The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Monday rejected claims by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that there are foreign terrorist groups sheltering in Afghanistan.
In a statement issued by the foreign ministry, the IEA said there were no foreign groups in the country and that for the past nine months, the new government has worked to build an environment of trust between Afghanistan and the international community.
The ministry said it “views UNSC Monitoring Team Report (13) asserting the existence and operation of foreign groups in Afghanistan as unfounded and rejects it in the strongest terms.”
“The fact remains that since the return to power of the Islamic Emirate, the world and the region have been prevented from facing any harm from Afghanistan,” the foreign ministry statement said.
The IEA said it will live up to its commitments and ensure that no country is threatened by Afghanistan.
The foreign ministry also called on the UNSC to obtain facts and to allow the IEA’s representatives to take up their rightful posts at the United Nations.
“We also urge abstinence from seeking unsubstantiated information from anonymous sources, and to grant the current Afghan government its legitimate right to directly present factual information to the UNSC and other countries through its permanent representatives at the UN,” read the statement.
The United Nations Security Council report, released on Friday, stated there is a persistent threat to Pakistan’s security from the Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and warned that prospects of success of the ongoing peace process with the terror group were bleak,
The annual report of the 1988 IEA sanctions committee monitoring team noted TTP’s linkages with the IEA and explained how they benefitted from the fall of the Ashraf Ghani regime last year and touched upon the IEA’s relations with other terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan.
The TTP, the report noted, had up to 4,000 fighters based in east and south-east areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and made up the largest group of foreign fighters based there.
This was the team’s first report for the committee since the IEA takeover of Kabul in August last year.
The UNSC stated in its report: “The Taliban (IEA) victory in Afghanistan has inspired terrorists around the world, although the relocation of foreign terrorist fighters to Afghanistan has not materialized in significant numbers.
“The Taliban have continued to insist publicly that there are no foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, even though Member States are clear that many fought alongside the Taliban in 2021.
“Central Asian embassies based in Afghanistan reported with concern the appearance of several leaders of foreign terrorist groups apparently moving freely around Kabul from August onwards,” the report stated.
However, the UNSC stated that “there are reports that the Taliban (IEA) have forced some foreign terrorist fighters to disarm or have relocated others away from the capital so that they remain inconspicuous.”
“TTP constitutes the largest component of foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, with their number estimated to be several thousand. Other groups include the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Jaish-i-Mohammed (JiM), Jamaat Ansarullah and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), with each numbering in the few hundreds,” read the report.
“TTP has arguably benefitted the most of all the foreign extremist groups in Afghanistan from the Taliban (IEA) takeover.
“It has conducted numerous attacks and operations in Pakistan. TTP also continues to exist as a stand-alone force, rather than feeling pressure to merge its fighters into Afghan Taliban units, as is the prospect for most foreign terrorist fighters,” read the report.
The UNSC meanwhile said in its report that following the IEA takeover, some members of ETIM were relocated IEA from Badakhshan to provinces further from the Chinese border as part of the Taliban’s efforts both to protect and restrain the group.
“Assessments of the group’s size range from a low of several dozen fighters, according to one Member State, to as many as 1,000 members, according to other Member States,” UNSC reported.
The report noted that several Member States reported some ETIM members have fraudulently obtained local identity documents by fabricating Afghan identities. “The group is seeking to further entrench its presence in the country by both organizing marriages to local women and facilitating the relocation of Uighur women to Afghanistan.”
IEA officials should communicate with the people: Stanikzai
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Political Deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, has called on officials not to isolate themselves and instead communicate with the people in order to help resolve problems.
Introducing the new governor of Kabul at a ceremony on Thursday, Stanikzai said that every Afghan has the right to participate in politics, economy and other affairs of the country.
“Whenever a ruler, governor, minister, prime minister… are in contact with the people, they can solve people’s problems and provide justice,” said Stanikzai.
He once again emphasized the need to reopen girls’ schools and said that progress in the country is not possible without the acquisition of knowledge and education.
“For now, the people are our nation; people need our kindness and love; we must improve people’s economy and remove poverty and open the gates of education to them,” he said.
He also asked the political opponents of the Islamic Emirate who are abroad to return to the country because, he stated, every Afghan has the right to participate in political and economic processes.
Meanwhile, a number of officials of the Islamic Emirate called the appointments and changes in the system “a principle of governance” and said that Mohammad Qasim Khalid was appointed to the position of governor of Kabul based on the suggestion of the leader of the Islamic Emirate.
“This is a very big responsibility and I ask the officials of the Islamic Emirate to help me in advancing this position,” said Khalid.
In less than three months, this is the second governor to be appointed to the post. Previously, Khalid was the deputy minister of Refugees and Repatriation.
Kabul municipality defends enlarged map on model globe
The Kabul Municipality has defended its decision to “zoom in” on the map of Afghanistan in its newest city showpiece – a model globe of the earth.
In a video message, the municipality said it was a wholly service delivery facility and was totally non-political.
This comes after widespread criticism was launched against the municipality for having enlarged the map of Afghanistan on the globe – thereby covering borderlines of neighboring countries.
Critics accused the municipality of not respecting the borders.
The Municipality of Kabul however said the globe was not meant to be anything other than a feature.
“Our goal for it has been to make the map of Afghanistan slightly “zoomed in” and prominent. There is no political goal in this regard.” Kabul Municipality said.
“Such criticism definitely cannot question the will of Kabul Municipality to beautify the city and implement development plans,” the institution said.
The model globe was recently erected in the Dahan-e-Bagh area of Kabul.
Yaqoob Mujahid calls on ‘all Afghans’ to help develop the country
On Wednesday, the 4th day of his visit to the UAE, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s defense minister, Mawlavi Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, met with a group of Afghans in Dubai and after listening to their problems, said the IEA would try to resolve their issues with the local authorities.
Speaking at a gathering of Afghans in the UAE, Mujahid said Afghanistan is the common home of all Afghans and every Afghan should take responsibility for developing their homeland at this critical juncture.
Senior IEA member Anas Haqqani, who was also at the event in Dubai, said that colonial propaganda has divided Afghans.
“As a result of colonial propaganda, foreigners had separated us & you, but we & you are members of the same being, we are not separated,” Haqqani told the participants.
Haqqani added “Let’s accept each other, neutralize the conspiracies of foreigners & join hands for the prosperity & progress of the country”.
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