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IEA government renames Afghan army corps

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(Last Updated On: November 8, 2021)

In a major overhaul on Sunday, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) renamed all eight military corps.

According to a decree by acting defense minister Yaqoob Mujahid, the Special Operations Corps in Kabul has been renamed the Central Corps, and 209th Shaheen Corps will now be called Al-Fatah.

The 217th Pamir Corps in Kunduz has been renamed as Omari Corps, the 205th Atal Corps in Kandahar as Al-Badr and 215th Maiwand in Helmand as Azm.

Yaqoob, who is the son of Mullah Omar, the late founding leader of the IEA, also changed the name of 201st Sailab Corps to Khalid Ibn Waleed, the 203rd Thunder Corps in Paktia to Mansouri and the 207th Zafar Corps in Herat to Al-Farooq.

Also on Sunday, the IEA appointed 43 of its members to key roles including provincial governors and police chiefs.

The IEA released the list of its members’ new roles, including Qari Baryal to serve as governor of Kabul and Wali Jan Hamza as the city’s police chief.

The previous commander in charge of Kabul’s security, Mawlawi Hamdullah Mukhlis, was killed this month in an attack on Afghanistan’s largest military hospital in the city center.

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Pakistan-administered Kashmir gives 100 million rupees for Afghan quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 30, 2022)

Prime minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir has approved 100 million rupees ($484,000) for last week’s earthquake victims in Afghanistan, it was reported Thursday.

Kashmir’s cabinet and top bureaucracy also donated one month’s salary for the relief of the people of Afghanistan, Pakistani newspaper The News reported.

Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, the prime minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said that the people of Pakistan and Kashmir are saddened by the loss of life and property caused by the recent earthquake in Afghanistan.

He said, in this hour of sorrow, the people of Pakistan and Kashmir stand with their brothers.

He said that a delegation representing the government of Kashmir will go to Afghanistan to deliver aid.

More than 1,000 people were killed in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces of Paktika and Khost on June 22. Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed.

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Pakistan minister calls for easing sanctions on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 30, 2022)

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has called for an easing of Western sanctions against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), saying the basic functioning of the Afghan economy must not be endangered.

The IEA takeover last year prompted foreign governments, led by the United States, to cut development and security aid, and the strict enforcement of sanctions has debilitated the country’s banking sector.

In an interview with Germany’s Welt newspaper published on Thursday, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said isolating Afghanistan economically was pushing the country into economic collapse, Reuters reported.

“If the country remains locked out of international banking and its foreign assets remain frozen, then that is what will happen. We must not promote famine,” she added,

Khar said the Western troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which Germany was also involved, had serious repercussions because it was not preceded by a negotiated solution, calling on Germany to play an active political role in easing sanctions.

“In the current situation, it is not a good idea to continue to starve Afghanistan and risk an economic implosion in the country,” she said, adding that economic support was necessary to help the Afghan people.

“How is it that we spent $3 trillion on the war, but today don’t even have $10 billion on Afghan survival? I don’t understand this behavior,” she added.

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IEA, US meet in Doha to discuss freeing of Afghanistan’s frozen assets

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(Last Updated On: June 29, 2022)

A senior Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) delegation, led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, headed to Qatar on Wednesday to hold talks with US officials to release some of the $9 billion of frozen reserves. 

According to a Washington Post report, US officials have tried to set up a system for assets to be managed, while simultaneously erecting safeguards to ensure the funds are not siphoned off for misuse by the IEA.

One option discussed by those close to the talks involves having a third party trust fund administer the money, according to the report.

Bloomberg also reported that the discussion will center around “creating a mechanism for releasing the frozen Afghan reserves.” 

Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s finance ministry told Bloomberg: “We’re expecting this would be a serious round of talks.”

US officials have expressed optimism about the progress on talks but cautioned that several obstacles to the deal remain.

“It would be accurate to say negotiations are underway,” said Shah Mehrabi, an economics professor at Montgomery College in Maryland and a senior member of  Afghanistan’s central bank board since 2002. 

“We are in the process of trying to come up with a mechanism that will allow the transfer of reserves to the central bank of Afghanistan,” he said.

Mehrabi said food costs have skyrocketed by 18 percent in the past several months. Basic household goods rose in cost by 35 percent during the first few months of the year; in May, inflation for household goods hit 42 percent, Mehrabi said.

“These reserves belong to the Afghan people; they are needed to stabilize prices,” he said. “The faster it is delivered to the central bank of Afghanistan, the sooner we will see the impact of the reduction in prices that are critical to enable ordinary Afghans to afford food, cooking oil, and sugar and fuel. Now, they can’t do that.”

The delegation includes central bank Governor Mohammad Idris and Deputy Finance Minister Nazir Kabiri. They will meet with the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West and officials from the treasury department, Haqmal said.

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