Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region
President Ghani on Sunday met with the US State Department’s top diplomat for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells in Kabul.
The two discussed the impact of US Sanctions on Iran with respect to Chabahar port. Further details will be released soon as per the statement by President’s Office.
The Female Koawat Alrami National Team of Afghanistan has won two silver medals and one bronze medal in the first round of the Koawat Alrami World Cup championship that is being held in Lebanon.
The Independent Election Commission on Sunday announced that it has started to transfer the data from Biometric devices used during elections to the main server. According to IEC, this is being done to detect and eliminate fraudulent votes.
Mr Abdul Badi Sayad, who is the chairman of IEC, has said that at the conclusion, it would be clear as to how many ballots were cast with biometric verification process.
He assured that representatives of political parties are also allowed to oversee the process to guarantee transparent process.
On 20th October, parliamentary elections were held in which, as per IEC, more than 4 million people voted. Before the elections, the political parties pressured the IEC to use biometric verification devices for fair and transparent elections. But it was reported that on election day, many polling stations lacked the process due to failure of the devices.
The IECC initially said that votes cast without biometric barcode would be invalidated but later both the electoral authorities (IEC and IECC) collectively decided to validate ballots which were cast without biometric verification.
Some political parties still opposed the decision.
The Afghanistan High Peace Council has confirmed that its delegation will be representing the country in Moscow Peace Talks.
The talks are scheduled to happen on 9th November, after more than a month of postponement.
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said that Pakistan’s undeclared war on Afghanistan should end.
“In the past years, Pakistan has inflicted Afghans into conflict and defeated us in our foreign policy, but now the Afghan Presidency is unbreakable against foreign policies”. The president said this in an address on Saturday during his visit to Paktika.
Ghani also told the Taliban that they should not escape from their real parents but escape from supporters who have no reference.
Spain’s new ambassador to Kabul, in a meeting with the Afghan Minister of Defense today announced that Spain is planning to increase the number of its troops in Afghanistan.
At the moment, there are 95 Spanish soldiers within Resolute Support Mission working in the areas of advising and training of ANSDF officers.
National Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami thanked the Spanish government for their cooperation and assistance with the troops of Afghanistan.
According to Reuters, Former President Karzai as well as former governor Atta Mohammad Noor have also been invited for the Moscow Peace talks that are scheduled for this Friday.
Reuters reported that the two are among a group of senior Afghan politicians who were discreetly invited by Russian diplomats in Kabul over the past two months.
“Karzai will travel to Moscow because any opportunity for peace talks with the Taliban must not be ignored,” said Mohammad Yusof Saha, a spokesman for the former president.
Noor, the executive chief of Jamiat-i-Islami party has confirmed to Reuters that he would attend the talks and added that he had no problem with the United States and Ghani holding private talks with the Taliban, “but they cannot decide whether we should talk to the Taliban or not”.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Russia’s foreign ministry said that President Ashraf Ghani decided to send a delegation of High Peace Council to the meeting. It said that the Taliban would also be getting represented in the talks. Additionally, 12 nations have been invited for the talks.
The smuggling of carpet from Afghanistan has increased as per the Afghan Ministry of Economy.
The ministry said in a statement today that carpet smuggling from Afghanistan overseas has grown because of the lack of domestic markets and export challenges.
Also, Afghan carpet weavers, stated that lack of loans, lack of access to the market, lack of cooperation of the government in the provision of visas for businessmen and the lack of land are among the other challenges in this regard.
But Mohammad Ismail Rahimi, the deputy Minister of Economy, has promised to address these challenges through the Economy Committee of the Council of Ministers or the High Economic Council.
The Ministry of Defense has issued a statement informing that a total of 26 insurgents have been killed across the provinces of Uruzgan, Helmand, Kandahar and Paktika in the past 24 hours.
Additionally, 10 others were wounded across Uruzgan, Helmand and Kandahar, and 3 suspects were even arrested in Nad Ali District of Helmand.
This was a result of the ANA airstrikes, artillery attacks and response attacks, and many hideouts, explosives and vehicles or ammunition of the insurgents was also destroyed.
The Ministry of Defense has stated that 14 insurgents have been killed and 2 others have been wounded as a result of an airstrike and artillery attack in the Uruzgan Khas district of Uruzgan.
The report is of the past 24 hours.
In a meeting with religious scholars, influential figures, and tribal elders of Paktika province on Saturday during his visit to the province, President Ghani called on Taliban to take part in intra-Afghan peace talks.
President Ghani emphasised that a mutual agreement for peace is present and that the Islamic world and region is on agreement for reconciliation.
He also added that Afghanistan wants peace with Pakistan, saying that Islamabad must understand that a peaceful Afghanistan is in their interest.
However, President Ghani clarified that Afghanistan will not hand over the authority of reconciliation efforts to outsiders, reaffirming that the process will always be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Defence, 18 IS-K fighters have been killed in an airstrike by Afghan forces in the Nazian district of Nangarhar province.
As per the statement, a hideout of the insurgents was also destroyed.
According to Russian Foreign Ministry officials, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has agreed to deploy a high-level political delegation to negotiate with the Taliban in Moscow.
The talks are scheduled for November 9.
Russian foreign ministry said that it is the first time that a high-level delegation from the Taliban office in Qatar will attend the Moscow Talks. Iran, Pakistan, India, China and the United States have been invited to this meeting as well.
In August 2018, Russia proposed the launch of multilateral peace talks with representatives from 12 countries and the Taliban. Despite the reports of Mr Ghani’s agreement with the talks, the National Unity Government eventually announced that peace talks with the Taliban should be held in Afghanistan under the leadership of the country.
The “Green on Blue” attack that took place on Saturday in Kabul when an ANSF soldier open fired at Coalition Force members. One US service member was killed whole another was wounded as per a statement by Resolute Support.
According to NATO, the attacker was immediately killed. However, the identity of the US service member who was killed has been released and he was Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden in Utah state of US.
The Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Maj. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, the state National Guard adjutant general released statement in their social media to confirm this to CNN. However the US National Guard have still not released a statement to confirm.
Ministry of Interior on Saturday clarified that they do know what might have caused the fire in the Khairkhwa Market in Kabul, but they are sure that millions have been lost due to the fire that spread quickly.
A fire broke out on Thursday night in Khairkhwa Market in Nadir Pashtun Street of Kabul’s PD1.
As per a statement by the Ministry of Interior, a minimum of 1,000 shopkeepers have lost everything in the fire and millions have been lost this way. The shopping centers were famous for electronic goods, household appliances and mobile phones.
Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said that the fire spread through the area when a fuel storage unit belonging to a telecommunications company caught fire.
According to Danish, the presence of flammable items in the shops worsened the fire but fortunately, the firefighters managed to stop the fire from spreading towards other areas.