Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
In reaction to Taliban’s Eid message, thr presidential palace said that Afghan people have no need to hear Taliban’s message. Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in response to Taliban’s Eid message said in a video message:”Taliban’s message is still a message of panic, message of fear and message of war.”
He added, the Taliban are the main cause of destruction and killing of civilians. The people of Afghanistan want Taliban to renounce war and destruction. Sediqqi emphasized through these messages, that Afghan people will never approve the group for their violence.
“We hope that finally peace comes in Afghanistan, but the Taliban harm the Afghan people every day and make them grief over the loss of their loved ones” , Sediqqi said.
Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada in an Eid message had ordered members of the group to take all necessary steps to protect people during Eid. But just a few days back the Taliban released statement intimidating people of Afghanistan to not participate in election process
As tensions between India and Pakistan intensify and are overshadowing the Afghan peace process, former president Hamid Karzai has called on Pakistani politicians to not link the Kashmir issue with the Afghan peace process.
In reaction to remarks of some Pakistani politicians linking India’s Kashmir issue with the Afghan peace process, Hamid Karzai in a statement said: “Pakistan’s stance in this issue proves that Pakistan’s view of Afghanistan has not changed and the country wants to use Afghanistan as its strategic point to achieve its goals in the region.”
Karzai called on the Pakistani government not to link the Afghanistan and Kashmir issue which are two separate matters, and to stop destructive activities, training and supporting terrorism in the region.
In the light of the changes that Indian government brought in Jammu and Kashmir state, Mr. Karzai expressed hope that as Indian citizens, the people of Kashmir own peace, tranquility and prosperity and also reach their dreams.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a recent meeting with with US Special Representative for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in addition to discussion on peace talks, raised the issue of Kashmir with Khalilzad and said that increase of tension in Kashmir will affect the Afghan peace process.
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Kabul Mr. Alexander Mantetsky called on Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Idrees Zaman to discuss issues of mutual interest on Thursday.
The two sides, during this meeting, discussed a wide range of issues related to the bilateral ties as well as the ongoing peace process and the Upcoming UN General Assembly (UNGA), as per a statement by Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Mantetsky informed Deputy Minister Zaman of the UNSC meeting due to be chaired by Russia, inviting the Afghan head of delegation to the event.
The Russian envoy also submitted an invitation to the Deputy Foreign Minister to participate in an anti-terrorism event due to be held in Moscow in early September.
An IED explosion wounded seven civilians in Khost province, as per provincial officials. Provincial spokesperson Talib Mangal told Reporterly: “a vehicle was targeted by IED explosion in Masfid safid area, PD1 Khost city at around 10:45 injured seven people.”
The individuals injured in the explosion were evacuated to the hospital. No one has claimed the responsibility of the incident so far.
Provincial officials in Balkh province confirmed that an official of the justice department of Balkh province was killed by unidentified gunmen.
Monir Ahmad Farhad, provincial spokesperson told media that Najibullah Hesami was killed by unidentified gunmen on Thursday morning in PD10 of Maza-e-Sharif city. Farhad added, the investigation of the incident is underway.
Mohammad Qasim Taj Wardak, the business chief of Afghan Telecom Company was killed on Wednesday night as a result of a magnetic bomb blast.
Nasrat Rahimi, spokesperson at Ministry of Interior confirmed the incident to media and said the incident took place in the company premises, PD5 of Kabul city.
Rahimi added that the incident had no further causalities. Meanwhile, Ferdows Faramarz, spokesperson of Kabul police said that the driver of Mr. Wardak was injured in the incident. Taliban group in a statement claimed the responsibility of the incident.
Four Taliban insurgents were killed and four others were injured during a clearance operation carried out by General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU) in Guzara District of Herat, as per Ministry of Interior. During the operation, GCPSU seized 31 motorcycles and some amount of military equipment.
MoI also informed that four Taliban insurgents were killed and four others were injured in a clash with Afghan National Police (ANP) in the vicinity of the Sar-e-Pul.
Moreover, 9 Taliban insurgents were killed and 10 others were injured in a joint clearance operation carried out by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in the vicinity of the Ghor. Several villages of Ghor cleared of terrorists.
In another news, the Afghan National Police (ANP) detected three roadside bombs, placed by terrorists in Gulzar Aka region, Khost City and Bahram Khil village, Ismail Khil District of Khost.
In another report, Afghan National Police (ANP) discovered and seized four AK-47 rifles, five radio handsets and some amount of military equipment during a clearance operation in Alishir District of Khost.
Moreover, a Taliban mine planter was killed and another was wounded by own bomb blast while they were planting a roadside bomb in Chopan Zai region, Arghistan District of Kandahar, and Afghan National Police (ANP) seized one motorcycle and four roadside bombs from the scene.
Finally, two Taliban insurgents were killed and six Taliban hideouts were destroyed during Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) joint clearance operation in Marjah District of Helmand.
12 various types of roadside bombs were also also detected by ANDSF.
Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhunzadah in an Eid message has ordered members of the group to take all necessary steps to protect people during Eid days.
In the Eid message of Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada which was released on Thursday on the eve of Eid Al Adha, he said that the members of the group are ordered to take all the necessary steps to protect people during Eid days.
The Taliban Eid message was released at the end of 8th round of peace talks between the US and Taliban held in Qatar.
A part of the English version of the Taliban’s Eid message states: “Whether we perform armed Jihad for the cause of Allah or engage in dialogue and negotiation processes, both are a means for ending the occupation and establishing an Islamic system.”
Meanwhile, in Taliban attack carried out yesterday in Kabul 14 people were killed and 144 others were injured.
US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad condemned Taliban attack in Kabul and said “the focus should be on immediately reducing violence as we move closer to intra-Afghan negotiations that will produce a political roadmap and a permanent ceasefire”.
7th August marks the third anniversary of the hostage taken by the Taliban of American University of Afghanistan’s two professors, Kevin King and Timothy Weeks. AUAF released a statement calling on the Taliban to immediately release these teachers.
“Since professors King and Weeks were taken hostage, the American University of Afghanistan, our students, staff, faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees, have ceaselessly asked for their release. Professors King and Weeks belong back with their families and friends. They came to Afghanistan to help educate Afghan students who are striving to build better lives for themselves, their families and their nation”, the statement said.
It was also added that professors and students at universities represent the future of every country and education should never be a target in any conflict.
“No purpose is served by holding these teachers. We continue our call for the immediate release of our beloved colleagues, teachers, and friends, Kevin King and Timothy Weeks”, the statement concluded.
Three years back, the Taliban took two professors of AUAF hostage after they left the university compound in 2016.
US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad in a statement on Twitter condemned the attack in Kabul that occurred on Wednesday.
He wrote, “Indiscriminate attacks and intentional Injury to civilians are never warranted. We condemn the attack today in Kabul for which the Taliban claimed responsibility, and in which scores were killed and reportedly more than 145 injured, including many civilians”.
He also added that focus should be on immediately reducing violence as they move closer to intra-Afghan negotiations that will produce a political roadmap and a permanent ceasefire.
14 people were killed and 145 others, mostly civilians, were wounded as a result of Wednesday’s massive car bombing attack by Taliban in 6th Police District of Kabul city. Taliban has claimed responsibility for the car bomb explosion that targeted the police headquarters 6 in the west of Kabul on Wednesday.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has expressed that there was a distinct reason why NATO went to Afghanistan. In an address to Lowy Institute in Sydney on Wednesday, he said said that people must remember why the mission of the alliance began in Afghanistan in the first place.
“We went to Afghanistan because it was a safe haven for international terrorists,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “The main task and purpose in Afghanistan has been to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming such a platform for terrorism”, he clarified.
He had earlier said that NATO is getting closer to a peace deal in Afghanistan. Stoltenberg is currently on a visit to Australia, and just concluded his visit to New Zealand earlier this week.