Daily Evacuation Brief | May 11, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
PAKISTAN CHAOS CONTINUES – Protests continued across the country throughout the night and clashes between security forces and protestors continued throughout the night. There have been casualties reported but information has been difficult to verify due to the government curbing internet and cellular usage. At this point, any casualty figures would be mere speculation and irresponsible to print. Further arrests of the PTI leadership have been made and these have served to inflame the party followers. The party leader, Fawad Chaudhry was arrested last night in front of the Supreme Court. The Army has been called into areas where the protestors have congregated and tear gas is being used to attempt to disperse the rioters. Multiple buildings and vehicles have been set alight in cities across the country and private security companies have hired additional security to guard their offices and warehouses. Social media has been blocked but some people continue to post by using VPNs. There are rumors that some Afghans have taken part in the protests but these rumors have not been verified. PTI protestors attacked the current Prime Minister’s residence in Lahore and threw Molotov cocktails inside the residence and burned a nearby police checkpoint and several vehicles in the area before being chased off by a reinforcing column of police. A source in Rawalpindi claimed the security forces have successfully blocked PTI reinforcements from uniting in a central location. The source said that the number of protestors who successfully made it into Islamabad and Rawalpindi was far lower than initially expected.
‘FAKE NEWS’ IN PAKISTAN RIOTS ESCALATING RIOTS – The spread of fake news and AI-generated photos, some of which depict former Prime Minister Khan being hanged and shot, are circulating on social media. According to a source with a European cybersecurity firm, the bulk of the misleading information is coming from China and India. In one instance, a photo of a severely wounded Imran Khan shared on Twitter had been retweeted nearly 800,000 times in a matter of hours. A source in Islamabad said that Police have questioned some protestors who had made their way past police and near the US Embassy and were told they had received a message on Telegram telling them that the Embassy was planning to evacuate the current Prime Minister from the rooftop. An apartment building that houses mainly teachers from a school district in Southern Rawalpindi was evacuated when the owner of the building spotted a fake threat to burn the building by a supposed ISIS/DAESH Facebook account.
CHINESE CITIZENS TARGETED IN TERRORIST ATTACK IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN – According to Pakistani Police, 2 unidentified terrorists attempted to kill Chinese workers at the Dawood Jetty. 1 suspect was killed and 1 escaped in the unsuccessful attack. 1 Pakistani police constable was wounded in the engagement.
POWER DISRUPTIONS IN KABUL – A problem with a relay station in Baghlan Province has caused power outages in some neighborhoods of Kabul. It is not clear how big the problem is but workers arrived yesterday evening to attempt a repair.
SITUATION IN PAKISTAN TO CONTINUE – The situation in the country shows no signs of slowing down over the next twenty-four hours. Several thousand PTI party reinforcements arrived on the outskirts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi overnight and seem to have established corridors to get into the city. Some expect the former Prime Minister’s wife will be arrested today and tomorrow, further inflaming the situation. A source in Islamabad said that a decision to cut power across the city was being considered as a means of halting the mayhem but was being considered only as a last resort. The source said a new set of rules of engagement was prepared on Wednesday night that would be issued to Army units should the situation worsen but the specifics were not available. While nothing has been confirmed about Afghans participating in the riots, the stories circulating on the internet and by word of mouth add an extra layer of risk for at-risk Afghans staying in Pakistan. Even with the government's prohibition on Internet and cellular communications, we have confirmed that many in Pakistan still have access and are able to communicate. We continue to recommend Afghans shelter in place and wait for the situation to become clearer before venturing out.
The UN Human Rights Chief calls on Iran to halt executions. The call was made as Iran assumed a leadership role on the Human Rights Council Wednesday.
Iranian-backed groups in Gaza reportedly fired nearly 500 rockets toward Israel yesterday evening. Over 100 fell short and landed in Gaza. Israel responded by launching airstrikes that continued sporadically throughout the night.
The Iranian Foreign Minister said that Syria would respond to Israeli airstrikes soon. It is not clear what action Syria could take.
The IMF rejected claims by the Pakistani government that it had met the requirements needed for the pending $6 billion dollar loan.
Protests in support of/denouncing Imran Khan’s arrest are taking place among Pakistan’s diaspora in other countries. Scotland Yard in the UK has placed a two-day ban on protests in London.
The Home and Tribal Affairs Minister from Balochistan reported that the Province escaped the brunt of the protests and that peaceful protests would continue to be allowed.
By Khojasta Sameyee - Global Voices
The Second Vienna Conference on Afghanistan was held from April 24 to 26 with the participation of nearly 30 anti-Taliban political figures, rights activists, and military commanders. At the end of the conference, the participants issued a declaration to support all forms of resistance against the Taliban and called on the international community to recognize and support of all forms of resistance. Another important outcome was the announcement of plans to create a single national umbrella organization against the Taliban.
Rahmat has seen his income as a taxi driver plummet since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, which triggered an…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
In the meeting, both sides discussed topics of mutual interest. In addition, the issues of Afghan refugees in the…
By Shema Sediqi - Pajhwok Afghan News
After the ban on girls schools and universities in the country many, students have switched to online studies which according to them…
By The Diplomat
China on Wednesday called on Afghanistan to reform its radical policies excluding women from education and public life and “adopt a more resolute attitude in combating terrorism.”
By AKI Press
A joint meeting on power projects was held between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in Kabul to discuss issues relating to…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is thrilled to announce the launch of the Virtual Resettlement Line (VRL), borne from the successful Virtual Afghan…
By Vimal Sankar - Inside the Games
Afghan boxer Mohammad Yaqoubi hopes the Taliban "changes their mind" about education and sports for women and added that going…
THE DAILY WTF
By Fatema Adeeb - TOLO News
Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the international community should engage with the Islamic Emirate instead of applying…
The World - “No” TAD Staff
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 88.20 AFN (as of 11 MAY 2023)