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Afghanistan Situation “Fragile”, “Of Direct Concern To Us”: India At UN – dot newz

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Taliban has announced a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund.

Terming the situation in Afghanistan as “very fragile”, India has said it is important that the Taliban adheres to its commitment to not allow the use of the Afghan soil for terrorism, including from terror groups designated under Security Council resolution 1267 that lists Pakistan-based outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti said at the UN Security Council Debate on Afghanistan Thursday that as Afghanistan’s neighbour, India was privileged to preside over the adoption of a substantial and forward-looking product of the Council during its presidency of the 15-nation UN body last month.

The resolution on Afghanistan “took into account some of our collective concerns, in particular on terrorism, where it has noted the commitment of the Taliban not to allow the use of the Afghan soil for terrorism, including from terrorists and terrorist groups designated under Resolution 1267.

The Security Council resolution has “underlined that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts. As witnessed from the deplorable terrorist attack at Kabul Airport last month, terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to Afghanistan. It is therefore important that commitments made in this regard are respected and adhered to,” Mr Tirumurti said.

Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed as well as the Haqqani Network are proscribed terror entities under UNSC resolution 1267 (1999) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaeda, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities. JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT leader Hafiz Saeed are also listed as global terrorists under the 1267 Sanctions regime.

Resolution 2593 also took note of the Taliban statement that Afghans will be able to travel abroad in an unhindered manner. “We hope that these commitments will be adhered to, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals,” Mr Tirumurti said.

India also called on the international community to rise above any partisan interests and stand together with the people of Afghanistan in their desire for peace, stability and security in the country.

“The situation in Afghanistan continues to be very fragile. As its immediate neighbour and a friend to its people, the current situation is of direct concern to us,” Mr Tirumurti said.

He said uncertainties abound about the future of the Afghan people, as well as about sustaining and building on the gains achieved over the last two decades.

“In this context, we reiterate the need for the voices of Afghan women to be heard, aspirations of Afghan children to be realised and the rights of minorities to be protected. We call on humanitarian assistance to be provided urgently and underline the need to provide unhindered access to the UN and other agencies in this regard,” he said.

Underlining that Afghanistan has already seen enough bloodshed and violence in recent years, Tirumurti said India “calls on the international community to come together, rising above any partisan interests, to stand together with the people of Afghanistan in their desire for peace, stability and security in the country. We need to enable all Afghans, including women, children and minorities, to live in peace and dignity.”

Briefing the Security Council, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said that the new reality in Afghanistan is that the lives of millions of Afghans will depend on how the Taliban will choose to govern.

“We are faced, as of two days ago, with a de facto administration announced by the Taliban. Those who hoped for, and urged for, inclusivity will be disappointed. There are no women in the names listed. There are no non-Taliban members, no figures from the past government, nor leaders of minority groups. Instead, it contains many of the same figures who were part of the Taliban leadership from 1996 to 2001,” she said.

Lyons told the Council that “what is of immediate and practical importance to those around this table is that of the 33 names presented, many are on the United Nations sanctions list, including the prime minister, the two deputy prime ministers, and the foreign minister. All of you will need to decide which steps to take regarding the sanctions list, and the impact on future engagement.”

The Taliban announced a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, chief of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body ”Rehbari Shura”. He will be the Acting Prime Minister while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be his deputy in the “new Islamic government”, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at a news conference in Kabul.

The announcement of key figures in the caretaker government comes weeks after the Taliban seized control of war-torn Afghanistan, ousting the previous elected leadership which was backed by the West.

UN-designated terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani is also part of the interim Taliban government. Haqqani, a specially designated global terrorist and son of the famous anti-Soviet warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani who founded Haqqani Network, is the new acting interior minister in the 33-member Cabinet that has no woman member. Haqqani has been one of two deputy leaders of the Taliban since 2016 and has a USD 10 million US bounty on his head.

Khalil Haqqani, Sirajuddin’s uncle, was appointed as acting minister for refugees. Two other members of the Haqqani clan were also named to positions in the interim government, indicating the hand of Pakistan in the Taliban-run government.

Mr Tirumurti stressed India’s call for an inclusive dispensation in Afghanistan which represents all sections of Afghan society.

“A broad-based, inclusive and representative formation attained through an inclusive negotiated political settlement would gain greater international acceptability and legitimacy,” he said.

He further said that India calls upon all members of the Council that when it decides on the future of the UNAMA (UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) mandate, “we keep our focus centred on Afghan people and their expectations from the international community to stand by them in this hour of crisis.”

Mr Tirumurti said the world has witnessed dramatic changes in the situation in Afghanistan over the course of the last month. The Security Council met thrice in August under India’s Presidency and has collectively pronounced the prevailing situation. In particular, UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2593 on Afghanistan clearly sets out the Council’s expectations on a range of critical and immediate issues, he said.



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Coronavirus Live News Update: India Creates World Record In Vaccinations With 2.5 Crore Doses In A Day – dot newz

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The government had set out with a target of 2.5 crore vaccinations and crossed the mark by 10,390

India crossed 2.5 crore Covid vaccinations in a day for the first time on Friday as the government raced to deliver a record on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted to confirm the “historic” figure.

The government had set out with a target of 2.5 crore vaccinations and crossed the mark by 10,390.

With 34,403 more people testing positive for COVID-19, India’s overall infection tally has increased to 3,33,81,728, while the count of active cases has dipped to 3,39,056, according to Union health ministry data updated on Friday.

The death count due to the disease has climbed to 4,44,248 with 320 more fatalities being recorded, it said.

The number of active cases now comprises 1.03 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 97.64 per cent, according to the data updated by the ministry.

It said that active COVID-19 cases in the country decreased by 3,867 cases in a span of 24 hours.

Here are the updates on coronavirus (COVID-19) cases:

Over 7 lakh people vaccinated in Assam on PM’s birthday

A total of 7,09,524 people received the COVID-19 vaccine in Assam on Friday as the state government undertook a mega inoculation drive on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, a bulletin said.

Over 2.16 crore people have been immunised, and 44.02 lakh of them got both doses of the vaccines, it said.

The special drive was conducted in 4,575 COVID Vaccination Centres (CVCs), of which 4,557 were government sites and 18 private ones.



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WHO Emergency Approval For Covaxin Delayed Till October 5 – dot newz

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The assessment of the SAGE working group on the available pieces of evidence will determine EUA.

New Delhi:

World Health Organisation’s (WHO) approval for the emergency use authorisation (EUA) to COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, is likely to be delayed till October 5.

As per WHO, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) will be meeting on October 5 to granting EUA to Covaxin.

Hanna Nohynek, SAGE member will be introducing session objective setting, an update on regulatory decisions and an overview of Working Group deliverables.

The session will recommend EUA based on the clinical data on Covaxin from phase 1, 2, 3 trial and post-marketing studies on safety, immunogenicity, efficacy and effectiveness.

It will update on global, regional and country-level plans for vaccine safety monitoring.

The assessment of the SAGE working group on the available pieces of evidence will determine EUA.

Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech on Friday said it has submitted all the data to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin and is awaiting feedback from the UN Public Health Agency.

In a series of tweets, Bharat Biotech said that Covaxin clinical trial was fully compiled and available in June 2021.

“#COVAXIN clinical trial data was fully compiled and available in June 2021. All Data was submitted for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) Application to World Health Organization in early July. We have responded to any clarifications sought by #WHO and are awaiting further feedback,” Bharat Biotech tweeted.

As a responsible manufacturer with past approvals for its other vaccines, the company said it would not find it appropriate to speculate or comment on the approval process and its timelines, it further said.

“We are continuing to work diligently on obtaining WHO EUL at the earliest,” it added.

Bharat Biotech has submitted its Phase 3 clinical trials data that demonstrated 77.8 per cent efficacy to the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

Covaxin was developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. Covaxin, which has been developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), contains a whole virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, which is produced in Vero cells.

The vaccine is stable at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius (refrigerated) and is shipped in a ready-to-use liquid formulation that permits distribution using existing vaccine supply chain channels.

The WHO has so far approved Covid vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, US pharma majors Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, China’s Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca for emergency use.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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PM Praises Frontline, Health Workers As India Administers Over 2 Crore Doses – dot newz

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PM Praises Frontline, Health Workers As India Administers Record Doses

New Delhi:

As India set a new record on Friday by administering over 2 crores COVID-19 vaccine doses, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the success of the vaccination drive to the country’s doctors, innovators, administrators, nurses, healthcare and all front-line workers.

“Every Indian would be proud of today’s record vaccination numbers. I acknowledge our doctors, innovators, administrators, nurses, healthcare and all front-line workers who have toiled to make the vaccination drive a success. Let us keep boosting vaccination to defeat COVID-19,” PM Modi tweeted.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and several state governments have aimed to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday historic by setting a record number of Covid vaccinations Friday.

Taking to Twitter, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the historic feat is a gift to PM Modi on behalf of the health workers and the countrymen.

“#VaccineSeva A gift to Prime minister Narendra Modi on behalf of the health workers and the countrymen. Today, on his birthday, India has crossed the historical figure of administering 2 crore vaccines in a day, setting a new record. Well done India!” Mandaviya tweeted.

India has administered more than one crore COVID-19 vaccines in a day on earlier occasions.The vaccination drive in the country commenced on January 16 with the inoculation of healthcare and frontline workers. At present, India is administering COVID-19 vaccines– Covishield of Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech”s Covaxin and Sputnik V.

To ramp up the drive, on April 1, the government had opened Covid-19 vaccination for everyone above the age of 45 years. A month later from May 1, as a part of the third phase of the vaccination drive, India began administering the vaccine in the 18 to 44 years age group.

Since then, the country’s vaccination drive is scaling new heights. On August 9, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed the landmark of 50 crores.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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