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Turkish President Erdogan calls PM Imran Khan

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday called Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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Turkish President Erdogan telephones PM Imran Khan
Turkish President Erdogan telephones PM Imran Khan

During the call, two leaders reviewed the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan conveyed that Pakistan was extending facilitation in the evacuation of diplomatic personnel and staff of international organizations and others in Kabul, as requested.

The Prime Minister added that at the National Security Committee meeting to be held on Monday, August 16, the evolving situation would be further deliberated upon.

The two leaders would consult again after the meeting to coordinate their efforts.

 

The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to continue all efforts in support of an inclusive political solution in Afghanistan.

Fateh Farooq

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Two children dead, 7 family members injured as landslide hits Shangla house

The landslide also blocked the main Bisham-Swat road

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Two children dead, 7 family members injured as landslide hits Shangla house

Shangla: At least two children died while their seven family members were injured after they were buried in a landslide that struck their house in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Shangla district on Friday, rescuers and police said.

Rescuers said the two deceased children aged three and two months were among six people who were pulled out of the rubble, while efforts were continuing to trace the remaining three family members.

A massive landslide hit the Khurshid Khan house in Kuz Alpuri area of Shangla, destroying it completely and burying its residents. The landslide also blocked the main Bisham-Swat road.

Rehman said Rescue 1122 workers were making efforts to recover the rest of the people trapped underneath the debris.

Two children and four women were brought to the District Headquarters Hospital, Alpuri, where the two minors died and the women were being treated for their injuries.

Bisham-Swat road was also blocked due to the landslide and motorists were stuck on both sides.

The injured were shifted to the DHQ hospital.

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World

EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

Embassy is being opened after five months

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EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

The European Union on Thursday announced it had begun re-establishing a “minimal presence” in Kabul to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

“Our minimal presence in Kabul must not in any way be seen as recognition” of the Taliban government there,” EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement. 

“This has also been clearly communicated to the de facto authorities,” he added.

Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster, worsened by the Taliban takeover in August that prompted Western countries to freeze international aid and access to billions of dollars worth of assets held abroad.

The country was almost entirely dependent on foreign aid under the previous US-backed government, but jobs have dried up and most civil servants haven’t been paid for months.

No country has yet recognised the Taliban, with most watching to see how the hardline Islamists -– notorious for human rights abuses during their first stint in power -– restrict freedoms.

Shortly before Stano made his comments, an Afghan foreign ministry spokesman said on Twitter that the EU was reopening “an embassy” with “a permanent presence in Kabul” for the first time in five months. 

Stano said in the statement “the EU has started to re-establish a minimal presence of international EU Delegation staff to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and monitor the humanitarian situation”.

The international community is waiting to see how the Taliban Islamic fundamentalists intend to govern Afghanistan, after having largely trampled on human rights during their first stint in power between 1996 and 2001. 

While the Taliban claim to have modernised, women are still largely excluded from public employment and secondary schools for girls remain largely closed.

Several countries, including China. Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Iran have kept their embassies in Kabul open since the Taliban victory last year, but have not formally recognised their government.

Western diplomats began to evacuate their personnel in the first half of 2021, when American troops began operations to withdraw permanently from Afghanistan. 

The withdrawal culminated at the end of August with the chaotic evacuation of 120,000 people following the Taliban’s lightning conquest of the country.

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World

8 Afghan resistance fighters killed in firefight with Taliban

Fighters from the National Resistance Front (NRF)had fought Taliban forces in Balkh province

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8 Afghan resistance fighters killed in firefight with Taliban

The Taliban killed eight resistance fighters from a national opposition group in a firefight in the north of Afghanistan, police said on Friday.

Since storming back to power in August the Taliban have flatly denied facing organised resistance, but the gun battle on Thursday night may demonstrate that armed opposition is building against their hardline rule.

Fighters from the National Resistance Front (NRF), a group led by the son of legendary late anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, fought Taliban forces in Balkh province.

Eight NRF fighters were killed in a “direct clash” with the Taliban, provincial police spokesman Asif Waziri told reporters in an audio message.

Waziri said Taliban forces also seized ammunition and machine guns from the NRF fighters. An NRF spokesman was yet to respond to a request for comment from AFP.

The fighting comes less than two weeks after Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi held talks with Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, in Tehran.

After that summit an official for the resistance faction said the NRF and Taliban remained on “separate pages” with no prospect of reconciliation.

Massoud's NRF forces were the last to hold out against the Taliban takeover last year, retreating to the Panjshir Valley which fell in September, weeks after government troops capitulated.

The Panjshir Valley is famed as the site of resistance to Soviet forces in the 1980s and the Taliban in the late 1990s, during their first stint in power.

Its most revered figure is Ahmad Shah Massoud, known as the “Lion of Panjshir”, who was assassinated by Al Qaeda in 2001, two days before the 9/11 attacks.

His son has since picked up the mantle and there have been reports of his efforts to organise a resistance with other exiled Afghan leaders, which Taliban authorities had so far denied.

The Taliban have also faced resistance from the regional chapter of the militant Islamic State group, IS-Khorasan, an extremist group which aims to create a global caliphate.

SOURCE: AFP

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