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Daily Evacuation Brief | February 1, 2022
Daily news about Afghanistan and the surrounding region
Welcome to the Daily Evacuation Brief. For more in-depth intelligence analysis and crisis research, please subscribe to our members-only journal, which comes out twice a week: Whispers & Anatomy of a Crisis.
LAST 24 HOURS:
· Talks between Pakistan and the Taliban conclude with an agreement to pursue cooperation on border issues and the establishment of a committee to discuss the Durand Line.
· There were no reports of house searches in Mazar, and the Taliban are purportedly adopting a less menacing security posture in the city.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
· Some universities are expected to open for classes tomorrow, and students have been traveling to resume their coursework over the last two days. It is still unclear if women will be allowed to attend, what coursework they will be allowed to study, and how gender segregation will be implemented.
· The Afghani continues to make small gains against the dollar. Although minuscule, the past week has seen an upward trend.
What Happens in the Spring?
CONTEXT: Spring typically ushers in the campaign season in Afghanistan. While the Taliban have repeatedly claimed they have complete control of the country (excepting a recent slip by an acting Minister), there have been several terrorism attacks, clashes with resistance forces, and a near mutiny of an ethnic minority within its own ranks. Many observers are wondering what the coming spring may bring.
DISCUSSION: Analysts almost universally agree that the Taliban’s control is limited to major population centers and traditional Pashtun strongholds. Multiple destabilizing challenges have emerged from both within and outside the Taliban. ISIS-K continues to successfully coordinate assassinations and place bombs around the country.
Furthermore, recent clashes with the NRF in Balkh saw the seizure of a sizable weapons cache. Particularly worrying was the Uzbek Taliban’s mutiny on 15 January which necessitated intervention from Kabul. After this event, security threats have been dealt with primarily by utilizing Pashtun Taliban units who are loyal to Kabul. The recent crackdown in Mazar is an example of this.
Also of note is the “wait-and-see” stance major donor nations have adopted on humanitarian aid and investment. While some urgent aid is being delivered, there has been little done to alleviate the issues with the central bank and the overall financial picture across the country. Sources within the policy realm have confirmed there is concern the Taliban will be challenged and may even be displaced within the year.
- ISIS-K will continue its campaign of terror, and the Taliban will not be able to stop the attacks. Eventually, ISIS-K will shift their targeting to critical infrastructure (ie: power grid, communications, transport hubs), and the Taliban response will be seen as weak and ineffective. Although ISIS-K does not have wide support among the population, their campaign will continue to sap men and material.
- If the NRF takes up the mantle of the Northern Alliance, it will almost certainly begin operations against the Taliban in the spring. While ISIS-K attacks will be a nuisance, the NRF represents the only real challenge to the Taliban in the coming year. They are already seen as the inheritors of the Northern Alliance’s mission and have been invited to many nations to discuss the future of the country. If medium or large-scale internal conflict is witnessed over the coming year, it will likely be between the NRF and the Taliban.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 103.20 AFN (as of 31 JAN 2022)
Nangarhar: 1000s of War-Displaced Families Return Home | TOLONews | By Sadaqat Ghorzang
Shinwari is a large area located alongside the Durand Line in Nangarhar. The area is comprised of six districts including Spin Ghar, Nazian, Achin, Haska-Mina, Dor Baba and Ghani Khel. The displaced families include the residents of Asadkhel of Spin Ghar district who were forced to leave their homes after the US dropped the “the mother of all bombs,” to target Daesh tunnels…
Japan, other countries intend to revive diplomatic missions in Kabul | Russian News Agency | By TASS
MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. A number of countries, including Japan, are gearing up to revive the work of their diplomatic missions in Afghanistan, and Moscow welcomes such steps by international partners, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov said in an interview with TASS…
Kabul, January 30: For the first time since the takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban appointed a woman as a head of an Afghan hospital, Sputnik News Agency reported citing a source at the medical facility…
Taliban pledge to respect Afghan Shia Muslims rights | By MEHR News Agency
Abdul Rahman Kunduzi, the governor of the Taliban in Samangan province, said in a meeting with Shiite elders in the province that relations and coordination between the nation and the interim Taliban government were important and that the people should maintain their unity…
Pakistan’s Hard-Line Islamists Emboldened By Afghan Taliban’s Victory | Radio Free Europe | By Ron Synovitz
The Afghan militants' victory has not only bolstered Pakistani Islamist insurgents but also strengthened religious political parties that share the Taliban’s extremist views…
Pakistan-Afghanistan to create joint committee for resolving Durand Line conflicts | The Khaama Press News Agency | By Najibullah Lalzoy
Pakistani NSA’s Moeed Yusuf’s two-day visit to Kabul came to an end, and a joint committee for resolving Durand Line conflicts was agreed upon during his visit with the IEA’s officials. Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul Mansoor Ahmad Khan in a Twitter post said that Moeed Yusuf had fruitful meetings in Afghanistan…
International News Relating to Afghanistan
Albania: Afghan women start eatery to help refugees feel at home | Al Jazeera | By Ruchi Kumar
Shengjin city, Albania – The smell of freshly baked bread wafts from the kitchen of a small pizzeria in Shengjin city – a small coastal town in Albania. The bread, however, is not part of the usual offerings on the menu of Bella Vita Pizzeria, but in fact, a version of the Afghan naan, a quintessential traditional bread from Afghanistan that embodies much of the war-torn nation’s food culture…
Afghanistan, energy crunch loom high on agenda of Biden meeting with Qatari emir | By The Arab Weekly
President Joe Biden is hosting the Qatari emir at the White House on Monday as he looks for the gas-rich nation to step up once again to help the West as it faces the prospect of a European energy crunch if Russia invades Ukraine…
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