Pajhwok Afghan News

7 killed, 8 wounded in Afghanistan last week

KABUL (Pajhwok): Last week, five acting ministers had foreign trips, as the United Nations temporarily lifted a travel ban on four senior officials. Russia once again emphasised on interaction with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with Kazakhstan delisting IEA as a banned organisation.

Key events of last week:

Casualties

Last week, seven people were killed and eight others injured in various incidents of violence in Afghanistan.

According to repors, two persons lost their lives and three others were injured in mortar shell blasts in Logar and Kapista provinces. Four individulas were wounded as a restul of a landmine explosion in Kunar.

Local officials say unidentified gunmen shot dead two wokers of a private compnay in Jawzjan. A man stabbed to death his wife in Sar-i-Pul.

A local journalist was killed and another person injured in a clash between two families in Uruzgan. Separately, a man gunned down in the same 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, according to sources, 11 people had been killed and two others injured in various incidents of violence nationwhide.

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

Haqqani’s visit to UAE

Acting Interior Minister Khalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani, during a visit to the United Arab Emirate (UAE), discussed strengthening the bilateral relationship and support in different areas, including health, infrastructure, investment and security.

It was Haqqani’s first foreign visit after the re-establishment of IEA. Haqqani met ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other officials.

The United States urged countries to take permission for the travel of the IEA officials placed on the no-fly list.

States Department spokesman Mattew Miller said: “I would like to say that countries that host IEA officials banned by the United Nations from traveling must obtain permission for their travel.”

He said it was essential for UN member states to follow these laws.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) lifted the travel ban on the deputy prime minister, two acting ministers and the General Directorate of Intelligence chief.

According to media reports, the UNSC announced in a statement on Wednesday that the travel curbs had been removed on Maulvi Abdul Kabir, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Noor Mohammad Saqib.

Foreign trips

The acting minister of labour and social affairs attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Russia.

Acting Minister of Education Maulvi Habibullah Agha also travelled to Russia to participate in an international forum.

Acting Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs Dr. Noor Mohammad Saqib travelled to Saudi Arabia to participate in the conference of ministers of hajj from Islamic countries.

Kazakhstan delists IEA as banned group

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced the removal of IEA — also known as the Taliban movement — from the list of terrorist organisations.

Zabihullah Mujahid, chief spokesman for IEA, told Pajhwok Afghan News Kazakhstan’s move was crucial.

The development marked the entry of Kazakhstan and Afghanistan into a new phase of positive interaction, commented Mujahid, who believed barriers to the bilateral relationship had been removed.

The Kazakh deputy prime minister says his country plans to develop an alternative route through Turkmenistan to increase trade with Afghanistan from the current $1 billion to $3 billion.

Serik Zhumangarin was quoted as saying on Wednesday: “Currently, the annual trade volume with Afghanistan is around $1 billion. Our goal is to increase it to $3 billion, but it won’t be possible until all necessary logistical issues are addressed.”

Russia-IEA ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been urged for Taliban movement’s removal from the list of terrorist outfits.

Putin’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice had communicated their position to the Russian leader.

Last week, Moscow said it would support Afghanistan’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) if the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan EA was recognised.

TASS quoted Russia’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov as saying IEA’s recognition: “I think we will. However, it’s not only about recognition.”

IEA officials called such statements a positive step and said the expansion of economic and diplomatic ties could be the only way to solve issues between Afghanistan and regional countries.

Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry, said the purpose of establishing contact with the interim government to address the challenges created by the United States and NATO members in Afghanistan.

Doha meeting

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi in a meeting with EU Representative for Afghanistan Thomas Nicholson said IEA would soon announce its position on the third UN-convened meeting on Afghanistan in Doha.

IEA’s policy interaction with all countries and wanted meaningful participation in the Doha gathering, he added.

UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said at a press conference he was hopeful the agenda for the international community’s engagement with the “Taliban” would be clarified at the third Doha meeting.

The head of UNAMA, Roza Atenbayeva, said in a meeting with Muttaqi her team was working on an agenda of the third Doha huddle that was acceptable to all sides.

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has underlined the need for full, meaningful and equal participation of women in the Doha huddle and other discussions related to Afghanistan.

Contact group meeting in Tehran

Tehran hosted the second meeting of the Regional Contact Group on Afghanistan on Saturday.

The group had been created in the framework of the Moscow Format on Iran’s initiative in January this year to help address concerns about Afghanistan.

Special representatives from Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia attended the meeting, whose agenda included consultations on Afghanistan’s future.

The IEA chose to stay away from the regional consultations in Tehran. The decision on skipping the Moscow Format contact group’s meeting was announced by the director of the Third Political Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Zakir Jalaly wrote on X the interim government had declined the invitation to the meeting, which should be held under existing mechanisms, not new ones.

IEA was in discussions with relevant parties on the third meeting on Afghanistan in Doha, scheduled for June 30 and July 1, the official said.

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