Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Sunday for consultations with leaders of the National Unity Government, political leaders, civil society, and women to discuss progress in U.S. efforts to facilitate an inclusive peace process, announced the US Embassy in Kabul in a statement.
His arrival in Kabul follows stops in Islamabad, Berlin, and Brussels.
“As peace talks reach a critical phase, engagement with more Afghans across the country on how to achieve a negotiated political settlement that brings a durable peace is of utmost importance”, the statement said.
During his visit, Ambassador Khalilzad will engage Afghans from across society, including youth and students, female business owners and government officials, and religious leaders.
The US Ambassador to Kabul John Bass tweeted on Sunday welcoming FIFA’s decision in response to the assaults against Afghanistan Football Federation players.
“We call on the Government of Afghanistan to complete its investigation, and ensure justice is served ”, Bass added.
He conceded that “Afghan women must be supported and provided a safe work environment free from harassment or assault, whether their workplace is a government office, school, private business, or a football pitch. “
Acting Finance Minister Mohammad Humayun Qayumi has confirmed that the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the alliance’s partners have commended reforms in the Afghan government’s civilian and military institutions.
NATO has also reassured their commitment to the financial sustainment of the Afghan security forces.
The commitment was made during NATO Defense Ministers’ meeting in Brussels last year in November and it was reaffirmed in Qayumi’s trip to Brussels on June 4 where he attended the plenary meeting of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund Board at NATO Headquarters.
“NATO sees its relationship with Afghanistan in the medium-term and long-term and, of course, will play a key role in bringing stability to Afghanistan,” Qayumi told reporters at a press conference on Sunday and added that “NATO and partners commended all civilian and military reforms, government savings and the progress made in Afghanistan,”.
Three Taliban insurgents were killed in a clash with Afghan National Police (ANP) in Dasht region, Maiwand district of Kandahar.
ANP seized one radio handset and one rocket launcher as well.
In a separate report, eight Taliban insurgents were killed and two others injured after Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) conducted a clearance operation in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar.
Afghan National Police (ANP) discovered a roadside bomb, placed by terrorists in the vicinity of the Gulran district of Herat, as informed by the Ministry of Interior.
The bomb was defused by Afghan National Army (ANA) bomb disposal unit.
Moreover ANP detected two roadside bombs, placed by terrorists in Sabari district of Khost & Khost City of Khost.
The Attorney General’s Office issued an arrest warrant for ex-football boss Keramuddin Karim a day after he was banned from the sport for life for sexual abuse.
The former president of the Afghanistan Football Federation was given a lifetime ban after “sexually abusing” players in the women’s national team.
Keramuddin Keram was also fined 1m Swiss Francs (£794,849) after the investigation carried out by world football’s governing body FIFA.
An independent ethics committee said he was guilty of “abusing his position” as AFF president.
Complaints lodged had accused him of “repeated” sexual abuse from 2013-18.
FIFA said the allegations had been made by “at least” five Afghani players.
In December, Keram was suspended from his post by Afghanistan’s attorney general’s office following allegations made by former players and Kelly Lindsey, the American former head coach of the team.
At the time, the AFF called the allegations “groundless”.
Afghanistan lost its third consecutive match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as they were beaten by New Zealand by 7 wickets in their third match of the tournament in Taunton.
Batting first, Afghanistan were all out for 172 runs in the 42nd over of their innings.
Jimmy Neesham was the pick of the bowlers for the New Zealand Blackcaps taking 31/5 in his 10 overs while Lockie Ferguson also shined taking 37/4 in his 9.1 overs.
In response, New Zealand chased the target in 33rd over.
Afghanistan is yet to win a match in the tournament and will face South Africa in its next match on 15th June in Cardiff.
India has requested Pakistan that Indian PM Narendra Modi be allowed to fly through its airspace to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, on June 13 and 14.
If granted, the case will be an exception to the restrictions Pakistan had imposed on flights.
In February this year, Pakistan closed down its airspace for all those flights that have passed through the Indian airspace. The action was taken after escalating tensions between the two countries.