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Possible ban on UN’s female staff sparks widespread concern

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(Last Updated On: April 5, 2023)

Responding to indications by the UN in Afghanistan that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) plans to stop Afghan women from working for the organization has sparked widespread concern among the international community.

In a tweet on Wednesday, former US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said the IEA had to respect women’s rights to education and work in the “public and private” sectors during Doha negotiations.

He said the IEA must fulfill its commitment to the agreement.

Khalilzad also said any decision to ban women from working in UN offices is “wrong” and will increase the suffering of the Afghan people.

According to him, such actions will reduce humanitarian aid to the country and emphasized that a decision of this nature would complicate the interactions of the international community with the IEA and harm the interests of Afghanistan.

“Afghan women have the inalienable right to study and work, these rights are recognized in Islam and international conventions,” Khalilzad tweeted.

Concerns were raised on Tuesday when the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) got to hear that the IEA was clamping down on its female staff.

In a tweet on Tuesday, UNAMA said its female staff in Nangarhar had been stopped from reporting for work. Reuters then reported that the instructions were applicable countrywide.

UNAMA expressed its concern and warned the IEA it would not be able to continue its work without female employees.

UN Secretary-General Guterres tweeted: “I strongly condemn the prohibition of our Afghan female colleagues from working in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province.”

“If this measure is not reversed, it will inevitably undermine our ability to deliver life-saving aid to the people who need it.”

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, also reacted on his Twitter page and said the IEA decision to ban Afghan women UN staff from working is another gross violation of their fundamental rights, is against the UN Charter and will seriously impact essential services for Afghans. Women staff are essential, he said.

“I urge Taliban (IEA) to reverse the decision immediately,” Bennett tweeted.

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Ministry of commerce meets with Chinese and American investors

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(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

The ministry of commerce and industry said on Wednesday a meeting was held with Chinese and American investors, where the process of investing in Afghanistan was explained to them.

“General security is provided in Afghanistan and investors can invest in this country with ease,” said Sibghatullah Akhundzada, head of investment at the ministry.

The ministry said a presentation was delivered by the ministry’s department of investment on investing in the country, which detailed opportunities available.

The ministry said questions were asked by the Chinese and American investors, who showed an interest in investing in the energy, mining and construction sectors.

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Afghan family claim son held in Guantanamo Bay for past 17 years

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(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

A family in Kabul claims that a relative of theirs has been held prisoner in Guantanamo Bay for 17 years.

Members of the family say his name is Mohammad Rahim.

They have called on the Islamic Emirate to enter into negotiations with America for the release of Rahim.

Safura Bibi, the mother of Rahim, claims her son was arrested seventeen years ago in the city of Lahore in Pakistan and transferred to Guantanamo.

According to Rahim’s mother he was selling honey at the time and was taking religious classes when arrested.

This mother blames Pakistan for her son’s arrest.

She says she is in contact with her son through the Red Cross and sometimes gets letters from him.

Other members of the family claim Rahim worked in the anti-narcotics department during the first round of the Islamic Emirate government and is currently the last Afghan prisoner in Guantanamo Bay.

The family want the US to release him.

The family also ask the Islamic Emirate to work to secure his release.

The Islamic Emirate says it is following up on the issue and has raised this in meetings they have had with the Americans.

Mohammad Dawood; the younger son of Mohammad Rahim, who was two years old at the time of his father’s arrest says he hopes to see his father again.

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Kyrgyzstan calls on Central Asian states to strengthen cooperation on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: November 29, 2023)

Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubaev on Tuesday called on Central Asian nations to strengthen cooperation and coordination with regards to Afghanistan.

Speaking at the 13th Annual Meeting of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Central Asian states, Kulubaev said that the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan plays an important role in ensuring regional security and prosperity.

He expressed support for the activities of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and thanked the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan Roza Otunbayeva for her work within the framework of the UNAMA mandate, Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Roza Otunbayeva also attended the two-day meeting in Bishkek which ended on Tuesday.

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