Newsfeed; Monday, February 22 2021

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…


  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Measures to be Taken to Reclaim Grabbed Lands: Minister of Justice

    Afghan Minister of Justice Fazel Ahmad Manawi on Monday said that the return of the government’s grabbed lands is one of the fundamental goals of the government.

    “Wherever it is determined that public or government property has been grabbed, it will not be retaken immediately. An institution has been formed that the claimants present reasons and argue their rights,” Justice Minister said at a conference aimed at restoring public and private properties.

    According to the statistics of the Ministry of Urban Development and Lands, 1.6 million acres of government land have been usurped, and the statistics of this ministry show that 18,000 people are involved in the usurpation of government lands.

    In the meantime, Mahmoud Karzai, the Minister of Urban Development and Lands, says that anyone in Afghanistan who needs land for investment purposes can request in order to improve the country’s economic situation.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Presidential Delegation Begins Investigating Causes of Islam Qala Fire

    Members of a delegation who have been assigned by President Ashraf Ghani to go to Herat today began investigations to determine the causes of fire brokeout at Islam Qala Customs office.

    Ghulam Bahauddin Jilani, the State Minister for Disaster Management, who also chairs the delegation, said a press conference in Herat on Monday that after a thorough investigation by the delegation, the presidency will make a decision to pay compensation to the vulnerables.

    According to him, representatives of several government agencies, including the Ministries of Transport, Interior, Industry and Commerce, Finance, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Security Council, are members of the delegation.

    Previously, drivers whose vehicles had caught fire claimed that the board was not acceptable to them and that representatives of drivers and motorists should be involved in the investigations, but board members insisted that a representative of the Ministry of Transport will share the details of the investigations with the vehicles owners.

    Ten days passed after the massive fire at Herat’s Islam Qala border customs office, but the government officials have so far refused to provide accurate statistics on the financial damages left.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Ministry of Health Reports 29 New Cases of COVID-19

    The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursday reported 29 new positive cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

    The ministry also reported three death and 61 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

    The cumulative number of total cases is now 55,646 the number of total reported deaths is 2,435 and the total number of recoveries is 48,895.

    The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Takhar, Kunduz, Maidan Wardak, Kapisa, Helmand, Kunar, and Nuristan.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Minister of Tribal Affairs Submits Complaint to AGO Against Mawlavi Mujeeb Ansari

    Following the reactions to the recent remarks by Mawlavi Mujeeb Rahman Ansari, the Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Muhebullah Samim has filed a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

    Minister Samim called the remarks of Mawlavi Ansari as abusing the freedom of speech saying that he is trying to disrupt the security of the country.

    The Tribal Affairs Minister noted that Ansari’s remarks could endanger the lives of government’s officials and pave the way for the violation of the human and Islamic rights of the people.

    He cited that Ansari is an extremist with a background of extremism.

    “Evidence shows that those words were not dictated by Ansari himself but from other places, and he was given a mission that will detroriate
    the security of the country with extremist interpretations and misrepresentations of the religion,” Minister Samim said.

    During his speech after Friday prayers, Mujeeb Rahman Ansari, the Imam of Gozargah mosque in Herat city said, “Those who support the current system by any means commit a grave sin. Being starve to death is better than serving the current system.”

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Second VP Calls on International Community to Persuade Taliban Respect Human Rights

    Sarwar Danish, Afghan second Vice President says the issue of human rights should be raised as one of the basic principles of the peace process in talks with the Taliban.

    Mr. Danish made the remarks on Monday during a meeting with Fiona Frazer, the Chief of Human Rights at UNAMA.

    “So far there has been no sign of the Taliban respecting or protecting human rights,” Danish said. “But the importance of this issue requires that the international community and all parties involved in the peace process of Afghanistan put pressure on the Taliban in this regard.”

    Referring to the escalating violence and the new approach of terrorist groups targeting civilians, human rights activists, journalists and civil society activists, Mr. Danish said that all Afghan international partners must stand with one voice against the growing violence.

    In the meantime, Fiona Frazer, while expressing concern over the growing threats and assassinations of human rights activists, journalists, civil society activists and civilians, said that studies show that activists in these areas have been deliberately targeted.

    According to ber, this violence, in addition to having a bad effect on the public space of society, also affects the relevant fields; Because without the presence of human rights activists, civil society activists and journalists, people will be in trouble.

    Frazer expressed hope that the process of judicially prosecuting the perpetrators of the violence would be strengthened.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Uzbekistan Foreign Minister to Visit Kabul This Week

    Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov will make a working visit to Afghanistan on February 23, the country’s Foreign Ministry said.

    According to Uzbek media reports, the upcoming talks will address the current bilateral cooperation in different areas and its prospects.

    The views will be exchanged concerning opportunities of expansion of regional trade, implementation of the joint transport and communication projects linking Central and South Asia.

    The Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan has not said if Foreign Minister Kamilov will meet with President Ashraf Ghani.

    Last week Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov visited Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, where he met with the Presidents of these countries.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Four Afghan Security Forces Killed, Wounded in Taliban’s Attack in Faryab

    Afghan local officials say at least four security forces were killed and wounded in Taliban’s attack in Faryab province.

    Abdul Karim Yourish, spokesman of Faryab Police said the Taliban militants launched attacks on the center of Shirin Tagab district on Sunday night and the clashes continued until the midnight.

    According to Yourish, two security forces were killed and two more were wounded in the clashes.

    He added that four Taliban insurgents including the group’s Red Unit commander were killed and two more were wounded.

    In another statement, Yourish said that the Taliban militants stormed the municipality security outpost and the center of Qaisar district which as a result five of the insurgents were killed, five more were wounded and another one was arrested.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    Lower House of Parliament Approves Draft Budget for 1,400 Fiscal Year

    The Lower House of Parliament on Monday approved the draft budget for the 1,400 fiscal year with majority of votes after two times being rejected.

    On Sunday, MPs and the Finance Ministry officials agreed on almost all 19 disputed points, but they still have not agreed on the allocation of the budget for the High Council for National Reconciliation as well as over the reduction in the number of development projects.

    There were disagreements on a 15 million Afs allocation for Afghanistan Oil and Gas Regulatory authority, this issue was solved in the third draft, and the estimated budget for the year 1400 is nearly $6 billion about 473 billion Afs.

    About $4 billion is allocated for the regular budget and the rest is for the development budgets.

    In the approved draft 105 million Afs that make $1.3 million was shifted to the regular budget from the development budget.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    UNHCR to Facilitate Biometric Verification of 1.4m Afghan refugees in Pakistan

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) would facilitate the biometric verification of the documents (smartcard IDs) of 1.4 million Afghan refugees from Pakistani government during the current year.

    ‘UNHCR has a plan to facilitate the Afghan refugees (POR – proof of registration cardholders) – by verifying and receiving new biometric documentation (smartcard IDs) from the Government of Pakistan by 2021.’ Revealed a document of UNHCR, Pakistan.

    The document revealed the UNHCR’s key plans for ensuring the betterment of the Afghan refugees during the current year through several initiatives relating to health, education, and others.

    According to the report, (UNHCR) has a plan to facilitate around 58,000 Afghan refugees, living in Pakistan, to ensure their return home by 2021.

    UNHCR would enroll 61,500 refugee children during the year 2021, providing them an access to primary education.

    The children would impart education in 137 schools of 54 refugee villages set up across the country, UNHCR Pakistan document added.

  • 22 Feb 2021 Share this post

    NATO’s Position Creates ‘Window of Opportunity’ for Peace Process: Ghani

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says there is a “window of opportunity to accelerate the peace process” following NATO’s announcement that it has made no final decision on withdrawing troops.

    Ashraf Ghani made the comments in an exclusive interview with the BBC.

    The Nato military alliance has close to 10,000 troops in the war-torn country. Under a US-Taliban deal, they were due to be withdrawn by May, after 20 years.

    But there are concerns that Taliban violence could intensify.

    Mr Ghani told the BBC’s Lyse Doucet that NATO’s announcement provided an opportunity for “all parties to the conflict to recalculate and reach a conclusion that we’ve long reached, that use of force is not the solution”.

    “We must reach a political settlement,” he said.

    He added that there needed to be a “concerted effort” internationally “to send signals that certain types of behaviour are unacceptable”.

    The Afghan president would not be drawn on how many foreign troops were needed, or for how long, saying it “depends on the intensity of the war”.

    Mr Ghani, told the BBC he was “delighted” with his relationship with the new US administration, and a new “coherence” among the international community’s approach to Afghanistan’s future.

    “The force of coherence is what I’m counting on to avoid the tragedies. There’s so many fears of collapse into civil war,” he said, acknowledging that both sides were preparing for warfare.

    But he dismissed fears of a Taliban military victory. “This is not Vietnam. The government is not collapsing.”

    His comments came amid stalled peace talks between the two sides and high levels of violence in the country.