Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan at Chaman remained closed for the eighth day on Monday. It will remain closed for one more week, Pakistani authorities said.
The border has been shut to prevent an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan. All trade and migration has been suspended.
Pakistan’s health department told that screening of 15,000 individuals has been completed at the Pak-Afghan border.
Around 10,000 people cross the 2,600-kilometre border every day for trade, medical treatment, work or to meet relatives.
President Ashraf Ghani says the negotiating team for peace talks will be finalized by tomorrow on Tuesday, March 10.
During his inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Ghani stated that he will issue a decree on Tuesday about the peace process.
He noted that Saturday’s attack shows there is an “invisible” but “basic” relation between the Taliban and IS-K group.
“The attack in Kabul will be investigated thoroughly, and that it was an attack against all the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
This comes as gunmen opened fire at a ceremony marking the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari on Friday in Kabul, killing at least 32 people and wounding more than 50 people.
Throughout International Women’s Day, my thoughts have been with the women of Afghanistan whose hard-won rights and freedom are hanging in the balance. Just days ago, an agreement was signed between the government of the United States and the Taliban that was reached without the inclusion of women, made no mention of women’s rights under the Afghan constitution, and contained no commitments to protecting those rights in the intra-Afghan negotiations that are to come.
Everyone wants to see peace in Afghanistan. But peace gained at the price of the rights of women is no peace at all, just conflict and oppression by different means. It would be a betrayal of the huge sacrifices made by the Afghan people and security forces, and by many brave international servicemen and women.
All governments, starting with ours in the United States, should insist on the full inclusion of women in the next stage of the negotiations, and make clear that they will not support a peace agreement that undermines Afghan women’s rights under the constitution or calls into question the country’s democratic institutions.
When the 24 hours we’ve set aside to honor women comes to an end, we must continue to press the administration to honor its promise to protect Afghan women during the negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban scheduled for later this month.
I hope that everyone who considers themselves part of the international women’s rights movement will show their solidarity and support for Afghan women — as well as women of all other countries where rights are lacking or under threat — and help ensure that their voices can never be silenced. Countless Afghan women have risked — and lost — their lives to win greater freedom for their countrymen and women. They must not be forgotten or left to stand alone during this crucial period in their country’s history.
Former Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, says he favors a “civilized relationship” with Pakistan in an extremism-free environment that should be based on a goodwill and mutual respect.
Speaking to Daily Times at his residence in capital Kabul Karzai recognized Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process and insisted Pakistan should use its role for stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.
“Yes. There was a role of Pakistan in the peace process and we are happy at this role and want Pakistan intensifies this role. We welcome Islamabad’s approach for peace in Afghanistan. We desire this role should be stepped up,” the Afghan leader said.
“We think Pakistan has influence in Afghanistan. This is a reality and this role should be used for Afghanistan’s welfare, prosperity, restoration of peace and this will pave the way for friendship between the two countries” the Afghan leader said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi has termed the Afghanistan peace deal a golden opportunity to move towards peace.
Talking to mediaperson, Qureshi said few elements were trying to spoil peace agreement, adding, they should not be allowed to succeed so that this golden opportunity is availed for sustainable peace in Afghanistan.
He said that there were some information about development on the issue of release of prisoners.
He said after successful resolution of the issue, the Afghan Intra dialogues on table would be the next session of peace deal.
Acting Defense Minister (MoD) Asadullah Khalid said on Monday the security forces would end their defensive stance by the end of this week if the Taliban did not stop attacks.
Khalid made the announcement at a meeting that was also attended by Minister of Interior Masood Andarabi and National Directorate of Security chief Ahmad Zia Siraj.
He added the security forces would remain defensive until the end of this week in compliance with President Ashraf Ghani’s orders following the Taliban-US peace agreement.
He warned if the Taliban militants did not stop attacks until the end of the week they, government forces would also return to their offensive posture.