Updated: September 16, 2021 10:42:38 pm
Pakistan’s National Security Adviser is the latest to criticise the ‘wait and watch’ policy on recognising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan too has batted for engagement with the fighters to ensure stability and peace in Afghanistan, and reacted US criticism of Islamabad’s alleged role in the Taliban takeover of Kabul
As rumours of friction between pragmatists and ideologues in Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership intensified, the leader of the pragmatic faction, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has issued a statement denying reports that he was hurt. The central bank, meanwhile, issued a statement saying the Taliban handed over over $12 million seized from homes of ex-officials, according to an AFP report.
Here are some of the key stories to follow:
The Taliban’s capture of Kabul in 1996 gave impetus to Islamist militant groups across the world, but the country that was most affected by the rise of fundamentalism in Afghanistan was its neighbor, Pakistan.
Not only did the victory of the “students” (the Taliban in Arabic) embolden extremist and militant groups in Pakistan, some people in the South Asian country also saw it as a “divine” sign.
Fed up with the country’s mainstream political parties, who had failed to deliver to the common people, the demand for Shariah law and a Taliban-style government had started echoing across Pakistan.
The Taliban’s abrupt return to power has left hundreds of Afghan diplomats overseas in limbo: running out of money to keep missions operating, fearful for families back home and desperate to secure refuge abroad.
The Islamist militant movement, which swiftly ousted Afghanistan’s Western-backed government on Aug. 15, said on Tuesday that it had sent messages to all of its embassies telling diplomats to continue their work.
But eight embassy staff who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, in countries including Canada, Germany and Japan, described dysfunction and despair at their missions.
A day after the United States indicated that it would review its ties with Pakistan over the developments in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said his country was treated “like a hired gun” by Americans.
In an interview with CNN, one of his first since the Taliban takeover, Khan batted for engagement with the fighters to ensure stability and peace in Afghanistan. He revealed he has not spoken with US President Joe Biden since the Taliban takeover, despite the two countries being close allies for years. “I would imagine he’s very busy, but our relationship with the US is not just dependent on a phone call, it needs to be a multi-dimensional relationship,” Khan said in the interview.
A UN envoy has met Afghanistan’s new interior minister who was for years was one of the world’s most wanted Islamist militants and is now part of a government trying to head off a humanitarian crisis.
The meeting between Deborah Lyons, head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, and Sirajuddin Haqqani focused on humanitarian assistance, Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.
$12 million seized from ex-officials amidst cash crunch
The Taliban seized over $12 million from homes of former Afghanistan officials, said Afghan central bank amidst reports of cash shortage in the country. The amount was seized in gold and cash, reported the AFP.
“The money recovered came from high-ranking officials… and a number of national security agencies who kept cash and gold in their homes,” the bank said in a statement, according to the AFP. “It is, however, still not known for what purpose they were kept.”
Afghan women take to Twitter with photos in traditional garb
Afghan women from different parts of the world have taken to Twitter to post photos in bright, vibrant Afghan clothing to protest against Taliban’s dress code for female students. This comes after photos on social media showed a group of people dressed in black head-to-toe robes at a rally in Kabul last week.
On Twitter, women shared photographs of traditional Afghan clothing with hashtags like ‘This Is Afghanistan’ and ‘Do not Touch my Clothes’.
Afghanistan’s acting deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar appeared in a video interview posted on Wednesday to deny reports that he was hurt in a clash with a rival faction of the Taliban.
“No this is not true; I am OK and healthy,” Baradar said in an interview with state TV which was posted on Twitter by the Taliban’s political office in Doha. “The media says that there is internal disputes. There is nothing between us, it is not true.”
Taliban order Afghan squatters in Kandahar out
Impoverished Afghans living in a long-abandoned military compound in the southern city of Kandahar say they’re devastated by the Taliban order to expel them from their homes.
Several hundred staged a rally against the order on Monday, saying they have nowhere else to go and that they had years ago paid former Afghan soldiers under the table for the land.
The Taliban came to the compound after the rally and forced several of the protesters to leave. Their current whereabouts are not known.
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