Taliban Say Security Forces Killed Dozens of Tajiks

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Dec 31, 2023

Security forces in Afghanistan killed a number of Tajik and Pakistani nationals and arrested scores others involved in attacks against religious clerics, the public, and mosques, a senior Taliban official said Sunday.

Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, Taliban's appointed defense minister, during a press conference in the capital, Kabul, said dozens of Tajiks and more than 20 Pakistanis were killed in the past 12 months “in operations by security forces.”

He said scores of Tajiks and hundreds of Pakistanis involved in various incidents were also arrested during that period. Mujahid called on neighboring and regional countries to strictly monitor their borders.

Tensions between Kabul and Islamabad spiked as hundreds of thousands of Afghans left Pakistan after authorities started pursuing foreigners they said were in the country illegally, going door-to-door to check migrants' documentation, following an October 31 deadline.

Mujahid also said there has been a 90% decrease in attacks by an Islamic State group affiliate in the past year.

The militant group has carried out major assaults on schools, hospitals, and mosques, and has also attacked Shiite areas across the country.

The IS affiliate has been a major rival of the Taliban since the latter seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021. IS militants have struck in Kabul, in northern provinces and especially wherever there are Shiites, whom IS considers to be apostates.

Since taking power, the Taliban have barred women from most areas of public life and work and stopped girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade as part of harsh measures they imposed, as U.S. and NATO forces were pulling out of Afghanistan following two decades of war.

Source: News18
Related Posts: AFGHANISTAN,PAKISTANI,TALIBAN

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Taliban Free Austrian National

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Feb 26, 2024

The Taliban have released an 84-year-old Austrian who was arrested in Afghanistan last May. Herbert Fritz arrived in Doha on Sunday after mediation by the Qatari government helped secure his release, according to a statement by the Austrian government.

After his arrest last year, Fritz had gone to Afghanistan and reported positively on life there. This helped fuel anti-immigration arguments that Afghanistan was a safe country to which refugees could return, Austria's Der Standard newspaper said. The Taliban arrested him on suspicion of spying, Der Standard said.

The Austrian foreign ministry said it had been working to secure Fritz's release since May, and thanked Qatar and the European Union representation in Kabul for assisting its efforts to bring about his return to Austria.

Fritz was a founding member of the country's National Democratic Party (NDP), an extreme right group banned in 1988, according to Der Standard and other media. Austria's far-right Freedom Party, which has been leading opinion polls ahead of parliamentary elections due later this year, had pressed for Fritz's release. The party has said he was researching a book in Afghanistan.

Qatar's foreign ministry expressed gratitude to Afghanistan's Taliban administration for its cooperation in releasing the Austrian, without naming him.

The Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance, which monitors far-right activity, described Fritz as an active participant in extreme-right political circles.

(With agency inputs)

Source: News18
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Snowfall in Afghanistan Causes Landslide

Posted By: Ramesh Sharma Posted On: Feb 19, 2024

A landslide caused by heavy snowfall has killed 25 people and injured eight others in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan, a disaster management ministry spokesman said on Monday.

Earth, snow and rubble swept through the village of Nakre in the Tatin valley of Nuristan overnight on Sunday.

“As a result of the landslide, some 25 people have been killed and eight injured,” spokesman Janan Sayeq said in a video clip shared with media.

Sayeq also told AFP the death toll could rise.

Nuristan province, which borders Pakistan, is mostly covered by mountainous forests and hugs the southern end of the Hindu Kush mountain range.

Provincial officials said snow has also hampered rescue efforts.

“Due to clouds and rain, the helicopter cannot land in Nuristan,” said Mohammad Nabi Adel, the head of public works in the province.

Adel said snow had blocked one of the main roads into the province, making “the rescue operation difficult”.

Around 20 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged, the provincial head of information and culture Jamiullah Hashimi told AFP.

“It is still snowing. Rescue efforts are underway and the number of dead may increase,” he said.

The arrival of snow this year was delayed across much of Afghanistan, which is accustomed to harsh winters.

Already in its third year of drought, Afghanistan is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, according to the United Nations.

Officials said there has been less snowfall in Nuristan compared to previous years.

“This year we had little snow and it doesn't last for long,” said Adel.

The exceptionally low level of rain in a country that relies heavily on agriculture has forced many farmers to delay planting.

Afghanistan is one of the world's poorest countries, racked by decades of war, prone to natural disasters and vulnerable to extreme weather events linked to climate change.

The South Asian country was once flush with humanitarian aid following the US-led occupation but funding to Afghanistan has plummeted since the Taliban returned to power in mid-2021, in part because of the many restrictions it imposed on women.

Source: News18
Related Posts: AFGHANISTAN,CLIMATE CHANGE,GLOBAL WARMING

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Afghan Province Orders Officials Not to Photograph Living Things Published 32 minutes ago

Posted By: Preeti Dabar Posted On: Feb 18, 2024

Authorities in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, ordered its officials on Sunday not to take pictures or videos of “living things”.

In a letter addressed to civil and military officials, the provincial Department of Interior directed them “to refrain from taking pictures of living things in your formal and informal gatherings, because it causes more harm than good”.

It said text or audio content on officials' activities was allowed.

Images of humans and animals are generally avoided in Islamic art, extending for some Muslims to an aversion to any images of living things.

A spokesperson for Kandahar's governor told AFP the letter was authentic.

To what extent the order would be applied and how it would be enforced were unclear.

Taliban government spokespeople did not immediately reply to requests for clarification or comment.

Television and pictures of living things were banned under the previous Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.

Several media outlets have refrained from using images of people and animals since the Taliban returned to power more than two years ago.

However, official central government departments frequently distribute and share pictures of senior officials meeting foreign dignitaries.

Source: News18
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Afghan Province Orders Officials Not to Photograph Living Things Published 18 minutes ago

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Feb 18, 2024

Authorities in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, ordered its officials on Sunday not to take pictures or videos of “living things”.

In a letter addressed to civil and military officials, the provincial Department of Interior directed them “to refrain from taking pictures of living things in your formal and informal gatherings, because it causes more harm than good”.

It said text or audio content on officials' activities was allowed.

Images of humans and animals are generally avoided in Islamic art, extending for some Muslims to an aversion to any images of living things.

A spokesperson for Kandahar's governor told AFP the letter was authentic.

To what extent the order would be applied and how it would be enforced were unclear.

Taliban government spokespeople did not immediately reply to requests for clarification or comment.

Television and pictures of living things were banned under the previous Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.

Several media outlets have refrained from using images of people and animals since the Taliban returned to power more than two years ago.

However, official central government departments frequently distribute and share pictures of senior officials meeting foreign dignitaries.

Source: News18
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Mohammad Nabi becomes No

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Feb 14, 2024
Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi plays a shot, during the first one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan (AFP)

Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi on Wednesday dethroned Bangladesh's Shakib-Al-Hasan to become the number one all-rounder in the ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings. The fresh boost in Mohammad Nabi's rankings came after a stunning century against Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

At 39, Mohammad Nabi is now the oldest player to hold the top ranking in ICC all-rounder category. Other notable Afghanistan players in ICC rankings include Rashid Khan, who has achieved top rankings in ODI bowling, ODI all-round performance, and T20I bowling, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman has secured the top spot in T20I bowling.

The internet showered praise on Mohammad Nabi for achieving the feat and the users addressed him as Afghanistan legend. The all-rounder has played some crucial innings to get his team out of trouble and significantly contributed to the brilliant rise of Afghanistan cricket team.

Source: Live Mint
Related Posts: MOHAMMAD NABI,ICC ALL-ROUNDER CATEGORY,AFGHANISTAN VS SRI LANKA,ICC MEN?S ODI PLAYER RANKINGS,ICC RANKINGS,RASHID KHAN

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Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Only Test Live Score Day 1 Latest Updates from Colombo Published 28 minutes ago

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Feb 02, 2024

Sri Lanka hope to revive their flagging Test fortunes with new five-day captain Dhananjaya de Silva taking the helm for their one-off match against Afghanistan starting Friday in Colombo.

The island nation is dead last on the World Test Championship rankings and their last match in October at the same ground saw a humiliating innings and 222-run loss to Pakistan in their worst ever home defeat.

De Silva, a middle-order batsman and handy off-spinner, takes charge ahead of a full tour slate for the year including a three-Test series in England.

“Very excited about what is about to unfold with my cricket career. More so Sri Lankan Test cricket going forward,” de Silva told AFP.

Three uncapped players are among Sri Lanka's 16-member squad as part of a generational refresh heralded by the appointment of different captains for the Test, ODI and T20 sides earlier this month.

Fast bowler Kasun Rajitha, who missed the recent home series against Zimbabwe due to injury, has made a comeback into the side.

Afghanistan are making a name for themselves in white-ball cricket but have had less chance to impress in five-day matches since being granted Test status in 2017.

Friday will be their first Test against Sri Lanka and eighth overall.

“We are committed to strengthening our red-ball cricket and building a formidable Test side as well,” Afghanistan Cricket Board chair Mirwais Ashraf said in a statement this week.

The visitors landed in Colombo on Tuesday missing star leg-spinner Rashid Khan who is recovering from back surgery.

Qais Ahmad, who has featured in a single Test match, is his expected replacement.

Afghanistan mainstay and opening batsman Ibrahim Zadran will drive the tourists' attack and has an impressive white-ball record in Sri Lanka, where he notched up two of his five ODI hundreds.

Both teams will play three ODIs in Kandy and three T20 matches in Dambulla after the Test.

Test squads

Sri Lanka: Dhananjaya de Silva (capt), Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nishan Madushka, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ramesh Mendis, Asitha Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Kamindu Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lahiru Udara, Chamika Gunasekara, Milan Rathnayake.

Afghanistan: Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Ibrahim Zadran, Abdul Malik, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Bahir Shah, Nasir Jamal, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Mohammad Ishaq (wk), Qais Ahmad, Zia-ur-Rehman, Zahir Khan, Yamin Ahmadzai, Nijat Masood, Mohammad Saleem, Naveed Zadran.

Source: News18
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UNSC Council Report Says TTP Receives Significant Support from Al Qaeda

Posted By: Preeti Dabar Posted On: Feb 01, 2024

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terror group has been receiving significant support from Al Qaeda and other militant factions for executing attacks in Pakistan in addition to support from the Afghan Taliban, a media report on Thursday quoted a UN report as saying.

Dawn News reported that this information was disclosed in the 33rd report submitted to the United Nations Security Council Commi­ttee by ISIL (aka Daesh) and Al Qaeda/Taliban Monitoring Team.

The collaboration includes not just the provision of arms and equipment but also active on-ground support for the banned TTP's operations against Pakistan.

Islamabad has repeatedly expressed its frustration over the Afghan Taliban's inaction against the outlawed TTP, which has been responsible for major terrorist attacks within Pakistan.

Afghan Taliban's failure to curb TTP's activities has led to strained relations between the two countries. Pakistan views Kabul's reluctance to tackle the TTP as a direct threat to its national security.

The report noted that despite the Afghan Taliban's official stance discouraging the TTP's activities outside Afghanistan, many TTP fighters have engaged in cross-border attacks in Pakistan without facing any substantial repercussions.

Citing reports, it said that some Taliban members, driven by a perceived religious duty, have joined TTP's ranks, bolstering their operations.

Moreover, TTP members and their families are said to receive regular aid packages from the Afghan Taliban, signifying a deeper level of support.

The Afghan Taliban's temporary imprisonment of between 70 and 200 TTP members and their strategy of moving personnel northward, away from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions, is perceived as an effort to alleviate Pakistani pressure to tackle the banned TTP activities.

In mid-2023, it recalled that the banned TTP established a new base in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where a large number of individuals were trained as suicide bombers. Additionally, Al Qaeda core and Al Qaeda in the subcontinent have been instrumental in providing training, ideological guidance, and support to the outlawed TTP, illustrating the intertwined nature of these militant networks.

Reported orders from Al Qaeda to allocate resources to the banned TTP indicated a deep-rooted collaboration aimed at destabilising the region, the report said.

Also, the formation of TJP (Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan) as a front to provide the outlawed TTP with plausible deniability, and the involvement of other groups like ETIM/TIP (East Turkestan Islamic Movement/Turkestan Islamic Party) and Majeed Brigade in joint operations with TTP, underscore the multifaceted and transnational threat posed by these militant alliances, according to the Dawn report.

Source: News18
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Pak Army Chief Says Afghanistan ‘Can be Damned’

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Jan 26, 2024

Pakistan army chief General Syed Asim Munir said the life of a single Pakistani citizen is more important than the entire Afghanistan this week during a discussion with students from public and private sector universities of the country.

“When it comes to the safety and security of every single Pakistani, the whole of Afghanistan can be damned. (We have provided food to Afghanistan for 50 years but) when it comes to our children, we will pursue those who attack them,” Munir said.

Munir also ruled out reconciliation with India. “India has not reconciled with the concept of Pakistan, then how can we reconcile with it,” he said.

Munir accused Afghanistan of aiding the insurgency in Balochistan and said it was never friendly towards Pakistan. He also said that Afghanistan opposed Pakistan's entry to the UN after Pakistan's birth.

“Our people do not read history. Do not look towards Pakistan. We are ready to sacrifice anything and everything,” Munir said.

Pakistan, after decades of providing shelter to Taliban and helping them retake control of Afghanistan in 2021 after US exit, has fallen out with the terrorist group which rules Afghanistan now because the latter has show reluctance in reining in the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), whose actions have unleashed a new wave of terror in Pakistan, leading to the killings civilians and armed forces in several terrorist attacks in the past two to three years.

General Munir warned Iran against backstabbing the neighbour while referring to the missile attacks on Jaish-al-Adl's bases in Balochistan. “You cannot backstab us, and if you do, you will get a befitting reply,” he said, reiterating that no one would be allowed to breach Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he was quoted as saying by Pakistan-based newspaper The Tribune.

“No one would be allowed to breach Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Munir further added. “Are the neighbours of Afghanistan, India, and Iran happy? The answer is no,” Munir said when asked about instability around Pakistan's security situation.

He highlighted that the Panjgur attack and the retaliatory strikes marked the swiftest de-escalation and normalisation of relations between two nations in history. This includes the reestablishment of ambassadorial ties and an upcoming visit by the Iranian foreign minister next week.

Source: News18
Related Posts: AFGHANISTAN,PAKISTAN,TEHREEK-E-TALIBAN PAKISTAN (TTP)

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Here's all about Shoaib Bashir – British Muslim who was denied Indian visa

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Jan 24, 2024
20-year-old off-spinner Shoaib Bashir. (X/@SomersetCCC)

England's 20-year-old off-spinner Shoaib Bashir, who also Somerset County Cricket Club, is in news for being denied visa ahead of test series between India and England.

A British Muslim of Pakistani descent, faced visa issues after a training camp in Abu Dhabi and had to remain in the Emirate, despite his teammates proceeded to Hyderabad for the first test against India, beginning Thursday. He later returned to England to seek the necessary approval at the Indian embassy.

Irked with this row, a spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the government expects British citizens to be treated fairly by India's visa processes.

ALSO READ: India Vs England: 'I feel for him honestly', says Rohit Sharma on Shoaib Bashir's visa row

"I can't speak to the specifics of this case. But more broadly we have previously raised issues of this kind with the High Commission. We have been clear that we expect India to treat British citizens fairly at all times in its visa processes. We have previously raised the issues British citizens with Pakistani heritage have experienced. We've raised the issues about their experience of applying for visas with the Indian High Commissioner in London," the spokesperson said, as quoted by the BBC.

The recent row has also frustrated the England camp, with England captain Ben Stokes saying, as quoted by AP, “I didn't want this type of situation to be his first experience of what it's like to be in the England Test team. Especially for a young lad, I'm devastated for him."

“As captain, I find it particularly frustrating. We announced the squad in mid-December, and now Bash finds himself without a visa to get here. He's not the first cricketer to go through this. I have played with a lot of people who have had the same issues. I find it frustrating that we have picked a player, and he's not with us because of visa issues. It's a frustrating situation to be in, but a lot of people have been trying to get it through."

Who is Shoaib Bashir?

Born on 13 October 2003 at Surrey's Chertsey, Bashir is a right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler, who plays for Somerset County Cricket Club.

He made his first-class debut for Somerset against Essex on 11 June 2023 and his T20 debut for Somerset against Hampshire on 7 June 2023.

Bashir played club cricket for Guildford before signing with Somerset in 2022. After an impressive performance in Somerset Second-XI fixtures, where he took 9 wicket at an average of just 14.11 – with a best of 5 for 44 against Warwickshire Second XI – Bashir was given a contract for the 2023 season by Somerset.

He was called up to the England Lions cricket team for the first time in October 2023. He took six wickets for 42 runs in 15 overs across both innings, while playing against Afghanistan B.

Bashir received his maiden call up to the senior England side on 11 December 2023 and was included in the 16-man squad for the test tour of India.

With agency inputs.

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Source: Live Mint
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India’s R-Day invite to Afghanistan Taliban envoy is ‘routine’

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Jan 23, 2024
Afghan Taliban Envoy to the United Arab Emirates Badruddin Haqqani, far right, walks through an Emirates A380's business class on display at the Dubai Air Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell) (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

The Indian Embassy in the UAE has invited Taliban envoy Badruddin Haqqani for Republic Day celebrations. He represents Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi. This gesture sparked significant debate. Critics argue that it indicates India's acceptance of the Taliban. However, Indian officials label it as a standard diplomatic procedure, as per The Hindu.

Also Read: Arrests for buying contraceptives to no school after 6th grade: How women live in Taliban's Afghanistan

Badruddin Haqqani, previously associated with the Haqqani network, is a contentious figure. This network orchestrated attacks on Indian missions in Afghanistan. The most notable was the 2008 Kabul Embassy bombing. It claimed 58 lives, including Indian diplomats and security personnel. The invitation for “His Excellency Badruddin Haqqani" has caused a stir in diplomatic circles.

Afghanistan's Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Ashraf Haidari, expressed disappointment. “This is utterly against Afghans' basic expectation of India as an emerging democratic power to protect and defend Afghans' human rights and to support their growing resistance against the same terrorists who bombed the Indian Embassy in Kabul and killed and wounded many Indian citizens," The Hindu quoted Haidari as saying.

Globally, no country officially recognises the Taliban regime. However, several nations, including Russia, China and Central Asian states, have accredited Taliban representatives. In December 2023, China even accepted a Taliban-appointed ambassador, a first among nations.

Also Read: Taliban sending women to jail to save them from gender-based violence

The Taliban's appointment of Badruddin Haqqani as envoy was seen as a significant development by their Acting Foreign Ministry. This appointment indicates expectations of strengthened ties between the UAE and the Taliban. The UAE recognised the Taliban during its initial rule from 1996 to 2001.

?Routine? invitation

While India has not officially reacted, The Hindu cited official sources to report that it was a “routine" invitation. The invite was extended to all diplomatic missions in the UAE, barring Pakistan, as per the sources.

Also Read: Two killed, four injured after Moroccan passenger plane crashes in Topkhana mountains in Afghanistan's Badakhshan

Sources have also revealed to the publication that the Afghan Embassy in Abu Dhabi still displays the Republic's tricolour. This contrasts with the Taliban's black and white flag. The Indian Embassy in New Delhi, reopened by Afghan Consuls linked with the Taliban, also retains the flag of the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan", the publication added.

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Latest News Pakistan has banned New Year's Eve celebrations to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, the government said late Thursday, urging people to instead “observe simplicity”. Pakistan has banned New Year's Eve celebrations to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, the government said late Thursday, urging people to instead “observe simplicity”.
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World Dexter Scott King, who dedicated much of his life to shepherding the civil rights legacy of his parents, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, died Monday after battling prostate cancer. He was 62. Dexter Scott King, who dedicated much of his life to shepherding the civil rights legacy of his parents, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, died Monday after battling prostate cancer. He was 62.