Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, claimed on Friday that Pakistan was the one to have brokered the possibility of peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the US at the request of the US President Trump.
Khan announced that the talks are scheduled to be held on December 17.
Khan, while speaking at a function in Peshawar on Friday presented the assessment and evaluation of his 100-day agenda of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government he leads.
With respect to the peace efforts being carried out in Afghanistan, he said, “If Allah wills, Peshawar would change and it would become the hub of commerce and tourism, as things around this 2,500-year-old living city are likely to change.”
The Pakistan PM remarked that the same America, which was always intimidating Pakistan to “do more”, is now asking it to facilitate its talks with the Taliban.
“When I used to say that there is no other solution to this problem other than negotiations, I was described as the Taliban Khan, but they now ask us to help them in initiating talks with the Taliban,” Imran Khan said. “Now Pakistan has facilitated their talks with the Taliban, which are scheduled for December 17,” Khan said.
Local security officials have reported the killing of the Taliban district shadow governor for Faizabad district, Jawzjan province.
Qari Rasool, district shadow governor of Faizabad district of Jawzjan province, was killed yesterday in an air strike with his four guards in Chaharbagh village of Faizabad district of Jawzjan province, Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
In the air strike, some Taliban weapons and ammunition were also destroyed, according to the statement.
Security officials have reported the killing of key commanders in the Nangarhar province.
The Nangarhar Police spokesman Ahmad Farid told Reporterly that at 11:30 PM on Friday night, the security forces launched an operation in Achin District of Nangarhar province, in which IS-K commander Abu Zahid, who is also referred to as Abu Jawad, was killed along with two others.
In this operation, three Kalashnikov rifles and two sets of radio and four hand-held bombs were seized by the government forces, Mr Farid added.
A statement by the press office of Nangarhar province also confirms it and adds that this IS-K commander was in charge of war and plan and was killed last night in the Chongshi area of Achin District.
The National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan which is led by First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, has announced that President Ashraf Ghani has requested the first VP to support him in the 2019 presidential elections.
Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, spokesman for the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, clarified to TOLONews that Dostum has not made any decision in this regard so far.
President Ghani and Vice President Dostum were already in the same team where Dostum backed Ghani in 2014 presidential elections.
“President (Ashraf Ghani) is still waiting for the decision of Vice President (Abdul Rashid Dostum) to see what he will decide. Yes, they (president) are interested to make a team with the Vice President,” added Tahyanj.
The Presidential Palace did not comment on this issue.
This comes as the registration process for Presidential elections is going to begin on December 22, 2018.
The IEC has also confirmed on the timely conduction of presidential elections in April 20, 2019.
A US military spokesman on Thursday told Reuters that a US Army Green Beret has been finally charged with the murder of an Afghan man in the course of his deployment to Afghanistan in 2010.
“Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him,” Lieutenant Colonel Loren Bymer, a spokesman for the US Army Special Operations Command, said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters.
According to news sources in US like NBC Neas, Major Matthew Golsteyn has admitted that he shot and killed a man in Afghanistan as a result of suspecting the man as a bombmaker working for the Taliban.
Golsteyn also clarified in a statement that he believed the allegations against him were resolved years ago.
His attorney, Phil Stackhouse, also commented
“Major Golsteyn is a humble servant-leader who saved countless lives, both American and Afghan, and has been recognized repeatedly for his valorous actions”.
It was reported by Ariana News that a KamAir flight had to make an emergency landing due to technical issues only after 17 minutes of taking off in Herat province.
The incident happened on Saturday morning and no casualties have been reported so far.
A KamAir flight made an emergency landing due to technical issue after 17-minutes takeoff at the #Herat province Airport in western #Afghanistan, on Saturday early morning. No casualties reported yet. pic.twitter.com/j3i9VpWhtZ
— Ariana News (@ArianaNews_) December 15, 2018
Kabul is set to host the second trilateral dialogue with China and Pakistan today, the Presidential Palace informed in a statement.
The subject of talks, according to the statement will be “mutual political trust, reconciliation, connectivity and regional development cooperation”.
This is the second trilateral meet between the three nations. Foreign ministers of the three countries will lead their respective delegations at the second round of the trilateral dialogue Beijing initiated last year to help ease Kabul’s political tensions with Islamabad.
Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi told VOA News, “An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) is set to be signed” without elaborating further.
It was already reported that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his delegation have arrived in Kabul earlier this morning to attend the trilateral meet.