Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The former chief of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani two and a half years in jail on charges of misuse of authority by the anti-corruption justice center.
According to the Supreme Court, Mohammad Nader, the director of agricultural services of Injil district, Farid Ahmad, an employee of the National Directorate of Security, Abdul Zahir, current director of lands affairs of Ghorian district, Sayed Abu Bakr, financial manager of Injil district, Ghulam Rabbani, director of foreign nationals registration in Turghundi port, Wakil Ahmad, former director of real states of Injil district and Haji Bashir Ahmad, the executive director of Injil district of Herat have also been sentenced to two years and six months in prison each in the accusations of misuse of authority.
The court also ordered the defendants to pay 867,120 Afs.
Yousef Nuristani had previously been sentenced to three years and a half in prison in the United States for stealing public budget.
At least one person was killed and four people were wounded in an explosion in Kabul city this afternoon, officials said.
The spokesman of Kabul Police, Ferdaws Faramarz said that a vehicle targeted by an IED blast on Kabul-Jalalabad road in PD19 at around 02:40pm on Sunday.
Farmarz refused to provide further details about the identities of the victims, but emphasized that investigations are underway.
This comes as the targeted killings and bombings have not decreased in Kabul, as the peace talks are underway in Doha.
Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), says there are many shortcomings in the Afghan government that have weakened the republic’s position in peace talks with the Taliban.
Speaking in a program titled “Women and Peace” which was held on International Women’s Day on Sunday in Kabul, Dr. Abdullah said, “The shortcomings of Afghan government should be addressed in order to strengthen the position of Republic team in the peace talks.”
According to him, the divisions at the political level do not indicate strength, and as the current situation continues, the will of the Afghan people cannot be properly represented.
“We are expected to come to a conclusion that we can live in peace with different beliefs,” Abdullah said.
He noted that if the Taliban thought they could win the war, they made a big mistake and that continuing the war would make it difficult to achieve peace.
“The reason why the peace process has not accelerated is not the inefficiency of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, and this is obvious to everyone,” Mr Abdullah said, emphasizing the need to speed up the peace process.
He also pointed to the new US plan under the name of “Transitional Government Peace Plan” and said that this plan is one of the ideas to accelerate the peace process.
“We should not be afraid to come up with ideas,” Mr Abdullah said. “Opinions are raised, they should be discussed, and finally what the Afghan people want should be sought, and what is lacking should be corrected, and if there are any problems, the problems should be highlighted.”
The chairman of HCNR also said in another part of his speech that women are one of the main parties in the current war and should defend their rights.
“Women are on the side of the war, your rights have been violated and you have been severely insulted,” he added.
In the discussion of extremism, one of the main issues is the oppression of women, which denies the role of half of society.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 24 new positive cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported two deaths and nine recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 55,876 the number of total reported deaths is 2,451 and the total number of recoveries is 49,378.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, and Laghman.
Nader Nadery, a member of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRA) Peace Negotiations Team, says no serious talks have taken place between the government delegations and the Taliban so far.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Mr Nadery said: “Intensive talks took place in the first three months; But most of it was our valuable issues. In the next three months, which began on January 5 and continues to this day, there was no serious discussion and the other side was more focused on wasting time.”
According to him, efforts have been made in the past few days and the Afghan cabinet hopes that from now on, there will be an opportunity to discuss ceasefire, political participation and other important issues.
“There have been several long meetings and the reason why some of the members of the negotiating team are here is that the discussions have not started in a meaningful way,” Nadery said.
He stated that a lasting peace in Afghanistan would not be achieved through hasty talks.
“The peace process requires patience and requires great care,” Mr Naderi said. “Our values are as the discussion on justice, the treatment of war victims and the healing of society which need more attention. We will not be able to bring lasting peace quickly and carelessly, and we will not be able to stop the bloodshed with delay.”
The second round of peace talks began in Qatar at least three months ago; But since then, no formal meeting has taken place between the two sides. During this time, the Taliban delegation traveled to Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan, as members of the Afghan government’s negotiating team say the Taliban have interrupted the peace talks.
The National Security Adviser, Hamdullah Mohib says negotiating with the Taliban alone will not bring a lasting stability to Afghanistan, but it will lead to a temporary peace with the group.
NSA addressed a conference of “Stability and peace” on Sunday which was held by the Ministry Border and Tribal Affairs.
According to Mohib, Afghanistan has not experienced “stability” in its history.
“Stability is a condition in which Afghanistan can plan and implement a plan for the next 50 years,” he said.
The National Security Adviser also explained that stability helps ease the control of wars.
On the other hand, he said that Afghanistan had experienced peace and that the current opportunity for peace in Afghanistan is “historic”.
According to NSA, the current talks could lead to a new formation between the leaders of the republic and the Taliban to end the current war.
Hamdullah Moheb stressed that in order to ensure peace in Afghanistan, the facts must be taken seriously; Because the current war does not have only an internal dimension and there are big factors behind it.
Afghan security officials in Helmand province say a female police officer was wounded and her husband was killed in a shooting by unidentified gunmen in the province.
Zaman Hamdard, the spokesman of Helmand police, said that the incident took place at around 08:00am on Sunday in PD1 of Lashkar Gah city, the provincial capital.
According to Hamdard, the Policewoman was on her way to duty when she was attacked by the armed men.
Hamdard added that the policewoman’s husband was also in charge of guarding her.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Fawzia Koofi, a member of the Negotiation Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, participated and addressed an online meeting on “Women’s Presence in Afghanistan Peace Process” attended by some members of the German Parliament & other EU countries.
IRA Peace Team in a statement said that Ms. Koofi said that women are the first victims of the ongoing war in Afghanistan, adding that based on previous experiences and in order to ensure women’s rights, their presence in the Afghanistan peace process is important and essential.
Referring to women’s presence in the negotiation team and the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), she said that women’s presence should be considered in all peace structures.
Ms. Koofi also stressed the importance of efforts for the unity of Afghan women and international partners’ support for the peace process. She thanked the international community for its support in the field of women’s rights.
Fawzia Koofi said that the members of the Negotiation Team of the I. R of Afghanistan are fully focused and working on women’s issue during the negotiations, adding that the other side should also accept the current realities of Afghan society, especially the role of women.
Firefighters from Iran contained a blaze at Sheikh Abu Nasr Farahi Customs office in Farah province after four fuel storage tanks caught fire on Saturday, officials told Iranian media.
Abolhassan Mirjalili, a senior emergency official in Iran’s South Khorasan province, told the official news agency IRNA that Iran had sent 10 teams of firefighters to fight blaze, which was brought under control in six-and-a-half hours.
No one was hurt and no there was no serious damage to property, he added.
Earlier, Ali Akbar Mazidi, head of Iran’s Mahiroud border terminal, told news agency ISNA that three 150-tonne tanks had caught fire.
It was not clear what caused the blaze.
The US State Department has stated that the peace in Afghanistan cannot be established without the cooperation of its neighbouring Pakistan but the historical “Doha agreement” between the US and Taliban was still under review.
“It would be difficult to establish peace in Afghanistan without Pakistan,” the Urdu Spokesperson of the State Department Zed Tarar stated in the exclusive interview with Geo News in Dubai.
Expressing the hope of peaceful future for the Afghan people, Zed Tarar said that Pakistan’s role in withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan or other issues related to peace was “very important“ as Pakistan is a partner of the United States and a neighbour of Afghanistan.
It has been one year since the United States and the Afghan Taliban signed a landmark agreement leading to a political settlement between Kabul and the Taliban insurgents.