KABUL (Pajhwok): As recent political developments in Afghanistan continue to draw reactions from the global fraternity, the Taliban government is yet to be recognized at the same time, attacks and explosions continue taking the lives of the people.
Important events of last week
- The United Nations and some countries pledged humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
- Formation of an inclusive government offers the solution to Afghanistan’s crises: Iran conference
- Will work with Afghanistan based on mutual interests: China
- Muttaqi asks representatives of 14 countries to help unfreeze Afghanistan’s assets.
- ISIS plans to attack the US, while the Taliban are trying to defeat it. But it is unclear if the Taliban have the capability of suppress the terrorist group: US
- Afghan officials deny threat from Daesh and say they are able to respond to such danger.
- Including corrupt former politicians in the new administration will be a dishonest move: Farooq Azam
- Forty people were killed or wounded last week, with 70 percent of the casualties happening in eastern Nangarhar province alone.
Attacks and civilian casualties
According to reports, 18 people were killed and 22 others injured in different violent incidents last week. Seventy percent of the casualties occurred in Nangarhar alone.
Violent incidents included blasts targeting two military vehicles in Jalalabad. Two people, including a child, were killed and four others wounded.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead two individuals, including a religious scholar. A third person was hanged to death.
A blast in Sherzad district killed two women and injured four civilians. Armed men opened fire at a wedding party in Surkhrod district, killing two women and injuring 10 other people.
Ghufran, brother of former Wolesi Jirga member Ibrarullah Murad, was killed by unknown persons in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.
In southeastern Paktia province, a former deputy chief of the first police district of Gardez, the provincial capital, was mysteriously killed.
Five bodies were found in the Jaghori district of Ghazni province, and a young man abducted and killed in Paktia.
Unidentified gunmen killed Askar Shah Hijran, a former police chief for the Janikhel district of Paktika province, in Kandahar.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for last week’s attacks.
According to reports, six people were killed and three others injured in separate incidents across the country in the previous week.
Global aid pledges
The international community – insisting on the formation of an inclusive government and urging the caretaker set-up not to allow the use Afghan soil against other countries – underlined humanitarian aid for the war-torn country.
The UN special envoy for Afghanistan said the world body continued to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghans and was cooperating with the caretaker government on resolving economic and banking problems.
A government official announced one million US dollars in aid from China to Afghanistan, saying the country would soon provide $5 million food and medicine to the country.
Officials from the two sides discussed exports from Afghanistan to China and education facilities for Afghan students. The Chinese foreign minister said his country would work with Afghanistan in the mutual interest of both countries.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan called on the United States to free Afghanistan’s frozen reserves.
The US says it is providing $144 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Britain has also said it will continue lending humanitarian assistance to the Afghans, but cannot give a “blank cheque to the Taliban” in the name of aid.
The UK vowed to ensure that Afghanistan did not once again become a hub for “terrorist groups” and drug production. The British government says it has doubled humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to 371 million dollars.
Last week, efforts were also made at the international level for resolving the crisis in Afghanistan crisis.
Afghanistan’s six neighbours – Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China and Russia participated in the conference in Tehran.
The meeting issued a joint statement, stressing the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan. The participants called such a set-up the only way to end the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.
The Taliban government was asked to fulfill the commitments it has held out to the international community and not to allow Afghanistan’s soil to be used against any other country.
But the government’s deputy spokesperson Ahmadullah Waseeq said Afghanistan’s incumbent cabinet was inclusive and there was possibility of changes in the future.
He added: “We support the Iran meeting that went according to our wishes and served Afghanistan’s interests.”
The Tehran huddle comes at a time when the European Union has decided to reopen its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan in a month. The Taliban government hailed the EU decision.
Ahead of the Iran conference, a similar huddle was organised in Moscow on Afghanistan. Afghan politicians also participated in the event.
Meetings with reps from 14 countries & China
Last week, Afghan and Chinese foreign ministers met in Doha. Boosting Afghanistan’s exports and facilitating Afghan students in China were discussed at the meeting. The Chinese foreign minister said both nations would work on the bases of mutual interests.
Foreign Minister Muttaqi also met representatives of 14 countries and asked the international community to help the Islamic Emirate unfreeze Da Afghanistan Bank assets.
Without going into detail, the government said current state of political and economic affairs was discussed with foreign representatives. The Afghan side made its position clear and sought cooperation from the interlocutors.
Is Daesh a threat to US?
Former US chief negotiator for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri was in Afghanistan or in its neighbourhood.
A senior Pentagon official told lawmakers an intelligence report showed that Daesh might attack the US in six month.
The Pentagon also said the Taliban government was trying to suppress Daesh but it could not be ascertained that the Islamic Emirate was capable of defeating the outfit.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid while — referring to the Daesh threat to the US from Afghanistan — said: “I don’t see such danger. No one is here in Afghanistan to do so and we don’t’ have any information in this regard.”
Acting Foreign Minister Ameer Khan Muttaqi recently asserted the Taliban’s capability of defeating Daesh.
Khalilzad slams ex-officials
The US diplomat held former president Ashraf Ghani responsible for the collapse of the government, surge in Afghanistan’s problems and other issues.
But then vice-president Amrullah Saleh insisted the main culprit behind the fall of the Ghani government was Khalilzad.
Although Ghani said he left Kabul to prevent bloodshed, Khalilzad believed the ex-president could have resigned six months or a year ago. The envoy admitted the US – scenting defeat at the hands of the Taliban – went for negotiation as an alternative.
Saleh asked Khalilzad to accept responsibility for the disaster. He said the US diplomat tried to blame others for whatever he did. Through interviews, he could not absolve himself of blame, the erstwhile VP remarked.
Afghanistan’s Peaceful Transition Foundation (APTF) head Dr. Farooq Azam blamed the previous government for not being serious about national reconciliation.
The Ghani administration’s temporising stance eventually led to its collapse, he claimed, believing that building a new system would take time.
With the departure of former president Ashraf Ghani, fighting had ended, he said, suggesting qualified people should be appointed to key positions.
Azam assailed the international community for insisting on a role for the previous corrupt individuals in the new set-up in the name of inclusivity.
The Jamiat-u-Islami splinter group head Atta Mohammad Noor and Dawat-i-Islami Party chief Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, both currently in exile, announced on social media the formation of Afghanistan Islamic Republic National Resistance Council.
In a joint statement, they claimed different political parties were part of the council. No party was named in the statement but Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, head of the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan splinter group, distanced himself from the council.
During a protest in Kabul, some women accused the United Nations of being silent on the denial of due rights to them. They asked the world body to pay more attention to their demands.
In addition, some people staged a protest in Kabul and demanded the release of Afghanistan’s assets frozen by the US and its allies.