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Fifteen civilians killed in Balkh and Kabul explosions

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(Last Updated On: May 26, 2022)

Fifteen people were killed and more than 30 were injured in Wednesday’s explosions in Kabul and Balkh – all of which were civilians.

The survivors of the victims of these blasts have meanwhile called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to arrest and punish the perpetrators of these incidents.

Security officials say specific circles involved in the explosions want to present an insecure image of Afghanistan, and security forces are working to identify and eliminate these groups.

Among the victims in the Mazar-e-Sharif explosions were women, officials confirmed.

The injured are being treated at a district hospital in Balkh province, and many of the injured have lost body parts, officials stated.

“This is my sister who lost her leg in the explosion and also a 17-year-old sister and a relative of mine were martyred. These were school students who were studying in the school, but we are surprised. For what crime were they martyred? We call on the government and the international community to stop the bloodshed,” said Ghulam Ali, one victim’s brother.

The Balkh explosion killed nine people and injured 15 others.

“I lost someone who was my brother. He worked with a cart. Four sons and three daughters are left behind from him,” said Mohammad Juma, a deceased’s relative.

“We call on the Islamic State of Afghanistan to prevent such incidents. How long will people die of suffering, hunger and explosions? They were not guilty, they were just trying to bring a piece of bread to their families,” said Mohammad Yusuf, another relative of a victim. 

Meanwhile, in Kabul, an explosion on Wednesday took place at the Zakaria Mosque in PD4. Eight worshipers were killed and about twenty others were injured.

Reacting to the attacks, security agencies say they are seeking to identify and destroy those who want to paint an insecure picture of Afghanistan.

Wednesday’s attacks have been condemned both inside and outside.

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China used botched Afghanistan withdrawal to ‘erode’ confidence in US, Pentagon report

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2022)

China used the US’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan to “erode” trust in the US, the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on military and security developments pertaining to China stated.

The report released on Tuesday noted: “In 2021, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) employed multiple diplomatic tools in an attempt to erode US and partner influence, such as highlighting the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and criticizing US-backed security partnerships.”

“PRC officials and state media outlets also repeatedly condemned the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited the withdrawal as evidence that the US is an unreliable partner and declining power,” the report read.

However, US critics have spoken out on numerous occasions about the chaotic withdrawal. “The way it was done was such a disaster and such a disgrace to our veterans that served in Afghanistan, they deserve answers to the many questions we have,” Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said recently.

“Why wasn’t there a plan to evacuate? How did it go so wrong?” he asked.

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Pakistani FM meets with deputy prime minister, reiterates need to avoid ‘mistakes of the past’

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2022)

Visiting Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said in a meeting with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) deputy prime minister Abdul Salam Hanafi on Thursday that opportunities should be used and that the two countries should “not be involved in the mistakes of the past”.

According to a statement issued by Hanafi’s office on Tuesday night, Khar met with the deputy prime minister and with Shahabuddin Delawar, the minister of mines and petroleum, as well as a number of other IEA officials.

Hanafi pointed out at the meeting that “Afghanistan and Pakistan have long-standing historical, religious and cultural relations and we want to further expand relations between the two countries.”

He said Afghanistan is the bridge between Central and South Asia and “we are ready to cooperate for the implementation of big projects such as TAPI, TAP, CASA-1000 and the Peshawar-Kabul-Tirmaz railway line”.

He also said: “We are trying to mechanize the coal trade, and for this purpose, a competent inter-ministerial joint committee has been established. Also, the National Committee of Ports has been assigned to provide facilities in the field of trade and transit.”

Hanafi encouraged Pakistani investors to invest in Afghanistan in mining, energy and agriculture sectors and added that the Islamic Emirate wants Pakistan’s cooperation in the fields of visa facilitation for Afghans and the release of Afghan prisoners.

Meanwhile, Khar said: “We don’t know of countries that have a lot in common like Afghanistan and Pakistan,” adding that after 40 years, many opportunities have been provided in Afghanistan – opportunities beneficial to both countries.

Emphasizing that Pakistan respects the territorial integrity of Afghanistan, Khar stated “we should not be involved in the mistakes of the past. We must create a good environment for expanding business relations and people-to-people contact and turn challenges into opportunities.”

Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan, also said: “We respect the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and since security has been ensured in Afghanistan, we should work and invest more for the welfare and comfort of the citizens of the two countries and focus on solving the problems.”

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24.3 million Afghans get life saving assistance in 9 months: UN agency

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(Last Updated On: November 29, 2022)

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid for Afghanistan (OCHA) said recently 24.3 million people in Afghanistan in need of food and non-food items received help during the first nine months of this year.

In a tweet on Monday, OCHA said: “Between Jan and Sept 2022, humanitarians reached 24.3 million people with life-saving assistance.”

On the other hand, the citizens of the country say they do not have access to proper food and shelter despite it now being winter.

They also lodged complaints about the distribution of assistance.

However, members of the public have said that for poverty alleviation, work should be provided for the people, and aid organizations can fill the economic gap by implementing projects.

“The fundamental issue is that in addition to aid, work should be done on all the former government’s incomplete and fundamental projects,” said a resident of Nangarhar.

Based on statistics of the UN, the poverty rate in Afghanistan has reached 97%, and this year, Afghanistan still has many vulnerabilities due to natural disasters.

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