Daily Evacuation Brief | March 27, 2022
LAST 24 HOURS:
Several dozen female protestors took to the streets to call for a repeal of the Taliban dictum banning girls from secondary schools. As of publication, no violence had been reported, but sources noted at least five Ministry of Interior intelligence agents following the procession and photographing the demonstrators and the crowd, implying there may be repercussions for participants later. One journalist, Sarwar Hashemi of Salamutandar, was arrested by intelligence officials, and his current disposition remains unknown as of publication.
According to sources within the Taliban, there were several skirmishes with the National Resistance Front in Helmand, Baghlan, Parwan, Kapisa, and Takhar province. The Taliban were heard to be discussing the deaths of four Taliban fighters in Helmand province. We have no official verification of these actions at this time, but at-risk Afghans should consult with family and/or friends in these regions before traveling.
Several raids on high-ranking members of the former regime were conducted. Some members of families were reportedly taken away for questioning, and many vehicles and personal weapons were confiscated.
Pakistani security forces’ raid of a suspected ISIS-K safehouse in Peshawar on Saturday resulted in the death of one man. The other three purported ISIS-K members at the location escaped. Pakistani forces discovered several thousands of dollars’ worth of Afghan currency and some Afghan travel documents in the home.
Additional information came to light concerning meetings between the Afghan Ministry of Interior and members of the Chinese Foreign Minister’s delegation. Sources claimed the Taliban asked China to provide replacement communications equipment that “operated differently than the American equipment”. There is concern among Taliban leadership that their communications are not secure, and opposition groups familiar with American technology are intercepting transmissions.
The head of Zama’s local radio station was arrested early on Saturday morning at his home. Three gunmen claiming to be Taliban took him away in front of his family. No further information is available currently.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
Intelligence agents of the Ministry of Interior are expected to interview some of the protestors from the Ministry of Education demonstrations.
Reinforcements are expected to be dispatched to Baghlan, Helmand, and Parwan to beef up security forces. Furthermore, two local commanders may be replaced for “displaying sympathies toward the citizens”. At-risk Afghans can expect increased security activity on roadways in these areas.
ANALYSIS SPOTLIGHT: Strong Potential for Violence Brewing in Pakistan
CONTEXT: Monday’s likely no-confidence vote on Prime Minister Khan has galvanized both the opposition and pro-government supporters in Pakistan. Khan continues to resist calls to step down and hopes to pull together a supportive rally of up to a million people over the weekend. Meanwhile, opposition party members have organized counterprotests and a 186-mile “march on the capital”. Both groups are scheduled to congregate in Islamabad on Sunday, and security forces are on high alert. Riot police are out in force and have set up shipping containers around the capital to try and keep the groups separated. If the situation escalates, the military may step in and possibly further inflame the situation, as they have done many times before.
DISCUSSION: Opposition groups are reputed to have gathered a large group with tens of thousands already on their way to Islamabad. They are hoping to force Prime Minister Khan’s resignation on Sunday prior to Monday’s no-confidence motion. Khan shows no signs of giving in.
Pro-government groups are being rallied by the Prime Minister who has personally implored workers to come to the capital and oppose the opposition groups. As of this printing, several thousand pro-government supporters had arrived in Islamabad.
Sources and journalists on the scene have indicated opposition groups appear to outnumber the pro-government groups by as many as 4 to 1. However, an accurate assessment is unavailable currently. Most agree security forces will not be able to keep the groups separated. Curfews and public building closures are being discussed.
ANALYSIS: If widespread violence ensues, it could spread to other urban areas around the country. We assess the government will probably close the border crossings for an indeterminate amount of time. Afghans in Pakistan are encouraged to shelter in place until demonstrations have concluded. Peer organizations attempting to cross the border should continue to check the status of border crossings for closures.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 88.37 AFN (as of 27 MAR 2022)
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