Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says the data of more than one million voters has been successfully transferred to servers after technical problems with biometric devices used in the voting process.
Hawa Alam Nuristani, the chairperson of IEC in a press conference on Monday said that 25,000 result sheets have been scanned at the IEC office in Kabul.
“1,737,078 biometric votes collected from devices, those from over 3,900 stations remaining”, she said.
Nuristani declared that the goal is to meet the deadline for announcing the preliminary results on Oct.19.
“We Will try to announce preliminary results from presidential vote on scheduled October 19, but in case there is a delay it won’t be for weeks or months”, a member of IEC said.
“Technical problems caused a delay in transferring data from biometric devices, but now we have two technicians from the biometric device company providing help, and we are discussing solutions for a quicker transfer of data,” said Aurangzeb, IEC commissioner.
IEC officials called on presidential election candidates to be patient over the election results, and stated that the IEC will address their complaints, adding that some of the candidates’ observers are causing problems for the IEC.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that the ministry has removed black films and tint from 100 vehicles and seized some illegal weapons from irresponsible individuals in Kabul.
MoI in a statement on Monday said that public order police forces with other security institutions had conducted a joint operation against tented window vehicles and illegal weapons in different parts of Kabul city.
MoI noted that during the operation, security forces have seized two AK-47, 120 magazines, 10 hand grenades and some unregistered military equipment.
The process of cleaning tented window of vehicles and collecting illegal weapons and equipment would be continued in Kabul and other provinces, Ministry of Interior said.
Mostly organized crimes being conducted by black window – without document vehicles and without license weapons in the cities particularly in Kabul, the MoI said, adding police forces will go against violators and they will face legal action.
This comes as MoI on Saturday said that in order to provide better security for Kabul city and other provinces, the ministry’s leadership ordered the police forces to collect illegal weapons, unregistered vehicles and remove black films.
Peace remains the top priority for Afghans, said religious scholars and other community leaders gathered at a UN-backed event in the southern province of Kandahar.
The symposium, organized by UNAMA’s Kandahar regional office, drew scholars, elders, provincial authorities and other community leaders to discuss ways to build social cohesion in the interest of ending the country’s longstanding conflict.
“Rule of law, human dignity, quality of life for all Afghans and strong relations with the world are all important issues to discuss in any peace efforts,” said Haji Agha Lalai Dastagiri, Kandahar’s deputy governor, as he framed the discussion in opening remarks. “We must respect human life and values.”
Other participants expressed similar views as they exchanged ideas about the main factors contributing to the conflict in Afghanistan’s southern region and across the country, and as they strategized on the best way forward in advancing peace efforts.
“The conflict continues to cause the suffering of the Afghan people and it must come to an end,” said Malim Sardar Mohammad, an elder from Kandahar.
Afghanistan’s religious scholars, known as Ulema, play an essential role in setting moral and ethical standards for their communities. They often work as peace brokers and are respected at all levels of society, exerting influence on individual and community decisions.
Russia, the United States and China may hold their trilateral consultations on Afghanistan by the end of October, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said on Monday.
“Yes, we are planning these consultations. I believe they will be held by the end of the month,” Morgulov told reporters.
He maintained that the exact date for the engagement remained uncertain.
The Afghan health officials on Monday launched a sub-national immunization campaign to give polio immunity vaccination dose to 8.5 million children under 5 years old, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health said.
“The five-day campaign targets over 8.5 million children under 5 years of age in 324 districts across the country.
The campaign is launched in most of the places where limited children were reached earlier in the year,” the ministry said in a statement.
“We are concerned that following the long pause in polio vaccination in parts of the country, more children have become vulnerable to poliovirus, therefore it is of paramount importance that we vaccinate those who have been missing out,” the statement noted.
The ministry called on the parents to protect their children against polio by letting the vaccinators get in when they come knocking the doors, according to the statement.
President Ashraf Ghani says the level of coordination between Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) has increased unprecedentedly, which is the key for their success in the operations against terrorists.
The Presidential Palace- ARG in a statement said that President Ghani made the remarks on Sunday during a meeting with Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the commander of US and NATO Forces in Afghanistan.
ANDSF are at the forefront of counter-terrorism and the joint cooperation and support of international community is needed for security forces, Ghani said.
During the meeting, Gen. Miller praised Afghan security forces and said that recent operations against insurgents have been successful and that there is good coordination between security forces.
ANDSF have defeated the enemy in war, killed key terrorists and recaptured large swaths of territory recently, Millar added.
The NATO commander in Afghanistan has also provided his assessment report of the security and defense organs to president Ghani.
Security officials said that 23 Taliban fighters have been killed and injured in a series of airstrikes in Balkh province.
Air force carried out airstrikes on Taliban positions in Aaqtapa village of Chahar Bolak district, 209 Shaheen Corps in a statement said.
The statement noted that the security forces carried out the airstrikes at around 08:00 PM on Sunday.
Airstrikes killed 8 Taliban insurgents and wounded 15 others, the statement read.
Meanwhile, the statement added that civilians were not harmed in the incident but a member of the security forces sustained minor injuries.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) have launched the operation to recapture Darqad district of Takhar province.
MoD noted that 20 Taliban insurgents have been killed and wounded so far.
As a result of ANDSF joint operations, Taliban hideouts were destroyed in the surrounding districts of Darqad district, according to MoD.
Ministry of Defense added that in recent days, Taliban have suffered heavy casualties in Takhar districts.
Darqad district fell into Taliban control on 10 September of the current year.
The Afghan government, which signed a solar power mandate with the International Finance Corporation (IFC, a member of the World Bank Group) in September 2018, has decided to structure and tender a 40 MW PV project under the Scaling Solar program.
The Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) has issued a Request for Pre-Qualification (RFQ) for the project located near Gozareh district in Herat Province.
At present, approximately 70 percent of Afghanistan’s total power capacity of 1,450 MW is imported from the neighboring countries of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran.
Access to electricity remains low, around 34 percent, and it is focused in urban areas and along transmission corridors that are connected to imported energy, says the IFC.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says that the organization supports the decision to count only biometric verified votes.
“We reiterates full support for the Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission as the bodies authorized to make decisions on the issue of electoral procedures,” UNAMA said in a statement.
The statement added that UNAM supports the decision, announced publicly by both bodies, that only votes using biometric verification should be counted.
This comes as election commission had earlier announced that only votes using biometric verification should be counted.
Some presidential candidates had also emphasized on counting the biometric verified votes.
The preliminary results of the presidential election will be declared on 19 October and the final results on 28 October.
The Counter Narcotics Police (CNP) cell have apprehended three drug runners with 198kg of narcotics in eastern Nangarhar province.
CNP has conducted anti-drug crackdown in Jalalabad city, Rodad and Batikoat districts of Nangarhar, in which security forces detained three drug dealers and seized 198kg narcotics from them, said Nangarhar Governor Spokesman Attaullah Khogiani in a statement.
He said that CNP arrested two suspects over trafficking 5kg crystal in 8th PD of Jalalabad city and Daronta area.
Similarly, one drug runner was arrested and his 10kg drugs that were placed in a tractor model vehicle were seized, he noted.
He stated that 175kg hashish discovered and confiscated during operation by army and police in Barikab area of Batikot district.
The National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib has met with some Members of Parliament and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) leadership to address the recent dispute between some MPs and police, NSA office said.
“While stressing the importance of law makers in charting laws, NSA asked the MPs to cooperate with the government in the implementation of laws as well”, the NSA office said.
Mr. Mohib declared that the legislative branch and lawmakers have a place of respect in society.
“A team was assigned to work with Parliament leadership to address issues of MPs in terms of vehicle permits and security, as mandated by security regulations, to prevent such incidents in future”, the NSA office added.
A number of Afghan lawmakers summoned the minister of interior, Massoud Andarabi on late Friday after verbal and physical dispute occurred between the security forces and people’s representatives in Pul-e-Charkhi area of Kabul. The dispute has lasted for hours and the avenue was block for traffic.
The interior ministry said the parliamentarians have engaged into physical clashes as the security forces tried to collect their illegal weapons and remove vehicles’ tainted glasses.
But Parliament Members accused the security forces of being disrespectful and unprofessional.
The principle of Abdul Ghafoor Nadeem High School has been shot and killed by unknown assailants in Kabul, security officials said.
Kabul police spokesperson, Firdows Faramarz confirmed the incident to Reporterly but did not provide details about the killing.
According to reports, principle of Abdul Ghafoor Nadeem High School, Sayed Ziauddin was killed early Monday morning in front of the school’s gate by unknown attackers in PD11 of Kabul.
His relatives told the media that the incident happened at around 04:00 AM while Ziauddin wanted to go to his home which is located near the school.
This comes as Kabul witnessed several such incidents in past few days.