After an earthquake reportedly killed at least 1,000 people in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the international community, including the UK and European Union, kick-started its provision of aid. Even an Indian air force jet landed in Taliban-controlled Kabul with supplies marking a potential overture by New Delhi, which was a longtime critic of any negotiations with the Taliban. 

The US government’s top oversight official for Afghanistan has accused the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) of stonewalling ongoing investigations, saying they have refused interviews with staff and even failed to provide “basic information” to assist the probes.

A powerful earthquake has killed at least 1,000 people and injured 1,500 in eastern Afghanistan, an official of the ruling Taliban told the BBC.

The Taliban appealed for international help for the rescue effort as pictures showed landslides and ruined mud-built homes in the province of Paktika.

The quake struck shortly after 01:30 (21:00 GMT Tuesday) as people slept.

Hundreds of houses were destroyed by the magnitude 6.1 event, which occurred at a depth of 51km (32 miles).

The Department of Homeland Security this week announced that it is proceeding to permit Afghan civil servants who worked during the Taliban regime to be exempted from terror-related restrictions and be provided entry into the U.S.

The U.S. has been carrying tens of thousands of Afghans to the U.S. since the Taliban takeover and U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year. As that is continuous, the Biden administration is moving to exempt certain Afghans who may be caught up in terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG).

The Department of Homeland Security this week announced that it is moving to allow Afghan civil servants who worked during the Taliban regime to be exempted from terror-related restrictions and be allowed entry into the U.S. 

The U.S. is indirectly paying an airline controlled by the Taliban to fly out Afghans seeking safety, according to a new report, following the chaotic departure of American troops last year.

Washington is committed to helping rescue Afghans who helped U.S. forces or who fear for their lives after working for the former government.

Poverty in the country has forced many children in the capital to work instead of going to school. They say they are concerned about not getting an education.

Bilal, a fourteen-year-old breadwinner for his family of eight, says he sells water from morning to night on a cart and is upset that he is unable to attend school.

“Working makes me very angry because I miss school,” said Bilal, a child laborer.

“I get angry when I see my brother not studying and working,” said Jalal, Bilal's brother.