Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
At least five Taliban insurgents were killed by Afghan security forces in an operation conducted in Shina Qala village of Barak-e Barak district of Logar province, officials said.
Security officials declared that Afghan forces seized a number of weapons during the operation.
Taliban have not commented regarding the incident so far.
In the meantime, the Afghan forces found two Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) in the Jaghtu district of Ghazni province and detonated them.
Afghan military officials say that at least three Taliban militants were killed during a clearance operation in Paghman district of Kabul on Tuesday.
Police 111 Unit in a press release said the Afghan security forces have launched a clearance operation at the vicinity of Paghman district.
According to the press release, two Taliban insurgents were killed in Deh Ganan of Arghandi area and one other was killed in Badam Ghol area of the district.
A weaponry cache of Taliban which was in Shir Ali Mountain in Arghandi area was also destroyed, the statement added.
Kabul is considered as one of the secure provinces of the country but Taliban have presence in some of its parts.
President Ashraf Ghani and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talked about intra-Afghan talks in a phone call late on Monday.
The Presidential Palace in a statement said the two sides discussed also presidential election, Afghan peace process and state-to-state cooperation.
According to the statement, they emphasized that peace process should be advanced at the centrality of the Afghan government and people and relations between Afghanistan and china are based on the principle of state-to-state centrality.
China has invited the Afghan government and the Taliban to an intra-Afghan dialogue which it expects to hold in Beijing in the near future.
The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has issued a new report that estimates that the US has spent $132 billion on Afghan economic development since 2002.
A recent news article provides a breakdown of the spending: $82.55 billion for security (including $4.57 billion for counter-narcotics initiatives). $34.46 billion for governance and development (including $4.37 billion for counter-narcotics initiatives). $3.85 billion for humanitarian aid. $11.70 billion for civilian operations. The amount provided to the nine largest active US funds accounts for more than 86.1% (nearly $114.17 billion) of total reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan since 2002.
Of this amount, over 92.9% (nearly $106.11 billion) has been promised, and nearly 89.2% (nearly $101.80 billion) has been disbursed.
Some $5.8 billion of the appropriated funds are estimated to have expired and will not be disbursed. SIGAR claims that another $5.2 billion will be required after any political settlement is reached.
A World Bank plan cited in the report says that another $5.2 billion would be required for social and economic development if a political settlement was reached.
Afghan government said on Monday its ambassador in Pakistan was summoned by the country’s intelligence agency ISI and faced misconduct.
“Afghanistan expresses its deepest objection and concern over the summoning of the ambassador by Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) and the misconduct of the entity’s personnel,” the Ministry of Foreign said, leveling an extremely rare allegation. It did not elaborate.
The latest diplomatic dispute between the neighbors erupted Sunday when Pakistan complained that its diplomatic staff, while going to work this week, had been “obstructed on the road and the embassy vehicles were also hit by motorcycles” in the Afghan capital.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the Afghan chargé d’affaires to convey Islamabad’s concerns over the safety and security of Pakistani diplomats, demanding Kabul immediately probe the “security violations and harassment incidents.”
Shepherding pays relatively well compared to other agricultural work in Turkey; however, local breeders have been complaining about a lack of applicants.
Despite a monthly wage of at least TL 5,000 and payment for additional expenses, Turkey suffers a shortage of 150,000 shepherds. To overcome the issue, a union of breeders has turned to the government for a practical solution: giving permits to Afghan migrants to work as shepherds.
As per Daily Sabah report, some farms already employ Afghan shepherds, as many migrants from that country already have shepherding experience. However, currently, most work illegally.
Nihat Çelik, head of Turkish Central Union of Sheep and Goat Breeders, says the sector’s problems stem from finding good shepherds. “People want to go into stockbreeding, but there is a problem in the employment of shepherds.” he complains.
He says the government is now working on regulations to allow Afghan migrants to work as shepherds.
“Once it goes into law, their working conditions will be better and they will even be able to bring their families over. Breeding is a family business in many countries and a small family can tend to at least 3,000 animals,” he says.
Hundreds of Afghans – many needing urgent medical treatment – gathered on Monday near Pakistan’s embassy waiting to hear when the visa section might reopen after it indefinitely shut down its services.
The consular office in Kabul was closed over security reasons after several staff members were harassed by unknown assailants in the Afghan capital, Pakistan’s embassy announced late on Sunday.
The visa section’s closure comes amid fresh tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which last week exchanged fire in a border area.
The shutdown also highlights the reliance many Afghans have on Pakistan, where they seek the type of medical care that is unavailable or unaffordable in Afghan hospitals.
“I am in a hurry to reach Pakistan as the mother of my seven children is very ill, and I urgently need to take her to Pakistan for treatment,” Abdullah Abded, who travelled from Parwan province north of Kabul, told AFP news agency.
“I feel desperate. I may have to tell my children that their mother may die because we cannot get the visa.”
Just weeks after the grim discovery in the UK, another refrigerated truck filled with migrants have been discovered this time in northern Greece.
Greek police has said that the 41 migrants, mostly from Afghanistan, were not injured, but seven of them were taken to hospital as a precaution.
The migrants, all men aged between 20 and 30 without documents, had difficulty breathing.
The truck’s refrigeration system was turned off at the time of the discovery.
After stopping the truck on a highway for a regular check, police arrested the driver from Georgia.
This comes as Greece has been struggling with the biggest surge in refugees since 2015.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister met with Atiqullah Noshir, First Deputy Adviser on National Security Council of Afghanistan, who was in China for the China-Afghanistan inter-departmental and inter-regional security cooperation mechanism meeting.
According to Chinese media outlets, Luo Zhaohui expressed, the Chinese side hopes to realize peace and stability in Afghanistan at an early date, firmly supports the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and is willing to continue to play a constructive role to this end.
Atiqullah Noshir also thanked the Chinese side for its valuable support for the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, and said that the Afghan government is willing to actively promote domestic reconciliation and realize peace and stability at an early date with the help of the international community.
Both sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations and other topics of common interest.