Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The European Union in Afghanistan released a statement saying Afghan Presidential election is about choosing between candidates & also about defending values. The EU wrote in a tweet, “September 28 will be the occasion for Afghan people to express support to democracy & consolidate legitimacy of political leadership.”
In the meantime, President Ashraf Ghani had also a meeting with the EU ambassador in the Presidential Palace on Thursday. “Afghanistan is willing to sustain good and enduring relations with its international partners, particularly the European Union,” said the president while praising the ambassador for his support and the union for its all-inclusive cooperation with AFG in various areas.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi told Reporterly that the commission has so far been considering the pre-announced election calendar. Ibrahimi stressed that IEC is committed to hold the upcoming Presidential Election in its specified time and the commission has taken all preparations.
The UK on Thursday announced a significant financial contribution to support the delivery of Afghanistan’s Presidential Election. The British embassy in a statement said, “The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) will make available up to £8 million to the UN Electoral Support Programme, which provides technical support to Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Bodies.”
This includes a planned contribution of £4 million to support preparations for the Presidential election. “The UK reiterates the importance of credible Presidential elections taking place. Timely elections are another step towards a more stable and democratic future for Afghanistan,” the statement added.
Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib met with Ambassador Yadgarkhaja Shadmanov of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Kabul, in which Amb. Shadmanov reiterated that Uzbekistan supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in Afghanistan.
As per the statement, Ambassador Shadmanov said that peace in Afghanistan is of strategic importance for Uzbekistan as it ensures stability in the region. The two sides also discussed the delicate nature of the process & Mr Mohib thanked the Mr Shadmanov for Uzbekistan’s constructive role in regional peace and cooperation.
‘Afghan Robotic HoThe Afghanistan Robotic House after gaining the positive ratings among all participating teams and bagging the 27th position in the World Adolescent Robot Contest (WARC) 2019 in China, succeeded to qualify for the World Robot Olympiad Association in Hungary.
The World Adolescent Robot Contest 2019 was held in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, gathering 113 teams and 319 students from 30 countries and regions.
The theme and rules were similar to the official WRO 2019 season, wherein SMART Cities and the season challenges were connected to new concepts, new ideas and new technologies that help building the cities of the future.
Russia won first place, Japan second and India third, while other participants were ranked on the positive, negative ratings and time scales.use’ Qualifies For Hungary Robot Competitions
An Afghan asylum seeker who tried to murder a complete stranger while ‘fuelled’ by a desire to kill English people was jailed for 19 years. The Dailymail reported that Samiulahaq Akbari, 22, was caught on CCTV walking into the Tesco Extra in Thornton Heath, south London, on January 8.
Akbari tapped a customer on the shoulder and asked for his nationality. He then took a swing swing at the victim, Mr Speight, with a ten-inch kitchen knife when he said he was from the UK. Mr Speight managed to kick Akbari off when he leapt on him and miraculously escaped from the scuffle without a mark on him.
Just ten minutes earlier Akbari had pulled a knife on two other men in separate establishments on the same road in Croydon and was said to be ‘fuelled with the same intention’. Akbari was convicted of attempted murder over the rampage which took place just 12 days after he was released from prison for another assault. Judge Mark Dennis QC jailed him yesterday for 19 years.
Akbari claimed he was ‘too drunk’ to form any intention to kill but the prosecutor said his actions were ‘deliberate and considered’. Ms Stonecliffe read extracts from transcripts of the ‘frantic’ 999 calls made by Akbari’s cousin in which he tells the operator: ‘He said he wants to kill the English people. I can see his eyes, he’s serious.’
Giving evidence, Akbari claimed he ‘had not taken his medication’ and was drunk at the time.
Security officials have announced that a Taliban insurgent’s weapon cache was destroyed in Logar province.
Special Operations Corps in a statement said on Thursday that in a raid carried out by commando forces on Wednesday night in Charkh district of Logar province, a big weapon cache of Taliban insurgents had been detected and destroyed.
The statement added that some ammunition and explosive materials were also seized by the forces.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address on India’s Independence Day on Thursday said that his government has intent to make India a $5 trillion economy in the next five years. But critics say he has not acknowledged the sharp slowdown facing the Indian economy ever since demonetization in 2016.
In his sixth Independence Day speech as Prime Minister, Modi outlined the need for every Indian district to become an export hub while extending an olive branch to industry and investors by acknowledging their role as wealth creators. “Many think India becoming a $5 trillion economy is difficult in the next five years. But we should aim high,” he said, reiterating that the aim was not unrealistic.
He added that though India became a $2 trillion economy in the first 70 years after Independence, it had grown by another $1 trillion under his government. In pursuit of the $5 trillion goal, Modi said, an investment of Rs 100 lakh crore (100 trillion) will be made on developing modern infrastructure like ports and highways.
For the full year of 2018-19, the Indian economy slowed, for the second consecutive year, to 6.8 per cent, from 7.2 per cent in 2017-18 and 8.2 per cent in 2016-17. Acknowledging industry’s role in creating jobs, Modi in his speech Thursday made an appeal for greater investments.
“Wealth creators should not be looked at with suspicion. When there is no wealth creation, then there can be no wealth distribution, which is important for eradicating poverty,” he said.
The Office of the National Security Council has instructed a serious investigation of Zurmat incident where it has been alleged that civilian casualties occurred. The statement added that the government takes any incident alleged of civilian casualties very seriously, and those who are responsible must be prosecuted.
It was also assured that the government takes measures very seriously to ensure civilians are not harmed during the military operations. “We assure our people that any ANDSF official whose misconduct led to the civilian casualties in this incident will face legal proceedings”, the statement conceded.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released a statement on Wednesday that it was gravely concerned about reports showing that 11 civilians had been killed in a security forces’ operation in Paktia Province.
“UNAMA is gravely concerned by reports indicating 11 civilians killed during Eid by pro-government search operation in Paktia”, the Tweet said.