Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Ministry of External Affairs of India published a statement on Thursday in reference to the capacity building program for Afghanistan government employees which as conducted the in the last week of December in India.
A special capacity building program for Afghanistan Central Civil Registration Authority (ACCRA) was organised by the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), India’s External Ministry said in a statement.
The program was conducted from December 23-30, 2019 in New Delhi followed by a field visit to Chandigarh. Afghan officials also visited UIDAI’s premises to study India’s AADHAAR initiative in detail.
The program elements included study of system of registration of citizen’s births and deaths, vital statistics and indicators system and AADHAAR. The participants were also given hands on experience with a live demonstration of the software and the processes of registration of birth and deaths; and explained methodology of census enumeration.
Afghan participants thanked India for the arranging the course that would contribute to their efforts for better implementation plans for creating a framework of population register.
To support efforts by Afghanistan to promote and protect human rights, civil society members, government officials, religious scholars, media professionals, women’s rights activists and other community leaders came together and made their voices heard in a series of events organized by UNAMA’s Gardez regional office.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a report has said that in provinces across the country’s southeast, participants discussed the creation of new laws empowering the media through access to information, the development of the new penal code reflecting the country’s commitment to promote fundamental freedoms, and the presence of women in civil service positions and in the private sector.
“Participants at many of the events noted that while Afghanistan has achieved much in human rights, the challenges remain daunting, especially as a result of the ongoing armed conflict and fragile security environment that continue to cause high numbers of civilian casualties,” the report reads.
UNAMA added that those attending the events discussed increased collaboration in the interest of all Afghan institutions addressing human rights challenges, including through a justice system that is able to fully implement the progress Afghanistan has made in legislative reform and in constitutional provisions guaranteeing women’s rights and the elimination of violence against women.
Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan-Nai has announced that an employee of “Samon” local Radio has been assassinated by the unidentified men in Helmand province.
Quoting the director of “Samon” Radio, Hayatullah Sahel, Nai said, “A part-time employee of Radio Samon named Safar Muhammad was invited to a party that on Thursday his corpse was found from Safeyan area of Lashkargah city.”
Confirming the incident, the spokesman of Helmand governor, Omar Zawak told Nai that his case is under investigation.
Nai has called on local officials in Helmand to seriously address the case of Safar Muhammad’s murder and make clear what the reason between his murder and his job was.
The Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) says about 6 million children are at risk of dander in all across Afghanistan which the situations of three million of them are alarming.
The Acting Minister of Public Works, Sayed Anwar Sadat on Thursday said that currently, 445% of children in Afghanistan do not have access to school.
“Practical planning is needed to provide services to children, especially those who are vulnerable and to address their situation and enforcing children’s laws,” Sadat said.
In the meantime, the state minister for human rights affairs, Sima Samar has welcomed the formulation of a joint plan for the protection of children between the government and the (UNICEF), saying there is no reference to addressing the situation of children with disabilities.
“There is nothing for children with disabilities, especially children with mental disabilities and that the girls are very vulnerable in this term,” Samar said.
This comes as the Ministry of Education has recently announced that 3.7 million children in Afghanistan do not have access to education.
A group of kidnappers have been arrested in Herat province, the office of Herat governor said in a statement released on Thursday.
According the statement, the kidnappers have been arrested by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) when they have attempted to abduct one of the sons of a national trader.
The statement added that the kidnappers arrested from Herat city PD5 and they have also admitted to their crimes.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) says a key Taliban commander along with his four men have been killed in Sar-e Pul province.
MoD in a press release on Thursday said that clashes erupted between the Afghan army forces and Taliban insurgents in Sozma Qala district of Sar-e Pul province on Wednesday night.
According to the press release, a Taliban commanders named Zubair along with four of his men were killed in the clashes.
MoD added that the Afghan security forces had no casualties in the incident.
John Bass, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, in an interview with TOLOnews has said that the winner of the Afghan presidential elections will not have a “commanding mandate” with “fewer than a million votes in a country of over 30 million people in which over nine million people are registered to vote.
“I think it would require whoever would win in a first round to approach it with a bit of humility and with an understanding that they will be the next leader but they need to reach out to other political factions, they need to be governing inclusively, they need to be listening to the desires and the fears and the objectives of a wider cross section of society and to govern in a way where people feel they are being heard,” Bass said in an interview with TOLOnews’ Lotfullah Najafizada.
“It depends on the Taliban. I mean, we are not insisting at this point that that there has to be a nationwide ceasefire before anything can happen,” said Bass.
The ambassador continued: “Obviously, a wide cross section of the Islamic Republic continues to signal that a ceasefire is very important before intra-Afghan negotiations would begin, but we think it’s important that before we would resume our discussions with the Taliban, that they signal, not just to us, but more importantly to their fellow Afghans–who are the people who are dying in this conflict– that they, the Taliban, are prepared to act differently and to choose a different future course.”
According to Bass, the US is not only seeking a reduction in violence or a ceasefire between the Taliban and US and coalition forces, but also between the Taliban and Afghan forces as well.
The protection and maintenance department of Salang Pass says the strategic Salang highway has been reopened only for passenger vehicles following the snowstorms.
The department in a press release on Thursday said that the snowfall is still flowing in the south of Salang and the storm is dropping in northern Salang.
According to the press release, the Salang highway reopened today at around 10:00a.m. (local time) and the Salang pass will be open only to passenger vehicles other than the trailer trucks.
The department has asked the passengers and drivers to avoid speed, extra weight and keep winter equipment, warm clothes, food, additional mobile phones and fuel.
A new airport is going to be built in Nangarhar province in the next eight months after completion of the preliminary studies.
As per Wasdam report, the contract for the preliminary studies of the project worth 56 million Afghanis is signed with an Italian company and is expected to be completed in 5 months.
“The airport is going to be built in the coming eight months following the requests of Nangarhar residents,” Fazel Fazly, Chief Advisor to President Ghani has posted on his Facebook page.
According to Fazly, the project is solely funded by the national budget.
The airport’s construction work will be handled by the government’s operations unit, which has previously undertaken the management task for Dar-ul-Aman Palace and Paghman castle.
Senior trade adviser to President Ashraf Ghani has said exports and imports of goods between Afghanistan and Iran need to become more balanced.
Afghanistan wants to be a good economic partner for Iran, but both sides should benefit from this partnership, Cirous Allaf has said at a conference themed “Introducing Iran-Afghanistan Investment Opportunities in the Special Region of Dogharoon” in Mashad.
He went on to say that according to the late founder of Iran, Imam Khomeini, “Islam has no boundaries” so why should Islamic countries boycott themselves. They should support each other and prove brotherhood in practice”.
When it comes to fraternity and neighborliness between Iran and Afghanistan, fraternal and joint interests are very important, so just as safeguarding Iran’s interests is important to us, keeping Afghanistan’s interests must also be important for Iran, said the senior adviser to the Afghan president.
In the meantime, he added that there must be honest steps in economic relations to influence political relations.