Qatar’s Foreign Minister Visit Kabul for High Level Talks with the Taliban Government

Since the fall of government in Kabul first high level diplomatic talks were initiated by Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who visited Afghanistan on Sunday and met Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the acting Prime Minister in the Taliban’s new government, former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the National Reconciliation Council. The meeting on Sunday was held at the Afghan Presidential Palace and attended by several Afghan ministers and other officials like Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, Defence Minister Yaqoob Mujahid, Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and intelligence chief Abdul Haq Wasiq.

Qatar is one of the country having the highest influence on the Taliban. It played a pivotal role in airlifting not only its own citizens after the withdrawal of the U.S. troops but also helped many other western and Afghan nationals in evacuation and heading to other countries. Even previously, Qatar was the host nation for the Afghan Peace Talks initiated by the former U.S. President, Donald Trump. The Taliban leadership appreciated the efforts by the Qatari government and said the Islamic Emirate is thankful to Qatar for helping the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban leadership moreover, appreciated the Doha Agreement, signed between the U.S. and the Taliban. They further regarded it as a “landmark achievement, all sides should adhere to its implementation”.

 The Foreign Minister encourage the new leadership and Afghan parties to participate in the process of nation building and national reconciliation. After the withdrawal of the U.S. from Afghanistan this is the first highest level visit to Afghanistan, where Al Thani also met a number of other officials from the new government to discuss bilateral relations and the regional development. Apart from discussing the challenges faced by the new leadership in Afghanistan, officials discussed the current political situation and the Foreign Minister Al Thani extended the support of his government for the Afghan people. According to the Foreign Ministry of Qatar, the Afghan officials also discussed about "concerted efforts to combat terrorist organizations that threaten the stability of Afghanistan", as a means to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. The Taliban spokesperson further elaborated that the meetings between the Qatar’s Foreign Minister and Afghan government officials also analyzed issues of humanitarian assistance, economic development and interaction with the world.

A Fresh Agreement between IAEA and Iran for Nuclear Observation

International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi met with the newly appointed head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Eslami, in Tehran, Iran on September 12th, 2021. Reportedly, the meeting was facilitated by Russia. Iran and the UN’s atomic ombudsman reached a temporary agreement to encourage a solution for "the most urgent issue between them, the overdue servicing of monitoring equipment to keep it running, raising hopes of fresh talks on a wider deal with the West”. The new government in Tehran agreed to let the IAEA observe and monitor the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. Furthermore, “That deal has been considered a minimal requirement for a resumption of talks in Vienna on trying to restore compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald J. Trump abandoned in 2018.” The newly agreed deal limits Iran’s enrichment of uranium in consideration for the lifting of punishing economic sanctions.

Both Grosso and Eslami called the meeting “constructive” and the joint statement after the meeting stated, “IAEA inspectors could service the monitoring equipment, which includes cameras, and replace their storage cards with new ones. But as agreed in a similar emergency deal last February, the contents of the storage cards are kept under seal and will be released to the agency only when and if Iran and the United States agree on a revival of the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.” The agreement further added that in order to keep proper check, the installed equipment will be serviced every three months so they do not run out of storage memory. Iran agreed to hand over the tapes to the agency only after reaching an agreement which will eventually lift United States sanctions. Eurasia Group analyst Henry Rome called Iran's "concessions" on monitoring as "very modest," and said "they will almost certainly be sufficient to avert censure at this week’s meeting." Grossi added that the agency will replace the damaged or destroyed cameras and will engage with a new government to “commit to engagement.” He also stated that the arrangement was “indispensable for us to provide the necessary guarantee and information to the I.A.E.A. and to the world that everything is in order.”

Upon his arrival back to Vienna, Grossi held a news conference in the city’s airport and claimed that the agreement will ensure the continuous recording of data for the agency, opening grounds for the nuclear deal signatories to involve in diplomacy.

Indian Nuclear Safety and Security: A Reality Check?

Indian Nuclear Safety and Security: A Reality Check?

Date: Wednesday 15th, 2021

Pakistan Time: 12:00hrs – 13:15hrs

Press Release


Muhammad Athar Javed, Director General Pakistan House:

Muhammad Athar Javed, welcomed all the participants on an extremely important webinar on “Indian Nuclear Safety and Security: A reality Check?”. The honorable speakers included Ambassador Zamir Akram, Permanent Representative to the United Nation’s and International Organizations in Geneva, Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali, Director Nuclear and Strategic Affairs at CASS, Ms. Sitara Noor, Senior Research Associate at CASS and South Asian Voices Visiting Fellows 2019-2020.

Muhammad Athar Javed, DG Pakistan House in his introductory remarks said that India is posing an integrated threat of RSS ideology, Unsafe and insecure nuclear programs, the scope of which has threatened not only domestic but also international security environment. Therefore, India’s integrated threat needs an integrated response from the international community.

Amb. Zamir Akram (retd), former permanent representative in Geneva stated that Indian nuclear safety regime is very weak, and several cases have been reported by Indian and international media. The threat of stolen radiological material from Indian facilities would fall in the hands of Non-State Actors is real, and recommended that International organizations including IAEA should take necessary actions to prevent such incidents in future.

Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali, Director Nuclear & Strategic Affairs at CASS said that the Californium is not a naturally occurring radioactive material like Uranium and it is produced in nuclear reactors which proves that not only Indian nuclear mines have poor safety and security standards but also the Indian nuclear reactors. Therefore, he urged the international community to review its nuclear cooperation with India and support for New Delhi's Nuclear Suppliers Group membership case, in view of Indian irresponsible nuclear behavior.

Ms. Sitara Noor, Senior Research Associate at CASS highlighted the importance of an independent regulatory body, and said that since India’s regulatory authority is not independent, thus lacks international security and safety standards. She emphasized that international regulatory bodies must take note of India’s irregular practices concerning radioactive material. An impartial commission should be formed to investigate the episodes of missing and stoles radioactive material from the Indian nuclear facilities (which is happening since 1974), she concluded.
Muhammad Athar Javed, Director General Pakistan House
Ambassador Zamir Akram, Pakistan Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva
Mr. Syed Muhammad Ali, Director Nuclear & Strategic Affairs at CASS
Ms. Sitara Noor, Senior Research Associate at CASS, and South Asian Voices Visiting Fellow 2019-2020

A Centaury Long Marathon

Celebrations took over China as it completed 100 years. Festivity was visible especially in Shanghai where China’s Communist Party was instituted. Billboards and red ferry busses were painted with “Never Forget Why You Started” along with skyscrapers that were lit every night with the sickle and mallet. Communist Party will celebrate its 100the birthday on July 1st. China calls itself “Great, Glorious and Correct” because it has survived way longer than many critics predicted. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was predicted by many critics that great communist power, China, will be next to implode. No other state has been able to survive a famine-stricken disaster as it was under Mao Zedong and still turns out to be the world’s second-largest economy. The advanced technology system and immaculate infrastructure put America’s finest road to infamy. The Chinese Communists have also been declared the world’s most successful authoritarians.

Along with all the goods and success stories, China is also under the dark clouds of a falling birth rate and a rapidly aging population. This can have adverse effects in the future in terms of economic growth. During the speech in January, Xi Jinping highlighted that the issues like regional economic divides, income inequality, and lack of opportunities among the Urban and Rural population must be tackled together to move towards “the era of common prosperity”. He further added, “better income distribution, education, social security, affordable medical care, housing, elderly care, child support, and quality employment; are many of the same wants as most working families and youths”. As per to Page-Jarrett, “China needs more private sector and foreign involvement that would push schools to improve and innovate and provide schooling for the more complex economy of the future, not less”.

The general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi Jinping, said that CPS has written a wonderful chapter in the history of the Chinese nation’s development and progress in the past 100 years. He also remarked that medals will be awarded to outstanding party members, who have fought tirelessly for the independence and liberation of the State, in a ceremony that will be held in Beijing on July 1st, 2021.