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US CENTCOM chief concerned about Taliban’s ‘actions’

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(Last Updated On: February 9, 2021)

US Central Command Chief Frank McKenzie indicated Monday that the Taliban would need to change course for Washington to withdraw all its troops by the May 1 deadline. 

Addressing a virtual event held by the Middle East Institute, McKenzie, the Marine Corps general said: “Frankly, I remain concerned about the actions that the Taliban has taken up until this point.” 

“The matter is under review,” he said.

This comes after a congressionally-mandated Afghan Study Group report released last Wednesday recommended that US troops should stay in the country beyond the deadline.

Reading at first from a statement, McKenzie was careful about voicing his stance on the deal signed between the US and the Taliban in February last year. 

“I know that the administration has taken a close look at the way forward,” he said.

“Some key elements of that plan though, require the Taliban to take actions, and so they need to do some things, too, if we’re going to go forward.”

McKenzie acknowledged that he has been consulted about the way forward and said: “I’ve had the opportunity to give inputs.” he said. 

“I know they’re (Biden administration) giving it a great deal of thought and consideration, and we’ll have a way forward here, I think, in the near future.”

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IEA blames the West for Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis

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(Last Updated On: January 25, 2022)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has said the international community should not sentence the people of Afghanistan to “collective punishment and starvation because they failed in their mission in Afghanistan.”

In an interview with Sky News, Afghan Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi blamed the west for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“From our part again if we hadn’t taken the measures that we have taken and mitigated the effects of this humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place here in Afghanistan I think we would have been in a far far worse place at this moment,” Balkhi said.

He also reiterated IEA’s calls for the recognition of the current government in the country.

He stated that the IEA government is a responsible actor, “so the politicizing of recognition is only endangering the lives of the common people.”

Referring to Afghan women’s rights for education, Balkhi stated that girls are attending private institutions, “from primary all the way to university levels they’re open for girls and women.”

“I don’t know what the fear is, I absolutely do not know why, I do not understand any of the fear…. girls not going to school in their personal capacity or due to fear whether rational or irrational is their own personal prerogative.”

“From our side, the policy of the government has been very clear, there are absolutely no restrictions on any girls or women attending schools from primary all the way to higher education,” Balkhi said.

Balkhi, meanwhile, said that the Islamic Emirate forces respect Afghan women and they do not “threaten women ever.”

“Our security [forces] do not approach women specifically because this is an Afghan society we have a lot of respect for women we do not threaten women ever.”

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Former district police chief in Ghor gunned down

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(Last Updated On: January 25, 2022)

Habib-u-Rahman Malikzada, former police chief of Tiora district of Ghor province was gun downed by unknown assailants in western Herat province on Tuesday, relatives of the deceased said.

According to his relatives, Malikzada was shot close to the entrance of his house in PD1 of Herat city on Tuesday morning.

Sabir Herawi, a spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Intelligence, has confirmed the incident, stating that the culprits fled the area after attacking Malikzada.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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IEA delegation meets with Western officials in Norway

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(Last Updated On: January 25, 2022)

A 15-member delegation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) met Monday in the Norwegian capital Oslo with special representatives from Western countries to discuss the situation amid the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The IEA delegation, led by Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, is in Norway for three days. Monday was their second day of meetings where they met with representatives from the US, UK, Norway, Germany, Italy, Qatar, France, and the European Union.

The meeting focused on discussions on the economy, humanitarian aid, security, central bank operations, health, and other relevant issues, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a spokesman for the foreign ministry tweeted.

Discussions are still in progress, he added.

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