Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Zamir Kabulov, Russian Special Representative for Afghanistan has said that the Taliban leaders and U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad have told him that they want to restart talks and how he can help in restarting talks between the two sides.
Kabulov made the remarks in an exclusive conversation with SNI Associate in Moscow.
He discussed Pakistan and its role in supporting groups like the Taliban, India and its policy and accusations that countries like the U.S., Russia and China are responsible for legitimizing the Taliban.
Special Representative Kabulov did not rule out fundamentalist elements joining Daesh/ISIS/ISKP, but adds some of this talk is from those trying to sabotage the peace process.
Looking back over decades of diplomatic involvement, he elaborated on reports that he headed the KGB mission in Kabul and remembers the time he met Mullah Omar.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoF) has said that the Afghan delegation had an active presence at the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
The political deputy of MoF, Edris Zaman in a press conference in Kabul described his trip about representing Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly.
Zaman declared that Peace is the priority of Afghan President and people and Afghanistan wants a peace that has its ownership.
Pointing to the some politicians’ trips to Pakistan, Zaman emphasized that all ways to peace lead to Kabul and Afghan government and bypassing the Afghan government has nothing more than bad consequences.
The political deputy of MoF stated that the Taliban should stop violence before peace negotiations and a parallel peace with violence won’t have any result.
According to him, the Pakistan’s government had no practical role in eliminating the terrorists’ safe havens in its soil.
“Afghan people will be the victims as long as the terrorist safe havens have activities in the country”, Zaman said.
Regarding the Taliban’s visits to regional countries and meetings with US officials, Zaman noted that the talks between the United States and the Taliban are about two American prisoners, not the peace process.
Zaman stated that the Taliban’s visit to regional countries yielded no results, but “encourage the terrorist group” against the Afghan people.
He said that peace talks without presence of Afghan government and without it being consulted won’t be beneficial.
“People’s participation in election showed that Islam, Republicanism, Freedom of Expression, the Constitution and the achievements of the past few years are their red lines, and we will not skip an inch in Peace Talks”, Zaman added.
He stressed that Taliban should enter into negotiations with the Afghan government and agree to ceasefire before the negotiation starts.
Local officials have said that the Taliban’s shadow district chief for Owba district of Herat province have been killed along with eight of his men during clashes in the province.
Herat Police Chief, Aminollah Amar Khail said that the Taliban insurgents have conducted a series of attacks in the Owba district which were repulsed by Afghan security forces.
“Mullah Matin, the Taliban’s shadow district chief for Owba district was killed during the clashes”, Amar Khail said.
According to the Herat Police Chief, one policeman and National Army soldier were killed and six other security personnel were wounded during the clashes.
The Baharak district of Takhar province has been completely cleared of insurgents, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.
MoI in a press release said that as a result of Afghan security and air forces joint clearing operation has been conducted in Baharak district and the Abdal, Takhte Kaparak villages which were fully cleared of insurgents.
“At least 89 Taliban insurgents were killed and 67 others were wounded during the operation. Afghan forces also seized a number of light and heavy weapons and vehicles”, the statement said.
According to MoI, the Police also detected and defused a roadside bomb which was placed in Dorahi area of Baharak district to destroy the Omar Farooq School.
This comes as the Taliban militants launched attacks on Baharak district and Taloqan city in the past days and the security forces’ operations led by the deputies of Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry are underway in the mentioned district.
President Ashraf Ghani has said that the new President will take oath based on free votes of people in the next three weeks.
During the distribution ceremony of apartments to security forces, Ashraf Ghani said, “Afghan security forces have one of the difficult jobs as they are directly in contact with the people.”
He praised the coordination between three security organs and stated that the security forces are committed on preventing the civilian casualties.
“No one is beyond the law and our commitment is to implement the law equally”, Ghani added.
The distributed apartments to security forces are located in Lala and Sanayee Ghaznawi townships in Kabul.
Up to 50 militants have been killed and more than three dozen others sustained injuries over the past three days as security forces targeted Taliban positions in Baharak district of Takhar province, provincial government spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hajari said.
“Baharak district has been cleared of the armed insurgents and the Taliban rebels pose no threats to the provincial capital Taluqan city currently,” Hajari said.
Taliban militants in a surprise move captured major parts of Baharak district some 10 days ago and were attempting to overrun Takhar’s provincial capital Taloqan city.
However, the security forces in massive operations have killed 50 insurgents and killed 37 others over the past three days, forcing militants to flee to the neighboring Khawaja Ghar district, Hajari said.
The official also confirmed that three security personnel had been killed and six others wounded over the past three days of counter-militancy operations.
At least four members of the uprising forces have been in a car bomb explosion near their outpost in Ghazni province, local officials said.
The Ghazni governor’s office has said that a car bomb that attempted to target an uprising forces’ outpost failed to reach its target.
“Based on the discovery information, the car was identified and targeted by the forces”, the governor’s office said.
Due to the severity of the explosion, a part of the outpost was also destroyed.
The governor’s office also added that the Special Forces started a clearance operation to suppress the Taliban in Ta Sang area today which nine Taliban were killed and five others were wounded so far.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says that the electoral materials from 22 provinces of the country have arrived in Kabul and the remaining materials from other provinces will arrive by the end of the day.
The IEC commissioner, Mawlana Muhammad Abdullah in a press conference in Kabul warned that if the local officials do not report about the fraud and irregularities in the voting sites, they will be introduced to the judicial institutions.
Abdullah noted that efforts are underway to announce the primary result of the election before the specified time in the election calendar.
“Around six to seven biometric devices have been vanished in Kabul and the memory cards of 22 biometric devices have been taken by the powerful in the provinces”, Abdullah said.
He declared that the report about participation of seven million people in the previous parliamentary election is not true; 3.2 million people have voted through biometric devices.
The Presidential Election was held on September 28, 2019 in all across Afghanistan and the primary result of the election is scheduled to be announced by the end of the current month.
The Parwan-Bamiyan highway was closed to traffic after flash floods and heavy rains which occurred early on Saturday morning, local officials said.
The spokesman of Parwan governor, Wahida Shahkar said that the highway is closed from Dara-e Estama area to Pul-e Ashaba area of Shinwari district.
According to Shahkar, efforts are underway for reopening of the highway.
“The residential houses were also destroyed during the flooding but there is no information about the casualties”, Shahkar added.
This comes as the Kabul-Jalalabad highway was also blocked due to the heavy rains yesterday.
At least 8 members of pulic uprising force have been killed and injured in Kapisa province, local officials said.
Confirming the incident, Kapisa provincial governor spokesperson, Qais Qadery said that Taliban stormed an outpost of public uprising forces on Friday night in Najrab district and captured the outpost.
He noted that investigation is underway about how the outpost collapsed to Taliban and the number of casualties.
He stated that another outpost of public uprising forces in the district is surrounded by Taliban that 10 members of the forces are in the outpost.
According to him reinforcement forces have been sent to the area to break the siege.
Meanwhile, Kapisa provincial council member, Abdul Fatah told Reporterly that 5 members of public uprising forces were killed and 3 others injured in Taliban attack.
The police chief of Zari district in Balkh province has died at police hospital in Kabul due to injuries sustained in the clash, security officials said.
The press office of Balkh police said that the police chief of Zari district, Captain Esmatullah Salangi, died yesterday at 300-beds Afghan National Police Hospital in Kabul.
The press office added that Salangi had been injured in the district during a clash with Taliban insurgents.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said that there is a need for involvement of all stakeholders, including the Afghan government, in the Afghan peace process.
“India is closely monitoring” the situation and that “all sections of the Afghan government, including a legitimately-elected Afghan government, should be part of the Afghan peace process”, the spokesman of India’s external ministry, Raveesh Kumar said.
Kumar noted that all processes should respect the constitutional legacy and political mandate in Afghanistan.
“India has consistently supported an early election and is very happy the election took place despite challenging circumstances. We will continue to engage with legitimate government which will assume power,” he added.
Indian External Minister, S Jaishanka has previously said that India shares a historical relationship with Afghanistan, but should not advance prescriptions at the moment on the efforts to bring peace in the war-torn country.
He has expressed hope that the enormous achievements of the last 18 years are safeguarded in whatever direction the developments go in Afghanistan.