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Houses of Parliament issue joint declaration in support of Republic system

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(Last Updated On: August 2, 2021)

The Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) and the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) on Monday jointly declared their support for the country’s Republic system, the Constitution, freedom of expression, women’s rights and government’s security forces.

Their declaration came after a special session that was addressed by President Ashraf Ghani who called on all MP’s and Senators to mobilize the people to stand against the Taliban.

In their declaration, both houses stated that the achievements made over the past 20 years must not be lost and pledged to stand by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and to work together to help resolve the crisis.

The declaration also appealed to the Taliban to join the peace process.

In addition, the two houses called on the United Nations and other international organizations to continue their financial and political support to Afghanistan and to assist in the peace process.

“We support all peace efforts,” the declaration stated.

The lawmakers also announced their firm support to the Afghan defense and security forces “who sacrifice their lives for the nation.”

“We call on the Taliban and other armed opposition groups to stop further violence and make peace,” the declaration read.

The statement implied however that the accelerated withdrawal process of foreign troops was unrealistic and had put pressure on the system.

“This process not only did not lead to peace, but also legitimized an aggressor and evil group and tried to delegitimize the united Republic. This process raised doubts. It created ambiguity and its product is the situation you see,” the declaration stated.

The declaration was issued after Ghani’s address which saw him appealing to all parliament members to come out in support of government and country.

Ghani told MPs and Senators “to use their contacts and mobilize the people” to stand against the Taliban.

He also called on MPs to unite and to reach a unanimous agreement over securing government in order for it to survive.

Ghani said at the joint session “I am with you today for a reason that we need to start a national dialogue”.

Ghani said “our priority is to achieve lasting peace, but I see sedition in the Taliban. For those who whitewash this and say that the Taliban have changed, I repeat to them that they have become more violent and more mercenary in oppression.”

Ghani said he believes the Taliban has no will for last peace but that a concise military plan has been drawn up to cover the next six months in order to suppress the Taliban.

“All preparations have been made to repel this wave of sedition for the next six months in order to restore stability. An important element of this plan, along with government forces, is the mobilization of public forces,” he said.

He also said despite the group’s promise to the US to cut ties with terrorist organizations, this has not been done.

Ghani said the Taliban has instead strengthened ties with such groups.

Ghani told MPs he would “not kneel before any destructive force. We either sit on our knees at the negotiating table or break their knees on the battlefield.”

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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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A group of 9/11 victims call for frozen funds to be given back to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: August 19, 2022)

Families of 9/11 victims have called on US President Joe Biden to release billions of dollars belonging to Afghanistan.

In a letter sent to Biden this week, 77 family members of 9/11 victims called on the president to modify an executive order from February which froze the Afghan central bank’s $7 billion of assets being held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“Any use of the $7 billion to pay off 9/11 family member judgments is legally suspect and morally wrong,” the family members wrote in a letter first reported by Politico.

The letter came amid a report in the Wall Street Journal that the US had ruled out releasing the funds following the US killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul earlier this month.

The US froze the money after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) swept to power following the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The IEA and US had been engaged in talks about releasing the funds.

Biden planned to give $3.5 billion to Afghanistan for humanitarian purposes and the balance to families of 9/11 victims.

But the revelation that the al-Qaeda leader was living in Kabul derailed talks between the US and the IEA on a compromise over the funds.

The 9/11 victims’ families said that, while they had filed lawsuits seeking justice for their loss, they didn’t intend for the compensation “to take money away from starving Afghans”.

“This money is theirs, not ours,” the letter said. “Simply put, this money belongs to the Afghan people, not 9/11 family members – and they need it more.”

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3,000 religious scholars, elders and officials attend IEA’s Kandahar meeting

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(Last Updated On: August 18, 2022)

About 3,000 religious scholars, government officials, ethnic elders and members of civil society attended a meeting in Kandahar on Thursday.

Among the key speakers was the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.

The media was however prevented from recording or filming Akhundzada’s speech.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, said at the meeting that the IEA wants good relations with the world, but that the foreign community should not expect relations to normalize immediately – not after 20 years of war.

Muttaqi said that while the IEA wants good relations with the international community, they expect the world to allow Afghans to live according to their beliefs and traditions.

He also said that they have made many achievements in building trade relations with countries in the region and currently the borders are open to Afghan traders who are now exporting their goods.

On the other hand, acting Minister of Vice and Virtue has said that the IEA has made countless sacrifices to end the occupation and establish an Islamic system in Afghanistan.

However, Afghans across the country are hoping that one of the outcomes of this meeting will be the decision to reopen schools for girls above Grade 6.

But it is not clear as to whether the subject was discussed at the meeting.

This is the second such meeting in as many months. The first one, two months ago, took place at the Loya Jirga Hall in Kabul.

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