Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Afghan First Vice-President Amrullah Saleh says the Taliban group cannot give legitimacy to their violent from religious perspectives and tries to negotiate with the government’s delegation based on their deal with the United States.
Amrullah Saleh who accompanied President Ghani on his visit to Nangarhar province delivered his speech at a gathering, saying the Taliban group could no longer continue the war under the pretext of Sharia and that is why they are insisting on their Doha agreement signed with US.
“Nothing would be sacrificed during the peace talks. We will not compromise on martyrs, republic system and women’s rights,” Saleh said.
He emphasized that the republic’s team has only one condition in these negotiations: that future leaders are voted in through elections.
“We have only one condition, we do not have any other condition, our condition is that the leadership of the country must be selected through holding elections,” he added.
A photographic laboratory and a radio studio equipped by Turkey’s state-run aid agency opened Wednesday in the Afghan capital Kabul.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sayid Mubin Hashimi, the vice-rector of the Faculty of Communication at the University of Parwan, thanked Turkey and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) for their support.
Zuhtu Cal, TIKA’s coordinator in Kabul, said they were happy to conclude the project at the university that supports education and indirectly contributes to the promotion of journalism in the country.
After repeated statements by several politicians about the possibility of an interim government in Afghanistan, President Ghani says that the people do not accept the dissolution of the republic and that his main task is to legally transition to power to his successor.
Speaking to officials and residents of Nangarhar today during a visit to the province, Mr. Ghani emphasized the need to preserve the republican system: “This is not my own post. This is the position of the people of Afghanistan. This is the system. It has dignity. All of you who voted for me said that in this position we need patience. Whoever is misplaced and every action that is misplaced, the nation will pay the price. Our peace is necessary as long as it is positive.”
President’s remarks come as Hafiz Mansour, Seyyed Ishaq Gilani, Rahmatullah Nabil and Atta Mohammad Noor have spoken about the possibility of forming an interim government since the beginning of the week.
In the meantime, Atta Mohammad Noor, the executive director of the Jamiat-e-Islami party, said that in order to ensure social justice, the plan to create an interim government should be strengthened.
“Now one of the options will be for us to think about this and offer this plan and strengthen it if there is a plan like this. Not only should we not stand up against, but we should strengthen it so that national unity of political justice and social justice can be ensured,” he said.
The talks over the possibility of an interim government has escalated, as local media have reported that even the president had not wanted to meet with Zalmai Khalilzad, the US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, who has arrived in Kabul two days ago.
According to reports, the president has denied meeting with Khalilzad because of talks on the possibility of an interim government.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has expressed concern about the new type of the spread of the coronavirus in the country, saying that with the registration of this type of virus in neighboring countries, it may spread to Afghanistan.
Wahidullah Majrooh, deputy director of health services at MoPH said at a news conference in Kabul on Thursday that a mutated version of the coronavirus had been registered in India and Pakistan, and that as citizens in the two countries travel more, the new type of this virus will spread in the country.
He considered the spread of this virus to be much faster than the first type.
“The number of patients has decreased,” he said, referring to the second wave of the coronavirus. “The number of positive cases has reached six percent. From week 49 onwards, it shows that the rate of cases has been declining. But, this does not mean that the second wave is over.”
However, he added that the key is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to the public and called on citizens to follow the health advice and avoid participating in rallies.
Majroh warned that if citizens are not cautious and reckless, a third wave of the corona virus could spread at any moment.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says that from the beginning of the year 2020 until its end, the total number of undocumented Afghan returnees from Iran was more than 859,000.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released a report stating that most undocumented Afghan refugees have returned from Iran by 2020.
Previously, the largest number of Afghan refugees returning from Iran in 2018 was that more than 805,000 people returned to Afghanistan
In the last ten days of 2020, 16,357 Afghan refugees have returned voluntarily to their homeland, and more than 11,000 more have been deported, the organization said.
The report says that due to the restrictions imposed by the second wave of coronavirus in Iran, the number of returnees has recently decreased.
The International Organization for Migration predicts that by 2021, 654,000 undocumented migrants will return from Iran, who will need a hundred percent humanitarian assistance.
The organization says it will need to spend about $ 30 million this year to address the situation of undocumented returnees from Iran to Afghanistan.
Statistics from the International Organization for Migration also show that in 2020, more than 6,700 undocumented migrants returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan.
Every year, as the winter season comes, the flow of undocumented Afghan refugees from Pakistan decreases, according to the report.
Local officials in Helmand said, at least five civilians have been killed in an airstrike in Lashkar Gah city of the province.
Ataullah Afghan, chairman of Helmand provincial council, told local media on Thursday that five civilians were killed in an airstrike in the provincial capital.
According to reports, All five were members of one family.
Afghan added that the attack took place on Wednesday night in the “Bushran” area in PD10 of Lashkar Gah, the center of the Helmand province.
5 other individuals have reportedly been injured during the incident.
No security officials have commented on the airstrike so far.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) says a suicide attacker with a car bomb was identified and eliminated by security forces before reaching target in Sofiyan village of Tarinkot district at around 03:00am on Thursday.
In the meantime, the governor of Uruzgan, Muhammad Omar Shirzad said at least three Policemen and army soldiers were killed in clashes with Taliban militants on Wednesday night.
According to Shirzad, the clashes erupted between Taliban militants and security forces in Chinarak and Sofian villages of Tarinkot city the center of Uruzgan province.
Shirzad noted that five Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the clashes.
He added that at least 11 Taliban militants were killed and 14 more were wounded in the clashes too.
After Uzbekistan cut off electricity imports, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) says the meetings with Uzbekistan authorities to resolve electricity problems had no results.
DABS announced on Wednesday night that its board of directors held an emergency meeting after the power cut from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan for finding alternative solutions to solve it.
Uzbekistan cut off a power circuit on Tuesday and cut off the second circuit at 04:24pm on the same day due to a technical problem with the country’s 900-megawatt power line, DABS quoted Safiullah Ahmadzai, the acting head of Breshna’s commercial and executive unit, as saying.
Ahmadzai added that he had been in contact with Uzbekistan’s electricity officials and Afghanistan’s ambassador to that country for the past two days, but the talks yet to have any outcome.
“Turkmenistan has been talking about alternative ways of transferring electricity through Uzbekistan to increase electricity, but so far no positive response has been received from the two countries’ officials,” the Breshna said.
DABS cited that the issue has been shared with the Afghan President and also with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan for the darkness of provinces.
Afghanistan imports 460 megawatts of electricity from Uzbekistan, of which only 300 megawatts is allocated to Kabul. Kabul city, including 13 other provinces, has been severely face shortage of electricity due to power outages in Uzbekistan.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursaday reported 120 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1,666 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 7 deaths and 451 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 53,327 the number of total reported deaths is 2,260 and the total number of recoveries is 42,291.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Parwan, Nimroz, Badghis, Kapisa, Laghman, Kunar, Ghor, Farah and Faryab provinces.
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) says it reaffirms commitment to Protect Human Rights in the country based on the Afghan constitution.
AIHRC in a series of tweets said, “While celebrating the “Constitution Week”, AIHRC reaffirms its commitment to protecting, promoting and monitoring of human rights as mandated based on the Afghan Constitution.”
According to Afghanistan’s Constitution, citizens have the right to life, equality, freedom of expression, assembly, protection against torture, elect and be elected, confidentiality of correspondence, housing, land, property and more, AIHRC said.
The commission also called for respect, implementation and upholding of the Constitution to achieve peace, security, justice, good governance and inclusive & sustainable development.
Afghan local officials say at least eight Afghan security forces were killed, two more were wounded and seven others were captured by the Taliban group.
A member of Kunduz Provincial Council, Amruddin Wali told Reporterly, “Taliban militants attacked a security base in Qabre Haji Gulestan area of Kunduz city at around 22:00pm on Wednesday.”
According to Wali, Taliban succeeded to completely destroy the base and seized all equipment.
He cited that in addition to attacking the security base, the Taliban militants also stormed the eastern gate of Kunduz city.
In the meantime, Taliban group claimed that seven government forces were killed and seven more were captured.
This comes as violence has recently increased in most parts of Afghanistan provinces.
Sectarian militant groups in Pakistan were the “worst outcome” of the Afghan Jihad in the 1980s and these groups are behind the attacks on the Hazara Shia community in Balochistan, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan told a Turkish TV channel on Wednesday.
“It’s a very unfortunate incident,” PM Khan told Turkey’s A News. “It stems from the legacy of the 1980s when the Afghan Jihad started in 80s, early 80s and when Pakistan participated in the Jihad, one of the worst outcomes of the Jihad was sectarianism in Pakistan.”
He said these groups are targeting the Hazara ethnic minority in Balochistan.
“The Hazara Shia community in Balochistan was targeted by these extremist sectarian groups, Sunni extremist groups,” the Pakistan premier said. They have now “morphed with ISIS or Daesh,” he said.
On January 3, at least 10 coal miners were executed by unidentified men in their sleeping room in the Machh coal field area. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State’s Wilayah Pakistan arm.
Representatives of the Afghan government and Taliban held a preparatory meeting in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday with both sides deciding to resume peace talks on Saturday.
Taliban spokesman Mohammed Naeem and an Afghan republic negotiating team, Nader Naderi, shared the breakthrough development after a three-week pause in a series of tweets.
“The second round of intra-Afghan talks started this evening during a preparatory meeting,” said the text of the tweet posted by both sides in English, Pashto, Dari and Arabic languages.
Talks to discuss agenda topics will begin Saturday, it added.