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IEA says they are committed to ensuring the rights of all people

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The UN Under-Secretary-General for Afghanistan (UNAMA) has met with some women rights activists in Kabul and said human rights should not be restricted in the country.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) meanwhile says they are committed to ensuring the rights of all people.

“The Taliban (IEA) have a responsibility to ensure that Afghanistan is a country where human rights are guaranteed equally to all,” said Mette Knudsen, UNAMA Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Hada Khamosh, a women’s rights activist, said that during the meeting, they shared their concerns about restrictions on women, the media and freedom of expression, and the alleged “killing of former Afghan security forces” by IEA forces.

Following their takeover of Kabul, the IEA pledged to respect the rights of women and girls in accordance with Islamic law and announced a “general amnesty” for all former government employees.

But human rights activists fear that women and girls may be barred from work and education, as in the previous IEA regime.

Meanwhile, IEA’s Deputy Spokesman Inamullah Samangani told reporters on Tuesday that they were committed to providing employment and training for both men and women.

Samangani added that the group’s government was working to create “conditions” for education and employment for all Afghans, including women.

Samangani said that the IEA’s government is working to create “education and training conditions” for all Afghans, including women.
The IEA reopened boys’ schools on September 17, but did not allow girls in grades six and up to attend.

However, the IEA has insisted that before the girls return, they are preparing instructions to create a “safe learning environment” for them, according to Islamic law.

Under the IEA from 1996 to 2001, women were largely denied the right to work and study and were usually forced to cover their faces and accompany a Muharram when leaving home.

Earlier, the United Nations expressed concern about the human rights situation in Afghanistan, and UN officials said that if the achievements of the past two decades were to be preserved in the country, the human rights and dignity of all Afghans must be upheld for women and girls, be protected and respected.

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Pakistan contradicts UNHCR chief’s remarks on Afghan migrants’ return plan

Grandi meanwhile said in a statement early this week that the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan had been suspended and sought assurances from Pakistan that it would remain on hold.

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Pakistan has contradicted a claim by UN refugees agency UNHCR that the program to repatriate illegal migrants, specifically Afghans, has been suspended, saying “this is not true”.

This week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said during a visit to Pakistan, that the UNHCR appreciated Islamabad’s move to suspend the repatriation of Afghan refugees.

But, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch has since said: “this is not true. It may be noted that no such understanding has been given by Pakistan to the UNHCR, including in recent meetings with the High Commissioner for Refugees.”

“IFRP (repatriation program) remains in place and is being implemented in an orderly and phased manner”, she said.

Grandi meanwhile said in a statement early this week that the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan had been suspended and sought assurances from Pakistan that it would remain on hold.

Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The latest influx started in August 2021 when the former government collapsed.

Between 600,000 and 800,000 Afghans sought refuge in Pakistan. But last November, Pakistan launched a widely criticized repatriation programme aimed at returning millions of Afghans, regardless of their legal status, to Afghanistan.

 

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Cherry yields have increased in Takhar province

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

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Farmers in Takhar say the harvest of cherries has increased in this province, but they are worried about the drop in prices and the lack of a market for sales.

Cherry farmers in Takhar said that the price earned from cultivating fruits has dropped, compared to previous years, and asked the government to help with the marketing of crops.

“Fruits are plentiful this year. It is Iranian cherries, it is domestic cherries. Unfortunately, compared to previous years, the price of cherries is very low,” said one Takhar cherry farmer.

“The price this year is very different from last year; last year the prices were very high, this year it is low,” said another farmer.

Fresh fruit sellers also said that Takhar’s fruit was exported to neighboring and central provinces in the past years, but this year they do not have customers outside their own province – which is a cause for concern among them.

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

“In the previous years, due to the drought, the prices of fruits and vegetables increased,” said Abdulalla Radmard, director for promotions at the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Takhar.

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Pakistan to offer 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

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Pakistan has announced it will provide 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students, as part of the Allama Iqbal Scholarship for Afghan Students program.

Asid Durrani, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said in a post on X that this is phase 3 of the program and that scholarships will be granted to Afghan students in natural sciences and social sciences across various universities in Pakistan.

However, Durani did not provide details regarding costs nor whether this would include female students.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

Following the suspension of education for girls in Afghanistan, several countries, including Germany, Japan, Iran, and Tajikistan, have also offered scholarships to Afghan girls.

 

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