Opinion: Not too late to preserve fragile progress in Afghanistan
14 August 2021 | 6:30 am
The international community must change its course in Afghanistan and stand by the people of the country to preserve the fragile progress that has been made over the past two decades and avoid even greater tragedy.
Two weeks from now, France will know who is into the second round of the presidential election. The candidates will then enter a crucial final two-week period when the gloves are expected to come off in the battle to win votes. This weekend saw a last-ditch attempt by far-right pundit Eric Zemmour to win back support after losing momentum. Meanwhile, the far left’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon is rising in the polls but incumbent Emmanuel Macron, the favourite to win, remains well ahead. Andrew Smith of Chichester University spoke to us about where the campaign stands.
The Taliban is cracking down on foreign media in Afghanistan. DW programming rebroadcast by partners in Pashto and Dari will be banned. The BBC said that bulletins in Pashto, Persian and Uzbek have been removed.
Beijing and Moscow have agreed to broaden bilateral cooperation and speak on global affairs "with a united voice," Russia said after talks between both countries' foreign ministers.
A UN donor conference seeking to raise $4.4 billion says the funds will go directly to aid agencies and not through the Taliban. Donors voiced concerns after the Taliban banned girls from returning to secondary schools.
The Taliban are taking steps to halt Afghanistan's opium trade even as the country's economy crumbles. It is unclear how the Taliban government plans to replace this illicit source of income for millions of farmers.
A group of children was playing in a field in Herat when two bombs went off. In a separate incident in southern Afghanistan, at least five children were killed when they found an unexploded shell.
Islamabad has issued a warning to Afghanistan's Taliban leadership, accusing it of giving shelter to militants. In turn, the Taliban claim Pakistani bombings recently killed dozens of civilians on Afghan soil.
Police say scores were injured when a bomb ripped through a mosque in Kunduz during Friday prayers. The attack came as an "Islamic State" affiliate claimed responsibility for several earlier bomb attacks.
The Taliban have further curbed women's rights with their latest veil compulsion decree. Afghanistan's civil society faces an uphill task to challenge the group without adequate support from the international community.
The "Maghreb-Orient des livres" book festival takes place in Paris this weekend, focusing on literature from north Africa and the Middle East. One of those taking part is Jérémie Dres, the author of the graphic novel "The day I met bin Laden". It features the story of two young French men who travelled from France to Afghanistan in the spring of 2001, just months before the 9/11 terror attacks. The pair then found themselves trapped in Afghanistan and were later sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The author joined us for Perspective to tell us more.
Bombs and weapons used in Afghanistan by militants and US forces are making their way into India-administered Kashmir, raising fears that they could bolster an Islamist insurgency in the area.
The Taliban has made face veils mandatory for all Afghan women appearing in public, including those on television. This edict was ignored by presenters on Saturday, but they relented a day later.
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