Mapping Afghanistan’s untapped natural resources

Source: Al Jazeera

Deep beneath the ground in one of the world’s poorest countries sits at least $1 trillion of untapped mineral resources, according to a report published by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum [PDF]. The South Asian country of 38 million people is estimated to hold more than 2.2 billion tonnes of iron ore, 1.3 billion tonnes of marble and 1.4 million tonnes of rare earth minerals.

Read full article

Debunked: Has Afghanistan’s former vice-president fled the country with ‘stolen money’?

Source: France 24 – The Observers

Photos of Amrullah Saleh, the former vice-president of Afghanistan, sitting in what looks to be a bank have been circulating online since September 20. While Saleh says he’s in hiding in the Panjshir Valley, pro-Taliban accounts and even some Afghan media claim these photos show him at a bank in the United Arab Emirates, after fleeing with “money stolen from Afghans”. But it turns out these photos aren’t recent. 

Read full article

MoD shared more than 250 Afghan interpreters’ details on email

Source: BBC

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has launched an investigation into a data breach involving the email addresses of dozens of Afghan interpreters who worked for British forces.

More than 250 people seeking relocation to the UK – many of whom are in hiding – were mistakenly copied into an email from the Ministry of Defence.

Their email addresses could be seen by all recipients, showing people’s names and some associated profile pictures.

The MoD has apologised in a statement.

Read full article

Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting

Source: The Intercept

Few lawmakers are as outspoken about the end of the war in Afghanistan as Michael Waltz, a Republican from Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

In recent weeks, Waltz has called on President Joe Biden to “reverse course,” relaunch military operations in the region, and “crush the Taliban offensive by committing American air power” supported by “special forces.” The Florida congressman has warned darkly of an “Al-Qaeda 3.0” and stated that no negotiations should take place with the Taliban “until the situation is stabilized militarily.”

Read full article

Women’s rights activist to leaders at UN: Don’t let Taliban fool you

Source: Reuters

UNITED NATIONS – Afghan rapper and activist, Sonita Alizadeh, fled her homeland with her family when it was last ruled by the Taliban more than two decades ago – when women could not work, had to cover their faces and girls were banned from school.

She urged world leaders on Tuesday to stand up for the rights of women and girls now the Taliban had returned to power.

Read full article

UN: Afghanistan’s Taliban want to address General Assembly

Source: Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Who should represent Afghanistan at the United Nations this month? It’s a complex question with plenty of political implications.

The Taliban, the country’s new rulers for a matter of weeks, are challenging the credentials of their country’s former U.N. ambassador and want to speak at the General Assembly’s high-level meeting of world leaders this week, the international body says.

Read full article

Qatar’s ruler urges world leaders not to boycott Taliban

Source: Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The ruling emir of Qatar, whose nation has played a pivotal role in Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal, urged world leaders gathered at the United Nations on Tuesday against turning their backs on the country’s Taliban rulers.

Speaking from the podium of the U.N. General Assembly, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani stressed “the necessity of continuing dialogue with Taliban because boycott only leads to polarization and reactions, whereas dialogue could bring in positive results.”

Read full article