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US ‘Martyred’ Osama bin Laden: Imran Khan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2020)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said Thursday that the former Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had been “martyred” by US forces in 2011, a term that reflected a subtle stab at the US as it’s mainly used for honorable figures slain in battle.

Khan used the word during a rambling budget speech in parliament, attacking his predecessors’ foreign policies and saying that Pakistan’s partnership with the United States in the war on terror was a mistake, Pakistani news agencies reported. 

Khan also said that the US used abusive language against Pakistan, blaming Islamabad for its failures in neighboring Afghanistan and most of all — refused to tell Islamabad of its operation against bin Laden in 2011 before carrying out the Navy SEALs nighttime raid. 

The special operations force swooped into Pakistan’s military garrison town of Abbottabad in the middle of the night on May 2, 2011, killing bin Laden and several of his operatives.

“We sided with the U.S. in the War on Terror but they came here and killed him, martyred him and … used abusive language against us (and) did not inform us (of the raid), despite the fact that we lost 70,000 people in war on terror,” Khan told Parliament.

“The way we supported America in the war on terror, and the insults we had to face in return… They blamed us for every failure in Afghanistan. They openly held us responsible because they did not succeed in Afghanistan,” he added.

It comes as the US has repeatedly accused Pakistan of harboring the “ regionally focused terrorist groups.”

“It (Pakistan) allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated Haqqani Network, as well as groups targeting India, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba and its affiliated front organizations, and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), to operate from its territory,” the US State Department said in a report.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates were the only countries to recognize the Taliban government, which had harbored bin Laden as he planned terrorist attacks against the U.S. After the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan turned and became an ally of the United States.

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Abdullah introduces list of cabinet nominees to Presidential Palace

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Abdullah Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation has introduced a list of cabinet nominees to the Presidential Palace.

Sources close to Abdullah, however, say that there are still differences over the proposed list between Abdullah front-rows over seat distribution.

Figures listed as candidates for the designated-ministers; Massoud Andarabi for the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Fazl Ahmad Manavi for Ministry of Justice, Anwar al-Haq Ahadi for Ministry of Agriculture, Noor Rahman Akhlaqi for Ministry of Immigration, Mohebullah Samim for Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Mostafa Mastoor for Ministry of Peace, Masoumah Khavari for Ministry of Communications, Nisar Ahmad Ghoriani for Ministry of Commerce, Mansour Saadat Naderi for Ministry of Economy, Bashir Ahmad Tahianj for Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Kanishka Turkestani for Ministry of Higher Education, Abbas Basir for Ministry of Transport and Najib Agha Fahim, Candidate for Ministry of Martyrs and Disabled.

The list of ministerial nominees for Abdullah Abdullah’s share, however, has clashed within his party members.

Sources close to Abdullah say that the National Movement Party wants three ministries from Abdullah’s share and does not agree with this list.

According to sources, the National Movement has nominated Bashir Ahmad Tahianj for the Ministry of Agriculture, Qudratullah Zaki for the Ministry of Transportation and Kanishka Turkestani for the Ministry of Immigration.

But some other figures close to Abdullah deny the disagreements within the group.

On the other hand, the Independent Directorate of Local Governance says that 11 new provincial governors have been nominated by the president so far and that this process will continue. Abdullah Abdullah, according to the power-sharing agreement between him and Ghani, can introduce 50% of the Afghan cabinet members.

Arg and Sapidar Palace have not officially commented on the matter.

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Afghanistan customs revenue lost to ’embezzlement’

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Although taxpayers pay customs duties at the Afghan customs, not all of the revenue being collected in the Afghan government’s account, local officials said.

The ports of Torkham in Nangarhar, Islam Qala in Herat, Hairatan in Balkh, Aqina in Faryab, Spin Boldak in Kandahar, Shirkhan Bandar in Kunduz, Angur Ada in Paktika and several other ports in the north and south of the country have witnessed widespread corruption.

In these ports, although custom fees are paid by taxpayers, little money is raised in government reserves, most of the ports are said to be in the hands of gunmen and the powerful.

Local officials in the provinces where the ports are located say that corruption in customs has recently peaked.

On the other hand, the Integrity Watch of Afghanistan criticizes the lack of administrative reforms, adding that unreasonable appointments have increased corruption in the country’s customs and that the government has not yet taken any steps to reform the process. According to the head of the institution, the current situation has led to organized corruption in customs.

The Ministry of Finance also promises to bring transparency to the country’s customs.

Finance Ministry spokesman Shamrooz Khan Masjidi said customs revenues are being closely monitored to prevent corruption.

Earlier, the governor of Herat said that Islam Qala’s revenue was being looted by mafia gangs and the warlords. According to economists, this is the case in most of the country’s customs.

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Afghanistan witnesses decline in Coronavirus cases: MoPH

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2020)

Jawad Osmani, Acting Minister of the Public Health, says the number of people infected with the Coronavirus decreased to halve compared to a month and a half ago. 

Coronavirus has declined in Afghanistan; as the Acting Minister of Public Health himself has removed the medical mask from his face at the press conference and used a home mask instead. 

Javad Osmani said: “Compared to two months ago, the infected patients to the virus decreased by 30 percent. If the Coronavirus patients do not reach less than 5%, the situation will not get back to normal.”

On the other hand, the Anti-Corona Emergency Committee warns that as of today, 15 moving teams are inspecting restaurants, cafes, and parks, and if they do not follow the health recommendations, they will be fined first and then they will be banned.

“Today we have sent 15 moving teams to the city to fine and block restaurants and cafes that have started arbitrarily, and this time nothing is acceptable,” said Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, Kabul’s governor.

Meanwhile, officials at the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs said that those citizens who remain out of the Hajj shift this year will be able to perform the Hajj next year while maintaining the same shift.

Officials at the Ministry of Public Health say that researchers have found that the Coronavirus can spread through the air. They warn people if they do not avoid unnecessary patrols and commute on Eid al-Adha, they will see the second wave of coronavirus.

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