Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Taliban have confirmed in a statement that Helmand’s shadow governor of the group, Mullah Abdul Rahim who was also known as Mullah Manan, has been killed due to air raid in Helmand.
Mullah Mannan was a senior member of the Quetta Shura and is reported to have been killed on Saturday night.
The air raids and casualties faced by Taliban insurgents was confirmed to Reporterly by Zaman Hamdard, spokesperson to Helmand police.
Taliban have abducted at least 40 passengers in Dara-e-Soof district in Samangan province on Sunday morning, Mohammad Munir Rahimi, Samangan police spokesman, confirmed to news sources.
Mr Rahimi also said that the passengers were on their way to Balkh province when they were abducted.
Ministry of Defense released a statement to report that 65 insurgents have been killed across 10 provinces of Afghanistan.
As a result of the offensive, airborne and cleanup operations of the security forces over the past 24 hours in the provinces of Nangarhar, Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Kandahar, Kapisa, Zabul, Farah, Faryab and Helmand, 65 insurgents were killed and 20 other were wounded, according to the statement.
The statement added that during these operations, 2 IS-K militant were arrested, several hideouts and a significant amount of ammunition and explosives belonging to the insurgents were also destroyed.
President Ghani’s deputy spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi in a press conference on Sunday, clarified that Geneva Conference was a “success for Afghanistan’s government”.
Murtazawi informed that the Afghan government is ready for talks with the Taliban without any preconditions, while he also assured that achievements such as women’s rights and freedom of speech will not be undermined in process with Taliban.
Murtazawi also cleared and confirmed that “no country can enter talks with the Taliban on behalf of the Afghan people and the Afghan government”.
He conceded that countries and involved parties can play a role of facilitator at best, in the peace process.
A small number of displaced people of Jaghori and Malistan districts have already returned to their homes, Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of the Ghazni Provincial Council, told Reporterly.
Mr Faqiri added that while the government assured the families about the security, the displaced people still have fear of returning, “there is no guarantee that the Taliban will not attack their areas again”.
The shelters that the government has kept as an option for displaced people in Ghazni province are not well-equipped given the cold season, according to Mr Faqiri.
The head of the Ghazni Provincial Council noted that displaced people are not 100% sure that they would return to their areas.
The Afghan Special Forces have arrested the commander of an irresponsible armed group in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.
A spokesman for Takhar Security Commandment Khalil Asir confirmed to news sources that commander Naweed was arrested on Sunday.
Commander Naweed alias commander Naweed Khanabadi was arrested from Taloqan city after remaining under the siege of Special Forces inside a hospital for almost thirty hours, after which Naweed surrendered.
Naweed is accused of leading a group of irresponsible armed men who are involved in extortion, harassment of the people, and other illegal activities.
Mohammad Jawad Paikar on Sunday took charge as the acting minister of Urban Development and Land Ministry, a day after President Ghani issued separate decrees approving the merger of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and Independent Land Directorate. According to a presidential decree issued from the Administrative Office of the President, the merger of the Independent Land Directorate with the Ministry of Urban Development has been approved as per the Article 84 of the Constitution of Afghanistan.
The Administrative Office of the President on Saturday announced that President Ghani has approved the merger of the Independent Land Directorate with the Ministry of Urban Development.
The merger comes in an attempt to enforce the reforms in the administrative sector and prevent any inflation or duplication of work in the parallel administrative directorates.
In a separate decree, President Ghani also approved the appointment of the Independent Land Directorate Mohammad Jawad Paikar as the acting Minister of Urban Development and Land Ministry as per the Clause 11 of the Article 64 of Afghan constitution.
Afghanistan was ranked first and awarded a gold medal in the thirty-eighth India International Trade Fair of 2018.
Afghanistan has been participating in IITF since 2005 that has created niche for buyers and sellers which are appropriate to enhance business relations with different countries. Forty-Eight Afghanistan pavilion displayed dried fruits, saffron, spices, carpets, gems and jewellery and handicrafts including 12 stalls by Afghan women. Afghanistan had taken the lead to win the Silver medal for ‘Excellence in Display’ at the 37th IITF last year. 80 Afghan stalls including 32 women stalls had made marvelous entry at IITF in 2017.
This year, India’s Prime Minister Modi’s model of holistic development was themed ‘Rural Enterprises in India’ for IITF.
The deputy head of Afghan Ministry of Public Health’s National AIDS Control Department says that about 8,000 people in the country have AIDS, of which only 2,549 cases have been registered so far in the National AIDS Control Program.
Dr Rafiq Qazizada said on December 1 in an event to commemorate the World AIDS Day at the University of Kateb, that out of 2,459 cases of AIDS registered with the Department, only 1,000 people have been visiting the center for treatment , 75% of them being men and 25% being women.
Dr Qazizada said that the main driver of the transmission and increase of AIDS in Afghanistan was the use of narcotics through injection. “In Afghanistan, the main means of transmitting AIDS are among drug users who inject drugs through syringe-needle method and share the injections with friends”, he noted.
Meanwhile, the National AIDS Control Program has launched awareness programs in five zones, especially in universities and schools. The program officials say that those who come to Kabul from the provinces to get treated for the disease, will be paid for their expenses by the program.
According to World Health Organization statistics, in 2017 around one million people died as a result of AIDS.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced on Saturday that it has begun the preparations for presidential elections in full swing and there has been a push in elections readiness.
The IEC deputy spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi said that the voter-friendly registration process will kick off on December 22 and will continue through to 24th of January 2019. “We will go ahead based on our operational plan and the elections schedule to hold the presidential elections,” Ibrahimi said.
He said presidential elections candidates may register their names from December 22 to 2nd of January 2019.
The presidential elections are due to take place on April 20, 2019.
The Deputy Minister Municipalities Of Independent Directorate of Local Governance, Abdul Baqi Popal & Acting governor of Kandahar Abdul Hanan Munib laid the foundation stone of two projects worth 12 million AFN, as released in a statement by IDLG.
Acting Mayor Rizayee says 155 projects have been completed in Kandahar urban & rural areas through CCP.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) is probing into a case of several SAS (Australian Special Forces) soldiers for allegedly committing war crimes in Afghanistan during Australia’s 12-year military involvement in the conflict.
It was told to the Sydney Morning Herald that “horrendous and disgraceful things” had occurred in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch has also provided detailed allegations against the SAS for their role in war crimes in Afghanistan-“One soldier shot dead an elderly unarmed man in an initiation ritual,” explained the report. “Another kicked a handcuffed Afghan civilian off a cliff and then executed him. Other soldiers removed a man’s prosthetic leg and took it back to Perth to use as a souvenir drinking vessel.”
Allegations have surfaced since June, after SAS soldiers allegedly plotted to silence witnesses for an inquiry against them.
It was confirmed by Munir Ahmad Farhad, the spokesperson to Balkh governor to Reporterly that the Taliban attacked an ALP outpost in Balkh province.
Mr Farhad informed that Taliban attacked an ALP outpost in Keshendi district, of Balkh province last night in which an ALP commander named Makhdum Khabir along with 6 of his soldiers was killed.