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Taliban ‘invites’ translators to remain in their own country

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(Last Updated On: June 7, 2021)

As concerns deepen for the safety of Afghan translators who worked alongside US and NATO forces for 20 years, once foreign troops have left the country, the Taliban on Monday issued a statement urging them not to leave Afghanistan.

In a statement issued by the group, the Taliban said it “invites them to return to their normal lives and serve their country if they specialize in their field. We do not pose a threat to them.”

The group stated that the translators are urged to “express their regret for their past and not take such a path in the future, which is considered treason against Islam and the country.”

“We used to consider them our enemy when they stood directly in the line of our enemy, but whenever they leave the line of the enemy and want to live as a normal Afghan in their country, they will not have any problems and they should not be afraid.

“And continue to live peacefully in their country, and if someone takes a threat to his life and makes a fake case to go abroad, this is his problem, not the problem of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate,” their statement read.

This comes after the UK government last week announced that local staff who worked for the UK government in Afghanistan, including translators, will be eligible for expedited relocation to the UK under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP).

The US has also stated it will accelerate the SIV process for those who worked with them.

On Thursday, the US State Department said that America has “a special commitment and a special responsibility” to the interpreters.

According to a US official, the State Department is adding staff in Washington and Kabul to deal with the backlog and has requested Congress authorize funding for more visas.

The 18,000 SIV applicants also have about 50,000 spouses and children under 21 that can move with them.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that at least 300 interpreters or their family members have been killed since 2014.

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Bayat Foundation steps in to help at-risk families in Maidan Wardak province

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

Bayat Foundation officials said Friday they have sent in a huge consignment of food aid to Maidan Wardak province to help hundreds of needy families.

According to officials, the aid includes flour, rice and oil, which they have started distributing to deserving families in the province.

“In continuation of the Bayat Foundation aid campaign, which sees us distribute aid every winter, today we had a program in Maidan Wardak province to distribute to deserving people. The aid included flour, rice and oil. The aid will be distributed in other provinces also,” said Haji Mohammad Ismail, deputy head of Bayat Foundation.

Recipients of the food parcels welcomed the initiative and called on other charity organizations to help families in need.

“This winter, many people are in need [of aid]; they assisted us, we are grateful. We want them to help us again [in the future],” said one Maidan Wardak recipient.

“Our people are in need. No one has helped them so far. We are grateful to Bayat Foundation that helped us during this difficult time,” said another recipient.

“We are very grateful, because they helped us. We want them to continue their aid so we can survive this difficult situation,” said another resident of Wardak.

Each year, Bayat Foundation carries out a winter campaign, providing needy people with food. This winter, however, the foundation has ramped up efforts to reach as many Afghans as possible across the country amid the ongoing economic crisis.

Already thousands of desperate families have received food parcels from Bayat Foundation in over a dozen provinces in the country.

Food parcels are given to only the most at-risk families who are identified through a comprehensive assessment carried out by the foundation once an area has been earmarked for distribution.

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IEA warns media against publishing rumors

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

The intelligence department of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government said Thursday that media outlets should not spread false news and baseless rumors.

“A number of figures want to insult Islamic values so that they can achieve western citizenship,” the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) tweeted.

According to the GDI, these individuals have made untrue statements about the IEA which some media have reported on.

The country’s media, in accordance with the principles of journalism, should strictly refrain from publishing false news and baseless rumors, GDI tweeted.

The intelligence department has pointed out that insulting religious sanctities and rituals is not acceptable to the people.

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Biden defiantly defends Afghanistan exit, makes ‘no apologies’

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday firmly defended the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and said he makes no apologies.

Addressing a press conference, Biden said: “I make no apologies for what I did.”

His administration drew criticism for the way troops were withdrawn and the sudden collapse of the previous government.

Biden suggested Wednesday there was nothing else that could have been done to bolster Afghan allies.

“Raise your hand if you think anyone was going to be able to unify Afghanistan under one single government,” he said.

“It’s been the graveyard of empires for a solid reason. It is not susceptible to unity.”

He also suggested it was not the responsibility of the U.S. to fix Afghanistan’s challenges, The Week reported.

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