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Taliban warns Washington against violating Doha agreement

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(Last Updated On: February 28, 2021)

The Taliban urged Washington to uphold its part of the US-Taliban agreement signed a year ago Sunday and stated the release of remaining prisoners and end of blacklists have yet to be implemented.

In a statement issued Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the signing of the deal – which the Afghan government was not party to – the Taliban also stated that the implementation of the agreement “must be utilized to improve the situation and pushing it in the wrong direction must be avoided.”

“Practical steps must be undertaken to expedite the ongoing intra-Afghan dialogue process,” the group said.

The Taliban said it is committed to its obligations within the agreement but made it clear in the statement that the implementation of the contents of the agreement is “the sole effective tool for resolving the Afghan issue and establishing peace, that shall be realized under the shade of an Islamic system.”

“The release of remaining prisoners and end of blacklists are part of the agreement that have yet to be implemented,” the statement.

“The Doha agreement has created a practical framework for bringing peace and security to Afghanistan. If any other pathway is pursued as a replacement, then it is already doomed to failure.”

Claiming to have “significantly reduced the level of operations in line with the Doha agreement,” the Taliban stated that “the other side has not fulfilled its obligations in this regard as bombardments, drone strikes, raids and offensive operations that were all prohibit on the basis of the agreement are still continuing, which is mostly causing civilian harm and increasing the levels of violence.”

The Taliban also distanced itself for the wave of targeted attacks and assassinations that have gripped the country over the past few months.

According to the group, “some circles with their interests tied to foreign actors have recently launched a wave of targeted attacks especially against civilians with the aim of showing the situation as teetering on the brink of a crisis, and to create excuses for the continuation of occupation and war.”

The Taliban’s statement comes just three days after US Central Command chief, General Kenneth F. McKenzie said the US still continues to see levels of violence that are way too high.

“I place a large measure of the blame on the Taliban who have continued to mount offensive operations and targeted killings of Afghan officials but the excessive violence has led the government to launch their own defensive operations to protect themselves – the violence while too high on both sides,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie also stressed that there is no sign that the Taliban had severed ties with al-Qaeda, as called for in the US-Taliban agreement.

“In my clear judgment rests largely on the Taliban; we also continue to … look for signs of a Taliban break with al-Qaeda and I have not at this point seen any definitive signs that would lead to believe they’re prepared to or able to honor their obligations,” McKenzie added.

On Tuesday, the UN Assistance Mission Afghanistan (UNAMA) meanwhile stated there had been an increase in civilians killed and injured in Afghanistan since the start of peace talks in September.

In the latest report on civilian casualties, UNAMA said despite the rise in casualties since September the overall numbers for 2020 were down due to lower civilian casualty rates prior to the start of talks.

The Taliban however, reacted to the report and said: ”We reject such incomplete reports based on incorrect information.”

For a seventh consecutive year, UNAMA documented more than 3,000 civilians killed in a single year, with Afghanistan remaining among the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian.

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Women-run radio station closed for playing music during Ramazan

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(Last Updated On: April 2, 2023)

Sadai Banowan, a women-run radio station in Badakhshan province has been shut down for playing music during the holy months of Ramazan.

Moezuddin Ahmadi, the director for information and culture in Badakhshan province, told the UK’s Guardian that the station had violated the “laws and regulations of the Islamic emirate” several times by broadcasting songs and music during Ramazan and was shuttered because of the breach.

“If this radio station accepts the policy of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and gives a guarantee that it will not repeat such a thing again, we will allow it to operate again,” said Ahmadi.

Station head Najia Sorosh denied there was any violation, saying there was no need for the closure and called it a conspiracy, the Guardian reported. The Taliban “told us that you have broadcast music. We have not broadcast any kind of music,” she said.

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Mujahid claims Daesh is not a major threat to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says Daesh has been destroyed by the security forces in the country and is not as big a threat as it was a year ago.

In a recent interview with Voice of America, Pashto, Mujahid said that the Afghan security forces “since August 2021, have arrested and imprisoned around 1,600 to 1,700 Daesh militants and have killed more than 1,100.”

The remarks came as the IEA usually downplays the presence and the threat of Daesh militants in Afghanistan.

Mujahid said Daesh hideouts had been destroyed across the country, including in Zabul, Kunar and Jawzjan provinces, and that Daesh fighters were mostly supported by the previous government. Some of them escaped from the prisons during the regime change.

However, he added that the Afghan security forces either killed, arrested, or imprisoned them.

Daesh has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in the past few months including one last month close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which left six people dead and dozens wounded.

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IEA special forces rescue hostage in Balkh

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2023)

The Ministry of Interior says the special forces from the ministry and the 209th Army Corps of Al-Fatah carried out an operation and rescued a businessman who was kidnapped a month ago in Balkh, Mazar-e-Sharif city.

The ministry said on Twitter the trader was abducted in the first district of Mazar-e-Sharif city by kidnappers and a ransom of $300,000 was demanded for his release.

Two of the kidnappers were arrested in this operation, the officials said.

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