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CSTO security alliance meets on Afghanistan

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The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CST) said that its 37th meeting of the Working Group on Afghanistan was held on Thursday.

The event was attended by delegations from the organization’s member states, the CSTO Deputy Secretary General S. I. Ordabaev, Charge d’Affaires of Afghanistan in the Russian Federation, representatives of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia and others.

“There was a detailed exchange of views on the situation in Afghanistan. The participants noted the persistence of unfavorable trends in the security situation, including the growth of terrorist and drug threats emanating from the territory of this country. It was noted that Afghanistan was still in a difficult economic situation and the Afghan people were facing problems in the social and humanitarian sphere,” CSTO said in a statement.

The Islamic Emirate, however, rejects claim of growth of terrorist and drug threats emanating from Afghanistan.

“The concern expressed by the CSTO is not true. Afghanistan is now secure and stable. It is completely different from years ago. The people of Afghanistan and the world understand this. Misrepresenting the situation means they are not considering the facts. The rumors that are being spread are based on false information,” Zabihullah Mujahid, IEA’s spokesman said.

CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance in Eurasia consisting of six post-Soviet states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.

Separately, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Reza Gharaei Ashtiyani on Thursday exchanged views on regional security issues, including peace and stability in Afghanistan.

They also discussed the development of the International North South Transport Corridor to ease logistic problems to Afghanistan and other countries in Central Asia, India’s defense ministry said.

The INSTC is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode transport project for moving freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

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Al-Qaeda cells operating in multiple Afghan provinces: UN

The report said that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) remains the largest terrorist group in Afghanistan, with an estimated strength of 6,000–6,500 fighters

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Al-Qaeda cells are operating in multiple provinces of Afghanistan, mainly in south-east of the country, UN sanctions monitors said in a new report.

The report by the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team said that despite a reduced profile, Al-Qaeda disseminates propaganda to increase recruitment while working to rebuild its operational capability.

“Several Member States noted that facilities with Al-Qaida associations are mainly for training local fighters along with TTP operatives, with newly reported training base locations and safe houses in various Afghan provinces, including former camps in Jalalabad and in Kandahar Province, and in Kunar, Nuristan and Takhar Provinces,” the report said.

The report said that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) remains the largest terrorist group in Afghanistan, with an estimated strength of 6,000–6,500 fighters

It added that the group continues to operate on a significant scale in Afghanistan and to conduct terrorist operations into Pakistan from there, often utilizing Afghans.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), however, rejects the report.

Hamdullah Fitrat, deputy spokesperson of IEA, emphasizes that no terrorist group is present in Afghanistan, and the Islamic Emirate will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan’s soil against other countries.

According to the UN report, member States credit IEA’s efforts to counter the threat from Daesh but question the IEA’s counter-terrorism capabilities and have concerns about continued Daesh recruitment and dispersal.

 

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More than 350,000 people sign petition asking IEA to respect human rights: Amnesty

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Amnesty International announced on Friday that 354,847 people worldwide have signed a petition asking the authorities of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to respect and guarantee protection of human rights.

“In a powerful show of global solidarity, 354,847 signatures have been collected calling on the Taliban de-facto authorities (IEA) to respect and protect human rights in Afghanistan,” Amnesty International South Asia said on X. “As the catastrophic human rights situation persists, we must continue our joint demand for accountability and justice in Afghanistan.”

International organizations have repeatedly expressed concern about restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan.

However, the Islamic Emirate has said that it is committed to ensuring women’s rights in accordance with the Sharia law, insisting that is an internal issue of Afghanistan.

 

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NRC chief calls for donors’ diplomatic presence in Kabul

Earlier, Hugh Bayley, a commissioner for the official UK aid watchdog, also called for a British diplomatic presence in Kabul to support Afghan women and monitor aid.

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Jan Egeland, head of Norwegian Refugee Council, said on Friday that donor countries should send diplomats back to Kabul and join in the fight for women’s rights, girls’ education and minority protection.

Earlier, Hugh Bayley, a commissioner for the official UK aid watchdog, also called for a British diplomatic presence in Kabul to support Afghan women and monitor aid.

“Yes, the UK and other donors should send diplomats back to Kabul and join us there to fight for women’s rights, girls education and minority protection,” Egeland said on X. “As humanitarian groups we are too alone, underfunded and overstretched among the 40 million civilians NATO left behind in 2021.”

With the takeover of Afghanistan by the Islamic Emirate in August 2021, Western countries pulled their diplomats out of the country.

No state recognises the Islamic Emirate as the Afghan government, although countries including Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and India have opened diplomatic missions in Kabul.

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