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Govt says Taliban destroyed 260 office buildings in 106 districts

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(Last Updated On: July 15, 2021)

The chairman of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) Nader Nadery said Thursday a study has found that the Taliban has destroyed or set fire to 260 government buildings in 106 districts in recent weeks. 

This comes amid heightened tension across the country as the Taliban continue to seize districts.

Addressing an event on Thursday, Nadery said the findings show that the Taliban has plundered equipment and property belonging to public institutions.

“Taliban have proposed a three month ceasefire but in return they want the release their 7,000 prisoners and the removal of their leaders’ names from the UN blacklist, which is a heavy demand by them,” Nadery said. 

The survey findings are as follows: 

1. Plunder of equipment and property of public institutions

“In 82 districts the rate of equipment looted was reported to be 100% in 18 districts; between 70% and 90% in 14 districts; from 50% to 60% and in 35 districts up to 50%.”

2. Displacement of thousands of public service workers

“Nearly 4,000 public service workers have been affected by the Taliban’s takeover of the districts, and many have fled their areas to provincial capitals due to poor security conditions and high threats against them.”

3. Deprivation of basic government services to millions of citizens

“More than 13 million Afghans have been deprived of basic government services and development projects such as rebuilding water supply networks, roads, retaining walls, building schools, building bridges, digging wells, building hospitals, building cold storages and other projects.”

4. 50,000 civil servants affected

“More than 50,000 civil servants are … unable to attend their duties.

5. In the Taliban-controlled districts of Takhar province alone, 112 development projects planned for this year have been completely stopped.

6. Restrictions on women health care providers

In a small number of the districts under their control, the Taliban have allowed female employees working in the health service sector to travel to work on condition they wear a full hijab and have a legal Mahram (relative to accompany them). 

7. In the Taliban-controlled districts of Paktia province, only women working as midwives have been allowed to continue working and need to wear a full hijab and have a Mahram.

Nadery said attacking and injuring civilians and civilian facilities is considered a war crime under international humanitarian law. 

A cessation of hostilities and a political agreement for a common future for all Afghans is the way to prevent these crimes from continuing, he said. The continuation of the war makes the Afghans losers. 

On the other hand, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in response to Nadery’s remarks that the claims were untrue. 

Mujahid said in a voice message to the media that the Taliban was providing better security than government.

This comes after a substantial spike in violence has been recorded across the country since the US and NATO troops started withdrawing. 

In the past few weeks, the Taliban has seized dozens of districts, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Afghans fleeing their homes. 

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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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