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Large swathe of region rattled by 5.9 earthquake, including Kabul 

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(Last Updated On: February 13, 2021)

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit parts of Central and South Asia on Friday, jolting countries from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and India. 

Strong tremors were also felt across Pakistan, which forced people to flee their houses and buildings in panic.

Badakhshan was especially affected by the quake as the epicenter was in Tajikistan, close to the border with Afghanistan. While tremors were extremely strong in the province, no reports of casualties or damage were received. 

The US Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 5.9 and centered 35 km west of Murghob in Tajikistan.

The Tajikistan Emergency Situations Ministry said the epicenter was 420 km east of the Tajik capital Dushanbe near the border with China.

However, the seismic service of the country’s Academy of Sciences told Russia’s RIA Novosti that the quake’s intensity was measured at 6.1. The news agency said there were no casualties or damage, citing the Committee on Emergency Situations.

Monitoring agencies in the region meanwhile pegged the quake as being a bit more severe. India’s National Center for Seismology said its magnitude was 6.3, while the National Seismic Monitoring Centre in Pakistan measured it at 6.4.

But according to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude was 5.9 and the epicenter was at a depth of 90km.

Tremors were felt across Hindukush’s Himalayan Mountain range, government officials in Islamabad, Kabul, and New Delhi said.

In Pakistan, the tremor lasted for around 30 seconds, meaning its impact was strong, local media reported.

In Kabul, residents reported having felt the tremors in some parts for close to one minute but no damage was immediately reported in the Afghan capital. 

Regional governments in the north-west and in the central province of Punjab in Pakistan meanwhile put emergency services on high alert, anticipating damages to property and loss of life.

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Russia recognizes IEA’s ‘efforts’ to stabilize Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has acknowledged the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) efforts to stabilize Afghanistan after the delegation arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for talks.

Lavrov added that the Kremlin is “satisfied with the level of interaction with the new Afghan authorities”, while pointing the finger at Daesh (ISIS-K) and al-Qaeda for trying to take advantage of instability in Afghanistan, RT reported.

Russians meanwhile said earlier that they’re not going to recognize the IEA government until they are able to prove their commitments to the world, Anil Trigunayat, a former Russian diplomat, told Times Now on Wednesday.

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Khalilzad: Afghanistan is facing ‘great challenges ahead’

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Zalmay Khalilzad said a day after his resignation as the US State Department’s special envoy for the Afghan reconciliation process that the country was facing major challenges

“US forces are out and the war for the United States is over, but this is not the final chapter,” he said in a series of tweets.

Khalilzad also said he remained committed to peace in Afghanistan and the region.

“I am committed to the possibility of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and in the wider region. This is what Afghans have yearned for more than 40 years. The United States stands with them,” Khalilzad added.

The Afghan-American diplomat said in the tweets that the United States, the international community and Afghan leaders would stay in touch and he welcomed Thomas West’s appointment as his successor.

He also thanked the US State Department, Defense and intelligence officials “who joined me on this mission “.

Khalilzad’s resignation came two months after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) took control of Kabul.

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IEA delegation arrives in Moscow for major talks on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

An Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi has arrived in Moscow for a key meeting in Afghanistan’s future.

The Russian embassy in Kabul said a major international meeting will be held Wednesday to focus on the situation in Afghanistan.

“Members of the Moscow format, including Afghanistan, Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Central Asian countries and others, have been invited to attend the meeting,” the embassy said in a statement.

The statement added that the meeting, in which the conditions, including domestic politics, necessary to ensure the reconstruction of the country after the disputes in a broad sense will be discussed.

Eleven nations in total are expected to participate.

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