Daily Evacuation Brief | September 14, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
TALIBAN WELCOME NEW CHINESE AMBASSADOR – Taliban officials put on quite a show welcoming the newly appointed Ambassador, Zhao Sheng, in Kabul. Statements from the various Taliban leaders in attendance indicated they believed the Ambassador’s appointment was a sign that eventual recognition could be forthcoming. China’s Foreign Ministry appeared to downplay the event and released a statement that highlighted that its Ambassador was arriving on a normally scheduled rotation.
MOSCOW FORMAT SUMMIT ON AFGHANISTAN SET FOR 29 SEP – Russia announced that the body intends to meet in Kazan (Russia) and that Taliban representatives will be invited. There is an unconfirmed rumor that representatives of the former regime and possibly from the Resistance may also be invited to the event.
US ENVOY REITERATES CONDITIONS TALIBAN MUST RECTIFY BEFORE RECOGNITION COULD BE DISCUSSED – Thomas West, the US special representative for Afghanistan spoke at an event on Tuesday and spelled out the main problems barring any normalization of relations with the de facto regime. West emphasized that the US is not leading the group that will ultimately decide if the Taliban is recognized or not. The conditions have not changed and basically boil down to not providing a safe haven for terrorism, forming an inclusive government, and repealing the policies regarding women.
EMBATTLED BRITISH MP RESIGNS COMMITTEE POSITION OVER CONTROVERSIAL AFGHANISTAN COMMENTS – MP Tobias Ellwood announced he was resigning his chairmanship of the Defence Committee in the House of Commons. Ellwood came under fire for comments he made in a video he posted in July which lauded the Taliban’s ‘transformation’ of the country. Political insiders in London say his resignation was made to preempt a plan to oust him forcibly from the position today.
TORKHAM GATE CLOSED FOR 8TH DAY – Some locals claimed the impasse may be an economic ploy on the part of Pakistan to reduce the value of agricultural products. Whether this claim has any merit is up for debate but the financial losses for the transport and agricultural sector are mounting. Taliban officials with the Department of Information and Culture of Nangarhar said they expect the border to reopen soon.
NEXT 24 HOURS
ALL EYES ON IRAN – Protests and demonstrations are expected as the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini approaches (16 September). Tehran has been rounding up protestors, students, journalists, and professors over the last four weeks. Many observers say that anti-regime groups have spent the year planning for mass demonstrations against the regime and are anticipating fierce opposition from police, military, and paramilitary forces. Iranian forces have dispatched additional troops to guard power distribution infrastructure and other critical assets in anticipation of civil disobedience. It is not clear when potential protests could begin but international aid organizations, foreign businesses, and diplomatic posts are urging their employees to exercise caution and be prepared to stay home in the event trouble breaks out. At-risk Afghans in Iran are urged to stockpile food and water if at all possible and to charge their communications devices.
Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, says he is planning an invitation-only event with political influencers in New York City next Monday for the UN General Assembly meetings. There are at least two other such events scheduled.
French police announced they had arrested the man suspected of trying to start a fire at the Iranian Consulate in Paris. The man has been identified as an Iranian-born French citizen and is currently being held in an undisclosed location.
Tehran has again assured regional allies that it is not deploying troops to the border with Azerbaijan. Rumors arose yesterday that an emergency meeting on the situation was being arranged in Turkey to attempt to reduce the tensions.
A lawyer for former PM Imran Khan announced that his detention had been extended for an additional fourteen days to facilitate the trial in the Cipher case.
Counter-Terrorism Department personnel say they have killed an ISIS Commander (Ghulam Din Shahwani) in an operation in Quetta.
British authorities announced they had arrested the three fugitives wanted for questioning in connection to the murder of Sara Sharif. The three, including the victim’s father, returned to the UK from Pakistan yesterday evening and were arrested at Gatwick Airport.
By Aaron Y. Zelin - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Over the past three decades, successive jihadist organizations have sought to conduct external operations beyond their local battlefields, often from safe havens abroad. The long list includes actors such as the Algerian Armed Islamic Group (when it hijacked Air France Flight 8969 in 1994), al-Qaeda (most infamously via the 9/11 attacks, but also through plots by local branches al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Shabab, and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), and the Islamic State (e.g., in Syria and Libya).
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
Abdul Basir Zabuli, the spokesperson for the Nangarhar provincial security, did not disclose the reason for this…
By Ayaz Gul - VOA
The Taliban's "successful" offensive against the Islamic State branch in Afghanistan, IS-Khorasan, has "significantly degraded" its capability…
Drivers in Afghanistan have criticised the hike in the price of petrol in the country’s markets, claiming that it is harming their work and…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
Hundreds of Afghan college students whose student visas have expired gathered in New Delhi on Wednesday to protest and request the Indian…
By TOLO News
According to the council, most of the Afghan immigrants have been detained in the Sindh state of…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By Zafar Bamyani - VOA
Afghanistan’s Permanent Mission to the U.N. is one of the country’s few diplomatic missions that is still operating since the Taliban’s takeover of…
By Allison Erickson - Military Times
Nearly a year after former Afghan intelligence officer Abdul Wasi Safi was detained near the Texas-Mexico border, the Justice Department on Tuesday granted him…
THE DAILY WTF
By Alice Speri - The Intercept
Human rights groups sued government agencies for information about Afghans stuck at processing sites while their applications to come to the…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 78.93 AFN (as of 14 SEP 2023)