Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
A number of tribal elders from various provinces of the country have expressed their support for a comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan, the State Ministry for Peace said in a press release.
According to the press release, the State Ministry for peace held a meeting on Tuesday which was attended by the tribal elders, Mr. Abdul Khaliq Balakarzai, Deputy Minister for Coordination of Tribes, Dr. Alema, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Civil Society Organizations, and Mr. Sayed Fahim Sorosh, Senior Advisor to the State Ministry.
Welcoming the tribal elders, Mr. Abdul Khaliq Balakarzai, Deputy Minister for Coordination of Tribes, said, “Although peace is the demand of all the people of Afghanistan, but peace without a comprehensive ceasefire is meaningless.”
Mentioning that most of the victims of the ongoing war are civilians, he said that in all peace agreements across the world, a ceasefire was declared prior to the peace agreements. It is therefore necessary to declare a ceasefire to support and move the Afghanistan peace negotiations forward.
The Deputy Minister for Coordination of Tribes briefed the meeting about the ministry’s consultative meetings with various segments of the people, and said that the views and suggestions of these segments were shared with the peace process officials and the negotiation team.
Aqina-Andkhoy Railway to be Inaugurated Soon Following the operation of the Khaf-Herat railway in the west of the country, the Independent Railway Authority of Afghanistan has announced that the construction of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway has been completed and is ready for inaguaration.
The Aqina-Andkhoy railway has been completed and will be inaugurated by Afghan and Turkmen officials in the near future, the Afghanistan Railway Authority said on Tuesday.
The agency added that the Aqina-Andkhoy railway is 30 kilometers long as its construction costs about $ 30 million.
The Afghan Railway Authority has called the construction of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway an important step towards establishing an internal railway network that connects Afghanistan to the Turkmen and regional railway networks.
According to the informations, the Aqina-Andkhoy railway is being constructed in a fundamental way and tens of tons of commercial goods will be loaded and unloaded daily.
The United States should work to ensure that airstrikes conducted in Afghanistan are done so in a controlled manner to avoid violating the Doha peace deal reached with the Taliban, the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Sputnik in an interview.
“We have made it clear to them and we are still saying that if the operation continues in violation and in an intentional manner, of course, we will be forced to react, and this is a provocative act,” Mujahid said.
The Taliban group stands ready to hold consultations with Washington to discuss the US military operation in Afghanistan, Mujahid added.
This comes as the Taliban has repeatedly accused the US of violating the Doha peace accord.
In December, the insurgent organisation claimed that US airstrikes in Kandahar province caused the deaths of 12 civilians, and Mujahid said that the Taliban have made their demands clear to their US counterparts.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday held talks with leader of Afghanistan’s Hezb-e-Wahdat-e Islami party Karim Khalili in Islamabad on the peace process in Afghanistan, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said.
Khalili, the former Afghan vice president, arrived in Pakistan on a three-day visit on Monday.
Qureshi described as “good omen” the progress in intra-Afghan negotiations currently underway in Qatar to decide a future political roadmap, according to the statement.
A comprehensive negotiated political settlement is the only solution acceptable to the Afghan leadership,” the statement quoted Qureshi as saying.
He said Pakistan will welcome decisions at the negotiations among Afghans and said intra-Afghan dialogue is a unique opportunity for the Afghan leadership to bring peace to the country.
“We believe that peace in Afghanistan is linked to peace and stability in the region,” he said.
Qureshi told Khalili that Pakistan is taking measures to promote bilateral trade and has also introduced a liberal visa policy for Afghan nationals.
Khalili appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process, according to the statement.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday reported 106 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1202 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 7 deaths and 472 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 53,690 the number of total reported deaths is 2,308 and the total number of recoveries is 44,608.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Nimroz, Helmand, Laghman, Kunar and Jawzjan.
Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar met with Farrokh Mokhtarov, the Deputy Head of the State Security Service of Uzbekistan, and his accompanying delegation, who are on an official visit to Kabul.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MoFA) in a press release said that FM Atmar welcomed the Uzbek delegation and praised Tashkent’s cooperation with Afghanistan in various fields and for it’s support for the peace talks.
“While we are witnessing progress in the political and economic spheres between the two countries, our important wish is to see the connection of the countries of the region, especially the connection of the countries of South and Central Asia with the construction of railways, transportation routes and transportation of energy and electricity through Afghanistan,” Atmar said.
Speaking about the relations between the two countries, Mr. Mukhtarov also said that the President of Uzbekistan considers Afghanistan a friendly and brotherly country, the key to peace and stability and a gateway to regional ties, and is committed to expanding relations between Kabul and Tashkent in various fields.
“The purpose of our visit to Kabul is to achieve these goals and exchange views on strengthening and expanding security cooperation between the two countries, because with the lack of security, launching economic projects are difficult and sometimes impossible,” he said.
local officials say an employee of the Kabul Bank assassinated in Ghazni province this morning.
The spokesman of Ghazni Police, Ahmad Khan Sirat said an employee of the Kabul Bank assassinated near his house in Haji Rafi township in PD2 of Ghazni city when he was on his way to work at around 08:00am on Tuesday.
In the meantime, Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of Ghazni provincial Council confirmed the incident to Reporterly and said Police started investigations regarding the incident.
This comes as targeted killings and assassinations of government employees have recently increased in Afghanistan provinces.
US and NATO’s Resolute Support forces commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller has emphasized on commitment of NATO allies in Afghanistan, particularly in the northern zone of the country.
“Gen. Scott Miller has joined the 1st Deputy Minister of Defense Shah Mahmood Miakhel for the 209 Shahin Corps Change of Command in Mazar-e Sharif of Balkh Province,” US forces spokesman, Col. Sonny Leggett said.
“Gen Miller highlighted the strong partnership between Resolute Support and the 209th Shahin Corps, and expressed his appreciation for the leadership of German Brig. Gen. Ansgar Meyer and the unwavering commitment of German NATO Allies in the North,” Col. Leggett added.
During the change of command between outgoing CDR Gen Haibatullah Alizai and incoming CDR Gen Mustafa Wardak, Dep. Min. Miakhel praised Gen Alizai’s commitment to improving security in the north and welcomed Gen Wardak as he works to further secure peace in northern provinces.
Two female staff members of 209 Shaheen Corps were killed and three others were wounded in an armed attack in Mazar-i-sharif city of Balkh province this morning.
The spokesman of Balkh Police, Adel Shah Adel said unidentified armed men opened fire on an ANA vehicle in PD5 of Mazar-e-Sharif city at around 07:30am on Tuesday.
According to Adel, the wounded were transferred to the Shahin Corps hospital.
In the meantime, the spokesman of Shahin Corps also confirmed the incident, saying two female members of the corps were killed and three more were wounded.