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Violence leaves 17 dead, 16 injured in Afghanistan last week

2 Apr 2023 - 19:11
2 Apr 2023 - 19:11

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some sources once again called on the caretaker government to reopen the doors of education on girls last week, when Russia said the situation in Afghanistan should be closely monitored and Japan pledged $21 million in aid to Afghanistan.

 Last week’s major events

  • Russia says Afghanistan’s situation should be monitored closely
  • India: Fighting terrorism important priority for regional countries
  • Stanikzai asks US to resume diplomatic presence in Afghanistan
  • Different sources: Allow girls to resume studies
  • Prominent girls’ education activist Matiullah Wesa arrested in Kabul
  • Mujahid: Wesa arrested over willful actions
  • Japan pledges more than $21m in aid to Afghanistan

Casualties

Seventeen people were killed and 16 others were injured in separate incidents of violence including bomb blasts across the country last week.

Six people were killed and several others injured in an explosion at Malak Asghar intersection in Kabul last week, Kabul police said, while the Italian NGO Emergency-run hospital in Kabul confirmed receiving 10 injured people from the blast site.

According to local officials, three people were killed in a clash over a pasture in Faryab and two members of a family were killed and a third injured in a dispute over government land in Baghlan.

Unknown gunmen killed one person in Baghlan and two people in Faryab and one person found dead in Kapisa province.

Two children were injured in a mortar shell explosion in Helmand and a blast ripped through a tractor in Zabul province, killing one person and injuring three children.

Note: These figures are based on reports reaching Pajhwok Afghan News. Some incidents may have gone unreported or sources provided incorrect figures.

In the previous week, 18 people were killed and 22 others were injured in various incidents across the country.

Before the regime change in August 2021, hundreds of people, including civilians, government forces and insurgents would get killed and injured every week.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting

New Delhi hosted the 18th meeting of National Security Advisers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization last week. The meeting conferred on the situation of regional countries, including Afghanistan, and the fight against terrorism and drugs.

Addressing the huddle, Russian National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev stressed the importance of closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan, calling the situation in the war-torn nation ‘difficult’.

His Indian counterpart Ajit Doval in his opening remarks said: “Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and its financing are amongst the most serious threats to international peace and security. Any act of terrorism, regardless of its motivation, is unjustifiable.”

Interaction with the world

Last week, deputy prime minister for political affairs Maulvi Abdul Kabir during a meeting with United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan Roza Otunbayeva said restrictions the UN had imposed on Afghanistan had blocked the Islamic Emirate’s interaction with the international community.

Also, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said some countries were willing to interact with the Islamic Emirate, but countries defeated in the past two decades were creating hurdles in this regard.

Deputy foreign minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai asked the US to resume its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan as agreed in the Doha accord. He said if the US resumed its diplomatic mission in Afghanistan, other countries would follow suit.

Acting Foreign Minister Maulvi Amir Khan Muttaqi said some countries had recognized the Islamic Emirate government in an undeclared manner.

Muttaqi added:”Currently, the embassies of China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Pakistan are open in Kabul. The embassies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia are also open here. The embassies of India, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are also functional, but only the diplomats have left and they may return in the near future.”

Girls’ education

The Islamic Emirate has suspended girls secondary and higher education until further notice, saying the decision is not permanent and efforts are being made to find a solution within the framework of Islamic Sharia.

Last week, a number of women protested in Kabul against the closure of schools for girls above sixth grade and universities and demanded their reopening. They said that education should not be politicized.

According to reports, security forces arrested three participants of the protest, but later released them. The Human Rights Defenders Committee asked the caretaker government to release the arrested women.

Last week, the Italian Embassy in Washington held a meeting “Afghanistan’s Education Disaster’ and asked the caretaker government of Afghanistan to determine a specific time for the opening of girls schools.

Thomas West, the US special representative for Afghanistan, once again emphasized on opening the doors of education for girls in Afghanistan, calling it a matter of human rights.

Wesa’s arrest

Last week, prominent education activist and head of the Qalam Lar (Pen Path) community was arrested in Kabul by security forces, prompting calls on national and international levels for his release.

The United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and the Human Rights Watch, former President Hamid Karzai, former Nangarhar Governor Ziaul Haq Amarkhil and some activists asked the government to release Wesa.

The United Nations Human Rights Office said no one in Afghanistan should be arrested for defending their rights or the rights of others.

Zabihullah Mujahid said Wesa was arrested because of his willful activities.

“He organized meetings, had some movements and motivations against the system, and he was arrested for this reason, which is being investigated.”

Continuity of aid

Japan announced more than 21 million dollars in aid to Afghanistan last week and the European Union sent 100 tons of medical supplies and medicine to Afghanistan and vowed to continue helping the Afghans in need.

The United States said it helped Afghanistan in the past 18 months with almost one billion dollars in humanitarian aid.

The World Food Program for Afghanistan says it faces a budget shortage for aid in the country and needs $800 million for the next six months.

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