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Khalilzad: Put Pakistan on list of state sponsors of terrorism

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(Last Updated On: July 13, 2016)

khalilzadA number of U.S. lawmakers called for cutting financial aids and imposing sanctions against Pakistan while former diplomats urged to designate Pakistan on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“Pakistan now is a state sponsor of terrorism. There is no question that ISI supports the Haqqani network, which we regard as a terrorist network,” Zalmay Khalilzad, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and UN who was speaking at a Congressional hearing said on Tuesday.

“It is also clear that the Pakistani military and intelligence provide sanctuary and support to the Taliban,” Khalilzad who played key role in shaping American policy towards Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq after 9/11 said.

He described that Pakistan understands that its double-game is risky, but it believes that the risk is manageable.

Narrating his travel to Pakistan when he was serving as the U.S. ambassador for Afghanistan he said,” I asked Gen. Musharraf why Pakistan was sponsoring the Taliban, he denied that there were any Taliban in Pakistan.

He added,” Musharraf instead insisted that I provide him with the names and phone numbers of the Taliban in Afghanistan”.

He continued, “Years later, when he was no longer his country’s leader, he boasted to the world of his country’s support for the extremist group”.

Pointing to the killing of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a U.S. drone strike top former U.S. ambassador called for additional drone attacks against terrorist groups.

But he also suggested specific sanctions against Pakistani military and governmental officials saying drone strikes alone will not be enough without corresponding political and financial pressure.

“U.S. can impose financial and travel restrictions on senior Pakistani officials known to be complicit in the insurgency, and freeze funds in U.S. banks belonging to Pakistani entities  – both military and corporate – involved in financing the Taliban,” he recommended in a prepared statement.

At the same time Congressman Brad Sherman who joined Salmon and other lawmakers in seeking action against Pakistan added,” Those who suggest giving aid to Pakistan need to give justification for using the tax payer’s money”.

The hearing titled ‘Pakistan: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Terrorism?’ has been jointly convened by the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade and Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is scheduled to be held on Wednesday.

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Former Afghan goalkeeper dies of Coronavirus

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

Sadiq Ibrahimi, a former Afghanistan National Football Team’s goalkeeper, passed away on Sunday, his relatives confirmed.

According to his brother, Ibrahimi has died of the Coronavirus.

Ibrahimi was playing for the National Team between 2002 to 2007.

He played for Afghanistan in 2002 Asian competition in South Korea and showed well performance in matches against Bangladesh and Turkmenistan in 2005.

It comes as Ali Reza Ghorbani, a goalkeeper of the National Futsal Team of Afghanistan was also tested positive for COVID-19.

Ghorbani said that he is battling with the Coronavirus, “Corona knocked me down, take is serious.”

So far, 15,205 people in the country have been infected with the virus.

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Da Afghanistan Bank sees increase in gross reserves

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the central bank of Afghanistan, Da Afghanistan Bank, has reached more than $9 billion for the first time.

Officials at the bank said that although the global aid to Afghanistan has declined, they have succeeded to increase the bank’s reserves.

Economists also underline that the central bank’s efforts will lure global funds.

The bank’s authority has stated that they have, for the first time, been able to increase the GDP to over $9 billion.

According to them, last year about AFN22 billion was deposited in the government reserves through investments in foreign financial institutions.

Although the Coronavirus pandemic has devalued Afghan currency against the dollar, the authority is pushing for effective programs to keep the value of the currency afloat, they said.

Welcoming the strengthening of the gross reserves of DAB, experts say that the central bank’s efforts would attract global funds for good.

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Concerns over Coronavirus rapid outbreak in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2020)

The COVID19 outbreak status in Afghanistan has turned disastrous, as there are few health measures in hand.

The Ministry of Public Health says 680 new cases of the Coronavirus have been tested positive in the last 24 hours hiking the count of the infected to 15,205 in Afghanistan.

The ministry underlines that there are no sufficient gears to reach out to all patients and that any negligence will have dire consequences for the nation.

“Some 1,112 samples have been examined in the past 24 hours, of which 680 have tested positive, with eight deaths,” said Wahidullah Majrooh, deputy of the MOPH.

He added: “Unfortunately, Coronavirus scope has widened and the tragedy is imminent, and our only hope is the cooperation of the people. If they cooperate, we can control the situation.”

“The consumption of oxygen alone is very high overnight, while there is so little of the product.”

Nonetheless, the health ministry reiterates that health workers are ready to provide services to the people in any situation and to fight against the pandemic with whatever is available.

In the meantime, the Herat department of hajj and religious affairs has warned the imams in the province to strictly follow and pass on health guidelines instructions while leading the prayers, or else, they will be dismissed of their duties.

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