Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab met with Japanese Ambassador to Kabul Mitsuji Suzuka on Monday.
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they discussed the preparations for the Geneva Conference and the Summit of Senior Officials (SOM).
Both stressed on the importance of the support of countries and the international community to the people and government of Afghanistan to stabilize and ensure the peace process.
Nab thanked Japan for volunteering to host the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
He recalled the friendly and historical relations between Afghanistan and Japan, and their support for the Afghan peace process as a symbol of friendship and deep intimacy between the two countries.
The Japanese envoy reiterated their continued support for Afghanistan in various fields and assured Nab of Japan’s continued cooperation.
Electricity company, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, announced that Tajikistan’s electricity imports to Afghanistan have been reduced from 450 megawatts (MW) to 40 MW only, with effect from Monday.
The statement by Breshna said that Tajikistani officials cited a considerable reduction in water resources as the issue and cut the supply of electricity drastically at around 7:30 am today.
According to Breshna, the provinces of Kabul, Nangarhar, Laghman, Logar, Pakita, Khost, Parwan, Panjshir, Kapisa, Baghlan and parts of Kunduz provinces, used Tajikistan imported electricity.
They will all be suffering due to the reduction in imports.
Breshna officials said Afghanistan had entered into talks with Uzbekistan to import electricity and said that it was possible for a deal to come through by noon for 450 MW.
Meanwhile, officials said the first category of electricity consumers in Kabul, which includes hospitals, security departments and government offices, will have to use domestic electricity sources.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), said the production of fresh fruits has increase by 25% this year, compared to the past.
Officials said they consider the next two months important in the production and export cycle of agricultural produce and said they would share the exact figures soon.
“According to the reports of our local colleagues, it has been determined that our production has increased by 25% compared to last year,” Akbar Rostami, a spokesperson for the ministry said.
He said they had worked with farmers and producers, for capacity building within the sector, this year.
The Afghanistan Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock Products said that now the Ministry of Industry and Commerce needs to take “serious measures” for marketing and finding domestic and foreign markets for the products.
Afghan trade has decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jawad Dabir, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, said they are making efforts to reach global markets and have already managed to expand to the countries in the region.
The Office of the National Security Council (NSC) urged the Taliban to commit to a lasting ceasefire to protect civilians from violence and help lead the peace efforts.
In a press release on Monday, the NSC noted the midyear report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), that hold the Taliban responsible for the majority of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
The intelligence agency said that the “recent upsurge” in Taliban attacks and violence against civilians comes after “their commitment to decreasing violence” in the U.S.-Taliban agreement in Doha.
“To protect civilians from violence and fight COVID-19, and to help the peace efforts lead to success, we yet again invite the Taliban to commit to a lasting ceasefire and the immediate start of direct talks,” the statement said.
They said the government has maintained a defensive posture for months during which the Taliban continued its violence.
NATO also expressed concerns about the continuation of Taliban violence and said it is harming the “unique opportunity for peace.”
“NATO calls on Taliban to cease violence, live up to their commitments and enter intra-Afghan negotiations ASAP,” they tweeted.
They urged the group to prioritize civilian protection and start the peace talks. “The best way to end the suffering of civilians is to pursue political settlement of the conflict. All parties agree there is no military solution.”
The British embassy in Kabul also condemned the UNAMA report and said, “Harm to civilians remains unacceptably high. The Afghan people need a significant reduction in violence.”
The UNAMA reports too called on all parties to end the conflict through political solutions in order to reduce civilian casualties.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported 106 new cases of Coronavirus within the past 24 hours, pushing the Afghan tally to 36,263 confirmed cases so far.
The Ministry also reported the deaths of 10 people and the recovery of 24.
They were able to test 471 samples during the day.
New cases were reported in the provinces of Badghis (21), Farah (20), Herat (16), Kabul (14), Daykundi (13), Bamyan (9), Ghor (6), Takhar (3), Badakhshan (2), Laghman (1) and Panjshir (1).
Afghanistan currently has 9,796 cases actives with 1,269 fatalities, 25,198 recovered.
The first transit consignment of bulk cargo from UAE arrived at Pakistan’s Gwadar port on Sunday, and will now make its way to Afghanistan.
“The first transit consignment of bulk cargo through Gwadar to Afghanistan started today. Several consignments are lined up for coming days,” Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter.
The UAE ship was anchored at the port and the goods will be transported to Afghanistan after customs clearance.
In late May, the first cargo ship, Sibulk Tradition, had berthed at Gwadar, carrying 16,000 tonnes of urea for transit to Afghanistan.
Former deputy minister of Hajj, Daee-ul-Haq Abed, and a member of the Balkh provincial council Asif Mohmand, were sentenced to a year and a half in prison on charges of fraud and abuse, on Sunday.
Their trials were held by the Court of Appeal for Serious Crimes of Corruption.
Abed was charged with forging property documents. According to the Attorney General’s office, he had issued as illegal order for a contract with Shaheen Group, which was owned by the Balkh council member.
The Shaheen Group was to construct a five-storey building on 7,125 square meters of land owned by the Ministry of Hajj in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh.
According to the Attorney General’s office, Mohammad has been charged with being the “main perpetrator” and accomplice in five cases of forgery of documents and its use.
At least six Taliban were killed and eight were wounded in attacks on security checkpoints in capital Pul-e-Alam, and the Mohammad Agha districts of Logar on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence said.
In the clashes in the Daud Khil village of Pul-e-Alam, three Taliban were killed and two were wounded by the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF).
Three Taliban fighters were killed and six were wounded in the Lashkar Khil area of Mohammad Agha by the ANDSF.
The 203rd Thunder Corps said no security forces were injured in the attacks.
The Taliban have not commented on the incident yet.