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Violence against women increasing in Afghanistan: Officials



(Last Updated On: November 25, 2020)

Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs said on Wednesday that violence against women in Afghanistan has increased in the past year.

Speaking on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the launch of the 16 Days of Activism
Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, the ministry said that 2,582 cases of violence against women have been reported to them in the past year.

They also said that in the past four months, 34 cases, including murders, have been reported to the ministry.

According to the officials the main cause of domestic violence and violence against women is war and insecurity.

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs carried out a survey in 34 provinces and 250 districts and interviewed 2,000 people. We found that women demand an end to the violence,” said Hasina Safi, acting women’s affairs minister.

“Violence has increased compared to last year. This year 119 murders and sexual abuse cases were registered. The violence increased by 59 percent because of the insecurity,” said Spozhmai Wardak, deputy minister of women affairs.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) raised concerns and said most of the cases of violence could have been prevented.

There have been “22,472 cases of violence against women registered in Afghanistan in the past five years. Fifty two percent of the cases could have been dealt with through counselling and the other cases referred to the Ministry of Interior and Attorney General’s office,” said Shabnam Salehi, a member of AIHRC.

However, Afghan judicial bodies say that most cases of violence against women have been processed.

“The cases that were referred to the court are very unfortunate and the violence against women increased this year,” Anisa Rasooli, a court prosecutor said.

“Violence against women increases day by day. In the current year 2,088 cases have been processed – most of them are sexual abuse and assault,” Zarghona Mostaqbal, an official from the Attorney General’s Office said.

Furthermore officials from AIHRC in Paktia province said that violence against women increased in their province and in the current year 235 cases have been registered in the province.

The Women’s Network in Kabul meanwhile called for unity among the people in order to stop domestic violence.

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Muttaqi leaves for China to attend Trans-Himalaya Forum



(Last Updated On: October 3, 2023)

Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi left Kabul for China to participate in the third Trans-Himalaya Forum for International Cooperation, it was announced Tuesday.

Hafiz Zia Ahmad, deputy spokesman for Foreign Ministry, said on X that Muttaqi had received an official invitation from China.

Deputy Minister of Economy Abdul Latif Nazari and a number of other officials of the Islamic Emirate are accompanying Muttaqi in the visit.

Ahmad said that in the meeting, the countries surrounding the Himalayas will discuss economic cooperation, regional connectivity and ecological changes.

He added that the Islamic Emirate delegation will also have a bilateral meetings with the Foreign Minister of China and representatives of other countries on the sidelines of the forum.

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Pakistan tightens entry rules for Afghan travelers



(Last Updated On: October 3, 2023)

Pakistan has decided that all citizens of neighboring Afghanistan will be required to enter the country with a valid passport and visa starting next month, similar to travelers from other countries, VOA reported on Monday.

The “one document regime” policy will replace the decades-old practice of granting special travel permits to individuals with divided tribes straddling the Durand Line.

The “passport as the only traveling document is going to be implemented from November 1, 2023,” according to an official federal directive sent to immigration authorities at all Afghan border crossings.

“No other document shall be accepted to travel from Afghanistan to Pakistan,” the document said. 

The Pakistani government has yet to make a formal announcement about the new policy. 

VOA cited a senior Pakistani official as saying that Islamabad hopes the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) would cooperate in implementing the “one document regime” decision to help deter illegal crossers, including militants and smugglers.

The IEA did not immediately comment on the new travel requirements.

The new policy comes amid a nationwide crackdown on Afghans living illegally in Pakistan or not renewing their visas.

Last Thursday, Pakistani caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani announced that his government would deport illegal Afghan and other foreign immigrants.

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Foreign tourists flock to Helmand to visit its historical sites



(Last Updated On: October 3, 2023)

With the emergence of security in Afghanistan, foreign tourists are starting to visit Afghanistan to see its historical sites that have been out of reach for travelers for decades.

A group of tourists visiting Lashkargah in Helmand province were awestruck by the 3,000 year old Qala-e-Bost, which is famous for its 11th century arch. The arch is part of the remains of a mosque.

The group of 11 people from Germany, America, New Zealand and South Africa, included five women, who all welcomed the opportunity to visit the fort and other historical sites in the country.

The tourists said it was a good time for people to visit Afghanistan given that peace has been established.

“Afghanistan is a rich country in terms of minerals, they should work for their people and country, in order to save themselves” from being dependent on other countries, said a tourist from South Africa.

“I am happy that I visited Bost Fort and some other historical areas of this historical province with my friends,” said an American tourist.

At the same time, the head of culture and tourism of the Department of Information and Culture, Mawlavi Sultan Muhammad Hanif, said that since the takeover of the Islamic Emirate, many tourists from different countries have come to this province.

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