Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
With the winter session of Indian parliament’s upper house on, there was a question posed to the Ministry of External Affairs with respect to the nature of India’ participation in the Moscow Peace Talks. The follow up queries were as to why India attended a talk which had the presence of Taliban, an entity that India refuses to acknowledge as legitimate.
The answer was put up by the minister of state for ministry of external affairs Gen. (DR) V. K. Singh (Retd). He clarified that Russia hosted a meeting on Afghanistan on November 9, 2018 in Moscow which was attended by a delegation of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan, and official delegations from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and the United States.
Gen V K Singh clarified that “India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country. India’s consistent and principled policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-owned, Afghan-led, and Afghan-controlled and with the participation of the Government of Afghanistan”.
It was conceded by him on behalf of the MEA that “In this context, in keeping with its consistent position, India’s participation at the meeting was at non-official level”.
The presidential candidate registration process has begun based on a new schedule announced by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday.
IEC officials have clarified that necessary preparations have been made.
IEC deputy spokesperson Abdul Aziz Ebrahimi, has said that the process of distributing information packages has ended, and so far, 70 people have received electoral information rolls.
The presidential election is scheduled to be held on the July 20, simultaneous with the provincial and district council, as well as Ghazni’s parliamentary elections.
Two Afghan Border Police force members opened fire on foreign advisors at a military base in Herat on Wednesday.
One of the attackers was killed & another was arrested, Noorullah Qaderi, Commander of 207 Zafar Military Corps told TOLONews. He also informed that no foreign advisor was hurt in the attack.
The Afghan ministry of defence took over the responsibility of the border forces last year from the ministry of interior.
Head of HPC secretariat Omar Daudzai on Wednesday while addressing a gathering on peace in Kabul expressed that it is not clear what Taliban wants regarding the system following the peace talks.
However, Daudzai was positive about the new year and he said that 2019 is the year of peace in Afghanistan.
“Today, our meeting with the civil society is about our readiness and flexibilities in peace talks,” Daudzai said.
Ministry of Defense announced in multiple statements on Wednesday, that a total of 27 insurgents were killed in Kapisa, Uruzgan, Zabul and Kunduz provinces.
In Nijrab district of Kapisa province, 11 insurgents were killed, one other was wounded and one suspect was detained.
As a result of the clearing operation of ANA commando forces in Agha Khan area of Uruzgan province, eight insurgents were killed and a handful of weapons and ammunition belonging to insurgents were destroyed.
Six insurgents were killed and three others were wounded, as a result of the ANA forces’ response attack in Arghandab district of Zabul province.
Finally, two insurgents were killed and three others were wounded, as a result of a clearing operation of the ANA commando forces in Khan Abad district of Kunduz.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi is expected to visit Kabul next week.
According to Afghan foreign ministry, Araghchi is set to meet president Ghani and CE Abdullah and other ministers to discuss bilateral ties.
This visit comes after Iran hosted meeting with Taliban earlier this week.
Kabul municipality has appointed at least 11 women in its district municipalities.
Officials from Kabul municipality on Tuesday announced that the body is looking to appoint more women in various sectors.
Ministry of Women Affairs welcomed the move as a positive step, but clarified that there needs to be more of women’s presence in all institutions.
Those newly appointed as deputies are Waheeda Samadi, Mursal Mehman, Habiba Sadeqi, Massoudah Ferdaws, Sweeta Naseri, Muzhghan Hajjizada, Nazifa Oryakhel, Razia Arifi, Haseena Hussain, Naseema Hamidi and Faheema Behzad.
NATO Commander Gen Scott Miller on Tuesday, while addressing NATO troops told them to prepare for any outcome in peace talks between the U.S. and Taliban that have gained momentum in recent weeks, according to Reuters.
Gen. Scott Miller, head of U.S. forces and the NATO-led noncombat Resolution Support mission in Afghanistan, stressed the need for a political end to the war.
“Peace talks [are] out there, regional players pressing for peace, the Taliban talking about peace, the Afghan government is talking about peace,” Miller told NATO soldiers gathered at Resolution Support headquarters in Kabul for an exercise session.
“Are [Resolution Support] able to adapt? Are we able to adjust? Are we able to be in the right place to support positive processes and negative consequences, that’s what I ask you guys to think about in 2019,” Miller said.