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Daily Evacuation Brief | May 10, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
PAKISTAN IN FLAMES – The reaction to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest has ignited a volcano of simmering discontent among his party’s followers. Nearly every major city reported large demonstrations and many government buildings and significant infrastructure has been burned. There are reports of some deaths and injuries in the multitude of clashes between Police/Military and PTI party protestors. The gates of the military facility where the ousted PM is reportedly being held were assaulted and taken down by an angry mob. Pakistan’s security forces have shown exceptional restraint in the first 24 hours of violence and there are clearly orders in place to avoid massacres and wholesale slaughter. However, it is unclear if such caution will remain the status quo as the PTI faithful plan to converge on Islamabad and Rawalpindi today in a series of convoys from the other major cities in Pakistan. Many Embassies announced closures on Tuesday night and other government offices are expected to be shut. Alarmingly, some Afghans residing in Pakistan are reportedly taking part in the demonstrations. As of publication, the borders remain open and some flights have been witnessed taking off. A source at the airport said inbound flight traffic to the country has fallen and many cancellations are on the billboards.
JOURNALISTS ARRESTED, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST ORGANIZATIONS RESPOND – The directors of three media outlets and a journalist were reportedly arrested on Tuesday by the Taliban. A Taliban official from the Ministry of Information and Culture claimed the four men have not been arrested but are simply being questioned. All of the men are charged with allowing their media outlets to air programs during Eid ul-Fitr. Journalism-centric organizations around the world quickly condemned the act and called for their immediate release. The incident comes as the Taliban recently released a journalist from Nangarhar who had been in custody for nearly four months. The current status/disposition of the four who were arrested is unknown.
MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION SAYS UNIVERSITY CURRICULUMS ARE NEARLY READY – The Minister said the work is complete and they should be announced shortly. He went on to say that 70 subjects had been approved for study. He did not say whether female students would be allowed to attend classes.
CHINA’S EMBASSY IN KABUL MAKES ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT VISA PROGRAM – A spokesman for the Embassy released a statement that affirms China’s intention to honor all visa application appointment interviews. Applications must be submitted online and then an appointment for an interview will be granted. The spokesman stressed that the Embassy was the only authorized purveyor of visas and warned Afghan citizens not to use brokers or agents. If an application is received from a broker/agent, the Embassy intends to cancel the appointments. This measure is intended to keep Afghans from falling victim to the disgraceful practices that have plagued Afghans seeking travel documents.
NEXT 24 HOURS
PAKISTAN SITUATION WILL INTENSIFY – The security problem in Pakistan will only intensify in the coming days. PTI leadership has yet to make any attempt to reign their party’s followers in. The convoys that are leaving this morning for Islamabad are expected to converge in several areas and it is unclear what the government’s plan is to halt the relief columns. Regardless, many of the thousands of protestors are already making their way into the city, and party leaders have called on them to gather outside of the Islamabad Judicial Complex at 0800hrs local time. Regardless of their intended destination, the Police/Military in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are almost certainly going to engage with the protestors and very few analysts believe the result will not end up in bloodshed. At the moment, it is believed that mobile broadband service has been suspended by the government and cellular communications appear to be intermittent in some areas. Access to social media has been restricted and sources say the only way they could sign into their accounts was through the use of a VPN. The airport continues to operate and there have been no reported border closures but this could change should the expected clashes spread. It will be important for at-risk Afghans who are in Pakistan to maintain a low profile. Either side could choose to target them with the current state of tensions.
Several reports are coming in saying that Russia and China may now support a nuclear Iran. Sources with insider knowledge in Moscow and Beijing say that attitudes have changed.
The President has ordered the Central Bank to discontinue trading in US dollars and use the national currency instead. Economists are skeptical of the plan.
An Israeli General (Amir Avivi) has told news reporters that Israel is getting close to taking unilateral action against Iran.
The Minister for Justice warned demonstrators that property damage will not be allowed.
Due to the political unrest, the British Council has canceled the O and A level exams that were to be held today.
Private schools across Pakistan had taken the decision to remain closed today. Talks would be held after the situation on Wednesday is assessed.
By Foreign Policy
Now that the United States has left Afghanistan, the local branch of the Islamic State has turned its sights on a new enemy: Russia. Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, the Islamic State’s central propaganda apparatus initiated a Ukraine-focused media campaign in its weekly al-Naba newsletter under the headline “Crusader Against Crusader Wars,” in which the group reveled in the mutual destruction of its declared adversaries on the European continent.
By Ariana News
The Express Tribune, a Pakistani media outlet, claimed that Daesh’s second in command was killed in a clash with IEA forces in…
By AMU TV
Heads of three media outlets and a journalist were arrested by Taliban in Khost province for the programs they aired over Eid ul-Fitr late last month, sources…
By The Morning Star
AFGHAN women employed by the United Nations have been detained, harassed and had restrictions placed on their movements since being banned by the Taliban from…
By SAMAA TV
Protests erupted across Pakistan on Tuesday after former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested during a court appearance in the capital for…
By News 18
Clashes between Khan’s supporters and the police erupted, resulting in the death of at least one…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Banafsha Binesh - TOLO News
In an exclusive interview with TOLOnews, USAID Deputy Administrator for Plans and Programming Isobel Coleman said that the current bans on…
By Alex Edwards - Stars and Stripes
As he stepped into a Royal Air Force C-17 transport plane on August 19, 2021, while chaos swallowed Kabul, Lt. Gen. Sammi Sadat…
THE DAILY WTF
By Fatema Adeeb - TOLO News
Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister of the Islamic Emirate, at a ceremony at the Afghan embassy in Islamabad following a meeting of the…
‘Sure it is pal.’ TAD Staff
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 87.77 AFN (as of 10 MAY 2023)