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NDS chief tells senators Taliban behind 99 percent of attacks



(Last Updated On: December 30, 2020)

Ahmad Zia Siraj, head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), told Afghanistan’s Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) on Tuesday that Taliban are responsible for “99 percent of attacks in Afghanistan”.

This comes after senators summoned security officials to appear before them and answer questions on the security situation in the country. 

According to Siraj, 18,200 attacks happened in Afghanistan in the past year. He said the Taliban were responsible for 99 percent of these attacks. 

Siraj said the Taliban, especially its affiliated group Haqqani Network, are also behind the spate of targeted killings in the country.

On the issue of former slain journalist Yama Siawash, Siraj said that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack. He said however that investigations into the assassination are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Massoud Andarabi, Interior Minister, said that the ministry will punish police personnel whose vehicles are targeted in magnetic IEDs. 

He said the ministry will now shift the focus of the police services from “guarding doors to enforcing laws”. 

Andarabi also said the Taliban had planned to overrun more areas in provinces but were prevented from doing so. As a result they turned their attention to targeted killings of individuals in Kabul. 

Andarabi said the Taliban is also hoping to gain leverage with the peace process by putting pressure on government through tactics involving IED bombings and targeted killings in Kabul and other attack in provinces. 

This comes amid a sharp increase in targeted attacks in the country, especially in Kabul, in recent weeks. Insurgents have singled out public figures including civil society activists, government figures and journalists in their assassination spree. 

Despite numerous people having been killed in the past few months in targeted attacks, no group ever steps forward to claim responsibility for the attacks. 

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



(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



(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



(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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