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Dushanbe deploys extra troops along Afghan border after Tajik militant activity

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(Last Updated On: December 18, 2020)
Tajikistan has deployed additional troops along its southern border with Afghanistan after Kabul authorities claimed a group of Tajik militants played a key role in the capture of a district in northern Badakhshan province.
 
Badakshan’s Maymay district was captured in November by what local officials claimed were mainly foreign fighters, RFE/RL reported.
 
According to Afghan officials, the militants were from Jamaat Ansarullah, an insurgent group founded in Afghanistan by Tajik national Amriddin Tabarov in 2010.
 
RFE/RL reported that earlier this month, a video was posted on social media reportedly showing Tajik insurgents fighting against Afghan government forces in Maymay.
 
Footage shows them killing men in Afghan Army uniforms and civilian clothes and setting fire to a building. At the end, the militants, who spoke a Persian dialect spoken in Tajikistan, show off weapons and vehicles they claim to have seized from the Afghan troops.
 
Afghan authorities confirmed the killings and the destruction in Maymay and local residents said militants, “particularly the Tajiks,” killed and beheaded Afghan soldiers.
 
Tajik officials have meanwhile identified at least 15 Tajik nationals whose faces or names appeared on videos and statements shared by Afghan officials in connection with the fall of Maymay, RFE/RL reported.
 
This has however caused concern in Dushanbe, because they are ordinary individuals with no apparent connections to any political, religious, or opposition groups, the report read.
 
Sources speaking on condition of anonymity told RFE/RL that these Tajik militants are people who left the country between 2010 and 2017 – men mainly aged between 20 and 40 years – and some took their wives and children with them to Afghanistan.
 
Tajik authorities haven’t commented publicly about the border reinforcements but they said that border security continues as normal.
 
“It is a real threat. Today they’re fighting for the Taliban, but we can’t predict what they’re going to do in the future,” sources in Dushanbe told RFE/RL’s Tajik Service.
 
These sources, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said however that an elite military unit had been deployed near the areas where Tajik fighters are thought to be concentrated on the Afghan side of the border.
 
Meanwhile, Badakhshan Deputy Governor Akhtar Muhammad Khairzada told Pajhwok news agency that the militants are mainly based in Warduj and Jurm districts in Badakshan and that there were also Uzbek, Chechen, and Chinese Uyghur militants based in the area.
 
Afghan officials estimate the number of Tajik militants in the country at around 200, but the exact figure is impossible to confirm.

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Russia’s Putin won’t attend G20 summit in person

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the G20 summit in Rome in person this month, but will take part via video link, the Kremlin said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Kremlin said Putin informed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi about his plans in a telephone call during which they also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and bilateral issues.

This comes after the United Sates announced that will not join international talks on Afghanistan organized by Russia this week due to logistical reasons, but is open to participating in the future, the State Department said on Monday.

Moscow is hosting talks on Wednesday with officials from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), China and Pakistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative was quoted as saying last week.

“We will not participate in the Moscow talks. The Troika-plus has been an effective, a constructive forum. We look forward to engaging in that forum going forward, but we’re not in a position to take part this week,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

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IEA Council of Ministers meet to discuss numerous issues

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

A meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) was held on Monday at the Presidential Palace in Kabul under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, Zabiullah Mujahid, the deputy minister of information and culture said in a statement.

The meeting was followed by a report back on the economic activities carried out by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi, read the statement.

According to the IEA the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Mottaqi also provided information on important issues related to foreign trips and meetings with foreign representatives.

During the meeting necessary decisions were also taken on some important issues, Mujahid said.

A delegation was also formed from the agencies of Nadir Pakhtun Markets, in Kabul, and for mining. These were tasked to discuss in principle the modalities of starting construction work as soon as possible and submit plans in order for the implementation of the plans, the statement said.

Also higher education officials were instructed to take serious steps to standardize the affairs of universities and urged the officials of private universities to attract students to the relevant faculties after obtaining the necessary legal licenses.

Meanwhile, in order to control and organize the affairs of NGOs, the relevant commissions were tasked to evaluate the course of affairs, the activities of which should be tailored to the interests of the country in all respects and in accordance with the policies of the Islamic Emirate.

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India plans to send food to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2021)

India plans to send food and medical aid to Afghanistan amid warnings that the nation could face a catastrophic famine this winter.

India is considering options to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and medical aid to Afghanistan. This, however, will be subject to Pakistan’s approval.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for “urgent and unhindered” humanitarian assistance to Afghan citizens.

Speaking at the G20 summit on Afghanistan, Modi had noted that the Afghan people have a great feeling of friendship for India and that every Indian feels the pain of Afghan people facing hunger and malnutrition.

Meanwhile, UN World Food Programme (WFP) had earlier said it is in touch with India to donate wheat to Afghanistan.

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