Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Local officials in Ghazni province say the perpetrators of the assassination of Rahmatullah Nikzad, the head of the journalists’ union in Ghazni province, and two employees tax unit department of the province have been arrested.
Ghazni Governor Seyed Omar Nuristani has said that the perpetrators of the assassination of the head of the Journalists’ Union were arrested by National Directorate of Security forces today.
Mr Nuristani added that the detainees had confessed to being involved in the assassination of six others.
He added that one of the detainees had confessed to assassinating the head of the Ghazni Journalists’ Union.
Rahmatullah Nikzad who was assassinated a week ago in the “Khaja Hakim” area from the PD1 of Ghazni city, while going to the mosque.
Also this morning, in “Cinema circle”, two employees of the security forces of Ghazni city were assassinated.
Pakistan is looking to increase its share in the Afghan market by 60-65%. At the moment, Islamabad possesses 43% of the total imports in the neighbouring country.
According to a news report in The News, the Pakistani government has finalised a trade and investment for Afghanistan after taking the General Headquarters (GHQ) on board.
Under the plan, trade routes between the two countries would remain open despite subversive activities from militants across the divide, Adviser to the Pakitani Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood confirmed to The News.
In the past, trade routes were shut when there was any disruption in the bordering area, damaging exports to Afghanistan. After Kabul diversified its import regime, some of Pakistan’s share in the Afghan market went to Iran and India.
Local officials in Baghlan province confirmed that at least four workers were killed in an explosion in a coal mine in the Tala-Wa-Barfak district of the province.
Abdul Ahad Barfaki, the district governor of Tala-Wa-Barfak said that the incident took place yesterday in Barfak village of the district.
He said that so far the body of a worker has been pulled out from under the rubble and the rest of the dead are still under the rubbles .
According to Mr. Barfaki, people have been sent to the scene to exhume the bodies of the victims.
He added that the high concentration of methane gas in the coal mine caused the explosion.
Local officials in Ghazni province said that the Taliban militants have abducted six residents of Jaghori district from Qarabagh district of the province.
Aref Bahonar, Jaghori district governor said that the Taliban had abducted them on Sunday from Dasht area of Qarabagh district.
According to Bahonar, most of the abductees are residents of Ghajoor, Alludal and Shaghala areas of Jaghori district.
“Four of the abductees were taken hostage by the Taliban while traveling from Jaghori to Ghazni. Two of them were on their way from Kabul to Jaghori when they were abducted by the Taliban.”
He stressed that the abductees were all civilians and had been taken hostage by militants of Mawlavi Ayub, the Taliban’s shadow district governor for Qarabagh.
The governor of Balkh has confirmed the reports of thousands of dollars in bribes being taken by three members of the Afghan Senate.
Speaking at a press conference in Mazar-e-Sharif, Farhad Azimi said the three members of the Upper House had been sent to Kabul for further investigation.
Other sources in the Afghan government and Senate have confirmed the arrest of Senators.
According to sources, the senators were tasked with a parliamentary panel to evaluate the performance of financial institutions in the port of Hairatan, which themselves “accepted taking $ 40,000 in bribes.”
This comes as the Attorney General Office and National Directorate of Security have confirmed the arrest of Senators.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday reported 140 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1,593 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 9 deaths and 279 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 52,147 the number of total reported deaths is 2,179 and the total number of recoveries is 41,610.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh,Takhar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Daykundi, Ghazni, Helmand, wardak, Laghman, Kunar, Kapisa, Faryab, Uruzgan and Farah provinces.
Salang Pass Maintenance Authority said on Monday, that the Pass is closed to traffic for the second day due to snow and storm.
The Department said that the snowfall stopped yesterday in the north of Salang, but the intensity of the storm in the south of Salang continued until 00:00am today.
The department added that the snow removal operation started at 04:00 am and now the highway is being cleared of snow.
According to the Department, due to the wind, the galleries in the south of Salang are full of snow and its cleaning is time consuming, and the highway is closed to traffic on that part.
According to the information of the department, the air temperature in Salang is minus 22 degrees Celsius, the thickness of snow is 95 cm in the north and 50 cm in the south.
About five months ago, a group of students at Herat University’s of Computer Science department decided to build a device to prevent the spread of the corona virus.
They formed a team of four and came up with the idea of building a smart gate to control the spread of coronavirus.
The design and technical review stages of the device were completed, and team members began the practical work three months ago.
Lack of required parts and financial problems were two big challenges that made it difficult for them to implement this idea.
Despite all the problems, the team members managed to build a “smart gate to control the coronavirus”.
This smart gate is equipped with thermometers, disinfectants and counting devices, and if a person’s body temperature is higher than “37 degrees”, it will not open and no one can pass through it.
Following the increase of insecurity in Kabul, Amrullah Saleh, the first Vice President, says that a comparative assessment shows that even in the stable and calm situation of Kabul, it has the lowest number of police in proportion to the world’s population, especially in third world countries.
Amrullah Saleh said on Moday that the increase in police forces will be doubled and to be done with “patience and precision” and that people who do not meet the necessary conditions and people with a clear set of criteria.
Saleh noted that the criteria for recruiting people in Kabul police will be determined soon, and one of these criteria will be having a basic knowledge of investigations.
“Sometimes when the prosecutors or the courts are unable to bring the perpetrator to justice as needed, there is a rift in the investigation,” he said.
The first Vice President cited that in order to eliminate this shortcoming, he simplified the method of describing the crime and inciting the case will be distributed to Kabul police like pocket booklets.
Saleh added that these actions led to the return of at least 500 security police officers to the law enforcement duties.
Afghan forces have arrested three suspects for involvement in the Nov. 7 blast that killed three people, including a journalist and former TV presenter Yama Siawash, the Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi said in a meeting on Sunday.
The meeting was attended by members of the joint committee of the government and the media led by Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh, his office said in a statement.
Minister Andarabi stated that a serious investigation is underway into the incident in collaboration with the National Directorate of Security (NDS).
He said that he has held meetings with Siawash’s family and the heads of some media outlets to discuss the incident.
The Minister of Interior cited that one “terrorist” was arrested in connection with the attack on Elyas Daee, a Radio Azadi reporter, who was killed in Helmand on Nov. 12.
He noted that one member of the Taliban has been identified in connection with the killing of Rahmatullah Nekzad, a freelance reporter who was killed in Ghazni last week.
Andarabi said that an investigation is underway into the death of Ariana News presenter Fardin Amini and two suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack on civil society activist Freshta Kohistani.
According to Andarabi, two suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack on Malala Maiwand, a reporter in Jalalabad who was killed this month.
A security force vehicle was targeted by an IED blast in the capital, Kabul city on Monday morning, Kabul police said in a statement, adding that the blast caused no casualties.
The incident took place at around 07:50am (local time) in the Kolola Poshta area in PD4 of Kabul city as a magnetic IED placed on a security forces vehicle exploded, the statement said.
“The blast has no casualties,” said Ferdous Faramarz, a spokesman for the Kabul police, but some eyewitnesses claimed there were casualties.
Faramarz said investigations are ongoing.No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
The Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) of Afghanistan and the Digital Citizen Fund , have signed an agreement on the establishment of an institute for Afghanistan’s robotics team.
According to the agreement, “The Dreamers” institute will be built on Kabul University campus at a cost of USD 20 million.
“The institute will have various departments, including artificial intelligence, new technology, science and other departments,” said TVET head Nadima Sahar.
She added that the purpose of the institute is to nurture creativity among young people.
Head of the Digital Citizen Fund Roya Mahboob said the institute will consist of two educational courses: the first course will be at high school level, grades 11th and 12th, and the second course will be the institute.
Mahboob added that the institute will have the capacity for 80 students.
The Dreamers institute will be built on a 10-acre land inside Kabul University.
Pakistan has expressed concern about the spike in violence in Afghanistan and assured help in enhancing security.
The foreign ministry of Pakistan said its country continued to “express its deep concern at the increasing level of violence” in Afghanistan during the current year and Prime Minister Imran Khan, on several occasions, has reiterated his calls for reduction in violence leading to a cease-fire.
“It is important to underline the need for Afghan government to take proactive measures to fulfill its responsibility for internal security, law and order and protection of Afghan lives,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry statement said.
The statement said Pakistan stands ready to expand all possible cooperation in the area of security and effective border management through effective institutional collaboration.
Referring to the resumption of intra-Afghan negotiations expected on Jan. 5, 2021, the statement said the negotiations would enter an important and critical phase that would be focusing on the substantive issues related to a comprehensive future political settlement.
“In this delicate phase of the Intra-Afghan Negotiations, it is important for the negotiating parties to avoid accusations and to demonstrate wisdom, sagacity and vision for the larger objective of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan,” according to the statement.
The statement said Pakistan would like to reiterate its firm commitment to lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan as the Afghan peace process is making encouraging progress towards a political solution to the conflict there.