Daily Evacuation Brief | April 21, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
UN CLARIFIES REMARKS – The United Nations was forced to clarify comments made by the Deputy Secretary General recently which caused some angst among many in the international community. The comments suggested the UN was planning to put the recognition issue on the agenda of a meeting in Doha scheduled from 1-2 May. The UN has since announced the meeting will not focus on recognition and admitted that only member states had any authority to recognize the Taliban. For its part, the United States has flatly rejected any talk about recognition at the meeting. There is still some confusion regarding recent UN statements which suggest it may pull out completely from Afghanistan in May if the gender bans are not rescinded by Kandahar. However, the UNICEF Chief went on the record Thursday and affirmed that his organization was not planning on a cessation of activities. Clearly, the dysfunction illustrates a messaging problem and likely indicates a lack of a general strategy for dealing with the Taliban going forward.
POSSIBLE TROUBLE IN THE BANKING SECTOR – A source in Kabul said that concern was growing over the possibility that several private banks have grossly overstated deposits and may be facing issues with their cash reserves. The business sector has lobbied for months to increase the daily limit for withdrawals and the banks seemingly relented but businessmen and citizens alike continue to report that banks are not allowing them to withdraw their funds. It should be mentioned that the banking sector has long been considered suspect in Afghanistan (well before the Taliban returned) and multiple rumors circulated at the end of 2021 that huge amounts had been transferred out of the country and may have been absconded with. The Afghan currency has made steady gains against the dollar over the past three months but a banking sector scandal could present major challenges to an already fragile economy. It was not clear if an investigation was underway and, if so, whether any details would be made public.
DEATH TOLL FROM TORKHAM LANDSLIDE RISES TO 6 – Work continues at the site of the landslide near Torkham Gate and rescue crews received heavy equipment from Islamabad to help shift the rocks and boulders that swept over a line of transport trucks. A Pakistani Army Official announced that 6 bodies had been recovered so far but that over twenty-five people have yet to be accounted for.
NO OFFICIAL DATE FOR EID AL FITR FROM TALIBAN YET – Saudi Arabia announced it would commence celebrations on 21 April. Pakistan has decreed the 22nd will be the official start of its celebrations. As of publication, the Taliban had yet to announce the Eid Al Fitr date for the country. It is thought that many among the Shiaa community intend to begin on the 22nd.
TALIBAN HAS BANNED A WASHINGTON POST JOURNALIST FROM THE COUNTRY – Susannah George, the paper’s bureau chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was informed yesterday that she was no longer allowed to visit Afghanistan. Her visa has not been renewed and despite lobbying by the Washington Post, the Taliban stated on 20 April that it would not hear any further appeals.
THE NATIONAL RESISTANCE FRONT RELEASES EID AL-FITR DECLARATION – A statement released on the official Twitter account for the NRF reiterates the movement’s plan to continue the fight against the Taliban and discounts the possibility that dialogue with the regime can achieve peace.
NEXT 24 HOURS
NO CURRENT THREATS RECEIVED
A prominent journalist has been arrested for the second time but nobody knows who arrested him. Keyvan Samimi had previously served a sentence and was released recently but TV reports say he was picked up on Thursday by unknown government agents.
Several Iranian media outlets have chosen to air reports about assassination attempts against former rulers. Many are wondering why they have chosen the subject at this point in time.
A woman in Qazvin was arrested for taking photos of schoolgirls who had been poisoned and sending them to external media outlets.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has finally agreed to attend a conference in India for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. His visit will be the highest-level meeting between the two countries since 2016.
The weather is expected to heat up in Pakistan and rain has been ruled out for the coming week, easing fears of more flooding.
The man running the former Prime Minister’s Instagram account was arrested on Thursday as part of a government crackdown on social media activism.
By Sophia Nina Burna-Asefi
Amid new geopolitical conditions, Russia has reinvigorated its diplomatic efforts with Afghanistan as it seeks to reassert itself as a security guarantor in the wider region. On April 6, Russian Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov met with Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s foreign minister. Both parties stressed greater political, security, and economic cooperation. The meeting came after several remarks from Russia concerning the risks and security threats that Afghanistan poses to the Central Asian countries. The bilateral visit is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic meetings between Russia and Afghanistan.
By Bilal Saam - AMU TV
A farmer from Imam Sahib district in northern Kunduz province said Taliban has “forcedly” collected 7,000 Afs ($82) from him as…
By TOLO News
The clients of Azizi Bank, a private Afghan bank, have expressed concerns over the withdrawal of money from their…
By Will Tizard - RFE
The sidewalks outside bakeries in the Afghan capital are packed with desperate mothers and children hoping for a bite to…
At least six people are known to have died in a landslide that occurred in the early morning hours on April 18 in northwestern Pakistan near the…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
Five Indian army soldiers were killed, and one was critically hurt after terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at a truck in…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Raffy Boudjikanian - CBC
Afghans who worked with the Canadian embassy in Kabul — and are now hiding from the Taliban — are suing the federal government, accusing…
By FMF Staff
In an open letter to the United Nations leadership, UN Security Council, and member states, Afghan women demand that they stand “firm on their commitment” to not recognizing the…
THE DAILY WTF
By Syed Mudassir Ali Shah - Pajhwok Afghan News
The chaotic US military pullout from Afghanistan has been tied to the failure of its diplomats to anticipate the 2021 regime…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 86.11 AFN (as of 21 APR 2023)