Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Canadian government is seeking a plan to approve private sponsorship of Sikh and Hindu citizens of Afghanistan by the Manmeet Bhullar Foundation and the approved individuals would be welcomed to Canada by next year, according to Canada minister for immigration, refugees and citizenship Ahmed Hussen.
Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal on Tuesday night issued in a statement, Hussen’s announcement and expressed his gratitude.
This initiative was supported and backed by Canada-based Sikh bodies, including World Sikh Organization and gurdwara committees, in July as they also took up the cause after a blast in Afghanistan killed 19 most of whom were Sikhs.
It has been observed by watchdogs that minorities in Afghanistan, whether it is the Hazara Shiites or Sikhs and Hindus, face targeted persecutions. “When any one religious community is targeted and attacked for their beliefs, we all have a responsibility to stand up and do everything in our power to protect that group and bring an end to the persecution,” Dhaliwal expressed.
Nine people, including three women , were wounded in an overnight earthquake in northern Baghlan province, as told to news sources.
Public Health Department Director Muhibullah Habib told Pajhwok that 9 have been injured.
Shia Spiritual leader, Ismaili Muslims Prince Karim Aga Khan reaffirmed his support to Afghanistan during a meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
The Office of the President, ARG Palace, released a statement which confirmed that President Ghani met with His Highness Prince Karim Khan on the sideline of Geneva conference on Afghanistan.
The statement further added that the two sides held talks regarding the activities of “Aga Khan Foundation, investments, and future progarms in Afghanistan”.
ARG Palace’s statement quoted Prince Karim Khan as saying that the Aga Khan Foundation wants “lasting peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan” and is prepared to assist with the Afghan government and nation in this regard.
President Ghani expressed his gratitude towards Prince Aga Khan for the investments in Afghanistan and assistance with the Afghan government and people in health, rehabilitation of historic sites, and humanitarian assistance.
President Ghani further added that the government will provide more facilities to Aga Khan Foundation for investments and activities in the country.
UNAMA has released a statement expressing grave concern over the reports of several dozen civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
It was reported that due to incidents in Helmand, several civilians were killed or wounded, and they included many children as well.
UNAMA has reiterated in its statement that “All parties have obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians at all times”.
The former National Security Adviser Mohammad Atmar has confirmed that he will sought nomination as presidential candidate next year.
In an interview to Tolo News, Atmar confirmed he aims to revive “national unity” which he believes has been “badly affected under the leadership of the current government”.
Atmar also said that negotiations are underway with the political parties and groups regarding his nomination in next year’s presidential elections.
He admitted that he will seek to modify the constitution of Afghanistan to establish a post for the third vice president as well.
In regards to the ongoing efforts for peace process, Atmar said the ongoing reconciliation efforts are “taken forward without national consensus and consultations”, emphasizing that the formation of the delegation which has been formed by the government is not representative of all.
He also called out the government for its actions that have harmed the national unity and added that he resigned from his position due to serious differences he had with the president, mainly due to his working methods and strategies.
President Ghani, at a meeting with Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said on the sidelines of the Geneva conference that the Afghan government is committed to returning its immigrants.
Mr. Ghani has said that Afghanistan wants their international partners to help Afghan immigrants return.
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, thanked President Ghani for addressing the problems of Afghan refugees, and emphasized that the United Nations will continue to work with Afghanistan and is committed to ensure the rights of Afghan immigrants.
The Pentagon has released the names of three U.S. servicemen who were killed on Tuesday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
They are Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, age 29, of Lexington, Virginia; Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, age 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington; and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, age 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania.
The three service members were killed in Ghazni province, and it was considered to be the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year.
A group of armed militants attempted an attack on the the former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh’s residence in Kabul city.
Fortunately, no casualties were reported as the Afghan forces quickly repulsed the raid.
Saleh posted an online statement on social media, stating that the attack was carried out when he was meeting the former intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil in his house.
He said the Afghan forces, particularly the intelligence operatives were quick to act.
Saleh also informed that the militants fled the area after the security forces responded to the fire but no one was hurt in the attack.
No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.
At least 10 people were killed and 19 others were wounded on Wednesday night when Taliban insurgents attack the PD9 area of Kabul by a car bomb. The incident took place at the entrance of a British private security company in Kabul and according to officials, the Taliban insurgents attempted to enter the premises.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and the attack coincided with an announcement by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the Geneva Summit that his government has come up with a 12-member negotiating team to hold peace talks with the insurgents.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health confirmed that 10 people were killed and 19 were wounded, but didn’t clarify whether foreigners were among the casualties.
In Geneva, President Ghani met with the vice president of Asian Development Bank, Wencai Zhang.
As per the statement released by presidential palace, President Ghani urged Mr Zhang to coordinate ADB’s development projects with Afghan national projects.
Mr Zhang said that building roads, infrastructures, transports, railway in Afghanistan are on priorities of ADB.
In his visit to Geneva for the Geneva Summit, President Ghani met with some Europe-based Afghan refugees and discussed their grievances.
He clarified that European-Afghan refugees are the national assets of the nation and that his government has made strides in implementing reforms to end the decades of tragedy.