Monthly Archives: April 2017

Recent Events in Afghanistan: MOAB

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Good morning from Cambridge, wishing you all a great week ahead!

The last few weeks have been rather troubling and turbulent in Afghanistan. There has been a lot of political unrest in the country, and relations with Pakistan have also been quite strained recently, which has also put pressure on the government as trade has been interrupted and civilians’ livelihood his being affected. More recently, however, the United States military, under the direct orders of President Donald Trump, carefully organized the drop of a MOAB on the Achin district in Afghanistan, which has had a number of repercussions, both physically, socially, and politically.

About the MOAB:

On April 13th the Untied States military dropped its “most powerful conventional bomb” on caves in the Achin district that, based on United States intelligence, was used by affiliates of the Islamic State.

What to know about the MOAB bob?

  • Nicknamed the “mother of all bombs”
  • America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb
  • Weighs 21,600 lbs
  • Targeted ISIS tunnel and cave complex and personnel in Afghanistan

To read more please visit this page.

Results of the MOAB:

“Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, said initial information indicated that 36 militants had been killed and three large caves destroyed in the bombing in Nangarhar Province. However, Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor’s office, said 82 militants had been killed.”

The blast was felt and heard by tens of miles away, a tribal elder who lives less than two miles from the targeted area believed that his village had been the target as they physically felt the blast, and shrapnel and rocks as heavy as five pounds fell on his house, the tribal leader said.

To read more please visit this page.

Reactions to the MOAB: 

The MOAB, though carefully orchestrated by the United States sparked international controversy. Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai called the use of the MOAB as a “brutal act” against the sovereignty of Afghanistan and criticized President Trump’s orders and advocated for the immediate removal of American troops from Afghanistan. Although it has been claimed that 90 Islamic State militants were killed by the weapon, Karzai called the event “an inhumane act, a brutal act against an innocent country, against innocent people, against our land, against our sovereignty, against our soil and against our future… A bomb of that magnitude has consequences for the environment, for lives, for our plants, for our water, for our soil – this is poison, a poison that will be there for years.” Karzai is not the only person to speak out on the attack, many are criticizing the United States’ aggressive approach in trying to eliminate ISIS, especially since it is costing innocent civilians their livelihood as well as the livelihood of future generations.

To read more please visit this page.

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Recent events in Pakistan and Afghanistan

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Good morning from sunny Cambridge and wishing you a happy Wednesday. Today we would like to summarize recent events that have taken place in either Afghanistan or Pakistan respectively, or events that involve both countries.

Afghanistan:

Afghanistan tries to use natural resources to gain American support 

Under the new administration President Donald Trump has frightened many world leaders and their constituents, especially those who hail from or represent predominantly Muslim countries. Afghanistan has been made aware of that, and therefore the government is trying to harness support and grab attention of President Donald Trump by “dancing its massive and untouched wealth of minerals, including lithium the silvery metal used in mobile phone and computer batteries that is considered essential to modern life.” That is not all Afghanistan has to offer, in addition to the lithium it includes coal, copper, chromite, mercury, zinc, gems, including rubies and emeralds, as well as gold and silver.

Lithium and the mining of other raw materials and minerals could be extremely beneficial to Afghan’s, and potentially raise some much needed capital for the country. However, there is a catch. With the security situation in Afghanistan working and the Taliban seizing territory, it appears that the regions with the greatest lithium deposits are currently too dangerous to enter, let alone mine in. Despite the facts, Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani are hoping that they can catch Washington and President Trump’s attention, since the country has experienced enough turmoil and wants to have some recognition in the international community and give Afghanistan the credibility they need to revamp their image, especially to the United States and the new administration.

To read more please visit this link.

Pakistan:

Deadly Blast Near Lahore Targets Pakistan Census Workers

A deadly blast took place on Wednesday March 5th in the city of Lahore situated in East Pakistan. The blast was targeting the country’ first national census in nearly two decades, and it killed four army soldiers, nice air force member and a civilian. In addition to the casualties 17 others were wounded.

To read more please visit this link.

Afghanistan and Pakistan: 

Afghanistan Reacts Angrily to Pakistan’s Fencing of the Border

As mentioned in the previous blog post, there tensions between India and Pakistan have been escalating over the last few months. It has gotten to the point where Pakistan has started fencing off the border between the two countries for reasons of being concerned about national security. Afghanistan is calling on Pakistan to stop this, otherwise the fear is that they will resort to military action. Islamabad’s “assertions that militants are entering Pakistan from the Afghan side to launch terrorist attacks in the neighboring country (Afghanistan) as per ministry spokesman Mostaghani are inaccurate and an excuse on their part to not open borders back up.

Afghanistan has also stated that the closing of the border is “unjustified” since the Durand Line, the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan established in 1896, serves both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghans are seeing the building of a fence as a violation of Afghanistan’s sovereignty but Pakistani officials argue that “the fencing is being undertaken “well within” their territory and once completed, will address mutual security concerns and improve understanding between the two countries.” Furthermore, Islamabad has also “dismissed Afghan objections over the international status of the Durand Line, saying Pakistan inherited it when the country gained independence from Britain in 1947.”

To read more please visit this link.