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Ghani claims 10,000 militants entered from Pakistan in past month

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(Last Updated On: July 17, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani singled out Pakistan during Friday’s session of the C5+1 meeting in Uzbekistan and said over 10,000 militant fighters had entered Afghanistan from Pakistan and other “places” in the past month.

He also said the consensus among international observers is that the Taliban has not taken any steps to sever its ties to terrorist organizations.

“Contrary to the repeated assurances by [Pakistan’s] Prime Minister [Imran] Khan, and his generals, that Pakistan does not find a Taliban takeover in Afghanistan [to be] in Pakistan’s interest, short of use of force will use its power to influence to make the Taliban negotiate seriously, networks and organizations are openly celebrating the destruction of the assets and capabilities of the Afghan people and state.”

Responding to the charges, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “disappointed” by the allegation that Pakistan had a “negative role” in the conflict.

“President Ghani, the country that is going to be most affected by turmoil in Afghanistan is Pakistan. Pakistan suffered 70,000 casualties in the last 15 years. The last thing Pakistan wants is more conflict,” Khan said.

“I can assure you that no country has tried harder to get Taliban on the dialogue table than Pakistan.”

“We have taken all action short of taking military action, and every effort to bring them to the dialogue table and have a peaceful settlement there, and to blame Pakistan for what is going on in Afghanistan is extremely unfair,” he added.

The exchange of words came as another spat broke out between Kabul and Islamabad over allegations by Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh that the Pakistan military had warned Afghan forces against dislodging Taliban from Spin Boldak area.

In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry denied the claim, saying it acknowledged Afghanistan’s sovereignty.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the conference that America’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan has destabilized the region and worsened the terrorist threat.

“Regrettably, we have witnessed a quick degradation of the situation in Afghanistan in the last few days,” Lavrov told the gathering, pointing to the “hasty withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO contingents.”
“The crisis in Afghanistan has led to the exacerbation of the terrorist threat and the problem of illegal drug trafficking that has reached an unprecedented scale,” he said.

“There are real risks of instability spilling into neighboring countries.”

Lavrov also dashed any hopes the U.S. may have of using bases in Central Asia to monitor terror threats in Afghanistan. While Pakistan and Uzbekistan have already given Washington a flat no, Lavrov said there are no Central Asian states ready to take that risk.

Meanwhile, in an interview with The Associated Press, U.S. peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said he would press for at least a temporary cease-fire during next week’s Eid al-Adha.
Khalilzad, who expressed surprise at the Taliban’s rapid sweep through swaths of Afghanistan, said a long-term “comprehensive” cease-fire may have to wait for the two sides to reach a political deal. Still, he said he will press for a reduction in violence.

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IEA defense minister leaves Kabul for UAE

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Ministry of Defense says Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqoob left Kabul for United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, MoD said the defense minister left Kabul as head of delegation for the United Arab Emirates.

The defense ministry stated that the purpose of the trip is to meet with the leaders of the UAE and Afghans based in the country and to strengthen the relations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with the Gulf countries.

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IEA lays foundation stone for complex marking Khost prisoner-swap site

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is set to build a complex in the area where US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was released in 2014 in exchange for five IEA members held in Guantanamo prison.

Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who laid the foundation stone of the complex in Khost province, said that the complex will include a religious seminary, a school, a clinic and a freedom monument.

“Today is a very happy day for us. God has liberated our country… it is very fortunate that we are laying the foundation for a freedom monument here… release of the five prisoners was a source of happiness for Afghanistan,” Haqqani said.

Abdulhaq Wasiq, current head of intelligence, Mohammad Fazil Mazloom, deputy defense minister, Noorullah Noori, minister of frontiers and tribal affairs, Khairullah Khairkhwa, minister of information and culture, and Mohammad Nabi Omari, deputy minister of interior were released in a 2014 deal between the Obama administration and the IEA to free US soldier Bergdahl.

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US envoy stresses importance of Japan’s contributions to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 3, 2022)

US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, has held talks with Japanese officials on humanitarian needs, human rights and political dialogue during his two-day visit to the country.

“Japan has been a friend of the Afghan people and our partner there for over 20 yrs, and we deeply appreciate Japan’s active diplomacy and continued generosity today,” West said on Twitter on Saturday.

“We are always stronger, on every challenge, when we act together with allies. True in Afghanistan – we’ll continue to need Japan’s expertise and diverse contributions,” West said.

The envoy also said that he got “sage advice” from Tadamichi Yamamoto, a Japanese who served as UN envoy for Afghanistan during 2016-2020.

He also discussed the economic strategy with Japan International Cooperation Agency.

West’s Japan visit was part of his tour to the region that includes India and the United Arab Emirates.

West is expected to consult with partners and Afghans regarding the humanitarian and economic crises in Afghanistan, protection of Afghans’ rights, and shared security concerns, according to a statement from the US State Department.

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