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IEA to preserve Bamiyan’s Buddha niches

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(Last Updated On: October 7, 2021)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials have said that they will preserve the empty niches of the two giant Buddhas in Bamiyan.

The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th-century monumental statues – locally known as Salsal and Shamama – that were carved into the side of a cliff in Bamiyan.

The buddhas were destroyed by the IEA in March 2001. The IEA said the move had a specific purpose, noting that now the niches of Buddhas would be safeguarded, aimed at promoting the tourism sector of the country.

Mawlawi Saif-ul-Rahman Mohammadi, Head of Bamiyan’s Information and Culture Directorate, stated that local and foreign tourists can visit Bamiyan’s historical sites and Buddhas.

“As an Islamic Emirate’s official in Bamiyan, I am trying my best to preserve these priceless and historical monuments of our province,” Mohammadi said.
Another IEA member said that they destroyed the Buddhas based on religious ideology in 2001.

“The Islamic Emirate did not make a hasty decision at that time [2001], it was reviewed and researched based on Islamic laws and then they destroyed them,” he said.

The heights of Salsal [symbol of a male] and Shamama [symbol of a female] are 53 and 35 meters respectively.

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US positioning itself to take on threats and opportunities: Ned Price

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(Last Updated On: January 26, 2022)

US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Monday he has a “hard time” understanding how the US military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened autocratic leaders around the world like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During a press briefing on Monday about ongoing discussions with Russia, Price was asked whether the Biden administration was aware that “the whole world is watching just like what happened in Afghanistan.”

Price said that ending the war in Afghanistan allowed the U.S. to be more “strategically positioned” to address Russia.

He said: “I have a hard time understanding how it is that putting an end to a 20-year military commitment where the United States spent billions upon billions of dollars every year, where thousands of American troops, at one point tens of thousands of American troops were stationed, where there was a NATO commitment, where thousands of NATO troops were stationed for many years, taking casualties, enduring the loss of life with an open-ended military commitment – were that still to be the case, how [would] we be better strategically positioned to take on what we’re seeing now from the Russian Federation?”

Price also said the US “has not turned its back on Afghanistan.”

“Anyone who would take any lesson from that, other than the fact that the United States is positioning itself to take on the threats and opportunities that we face now while we continue to partner with and support the people of Afghanistan, that would be mistaken analysis.”

Price’s comments come amid increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, where the US has repeatedly vowed severe economic sanctions against Russia if it mobilizes against the country.

The United States has heightened the readiness of some 8,500 troops, but no decisions have been made yet to deploy them.

Meanwhile, KT McFarland, deputy national security adviser to former president Donald Trump, told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal “contributed” to what’s now taking place between Ukraine and Russia because it gave other countries the perception that the United States is “chaotic” and “won’t stand up to its adversaries.”

“Whatever happened in Afghanistan had a ripple effect with Ukraine,” McFarland said. “Whatever is going to happen with Ukraine is going to have a ripple effect with China, but it will have a ripple effect with Iran. It’s going to have a ripple effect with North Korea because all of these countries will think they’ll seize the moment. They’ll think this is my time. America’s weak, it’s disorganized.”

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Norwegian charities pledge humanitarian assistance during IEA’s visit to Oslo

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(Last Updated On: January 26, 2022)

Representatives of Norwegian charities and organizations met with acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, during his three-day visit to Oslo, and pledged assistance to Afghanistan in various fields, including health and education.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi wrote on his Twitter account that the meeting was attended by seven Norwegian charitable organizations and associations.

He said that during the meeting, officials from Norwegian charities pledged humanitarian assistance in various areas, including health, education, agriculture and livestock, and demining.

According to Balkhi, Muttaqi assured the organizations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) full cooperation in the delivery of aid and equitable distribution.

Muttaqi led a 15-member delegation to Norway this week where they met with a broad range of officials and foreign representatives.

In addition to meeting Norwegian officials, the IEA also met with dignitaries from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and with representatives of a number of European countries.

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IEA blames the West for Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis

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(Last Updated On: January 25, 2022)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has said the international community should not sentence the people of Afghanistan to “collective punishment and starvation because they failed in their mission in Afghanistan.”

In an interview with Sky News, Afghan Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi blamed the west for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“From our part again if we hadn’t taken the measures that we have taken and mitigated the effects of this humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place here in Afghanistan I think we would have been in a far far worse place at this moment,” Balkhi said.

He also reiterated IEA’s calls for the recognition of the current government in the country.

He stated that the IEA government is a responsible actor, “so the politicizing of recognition is only endangering the lives of the common people.”

Referring to Afghan women’s rights for education, Balkhi stated that girls are attending private institutions, “from primary all the way to university levels they’re open for girls and women.”

“I don’t know what the fear is, I absolutely do not know why, I do not understand any of the fear…. girls not going to school in their personal capacity or due to fear whether rational or irrational is their own personal prerogative.”

“From our side, the policy of the government has been very clear, there are absolutely no restrictions on any girls or women attending schools from primary all the way to higher education,” Balkhi said.

Balkhi, meanwhile, said that the Islamic Emirate forces respect Afghan women and they do not “threaten women ever.”

“Our security [forces] do not approach women specifically because this is an Afghan society we have a lot of respect for women we do not threaten women ever.”

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