Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Badakhshan officials said Taliban attacked People’s Uprising Forces checkpoints in the Yaftali Sufla district of the province on Saturday morning.
Badakhshan Police spokesperson Sanaullah Rouhani said the attack started at 2 a.m. in the Doaba area of the district.
In the hour-long clashes, a local government forces commander Ghazi Yaftali was killed and one of his men was wounded.
Rouhani added that four Taliban fighters were also killed and five others were wounded in the clashes.
The Taliban have not yet commented.
Due to the increasing number of crimes in Herat, senior security officials from the Ministry of Interior (MoI) visited the province and after an assessment announced on Saturday, they had fired 46 Herat Police personnel.
Abdul Sabur Ghaneh, Deputy Chief of Security at the MoI led a joint security delegation to the province last week to observe the reforms within the police department and security offices.
In the past few months, Herat had been plagued by armed robberies, organised crimes and abductions. MoI spokesperson Tariq Arian also said there were complaints coming from Herat.
Ghaneh said that the first phase of their assessment had been completed under the police forces and they fired several on suspicion of corruption which have now been referred to the MoI’s Internal Security Directorate.
Several other police officers were also let go off due to their poor performance.
The MoI official said that new appointments have been made instead.
Ghaneh also announced the establishment of a joint committee to prevent abductions and follow-up on cases.
He said they are also carrying out evaluations on the National Security Directorate of Herat and the First Brigade of the Zafar Army Corps.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that Afghanistan spends around $400 million to $500 million a year on importing medicines, which is a blow to the country’s economy.
Acting Minister of Public Health Ahmad Jawad Osmani said at an event celebrating World Pharmacists Day Health, that the MoPH is working to facilitate the domestic production of medicine.
He called the shortage of medicine and the imbalance in pricing as one of the important challenges in the country’s pharmacies and said that efforts are being made to address them.
Considering the important role of pharmacies in providing health services, Osmani emphasized that efforts are being made to upgrade their capacity in order to provide them with a specialization programs.
The day will also be market annually in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said on Saturday, that the Taliban lacked capacity and capability to be present on the outskirts of the national capital, Kabul.
A viral video had shown a “Taliban” checkpoint in the Company area of Kabul city where the members were stopping cars and asking passengers where they were travelling.
MoI spokesperson Tariq Arian, in a short video, said the Taliban were not present in the areas around Kabul city.
He said the militant group did not have any permanent existence and keeps fleeing from one region to another.
Arian said that security forces were active in the areas where the Taliban claimed to be present.
The security personnel would not allow any disruption, he assured.
The government laboratories tested 103 samples in the past 24 hours and only found six new positive Coronavirus cases in Balkh province, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said.
According to the MoPH, in the past day, 16 people have recovered while two have succumbed to the virus.
Afghanistan’s COVID-19 cases have now reached 39,192 so far, of which 5,104 are active while 32,635 have recovered and 1,453 have died.
Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum met Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday and discussed various aspects of the historic initiative to bring back peace and stability in Afghanistan.
“India remains fully committed to an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process,” Jaishankar tweeted following the meeting.
“Glad to meet Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum. Exchanged views on developments in Afghanistan and the larger region. His vast experience and deep insights were evident,” he said.
Dostum also met India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla during which issues like constitutional order and rights of all sections of Afghan society were discussed.
Kunar officials said three Pakistani nationals who were members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed in a security operation in the Asmar district.
Abdul Ghani Musamim, spokesman for the governor of Kunar, told Reporterly that the national security forces attacked two LeT bases in the district on Friday night.
Two other LeT members, who were also Pakistani nationals, were injured during the operations.
The security forces seized a large number of the group’s ammunitions, Musamim said.
LeT is among th key militants groups operating in Afghanistan according to the UN Security Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team report. The group facilitates the trafficking of foreign fighters into Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the perpetrators responsible for shooting and killing two people at a wedding in Kabul on Friday night have been arrested.
MoI spokesperson Tariq Arian said on Saturday, the incident took place in Kabul city’s PD15.
He said the reason for the shooting was “personal animosity” and the investigations are ongoing.
“Unfortunately, the bulk of the killings in the country are intentional and vindictive,” Arian added.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday he will be visiting Kabul in the “near future” for an official visit.
Speaking to President Ashraf Ghani, Khan said that Afghan stakeholders should work together to secure an inclusive and comprehensive political agreement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s Office said.
Ghani emphasized the need for a ceasefire and invited Khan to pay an official visit to Afghanistan.
They also discussed bilateral relations and the ongoing peace process in Qatar.
“We fully support the establishment of a ceasefire in Afghanistan” Khan told Ghani.
He thanked him for the invitation and said the visit will happen soon.
The phone call came as Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation is schedule to visit Pakistani on Sep. 28.
China’s Special Envoy Liu Jian met Pakistan’s Special Representative Mohammad Sadiq and discussed the Afghan peace process on Friday.
Jian is on his maiden visit to Pakistan since assuming office earlier this year.
Sadiq briefed the Chinese envoy on Pakistan’s facilitative role in the Afghan negotiations, shared his views and promised cooperation in supporting the talks, a press release issued by the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
He remarked that the start of intra-Afghan negotiation was a “historic opportunity” for the Afghan leadership to achieve an “inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement in Afghanistan.”
He reiterated Pakistan’s continued support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned intra-Afghan negotiations.
The Chinese envoy appreciated the role Pakistan has played and discussed cooperation in support of the peace process.