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US planning for post-peace agreement in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2020)

The US wants to continue its assistance to Afghanistan after the possible peace agreement with the Taliban, aimed to end the long-term conflict in Afghanistan.

A number of diplomats told Ariana News that Washington wants to continue its assistance and implement new development, infrastructure, job creation, and economic programs in Afghanistan.

Shukria Barakzai, Afghanistan’s former ambassador to Norway, said: “The international communities would like to invest in Afghanistan and provide job opportunities for Taliban fighters not only in the Afghan uniforms but also in their employment in national and international economic projects.”

Meanwhile, 114 billion AFN for the national budget this year will shape Afghanistan’s development and operations sector; Most of the global aid including 8.14 billion from the US is allocated for the development sector.

The Afghan government is preparing to attend the Geneva summit in late November to both attract more financial assistance from the world and to shed light on future grants.

“We’re trying to get more donations every year. We’re working on a global conference in 2020 for the next few years. The donor’s commitments will be clearer,” Shamroz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry said.

The Afghan State Ministry for Peace Affairs also says that it has studied the country’s needs on its pre-, current, and post-peace plans with the Taliban.

“In proportion to the progress of the process and the conditions that have arisen, ASMPA will take action in coordination with all institutions and structures related to the peace process,” said Najia Anwari, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Peace.

Following the peace agreement, addressing infrastructure and job creation programs, especially in areas under Taliban rule that have been under siege, and removing Afghanistan from economic dependence is considered a serious need.

“Afghanistan’s main problem is the country’s economic prosperity, which needs to be addressed in order to reduce economic dependence and strengthen the internal forces,” said Shabir Bashiri, chairman of the Supreme Council of Industries, Mines and Investment.

The final paragraph of the US-Taliban peace agreement also states that the United States is working with the new Afghan government to rebuild Afghanistan economically and not to interfere in its affairs.

On the other hand, a number of economic analysts and senior representatives of the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction are concerned about the post-war Afghan economy and are calling on donors to continue their financial and military assistance to establish a regular military force in Afghanistan.

While some belief with the approach of Intra-Afghan Talks, an end to the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan might be reached, economic and political analysts at the Modern War Institute are concerned about post-war Afghanistan saying that even after peace, Afghanistan needs long-term financial and economic assistance from donor countries.

Duncan Walker, a professor of economics at a US Military University believes that countries like Afghanistan, where decades of war have been going on for a long time, will certainly need the help and infrastructure of various sectors, even after the end of the war.

However, more than any post-war concern in Afghanistan, everyone is now waiting for the start of talks between Afghans, which could end the Afghan government’s two-decade war with the Taliban.

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IEA calls for release of frozen funds following deadly earthquake

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

Afghanistan’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has called on international governments to roll back sanctions and lift a freeze on central bank assets following the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless.

The 6.1-magnitude quake that struck the east of the country early on Wednesday destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes and injured about 2,000 people.

“The Islamic Emirate is asking the world to give the Afghans their most basic right, which is their right to life and that is through lifting the sanctions and unfreezing our assets and also giving assistance,” Abdul Qahar Balkhi, foreign affairs ministry spokesman, told Reuters in an interview.

While humanitarian aid continues to flow to Afghanistan, funds needed for longer-term development were halted when the IEA seized control of the country in August 2021 as foreign forces withdrew.

Billions of U.S. dollars in Afghan central bank reserves remain frozen overseas and sanctions hamper the banking sector as the West pushes for concessions on human rights.

Western governments are particularly concerned about the rights of women and girls to work under IEArule.

Asked about the issue, Balkhi said Afghans’ right to life-saving funds should be the priority, adding that the international community handled concerns over human rights differently depending on the country involved.

“Is this rule universal? Because the United States just passed an anti-abortion law,” Balkhi said, referring to the Supreme Court’s overturning on Friday of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that recognised a woman’s right to an abortion.

“Sixteen countries in the world have taken away the rights of religious minorities, especially Muslims … are they also facing sanctions because they are violating rights?,” he asked.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Saturday the U.S. government was working on “complicated questions about the use of these (frozen central bank) funds to ensure they benefit the people of Afghanistan and not the Taliban (IEA).”

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IEA’s supreme leader meets traders and manufacturers in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: June 21, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, met with dozens of traders and manufacturers in southern Kandahar province on Monday.

During the meeting, Akhundzada called on the private sector to take effective steps for development and independence of Afghanistan’s economy, state-run news agency Bakhtar reported.

He said that the IEA is committed to resolving problems that traders and manufacturers are facing.

“We welcome the Amir-ul-Mominin’s move. The private sector representatives are now fully assured that IEA supports them and they can invest freely in Afghanistan,” said Abdul Nasir Reshtya, a member of the Chamber of Industries and Mines.

Economic experts believe the smaller the gap between the private sector and the government, the more chance the private sector will have to develop and there will be greater interest in investing in Afghanistan.

“We welcome such meetings. It could encourage the private sector to invest in the country with full security assurance,” said Shabir Ahmad Bashiri, an economic expert.

IEA has held several meetings with members of the private sector in the past 10 months.

Recently, the IEA, under the guidance of acting deputy Prime Minister Mullah Baradar, who also heads the economic commission, established the new state-run investment company called Afghan Invest.

Officials said Afghan Invest, a limited liability company, with a capital of $250 million, was recently inaugurated as a result of Baradar’s efforts.

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IEA calls on Afghans at home and abroad to invest in new state-run initiative

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(Last Updated On: June 19, 2022)

First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said Sunday the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is working on an economic policy that will help restore the economy and lift the country out of poverty. 

Speaking at an event to launch a new state-run limited liability company, Afghan Invest, Baradar called on Afghans to bring their foreign-based capital back into the country and invest in the new initiative.

According to the IEA, 13 investors have already collectively invested $250 million. 

Baradar said at the launch that Afghanistan is potentially an extremely wealthy country given the enormous, largely untapped, mineral reserves.

“Our country is very rich in terms of mines. Afghan investors if they have capital abroad, must relocate it to their home country, we support you. Trade is vital for a country,” said Baradar. 

He also stressed that the government’s doors are open to all businessmen and that the IEA will support them. He said he hoped that businessmen across all ethnic lines in the country would invest in the new company. 

Acting Minister of Commerce and Industry Nooruddin Azizi, who also attended the launch, said the only way to save Afghanistan from its current crisis was for Afghans to work together. 

“The only solution to our country’s economic problems is for Afghans to work together and make sincere efforts,” said Azizi.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the deputy minister of foreign affairs, said that it was because of the sacrifices of the people’s jihad that neighboring countries like Pakistan and Iran live in peace. He said the world should respect this.

“Not only did we liberate our country, but we also freed the countries in the region from aggressors,” said Stanikzai, at the event.

“We have a proud, and free Afghanistan, which we must protect and safeguard,” he added.

Afghan Invest officials said the aim of the company is to establish economic stability and encourage investment in the country. This includes investment across a broad range of sectors such as agriculture, mining, energy production and infrastructure development. 

Cabinet members meanwhile said that with the return to power of the IEA, national sovereignty, national security and national integrity have been restored and that the new authorities will support investors. 

Economic experts believe that the establishment of such ventures can have a positive impact on the country’s economy, and that foreign investors could be encouraged to invest in the country.

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