KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistan last week expressed serious concerns about what it alleged safe havens and liberty of action available to the TTP in Afghanistan, but the caretaker government rejected the claim.
Iran last week said regional countries were of the same opinion about cooperation and interaction with Islamic Emirate and the European Union slapped sanctions on three IEA officials.
Last week’s major events
Mujahid rejects TTP presence in Afghanistan
In a U-turn, Tory MP deletes pro-IEA video
Ex-US diplomat: Iran, Russia may recognize IEA
US State Department: IEA has a long way to go for recognition
Iran: Region on same page over interaction with Kabul
Russia invites Muttaqi to next Moscow format meeting
Muttaqi: On realizing facts, countries turn to positive interaction
EU slaps sanctions on three senior IEA officials
Women protest against ban on salons in Kabul
Iran claims ISIS members transferred to Afghanistan, Mujahid denies
Thirteen people were killed and nine others were injured in various incidents across the country.
Unknown gunmen killed a 60-year-old man in Parwan, a farmer in Baghlan, a woman and her husband, and a woman was killed in Balkh after being kidnapped.
According to local officials, a man killed his sister in Faryab, seven people were injured in an armed clash between two families in Nangarhar, three children were killed and two others injured when an old mortar shell exploded in Samangan and one person lost his life in a grenade blast in Parwan province.
Last week, an operation was carried out on a house in Bagrami district of Kabul. Officials had said nothing about the operation, but some media reports claimed three people were killed and six other were arrested.
Note: These figures are based on reports reaching Pajhwok Afghan News. Some incidents may have gone unreported or sources provided incorrect information.
In the previous week, five people were killed and four others were injured in various incidents across the country.
Before the regime change in August 2021, hundreds of civilians, insurgents and security forces would get killed and wounded in violent accidents across the country.
Last week, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said allowing Afghan refugees to settle in Pakistan was “a grave mistake” amid a spike in terrorist activities in the country.
Asif said Pakistan was well aware of terror safe havens and their activities in Afghanistan and added the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan “does not respect the rights of its neighbors” and was not committed to the Doha Agreement.
Pakistan’s army chief General Asim Munir also talked about the presence of TTP militants in Afghanistan and the involvement of Afghan citizens in terrorist incidents in Pakistan.
However, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Pakistan was a neighboring country and was not dealt with in the light of the Doha Agreement, but a brother country and the soil of Afghanistan would never be allowed to be used against Pakistan.
He said Afghanistan itself had been a victim of decades of war, having bitter memories of conflict and did not support hostilities in any country.
Reacting to Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Asim Munir’s statement, the interim government’s chief spokesman said: “Other countries, including Pakistan, should not blame Afghanistan for their domestic issues or internal insecurity.”
Speaking exclusively to Pajhwok Afghan News, Zabihullah Mujahid opined all countries should try to resolve their domestic problems internally.”
“The Islamic Emirate has repeatedly promised it will not allow the use of Afghanistan’s soil against anyone. We stand firm and will not allow any action against any country, including Pakistan, from Afghanistan,” he commented.
Similarly, Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also alleged Afghanistan had become a safe place for the Pakistani Taliban and asked the caretaker government to live up to what it had promised with the world.
Mujahid stressed: “But we should also be aware that Afghanistan should not be chided for others’ weaknesses, preventing internal incidents or diverting attention from certain problems there. There are vast areas near the Durand Line in Pakistan, which could be possible used for such things.”
The IEA was against the insecurity of anyone and always supported stability in the region as a priority of the caretaker government, Mujahid maintained.
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Maulvi Amir Khan Muttaqi said in a meeting with Pakistan’s Special Representative Asif Durrani that Afghans never harmed anyone. “We will not allow our territory to be used against any country and we always try to work for peace and stability in the region.”
Interaction and recognition
British conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who is the chair of the defense select committee, after returning from a trip to Afghanistan, praised the Islamic Emirate for improved security, free travel and the disappearance of widespread corruption, adding the black market opium trade is “seemingly gone”.
He asked the British government to reopen its embassy in Kabul and negotiate with the interim rulers in this regard.
However, after facing criticisms from fellow lawmakers, Tobias Ellwood expressed regret and deleted a video in which he praised the Taliban for tackling opium and corruption.
Zabihullah Mujahid praised Elwood’s “positive” report from Helmand province, which the MP has now removed from Twitter.
Former US Diplomat Annie Pforzheimer has said Russia and Iran may recognize the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ (IEA) government while some circles in the US government were also in favour of cooperation with the IEA.
Talking to the VoA, Pforzheimer said IEA ties with Pakistan were complicated at this stage while Russia and Iran could recognize the IEA as the legitimate government in the wake of improved diplomatic relations.
However, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the US stance about recognizing the Islamic Emirate remained unchanged.
Iran’s president special representative and ambassador for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazami Qomi, said regional countries held shared views about interaction and cooperation with Afghanistan and continued to insist on formation of an inclusive government in the country.
Russia will invite representatives of the Taliban to international talks on Afghanistan that it plans to host in Moscow on October 20, President Vladimir Putin’s special representative on Afghanistan has said.
The talks will follow a G20 summit on Afghanistan on October 12 aimed at helping the country avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in the wake of the Taliban’s mid-August takeover of power.
Acting Foreign Minister Maulvi Amir Khan Muttaqi said countries which had negative interaction with Afghanistan were turning to positive interaction on realizing facts.
In a meeting with the people of Ahmadzai tribe, acting Interior Minister Sirajudding Haqqani said Afghanistan would survive and develop and its independence would further strengthen with support of the Afghans if not recognized by anyone.
Last week, the European Union imposed sanctions on Acting Minister of Education Habibullah Agha, Acting Minister of Justice Abdul Hakeem Sharia and Supreme Court Judge Sheikh Abdul Hakeem Haqqani.
But Zabiullah Mujahid called the sanctions useless and said issues should be solved through understanding and dialogue.
Ban on women’s salons
Dozens of women protested against the ban on beauty salons, but were violently dispersed by security officials.
About the women’s protest in Kabul, UNAMA said Afghans have the right to express their views free from violence and should be respected.
The Vice and Virtue and Complaints Ministry on June 26 gave one month to all salons in Afghanistan to wind down their businesses.
UNAMA’s concern and response
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a report expressed concern over human rights violations in the country.
The report from May to June 2023 said the rights of women and girls remain severely constrained under the new rulers.
The report documented instances where limitations were enforced on women’s freedom of movement and employment.
UNAMA has also recorded arbitrary arrests, detentions, and ill-treatment of journalists, as well as restrictions on beauty salons and activities carried out by the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
The UNAMA report calls for urgent attention to these issues and emphasizes the importance of upholding human rights and promoting a safe and inclusive environment for all Afghanistan citizens.
However, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid called the UNAMA report as false, saying it did not reflect facts about the situation in Afghanistan.
He said UNAMA was either quoting those who had fled the country and were giving wrong information or it itself was spreading propaganda against Afghanistan.
Daesh related concerns and reactions
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) scorned the top Iranian diplomat’s claim that Daesh leaders have entered Afghanistan from Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian alleged some Islamic State leaders and fighters had been transferred to Afghanistan from Iraq, Syria and some parts of Libya in recent months.
Abdollahian said the shifting of Daesh leaders to Afghanistan had become a serious challenge for the interim Afghan government.
But Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesman for MoFA, tweeted: “The statement of the Iranian foreign minister about Daesh transfer to Afghanistan … is untrue and we reject it.”
Balkhi wrote “The security forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, before and after the occupation, have fought seriously and regularly against Daesh. As a result, the group has lost its destructive ability.”
Kabul governor Mohammad Qasim Khalid in an interview with TOLOnews that America was supportinf the Daesh armed group in Afghanistan.