Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region
The head of the Election Commission office in Farah has said that there were ballot boxes in the Ministry of Defense helicopter that had crashed last week between Anar dara district of Farah and Shindand district of Herat. This was also confirmed by the IEC spokesperson Hafiz Hashemi in a conference on Saturday.
In addition to the destruction of parliamentary ballots, 24 people were killed in the incident, including high ranking officials.
As per a statement of the Ministry of Interior, seven armed Taliban were killed following a clash with Afghan National Police on Friday.
The clash took place in the Sor Sakhar region, Shah Wali Koot district, southern Kandahar province.
Afghan National Police detected 11 different types of IEDs and no civilian and ANP member was harmed during the clash.
IEC spokesperson said in a press conference today that the date of the announcement of the parliamentary elections’ preliminary results has been changed from November 10th to November 23rd.
This date only concerns the provinces, and the preliminary results of Kabul province will be announced on December 1st, the spokesperson clarified.
The final results will be announced one month after the preliminary figures are announced.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) added that the date of announcement of the opening results has changed due to problems with the transfer of ballot boxes from the provinces.
As per Resolute Support, an ANSF soldier has reportedly open fired on US services member in Kabul.
A US service member is reported killed in the attack and another one, injured. RS statement says that the incident is under investigation. Details to follow.
It has been announced by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation that the Council of Ulema of Indonesia visited the OIC Permanent Office in Kabul on Saturday.
The statement by OIC added that “The scholars endorse & support OIC’s peace mandate in Afghanistan & consider the Makkah Declaration of OIC International Ulema Conference on Afghanistan a positive step in the right direction.”
The Indonesian Muslim Scholars also stressed that, President, Government and Ulema of Indonesia are committed to cooperating with and supporting an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process and “unconditional peace talks among Afghans.”
The Afghan Ministry of Defense has issued a statement declaring that as a result of the ANA airstrikes and/or clearing operations in the past 24 hours, a total of 31 insurgents have been killed and 15 others have been wounded across the provinces of Helmand, Laghman, Ghazni and Kandahar.
In Helmand, apart from the casualties from the insurgents’ side in Grishk, Nad Ali and capital of the province, “4 fighting positions and 1 depot of IED facility” have also been destroyed as per the defense ministry’s statement.
During his visit to Paktika province, President Ashraf Ghani was first briefed about the situation in the province. As per a statement by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, Mohammad Sharif Yaftali who is the Chief of Staff and commander of the 203rd Tandar Corps, Dadan Lawang presented a report “regarding security situation and assured good coordination between the security and defense forces in the province.”
One of the points in President Ghani’s agenda of the visit was to assess the security situation of the province. In his address on Saturday morning, President Ghani thanked the governor of the province as well as the security and defence forces for their impressive management. He acknowledged the work of the forces.
President Ghani also said that the 203rd Tandar Army Corps must have a “clear plan for the zone.” The IDLG statement also says that President Ghani emphasized to “further strengthen the role of the people, in collaboration with the security and defense forces.”
As per a statement of Ministry of Interior, two Daesh terrorists were killed and four other terrorists were arrested during an overnight operation carried out by the General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU).
The operation was launched in the Barbar village, Soki district, eastern Kunar province according to the statement.
Two AK-47 rifles, one rocket launcher and some amount of ammunition were also seized during the operation.
The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan has announced April 20 of 2019 as the date of the presidential elections.
The IEC added that the voter registration will start by the beginning of next month (November 22). Candidates’ information evaluation will be taking place from December 16 to January 8, and the final list of candidates will be announced on February 14.
The production of ballot papers and receipt of sensitive materials by the Commission will be carried out in February 21th, and the packaging of sensitive materials will be carried out from March 21 to March 30.
According to the schedule, candidates will be allowed to conduct their campaign for three months from February 16 until April.
After the election, the vote conclusion is also scheduled to be held from the April 21st to May 10th and the preliminary results will be announced by May 11th, and the final result will be announced on May 30th.
If the result of the presidential election is not specified in the first round, the second round will be held on the 13th of June.
IEC says that it has been hesitating about holding of presidential elections, provincial councils and “parliamentary elections in Ghazni” simultaneously, and is in consultation.
AfghanistanNational Cricket Team’s Rashid Khan has claimed the top spot in the ICC’s ODI all-rounder list and Mohammad Nabi is second.
This makes the two talented Afghan cricketers, the two best ODI all-rounders currently in the world.
Afghan cricket team has been performing impressively past one year and has been gaining positions with cricketers from all over the world coming out in support of the team.
Afghanistan’s first consignment is to be delivered to Pakistan via the International road transport system (Carnet TIR).
This is the first consignment sent to Pakistan, since Afghanistan joined the International Road Transport System “Carnet TIR”. The Carnet TIR system is used to transport 25 tons of apple to Pakistan.
According to the Ministry of Transport, Afghanistan can use the system to connect to 57 Asian, African and European countries to ship its goods.
At present, 74 other countries are members of the Carnet TIR and Afghanistan is as the 58th country to enjoy and secure trade by international road transport.
This system provides means to ease ground transport to businessmen, can prevent the smuggling of goods and speed up their transfer at a lower cost.
Controversial Pakistani religious-political Mawlana Sami ul-Haq, known as the “Father of the Taliban” was found dead in Pakistan.
Pakistani police, confirming his death, says that unidentified assailants stabbed him to death on Friday after attacking Mawlana Sami-ul-Haq’s house in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Haq’s nephew Mohammad Bilal told Reuters that his uncle was found with stabbing and gunshot wounds in a house he owns in an upscale area on Islamabad’s outskirts.
It is still unclear why his driver and bodyguard did not defend him at the time of the assault, according to Reuters.
Haq has run the Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, near the Afghanistan border, for decades and hundreds of Taliban members had been trained there including the former leader of Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, who has been in China for an official visit, has condemned the attack and ordered investigation to be conducted.
Mawlana Sami ul-Haq was hated by many Afghans because of his constant support for the Afghan Taliban and the legitimacy of their war against the Afghan government. It is reported that some of the first members of the Afghan Taliban were students at the Haqania seminary before they came to Afghanistan in 1994, which is why they called him “spiritual father of the Taliban”.
Sami ul-Haq once had called the former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar as one of his prominent students and described him as “an angel-like man.”
During the presence of the Soviet forces in Afghanistan, he had a close relationship with the anti-Soviet Mujahedin of Afghanistan, and some of them had even studied at the Haqqania seminary.
President’s spokesman office has reported that president Ashraf Ghani arrived in Paktika province this morning.
During the trip, he will reportedly have meetings with the provincial Paktika religious figures, tribal elders, provincial council, women, youth and civil society members.