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Russia Expresses Concerns Over U.S. ‘Unrealistic’ Strategy for Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 24, 2022)

Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has expressed his concern over Washington’s new strategy on the Afghan crisis, calling it as an “unrealistic approach”.

Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had a meeting on the sideline of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

After the meeting, the Russian top diplomat stressed that his country is a little bit alarmed by the new strategy announced by Washington for Afghanistan.

He stated that the U.S. has focused on the military solution for resolving the situation in Afghanistan while Russia believe this is not realistic.

Meanwhile, Lavrov and Tillerson have reiterated the importance of further contacts on Afghanistan.

“We reiterated the usefulness of contacts on Afghanistan between our representatives,” Lavrov continued. “We had contacts in September and in December… Of course, we need to know what each of us wants.”

According to Russia Foreign Minister, Washington and Moscow have agreed to continue contacts on Afghanistan and cooperate with other countries involved in the Afghan settlement.

This comes as the U.S. new strategy for Afghanistan calls for more troops in Afghanistan, insisting that conditions on the ground would determine troop levels and strategy.

The Afghan government also emphasize on the elimination of terrorist groups which are operating in Afghanistan.

“The terrorist groups such as the Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Chechens, Uyghurs, and Arab terror groups which are in Afghanistan must be destroyed, because they are coming to Afghanistan for fight and they are terrorist groups,” Defense Ministry Spokesman, Major General Dawlat Waziri said.

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China used botched Afghanistan withdrawal to ‘erode’ confidence in US, Pentagon report

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2022)

China used the US’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan to “erode” trust in the US, the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on military and security developments pertaining to China stated.

The report released on Tuesday noted: “In 2021, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) employed multiple diplomatic tools in an attempt to erode US and partner influence, such as highlighting the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and criticizing US-backed security partnerships.”

“PRC officials and state media outlets also repeatedly condemned the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and cited the withdrawal as evidence that the US is an unreliable partner and declining power,” the report read.

However, US critics have spoken out on numerous occasions about the chaotic withdrawal. “The way it was done was such a disaster and such a disgrace to our veterans that served in Afghanistan, they deserve answers to the many questions we have,” Rep. Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said recently.

“Why wasn’t there a plan to evacuate? How did it go so wrong?” he asked.

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Pakistani FM meets with deputy prime minister, reiterates need to avoid ‘mistakes of the past’

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(Last Updated On: November 30, 2022)

Visiting Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said in a meeting with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) deputy prime minister Abdul Salam Hanafi on Thursday that opportunities should be used and that the two countries should “not be involved in the mistakes of the past”.

According to a statement issued by Hanafi’s office on Tuesday night, Khar met with the deputy prime minister and with Shahabuddin Delawar, the minister of mines and petroleum, as well as a number of other IEA officials.

Hanafi pointed out at the meeting that “Afghanistan and Pakistan have long-standing historical, religious and cultural relations and we want to further expand relations between the two countries.”

He said Afghanistan is the bridge between Central and South Asia and “we are ready to cooperate for the implementation of big projects such as TAPI, TAP, CASA-1000 and the Peshawar-Kabul-Tirmaz railway line”.

He also said: “We are trying to mechanize the coal trade, and for this purpose, a competent inter-ministerial joint committee has been established. Also, the National Committee of Ports has been assigned to provide facilities in the field of trade and transit.”

Hanafi encouraged Pakistani investors to invest in Afghanistan in mining, energy and agriculture sectors and added that the Islamic Emirate wants Pakistan’s cooperation in the fields of visa facilitation for Afghans and the release of Afghan prisoners.

Meanwhile, Khar said: “We don’t know of countries that have a lot in common like Afghanistan and Pakistan,” adding that after 40 years, many opportunities have been provided in Afghanistan – opportunities beneficial to both countries.

Emphasizing that Pakistan respects the territorial integrity of Afghanistan, Khar stated “we should not be involved in the mistakes of the past. We must create a good environment for expanding business relations and people-to-people contact and turn challenges into opportunities.”

Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special representative for Afghanistan, also said: “We respect the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and since security has been ensured in Afghanistan, we should work and invest more for the welfare and comfort of the citizens of the two countries and focus on solving the problems.”

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24.3 million Afghans get life saving assistance in 9 months: UN agency

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(Last Updated On: November 29, 2022)

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid for Afghanistan (OCHA) said recently 24.3 million people in Afghanistan in need of food and non-food items received help during the first nine months of this year.

In a tweet on Monday, OCHA said: “Between Jan and Sept 2022, humanitarians reached 24.3 million people with life-saving assistance.”

On the other hand, the citizens of the country say they do not have access to proper food and shelter despite it now being winter.

They also lodged complaints about the distribution of assistance.

However, members of the public have said that for poverty alleviation, work should be provided for the people, and aid organizations can fill the economic gap by implementing projects.

“The fundamental issue is that in addition to aid, work should be done on all the former government’s incomplete and fundamental projects,” said a resident of Nangarhar.

Based on statistics of the UN, the poverty rate in Afghanistan has reached 97%, and this year, Afghanistan still has many vulnerabilities due to natural disasters.

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