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Anas says Haqqani Network never existed, that it was pure ‘propaganda’



(Last Updated On: July 9, 2022)

Anas Haqqani said this week that the Haqqani Network never existed and that when he was arrested in Qatar, he had been a harmless student on holiday.

In 2014, when he was 20, Haqqani was arrested in Qatar, tried in Kabul and sentenced to death.

According information obtained by Der Spiegel, the only reason he wasn’t ultimately executed was because China intervened with the government in Kabul at the request of Pakistan. In the end, Anas Haqqani was freed in a prisoner exchange.

Speaking to Der Spiegal this week, in a rare interview, 28-year-old Haqqani said: “The so-called Haqqani network that the West keeps talking about never existed. This is pure propaganda by our enemies.

“And I was a harmless religious student in his young twenties. So, please distinguish between theoretical support for certain goals and practical action. Of course, like most Afghans, I wanted to liberate our country from occupation so that we could live independently and in dignity, peace and prosperity, in an independent state.”

During the 20-year-war in Afghanistan, prior to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan take over in August last year, the Haqqani network was alleged to have planned some of the most serious attacks in Afghanistan from Pakistan.

Haqqani told Der Spiegel that he spent the first years of his life in Wazir Akhbar Khan in Kabul before his family, including his father Jalaluddin Haqqani, fled to Miranshah in Waziristan in Pakistan.

He said contrary to popular belief, his father never invited Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan but stated they had known each other from the war against the Soviet Union.

He reiterated that the Haqqanis had nothing to do with many of the attacks they were blamed for and said while both sides did fight “I myself never fought”.

On being arrested in Qatar, Haqqani said: “In 2014, I was arrested in Qatar on behalf of the then Kabul government and extradited to Afghanistan. This happened completely illegally.

“I was kept in solitary confinement for years in a tiny cell, first in an intelligence prison, then in Bagram. That was against all the laws and rules that prevailed in that country at that time as well.”

“I was really innocent, a young religious student in my eighth year. I was only on holiday in Qatar. There, I visited friends and relatives who had just been released from Guantanamo.

“All the accusations that were made against me at the time in these court proceedings are false.”

He also said: “Please, we did not choose this war. It was forced upon us. I hope that we will never have to suffer these things we suffered during those years again.”

On the general amnesty, Haqqani said: “The amnesty applies to everyone, without exception, including the armed opposition. The head of the government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Emir Akhundzada Haibatullah, has ordered this. We therefore call on all Afghans to return to their home country.

“The leadership of the Emirate is very serious about the amnesty. Action will be taken against anyone who violates this general amnesty. They will be prosecuted and severely punished,” he said, adding that “the Emir has ordered the establishment of military courts. If you know of any examples of unjust persecution, please report them to us. There must be no revenge or reprisals against the representatives of the previous government.”

Haqqani also acknowledged that the Shia minority has long been targeted by extreme elements throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan. “The position of the Islamic Emirate against these elements is crystal clear:

“There is no truth to the allegations of the oppression of the Hazaras by the current government. Our government is very serious about any harassment or harm toward our Hazara brothers. Our government is not perfect. After so many years of war, there are problems between individuals. There are old scores that have been settled, family disputes.

“But the main reason why many people leave is hardship. The economic disaster in Afghanistan is again a consequence of the U.S. sanctions. We are not responsible for that, but rather the international community is, the Americans are. This is tantamount to the collective punishment of our people. Why doesn’t the international community cooperate with us?”

He also said that during negotiations in Doha, the Germans played a particularly positive role in helping the IEA reach a peaceful solution, especially the German envoy Markus Potzel.

“Therefore, we expect the Germans to remain engaged and to renew our relationship with the usual bilateral strength. And we expect the Germans to take a bold step and to overlook small problems in order to improve relations.

In conclusion he said: “Things take time. And please tell the Germans in your home country that they should not always worry about women’s problems, but also about men’s rights. Men suffer, too, and they make up more than half of the population, after all.”

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Paktika radio station back on air after 2-year break



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

A local radio station, Milma, in Paktika province has resumed operations after a two-year break, the radio officials said.

The radio officials said they took this decision at the request of their audience, adding that they will expand their broadcasting coverage to other provinces as well.

Milma radio reportedly had broadcasts for the southeastern provinces in the previous government.

Meanwhile, many media outlets have ceased operations due to economic problems over the last two years.

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Pakistan police detain 800 Afghan refugees in Islamabad suburbs



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

Pakistan police have detained 800 Afghan refugees in the suburbs of Islamabad, out of which 375 face deportation due to a lack of proper documentation.

“Islamabad police launched a search operation in Bara Kahu, Trinol, Mahar Abadian, Golra and Shams Colony and arrested 800 Afghan nationals,” police said.

“Four hundred Afghan nationals were later released on producing the proof of residence,” officials said. “375 other Afghan nationals had no identity papers, while 25 remaining Afghans have been detained till verification of their identity documents,” police further said.

“Lists of Afghans were compiled on the basis of secret information before the operation,” police said.

“Several criminal Afghan residents have also been pointed out and the operation will further step up in coming days,” officials said. Police said that the authorities have decided to deport 375 arrested Afghan nationals from Pakistan.

According to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan has surged to 3.7 million as of June this year, with a mere 1.3 million of them officially registered with the authorities. Approximately 775,000 unregistered Afghans are currently residing in the country.

As per Pakistan media outlets, a major 68.8 percent of Afghan citizens in Pakistan have settled in urban or semi-urban areas, while the remaining 31.2 percent are disturbed across 54 different regions including villages.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) considers the detention and alleged torture of Afghan immigrants in Pakistan to be against international standards and says that it has discussed this issue with Pakistani authorities many times through the Afghan embassy in Pakistan, and that it has been emphasized that Afghan immigrants in the country must be treated according to international laws.

At the same time, the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees says that to solve this problem, they are in contact with the Pakistani authorities to stop the process of arresting migrants and release the imprisoned Afghans.

Experts say that currently immigrants in Pakistan are facing many problems and challenges, and to solve these challenges, there is a need for diplomatic talks between Kabul and Islamabad based on international migration laws.

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Muttaqi: IEA will not take steps on girls’ education that could cause a leadership rift



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi has said that the Islamic Emirate will not take any steps on girls’ education that could cause division within the ranks of the IEA.

In an interview with BBC Pashto broadcast on Sunday, Muttaqi said that the issue of girls’ education is an internal issue of Afghanistan.

“We are trying to take steps which, God forbid, would not cause division. We look for a reasonable solution for every issue. We will find a solution that will be free of risk and controversy, even if it involves delay,” Muttaqi said.

Regarding the demand of the international community to form an inclusive government, Muttaqi reiterated that the Islamic Emirate is an inclusive government.

“If inclusivity means that there should be representatives of all ethnic groups in the government, then in our government, all ethnic groups exist, both at the lower level and at the cabinet level. If inclusivity means that there should be ministers from different provinces, we have a minister from Kabul, from Panjshir, from Badakhshan, from Faryab, from Kandahar and Nangarhar,” Muttaqi said.

He added that no one has provided a specific definition of inclusive government.

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