Afghanistan update; Gov. halts projects as revenues fall

TEHRAN, Aug. 01 (MNA) – The latest developments in Afghanistan say that the Kabul government stopped development projects nationwide due to falling incomes, while the Taliban battle for major cities in violation of the Doha agreement has intensified.

Afghanistan Ministry of Finance in an official note requested all ministries to halt or suspend their development projects due to a decline in national revenue.

According to Khaama Press news website, the move comes parallel to the announcement of a decrease in the amount of national revenue due to the fall of the bulk of border crossings of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

The Taliban are now controlling Dand-e-Patan port in Paktia province, AiKhanum in Takhar province, SherKhan in Kunduz province, Islam Qala and Tor Ghundi in Herat province, Abu Nasr Farahi in Farah province and Spin Boldak dry port and crossing in Kandahar province, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the government deployed more forces to the western city of Herat on Sunday a day after the Taliban advanced closer to the central parts of the city, Tolo News said.

This comes a day after Mohammad Ismail Khan, former mujahedeen leader and senior member of Jamiat-e-Islami who leads the fight against the Taliban in Herat along with scores of public resistance forces, criticized the Ministry of Defense for delay in sending the reinforcements to Herat. 

Two major border crossings on the western border with Iran are now in the Taliban's control. The government had announced that it would launch an operation to retake the border markets but the Taliban instead staged a major assault on Herat city.

The Russian defense minister also expressed deep concerns over the movement of Daesh fighters from Syria and Libya to Afghanistan, while the Chinese officials have expressed hopes that the Taliban will fight against the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement" (ETIM) militants.

The Taliban has denied involvement with the international insurgent groups.

According to Tolonews, Fawzia Koofi, a member of the peace negotiating team representing the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the talks with the Taliban, said earlier this week that the presence of foreign Taliban in the northern regions of Afghanistan, particularly along the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border, is threatening the security of those areas.

She called for swift action to neutralize them.

Meanwhile, Pakistani foreign minister Qureshi has reportedly said that Afghan forces, including the Taliban had the capacity to combat Daesh in Afghanistan.

However, President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday speaking during a "digital cabinet meeting" criticized the Taliban and said, “The Taliban has not changed. They don’t have the will for peace or for development in the country.”

KI

News Code 176808

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