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Khalilzad urges gov’t, Taliban to “immediately start intra-Afghan negotiations”

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(Last Updated On: August 21, 2020)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad called on the Afghan government and the Taliban to immediately start intra-Afghan negotiations.

In a series of tweets, Khalilzad said: “there is no legitimate reason for delay.”

Condemning the Wednesday’s attacks in Kabul that claimed the lives of two civilians, including Abdulbaqi Amin, who was the head of the science council at the Ministry of Education, Khalilzad said, “His death at the hands of spoilers who seek to delay and derail Afghan peace is tragic.”

“We condemn this terrorist act and offer our condolences to his family, friends, and the Afghan people who yearn for peace,” Khalilzad added.

“The right tribute to Dr. Amin is for all sides to reduce violence and immediately start intra-Afghan negotiations,” he tweeted.

This comes as, on Thursday, President Ashraf Ghani said that the Afghan government has removed obstacles on the path to peace, and called on the Taliban to call a permanent ceasefire and sit around the negotiating table with the Afghan government.

In a video message to the Afghan security forces on the occasion of Afghanistan’s 101st independence anniversary, Ghan said a “fair and enduring” peace is due to come in the country as the government has made a huge effort to bring peace to Afghanistan.

“We have opened the way for a fair peace. In this regard we have not only shown our will and commitment but also we have taken practical steps toward achieving that; Taliban prisoners release and conveying consultative peace Loya Jirga are notable instances of our efforts,” Ghani said.

“We yearn for peace in which our youth engaged in building their country. We will bring a peace that all ethnicities of Afghanistan could live together in peace and security and strive for the excellence and progress of the country.”

Meanwhile, the Taliban demands a full release of all 320 “hard-core” controversial Taliban inmates as a precondition to kick start the peace talks with the Afghan government.

Although Ghani has signed the release order of these prisoners, the process has been stalled after the government on Wednesday suspended the release process.

Sediq Sediqqi, the Presidential spokesman, told Ariana News that the government will not release the remaining Taliban prisoners unless the group frees 22 Afghan security force members they are holding captive.

The process has also raised concerns and Australia and France have also publicly called on the government to not release some of these prisoners who are guilty of having killed their nationals.

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Stanikzai says no Islamic reason for girl’s school’s to remain closed

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(Last Updated On: September 27, 2022)

A year after the closure of high schools for girls in Afghanistan, the political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) once again called for the opening of girls’ schools in all of Afghanistan.

Speaking at a meeting on the occasion of “Tourism Day” on Tuesday in Kabul Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said that no one can deny the righteousness of education and according to him, all people want schools reopened.

Stanikzai also said that there is no legitimate reason for closing schools for girls and insisted that all the scholars of Afghanistan agree that education should be provided as soon as possible.

“I have said this many times, now I say it again with clear words that this education is an obligation for men and women. The most important thing is that education and training should be open. It should be open to men and women without discrimination. There are scholars, no one can deny this obligation, and it is an obligation on men and women. As soon as possible, the doors of madrassas and schools in Afghanistan should be opened for everyone,” said Stanikzai.

According to Stanikzai there should be no excuses and everyone must go to school.

“All of them must go, without any discrimination. If we want to establish national unity, we must open the doors of education to all and provide education to all freely,” Stanikzai added.

After one year of IEA rule in Afghanistan, girls’ classes from the 6th grade have been closed in this country, which has provoked strong reactions at home and abroad.

Meanwhile, in response to Pakistan’s recent remarks to the UN, Stanikzai said that Pakistan is using the situation in Afghanistan to borrow money from the world.

He said that he understands Pakistan’s problems, but this country should not take advantage of Afghanistan and its situation.

“Pakistani authorities violate the modesty of speech in the international arena to please Westerners,” said Stanikzai.

According to Stanikzai, Pakistan has done business using Afghanistan’s situation for forty years and “that’s enough”.

Without referring to Pakistan, he stated that the IEA have evidence of where the drones are coming from.

These statements of the political deputy of the IEA’s Foreign Ministry come while Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly that Afghanistan has become a save heaven for terrorist groups.

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UN Security Council to meet over situation in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday that will focus on the current situation in Afghanistan.

UNSC members are expected to discuss economic, humanitarian and security concerns.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) spokesman Bilal Karimi said the IEA welcomed meetings that are held with the aim of cooperating with the government and people of Afghanistan.

He also said that Afghans expect cooperation and that such meetings must be held in accordance with international laws and principles.

However, the IEA still does not have a designated UN representative – one year after taking control of the country.

Instead, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, who assumed leadership of the Afghan mission to the UN in December last year, will address the security council members.

The IEA does not however recognize him as the legitimate envoy to the UN.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Faiq said that he would address the security council meeting and speak on behalf of Afghans.

“On behalf of Afghans, in this important meeting, like always, I would like to raise the voice of my nation,” he said.

In September last year, the IEA asked the UN to accredit Suhail Shaheen, the head of the IEA’s political office in Qatar, as the new ambassador.

But in December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in which it indefinitely delayed a decision over the rival claims to the representative seat for Afghanistan.

At the time, the IEA criticized the UN’s failure to decide on this issue, saying it was ignoring the rights of the Afghan people.

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Influential Muslim cleric al-Qaradawi dies at 96

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

Senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was based in Qatar, died on Monday, according to a post on his official Twitter account.

The cleric was an Egyptian Islamic scholar and was chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

He was best known for his programme al-Sharīʿa wa al-Ḥayāh (“Sharia and Life”), broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 40–60 million worldwide.

He is also known for IslamOnline, a website he helped to found in 1997 and for which he served as chief religious scholar.

Al-Qaradawi published more than 120 books, and received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship, and is considered one of the most influential Islamic scholars today.

Al-Qaradawi has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian political organization, although he repeatedly stated that he was no longer a member. He has over the years been critical of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

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