.Stating that China announced USD 1 million in humanitarian aids to Afghanistan, Mujahid said that Beijing also announced food ingredients and medicine worth USD 5 million.Earlier on Monday, top Taliban leaders met with Chinese Foreign Minister…

South Asian Countries

Taliban approves plan to regulate academic ranks of religious scholars

Kabul [Afghanistan] : The Taliban cabinet ministers held a meeting on Tuesday where a plan to regulate the academic ranks of religious scholars was approved, reported Ariana News.According to the news channel, acting Prime Minister of Afghanistan Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund approved the plan to evaluate the academic credentials of the religious scholars besides regulating their religious ranks. Mullah Akhund emphasised on the determination and evaluation of the academic ranks of the scholars, reported Ariana News citing the statement by Taliban.The Taliban in early September formed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and appointed 33 more cabinet ministers that neither have women nor mainstream politicians from previous regimes rather it appointed the world’s most dreaded and wanted cabinet ministers. 

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Afghanistan: The lost economy of the country survived

By Kshvid News Desk with inputs from agencies Afghanistan is a country like all other countries in the world. But their recent history is not like the other countries in the world. Because they fought two wars and they didn’t have anyone from outside to directly control their economy. God was kind to them from the very beginning when the Soviets hit them in 1979 with all their power but they didn’t succeed. After 10 years of war, the Soviets ended on the losing side. Afghanistan’s economy was already broken but they started building from ashes. When Afghan’s economy started to crawl, the most horrific incident of human history happened. Two planes hit the world trade centre and America declared war on Afghanistan. America fought for 20 years against the Taliban and ended up running from Afghanistan. Afghan government under the supervision of President…

South Asian Countries

Taliban offer wheat instead of money for labour to tackle unemployment

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban’s interim government in Afghanistan have announced to offer wheat to thousands of people in exchange for labour, a media report said.Through the plan, the Taliban aim to employ nearly 40,000 men in Kabul. The plan will be implemented in several major cities of Afghanistan, reported Dawn. Underlining that the plan is a key step to fight unemployment and tackle hunger in the country, the Taliban’s chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the labourers must work hard.Currently, Afghanistan already is suffering from poverty, drought, electricity blackouts and a failing economic system.Under the plan, nearly 11,600 tons of wheat will be distributed in Kabul in two months. And about 55,000 tons for elsewhere in the country, including Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif and Pol-i-Khomri.In Kabul, the plan will include digging water channels and catchment terraces for snow in the hills to combat drought.Earlier…

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EU plans to reopen diplomatic mission in Kabul

Brussels [Belgium]: The European Union is seeking to reopen its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan in months time as the bloc is looking to enhance its engagement with the new Taliban government.The 27-member bloc will return to the capital city of Kabul as Brussels seeks to co-ordinate aid efforts and the continued evacuation of some Afghans, UK based newspaper Financial Times (FT) reported. This move comes at a time when the international community is working on ways to deal with the country’s new leadership. The bloc has said it heading for a “calibrated approach” to the outfit, pursuing engagement with the administration, without recognizing them.The EU’s diplomatic and security arm, plans to reopen a representative office that would house its officials and could be used by diplomats from member states, the FT report said.Last month, the EU sent an exploratory mission to Afghanistan to assess…

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US was losing war to Taliban so it negotiated, says Khalilzad

Washington [US]: The United States was losing the war to the Taliban so it chose negotiations as an alternative, said the former US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad.Talking to CBS News, Khalilzad said the US military tried many times to strengthen its position on the battleground, but it failed. “The negotiation was a result of–based on the judgment that we weren’t winning the war and therefore time was not on our side and better to make a deal sooner than later,” Tolo News quoted Khalilzad said.Khalilzad blamed the then-president Ashraf Ghani for the disintegration of Afghanistan’s security sector, saying his escape triggered the chaos in the Afghan capital.He said that Washington chose the calender-based approach in its decisions on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and did not take into account the real situation in the country.Despite remaining challenges and past failures,…

South Asian Countries

Taliban denies former US envoy’s claims of Al-Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban has denied the statements of former US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad who raised concerns over the presence of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and said that such information has not been received yet.Khalilzad had commented on Al-Qaeda in an American broadcasting company CBS, reported TOLOnews. “The reports that I have seen indicate that (leader of Al-Qaeda) could be in Afghanistan or adjacent territory, I don’t know whether the Taliban knows it or not,” TOLOnews reported Khalilzad as saying.He further stated that the US was keeping an eye on the promises and commitments made by the Taliban after their takeover of Afghanistan on August 15.However, the deputy minister of information and culture, Zabiullah Mujahid denied Khalilzad’s statements and said that such information has not been received yet.“No, I don’t see such a danger; someone like that does not exist here and we haven’t…

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” 70 Indians, 200 Afghan nationals await evacuation from Afghanistan”

The India world forum (IWF) and other humanitarian NGOs wrote a letter to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seeking early evacuation of stranded Hindu and Sikh community citizens from Kabul (Afghanistan). New Delhi [India] : “Sikh leaders and NGOs including Gurudwara are receiving multiple distressed calls from Kabul from Indian nationals and Afghan nationals of India origin,” Manjit Singh GK, former president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGPC) in s letter dated October 20 said. “Most of them are yet to receive their e-visas in spite of having valid visas earlier and travel history to India. Approximately 100 Indians nationals, including children and spouses and 222 Afghan nationals of Indian origin are seeking assistance from the government of India,” the letter further read.Indian citizens and Afghan nationals of Indian origin previously have a…

South Asian Countries

Taliban warns new political outfit in Afghanistan against picking up arms

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban on Saturday warned the new political outfit called the “High Council of National Resistance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” consisting of former government officials along with mujahideen leaders and said making resistance front and picking up arms will not gain good results.The formation of a new political movement, “High Council of National Resistance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” was announced recently that attracted severe reaction from the Islamic Emirate, reported the local media on Saturday. According to TOLOnews, the leader of the splinter faction of Jamiat-e-Islami, Atta Mohammad Noor took to social media to announce the formation of a movement and revealed that the movement consists of various “mainstream groups”.Citing a statement by the movement, the channel reported that they chose dialogue to reach an agreement with the Emirate, however, if the Emirate does not respond positively, the movement…

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Imran Khan government rejects reports claiming US nearing deal to use Pakistan airspace for airstrikes in Afghanistan

Islamabad [Pakistan]: The Pakistan government on Saturday rejected media reports about the possibility of signing an agreement with the US on the use of the country’s airspace for operations against terrorists in Afghanistan, clarifying that there was “no such understanding” between the two countries.US media organisation CNN, in a report, cites “sources familiar with the details of a classified briefing” to the US Congress, and said that the Biden administration has informed US lawmakers that the country was close to striking a formal deal with Pakistan for the use of its airspace to conduct operations in Afghanistan. The report has claimed that Pakistan had expressed a desire to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in return for help in its own counterterrorism operations and assistance with managing the relationship with India.“No such understanding was in place,” Pakistan Foreign Office’ spokesperson said in response to queries…

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Future of media is ‘bleak’ under Taliban, laments Afghan journalists

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Afghan journalists are lamenting the fact that the future of media is ‘bleak’ under the Taliban rule.Earlier also Taliban suicide bombers had killed a graphic designer, video editor, set decorator, three dubbing artists and a driver who worked for TOLO’s entertainment wing, reported The Frontier Post. After that, reporting on the deaths of their colleagues by suicide bombers, unidentified gunmen and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) became a routine as the Taliban, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) and unknown armed groups continued to target journalists.But all that changed on August 15 after the Taliban took control of the war-ravaged nation. “The first thing we did was send the entire female staff home,” Shabir Ahmadi of TOLO TV told Al Jazeera over the phone from Europe.They immediately stopped broadcasting music and entertainment programmes. The Turkish serials, game shows, singing competitions,…

South Asian Countries

Protest held in Chaman against border closure by Taliban

Islamabad [Pakistan] : A strike was observed at the key border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Friday against the closure of the border by the Taliban, local media reported.The strike was called by All Parties Traders Alliance at the Chaman border area after the closure of the Pak-Afghan border for more than two weeks, Dawn reported. Several rounds of negotiations between Afghan officials and border authorities of Pakistan for reopening the border have remained fruitless, the Pakistani publication reported.A delegation headed by Kandahar Governor Mullah Yousaf Wafa also held talks with Pakistani authorities at Spin Boldak, but Afghan authorities refused to open the border until Afghan nationals are allowed to cross into Pakistan on Afghan Teskera (identity card), Dawn reported.Pakistani border authorities said that they had not closed the border at Chaman but it was a decision taken by Afghan officials in Kandahar.Leaders…

South Asian Countries

Afghanistan’s Sikhs to ‘make choice between converting to Islam or leaving country’

As the security scenario in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, Sikhs — a community that was already in a dire situation before the collapse of the government — practically have to make a choice between options of “converting to Sunni Islam or run away” from Afghanistan, said a report. Kabul [Afghanistan] : The community, which once numbered in the tens of thousands, has been ruined and devastated by years of emigration and death, driven by both systemic discrimination and an uptick in fanatical religious violence in Afghanistan, International Forum For Rights and Security (IFFRAS) said. The larger numbers of Sikhs live in Kabul while some in the provinces of Ghazni and Nangarhar.On October 5, 15 to 20 terrorists entered Gurdwara (Sikh temple) and tied up the guards. The attack happened in the Kart-e-Parwan District of Kabul. Sikhs in Afghanistan often experience such attacks and violence…

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Pakistan to provide aid worth PKR 5 billion to Afghanistan: FM Qureshi

Pakistan will give humanitarian assistance worth Pakistani Rs 5 billion to Afghanistan, announced Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday. Kabul [Afghanistan] : Speaking to the media after a day-long visit to Kabul, the minister said: “If they need medicines at hospitals […] or whatever else their priorities are, they will tell us and we will be ready to give them humanitarian assistance in-kind.” Qureshi arrived in Kabul earlier today for his visit to Afghanistan’s capital since the Taliban takeover of the country in mid-August, Dawn reported.The foreign minister said that the high-level delegation that accompanied him on the trip also included officials from different ministries and institutions.“The point of taking [the delegation] was so that after the main discussion, they would break off into sub-groups and hammer out the details of different issues related to visas, trade and border movement,” Qureshi added.He said…

South Asian Countries

Women and civil society activists protest in Kabul

Dozens of women and civil society activists protested on Thursday in Kabul over economic problems and the closed schools for girls, local media reported. Kabul [Afghanistan] ): The protest took place near the Ministry of Foreign amidst a growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported. The protest prompted the Taliban to intervene and assault the journalists covering the rally, an eyewitness told Sputnik.“The Taliban were trying to stop them and beat anybody who took pictures or videos of what was going on,” the eyewitness said.The entire rally did not exceed 30 women, who were eventually forced by the Taliban to move to a different street, the eyewitness said.The Taliban also confiscated the equipment of journalists who tried to cover the demonstration, the eyewitness said.Soon after assuming power in Afghanistan in August, the Taliban pledged to defend the rights of women within the Islamic…

International

NATO to convene meeting on Afghanistan in Brussels

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the organisation is planning to convene a summit of defense ministers of the state members in which Afghanistan will be discussed, local media reported on Thursday. Brussels [Belgium] : The meeting is reportedly being held in headquarter of NATO, Brussels on Thursday and Friday (local time), Khaama Press reported. The defense ministers of NATO state members will discuss potential terror threats evolving from Afghanistan, the publication reported.“Taliban are accountable to NATO and their allies in terms of their commitments over addressing terrorism, human rights, and providing a safe route for people to leave Afghanistan,” Khaama Press quoted Stoltenberg as saying.This comes after the Moscow Format concluded on Wednesday.Meanwhile, member countries taking part in the Moscow Format Dialogue in a joint statement expressed concern over the use of Afghan soil by proscribed terrorists.Russia on Thursday expressed concerns over…

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Moscow Format Dialogue: Member nations concerned over activities of proscribed terror organisations in Afghanistan

New Delhi [India]: Member countries taking part in the Moscow Format Dialogue in a joint statement expressed concern over the use of Afghan soil by proscribed terrorists.Russia on Thursday expressed concerns over the increasing presence of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan after the Taliban take over. Delhi is also accusing Pakistan spy agency of supporting anti-India terror groups Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish on Afghan soil.Interestingly, India, Pakistan and the Taliban took part in 10 nation Moscow format talks.A joint statement issued after talks stated, “being concerned about the activities of proscribed terrorist organisations in Afghanistan, the sides reaffirmed their willingness to continue to promote security in Afghanistan to contribute to regional stability.”Participating countries also called on the current Afghan leadership to take further steps to improve governance and to form a truly inclusive government that adequately reflects the interests of all major ethnopolitical forces in…

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Taliban, Indian delegation meet on sidelines of Moscow format talks on Afghanistan

Representative of India and Taliban met on the sidelines of Moscow format talks here on Wednesday. According to a tweet by Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah, India has agreed to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had already expressed India’s desire to help Afghans with food, medicine and other humanitarian assistance. Moscow [Russia] : India had earlier called for unhindered access in Afghanistan for humanitarian assistance providers and looked forward to equitable distribution among all ethnic groups.India is expected to route humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through a UN agency.An official spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan also tweeted, “Both sides considered to take into account each other concerns and improve diplomatic and economic relations.”The high-level delegation was led by Abdul Salam Hanafi, Deputy Prime Minister of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Indian side was…

South Asian Countries

Possible Afghan refugee crisis could cost Pakistan 500 million dollars annually, says IMF

Islamabad [Pakistan]: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that a possible refugee crisis in Afghanistan is likely to increase the burden of refugees on Pakistan and other countries and Islamabad will have to bear a burden of 500 million dollars annually, reported local media.Pakistan will have to bear additional costs of 500 million dollars annually, according to the IMF, which based its projection on the possibility that around one million Afghans may leave Afghanistan for neighbouring nations including Iran and Tajikistan, reported Samaa TV. Tajikistan will also have to bear 100 million dollars and Iran 300 million dollars annually.The IMF in its regional economic outlook update on Tuesday said that with non-humanitarian aid halted and foreign assets largely frozen after the Taliban seized power in August, Afghanistan’s aid-reliant economy “faces severe fiscal and balance-of-payments crises”.It also said that Afghanistan’s economy is set to…

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Afghanistan stabilised now, no country will be threatened from it : Taliban

The Taliban’s interim government’s Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi has said that Afghanistan is stabilised now and no country will be threatened by it, a media report said. Moscow [Russia]: Speaking at the Moscow Format Dialogue on Afghanistan on Tuesday, Hanafi said that the Taliban will ensure that there will no threat, according to TOLOnews. Calling on the international community to recognise the Taliban’s interim government, he emphasised that isolating Afghanistan benefits no one.Asking the US to release Afghanistan’s financial assets, Hanafi stressed that it has been proved that the pressure will not bring results, reported TOLOnews.Underlining that Afghanistan is stable now, he said that no country will be threatened by Afghan territory.The representatives of 10 countries and a high-level Taliban delegation is taking part in the Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan. The Moscow format was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the…

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Russia regrets US absence from Moscow Format Dialogue on Afghanistan, says Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said that Russia regretted the absence of US officials from the Moscow Format Dialogue on Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in the strife-torn country and the international community is urging the group to form an inclusive government. Moscow [Russia] : “We deplore the fact that this time our American colleagues chose not to participate in this event. We have noticed that it is the second time when the US is evading the meeting uniting Russia, China, Pakistan. We hope that it has nothing to do with problems, and perhaps one of the reasons is the fact that the special representatives of the US in Afghanistan recently was replaced and we hope that they are in readiness to work on Afghanistan remains,” said Lavrov. The United States said it would not join this round of talks in…

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Afghan journalists concerned over information dearth under Taliban regime

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Journalists Association has called on the international organizations which stand for freedom of media to support and back Afghanistan’s media, saying that there is a lack of access to information despite the introduction of spokespersons to the government departments.They called on officials of the Islamic Emirate on Monday to take steps to resolve the problem faced by the journalists. According to Tolo News, calling access to information an “obstacle”, the journalists have complained about the same.However, the deputy minister of information and culture, Zabiullah Mujahid clarified that the spokespersons would start interacting once they are done with their basic training, according to the news channel.“As long as we are responsible, the cases are under investigation. Some of the people who were negligent toward the media were punished and introduced to the judicial system, but we haven’t seen a big issue yet.…

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US diplomat meets Pak Army chief, discusses security situation in Afghanistan

Islamabad [Pakistan]: US Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan, Angela Aggeler called on Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi and discussed the current security situation in Afghanistan and topics of bilateral cooperation.During the meeting on Monday, matters of mutual interest, the current security situation in Afghanistan, and bilateral cooperation in various fields came under discussion, Geo News reported citing the statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). “Pakistan desires to maintain the tradition of bilateral engagement and wishes for an enduring relationship with the United States,” said Gen Bajwa during the discussion with the US diplomat.He reiterated the need for global convergence in Afghanistan to avoid a humanitarian crisis over there and pushed for coordinated efforts for the economic uplifting of the Afghan people.This meeting comes amid fraught ties between Islamabad and Washington.Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and…

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Pakistan allows a thousand Afghan students to cross Torkham border

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Pakistan has allowed thousand of Afghan students to cross the Torkham border to return to Afghanistan, local media reported on Monday.Citing Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul statement, Khaama Press reported that “up to one thousand Afghan students were allowed to cross Torkham crossing into the country.” According to the statement, the statement was released on Sunday, which stated that “Afghan students were stranded since the Taliban takeover and were finally allowed in two different batches.”It has been almost two months when the Taliban captured Kabul after an aggressive and rapid advance against Afghanistan government forces after US military drawdown.Earlier, hundreds of students were returned from Torkham crossing point after being made to wait for the whole day at the crossing, Khaama Press reported. Pakistan embassy later said that the students lack proper gate pass to cross.Pakistan has rarely kept open the Torkham crossing…

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Taliban ban excavation of cultural sites in Nangarhar

Taliban authorities in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar on Monday banned the excavation and digging of historical and cultural sites in the province. Nangarhar [Afghanistan] : In a statement, the provincial government has said it has banned arbitrarily digging in cultural heritage sites in order to protect and preserve them, Xinhua reported.“In efforts to protect and preserve historical and cultural heritage sites, arbitrarily digging is banned in those sites all over Nangarhar province,” Maulvi Amanullah, director of Eastern Region Historical Monument Directorate, was quoted in the release as saying.In August, soon after their forceful takeover of Kabul, the Taliban blew up slain Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari’s statue in Bamiyan, a grim reminder of the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001.The UN cultural agency had called for the preservation of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage in its diversity and in full respect of international law.“Afghanistan is home to a…

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Blinken, Qatari FM discuss Afghanistan

Washington [US]: US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani discussed the situation in Afghanistan on Sunday local time.Secretary Blinken thanked Qatar for its strong partnership on regional security issues and assistance to safely transit U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Afghans at risk, US State Department said. “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani about Afghanistan. Secretary Blinken thanked Qatar for its strong partnership on regional security issues and assistance to safely transit U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Afghans at risk,” the state department’s readout read.Qatar is hosting talks between Taliban and Western officials. The country holds influence over the group. Qatar, which hosts a major US airbase, has been the gateway for 55000 people airlifted out of Afghanistan.The Qatar foreign minister…

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Non-recognition of govt in Afghanistan is benefitting ISIS-K : Taliban

The Taliban have said that not recognizing the new government in Afghanistan is benefiting Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K). However, the outfit dismissed concerns that the terrorist group was a threat to Afghanistan. Kabul [Afghanistan] : This comes after ISIS-K claimed responsibility for Friday’s Shia mosque explosion in Kandahar in which 47 people were killed and 70 others suffered injuries. The attack follows several other recent attacks against religious institutions in Afghanistan, including last week’s attack against the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in Kunduz. While talking to Anadolu Agency, Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the official recognition of his government and international aid held great importance to the recovery of the country’s economy.The Taliban minister also said the freezing of Afghan foreign reserves by the US violated international law and human rights, Ariana News reported. “The real question is, why was this money…

South Asian Countries

Pakistan opens air route to Afghanistan for commercial cargo

Pakistan has opened its air trade route for the first time to commercial cargo destined to landlocked Afghanistan, reported Voice of America (VOA). Islamabad [Pakistan] : Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan, said in a tweet on Saturday, “Islamabad International Airport is now opened for high-value Afghan transit trade.” Further, Sadiq said that a chartered aircraft brought “various industrial inputs” to Islamabad on Friday and the Afghan transit cargo was then loaded into containers before being transported by road to Kabul through the northwestern Torkham crossing on the Afghan border, according to VOA.“I congratulate Pakistan Customs for arranging the first-ever plane-to-truck transfer of international cargo via Pakistan. It shows Pakistan’s commitment to a geo-economics led foreign policy,” Sadiq further said in the tweet.Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said that it had immediately suspended its operation in Kabul citing “security reasons”.Abdullah Khan,…

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UNSC strongly condemns ‘horrendous terrorist attack’ in Afghanistan’s Kandahar

New York [US]: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday strongly condemned the ‘horrendous terrorist attack’ against the Imam Bargah-e-Fatima Mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province and underlined the need to bring perpetrators of the attack to justice.At least 47 people have been killed and 70 other suffered injuries in an explosion inside a Shia mosque in Kandahar on Friday. The attack also follows several other recent attacks against religious institutions in Afghanistan, including last week’s attack against the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque in Kunduz. In a statement issued by the UNSC, the members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to…

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Taliban warns Pakistan International Airlines to reduce fares or face ban

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban has warned the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Afghanistan’s Kam Air to reduce the fares of Kabul to Islamabad flights or they would be banned from landing in Afghanistan, local media reported on Friday.“Pakistan’s PIA and Afghanistan’s Kam Air will be banned to conduct flights from Kabul to Islamabad if they do not charge the same price as they did prior to their takeover,” Khaama Press reported citing Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Administration statement. The statement said: “Airlines will be fined and punished if they violate the rules.”The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan warned the Airlines after PIA started charging up to USD 2,500 for each ticket from Kabul to Islamabad, the publication reported.The statement has also asked people to cooperate with the administration in reporting violation of the new rules. They have asked people to report the documented violation to them,…

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16 killed, 40 injured in blast at Shia mosque in Kandahar

In Kunduz, police officials were still picking up the pieces Friday at the Gozar-e-Sayed Abad Mosque. Kandahar [Afghanistan]: Atleast 16 people have been killed and around 40 others suffered injuries in a bombing attack at a Shia mosque in Kandahar, local media reported.Local officials told TOLOnews that 16 people were killed and nearly 40 others were injured in today’s bombing attack on the Kandahar mosque. A powerful explosion hit the mosque — Imam Barga — in the southern province of Kandahar on Friday, local media reported citing officials.The explosion occurred during Friday prayers.No terror group has so far taken the responsibility for the explosion.In recent weeks, the Islamic State (IS) has carried out a number of attacks targeting religious places.This is the second bomb attack against a Shiite mosque in Afghanistan over the past week.In the first attack, which happened in the northern Kunduz…

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