Daily Evacuation Brief | January 11, 2023
The first issue of the Afghan Digest was published a year ago this week.
During this time, we have always striven to provide timely and accurate information that is intended to inform and safeguard those who have borne the brunt of the suffering during this shameful episode in human history.
We have done our best to piece together the fragments blown our way on turbulent winds to help protect vulnerable Afghans and to aid others engaged in the mission of safeguarding human rights.
To achieve this, we have worked diligently to build an information network, do our best to get it “right”, and adjust when we miss the mark.
We do not celebrate this date. Quite the opposite, we lament the need for our existence.
We dedicate this edition to all the Afghans who have lost their lives and to those who remain in hiding, hoping and praying for better days ahead. Also to the many anonymous sources who risk their lives each day to help us make sense of the chaos. You are the true heroes and you will not be forgotten!
The Afghan Digest Staff
Co-Founder & Co-Publisher - Karen Kraft / Co-Founder & Senior Editor - Barbara Autin / Co-Founder, Editor & Columnist - Alexis Harmon / Intelligence Analyst & Contributor - Kelly Brown / Social Media - Sarah Dionna & Batol Gholami / Graphic Artist - Elizabeth Velasquez / Co-Publisher & Columnist - Jason Hatch
LAST 24 HOURS
ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION TO MEET TODAY, AFGHANISTAN TOPS THE AGENDA – The OIC will convene its third meeting to discuss the Afghanistan situation. The group had swiftly condemned the Taliban’s decisions to remove women from society and has repeatedly made calls for a reversal of the policies. While the Taliban hierarchy are no strangers to international criticism, the OIC carries far more weight in the circles the Taliban hope to curry favor with. In addition, the populace may view any forthcoming rebuke as a sign the Taliban are out of step with the rest of the global Islamic community.
RUMORS OF A TALIBAN ‘CENSUS’ BEING TAKEN TO IDENTIFY WOMEN AND GIRLS OF MARRYING AGE – While scattered reports of this activity had materialized virtually as soon as the Taliban swept to power. It was believed to have happened sporadically. We have now received recurring reports across several provinces that tend to suggest the program has expanded and may be ramping up.
UNCONFIRMED RUMORS OF US POLITICIANS MEETING WITH EXILED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN TURKEY – Unsubstantiated reports claim that a meeting was held between unidentified US lawmakers and former Afghan leaders living in exile in Turkey. While the US politicians were not identified, it was said that Masoom Stanekzai and Batur Dostum were in attendance. We have yet to verify these reports.
TALIBAN TO FORM A COMMISSION ON GIRLS’/WOMENS’ EDUCATION – The Taliban announced the formation of a commission to look into how they could reopen education for females. The composition of the commission straddles several ministries. According to an international Muslim visiting body, the commission will work according to a schedule that will be released soon. It is not clear if the commission has been established to work on the problem or if it is merely a shadow play to give the impression that the Taliban is doing something. Most Afghanistan observers are skeptical that the Supreme Leader and his mob of Deobandian clerics will ever revise their flawed interpretations of Sharia when it comes to women. Many believe the commission is a ploy and the announcement of its formation was rapidly followed by calls for recognition and the release of frozen assets. It may also signal that the recent stoppage of economic aid has the group worried about an economic freefall.
UNIVERSITIES KEEPING THEIR CURRENT NAMES – The Ministry of Higher Education said on Tuesday that reports circulating on social media that the Taliban intended to change the names of many of the prominent Universities in the country were completely untrue.
MORE WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES ORDERED TO CLOSE – Reports out of Balkh on Monday stated that the Ministry of Vice and Virtue had informed several proprietors of women-owned businesses that they would be forced to close Thursday. Yesterday, a similar warning was issued to women-owned businesses in Baghlan Province. Ministry agents in Baghlan went so far as to send letters to companies and real estate agents, warning them not to rent to women. Our analysis indicates this policy will likely be implemented across the country.
NEXT 24 HOURS
INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS WILL BE WATCHING THE RESULTS OF THE OIC MEETINGS – Most will be looking for an official statement from OIC members regarding their stance with the Taliban. Opposition leaders, Resistance groups, and moderates among the Taliban are hoping for a statement of unanimous condemnation. Such a message could empower moderates who hope to force the Supreme Leader and his cabal aside.
Iran and Russia are looking to India as a potential trading partner to avoid sanctions.
The regime announced that a Belgian national had been sentenced to 40 years in prison for spying.
Many analysts are saying the public executions have forced many protestors off the streets and they are now forming underground networks to combat the regime.
Talks with the IMF concluded without resolution. However, many senior policy analysts say the recent announcements concerning aid for the horrendous floods in the country have motivated citizens and most believe the current regime is being viewed more favorably.
Pakistan and Iran announced they would increase military cooperation. Details on what security cooperation activities they would engage in were not provided.
Resistance to the Taliban: Current status and prospects for the future
By Shivam Shekhawat - Observer Research Foundation
Backtracking on its commitments, the Ministry of Higher Education of the self-declared Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has banned women from attending universities ‘until further notice’. Following this, another order was issued barring women from working with NGOs and humanitarian organisations, expediting their erasure from public life in Afghanistan. The decision, criticised by the international community as well as common Afghans will have far-reaching implications for the crisis-ridden country. Many aid organisations have had to stop their programmes while women have taken to the streets to reclaim their space. Having the potential to push Afghanistan further into an abyss, these decisions also quash hopes that some had about the group dialling down its hardline tendencies to improve its prospects of gaining international recognition. Instead, the Taliban have only demonstrated their intransigence in the face of external pressure.
Economists worried over cash assistance suspension
By Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat - Pajhwok Afghan News
Economists believe delays in provision of humanitarian aid will trigger an economic crisis in Afghanistan and the authorities should revisit…
Council of Kabul’s scholars established
By Ariana News
“For the stability and further development of the Islamic system, taking advice from religious scholars is a Sharia order,” IEA said…
Imran blames mismanaged ties with interim Afghan govt for rising terrorism
By Samaa Web Desk
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, delivered a stark warning during a seminar on the resurgence…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan: Worried Muslim countries meet over Taliban’s bans on women and girls
By Ali M. Latifi - Middle East Eye
As international outrage grows over the Taliban’s recent decrees banning Afghan women from universities and employment at NGOs, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is set to…
IEA Supreme Leader: Our relations with the world are based on Sharia
By Ariana News
“Our relations with the world are based on the Sharia rules and no other factor is acceptable to us. You should prepare yourselves, discipline your training, and…
THE DAILY WTF
Russia claims US left Afghanistan to focus on Ukraine
By Yeni Safak
Speaking in an interview with Russian daily AiF, Nikolay Patrushev, secretary of the National Security Council, said US Secretary of…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 89.17 AFN (as of 11 JAN 2023)