Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
In response to Taliban’s statement which threatened to target the Afghan public if they attend upcoming presidential elections, the Presidential Office (ARG) has released a statement to assure Afghans that they can and must exercise their political right.
“As evidently enshrined in the Afghanistan Constitution, it is the legitimate and legal right of the people of Afghanistan to attend poll centers and directly elect their future leader”, the statement said.
The statement clarified that most of electoral budget is covered by the Government of Afghanistan and the process is fully managed by Afghans, not by nay foreign country.
It was pointed out that representatives of the Afghan people at the Lower House of the Parliament issued an enactment today and provided support for holding of elections in a timely manner.
The Government of Afghanistan asked all electoral entities and stakeholders to continue their regular activities to ensure holding of elections in a timely fashion.
It was also assured that ANDSF is fully prepared to protect their compatriots against such threats and will never allow anyone to prevent voters & owning their future, “AFG Defense and Security forces are sternly instructed to thwart any attempt aiming at the disruption of this national and crucial process”.
The statement asked Taliban “who apparently chant for peace but at the same time intimidate the Afghan public to death on daily basis”, to prove their peace-wanting voice in action and stop intimidating the public.
People of Afghanistan will attend the poll centers and cast their vote to directly elect their future leader and to disgrace enemies of their freedom, the statement conceded.
At least 5 people were killed and seven others wounded in a magnetic IED explosion in Kabul city, as per Interior Ministry.
The explosive was placed on a bicycle and targeted a vehicle of the Interior Ministry Counter-Narcotics Department which was passing through the road, the Interior Ministry said.
The blast took place in Parwan Bostan Circle in Khairkhana area in Kabul’s Police District 11 (PD11) at around 4 pm Kabul time, the ministry said.
No one has claimed responsibility so far.
Details to follow.
Abdullah’s electoral team released a statement to protest the appointment of former spokesperson of Independent Election Commission, Mohammad Noor, as its senior adviser by president Ghani. The statement called it an “illegal act” and explicit meddling in the election.
Dr. Abdullah’s electoral team in a statement said on Tuesday: “appointment of Mr. Noor as advisor of Independent Election Commission is illegal and clear interference in the election.”
The statement further added that the Justice & Partnership team believes that, given the past bitter experiences, government interference in electoral commissions affairs and role of former commissioners in fraudulent election, as well as the reappointment of former and dismissed officials of electoral institutions undermine public confidence in the commissions.
Such appointments by president thwart a transparent, widespread and credible election, the statement said.
Abdullah’s electoral team called for immediate dismissal of Mr. Noor as senior advisor of Independent Election Commission and avoidance of presidential palace meddling in internal affairs of electoral commissions.
At least two people were killed and seven others wounded in a magnetic IED explosion that targeted a vehicle of ANP Counter-Narcotics in Khairkhana area, PD11, the Ministry of Interior confirmed.
No one has claimed responsibility so far. Details to follow.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has reacted to denunciation of presidential elections by Taliban saying that its unlawful and against democratic values. “Election is one of the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country, and our people have achieved this after years of efforts and struggle”, the Chief Executive said in a statement.
Dr Abdullah urged the people, like in the past, to counter Taliban’s plans and defend the national values by widely participating in campaign and presidential elections. The CE also called on ANDSF to not hesitate any efforts to secure election and the citizens and not let the enemies of the country to obstruct the holding of election and the peaceful transition of power.
Meanwhile, the Taliban released a statement calling the democratic process of elections in Afghanistan as “deceiving “. It has asked people to stay away from gathering so they don’t become “potential targets”, possibly signaling that they could attack on any rallies of presidential candidates.
Even Amrullah Saleh, the the vice presidential candidate reacted to denunciation of presidential elections by Taliban and wrote on Twitter, “Denouncement of elections by terrorist Taliban isn’t a news. It is a narrative without taste.”
Furthermore, Saleh said “They are created & backed to suppress a nation, bring about medieval system in the name of religion to feed the greedy beast of Pakistani establishment. They are nothing but “sham Afghans”.”
15 Taliban insurgents were killed during a joint clearance operation carried out by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Mahajir Bazaar region, Nehr Saraj District of Helmand, as per a statement by Ministry of Interior.
Several Taliban hideouts and two vehicles used by the insurgents were destroyed and ANDSF seized one rocket launcher, five radio handsets, three AK-47 rifles and five motorcycles.
25 different types of roadside bombs were also defused by ANDSF during the operation.
In other news, a notorious Taliban commander named Nasrat was killed along with his six accomplices in an operation carried out by General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU) in Maidan Shahr City of Maidan Wardak.
Nasrat was the main planner and organizer of terrorists and destructive activities, armed assault and explosions in Maidan Wardak.
Meanwhile, the General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU) launched a security overnight operation in Qara Bagh District of Kabul, and a result, arrested a man accused of helping Taliban insurgents. Finally, Afghan National Police (ANP) discovered and detected a roadside bomb, planted by terrorists in PD1, Gardiz City of Paktia.
The Second National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 “Women, Peace and Security” was launched at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. The event was attended by the Chief Executive H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Foreign Minister H.E. Salahuddin Rabbani, cabinet members, a number of senior government officials and ambassadors of the friendly countries to Kabul.
Foreign Minister Rabbani stated that the implementation of the second phase of National Action Plan required cooperation within the government entities of Afghanistan as well as International Community. Mr. Rabbani also emphasized the protection of women’s rights and the rights of all citizens of the country during peace talks with the Taliban.
Talking about the ongoing process of peace talks with the Taliban, the Chief Executive called the role of women and protection of women’s rights an important element of this process. The Chief Executive stated that the values enshrined in the UNSCR 1325 – women, peace, security; and women’s participation in all areas, as well as the implementation of the resolution in Afghanistan was a result of Afghan women’s bravery and struggles.
An IED explosion in the city of Khost has left one security personnel killed and wounded 2 civilians, security officials said.
Speaking to Reporterly, Adil Haidar, the spokesperson of Khost police headquarters said: “an IED explosion took place in PD1 of Khost city around 7 AM on Tuesday morning.”
He added, that as a result of this explosion a border force personnel was killed and 2 civilians were injured.
New Zealand is taking up three roles focused on women, peace and security in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
New Zealand Defence Force will be deploying three personnel into the roles, joining the NATO mission in Kabul. “This will contribute towards safeguarding the gains of Afghan women and girls that have been made since 2001,” Ardern said.
She added that New Zealand’s primary cooperation with NATO is through their deployment of NZ Defence Force military trainers to NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
“In June I announced the extension of this deployment till December next year, and mentioned we were exploring ways to contribute to NATO’s women, peace and security initiatives.”
The roles will also include supporting women’s participation in peace negotiations, with two beginning in September for a year and the third from May 2020, lasting six months.
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that there was a real chance for peace in Afghanistan as U.S.-Taliban peace talks continue in Qatar.
“We now see a real chance for peace in Afghanistan, we are closer to a peace deal than ever before,” Stoltenberg told reporters at a news conference in Wellington, New Zealand.
On his visit to New Zealand, the NATO Chief commended the way the country’s prime minister handled the Christchurch shooting incident earlier this year.
Stoltenberg spoke the most about the INF treaty which stands dissolved, and he said that, “Russia today remains in violation of the INF Treaty, despite years of U.S. and Allied engagement, including a final opportunity over six months to honour its Treaty obligations. As a result, the United States decision to withdraw from the Treaty, a decision fully supported by NATO Allies, is now taking effect”.
He added that NATO will respond in a measured and responsible way to the significant risks posed by the Russian 9M729 missile to Allied security. “We have agreed a balanced, coordinated and defensive package of measures to ensure NATO’s deterrence and defence posture remains credible and effective”, he said.