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Muslim World League brokers agreement between Afghan and Pakistani officials

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(Last Updated On: June 10, 2021)

The Muslim World League (MWL) said on Wednesday night it is brokering an agreement between Afghan and Pakistani leaders and a diverse group of scholars to promote stability and security in Afghanistan based on the Islamic principles of peace and reconciliation.

The MWL said in a statement a signing ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 10 in Mecca.

According to the MWL, Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the MWL, is leading the initiative. Among those involved in the process are Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony of Pakistan; Mohammad Qasim Halimi, Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs of Afghanistan; and Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Special Representative to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Religious Harmony.

The statement noted that the Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan Agreement is supported by the government of Saudi Arabia.

“This agreement represents a new chapter in the growing relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Al-Issa said.

“Muslim leaders and scholars have an important role to play in promoting the true, moderate principles of Islam, and leveraging them to secure a sustainable peace in Afghanistan. This means prioritizing all pathways to reconciliation, building bridges of constructive dialogue and cooperation, and alleviating the suffering of innocent men, women and children. This agreement does just that by establishing a foundation to help accelerate peace efforts in Afghanistan.”

According to the MWL, the agreement supports peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan by uniting government and civil society leaders on key issues of national cohesiveness.

Elements of the agreement include a call for an immediate and comprehensive cessation of hostilities, broadened support for development efforts, counterterrorism and counterextremism commitments, closer relations between the two neighboring countries, and assistance for the many Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan and other countries.

The agreement also seeks to reiterate and strengthen the bonds of Islamic unity and togetherness, regardless of sect, the statement read.

Earlier this year, Al-Issa met with Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar, where the two discussed the importance of the role of Muslim scholars helping to end the violence in Afghanistan.

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UN’s special rapporteur in Afghanistan to assess human rights situation

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(Last Updated On: May 18, 2022)

Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan is currently in the country and has already met with the IEA’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Bennett who is in Afghanistan on a 10-day visit, is expected to engage with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials, international and national representatives of NGOs and other organizations, members of civil society and other stakeholders to discuss the human rights situation in Afghanistan.

The IEA meanwhile said Bennett provided information on the purpose of his visit to Muttaqi at their meeting and outlined his mission.

Muttaqi briefed Bennett on the religious and cultural values and cultural characteristics of the Afghan people so that he could take this into consideration while assessing the situation.

In a recent statement, ahead of his arrival in Afghanistan, Bennett said he would engage with the authorities and a broad range of stakeholders to assess the situation of human rights, including with regard to the implementation of obligations under international human rights instruments ratified by Afghanistan, and to offer assistance to address and prevent violations and abuses.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council. Bennett, who was appointed on April 1, official resumed duties on May 1.

Bennett will also conduct field visits while in Afghanistan and will deliver his findings in a report to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly later in the year.

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IEA approves working process to bring exiled Afghan politicians home

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

Organization procedures for the commission tasked with getting Afghan politicians and former government officials living abroad to return home have been approved by the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the commission is expected to start work soon.

It was decided at a recent meeting that the commission’s operational procedures will be announced at a special ceremony in the near future.

“In this commission, all faces, whether women or men, will be contacted, and everyone’s return plan is ready for the patriotic figures to be returned,” said Hassan Haqyar, a close allie of the IEA.

But some political activists have raised questions about the future of any returning exiled Afghans.

The have asked if the politicians for instance will be allowed to carry on with work as previously or whether they will have to give up politics and find another occupation.

The same goes for former government employees.

“We call on the Emirate, in order to implement the plan of this commission, to facilitate the work and activity of these figures again, and there must be a guarantee for everyone who returns, because everyone must see themselves in the mirror of the government,” said Sayed Jawad Hussaine, political analyst.

However, Iran, which hosts a number of former politicians has once again called for the establishment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Recently, Anas Haqqani, a member of the commission, said that about 50 former government officials have so far returned to Afghanistan and that efforts are underway to bring back other political figures.

The meeting of the Commission for the Return of Politicians and Former Government Officials was meanwhile convened shortly after former President Hamid Karzai was ordered to not leave the country.

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India mulls reopening embassy in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

India is exploring the possibility of reopening its embassy in Afghanistan, but without high-level diplomatic representation, an Indian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

A team of Indian security officials visited Kabul in February to assess the situation, the Indian Express reported.

The paper said that the embassy will likely function only with personnel for liaison purposes that may extend to consular services.

India, like many other countries, closed its embassy in Kabul after the Islamic Emirate took over Afghanistan on August 15 last year.

Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran were the only countries that did not close their embassies in Kabul during the takeover.

Some 16 countries have now reopened their embassies in Kabul.

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