Afghanistan Taliban Kabul Crisis News Highlights: France will not have any relationship with Taliban govt, says French foreign minister

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Updated: September 12, 2021 11:17:47 pm

Taliban New government in Afghanistan Kabul News Today September 12 Highlights: Meanwhile, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called for peace and stability in a tweet, expressing hope that the new cabinet would become an inclusive government, even as it currently has no women and no non-Taliban members.

Afghanistan News Live, Afghanistan News Today, Kabul News Today, Panjshir News Today, Taliban News Latest TodayIndia, Australia indicate reluctance to recognise Taliban regime in Afghanistan (Picture: Reuters)

Afghanistan Taliban Kabul crisis Today News September 12 Highlights: While the US marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on Saturday, the Taliban raised their white flag over the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul. The flag was raised in a low-key ceremony by the Taliban interim government’s Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund. With this, as per Taliban officials, the official work of the all-male, all-Taliban government has started, two decades after the US forces started driving out the Taliban from the land.

Meanwhile, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who became the first President of the country after the Taliban were defeated by the US forces in 2001, called for peace and stability in a tweet, expressing hope that the new cabinet would become an inclusive government, even as it currently has no women and no non-Taliban members.

India and Australia, on the other hand, early on Sunday issued a joint statement that called for a broad-based and inclusive government in turbulent Afghanistan and signalled that neither of the countries was willing to give any recognition to the Taliban regime as the head of the country. The two nations underlined the urgent need for all countries to take “immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible” action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such strikes.

Stay tuned as Financial Express Online brings you live updates on the Afghanistan crisis.

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    21:44 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid says he lived in Kabul right under nose of his adversaries

    Taliban's spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who appeared before the media for the first time in a decade at a press conference after the insurgent group seized Kabul last month, said that he lived in the Afghan capital right under the nose of his adversaries who considered him a 'ghost-like' figure during the war.Mujahid, who operated in the shadows for years, also admitted that he studied at the Haqqania seminary in Nowshera in northwest Pakistan, which has also been dubbed the Taliban University or the 'University of Jihad' internationally. "They (US and Afghan National Forces) used to think I did not exist," Mujahid told The Express Tribune newspaper in an interview."I escaped so many times from their raids and attempts to capture me that they seriously considered that 'Zabiullah' was a made up figure, not a real man who exists," the 43-year-old spokesman said. "And yet, I managed to move about Afghanistan freely. I think this perception helped with that," he explained. "I lived in Kabul for a long time, right under everyone's noses. I roamed the width and breadth of the country. I also managed to have first-hand access to the frontlines, where the Taliban carried out their actions, and up to date information. It was quite puzzling for our adversaries." Due to his shadowy appearance for years, there was speculation as to whether the faceless spokesman might actually be more than one person.  "The US forces would often pay off locals to obtain some information about my whereabouts. Using that information, like I said, they must have launched dozens of intelligence-based operations hoping to find some trace of me," he said. "But I never left or tried to -- even think about try to leave Afghanistan."Mujahid, who was born in the Gardez district of Paktia province sometime in 1978, said that he specialised in Islamic jurisprudence from the Haqqania seminary in northwest Pakistan. The Taliban government's acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, Water and Energy Minister Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor and Telecommunication minister Najibullah Haqqani - all on the UN blacklist - and Education Minister Maulana Abdul Baqi Haqqani studied at the Haqqania seminary, which has regularly received grants from successive governments in Pakistan. Mujahid said he became the spokesman of the Taliban following the arrest of his predecessor. He also said that he had never seen the Taliban founder Mullah Umar. "But I have worked with Sheikh Mullah Mansoor, and Sheikh Hebatullah," he said, referring to Mullah Omar's successors. (PTI)

    20:50 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Qatari foreign minister visits Kabul, Al Jazeera says

    Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani  visited Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Sunday and met Taliban-appointed Prime Minister Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, Doha-based news channel Al Jazeera reported.

    Qatar is considered one of the countries with the most influence over the Taliban, which took control of Afghanistan last month as U.S. troops were preparing to finally withdraw from the country after 20 years.It played a pivotal role in the massive U.S.-led airlift of its own citizens, other Western nationals and Afghans who helped Western countries.  (Reuters) 

    19:47 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Two decades after 9/11, one of the last U.S. Marines killed in Afghanistan comes home

    U.S. Marine Sergeant Johanny Rosario returned to her hometown in Massachusetts in a casket on Saturday, one of the last American soldiers killed in Afghanistan during a war set in motion exactly two decades ago by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Several hundred people gathered near the Farrah Funeral Home in Lawrence, Mass., where Rosario's remains arrived in a black hearse with a police motorcycle escort. Marines in dress uniform carried the casket into the funeral home, as veterans in the crowd, some of whom had not worn a uniform in years, snapped to attention."We came out because she is a hero to us," said Mary Beth Chosse, who waited for several hours with her 12-year-old son, Gavin. Chosse's older son is a Marine on active duty. "Sergeant Rosario's sacrifice and bravery should always be remembered."Rosario, 25, was among 13 U.S. service members killed last month in a suicide bombing outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan's capital Kabul. She was helping to screen evacuees at a checkpoint at the airport's Abbey Gate when the bomb ripped through a crowd. About 7,100 U.S. military personnel have been killed in conflicts tied to the Sept. 11 attacks, with about 2,500 of those deaths happening in Afghanistan, according to the Costs of War project at Brown University's Watson Institute. The financial cost of those conflicts runs to nearly $6 trillion, according to the project.Like many Americans, Sheila Arias, 41, remembers Sept. 11, 2001 in vivid detail. She was at a hair salon in Lawrence when she watched the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center collapse after al Qaeda hijackers seized control of two airplanes and crashed them into the buildings. Hijacked airplanes would also crash into the Pentagon outside Washington and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.Arias soon after enlisted in the U.S. Army, leaving a comfortable, steady job as a clerk in Lawrence's water department to join the military effort to root out al Qaeda."There was no question that I had to serve," Arias said. "I'm sure Johanny Rosario felt the same way."' (Reuters) 

    18:22 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Taliban say woman can study at university but classes must be segregated

    Women in Afghanistan will be allowed to study in universities as the country seeks to rebuild after decades of war but gender-segregation and Islamic dress code will be mandatory, the Taliban's new Higher Education minister said on Sunday. The minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, said the new Taliban government, named last week, would "start building the country on what exists today" and did not want to turn the clock back 20 years to when the movement was last in power. He said female students would be taught by women wherever possible and classrooms would remain separated, in accordance with the movement's interpretation of Islamic sharia law. "Thanks to God we have a high number of women teachers. We will not face any problems in this. All efforts will be made to find and provide women teachers for female students," he told a news conference in Kabul.The issue of women's education has been one of the central questions facing the Taliban as they seek to persuade the world that they have changed since the harsh fundamentalist rule they imposed in the 1990s when women were largely banned from studying or working outside the home. Taliban officials have said women will be able to study and work in accordance with sharia law and local cultural traditions but strict dress rules will apply.  Haqqani said hijab religious veils would be mandatory for all female students but did not specify if this meant headscarves or compulsory face coverings. On Saturday, a group, apparently made up of women students in black robes that covered them completely from head to foot, demonstrated in Kabul in support of the rules on dress and separate classrooms. Haqqani said where no women teachers were available special measures would be adopted to ensure separation. "When there is really a need, men can also teach (women) but in accordance with sharia, they should observe the veil," he said. Classrooms would be curtained off to divide male and female students where necessary and teaching could also be done through streaming or closed circuit TV.Classrooms divided by curtains have already been seen in many places since the Western-backed government collapse and the Taliban seized Kabul last month.Haqqani told reporters that gender segregation would be enforced across Afghanistan and all subjects taught at colleges would also be reviewed in the coming months. (Reuters)

    16:57 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Security forces to have training module on Taliban

    Border forces and armed police units deployed in the counter-terrorism grid have been directed by the central security establishment to prepare and administer a new training module on the Taliban and its modus operandi to the troops in view of the "emerging" scenario following the Islamic militia taking over Afghanistan. Stating that the fall of Kabul to the Taliban last month may have a "serious bearing" on the security situation in India, the ground forces and their intelligence setup have been asked to update both their strategy, tactics and combat syllabus on the new "geo-political situation in central and south Asia and its grave security implication on India's borders and the hinterland." The directive issued by the security establishment a few days back also envisages a scenario where infiltration from across the border from Pakistan on India's west and illegal entry of terrorist operatives from open fronts in the east may increase including that by foreign terrorist fighters. Officials in the central security forces and intelligence wings acknowledged the new developments that have taken place in the neighbourhood after the Taliban swiftly took over almost all provinces of Afghanistan last month following the US military retreating from their 20-year war in that country launched after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 in their country. (PTI)

    15:42 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Afghan musicians flee Kabul, fearing for their lives and dire future for art under Taliban rule

    As the Taliban tighten its grip on power in Afghanistan, patrons of the popular Afghan music in Pakistan are shutting their offices with artistes in Kabul being forced to flee into hiding, resulting in cancellation of music programmes and huge losses for the industry. The Taliban swept across the country last month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1. On August 15, the capital city of Kabul fell to the insurgents. The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir on September 6, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul. Since then, music artistes have taken their instruments home, or crammed them into store rooms, waiting to see if the group will again ban music as they did 20 years ago. Fearing for their lives, some artists and singers have started arriving in Pakistan. (PTI)

    13:20 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Taliban set higher education policy, say women can study in universities

    The higher education minister in the new Taliban government says women can study in universities, including at post-graduate levels, but that classrooms will be gender-segregated and that Islamic dress is compulsory. The minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, laid out the new policies at a news conference Sunday, several days after Afghanistan's new rulers formed an all-male, all-Taliban government. Haqqani said female university students would be required to wear a hijab but did not elaborate on whether this only meant a compulsory headscarf or also mandatory face coverings. (AP)

    13:04 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Taliban's 'spectacularly uninclusive' govt unlikely to survive, says William Dalrymple

    Describing the new Afghanistan government as "spectacularly uninclusive" even within the Taliban frame, author-historian William Dalrymple says the "all-male old guard ultra-conservative Pashtun mullah" establishment is unlikely to survive. Surprised that the Taliban talked about inclusivity but did not even "dress it up", the author of 'Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan' said the new government wouldn't appeal to either western donors', 60 per cent of Afghans or women who comprise 50 per cent of the country's population. "It is a surprise because even if they haven't given big places to (former president) Hamid Karzai or someone from the old regime or even if they were doing but a window dressing by putting a few women in minor positions that would have been more expected given the PR they were putting out over the last month," Dalrymple told PTI in a phone interview. (PTI)

    12:30 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: Marine killed by Afghan bomb comes home to US

    The body of a US Marine killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan has returned home to Massachusetts on the 20th anniversary of the attacks that led to the war. Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, was among the US service members and Afghans killed in the August 26 bombing near the Kabul airport. Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Kim Janey and US Senator Edward Markey paid their respects to her family as the body arrived Saturday at Boston's Logan International Airport. In Rosario Pichardo's hometown of Lawrence, people lined the streets and waved flags at the vehicle procession of police, firefighters and others that accompanied her casket. A Marine honor guard carried the flag-draped casket into a funeral home. (AP)

    11:16 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update:The Taliban are lying, France's foreign minister says

    The Taliban are lying and France will not have any relationship with its newly-formed government, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said late on Saturday before heading for talks in Qatar on Sunday to discuss future evacuations from Afghanistan. "They said they would let some foreigners and Afghans leave freely and (talked) of an inclusive and representative government, but they are lying," Le Drian said on France 5 TV." (Reuters)

    11:14 (IST)12 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Crisis Live update: India, Australia pitch for 'broad-based and inclusive govt' in Afghanistan

    India and Australia have called for a "broad-based and inclusive" government in Afghanistan to ensure long-term peace and stability in the war-torn country, signalling their clear unwillingness to accord any recognition to the Taliban regime. In a joint statement issued early on Sunday following the inaugural India-Australia 2+2 ministerial dialogue, the two sides sought the protection of rights of women and children and their full participation in public life and expressed concerns over targeted violence against the defenders of their rights. (PTI)

    22:16 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: US marks 20 years since 9/11, in shadow of Afghan war's end

    Americans solemnly marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday, remembering the dead, invoking the heroes and taking stock of the aftermath just weeks after the bloody end of the Afghanistan war that was launched in response to the terror attacks. The ceremony at ground zero in New York began exactly two decades after the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil started with the first of four hijacked planes crashing into one of the World Trade Center's twin towers. "It felt like an evil specter had descended on our world, but it was also a time when many people acted above and beyond the ordinary," said Mike Low, whose daughter, Sara Low, was a flight attendant on that plane. "As we carry these 20 years forward, I find sustenance in a continuing appreciation for all of those who rose to be more than ordinary people," the father told a crowd that included President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The anniversary unfolded under the pall of a pandemic and in the shadow of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is now ruled by the same Taliban militant group that gave safe haven to the 9/11 plotters. (AP) 

    21:45 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: Taliban flag flies at Afghan presidential palace

    The Taliban flag waved over the Afghan presidential palace the same day the U.S. and the world marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.  The milestone anniversary Saturday takes place just weeks after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the return to power of the Taliban, the faction that sheltered the Muslim militant group founded by Osama bin Laden that carried out the attacks. The Taliban flag was raised Friday and could be seen waving over the presidential palace in Kabul on Saturday. The militant group also painted their white backdrop flag on the wall of the U.S. Embassy building.The U.S. is set to mark the 9/11 anniversary with commemorations at New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (AP) 

    21:14 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    World needs to engage Afghan Taliban to prevent refugee crisis: Pak NSA

    The world needs to constructively engage the Taliban in Afghanistan to prevent a governance collapse and avert another refugee crisis, Pakistan's National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf said on Saturday. Speaking at a webinar organised by the Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS), Islamabad on 'Future of Afghanistan and Regional Stability: Challenges, Opportunities & Way Forward', he said that abandoning Afghanistan again by the international community will be a mistake.After the Soviet-Afghan Mujahideen conflict in Afghanistan, the Western world committed catastrophic mistakes, including abandoning Afghanistan and sanctioning its "most allies", Yusuf was quoted as saying in a statement. Pakistan was the only country which bore the brunt of abandoning Afghanistan and the subsequent War on Terror, he said, adding that the world needs to constructively engage the Afghan Taliban in order to prevent governance collapse and avert another refugee crisis. Yusuf said Pakistan was coordinating with the world to have a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.Long Xingchun, President Chengdu Institute of World Affairs of China, said the neighbouring countries have to play the leading role in rebuilding Afghanistan. He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Cooperation (CPEC) initiative should be extended to Afghanistan and the Gwadar port can play a big role in strengthening the Afghan economy. Russian geopolitical expert, Leonid Savin, said the recent takeover by the Afghan Taliban has changed the regional political dynamics and this will have an impact on global politics. He said Russia can recognise the new government if China recognises it first.Professor Fazl-Ul-Hadi Wazeen of Salam University, Kabul, said the international community should not corner Afghanistan and give the new government a chance to rule while the Afghan Taliban must also keep their promises, adopt a reconciliatory approach and refrain from the use of force.Syed Qandi Abbas of Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, said both Pakistan and Iran expect an inclusive and permanent Afghan government in the future. The current interim government is not inclusive and has included only three non-Pashtun individuals out of a total of 34, he said, adding Iran expects a greater accommodation of non-Pashtun people if a civil war is to be avoided in future in Afghanistan.  (PTI)

    20:42 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghan territory must not be used for terrorism in any manner: India, Australia after 2+2 dialogue

    India and Australia on Saturday asserted that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner for terrorism and it should never again become a safe haven for "breeding and training" of terrorists, as the two countries held a detailed discussion on the situation in the war-torn country after its takeover by the Taliban. At the inaugural India-Australia two-plus-two dialogue, the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries also vowed to work towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, a region that has been witnessing increasing Chinese assertiveness.    With the dialogue coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that led to the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, both sides strongly called for combating terrorism without any compromise. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajath Singh held extensive in-person talks with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton.Noting that Afghanistan was a "major subject of discussion", Jaishankar said,"we had a very detailed exchange of views and our approach is very similar in a way it is summed up by the UN Security Council Resolution 2593 which emphasises most of all that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner by anybody for terrorism."Addressing a joint media briefing along with other ministers, the external affairs minister said there were also concerns relating to the composition of the interim Taliban cabinet as well as about the treatment of women and minorities. "But apart from that (terrorism), there were issues of concerns about the inclusiveness of the dispensation, concerns about the treatment of women and minorities, matters related to travel of Afghans, issues relating to humanitarian assistance. It is an evolving situation and it was a good exchange of notes," he said.Jaishankar said both sides agreed that the international community must be united in its approach, guided by UNSC Resolution 2593. The UNSC resolution, adopted on August 30 under India's presidency of the global body, demanded that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter and train terrorists and plan or finance terrorist attacks. "Today is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is a reminder- if one is still needed- of the importance of combating terrorism without compromise," he said.   "Close as we are to its epicentre, let us appreciate the value of international cooperation," he said, apparently referring to Pakistan with India often describing it as the "epicentre" of terrorism. However, he did not mention any country by name. On her part, Payne said Australia shares a very strong interest in ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a "safe haven for breeding or training of terrorists", noting that it is an abiding concern of the international community. "Along with the ongoing fight of terrorism, the future of Afghanistan remains a central concern to both of us," she said. "Both of our countries have been victims of appaling terrorist attacks and this day, the 11th of September will be forever remembered for those terrible events 20 years ago when terrorism struck at the heart of our friend the United States, and by extension also a modern pluralist and democratic world," Payne said. "It is fitting that minister Dutton and I should be here on this anniversary with such an important democratic partner," she added. About the situation in Afghanistan, Payne said Australia is very much focused on seeking safe passage for Afghan citizens, foreign nationals and visa holders of other nations who want to leave that country. "We have urged that they be allowed to leave safely. We are very conscious about the impact of violence and breaches of human rights of the Afghan community and would call for fundamental human rights to be observed," she said.During the talks, the two sides also deliberated on the situation in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea, ways to further deepen bilateral defence and trade cooperation and to effectively deal with the challenges of coronavirus pandemic. Jaishankar said the 'two-plus-two' dialogue reflected the comfort that India and Australia have attained in the bilateral relationship, especially in strategic and security spheres, based on the growing convergence based on a shared commitment for a free, open, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific region."The peaceful development of the Indo-Pacific region has been a focus of our relationship. Our two countries believe that it should be shaped in a participative and collaborative manner," he said.  Jaishankar said both sides reiterated their commitment to continue to work together for peace, stability and prosperity of all countries in the region.  "This would include a rules-based international order, freedom of navigation in international waters, promoting connectivity as well as respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states," he said. Jaishankar said the importance of ongoing cooperation in the multilateral arena for preserving the rules-based international order was also emphasised.  (PTI)

    20:05 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: Brother of former Afghan VP shot dead by Taliban

    The Taliban shot dead the brother of Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president of Afghanistan, and his driver in northern Panjshir province, Saleh's nephew said Saturday.  Shuresh Saleh said his uncle Rohullah Azizi was going somewhere in a car Thursday when Taliban fighters stopped him at a checkpoint. "As we hear at the moment Taliban shot him and his driver at the checkpoint," he said. A message left with a Taliban spokesman Saturday was not immediately returned. Shuresh Saleh said it was unclear where his uncle, an anti-Taliban fighter, was headed when the Taliban caught him. He said phones were not working in the area.  Amrullah Saleh led forces resisting the Taliban in Panjshir, which was the last holdout province to be overrun by Afghanistan's new rulers.Videos circulating on social media purportedly show Taliban opening fire on anti-Taliban fighters in Panjshir whom they have arrested. (AP)

    18:29 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: AS Roma to auction special edition shirts in aid of Afghan refugees

    AS Roma players will wear special edition shirts during their Serie A match against Sassuolo on Sunday to show support for the people of Afghanistan, which will then be auctioned off to raise money for refugees.The shirts will feature the logo of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the sleeve, a UN Agency focused on aiding and protecting refugees.An auction will then be held for the match-worn shirts, with all proceeds going towards UNHCR initiatives to help the Afghan people.The club said on its website that the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has resulted in 570,000 people fleeing their homes this year and left 3.5 million currently displaced, 80% of whom are women and children. "Despite the incredibly difficult circumstances, the UNHCR has chosen to stay in Afghanistan – a country where we have been working for more than 40 years – in order to provide assistance and save lives," said Chiara Cardoletti, the UNHCR representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino."This year alone we have supplied essential survival items to more than 240,000 people, but the need for such items grows hour by hour and the funds available are woefully insufficient. At times like this, even a small contribution can make a huge difference." (Reuters)

    17:41 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: Afghanistan remittance payouts limited to local currency -sources

    Afghanistan's central bank has ordered banks to pay out remittances in local currency only, the latest move to preserve scarce U.S. dollars, say sources familiar with the matter. Hard currency remittances have formed an important source of external finance for Afghanistan over the years but dollar availability has dried up in the aftermath of the Taliban's conquest of the country. Western Union Co's agent banking partners in Afghanistan received a directive from the country's central bank in the last few days to pay out remittances in afghani only, said a source close to a money exchange provider. Remittances sent before the directive and selected by the sender for dollar payout can continue to be paid in dollars, the source said. MoneyGram International Inc said it was paying out in afghani only, without elaborating further. Both resumed money-transfer services to Afghanistan last week, having suspended services in August after the Islamist militia captured Kabul. No comment was immediately available from the central bank. (Reuters)

    17:11 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: India's role as regional ally can have positive impact in Afghanistan: US official

    India as a key regional player and ally of the US and its history of investments in Afghanistan could have a positive impact on the future of the country now under Taliban control, a US State Department spokesperson has said here. In an interview with PTI ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks this week, Zed Tarar reiterated US President Joe Biden's message that the war in Afghanistan had achieved its central mission to eliminate the Al Qaeda terror network, behind the attacks on September 11, 2001. Now, the focus is on working with "like-minded partners and democracies", such as India, to look towards the next chapter of supporting the people of Afghanistan. "India being a regional ally has a role to play; and the humanitarian role and previous investment role is one that could have a positive impact on the future of Afghanistan," said Tarar, the London-based Hindu/Urdu spokesperson for the US State Department. (PTI)

    15:21 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Brother of former Afghan VP shot dead by Taliban

    The Taliban shot dead the brother of Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president of Afghanistan, and his driver in northern Panjshir province, Saleh's nephew said Saturday. Shuresh Saleh said his uncle Rohullah Azizi was going somewhere in a car Thursday when Taliban fighters stopped him at a checkpoint. "As we hear at the moment Taliban shot him and his driver at the checkpoint," he said. A message left with a Taliban spokesman Saturday was not immediately returned. Shuresh Saleh said it was unclear where his uncle, an anti-Taliban fighter, was headed when the Taliban caught him. He said phones were not working in the area. Amrullah Saleh led forces resisting the Taliban in Panjshir, which was the last holdout province to be overrun by Afghanistan's new rulers. (AP)

    13:21 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Developments in Afghanistan will be an important subject of discussion today, says EAM S Jaishankar at India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

    • We are meeting at a time when, along with a pandemic we have a geopolitical environment which is in rapid flux and we must bilaterally respond adequately to safeguard our national interests: EAM S Jaishankar at India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue
    • Developments in Afghanistan will be an important subject of discussion today. This meeting is an opportunity to review & take forward the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as we prepare for another meeting b/w our Prime Ministers later this month in the US: EAM S Jaishankar (ANI)Image

    13:13 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: Taliban cancel inauguration ceremony of newly formed interim government in Afghanistan

    Taliban cancel the inauguration ceremony of their newly formed interim government in Afghanistan. (AIR News)

    12:21 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: US gives 1st public look inside base housing Afghans

    The Biden administration on Friday provided the first public look inside a US military base where Afghans airlifted out of Afghanistan are being screened, amid questions about how the government is caring for the refugees and vetting them. "Every Afghan who is here with us has endured a harrowing journey and they are now faced with the very real challenges of acclimating with life in the United States," Liz Gracon, a senior State Department official, told reporters. The three-hour tour at Fort Bliss Army base in El Paso, Texas, was the first time the media has been granted broad access to one of the eight U.S. military installations housing Afghans. But even so, reporters, including those with The Associated Press, were not allowed to talk with any evacuees or spend more than a few minutes in areas where they were gathered, with military officials citing "privacy concerns." Nearly 10,000 Afghan evacuees are staying at the base while they undergo medical and security checks before being resettled in the United States. The operation was described by officials at the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State as a "historic: and "unprecedented" effort to facilitate the relocation of a huge number of refugees in less than a month's time. (AP)

    11:29 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: Afghan economic meltdown would be 'gift for terrorists,' says UN chief

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed on Friday for an injection of cash into Afghanistan to avoid an economic meltdown that would spark a "catastrophic" situation for the Afghan people and be a "gift for terrorist groups."His remarks come after his special envoy on Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, warned  the Security Council on Thursday that the freezing of billions of dollars in international Afghan assets to keep them out of Taliban hands would inevitably spark "a severe economic downturn." "At the present moment the U.N. is not even able to pay its salaries to its own workers," Guterres told reporters. "We need to find ways to avoid a situation that would be catastrophic for the people and, in my opinion, a source of instability, and an action, gift for terrorist groups still operating there," he said. (Reuters)

    11:21 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: Pakistan hopes Taliban-led Afghan govt would bring 'peace'; work towards humanitarian needs

    Pakistan on Friday hoped that the new interim government in Afghanistan led by the Taliban would bring "peace, security and stability" to the war-torn country and work towards taking care of humanitarian and development needs of the Afghan people. Pakistan was closely following the evolving situation in Afghanistan, including the formation of new political set-up to address the requirement of a governance structure to meet the urgent needs of Afghanistan, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said at the weekly press briefing here. "We hope that the new political dispensation will ensure coordinated efforts for peace, security and stability in Afghanistan as well as work towards taking care of humanitarian and development needs of the Afghan people," he said. Pakistan has an abiding interest in Afghanistan's peace, he said. (PTI)

    11:11 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: Measles cases halt Afghan evacuee flights from two key bases

    The US has halted all US-bound flights of Afghan evacuees from two main bases overseas after discovering a limited measles outbreak among Afghans arriving in the United States, a hitch that American officials warned will have a severe impact on an often-troubled US-run evacuation. US Customs and Border Protection made the decision on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt the flights from US bases in Germany and Qatar, according to a US government document seen Friday by The Associated Press. The document cited unspecified "health safety concerns." White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the temporary halt stemmed from discovery of measles among four arrivals in the United States. The government document viewed by the AP said the halt would "severely impact" operations at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and have an "adverse effect" on the nearly 10,000 evacuees, many of whom it said have been there more than 10 days and are increasingly fatigued. (AP)

    11:10 (IST)11 Sep 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live update: UN refugee chief says agency will engage Taliban

    The UN refugee agency chief said Friday the UNHCR will engage with the Taliban in order provide assistance to millions of displaced Afghans. Filippo Grandi, the United Nations' high commissioner for refugees, also said his agency has so far not observed large numbers of Afghans trying to cross into other countries but warned that the situation could change if conditions in the country deteriorate. "The priority number one for my organization is to step up, scale up our humanitarian work to help those displaced... Winter is coming. It is very cold in Afghanistan during winter," Grandi said. He said: "And in order to do that, UNHCR, like other humanitarian organizations, will engage, will discuss with the Taliban. We will discuss with anybody that controls an area where there are people in need." (AP)

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