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ghazi52

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Taliban regime won't 'interfere' in other countries' affairs: Afghan PM

AFP
November 28, 2021

The Taliban co-founder and now prime minister of Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, pledged on Saturday that his government will “not interfere” in other countries' internal affairs and urged international charities to continue offering aid to the war-ravaged country.

Hassan's audio speech broadcast on state television — his first address to the nation since the Taliban seized power in August — came ahead of next week's meeting between the US and the Taliban in Doha.

“We assure all the countries that we will not interfere in their internal affairs and we want to have good economic relations with them,” said Hassan in a nearly 30-minute speech that came amid criticism on social media for remaining silent since the Taliban took power, even as the nation faced severe challenges.

The Taliban seized power on August 15 after ousting the previous US-backed government, as Washington hurriedly withdrew its troops from the country after a 20-year war.

The Taliban's previous regime was toppled in a US-led invasion after the 9/11 attacks in the US that were carried out by Al Qaeda, whose now-killed founder Osama bin Laden lived in Afghanistan at that time.

Hassan is a Taliban veteran who was a close associate and political adviser to Mullah Omar, the founder of the movement and its first supreme leader.

Said to be in his 60s, Hassan served as the foreign minister and deputy prime minister in the movement's previous regime between 1996-2001.

He was placed on a UN Security Council sanctions list connected to the “acts and activities” of the Taliban.

Hassan's government faces a series of challenges, in particular reviving the country's dilapidated economy that has been dried of international aid, which used to make up 75 per cent of the national budget under the previous US-backed governments.

“We ask all the international charity organisations to not withhold their aid and to help our exhausted nation... so that the problems of the people could be solved,” Hassan said in his speech.

Inflation and unemployment have surged in Afghanistan, while the country's banking sector has collapsed since the Taliban takeover.

The financial crunch was aggravated after Washington froze about $10 billion of assets held in its reserve for Kabul and deteriorated further after the World Bank and International Monetary Fund halted Afghanistan's access to funding.

The UNs' aid agencies have warned that a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Afghanistan, with more than half of the country's 38 million population expected to face hunger this winter.

The rapidly worsening situation has forced Afghans to sell their household goods to raise money for food and other essentials, with the local currency crashing and prices skyrocketing.
 

ghazi52

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Taliban denied killing ex-Afghan security forces

The Frontier Post





KABUL (Khaama Press): Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reacted to the recent joint statement of 20 counties and said that they have not been killing any personnel of the former Afghan government.

20 countries including the United States (US) released a joint statement on Sunday, December 5 expressing concern over summary killings and the disappearance of former Afghan military personnel by the Taliban.

The countries reacted after Human Rights Watchdog released the report having interviewed eyewitnesses and family members of the former security forces killed in different provinces.

Spokesperson of Afghanistan’s interior ministry Saeed Khostai in a video clip denied the report and said that they are even ready to investigate the alleged killings if someone has proper documents.

Saeed Khostai said that they are still enforcing their announced general amnesty and all former Afghan security personnel is living in peace both in Kabul and provinces.

“We have witnessed a number of cases of the killings of former Afghan security forces but they were not killed by Taliban fighters but as a result of personal animosity.” Said Khostai.

Analysts say that the Taliban do not have to target former Security personnel as they will need them in establishing a new national army.

They believe that if the Taliban are killing these people in real, it will further make their recognition and legitimacy difficult.
 

ghazi52

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Taliban appeal again for UN seat after Afghan ambassador quits

The current government in Afghanistan ‘has sovereignty’ over the country, says Suhail Shaheen


AFP
December 18, 2021

taliban spokesman suhail shaheen photo reuters file

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The Taliban made a fresh appeal on Friday for Afghanistan's seat at the United Nations after the ambassador of the former US-backed government left his post.

The UN seat, and some other embassies abroad, are at the centre of a tug-of-war between exiled diplomats of the old government and Afghanistan's new rulers.

No country has yet recognised the Taliban regime.

Assistant UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told AFP that Afghan ambassador Ghulam Isaczai "relinquished his position as of December 15," according to a letter they received Thursday.

The Taliban's nominee for the position, Suhail Shaheen, said the seat should be now given to the new government of Afghanistan, adding it was a matter of credibility for the world body.

The current government in Afghanistan "has sovereignty" over the country, he said on Twitter.

Early this month, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution indefinitely delaying a decision over the rival claims.

But even a month after the Taliban takeover, Isaczai was still being received at UN headquarters — and in November openly criticised the country's new rulers at a Security Council meeting.

When they previously ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban had no UN representation and their rule was recognised by just three countries — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

UN-nominee Shaheen served as deputy ambassador to Islamabad during that period, becoming the movement's exiled spokesperson after they were toppled and a favourite of foreign media because of his fluent English.
 

FuturePAF

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A very insightful interview (full transcript and the video) with the former Afghan NSA, as he is doing the rounds in Washington to get humanitarian aid for the Afghan people.

 

ghazi52

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ANKARA: Turkish and Qatari officials will meet in Doha on Monday night and later travel together to Kabul to discuss a formal deal to operate the Afghan capital's airport with the ruling Taliban, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Turkey has said it would be open to operating Kabul's Hamid Karzai international airport along with Qatar, following the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in August, but only if its security demands are met.

The airport is landlocked Afghanistan's main air link to the world at a time when millions in the isolated country face hunger with a harsh winter setting in. On Sunday, Islamic countries pledged to set up a trust fund for Afghanistan.

Ankara has been holding talks on Kabul airport with Doha and said it was working together with Qatar on keeping it operational. Reuters has reported that the United Arab Emirates also held talks with the Taliban to run the airport.

Cavusoglu said a Turkish company and a Qatari firm had signed a memorandum of understanding on running a total of five airports in Afghanistan, including Hamid Karzai, but did not name the other four.

"In this framework, we will present the interim government of Afghanistan with joint offers. Our colleagues are heading to Doha tonight and they will travel together to Kabul from there to discuss the issue with the interim government there," he told a news conference in Ankara on Monday.

"If our conditions are met, we can operate the airports with Qatar. If the conditions are not met, there is no obligation for us to operate them," he said.

The Qataris have helped run the airport along with Turkey after playing a major role in evacuation efforts following the chaotic U.S. withdrawal in August. But the Taliban had not yet formalised any arrangement, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in November Turkish and Qatari officials will meet in Doha on Monday night and later travel together to Kabul to discuss a formal deal to operate the Afghan capital's airport with the ruling Taliban, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

The Taliban, which says it does not want any foreign forces on Afghan soil, remains largely an international pariah and its government has not been formally recognised by any country.

Cavusoglu also said a possible joint visit to Kabul with foreign ministers from other Islamic countries remained under discussion.
 

ghazi52

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UN Security Council adopts resolution to ease Afghan aid



  • Such assistance supports 'basic human needs in Afghanistan' and is 'not a violation'of sanctions imposed on entities linked to the Taliban, it adds
AFP
22 Dec 2021





UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a US-proposed resolution that facilitates humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, which is on the verge of economic collapse, while keeping funds out of Taliban hands.

The resolution states that "payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities are permitted."

Such assistance supports "basic human needs in Afghanistan" and is "not a violation" of sanctions imposed on entities linked to the Taliban, it adds.

The international community has struggled over how to avert a humanitarian catastrophe amid economic meltdown in Afghanistan since the Taliban swept back to power in mid-August, prompting the United States to freeze $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank.

An earlier US resolution had sought to authorise case-by-case exemptions to sanctions, but that was blocked by veto-wielding permanent Security Council members China and Russia.

"Humanitarian aid and life-saving assistance must be able to reach the Afghan people without any hindrance," China's UN Ambassador, Zhang Jun, said in a tweet Monday.

The decision to limit the scope of the resolution to one year, which was not part of the first draft, aims to satisfy Washington's European allies, who, like India, had criticized the absence of any deadline and called for strict control over the destination of aid.
 

ghazi52

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Taliban fire number of World Bank staff


The Frontier Post

KABUL (RIA Novosti): The Ministry of Recon-struction and Rural Deve-lopment of Afghanistan (MRRD) has fired a number of World Bank employees in Afghanistan working for the department due to a lack of money for salaries, a source told RIA Novosti, citing a letter from the ministry.

“Yes, I saw this letter. The number of World Bank contract employees reaches 15,000. Their fate is still unknown. The Taliban replied that they will not be able to pay salaries in the new fiscal year. Looking forward to a response from the World Bank,” said the World Bank official working in the Afghan Ministry of Rural Reconstruction and Development.

At the same time, it is not reported what specific number of employees were dismissed.

Also, the political office of the Taliban noted that a joint commission will be created, which, in particular, will include the Central Bank of Afghanistan, as well as the MRRD, which will deal with the issue of payments to dismissed employees.

Many Afghans have been unpaid for several months, including civil servants, UN and World Bank workers, education and health workers. Hundreds of doctors and employees of the state energy corporation protested against salary delays in Kabul. And about. Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaki said that the delay in payments affected about half a million civil servants.

To combat the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the World Bank, which manages the country’s reconstruction fund, announced the allocation of $ 280 million to UN structures to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

The recipients of the funds are UNICEF and the UN World Food Program, which by the end of December will receive 100 and 180 million dollars, respectively.
 

MultaniGuy

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Good. Hopefully Afghanistan will see peace and development.

Hopefully the Afghan Taliban can prove to the world they can do good for Afghanistan.

Allah has given them a second chance. They should not blow this chance.
 

ghazi52

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1640745131609.png



2021 Year in Review:

Afghanistan: Taliban takeover

International attention turned to Afghanistan following the shockingly swift military victory by the Taliban, who swept into the capital, Kabul, in August following the withdrawal of most international troops by June.
The Taliban’s takeover had been preceded by a marked increase in violence: Particularly horrific were the bombing of a girl’s school in Kabul in May, which killed at least 60, including several schoolgirls.

The following month, 10 deminers from the HALO trust were killed in the northern region, in an attack described by the Security Council as “atrocious and cowardly”, and a report released in July revealed that more women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009.

As it became clear that the Taliban had become the de facto rulers of Afghanistan, the UN focus shifted to ensuring that humanitarian support remained as strong as possible: millions faced starvation with the onset of winter, and aid flights to Kabul resumed in September. In December, the World Food Programme (WFP) urged countries to put politics aside and step up support to avert a potential catastrophe.
 

FuturePAF

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ghazi52

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KABUL: A team of Afghan intelligence agents poured around 3,000 litres of liquor into a canal in Kabul, the country's spy agency said on Sunday, as the new Taliban authorities crack down on the sale of alcohol.

Video footage released by the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) showed its agents pouring alcohol stored in barrels into the canal after seizing it during a raid in the capital.

"Muslims have to seriously abstain from making and delivering alcohol," an intelligence official said in the footage the agency posted on Twitter on Sunday.

It was not clear when the raid was carried out or exactly when the alcohol was destroyed, but a statement issued by the agency said three dealers were arrested during the operation.

Selling and consuming alcohol was banned even under the previous Western-backed regime, but the Taliban are stricter in their opposition to it.

Since the Taliban seized power on August 15, the frequency of raids, including on drug addicts, has increased across the country.

The Taliban government's Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has also issued several guidelines restricting women's rights.
 

ghazi52

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3,000 litres of liquor poured into Kabul canal


The Frontier Post




KABUL (AFP): A team of Afghan intelligence agents poured around 3,000 litres of liquor into a canal in Kabul, the country’s spy agency said on Sunday, as the new Taliban authorities crack down on the sale of alcohol.
Video footage released by the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) showed its agents pouring alcohol stored in barrels into the canal after seizing it during a raid
.


 

ghazi52

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Russian investors willing to extract Afghanistan’s oil, gas


The Frontier Post






KABUL (Khaama Press): Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said that Russian investors have announced their willingness to extract Afghanistan’s petroleum and gas while meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salaam Hanafi.

The Deputy PM has met with Russian investors in Kabul and discussed a number of economic projects including refinement and excavation of gas and petroleum, wrote IEA’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid on his Twitter.

“Deputy PM Abdul Salaam Hanafi accompanied by Afghan traders and investors called on Russian investors in his office and discussed founding a cement factory, separate plants of SNG and LNG beside refinement and extraction of oil and gas in Afghanistan.” Reads a Twitter post of Mujahid.

Mujahid wrote that Hanafi welcomed the willingness of Russian investors for extracting Afghanistan’s gas and oil and assured them of providing a conducive environment for further investment in the country.

It comes as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has expedited the process of extracting the country’s mines and natural resources and has given several contracts to local investors since they recaptured power.
 

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