Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Security officials have reported the discovery and destruction of 2 weapon cache of Taliban insurgents in Helmand province.
As a result of commando night raid in thr surrounding of Nahr Saraj district of the province, 2 weapon cache of Taliban insurgents were detected and destroyed, Special Operation Corps said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added that, a lot of military equipment, explosive material, mines and a Pakistani ID card were seized in the operation.
According to thr statement, four suspected individuals were also arrested during the operation.
Security forces reported the arrest of a man who had killed his wife by arson after a verbal-clash in Kabul city.
Kabul police have detained the individual in PD10 of the city on Wednesday, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added that, the man has confessed that he had a fight with his wife, and in a fit of rage, he splashed her with gasoline and set her ablaze.
According to ministry of interior, the woman died later in the hospital as she succumbed to injuries sustained.
Acting Minister of Ministry of Communications and IT has announced that the price of Internet services for homes and offices declined by more than 30 percent.
Addressing a news conference in Kabul, Fahim Hashemi, Acting Minister of Communications and IT said that, now onwards, the internet prices for homes and offices would fall from $96 to $60.
“Providing reasonable and quality internet is a priority at the ministry and efforts are underway to decrease the price of 3G and 4G,” he emphasized.
Referring to the limitation posed on telecom companies due to security threats by Taliban group in Balkh province, Minister of Communication said that, threats, damages, and stopping public services are counted as clear hostility to the Afghan people.
Comprehensive measures would be taken to ensure security of telecom companies, Mr. Fahimi stressed.
Fahimi’s statements about providing security for telecom companies come after suspension of telecom services in some provinces from 6 pm to 6 am daily. Recently the interruption of services during night has created problem in Balkh province.
Three Croatian soldiers were injured in an attack on a Croatian military vehicle that took place early on Wednesday morning in the Afghan capital of Kabul, Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic confirmed in an emergency press conference, according to N1 News.
All three were transferred to the nearby hospital, with one of the soldiers in critical condition.
“This is an isolated attack, and the rest of the Croatian contingent is safe,” Krsticevic said.
The attack happened at around 8 am as the troops were driving towards the nearby camp, when a three-wheeled motor vehicle drove into one of the three armoured vehicles in the formation.
Croatian military personnel is stationed in Afghanistan as part of Resolute Support, a NATO-led mission which provides training, assistance, and advice to Afghan security units and institutions in conflict with extremist groups. The mission, which began in January 2015, consists of more than 13,000 troops, with Croatia contributing with around 100 soldiers.
“All our troops deployed to Afghanistan are there to contribute as advisors and mentors, they are not taking part in military operations. They’re there to help with organising Afghan security forces, which makes this attack difficult to understand,” said Robert Kranj, director of the Croatian Army general headquarters.
Iran is ready for fair negotiations however, not if they mean surrender, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
Rouhani seemed to be referring to possible negotiations with the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year but has said he is willing to hold talks with the Islamic Republic.
“As long as I have the responsibility for the executive duties of the country, we are completely ready for just, legal and honest negotiations to solve the problems,” Rouhani said, according to his official website.
“But at the same time we are not ready to sit at the table of surrender under the name of negotiations.”
EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia expressed on Twitter that when the European Union looks at Afghanistan, they have the constructive and positive ideas in mind.
These include reconstruction, protection, saving, rebuilding, preserving, and supporting Afghanistan.
“We also endeavour to take 10 million Afghans out of poverty. And most important : with respect and civility”, Kobia said.
These remarks come just 2 days after killing of 10 million Afghan people was seen as a quick option to end the Afghan conflict by US President Donald Trump, who made striking and callous remarks about Afghanistan and Afghans in a meeting with Pakistan PM Imran Khan.
The Senior Deputy Interior Minister for Security Gen. Khosal Sadat has assured that the Afghan armed forces are well equipped.
During a large consultative gathering in Kabul Police Headquarters on Tuesday, Gen. Sadat said the armed forces, specifically the police forces are equipped with modern military equipment and stood out resolutely against the enemies of Afghanistan.
He also added that the enemies and their supporters are in a “state of despair” as the Afghan armed forces have “turned their dreams into a nightmares” for them.
Furthermore, Gen. Sadat said the security forces have also killed or detained various crime kingpins besides fighting the terror groups.
Gen. Sadat further added that the armed forces will never have mercy on criminal gangs and promised that the security forces will adopt similar approach against the criminal gangs as they deal with the terror groups.
Provincial officials have reported the fall of a police outpost in the center of Farah city and the killing of 7 security forces personnel.
Shah Mahmood Naiee, a member of Farah Provincial Council told Reporterly on Wednesday: “a police outpost fell to Taliban in Sultan Mir area, western part of Farah city.”
Naiee added that according to the reports, 7 police soldiers were killed and there is no report about the number of personnel injured in the incident.
This police outpost is located 7km from the center of Farah city which has been attacked on by Taliban for the past several days.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday he plans to meet with the Taliban to persuade them to hold negotiations with the government in Afghanistan but cautioned that securing a political settlement to war will not be easy.
While delivering a public talk at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, Khan noted that for the first time in the 18-year-old Afghan conflict, Pakistan and the United States are working together to advance peace efforts in the neighboring country.
Khan spoke a day after he met with President Donald Trump at the White House where the two leaders agreed to work together to end to the conflict.
“Now, when I go back after meeting President Trump … I will meet the Taliban and I will try my best to get them to talk to the Afghan government so that the elections in Afghanistan must be inclusive where the Taliban also participate in it,” he said.
The Taliban is strongly opposed to engaging in any formal intra-Afghan negotiations, involving the Kabul government, until securing a peace deal with the U.S.
The Afghan Presidential Palace has announced that it is necessary that Mr. Khalilzad, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation stay in Kabul for a while.
In a meeting with president Ghani, Zalmay Khalilzad discussed recent developments and US president’s remarks about Afghanistan, thr presidential palace in a statement said on Tuesday night.
Mr. Khalilzad also briefed president Ghani on his recent efforts in bringing peace in the country.
Meanwhile, US Department of State announced the new round of Khalilzad’s travels for Afghanistan peace and Khalilzad also wrote on Twitter that: “I’m arriving in Kabul, focused on achieving an enduring peace that ends the war, ensures terrorists do not use Afghanistan to threaten the US.”
Khalilzad’s visit comes amidst a state of chaos and rage that has followed US President Trump’s callous remarks about a solution to Afghanistan, that he made while meeting with Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan.
Former Chinese premier Li Peng, known as the “Butcher of Beijing” for his role in the Tiananmen Square crackdown, died at the age of 91 on Tuesday.
He was the one who warned Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters in May 1989 that “the situation will not develop as you wish” a day before he announced martial law. And the pet project he pushed was the Three Gorges Dam, which displaced 1.3 million people and is now the world’s largest hydroelectric plant.
Official Chinese media made a rare and fleeting reference to the Tiananmen crackdown while eulogizing Li, who had an unspecified illness.
Li joined the majority of the leadership in taking “resolute measures to prevent turmoil, quell the counterrevolutionary riots and stabilize the domestic situation,” said part of the eulogy read Tuesday evening by a CCTV newscaster. “He played an important role in the great struggle that concerns the future and destiny of the party and the nation.”
Li was a keen political infighter who spent two decades at the pinnacle of power before retiring in 2002. While broadly disliked by the public, he oversaw China’s reemergence from post-Tiananmen isolation to gain global diplomatic and economic clout, a development he often celebrated in defiantly nationalistic public statements.
The US Senate on Tuesday approved Mark Esper to be the US’s 27th defense secretary, ending a wait of more than 200 days for a permanent Pentagon leader.
Esper’s relatively confirmation vote 90-8, stood in contrast to the seven months of uncertainty in the highest levels of the US military’s leadership.
After former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was forced out of his post early on the first day of 2019, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan helmed the department until he suddenly withdrew from consideration for the full-time job in June amid reports of domestic violence among his family members.
Esper, who until then had served as Army secretary for since late 2017, bounced between that job and the acting defense secretary job over the last five weeks. Lawmakers and military officials expressed concerns over the temporary, unclear leadership in recent months, especially as other top military posts were vacated.
Tuesday’s vote ends the longest period the Defense Department has gone without a permanent, confirmed leader since it became a Cabinet-level agency.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, as the latter is on a visit to Washington.
Pompeo later tweeted that “Last year when I visited Pakistan, I talked about the need to build trust between our two countries. We are moving in the right direction and I hope to see continued progress in the days and months ahead, on peace in Afghanistan, counterterrorism, regional security, and trade”.
These remarks come after Khan met with US President Donald Trump, who spoke about many things which have triggered a negative reaction. Trump remarked that he could solve Afghan war but it would mean “wiping Afghanistan from the face of earth”.