Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Ambassadors of EU, Germany, Japan, UK, US and UNAMA on behalf of the Election Support Group met with President Ghani and CE Abdullah on Monday to discuss their role in building public trust and confidence in presidential election process.
The ambassadors appreciated the two presidential decrees which have put in place a system of non-interference of government officials and security forces in elections.
However the statement released by ambassadors on explained that they expressed their concern about maintaining level playing field amongst all candidates and stakeholders, as well as fairness in maintaining IEC and IECC.
The statement urged that the President and Chief Executive publicly explain concrete measures to ensure that government officials and state resources are not misused by any candidate and to guarantee that IEC and IECC shall be given complete autonomy in managing electoral process.
It was also encouraged for the leaders to conduct themselves as per Election law and Code of Conduct, and encouraged NUG officials who have concrete role in election campaigns of either Mr Ghani or Dr Abdullah, to formally step aside from positions for the duration of the campaign.
12 Taliban insurgents were killed and nine others were injured in clashes with Afghan National Police (ANP) in Haidar Quli and Sultan Mir Agha villages, Farah City of Farah province, Ministry of Interior reported.
Unfortunately, two Afghan National Policemen were martyred during the clashes.
Meanwhile, the Counter- Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) arrested two drug smugglers at Maulana Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi International Airport in Mazar-e-Sharif. The smugglers swallowed capsules containing heroin inside and wanted to smuggle it to Uzbekistan.
Moreover, on Sunday, thr General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU) arrested a Taliban finance officer during an operation in Wama District of Nuristan.
A suspected terrorist was also arrested by GCPSU.
The case of sexual harassment claim of Afghan female football players which was published by an international newspaper have been sent to the EVAW court on the 11th of July 2019.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan assigned a delegation to investigate the case comprehensively, fairly and accurately. Which after completing the investigation conducted in and abroad of Afghanistan, the case was sent to the court by the assigned delegation.
In connection to this case, former Afghan Football President including six other individuals (the Secretary General, In charge of the Goalkeeper’s Committee, In charge of Provincial Relations, Secretary of the President and In charge of Security) became accountable and were accused.
The lawsuit filed by the prosecutors charged them for rape, sexual harassment, abuse of jurisdiction and concealment of the crime.
In an operation of National Directorate of Security forces in Kunar province, the son of a Taliban commander was killed and 3 others were arrested, as per NDS.
National Directorate of Security said in a statement on Monday, NDS special forces carried out an operation on Taliban insurgents in Sura Dara village of Dangam district.
In the operation, 9 different types of weapon, 2 anti-vehicle mines, 3 set radio and 39 Kg of opium were seized by the forces, as per NDS statement.
Iran has detained 17 Iranian citizens accused of acting as spies for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, according to the country’s Ministry of Intelligence.
An Intelligence Ministry document sent to CNN claims Iran had broken up a CIA spying ring and captured 17 suspects, all of whom confessed to acting as spies for the CIA.
“Defendants serving their sentences in prison mentioning tempting promises of CIA officers including emigration to USA, a proper job in America, and money,” the Intelligence Ministry document said.
It added that the spy mission was to collect classified information “from substantial centers as well as intelligence/technical operations.”
The Ministry said some of the 17 will be executed.
President Donald Trump will press Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for assistance in advancing the peace process in Afghanistan when the two leaders meet at the White House on Monday in their bid to reset strained relations between the two countries, as per Voice of America.
Pakistan has arranged Washington’s direct peace negotiations with Taliban insurgents who are fighting local and U.S.-led international troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
“The purpose of the visit is to press for concrete cooperation from Pakistan to advance the Afghanistan peace process and to encourage Pakistan to deepen and sustain its recent effort to crackdown on militants and terrorists within its territory,” said a senior U.S. administration official to Voice of America.
The months-long U.S.-Taliban dialogue has brought the two adversaries in the 18-year-old Afghan war close to concluding a peace agreement to pave the way for ending what has become the longest U.S. foreign military intervention.
The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity on the eve of the Trump-Khan meeting, said Washington appreciates the “initial steps” Islamabad has taken to facilitate the peace process but “we are reaching a critical juncture” and more cooperation is required to move the process forward.
“The president will be most interested in encouraging Pakistan to… use its leverage with the Taliban to help bring about a ceasefire and genuine inter-Afghan negotiation that include the Afghan government….We’re hoping that the discussions are productive.”
Provincial officials have reported that various telecom companies’ offices have been sealed off in Balkh province.
Monir Ahmad Farhad, spokesman of Balkh governor told Reporterly on Monday that, the action comes after the local officials on Sunday in a statement warned the companies to resume their nighttime operation, but the latter didn’t pay attention to the warning.
Farhad added that: “the telecom companies’ offices in the province were sealed off this morning.”
He emphasized that, these networks will be closed until the companies offer 24 hours service.
This action comes after the companies in Balkh province had shut down their networks for few days due to Taliban threats.
In some other provinces, as the Taliban insurgents threaten the telecom companies, their services remain suspended from 6 pm to 6 am daily.
Rahmatullah Nabil, the former NDS director expressed in a tweet that the key difference between what happened in Bonn 2001 & the US led peace process now is that the US has given Pakistan & Taliban “veto power”.
“When the process fails some in US will blame it on Afghan disunity though they should accept responsibility for their repeated mistakes of of trusting Pakistan to be sincere in fighting terrorism”, Nabil wrote on Twitter.
He added that the US -CHINA- MOSCOW statement on Afghan peace talks list ETIM as a terror organization, & they are right to do so, but it is wrong that all Pakistani terror groups given a free pass and not listed.
Nabil highlighted that while US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad
mentioned the coming of a peace agreement, a lot his actions seemed inconsistent with a peace agreement, rather more consistent with the gradual withdrawal agreement, saying “this has led to huge deficit of trust between Khalilzad and the Afghan Government”.
Nabil also said that President Ghani is also just focused on extending his term for another five years rather than be serious about a peace process. “The lack of clarity by the US in the peace process has led to very unhelpful trends & speculation where many are confused in Congress, in Afghanistan, & in the region. For example Khalilzad says Taliban can be a US counter terrorism partner in the future without offering why he is so sure of this“ he said.
Nabil conceded that the confusion is increasing as tensions between US & Iran are ever increasing, and remarked that US wants to bring troops home from Afghanistan to “free their hands in case of conflict with Iran & take away targets (US Bases) in Afghanistan”.
Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Mr. Idrees Zaman hosted a reception at Ramada Almaty a day before the Joint Regional Conference on Counter-Terrorism & Counter-Narcotics.
During the reception, Mr Zaman interacted with the representatives of the HoA-IP Countries and relevant organizations on issues related to the conference.
Participants of the conference shared their views on the upcoming conference, underscoring the importance of the event.
The Afghan Army in north has reported that 16 Taliban insurgents were killed in Faryab province.
In several security incidents in Shirin Tagab, Qaysar, Kohistan district of the province, 16 Taliban insurgents were killed and 23 others were injured, 209th Shahin Corps in a statement said on Monday.
The statement further added that, the clashes took place in thr center of Shirin Tagap district, Nawdari Qala of Qaysar district, and Qala-Moqawamat area of Kohistan district of Faryab province.
One security force personnel was unfortunately killed and two others were wounded in the clashes, as per Shahin Corps.
A U.S. airstrike resulted in killing the deputy intelligence chief of Taliban for Qarabagh district of Ghazni province.
The 203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said that the U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Khalo Khel and Sherabad areas of Qarabagh district.
The statement further added that the airstrikes killed 8 Taliban insurgents including the deputy intelligence chief of Taliban for Qarabagh.
Furthermore, the 203rd Thunder Corps said the airstrike also destroyed a vehicle.
As part of 1000 Scholarships offered to Afghanistan for the Academic Year 2019-20, Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar interacted with group of Afghan students going to India.
He underscores India’s support for capacity building of Afghan youth, and advised students to focus on studies.
Ambassador Kumar also advised the Afghan students to focus on their studies in order to avail the academic opportunities and upon return contribute to socio-economic and technological growth of Afghanistan.