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Helicopters Seen Landing in Taliban Controlled Districts in Ghazni

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2017)

A local official in Ghazni province claims that unidentified helicopters have been seen landing in Waghaz and Khogyani districts of the province which are fully controlled by the Taliban militants.

Provincial council member, Hassan Reza Yousufi, told Ariana News,” landing of helicopters in the area controlled by the enemies raises questions”.

An army spokesman in the province also confirmed the report, adding they were seen in a number of areas.

Provincial governor, Abdul Karim Mateen, said,” I have also heard about this from the people and I have reported to the central government”.

About a week ago, the Taliban insurgents claimed they have taken control of Waghaz district.

Ghazni governor added that security forces in [Waghaz] district have left all their equipments behind when they were retreating from the area.

Ghazni is among the volatile provinces in central-east part of the country where Taliban controls five of its 18 districts (Nawa, Khogyani, Rasheedan, Waghaz and Zana Khan) and have a presence in more of nine other districts.

Earlier reports also emerged that two choppers have landed in Sayad district of northern Sar-e-Pul province which is under control of the Taliban armed group.

Edited By Hesamuddin Hesam

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IEA calls on US to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2021)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) leaders called on the US to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets during a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday night saying that the money is for the Afghan people.

“All countries, with almost one voice, called on the US to end its financial prohibitions on Afghanistan and to unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets because this money is for the Afghan people and they were receiving their salaries from it, and therefore the US has no right to freeze these funds,” acting IEA Minister of Information and Culture, Khairullah Khairkhwa, said.

Pakistan, China, Iran, India and former Soviet Central Asian states joined IEA officials at the Moscow meeting. The United States stayed away, citing technical reasons.

Acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi meanwhile said at the meeting that the IEA would create conditions for women to work within the framework of Sharia law.

He also emphasized that the IEA does not represent a threat to any other country.

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UN sets up trust fund for ‘people’s economy’ in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2021)

The United Nations said on Thursday it had set up a special trust fund to provide urgently-needed cash directly to Afghans through a system that would tap into donor funds frozen since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover in August.

Achim Steiner, the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) administrator, said that Germany, a first contributor, had pledged 50 million euros ($58 million) to the fund, and that it was in touch with other donors.

“Discussions over the last few weeks have focused on how we do find a way to be able to mobilise these resources in view of the economic implosion that is now unfolding and the international community’s repeated commitment not to abandon the people of Afghanistan,” he told a news briefing.

This comes after US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Tuesday he sees no situation where the IEA would be allowed access to Afghan central bank reserves, which are largely held in the United States.

The IEA has called for the United States to lift a block on more than $9 billion of Afghan central bank reserves held outside the country as the government struggles to contain a deepening economic crisis.

“We believe that it’s essential that we maintain our sanctions against the Taliban (IEA) but at the same time find ways for legitimate humanitarian assistance to get to the Afghan people. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” Adeyemo told the Senate Banking Committee.

Washington and other Western countries are grappling with difficult choices as a severe humanitarian crisis looms large in Afghanistan. They have been trying to work out how to engage with the IEA without granting them legitimacy, while ensuring humanitarian aid flows into the country.

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Qureshi on one-day visit to Kabul for talks

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2021)

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi arrived in Kabul on Thursday for talks with Afghan leaders.

According to a statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign ministry, Qureshi, who is leading a high- level delegation, will meet with Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and call on the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan government during his one-day visit.

He will meet other Afghan dignitaries as well, the statement read adding that the talks between the two sides will cover the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and focus on ways and means to deepen cooperation in diverse areas.

“Utilizing the opportunity, the Foreign Minister will share Pakistan’s perspective on issues of regional peace and stability.

“As a close fraternal neighbor, Pakistan has always stood by Afghanistan.”

On border crossings, the foreign ministry said Pakistan kept the border crossing points open for trade and pedestrian crossing under COVID protocols and that measures were being taken for visas for Afghan nationals, and border crossing procedures for trade and cargo have been instituted.

“In recent months, Pakistan has provided humanitarian aid and assistance in the form of food stuffs and medicines.

“The Foreign Minister’s visit reflects Pakistan’s consistent policy of supporting the brotherly Afghan people, deepening bilateral trade and economic relations, and facilitating closer people-to-people contacts,” the statement read.

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