KABUL (Pajhwok): Last week, Japan and Dinmark announced $38 million assistance to Afghanistan, with UNHCR asking Pakistan to avoid maltreating Afghan refugees.
Once again, various international institutions called for the reopening of girls’ schools in the country, but the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan maintains it is not against education for girls.
Last week’s major events:
- UN-led meeting will be held on February 18.
- Kabulov: 4 nations to attend meeting on Afghanistan.
- Amid calls for reopening of girls schools; Kabir renews IEA stance.
- UNHCR: Pakistan should treat Afghans well.
- Japan, Dinmark announce $38m in aid to Afghanistan.
At least eight people were killed and six others wounded in different incidents across the country last week.
According to reports, three people were killed and six others wounded as a result of an explosion in Kunar province.
Local officials said a person in Samangan killed his uncle, aunty and their daughter. Two children were killed when an unexploded mortar shell they were playing with went off in the capital of northern Samangan province.
Note: These figures are based on reports reaching Pajhwok Afghan News. Some incidents may have gone unreported or sources could have provided incorrect figures.
In the previous week, 12 people had been killed and 11 others injured across the country.
Before the regime change in August 2021, hundreds of civilians, insurgents and security forces would be killed and maimed every week.
UN-led meeting on Afghanistan
A UN-led meeting is scheduled to be held in Doha on February 18 and 19.
The first meeting was held in May 2023 and the IEA was not invited to that.
But last week Deputy Prime Minister Maulvi Abdul Kabir confirmed the IEA representative had been invited to attend the meeting on Afghanistan in Doha.
Norway’s Chargé d’Affaires Paul Klouman Bekken, in a meeting with Kabir, said IEA had been invited to the upcoming huddle in the capital of Qatar.
Separately, UN secretary-general’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said António Guterres would convene the meeting on February 18 and 19.
Call for girls’ education, IEA view
January 24 marked as the the International Day of Education, with some international organisations renewing calls for the reopening of girls’ schools.
Amnesty International (AI) called for the immediate reopening of all schools and universities for girls in Afghanistan.
Rosa Otunbayeva, head of the UNAMA, asked the Islamic Emirate to accept the right to education for all citizens of the country, not only from a moral point of view, but also for the good, well-being and peace of society.
She said the continued deprivation of Afghan girls of education did not only have a bad effect on all Afghans; but would also isolate Afghanistan at the global level.
Maulvi Kabir, in a meeting with Norway’s Chargé d’Affaires Paul Klouman Bekken, said IEA was not against girls’ education and a special committee had been tasked to ensure compliance with the order from the supreme leader to address the issue.
UN report, IEA reaction
A new UNAMA report said IEA authorities continued to enforce and promulgate restrictions on women’s rights to work, education and freedom of movement.
In particular, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice and its departments at provincial level, take on this enforcement role with regard to hijab, mahram and other requirements imposed on women by visiting public places, offices and educational institutes, as well as establishing checkpoints and monitoring compliance.
For example, on 26 December in Kandahar, officials of the Department of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice visited a bus terminal to ensure that women were not travelling long distances without mahrams and instructed bus drivers that they were not to permit women to board without a mahram.
But Zabihullah Mujahid, chief spokesman for IEA, said the UNAMA human rights indicated its ignorance and unawareness about Sharia rules.
4-way meeting on Afghanistan
A four-way meeting on the current situation in Afghanistan is expected by the end of January, says a Russian diplomat.
Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan would participate in the meeting.
The participants are expected to exchange views on an inclusive government, as well as the need for combating terrorism and narcotics.
UNHCR: Pakistan should treat refugees well
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s global security and supply department head says she has asked Pakistani authorities to extend the cards of Afghan refugees and be lenient towards them.
The Ministry of (MoRRA) wrote on its X handle that acting
Minister of Refugee and Repatriation Affairs Khalil Ur Rahman Haqqani met UNHCR’s Security and Supply Department head Shoko Shimozowa and the delegation accompanying her.
Shimozowa, who returned to the country recently, said: “We held meetings with Pakistani authorities and discussed with them the problems of Afghan migrants. We also asked the authorities to extend the Proof of Registration (PoR) cards of Afghan migrants and be lenient towards them.”
More than 500,000 Afghan refugees have either been deported from Pakistan or have voluntarily during the past four months, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.
Maulvi Abdul Kabir, during a meeting with the European Union Charge d’Affaires Raffaella Iodice, said Pakistan was forcibly repatriating Afghan refugees regardless of the circumstances and was against all rules.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Afghanistan says Denmark has contributed 2.2 million US dollars to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF).
Likewise, Japan has pledged to provide $36 million in fresh assistance to Afghanistan’s different sectors.