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Wednesday,01-December-2021

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Pak tries to mediate amidst tensions between Tajikistan, Taliban

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With tensions mounting between the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has stepped in to defuse tensions, Dawn reported.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan held telephonic conversation with President Em­o­m­ali Rahmon of Tajikistan today,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Saturday.

The call took place as Taliban officials and Tajik government exchanged barbs and reports emerged that Tajik forces held parades in regions bordering Afghanistan last week in a show of power and Taliban sent thousands of fighters to the border with Afghanistan’s northeastern neighbour, the Dawn news report said.

Tajikistan has taken a tough line on Taliban regime and has been critical of human rights violations committed by it, particularly in Panjshir province.

Khan had on his return from Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit in Tajikistan on September 18 announced that he was persuading Taliban to form an inclusive government by including people from other ethnicities.

He had on this occasion specially referred to his conversation with President Emomali on this issue.

“After mtgs in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours and especially a lengthy discussion with Tajik­istan’s President Emomali Rahmon, I have initiated a dialogue with the Taliban for an inclusive Afghan government to include Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks,” Khan had then tweeted.

Taliban, however, see Tajikistan’s criticism of them and the composition of their government as meddling in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, the report said.

In an interview last week, Afghan Dputy Prime Mnister Abdul Salaam Hanafi said: “We will not allow any neighbouring nation to interfere in the internal matters of Afghanistan.”

Ethnic Tajiks make up the second biggest ethnicity in Afghanistan.

They are nearly 27 per cent of Afghanistan’s population.

Most of the groups opposing Taliban have, meanwhile, taken up refuge in Tajikistan.

International News

Global campaign under Xi Jinping to exploit extradition treaties

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A new report documents hundreds of cases of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) international harassment campaign against Taiwanese nationals via deportations and extraditions.

The report by Safeguard Defenders presents the fullest picture to date of this alarming trend. “This international persecution of Taiwan nationals amounts to an assault on Taiwanese sovereignty, and is part of the larger global campaign under Xi Jinping to exploit extradition treaties, mutual law enforcement agreements, and other multilateral institutions for the Chinese Communist Party’s political objectives,” it said.

China has increasingly shown that it has no regard for the rule of law, and will violate international norms without hesitation in pursuit of its opponents around the world. Through transnational repression and formal extraditions, China is pursuing economic fugitives, Uyghur refugees, human rights defenders, and fleeing Hong Kongers. But one group that has received far less attention to date: hundreds of Taiwanese nationals have been detained and forcibly extradited to mainland China from around the world, the report said.

International extradition and human rights norms set out clear conditions on acceptable extraditions and grounds for automatic rejections. At the core of these international norms is the principle of non-refoulement, which simply dictates that no country is to send anyone to another country where they are at risk of persecution or gross human rights abuses.

Conditions in China are such that fundamental human rights are wantonly denied, with impunity. These human rights abuses are both widespread and systematic as Safeguard Defenders has reported elsewhere.

The extradition of Taiwanese nationals to the PRC under pressure from Beijing should very much be seen as a violation of their human right to a fair trial, and their right to be free from torture, the report said.

Safeguard Defenders has documented over 600 cases between 2016 and 2019 of Taiwan nationals abroad who have been extradited or deported from countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. However, they have not been returned to Taiwan.

Under increasing pressure from Beijing, foreign governments are instead forcibly sending them to China where they have no roots and no families. These forcible transfers are also often taking place following the denial of access to Taiwanese consular support or communication in the sending country, and sometimes followed by ongoing denial of contact with Taiwanese officials or family members once they are in China.

These forced transfers put Taiwanese nationals at risk of severe human rights abuses. This pressure from Beijing is furthermore a direct refutation of China’s obligations under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement. Just as much as it is being used to bolster Beijing’s influence abroad, it is being used as a tool to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty.

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Why is India not banning int’l flights, Kejriwal asks PM

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Arvind-Kejriwal

In the wake of emergence of a new Covid-19 variant — Omicron, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban international flights as most of them land in the national capital.

“Many countries have stopped incoming flights from Omicron-affected countries. Why are we not following their suit? In the first wave also, we had taken time to stop foreign flights,” Kejriwal said in a tweet, adding that most of the foreign flights come to Delhi, which is the most affected state.

He requested the prime minister to “kindly stop flights immediately.” The AAP leader had quoted a media report: “A South Africa returnee has tested positive for COVID-19 in Chandigarh. One of his family members and domestic help are also positive for the disease. The samples of positive cases will be sent for whole-genome sequencing to NCDC, Delhi to ascertain a variant of coronavirus”.

With the news of Omicron, being detected in South Africa, scientists and health experts in India have said that new waves of infection are anticipated and unless we act quickly and efficiently, the country will possibly see repeat waves. The variant has also been declared as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

On Sunday, Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to stop international flights from regions witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile,

Meanwhile, Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital has been designated to treat patients testing positive for the new Covid-19 variant Omicron.

The hospital has been asked to earmark wards for isolating and treating such patients.In order, the Health Department has directed the hospital not to deny admission to patients infected with the new variant on any ground.

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UN chief condemns terror attack on UN-affiliated convoy in Somalia

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned Thursday’s deadly terrorist attack on a UN-affiliated convoy in front of a school in Mogadishu, Somalia, said his deputy spokesman.

The secretary-general on Friday extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wished a swift recovery to those injured. He called upon the Somali authorities to bring those responsible to justice, said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman, in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

The secretary-general expressed the full solidarity and support of the UN with the government and the people of Somalia in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism, said the statement.

At least eight people were confirmed dead and 17 others wounded in the suicide car bombing early on Thursday. The police said the target was a convoy belonging to a security firm that guards UN personnel. Al-Shabab militants have claimed responsibility for the attack.

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