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Nato was a political failure in Afghanistan: UK’s defence secretary

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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2021)

Nato’s political campaign in Afghanistan was a failure, the UK’s defence secretary said on Tuesday but insisted the western alliance had not suffered a military defeat at the hands of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

Speaking to the Commons defence committee on Tuesday afternoon, Wallace said Nato forces could have stayed on in the country, but a “rotten deal” struck by Donald Trump’s US government led to the IEA’s triumphant return, the Guardian reported.

It was “highly likely” that there would now be a renewed threat from al-Qaeda from Afghanistan, Wallace said. But, he added: “For 20 years we were safer, so we can bank that.

“I don’t think that we were defeated. Our resolve was found wanting, I would say, rather than defeated,” he said.

“Nato were there to enable a political campaign and I think that is what failed. The military were there to put in place the security environment in order to try and deliver that.

“When that is withdrawn, that is when you find out whether your political campaign has worked. What we discovered is it didn’t work. It was the western resolve and the western narrative or political foundations they had laid failed. There are a lot of searching questions there for all of us.”

He added: “I think it is highly likely that we will see a return to al-Qaeda and an increasing threat coming from Afghanistan.”

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Two killed, 20 wounded in Herat shootings

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(Last Updated On: July 4, 2022)

Two people were killed and 20 others were wounded when gunmen opened fire at two vehicles carrying civilian employees of the 207 Al-Farooq Army Corps in Herat on Monday, sources said.

The vehicles were on their way to the army corps headquarters when the shootings happened in the fourth and fifth districts of the provincial capital, also Herat.

A source in the 2017 Al-Farooq Army Corps said that the 20 injured in the shootings included two children and 18 employees of the corps.

According to police, one attacker was killed and two others fled following the incident.

Defense ministry’s spokesman also confirmed the death of two army personnel.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

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Japan to provide $14 million in aid for Afghanistan’s agriculture sector

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(Last Updated On: July 3, 2022)

Japan’s ambassador to Afghanistan has announced that his country will invest $14 million in Afghanistan’s agriculture and development programs.

The Japanese ambassador to Kabul Takashi Okada, raised the issue in a meeting with Amir Khan Muttaqi, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), in Doha.

Muttaqi welcomed the decision and asked other countries to help in developing Afghanistan’s infrastructure.

“In addition to assistance in agriculture, education and other development sectors, the Japanese Ambassador noted that his country was consulting on Afghanistan’s economic growth to take the necessary steps in this regard. Humanitarian, development and other cooperation with Afghans is not linked to politics,” Hafiz Zia Ahmad, Deputy spokesman and Assistant Director of Public Relations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted.

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US may resume Fulbright scholarship program for Afghans

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(Last Updated On: July 3, 2022)

The US State Department says it is considering resuming the Fulbright scholarship program for Afghan students for the 2023-2024 academic year.

A spokesperson for the US State Department told VOA: “We continue to work towards the safe resumption of the Fulbright program for Afghan students.”

He added: “For this course, we are considering semi-final applicants [for the academic year] 2022-2023.”

The semi-final applicants have already passed most of the eligibility stages and exams, including the English language test, which are required to join this study program, VOA reported.

After the collapse of the previous government and the Islamic Emirate’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the United States canceled the Fulbright program for Afghans.

Every year, about 4,000 foreign students from dozens of countries receive Fulbright scholarships. More than 400,000 students from 160 countries have participated in this program since its inception in 1946.

From 2003 to 2021, more than 950 Afghans have benefited from the opportunity to study at the master’s and doctorate level in Fulbright programs. Fulbright master’s programs are one or two years, but the study period of the doctoral level is five years.

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