Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Minister of Interior Massoud Andarabi says the Taliban have mobilized their fighters to detonate mines and assassinate individuals, including journalists and civil society activists, after failing to launch large-scale offensive to seize territory, and are seeking to make concessions in the peace process.
Mr Andarabi, speaking at the Upper House of Parliament on Tuesday, blamed the Taliban for the bombings and targeted killings in the country.
The Interior Minister said that some 8,000 police officers in Afghanistan are now in charge of guarding institutions and individuals, and that these forces need to return to their primary task of enforcing the law.
In the meantime, Ahmad Zia Siraj, the General Director of National Directorate of Security (NDS), said at today’s session in the Senate House that there had been about 18,200 attacks in Afghanistan during the past year, 99% of which were carried out by the Taliban.
He stressed that the majority of those behind the targeted assassinations are the Taliban and the Haqqani network.
This comes as the Taliban denies involvement in the assassination of civilians, including media and civil society activists.
Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) during its third extraordinary meeting, which was held on December 10, 2020, unanimously agreed with the proposal of Afghanistan to register the “Minaret of Jam” in the list of the cultural heritage of the Islamic world.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MoFA) in a statement said this achievement is as a result of the effective efforts of the representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Paris that sent and followed up on the Minaret Jam document.
During the third extraordinary meeting of the committee, after evaluating and reviewing the dossiers proposed by the ISESCO member countries, 22 cultural works from six Islamic countries (UAE, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, Morocco and Oman) were accepted, the statement said.
Minaret Jam was previously included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2002 and is now on the list of cultural heritage of the Islamic world. This is the first cultural work of the country that is included in the list of cultural heritages of the Islamic world.
As the U.S. draws down forces from Afghanistan, it is leaving behind a desperately poor country, and it’s been made even poorer by this pandemic, according to NPR report.
According to the report, the United Nations estimates that three-quarters of all Afghans are food insecure and going hungry.
“The situation for children under five is dire: more than 40% are acutely malnourished,” the report said.
“The situation for children under 5 is dire. Almost half are chronically malnourished and need nutritional support,” the report added.
Security officials in Balkh province on Tuesday say a doctor has hanged himself in Mazar-e-Sharif, the provincial capital.
Adel Shah Adel, the spokesman of the Balkh police said that the incident took place last night in PD9 of Mazar-e-Sharif city.
Mr. Adel identified the doctor as Farhad Royeen and said that he had hanged himself in his house.
According to him, preliminary investigations show that the doctor committed suicide by drinking and eating intoxicants.
Adel confirmed that a person who had allegedly given intoxicants to the doctor had been detained by security forces in connection with the case.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Monday arrested four employees of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) for demanding bribes, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) said.
AGO said that the four detainees are currently in custody and investigations of their cases are ongoing.
Officials in AGO noted that the detainees were arrested based on information and complaints of several employees of the Ministry of Public health.
The Ministry of Public Health has not commented on the matter yet.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday reported 183 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1,961 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 10 deaths and 191 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 52,230 the number of total reported deaths is 2,189 and the total number of recoveries is 41,801.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, Nangarhar, Takhar, Paktia, Kunduz, Parwan, Nimroz, Badakhshan, Logar, wardak, Kunar, Faryab, Zabul, Paktika and Sar e Pol provinces.
At least eight people were injured after a large rock broke off in Yakawlang No1 district in Bamiyan province, local officials said on Tuesday.
Rostam Ali Panahi, the district governor of Yakawlang No2 said that the incident took place in Ti Ghar village at around 00:02am today.
According to him, one of the injured is in a critical condition and was transferred to the provincial hospital.
He added that 12 houses were completely and partially destroyed in the incident.
The Lower House of Parliament says it is pursuing a plan to standardize the salaries of government employees until it is signed and implemented by the government.
The issue was stated by Mir Rahman Rahmani, the Speaker of the House of Representatives on his Facebook page.
The plan to equalize the salaries of government employees was also discussed at Monday’s session at the Lower House of Parliament.
Members of the House of Representatives have said at the meeting that the budget for the 1400 fiscal year which prepared by the government is unbalanced.
MPs at the Monday’s session stressed that equal pay for employees, including officers, teachers, officers, soldiers, and government contract employees, is a necessity.
Mir Rahman Rahmani has instructed the Finance and Budget Commission of the House of Representatives to consider equalizing the salaries of government employees in the budget for the 1400 fiscal year.
“The House of Representatives is working on a plan to equalize the salaries of government employees and will seriously pursue it until it is signed and implemented by the government to ensure justice,” Rahmani added.
The Upper House of Parliament in reaction to the arrest of three members of the Senate on charges of bribery of $ 40,000 has said that no details had been provided.
The Upper House has also appointed a delegation to discuss the issue with detainees, members of the Attorney General’s Office and National Directorate of Security.
Three senators who had recently gone to investigate corruption in the revenue-generating departments of Balkh were arrested on Sunday by the Attorney General’s Office and NDS on charges of bribery of $ 40,000.
Although NDS and the Attorney General Office have stated that they have raised the issue in a letter to the Senate under Article 102 of the Constitution, the Senate has rejected the issue and called for it to be considered.
The article 102 of the constitution states that whenever a member of the National Assembly is accused of a crime, the responsible official shall inform the parliament to which the accused is a member, and the accused may be prosecuted.
The Senate has said it is committed to fighting corruption, but expects that the issue will be thoroughly, transparently and fairly dealt with in accordance with constitutional, and that justice will be best served.
Of the three senators arrested, two were appointed members of the Senate.
This comes as President Ashraf Ghani has revoked the membership of two appointed senators.
Security officials in Herat say a man who tried to blow up a girls’ religious school in the province’s Turgundi town was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
According to authorities, the incident took place at around 4pm on Monday.
According to security sources, the man’s father and grandfather are religious scholars, and the motive for his attempt to blow up the girls’ religious school has not yet been cleared.
A civilian was also wounded in the blast, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Herat Police Command said in a statement that the bomber was identified by police before detonating his explosives and detonated his explosives before reaching his target.
Herat police added that an investigation has been started by security forces into the incident.
President Ashraf Ghani has revoked the membership of Mohammad Anwar Bashliq and Liaqatullah Babakarkhil who were appointed members of the Senate.
Dawakhan Mina Pal, the deputy spokesman of President, confirmed the cancellation today.
The two appointed members of the Senate are among three members of parliament who have been arrested in Balkh province on charges of taking bribes.
The Attorney General Office and the National Directorate of Security have issued a joint statement announcing that the three members of the Senate had been “actually” arrested on Sunday on charges of accepting $ 40,000 in bribes.
The governor of Balkh, Farhad Azimi, in a press conference in the provincial capital, Mazar-e-Sharif has said that the detainees were members of a delegation that had came to Balkh to inspect the revenue offices.
Following the arrest of three members of the Senate while receiving $ 40,000 in bribes, Amrullah Saleh, the first Vice President, said that the process of arresting the corrupted individuals will continue.
“Recently, another team in two other provinces was able to take a $ 250,000 bribe,” Mr. Saleh wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday. “Unfortunately we could not make a documentary. The case is very thick, and what was done may contain half a sheet, and that’s it.”
It is worth mentioning that on Sunday, three members of the Senate were arrested in the port of Hairatan on charges of bribery of 40 thousand dollars.
An attorney for a U.S. Army special forces sergeant arrested in what authorities called an apparently random shooting at an Illinois bowling alley that left three people dead told an initial hearing Monday that her client may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Duke Webb, 37, faces three counts of murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder for injuring three others in the shooting at Don Carter Lanes, in Rockford, on Saturday evening.
According to Army service information, Webb had four deployments to Afghanistan, the most recent once ending in July.
His lawyer, Elizabeth Bucko, also told the hearing in a Winnebago County courtroom that Webb appeared to have issues with memory loss. She added that he will undergo mental health evaluations, the Rockford Register Star reported.
The judge denied bond for Webb, meaning he will remain jailed. His arraignment was set for Feb. 16.