Islamic State Targets Chinese language Pursuits In Afghanistan


​Welcome to The Azadi Briefing, a brand new RFE/RL publication that unpacks the important thing points in Afghanistan. To subscribe, click on right here.

I’m Abubakar Siddique, a senior correspondent at RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi. Right here’s what I’ve been monitoring and what I’m maintaining a tally of within the days forward.

The Key Problem

The Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-Okay) extremist group carried out a lethal gun and bomb assault on a Chinese language-owned lodge in central Kabul on December 12. The Taliban stated it killed all three attackers, and that two overseas nationals had been calmly wounded.

Beijing contradicted the Taliban by saying that at the very least 5 Chinese language lodge visitors had been injured within the assault. Greater than 30 Chinese language residents had been within the lodge on the time of the assault, in accordance with a main Chinese language businessman in Afghanistan. The Emergency Hospital in Kabul stated it had obtained three lifeless our bodies and 18 wounded.

Why It’s Vital: The assault on the Kabul Longan Resort was the primary main assault on Chinese language pursuits in Afghanistan for the reason that Taliban seized energy final 12 months.

The assault has helped make clear Beijing’s rising enterprise actions in Afghanistan, which have largely gone underneath the radar. China has been one of many few international locations on the earth keen to commerce with the Taliban authorities, which has not been acknowledged by any nation. Chinese language nationals have develop into the biggest expatriate neighborhood in Afghanistan underneath Taliban rule. It has develop into widespread to see representatives of Chinese language state-owned corporations visiting ministries and holding talks with Taliban officers.

IS-Okay’s assault on the Chinese language-owned lodge in Kabul comes after assaults on the Russian and Pakistani embassies in latest months. China, Russia, and Pakistan are among the many few international locations which have maintained a diplomatic mission in Kabul. They’re additionally among the many Taliban’s key political and financial companions.

Observers have stated that IS-Okay’s assaults may very well be an try to undermine the Taliban’s ties with Beijing, Moscow, and Islamabad and scuttle efforts by the Kabul authorities to draw worldwide commerce and funding. IS-Okay seems to have achieved its quick objective. Following the lodge assault, Beijing suggested its residents to go away Afghanistan “as quickly as potential.” The transfer may see an exodus of Chinese language expats.

What’s Subsequent: IS-Okay militants have posed a direct risk to the Taliban’s rule and legitimacy. Prior to now 16 months, IS-Okay has staged lethal, high-profile assaults which have undermined Afghanistan’s new rulers. The extremist group is prone to proceed attacking the pursuits of the Taliban and its key overseas allies in Afghanistan.

The Week’s Finest Tales

Taliban Increased Schooling Minister Nida Mohammad Nadim has sparked a flurry of controversies since his appointment in October. The hard-line cleric has described feminine schooling as un-Islamic and in opposition to Afghan values. Observers informed RFE/RL that Nadim’s appointment and rise inside the Taliban counsel that the militant group is planning to impose a blanket ban on feminine schooling.

Mohammad Sherzad retains 1000’s of scorpions on his “farm” north of Kabul. Scorpion venom can be utilized in numerous medical merchandise and is the most costly liquid on the earth. On this Radio Azadi video, Sherzad stated tat the closure of Western embassies for the reason that Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has made exporting tougher.

What To Preserve An Eye On

Pakistani safety forces and Taliban fighters clashed close to the important thing Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing on December 15. Islamabad stated at the very least one Pakistani civilian was killed and over a dozen wounded.

Cross-border shelling and gunfire killed at the very least six Pakistani civilians and a Taliban fighter on December 11 close to the identical crossing, which connects Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar with Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. In November, the border crossing was closed for per week after a Taliban fighter shot a Pakistani border guard.

Why It’s Vital: The clashes mirror the rising tensions between the Taliban and Pakistan, who’re longtime allies. The alliance, which dates again to the emergence of the Taliban within the mid-Nineties, has come underneath rising pressure as their pursuits have diverged.

In latest months, Pakistan has accused the Taliban of harboring the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, which has waged a 15-year insurgency in opposition to Islamabad. The Taliban has hit again by accusing Islamabad of allowing its air area for use by U.S. drones to strike targets in Afghanistan.

Observers have stated that the Taliban can be enjoying to a home viewers by attempting to indicate that they aren’t Pakistani proxies, an accusation that many Afghans have leveled in opposition to the militants.

Analysts say that Pakistan and the Taliban have incentives to cooperate regardless of their variations, citing the big commerce quantity between Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, to date, that has did not curb the fixed border clashes and disagreement.

That’s all from me for now. Don’t overlook to ship me any questions, feedback, or suggestions that you’ve.

Till subsequent time,

Abubakar Siddique

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