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US and Ghani government ‘set the stage’ for the collapse of republic: SIGAR



(Last Updated On: February 28, 2023)

Washington’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko stated in a report released Monday, that the agency found six short-term factors accelerated the collapse of the Afghan security forces in August 2021.

In his report to Congress, Sopko said first the decision by the United States to withdraw all U.S. military forces “fundamentally changed the behaviors of the United States, the [Ashraf] Ghani administration, and the Taliban (IEA).”

He said many Afghans thought the U.S.-Taliban agreement was an act of bad faith and a signal that the “United States was handing over Afghanistan to the enemy as it rushed to exit the country,” he said adding that “its immediate effect was a dramatic loss in ANDSF morale”.

In addition, the change in the U.S. military’s level of support to the ANDSF; the failure to establish a self-sustaining ANDSF; former President Ashraf Ghani’s frequent changes of ANDSF leaders and appointment of loyalists; the Afghan government’s failure to take responsibility for Afghan security through the implementation of a national security strategy; and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) effective exploitation of ANDSF weaknesses, were also behind the collapse of the security forces.

“These six short-term factors worked together to cause the ANDSF’s collapse,” Sopko stated in the report.

He said, in addition, SIGAR identified eight systemic factors that explain why, after 20 years and nearly $90 billion in U.S.
security assistance, the ANDSF was vulnerable to collapse in the first place and ill prepared to sustain security following a U.S. withdrawal.

According to him, these factors were:

The length of the U.S. commitment was disconnected from a realistic understanding of the time required to build a self-sustaining security sector;

No one country or agency had ownership of the ANDSF development mission;

Advisors were often poorly trained and inexperienced for their mission, while frequent personnel rotations impeded standardization, continuity of effort, and institutional memory;

The lack of effective interagency oversight and assessment programs prevented a clear picture of reality on the ground;

Afghan corruption eroded ANDSF capabilities;

U.S training, logistics and weapons procurement policies undermined its stated goal of creating a self-sustaining Afghan military;

The United States perpetuated pre-existing ethnic and regional tensions rather than achieving stated mission goals of force diversity and unification;

The U.S. and Afghan governments failed to develop a police force effective at providing justice and protecting Afghan citizens from crime.

Sopko also stated that during SIGAR’s work looking at the accounting for and status of U.S.-provided equipment to the ANDSF and U.S.trained ANDSF personnel, the agency found that the United States lacked a full accounting of equipment and personnel even before the collapse.

He said the IEA is now using U.S.-provided military equipment in operations; and while some U.S.-provided aircraft have been recovered, others remain in limbo in other countries.

In addition, ANDSF personnel have escaped, are in hiding, have been killed, or may have joined extremist groups, Sopko stated.

Sopko also stated in the report that the US department of defense and the state departed declined to review the interim

Draft of the report and in turn denied SIGAR access to their staff, “and mostly declined to answer requests for information”.

“This limited SIGAR’s ability to perform this evaluation. Still, this final version includes additional information that we received from U.S. and former Afghan officials over the past eight months, without support from U.S. agencies.”

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Paktika radio station back on air after 2-year break



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

A local radio station, Milma, in Paktika province has resumed operations after a two-year break, the radio officials said.

The radio officials said they took this decision at the request of their audience, adding that they will expand their broadcasting coverage to other provinces as well.

Milma radio reportedly had broadcasts for the southeastern provinces in the previous government.

Meanwhile, many media outlets have ceased operations due to economic problems over the last two years.

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Pakistan police detain 800 Afghan refugees in Islamabad suburbs



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

Pakistan police have detained 800 Afghan refugees in the suburbs of Islamabad, out of which 375 face deportation due to a lack of proper documentation.

“Islamabad police launched a search operation in Bara Kahu, Trinol, Mahar Abadian, Golra and Shams Colony and arrested 800 Afghan nationals,” police said.

“Four hundred Afghan nationals were later released on producing the proof of residence,” officials said. “375 other Afghan nationals had no identity papers, while 25 remaining Afghans have been detained till verification of their identity documents,” police further said.

“Lists of Afghans were compiled on the basis of secret information before the operation,” police said.

“Several criminal Afghan residents have also been pointed out and the operation will further step up in coming days,” officials said. Police said that the authorities have decided to deport 375 arrested Afghan nationals from Pakistan.

According to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan has surged to 3.7 million as of June this year, with a mere 1.3 million of them officially registered with the authorities. Approximately 775,000 unregistered Afghans are currently residing in the country.

As per Pakistan media outlets, a major 68.8 percent of Afghan citizens in Pakistan have settled in urban or semi-urban areas, while the remaining 31.2 percent are disturbed across 54 different regions including villages.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) considers the detention and alleged torture of Afghan immigrants in Pakistan to be against international standards and says that it has discussed this issue with Pakistani authorities many times through the Afghan embassy in Pakistan, and that it has been emphasized that Afghan immigrants in the country must be treated according to international laws.

At the same time, the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees says that to solve this problem, they are in contact with the Pakistani authorities to stop the process of arresting migrants and release the imprisoned Afghans.

Experts say that currently immigrants in Pakistan are facing many problems and challenges, and to solve these challenges, there is a need for diplomatic talks between Kabul and Islamabad based on international migration laws.

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Muttaqi: IEA will not take steps on girls’ education that could cause a leadership rift



(Last Updated On: October 2, 2023)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi has said that the Islamic Emirate will not take any steps on girls’ education that could cause division within the ranks of the IEA.

In an interview with BBC Pashto broadcast on Sunday, Muttaqi said that the issue of girls’ education is an internal issue of Afghanistan.

“We are trying to take steps which, God forbid, would not cause division. We look for a reasonable solution for every issue. We will find a solution that will be free of risk and controversy, even if it involves delay,” Muttaqi said.

Regarding the demand of the international community to form an inclusive government, Muttaqi reiterated that the Islamic Emirate is an inclusive government.

“If inclusivity means that there should be representatives of all ethnic groups in the government, then in our government, all ethnic groups exist, both at the lower level and at the cabinet level. If inclusivity means that there should be ministers from different provinces, we have a minister from Kabul, from Panjshir, from Badakhshan, from Faryab, from Kandahar and Nangarhar,” Muttaqi said.

He added that no one has provided a specific definition of inclusive government.

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