SHEBERGHAN, Afghanistan — Clad in a dusty blue burqa and clutching a piece of stale bread, Khaleda cowers in front of her three wailing young children in a makeshift refugee camp in northern Afghanistan.
The 35-year-old, who only goes by one name, is among thousands of people who recently escaped the brutal rule of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in the Darzab district of Jawzjan Province, a stronghold of the militants for the past year.
Now living among hundreds of other families in a bulging camp on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Sheberghan, Khaleda recalls the horrors of life under the militants.
ISLAMABAD — Officials in Afghanistan have vowed to bring to justice perpetrators of “war crimes” among scores of Islamic State militants who recently surrendered to the government in northern Jowzjan province to avoid being captured by the Taliban.
The top commander of the self-proclaimed Islamic State Khorsan Province, or IS-K, in northern Afghanistan, Mawlawi Habib Rahman, along with his 250 fighters, turned themselves in last week in the Darzab and Qush Tepa districts.
The Afghan government has since been criticized for its unexplained action of providing asylum and protection to IS-K militants, accused by residents of committing serious crimes against innocent civilians while running strongholds in the two isolated Jowzjan districts for three years.
Also – Islamic State Commander Accused of Rape Surrenders
HERAT, Afghanistan — Over the past four years, thousands of young Afghan Shiite men have been drawn into the war in Syria by Iran, part of a well-financed system of recruitment, training and incentives that funnels Afghan recruits to fight for a repressive Arab government.
The Afghans are soldiers in someone else’s war, propelled by economic woes and religious loyalty to join a foreign fight. Some have lost friends and relatives in battle or sustained severe injuries themselves. As many as 840 have been killed, according to researchers. Survivors can recount hard-fought battles near Aleppo or Damascus, and some believe they are helping to protect sacred Shiite shrines in those areas.
Afghanistan was already considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, a consequence of decades of war and religious extremism.
But for some Afghan journalists, the risks have been amplified after a cleric in the western city of Herat recently declared jihad, or holy war, against the country’s besieged media.
It’s time to leave Afghanistan to the Afhganis. If a terrorist attack on the west emanates from the country blast all their infrastructure to smithereens, rinse and repeat throughout all Islamic states.
Donald Trump has reportedly ordered American envoys to seek direct talks with the Taliban to end the country’s longest ever war, in a major shift after years of US diplomatic policy on the conflict.
The change in White House stance rolls back a long-held position that any talks must be led and controlled by the Afghan government.
The White House has now told diplomats to seek initial talks with the militant insurgent movement to try to kick start a wider peace process to end the 17-year-long conflict, the New York Times reported.
Bear in mind the initial “report” was in the New York Times.
A new measure unveiled in Afghanistan in July to prohibit government health personnel from performing “invasive and medically meaningless vaginal and anal exams” on women and girls to ascertain whether they are “virgins” is a step in the right direction to protect women’s rights, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said this week in a statement welcoming the policy.
As Afghanistan edged ever closer to becoming a narco-state five years ago, a team of veteran U.S. officials in Kabul presented the Obama administration with a detailed plan to use U.S. courts to prosecute the Taliban commanders and allied drug lords who supplied more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin — including a growing amount fueling the nascent opioid crisis in the United States.
The plan, according to its authors, was both a way of halting the ruinous spread of narcotics around the world and a new — and urgent — approach to confronting ongoing frustrations with the Taliban, whose drug profits were financing the growing insurgency and killing American troops. But the Obama administration’s deputy chief of mission in Kabul, citing political concerns, ordered the plan to be shelved, according to a POLITICO investigation.
“I didn’t want to live any more. That’s why I tried to kill myself with poison.”
Jamila (not her real name) attempted suicide after she felt abandoned and betrayed by her fiancé – who decided, after a six-year-engagement, that he no longer wanted to marry her because she was “not a young woman any more”.
Jamila is 18 – and her family arranged her engagement when she was just 12. She was taken to a hospital in Herat by her mother and treated for poisoning last month.
Jamila is one of thousands of Afghan women who try to kill themselves every year.
A law meant to protect Afghan women from violence is being undermined by authorities who routinely refer even serious criminal cases to traditional mediation councils that fail to protect victims, the United Nations said on Tuesday.