Civilian casualties witness rise in Afghanistan last week

KABUL (Pajhwok): Last week, $2.44 billion were raised in humanitarian support for Afghanistan at an international conference and the week saw civilian casualties increasing as compared to the previous week.

International community pledged $2.44 billion to Afghanistan in humanitarian aid
Stability in Afghanistan stressed during a regional countries meeting in China
Isolating Afghanistan is in the interest of no side: Troika Meeting
Delay in reopening of girls secondary and high schools sparked reactions
Acting government bans three global television broadcasts in Afghanistan
Last week 63 people were killed and injured in Afghanistan


Last week, at least 25 people were killed and 37 others injured in Afghanistan in different violent incidents. The figures excluded casualties inflicted by natural disasters.

Four people were killed and 25 others injured in a bomb blast in the Engil district of western Herat province during evening prayers time. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast.

According to reports unidentified gunmen killed a man in the Nawa district of southern Helmand province, the body of a teenage girl was recovered from the Haji NabiTownship in Kabul City, a body was also recovered in Bamyan City, the capital of central Bamyan province.

A man was killed last week in the Garizwan district of Faryab province, according to reports. Two women were killed in the Jawand district of Badghis province, a man was killed in the Manogai district of Kunar province, two persons were killed in the Takht Sang district of Daikundi province and one man was killed in Kandahar province.

Unknown gunmen injured two men separately in Farah and Kunar province, reports said.

Last week, seven people were killed in the Syedabad district of MaidanWardak province due to blast from Explosive Remnant of War (ERW). One man was killed and another injured in a blast in the Baghlan-e-Markazi district of northern Baghlan province.

Another ERW blast left five children killed and two injured in the Marja district of Helmand province. Five kidnappers were killed by security forces in Jalalabad City, the capital of Nangarhar province.

In the previous week, eight people were killed and five others injured in Afghanistan. This comes as before last year political change in the country hundreds of people would get killed and injured weekly in Afghanistan.

International meetings on Afghanistan

An international pledging conference on Afghanistan last week fetched $2.44 billion for humanitarian operations in Afghanistan. The conference was held in Geneva and hosted by the UN in which 41 countries and some international organization took part.

A two-day regional meeting on Afghanistan was held in China in which foreign ministers from Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, US, Russia, Qatar and Indonesia participated.

The meeting stressed peace, stability and attracting humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.

China, Afghanistan and Pakistan foreign ministers held a joint meeting in which acting Foreign Minister Ameer Khan Muttaqi said: “Islamic Emirate is trying to address all political, economic and social problems profoundly and bring more inclusivity to the political structure.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Afghanistan should not pose threat to any other nation and Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “Previous government representative in the UN could not represent acting Afghan government and he was using the office inaccurately.”

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Afghanistan’s acting government legitimacy should come to conclusion with the consent of all regional countries.

Troika Process member states — China, Pakistan, US, Russia — also held their meeting last week and stressed that isolating Afghanistan was in the interest of no side and pledged to work for economic and political progress in Afghanistan.

Reactions as Taliban cancel opening of girls’ schools

Last week marked the start of a new academic year in the cold areas of Afghanistan, but the government postponed the opening of girls’ classes up to the sixth grade until further notice, saying the schools would be reopened once a plan in this regard is completed.

Thomas West, the State Department’s special envoy for Afghanistan, said he hoped the Afghan government would reconsider its decision and allow all girls to go to school.

The United States also canceled a meeting with Afghanistan’s caretaker government in Qatar on economic issues after the Taliban refused to allow girls to study.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also lamented the ban on education of Afghan girls, saying the Taliban government backtracked on their promises.

In a recent report, Amnesty International said that the Afghan government’s reluctance to reopen girls’ schools had disappointed them.

The European Union (EU) has said that Afghanistan’s caretaker government has lost its legitimacy by suspending the opening of girls’ schools.

Reiterating concern over the delay in reopening of girls high and secondary schools in Afghanistan, the UN Security Council and called on UNAMA to discuss the matter with Afghan officials and relevant agencies.

While Human Rights Watch (HRW) asked the international community to ban travel of Taliban officials in response to the Afghan government’s delay in starting the girls’ schools.

The World Bank also froze $600 million for four projects in Afghanistan because of the delay in starting girls’ secondary and high schools in the country.

At a meeting in Kabul, the American Women’s Peace and Education Mission called for the release of the frozen assets of Afghans, the reopening of schools for all girls, and humanitarian assistance to Afghans.

Religious scholars in Kabul say that depriving girls of education has no religious or sharia aspect and that girls can be educated by wearing the Islamic hijab.

A number of women in Herat province called for the opening of girls’ schools, saying they would continue their struggle for girls’ right to education.

Media ban

Last week, the Afghan government banned broadcasts from the BBC, VOA and Deutsche Welle in Afghanistan.

Government officials said: “Because foreign media outlets broadcast from abroad and the Islamic Emirate does not have access to their materials, especially journalists and other uniforms / clothes, they also publish content that deviates from our religious values and Afghan culture.

“Our people were worried about it; therefore, it was decided to stop the broadcasting of foreign TV stations that broadcast on Afghan TV channels.”


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