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Pakistan denies VP Saleh’s claims of backing Taliban

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(Last Updated On: July 16, 2021)

Pakistan has rejected Vice President Amrullah Saleh’s claim that Islamabad has warned Kabul against conducting any airstrikes against the Taliban militants close to its border in southern Kandahar province. 

Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “such statements undermine Pakistan’s sincere efforts to play its part in an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led solution.”

VP Saleh said Friday that the Pakistan air force has issued an official warning to the Afghan Army and Air Force that any move to dislodge the Taliban from the Spin Boldak area will be faced and repelled by the Pakistan Air Force.

“Pakistan air force is now providing close air support to Taliban in certain areas,” Saleh said.

He noted that the Afghan aircrafts as far as 10 kilometers from the Spin Boldak were warned: “to back off or face air to air missiles.” 

“Afghanistan is too big to be swallowed,” Saleh warned.

Hours after Saleh’s claims, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said: “The Afghan side conveyed to Pakistan its intention of carrying out air operation inside its territory opposite Chaman Sector of Pakistan. Pakistan responded positively to Afghan Government’s right to act in its territory.”

“In spite of very close border operations normally not acceded to by internationally accepted norms/standards/procedures, Pakistan took necessary measures within its territory to safeguard our own troops and population,” the statement said.

Pakistan stated that Islamabad acknowledges Afghan Government’s right to undertake actions on its sovereign territory.

“However, as alleged by the Afghan Vice President, Pakistan Air Force never communicated anything to the Afghan Air Force,” Pakistan said.

Right after in response to Pakistan’s rejection first Vice President Amrullah Saleh said again that:” For over 20 years Pakistan denied the existence of Quetta Shura or presence of Talib terrorist leaders in its soil.”

“Those familiar with this pattern, Afghan or foreign, know exactly that issuing a statement of denial is just a pre-written paragraph,” he tweeted.

This comes two days after Taliban fighters claimed that they had seized control of the Spin Boldak crossing area between Afghan and Pakistan territory.

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Baradar meets with Bayat chairman to discuss continued investment in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

The deputy prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for economic affairs, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met with Dr Ehsanollah Bayat, the chairman of the Bayat Group and its subsidiary the Bayat Foundation, this weekend to discuss the company’s future plans regarding ongoing investment in the country.

The Bayat Group is Afghanistan’s largest private diversified services company, comprising telecoms, media, energy, technology and other enterprises, while the Bayat Foundation provides life saving aid to Afghans in times of need as well as health services.

In their meeting Saturday, Baradar and Dr Bayat discussed investment possibilities in a number of sectors.

According to Baradar’s office, Dr Bayat said he was ready to invest in Afghanistan in the health, electricity and telecommunications sectors.

In a series of tweets, Baradar’s office noted that the deputy prime minister told Dr Bayat in the meeting: “We appreciate and support all the efforts of businessmen and investors in the economic reconstruction of the country.”

He added: “Anyone who invests in Afghanistan and provides job opportunities for the people, we will support him and assure them of their security in the country.”

Baradar also thanked Dr Bayat for the services being provided by the Bayat Group and by the Bayat Foundation.

From 4G LTE communications to electric power, broadcasting, high speed internet, construction and mobile money, The Bayat Group builds market-leading enterprises that provide Afghans with innovative and popular products and services.

A champion of Afghan-based economic development, The Bayat Group provides employment to more than 10,000 Afghans through its direct operations and employs more than 100,000 other Afghan citizens through its ecosystem of dealers and vendors.

The foundation, which was started in 2006, has meanwhile helped rebuild Afghanistan as well as deliver hope and support to the neediest and most at-risk Afghans.

Involved in building mosques, and in the health care and education sectors, the foundation also answers to calls following natural disasters and times of human suffering.

A key example of the type of assistance provided by the Bayat Foundation was in the aftermath of last week’s earthquake in Paktika and Khost provinces.

Within hours of Wednesday’s quake, the foundation had dispatched not only essential relief including shelter, blankets and food, but also a team of doctors and a mobile clinic with life saving medicines to treat the injured.

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China pledges over $7 million in aid for quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

China’s ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu met with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and said his country would provide emergency aid worth 50 million Yuan ($7.5 million) for victims of last week’s earthquake. 

At a meeting on Saturday in Kabul, Wang also said that MCC Mes Aynak copper mining contractor would provide $200,000 in aid. 

Wang said on Twitter: “Chinese enterprises will definitely fulfill their social responsibilities. The friendship between 2 countries and peoples will be further strengthened.”

Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government and people for the timely assistance and assured Wang that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities would distribute the aid promptly, fairly and transparently, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported. 

Aid provided by China will include tents, sheets, fold up beds, and other items urgently needed by the Afghan people. The first batch of aid is scheduled to arrive by charter flight on Monday, Bakhtar reported.

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Thousands of earthquake victims in need of water and food, at risk of disease

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

Thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in eastern Afghanistan are in need of clean water and food and are at risk of disease, an Afghan Health Ministry official said on Sunday days after a United Nations agency warned of a cholera outbreak in the region.

At least 1,000 people were killed, 2,000 injured and 10,000 homes destroyed in last Wednesday’s earthquake, after which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that cholera outbreaks in the aftermath are of particular and serious concern.

“The people are extremely needy for food and clean water,” Afghanistan Health Ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman told Reuters, adding that officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

“We ask the international community, humanitarian organizations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don’t have proper houses and shelters for living,” he said.

The UN and several countries have rushed aid to the affected areas, with more due to arrive over the coming days.

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