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Danish calls for probe into Pakistan attack on Hazara coal miners

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(Last Updated On: January 5, 2021)

Second Vice President Sarwar Danish has called on Pakistan and the international community to probe the “cowardly” attack on coal miners, seven of whom were Afghan nationals, by extremists groups in Pakistan and prosecute the culprits.

Pakistan’s Geo News reported that eleven coal miners were gunned down and four others seriously injured after armed men shot them on Sunday at the Machh coalfield in the Balochistan state of Pakistan.

The victims were members of the minority Hazara Shi’ite community, which has frequently come under attack in the past both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that seven of the victims were Afghan nationals working at the coal mine.

“The Foreign Ministry has directed the Afghan consulate in Quetta (the capital of Balochistan) and Embassy in Islamabad to provide any aid the victims’ families need,” the statement said.

The Ministry added that Afghanistan is ready to work jointly with the Pakistani government to investigate the “brutal crime” and prosecute the perpetrators.

The Islamic State (Daesh) claimed responsibility for executing the ethnic Hazaras. 

Daesh militants have frequently targeted the Shi’ite/Hazara shrines, places of worship, and educational centers in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The attack prompted an outcry in Pakistan and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called it a “cowardly inhumane act of terrorism.”

“The condemnable killing of 11 innocent coal miners in Machh Balochistan is yet another cowardly inhumane act of terrorism. Have asked the FC to use all resources to apprehend these killers & bring them to justice. The families of the victims will not be left abandoned by the government,” Khan tweeted.

According to Pakistan news agencies, protests were held in the country, including a candle-light vigil in Multan city.

“In Quetta, Hazaras are continuing to protest the Machh incident on Western Bypass near Hazara Town,” Geo TV reported.

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Bayat Foundation steps in to help at-risk families in Maidan Wardak province

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

Bayat Foundation officials said Friday they have sent in a huge consignment of food aid to Maidan Wardak province to help hundreds of needy families.

According to officials, the aid includes flour, rice and oil, which they have started distributing to deserving families in the province.

“In continuation of the Bayat Foundation aid campaign, which sees us distribute aid every winter, today we had a program in Maidan Wardak province to distribute to deserving people. The aid included flour, rice and oil. The aid will be distributed in other provinces also,” said Haji Mohammad Ismail, deputy head of Bayat Foundation.

Recipients of the food parcels welcomed the initiative and called on other charity organizations to help families in need.

“This winter, many people are in need [of aid]; they assisted us, we are grateful. We want them to help us again [in the future],” said one Maidan Wardak recipient.

“Our people are in need. No one has helped them so far. We are grateful to Bayat Foundation that helped us during this difficult time,” said another recipient.

“We are very grateful, because they helped us. We want them to continue their aid so we can survive this difficult situation,” said another resident of Wardak.

Each year, Bayat Foundation carries out a winter campaign, providing needy people with food. This winter, however, the foundation has ramped up efforts to reach as many Afghans as possible across the country amid the ongoing economic crisis.

Already thousands of desperate families have received food parcels from Bayat Foundation in over a dozen provinces in the country.

Food parcels are given to only the most at-risk families who are identified through a comprehensive assessment carried out by the foundation once an area has been earmarked for distribution.

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IEA warns media against publishing rumors

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

The intelligence department of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government said Thursday that media outlets should not spread false news and baseless rumors.

“A number of figures want to insult Islamic values so that they can achieve western citizenship,” the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) tweeted.

According to the GDI, these individuals have made untrue statements about the IEA which some media have reported on.

The country’s media, in accordance with the principles of journalism, should strictly refrain from publishing false news and baseless rumors, GDI tweeted.

The intelligence department has pointed out that insulting religious sanctities and rituals is not acceptable to the people.

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Biden defiantly defends Afghanistan exit, makes ‘no apologies’

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday firmly defended the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and said he makes no apologies.

Addressing a press conference, Biden said: “I make no apologies for what I did.”

His administration drew criticism for the way troops were withdrawn and the sudden collapse of the previous government.

Biden suggested Wednesday there was nothing else that could have been done to bolster Afghan allies.

“Raise your hand if you think anyone was going to be able to unify Afghanistan under one single government,” he said.

“It’s been the graveyard of empires for a solid reason. It is not susceptible to unity.”

He also suggested it was not the responsibility of the U.S. to fix Afghanistan’s challenges, The Week reported.

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