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Pentagon removes more than 130,000 Afghanistan War photos and videos

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(Last Updated On: November 2, 2021)

The Pentagon has quietly removed a massive collection of Afghanistan War footage totaling more than 120,000 photos and 17,000 videos from its official visual record, Task and Purpose reported Monday.

The images and videos, which date back more than a decade, were previously published to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, or DVIDS, a vast repository of public domain material that’s available for use by the public and the press.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Monday that he made the decision to temporarily archive any images and videos that could put Afghans in danger.

“My guidance was: I want any imagery that could be used to identify individuals and/or family members over the last 20 years of war; I wanted it to be unpublished for a temporary period of time, and it is temporary,” Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing. “It was done out of an abundance of caution.”

He said about 120,000 photographs and about 17,000 videos have been unpublished but he did not say when they would be reposted.

“We did not delete, but we took off publicly accessible platforms and archived for future republication at a later date,” Kirby said. “We removed thousands of still imagery and videos that would show the faces or any other identifiable information about many of the Afghans that we have worked for and we have supported and who have supported us over the last 20 years.”

As of Monday, there were approximately 86,000 images and 46,000 videos from Afghanistan remaining on DVIDS.

“This was an abundance of caution that we felt was necessary in keeping with our obligation to protect the identities of our Afghan allies and partners,” Kirby said.

“When we don’t feel that that need is there, then we will absolutely republish them.”

But Kirby described the effort to remove so many pictures and videos as a “mammoth undertaking” that took nearly two months; and he added: “The reason why I didn’t announce it was because we were in the middle of it and it wouldn’t make much sense to tell the world that we were archiving these images before we were done archiving them.”

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Qatari envoy meets with Muttaqi, Haqqani and Agha in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

Qatar’s Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani met with a number of senior Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials on Sunday in Kabul for talks on the current situation in the country.

The Qatari envoy met with IEA Foreign Affairs Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi; Minister of Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani; Minister of Education Habibullah Agha; and Director-General of the General Directorate of Intelligence Abdul Haq Wasiq.

According to a statement issued by the ministry of foreign affairs of Qatar, Al Qahtani discussed “the most important developments in Afghanistan, especially in politics, economy, development, and education.”

He reiterated Qatar’s position supporting all segments of the Afghan people to obtain all their rights, particularly the right to education, especially for girls, and respect for women’s right to work, the statement read.

According to the statement, he also stressed the continuation of Qatar’s endeavors to support and facilitate efforts to reach a comprehensive political consensus that achieves security and stability in Afghanistan.

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Biden extends US national emergency over humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

US President Joe Biden has extended for one more year the national emergency declared in his executive order with respect to the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the “potential for deepening economic collapse” in the country.

On February 11, 2022, Biden by an executive order declared a national emergency to deal with the “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” constituted by the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the potential for a deepening economic collapse in the country, the White House said.

“The widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan — including the urgent needs of the people of Afghanistan for food security, livelihoods support, water, sanitation, health, hygiene, shelter and settlement assistance, and COVID-19-related assistance, among other basic human needs — and the potential for a deepening economic collapse in Afghanistan continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” White House said in a notice released on February 3.

“In addition, the preservation of certain property of Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) held in the United States by United States financial institutions is of the utmost importance to addressing this national emergency and the welfare of the people of Afghanistan,” the notice said.

“Various parties, including representatives of victims of terrorism, have asserted legal claims against certain property of DAB or indicated in public court filings an intent to make such claims. This property is blocked under Executive Order 14064.”

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Kandahar-Dubai flights resume

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(Last Updated On: February 5, 2023)

Local officials in Kandahar province say flights between Kandahar and Dubai have resumed for the first time since the IEA took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.

The head of Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport in Kandahar has said that the flights have been resumed by Kam Air, the largest private airline in Afghanistan.

Kam Air officials meanwhile said that the west and south zones have more traders and industrialists; therefore, they have resumed the flights.

It is said that round-trip flights will also soon start between Kandahar and New Delhi and Kandahar and China.

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