Afghanistan News Update #20



An Afghan boy mourns next to a grave of his little brother who died due to an earthquake. (courtesy Ebrahim Noroozi—AP)

Originally published The Black Alliance for Peace.

With each passing month since the U.S./NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, the catastrophic impacts of the United States’ hegemonic grip over West and Central Asia, or the so-called “Middle East,” continue to be evident. At the same moment U.S. officials are facilitating an ongoing genocide in occupied Palestine, they're subjecting the people of Afghanistan to collective punishment.

In October, a series of powerful earthquakes killed and injured thousands in Herat. One month later, the U.S.-backed interim government of Pakistan initiated racist deportations of all Afghan nationals from the country. Despite the need for immediate humanitarian relief, the United States continues to levy sanctions and freeze Afghanistan's sovereign assets. Despite the need for an immediate normalization of relations, Thomas West, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan, maintains that this is “not going to be possible.” The United States intends to continue targeting the Afghan people with impunity.

The mission of the United States Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan is “to advance U.S. interests related to Afghanistan.” The United States was built on indigenous genocide, colonial conquest and violent repression, and the destructive humanitarian impact and economic devastation wrought by U.S. interests is plain to see–from Afghanistan, Palestine and Sudan to Haiti, Niger and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

As the conditions in Afghanistan worsen before what is expected to be another harsh winter–with nearly all Afghans unable to attain basic necessities like food, water and fuel due to the U.S.-led sanctions and asset freeze–it is imperative to connect what is unfolding in Afghanistan as a result of U.S.-led war and imperialism to the wider region and world. 




Sanctions Watch

November 2, 2023 by Pedro Labayen Herrera for Center for Economic and Policy Research

The U.S.-led sanctions and financial asset freeze hinder aid recovery efforts, and with the complete collapse of Afghanistan’s economy and a cash-strapped Taliban government, millions of refugees and migrants deported from Pakistan will be left with little to no food, water, fuel or shelter. 


‘What’s Wrong?’: The Silence of Pakistanis on Expulsion of Afghan Refugees

November 22, 2023 by Abid Hussain for Al Jazeera

As nearly 1.7 million Afghans are ordered to leave Pakistan, there is a silence on the streets. Racist state propaganda has produced a hatred and fear of Afghans in Pakistan, who already live in some of the poorest conditions there. In a recent poll, 84% of respondents “strongly approved” of the government's decision of mass-deportation. 


The Afghan Fund: The Limits of Sovereign Immunity & Recognition Law

October 6, 2023 by Matei Alexianu and Ali Hakim for LawFare

Half of the $7 billion in Afghanistan’s stolen assets is held by the United States in an international trust fund out of Switzerland. The conditions U.S. policy officials have set for the return of the funds are not only impossible to meet but violate international law.


A Week of Earthquakes Brings Death, Grief, and Trauma to Afghanistan’s Herat

October 16, 2023 by Ali M. Latifi for The New Humanitarian

The scale of the destruction caused by recent earthquakes in Herat, Afghanistan, especially in the district of Zinda Jan, are closely linked to it being one of the least developed and secure districts in Herat.

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