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Pakistan envoy says after embassy attack Islamabad is committed to fighting terrorism

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq has said last week’s attack on the Pakistan embassy in Kabul is a reminder of the threat that terrorism poses to Afghanistan and the region.

In a tweet on Sunday, Sadiq said Pakistan remains steadfast in its commitment to fighting terrorism.

This came just hours after Afghanistan’s ISIS branch, IS-KP (Daesh), claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt on Pakistan’s Charge d’affaires to Kabul Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani.

In a statement Saturday, Daesh said it had “attacked the apostate Pakistani ambassador and his guards.”

In response, Pakistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan tweeted: “The IS-KP have accepted responsibility for the terrorist attack on Pakistan Embassy compound on (Friday) 2 December. Independently and in consultation with the Afghan authorities, Pakistan will verify the veracity of these reports.

“This notwithstanding, the terrorist attack is yet another reminder of the threat that terrorism poses to peace & stability in Afghanistan and the region. We must act resolutely with all our collective might to defeat this menace,” he said.

A police spokesperson in Kabul said on Saturday that one suspect had been arrested and two weapons were seized.

Nizamani was on a routine afternoon walk on Friday inside the sprawling embassy compound when unknown gunmen opened fire on him from a nearby building. VOA reported, the diplomat escaped unhurt, but his security guard was hit in the chest by three bullets.

A Pakistani Foreign Affairs Ministry statement in Islamabad condemned what it called an attempted assassination of Nizamani. It demanded the Islamic Emirate government in Kabul immediately investigate the shooting and bring the culprits to justice.

Pakistan also called on local authorities to take urgent measures to ensure the safety and security of its diplomatic mission, personnel and citizens in Afghanistan.

Afghan Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement that his government strongly condemns “the failed firing attack” at the Pakistan embassy and that it will not allow “any malicious actors” to pose a threat to the security of diplomatic missions in the Afghan capital.

“Our security [agencies] will conduct a serious investigation, identify perpetrators and bring them to justice,” Balkhi said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan foreign ministry’s spokesperson stated that there are no plans to close the embassy or withdraw diplomats from Kabul.

Pakistan and the world at large do not formally recognize Afghanistan’s IEA government, although Pakistan — along with China, Russia, Turkey, Qatar and several other countries — has kept its embassy in Kabul open.

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Afghanistan announces aid for quake-hit Turkey and Syria

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) on Tuesday announced AFN 15 million (approx. $166,000 USD) in humanitarian aid for people affected by recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Of the total, AFN 10 million (approx. $111,000) will be for Turkey, and AFN 5 million (approx. $55,000) will be for Syria.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement said that IEA stands in solidarity with its brothers and sisters in this time of hardship.

It added that the aid is on the basis of “shared humanity and Islamic brotherhood.”

The statement also said that IEA emergency response and health teams stand ready to participate in rescue operations to assist the affected people if called upon.

The ministry instructed its diplomatic mission in Turkey to not spare any efforts in assisting the victims, and urged Turkey-based Afghan citizens to help with the relief efforts.

Thousands have been killed in Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency across 10 provinces worst affected by the earthquakes.

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28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced that Afghanistan needs immediate humanitarian aid.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi on Monday said that Afghanistan is experiencing the worst period over the past two decades.

Abdi said on Twitter that humanitarian needs are felt now more than ever before in Afghanistan, and has warned that disruptions of aid will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the war-torn country, already plagued with critical challenges.

“Some 28 million Afghans are in dire need of humanitarian aid, which needs the immediate attention of the international community, partners, and Taliban’s caretaker government,” Abdi said.

During his visit with Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore reiterated that the organization is committed to carrying on its much-needed operations in the areas of education, healthcare, and children’s vaccinations in Afghanistan.

Previously, UNICEF announced that Afghanistan is among the eight most hunger-hit countries in the world.

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Iran’s top security official leaves for Russia to attend Afghanistan meeting

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani has left the country for Russia to attend a summit that will focus on the political, economic and security situation in Afghanistan.

Shamkhani will join top security officials from Central Asian countries, Pakistan, India and China for a meeting planned for Wednesday in the Russian capital Moscow as part of the fifth round of the multilateral talks on Afghanistan.

The previous edition of the conference had been held in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe in May 2022.

Indian capital of New Delhi had hosted the third round of the initiative in 2021 two years after it was launched in Tehran.

Shamkhani is also scheduled to hold meetings with his counterparts from other countries, including Russia’s top security official.

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