Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
President Ashraf met with with the elders of Helmand province in the city of Lashkar Gah today as a part of his visit to the province.
In the meeting, they discussed their problems and suggestions with the president on preventing interference in election affairs, reducing the youth unemployment in Helmand province, constructing water retention dams and activating channels, increasing the proportion of Hajjis to the population of this province, fighting corruption and avoiding the intervention of the powerful people in the recruitment of security and military officials with the president.
Ghazni governor’s spokesman, Aref Noori, has said that a delegation of Ghazni tribal elders living in Kabul arrived in the province yesterday to discuss with the citizens of the province on preparations to hold the elections.
The delegation is comprised of elders of the Hazaras, Pashtuns and Tajiks, which has 6 members from each ethnic groups, Noori said.
Ghazni governor spokesman said that the delegation was formed after several meetings in Kabul with three representatives of the government, consisting of the second vice-president, first deputy Chief Executive and head of IDLG, to come to consensus on how to hold elections in the Ghazni.
He further said that after the representatives of the ethnic groups in the province agreed, the three prominent representatives of the government will receive a written agreement on behalf of the government on the decision adopted by the ethnic groups’ representatives, so that there will be no problem in the future.
Mr Noori also said that the delegation will also talk about increasing the registration and polling centers.
The election commission also re-enacted the areas which were blacklisted in the previous election, while the areas are relatively safe now and the elections can be held in them, he said. Ghazni Governor’s spokesman emphasized that this issue will be discussed and people will be asked to submit their propositions too.
Afghanistan’s Hussain Bakhsh Safari, just bagged the gold medal for his country at the AI Ain International Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship in UAE.
Pak Embassy in Kabul Confirms Release of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar who is the co-founder of Taliban movement as well as a Taliban commander Abdul Samad Sani.
According to the statement by the Pakistan Embassy to TOLONews, the step was carried out as a part of Pakistan’s commitment to facilitate Afghan peace process.
In a press conference on Sunday, US Ambassador to Afghanistan John R Bass said that he had duly noted Zalmay Khalizad’s efforts and work towards peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. Mr Khalizad is the US Special
Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation.
Khalizad recently made a visit to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Qatar to have talks with various stakeholders and also met with Taliban in Qatar. Most importantly he began and ended his trip with Afghanistan which points to his commitment towards an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.
Security officials have reported that 43 insurgents have been killed or wounded across 8 provinces of Afghanistan.
According to an Ministry of Defense statement, as a result of the invasive, airborne and cleanup operations of the security forces over the past 24 hours in the provinces of Ghazni, Helmand, Baghlan, Nangarhar, Kandahar, Samangan, Zabul and Paktika, 29 insurgents were killed and 14 others wounded.
The statement added that during these operations, 8 insurgents were arrested, several hideouts and a significant amount of ammunition and explosives belonging to the insurgents were also destroyed.
With a stunning score of 6-0, the Afghan U14 Football team beat the Indian Air Force Academy football team in the Subroto Cup in New Delhi.
Subroto Cup Tournament is an international inter-school football tournament named after India’s first Air Chief Marshall Subroto Mukherjee, and is organised by the Indian Air Force. Afghanistan’s team first played in the tournament in the year 2015.
National Directorate of Security’s (NDS) Special Forces have reportedly found a key hideout of the Taliban group in eastern Nangarhar, as informed by provincial government office’s statement on Sunday.
The statement also added that the operation was carried out on Friday in the Khalaqdad area of Khogyani district and continued until early Saturday morning. The operation killed 4 militants as well.
A Taliban insurgent who was expert in producing improvised explosive devices was arrested along with seven others during the same operation, the statement by provincial government’s office said.
Afghan forces also confiscated and destroyed some equipment, weapons, and other explosives during the operation and no civilian casualty took place as confirmed by the statement.
According to a statement by Ministry of Interior, the General Command of Police Special Units carried out a security operation in the 5th district, Mazar Sharif City, capital of Balkh province, last night.
In the process, 2 suspects were arrested in Balkh, as reported by interior ministry.
The 209 Shahin Corps has announced the destruction of two Taliban bases in Kunduz province.
The statement says that two Taliban bases have been destroyed, three Taliban fighters have been killed and 5 other wounded as a result of air operations in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province.
The statement also added that a mine was detected and exploded from Tanke Sukhta area along the highway of Pul-e-Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province.
Following the Afghan president’s visit to Lashkar Gah, and reports of several rockets landing near his whereabouts, deputy spokesman for President, Shah Hossain Mortazawi, says that Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s plans in Lashkargah are on a regular basis.
Earlier, Ariana News quoted local sources and said that several rockets had hit near the location where the president was stationed.
But Shah Hussain Mortazawi wrote in a message to the media: “The president’s plans are going on as usual, and I hope that you have the opportunity to the beautiful and safe province of Helmand.”
Helmand provincial governor spokesman, Omar Zuwak, also told the media that the blast had been heard in Lashkargah, but it is unknown whether the sound was due to an explosion or a rocket launcher.
Sources have reported to Ariana News that several rockets hit the vicinity of area where President Ghani is supposed to reside on his visit to Lashkargah today.
The attack has no reported casualties so far.
This comes after President Ghani arrived today in Lashkargah, Helmand to meet families of two candidates who were killed and also interact with other people of the province.
Motor vehicle users are concerned about the price hike of petrol and diesel in the country, which has surged at 8% in the past four month period. Experts attribute the reason for this to a weaker Afghani against dollar.
However, it has to be noted that global crude oil prices have seen a surge this year too. Petrol and Diesel hike has been a problem in not just Afghanistan, but other countries of South Asia, like India and Pakistan, and their respective currencies have also seen a fall against the dollar.
Afghanistan imports $2.5 billion worth of fuel each year barring the illegal smuggling, as per statistics of Fuel and Gas Importers Union.
Some people in the industry also believe that the hike can also be attributed to the fact that amidst the price hike, some people have the tendency to misuse the opportunity for their monetary profits, which should be stopped.
On early Sunday morning, President Ghani arrived in Lashkargah, Helmand according to President’s spokesperson. Mr Ghani plans on visiting Abdul Jabar Qahraman and Saleh Mohammad Achakzai’s families. Both of them were Parliamentary candidates from Helmand who lost their lives in targeted explosion attacks before the elections.
According to the spokesperson to the President, President Ghani will also interact with security forces, local authorities, the elder, civil society members, women and other members in his Helmand visit.
The IEC has stated that on election day, telecommunication companies were not very cooperative when asked to connect biometric devices to internet services.
Because of this, the IEC said, the biometric devices were used in offline mode which might have caused operational problems or delays on polling day.
Biometric technology hurdles were one of the leading category of problems as per the complaints forwarded to IECC.