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Takhar media reps call on IEA to address the problems of local journalists



(Last Updated On: December 20, 2022)

A meeting has been held in Takhar province between local media and Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities in the hope of resolving problems journalists have in the province.

According to journalists, media organizations in Takhar are dealing with severe financial problems as well as a general lack of access to information.

A number of journalists and media workers in the province have cited economic problems, lack of support from institutions that support journalists and media, and lack of access to information as the main problems they are dealing with.

In line with this, they have appealed to the local officials and to organizations supporting journalists to resolve the problems.

“We request the United Nations and aid organizations pay serious attention to the issue of information and provide financial support to journalists,” said Sayed Yaseen Dehzad, head of the Council of Journalists in the northeast of the country. A number of female journalists, however, also called for restrictions on them to be lifted so they can return to work.

“Our request is that we want to play a role again in Afghanistan,” said Taman, a female journalist.

Meanwhile, a number of organizations that support the media say that there should be no restrictions on women journalists.

“During the republic regime, more than 35 percent of media workers in Takhar were women, but this is not the case now,” said Sami Khawari, a representative of the journalists’ protection committee for the province.

However, the Directorate of Information and Culture of Takhar has said that until the policy framework for the media has been finalized in Kabul, they are unable to resolve the problems.

“There is still no procedure for women working in the media in this province,” said Ainuddin Motmaen, head of Takhar’s information and culture.

According to the officials, out of 23 media outlets that were operating in the province before the collapse of the former government, only eleven of them are still active.


India tells Canada to withdraw 41 diplomats



(Last Updated On: October 3, 2023)

India has told Canada that it must repatriate 41 diplomats by next Tuesday, October 10, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Ties between India and Canada have become seriously strained over Canadian suspicion that Indian government agents had a role in the June murder in Canada of a Sikh separatist leader and Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who India had labeled a “terrorist”.

India has dismissed the allegation as absurd.

The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the Indian demand, said India had threatened to revoke the diplomatic immunity of those diplomats told to leave who remained after Oct. 10.

Canada has 62 diplomats in India and India had said that the total should be reduced by 41, the newspaper said.

The Indian and Canadian foreign ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment, Reuters reported.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said earlier there was a “climate of violence” and an “atmosphere of intimidation” against Indian diplomats in Canada, where the presence of Sikh separatist groups has frustrated New Delhi.

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Iran’s Raisi slams normalization with Israel as ‘reactionary and regressive’



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi denounced Sunday any attempts by regional countries to normalize relations with its arch-enemy Israel as “reactionary and regressive.”

The remarks came amid ongoing U.S.-brokered negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia to establish formal ties, with the United States saying Friday that the two countries are moving toward the outline of a deal, AFP reported.

“Normalizing relations with the Zionist regime is a reactionary and regressive move by any government in the Islamic world,” Raisi said during an international Islamic conference held in Tehran.

An Israeli delegation is expected to arrive Sunday in Saudi Arabia, days after the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia also sent a delegation Wednesday to the occupied West Bank for the first time in three decades in a bid to reassure the Palestinians ahead of the prospective deal.

Raisi on Sunday further labelled any normalization attempt as the “foreigners’ desire,” while stating that “surrender and compromise” regarding Israel were not on the table.

“The only option for all the fighters in the occupied land and the Islamic world is to resist and stand against the enemies,” he said, reiterating Iran’s position that Jerusalem must be “liberated.”

In 1967 Israel occupied and then annexed east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as the future capital of their proposed state.

An agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia would follow the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords which saw Israel establish diplomatic relations in 2020 with three Arab countries.

Last month, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Raisi said any “relationships between regional countries and the Zionist regime would be a stab in the back of the Palestinians.”

Shiite-dominated Iran and Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia, two regional powerhouses, resumed relations, severed since 2016, under a China-brokered deal announced in March.

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Death toll from Pakistan blast rises to 59 as minister blames India



(Last Updated On: October 1, 2023)

The death toll from a large blast at a mosque in Pakistan rose to 59 on Saturday as the government vowed to find the perpetrators and accused India’s intelligence agency of being involved.

Friday’s blast tore through a mosque in Mastung in the southern province of Balochistan after a bomber detonated his explosives near a police vehicle where people were gathering for a procession to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, Reuters reported.

Pakistani officials have long claimed that India sponsors violent groups in Pakistan – claims India has always denied.

“Civil, military and all other institutions will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing,” interior minister Sarfaraz Bugti told media in Balochistan’s capital, Quetta.

“RAW is involved in the suicide attack,” he added, referring to India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency. He did not provide details or evidence on the alleged involvement.

India’s foreign ministry and a government spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wasim Baig, the spokesman for Balochistan’s health department, said seven more people had died in hospital since Friday, which had caused the rise in the death toll, adding that more patients remained in critical condition.

A second attack on Friday at a mosque in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had killed at least 5 people. Police on Saturday filed a report to launch an investigation, saying they had sent DNA from the suicide bomb attacker to be analysed.

No group has claimed responsibility for either attack. A surge in militant attacks in Pakistan’s western provinces has cast a shadow on election preparations and public campaigning in the run-up to January’s national vote, but until now the attacks had mostly targeted security forces.

The Pakistani Taliban (TTP), responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan since the group’s formation in 2007, denied responsibility for Friday’s blasts.


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