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Taliban delegation in Kandahar for consultations

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(Last Updated On: August 18, 2021)

A nine-member Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Kandahar on a special flight from Qatar on Tuesday night and are expected to hold consultations on the future system. 

After arriving in Kandahar province, a senior Taliban member, Khairullah Khairkhah, told a news conference that he was pleased to see that there was no enemy in the country.

He also called on all people, with skills, to commit to developing their country. 

Khairkhah said the reason for the delegation’s visit to Kandahar was to hold discussions on the future government structure and system. 

He said these discussions will start soon and as soon as decisions have been made, the public will be informed. 

“Now the situation is different from the past, and you see that all of us are together now, and who did what in the past is not difficult for anyone now,” Khairkhah said.

Regarding human rights, especially women’s rights and for them to work, and the issue of freedom of expression, Khairkhah said: “We hope that in the light of Islamic values and Afghan traditions, we will continue and be satisfied by the international community.”

Another Taliban member, Abdul Salam Hanafi, said the Taliban is now strengthening security in the country so that no one can cause instability or insecurity by using the Taliban’s name. 

“Strengthening security is our priority for everyone to feel safe and for everyone to live together. The issue of war and enmity is over and no one will be insulted or humiliated. Everyone has the right to serve in their homeland,” he said. 

Hanafi also said: “And in any field that has specialists, we welcome them, and the reason for the delegation to come (to Kandahar) is to consult with other elders so that we can make some arrangements that are necessary and we will share with you [media] later.”

Regarding the role and concerns of the youth, Hanafi said: “One of the decisions of the Islamic Emirate is that none of our young people will be killed on illegal routes to Europe. 

“We work together and we need the youth and they should not feel threatened, and we have announced that everything that is past is past; the Emirate has declared amnesty for everyone from today, and the Islamic Emirate does not seek revenge.”

Regarding those who are said to be out of the country, or at enmity with the Taliban, or leaders who are not in Afghanistan, Hanafi replied: “We have declared a general amnesty and no one should leave Afghanistan and those who have left should return; their homes are safe; their honor and dignity are safe; we do not need anyone’s property, house or car; we are not here for revenge.”

Hanafi also called on the people not to flee the country and to stay in Afghanistan and help with its development.

Regarding the recent remarks made by Amrullah Saleh, former first vice president, Hanafi said: “The constitution was something that was translated by Westerners, and those who came by force; [government officials who fled] today have all gone and taken the constitution with them, and we ask all Afghans that Afghanistan is no longer a place for war, the war is over and no one should declare war and no one is ready for war and all Afghanistan is under the control of the forces of the Islamic Emirate and we want all Afghans to live together as brothers. 

“Let them build their homeland and let no one disturb the security of Afghanistan,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a member of the Taliban’s leadership, is now in Kabul and met with political figures including Abdullah Abdullah, former president Hamid Karzai and Fazl Hadi Muslimyar.

The meeting was held at Abdullah’s home. Sources close to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are said to be encouraged by the possibility that a political understanding can still be reached between the Taliban and Abdullah, Karzai and Hekmatyar. 

“There is more opportunity than ever before, all positions should work to change the situation, do not doubt that the situation will change,” said Hafiz Rahman Naqi, deputy head of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Islamic Party.

A number of political figures have meanwhile traveled to Islamabad in a bid to defend the republic system. They met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Islamabad says it is trying to form a government based on a political agreement in Afghanistan.

Mohammad Younos Qanoni, another Afghan politician, said, “I am optimistic that one of the main obstacles was the previous Afghan government which is now non-existent. The opportunity for greater understanding and a new atmosphere in Afghanistan has been created. I hope that the leaders of the republic and the Taliban will reach an understanding.”

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IEA approves committee to regulate, improve and advance Hajj affairs

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(Last Updated On: May 21, 2022)

Enamullah Samangani, Deputy Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said Saturday that cabinet has approved a plan to establish a National Hajj Committee to regulate, improve and advance Hajj-related issues.

Samangani wrote on his Twitter page: “The committee is chaired by Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Deputy Prime Minister, and the Ministries of Guidance, Hajj and Endowments, Transport and Aviation, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Public Health and Interior ministry, the general directorate of intelligence (GDI), and the chamber of commerce are its members.”

According to Samangani, in order to regulate, improve and advance Hajj affairs in the provinces, a committee chaired by the deputy governor with the participation of delegates from the departments of Hajj and Endowments, airport, police headquarters, intelligence and public health should be established.

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UN envoy says Afghanistan’s new rulers have no clear plan for good governance

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(Last Updated On: May 21, 2022)

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons says the new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government has an unclear strategy in terms of leading the political and economic situation.

In an interview with CNN, Lyons said the IEA does not have a clear plan for good governance and its economic plan is unclear.

She said she has met separately with the leaders of the new government, but no specific plans have been put forward so far.

“We have tried to find out what their views are on Afghanistan, how they want to develop this country, so far they do not have a clear definition in this regard, so far there is no plan to determine how they want to lead the country, if they have an economic plan, what is that?

“We are still working in separate meetings with the leaders to find out what the plans are for the future and overcoming the problems. We are currently acting as a bridge between Afghanistan and the international community,” said Lyons.

According to her, some leaders of the IEA agree that girls should go to school, but not everyone has yet reached a common decision.

“In my meeting with the leaders of the incumbent government, I found that some of them know that this issue is very important for the international community and they are in favor of reopening schools for girls, but others have the opposite view, a single position has not yet been formed.

“Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are not allowed to go to school,” said Lyons.

At the same time, former President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the IEA’s desire to have good diplomatic relations with the United States and other international countries, but said he hopes the new rulers decide as soon as possible on the reopening of girls’ schools.

“Sirajuddin Haqqani spoke of the government’s willingness to have good diplomatic relations with the United States and the international community which is in the interest of Afghanistan. He [Haqqani] also said that the girls would return to school soon, which I hope would happen as soon as possible,” said Karzai.

Speaking to CNN, Karzai said the issue of hijab was clear. “Afghanistan is an Islamic country and the issue of women’s hijab is very clear in Islam,” he said.

Afghan women already wore hijab, covering the face is not a hijab, covering the face by female media workers who appear on TV is also not a hijab; this is not Afghan culture, he said.

He called on the IEA to scrap the decision that women must cover their faces. On the issue of teenage girls not going to school, Karzai stated that girls need to return to school as soon as possible.

“I denounce it in the strongest words and want the Taliban (IEA) to allow girls to go back to school as soon as possible,” he said.

Karzai also confirmed a recent report by a US watchdog organization that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan led to the military collapse of the republic.

According to Karzai, a number of other issues also contributed to this including, the Doha Agreement, and the more than 3,000 US airstrikes a year.

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World Bank pays over $150 million to boost Afghanistan’s health sector

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(Last Updated On: May 21, 2022)

The World Bank recently provided $150 million to the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to help pay for medicine, medical equipment and salaries, Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials said this week.

According to the ministry the assistance was provided by the World Bank in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on February 7 in Switzerland, by Dr. Qalandar Ebad, acting Minister of Public Health, and his accompanying delegation.

The money is to be used for primary health care in 34 provinces, including the payment of salaries and training of health workers, the provision of medicine, medical equipment, the fight against diseases, and the strengthening of oversight of health services, said the health ministry.

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