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Govt says Taliban destroyed 260 office buildings in 106 districts

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(Last Updated On: July 15, 2021)

The chairman of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) Nader Nadery said Thursday a study has found that the Taliban has destroyed or set fire to 260 government buildings in 106 districts in recent weeks. 

This comes amid heightened tension across the country as the Taliban continue to seize districts.

Addressing an event on Thursday, Nadery said the findings show that the Taliban has plundered equipment and property belonging to public institutions.

“Taliban have proposed a three month ceasefire but in return they want the release their 7,000 prisoners and the removal of their leaders’ names from the UN blacklist, which is a heavy demand by them,” Nadery said. 

The survey findings are as follows: 

1. Plunder of equipment and property of public institutions

“In 82 districts the rate of equipment looted was reported to be 100% in 18 districts; between 70% and 90% in 14 districts; from 50% to 60% and in 35 districts up to 50%.”

2. Displacement of thousands of public service workers

“Nearly 4,000 public service workers have been affected by the Taliban’s takeover of the districts, and many have fled their areas to provincial capitals due to poor security conditions and high threats against them.”

3. Deprivation of basic government services to millions of citizens

“More than 13 million Afghans have been deprived of basic government services and development projects such as rebuilding water supply networks, roads, retaining walls, building schools, building bridges, digging wells, building hospitals, building cold storages and other projects.”

4. 50,000 civil servants affected

“More than 50,000 civil servants are … unable to attend their duties.

5. In the Taliban-controlled districts of Takhar province alone, 112 development projects planned for this year have been completely stopped.

6. Restrictions on women health care providers

In a small number of the districts under their control, the Taliban have allowed female employees working in the health service sector to travel to work on condition they wear a full hijab and have a legal Mahram (relative to accompany them). 

7. In the Taliban-controlled districts of Paktia province, only women working as midwives have been allowed to continue working and need to wear a full hijab and have a Mahram.

Nadery said attacking and injuring civilians and civilian facilities is considered a war crime under international humanitarian law. 

A cessation of hostilities and a political agreement for a common future for all Afghans is the way to prevent these crimes from continuing, he said. The continuation of the war makes the Afghans losers. 

On the other hand, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in response to Nadery’s remarks that the claims were untrue. 

Mujahid said in a voice message to the media that the Taliban was providing better security than government.

This comes after a substantial spike in violence has been recorded across the country since the US and NATO troops started withdrawing. 

In the past few weeks, the Taliban has seized dozens of districts, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Afghans fleeing their homes. 

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Finance ministry increases customs tariff of mineral exports to 25%

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(Last Updated On: August 19, 2022)

The Ministry of Finance says it has increased the customs tariff on unprocessed minerals to 25 percent which was previously five percent.

According to the decision, the customs tariff is set at 10 percent per ton of processed mineral.

However, the officials of Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines (ACIM) said Friday that they are not able to pay the customs tariffs, asking the government to reconsider this decision.

Officials of the finance ministry have added that they set this price according to the position of the country’s exports in the world markets.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s mineral exports have a special place in the global markets, including China, India, Britain, Germany, Turkey, America, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

In the meantime, officials of ACIM have opposed the decision made by finance ministry, saying that the Tariff Committee of the ministry should increase the tariff based on the calculation of the private sector, adding that because traders will suffer with a 20 percent tariff increase.

Moreover, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said that as a result of increasing the capacity of mineral processing factories in the country, Afghanistan has been able to export one million tons of minerals this year, adding that if the electricity problems of these mineral processing factories are solved, the export of processed minerals will also increase.

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Afghan weather services issues flash flood warning

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(Last Updated On: August 19, 2022)

The Afghanistan Meteorological Department issued a flash flood warning on Thursday, stating that heavy rain and high wind gusts can be expected across a wide section of the country on Friday and Saturday.

The provinces likely to be affected are Badakhshan, Nuristan, Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Panjshir, Takhar, Baghlan, Parwan, Bamiyan, Samangan, Kabul, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Paktia, Khost, Paktika, Ghazni, Zabul, Uruzgan, Daikundi, Ghor, Kandahar and Helmand.

According to the department, between 15 and 70 mm of rain can be expected in parts of the country over the next two days.

Thunderstorms can also be expected in some provinces, including Kabul.

On Thursday, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in a statement that in the past week – between August 11 and 15 – heavy rainfall caused floods and flash floods across several provinces across the eastern, southern, south-eastern, and central regions of Afghanistan, leading to numerous fatalities.

The latest UNOCHA report states that the number of fatalities has increased to 41 people (11 in Parwan province, 11 in Nangarhar province, and nine in Logar province), while 17 individuals were injured.

Across the impacted areas, heavy rainfall destroyed or damaged almost 790 houses (434 in Nangarhar), affecting more than 3,720 families in total.

Floods have destroyed crops, agricultural land, and the local transportation infrastructure, isolating several communities, UNOCHA stated.

A number of international humanitarian organizations are assisting the local affected population with food, emergency shelter and non-food items, as well as conducting inter-agency impact and needs assessments.

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PACF hands over 25 tons of food items to support Afghans

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(Last Updated On: August 19, 2022)

The Pak Afghan Cooperation Forum (PACF) on Thursday handed over 25 tons of food items to Afghan authorities as part of its ongoing support to the people of war-hit Afghanistan.

The truckload of the food items, arranged by the PACF, were handed over to the Afghan authorities at the Chaman crossing, app reported.

The handing-over ceremony was attended by Deputy Commissioner of Chaman Hameed Zahri and senior officers of the Afghan Foreign Office including Maulwi Waheedullah and Mullah Hikmatullah.

According to the report since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), takeover in Afghanistan last year, Pakistan had sent over a total of 15,390 tons worth Rs2, 650 million of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

The humanitarian assistance had been sent to Afghanistan via 83 convoys, including 743 trucks and four C-130 flights, till August 5, read the report.

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