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Hekmatyar set to launch mass protest action in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2021)

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami party, on Thursday said his party is going ahead with demonstrations in Kabul as government has not complied with the party’s demands, which include the release of Hezb-e-Islami prisoners, the integration of his forces within the security forces, and the government’s continued resistance to the peace process.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Hekmatyar said the Hizb-e-Islami demonstrations will continue until the current government is dissolved and replaced by an interim government.

Last month a large number of Hizb-e-Islami protesters poured onto Kabul streets near the Presidential Palace chanting slogans against what they said were “those who hamper the peace process.”

Protestors gave government 10 days in which to meet their demands. At the time, protesters, led by Hekmatyar, accused government of orchestrating targeted attacks and called for an end to the violence.

“Preparations have been made for the demonstrations starting tomorrow, and security agencies have been notified,” Hekmatyar said.

Hekmatyar also said that demonstrations will start in other provinces in the near future.

“Our demonstration was supposed to start a few days ago, but the Moscow meeting postponed our demonstration,” he said.

He further added: “We call on government officials to stop the war and prepare for peace and agree on a government that is acceptable to all, and when these demands are met, we will stop our demonstrations,” Hekmatyar said.

Hekmatyar also said in addition to demonstrations, armed party members will hold meetings in parts of the country.

“In addition to the demonstrations, we may have armed Mujahideen meetings in some areas to show the nation and the international community that these forces have both weapons and areas under their control, but that they will not fight because of Hizb-e-Islami’s peace agreement with the government. They want to join the security forces, but the government did not fulfill its commitment,” said Hekmatyar.

He also said the Presidential Palace is under pressure and has realized the fact that it must give way to a new and acceptable government and be ready to transfer power.

Hekmatyar also raised the issue of President Ashraf Ghani’s early election plan but stated government does not have the support of “outsiders”.

“Agreeing to early elections means that the current government has no legitimacy, is not sustainable, and is no longer backed by outside supporters,” Hekmatyar added.

“At the Turkey Summit, talks should be focused only on withdrawal of foreign troops under the Doha agreement and the replacement of the current government with an acceptable transitional government,” he said.

Istanbul Summit preparations underway

Meanwhile, representatives of the United States, Turkey and the United Nations are in Doha currently and consulting with the Afghan Republic’s negotiating team and the Taliban.

According to sources, these meetings have been organized in order to set the agenda for the Istanbul Summit scheduled to be held in the next few weeks.

The High Council for National Reconciliation said Thursday that before the Istanbul Summit, the parties must reach an agreement on what is to be presented in Turkey.

“Representatives of the United States and Turkey, and the United Nations, are in Doha and, hosted by Qatar, have begun talks on how to set the agenda for a meeting between Turkey and the negotiating delegations of the two sides,” said Farooq Majroh, a member of the Afghan Republic’s negotiating team.

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IEA accuse Tajikistan of interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2021)

Tajikistan is interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, Abdul Ghani Baradar, the acting deputy head of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said on Sunday.

“Tajikistan interferes in our affairs, for every action there is a reaction,” Baradar said in an interview with al Jazeera TV channel.

A day earlier, IEA spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that the IEA had sent thousands of fighters to the Afghan province of Takhar, which borders Tajikistan. According to Mujahid, this was needed to counter security threats.

Earlier this month, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon suggested creating “a security belt” around Afghanistan to prevent the potential expansion of terrorist groups. Rahmon was speaking at a joint summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which was focused on the recent developments in Afghanistan.

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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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