Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan local officials say Taliban’s shadow district governor for Khenjan district of Baghlan province has been killed in a clash with the security forces.
The spokesman of Baghlan Police, Ahmad Jawid Besharat said that the clash erupted when Taliban militants attacked security outposts in Karoh area of Doshi district on Sunday.
According to Besharat, at least two other Taliban insurgents were also killed in the clash.
He added that the Taliban launched their attacks when the killed shadow district governor attempted to go Khenjan district from Doshi district.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) says it planned to shift the 1 to 3 grades of school to mosques.
MoE in a statement said that it has incorporated mosques in its educational ecosystem, based on which 1-3 grade students will get education in their nearby mosques.
“In the first three years of education, going to mosque will create and promote a strong Islamic identity among the students and it will highlight the centrality of Islam for our students,” the statement said.
MoE added that it would be a major change which would require a rational plan and gradual implementation.
Afghan local officials in Ghazni province say the Taliban insurgents have shot dead two civilians and one security soldier in the province.
The spokesman of Ghazni governor, Wahidullah Juma Zada said that the incident took place in Khogyani district of Ghazni.
“Abdul Rashid and Abdul Rauf were residents of Qarabagh district of Ghazni province, who were brutally shot down by the Taliban two days ago while traveling to Jaghatoi district of Ghazni province,” he said.
According to Juma Zada, a local police soldier was also shot dead by Taliban militants on the same route.
It is worth mentioning that the bodies of these people were transferred by the Red Crescent from Khogyani district to Ghazni provincial hospital before noon today (Sunday).
Head of Chabahar International University Naser Abravesh said 60 Afghan students are studying in international trade and law, Land management educational technology, civil engineering, architecture, computer and commercial science at Chabahar University.
Speaking to IRNA, Abravesh said based on the instructions for attracting non-Iranian students, Chabahar University has attracted 60 students in the first step.
He added that attracting 42 male and 8 female Afghan students indicates neighboring states’ attention to the educational capacities of Chabahar International University.
Abravesh went on to say that due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Chabahar International University has also limited its activities by observing health protocols.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 260 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1495 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 10 deaths and 297 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 47,901 the number of total reported deaths is 1,875 and the total number of recoveries is 37,782.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Takhar, Baghlan, Daikundi, MaidanWardak, Laghman, Khost and Nouristan provinces.
President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili saw off 100-member regiment of Georgian peacekeepers to Afghanistan, reports 1tv.ge.
In her address to soldiers, President of Georgia said that positive evaluations received by Georgia from international partners are largely attributed to the soldiers.
“Today, the world is facing a big challenge of the pandemic. The fact that Georgia is fulfilling its commitment under these difficult conditions is very important and says much,” Zurabishvili claimed.
President wished the Georgian soldiers success and safe return to their families and homeland.
Belgium’s contingent in Afghanistan will return home next year, the country’s Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder has said.
“We are preparing our withdrawal,” which “will occur during the year 2021,” Ms. Dedonder said in an interview published in Het Belang van Limburg newspaper.
“We cannot simply leave; agreements have to be made with our allies. The evacuation of equipment alone will take three months,” added the minister, who is scheduled to present the military operations plan for 2021 to the cabinet, and then to parliament, next week.
About 70 Belgian military personnel are deployed in Afghanistan on a mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan armed forces.
In general policy note discussed for four weeks in the Chamber’s Defense Commission, the Minister had already announced that her ministry anticipated a gradual and conditional withdrawal of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM) from Afghanistan, in keeping with the decisions expected to be taken by the North Atlantic Council.
“The practical withdrawal of the Belgian units will be done in close coordination with our German partner,” she added.
According to the latest figures from Defense Chief of Staff, just over 70 Belgian military personnel are deployed in Afghanistan, mainly in the northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif, under German command.
A gathering of “Young Afghan Leaders” entitled “Pieces of Peace” which was attended by 130 young girls and boys from 12 provinces and representatives of Afghan immigrants from the United States, Australia and Germany has been held at the Continental Hotel in Kabul by the Artlords institute.
The participants of gathering organized various programs under the name of “Let’s talk” in their province over the past year in which they shared the role of different young people in discourses, street paintings, exhibitions.
The young participants traveled to each other’s provinces and got to know each other’s work, life, language and culture closely and answered many of their questions.
In this gathering, essential and favorite programs of the youth that are important for today and tomorrow, such as security, peace and war, ceasefire, intra-Afghan talks, the economic situation of the country and families, youth employment, improving the quality of education, mental and physical conditions, mental and physical abuse, the victims and the wounds of the people and the near distant future of themselves and their country were discussed.
In this forum, the above issues were also discussed and exchanged online with the youth of Colombia, Sri Lanka, USA and Switzerland.
A successful peace process with the Taliban will allow the government to focus its resources on countering the Islamic State group and its attacks on soft targets, National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib said Saturday.
Afghanistan is grappling with a surge in violence that has worsened despite landmark peace talks with the Taliban which began in September in Qatar.
The Islamic State group has claimed a series of assaults on vulnerable targets, including a November attack on Kabul university which saw gunmen detonate grenades and spray automatic fire across the campus.
Hamdullah Mohib said that although IS-K had been dislodged from the territory it controlled and its funding sources disrupted, the group maintained a “network of terror”.
US Special Representativ for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has called on both Afghan government and the Taliban group to accelerate their peace efforts to end country’s long war.
“Afghans are coming together and taking steps to make progress toward peace. The Afghan people have been yearning for peace. The steps taken in recent days are positive and hopeful,” Khalilzad said.
Khalilzad welcomed the first meeting of the Reconciliation Council, saying he is happy to see the Afghanistan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) become operational today with its first Leadership Committee meeting.
“The gathering of political leaders across the political spectrum is an important step,” he asserted.
“This Committee will be an authoritative body for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as it negotiates the terms of a peace agreement, power-sharing, and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire with the Taliban,” he said.
“Having completed the rules and procedures, the Islamic Republic and Taliban teams are now in the next phase of negotiations, having started with their first meeting on the agenda in Doha,” Khalilzad added.