Daily Evacuation Brief | January 18, 2024
LAST 24 HOURS
IRAN MAY HAVE ‘OVERPLAYED’ ITS HAND – After spending a year engaged in ‘damage control’ stemming from the violent crackdown on domestic disturbances that grew out of the Mahsa Amini protests, Tehran seemed poised to emerge as a ‘half-baked’ regional leader. It had made up with the Saudis, regained entry into several international organizations, helped keep Putin’s war alive in Ukraine, and took a leading role in the anti-Israel backlash the Hamas/Israel conflict initiated. Then, in a matter of days, it launched attacks in Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan. Now it finds itself fast becoming a pariah state as both Iraq and Pakistan have recalled their ambassadors, Pakistan has closed the border, and even China has been forced to issue a statement calling for a de-escalation of tensions. The situation on the Pak/Iran border is confusing at best. On the Iranian side, multiple unconfirmed reports are suggesting that a senior IRGC Officer was killed and that fighting is ongoing between Iranian military forces and Jaish al-Adl (Sunni militant group Iran says it was trying to neutralize in Pakistan missile strikes). Similar unconfirmed reports from the Pakistan side of the border say that Pakistan Air Force jets are conducting non-stop missions along the border, Pakistani troops are deploying to the Province, and an anti-Shiite crowd may have desecrated a Shiite cemetery in Karachi in protest of the strikes. The missile strikes Tehran ordered are being viewed as exactly the kind of egregious violations of territorial integrity and unilateral action it has spent decades condemning. It is unlikely that regional powers like Pakistan and Iraq will quickly forgive the violations. Our analysis indicates that Tehran has likely squandered any goodwill it may have garnered by attempting to lead the charge against Israel and has ‘painted itself in a box’ with the actions it has taken. While we do not envision a war breaking out, it seems apparent that Iran’s short stint as a wannabe hegemon in the region will trend downwards. There is also a good chance that protestors in Iran will be emboldened by the overstep and things will be interesting come Spring.
LONG QUEUES FOR PASSPORTS CONTINUE – Video and photos of people waiting to get their passports at the newly reopened offices are disturbing. The Kabul office had people sleeping overnight to retain their place in line. The situation has become an embarrassment for the regime and there are rumors that the Passport Directorate will announce new ‘technical difficulties’ and close the process down until Spring. A video provided to Afghanistan International depicts the passport office in Bamyan and reports say that the Taliban officials in the office are engaging in multiple scams to extort money from citizens.
PAKISTAN BORDER CLOSURES REMAIN IN EFFECT – Some Pakistan news outlets are now reporting that Taliban officials are threatening to permanently close their sides of the border if Islamabad does not relent on the restrictions placed on Afghan truck drivers. Economists say the standoff could paralyze both economies if it continues much longer.
NEXT 24 HOURS
IRANIAN BORDER AREAS COULD BE UNPREDICTABLE FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE – In response to recent ballistic missile strikes by Iran on Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria there appears to be heightened tensions along Iran’s borders. While nothing has been reported along the Afghan/Iran border, tensions elsewhere could culminate in an episode of violence. At-risk Afghans residing in these areas should remain situationally aware and be prepared to take cover.
Both the UK and Iranian Foreign Secretaries spoke yesterday and the UK asked Iran to halt arms shipments to Houthi terror cells along the Red Sea.
The diplomatic rift between Iran and Pakistan widened yesterday when Pakistan recalled its Ambassador in Tehran after an Iranian missile strike in Pakistan.
In an unsurprising move, India announced it supported Iran’s recent military actions in Pakistan. India characterized the strikes as an act of ‘self-defense’.
Former PM Khan’s reelection bid suffered another setback after the High Court in Lahore ruled that a rejection of his election application was lawful yesterday. Khan’s legal team is considering other legal challenges to his ban.
In the same Lahore courtroom, the High Court upheld bans on 60 other PTI party candidates who had challenged the rejections of their nomination paperwork.
Political analysts share concerns that February’s elections could see very low turnout due to ‘a lack of familiarity with the Nation’s voting system’.
By Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari - The Diplomatic Courier
In December 2023, the world marked the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The United Nations often reminds its member-states that the UDHR “is a milestone document in the history of human rights” and “was drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world,” including the entire Muslim world. “As a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations, UDHR sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected.”
By AMU TV
In the Shahrak-e-Shabz, a settlement of makeshift mud-brick homes and tents for the displaced on the outskirts of Herat city, a disturbing trend is…
By France 24
Once abundant, funding to Afghanistan has plummeted since the Taliban returned to power in…
By Ariana News
Acting Minister of Interior Sirajuddin Haqqani met with Raffaella Iodice, the head of the EU delegation in Afghanistan this week and…
By Fatima Adib - TOLO News
The Iranian Ambassador and special representative to Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, in an interview with Iranian media said that a…
Iran’s multiple strikes on Pakistan have brought severe disgrace to the ‘terror epicenter nation’...
By Sodaba Nazhand - TOLO News
Some citizens of the country said that they face many challenges to get a visa from Pakistan and they cannot succeed in getting a visa for that…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
This initiative, revealed on Wednesday, January 17th, aims to provide learning opportunities for around 140,000 children in…
By Andrea Smardon - The World
When the taxi abruptly stopped in traffic, the 25-year-old woman tried not to look at the heavily armed Taliban soldier who approached the passenger window of…
THE DAILY WTF
By Bakhtar News Agency
During a meeting with the European Union ambassador, Afghanistan’s Acting Interior Minister, Kalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani, stated that after decades of instability and challenges, the country is…
“Several million Afghans may beg to differ with the Minister’s claims.” TAD Staff
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 72.94 AFN (as of 18 JAN 2024)