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Daily Evacuation Brief | October 2, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
DISSECTING THE TALIBAN FOREIGN MINISTER’S STATEMENT AT THE MOSCOW FORMAT – At the conclusion of the Moscow Format meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Muttaqi read out a statement to the attendees which attempted to address concerns that have continued to be raised about the de facto regime’s governance over 2022-23. The statement paints a very heroic picture of the Taliban’s quest to assume leadership of the country. Some of the criticisms leveled at the US and international community are completely valid but several of the claims he makes are questionable. While not absolving Russia from blame during the Soviet occupation, Muttaqi chose to focus on the last twenty years as the main culprit behind Afghanistan’s weakened state. It is important to note that many of the chief concerns voiced by other states in attendance at the meeting were not directly addressed. We felt it would be valuable to list the issues that Muttaqi specifically chose to bring up:
Security is Restored - This point has been debated by analysts and observers virtually from the day the Taliban took power. While the regime enjoyed a brief honeymoon period events over the last two years do not seem to indicate that citizens feel a sense of security. Likewise, neighbor states have never deviated from assertions that the security situation in Afghanistan is a major concern.
Open to Investment - This point is strongly related to the first, but we agree that the Taliban have attempted to foster an ‘investment friendly’ environment. Provided one is a male.
Eradicating the Drug Trade - While poppy cultivation has certainly been curtailed, it is not clear how effective the Taliban’s anti-narcotics operations have been. Neighboring states (Tajikistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, et al) have continued to intercept sizable drug shipments that were said to have emanated from within Afghanistan. A new report suggests that methamphetamine production has now supplanted opium and is being sent across borders in increasing quantities.
Foreign Engagement Increasing - Muttaqi claimed that political and diplomatic engagement has increased substantially over the previous two years. He emphasized that regional states have been instrumental in this regard. China’s appointment of a new ambassador was trotted out and held up as a model for other countries to follow. Muttaqi gives the impression that his Ministry is somehow responsible for achieving this ‘quasi’ recognition. However, the record clearly shows that most of the diplomatic engagement with neighbors and others has been prompted by crisis situations. The Taliban regime remains an outlier in the international community and clearly does not have a seat at the table among regional states.
Tourists, Journalists, Diplomats, and Aid Workers Freely Roam Afghanistan - This is another point that is hard to evaluate. There have been constant assertions from the Taliban that tourists have begun coming to the country in the tens of thousands but it is difficult to substantiate these claims. Most reports from those who have visited/worked in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule are not encouraging and suggest that very few are able to ‘roam freely’ in the country.
Ultimately, the Moscow Format seems to have been a scolding session for the Taliban, and Muttaqi’s attempts to spin things to the positive end of the spectrum will likely fail. The lack of an inclusive government (never mind an elected and representative government), the continued oppression of women, and the suspected presence of multiple terrorist groups sheltering in the country will outweigh such counterpoints.
POLICE ROUND UP APPROXIMATELY 800 AFGHANS IN ISLAMABAD – In an unprecedented operation, Pakistani police began a major roundup of Afghan citizens in Islamabad that netted approximately 800 people. According to news reports, more than half of the Afghans who were brought in were determined to possess legal documentation and were allowed to go free. Roughly 370 lacked passports and were said to be marked for deportation. The police operations were reported in the following neighborhoods: Bahara Kahu, Tarlai, Meherabadaiyan, Golra, and Kalani Shams. There are conflicting reports from many of those who were arrested over what documents were checked to verify legal status in Pakistan. Most said that the possession of a valid passport was enough to gain their release. However, others said they had their visas scrutinized. We have confirmed that some of those picked up in the operation were released with expired visas and were told by police that new applications would need to be made or they could be deported. We are waiting for additional information from sources and contacts in Pakistan to determine if this activity will continue and for clarity on what Pakistani authorities are looking for with regard to ‘legal’ status.
MINISTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION SAYS MEN AND WOMEN NOT EQUAL – During a conference at Baghlan University, the acting Minister, Neda Mohammad Nadim, said “A male is the ruler, he has the authority, he must be obeyed, and the woman must accept his word.” While the Minister has attempted to portray himself as a sometimes moderate, his words clearly enunciate the Deobandist school of thought so prevalent among the Taliban’s senior leadership ranks. Some leaders from the former regime used the Minister’s words to cast doubt on previous remarks that ‘a curriculum for female students’ was in development.
NEXT 24 HOURS
PAKISTAN ROUNDUPS – We are advising all at-risk Afghans in Pakistan to avoid going out of their residences for the next few days. It is not currently clear how long, or how widespread this new policy will be enforced. We encourage evacuating groups to maintain contact with their people in Afghanistan on a daily basis if at all possible. If one does have to leave a residence, they should make sure others know where they are going and carry their documents with them (digital photos at a minimum).
News that Iran’s representative in Lebanon had recently admitted to his country’s role in the Beirut bombings has reached US media outlets and is beginning to raise additional criticism for the nation.
The regime announced it was planning to execute the man responsible for a deadly attack on the Azerbaijan Embassy in January 2023.
The Iranian President criticized a proposed Saudi-Israel normalization compact that is being discussed and said that Islamic countries who attempt to normalize relations with Israel are ‘reactionary’ and ‘on a regressive path’.
Militants (suspected TTP) carried out an attack on a police outpost in Mianwali, Punjab, and killed at least 1 Police officer.
Armed vigilantes killed 3 alleged robbers and wounded an additional 4 in Karachi over the weekend.
Religious leaders in Swat have barred girls from playing the game and canceled a match scheduled on Sunday for girls in the Arena Cricket Ground Complex. The clerics say that female participation in the sport is both immodest and inappropriate.
By Mohammed Jamjoom - Al Jazeera
Islamabad has reported an increase in cross-border attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Pakistan’s provinces along the Afghanistan border have come under repeated attack by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the TTP or the Pakistan Taliban. Islamabad accuses the Taliban government in Afghanistan of allowing these fighters to use its territory to launch attacks. The Afghans deny the allegation.
By AMU TV
On the last day of September last year, the Kaaj educational center in the Barchi plain of Kabul fell victim to a devastating attack, resulting in a grim toll of 54 fatalities and…
By Afghanistan Journalists Center
The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) announced today, on the occasion of the International Day of Access to Information, that the Taliban has…
By AMU TV
Residents of northern Takhar have raised concerns over the shortage of healthcare facilities in the province, saying that the only medical facilities available to them are in…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
Pakistani media, citing the Counter Terrorism Department, reported that 400 individuals with valid residency permits were released, while 375 others are set to…
By Iran Front Page
People argue that the presence of Afghan nationals has not only increased costs of public services, but also undermined security in the…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By France 24
"I think it's a big hope for Afghan women, that they haven't given up their dreams, they have to follow their dreams," 25-year-old middle blocker Mursal Khedri told…
By AMU TV
Numerous people Amu spoke to painted a grim picture of their dire situation and said the humanitarian crisis is being exacerbated by a shattered economy and a very…
THE DAILY WTF
By Ripu Bhatia - Stuff
A report released on Monday revealed gaps in the support received by the 1741 refugees who arrived in Aotearoa on special humanitarian visas issued by…
“We must do better.” TAD Staff
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 77.96 AFN (as of 2 OCT 2023)