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Badakhshan, battlefield for foreign extremists

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(Last Updated On: April 15, 2020)

Foreign insurgent groups such as Hezb-e Islami Tajikistan, Chechens and Uighurs of China in coordination with the Taliban are fighting against the Afghan security forces in Badakhshan province.

The Badakhshan governor says that these fighters are around 400 and that they are a part of the global terrorism in Afghanistan adding that they live with their families in Badakhshan.

Badakhshan, on one hand, is a corridor for drug trafficking of the north and northeastern Afghanistan; on the other hand, there are underground resources and mines in the province.

Mohammad Zakaria Sawda, the Badakhshan governor, said, “The foreign fighters including the members of Hezb-e Islami of Tajikistan, Islamic extremists of Uzbekistan and Chinese Uighurs, are fighting against the Afghan forces with the help of the Taliban.”

According to him, Badakhshan is a stronghold of the insurgents in Afghanistan, after Nangarhar and Helmand.

The Afghan army confirms the presence of the foreign extremist fighters in Afghanistan that are helped by the Taliban.

The government said that one of the Taliban’s commitments by the US-Taliban’s deal is to stop the movements of the other insurgent groups such as Al Qaeda. According to the security officials, not only the Taliban has not stopped these insurgent groups, but also has continued helping them – these claims however have been denied by the Taliban.

Asadullah Nadim, a military expert, said, “The Taliban, violating their commitments, are working with the foreign insurgent groups; because in some cases, this group cannot directly be involved in the war.”

The Badakhshan representatives in the lower house blame the government in the matter saying that the government is aware of the presence of the foreign insurgent groups under the Taliban, but it hasn’t taken any actions.

The presence of these foreign extremist fighters have been noticed in Yamagan, Warduj and Ragh districts of Badakhshan.

The local sources said that these fighters have just found access to the underground resources of Ragh district, and it can be an income stream for them.

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Torkham crossing opens to trucks and visa holders

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Islamic Emirate Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said Friday that for now, the Torkham border crossing into Pakistan is open only to trucks and those with passports and visas.

According to him, people “who do not have passports and visas, whether they are adults or children, are not allowed to cross over to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (in Pakistan)” and will be sent home.

Balkhi said: “The relevant officials of the Islamic Emirate are trying to create more facilities in this regard.”

This comes after the Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Kabul.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the increase of economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the resumption of civilian flights between Kabul and Islamabad, the increase of economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and keeping Spin Boldak, Torkham and Ghulam Khan border crossings open 24 hours a day.

Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund in turn called the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan historic and said that he hoped that Pakistan would prove its commitments in practice.

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New EU relief flight delivers life-saving medical aid

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Another EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight has delivered over 28 tonnes of life-saving medical cargo to Kabul to address the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The EU-funded air bridge flight enables the World Health Organization, as well as humanitarian organisations such as ‘Emergency’ and ‘Première Urgence Internationale’ to deliver critical health items to those in need.

On the occasion, Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: ”This is the third EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight since the fall of Kabul in August this year. This EU-funded flight represents an important lifeline to Afghans in urgent need of medical care.

“However, the overall humanitarian situation is rapidly worsening. In this view and the approaching winter, I urge the entire international community to step up and provide for life-saving aid to millions of Afghans whose lives depend on it,” he said.

The life-saving cargo consists of medical equipment to conduct surgeries and medical drugs.

On top of this third EU-funded flight to Kabul this week, further flights are scheduled for the coming weeks as an expression of EU solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

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Russia mulling excluding IEA from list of extremist groups: Putin

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(Last Updated On: October 22, 2021)

Russia is moving towards excluding the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) from its list of extremist organisations, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, a day after high-level talks between Moscow and Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Russia labelled the IEA a “terrorist organisation” in 2003 but welcomed the IEA for talks in Moscow several times before it seized power in Afghanistan in August.

Earlier this week, Russia called for the mobilisation of international aid to support Afghanistan, as Moscow hosted the IEA for an international conference.

“We all expect Taliban (IEA), those people who undoubtedly control the situation in the country, in Afghanistan, we expect the situation to develop positively. Depending on that we will jointly take the decision on excluding them (IEA) from the list of terrorist organisations. It seems to me that we are getting close to it. Russia’s position will be to move in that direction.”

Putin also raised the question as to how the IEA will generate funds if assets remain frozen and Afghanistan is isolated economically. He implied that unless the new government is recognized internationally, money could be generated through the continued production of opium and heroin.

“The important problem is the drugs. 90 percent of opiates on the global market are coming from Afghanistan, as is well known. If they (IEA) won’t have money how will they fund the social issues?”

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