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Al-Qaeda gaining strength with help of Taliban: US Treasury report

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(Last Updated On: January 26, 2021)

The US Treasury Department has issued a memo stating al-Qaeda is “gaining strength” in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s “protection”.

In answer to inquiries from the US Department of Defense’s Lead Inspector General on illicit terrorism financing, the US Treasury Deparment also stated that despite the US-Taliban deal signed in February last year that calls for the Taliban to cut ties with al-Qaeda, the two groups were still closely allied.

“As of 2020, al-Qaeda is gaining strength in Afghanistan while continuing to operate with the Taliban under the Taliban’s protection. Al-Qaeda broadly still depends on donations from
like minded supporters, and from individuals who believe that their money is supporting humanitarian or charitable causes,” the report read.

“Al-Qaeda capitalizes on its relationship with the Taliban through its network of mentors and advisers who are embedded with the Taliban, providing advice, guidance, and financial
support.

“Senior Haqqani Network figures have discussed forming a new joint unit of armed fighters in cooperation with and funded by al-Qaeda,” the report stated.

The report also stated that elements of al-Qaeda, including affiliate al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and terrorist groups targeting Pakistan, such as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), continue to use the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region as a safe haven.

“AQIS likely receives funding from al-Qaeda senior leadership,” the report stated adding that “as of May 2020, the Taliban and al-Qaeda maintained a strong relationship and continued to meet regularly.”

On the state of ISIS-Khorasan’s (Daesh Afghanistan) finances, the treasury report stated “ISIS-K primarily raises funds through local donations, taxation, extortion, and some financial support from ISIS-core.

“In 2019, Afghan Taliban and Afghan government forces retook ISIS-K’s stronghold in southern Nangarhar, which decreases the amount of money the group could earn exploiting natural resources in this territory.

“As of early 2020, ISIS core was possibly providing some funds to ISIS-K. According to Treasury’s information, ISIS-K retains at least some financial reserves and relies on hawalas, particularly in Kabul and Jalalabad, to transfer funds,” the report read.

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Stanikzai meets with Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Kabul

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met Sunday with Ilham Mohammadov, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Afghanistan and said the Islamic Emirate wants good relations with the world, foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement.

Balkhi quoted the ambassador of Azerbaijan as saying he appreciates the efforts of the Islamic Emirate in the field of security, economic development, and the fight against drugs and added that Azerbaijan is ready to cooperate in the cultural, economic and commercial sectors with Afghanistan.

Stanikzai said in this meeting that the IEA, having a balanced and economic-based foreign policy, wants good relations with all countries and is also trying to improve the country’s economic situation.

This comes after Mohammadov submitted his ambassadorial credentials to acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi late last month.

According to Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry’s website, their parliament approved the opening of their embassy on December 30, 2020.

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Over 92,000 metric tons of goods transported via rail in past week: ARA

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) announced in a statement on Sunday that 92,233 metric tons of goods was transported via railway lines in the country in the past week.

ARA said 75,698 tons was transported through Hairatan port, 5,054 tons via Aqina port, and 11,481 tons through Turghandi. This included oil and other goods and raw materials – that were imported and exported.

Of this, 2,247 tons of commercial goods were exported, most of which were oranges, potatoes, dried fruits and pomegranate juice, the statement read.

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Stanikzai laments poor reading habits among Afghans

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(Last Updated On: February 25, 2024)

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Sunday that the development of a country depends on reading, but reading habits in Afghanistan are very low.

Stanikzai made the remarks at a ceremony in Kabul to unveil books printed during the past 11 months.

“In Afghanistan, compared to other countries, people read very little. Maybe some people believe that there were many problems here, there was a war, the economy was weak and people are looking for bread and don’t have time to read, but these problems exist in other countries as well. If there is no war in other countries, there is poverty,” Stanikzai said.

He stated now that security is ensured in the country and there is no feudalism, youths should read under the shadow of the Islamic system, because without reading, success cannot be achieved.

“If youths become interested in reading and books, Allah willing, society will get rid of problems very soon. We Afghans have no equal on the battlefield. We have a lot of progress in this regard, and no one else has this honor. We should try to tell the world that with the takeover of the Islamic Emirate, there is peace and security in Afghanistan. There is no more war; there is no more feudalism; there is no more looting. There is an Islamic and Sharia system,” Stanikzai said.

He has also said that currently many books are imported from other countries, adding that scientific and research institutions and authors of the country should try to write books themselves.

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