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Defense minister urges Pakistan to stop using its airspace against Afghanistan

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Afghanistan’s Defense Minister Yaqoub Mujahid on Sunday said American drones flying over Afghanistan are entering the country’s airspace from Pakistan.

Speaking at an accountability session in Kabul, Mujahid called on Pakistan to stop allowing the use of its airspace against Afghanistan.

He said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) did not have reliable radar detection systems in place but that the authorities understand American drones are being launched in Pakistan.

“The information is not accurate and clear; Americans completely destroyed our radar system when they left [Afghanistan]. Again, according to the information we obtained, they [drones] enter Afghanistan through Pakistan and use Pakistan’s air space,” Mujahid said.

Pakistan has however rejected these claims and said its soil is not being used against Afghanistan.

This comes after the US carried out a drone strike on a house in Sherpur in Kabul on July 31. According to Washington, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in the strike.

The IEA has meanwhile rejected claims that al-Zawahiri was killed in Kabul and said Sunday their investigation into these allegations is nearing an end.

“The killing of al-Zawahiri was a claim by America, until the investigation is finished, there are no new details,” said Mujahid.

Mujahid said the IEA has shared its concerns about drones in Afghanistan’s airspace with Washington.

“This is a clear aggression of America in Afghanistan and we have raised our voice and again America continues to do this and we condemn this action of America,” Mujahid said.

Mujahid also reiterated calls for Afghan aircraft, including planes and helicopters, flown to neighboring countries during the collapse of the former government, to be returned to Afghanistan.

So far, talks to have these aircraft returned have been fruitless.

Also speaking Sunday was the IEA’s chief of army staff, Qari Fasihuddin Fitrat, who said the current number of soldiers in the defense force totals 145,000.

He also said the so-called National Resistance Front has been unable to achieve anything and that the situation in Panjshir province is now under control.

Fitrat stated that 60 military helicopters are currently in service and that 246 rescue flights have been carried out in the past few weeks. He said over 3,000 people have been saved from floods.

According to him, other achievements made in the past few months by the defense ministry include, among others, the deployment of about 25,000 troops to Afghanistan’s borders, the dismissal of 4,000 personnel, transparent distribution of salaries and recruitment of new staff.

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Over 5,000 Afghan immigrants deported from Iran, Pakistan

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The Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation (MoRR) announced Saturday the expulsion of more than 5,000 Afghan refugees from Pakistan and Iran.

The ministry said in a post on X that 4,881 refugees were expelled from Iran and 775 from Pakistan.

The Ministry of Refugees stated that the returnees entered the country on Thursday and Friday.

These refugees entered the country through the Torkham and Spin Boldak borders after being expelled.

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Tajikistan stands against IEA’s inclusion in SCO activities: Russia

A Tajik official, however, has said that Kabulov has incorrectly presented Tajikistan’s position in this regard.

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Tajikistan has expressed opposition to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) activities, Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said.

The issue was discussed at the SCO Foreign Ministers’ Council held in Kazakhstan’s Astana on May 20-21.

“Russia and the majority of participants favoured resuming this contact group’s work. Our Tajik partners still have certain reservations, but we hope they will reconsider their stance soon,” Kabulov said referring to the SCO-Afghanistan contact group, RIA Novosti reported.

A Tajik official, however, has said that Kabulov has incorrectly presented Tajikistan’s position in this regard.

“We note Mr. Kabulov’s incorrect presentation of Tajikistan’s position on the issue of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group activities,” Ahmad Saidmurodzoda, Tajikistan’s National Coordinator for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), told Asia-Plus.

“Within the framework of the SCO, Tajikistan have consistently emphasized the need to discuss Afghanistan issues.  As far as the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group activities are concerned, Tajikistan has never opposed the resumption of activities of this group; on contrary, our side draws attention to the fact that Afghanistan received the status of observer at the SCO in 2012, while protocols on the establishment of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group were signed with the authorities of this country in 2005 and 2018,” Saidmurodzoda said.      

He further noted that in this context, the Tajik side, including during the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting, had proposed “at this stage to launch an expert discussion of Afghan issues in the SCO format.” 

 

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SCO foreign ministers discuss promotion of stability in Afghanistan

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Iranian presidential candidate vows to prevent entry of Afghan migrants if elected

Pezeshkian added that those already residing in Iran should be regulated.

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Masoud Pezeshkian, a presidential candidate in Iran, has vowed that he will shut the borders to Afghan immigrants if elected.

Pezeshkian added that those already residing in Iran should be regulated.

“It should not be denied that a large number of Afghan brothers play an effective role in Iran’s economy or have sacrificed in the imposed war…but their presence in Iran should be regulated and disciplined,” he said.

He also said that his government would enter into negotiations with European countries to admit some refugees or pay for their presence in Iran.

“The West must shoulder responsibility for what it has done in Afghanistan and which has led to the migration of millions of Afghans,” he said. “There is no reason for the Iranian people to pay for the wrong policies of others.”

Iran’s presidential election is slated to be held on June 28.

 

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Iranian official: Will fight illegal immigrants like in war

Iran tells illegal immigrants to return home as no welfare services provided

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