Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh announced that all the buildings destroyed by the floods will be rebuilt, especially in Parwan.
In a note on his Facebook wall on Monday, Saleh said that after addressing the urgent needs of the victims of the recent floods in several provinces of Afghanistan, Parwan suffered the most damage.
He said that the buildings and infrastructure destroyed partially or completely by the floods will be rebuilt.
“Rest assured,” he said, adding. “Currently, work is underway on the reconstruction and cleaning of the Parwan canal.”
“Think of a new Afghanistan and do not let your mind be trapped in the past and despair.”
He assured that the decision had been made after detailed talks with resident Ashraf Ghani.
In last week’s floods across Afghanistan, 189 people were killed and 172 others were injured said the State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs.
Estimates claim that at least 1,055 residential building were destroyed in the disaster.
The Presidential Palace said on Monday that the prisoner exchange process will be completed only after the release of the defence and security forces held captive by the Taliban.
Presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi said that the Afghan government hoped the Taliban would release the remaining prisoners as soon as possible.
“The captives of the defense and security forces are still with the Taliban and the exchange process has not been completed, and as soon as we make progress and the Taliban release them, the remaining 320 Taliban prisoners will be released,” he said.
The presidential palace has maintained its stance that they will release the remaining high-value 320 Taliban prisoners once the militant group release the 22 Afghan commandos they still had.
Sediqqi said he hoped the process will be completed for the intra-Afghan talks to start.
Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said the formation of the council was within his authority and does not require a presidential decree.
In a statement issued by Sapedar Palace on Monday, they referred to the power-sharing agreement signed in May 2020 between Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani.
“The Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation shall form this council in consultation with the president, political sides and leaders, the speakers of the two houses of the National Assembly, civil society and the country’s elites.”
As per this clause, Abdullah said that the formation of the council and appointment of its members was one of the powers granted to the chairman and “does not require the decree of the esteemed president.”
Abdullah further said, the composition of the council should be “national, comprehensive and inclusive” and Sapedar had started consultations with various political leaders and civil activists to finalize it.
The Presidential Palace announced that President Ashraf Ghani has appointed the remaining cabinet members.
Presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi announced the nominees on Monday.
The nominees are:
Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj – Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Nisar Ahmad Faizi Ghoriani – Ministry of Industry and Commerce
Masoumeh Khavari – Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
Qudratullah Zaki – Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation
Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady – Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock
Mohibullah Samim – Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs
Fazl Ahmad Manavi – Ministry of Justice
Noor Rahman Akhlaqi – Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation
Abbas Basir – Ministry of Higher Education
Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi – State Ministry for Peace
Sediqqi said the acting ministers’ names will be sent to the House of Representatives for the vote of confidence.
The Taliban’s shadow district governor of Badakhshan’s Maimay district has been killed, provincial authorities confirmed on Monday.
Badakhshan Police spokesperson Sanaullah Rohani told Reporterly that Taliban fighters had attacked security checkpoints in the Wadab area of the Maimay district at around 6 am on Monday and the clashes continued for over five hours.
He said that Zia-ul-Haq, the shadow district governor was killed while two more of his fighters were wounded in the clashes.
Provincial police said the security forces did not suffer any casualties and the insurgents retreated.
The Taliban have yet to comment.
Over 47 Taliban fighters were killed in clashes between the Afghan security forces and the militants across Faryab, with Khwaja Sabz Posh district recaptured, the 209th Shaheen Corps said on Monday.
In the past 24 hours, they reported clashes in the Qaisar, Dawlat Abad, Khwaja Sabz Posh, Qorghan and Andkhoy districts of the province, along with air strikes on key positions.
The army claimed that 47 Taliban militants were killed, including key figures, while 21 others were wounded. They also reported that 11 vehicles were destroyed and 13 roadside bombs were discovered and defused.
“Fortunately, the defense and security forces, and civilians were not killed in the clashes and airstrikes,” the army noted.
Security forces were also able to wrest back control of Ghazari village, a crucial and strategic area in Khwaja Sabz Posh, after almost two and a half years, the Shaheen Corps said. The village was cleared of insurgents and Afghan security forces were deployed there.
Faryab Police Command said that 17 Taliban fighters were killed and five others wounded in an airstrike on a Taliban rally in the Sar-e-Asyab, Yangi and Zarghoi villages of Qaisar district on Sunday afternoon.
Another airstrike in Dawlat Abad district killed 15 militants and wounded 10 more on Sunday afternoon. The army said the insurgents had gathered to plan attacks against security forces.
At least 11 fighters were also killed in an airstrike on a Taliban base in Qarmqul district, by the Afghan Air Force on Sunday evening.
The Taliban have yet to comment on the reports.
The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the Afghan government to complete the process of the prisoner exchange and launch the intra-Afghan negotiations with the Taliban.
Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry said in a press briefing that the delay also reflects poorly on the government’s desire for peace.
“We emphasize that any delay in the process of launching intra-Afghan negotiations undermines international efforts towards the settlement in that country and calls into question the interest of Afghan authorities in achieving peace in the country as soon as possible,” Zakharova said.
She urged the government to complete the prisoner swap.
“We urge Kabul to end as soon as possible the process of prisoner exchange and launch a direct dialogue with the armed opposition.”
Zakharova also noted that the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov met some key political figures such as President Ashraf Ghani, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh and former president Hamid Karzai, to encourage the leaders to start the direct intra-Afghan talks.
“Regrettably, contrary to the positive decision taken at the Loya Jirga… the Afghan authorities have not released the remaining Taliban prisoners and have put forth new conditions for their release.”
Russia has been indirectly reaching out to the Taliban and working with the Afghan government to encourage a political settlement of the war and peace in the country.