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Khalili labels attacks on Hazaras an act of genocide

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(Last Updated On: June 13, 2021)

Mohammad Karim Khalili, leader of Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan party, on Sunday warned insurgents against continuing attacks targeting western parts of Kabul and “systematic massacres of Hazaras” and said that the perpetrators of these “tragedies” would force the Hazara people to rise up and defend themselves.

Khalili, who was also second vice president under former president Hamid Karzai, said that if Hazaras are forced to defend themselves, they would be able to defend themselves in other ways.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Khalili said that in recent months, the Hazara people have been killed in “catastrophic” ways, in the name of “ethnic and tribal” targeted killings or by “suicide bombings.”

He said based on the interpretation of jurists and scientific discussions, any type of ethnic-specific killings is a clear example of genocide.

Khalili said the Hazara people have been consistently targeted over the past 20 years.

“When these people stand against this kind of movement and shout the voice of justice, it does not mean confronting other ethnic groups,” Khalili said.

Khalili also pointed out that over the past few years, all the people of Afghanistan have been victims of violence and war and all the people have shared in these sacrifices. However, he added that there is no justification for this and the goal is to annihilate a nation.

Khalili explained that during this period, the Hazara people were however specifically targeted because of their ethnicity, on roads, at mosques, schools, training centers, wedding halls and sports clubs, “and were covered in dust and blood”.

Khalili asked what the interpretation of this act was – if not genocide?

“We have two types of casualties, one on the battlefield, in which we have casualties from all the tribes, and the people take their martyrs and bury them in honor, and we stand by the rest of the people; but once again in another way – they kill and want to de-identify the people, and according to their lawyers, de-identification is a type of genocide,” Khalili added.

He pointed out that other Hazara people had raised their voices just because of the recent incident and called on all the people of the country to unite with this nation.

“The boredom of the people of Hazara is over and it is not against any people or side, but against criminal gangs.

We wish all the tribes to comply with the sufferings of the Hazara people and we ask the people to help the people in this indictment,” Khalili said.

“We demand the Pashtun brothers, Uzbeks, Tajiks and other ethnic group’s lawyers support the Hazara people in this matter,” he said.

“Criminals are trying to strip this nation (Hazara) of their identity by any means.”

Khalili also called on the Independent Human Rights Commission and international organizations to examine recent incidents and attacks that happened in the Hazara and Shiite communities.

On the other hand, the leader of Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Afghanistan criticized the government for failing to provide security to Hazaras. He said that the leaders of the government have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the people in accordance with the constitution.

Khalili added that the government cannot distance itself by accusing criminals.

“According to the constitution, the leadership of the government is responsible for ensuring the security of the people, the government cannot shower itself lightly here, and the government must clarify who is the perpetrator and who is behind these incidents,” Khalili said.

Khalili also said that the president must help the people.

On the other hand, the Khalili stated that if the goal of massacring Hazara people was to destroy this group – it would not be possible.

“If the aim of this action is to eliminate the Hazara people, it is not possible at all.The restlessness of a Hazara people does not mean fear,” Khalili said.

His comments come after at least six bombings took place in western Kabul in the past two weeks, which is home to mostly Hazaras. The blasts mainly targeted passenger cars and killed at least 28 people and injured nearly 30 others.

Talking about peace in Afghanistan Khalili called for an “agreed peace” settlement.

“We will achieve lasting peace when all the people, parties and stakeholders are partners and you find yourself in the peace process. Imported peace is not effective at all,” Khalili said.

Khalili also called on all parties including the Taliban to grab the opportunity for peace and urged parties to “not let this opportunity be wasted.”

“I also say to the Taliban that we want such a peace that all parties see themselves in.”

“The roots of the conflict are resolved when compromise is reached, not through political compromise, and the peace process will succeed when it becomes a process of reconciliation,” he said.

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US offers further air support to Afghan troops amid Taliban offensive

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(Last Updated On: July 26, 2021)

The United States will to continue to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan forces facing attack from the insurgent Taliban, a regional U.S. commander said on Sunday as U.S. and other international forces have drawn down troops in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has escalated its offensive in recent weeks, taking rural districts and surrounding provincial capitals, after U.S. President Joe Biden said in April U.S. troops would be withdrawn by September, ending a 20-year foreign military presence.

“The United States has increased airstrikes in support of Afghan forces over the last several days and we’re prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks,” U.S. Marine General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie told a news conference in Kabul.

McKenzie, who leads U.S. Central Command, which controls U.S. forces for a region that includes Afghanistan, declined to say whether U.S. forces would continue airstrikes after the end of their military mission on Aug. 31.

“The government of Afghanistan faces a stern test in the days ahead … The Taliban are attempting to create a sense of inevitability about their campaign,” he said.

But he said a Taliban victory was not inevitable and a political solution remained a possibility.

Afghan government and Taliban negotiators have met in Qatar’s capital, Doha, in recent weeks, although diplomats say there have been few signs of substantive process since peace talks began in September.

Reeling from battlefield losses, Afghanistan’s military is overhauling its war strategy against the Taliban to concentrate forces around the most critical areas like Kabul and other cities, border crossings and vital infrastructure, Afghan and U.S. officials have said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Saturday that the Afghan security forces’ first job was to make sure they could slow the Taliban’s momentum before attempting to retake territory.

McKenzie said there would likely be a rise in violence after a lull over a Muslim holiday this week and said the Taliban could focus on populated urban centres.

“They are going to have to deal with the cities if they want to try and claw their way back into power” he said. “I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that they are going to be able to capture these urban areas.”

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Five security force members ‘brutally killed’ in Kabul: Sources

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Five security personnel were “brutally” killed by Taliban militants in Shakar Dara district of Kabul, sources said Sunday.

The incident reportedly took place in the Haji Paik area on Friday night.

According to the sources, the Taliban militants first tortured and then killed the men.

Gowhar Khan Baburi, Governor of Shakar Dara district, said Sunday that the militants had installed a checkpoint in the Haji Paik area where they identified the security force members.

The Taliban stated that the victims were members of the Afghan security forces but denied its involvement in the incident.

In a separate incident, two military personnel – including a student from Marshal Fahim Military University – were killed in the Kalakan district of Kabul.

The incident happened in the Pule Baboch area close to the district’s compound on Saturday night, sources said.

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China and Pakistan call for ceasefire in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Pakistan and China on Saturday called on all Afghan stakeholders to agree to a ceasefire and work together to achieve an inclusive peace agreement and political settlement.

According to Dawn News, the call was made by the two sides during a foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue in Chengdu in Sichuan province in China.

A statement issued by China and Pakistan said the two countries had reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate and support an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation says peace talks are the best way to address Afghanistan issues and that the Taliban cannot impose their “will” on the people of Afghanistan through military force.

Speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Abdullah stated that the Taliban have to seek their goal through peace talks.

“Taliban cannot convert the whole population of Afghanistan into Taliban. Talibanization of Afghanistan is not acceptable,” Abdullah said.

“Peaceful settlement is much better option than the continuation of the war we continue we will continue to make these efforts,” he stated.

“We have different opinions about these things can we find ways to not to fight for imposing our way of life upon the people but to compete for it uh to contest for it through civilian means through peaceful means,” he stressed.

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