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Govt says US forces spared from attacks, but Afghans paying the price

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(Last Updated On: January 3, 2021)

The deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday that the reason why the US has not suffered casualties among its forces in the past 10 months is because the foreign forces are no longer fighting in Afghanistan.

Reacting to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s earlier statement about the Taliban not targeting American soldiers in Afghanistan in the past year, Meenapal said this was not because of the US-Taliban deal as Pompeo stated but because the US was no longer actively involved in the war on the ground.

Meenapal said the casualties are being sustained by the Afghan security forces and that the Taliban is now at war with the Afghan people and with the country’s own security forces.

On Sunday morning Pompeo put the lack of casualties among US troops down to the Taliban adhering to the Doha deal signed in February.

In a series of tweets Pompeo said: “Our mission in Afghanistan is to eliminate Al-Qaeda and threats to the American homeland. Don’t need 10s of 1,000s of U.S. troops on the ground to do that. We have partners: brave Afghans, NATO forces. We also have the ability to project power from afar”.

He said no US servicemen had been killed in Afghanistan in almost a year, and Afghans are finally discussing peace and reconciliation among themselves.

“Logged a lot of air miles to Qatar and Afghanistan and back for talks,” he said.

Meshrano Jirga head Fazl Hadi Muslimyar meanwhile noted his dismay at the high levels of violence being meted out by insurgents against the Afghan people.

Sarcastically he said: “I want to congratulate the Taliban that no Americans have been killed in the past year, but dozens of Afghan soldiers have been killed.”

The Taliban has not commented on government’s reaction to Pompeo’s remarks.

This comes just two days ahead of the resumption of intra-Afghan peace talks in the Qatari capital, Doha.

It also comes amid a serious spike in targeted attacks and attempted assassinations of public figures including journalists, civil society activists and government employees.

However, no group has yet to take responsibility for all these attacks.

Meanwhile, in response to Pompeo’s comments, the Taliban said in a series of tweets Sunday that no attacks against US forces since the Doha deal shows that the Islamic Emirate is fulfilling its obligations as a committed entity.

The Islamic Emirate wants the hoped for peace agreement to be implemented in the same way, the group tweeted.

“We will fulfill the same obligations when we reach an agreement with the internal” actors, the group stated.

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First cargo flight takes place from UAE to Balkh since IEA takeover

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

For the first time since the Islamic Emirate’s takeover, a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Airport in Mazar-e-Sharif city was carried out through the air corridor, officials said.

The airport officials said that sixteen tons of commercial goods, including electronic devices related to Bayat Power company were transferred from Dubai to Mazar-e-Sharif city.

“This is the first time that a flight from Dubai to Mazar-e-Sharif has been made through the air corridor; discussions with traders are ongoing and we hope to keep this corridor active in the future,” said Abdullah Motmaen, director of customs of Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Airport.

Meanwhile, Balkh Chamber of Commerce and Investment officials stress the beginning of the general process of transferring commercial commodities by air corridor.

“In the transfer of commercial goods, air corridor is so important,” said Asadullah Asadi, head of Balkh’s chamber of commerce and investment.

Earlier, through the air corridor of Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Airport, Pine nuts and other commercial items were exported to the countries of the region.

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IEA will attend future UN meetings if demands accepted: deputy PM

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs Mawlavi Abdul Kabir has called the recent decision of the United Nations for the participation of the Islamic Emirate at the second Doha meeting on Afghanistan “unfair” and said that if the demands of the IEA are accepted by the UN and countries in future meetings, the acting government will participate on behalf of Afghanistan, the deputy PM’s office said in a statement.

Abdul Kabir made these statements on Thursday at a graduation ceremony in Kabul.

Kabir added that “Afghanistan, as an independent country and Islamic Emirate as a legitimate Islamic system, assures all its neighbors and the international community that the acting government is striving for economic and development cooperation based on a balanced and moderate policy.”

He also stressed that there would be no threat to anyone from Afghanistan.

While fighting against drugs and corruption, sustainable stability can only be guaranteed under the rule of the Islamic Emirate, which Afghans and the international community have understood, according to the statement.

He stated that with the arrival of the Islamic Emirate, the national budget was prepared from internal revenues for the first time, and in addition to paying the expenses of civil administrations and development projects, the expenses of the Islamic Army and security departments are also paid from the national budget.

The second meeting of special representatives of countries regarding Afghanistan was held on Sunday and Monday of this week in Doha, in which the delegation of the Islamic Emirate did not participate.

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Strong consensus on collective interests in Afghanistan exist: Thomas West

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Thomas West, the US special envoy for Afghanistan, described the recent UN meeting in Doha as productive, emphasizing a strong consensus on collective interests in Afghanistan, including the desire to see women and girls return to secondary school, university, and work.

“No country wants to see the emergence of a terrorism threat from Afghanistan. All want to see women and girls return to secondary school, university, work, and public life,” West stated in a post about the conference.

West also noted the international commitment to the Afghan people, highlighting the effort to provide humanitarian aid to over 26 million Afghans last year. However, he expressed concerns about sustainability and the need for an approach that empowers Afghans economically.

The envoy acknowledged the Islamic Emirate’s enforcement of a poppy ban, which the UNODC reported resulted in a 95% reduction in cultivation. He underscored the need for more coordination in supporting alternative crops for farmers and recovery for addicts.

West appreciated the participation of Afghan civil society members, both from within and outside Afghanistan, discussing economic needs, human rights, and the importance of continued engagement, including with the Taliban.

Regarding future steps, West welcomed the continuation of the current meeting format and calls for a UN-led process to develop a roadmap for Afghanistan’s full integration into the international community. “The Afghan people’s well-being, and the international community’s shared interests, must guide this work,” he concluded.

The second meeting of special representatives for Afghanistan was held on Sunday and Monday in Doha. The Islamic Emirate did not participate.

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