Taliban's urgent appeal to West after deadly earthquake ravages Afghanistan

Published on Jun 26, 2022 05:53 AM IST

The 6.1-magnitude quake that struck the east of the country early on Wednesday destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes and injured about 2,000 people.

Taliban's urgent appeal to West after deadly earthquake ravages Afghanistan(TOLO news)
Taliban's urgent appeal to West after deadly earthquake ravages Afghanistan(TOLO news)
Reuters |

Afghanistan's Taliban administration on Saturday called on international governments to roll back sanctions and lift a freeze on central bank assets following the earthquake that killed more than 1,000 people and left thousands homeless.

The 6.1-magnitude quake that struck the east of the country early on Wednesday destroyed or damaged 10,000 homes and injured about 2,000 people, straining the country's fragile health system and posing a major test for the ruling Taliban.

"The Islamic Emirate is asking the world to give the Afghans their most basic right, which is their right to life and that is through lifting the sanctions and unfreezing our assets and also giving assistance," Abdul Qahar Balkhi, foreign affairs ministry spokesman, told Reuters in an interview.

Also read: After powerful quake in Afghanistan, India sends help: ‘True 1st responder’

While humanitarian aid continues to flow to Afghanistan, funds needed for longer-term development were halted when the Taliban seized control of the country in August 2021 as foreign forces withdrew.

The administration of the hard line Islamist group is not formally recognised by international governments.

Billions of U.S. dollars in Afghan central bank reserves remain frozen overseas and sanctions hamper the banking sector as the West pushes for concessions on human rights.

Western governments are particularly concerned about the rights of women and girls to work and study under Taliban rule. In March, the group stopped high schools for girls from opening.

Asked about the issue, Balkhi said Afghans' right to life-saving funds should be the priority, adding that the international community handled concerns over human rights differently depending on the country involved.

"Is this rule universal? Because the United States just passed an anti-abortion law," Balkhi said, referring to the Supreme Court's overturning on Friday of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that recognised a woman's right to an abortion.

Also read: Pakistan prepares to play spoiler in India-Afghan ties again

"Sixteen countries in the world have taken away the rights of religious minorities, especially Muslims ... are they also facing sanctions because they are violating rights?," he asked.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Saturday the U.S. government was working on "complicated questions about the use of these (frozen central bank) funds to ensure they benefit the people of Afghanistan and not the Taliban."

She added that the U.S. Agency for International Development was providing assistance with humanitarian organisations.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Security forces patrol near the Hayat Hotel after an attack by Al-Shabaab fighters in Mogadishu on August 20, 2022.

    Eight civilians killed in Somali hotel bombed by Al-Qaeda linked outfit

    At least eight civilians have been confirmed dead in an attack by Islamist militants on a hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu, an official said Saturday, as security forces continued to battle gunmen holed up inside. Fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab group stormed the popular Hayat Hotel on Friday evening in a hail of gunfire and bomb blasts.

  • A man cleans water tanks holding fresh seafood for sale at Lei Yue Mun in Hong Kong on Friday.

    Fish, crabs undergoing Covid PCR test? Watch viral video

    As Covid-19 infections are increasing in China, the country has found unique ways to grapple with the situation. Recently, a video went viral on social media where Chinese authorities could be seen increasing the scope of the PCR test beyond human beings. The measures come against the fear that the illegal trade of animals could contribute to the worsening situation of the virus outbreak in the country.

  • Monkeypox can spread by touching objects that have been contaminated by the disease's fluids or lesions as well as direct physical contact with the lesions.

    Monkeypox virus can stay on computer mouse, coffee machine for days: CDC study

    A new study on monkeypox by the US disease control body CDC now suggests that the virus can linger on many common household objects for several days despite regular disinfecting. For this study, a home shared by two monkeypox patients was taken up. Researchers found the virus in 70 per cent of high-contact areas 20 days after their symptoms began. These included couches, blankets, a coffee machine, computer mouse and the light switch.

  • The path of flight ET343 over Addis Ababa, as recorded by Flightradar24. When the plane overflew the runway, the autopilot disconnected, triggering an alarm, which finally woke the pilots, who then turned the plane around. (Courtesy: flightradar24)

    Ethiopian Airlines pilots fall asleep on flight, miss landing

    New Delhi: Pilots of an aircraft of Ethiopian Airlines fell asleep mid-air and missed landing at Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, commercial aviation news website Aviation Herald reported late on Thursday. The pilots were later suspended pending an investigation, according to news agency Bloomberg. The incident reportedly took place on Monday when the aircraft was flying from Sudan's Khartoum and was supposed to land at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa.

  • Michael Gove in a file photo. (Reuters)

    Ex-UK minister Michael Gove backs Rishi Sunak for next PM

    Former British cabinet minister Michael Gove on Friday endorsed Rishi Sunak for prime minister and announced an end of his frontline political career, he said in an op-ed in The Times. Gove wrote in the op-ed that he thinks Liz Truss' campaign for 10 Downing Street "has been a holiday from reality." Sunak has the right arguments as they come from his experience of being the chancellor during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gove added.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now