Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Presidential Palace says that the Beijing conference is a dialogue following the Qatar and Moscow talks and is not a direct negotiation for peace.
The President’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqi in a press conference said that the Beijing conference was planned in agreement with the Afghan government.
He declared that the government delegation which will attend the conference has still not been formed. “The shortest way to reach peace is direct talks with a ceasefire as preconditions,” Sediqi said.
He stated that the government hopes its roadmap for peace would be approved and agreed by regional countries and international partners.
This comes as the Chinese government postponed the peace negotiations that would take place in Beijing on October 28 and 29 between the Taliban and Afghan authorities. However, the Chinese officials said a new date for the meeting will be announced soon.
The US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad has met with President Ashraf Ghani, the President’s office said.
The President’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqi said that Khalilzad has briefed President Ghani about his recent activities. However, Sediqi has not given further details about the meeting.
This comes as the US envoy also met with the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other Afghan politicians today.
The Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in a meeting with a number of his electoral team’s observers and technical team said that they have given sacrifices for Afghanistan’s interest in the year 2014 and it will not repeat again.
“The real votes of the people are decisive. Believe me the 2014 will never be repeated again, because the result of fraud is the failure of Afghanistan and no one would believe in elections and the system anymore,” Abdullah said.
The Stability and Partnership team’s observers have submitted their reports and claimed to successfully complete a breathtaking process.
While the Chief Executive says 2014 will not repeat again which the results of Presidential Election has not been introduced yet.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has scheduled November 14th for the announcement of the primary results of the Presidential Elections.
The results were expected to be announced for October 19, but they were delayed due to technical problems.
IEC Chief, Hawa Alam Nuristani confirmed the date in a press conference on Sunday, saying IEC does not want to sacrifice transparency for speed.
On September 28, 2019, Afghan people headed to cast their vote despite the direct threats to the civilians from the Taliban. However, the turnout was low, where only around two million showed up from the 9.7 million registered voters.
At least 53 Taliban militants in northern Faryab province have been killed, security officials said.
The 209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said that the Taliban group launched complex attacks on security forces’ outposts in Khaja Namosi area of Pashtonkot district at around 20:30pm on Saturday night.
“At least 53 Taliban militants were killed in clashes against security forces”, the statement said.
According to the statement, some key commanders of the group including Qari Alauddin, Sufi Hamidullah and Qari Mohammad Din are also among the killed.
Faryab Police further added that at least 11 Taliban militants and four security forces were injured during the clashes.
The Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad have emphasized on reduction of violence to provide an enabling environment for start of the intra-Afghan peace talks.
According to the Chief Executive Office press release on Sunday, CE Abdullah and Zalmay Khalilzad met in Sapidar Palace.
The deputy assistant to U.S. president Donald Trump, Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council (NSC) Lisa Curtis and the former foreign minister, Salahuddin Rabani were also present in the meeting, the press release said.
“Both sides discussed about peace negotiations and fields for achieving a stable peace in Afghanistan and considered the peace as one of the priorities for Afghan people and government,” the press release reads.
It also added that they two sides have called for a ceasefire by Taliban for the start of intra-Afghan talks.
According to the Chief Executive Office, the two sides also talked about the transparency of election and the independency of the election commission.
Afghan local officials say that at least 15 security and uprising forces have been killed and wounded in a Taliban attack in Baghlan province.
A provincial member of Baghlan, Asadullah Shahbaz told Reporterly that the Taliban stormed Ara Kosh area of Nahrain district last night.
“At least six uprising forces and one local police were killed and one national police with seven others were wounded during the clashes last night,” Shahbaz said.
In the meantime, the spokesman of Baghlan Police, Jawid Besharat confirmed the clashes in this district but refused to give further details.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) commissioner, Mawlana Abdullah has said that up to 900,000 votes recorded in the Presidential election will be invalidated.
Mawlana Abdullah in his Facebook page said that two days after the vote, turnout had been announced as 2,695,890 and after uploading data from biometric verification devices, between 1,791,703 and 1,929,333 votes were recorded.
He noted that those provincial authorities that have not reported the irregularities to the IEC will be introduced to the judicial institutions.
The presidential election in September marked the fourth time in 15 years that millions of Afghans braved threats of violence to cast their vote for a president and a better future.
Nevertheless, the country remains stuck in an endless loop of nightmarish politics, endemic corruption and ever-worsening violence.
An away meeting of the Working Group on Afghanistan (WGA) under the CSTO Ministerial Council will be held in Dushanbe from October 28 through October 29.
The meeting will be attended by national coordinators for Afghanistan, reports CSTO’s official website.
Representatives of the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia are also invited to the meeting.
The meeting will focus on the issues relating to the military-political situation in Afghanistan, the CSTO adopted measures to minimize threats to the security of the organization’s member states emanating from the territory of this country, as well on approving a plan for the group’s further work.
Additionally, on October 28, the head of the Working Group, the National Coordinator of Kyrgyzstan for Afghanistan, Sagyn Ibraev is scheduled to attend the Coordination Meeting of the Chairpersons of the Committees (Commissions) for Defense and Security of the Parliaments of the CSTO member states.
The US has carried out a raid in Syria targeting the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, US media reported.
A US official told Reuters an operation had taken place targeting the terrorist leader but did not say whether it had succeeded it capturing or killing him.
Newsweek said it had been told by a US Army official briefed on the raid that Baghdadi was dead. It said the operation took place in Syria’s north-western Idlib province, and was carried out by special operations forces after receiving actionable intelligence.
Citing two senior administration officials, the New York Times reported that US special operations commandos had carried out a risky raid in north-western Syria on Saturday against a senior terrorist leader there, but did not name the person targeted.
Earlier on Saturday the White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said Donald Trump planned to make a “major statement” at 9am on Sunday morning (1300GMT).
A high-level delegation led by US Special Envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in Kabul.
The deputy assistant to U.S. president Donald Trump, Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the National Security Council (NSC) Lisa Curtis is also among the delegation members.
After the US-Taliban negotiations called off, this is the first time that Khalilzad travels to Kabul who has met with Afghan politicians, including Sayed Hamid Gailani, leader of NIFA.
“It was a pleasure to receive their Excellences Dr. Khalilzad the US Special Envoy for peace and reconciliation and his team. We have discussed political issues, eand peace,” Gailani tweeted.
Unidentified armed men have shot killed seven members of a family including four children in Dushi district of Baghlan province, officials said.
The Dushi chief district, Saheb Dad Ghafoori confirmed the incident and said, “A number of unidentified gunmen entered a house on Friday mid-night in Zargha village and killed all the members of a family.”
According to him, seven people including a young girl, four children and their parents were killed in the incident, while two other got wounded.
The chief district called personnel enmity behind the incident, adding a goverment delegation has started investigation regarding the case.