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IEA condemns attack on Sikh Gurdwara in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: June 18, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Saturday condemned the attack earlier in the day on a Sikh temple in Kabul city that resulted in the death of two people. 

Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA’s spokesman, said in a tweet the authorities condemn “in the strongest terms the attack of the enemies of the homeland against the Hindu shrine in Kabul.”

The IEA also expressed its “deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the incident” and said the “perpetrators of this crime will be caught and punished”.

This comes after the Sikh Gurdwara in Kart-e-Parwan was attacked at about 6.30am. A standoff between the attackers and IEA forces lasted a few hours until the situation was brought under control. 

Foreign countries and organizations have also condemned the incident including the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Pakistan and India.  

According to a statement by Pakistan’s foreign ministry, “Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack on a Sikh Gurdwara in Kabul today, which has reportedly resulted in the loss of precious lives and injuries to many others while causing destruction of property.” 

“Pakistan is seriously concerned at the recent spate of terrorist attacks on places of worship in Afghanistan. Yesterday (Friday), terrorists targeted the Imam Sahib Mosque in Kunduz, killing and injuring many worshippers. These acts of terrorism targeting religious places are utterly repugnant,” Pakistan foreign ministry’s statement said. 

“We express strong solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and support all efforts of the Afghan authorities in fighting the menace of terrorism and ensuring the protection of all their citizens,” read the statement. 

India also reacted to the incident and said early Saturday while the attack was underway that it was “closely monitoring the situation”. 

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar condemned the incident and tweeted: “The cowardly attack on Gurdwara Karte Parwan should be condemned in the strongest terms by all.”

There are at least 150 Afghan Sikhs still in the country but have been seeking visas from India for the past few months, Indian Express reported. 

Locally, both former president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, former chairman of the high council of national reconciliation (HCNR), condemned the attack and called it a terrorist incident. 

Karzai called for the start of a national dialogue to establish long-term peace and stability, and pleaded for the country to be saved from suffering through the unity of all Afghans.

Abdullah meanwhile said: “I strongly condemn today’s heinous & cowardly terrorist attack on our Sikh community Gurdwara in Karta-e-Parwan.” 

UNAMA in turn stated that all attacks on civilians must stop immediately. 

“UNAMA strongly condemns today’s attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul, which is reported to have resulted in numerous casualties. Attacks on civilians must cease immediately,” the mission tweeted. 

UNAMA also called for the protection of all minorities in Afghanistan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, however, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K/Daesh) has in the past claimed responsibility for attacks on mosques and minorities across the country.

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Our Afghan policy has failed: Pakistani senator

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Tuesday said “our Afghan Policy has failed”, local media outlet ARY News reported.

Addressing the Senate earlier this week, Mushaid Hussain said that “failing to formulate the counter-terrorism policy is our incapacity”.

“We are in the state of war since last 43 years,” he said. “Five-billion-dollar Afghan Jihad fought, the consequences are before us,” he said.

“The battle for power will devastate Pakistan. People want a solution of the problems, an incompetence will not be allowed”, he said.

Former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani had earlier said that a joint session of Parliament scheduled for February 8 should include a discussion on the country’s national anti-terrorism policy.

“Terrorism has been on the rise, while the political parties are busy in the political tug of war,” he lamented. “All political parties should sit in the parliament to hold a national dialogue,” he advised.

Islamabad has increasingly been pointing fingers at Afghanistan accusing the Islamic Emirate of providing sanctuary to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group which has carried out number attacks against Pakistan in the past few months.

The IEA has however continued to deny reports that TTP is being given a safe haven in the country, and has repeatedly told its neighor that militant groups will not be allowed to pose a threat to any country from within Afghanistan.

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US imposes new visa restrictions on some IEA members

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday Washington has imposed additional additional visa restrictions on some Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) members in response to bans on women’s rights.

“I am taking action today to impose additional visa restrictions on certain current or former Taliban (IEA) members, members of non-state security groups, and other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan through restrictive policies and violence, including the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities and from working with NGOs,” Blinken said in a statement.

 “The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these visa restrictions,” he said.

Blinken said the IEA has again shown disregard for the welfare of Afghan people through their decisions.

“So far, the Taliban’s actions have forced over one million school-aged Afghan girls and young women out of the classroom, with more women out of universities and countless Afghan women out of the workforce,” he said.

“These numbers will only grow as time goes on, worsening the country’s already dire economic and humanitarian crises.”

Blinken stated the IEA cannot expect the respect and support of the international community until they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls.

“We condemn in the strongest of terms the Taliban’s actions. The United States stands with the Afghan people and remains committed to doing all we can to promote and advance respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls,” he added.

Responding to the new visa restrictions, the IEA said increasing travel restrictions on Islamic Emirate officials is not “a correct policy and will not help to solve the problems because Afghanistan will become more isolated with the restrictions”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Washington’s decision to impose additional visa restrictions on Islamic Emirate officials, and said controversial issues should be resolved diplomatically and by positive steps.

The MoF stated that bilateral relations have shown that pressure cannot help resolve issues.

Meanwhile some experts say that the Islamic Emirate should adopt a policy that solves internal problems and one whereby the international community can interact positively with them.

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IEA defense minister meets with former generals

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

Defense Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Mawluvi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid has met with former senior military officers and assured them that their problems will be resolved and their security will be ensured.

According to a statement issued by the defense ministry on Wednesday, the defense minister and Chief of Army Staff, Qari Fasihuddin Fitrat, met with generals of the former government and several other ex-military officials.

“The whole goal now is peace, security and defense of territorial integrity, and we have to preserve this Islamic system at any cost,” Mujahid told the generals.

The former military personnel included lieutenant general Afzal Aman, lieutenant general Mohammad Zaman Ahmadzai, major general Shaor Gul, major general Nabiullah, brigadier general Farid, colonel Afandi and several other generals and former corps commanders, read the statement.

At the meeting Mujahid said that their only aim is to restore peace in the country and heal the past wounds. He said that bringing an end to prejudice needed sincerity and love.

The minister listened to the problems and recommendations of the former military officers and promised them their issues would be resolved. He also assured them of their security.

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