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Taliban cut short winter break, recall fighters to the battlefield: NBC reports

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2021)

Taliban fighters have reportedly been called out of their traditional winter break from fighting to front-line duty, three militant leaders told NBC News, amid growing concerns within the group that the new Biden administration will stop the withdrawal of foreign troops.

According to NBC News, senior Taliban commanders and shadow governors “have been directed to return to their positions and attend special sessions and discussions to chalk out a future strategy.”

A Taliban commander in Helmand province told NBC News there were “multiple issues” that the movement’s leadership needed to address, including a “deadlock” in the peace talks with the Afghan government and doubts about the future due to the new administration in Washington.

The comments come amid escalating violence in the country; stalled peace talks in Doha and uncertainty around new US President Joe Biden’s plans for Afghanistan.

A bipartisan report released Wednesday warned that withdrawing troops irresponsibly would likely lead to a “new civil war” in Afghanistan and would allow terrorist groups to re-emerge empowered.

Meanwhile NBC News reported that a Taliban political leader in Doha, Qatar, said the group’s plan was to try and capture strategically important provinces in case talks with the Afghan government failed, and Biden kept troops in the country beyond May — the deadline as agreed to between the Taliban and the Trump administration.

The Taliban member in Doha told NBC News commanders of “important” districts had been recalled to their positions.

The Biden team has meanwhile said it’s reviewing the situation in Afghanistan and has indicated that it would be prepared to delay troop withdrawal if necessary.

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Islamabad wants Beijing to talk to Kabul about terrorism, Pakistani minister says

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(Last Updated On: May 19, 2024)

Islamabad would like Beijing to speak to Kabul about the issue of terrorism, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said.

Speaking in an interview with VOA released on Sunday, Iqbal said that Pakistan has concerns on certain groups that are operating out of Afghanistan and carrying out terrorism actions.

“The terrorists who committed the recent incident against Chinese workers also came from Afghanistan, so I think this is a cause of concern, and we also hope that China would also persuade Afghanistan because Afghans listen to the Chinese government in the region,” Iqbal said.

The official said that as a result of crises and conflicts over the last couple of decades in Afghanistan, Pakistan has not been able to invest in its infrastructure, and its economy has developed two major bottlenecks – energy blockage and infrastructure blockage.

Referring to Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan has an agreement with China to have a third country as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has previously rejected Pakistan’s allegations against Afghanistan over security incidents.

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Floods leave 18 dead, destroy hundreds of homes in Faryab

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(Last Updated On: May 19, 2024)

At least 18 people have died and two others have been injured following floods in Faryab province on Saturday night, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation announced Sunday.

The flash floods occurred in Pashtunkot, Almar, Qaisar, Belcheragh, Khyber and Dawlat Abad districts, the ministry said in a statement.

560 houses, 850 acres of agricultural land, 110 shops and a mobile clinic were destroyed as a result of the floods, according to the statement.

In addition, 300 livestock perished and 2,000 fruit trees were destroyed, the statement said.

This comes just a week after deadly floods left over 300 people dead in northern Afghanistan.

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IEA leader approves law on prevention of begging

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(Last Updated On: May 19, 2024)

The Ministry of Justice announced Saturday that Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), has approved the law on collection of beggars and preventing begging.

The law has three chapters and 27 articles, and is published in the official gazette of the Ministry of Justice.

According to the law, begging is prohibited for healthy and working people and those who can secure their one-day meal.

The law also prohibits the use of children and the disabled for begging.

According to the law, professional beggars who use a child or a mentally ill person or a disabled person for the purpose of begging, will be sentenced to one month in prison by the court, and their organizers will be sentenced to up to six months in prison.

In 2022, the leader of the Islamic Emirate ordered the collection of beggars. Tens of thousands of beggars have been rounded up so far.

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