Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
China is ready to work with Afghanistan and Pakistan to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation for the stability and tranquility of the region and beyond, Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“Terrorism is a common enemy for mankind which is facing increasing threats and challenges posed by terrorism,” Geng Shuang said during his routine press briefing while commenting on the third meeting of inter-departmental and regional security cooperation mechanism held in Beijing last week.
“We stand ready to work with Afghanistan and Pakistan to strengthen our counter-terrorism cooperation for the stability and tranquility of the region and beyond,” he added.
He said that External Security Commissioner of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Cheng Guoping and First Deputy Adviser on National Security Council of Afghanistan Atiqullah Noshir co-chaired the third meeting of China-Afghanistan inter-departmental and inter-regional security cooperation mechanism.
Both sides exchanged views on regional situation and deepening security cooperation between the two countries.
The representatives from relevant departments of the two countries were present during the meeting.
Uzbekistan Educational Center for Training Afghan citizens of the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education hosted the first meeting of the Working Commission on development of cross-border trade between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
Chairperson of the Commission from the Uzbek side – Khokim of Surkhandarya region Tura Bobolov, Chairman of the Commission on the Afghan side – Governor of Balkh province Ishaq Rahguzar emphasized that cooperation between the two neighboring countries is growing in recent years.
It was noted that the activity of the Consulate of Afghanistan in Termez contributes to further development of relations between the border regions of the two countries.
Members of the Commission discussed the possibilities of solving problems on border and trade issues, forwarded relevant proposals and recommendations.
The parties agreed to hold a regular meeting of the Commission in Mazari Sharif of Afghanistan in the second half of the next month.
Seventeen people were killed in an overnight shootout at an outpost on the Tajik-Uzbek border that was attacked by armed men wearing masks, Tajik authorities said Wednesday.
The 20 attackers killed a border guard and a policeman before 15 of them were killed by return fire, Tajikistan’s National Security Committee said.
A Tajik official later said Daesh terrorists from Afghanistan were behind the attack.
The remaining five were captured, it said in a statement. It gave no other information about the attackers and said an investigation was underway into the incident, which happened 50 km (30 miles) southwest of the capital Dushanbe.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoFH) and the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) have Inaugurated the technical Orthopedic Center of Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital on Wednesday.
The technical Orthopedic Center has been constructed and equipped by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, worth around 150,000 EUR.
“More than one million persons suffered from disability which makes 4.8 percent of the Afghan population. Disability is a major problem in Afghanistan where more than forty years’ war causes more and more disabilities”. says the Minister of Public Health, Ferozedin Feroz and he added, “we are grateful from the Swedish Committee and European Union for constructing the Technical Orthopedic Center for differently able persons, the center will provide them physical rehabilitation service, wheelchair, artificial hand and feet, club feet and so on.
Sonny Monsson, Country Director for the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan says: “this is a great privilege for me as the Country Director of SCA to attend inaugural ceremony of Wazir Akbar Khan Physical Rehabilitation Center. SCA renovated this orthopedic center under the prosthetic and orthotic diploma training project and equipped with required machineries”
He added. “I wish this rehabilitation center serve thousands of persons with disability in country in the future. I would like to take the opportunity to the honorable Health Minister to make effort to expand physical rehabilitation to all BPHS and EPHS facilities as per the government mandates”.
SCA’s Disability Programme, as one of the largest programme in the country implements both Community Based and Institutional Based rehabilitation in the 12 provinces of Afghanistan. The Programme aims at the rehabilitation, equalization of opportunities, poverty reduction and social inclusion of people with disabilities.
More than 800 citizens of Kazakhstan have jointed the terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syrian since 2008, said Sergey Shveikin, deputy head of Kazakhstan anti-terror center.
“The first facts of our people departure to Afghanistan for accession in Al-Qaeda groups were recorded in 2008. Since 2013 the majority of Kazakhstani tourists have been departing for Syria and Iraq. In this period more than 800 citizens of Kazakhstan have left,” he said at the IX forum of religious scientists of Kazakhstan.
In his words, the citizens of Kazakhstan are present in the main international terror organizations, including IS-K, Al-Qaeda, Union of Islamic jihad and others.
“The majority of these people follow a destructive religious ideology. In fact, we do not equalize the representatives of non-traditional religious flows and terrorists,” he added.
A group of 50 Taliban insurgents have been killed in Uruzgan province, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
MoD in a statement on Wednesday said, “The Taliban insurgents were killed last night in Gezab district of Uruzgan after facing the resistance of security forces.”
According to the statement, the insurgents were killed as a result of ground and air attacks by security forces.
MoD further added that the security forces have intensified their operations against Taliban and increased military pressures on the group.
Aziz Ahmad Panjshiri, a professor at Kabul University was killed by Taliban militants in Baghlan-Kunduz highway, Baghlan police official said on Wednesday.
The spokesman of Baghlan Police, Ahmad Jawid Besharat told Reporterly that Ahmad Panjshiri, was mysteriously killed in the Himatkhel area while he was on his way to Kunduz province.
Besharat noted that his corpse was found today from the area and was transferred to the hospital by the security forces.
The Taliban group has not commented regarding the incident so far.
At least one Afghan soldier has lost life in an explosion occurred in a local bazar of Kapisa on Wednesday.
The Kapisa’s police office has confirmed in a statement that an embedded mine in the bazar of Alasay district of Kapisa, exploded Tuesday Afternoon.
The statement added, “In the blast a soldier was killed and 10 civilians—including six women—were wounded, and two other soldiers were also wounded.”
The Taliban have claimed the responsibility of this explosion and have said that a senior Afghan security official is among the killed.
The Afghan police arrested 30 drug traffickers during the past seven days, officials said on Wednesday.
“Counter-Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) and detective security organizations arrested 30 suspects linked to 25 cases of transportation or keeping of narcotics from various provinces,” Counter-Narcotics Criminal Justice Task Force of Afghanistan (CJTF) said in a statement.
After initial investigations, the CNPA has handed over the cases to the Central Narcotics Tribunal or CNT, a special Afghan court for jurisdiction of major drug cases, the statement said.
In 2018, some 6,400 tons of poppy opium were produced in western and southern parts of the country, where government security forces have little presence, much lesser compared with 9,000 tons in 2017, according to official figures.
Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has criticized a new peace plan put forward by President Ashraf Ghani as an unrealistic “wish list.”
“To be honest, nobody has taken that so-called seven-point plan as a plan… it’s rather a wishlist,” Abdullah said in an interview with AFP.
“Nobody is taking it seriously — neither the people of Afghanistan, nor anybody.”
Abdullah said it is imperative for any future talks to include negotiators from the Afghan government, be it led by him or by Ghani.
Any negotiating team “has to be inclusive. Government has to be a part of that”, he added.
Ghani’s team last month released a seven-point proposal aimed at building on the U.S.-Taliban talks and bringing an end to Afghanistan’s 18-year-old war.
Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili has visited Georgian servicemen deployed in Afghanistan, it’s been reported.
The Georgian troops, whose duties focus on security and rapid reaction force, are deployed in Kabul; at the Bagram Air Field, and Camp Marmal in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Minister Garibashvili thanked Georgian servicemen for their contribution to the international peacekeeping missions, saying it is their merit that Georgia “is being appreciated on the international arena.”
“Thank you for everything, for your service, for your high professionalism and your devotion… I will be your shield. I will do my best to take care of you. This is my direct responsibility and obligation,” Garibashvili stated.
On his two-day visit to Afghanistan, the Georgian Defense Minister was accompanied by the Chief of the General Staff, Major General Vladimer Chachibaia.
In Afghanistan, Garibashvili held meetings with the RSM Commander Gen. Austin Scott Miller; NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Ambassador Nicholas Kay; Train Advise Assist Command-North commander General Jürgen Brötz.
According to the Georgian Defense Ministry, at the meetings, Irakli Garibashvili reiterated that Georgia remains committed to its international obligations, will continue supporting international peace and stability, and welcomes the United States’ efforts to contribute to peace talks in Afghanistan.