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MoI says controversial Wardak clash is being investigated

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2021)

The Interior Ministry has refuted claims that unarmed civilians were targeted by police during a protest in Bihsud district in Maidan Wardak province on Friday that left at least eleven people dead.

The incident happened late Friday outside the district government compound and also left at least 25 people wounded.

A number of MPs from Wardak province claimed the residents were targeted by police special forces despite being unarmed.

The Interior Ministry however rejected these claims and said irresponsible gunmen opened fire on police and civilians in the district. They said the incident is being investigated.

The incident happened outside the district government compound after a group of locals embarked on a peaceful protest, said MP Mahdi Rasikh.

Rasikh said a group of about 30 elders had gathered to find out why a “special unit” had been dispatched to Bihsud district.

He said it was then that security forces opened fire on the group, adding that all were civilians and were unarmed.

“Eleven civilians, including children, were killed in the incident, and more than 25 others were wounded, and the wounded remained on the snow for hours,” he said adding that they were not allowed to be removed from the area.

Rasikh also said that security forces prevented about 150 others from leaving the area and that they had since been taken into custody.

“The crime of those who were targeted was because they believe in civilization, and not a single shot was fired by these people, but they were targeted as oppressors; we want to pursue this issue seriously,” said Ali Akbar Qasimi another MP from Ghazni.

Meanwhile, a former deputy interior minister says the attack on civilians in Bihsud district by security forces was unjustifiable.

“This attack is a cruel attack and we warn that as soon as possible, innocent people who have no authority and have been taken hostage in this incident should be released and a decision should be made as soon as possible to resolve this issue, and if the incident is a mistake even, it should not be forgiven,” said Murad Ali Murad, the former deputy minister of interior.

“Yesterday there was a shooting and the government shot at us and I got wounded in my back,” said Ahmad Jawed, a resident of Bihsud district.

However the Interior Ministry rejects these claims and states irresponsible gunmen were responsible for the bloody incident in Bihsud.

“Irresponsible gunmen gathered in Bihsud district and used local residents and shot and killed a number of local residents, injuring and martyring them. This issue is under investigation and a delegation has been sent to Wardak to investigate this incident thoroughly,” said Tairq Arian, the interior ministry’s spokesman.

However, protesters warned that if government does not take the incident seriously and does not release those in custody, they will stage large-scale demonstrations in Wardak and Kabul.

This comes after the MoI said earlier that clashes happened after “irresponsible armed men” loyal to commander Alipoor, an anti-Taliban commander known as Commander Shamshir (Sword), resisted the appointment of police chiefs for Hisa-i-Awal and Hisa-i-Dowom in Bihsud district.

According to the statement by the MoI’s spokesman Tariq Arian, Alipoor’s men, who were armed, gathered outside of the district compound and “opened fire on security forces and people…as a result of this chaos a number of security forces and five civilians were wounded.”

Arian stated police fired in the air to control the situation, adding that 68 irresponsible armed men loyal to Alipoor have been arrested in connection with the clashes.

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First cargo flight takes place from UAE to Balkh since IEA takeover

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

For the first time since the Islamic Emirate’s takeover, a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Airport in Mazar-e-Sharif city was carried out through the air corridor, officials said.

The airport officials said that sixteen tons of commercial goods, including electronic devices related to Bayat Power company were transferred from Dubai to Mazar-e-Sharif city.

“This is the first time that a flight from Dubai to Mazar-e-Sharif has been made through the air corridor; discussions with traders are ongoing and we hope to keep this corridor active in the future,” said Abdullah Motmaen, director of customs of Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Airport.

Meanwhile, Balkh Chamber of Commerce and Investment officials stress the beginning of the general process of transferring commercial commodities by air corridor.

“In the transfer of commercial goods, air corridor is so important,” said Asadullah Asadi, head of Balkh’s chamber of commerce and investment.

Earlier, through the air corridor of Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Airport, Pine nuts and other commercial items were exported to the countries of the region.

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IEA will attend future UN meetings if demands accepted: deputy PM

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs Mawlavi Abdul Kabir has called the recent decision of the United Nations for the participation of the Islamic Emirate at the second Doha meeting on Afghanistan “unfair” and said that if the demands of the IEA are accepted by the UN and countries in future meetings, the acting government will participate on behalf of Afghanistan, the deputy PM’s office said in a statement.

Abdul Kabir made these statements on Thursday at a graduation ceremony in Kabul.

Kabir added that “Afghanistan, as an independent country and Islamic Emirate as a legitimate Islamic system, assures all its neighbors and the international community that the acting government is striving for economic and development cooperation based on a balanced and moderate policy.”

He also stressed that there would be no threat to anyone from Afghanistan.

While fighting against drugs and corruption, sustainable stability can only be guaranteed under the rule of the Islamic Emirate, which Afghans and the international community have understood, according to the statement.

He stated that with the arrival of the Islamic Emirate, the national budget was prepared from internal revenues for the first time, and in addition to paying the expenses of civil administrations and development projects, the expenses of the Islamic Army and security departments are also paid from the national budget.

The second meeting of special representatives of countries regarding Afghanistan was held on Sunday and Monday of this week in Doha, in which the delegation of the Islamic Emirate did not participate.

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Strong consensus on collective interests in Afghanistan exist: Thomas West

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Thomas West, the US special envoy for Afghanistan, described the recent UN meeting in Doha as productive, emphasizing a strong consensus on collective interests in Afghanistan, including the desire to see women and girls return to secondary school, university, and work.

“No country wants to see the emergence of a terrorism threat from Afghanistan. All want to see women and girls return to secondary school, university, work, and public life,” West stated in a post about the conference.

West also noted the international commitment to the Afghan people, highlighting the effort to provide humanitarian aid to over 26 million Afghans last year. However, he expressed concerns about sustainability and the need for an approach that empowers Afghans economically.

The envoy acknowledged the Islamic Emirate’s enforcement of a poppy ban, which the UNODC reported resulted in a 95% reduction in cultivation. He underscored the need for more coordination in supporting alternative crops for farmers and recovery for addicts.

West appreciated the participation of Afghan civil society members, both from within and outside Afghanistan, discussing economic needs, human rights, and the importance of continued engagement, including with the Taliban.

Regarding future steps, West welcomed the continuation of the current meeting format and calls for a UN-led process to develop a roadmap for Afghanistan’s full integration into the international community. “The Afghan people’s well-being, and the international community’s shared interests, must guide this work,” he concluded.

The second meeting of special representatives for Afghanistan was held on Sunday and Monday in Doha. The Islamic Emirate did not participate.

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