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Journalists, activists slam evacuees for faking their professions

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2021)

The Afghanistan Civil Society And Journalist Group has lashed out at Afghans who have tried to evacuate under the guise of being journalists and civil society activists.

The group’s officials say that although most journalists have chosen to stay in Afghanistan, the actions by civilians pretending to be journalists and activists is an insult to the media and to media workers.

Journalists in turn have also spoken out against foreign countries for not vetting applicants properly, which has enabled scores of people to leave the country posing as journalists.

While all Afghans have the right to travel abroad, thousands of people reportedly produced fake documents that got them safe passage to foreign countries.

Civil society groups and journalists see the move as a blatant insult and say a distinction must be made between real journalists and fake journalists, as many journalists want to stay in their country and continue working.

“Interestingly, out of thirty-four million people, nine million have introduced themselves as journalists, which is an obvious insult to journalists, and journalists are the voice of the people, and journalists value everyone, and the identities were not checked during evacuation.

“It was a tragedy and the responsibility lies with the world,” said Nasir Ahmad Akhtarzai, head of Afghanistan Civil Society And Journalist Group.

“The international community has evacuated journalists and civil activists from Afghanistan, and the Islamic Emirate must prosecute those involved in forging journalists documents,” said Frozan Khalilyar, a female activist.

The Afghanistan Civil Society And Journalist Group, meanwhile, insists that people have forged press cards and media documents in exchange for money.

At the same time, a number of journalists said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan should provide the necessary ground for media activities to continue.

“With the support of the Islamic Emirate, the media coverage space should not be limited, because most journalists, especially women, have resigned, most journalists are present in Afghanistan and others have left the country in the name of journalists,” said Farkhunda Mohibi, a journalist.

“The system must have a clear strategy for freedom of expression and journalistic activities and partner with the media, because there is a great concern that many people have abused the name of the journalist and gone abroad,” said Sarajuddin Patan, a journalist.

However, these civil activists and journalists emphasize that this concern has no political aspect and the main purpose is to identify real and fake journalists; and they called on the international community to assess documents of those who have been evacuated to foreign countries claiming to be journalists.

This comes after Bloomberg News reported that Kam Air, a private Afghan airline, evacuated at least 155 relatives of Kam Air executives to Abu Dhabi on a flight meant for journalists and activists.

According to the report, relatives of the airline’s leadership were crammed into the half-empty plane at the last moment.

After the plane landed in the United Arab Emirates, the US State Department discovered the evacuees were not on the list, according to the report.

Officials at Kam Air denied the claims, saying the company was not picking evacuees. The company was only responsible for transferring them, they said.

“We had only two flights–to Abu Dhabi and Tbilisi. They went according to the list. Because many people remain in Afghanistan, they make these claims that Kam Air took some families and relatives,” said Mohammad Dawood Sharifi, Kam Air chief executive.

The passengers who were allegedly not on the list are reportedly still in Abu Dhabi and their fate is uncertain.

 

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IEA faces serious challenges that need to be addressed: Mullah Yaqoob

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, acting defense minister, on Wednesday said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is facing serious challenges which need to be addressed.

Addressing an event at the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan 400 bed Military hospital in Kabul, Mullah Yaqoob said Afghans have suffered for 40 years.

“These serious problems have been ongoing for many years. There are problems. There is chaos, everything is not good,” said Mullah Yaqoob.

In his first appearance before the media, he also called on businessmen to invest in the country’s health sector.

“Traders should invest in the health sector, so Afghans don’t have to go to other countries for treatment,” he added.

The acting minster of public health meanwhile, called on the world to continue providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

“In the health sector, deep reforms should be brought,” said Qallandar Abad, acting minster of public health.

Some doctors meanwhile called on the IEA to take the needs of health workers into consideration.

“We urge the minister of public health to not exclude our military doctors from their lists to receive money for salaries and medical equipment,” said Tahir Ahrar, a military commander.

This comes amid serious warnings by health officials that the country’s health sector is on the verge of collapse.

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Iran urges support for Afghanistan to ward off threat of terrorism

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday evening after the meeting on Afghanistan that humanitarian and economic support should be provided to Afghanistan so that insurgent groups do not use the current crisis to recruit soldiers.

Addressing a press conference after the foreign minister’s meeting on Afghanistan in Tehran, Abdollahian said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is a reality and they are running the interim government and should be encouraged to work towards the establishment of an inclusive government.

Abdollahian said delegates attending the meeting insisted that Afghanistan’s central bank assets be released for the sake of the country’s economy.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, meanwhile told delegates he was “deeply concerned” about human rights abuses and attacks in Afghanistan since the IEA took control.

In a pre-recorded video message, the UN Secretary-General said that Afghanistan was facing a growing humanitarian crisis that needed immediate action.

Guterres recalled the UN’s engagement with the IEA to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

Moscow meanwhile has consistently advocated for the creation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan and has no plans to impose its recommendations on the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a video address.

“Russia is not inclined to impose its advice or recommendations on anyone. Moreover, history itself offers effective ways to solve problems. It’s vital to take the interests of the country’s major ethnic and political forces into account to the fullest extent possible,” he said.

“This is why we have been firmly and consistently supporting the creation of a truly inclusive Afghan government,” he stated.

“The people need to be sure that their rights and legitimate aspirations will be implemented through action, not just words, and will also be protected by law, certainly based on respect for local traditions and customs,” Lavrov explained.

On the other hand, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated that IEA officials want efficient engagement with the international community.

The people of Afghanistan are facing a severe economic situation, and their money should be released by other countries, he added.

In addition, Qureshi stressed that there must be a joint fight against terrorism at the regional level because the activities of terrorist groups are a threat to the region.

Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that IEA officials are eager to have dialogue with the rest of the world, and the international community should help Afghanistan with its development.

In an address delivered by video link to conference participants, Wang said Beijing was ready to host further talks between Afghanistan and its neighbours on the country’s future.

“The Taliban (IEA) are eager to have dialogue with the world … China will host the third Neighbours of Afghanistan meeting at the appropriate time,” Wang said in comments broadcast live by Iranian state TV.

The meeting of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries was attended in person by the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and China and Russia participated by video link.

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IEA eager for dialogue with the world: China’s Wang Yi

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials are eager to have dialogue with the rest of the world, and the international community should help Afghanistan with its development, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.

In an address delivered by video link to a conference in Iran on Afghanistan, Wang said Beijing was ready to host further talks between Afghanistan and its neighbours on the country’s future.

“The Taliban (IEA) are eager to have dialogue with the world … China will host the third Neighbours of Afghanistan meeting at the appropriate time,” Wang said in comments broadcast live by Iranian state TV.

The meeting of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries was attended in person by the foreign ministers of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and China and Russia participated by video link.

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