Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Hezb-i-Islami leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar left Kabul for Tashkent for talks on peace-related issues, a source in the party too Pajhwok News on Monday.
This comes after Hekmatyar addressed a press conference on Sunday, and expressed that the government is lacking efficiency and capacity its efforts for peace. He also pointed that the advisory council on Peace should not just be advisory but should also have a proper authority.
Hekmatyar trip to Uzbekistan also comes after a quadrilateral meet between representatives of US, Afghanistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia took place on Sunday.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Monday announced that they are now through with the the recounting process of votes for Kabul province. The IEC staff is processing the data registration of the results.
“More problems arose in the provinces of Paktia and Baghlan. Recounting of votes for Kabul was completed yesterday,” said IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad.
The IEC said that Kabul elections’ results will be delayed but the election results for Nangarhar, Paktia and Baghlan provinces will be released in the next few days. “Results for large provinces such Nangarhar will possibly be announced in the next few days. But some other provinces such Kabul… I think will have delays in the announcement,” added IEC commissioner, Maliha Hassan.
Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib confirmed on social media that Afghanistan, US, UAE and Saudi Arabia discussed the roadmap for peace presented by President Ghani at the Geneva Summit. The quadrilateral meet took place on Sunday at UAE.
Mohib wrote on Twitter “Thanks to the UAE for hosting the 4th round of quadrilateral meetings on Sunday between Afghanistan, UAE, KSA and USA. We discussed President Ghani’s road map for peace presented at Geneva and direct engagement of Afghan Govt with Taliban for intra-Afghan dialogue”.
It was announced in a statement released by the Presidential Palace that the advisory board for peace held its first meeting at the palace today.
The board, according to the statement welcomed President Ghani’s peace plan, and stressed on direct peace negotiations with Taliban. The board also insisted that only the government has the constitutional authority to indulge in peace negotiations.
Chief Executive Abdullah, who was present in the meeting stated that any progress in regards to the peace process will be publicized and no information will be held back from the Afghan people. He also asserted that government is the only institution authorized to conduct the negotiations.
President Ghani thanked the members of the board, and as per their suggestions, he instructed a review of the composition and responsibilities of the board, the statement adds.
The Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water has stated in a meeting that the Dahla Dam in Kandahar will be reconstructed.
Engineer Khan Muhammad Takal, MoEW deputy minister said that the Dahla Dam could be effective in supplying the water needed for agriculture, drinking and providing electricity to residents of Kandahar.
The Dahla Dam reconstruction project will be implemented by the Ministry of Energy and Water in partnership with ADB.
A number of Afghan MPs have drafted a proposal based on articles 6, 22, 33, 60 and 64 of the Constitution, on the rights of citizen, the authority of the President and the National Assembly.
These MPs have stated in the proposal that, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, the government is obliged to ensure the principle of equal rights of citizenship and provide the chance for all citizens to have equal access to national opportunities and facilities.
The proposal further emphasizes that, in order to prevent the illegal use of national opportunities and facilities and to ensure the equal rights of presidential candidates, the government is required to act on the provision of services and facilities in a transparent and equal manner in accordance with the provisions of the law.
The proposal also added that in order to prevent the dismissal and appointment of high-ranking government officials with the aim of campaigning for the presidential elections and political goals, any removal and installation of high-ranking government officials is prohibited once the announcement of the presidential election calendar is made.
The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan has announced the preliminary results of the parliamentary elections for Herat, Kandahar, Helmand and Kunduz provinces.
The results are as follows.
For Herat province, the people who will be representing their constituencies are: Habib Al-Rahman Pedram, Mohammad Reza Khosh Watandost, Omar Nasir Mojaddidi, Haji Mohammad Sadeq Qaderi, Munawar Shah Bahadori, Nisar Ahmad Fayyzi Ghuryani, Naqibullah Arwin, Ghulam Farooq Majroh, Hamidullah Hanif, Haji Shahpour Popal, Sayed Azim Kebrazani, Ghulam Farooq Nazari, Rahima Jami, Massouda Karrokhi, Simin Barakzai, Nahid Ahmadi Farid and Shirin Shahabi
In Helmand, province’s representatives elected for Wolesi Jirga are: Mohammad Zafar Sadeqi, Mirwais Popal, Haji Ghulam Wali Afghan, Mirwais Khadem, Mohammad Karim Atal, Abdul Rashid Azizi, Naseema Niyazi and Habiba Sadat
In Kunduz, the following are going to be the Representatives in lower House of Parliament: Abdul Rauf Ebrahimi, Kamal Safi, Shah Khan Shirzad, Mohammaddin Hamdard, Mohammadullah Batash, Haji Mohammad Omar Khan, Fazl Karim Aymaq, Niloofar Jalali Kofi and Fatima Aziz
Finally in Kandahar, where the elections took place a week later than elections of other provinces, the elected representatives are: Sayed Ahmad Khadem, Sayed Moqtada Miran, Mahmud Khan Nosrat, Rohullah Khanzada, Gol Ahmad Kamin, Mohammad Omar Shirzad, Sayed Ahmad Selab, Mohammad Arif Noorzai, Fariba Ahmadi Kakar, Malalai Ishaqzai and Arezo Safi
President Ghani’s deputy spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi informed that Raees Zazai, the boy who was reportedly assaulted by the President’s guards in an incident last week in Herat, and his mother have been taken to Kabul.
Spokesperson Murtazawi also added that the Attorney General’s Office and the Supreme Court have been tasked to address Zazai’s complaints.
Later on social media, Zazai’s video as a clarification was posted by Murtazawi in which Zazai clarified about the incident.
“I was eagerly looking forward to meet the president” he began.
He continued that “when the president finished his speech and was heading towards his seat, I shouted “Mr, president. I want you to hear my petition. we were treated unjustly.” as Mr president was heading toward me a guard covered my mouth and told me to lower my voice. Mr president pushed him away and said no one can ever cover the peoples mouths in my administration to silence their voices”.
Zazai went on to say that the president “held my hand and said that no one can violate your rights, tell me what ever you have. I presented my petition to him about my brother who is the head of Paktia provincial council that arrogated our lands, shops and markets.”
Zazai ends the video by saying how the President promised him that the President will address the issue and called the authorities right away to investigate the case.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday reiterated to call on Afghan forces and asked them to take better measures to ensure that civilian casualties are prevented in the course of their operations.
Even Toby Lanzer, the United Nations Humanitarian Resident Coordinator in Afghanistan expressed concern towards the vulnerabilities of civilian life in the middle of battle and operations.
“Security institutions should consider the prevention of civilian casualties under any circumstances,” Abdullah said.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) had said that the policy to reduce civilian casualties has been finalized and that it is being implemented during offensive and clearance operations by the Afghan forces now, and any violation will be met with consequences.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan on Sunday also announced on social media that the body’s human rights team has started to look into reports of several civilian deaths and injuries which resulted from the airstrikes in Kunar province.
This comes after the Afghan ministries of Interior and Defense launched a probe into the civilian casualties that took place in Kunar province.
The issue took the social media by storm on Saturday when first reports of such casualties came in.
In reaction to a statement by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan who said last week that it is to his country’s credit that talks between US & Taliban officials was made possible.
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Sunday clarified that the meeting would be Islamabad’s “first practical step towards the peace process in Afghanistan”, thus denouncing any undue credit that Islamabad is willing to give itself for any peace talks negotiations with the Taliban.
The Presidential Palace released a statement informing about President Ghani’s meeting with the ambassadors of France, UAE, Egypt and Netherlands.
Eisa Salem Mohammed AlDhaheri from UAE, David Martinon from France, Hany Salah Mostafa Ahmed from Egypt and Ernst Noorman from Netherlands presented their letters of credence to President Ghani.
The statement added how the president acknowledged the countries’ “deep rooted diplomatic relations with Afghanistan”, and also commended their cooperation in sectors of security, peace and development.
It was reported by the US State Department that Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zamay Khalilzad met with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the foreign minister of UAE.
The two discussed UAE’s support for efforts by Khalilzad and Al Nahyan assured to help restore security, stability and peace in Afghanistan.
As US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad has made his next stop UAE for negotiations, the Taliban confirmed in a statement that they will be participating in a meeting with US officials in UAE on Monday.
The statement adds that in the meeting, representatives of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE will be present too.