Daily Evacuation Brief | January 9, 2024
LAST 24 HOURS
PASSPORT DIRECTORATE ANNOUNCES REOPENING DATES – The eternally troubled Taliban passport directorate announced that its offices in Kabul would begin accepting applicants on 20 January. Distribution centers in the Provinces would reopen shortly after. A spokesman for the directorate said that online applications had been halted for technical reasons but was resuming. The directorate has experienced several disruptions of service since the Taliban came to power and multiple investigations into corruption have been carried out with no public acknowledgment that anyone had been held accountable. Local sources say that the prices of passports through corrupt brokers have risen to well over $1,000, and many of the passports are sometimes forgeries or do not contain the accompanying biometric data files. It is also worth noting that the directorate has made several similar announcements over the past two years that proved to be false.
SWITZERLAND TO REOPEN AID OFFICES IN KABUL – Swiss officials said they intend to reopen the office sometime over the summer of 2024. According to a spokeswoman for the Swiss Foreign Affairs agency, the office will resume operations at its old location and will be used to gauge the effectiveness of Swiss aid programs. A source in Kabul said the Taliban Ministry of the Interior and Foreign Affairs had been holding regular discussions with unidentified Swiss officials and representatives of an unnamed Swiss NGO. Security for the office was a primary concern and the Taliban officials reportedly made significant promises of support. A discussion about the proposal involving at least three Taliban Ministers took place in late December and the consensus was that allowing the Swiss to resume operations (possibly, with female employees) would be advantageous for both recognition and regaining access to the much coveted ‘frozen funds’.
UNCLEAR IF PAKISTAN’S REHMAN VISIT WILL ACHIEVE ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE – Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s much-heralded visit to Kabul seems to have resulted in the same assurances and promises that previous delegations dispatched by Islamabad heard. Rehman’s intent for the visit was to ‘clear up’ misunderstandings between the two governments and it was never clear how much support he had received from the caretaker regime in Pakistan to conduct talks. Some rumors surfaced during the visit that a request by Rehman to meet directly with the Taliban’s supreme leader was denied but no confirmation has yet been made.
NEXT 24 HOURS
NO THREATS REPORTED
The head of the Supreme Court threatened citizens who criticized the government’s response to the Kerman bomb attacks. Even moderates in Iran have questioned why no senior officials from the regime were present at the site of the attacks.
A 33-year-old woman, Roya Heshmati, was flogged 74 times and fined approximately $300s for failing to observe the hijab law. Heshmati, in an act of defiance, refused to wear the scarf as she left the room where she had been punished.
Four countries (Canada, Britain, Sweden, and Ukraine) began proceedings against Iran for the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in 2020 at the International Civil Aviation Organization on Monday.
The TTP claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that killed 5 Pakistani police officers who were traveling to provide security at a polio vaccination site in the Bajur tribal district.
Pakistan has strongly rejected a US decision to name Pakistan ‘a Country of Particular Concern’. The Foreign Ministry contended the US had ‘cherry-picked’ Pakistan for the criticism and ignored India.
The stock exchange fell nearly 300 points on Monday as analysts expressed concerns that a ‘bear market’ could emerge due to high inflation.
By Basit Ali - EurAsia Review
In October 2023, Pakistan decided to expatriate all illegal immigrant on its soil. A majority of these include Afghan immigrant who have been fleeing from war, lack of opportunities and oppression in their country since 1979 when former USSR invaded Afghanistan.
By Naweed Samadi - TOLO News
The Ministry of Interior said that in 2023, it conducted nearly 3,000 operations to suppress terrorist groups and armed individuals in…
By AMU TV
Afghanistan is grappling with a severe climate crisis, marked by its third consecutive year of drought-like conditions, reported the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) on…
By TOLO News
The deputy Minister of Interior, Mohammad Nabi Omari, stressed that in addition to Islamic governance, attention should be paid to issues of national interest and the wishes of the people in…
By Hadia Ziaei - TOLO News
Iran ambassador and special representative to Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, met with the Deputy PM for Political Affairs, Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, late…
The January 8 meeting involving Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e Islam Pakistan (JUI) political party, hoped to improve ties marred by a…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Daniel Mello - Agencia Brasil
Officials said that municipal services provide emergency assistance to incoming Afghans with humanitarian…
By Stephanie Fillion - Forbes
“This will make Afghan women so happy,” she initially said in her speech but then went on to tell a story about the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize, and how some women in her country cost her the world’s…
THE DAILY WTF
By The Kabul Times
Fortunately, Afghanistan’s tourism industry has achieved remarkable success on the international stage this…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 70.35 AFN (as of 9 JAN 2024)