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Taekwondo federation to appeal COVID-related Olympic disqualification

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2021)

Afghanistan’s Taekwondo Federation said that it hopes the country still has a chance to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games despite having missed out on qualifying last week in Jordan.

Federation head, Najibullah Sikandari stated that Afghanistan would submit an appeal to the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) on their disqualification ruling.

According to Sikandari, Afghanistan could send a team to the Olympics if the ITF grants the country a White Card after the national team missed the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The team was forced to pull out after three members tested positive for COVID-19.

According to protocol, when 50 percent of a team tests positive for COVID-19 all team members are disqualified.

Sikandari, however, stated: “No one or organization including the General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports, the National Olympic Committee, and the National Taekwondo Federation can be blamed for 50 percent of the team testing positive.”

He added that the Afghan athletes have been practicing under strict COVID-19 safety and hygiene regulations over the past few months in order to participate at the Olympics.

Farzad Mansoori, a member of the team who missed qualifications, said he hopes the team will be given a waiver and be allowed to take part at the Games.

The Taekwondo Federation – which has gained three Olympic medals so far – is one of the most popular and promising sports federations in Afghanistan.

The Afghan National Para-Taekwondo Team meanwhile also took part in last week’s qualifiers but failed to qualify for the Tokyo Games.

However, three team members won bronze medals in their categories.

Zakia Khodadadi, a female member of the team, in the 43kg weight category; Zabihullah Haidary, in the 44kg weight category; and Matin Hotak in the 43kg weight category all won bronze medals.

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Civil servants ordered to carry out their duties in line with Sharia

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Supreme Leader Mawlavi Hebatullah Akhundzada has ordered all government officials to carry out their duties in accordance with Islamic principles and not to appoint staff based on subjectivity and connections.

In a voice message disseminated by the Ministry of Higher Education, Akhundzada said the Islamic Emirate will not fail to implement the Islamic Sharia and now that the IEA’s security forces are stationed in the cities, they should take effective steps to implement the divine system and guide people towards Sharia.

“Anyone who is appointed and by his appointment harms the people and the Islamic system, must be removed. The appointment of people should be based on the interests of the nation and Islamic Sharia,” said Akhundzada.

He also instructed civil servants not to force staff to resign unless there is a Sharia reason.

A number of experts meanwhile say that new laws need to be drawn up in order to advance governance because the Islamic Emirate has abolished the previous laws.

“Social justice and meritocracy, fair distribution of power and wealth for the citizens of the country is a Sharia and legal principle, a system will stand on its own feet when every specialty is in place,” said Sayed Moqadam Amin, a political analyst.

“Appointing experienced people who can manage government departments can have positive effects on the governance process,” said Abdul Jabar Akbari, another political expert.

“And it even encourages people to work in government offices,” he added.

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Peshawar mosque bombing death toll rises to at least 44

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

Monday’s massive explosion at a mosque in Peshawar has left at least 44 worshipers dead and over 150 injured.

Police said most of the worshipers were police, army and bomb disposal unit members and that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives while inside the mosque.

Hours after the explosion, rescue workers were still digging through rubble in search of survivors after a large section of the double-story building collapsed.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility.

A senior police officer told local media that the entire roof of the mosque had caved in, and the mosque was likely full as it was the first day of the working week.

While some say the mosque can take a couple of hundred people, Peshawar police said it was likely that about 260 people had been inside the mosque when the suicide bomber detonated his explosives.

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Turkey deports 139 Afghan migrants

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

A total of 139 Afghan migrants, who entered Turkey illegally, were deported on Saturday, said the head of Turkey’s Migration Management Directorate.

Anadolu Agency reported that in accordance with the country’s Irregular Migration Strategy Document and the National Action Plan, migrants, who do not have valid documents to be in Turkey, are being sent to their home countries by charter flights.

After going through all necessary procedures, including health checks and security-related steps, the migrants were deported to Afghanistan on Saturday, Savas Unlu told reporters in Ankara.

He said Turkey has so far arranged nine charter flights this year. “We have deported 8,571 irregular migrants from our country so far this year. This does not include these 139 migrants.”

Unlu added that as a result of Turkey’s efforts to combat irregular migration, the number of irregular migrants arriving at the country’s borders for illegal entry in 2022 decreased by 38% compared to 2021.

“Since 2016, 2.7 million irregular migrants have been prevented from entering our country illegally,” he said.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

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