Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
In a press conference, a political current Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan today expressed their stance on peace and stressed that peace with the Taliban should not undermine the 17-year achievements of the people in the political, legal, social, cultural and economic spheres.
Peace is the main issue and the wish of Afghan people, and all the political and social forces in the country must be committed and united in order to achieve a just and dignified peace in the country, Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan said in a statement.
The issue of peace should be addressed under the leadership and management of the Afghan people as the main issue of the people of Afghanistan, they added.
Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan further stated in his statement that peace can be the subject of dialogue and negotiation only by accepting the continuation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and recognizing the continuity and legitimacy of the Islamic Republic.
Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan believes that peace with the Taliban can be only achieved when the people of Afghanistan and the political and social forces have reached national consensus.
This political movement has insisted that peace talks require a long ceasefire. The Peace Treaty with the Taliban also requires the issue of disarmament of non-state armed forces and its timing.
Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan emphasized that peace talks should not weaken the security structures of the country.
It has been reported that President Ghani is set to visit Herat province on Thursday yo inaugurate the Lapis Lazuli Transit, Trade and Transport route.
This new developmental route is going to send Afghan exports to Turkey and European markets via Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The National Procurement Commission which was presided by Chief Executive Abdullah was held on Monday at the Presidential palace.
21 procurement cases were reviewed and 19 contracts were finally approved amounting to $159.8 million.
Contracts approved are related to Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority, Ministries of energy and water, Public works, interior, finance, information and culture, and urban development and housing.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has expressed that Pakistan alone cannot bring peace in Afghanistan pointing that it was a “shared responsibility” of regional countries including India, Iran, Tajikistan and China.
“Since India is present in Afghanistan, its cooperation in this regard will also be required,” Qureshi told Pakistani lawmakers as quoted by Dawn.
Qureshi assured that several meetings for peace in Afghanistan have already taken place in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates so far.
He reiterated that US President Donald Trump sent a letter to Pakistan calling for it’s help in facilitating the Afghan peace process. Qureshi believes that Pakistan was already doing that.
According to Qureshi, there is has finally been agreement among stakeholders about the opinion that Afghanistan needed a political settlement, “All the stakeholders, including the US, Afghanistan and the Taliban, are on board,” he assured.
Security officials haave reported that 52 insurgents were killed and wounded in Ghazni province.
As a result of the clearing operation of Afghan security forces in Waghaz district of Ghazni province, 30 insurgents were killed and 22 others were wounded, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
Nothing has been reported about the casualties of the security forces and civilians in these operations.
The presidential palace released a statement informing that President Ghani met the peace negotiating team for the second time on Tuesday night.
The team discussed the pathway to approach the negotiation and the president assured that the team will be completely supported by the government along the negotiating process, as per the statement.
The Public Safety Minister of Canada, Ralph Goodale has said that the Canadian federal government has contained the return of foreign fighters to Canada.
In a report on the terrorism threat to Canada, Public Safety Canada said that measures such as travel interdictions and the threat of prosecution in Canada have dissuaded a number of Canadian “extremist travellers” from trying to come back to the country.
The report added that there are about 190 Canadians involved in “extremist” activities around the world, including in places such as Syria and Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North and East Africa.
There have been strong concerns in recent years about the threat of terrorism posed by supporters of the Islamic State in Canada, including those who were returning to the country after fighting alongside other jihadis.
“From the Canadian perspective, there has been no surge, no significant change in the numbers,” Mr. Goodale told reporters on Tuesday. “That is an encouraging indicator in terms of the safety and security of Canadians, but we take nothing for granted.”
Security officials have reported the death of the Taliban shadow governor, Mullah Pir Agha for Paktika province.
The press office of the 203 Tandar Corps, confirming the Mullah Pir Agha’s death, announced that he was killed during a joint operation of the NDS and ANA Forces on December 8.
Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday at the National Local Governance Dialogue in Kabul called for greater authority to be given to local officials in the country, emphasizing on local governance.
The dialogue was attended by more than 250 district governors from across Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan’s budget must be predicted from district to province and then coordinated. It must be carried out at the center and then the budget should be made available locally,” said Abdullah, adding that local officials should not be influenced while discharging their duties.
The head of Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) Abdul Mateen Baig said that till now, the role of local officials has been only symbolic, “The meeting is aimed to outline a road map or a new law towards strengthening the districts, especially the effectiveness of the districts and the third units and role of the district governors”.
Nader Nadery, the chairman of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) added a crucial point saying that the present number of officials in local institutions does not even meet the needs of the provinces called for an increase in this figure.
US Special Envoy for Afghanistan’s Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad visited Turkmenistan ok Tuesday.
There he met with Raşit Meredov, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, to discuss Afghan peace.
This is Khalilzad’s third visit to the region and this time, he is visiting more countries for a dialogue.