Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The former governor of Balkh, Ata Mohammad Noor says that if the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the life of national unity government is true, it is an illegal act and based on unlawful decision of the president. He also said that this questions the independence of the judiciary.
In a statement published on Sunday, Mr. Noor said called on political parties and leadership of the election teams to enter and do something in this regard. He said that the law is there and he can’t escape.
Noor emphasized that president’s tenure ends in (First Jawza) May 22 of the 5th year and a legal decision must be made in this regard.
On Sunday morning, some media outlets have released a document stating that the Supreme Court’s legal opinion on extending the president’s work till holding the presidential election.
“If the Afghan Supreme Court has extended the National Unity Government’s term, it’s unlawful and is overshadowed by president’s influence. It undermines sovereignty of the Supreme Court. I call upon our colleagues and other presidential hopefuls to invite lawyers and legislators to elaborate on this”, Noor tweeted.
He pointed that it is stipulated in the constitution as the supreme law that the president’s tenure ends in May. “The TV channels have archive speeches of Ashraf Ghani who vowed not to exceed his term by one day. This shows how greedy of power he has become and is resorting to unlawful options”, he wrote.
Noor also said that President Ashraf Ghani cannot refer to the old traditions to seek an extension, “He can’t justify his unlawful decision by resorting to another unlawful act. The law is there and he can’t escape it by making new excuses. His tenure ends in May and that’s it.”
President Ghani says that war has been imposed on Afghan people.
In his visit from Ministry of Communication and Information Technology on Sunday, Mr. Ghani blamed the violence “on those who are fighting. A war that clearly has its political solution, and there is no religious and intellectual reason to continue this war”.
At the same time, President Ghani called the attack on civilians and service agencies as “the last wretched step”.
While stating that the insurgents did not dare to resort to peace, president Ghani said that “we saw immigration, we saw lack of a system. The people of Afghanistan regard the system as their own, they are centralist, not opposite, system-friendly, not anti-system.”
Ministry of Interior in a statement has said that as a result of GCPSU’s clearance operation in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, two Taliban insurgents were killed.
Apart from that some ammunition and military equipment was seized as well.
Another explosion was reported in Dehiwela near the capital city of Colombo, Reuters reported citing Sri Lankan police. Two people were killed in the blast hitting Dehiwela, AFP reported citing police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera.
The blast was reported after six serial blasts hit churches and hotels in several Sri Lankan cities, killing at least 185 people and injuring hundreds more. This is the seventh blast that happened in the country on Sunday.
At least 35 foreigners were among the 160 people killed in explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, AFP reported citing police.
The blasts targeted three churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa during Easter services.
Three luxury hotels in the capital city – Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Colombo – were also hit.
“I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today,” Ranil Wickremesinghe, prime minister of Sri Lanka, said on Twitter. The government is taking immediate steps to contain the situation, he said.
Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) has announced that the capacity of the Naghlo Dam power line has increased from 50 megawatts to 100 megawatts.
Breshna Company said in a statement on Sunday that with the repair of two turbines, the Naghlo power supply has increased from 50 megawatts to 100 megawatts.
The statement added that, among the four turbines of this electric power dam, a turbine was non-functional due to technical problems eight years ago and another one two and half years ago which was recently financed by World Bank and both turbines are being restored and are now operational.
Naghlo Electric Power Plant is one of the largest sources of power generation in Afghanistan, which has four turbines, each turbine having a capacity of 25 megawatts of electricity.
President Ghani’s Special Envoy Umer Daudzai said at a press conference that Jirgas in Afghanistan are similar to referendums in other countries.
Daudzai says the Afghan government received a list from Qatar on the delegation which will attend the Doha meeting, but the list was rejected by Afghan leaders and the meeting was delayed to an unknown time. He said that the Qatar list was largely different from their list.
Daudzai says the Afghan government is in favor of meetings like the one scheduled for Qatar and that the government is ready to attend such meetings in other countries and no opportunity on peace should be left unused.
Daudzai says the peace Jirga will be held as scheduled on April 29 and that there will be no delay in it.
The head of HPC secretariat said that the total number of peace Jirga delegates will be almost 3,000. He says it will be the most inclusive and the biggest Jirga in the history of Afghanistan.
“We call on the Taliban to accept advices to be given in Loya Jirga”, suggested Daudzai.
He also assured that the President will accept every advice to be given in Loya Jirga unless it is against the Constitution.
“We are in talks with those who boycotted Loya Jirga, we might have had shortcomings on providing information about the gathering”, Daudzai said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will leave for a two-day official visit to Iran on Sunday to further strengthen bilateral ties in diverse fields.
He will visit the country from April 21-22 on the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. This will be his first visit to Iran since assuming office.
During the visit, Khan will call on Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and will also hold detailed consultations with President Rouhani.
At least 30 people were killed and hundreds more injured as several churches and hotels were rocked by simultaneous explosions on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, according to media reports.
Six explosions took place in three Christian churches and three hotels, according to The Associated Press. The AP reported 30 were killed and 283 were wounded, citing a hospital spokesman.
One of the churches struck by the attack was St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, posted photos of the attack on its Facebook page and pleaded for relatives to “come and help if your family members are there.”
The European Union’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia held separate meetings with Iranian officials to discuss Afghanistan’s development.
The EU envoy met and held talks with Iranian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Morteza Sarmadi, and Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi on Wednesday.
According to a Friday statement of Iran’sForeign Ministry, the Iranian officials have underlined the role of Afghanistan’s constitution during peace negotiations and the need to guard achievements of Afghanistan’s nation in the past 18 years.
The European envoy, for his part, has highlighted similar views of the EU and Iran regarding peace in Afghanistan while expressing readiness to cooperate with Iran to establish regional peace.
Also in a Thursday tweet, Kobia described meetings as “constructive”, adding, “Sharing similar views on threats and interests. Trying to help the stability/security of the region.