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AWCC rolls out 4G services in Sar-e-Pul province

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In line with AWCC’s (Afghan Wireless Communication Company) ongoing efforts to take internet services to all corners of Afghanistan, the company on Sunday launched 4G internet services in northern Sar-e-Pul province.

Local AWCC officials said the aim was to facilitate communication in the remote province of Afghanistan.

“Fortunately we launched 4G services at a ceremony today with the participation of government officials,” said Yafis Saqib, zonal director of AWCC in the northern part of the country.

Local residents welcomed the move.

“It is really a good move. The services are valuable. Sar-e-Pul residents had been facing internet problems here,” said Mullah Nadir Haqjo, deputy governor of Sar-e-Pul.

“In today’s world where communication and technology is essential, internet services were needed to become 4G. The people of Sar-e-Pul are very happy,” said Mohammad Ibrahim, another local resident.

AWCC officials said that they have also launched 3G services in a remote village in Kohistanat district of Sar-e-Pul province.

“Fortunately, AWCC has wide coverage in Sar-e-Pul province. We are now in Ganjiha village which had satellite internet and people were facing difficulties,” Saqib said.

“Thanks to AWCC. There were no communication services here. People used to go to Mazar-e-Sharif to make a call. Now the problems have been solved,” said Amir Hamza, a resident of Ganjiha village.

AWCC has made enormous strides in recent months to bring internet services, including 4G services, to remote areas in Afghanistan. This latest move comes just days after the company rolled out 3G services in Khulm district of Samangan province.

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Pakistan contradicts UNHCR chief’s remarks on Afghan migrants’ return plan

Grandi meanwhile said in a statement early this week that the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan had been suspended and sought assurances from Pakistan that it would remain on hold.

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Pakistan has contradicted a claim by UN refugees agency UNHCR that the program to repatriate illegal migrants, specifically Afghans, has been suspended, saying “this is not true”.

This week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said during a visit to Pakistan, that the UNHCR appreciated Islamabad’s move to suspend the repatriation of Afghan refugees.

But, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch has since said: “this is not true. It may be noted that no such understanding has been given by Pakistan to the UNHCR, including in recent meetings with the High Commissioner for Refugees.”

“IFRP (repatriation program) remains in place and is being implemented in an orderly and phased manner”, she said.

Grandi meanwhile said in a statement early this week that the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan had been suspended and sought assurances from Pakistan that it would remain on hold.

Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The latest influx started in August 2021 when the former government collapsed.

Between 600,000 and 800,000 Afghans sought refuge in Pakistan. But last November, Pakistan launched a widely criticized repatriation programme aimed at returning millions of Afghans, regardless of their legal status, to Afghanistan.

 

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Cherry yields have increased in Takhar province

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

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Farmers in Takhar say the harvest of cherries has increased in this province, but they are worried about the drop in prices and the lack of a market for sales.

Cherry farmers in Takhar said that the price earned from cultivating fruits has dropped, compared to previous years, and asked the government to help with the marketing of crops.

“Fruits are plentiful this year. It is Iranian cherries, it is domestic cherries. Unfortunately, compared to previous years, the price of cherries is very low,” said one Takhar cherry farmer.

“The price this year is very different from last year; last year the prices were very high, this year it is low,” said another farmer.

Fresh fruit sellers also said that Takhar’s fruit was exported to neighboring and central provinces in the past years, but this year they do not have customers outside their own province – which is a cause for concern among them.

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

“In the previous years, due to the drought, the prices of fruits and vegetables increased,” said Abdulalla Radmard, director for promotions at the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Takhar.

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Pakistan to offer 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

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Pakistan has announced it will provide 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students, as part of the Allama Iqbal Scholarship for Afghan Students program.

Asid Durrani, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said in a post on X that this is phase 3 of the program and that scholarships will be granted to Afghan students in natural sciences and social sciences across various universities in Pakistan.

However, Durani did not provide details regarding costs nor whether this would include female students.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

Following the suspension of education for girls in Afghanistan, several countries, including Germany, Japan, Iran, and Tajikistan, have also offered scholarships to Afghan girls.

 

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