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MoD to form a new, independent national army

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2021)

Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials said Saturday that they will establish a new army that is independent in order to defend Afghanistan’s territory and airspace.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, acting minister of defense and son of Mullah Mohammad Omar, founder of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said in a voice clip on Sunday that efforts are being made to safeguard Afghanistan’s territory and airspace.

“We intend to create a national and independent army under MoD to defend the country with high values. We will attempt to equip the IEA army with modern weapons. The army should have ground and airspace capabilities,” said Mullah Yaqoob.

The acting minister assured the international community and countries in the region that no one will be allowed to use Afghanistan terrority to carry out attacks against them.

“Countries in the world know that an army is impossible without foreign assistance. The world should help Afghanistan in this regard,” said Mohammad Sarwar Naizai, a military analyst.

The caretaker minister did not however provide further details about how the IEA will finance the army or whether it will include soldiers from the former government.

The previous Western-backed government paid the salaries of the then soldiers with money from the United States. On August 15, when former president Ashraf Ghani and all his top officials fled the country, the US and NATO-trained army and airforce disintegrated within hours.

The same day, IEA forces rolled into Kabul and took over as the new rulers. However, the foreign donor community and the US immediately cut off financial aid to Afghanistan and froze all the central bank’s foreign reserves – cutting off salaries to hundreds of thousands of former soldiers and government workers.

Some IEA officials meanwhile said that former government soldiers will be brought back into the army.

“We have left the way open for those people who were in security institutions in the former government. Some of them have returned already,” said Qari Saeed Khosti, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

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Issue of girls’ education raised at gathering of religious scholars in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: June 30, 2022)

At least one participant at a major gathering of religious scholars in Kabul on Thursday called for secondary schools for girls to reopen.

“They will learn and will be a good guide for their children in society,” said Sayed Nasrullah Waizi, from central Bamiyan province, as he called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to reopen girls’ schools.

He said that education will help prevent moral and administrative corruption.

IEA’s Acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund meanwhile said in his speech at the gathering that the meeting was aimed at addressing challenges and strengthening the administration.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is trying to solve all problems … this government has been reached after a lot of sacrifice, we should work together to strengthen it,” Akhund said.

Around 3,500 religious scholars and tribal leaders are at the event which is expected to run for three days.

It comes as Afghanistan is in a deep economic crisis as billions in central bank reserves have been frozen and international sanctions enforced on the banking sector after the IEA seized power.

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Pakistan-administered Kashmir gives 100 million rupees for Afghan quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 30, 2022)

Prime minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir has approved 100 million rupees ($484,000) for last week’s earthquake victims in Afghanistan, it was reported Thursday.

Kashmir’s cabinet and top bureaucracy also donated one month’s salary for the relief of the people of Afghanistan, Pakistani newspaper The News reported.

Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, the prime minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said that the people of Pakistan and Kashmir are saddened by the loss of life and property caused by the recent earthquake in Afghanistan.

He said, in this hour of sorrow, the people of Pakistan and Kashmir stand with their brothers.

He said that a delegation representing the government of Kashmir will go to Afghanistan to deliver aid.

More than 1,000 people were killed in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces of Paktika and Khost on June 22. Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed.

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Pakistan minister calls for easing sanctions on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 30, 2022)

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has called for an easing of Western sanctions against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), saying the basic functioning of the Afghan economy must not be endangered.

The IEA takeover last year prompted foreign governments, led by the United States, to cut development and security aid, and the strict enforcement of sanctions has debilitated the country’s banking sector.

In an interview with Germany’s Welt newspaper published on Thursday, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said isolating Afghanistan economically was pushing the country into economic collapse, Reuters reported.

“If the country remains locked out of international banking and its foreign assets remain frozen, then that is what will happen. We must not promote famine,” she added,

Khar said the Western troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which Germany was also involved, had serious repercussions because it was not preceded by a negotiated solution, calling on Germany to play an active political role in easing sanctions.

“In the current situation, it is not a good idea to continue to starve Afghanistan and risk an economic implosion in the country,” she said, adding that economic support was necessary to help the Afghan people.

“How is it that we spent $3 trillion on the war, but today don’t even have $10 billion on Afghan survival? I don’t understand this behavior,” she added.

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