Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Ministry of Interior spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi, while briefing media at the GMIC on Joint Security Plan for Eid Days Assured that as per this plan, all ANDSF are stand by and will use all resources for ensuring security. He assured that Afghan forces are fully prepared to ensure people’s safety during Eid days.
“ANDSF will provide security for recreational parks, mosques and parks during Eid days despite the normal security measure”, he said. He also called on the Afghans to cooperate with police by providing info on suspicious people and activities and said that no one will be allowed to disrupt public order.
Rahimi als pointed that Taliban’s Eid message is a false and deceiving message because all that it does is target civilians intentionally. “There will be threats, but ANDSF will protect the population and remove the threats”, he said.
Meanwhile in the same press conference Ministry of Defense spokesperson Rohullah Ahmadzai said that ANDSF has no Eid as their Eid is to provide security for all citizens. “ANA will provide support to ANP where ever required. Air Force is ready to conduct air ops”, he explained.
Ahmadzai also remarked that Taliban has no respect to civilian lives, “They kill civilians deliberately. ANA offensive ops will continue as usual and will target Taliban. ANA is ready to defend the population”.
UNAMA Head Tadamichi Yamamoto released a statement to mark the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, and wished all Afghans a peaceful and joyous celebration. “I hope that families around Afghanistan will be able to come together and celebrate Eid in an environment free of fear and violence” the statement said.
To allow all Afghans to commemorate this auspicious celebration, Mr Yamamoto urged all parties to demonstrate good will, to respect this time of joy and tolerance and to refrain from violence. He expressed hope that the feeling of solidarity marked by this sacred occasion will continue well into the future, leading to success in the ongoing peace process.
The United Nations remains a committed partner and supporter of Afghans in their efforts to achieve stability, prosperity and a lasting peace. Eid Mubarak, the statement conceded.
Moreover, British Ambassador to Kabul Alison Blake also issued a statement saying that during these important days of celebration, she would like to wish all the people of Afghanistan a happy and peaceful Eid-ul-Adha and congratulate all those who are performing the Hajj this year.
“Eid-ul-Adha is a festival of blessings and peace. It’s a time to reflect and celebrate together. Muslims all over the world, including in the UK, will gather with family and friends to enjoy each other’s company and help those less fortunate.
Like all friends of Afghanistan, I hope that there will be a reduction in violence to mark Eid-ul-Adha and that this will continue. The Afghan people have suffered through the past 40 years of conflict and we believe that there is now an opportunity to work towards ending the suffering through a sustainable, inclusive political settlement” she said.
Ms Blake reiterated that the UK has been a partner and support of Afghanistan for many years, that their relationship reaches back to Afghanistan’s independence and beyond. She assured that UK will continue to support the efforts of all in Afghanistan who are committed to building an inclusive, democratic, prosperous and peaceful future for all.
“On behalf of everyone at the British Embassy, our best wishes for a Happy and Peaceful Eid. Eid Mubarak! Akhtar Mo Mubarak Sha”, Ms Blake conceded.
Security forces have reported that 9 Taliban insurgents have been killed, injured and detained in Maidan Wardak province. In Special Forces operation carried out in Chak district of Maidan Wardak, 6 Taliban insurgents were killed, Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement added, one was injured in three others were detained in the operation. Moreover, large-scale weapons and ammunition of Taliban were destroyed, as per statement. In another news, Security forces announced that 2 Taliban insurgents’ leaders were arrested in Nangarhar province.
As a result of Police Special Unit operation carried out in Bati Kot district of Nangarhar province, 2 Taliban group leaders were arrested, Ministry of Interior said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement added, the detainees are identified as Navid alias Intizar and Naqi alias Ahmad who have been involved in destructive and terrorist activities including mine planting, killing of government employees and also attacks of security checkpoints in Nangarhar province.
Three weapons, two grenades and some ammunition were seized by security forces, the statement said.
Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Sibghatullah Ahmadi expressed on Twitter that the government is not pleased with Uzbekistan receiving Taliban delegation, “for facilitating any peace talks”.
He said that it is true that Afghanistan has always welcomed international and regional cooperation, particularly that of the neighboring countries’ in the Peace Process of Afghanistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan too, as a friendly and neighboring country had expressed its readiness in this regard.
”However, the formal reception of the Taliban representatives and the dynamics of the talks, do not demonstrate as facilitating peace talks between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Taliban representatives, by the Republic of Uzbekistan”, Ahmdadi expressed.
He also called upon all countries, particularly Afghanistan’s neighbors, to respect the leadership and ownership of the people and government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the Peace Process, as the Government “is the lawful representative” of the people of Afghanistan.
A Taliban delegation led by the co-founder of the group Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar arrived in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan earlier this week, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said.
According to him, during the trip, the Taliban negotiators will discuss the Afghan peace process with the Uzbek officials.
The trip is said to have been taking place to pave the way for an intra-Afghan negotiation. Last August, a Taliban delegation led by Abbas Stanekzai visited Uzbekistan and discussed the peace process with Uzbek diplomats.
The spokesperson for President’s office, Sediq Sediqi said on Friday night that the final draft of US-Taliban agreement has still not been shared with the Afghan government. Sediqi wrote on Twitter that the reports of a possible of US-Taliban agreement having been shared with the Afghan government are not true.
This comes as a number of media outlets quoting the Presidential Palace’s sources have said that the final draft has been shared with the Afghan government. In the meantime, the spokesman of Taliban office in Qatar, Sohail Shahin has told AP that they are expecting to reach an agreement with the US by the end of this round of negotiations.
The 8th round of Peace Talks between Taliban representatives and US officials concluded on August 6 and US envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad has announced great progress during the negotiations.
The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan Peace Process, Zalmay Khalilzad has said Norway could play a role in helping Afghanistan achieve peace. Ambassador Khalilzad said in a statement posted in his Twitter account that he had a productive meeting with the Norwegian officials in Oslo after his visit from India.
Khalilzad noted that he briefed the Norwegian Foreign Minister Mari Eriksen Soreide on current peace efforts. The US envoy’s trip to Norway comes as the Norwegian ambassador to Kabul recently suggested that intra-Afghan talks between the Afghan and Taliban leaders cab be held in Oslo, Norway.
The Taliban on Thursday expressed that the India-Pakistan rift over Jammu and Kashmir issue should not be linked with the situation in Afghanistan.
“Linking the issue of Kashmir with that of Afghanistan by some parties will not aid in improving the crisis at hand because the issue of Afghanistan is not related nor should Afghanistan be turned into the theatre of competition between other countries,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said in a statement.
Taliban also urged India and Pakistan to refrain from taking steps that could pave a way for “violence and complications” in the region. The remarks came after Pakistan’s opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif drew comparison between Kashmir and Afghanistan in Parliament and said, “What kind of a deal is this that the Afghans enjoy and celebrate peace in Kabul, but in Kashmir, blood is shed? No, this is not acceptable for us.”
Meanwhile, the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul on Thursday clarified that the India-Pakistan rift over Kashmir would not affect the peace drive in Afghanistan.
Addressing a news conference, Zahid Nasrullah Khan, ambassador of Pakistan, clarified that the Kashmir issue would not affect Afghan peace process.
This week, India had revoked an act which allowed special status of Jammu and Kashmir state, and led to the bifurcation of the state. Now there are two regions-Ladakh and J&K both of which are Union Territories. Ladakh has also become the first Indian union territory with Buddhist majority.
US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad is in Berlin, Germany where he thanked foreign Minister Heiko Maas for Germany’s long partnership in Afghanistan and its recent undertaking to foster intra-Afghan dialogue.
As per his statement on Twitter, he also briefed the Mr Maas on the latest on the Afghan Peace Process, and discussed the next steps. “I welcome and appreciate Germany’s commitment to support intra-Afghan negotiations. Such negotiations are a vital part of the Afghan peace process”, Khalilzad said.