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US must be held accountable for past actions: Islamic Emirate official

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(Last Updated On: September 20, 2021)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has condemned the U.S. drone attack that killed 10 Afghan civilians last month and urged the United States to take responsibility for their past “killings and oppression” in the country.

Zabihullah Mujahid, deputy minister of culture and information of the Islamic Emirate’s interim government, talked with the China Media Group on Sunday and said: “This is not the only offence that the U.S. has committed. It’s been 20 years that they have martyred civilians in Afghanistan.”

“They have attacked the homes of civilians several times, and their latest carelessness and persecution of the people of Afghanistan led to the loss of 10 family members, including children, women, and elderly individuals, after an airstrike on a residential area,” he said.

“The U.S. must be held accountable for their past actions and cooperate with the people of Afghanistan as compensation for the killings and oppression in the country,” he said

Mujahid also commented on the six-month extension of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) which was adopted on Friday.

“We’re optimistic about the extension of UNAMA activities, because it’s a body of the UN and an international organization. Afghanistan must remain as an incandescent attention point of the international community, and the world should stay with us,” he said.

He reiterated the country’s willingness to have good relations with the international community.

“The international community is supposed to have good relations with us, and we also want affirmative relations with the world in the framework of our national interests, and we will coordinate humanitarian assistance with the UNAMA, and will cooperate in the areas of human rights issues,” he said.

“We call upon them to not extend their mission, but take effective steps in order to raise the voices of the Afghan people and assist the Afghans, and also, the UN must play a positive role politically with Afghans,” he added.

The Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the UNAMA for six months, until March 17, 2022.

Resolution 2596, which won the unanimous support of the 15-member council, stressed the critical importance of a continued presence of the UNAMA and other UN agencies, funds and programs across Afghanistan.

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Turmen officials scheduled to visit Kabul to discuss TAPI project

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(Last Updated On: October 28, 2021)

Turkmen officials are due to travel to Kabul this week to discuss the development of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, Reuters reported.

The pipeline, which would carry 33bn m3/year of gas from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field to southeast Asia, was first discussed in the 1990s.

But the project has struggled to secure financing, in part because of security concerns over the section of the pipeline that would run through Afghanistan.

However, the new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) rulers have expressed its support for TAPI.

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Rashid Khan says team is ready to take on Pakistan in T20 WC match

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(Last Updated On: October 28, 2021)

One of Afghanistan’s star cricket players, Rashid Khan, was upbeat this week about the national team’s chances against Pakistan in Friday’s Super 12 match in the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Dubai, Rashid said however that both teams would be under pressure, saying it would be a “stressful” match.

He said the Afghan team will be able to cope with the pressure and would hopefully do well.

“It’s stressful, for all the teams, but we live with it and we’re used to it,” he said.

He went on to say that once the match is underway, all focus is on one’s experience adding that the team is confident they will play well.

“We will try to play well and win the match,” he said.

He said the Pakistan team was a strong opponent but that “Afghanistan’s batting line up is good and our bowling [skills] have a good name in the world.

“We will try our best to play normally and not put any pressure on ourselves, and send back good news for the fans.”

Fans clashed during a one-day World Cup match between Pakistan and Afghanistan in England in 2019, in which several people were injured and police arrested dozens.

This time around, Rashid called on fans from both sides to keep calm and view it as just a game.

“Games send a message of love,” he said, “and fans should enjoy the game”.

Afghanistan will play Pakistan in Dubai on Friday. The match starts at 2.30pm Kabul time and will be broadcast live on Ariana Television.

Afghanistan won its first match against Scotland while Pakistan has won its first two matches against India and New Zealand.

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China to build outpost for Tajikistan special forces near Afghan border

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(Last Updated On: October 28, 2021)

China will finance the construction of an outpost for a special forces unit of Tajikistan’s police near the Tajik-Afghan border, the Central Asian nation’s parliament said on Thursday.

The post will be located in Tajikistan’s eastern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in the Pamir mountains, which border China’s Xinjiang province as well as the northeastern Afghan province of Badakhshan.

No Chinese troops will be stationed at the facility, a parliament spokesperson said.

The plan to build the post comes amid tension between the Dushanbe government and Afghanistan’s new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) rulers, Reuters reported.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has refused to recognise the IEA government, calling for a broader representation of Afghanistan’s ethnic groups – of which Tajiks are the second-biggest.

Kabul, in turn, has warned Dushanbe against meddling in its domestic affairs, Reuters reported.

According to Russian media, the IEA have struck an alliance with an ethnic Tajik militant group based in northern Afghanistan which seeks to overthrow Rakhmon’s government, Reuters reported.

A Russia-led regional security organisation held exercises last week near the Tajik-Afghan border, designed to demonstrate that Moscow stands ready to protect Dushanbe in the event of an incursion from the south.

China is a major investor in Tajikistan and Beijing has also acted as a donor on several occasions, handing over, for example, a new parliament building free of charge.

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