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Taliban bans hookahs in Afghanistan



The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan recently issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, to ban hookahs, which had become a common sight in the war-ton country in recent years, the media reported.

The militant Islamist group considers hookahs, also known as shisha, as an intoxicant, which is banned under Islam, RFE/RL reported.

The ban on hookahs was announced in the western province of Herat earlier this month.

It is unclear if the fatwa extends to the entire country.

The move has had a severe impact on businesses in Herat, where scores of shisha cafes have been forced to close. Restaurants that offer shisha, meanwhile, have been forced to lay off staff as the number of customers fall.

The ban on hookahs is the latest attempt by the Taliban to impose its extremist interpretation of Islamic Sharia law in Afghanistan, where the militant group forcibly seized power in August 2021.

The Cafe Owners Association in Herat said that around 2,500 people had lost their jobs following the ban, aggravating an already dire economic situation for many residents, RFE/RL reported.

The Taliban takeover triggered an economic collapse and worsened a major humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where hunger and poverty are widespread.

Azizul Rahman Mohajer, the provincial head of the Taliban’s feared Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, said hookahs are “against Sharia”.

The Taliban, however, has not imposed any restrictions on naswar, a mild narcotic made from tobacco.

It is popular among Afghan men, particularly in rural areas, including among Taliban fighters, RFE/RL reported.

In April, the Taliban declared a blanket ban on illicit narcotics, although Afghan farmers say they continue to plant crops, including opium.

International News

3 New Projects Inaugurated Between India & Bangladesh




Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday virtually inaugurated three new projects between the two countries.

Inaugurating the new projects Modi said, “The work that is done in the past nine years between India and Bangladesh’s cooperation has not been done in decades.”

Rail link between 2 countries

The first project that was inaugurated was a rail link between India’s Northeastern state Tripura and Gangasagar railway station in Bangladesh’s Brahmanbaria district.

The trail run of the rail project of 12. 24 km was completed on Monday.

“It is indeed a matter of joy as it is a historic moment because it is the first rail link between Northeast and Bangladesh,” further added Modi.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the new projects will strengthen the infrastructural development of the two countries.

Strengthening bilateral ties between India & Bangladesh

“The efforts between the two neighbouring countries established connectivity from India’s Northeastern states and Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Mongla part. The inauguration of the new projects shows the friendship between the two countries,” mentioned Hasina also thanking Modi for inviting and showing hospitality in G20 Summit.

The other two projects include the 65 km Khulna Mongla Port railway line which is expected to give a boost to cross-border trading.

The traveling timing from Akhura to Tripura’s Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka will be less than earlier as 1600km will be just 500km.

The third project that was inaugurated was unit 2 of the1320 MW Maitree Super Thermal Powerplant which is the 50:50 joint venture between India’s NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board.

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International News

Israeli Airstrikes On Gaza’s Jabalia Refugee Camp Kills At Least 50; Arab League, Egypt, Jordan Condemn Attack




Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit has strongly condemned the deadly Israeli airstrike on the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. In a statement on Tuesday, the AL chief said that it was “a new crime” in Gaza and that the international community should no longer remain silent, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Flagrant violation of international laws”

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement the attack was a “flagrant violation of international laws”. Jordan’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the attack and said Jordan held Israel responsible for the dangerous development.

It also denounced Israel’s ongoing escalation of tension in the West Bank and Israeli settlers’ increasing attacks on Palestinian civilians. It also called on the international community to assume its responsibility, stop the ongoing conflict, and provide international protection for Palestinians.

Densely populated Jabalia refugee camp

Israeli warplanes hit the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp on Tuesday. After the attack, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said in a statement that more than 50 people were killed, approximately 150 others injured, and “dozens” of others buried under the rubble.

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International News

Israel Attack: Congress Leader Priyanka Gandhi Expresses Shock After India Abstains From Voting At UN For Ceasefire In Gaza




New Delhi, October 28: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday expressed shock over India abstaining from the voting for a ceasefire in Gaza, and slammed the Central government saying that refusing to take a stand and watching in silence as every law of humanity is pulverised in Palestine is being annihilated goes against everything our country has stood for.

She also said that our country is founded on the principles of non-violence and truth and they represent the moral courage of India that guided its actions as a member of the international community.

‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Priyanka Gandhi said: “’An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’, Mahatma Gandhi. I am shocked and ashamed that our country has abstained from voting for a ceasefire in Gaza.”

‘Our country was founded on the principles of non-violence and truth’

Reminding of the principles of India, she said that our country was founded on the principles of non-violence and truth, principles for which our freedom fighters laid down their lives, these principles form the basis of the Constitution that defines our nationhood. “They represent the moral courage of India that guided its actions as a member of the international community,” the Congress leader said.

“To refuse to take a stand and watch in silence as every law of humanity is pulverised, food, water, medical supplies, communication and power is cut off to millions of people and thousands of men, women and children in Palestine are being annihilated goes against everything our country has stood for throughout its life as a nation,” Priyanka Gandhi added.

Her remarks came after India abstained in the UNGA from voting

Her remarks came after India on Friday abstained in the UN General Assembly from voting on a draft resolution submitted by Jordan, that called for an immediate humanitarian truce in the Israel-Hamas conflict, as it did not make any mention of the terrorist group Hamas.

In a first, India has voted against a UN General Assembly resolution backing the Palestine cause. India’s opposition to the resolution on Friday was because it failed to condemn Hamas for its terrorist attack and the Assembly rejected an amendment supported by New Delhi that would have named the terror group. India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Yojna Patel said after the vote: “The terror attacks in Israel on October 7 were shocking and deserve condemnation.”

‘Our thoughts are also with those taken hostages’

“Violence as a means to achieve political objectives damages indiscriminately, and does not pave the way for any durable solutions. The terror attacks in Israel on October 7 were shocking and deserve condemnation. Our thoughts are also with those taken hostages. We call for their immediate and unconditional release. Terrorism is a malignancy and knows no borders, nationality, or race. The world should not buy into any justification of terror acts. Let us keep aside differences, unite and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to terrorism,” she added.

Even Indian Overseas Congress Secretary Virendra Vashisth on Friday met Palestine Ambassador to India in solidarity. “Our foundation with Palestine from first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru era to all successive prime ministers and it was the reason why the government had to change its statement earlier. And non violence and peace is the only way to find a solution and we also follow the policy of zero tolerance omn terrorism,” he said.

Fighting in the Gaza Strip has entered day 22

Fighting in the Gaza Strip has entered day 22 after Hamas members launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing at least 1,400 people on October 7. Since the October 7 Hamas attack, Gaza’s health ministry has said that Israel’s retaliatory bombardments have killed more than 7,000 Palestinians.

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