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Political leaders condemn attack against Fawzia Koofi



(Last Updated On: August 15, 2020)

Afghan leaders and foreign allies Saturday condemned the attack on peace negotiator and political activist Fawzia Koofi and wished her a speedy recovery. 

Koofi, who is one of the Afghan national negotiating team members, came under fire by unknown gunmen on Friday afternoon while traveling on the Kabul-Parwan highway. 

According to Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, gunmen opened fire on Koofi and her sister when they were returning from a meeting in Parwan. 

He said the attack took place when the two women got out of their car to purchase something on the side of the road. 

Arian said Koofi had been shot in her right hand but that she was in a stable condition.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Afghans took to social media on Saturday after the news broke and also condemned the attack. 

Koofi herself posted on her Facebook page Friday night and said she “survived an assassination attempt today afternoon outside Kabul city and got injured in the right arm. Thankfully not a life threatening injury!” 

President Ashraf Ghani stated in response to the incident that “cowardly attacks on Afghan women would not hinder their purposeful efforts to preserve Afghanistan’s 19-year-old values.”

He wished Koofi, “a leader of the wave of political transformation” a speedy recovery.

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah also condemned the attack and called for an immediate investigation into the incident. 

“I strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Ms Fawzia Koofi and call upon the government to identify and apprehend the culprits and possible motive for the attack.” 

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai also denounced the attempted assassination against Koofi and called it a “terrorist act.”

Karzai said the attack was a clear and unequivocal act against the peace process and expressed his concern about the efforts and plots of the enemies of peace.

He also called on the people of Afghanistan to take a stand against any such plans so as to ensure negotiations would not be derailed. 

Stefano Pontecorvo the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan also voiced his dismay and said the “attack on Fawzia Koofi is yet another despicable attempt at silencing voices of those who advocate for peace and equal opportunities.”

He said: “The perpetrators must be brought to justice,” and that NATO would continue to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in the fight against terrorism.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident comes just days before Koofi and the rest of the Afghan national negotiating team are expected to leave for Doha to start peace talks with the Taliban.


Khalilzad slams ‘brutal’ but ‘failed’ regime in Iran



(Last Updated On: March 6, 2023)

Former US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad on Sunday called the Iranian regime a “political and economic failure at home and a growing threat to the region and the world”.

In an interview with UK-based Iran International, Khalilzad said the Tehran regime has lost the support of the Iranian people.

Following up with a detailed tweet after the interview, the former envoy said the Iranian “regime rules through brutal suppression of those who back the Zan (women), Zendagi (life), and Azadi (freedom) movements.

Referring to the ongoing poisoning mystery, he said “many female students have been poisoned at school.”

He also lashed out and said: “Iran has become the capital of al-Qaeda, is determined to acquire nuclear weapons, and provides military support to Russia in its aggression in Ukraine.”

Khalilzad also stated that the Iranian regime “might well use al-Qaeda to target regime opponents abroad and former US officials it has declared it wants to kill.”

He said the Biden administration and US Congress needs to increase support for Iran’s democratic opposition, isolate Iran internationally, press allies to declare Iran’s special military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a terrorist organization, and downgrade relations with the regime by withdrawing their Ambassadors.

“We must increase sanctions, especially stopping the import of Iranian oil. We must also strengthen deterrence against potential Iranian aggression,” he said.

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Mohammad Sadiq resigns as Pakistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: March 1, 2023)

Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special representative to Afghanistan, resigned from his post on Wednesday.

“After serving close to three years as Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, I have requested the government that the time had come for me to move on and focus on my personal pursuits — family, books and agriculture/environment,” he said in a series of tweets.

Sadiq said that he was grateful to the prime minister and all the other stakeholders for their “wholehearted support” to him as the special envoy.

“I deeply appreciate the hard work of many of my colleagues who spent long hours to make the Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship work,” he added.

Sadiq was appointed to the Afghan position in June 2020 and had worked closely with other envoys during the peace talks process between the US and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) in the lead up to the signing of the Doha Agreement on February 29, 2020.

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Desert Vipers pull off exciting 12-run win over Dubai Capitals to regain top slot



(Last Updated On: January 29, 2023)

Desert Vipers pulled off an exciting 12-run victory over Dubai Capitals in the 20th match of the ILT20 at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday night to regain the top position in the points table.

While Desert Vipers could post only a moderate total of 149 for 9 through a captain’s knock of 40 off 32 balls with two boundaries and two sixes from Colin Munro, Dubai Capitals were restricted to 137 for 5 in 20 overs through a splendid and accurate bowling by Rohan Mustafa (2 for 27) backed well by Matheesha Pathirana and Tom Curran.
For Dubai Capitals, Adam Zampa playing his first match, bowled brilliantly and took three wickets for 16 to bag the Player of the match award.

Dubai Capitals remain in fifth slot with two victories and four defeats and only five points.

Speaking about their performance, Desert Vipers’ Rohan Mustafa said after the match: “The Dubai Capitals bowled really well towards the end of our innings. Credit to them. It wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on. I thought we had enough on the board at the end of our innings.”

Meanwhile, Dubai Capitals’ Adam Zampa said: “Tom Curran and Matheesha Pathirana bowled impressively for the Vipers. The batting group will talk about what they can do better and think about what they could do if they find themselves in the same situation again.”

Earlier in the day, Rahmanullah Gurbaz played a fantastic innings of 56 runs from 39 balls to help the Sharjah Warriors register a four-wicket victory over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at the same stadium.

The Warriors restricted the Knight Riders to 149 for four in their 20 overs and then chased down their target in 17 overs.

Speaking about their performance, Sharjah Warriors’ captain Joe Denly said: “Our bowlers set the tone for the whole game. We never let them get away when they were batting. I thought 150 was a very reasonable score. We are a confident group at the moment and we have a couple of days to recharge and then come back strong in Sharjah.”

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Knight Riders’ Akeal Hosein said after the match: “I thought we were 15 runs short with the bat. The Warriors got off to a great start in the powerplay, which allowed them to cruise through in the middle period of the game. We’ve had decent performances with bat and ball, but we haven’t put everything together as a team.”

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