Newsfeed; Wednesday, March 3 2021

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…


  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    Taliban Engage More in War Than Peace: NSA Mohib

    The National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib says the Taliban group engages more in war than the peace process.

    Speaking on the last day of the Security Forces Exhibition in Kabul on Wednesday, Mr Mohib said any proposed peace plan must ensure a real peace.

    He stressed that the international community and the Taliban must ensure that: “We are discussing various alternatives, but the important thing is that the Taliban are engaged in war, not peace.”

    “The International Community and Taliban must guarantee a real peace to the Afghan people,” NSA said.

    Mohib’s remarks echo the recent statements by a number of Afghan politicians about the creation of a transitional government and US plan for a participatory government.

    In the meantime, Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi, speaking at today’s ceremony, stressed that if no progress was made in the peace process, government forces are ready for war.

    “If they chose the path of war – you saw what Afghan forces are capable of,” he added.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    16 Wounded During Security Forces Operation for Arresting Irresponsible Armed Men in Herat

    At least 16 people were wounded–including civilians and children in the Jabriel area of Herat city after shooting broke out between security forces and armed men affiliated with a local powerful named Habibullah Ghoryani, officials said.

    The spokesman of Herat’s governor, Jilani Farhad said security forces launched an operation for the arrest of Ghoryani which faced the resistance of Ghoryani’s men.

    According to Farhad, Ghoryani’s men harrassed and beat a number of citizens in Jabriel township yesterday.

    Following the complaints of citizens, Afghan forces today conducted an operation against Ghoryani and his men, he added.

    In the meantime, Muhammad Rafiq Shirzai, the spokesman of Herat Health Department told Reporterly that two children, three military personnel are among the injured.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    Ahmad Zia Massoud Stressed on Formation of “Interim Govt”

    Ahmad Zia Massoud, the Former Vice President, says an interim government is needed for the current situation to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.

    “We believe that a ceasefire must be established that the peace process being implemented. Now for establishment of a ceasefire, an interim government should be formed,” Mr. Masoud said in a press conference on Wednesday in Kabul.

    He noted that with the formation of an interim government, the Taliban would also agree to accept the ceasefire.

    “Taliban previously said that they won’t accept the ceasefire with the presence of Ashraf Ghani as President of the country,” he said.

    With the formation of an interim government, those issues that cannot be resolved on the negotiations table, would be solved by holding a Loya Jirga and the decision of the people’s representatives, he added.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    Khalilzad Submits ‘Participatory Govt’ Draft Plan to Afghan Leaders: Reports

    US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has proposed the formation of a participatory government in the country that would include the Taliban militant group, local media reported.

    The local reports citing credible sources have said that Khalilzad had discussed the formation of a participatory government during his recent meetings with the Afghan political leaders in Kabul.

    Sources close to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR), said that the US envoy had handed them a draft of the plan and asked them to share their views as soon as possible.

    Khalilzad met with Abdullah in the Afghan capital on Monday and discussed, among other things, the deal that was signed between the Taliban and the administration of former US President Donald Trump in the Qatari capital of Doha last year.

    “They discussed peace talks, the review of the Doha peace agreement by the new US administration, the acceleration of the peace process, the second round of talks between Afghans in Doha, reduction in violence, and ways to advance peace talks and achieve lasting peace in Afghanistan,” Abdullah’s office said in a statement.

    According to the plan, the peace talks in Doha will be sidelined and a meeting will be held at the international level to discuss the prospect of an interim government that would include the Taliban.

    The Afghan presidential palace has not commented so far, but President Ashraf Ghani has in the past rejected the prospect of any interim administration in the country.

    Trump signed the deal with the Taliban militant group in February last year, agreeing to withdraw US troops by May this year in exchange for the Taliban to halt attacks on foreign forces.

    The new US administration says it has made no decision yet regarding the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, claiming that violence must be reduced in the war-ravaged country.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    Ministry of Health Reports 27 New Cases of COVID-19

    The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Wednesday reported 27 new positive cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

    The ministry also reported 1 deaths and 12 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

    The cumulative number of total cases is now 55,803 the number of total reported deaths is 2,447 and the total number of recoveries is 49,359.

    The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat Kandahar, Nangarhar, Balkh, Kunduz, Takhar, Helmand, Kunar and Uruzgan.

    Ministry of Public Health said that 21,452 health workers have been vaccinated since the first day of the corona vaccine.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    Khalilzad Discussed Doha Negotiations with Peace Activists, Women Leaders Throughout Afghanistan

    US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad today discussed the current negotiations with peace activists throughout Afghanistan and how to move toward a political settlement.

    The US embassy in Kabul in a series of tweets said that they talked about how all interests are best served by the achievement of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.

    “People from across Afghanistan have demanded peace and a permanent, comprehensive ceasefire. Today, Khalilzad met with provincial peace activists to hear their perspectives on the negotiations and learn how they are advancing peace in their communities,” the US embassy tweeted.

    It cited that the United States understands that representation and inclusion are critical for any nation’s stability and security.

    Khalilzad also spoke with Afghan women leaders to hear their views on how women are being represented in negotiations and how to accelerate the peace process.

    “The US peace envoy consulted with Afghan women leaders regarding the peace process and how best to support a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. For a just and durable peace, women’s voices must be represented and all sectors of society have to be engaged,” the embassy added.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    Tajikistan Resumes Regular Air Traffic with Afghanistan

    Tajikistan has reportedly resumed regular air traffic with Kazakhstan and Afghanistan following the improvement of the coronavirus situation.

    “Due to the improvement of the coronavirus situation in the country and on the basis of government’s resolution, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response (Standing Committee) has made a decision to allow resumption of regular flights to Kazakhstan and Afghanistan,” Ikrom Subhonzoda, Director of the Civil Aviation Agency under the Government of Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

    According to him, the regular flights from Dushanbe to Kabul (Afghanistan) will be resumed in the near future.

    “Tajikistan’s Somon Air and Afghanistan’s Kam Air will operate flights on the Dushanbe-Kabul route,” said Subhonzoda.  “Each of these airlines will operate flights on the mentioned routes once a week. In the future, the number of flights will increase.”

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    IS-K Claims Responsibility for Attack on Media Workers in Nangarhar

    The IS-K group claimed responsibility for an attack that killed three female media workers in Nangarhar province on Tuesday evening, the Globe and Mail reported.

    The terrorist group, which has a presence in Afghanistan, said its fighters had targeted the three female employees of a television station in the eastern city of Jalalabad, according to SITE Intelligence group.

    Three women who worked for Enikas TV aged between 18 and 20 had died and a fourth was critically injured after being shot on their way home from work, Afghan officials said.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    US Embassy in Kabul Calls on Govt to Defend Press Freedom, Protect Journalists

    The US embassy in Kabul has expressed sincere condolences to thr friends, families and colleagues of the three female media workers who have been assassinated in Nangarhar province on Tuesday.

    “We must End Impunity with open and transparent investigations into these vicious murders. We call on the government to Defend PresFreedom and Protect Journalists. The perpetrators must be held accountable and stop their terrorism against Afghan civilians,” the embassy said in a statement.

    “These attacks are meant to intimidate; they are intended to make reporters cower; the culprits hope to stifle freedom of speech in a nation where the media has flourished during the past 20 years. This cannot be tolerated,” the statement reads.

    Three women who worked for Enikas TV station in the city of Jalalabad have been shot dead on Tuesday afternoon.

    The TV officials say the women, aged 18-20, were killed in two separate but co-ordinated attacks. A fourth was critically hurt.

    The three women killed had recently finished high school and worked in the dubbing department of the privately owned Enikas TV station, said its head, Zalmai Latifi.

    Mursal Wahidi was attacked by gunmen as she was walking home. The two others – who were identified only as Shahnaz and Sadia – were killed in a separate incident, also while returning home.

    Enikas TV station says of 10 women it employed, four have now been killed including a presenter, Malalai Maiwand, who was gunned down in December.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    AJSC Call on Govt to Conduct Meaningful Investigation into Assassinations of 3 Female Media Employees in Nangarhar

    Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) calls on the government to conduct meaningful investigations into the killing of three female media workers in Nangarhar province and share the results with the media community.

    AJSC in a press release on Tuesday night said the committee has always, and especially in recent months, been actively pursuing murder cases of journalists with the Afghan government.

    “The current approach of security agencies towards investigating these incidents and sharing information with the media community is not satisfactory at all–something that needs to be changed,” the press release said.

    The press release cited that the government must take practical and effective steps to ensure the safety and security of journalists as civilians.

    AJSC is said to believe that if the current trend continues, Afghanistan’s most important achievements, Freedom of Expression and independent media, will be vanished.

    Three women who worked for Enikas TV station in the city of Jalalabad have been shot dead on Tuesday afternoon.

    The TV officials say the women, aged 18-20, were killed in two separate but co-ordinated attacks. A fourth was critically hurt.

    The three women killed had recently finished high school and worked in the dubbing department of the privately owned Enikas TV station, said its head, Zalmai Latifi.

    Mursal Wahidi was attacked by gunmen as she was walking home. The two others – who were identified only as Shahnaz and Sadia – were killed in a separate incident, also while returning home.

    Enikas TV station says of 10 women it employed, four have now been killed including a presenter, Malalai Maiwand, who was gunned down in December.

  • 3 Mar 2021 Share this post

    EU Calls for Through, Transparent Investigations on Killing of 3 Female Media Workers in Nangarhar

    The European Union (EU) has called for a through and transparent investigation on the killing of 3 female media workers in Nangarhar province.

    “Horrific news from Jalalabad city on the killing of 3 young female media workers from Enikass TV.The cowardliness knows no limits, killing innocent civilians is a war crime punishable under International Humanitarian Law,” EU said in a statement.

    EU stated that these attacks serve one purpose: to spread fear and limit the freedom of speech.

    “We expect that these cruel acts are thoroughly and transparently investigated, and that those responsible are brought to justice,” the statement said.

    “We call on the government to ensure the protection of journalists. The EU, together with its member states & partners will continue its support to media in Afghanistan. Our thoughts go to families, friends and colleagues at Enikass TV,” EU added.

    Three women who worked for Enikas TV station in the city of Jalalabad have been shot dead on Tuesday afternoon.

    The TV officials say the women, aged 18-20, were killed in two separate but co-ordinated attacks. A fourth was critically hurt.

    The three women killed had recently finished high school and worked in the dubbing department of the privately owned Enikas TV station, said its head, Zalmai Latifi.

    Mursal Wahidi was attacked by gunmen as she was walking home. The two others – who were identified only as Shahnaz and Sadia – were killed in a separate incident, also while returning home.

    Enikas TV station says of 10 women it employed, four have now been killed including a presenter, Malalai Maiwand, who was gunned down in December.