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Taliban warns Washington against violating Doha agreement

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(Last Updated On: February 28, 2021)

The Taliban urged Washington to uphold its part of the US-Taliban agreement signed a year ago Sunday and stated the release of remaining prisoners and end of blacklists have yet to be implemented.

In a statement issued Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the signing of the deal – which the Afghan government was not party to – the Taliban also stated that the implementation of the agreement “must be utilized to improve the situation and pushing it in the wrong direction must be avoided.”

“Practical steps must be undertaken to expedite the ongoing intra-Afghan dialogue process,” the group said.

The Taliban said it is committed to its obligations within the agreement but made it clear in the statement that the implementation of the contents of the agreement is “the sole effective tool for resolving the Afghan issue and establishing peace, that shall be realized under the shade of an Islamic system.”

“The release of remaining prisoners and end of blacklists are part of the agreement that have yet to be implemented,” the statement.

“The Doha agreement has created a practical framework for bringing peace and security to Afghanistan. If any other pathway is pursued as a replacement, then it is already doomed to failure.”

Claiming to have “significantly reduced the level of operations in line with the Doha agreement,” the Taliban stated that “the other side has not fulfilled its obligations in this regard as bombardments, drone strikes, raids and offensive operations that were all prohibit on the basis of the agreement are still continuing, which is mostly causing civilian harm and increasing the levels of violence.”

The Taliban also distanced itself for the wave of targeted attacks and assassinations that have gripped the country over the past few months.

According to the group, “some circles with their interests tied to foreign actors have recently launched a wave of targeted attacks especially against civilians with the aim of showing the situation as teetering on the brink of a crisis, and to create excuses for the continuation of occupation and war.”

The Taliban’s statement comes just three days after US Central Command chief, General Kenneth F. McKenzie said the US still continues to see levels of violence that are way too high.

“I place a large measure of the blame on the Taliban who have continued to mount offensive operations and targeted killings of Afghan officials but the excessive violence has led the government to launch their own defensive operations to protect themselves – the violence while too high on both sides,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie also stressed that there is no sign that the Taliban had severed ties with al-Qaeda, as called for in the US-Taliban agreement.

“In my clear judgment rests largely on the Taliban; we also continue to … look for signs of a Taliban break with al-Qaeda and I have not at this point seen any definitive signs that would lead to believe they’re prepared to or able to honor their obligations,” McKenzie added.

On Tuesday, the UN Assistance Mission Afghanistan (UNAMA) meanwhile stated there had been an increase in civilians killed and injured in Afghanistan since the start of peace talks in September.

In the latest report on civilian casualties, UNAMA said despite the rise in casualties since September the overall numbers for 2020 were down due to lower civilian casualty rates prior to the start of talks.

The Taliban however, reacted to the report and said: ”We reject such incomplete reports based on incorrect information.”

For a seventh consecutive year, UNAMA documented more than 3,000 civilians killed in a single year, with Afghanistan remaining among the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian.

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IEA to assess academic credentials of religious scholars

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(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

A meeting of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) cabinet ministers was held on Tuesday, IEA said in a statement.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund approved a plan to regulate the academic ranks of religious scholars and evaluate their academic credentials.

Akhand stressed at the ministerial meeting that the documents of religious scholars should be evaluated and their academic ranks should be determined, the statement said.

In addition to this, a delegation from the IEA has been appointed to resolve the problem of companies not being able to access their money held in banks.

The continuation of the ID card distribution process, the preparation of a population census plan, solving the problem of drug addicts, the sound management of foreign aid, and the TAPI project were also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of IEA’s ministers.

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IEA leader meets with Chinese officials in Qatar, discusses bilateral issues

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(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has again urged the US to ease sanctions against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to help the country overcome a looming humanitarian crisis.

Speaking during the first high-level meeting with the Afghan interim government in Qatar on Monday, Wang emphasized the seriousness of the problem unfolding in Afghanistan.
It was Wang’s first meeting with acting deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar since July, when the IEA leader visited Tianjin in northern China shortly before the takeover of Kabul, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported.

“Afghanistan is facing quadruple challenges, namely the humanitarian crisis, economic chaos, terrorist threats and governance difficulties. Overcoming these challenges requires more understanding and support from the international community,” Wang said.

“China urges the Western countries led by the United States as a whole to lift sanctions, and calls on all parties to engage with the Afghan Taliban (IEA) in a rational and pragmatic manner to help Afghanistan embark on a path of sound development.”

Wang also pledged that China would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Beijing announced last month that it would donate 200 million yuan (US$31.3 million) in aid, including food and coronavirus vaccines, to the war-torn nation, SCMP reported.

Meanwhile, a delegation led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with a delegation led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday.

The two sides discussed issues including diplomatic relations, bilateral trade, China’s humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and the creation of higher education opportunities for Afghan students in China, as well as opportunities and challenges in bilateral relations.

The acting minister thanked China for its comprehensive assistance and said that the new Islamic government would ensure that Afghan soil would not be used against any country, including China.

Muttaqi said Afghanistan had a balanced foreign policy based on co-operation and understanding.

“China has an important place in our foreign policy and is an important country in the region,” he added. The whole region, including China, benefits from Afghanistan’s stability.

The Chinese Foreign Minister welcomed the recent positive developments in Afghanistan and noted that Afghanistan and China have historical ties.

He said China would work in the future based on the common interests of both countries and would never interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

Wang said his country respected Afghanistan’s security, independence and territorial integrity.

The Chinese side also stressed its support for Afghanistan to chart its own course for development.

China is playing its part in Afghanistan’s reconstruction. The Foreign Minister said that his country would continue to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid who is accompanying the delegation said that China provided $1 million to Afghanistan and has promised to provide $5 million more in humanitarian aid, especially medicine and food.

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John Kerry and Imran Khan discuss Afghanistan on sidelines of MGI summit

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(Last Updated On: October 26, 2021)

The United States’ Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, spoke with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Riyadh yesterday on the sidelines of the “Middle East Green Initiative (MGI)” Summit.

In the regional context, the Imran Khan underscored the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for Pakistan and the region.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister stressed the need for the international community to work pragmatically to preserve peace and security, avert a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and prevent an economic collapse.

Imran Khan also underscored the need for positive engagement and release of Afghanistan’s economic resources and financial assets for the welfare of the Afghan people.

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