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Daily Evacuation Brief | March 22, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
EARTHQUAKE STRIKES THE REGION – An earthquake measuring 6.6 magnitude struck northeastern Afghanistan on Tuesday. The tremors were felt as far away as Kabul and Islamabad. The epicenter was reportedly in Badakhshan Province and at least 11 people reportedly lost their lives in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. More casualties are expected as rural communities in Badakhshan and elsewhere begin to report the damage and deaths. The earthquake was a deep one and seismologists say it took place nearly 200 kilometers below the earth’s surface. Internet outages were reported in Tajikistan, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan after the quake occurred.
CLASSES REOPEN FOR BOYS ONLY – The academic year resumed yesterday but, due to some confusion, many students did not attend on the first day due to a lack of notification. Once again, female secondary students were not admitted back into classrooms and the international community erupted in near-universal condemnation of the Taliban for its massively unpopular gender bans.
15 AFGHAN REFUGEES ARRESTED IN ISLAMABAD – Several Afghans residing in Pakistan reported that a police roundup took place on 18 March in central Islamabad and that at least 15 Afghans had been arrested. Their families and friends have not heard from them and lawyers' requests to get an update on their status were ignored. Some eyewitnesses to the incident said the Afghans had refused to pay bribes to the Police and that they were being held until ‘fines’ were paid to release them. However, this information has not been corroborated. We could not assess whether the arrests were in response to the new rules being put in place for Afghans in Pakistan.
IMRAN KHAN GRANTED BAIL IN COURT CASE UNTIL 27 MARCH – The former Prime Minister traveled to the Lahore High Court incognito and appeared in the afternoon to request bail in his ongoing legal troubles. The court was sympathetic and granted a reprieve until 27 March. Several additional charges against the former PM were read out to the court and it was announced later in the day that charges had also been filed against his wife. The situation remains volatile.
NEXT 24 HOURS
PTI GATHERING IN LAHORE MAY SPARK SOME VIOLENCE – It was not clear if the PTI rally that was scheduled for today will go ahead as planned. The rally was announced after the former PM’s travel to Islamabad to appear at the Federal Judicial Complex on charges related to corruption. Today’s rally is templated to take place at the Minar-i-Pakistan venue and thousands of PTI supporters have been in the city since before the clashes with police escalated on the 18th of March. Considering the tensions that exist between the PTI and Police, any gathering is likely to foment altercations with the police. It is our assessment that any violence will be restricted to Lahore and will most likely occur in areas on the fringe of the crowd and potentially along axis routes to and from Minar-i-Pakistan. At-risk Afghans in Lahore are advised to stay away from the site.
HEAVY RAIN FORECASTED FROM 22-25 MARCH – Flooding is expected in many parts of Central and Northeastern Afghanistan over the next few days, making travel extremely dangerous. At least 21 Provinces are expected to be affected by the downpour. At-risk Afghans contemplating travel would be wise to postpone if at all possible.
Protests erupted in the Kurdish region of the country and were violently put down by Iran’s security forces as many were celebrating Nowruz. An accurate count of the casualties has not yet been procured.
Iran has turned to Saudi Arabia as an interlocutor for a possible nuclear agreement.
The US imposed additional sanctions on Iranian companies thought to be involved with the arms trade.
Former PM Khan reiterated claims that the current regime is plotting his death. His latest claim concerned his recent appearance at the Federal Judicial Complex in Islamabad.
A senior Pakistani Intelligence Officer was killed in a clash with militant groups in Baluchistan Province. 3 other soldiers were reportedly killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when militants opened fire on a checkpoint.
9 deaths have been attributed to Tuesday’s earthquake so far in Pakistan. More are expected as rural communities near the northern borders reestablish contact with Islamabad.
By Ahmad Walid Barlas - The Migration Initiative
Over four decades of conflict and war in Afghanistan led to a significant emigration influx. This country with nearly 7 million documented and undocumented migrants stands among the top 5 countries of origin in the world. The majority of Afghan immigrants reside in neighboring countries such as Iran and Pakistan, and only a minor percentage of them reach Turkey, Germany, Austria, the US, Canada, and Australia. According to a recent report issued by the Interior Ministry of Iran, almost 2.2 million head-counted Afghanistan citizens live in that country. Similarly, the UNHCR confirms that over 1.4 million Afghanistan nationals with refugee status have been living in Pakistan since early 2022. In addition, nearly 800,000 Afghanistan inhabitants reside undocumented.
By BNO News
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 has struck northeast Afghanistan, with shaking felt across parts of Tajikistan, Pakistan and as far…
By Asma Saayin - TOLO News
Kabul residents celebrated the start of the new solar year 1402 on Tuesday with a traditional flag-raising ceremony in the Shuhada-e-Saliheen area…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Education of the Afghan Interim government reopened schools except for girls beyond the sixth grade on…
By Hazar Kilani - Doha News
The talks were attended by representatives from Qatar, the Afghan Ministry of Education, UNICEF and the Education Cannot…
By Iftikhar Shirazi - Dawn
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday night that a brigadier from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was martyred during an…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Patricia Zengerle - Reuters
The Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee threatened to issue a subpoena if the State Department does not produce documents it has…
By Sophia Richards - Jurist
The Australian Federal Police and the Office of the Special Investigator (OSI) Monday stated that a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had been arrested and…
THE DAILY WTF
By Ariana News
The report includes six key factors to help explain variation in happiness levels, namely social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 86.98 AFN (as of 22 MAR 2023)