Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
President Ghani in a decree issued on Sunday appointed Amrullah Saleh as acting minister of Interior and Asadullah Khaled as acting minister of Defense.
Amrullah Saleh and Asadullah Khaled have previously served as the National Directorate of Security (NDS) chiefs during former president Hamid Karzai’s adminsitration.
President Ghani has assigned the State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs to introduce them to the Lower House of parliament for vote of confidence, according to a separate decree.
Afghan Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Sunday that 31 Insurgents including 6 foreign terrorists have been killed in different parts of Ghazni province.
“15 insurgents including 6 foreign terrorists killed, 8 including Mullah Hanif, a Taliban military commander arrested and 16 motorbikes were destroyed in ANA airstrikes and clearing operations in Gelan district of Ghazni Province”, according to a statement.
In separate statements MoD said that 13 insurgents killed and 1 suspect detained in ANA airstrikes and clearing operations in Andar district of Ghazni Province.
Also, three insurgents killed and 2 wounded in ANA airstrikes in Dehyak district of Ghazni Province.
The US and NATO Forces Commander in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller in a meeting with Nangarhar governor on Sunday assured that they are going to continue supporting the Afghan forces, despite an order about troop withdrawal – an issue which Miller says is rumors by “newspapers”.
“I have seen the same rumors I have from the newspapers but all I would assure you is first of all I have no orders, so nothing changed,” he said in the meeting.
Miller said their support to Afghan forces will continue in the same level.
“But if I do get orders, I think it is important for you to know that we are still with the security forces. Even if I have get a little bit smaller, we will be okay,” he said.
Meanwhile, Miller insisted on a political solution for Afghanistan and said that “political settlement will only happen through Afghans talking to Afghans”.
The US general said much has been said about Afghan forces casualties but “Taliban casualties have been very dire as well”.
“What I think is important is — I have talked often about — a political solution, not a military solution to this conflict. It is time for the hostilities to end and it will only happen through Afghans talking to Afghans,” Miller said. “It is the time to end those hostilities to start talking to one another.”
At least four militants were killed in a drone strike in western Farah province, according to a statement released y 207th Zafar Corps of the Afghan Military in the West.
The statement added that the drone strike was carried out in the vicinity of Bakwa district.
The statement further added that four militants were killed in the airstrike and vehicle, a PKM machine gun, a sniper rifle, and 3 Ak-47 rifles were destroyed.
A commander of the Afghan National Civil Order Police in Takhar province, Shah Tawoos, was killed in an attack by Taliban in Kunduz province on Sunday, Takhar police announced.
Takhar police chief Abdul Bashir Rashid said commander Tawoos was on his way from Takhar to Kunduz when he faced Taliban ambush in Chartoot area in Kunduz.
Rashid said two guards of the commander were also killed and four others were wounded in the attack.
The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Sunday announced the preliminary results in respect of parliamentary election results for eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
According to IEC announcement, Abdul Karimi has secured 10858 votes, Fraidoon Khan Momand 7721 votes, Abdul Rauf Shapoon 7324 votes, Amir Mohammad Yar 7198 votes, Mirwais Yasini 6698 votes, Alhaj Hazrat Ali 6452 votes, Nabiullah Baz 6309 votes, Abdul Nasir Momand 6008 votes, Ibrarullah Mura 5504 votes, Dr.Lal Mohammad Durani 5420 votes, Aryan Youn 4444 votes, Bibi Haji Laluma Wali Hakimi 3253 votes, Saima Khogyani 2671 votes, and Dewa Niazi 1688 votes.
IEC further added that all 14 mentioned candidates have secured votes in the Lower House of the Parliament from Nangarhar province based on preliminary results.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday expressed that US President Trump’s decision on withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan is welcomed by Pakistan and he said that the move will help further ongoing efforts for peace talks in Afghanistan.
Dawn news agency of Pakistan quoted Qureshi as saying that Pakistan has also released some prisoners so that “an enabling environment” favorable to the talks can be created.
He also said that Pakistan will continue to play whatever role it can play to support the Afghan peace process.