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Daily Evacuation Brief | September 27, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
RUSSIA REPORTEDLY READY TO TAKE A HARDER LINE WITH THE TALIBAN – In preparation for the upcoming Moscow Format meeting (Friday), Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan made several blunt and unequivocal statements to the press. Zamir Kabulov, Russia’s envoy for Afghanistan, spoke with reporters about the upcoming meeting and said that the Troika Plus meetings were now officially ‘dead’ and the US would no longer be included in events going forward. Several Afghan academics in Russia speculated that the Taliban’s Foreign Minister would likely have a cold reception and that the quadrilateral representatives from Russia, China, Pakistan, and Iran were planning on putting extreme pressure on Muttaqi. Kabulov said that three main concerns will be discussed at the meeting - the formation of an inclusive government as well as counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics commitments are of primary importance. While the bans on women receiving education and being able to work are also key demands for the summit, a source in Moscow said the four nations feel that establishing an inclusive government will eventually succeed in repealing the bans. The source said that leaders in Moscow are eager to illustrate to the world that the new alliance will be more effective than anything involving the US or Europe. The source finished by saying that Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are expecting a much stronger line from Russia than in their previous dealings with the Taliban. A source in Kabul mentioned that additional security measures have been observed at both the Russian and Chinese embassies. Exactly what those measures entail was not clear. Moscow and Beijing may be taking precautionary steps should the Taliban react negatively to the outcome of the meetings.
PAKISTAN SIGNALS IT WILL DEPORT 1.1 MILLION AFGHAN REFUGEES – The cabinet of the caretaker PM announced it would deport approximately 1.1 million Afghans who, it says, are sheltering in the country illegally and many of whom are involved in anti-state activities and crime. Pakistan observers and analysts say the move has more to do with the Taliban’s reluctance to deal with the TTP than with any threats posed by the refugees. Some have said the threat of expulsion is being used to ensure the Taliban make good on commitments to thwart cross-border TTP activities which were agreed to in a recent meeting in Kabul. Should Islamabad carry through on the threats, it will likely garner a barrage of international criticism. Logistically speaking, the forced deportation of that many refugees would tax the security forces who are already dealing with increased threats from both the TTP and ISIS as well as a plethora of other smaller terrorist groups. The cabinet’s plan calls for a three-phase operation:
Phase One - Afghans in Pakistan without proper documents or, expired documents will be deported.
Phase Two - Afghans with documents and valid visas will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Phase Three - Afghans with proof of residence cards will be evaluated.
It is too early to tell if this plan is bluster or will be implemented. Based on the commitments made by Taliban representatives in the recent meetings, it seems illogical to begin deportation operations before the Taliban have been granted a feasible amount of time to bring the TTP to heel. However, tempers are running hot and Pakistan has repeatedly told the Taliban and the international community that its patience was at an end.
NEXT 24 HOURS
DECIPHERING ISLAMABAD’S NEW EDICT – At this point, not enough information is available to determine how significant a threat yesterday’s announcement about expelling Afghan refugees may be. There are far more questions than answers floating around and rumors are running wild. At-risk Afghans residing in Pakistan are encouraged to monitor news sites and utilize the informal diaspora networks to stay abreast of the situation. Many rumors will likely spread on social media and elsewhere and we strongly recommend that no action be taken until rumors can be verified. Anti-state actors such as ISIS and the TTP may use this situation by attempting to sow discord and fear among the Afghan community to provoke a response.
Questions were being asked in Washington DC about possible connections between appointed officials at the US Department of Defense and Iran. Investigative journalists have claimed that senior leaders were implementing a policy that originated within the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to reports from Tehran, the Supreme Leader has assented to direct US/Iran nuclear talks. Some claim the talks could begin in Oman relatively soon.
The Central Bank said it planned to use the funds exchanged for US prisoners to buoy the national currency.
Counter-Terrroism Department units raided a TTP base near the Afghan border, 3 militants were reportedly killed in the attack and a local Commander said he was surprised at how few TTP fighters were in the area.
Confirmation that former PM Khan was moved to Adiala jail from his former place of confinement was shared with the press yesterday.
IMF officials announced that it had successfully deposited $5.4bn into Pakistan’s accounts over July and August. The next review of the economy is expected in November and will release the remainder of the $6bn agreement.
By Fabrizio Foschini - AAN
The number of Afghan refugees moving along the Balkan Route has remained very high this summer. A large proportion of those taking the long trip to central, western, and northern Europe are in their early twenties and many are under-age. From Turkey, they usually cross Greece and Bulgaria in order to reach Serbia. Once there, most opt for the ‘Western Balkan route’ leading through Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and finally Italy – where routes for further possible destinations split once again. Among these countries, Croatia became, in January 2023, the European Union’s foremost external border facing the Balkan Route, while non-EU Serbia, remains a midway staging point for migrants, beyond the EU borders yet conveniently close to their final destinations. During a recent visit to Croatia and Serbia, and through long-term observation from the vantage point of Trieste, the Italian city close to Croatia and Slovenia to which one of the western branches of the Balkan Route leads, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini has sought to understand what is happening to Afghans transiting through these two, very diverse, yet closely connected, countries.
By Maisam Iltaf - Kabul Now
Residents in Afghanistan’s central Daikundi province accuse the Taliban authorities of misappropriating foreign aid assistance from Hazara-populated areas to…
This means that the Afghani is the third-strongest performing currency of 2023 so far, behind only the Colombian peso and the…
By Ariana News
A number of female entrepreneurs at the special women’s market in Kabul say their businesses are improving day-by-day and that they have…
By Ayaz Gul - VOA
Authorities in northwestern Pakistan said Tuesday that a counterterrorism operation resulted in the arrest of four regional Islamic…
By AMU TV
Russia’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said Tuesday that the US has not been invited to the Moscow-format meeting due to be held this week in…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By AMU TV
Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations Munir Akram on Tuesday hit out at Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires to the UN, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, and told the Security Council that Faiq “represented no one…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
The UN Security Council convened a meeting on Afghanistan on Tuesday, during which the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan presented her report, focusing on the country’s…
THE DAILY WTF
In 2021, as US troops withdrew from Afghanistan – the culmination of two decades of war – they left behind a vast collection of sensitive data that swiftly made its way…
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 78.14 AFN (as of 27 SEP 2023)