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Talks teams in Doha agree to continue negotiations

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(Last Updated On: July 19, 2021)

While a ceasefire is still elusive, two days of talks in Doha, Qatar, between the Afghan government and Taliban delegations wrapped up on a somewhat positive note after both sides agreed to continue negotiations.

Delegates from both sides met late Sunday night – again behind closed doors.

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), who headed the Afghan Republic’s team assured people that government is seriously committed to working for peace in the country and that it will continue talks in the coming weeks.

“We concluded the two days of intensive talks with the Taliban in Doha. We exchanged views on core issues concerning the two parties. We listened to each other’s point of views, interpretations & the ways forward to end the conflict through a comprehensive political settlement,” Abdullah tweeted.

“In the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the talks, we agreed to continue the talks, seek a political settlement to the current crisis, avoid civilian casualties, facilitate humanitarian assistance & medical supplies to tackle Covid-19 pandemic.

“During the talks we reiterated the republic’s commitment to a just & durable peace, an end to violence & resolving the current crisis through a negotiated political settlement.

“We thank all our partners, especially the State of Qatar for hosting & supporting the peace talks,” he said.

The Taliban’s spokesman Mohammad Naeem also tweeted a statement to this effect.

While it was hoped that a temporary ceasefire between the Taliban and the government would emerge from this round of talks, the two sides appear to not have discussed the issue of an Eid ul-Adha ceasefire.

The meetings were closed to the media and except for the delegations from the Afghan Republic and the Taliban, the only other participant was the Qatari special envoy.

The meetings come at a critical juncture in Afghanistan’s history. With the withdrawal process of foreign troops from the country almost complete, the Taliban has ramped up attacks across the country and seized dozens of districts.

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Civil servants ordered to carry out their duties in line with Sharia

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Supreme Leader Mawlavi Hebatullah Akhundzada has ordered all government officials to carry out their duties in accordance with Islamic principles and not to appoint staff based on subjectivity and connections.

In a voice message disseminated by the Ministry of Higher Education, Akhundzada said the Islamic Emirate will not fail to implement the Islamic Sharia and now that the IEA’s security forces are stationed in the cities, they should take effective steps to implement the divine system and guide people towards Sharia.

“Anyone who is appointed and by his appointment harms the people and the Islamic system, must be removed. The appointment of people should be based on the interests of the nation and Islamic Sharia,” said Akhundzada.

He also instructed civil servants not to force staff to resign unless there is a Sharia reason.

A number of experts meanwhile say that new laws need to be drawn up in order to advance governance because the Islamic Emirate has abolished the previous laws.

“Social justice and meritocracy, fair distribution of power and wealth for the citizens of the country is a Sharia and legal principle, a system will stand on its own feet when every specialty is in place,” said Sayed Moqadam Amin, a political analyst.

“Appointing experienced people who can manage government departments can have positive effects on the governance process,” said Abdul Jabar Akbari, another political expert.

“And it even encourages people to work in government offices,” he added.

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Peshawar mosque bombing death toll rises to at least 44

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

Monday’s massive explosion at a mosque in Peshawar has left at least 44 worshipers dead and over 150 injured.

Police said most of the worshipers were police, army and bomb disposal unit members and that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives while inside the mosque.

Hours after the explosion, rescue workers were still digging through rubble in search of survivors after a large section of the double-story building collapsed.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility.

A senior police officer told local media that the entire roof of the mosque had caved in, and the mosque was likely full as it was the first day of the working week.

While some say the mosque can take a couple of hundred people, Peshawar police said it was likely that about 260 people had been inside the mosque when the suicide bomber detonated his explosives.

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Turkey deports 139 Afghan migrants

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

A total of 139 Afghan migrants, who entered Turkey illegally, were deported on Saturday, said the head of Turkey’s Migration Management Directorate.

Anadolu Agency reported that in accordance with the country’s Irregular Migration Strategy Document and the National Action Plan, migrants, who do not have valid documents to be in Turkey, are being sent to their home countries by charter flights.

After going through all necessary procedures, including health checks and security-related steps, the migrants were deported to Afghanistan on Saturday, Savas Unlu told reporters in Ankara.

He said Turkey has so far arranged nine charter flights this year. “We have deported 8,571 irregular migrants from our country so far this year. This does not include these 139 migrants.”

Unlu added that as a result of Turkey’s efforts to combat irregular migration, the number of irregular migrants arriving at the country’s borders for illegal entry in 2022 decreased by 38% compared to 2021.

“Since 2016, 2.7 million irregular migrants have been prevented from entering our country illegally,” he said.

Turkey has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

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