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IEA joins Muslim nations in slamming India over insulting remarks about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Monday joined the list of Islamic countries that have condemned India for the insulting remarks by two officials against Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Bharatiya Janat Party’s (BJP) national spokeswoman Nupur Sharma was suspended from the party on Sunday for comments made in a recent TV debate, while the BJP’s Delhi media operations head Naveen Kumar Jindal was also expelled for reportedly posting a tweet about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that also angered many people.

An international diplomatic storm has since engulfed India’s ruling party – the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Monday, the IEA’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement and said: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns the use of derogatory words against the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) by an official of the ruling party in India.

“We urge the Indian government not to allow such fanatics to insult the Holy religion of Islam and provoke the feelings of Muslims.”

The OIC has also condemned the comments and called “on the Indian authorities to decisively address these incidents of defamation and all forms of insult to the noble Prophet (PBUH) and Islam and to bring those who incite and perpetrate violence against Muslims to justice and hold those behind them accountable.”

The official spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, meanwhile said in a statement that “strong action has already been taken against these individuals by relevant bodies” and that it was “regrettable that OIC Secretariat has yet again chosen to make motivated, misleading and mischievous comments”.

According to the Indian Embassy in Doha, the views expressed against Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Islam were not views of the Indian government but opinions made by “fringe elements”.

Statements by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the GCC and the IEA follow statements already issued by the governments of Qatar, Kuwait and Iran, the latter having summoned Indian ambassadors to their respective countries and delivering diplomatic notes of protest.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its condemnation and denunciation of the statements made by the spokeswoman of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, insulting Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and reaffirms its permanent rejection of prejudice against all the symbols of the Islamic religion,” said the Saudi government in a statement.

Welcoming the decision by the BJP to suspend Sharma, Riyadh said it reiterated the Kingdom’s position calling for “respect for beliefs and religions”.

The Kingdom of Bahrain, meanwhile, stressed the “need to denounce any reprehensible insults against the Messenger of God Mohammad (PBUH) as a provocation to Muslims’ feelings and incitement to religious hatred.”

Bahrain also called for “concerted efforts of the international community to spread the values of moderation, tolerance and dialogue between religions and civilizations, and to confront extremist ideas that feed sedition and religious, sectarian or racial hatred.”

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Cholera cases rising in Takhar

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2022)

Cholera and diarrhea cases are rising among children and adults in Afghanistan’s northern Takhar province, local officials said.

Abdul Qahar Ahadi, provincial health director, said that more than 20,000 patients suffering from various diseases visited public health facilities during the past two months, which is unprecedented.

Takhar’s main hospital meanwhile said that most of the visitors were treated for cholera and diarrhea.

Hayatullah Imami, an official at Takhar hospital, said that 30 percent of patients visiting the facility daily were suffering from diarrhea.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria.

People can get sick when they swallow food or water contaminated with the cholera bacteria. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.

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India records spike in daily COVID cases and 21 deaths in 24 hours

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(Last Updated On: June 27, 2022)

India logged 17,073 new COVID-19 cases early Monday morning, raising its tally to 43,407,046, and 21 deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry reported.

The death toll now stands at 525,020.

The national COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.57 percent, the ministry said.

Pakistan’s ministry of health meanwhile reported Monday that it had recorded 382 new cases in the last 24 hours.

This took Pakistan’s COVID-19 total case count to over 1.53 million. Two deaths were also reported in the past 24 hours.

However, experts say Pakistan may potentially witness another COVID-19 wave as the country continues to see an uptick in new cases.

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Polio vaccination campaign rolls out in western Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

More than one million Afghan children are expected to be vaccinated over the next few days in the latest polio vaccination campaign that was launched in western Afghanistan on Sunday.

Officials said the campaign will run for four days and be conducted across four provinces in the western region.

Waheed Rahmani, head of the vaccination campaign, said that 1.1 million children under the age of five are expected to receive the polio drops, including 720,000 in Herat province.

He said that so far there are no obstacles in the way of rolling out the campaign.

Volunteers said that they hope to reach all the children who need to be vaccinated.

“I along with my team will work honestly to make Afghanistan free from polio virus,” said Fina Nezami, a volunteer.

“I hope that Afghanistan becomes polio-free and we are happy to go door to door for vaccinations,” said Yagana Nabizada, another volunteer.

Local health officials have assured the public that all areas will be covered by the campaign.

“We have not forgotten areas, and while planning vaccination programs, all the areas are reviewed and if any area is left out, it will be immediately covered,” said Mohammad Asif Kabir, provincial deputy health director.

Around 728,000 children received polio drops in the previous campaign in Herat. Around 5,000 volunteers are involved in the current campaign in Herat.

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