Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Belarus to Tajikistan with concurrent accreditation to Afghanistan Oleg Ivanov paid a working visit to Afghanistan on 1-6 November, said the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Oleg Ivanov held meetings with acting Afghan Minister of Economy, co-chair of the joint Belarus-Afghanistan committee on trade and economic cooperation Karima Hamid Faryabi, acting Afghan Minister of Industry and Commerce Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Mirwais Nab.
“The parties reaffirmed their readiness to expand Belarus-Afghanistan cooperation in key areas of interaction, and agreed to organize in Minsk in 2021 the second meeting of the joint Belarus-Afghanistan committee,” the ministry informed.
Oleg Ivanov also met with the leadership of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment and the regional branches of the Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines. The parties confirmed interest in organizing joint business and exhibition events in Belarus in 2021.
The Belarusian ambassador made a presentation on the country’s export opportunities in the context of expanding trade partnership with Afghanistan and took part in round tables with representatives of Afghanistan business circles on the supply of Belarusian pharmaceutical products, engineering and petrochemical products, and also food products.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi has met with the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Afghanistan affairs Deborah Lyons discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan.
The two officials also shared views on the country’s political and security situation and intra-Afghan dialogue which is currently underway in Doha.
Referring to close ties between Iran and Afghanistan, Araghchi reaffirmed Iran’s support for Afghan peace process involving all Afghan political parties and stressed the need for protecting the achievements of the Afghan people over the past two decades, especially the Constitution and its democratic structures, and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and the rights of women during peace talks.
Describing the role of UNAMA in advancing intra-Afghan dialogue and hosting international consultations as significant, he said that Iran is ready to cooperate with that organization in this regard.
Lyons, for her part, hailed Iran’s positive role in supporting Afghan people and government, voicing the UN readiness for helping establish peace in Afghanistan.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) has discovered a Taliban drone and seized a large number of arms and weapons during an operation in Barmal district of Paktika province.
Media reported that the operation was carried out in Murghi area of Barmal district and two Taliban militants were killed in the operation.
The reconnaissance drone was equipped with seven different cameras and was also used to launch small bombs.
Local residents and eyewitnesses also said that during the operation, a large amount of heavy weapons and ammunition from the Taliban were seized by the National Security Forces.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 138 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 594 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 12 death and 263 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 42,297, the number of total reported deaths is 1,574, and the total number of recoveries is 34,721.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Kandahar, Balkh, Nangarhar, Paktia, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan, Badghis, Nimroz, Parwan, Ghor, Kapisa and Uruzgan provinces.
Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Monday said this year they have collected about 142 billion and 685 million AFs in national revenue.
According to the Ministry of Finance, 7 billion and 170 million AFs have been collected in the last two weeks. Similarly, 142 billion and 685 million Afs have been collected from national revenues since the beginning of the fiscal year.
Revenues collected over the past two weeks have been collected from customs, tax revenues and non-tax revenues.
According to MoF, the collected revenues include 394 million AFs from Mostofites, 1 billion and 186 million Afs from tax revenues, 1 billion and 757 million Afs from non-tax revenues and 3 billion and 831 million Afghanis from the customs sector.
The Ministry also reports that since the beginning of the current fiscal year, 100 billion Afs (57.6%) of the development budget and 221 billion 731 million Afs (73%) of the ordinary budget have been spent.
National income levels are likely to fall this year from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Criticizing the escalating violence, Sarwar Danish, the second vice president, said the majority of released Taliban prisoners had returned to the battlefield in defiance of their commitments.
Speaking at the “National Conference on Strengthening the Information Process” in Kabul on Monday, he said that the government fully supports peace with lasting dignity and security.
Danish added that the Taliban is “the main hurdle” for the peace negotiations in Doha and had blocked any progress in the peace talks for nearly two months.
He said the people also blamed the government for the concessions made to the Taliban for releasing the group’s prisoners.
Under an agreement between the United States and the Taliban signed last winter, the Afghan government had to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
The government described about 400 prisoners as dangerous and left the decision of releasing them to the Loya Jirga.
Loya Jirga with the participation of 3,200 people, about 700 of whom were women agreed to release the prisoners.
A number of youth, students, civil society activists and residents of Herat, in reaction to the bloody attack on Kabul University, called for the cancellation of peace talks in Doha, Qatar and the punishment of the perpetrators of this deadly incident.
They condemned the attack on students and academic centers at a protest rally in front of the Herat governor’s provincial building.
Students of Herat State University and students at the private higher education institutions in the city have expressed concern about the security of science and education centers following the gun attack on Kabul University, and called for immediate action to contain threats against educational institutions.
The assault on Monday started after two attackers entered the university’s training centre – located at the two-storey Law Faculty building – throwing grenades and firing bullets in classrooms.
The Taliban denied involvement as a local offshoot of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group took responsibility for the mayhem — which included a pair of attacks that took the lives of dozens of students.
On October 24, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the entrance of a tutoring center in Dasht-e Barchi, an area in Kabul mostly populated by the Shi’ite Hazara minority. At least 24 people — mostly students — were killed and more than 50 were wounded.
Children are increasingly being used for smuggling purposes at Torkham following Pakistan’s decision to fence the border with Afghanistan and undertake tougher anti-smuggling measures, Pakistani officials said.
As per TheNews report, children risk their lives by travelling and hiding in undercarriage of the trucks to cross the border.
Authorities pointed out that the kids’ involvement in smuggling has negatively affected and reduced the Pak-Afghan trade, which Islamabad is trying to increase by taking decisions such as keeping the border open 24 hours instead of the earlier practice of opening it from sunrise to sunset.
They said the use of children, who are invariably Afghans, to smuggle goods is quite extensive as they are motivated by the smugglers.
Amrullah Saleh, the first vice president, said investigations into the attack on Kabul University, the Kowsar Danesh training center, and targeted assassinations had been progressed.
Saleh wrote on his Facebook page on Monday that the assailants who attacked the Kabul University blew themselves up with hand grenades when they saw security forces approaching them through the roof and making holes.
“This shows that they were told to cut off their nails and toes to hide their footprints. That is why they are believed to have been previously arrested on a criminal charge and biometric. Efforts are still being made to rely on technology to make clear the identities of the bodies.”
In the meantime, Saleh said that Yama Siawash, a central bank employee and former journalist, had also been targeted by RDX materials.
“These materials are not home-made and are used militarily,” he said. “The amount of material was two kilograms and it was placed close to the tank of his car. Another hypothesis that was placed on the road is also under investigation. We do not yet have the right clue, but it includes targeted assassinations after the Doha agreement.”
Saleh stated that after the signing of the Qatar Agreement, the Taliban decided to reduce the number of large explosions and attacks; But to increase targeted assassinations, and for this reason, a group called “Karwan Obaida” was trained in Pakistan’s Waziristan and were sent to major cities, especially Kabul.
The first vice president said that 50 members of the Obaida Karwan group have been arrested so far and are being held in a national security prison.
He added that the works of the traffic police in Kabul are unacceptable and that they had been allowed to prove that they were active by doing certain things.
At least eight civilians were killed and seven more were wounded after three mortars hit near residential houses in Naw Abad area in the city of Ghazni yesterday evening, the provincial police spokesman Wahidullah Juma said.
He said that the incident happened when the first mortar “shelled by the Taliban” hit a house in the area and that the two others hit the area when the people gathered to help those affected.
He said that nine children and four women are among those killed and wounded in the incident.
Taliban has not commented on the statement.
At least 24 people including children were wounded in a car bomb explosion in Kandahar province, local officials said.
The explosion happened late on Sunday night, targeting the Shahra battalion in Maiwand district of Kandahar.
Authorities said that 13 police officers and 11 civilians are among the 24 injured.
Eyewitnesses say the blast also destroyed several shops and houses in the incident.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
At least two civilians were wounded in a roadside bomb blast in Kabul on Monday morning, Police said in a statement.
According to the statement, the incident happened in Pul-e Charkhi area of PD12 at around 07:30am this morning.
No further details were provided in the statement.
No group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.