Updated: September 19, 2021 2:01:08 am
Afghanistan Taliban Crisis LIVE Updates: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Saturday that he has initiated a dialogue with the Taliban over forming a government which is inclusive of the different communities in Afghanistan like the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks.
The move comes after his meetings in Dushanbe, Tajikistan with the leaders of neighboring countries. He added that the inclusivity will “ensure peace and a stable Afghanistan.”
After mtgs in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours & especially a lengthy discussion with Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, I have initiated a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan govt to include Tajiks, Hazaras & Uzbeks.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 18, 2021
Meanwhile, at least three people died and 20 other were wounded in the blasts in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad, according to news agency AP.
The three explosions in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province had targeted Taliban vehicles earlier in the day. However, no one immediately took responsibility for the attack.
Here are some of the key stories to follow:
NATO to focus on intel pacts to prevent terrorists regrouping in Afghanistan
NATO defence chiefs have convened in Greece to discuss the way ahead, now that all alliance troops have pulled out of Afghanistan. On Saturday, the military leaders stated that their priority was to avoid a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan.
The US military has said that it will focus on seeking basing agreements and intelligence sharing to prevent terrorist groups from regrouping in the region.
Taliban replace ministry for women with Ministry of Virtue and Vice
The Taliban’s all-male interim government has set up its Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in the building that once housed the Women’s Affairs Ministry, AP reported. Historically, the ministry is known for its patrol vans which enforced a harsh interpretation of the Sharia law while roaming the streets of Afghanistan.
Staff of the World Bank’s $100 million Women’s Economic Empowerment and Rural Development Program, which was run out of the Women’s Affairs Ministry, were escorted off the grounds Saturday, a program member Sharif Akhtar was quoted as saying.
It was mistake, offer sincere apology: Top US military commander on Aug 29 Kabul drone strike
US military has apologised for killing 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, in a drone strike in Kabul last month. The military called it a “tragic mistake”. The Pentagon had said the August 29 strike targeted an Islamic State suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to US-led troops at the airport as they completed the last stages of their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban’s most public face who led peace talks with the US, was physically attacked by a leader of the US terrorist-designated Haqqani Network in early September during talks at the palace over forming the cabinet, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing the incident.
Baradar had pushed for an “inclusive” cabinet that included non-Taliban leaders and ethnic minorities, which would be more acceptable to the rest of the world, the people said. At one point during the meeting, Khalil ul Rahman Haqqani rose from his chair and began punching the Taliban leader.
Their bodyguards entered the fray and opened fire on each other, killing and wounding a number of them, the people said. While Baradar was not injured he has since left the capital and headed to Kandahar — the group’s base — to speak with Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, effectively the Taliban’s spiritual head.
Two injured in IED explosion in Kabul
Two people were injured in an IED explosion in Kabul’s police district 13, according to a report in Afghan-based TOLO news, which cited eyewitnesses.
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) September 18, 2021
In Panjshir, roads reopen, telecom services resume
Nearly three weeks after services were cut off, roads leading to Panjshir province have been reopened, according to a report in Afghan-based TOLOnews. The report says that while telecom services have been restored, electricity is yet to be reconnected.
“The telecom networks have been working since yesterday. The serious challenge is the electricity cutoff, which has not been solved,” the report said, quoting Mohammad Wasi Almas, a local journalist.
Qatar plane takes more Americans from Afghanistan, says US envoy
A Qatar Airways flight on Friday took more Americans out of Afghanistan, according to Washington’s peace envoy, the third such airlift by the Mideast carrier since the Taliban takeover and the frantic US troop pullout from the country.
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted he was “grateful that more Americans were able to leave on a Qatar Airways flight.” There was no immediate information how many Americans were on the flight.
Security Council renews UN mission in Afghanistan
United Nations Security Council members voted in unison Friday to renew the political mission in Afghanistan.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) will continue for another 6 months. The mission mandate will deal with humanitarian efforts and development among other issues, and will not involve peacekeeping. The document stressed “the important role that the United Nations will continue to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
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