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Afghan NSA warns of possible influx of Taliban recruits from Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: July 23, 2021)

Afghan National Security Advisor (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib said Friday that as many as 15,000 militants could enter Afghanistan from Pakistan to fight the Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANSDF).

Speaking in an interview with Sky News on Friday, Mohib stated that Pakistan has been a safe haven for the Taliban and that the group has been using Pakistani Madrasas, religious schools, to recruit fighters.

“The Taliban have had safe havens in Pakistan throughout this period they enjoyed their leaders living there at peace and in Pakistan; Their injured were treated in Pakistani hospitals, they had military and emotional support and financial support from elements within the Pakistani military establishment and it continues to be the case,” Mohib stated.

“Every year the Taliban were defeated in Afghanistan but they had an opportunity to recuperate to re-recruit people from Madrasas in Pakistan and bring them back the next year.”

“This year, we estimate that ten thousand fighters have come in from Pakistani madrasas to fight in Afghanistan this fighting season and their intelligence shows that they could be as many as 15 000 more new recruits coming towards Afghanistan.

Referring to the fall of districts to the Taliban, Mohib stated that it was difficult for the Afghan forces to supply remote outposts and districts.

“Indeed, the vacuum created by the withdrawal of foreign air power made it very difficult for us to supply some of those remote outposts and districts by air so it had a cascading effect but none of the territories the Taliban has taken is permanent the Afghan people themselves are rising against the Taliban in their own villages and districts,” he said,

“So much of this progress that the Taliban are celebrating is very temporary,” Mohib noted.

Meanwhile, the negotiation teams of the Afghan government and the Taliban last week agreed to continue the stalled talks in Doha, Qatar.

Mohib, however, reiterated that the Taliban has no intention of bringing peace to Afghanistan.

“We haven’t yet seen the Taliban negotiate in earnest; they’re sticking to a very rigid point and want to use the negotiating as a point to further their military agenda and lobby for their military purposes. So far there hasn’t been any movement from the Taliban that could be classified as genuine efforts for peace,” Mohib said.

Mohib added that the Taliban, so far, has not broken ties with the “terrorist groups”, a claim that has been constantly rejected by the group.

“It would be impossible for them to separate themselves from these groups…while their management may be different their management structures they all rely on those very basic fundamental, fundamentalistic ideologies that give them the base of operations and they cooperate very closely as an example the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is an affiliate of the Taliban but it has pledged allegiance to Daesh yet they collaborate very closely so it’s a collaboration of these three groups in destabilizing Afghanistan and creating a ground for uh terrorism to flourish.”

“We cannot really separate them and put them in separate categories and for the Taliban to say that they have severed ties with any group has been proven wrong by the Afghan government several times by arresting Al-Qaeda members and operating against Al-Qaeda elements in Taliban controlled areas,” Mohib said.

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India’s Modi tells UNGA Afghanistan cannot be used to spread terrorism

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2021)

At the United Nations General Assembly annual meeting Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was crucial that Afghanistan not be used to spread terrorism globally, and he called on world leaders to help minorities in the country, including women and children.

“It is important to ensure that the land of Afghanistan is not used to spread terrorism and perpetuate terrorist attacks,” Modi said.

“We also have to be alert that no nation should be able to misuse the delicate situation in Afghanistan for their own selfish motives like a tool,” Modi added in an apparent reference to Pakistan, locked between Afghanistan and India.

His comments came after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the international community to help the people of Afghanistan in a pre-recorded message to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.

“There’s a huge humanitarian crisis looming ahead and this will have serious repercussions not just for the neighbors of Afghanistan, but it will have repercussions everywhere if a destabilized, chaotic Afghanistan again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists,” he said.

“We must strengthen this current government, stabilize it for the sake of the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week that Afghanistan is on “the verge of a dramatic humanitarian disaster” and has decided to engage the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) in order to help the country’s people.

Khan said Guterres had “taken bold steps. I urge you to mobilize the international community and move in this direction.”

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UN agency warns of ‘imminent’ famine in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2021)

Afghanistan is at risk of “imminent hunger” with winter approaching and services disrupted by the return to power of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), a UN official warned in an interview with AFP.

Natalia Kanem, director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said via video that the situation in the country was dire.

“It would not be an exaggeration to say” that at least a third of Afghanistan’s population of around 33 million is affected by “imminent hunger,” Kanem warned.

Harsh winters, disrupting the ability to transport supplies to isolated areas of the mountainous country, plus the coronavirus pandemic will aggravate an already complicated situation, she added.

“There is a lot of anxiety over how we’re going to deliver health care, where the next meal is going to come from,” Kanem said.

She also warned that women and girls would bear the worst of it.

“It is urgent, for women and girls in particular who were already suffering. This is one of the countries with the highest death during childbirth and pregnancy rates.

“We cannot underscore enough that even during a transitional period, women and girls have human rights and these are to be respected,” she said.

Kanem repeated calls made by the international community to the IEA and said: “The women of Afghanistan have made clear over years that they want their education, they want their health care, and that they’re also ready, willing and able to design programs and to be able to lead in their communities,” she said.

IEA leaders have assured the international community that they are more moderate than when they ruled previously.

They have promised to change, saying they will respect women’s rights within the framework of Sharia law.

Kanem pointed out that in a country ravaged by decades of conflict, many women, particularly in areas most affected by violence, are the sole breadwinners.

“We’re all anxiously hoping that there will be regularity and ability of delivery of goods” to people in small communities where many of the UNPFA’s staff are women, she said.

“We have said that we want to be able to maintain a functioning health system.

“(It’s) pretty challenging right now with the airport having been closed, with certain professionals who have left the country,” Kanem added.

She warned that if the health system breaks down, that’s going to spell “complete disaster,” but added that for the most part the agency’s family health centers have remained open.

The UN on Wednesday released $45 million in emergency aid to support Afghanistan’s health system.

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IEA calls for foreign airlines to resume flights into Kabul

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Sunday all technical issues at the Kabul Airport have been resolved and foreign airlines can now resume commercial flights into the city.

In a statement issued by the spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the IEA stated: “The recent political changes in Afghanistan caused a series of technical issues within the aviation sector due to which international flights to Afghanistan were suspended and many Afghan citizens were stuck outside and unable to return to their homeland.”

“As the problems at Kabul International Airport have been resolved and the airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights, the IEA assures all airlines of its full cooperation and expects all airlines and countries that had previously flown to Kabul to resume their flights as before,” the statement read.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again assures full cooperation on its part.”

This comes after all international commercial flights into Kabul were canceled following the take over of Kabul by the IEA.

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