Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
President Ashraf Ghani said that Afghans should not be afraid of peace, because it entails much more than just a political deal.
Speaking at the Ashura ceremony in Kabul on Sunday, Ghani praised the republic, calling it a “great system that can absorb everything.”
He said that the days when a small minority ruled over everything was over.
“Do not be afraid of peace,” he said, adding, “Peace does not mean a political deal. Peace is the will of Afghan people, which is the end of violence.”
“Today, the nation is not asleep and is not in darkness, those who think that they can impose their will should rethink, we should defend the Constitution and the republic,” the president said.
Meanwhile, Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh also called on the Taliban to start the negotiations.
Danesh said that the Afghan government was working hard to achieve peace and had made considerable effort to start the talks.
“We hope that Taliban will put aside excuses and come honestly to the negotiating table in the near future.”
Danesh also said that the Taliban’s Emirate can “create neither a powerful state nor a united union” and lauded the republic system.
He said that in the Emirate, the people will not enjoy equal rights and prosperity.
The people of Afghanistan have made countless sacrifices for the survival, preservation, and strengthening of the republic, he said, and therefore, the “enemies of the republic” know they cannot control the fate of the people by force.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that 22 new cases of Coronavirus tested positive in the past 24 hours, while not a single patients succumbed to the virus.
On Saturday too, the MoPH reported zero deaths, making it 48 hours since the last COVID-19 death was recorded.
The ministry found positive cases in the provinces of Kabul (9), Kunduz (8), Paktia (3) and Takhar (2).
The MoPH also reported that 26 people had recovered in the past day.
The current Afghan tally is 38,165 confirmed cases with 29,089 recovered and 1,402 dead.
Former president Hamid Karzai said on Sunday that he will not be a part of “any government structure” including the High Council for National Reconciliation, just hours after his appointment.
He had been one of the people named by President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday evening, for membership to the council which is headed by Abdullah Abdullah.
Karzai’s office said that while he welcomed the peace efforts as an Afghan citizen, and “he will continue his efforts for peace” but “will not take part in any government structure.”
The High Council for National Reconciliation’s main aim is to facilitate the peace talks with the Taliban and ensure political consensus.
Its members include national political leaders, government administrators, former mujahideen members and activists.
The council has already received a lot of attention for including only nine women for the 46 people who are its members.
At least 67 people, civilians and security forces combined, were killed in Taliban attack in the Pato district of Daykundi in the past 10 days, said Mohammad Mohaqiq, leader of the People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan.
Speaking at the Ashura ceremony in the Baqiyatullah Al-Azam mosque in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul city on Sunday, Mohaqiq said Taliban fighters were also injured during the period.
He criticized the Taliban’s attacks in central Afghanistan, but warned that efforts to overthrow the Hazarajat would not succeed.
The Washington Post (WaPo) reported that three Taliban detainees who were accused of involvement in insider attacks that killed U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, are among the 380 prisoners set to be released by the Afghan government.
WaPo spoke to a senior Afghan official and a Kabul-based diplomat who confirmed the news.
While the U.S., unlike France and Australia, has not publicly objected to the release of prisoners accused of killing their nationals, the negotiators are exploring other options.
During U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad’s last visit to Kabul in July, Reuters had reported that he had proposed solutions for the release of the high-value Taliban prisoners.
An option had been to transfer the inmates to house arrest in a mid-way supervised detention facility.
The attacks the prisoners have been accused of were not made public. However, insider attacks are assaults by Taliban infiltrators of Afghan security forces against foreign forces.
A senior Afghan government official speaking to WaPo on the condition of anonymity, said he had been “surprised” by Washington’s support for the release of Taliban prisoners linked to killings of U.S. and foreign forces.
The official said that the Afghan government was aware that U.S. policy is currently being dictated by the Presidential elections and President Donald Trump’s campaign to end the war in Afghanistan.
“We understand the importance of the election, of the campaign, but our only question is, ‘At what cost?'” the official told WaPo.