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Italy takes in National Geographic’s green-eyed ‘Afghan Girl’

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(Last Updated On: November 26, 2021)

Italy has given safe haven to Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan Girl” whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of her country’s wars, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said on Thursday.

The government intervened after Gula asked for help to leave Afghanistan following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [IEA] takeover of the country in August, a statement said, adding that her arrival was part of a broader programme to evacuate and integrate Afghan citizens, Reuters reported.

U.S. photographer Steve McCurry took the picture of Gula when she was a youngster, living in a refugee camp on the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Her startling green eyes, peering out from a headscarf with a mixture of ferocity and pain, made her know internationally but her identity was only discovered in 2002 when McCurry returned to the region and tracked her down, read the report.

An FBI analyst, forensic sculptor and the inventor of iris recognition all verified her identity, National Geographic said at the time.

In 2016, Pakistan arrested Gula for forging a national identity card in an effort to live in the country.

The then Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, welcomed her back and promised to give her an apartment to ensure she “lives with dignity and security in her homeland”.

According to Reuters report since seizing power, IEA leaders have said they would respect women’s rights in accordance with sharia, or Islamic law. But under IEA rule from 1996 to 2001, women could not work and girls were banned from school. Women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative when they left home.

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At least five dead in Kabul mosque bombing

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2022)

Kabul Emergency Hospital report at least five people have died and 22 wounded in this evening’s explosion at a mosque.

The incident happened in PD4 at the Hazrat Zakaria mosque.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.

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IEA printing passports in Lithuania to resolve shortage problem

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2022)

The General Directorate of Passports of the Interior Ministry of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said Wednesday that efforts are being made to address the shortage of passport booklets in Afghanistan and that tens of thousands of passports will be available in the next few days.

The directorate said on Wednesday that three million passport booklets have been printed in Lithuania and will be delivered to Kabul within two weeks.

According to officials this is being done in cooperation with the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Shafiullah Tasal, media secretary for the General Directorate of Passports, told VOA that a Lithuanian company printed the passports and that the IEA government has paid the company.

According to Tasal discussions were currently underway regarding delivery.

The IEA has been only issuing ten-year passports for the past month to Afghans over the age of 15.

Children and teenagers under the age of 15 are issued with five-year passports.

The IEA charges more than 5,000 Afghanis for a five-year passport and 10,000 Afghanis for a ten-year passport.

For several weeks now, the distribution of passports across Afghanistan has stopped, and the IEA has only distributed them in Kabul.

However the General Directorate of Passports said once the new shipment of passports arrives, distribution will resume in all provinces.

Two days ago, the department said that a number of people had recently printed fake passport booklets in “neighboring countries” and illegally distributed them to the public in exchange for money.

According to the department, some of these “profiteers” have been detained by IEA intelligence officials and are being investigated.

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Tajikistan to host regional security summit on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2022)

Tajikistan is scheduled to host a regional security summit on Afghanistan on Thursday and Friday this week.

The meeting will be held in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and will be attended by representatives from countries in the region.

In addition to this, another meeting was held this week between an Afghan Defense Ministry delegation and the commander of the Uzbek Border Guards.

At this meeting, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials reassured Uzbekistan that Afghanistan’s territory will not pose a threat to any country.

Meanwhile, Tajikistan will host this week’s meeting following successive meetings of regional countries on the situation in Afghanistan, which will be attended by national security advisers of countries in the region.

They are expected to review the security, political, economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The meeting will be held on Thursday and Friday in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and will be attended by India’s national security adviser and representatives from Russia, China, Iran and Central Asian countries, Indian media reported, but it is unclear whether Pakistan will send a delegation to this meeting or not.

“The border situation and the threat posed by terrorism to Central Asian countries and Afghanistan’s other neighbors will be discussed at the meeting,” India’s national security adviser was quoted as saying. “Women’s rights and the need to form an inclusive government will also be discussed,” The Times of India reported.

The Islamic Emirate, however, has repeatedly said that there is no threat from Afghanistan to neighboring countries and the region, and instead called on these countries to expand their interactions and cooperation with the new Afghan government.

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