Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The spokesperson of President’s office, Sidiq Sidiqi announced that President Ashraf Ghani will not participate at the United Nations Annual Conference and has decided to send the National Security Adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, instead.
Sidiqi today in a press conference in Kabul said, “The UN conference is very essential as we are at an important stage of election. Due to the load of responsibilities, President Ghani will not attend the conference.”
Sidiq said recent report by the anti-corruption committee has revealed major challenges in recruitment of the Foreign Ministry. Based on this report, the government has decided to assign a delegation to address these challenges.
Sidiqi noted that the terrorist safe havens are in Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s soil, and Afghanistan faces a potential threat from these groups and that the Taliban are the main cause of violence in Afghanistan.
He emphasized that the government and security forces are trying to stop violence against Afghan people and that the IS-K group is a serious threat in Afghanistan. He said that the government is attempting to counter that threat.
According to Sidiqi, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is not in a good shape and it is the government’s responsibility to address the problems of Afghanistan with launching required programs, which is not possible without international assistance.
He also described the peace process as a sustained process, stressing that the election will be held on due time.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) in a press conference on Tuesday said that new measures have been taken for preventing fraud in the upcoming Presidential election.
The chairman of IEC, Hawa Alam Nooristani said, “We assure our people that IEC has great preparations for holding a transparent election. The transfer of supplies, appointment of staff and training are underway and are nearly completed.”
An IEC commissioner Mawlana Muhammad Abdullah declared at the same conference that the anti-fraud measures fall in the following categories-voting, counting and auditing, cancelling the votes. He noted that four thousand non-eligible voters were cut out of the voters’ lists.
Abdullah added, in the upcoming Presidential election, there will be one biometric device in every polling station which will record 400 voters in it with an extra device.
Meanwhile, Bano Zarifi, IEC commissioner in response to a journalist said, “Taking images of women is no hindrance to religion. Women are also photographed while receiving ID cards, passport and more other factors. The honorable people of the country should cooperate with the commission to implement the principles of the transparency.”
Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan Chief Executive and also a presidential candidate criticized the release of a number of Taliban prisoners and also Khalil Ferozi by president Ghani.
Addressing a campaign rally in Kabul, Dr. Abdullah said that due to the unilateral and tyrant work of the government, the trust between people and government has lessened and this is the cause of insecurity in Afghanistan.
While stating that the Stability and Integration team will expand further, the presidential candidate asked his supporters to be prepared to prevent fraud in election which is set to be held on 28 September.
Dr. Abdullah emphasized that: “election is a crucial issue and Afghanistan can’t stand the risk that a fraudulent and liar group dominate the fate of people”. He added that he wants to ensure that all keep all their focus on a transparent election and make sure that people go to the polling station.
During his address, Chief Executive Abdullah called on President Ghani to “respond to the nation” about the release of Firozi, Najibullah Dilawar and a number of Taliban insurgents.
The suicide attack carried out three days ago was devastating and IS-K is a despicable group in the country, Dr. Abdullah said.
Dr Abdullah pledged to the people that if his team wins the election, in the first day of presidency and chief executive office, the Stability and Integrity team will create ministry of youth and sports.
Dr Abdullah also emphasized that in order to achieve a dignified and lasting peace, elections must be held first, and when the new government starts its tenure, all the rights and achievements of the Afghan people must be preserved in the peace process.
The National Security Council (NSC) has said that the Islamic State (IS)-Khorasan group has posed a serious threat to Afghanistan with the horrific attacks on civilians.
The spokesman of NSC, Kabir Haqmal in a video message has said, “The IS-K poses a serious threat to Afghanistan and the world, and it needs an international consensus.”
Haqmal noted that the IS-K group has carried out dozens of bloody attacks on civilians and created a serious threat.
These statements come after a latest attack by IS-K group in Kabul, in which more than 200 were killed and wounded.
After the attack, President Ashraf Ghani called on the people to besiege against IS-K and other terrorist groups.
The Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday during his electoral campaign in Kabul, called the recent IS-K attack horrendous and stressed that it is a despicable group in Afghanistan.
The Pakistani military fired 63 missiles into the parts of eastern Kunar province on Monday night, local officials reported on Tuesday, adding that the attacks have not led to any causalities yet.
The chief district of Sheltan district, Gul Khan Tawhidi, confirmed the firing and told Reporterly that 200 missiles hit the villages which have a joint border with Pakistan.
Tawhidi said that the missiles hit the mountains, but there are some claims that four residential houses were damaged.
He added that they informed the local officials of the province regarding the firings. In the meantime, Abdul Ghani Mosamim, spokesman of Kunar governor declared that the missiles firings by Pakistan on some parts of the province have been sporadically continuing since a while back.
The Foreign and Defense ministries have not commented regarding the incident so far.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in reaction to the torching of a girls’ school in Kabul has urged those involved in the war to cooperate with the ministry in providing the security of schools.
The ministry in a press release said, “At around 01:30am, the “Booya Zar Naseri” girls’ school in Shakardara district of Kabul was torched down by unknown individuals.”
According to the press release, the reason of the incident is not clear so far, but the security institutions have been informed about the incident to start their investigations.
“As a result of the incident, the library and a number of the chairs were destroyed and due to that, around 700 students could not attend the school,” the press release said.
MoE condemned the arson of schools and called its perpetrators the “enemies of science and knowledge”.
The Norwegian special envoy for Afghanistan Per Albert Ilsaas has expressed that with the cooperation of Germany, his country is ready to host intra-Afghan peace talks.
The special representative of Norway for Afghanistan met the Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah with the presence of acting foreign minister, Salahuddin Rabani, and the US and German representatives on Tuesday.
The Executive Office said that the meeting reviewed the latest developments about peace and Norway readiness to host intra-Afghan talks.
The Norwegian special envoy for Afghanistan emphasized that his country wants peace and stability in Afghanistan and does not hesitate to do anything.
Meanwhile, while praising Afghanistan allies’ efforts to bring peace and stability to the country, the Chief Executive welcomed Norway’s readiness to host intra-Afghan talks.
This comes as Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, said on August 18 that Norway had a high hand in the peace talks and could help Afghanistan achieve peace.
The United States on Tuesday announced an additional amount of nearly $125 million in humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of vulnerable Afghans inside Afghanistan, including internally displaced persons, conflict and flood-affected communities, and Afghan returnees.
This new aid has brought the total U.S. funding in this fiscal year to the Afghan humanitarian response to nearly $190 million, including for Afghan refugees in the region.
The United States also urged all countries to make or increase their contributions to the UN humanitarian appeal for Afghanistan, which is currently only 27 percent funded.
Additional support from the entire international community is essential to meet the urgent needs of large number of vulnerable people in Afghanistan.
“The United States remains committed to supporting the most vulnerable Afghans and stands with the Afghan people in their dedication to helping create an Afghanistan in which all its citizens have the opportunity to live in peace and dignity. The additional U.S. funding announced today will support life-saving activities that provide emergency food, nutrition, clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, emergency health, disaster preparedness and risk reduction, shelter, protection, humanitarian coordination and logistics, and non-food items and relief commodities. It also supports refugee repatriation grants, education, livelihoods and other efforts to promote long-term integration of returning refugees”, the statement by US Embassy in Kabul added.
Security officials have announced that unidentified individuals set fire to a girl school in Kabul on Monday.
Confirming the news to Reporterly, Ferdows Faramarz said that unidentified individuals set fire to a girls’ school in Shahar Dara district of the capital Kabul on Monday evening.
Ferdows Faramarz added that the individuals managed to escape the scene after they set fire the school and police investigation is underway.
He said that it is not clear yet which group has set fire to the school.
Meanwhile, Taliban in a statement rejected the reports which say the group has set fire to a school in Shakar Dara district in Kabul Province.
Pakistan has expressed that it remains a steadfast partner of Afghanistan in the joint efforts to defeat all plans aimed at perpetuating instability in the region.
In a statement condemning multiple terrorist bomb attacks in Jalalabad, on Monday-the centennial Independence Day of Afghanistan- the Foreign Office Spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal said these cowardly attacks manifest the desperation of terrorist outfits and spoilers as hopes for peace, stability and national unity in Afghanistan have grown stronger by the day.
The spokesperson further said that Pakistan continues to firmly stand together with the Afghan nation in these testing times. He also prayed for the early recovery of dozens of people reportedly injured in the attacks
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his meeting with former President Hamid Karzai on Monday reiterated New Delhi’s continued support for peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.
“The prime minister reiterated the continued support of India for peace, security and stability of an inclusive, united, truly independent and democratic Afghanistan,” according to a statement from the Indian Prime Minister’s Office.
Modi conveyed his heartfelt greetings to the people of Afghanistan on behalf of the people of India on 100 years of independence of Afghanistan on Monday.
In the meantime, former president Karzai thanked India for strong all-round support and expressed happiness at the extraordinary goodwill between the people of the two countries.