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Qatar calls on West to engage with IEA to stem crisis in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: May 29, 2022)

Qatar has urged the West to step up its engagement with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), warning that failure to do so would risk Afghanistan falling into deeper chaos and a rise in extremism.

Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told the Financial Times that maintaining the status quo “where the West is boycotting Afghanistan, and just focusing on part of the humanitarian activities through the international agencies” was not going to keep “Afghanistan intact”.

“We will see maybe a rise of extremism. We will start to see an economic crisis, which has already started, and this will just drive the people to more radicalisation and conflict,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “This is what we are trying to avoid,” FT reported.

Qatar is one of the few countries to have relations with the IEA and it has been the main facilitator of talks between the new Afghan government, the US, and its European allies.

In the nine months since the IEA took over, Afghanistan has been plunged into a deepening humanitarian and economic crisis. Foreign reserves remain frozen and the country is battling growing levels of poverty.

The IEA is also facing international isolation.

Sheikh Mohammed also criticised recent moves by the IEA that include the suspension of school for teenage girls.

“We believe if we had engaged earlier we wouldn’t have allowed such things to happen,” he said. “Right now it’s very important not to let the situation get worse and maybe we end up with a very chaotic situation in Afghanistan.”

Sheikh Mohammed said there was some engagement between the IEA and the west in Doha, but added: “Still there is no clarity, what is their vision on Afghanistan?”

“This is what we are lacking,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “If we have a clear road map at least each party would know their responsibility. This would be the only way forward, otherwise if we just address the issues tactically, it won’t solve the problem, just postpone, maybe, the consequences.”

He said the international community should engage on “the economic front” and build capacity within the government to help boost employment and growth, while ensuring the IEA engages with “all parties” in Afghanistan to create a sustainable peace.

In terms of providing financial support to the IEA government, he said there should be “reciprocal measures,” and “a very strict monitoring mechanism, whenever we are supporting financing for the government over there, to make sure the right people are paid”, FT reported.

He also said “it’s the people who are losing hope in Afghanistan. What are they going to resort to? I think that’s going to be our biggest problem, they are either going to resort to violence or to massive migration.”

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Hundreds of needy families receive aid packages in Paktia



(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)

Hundreds of needy families in Gerda Seray district of Paktia province have received aid packages in the holy month of Ramadan, local officials said.

The packages have been distributed by a German foundation to residents of this district.

Khalil Rahman Haqqani, Minister of Refugees and Repatriations, said the ministry is fully prepared to meet the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees.

While distributing aid to those in need in this district, the minister asked international organizations to cooperate with Afghanistan in dealing with IDPs.

Habibullah Shahzad, head of Paktia migrant affairs department, meanwhile said that these aid packages include flour, oil, sugar, beans, tea, gas cylinders and blankets.

The recipients are happy that they have received aid in the holy month of Ramadan, but say they need more aid to meet their needs.

According to the refugees ministry, there are currently more than one million IDPs in the country who need emergency assistance in addition to shelter.

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Daesh claims responsibility for attack near Afghan foreign ministry



(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)

Daesh has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack that killed at least six civilians in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Monday, Reuters reported.

The group published the details of a suicide bomber, on its Telegram account, saying that the attack was carried out by “Abdul Hameed Khorasani.”

Monday’s attack was condemned by several national and international individuals and organizations, including the UN mission in Afghanistan.

“Reports of numerous casualties in today’s attack in Kabul-at least one child among them. It is unacceptable that ordinary Afghans continue to be targeted as they go about their daily lives,” UNAMA said in a tweet.

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AWCC launches 3G services in a remote area of Kunar province



(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)

Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) has rolled out 3G services to the remote Chaghan district in the northeastern province of Kunar.

Being so remote, Chaghan residents have struggled with limited telecommunications in the past but this week they welcomed AWCC’s initiative.

Officials in the area also welcomed the move and said the new infrastructure installed in Chaghan also helps cover surrounding areas.

“An AWCC site was opened in a dominant location. This is a very good place. It is connected to the [provincial] center and covers some areas of Marawar district and Watepur district. We are grateful to AWCC,” said Sajjad, provincial director of communications.

Ejazul Haq Yousufzai, head of Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) in Kunar, said efforts are ongoing for the development of telecommunication services so as to reach all districts in the province.

Local authorities in Kunar expressed their appreciation for the provision of telecommunication and internet services by AWCC and acknowledged that the services provided by the company are of a good quality.

“First of all, we are very grateful to the employees of AWCC for providing these services to the people of Kunar. We ask all companies and institutions to provide such services to the mountainous province of Kunar,” provincial governor, Ahmad Taha, said.

Abdullah Haqqani, deputy governor of Kunar, said: “Kunar is a mountainous province. The number of [cellphone] towers is not enough. We demand that problems faced by the people get solved.”

Local residents also expressed their satisfaction with the recent move of AWCC.

“The opening of this site is a great achievement for these two valleys. With this, these two valleys were connected to the center. The problems that people were facing before have now been solved,” Hayatullah, a resident of Kunar province, said.

Meanwhile, AWCC officials in the eastern zone assured the people of Kunar that the company will provide telecommunication services to all remote areas of the province.

“This site plays a key role for these two valleys, Dangam, Ghazi Abad, Nari, Watepur and up to Nuristan. Without the site, other sites cannot provide these services,” said Attaullah Sahil, head of AWCC in the eastern zone.

With the improvement of the security situation, AWCC has not only expanded its telecommunication services in the eastern zone, but it has covered many remote areas of the zone with 3G and 4G internet services.

Kunar province lies in the northeastern section of the country and borders northern Pakistan. The vast majority of the province is mountainous and extremely rugged.

The province is dominated by the lower Hindu Kush mountains which are cut by the Kunar River to form the forested Kunar Valley. The mountains, narrow valleys with steep walls, and rivers present formidable natural obstacles and have historically constrained all movement through the province.

Even in the early 21st century, movement on foot, with pack animals, or with motorized vehicles is extremely limited and channeled due to the significant geographic restrictions.

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