Daily Evacuation Brief | January 22, 2024
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LAST 48 HOURS
US State Department Confirms Aid to Afghanistan – The U.S. Department of State has confirmed that it is sending $80 million in cash to Afghanistan under Taliban control every 10 to 14 days. The Taliban, since June, have ceased disclosing the receipt of these aid packages through the media to avoid criticism. This cash is reportedly held in a dedicated account at a private bank and is not transferred to the Central Bank under Taliban control. Critics argue that the Taliban still influence how this money is spent, raising concerns about their influence over the financial assistance.
Pakistan- Afghanistan Border Remains Closed – Pakistan has restricted four out of five crossing areas with Afghanistan, a move that marks the first time in the history of Pakistan's existence that such a widespread blockade has occurred. This decision has resulted in thousands of vehicles being stopped at the Torkham crossing, causing significant losses to both Pakistani and Afghan traders. The closure of the Torkham crossing and the blocking of Afghan goods at the port of Karachi previously caused over $26 million in losses for traders.
Hijab Crackdowns Continue Throughout Afghanistan – Reports of detainment, arrest and violence towards women for ‘bad hijab’ continue. Reports of these arrests have come from Bamiyan, Kabul, Daikundi, Mazar, and Ghazni. In Rokha district of Panjshir, letters distributed by the Taliban’s Vice and Virtue authority instructing women to adhere to hijab or face punishment or arrest.
Journalists Arrested - Khadim Hossein of Radio Joghrouri was arrested by the Taliban on Saturday, January 20 in the Jaghori district of Ghazni for publicly criticizing Taliban arrests of women for claims of ‘bad hijab’. There are reports that Ehsan Akbari of the Kyudo news agency of Japan was arrested in Share Naw, Kabul on Wednesday , January 27, 2024. The Taliban GDI searched the Kyudo office the following day, seizing laptops, cameras and phones from the organization. This follows a pattern of harassment and arrest of journalists since the Taliban takeover.
Body of Former ANDSF Commander Found – Former ANDSF commander, identified as Sardar Mohammad, was found dead in the Capital of Baghlan Province. Sardar Mohammad had been missing for two months and his body reportedly showed signs of torture.
Pakistan deportation – Deportations of Afghans continue from Pakistan, with reports of 554 Afghans deported from Pakistan on Saturday, January 20 alone. Since Pakistan announced the deportation policy in early October 2023, approximately 471,553 Afghans have been deported from Pakistan.
Crowds at Afghan Embassy in Tehran – Tasnim News in Tehran reported on crowding at the Afghan Embassy in Tehran. Large crowds gather by the Embassy regularly in an attempt to have their issues handled by embassy officials. The statements note concerns with inefficiency at the Embassy and the decline of the surrounding areas as a result of the large crowds of Afghans gathered. The statements come during a time of deportations and increased hostility towards Afghan migrants and refugees following the bombing in Kerman.
Fire in Lycee Mariyam – a large fire took place last night in Lycee Mariyam in the North of Kabul. The area affected was a commercial area with many small shops. Approximately 150 shops were damaged or completely destroyed in the fire, resulting in the loss of livelihoods to many of the area's shopkeepers. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Plane Crash in Badakhshan – A Russian private jet carrying six people crashed in a remote area of rural Afghanistan. The Taliban reported that the pilot and three others on board survived. The aircraft was a French-made Dassault Falcon 10 jet, traveling from India via Uzbekistan to Moscow. The plane was carrying out a private medical evacuation from Pattaya, Thailand, to Moscow, and it disappeared from radar screens over Afghanistan.
Passport Directorate Moves to Online Applications Only – On Sunday, The Taliban Passport Directorate announced that it would no longer receive paper applications, moving to online only requests for passports.The Taliban has cited lack of facilities necessary to process paper applicants and notes efforts to open new offices to handle the demand for passports. The official statement by the Taliban notes that new passports will be issued only to individuals who need to travel for treatment or other urgent issues. This move limits access to passports for many Afghans with limited access to the internet.
NEXT 24 HOURS
Afghan refugees in Iran may face increased hardship, house search and interrogation as the government of Iran has asked citizens to find the suspected ISKP member hiding in the west of Tehran city Hamshahriononline.ir
An Afghan citizen, Islam Amanuddin, was executed in Qom Central Prison in Iran for intentional murder. Amanuddin, a 29-year-old from Kunduz, Afghanistan, was arrested three years ago following a murder that occurred during a verbal dispute while he was working as a guard at a construction company. The execution has not been officially confirmed by Iranian official sources or domestic media, but was reported by the Iranian Human Rights Organization.
Following a recent Israeli airstrike in Damascus, Syria, Iran has attributed responsibility for the attack to Israel. This strike led to the deaths of several members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including key officers. Iran's Foreign Ministry has publicly denounced the attack, and the government has stated its intention to respond, although specific details of any planned response have not been disclosed. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has also commented on the incident, highlighting the government's stance against the actions attributed to Israel.
Insider attack: On Sunday afternoon, a soldier guarding an army unit in Kerman attacked his fellow soldiers killing five of them. The attacker fled the barracks following the incident.
Pakistan’s caretaker minister for information, broadcasting, and parliamentary affairs, Murtaza Solangi, stated that the future of Afghanistan-Pakistan relations hinges on the actions of Kabul's interim government, particularly regarding the harboring of terrorist groups like the TTP. Solangi expressed concerns that if such behavior continues, the bilateral relationship outlook may not be promising.
In Kech district of Balochistan province, a bomb blast followed by a clash with militants killed at least five Pakistani soldiers in the Kech district. No group has claimed responsibility.
BY HASHT-E SUBH
The short summary of this article: ..in these countries, social and political turmoil, along with government unaccountability, have created conditions ripe for explosive outcomes, as seen in Iran's recent unrest over women's attire and similar social issues in Pakistan. The deepening gap between governments and their people, coupled with increasing inequality and deprivation, provides fertile ground for recruiting extremist and terrorist groups. This situation demands serious attention from policymakers, urging them to learn from successful global examples and prioritize governance reforms, equality, and justice to ensure regional stability and prosperity.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released a report detailing the socio-economic scenario in Afghanistan since the Taliban's return to power in August 2021. The report, titled “Two Years in Review: Changes in Afghan Economy, Households and Cross Cutting Sectors,” paints a bleak picture, highlighting major concerns such as restrictions on women's rights and a near-collapsed banking system. It points out that the Afghan economy has not significantly recovered from the contraction experienced since 2020 and is stabilizing at a low level of activity with high poverty and unemployment levels. Access the report here
By Afghanistan Journalists Center
…” According to a member of Ehsan Akbari's family, he was arrested on Wednesday, January 17 in Kabul. Sayed Amir Akbari, Ehsan's brother, stated, "On Wednesday, Ehsan was summoned to the Government Media and Information Center (GMIC) and subsequently arrested. The following morning, members of the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) took Ehsan to the Kyodo news agency office in Kabul's Share-Naw area, seized his laptop computer and camera, and forced him to call his family and hand over his smartphone to the intelligence officers. They proceeded to retrieve the phone from his residence."
By BAIS HAYAT
Escalating Iran-Pakistan tensions raise concerns about their impact on Afghanistan. Afghanistan's former interior minister, Umer Daudzai, warns of potential border closures with Central Asia. Recent missile exchanges between the nations, targeting terrorist groups across their borders, heighten the situation. Daudzai fears Afghanistan could suffer, with terrorist groups possibly expanding conflicts within Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
By SUHASINI HAIDAR
The invitation from the Indian Embassy in the UAE to the acting Afghan Ambassador and Taliban envoy Badruddin Haqqani, for the Republic Day reception is “routine”, official sources said, reacting to criticism that the Modi government is ‘normalising’ the Taliban regime, especially those responsible in the past for terror attacks on Indian missions.
In a sign of improving relations between Iran and Pakistan, commercial flights between the two countries have resumed after a brief hiatus. According to aviation sources, Iran’s Mahan Airlines flight arrived in Lahore from Tehran on Sunday, carrying more than 100 passengers.
By SARAH BASFORD CANALES
Afghan women’s rights defenders who have fled the Taliban’s rule say they are at risk of imminent return to Afghanistan by Pakistani authorities, prompting calls for the Australian government to step in and expedite their protection visas.
THE DAILY WTF
Rules for Hijab, per the letter issued in Panjshir:
1. Should cover the whole body
2. The material should be thick
3. It should be baggy, not tight
4. Should not be ornamental
5. Should not look like men
6. Should not smell good (no perfume used)
“ I don’t want to see you or smell you” TAD.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 72.18 AFN (as of 21 JAN 2024)
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