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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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Afghanistan withdrawal probe sparks anxiety within Biden administration: US’s McCaul

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(Last Updated On: April 12, 2024)

US Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, believes the probe into America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has sparked anxiety within the Biden administration.

“Are we going to get scalps? I don’t know, but are we going to hold people accountable? Yeah. And I think at the end of the day, my intent is to make sure that this never happens again,” McCaul told Axios in an interview.

US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee launched an investigation into America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan several months ago.

Democrats have slammed Republican investigations like the Biden impeachment inquiry as witch hunts. But Republicans argue the Afghanistan probe has yielded evidence that’s hard for the White House to ignore.

Meanwhile, Daily Mail has reported that hours of private testimony by two of the top State Department officials who oversaw the evacuation from Afghanistan lays bare the confusion at the heart of the operation, and how they failed to respond to warning signs that the Islamic Emirate was sweeping across the country.

Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, until he stepped down in December 2022, admitted that officials were never able to confirm how many Americans were on the ground and would need help.

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Kidnapped child rescued in Herat

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(Last Updated On: April 12, 2024)

Police have rescued a five-year-old girl kidnapped in Herat province, the Ministry of Interior said on Thursday.

Fahmia had been kidnapped nine days ago in the seventh district of Herat city, the ministry said on X.

She was rescued during a search operation, it added.

Two women have been arrested in connection with the case, according to the ministry.

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Banning girls’ education has caused economic issues: private school officials

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(Last Updated On: April 11, 2024)

Officials from private schools say banning education of girls above the sixth grade has resulted in serious financial problems for these schools.

According to them, with the ban on education for girls above the sixth grade, not only schools but also teachers and the transportation cycle have suffered economic problems.

Meanwhile, girls who have been barred from going to school ask the Islamic Emirate to reopen the gates of schools and universities to them by creating a suitable plan.

“I request the authorities to reopen schools and universities for girls so that our country can progress,” said a female student.

“My request to the Islamic Emirate is that it should reopen schools above the sixth grade,” said another student.

Although a few days have passed since the beginning of the 1403 academic year, the IEA has not given the green light to reopen schools for girls.

“Some problems have different causes in the education sector, there are some restrictions in the women’s work sector, which are either based on Sharia rules or based on economic issues. The government is committed to solving these issues,” said IEA’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Earlier, Amnesty International emphasized the need to immediately reopen schools and universities for girls.

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