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US imposes new visa restrictions on some IEA members

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday Washington has imposed additional additional visa restrictions on some Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) members in response to bans on women’s rights.

“I am taking action today to impose additional visa restrictions on certain current or former Taliban (IEA) members, members of non-state security groups, and other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan through restrictive policies and violence, including the Taliban’s decision to ban women from universities and from working with NGOs,” Blinken said in a statement.

 “The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these visa restrictions,” he said.

Blinken said the IEA has again shown disregard for the welfare of Afghan people through their decisions.

“So far, the Taliban’s actions have forced over one million school-aged Afghan girls and young women out of the classroom, with more women out of universities and countless Afghan women out of the workforce,” he said.

“These numbers will only grow as time goes on, worsening the country’s already dire economic and humanitarian crises.”

Blinken stated the IEA cannot expect the respect and support of the international community until they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls.

“We condemn in the strongest of terms the Taliban’s actions. The United States stands with the Afghan people and remains committed to doing all we can to promote and advance respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls,” he added.

Responding to the new visa restrictions, the IEA said increasing travel restrictions on Islamic Emirate officials is not “a correct policy and will not help to solve the problems because Afghanistan will become more isolated with the restrictions”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Washington’s decision to impose additional visa restrictions on Islamic Emirate officials, and said controversial issues should be resolved diplomatically and by positive steps.

The MoF stated that bilateral relations have shown that pressure cannot help resolve issues.

Meanwhile some experts say that the Islamic Emirate should adopt a policy that solves internal problems and one whereby the international community can interact positively with them.

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IEA renews commitment for cordial relationship with world

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(Last Updated On: March 23, 2023)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has renewed its commitment to establishing cordial relationships with the international community and stressed practical steps towards the recognition of the IEA government worldwide, according to a statement on Thursday.

The pledge was reaffirmed by Mawlavi Abdul Kabir, political aide of the IEA’s prime minister, during a meeting with UNAMA Deputy Head Markuz Potzel.

He hailed the UN and other agencies for the distribution of aid to vulnerable Afghans and added that the government assured all aid-providing agencies full security, a statement from the political aide office said.

Potzel mentioned the overnight earthquake during the meeting and hoped that the people of Afghanistan had not suffered losses.

But UNAMA on its Twitter wrote that during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Kabir, the UN reiterated its unwavering call to reopen schools and universities for Afghan girls and women.

“UNAMA deputy head Potzel Markus met de-facto Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Kabir today, reiterating UN & international community’s unwavering call for the reopening of school and university doors for Afghan girls and women,” UNAMA tweeted.

Kabir meanwhile said that IEA does not oppose girls’ education.

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Crime levels down in Kabul city: Police report

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(Last Updated On: March 23, 2023)

The Kabul Police Commander headquarters shared their annual report with the media at a press conference on Wednesday and stated the overall crime rate in the city has come down.

The head of the criminal investigation unit of the Kabul Police, Mufti Abdul Samad, said during the press conference that the crime rate has dropped through the cooperation of residents.

Before the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate, each security zone of Kabul city recorded at least 15 vehicle thefts a week. This has been reduced to zero.

In the press conference, the spokesman of the Police Commander of Kabul, Khalid Zadran said that 156 cases of murder have been reported in Kabul city and 14 districts in the past year and that security forces have arrested 36 suspects on charges.

There were 553 cases of robbery from houses, 1,920 cases of fraud and other such incidents, and 2,737 suspects were arrested on charges with these cases, he added.

Kabul police said cooperation of residents was crucial to create a safe environment in the city and prevent crime.

Kabul police also asked all residents to report any suspicious incidents, and inform the detective agencies.

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Blinken promises review of Afghan withdrawal to Congress by mid-April

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(Last Updated On: March 23, 2023)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers on Wednesday that the State Department has been putting together a review of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and will share findings with Congress by mid-April.

“We’ve now been spending time putting all of this together to make sure that we look at some of the common lessons learned,” Blinken said in testimony to a Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing.

“I am committed and determined to make that information available to Congress, and we will do that. We will do that by mid-April. So I can tell you today, you’ll have the after-action review. We will share the findings and find the appropriate mechanism to do that within the next three weeks.”

Members of Congress have been demanding information about the August 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years in what was the U.S.’s longest war. The Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee threatened this week to issue a subpoena if the State Department does not produce documents it has requested, Reuters reported.

John Kirby, the top spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told reporters the main takeaways from the review would be released to the public and shared with the House committee.

Republicans, who took control of the House in January, say there has never been a full accounting of the chaotic operation, in which 13 U.S. service members were killed at Kabul’s airport.

Hundreds of U.S. citizens and many thousands of Afghans who had worked with American forces were left behind as they were seeking to flee from the Taliban, the Islamist militant group that resumed control of Afghanistan.

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