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Tahir Khan

Islamabad, Pakistan
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About Tahir
Tahir Khan is a freelance journalist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. I started journalism in 1990 and worked in several media outlets. I hosted TV programms for an Urdu and two Pashto-language TV channels. I write on foreign affairs and security issues. My area of interest is militancy, terrorism, Afghan conflict, Taliban, Daesh and extremism.
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Pakistan, Afghanistan to hold trade talks in Kabul as part of normalization efforts

24 Mar 2024  |  dawn.com
A Pakistani commerce ministry delegation is set to visit Kabul to discuss trade and transit issues with Afghan officials. The talks aim to address a ban on certain transit items by Pakistan, which has led to a decrease in transit trade and a shift towards Iran. The meetings come amidst efforts to normalize relations after recent Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan. Both Pakistani and Afghan traders have emphasized the importance of separating trade from political issues, with the goal of increasing trade volume, which has fallen from a target of $5 billion to $1.4 billion. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has suggested that Pakistan could block trade corridors to Afghanistan if anti-Pakistan terrorist activities are not curbed.

New government in Pakistan and increasing engagement with Afghanistan

16 Mar 2024  |  thepakistandaily.com
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reported that Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi invited his Pakistani counterpart Ishaq Dar to visit Afghanistan. This marks the fourth high-level contact between Afghanistan and Pakistan since the formation of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif's government in Pakistan, signaling a potential improvement in relations. Despite a recent attack in North Waziristan, efforts to enhance relations appear to be accelerating. Both foreign ministers have emphasized the importance of strengthening bilateral ties, especially in light of ongoing differences on various issues. The recent telephone conversation between Muttaqi and Dar, along with other diplomatic engagements, suggests that a high-level delegation may visit Afghanistan to further dialogue. The resolution of issues between Pakistan and Afghanistan is seen as reliant on dialogue, with media blame games not offering solutions. The ease of travel for Afghans into Pakistan for trade, medical treatment, and education is highlighted as a key aspect of improving relations, despite existing visa acquisition difficulties. Trade facilitation, particularly transit trade, is also noted as an area needing improvement, with Afghan traders increasingly turning to the Iranian port of Chabahar over Karachi.

JUI-F’s Fazl says held ‘comprehensive and inclusive’ talks with Taliban supreme leader

12 Jan 2024  |  dawn.com
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of JUI-F, confirmed meeting with Taliban supreme leader Haibatullah Akhunzada for comprehensive talks on issues affecting Afghanistan-Pakistan relations. Fazl's visit, amidst a busy election campaign, included meetings with key Taliban leaders and was described as highly successful by the JUI-F. The discussions aimed at cooperation in various fields and reducing tensions heightened by terrorist attacks, mostly claimed by the outlawed TTP. Afghan leaders expressed a desire for cordial relations and consensus on border affairs, while also raising concerns over Pakistan's treatment of Afghan refugees.

Afghan Taliban close Torkham gate: Pakistani officials

06 Dec 2023  |  thepakistandaily.com
The Afghan Taliban have closed the Torkham gate, a major route between Afghanistan and Pakistan, halting all vehicle traffic. The closure was in response to the installation of a 'Welcome Pakistan' signboard by Pakistani officials. This incident marks the second closure in three months, following a previous shutdown due to gunfire exchange between Afghan and Pakistani forces. Additionally, the outlawed Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan attacked check posts in the Pakistani Chitral district. Afghan border official Maulvi Asmatuulah Yaqoob expressed willingness to negotiate with Pakistan to resolve the issue.

In a major development, China accepts Taliban ambassador: FM Spox

24 Nov 2023  |  thepakistandaily.com
China has accepted Asadullah, known as Bilal Karimi, as the official ambassador of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, according to the Afghan government. Bilal Karimi, previously the deputy spokesman of the Afghan interim government, presented his credentials in Beijing on November 24, 2023. China's special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, welcomed the ambassador, emphasizing respect for Afghanistan's sovereignty and expressing a desire to assist in economic and infrastructure projects under the One Belt and One Road Initiative. The Taliban assured that Afghan soil would not be used against any country and highlighted the importance of China's role in investment and economic projects in Afghanistan.

Pakistan special envoy meets Afghan foreign minister in Kabul

22 Sep 2023  |  asianews.network
Pakistan's Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Ambassador Asif Khan Durrani, visited Kabul and held talks with the Taliban's acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, to address tensions over terrorist attacks by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The visit, which was unannounced, follows recent TTP attacks on Pakistani check posts and a border clash that led to a nine-day closure of the Torkham crossing. The meeting concluded with an agreement to form joint committees to resolve security issues and to keep major routes open. Both sides emphasized cooperation and avoiding negative statements. The Afghan government assured it would not allow relations to be spoiled, while Pakistan expressed readiness to cooperate in various areas, including resuming scholarships for Afghan students. The discussions also covered the treatment of Afghan refugees and transit trade. Pakistan has not yet issued a statement on the visit.

Pakistan special envoy meets Afghan foreign minister in Kabul

21 Sep 2023  |  dawn.com
Pakistan's Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Ambassador Asif Khan Durrani, visited Kabul and held discussions with the Taliban's acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, to address tensions arising from terrorist attacks by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and border skirmishes. The meeting aimed to establish joint committees to resolve security issues and ensure major routes remain open. Both sides emphasized cooperation and avoiding negative statements that could harm relations. The Afghan government assured it would not allow any disruption in bilateral ties, while Pakistan expressed readiness to cooperate in various areas, including resuming scholarships for Afghan students. The visit, unannounced and the first since recent TTP attacks and the Torkham border closure, is seen as an opportunity for direct interaction and understanding on bilateral issues, especially concerning TTP fighters on Afghan soil.

Two years on, Afghan Taliban still in consolidation phase

16 Aug 2023  |  www.dawn.com
The Afghan Taliban marked the second anniversary of Kabul's fall amidst challenges, notably the global non-recognition of their government. Senior leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, touted achievements without addressing the closure of girls' educational institutions. The Taliban's stance on women's education and an inclusive government hinders foreign recognition. Despite no formal recognition, international engagement continues, with the US and Russia maintaining dialogues. Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has consolidated control, and the Taliban maintain a 150,000-strong military. Relations with Pakistan are strained over the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan's activities. The Taliban seek to facilitate trade and border improvements, with plans for direct trade with China via the Wakhan Corridor.

Success of peace talks with TTP dependent on group's behavior, says Pakistan envoy

10 Aug 2023  |  dawn.com
Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan's special representative for Afghanistan, stated that the success of peace talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) hinges on the group's behavior. His remarks were made during a book launch in Islamabad. The Afghan Taliban have been helpful in facilitating these nascent-stage talks. The recent killing of TTP leader Omar Khalid Khorasani may impact the ongoing negotiations. Sadiq also advised against pressuring the Taliban government in Afghanistan, advocating for a path of reconciliation and inclusion. He supported the reopening of girls' higher secondary schools and urged the international community to stay engaged with Afghanistan, especially given the current humanitarian and economic crises. Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmed Khan, noted improvements in peace and security post-Taliban takeover, while former Afghan deputy foreign minister Jawed Ludin called for a shared regional vision for peace.

Afghan scholars reject armed opposition against Taliban, call for international recognition

15 Jul 2023  |  dawn.com
Nearly 3,000 Afghan religious scholars concluded a three-day meeting in Kabul, denouncing the Islamic State group and other armed resistance against the Taliban as 'rebellion.' They declared allegiance to Taliban leader Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada and called for international recognition of the Taliban government. The declaration emphasized the illegality of supporting ISIS, the need for justice, education, health, and economic growth, and the non-interference policy of the Taliban. The scholars also demanded the removal of sanctions and the unfreezing of Afghan assets.

Correction: Medication reconciliation on discharge in a tertiary care Riyadh Hospital: An observational study

18 May 2023  |  journals.plos.org
A correction notice was issued for an observational study on medication reconciliation on discharge in a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, clarifying that authors Sameh Awwad and Mohammed AlMotairi are affiliated with the Pharmaceutical Service Department at the Main Hospital of King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and not with previously listed affiliations.

Afghan FM Muttaqi urges Pakistan, TTP to hold talks

08 May 2023  |  www.dawn.com
Acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi encouraged Islamabad and the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to engage in negotiations to address Pakistan's security concerns. During his visit to Pakistan, Muttaqi spoke at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, denying that the TTP used Afghan soil for attacks and highlighting the Afghan government's efforts for regional peace. He also participated in trilateral talks with Pakistan and China, agreeing to prevent the use of their territories against each other. Additionally, Muttaqi discussed increasing bilateral trade with Pakistan to $3 billion and addressed the temporary ban on women's education in Afghanistan.

Bilawal’s visit to India for SCO meeting

20 Apr 2023  |  Pakistan Observer
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto is set to visit India for the SCO Foreign Ministers meeting in Goa on May 4-5, 2023, marking the first visit by a senior Pakistani leader to India since 2016. Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained, particularly after India revoked the special status of Jammu & Kashmir in 2019. Bilawal's visit, while for a multilateral forum, has sparked speculation about potential rapprochement. However, domestic politics and firm stances on both sides suggest major breakthroughs are unlikely. The PTI has criticized the visit, and Pakistan's establishment is cautious of India's intentions. Bilawal is expected to proceed carefully, focusing on the multilateral nature of the visit and Pakistan's commitment to the SCO. The visit may offer bilateral meeting opportunities with key SCO members, and despite tensions, it could signal Pakistan's willingness to engage in regional de-escalation. China's role in the SCO and regional initiatives is also highlighted as significant.

Pakistani envoy returns to Kabul more than 4 months after attack on embassy

17 Apr 2023  |  www.dawn.com
Pakistani Chargé d’Affaires to Afghanistan, Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani, has returned to Kabul over four months after surviving an assassination attempt. The attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul last December, claimed by the Islamic State Khorasan, left a security guard critically injured. Nizamani had been in Kabul for less than a month before the attack. Following the incident, China urged its nationals to leave Afghanistan after a separate attack on a Kabul hotel. Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid later announced the elimination of the Daesh network responsible for both attacks. Despite rumors, official sources confirmed that Pakistani diplomats were not evacuated, pending security assurances from the Afghan government.

Foreign Office 'looking into' reports of action by Pakistan in Afghanistan

09 Apr 2023  |  DAWN.COM
The Foreign Office of Pakistan is investigating reports of Pakistani forces' alleged actions in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Khost, which have reportedly resulted in civilian casualties. Afghan officials and residents have accused Pakistani forces of firing rockets and conducting a bombardment, with claims of over 40 fatalities. The Taliban and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have condemned the alleged attacks, urging for issues to be resolved politically. Pakistan maintains that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan uses Afghan soil for attacks on its border posts.

Taliban Leader Spells Out Policy on Foreign Militants in Afghanistan

05 Apr 2023  |  The Truth International
A senior Taliban leader, Maulvi Abdul Hakeem Sharee, has publicly addressed the future of foreign militants in Afghanistan, stating that the Taliban will not provide them with any space following their agreement with the US. This agreement, signed on February 29, includes a commitment from the Taliban not to allow groups like al-Qaeda to operate against the US and its allies from Afghan soil. Hakeem, who is also the Taliban chief justice, described the Doha agreement as a 'surrender' by the US rather than a peace deal, emphasizing that the US has acknowledged the Taliban's power. Despite the ceasefire with US-NATO forces, Hakeem defended the Taliban's continued war against Afghan forces, criticizing the Afghan government's cooperation with foreign invaders.

TTI Exclusive Interview

01 Apr 2023  |  The Truth International
In an exclusive interview with The Truth International, Dr. Muhammad Amin, a former aide to Osama bin Laden, discusses the willingness of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates to honor the peace agreement between the Taliban and the United States. The Taliban have pledged to prevent groups, including Al-Qaeda, from using Afghan soil to threaten the US and its allies. However, the US Department of Defense and a UN report claim that Al-Qaeda maintains close ties with the Taliban and has an interest in attacking US forces. The Taliban refute these claims, stating that most Al-Qaeda members have returned to their countries. A TTP spokesman confirmed receiving post-conflict instructions. Dr. Amin, from Nangarhar province, doubts the authenticity of UN and US reports, suggesting that the UN benefits from the ongoing conflict. He believes that Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is not a significant threat and accuses the US of exaggerating its presence to justify their troops' continued stay. Amin also discusses the historical context of foreign fighters in Afghanistan and the Taliban's stance on sheltering them.

Taliban cannot allow their allied foreign militants any space to operate from Afghanistan after making peace with the United States, a senior Taliban leader has announced.

01 Apr 2023  |  The Truth International
A senior Taliban leader, Maulvi Abdul Hakeem Sharee, has declared that the Taliban will not allow foreign militants to operate from Afghanistan, in line with their peace agreement with the United States. This statement comes amidst ongoing intra-Afghan negotiations to determine Afghanistan's political future. An audio recording of Hakeem's statement was released, where he emphasizes that the agreement with the US is based on expediency and is in accordance with Sharia law. He argues that providing sanctuary to foreign militants would prolong the US invasion and lead to moral degradation among Afghans. Hakeem also defends the Taliban's continued fight against Afghan forces and describes the Doha agreement as a US surrender to the Taliban. He highlights the release of 5,000 prisoners as a major achievement of the deal. Hakeem is a prominent cleric within the Taliban, with a significant following in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

DSP among 4 police officers martyred in Lakki Marwat blast

30 Mar 2023  |  www.dawn.com
A deputy superintendent of police and three constables were killed in an IED blast on Pirwala Road in Lakki Marwat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as they were responding to a terrorist attack at the Saddar police station. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack. The incident was condemned by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who paid tribute to the officers and emphasized the importance of eliminating terrorism. The attack is part of a surge in terrorist activities in Pakistan, particularly after peace talks with the TTP broke down.

Pakistan carried out intelligence-based anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan, FO confirms

20 Mar 2023  |  dawn.com
The Foreign Office of Pakistan confirmed that Pakistan conducted intelligence-based anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan targeting the Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which have been responsible for terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The operations followed a recent attack in North Waziristan that killed seven Pakistani soldiers. Afghan spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the airstrikes, alleging civilian casualties and warning of severe consequences. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) claimed Afghanistan is providing safe havens to terrorists. Cross-border clashes in Kurram District resulted in a Pakistani captain's death. The ISPR also reported killing eight terrorists, including a high-value target, in North Waziristan. Former officials and journalists commented on the escalating tensions, while Pakistan accused the TTP of receiving funding from India through Afghan proxies.

3 cops martyred in terrorist attack on Khyber checkpost

16 Mar 2023  |  dawn.com
Three police constables were killed in a terrorist attack at the Takhta Beg checkpost in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber tribal district, claimed by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The assailants used hand grenades and a sub-machine gun, and a suicide bomber detonated himself during the attack. Khyber District Police Officer Imran Khan described it as a coordinated attack. KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan condemned the attack and directed police reinforcements. The incident follows a pattern of increased terrorist activities in Pakistan, particularly in KP and Balochistan, with the TTP executing over 100 attacks after peace talks with the government faltered.

IoT-Enabled Campus Prosumer Microgrid Energy Management, Architecture, Storage Technologies, and Simulation Tools: A Comprehensive Study

13 Feb 2023  |  mdpi.com
The study presents a comprehensive review of energy management systems in campus prosumer microgrids, considering energy management schemes, optimization techniques, architectures, storage types, and design tools. It analyzes a decade of past works, discussing the pros and cons of deterministic and metaheuristic methods, and the installation of smart grids in campuses worldwide. The paper emphasizes the need for efficient energy management techniques and tools to make grids more economical and stable, and it explores the use of IoT technologies for communication and signaling in smart grids. The research concludes that AI is an optimal tool compared to conventional tools, and future technical papers will focus on advanced techniques and system uncertainties.

Increasing pollution badly affecting water bodies in Bhadarwah

14 Jan 2023  |  www.greaterkashmir.com
The water bodies in Bhadarwah Valley are facing severe pollution due to the booming population and lack of proper sewerage systems. Local residents, religious bodies, and environmentalists have raised concerns about the pollution, particularly in the Neel Ganga River. Despite repeated requests, the administration has not taken concrete measures to address the issue. The pollution has led to health hazards and the disruption of aquatic ecosystems. The administration has now imposed section 144 to take strict action against offenders.

Afghanistan urges Islamabad to avoid issuing ‘baseless, provocative’ statements

03 Jan 2023  |  www.dawn.com
Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid called for good relations with Pakistan while urging Islamabad to avoid provocative statements. This follows Pakistan's National Security Committee's demand for the Taliban to deny safe haven to terrorist groups. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif emphasized Afghanistan's responsibility to control terrorism, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah indicated potential action against TTP militants in Afghanistan. Mujahid denied sheltering TTP leaders, stating they reside in Pakistan. The TTP has been linked to a surge in terrorist attacks in Pakistan, with a ceasefire ending in November 2022.

Motorcyclist dies in Thathri accident

11 Nov 2022  |  greaterkashmir.com
A 29-year-old motorcyclist was killed and the pillion rider injured in a road accident after their two-wheeler was allegedly hit from the rear by an army truck on the Batote-Kishtwar national highway near Thathri town. The incident occurred on Saturday morning, and the victims, both laborers from Daraie village, were en route to Bhaderwah for work. The pillion rider, Mohammad Sharief, sustained minor injuries and recounted the event, stating that the accident happened while they were overtaken by the army truck.

As Swat residents protest return of ‘Pakistani Taliban’, politicians squabble

15 Oct 2022  |  scroll.in
Residents of Pakistan's Swat region protested for over 40 hours demanding protection against militants after an attack on a school van. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has resurfaced in the area, causing unrest and fear among locals. Despite military operations in the past and ongoing negotiations in Kabul, the situation remains tense with recent attacks, including the killing of a peace committee member. The federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments are politically divided over the issue, with the latter being criticized for its handling of security. The TTP's activities and the Afghan Taliban's role as mediators add complexity to the situation, while the TTP's claim of an attack in Lahore indicates a potential spread of their activities.

Golf club worker murdered after argument about loud music, court told

31 Jul 2022  |  inkl.com
A man was murdered following an argument over loud music on the Elizabeth line after watching an Arsenal game. The confrontation escalated when the defendant, Virgo, followed the victim, Tom Parker, off the train and struck him with a metallic horseshoe, causing fatal injuries. Virgo admitted to manslaughter and possession of an offensive weapon but denied murder. The trial at Reading Crown Court, presided over by Judge Amjad Nawaz, continues with the prosecution alleging Virgo intended serious harm.

Islamic marriage and the English legal system: Nikkah

22 Jun 2022  |  Lexology
Islamic marriage, or Nikkah, is not recognized as a valid marriage under English law unless it is registered in accordance with the Marriage Act 1949. This article explores the complexities faced by Muslim clients in the UK who have only undergone a Nikkah, highlighting the legal challenges and the need for proper registration to ensure financial security in the event of a divorce. The article also discusses the differences in legal interpretations among the four main Sunni schools of thought and the implications of recent legal cases, such as Akhter v Khan, on the recognition of Islamic marriages in the UK.

Chinese FM lands in Kabul on unannounced visit after OIC moot

24 Mar 2022  |  www.dawn.com
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Kabul for an unannounced visit, meeting with Taliban officials including acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar and acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. Discussions focused on bilateral matters, economic cooperation, and Chinese investment in Afghanistan. Yi assured non-interference in Afghan affairs and opposed sanctions, while the Taliban promised that Afghan territory would not be used against any country. The visit precedes a conference in Beijing on assisting the Taliban government and follows Yi's attendance at the OIC conference in Islamabad. This is Yi's first visit to Kabul since the Taliban's takeover in August.
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