Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Taliban shadow deputy governor for Baghlan province and Taliban shadow district chief for Ruyi Du Ab district of Samangan province have been killed by Afghan security forces in Baghlan province, Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
MoD in a statement said that Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) launched a clearance operation on Sunday night in Dand-e Ghori district of Baghlan.
Dozens of Taliban insurgents including Qari Bakhtyar, Taliban shadow deputy governor for Baghlan province and Mawlavi Shamsahd, shadow district chief for Ruyi Du Ab district of Samangan were killed in the operation, MoD noted.
The statement said that 8 villages in vicinity of Ruyi Du Ab have been cleared of insurgents in the raid.
A car repair shop, an IED making factory, a Hilux type vehicle of Taliban were destroyed and 30 embedded mines were defused, the statement read.
MoD stressed that ANDSF have launched a large-scale operation since past few days to clear Baghlan province of Taliban presence and many areas have been cleared of the fighters so far and security forces are trying to clear the remaining areas.
The acting Interior Minister, Massoud Andarabi says the Taliban’s “Operation Al-Fatah” had no progress and the group had no advance and achievements.
Andarabi declared that the connection of Taliban leadership with their fighters has been cut and the group’s shadow governors are now hiding in their hideouts.
Speaking at an event for renaming the Police academy after Gen. Abdul Raziq, former Kandahar police chief, Andarabi stated that the Taliban have been defeated on the battlefield by brave Afghan security forces
“The Taliban group had lost its morale; Afghan forces have launched clearing operations in Baghlan, and the Taliban who were targeting telecommunication antennas and electricity pylons are not able to face them,” Andarabi said.
General Abdul Raziq, one of Afghanistan’s most powerful security officials who was killed when a bodyguard of Kandahar governor opened fire after a meeting with presence of Resolute Support Commander for Afghanistan.
The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has met with a delegation of US Congress members led by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Presidential Palace- ARG said.
“During the meeting, President Ghani praised the continued US financial and political support and assistance to Afghanistan over the past 18 years and emphasized that US-Afghanistan partnership has been sustainable and will remain sustainable”, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
“We (Afghanistan) want U.S. support for Afghanistan and for expanding relations between the two countries in various areas, especially in the security sector,” the presidential palace quoted Ghani as saying in a statement.
President declared that peace was a priority and the peace process should be led and owned by the Afghans and it should protect constitutional values and women’s rights.
Ghani emphasized that the US presence in Afghanistan is based on the agreements which signed between the two countries and any decision regarding the presence of US troops in Afghanistan should be discussed between the two sides.
During the meeting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also said, “The reason for our presence in Afghanistan is that the Taliban once hosted terrorists in Afghanistan who attacked us and we won’t let the country to become a safe haven for terrorists again.”
Pelosi declared that maintaining the achievements and protecting the rights of Afghan women is one of the priorities of the US Congress and the US House of Representatives respects the accomplishments, commitments and priorities of Afghanistan as well as its national interests and efforts to maintain a long-term friendship with the United States.
The Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah met with delegation of US Congress members led by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday, the Chief Executive office said.
During the meeting Dr. Abdullah said that the Afghan people successfully passed the presidential election and despite Taliban threats, they went to the polls to defend democratic values, the office quoted Abdullah as saying in a statement.
According to the statement, Abdullah appreciated the US assistance and sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and the peace process in Afghanistan and called for continuation of strategic cooperation between the two countries.
On her part, Nancy Pelosi also declared that Afghanistan and the United States are strategic friends and allies and the friendship and cooperation between the two countries will continue.
US House Speaker stressed that her country doesn’t want Afghanistan to change into a safe haven again for terrorists, the statement read.
The US House Speaker stated that they want to closely monitor the situation in Afghanistan so that the activities of both countries continue in a coordinated manner for combating the terrorism.
Ms. Pelosi welcomed the successful organization of Afghan presidential election and emphasized on transparency of the process to validate democracy and legitimacy of the post-election government.
The Taliban group killed a tribal elder in Jaghatu district of Ghazni province at around 08:00 PM Sunday, local officials said.
The provincial governor’s office in a statement on Monday said that Norajan Jafari, a Jihadi commandor and tribal elder was killed by Taliban group in Ahmada village, Jaghatu district of Ghazni.
The statement added that the tribal elder has had no government activity in the past two decades.
Jaghatu district was recaptured by Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) after two years.
Taliban group has not yet commented on this regard.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has travelled to Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s emperor, presidential palace said.
ARG, presidential palace in a statement said that Ghani travelled to Tokyo, the capital of Japan on Sunday evening to participate the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s emperor.
The statement added that Ashraf Ghani will also meet with officials of Japanese government, director of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and will attend the Japanese Prime Minister’s banquet.
Japan has been one of the major donor countries in Afghanistan for the past 18 years.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Kabul on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States’ longest war.
The Pentagon chief was greeted by his Afghan counterpart, Assadullah Khalid, as he landed in Kabul on Sunday, on his first visit to the country since being confirmed as US Defense Secretary in July.
He met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, a meeting that followed the Afghan government’s decision to delay announcing the preliminary results of last month’s presidential election.
Esper told reporters traveling with him that he believes the U.S. can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting the counterterrorism fight against al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. But he said any withdrawal would happen as part of a peace agreement with the Taliban.
Esper’s arrival in Kabul came as Afghan government leaders delayed the planned announcement of preliminary results of last month’s presidential election.