India Projects In AFghanistan Taliban

Taliban Says India May Restart 20 Projects In Afghanistan

Taliban on Wednesday said that India may restart 20 stalled projects in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MUDH) of Afghanistan said that the Indian charges d’affaires, Bharat Kumar, expressed India’s interest in improving relations and the resumption of Delhi’s projects in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.

Kumar made the remarks in a meeting with the Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Hamdullah Nomani.

The agency quoting the MUDH Ministry said, “It is expected that India will resume work on at least 20 projects in several provinces of the country. Kumar made the remarks in a meeting with the Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Hamdullah Nomani, in Kabul.

“Projects they were implemented during the former government but were delayed due to political changes or other issues–they are now interested in resuming these projects, said Mohammad Kamal Afghan, a spokesman for the MUDH.

Economists said they believe that the implementation of the projects will facilitate job opportunities and boost development in the country, reported Tolo News.

“The resumption of these projects can also create job opportunities for the people and it can promote people’s income and drive Afghanistan out of political isolation,” said Darya Khan Baheer, an economist.

“The restart of these projects will decrease the level of poverty and unemployment,” said Nazkamir Ziarmal, an economist.

The Pajhwok Afghan News meanwhile said that Urban Development and Land Affairs Acting Minister Mawlavi Hamdullah Nomani had urged the Indian business community to invest in the urban development sector of Afghanistan.

On its Twitter handle, the Ministry wrote that acting Minister Nomani met the charge de affairs of the Indian embassy in Kabul. During this visit, the acting Minister Nomani said: “The Indian businessmen can invest in the urban and housing sector, especially in the New Kabul City project”.

Numani further added, “India implemented some projects in Afghanistan in the past, while some of them remained incomplete due to non-payment”. He asked the Indian government to clear its stance about the incomplete projects as well.

“Projects they were implemented during the former government but were delayed due to political changes or other issues–they are now interested in resuming these projects, said Mohammad Kamal Afghan, a spokesman for the MUDH.

Locals believe that implementing the projects will facilitate job opportunities, decrease poverty and unemployment, and boost development in the country.

In addition, the visiting Indian envoy was requested to provide the Afghan nationals with scholarships for master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the civil and urban development field to increase Afghan engineers’ capacity further.

Charge de affairs Bharat Kumar said the ministry could share information about all the mentioned projects. He will convey the message to the Indian government to solve their problems and make all projects ready to use.

I have received some details about the New Kabul Project, and I would talk about them to Indian investors as well, Kumar said.

India had to stop all its projects once the Taliban took over the reins of power in August 2021. India then closed its embassy, which restarted functioning a few months ago. India still has security issues as several civilian projects, religious places, and the Russian embassy were targeted recently by suspected Islamic State terrorists.

India, before the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, had invested in developmental and capacity-building projects of around three billion dollars.

The significant projects India supported in Afghanistan were: The 42MW Salma Dam in Herat province was inaugurated in 2016 and is known as the Afghan-India Friendship Dam. The other high-profile project was the 218-km Zaranj-Delaram highway built by the Border Roads Organisation. Zaranj is located close to Afghanistan’s border with Iran.

India built the Afghan Parliament in Kabul for $90 million. A block in the building is named after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

In 2016, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the restored Stor Palace in Kabul, initially built in the late 19th century. India also constructed one of its leading hospitals in Kabul.

India, in the past, has been supporting in developing the human resources, giving training to professionals and offering a considerable number o scholarships and admissions to Afghan students to study in India.

The Indian projects are mostly people-centric in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. The projects were aimed at making Afghanistan a self-sufficient nation. India also operationalized air freight corridors and the Chabahar Port to enhance regional connectivity to Afghanistan.

India presently has been voicing deep concern at the unfolding humanitarian situation in Afghanistan; India donated consignments of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. These include 40,000 MTs of wheat, about 50 tonnes of medical aid consisting of essential lifesaving medicines, anti-TB medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID vaccine, essential medical/surgical items, and 28 tons of other disaster relief material. (ANI)

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Afgh: Taliban Publicly Flogs Boy, Girl For Having Pre-Marital Affair

The Taliban authorities in Bamyan province on Friday publicly flogged a boy and a girl for having a pre-marital affair, Khaama Press reported citing local sources.

Earlier, a local court in Bamyan province in Afghanistan had ordered public flogging on November 17.
Arezoo and Mohammad Essa have been sentenced to thirty-nine public floggings as they were allegedly in love and had a premarital affair. According to Khaama Press, around 1,000 people witnessed when the couple was being publically punished.

The couple had traveled to Bamyan for casual reasons when they were forcefully detained by Taliban officials.

Taliban Supremo Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada previously in a meeting with court judges said that they must not hesitate in giving Hadd and Qisas punishments as per Islamic law, according to Khaama Press.

Hadd crimes are punishable by death or amputation of limbs and other harsh punishments and Qisas are ruled as per the eye for an eye law of retributive justice.

Since the Taliban’s hostile takeover of Afghanistan, similar incidents have been happening frequently.

A similar incident happened in the Ghor province of Afghanistan. A girl had committed suicide just before the Taliban had planned to publicly stone the woman on October 16 as she had been found guilty of running away from home with a man. The man whom she had run away with was executed on October 13 this year.

Not only this, human rights situation in Afghanistan has also deteriorated. Prior to this, Mahmood Shah Habibi, the former Afghan Aviation Authority Chief had recently traveled to Afghanistan and is missing since August 10 this year.

After the Taliban’s hostile takeover, the social and economic status of the country’s girls has also deteriorated.

The report, titled Breaking point: Life for children one year since the Taliban takeover, shows that 97 percent of families are struggling to provide enough food for their children and that girls are eating less than boys. (ANI)

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Taliban Faces Backlash

Taliban Faces Backlash For Detaining Women’s Rights Activists

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has now demanded reasons for the continued detention of Zarifa Yaqoubi and other human rights activists, Khaama Press reported.

UNAMA has further added that it is seeking to access and contact the detained activists and know their whereabouts. UNAMA has also stressed that the detainees must have the right to contact their family members even when these activists have been detained in unknown locations by the Taliban, Khaama Press reported.
UNAMA has urged this when the harsh treatment of Taliban forces toward human rights activists extremely deteriorates the human rights situation in the country after its hostile takeover of the country.

Previously, Taliban forces had arrested woman journalists and human rights activists which included Zarifa Yaqoubi on November 3. During the arrest armed male and female officers of Taliban forces barged into a press conference held in Dasht-e-Barchi a neighbourhood in Kabul. Just after the arrest, the mobile phones of these detainees including Zarifa Yaqoubi were taken by force.

Yet another woman rights activist Farhat Popalzai had been allegedly detained on November 8. As there has been no information about Farhat’s whereabouts since November 8, Khama Press reported citing local sources.

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China about Pakistan and Afghanistan

China’s Confirmation In, No Money For Terror Conference Awaited; Pak, Afgh Not Participating

As the third edition of the ‘No Money For Terror’ Ministerial Conference is beginning from Friday, India on Thursday said confirmation from China is still awaited while Pakistan and Afghanistan are not participating in the international event.

However, a total of 78 countries and multilateral organisations, including Ministers from 20 countries, have confirmed their presence at the two-day conference being organised on November 18 and November 19 here in the national capital.
“A total of 78 countries and multilateral organisations are participating in the third edition of the ‘No Money For Terror’ Conference beginning from tomorrow (November 18),” said Dinkar Gupta, Director General, National Investigation Agency (NIA), India’s anti-terror agency which works under the Ministry of Home Affairs, while speaking in a press briefing.

Asked about the presence of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the conference, the NIA Director General said, “Pakistan and Afghanistan are not participating in this conference”.

On a query over the presence of China in the international event on terror financing, Secretary West (MEA) Sanjay Verma said “the participation of China is not yet confirmed”.

However, Verma clarified “China has been invited”.

Replying to another query about whether Pakistan was invited and did not come or it was not invited, Verma said, “China has been invited”.

Giving details of the event in the Curtain Raiser press conference on the third ‘No Money for Terror’ Conference, NIA DG said, “This is the third edition of ‘No money for Terror’ conference. The first was held in France in 2018… The second edition was organised in Melbourne, Australia in 2019.”

“India was offered to host the third conference but it could not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19,” said Gupta.

Noting “this is a very crucial way to stop terror financing and activities”, the NIA DG said a total 72 countries along with multilateral organisations are participating in the event”.

“India would be the 73rd country taking part in the conference.”

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will conclude the event and convey India’s determination in its fight against terrorism as well as its support systems for achieving success against it.

India will raise major issues like lack of universal consensus on laws regarding cybercrimes; weak control mechanisms of social media platforms and their misuse by terrorist and extremist groups, dark web, and crypto-currency in the international ‘No Money For Terror’ Ministerial Conference.

Crowdfunding; anonymous, decentralised, and untraceable nature of terror financing; effective multilateral and multi-stakeholder approach in identification and mitigation of threats of emerging terror-financing mechanisms; misuse of non-profit and nongovernment organisations as front structures for financing terror activities are among other serious agendas to be raised in the event.

This Conference aims to make progress in the discussions on combating terrorist financing held by the international community in the previous two Conferences in Paris and Melbourne. It also intends to include discussions on technical, legal, regulatory, and cooperation aspects of all facets of terrorism financing. It attempts to set the pace for other high-level official and political deliberations, focused on countering terrorist financing.

India will point out how additional challenges rise in terms of the inclusion and regulation of the private sector as well as the extension of technical assistance to smaller financial institutions.

India will also emphasize the cooperation among states carried out at the international, national, and regional levels which need coordinated responses from intergovernmental and national law enforcement agencies.

The focus of the conference will be on “more coordination” among all stakeholders.

The conference will further India’s efforts to build understanding and cooperation among nations in the fight against terror financing.

The hosting of this conference shows the importance being given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government to the issue of international terrorism as well as its zero-tolerance policy against this menace and having discussions on this issue in the international community.

Globally, countries have been affected by terrorism and militancy for several years. The pattern of violence differs in most theatres but is largely engendered by a tumultuous geo-political environment, coupled with prolonged armed sectarian conflicts. Such conflicts often lead to poor governance, political instability, economic deprivation, and large ungoverned spaces. The involvement of a complaint State often exacerbates terrorism, especially it’s financing.

India has suffered several forms of terrorism and its financing over more than three decades, hence it understands the pain and trauma of similarly impacted nations. In order to display solidarity with peace-loving nations and to help create a bridge for sustained cooperation on countering terrorist financing, India has hosted two global events in October – the annual General Assembly of the Interpol in Delhi and a special session of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee in Mumbai and Delhi. The forthcoming NMFT Conference will further our efforts to build understanding and cooperation among nations.

Discussions at the third ‘No Money For Terror’ Conference will be focussed on global trends in terrorism and terrorist financing, the use of formal and informal channels of funds for terrorism, emerging technologies and terrorist financing, and requisite international cooperation to address related challenges. (ANI)

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Afghan Truck Drivers Report

Afghan Truck Drivers Report Amid Rising Cases Of Robbery On Highways

Truck drivers in the Afghan province of Paktia raised concerns about rising cases of armed robberies on highways and said that they have been deprived of money and valuables at gunpoint, Pajhwok News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Despite rise in crimes across Paktia province, the security officials refuted the claims made by drivers of theft and said that measures have been taken to ensure security on highways.
Mohammad Khan, a truck driver on the Gardez-Patan highway, lamented about the situation and said that he has been stopped by burglars several times on the highways.

“I and other drivers have been looted by robbers several times. They take money, mobile phones, and other things, there is no one to stop them,” Khan said while raising the issue of the deteriorating situation of truck drivers in the south-eastern province of Paktia, according to Pajhwok News Agency.

Another driver Rozi Uddin stated, “I was carrying food items in my vehicle four days ago when armed robbers stopped me at about 9 pm in the Badam Khanda area of Sayed Karam district. They robbed me of 5,000 afghanis, a bag of rice, a tin of cooking oil, and other food items.”

He stated that hundreds of trucks travel on the highway every day, but they run into troubles owing to armed robberies. Several other Paktia citizens expressed similar sentiments, urging security agencies to strengthen patrols and construct security checkpoints along routes, reported Pajhwok News Agency.

Incidents of robberies have increased in the country since the Taliban seized power in August last year.

Afghanistan is currently experiencing its highest rate of unemployment and poverty since the Taliban seized power and the crime rate has also increased ever since. In turn, this has led to a rise in killings, suicides, and interpersonal disputes, as per reports by Khaama Press.

The war-torn country is currently grappling with a serious humanitarian crisis according to international assessments with more than 23 million in need of assistance.

Moreover, the situation of human rights in Afghanistan has worsened since the collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban’s return to power in August last year. Although fighting in the country has ended, serious human rights violations continue unabated, especially against women, children, and minorities.

With the US troop’s withdrawal from the country, large-scale violence has been unleashed creating political uncertainty in different parts of the country. At least 59 percent of the population is now in need of humanitarian assistance – an increase of 6 million people compared with the beginning of 2021, UNAMA reported. (ANI)

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Afghan Supreme Leader Orders

Afghan Supreme Leader Orders Full Enforcement Of Islamic law

Amid the growing concern over the human rights situation in Afghanistan, Taliban supreme leader Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada, has ordered judges to fully implement Islamic law.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the command from Haibatullah Akhundzada came after the leader met with a group of judges.
“Alaiqadar Amirul Momineen in a meeting of judges: Investigate the cases of thieves, kidnappers, and seditionists. Those cases that have met all the Shariah conditions of limitation and retribution, you are obliged to issue the limitation and retribution, because this is the order of the Sharia and my order and it is obligatory to act,” Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted on Sunday.

A Taliban spokesperson said the order of the leader of the Islamic Emirate will be implemented throughout the country. “Those who are involved in murder, kidnapping, and theft must be punished for their actions,” Taliban spokesperson Yousef Ahmadi told TOLOnews.

The Afghan news agency said this is the first time the Taliban leader issued a formal order to fully implement all aspects of Islamic law throughout the country since the Islamic group came to power.

The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021 and imposed policies severely restricting basic rights–particularly those of women and girls, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The Taliban have dismissed all women from leadership posts in the civil service and prohibited girls in most provinces from attending secondary school. Taliban decrees prohibit women from traveling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces to be covered in public–including women TV newscasters.

The Taliban have censored broad, limiting critical reporting, and detained and beaten journalists.

According to rights groups, Taliban forces have carried out revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former government officials and security force personnel. They have summarily executed people deemed affiliated with the Islamic State. (ANI)

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Open Schools For Girls

Afghanistan: Social Media Campaign Calls Out Taliban To Open Schools For Girls

While the Taliban continues to deprive Afghan women and girls of basic rights, a social media campaign called “Let Afghan Girls Learn” is doing the rounds in the country to call out the Islamic outfit to immediately open the gates of secondary and high schools for girls, TOLO news reported.

The campaign, according to the host, Obaidullah Bahir is a non-political move to call out the Taliban to open secondary schools for girls so they can gain entrance for the upcoming Kankor exam which is a university-level entrance and the girls in Kabul can no more attend it due to closure of schools.
“This is a non-political campaign. The goal is to invite different guests for a week, both Afghans and foreigners, knowledgeable professors and any people who will discuss the opening of schools,” TOLO news quoted the host of the campaign, Obaidullah Bahir as saying.

Describing the goal as to get the schools open for Afghan girls as soon as possible, the organizers of the event said the young girls and women have been compromising with their aspirations since the Taliban took control of the country.

According to some students, as girls’ schools were shut down, they were unable to take the Kankor exam, leaving their future uncertain. These students petitioned the Islamic Emirate to create secondary schools for girls so they can get admission for the next Kankor exam since they said this year “thousands of girls were banned from taking the Kankor Exam.”

Nazanin is a 12th-grade student and due to the closing of the schools for girls, she could not participate in the Kankor exam.

“We just want the school to be opened, we are worried about our future, we want the schools to be opened so that we can study,” said Nazanin, a student.

“The 11th grader who went to 12th is without a future, the 12th grader who is studying to prepare for Kankor is also unlucky,” said Lima, another student as she described her plight, according to TOLO news.

Taliban has imposed draconian restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and movement for women and girls.

The Taliban’s decision to ban female students above grade six from going to school has drawn widespread criticism at the national and international levels. Further, the Taliban regime which took over Kabul in August last year has curtailed women’s rights and freedoms, with women largely excluded from the workforce due to the economic crisis and restrictions.

As a result of this, women and girls in Afghanistan are facing a human rights crisis, deprived of the fundamental rights to non-discrimination, education, work, public participation, and health. Afghan women are staring at a bleak future due to a number of restrictions imposed by the Taliban governing aspects of their lives since taking over.

According to Human Rights Watch, women and girls are blocked from accessing health care as well. Reports suggest that women and girls facing violence have no escape route. Allowing girls into schools and other educational institutes has been one of the main demands of the international community. (ANI)

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Pak Records 51% Terror Attack In One Year Taliban Got Power In Afgh

Due to the rising power of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistani soil has witnessed a 51 percent increase in the number of terrorist attacks in the last year, Islamabad-based think tank, Pak Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS) findings revealed on Wednesday.

As a result of the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan in August last year, followed by Taliban capture, as many as 433 people were killed and 719 injured in 250 attacks in Pakistan till August 2022, Dawn reported citing the data published by the think tank.
Pakistan also witnessed 165 attacks that killed 294 people and wounded 598 others from August 2020 to August 14, 2021.

“The mindless jubilation over Taliban victory is now turning into a rude shock because the evolving security situation under the erratic Taliban rule indicates Pakistan is about to face yet another ordeal viz-a-viz terrorism,” the think-tank said.

Notably, the terror outfits with active presence in Afghanistan include Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda, Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), and East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), according to Dawn.

Quoting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the think tank reported that more than 300,000 Afghans have fled to Pakistan since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

In the latest findings, two papers were released which evaluated the withdrawal of US forces from the war-torn country and its impact on Pakistan in terms of terrorist violence as well as cross-border movements that are taking place due to the rise in terrorist activities in the region.

The data revealed that Pakistani authorities claim that about 60,000 to 70,000 Afghans entered Pakistan since August last year.

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, which was widely celebrated in Pakistan in August last year, has worsened the terror situation in the country.

In 2021, militants, mainly belonging to the Pakistani Taliban, killed 48 policemen and injured 44 others in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Most of the violent incidents took place in the last few months of the year (after the Taliban takeover).

Despite repeated attempts, Pakistan has been unable to get firm guarantees from the Afghan Taliban that they would take action against the Pakistani Taliban operating in Afghanistan.

Taliban also refuses to accept the Durand Line as the boundary between the two countries. (ANI)

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Mission LiFE Launch

Modi Holds Talks With UN Secy Gen: Mission LiFE Launch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Gujarat’s Ekta Nagar, Kevadia.

The duo paid floral tributes at the Statue of Unity at Kevadia and the UN Secretary-General joined Prime Minister Modi at the launch of the Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) booklet, logo, and tagline.
The visiting UN chief is on a three-day trip to India.

Envisaged by PM Modi, Mission LIFE is expected to be an India-led global mass movement that will nudge individual and collective action to protect and preserve the environment, said Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Mission LiFE will be India’s signature initiative at the United Nations and other international platforms for showcasing climate action and early achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) release.

Earlier on Wednesday, Guterres met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and exchanged views on pressing global concerns and challenges in multilateralism.

“Glad to welcome UN Secretary-General @antonioguterres in Ekta Nagar, Kevadia. Exchanged views on pressing global concerns and challenges in multilateralism,” Jaishankar tweeted.

UN Chief, on Wednesday, paid tributes to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai and addressed students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

Terming India a partner of choice of the UN, he said New Delhi has increased its impact on the international stage due to the donation of medicines, equipment, and vaccines at the height of Covid-19 to neighboring countries.

“From your donations of medicines, equipment, and vaccines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to your humanitarian assistance and development finance to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, you’re increasing impact on the international stage. India is today a partner of choice of the UN,” Guterres said at IIT Bombay.

The UN chief said India’s digital platform Cowin is the largest vaccination program for Covid-19, delivering more than 2 billion doses.

He further said that India was the first country to launch a single-country south-south cooperation support framework via the India-UN development framework partnership.

On India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping, Guterres said, “India is also the biggest provider of military and police personnel to UN missions, including the first all-women UN police contingent to a peacekeeping mission. Over 200,000 Indian men and women have served in 49 peacekeeping missions since 1948, a remarkable contribution to peace in the world. “

“As a member of UNSC for two years, India’s contributed significantly to promoting multilateral solutions and addressing crises,” he added. (ANI)

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Afghanistan Taliban

Taliban Official Assassinated In Afghanistan’s Faryab

Taliban official, Abdul Rahman Munawar, who also handles the responsibility of the economy for the province of Afghanistan’s Faryab, was assassinated on Saturday.

According to the Khaama Press citing local sources, the Taliban official was assassinated by unknown armed men when he was going to his house.
After the reports, the acting head of Information and Culture for Faryab province, Shamsullah Mohammad, confirmed the assassination news and said that the incident took place in a village in the Qaisar district of Faryab.

“Abdul Rahman Munawar, the head of economic affairs of the Taliban in this province, was killed by unknown armed men while he was on his way home,” Mohammad told the media.

The Taliban official also said that while the assassination’s perpetrators escaped the scene, the Islamic emirates have launched its investigation and started looking for the killers.

The Taliban forces are actively looking for the two unidentified armed men who killed Abdul Rahman Munawar.

Security officials for the Taliban have stated that they do not yet understand the motivation behind the murder and that no individual, group, or organization has claimed responsibility as of yet.

Since the Taliban seized power last year, the crime rate has increased, and even the group officials are not immune from becoming a victim.

Earlier, in June, Afghanistan’s National Resistance Front (NRF) claimed that it had shot down a Taliban helicopter and captured four of the group’s members in the country’s Panjshir province.

Sibghatullah Ahmadi, the Director of Strategic Communications and the spokesperson for the NRF, confirmed the news of the shooting of the Taliban’s helicopter in Panjshir province’s Arezoo valley, according to Khama Press.

Taking to Twitter, Sibghatullah Ahmadi said, “The brave forces of the National Resistance Front shot down a Taliban occupiers helicopter in the Arezoo valley of Panjshir”.

NRF also released pictures and videos of the helicopter in support of its claim, which soon went viral on the internet, reported Khaama Press.

Ahmadi further claimed that all the captured members of the “downed” helicopter are “in good condition” and treated in accordance with “Islamic instructions and humanitarian law”.

According to sources, the NRF forces have killed two Taliban militants in the operation, which is said to have included firing small and heavy bullets.

Although several freelance journalists contend to have received the confirmation of the Taliban officials on the matter, officials from the Taliban regime in Kabul have yet to officially confirm or deny the incident.

The NRF reorganized its forces in Panjshir province in the months of May and June and launched attacks on Taliban positions. (ANI)

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