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No change in India’s position on not recognizing IEA: New Delhi

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(Last Updated On: March 17, 2023)

The External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday there had been no change in India’s position on not recognizing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan; the remarks came amid the reports of an Afghan policy body asking officials to attend an online program under the ITEC initiative.

At a media briefing, the spokesperson also said that the Indian side does not issue any note verbal to any entities that New Delhi does not recognize.

The comments came after the beginning of a four-day online course for Afghan diplomats, including IEA officials.

The online course was conducted by the E-ITEC from March 14 and will continue till 17 of this month with 18 Afghan participants. This was the first initiative since the IEA’s takeover in August 2021.

However, the MEA spokesperson said there had been no change in India’s position on the IEA regime.

“These courses are also open to nationals of various countries, including Afghanistan. Several Afghan nationals, based in India and Afghanistan, have been participating in these ITEC courses,” Arindam Bagchi said.

“Of course, the online courses do not involve travel to India,” he said.

The MEA spokeswoman stated that India’s stance on the IEA regime has not changed.

“Our position on how we see developments in Afghanistan has not changed. I do not think anything should be read into ITEC courses vis-a-vis that. We certainly would not be issuing verbal notes, which are inter-governmental notes, to entities that are not recognized,” he said.

India has not yet recognized the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. It has been pitching for an inclusive and representative government while insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for terrorist activities against other countries.

India meanwhile has extended its humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan to address the current humanitarian crisis in the country.

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AWCC rolls out internet services to Nangarhar’s Hesarak district

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Officials from Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) say they have activated 3G and 2G internet services in Hesarak district of Nangarhar province.

The company’s officials said that now thousands of families in this district have access to the internet.

They added that the company will expand 3G and 2G internet services in other districts of this province as well.

“This base is built as standard and today we activated 3G and 2G internet services here,” said Attaullah Sahil, head of AWCC in the eastern zone.

Nangarhar officials meanwhile welcomed AWCC’s move to provide the Hesarak people with internet services and said they hoped residents of other areas will also be provided with the same service.

“An Afghan wireless base has been activated in this district that currently provides 3G and 2G internet services,” said Zabihullah Zaki, Nangarhar’s director of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

In the meantime, the residents of Hesarak district are happy that they have access to the new generation of internet services but call for costs to be reduced.
“We are very happy that the Afghan wireless base was activated here,” said a resident of Hesarak district.

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Muttaqi to UNAMA head: Doha meeting had no tangible outcome

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi said in a meeting with UNAMA head Roza Otunbayeva that the Islamic Emirate closely monitored the Doha meeting and observed that the meeting did not render a “particular result”.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesman of the foreign ministry, said in a statement on X that Muttaqi said the Islamic Emirate hopes that the interactive meetings with the Islamic Emirate will lead to good results.

According to Muttaqi, for the meetings to be effective, there should be comprehensive discussions with the Islamic Emirate on issues related to Afghanistan.

Balkhi, quoting Otunbaeva said from the point of view of Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, no action should be taken to complicate the work with the Islamic Emirate in appointing a special representative for Afghanistan.

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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Work gets underway on Hairatan-Mazar section of Balkh to Uzbekistan railway line

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

Reconstruction of a section of the Mazar-e-Sharif-Uzbekistan railway line has started at a cost of $6.3 million, Balkh provincial officials said.

Local officials said the 75-km long line will start at Balkh airport and stretch to Uzbekistan.

The reconstruction of this railway line has been contracted to an Uzbek company and is expected to be operational in three months, officials said.

This railway line, which carries freight, links Hairatan land port to Mazar.

“The cost of this contract is approximately six million and 300 thousand US dollars,” said Mohammad Shafiq Mahmood, the head of Balkh railway.

Local authorities have said the reactivation of this line is important for economic growth and the expansion of trade ties.

“We thank our friendly neighbor Uzbekistan for coming here and starting this project,” said Noorul Hadi Abu Idris, the deputy governor of Balkh.

Mazar-e-Sharif-Uzbekistan railway transports commercial goods from the city of Termez in Uzbekistan first to the commercial town of Hairatan and then to the Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi Airport.

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