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Taliban not interested in working together for peace: Ghani

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(Last Updated On: July 20, 2021)

President Ashraf Ghani said Tuesday after a prayer ceremony at the Presidential Palace marking Eid al-Adha, an event marred by a rocket attack, that the Taliban has no intention of working for peace.

Despite the rockets falling, Ghani and other high-ranking officials calmly continued praying.

Mirwais Stanekzai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, stated that the first rocket hit close to the Edgar mosque, the second one landed close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the third one landed in the Chaman-e-Hozori area of the city.

He said that the rockets were fired from the Parwan-e-Se area of Kabul.

Addressing a ceremony after the prayers, Ghani stated: “The Taliban have no intention and will for peace… We sent the delegation to convey our last words [to tell them] that we are sure, we have the will and we are ready to sacrifice for peace.”

Ghani added that the Taliban showed that they have no will for peace and “we have to make decisions based on that.”

“I have told the world that the release of 5,000 prisoners [Taliban] was a big mistake. At that time I told them and our politicians that it [the release] will have dire consequences; I told them that this Taliban will deceive you and they are not such people to hold commitments.”

“You cannot capture this country through rockets… come to participate in a national process [election] and convince people [to elect you] and see how people will make you heroes,” he said.

Referring to the formation of public uprising forces, Ghani stated all forces should be registered in the framework of the Afghan security forces, “neither formation of militias is acceptable nor arbitrariness in the country.”

Ghani stated that the Taliban should be questioned why they are destroying buildings, “why the love of homeland is a dishonor for you [Taliban], why they execute [people] in dessert [court], they blew up roads and houses, why they use car bombs, why they blew up mosques.”

He added that the Taliban destroyed more than 260 government buildings as they were public facilities.

Ghani asked the Taliban if they had any positive message for the people of Afghanistan “especially for Afghan women”.

The president, meanwhile, stated that the Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) must stay out of politics.

“When a soldier is being hired through mediators [politically] the result is a cowardice defeat and escape from the battlefield.”

“Why our sacred uniform was disgraced? Because there was political interference… I don’t accept any interference [in the Afghan forces],” Ghani said.

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Kabul residents praise IEA on law and order, but hope for jobs

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

Kabul residents on Thursday praised the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for their control of law and order, but concerns over job prospects and economic issues remain prevalent.

“Law and order is better under this government than under the previous government, that useless government, but they must work towards getting jobs for the people. They should pay attention to the economy, the unemployment situation,” said market porter Mohammad.

The IEA has asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week and nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s U.N. ambassador, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

Eventual U.N. acceptance of the ambassador of the IEA would be an important step in the new government’s bid for international recognition, which could help unlock badly needed funds for the cash-strapped Afghan economy.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the IEA’s desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have to press for inclusive government and respect for rights, particularly for women, in Afghanistan.

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IEA’s foreign minister calls for ‘neutral’ foreign relations

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has urged the international community to refrain from putting unnecessary pressure on the new Afghan government.

Speaking at an event on Thursday in Kabul, Mutaqi warned that if a country “pursues enmity with Afghanistan instead of friendship”, it will face the resistance of Afghans.

Muttaqi also called for the establishment of neutral political relations.

“Afghanistan is not the country it was 20 years ago, and the world should not try to put pressure on it.

“Afghanistan now has good relations with the rest of the world and the region and the pressure by some countries does not affect Afghanistan because it is not alone now,” said Muttaqi.

He also said strong economic ties between Afghanistan and the region would soon be established and that these would have a positive impact on the entire region.

At the same time, the foreign ministers of China and Pakistan, on the sidelines of the UN summit, called for the lifting of economic sanctions on the Afghan government.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Pakistani foreign minister said that the world had no choice but to engage with the new Afghan government and recognize it.

“If they live up to those expectations, they would make it easier for themselves, they will get acceptability, which is required for recognition,” Shah Mahmood Hussein Qureshi told the AP.

“At the same time, the international community has to realise: What is the alternative? What are the options? This is the reality, and can they turn away from this reality?”

Qureshi said Pakistan “is in sync with the international community” in wanting to see a peaceful, stable Afghanistan with no space for terrorist elements to increase their foothold, and for the Islamic Emirate to ensure “that Afghan soil is never used again against any country”.

“But we are saying, be more realistic in your approach,” Qureshi said. “Try an innovative way of engaging with them. The way that they were being dealt with has not worked.”

But some other countries, including Germany, have opposed the presence of a representative of the Islamic Emirate at the UN summit. German foreign minister said the new Afghan officials needed to show in practice that they were complying with international law.

“Unfortunately, since August 15, life has become very difficult for everyone: financial situation, poverty, level of violence, level of poverty, level of fear, level of losses are increasing day by day. We are not the women of 2001, we are not the women of the 90s. If they [Islamic Emirate] really want to rule and lead in Afghanistan, they cannot rule without [the participation of] the 50 percent of Afghanistan, women,” said Zarifa Ghafari, a women’s rights activist.

This comes after the IEA asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week and nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador.

Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Reuters reported

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World leaders call for peace, stability in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2021)

On day 2 of the UN General Assembly, world leaders called for peace and stability in Afghanistan and voiced their concerns about attacks being launched from Afghanistan.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in his address to the general assembly that the international community needs to work with Afghanistan’s neighbors in order to prevent instability in the region.

“Regarding Afghanistan, we’ll have to start working with neighbouring countries in this new context to face the humanitarian crisis and prevent more instability in the region.

“We cannot lower our guard in the face of a terrorist menace (Daesh) that is real and that already has delivered a heavy blow in the midst of the evacuation operations.

“Afghanistan cannot turn into a shelter for terrorists. Spain is firmly committed to find maximum international security,” said Sanchez.

Leaders attending the 76th General Assembly, also called for achievements made over the past 20 years to be preserved.

“As the UN Global Advocate for Every Woman Every Child, it makes me sad that the progress seen during the past two decades in Afghanistan could be reverted so quickly,” said Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia.

Indonesia, which has the highest Muslim population of any country in the world, called on the international community to support the call for rights for women and minorities and for stability in Afghanistan.

 “The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the importance of diversification of vaccine production centers across the world.

“We must be stern in fighting intolerance, conflicts, terrorism and war. Peace in diversity and the protection of women’s and minority rights must be upheld. Concerns on the marginalization of women and violence in Afghanistan, Palestine’s elusive independence and the political crisis in Myanmar must be our common agenda,” said Joko Widodo, president of Indonesia.

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