Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation, Ambassador Khalilzad on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York and talked about peace and security situation in Afghanistan.
NATO in a statement said that Stoltenberg met Khalilzad and they discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and NATO’s support for the peace talks.
The Secretary General welcomed Ambassador Khalilzad’s regular briefings to the North Atlantic Council, the statement said.
The statement added that Gen. Stoltenberg stressed that NATO’s focus remains unchanged to make the Afghan security forces stronger, so that they can fight international terrorism and create the conditions for lasting peace.
Senior Afghan security officials as well as the US and NATO Forces Commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller travelled to Ghazni on Tuesday to review situation in the province
Ghazni police in a statement on Tuesday said that the senior NATO and Afghan officials attended a high-level security meeting in the third brigade headquarter of the Afghan National Army in Ghazni where they praised the success of Mobeen operation which was launched by security forces on Friday.
The statement added that the officials discussed key security issues, including securing district routes, increase of joint security bases at Taliban controlled and high security threats areas in Jaghatu district and also in Dara Qeyad area of the district as well as providing security for election in other districts.
This is the fourth visit of senior NATO and Afghan military officials to Ghazni province this year.
National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces have destroyed 3 Taliban hideouts in Andar district of Ghazni province, NDS officials said.
As a result of NDS Special Forces operation which was carried out on a Taliban hideout belonging to Mullah Edriss, a red unit commander in Andar district, 3 Taliban insurgents were killed, NDS said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement added that 1 rifle, 3 pistols, 1 shotgun, 6 hand grenades, 1 radio set, 18 mines, 8 remote control mines, 100 pair of number plates, 200 vehicle license, 150 propaganda papers, 1 computer, 4 military uniforms, and more than 1000 light bullets were seized during the operation.
At least 9 civilians were killed and injured following a mortar shell explosion in Sayadi area of Nahrin district of Baghman province, local officials said.
Nahrin district chief, Mohammad Sarwar Akbari told Reporterly on Tuesday, “The explosion took place while the children were playing with the mortar shell.”
Akbari added that a woman and a child were killed and 7 children were injured in the explosion.
“The injured have been evacuated to hospital for treatment”, he said.
Akbari has not commented on how the children accessed to the mortar shell, but according to him, Sayadi area is under the control of Taliban.
The Presidential candidate and chairman of the “Peace and Moderation” electoral team, Hanif Atmar has said that he will not attend the Presidential election and will remain neutral.
Atmar in a statement said that the “Peace and Moderation” team refused to attend the election due to the lack of technical, political and security conditions for holding a transparent, fair, inclusive election and the danger of the country being dragged into deep political instability by the failure of a fair and transparent election.
Atmar stated that in recent months he has proposed of postponing the elections for several months so that the government, political leadership and civil society in the country can facilitate consensus, coordination and conditions for a transparent, fair and Afghan-wide election, but it has not been accepted.
He noted that he will not attend the election and if the election postponed he will retain his right as a candidate.
Atmar emphasized that he will take a neutral stand in the election and will not support any particular candidate.
His remarks come as only a few days remained for the Presidential Election in the country.
At least four Taliban insurgents have been killed in Tanai district of Khost province, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.
MoI in a statement on Tuesday said that 4 Taliban insurgents were killed during Afghan National Police (ANP) and NDS operatives’ joint clearance operation in Laghori Peeran area of Tanai district of Khost province.
The statement added that, ANP and NDS seized three AK-47 rifles, three hand grenades, seven remote controls and one vehicle during the operation.
The Presidential Palace (ARG) has said that civilian casualties is not acceptable for government authorities and further measures must be taken for preventing civilian casualties during the security forces’ operations.
ARG in a press release reacted to the security forces’ operation in Takhta Pul area of Musa Qala district of Helmand which civilians suffered casualties.
According to the press release, the Helmand governor has been instructed to start investigation regarding the incident.
The Presidential Palace emphasized that Taliban are the main perpetrators of civilian casualties and have always used people’s houses, villages as shields and even host foreign terrorists.
“The Taliban should stop continuing war and killing people and enter to Peace talks with the government,” the press release added.
This comes as a Provincial council member, Bashir Ahmad Shakir told Reporterly on Monday that 30 civilians were killed and injured that most of them were women and children during an operation of security forces carried out in Musa Qala district.
The Ministry of Defense confirmed the incident and said to start investigations regarding the civilian casualties.
The Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations (Afghanistan Mission) has announced that the Afghan delegation led by the deputy foreign minister for Political Affairs, Edriss Zaman attended the 74th United National General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
The Afghanistan Mission to UN said on Tuesday that Afghanistan delegation today addressed the UNGA High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in which a political declaration was also passed that reflects the commitment of member states in working towards health services.
On the sideline of the UNGA meeting, the Afghan delegation also attended the Climate Action Summit.
“Afghanistan being severely affected by climate change and we hope the results of this summit brings an affective plan of action,” a member of the delegation said.
Afghanistan Mission added that Edriss Zaman participated in a ministerial breakfast of the of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) this morning, underscoring the fundamental role of the forum & the importance of regional cooperation & trust building as a way to achieve peace & enhance stability, development & prosperity in Asia & beyond.
The United National General Assembly meeting started on Tuesday (Kabul time) in New York, with a focus on issues such as climate change, global developments, and political leaders from all over the world will speak to the assembly.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to restart peace talks with the Afghan Taliban.
Khan spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, before he met with U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
“Stability in Afghanistan means stability in Pakistan,” Khan said on September 23 at the start of his meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Trump said it was “ridiculous” that the United States had been fighting in Afghanistan for 18 years, but he made no promises about restarting negotiations with the Taliban, saying, “We’ll see.”
Khan stressed Monday that Pakistan had played a role in arranging the U.S.-Taliban dialogue to help bring peace to neighboring Afghanistan.
“The peace deal was just about to be signed,” before Trump canceled the talks, insisted the Pakistani leader. Khan added that his country had not been informed about Trump’s decision, which he said he only learned about through the media.
Monday’s meeting with Trump is Khan’s second since he visited the White House July 22 for his first interaction with the American president. Officials in both countries say the July meeting has helped improve bilateral ties.
Three U.S. service members were wounded in an insider attack Monday in Kandahar province, officials confirmed.
A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, Army Col. Sonny Leggett, said a member of the Afghan Civil Order Police fired on a military convoy, and that the service members sustained “non-life-threatening injuries.”
“The attacker was killed by return fire from Resolute Support forces,” he added.
Another official confirmed that the three wounded in the attack were all Americans.
The attack is under investigation.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the green-on-blue attack and wrongly stated that U.S. service members were killed.