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ICRC to strengthen ties with China in aiding Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: November 24, 2021)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will strengthen cooperation with China to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, especially in the health sector, said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, head of the ICRC’s Regional Delegation for East Asia, Reuters reported.

This comes amid a growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan on the back of economic sanctions.

Kraehenbuehl said about 47 percent of the Afghan population faces food insecurity in one form or another and that because the flow of money into Afghanistan has dried up, institutions that crucially provide for the needs of the people are currently facing incredibly dire circumstances.

In an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN) he said the ICRC is mobilizing all resources to help Afghanistan get through the humanitarian crisis it is currently facing, and approaching China is at the top of its agenda.

“We need about 150 million Swiss Francs or 160 million U.S. dollars until the end of 2022. We will mobilize support from states, and in that regard, we are approaching China and this is a priority for us. We welcome the fact that our partners in the Red Cross Society of China have come forward with the first financial support, which we are very grateful for, and we are now continuing the dialogue also with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We hope that there are avenues of cooperation that can open up,” said the official.

The ICRC representative also said that China has contributed a lot to improving medical conditions in Afghanistan, and that the organization is looking forward to strengthening cooperation with China in that regard.

A freight train, carrying 1,000-plus tons of humanitarian aid left the city of Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Saturday afternoon and headed for Mazar-e-Sharif, the fourth largest city in Afghanistan. It will take 12 days to get the winter clothes, cotton shoes, blankets, naan, and milk-tea powder, and other materials delivered, Reuters reported.

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Civil servants ordered to carry out their duties in line with Sharia

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Supreme Leader Mawlavi Hebatullah Akhundzada has ordered all government officials to carry out their duties in accordance with Islamic principles and not to appoint staff based on subjectivity and connections.

In a voice message disseminated by the Ministry of Higher Education, Akhundzada said the Islamic Emirate will not fail to implement the Islamic Sharia and now that the IEA’s security forces are stationed in the cities, they should take effective steps to implement the divine system and guide people towards Sharia.

“Anyone who is appointed and by his appointment harms the people and the Islamic system, must be removed. The appointment of people should be based on the interests of the nation and Islamic Sharia,” said Akhundzada.

He also instructed civil servants not to force staff to resign unless there is a Sharia reason.

A number of experts meanwhile say that new laws need to be drawn up in order to advance governance because the Islamic Emirate has abolished the previous laws.

“Social justice and meritocracy, fair distribution of power and wealth for the citizens of the country is a Sharia and legal principle, a system will stand on its own feet when every specialty is in place,” said Sayed Moqadam Amin, a political analyst.

“Appointing experienced people who can manage government departments can have positive effects on the governance process,” said Abdul Jabar Akbari, another political expert.

“And it even encourages people to work in government offices,” he added.

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Peshawar mosque bombing death toll rises to at least 44

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

Monday’s massive explosion at a mosque in Peshawar has left at least 44 worshipers dead and over 150 injured.

Police said most of the worshipers were police, army and bomb disposal unit members and that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives while inside the mosque.

Hours after the explosion, rescue workers were still digging through rubble in search of survivors after a large section of the double-story building collapsed.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility.

A senior police officer told local media that the entire roof of the mosque had caved in, and the mosque was likely full as it was the first day of the working week.

While some say the mosque can take a couple of hundred people, Peshawar police said it was likely that about 260 people had been inside the mosque when the suicide bomber detonated his explosives.

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Turkey deports 139 Afghan migrants

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

A total of 139 Afghan migrants, who entered Turkey illegally, were deported on Saturday, said the head of Turkey’s Migration Management Directorate.

Anadolu Agency reported that in accordance with the country’s Irregular Migration Strategy Document and the National Action Plan, migrants, who do not have valid documents to be in Turkey, are being sent to their home countries by charter flights.

After going through all necessary procedures, including health checks and security-related steps, the migrants were deported to Afghanistan on Saturday, Savas Unlu told reporters in Ankara.

He said Turkey has so far arranged nine charter flights this year. “We have deported 8,571 irregular migrants from our country so far this year. This does not include these 139 migrants.”

Unlu added that as a result of Turkey’s efforts to combat irregular migration, the number of irregular migrants arriving at the country’s borders for illegal entry in 2022 decreased by 38% compared to 2021.

“Since 2016, 2.7 million irregular migrants have been prevented from entering our country illegally,” he said.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

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