Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday (local time) had a telephonic conversation with Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation to discuss ways of accelerating and supporting the peace process.
The US Department of State in a statement said that Secretary Blinken spoke to Dr. Abdullah to discuss the United States’ review of its strategy in Afghanistan.
“The Secretary thanked Dr. Abdullah for his vital work in support of the Afghanistan peace process, and he expressed America’s resolve to support a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
In the meantime, Blinken wrote in a tweet: “Pleasure speaking today with the Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation @DrabdullahCE about the Afghanistan peace process. The US supports progress toward a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”
“Today in a telephone conversation with HE @SecBlinken, the US Secretary of State, we exchanged views on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, the 2nd round of the peace talks, the US review of the situation in AFG, and ways of accelerating and supporting the peace process,” Abdullah Abdullah tweeted.
The intra-Afghan talks began in the Qatari capital of Doha on September 12. The talks were stalled by a series of disagreements and a surge in violence, including bombings in the country.
Fazel Mahmoud Fazli, the Director General at the Administrative Office of President says the new ministerial nominees will be introduced to the six ministries that are run by acting ministers.
The six ministrial nominees who were introduced to the Lower House of parliament for gaining the vote of confidence were rejected by the lawmakers about a month and a half ago.
Mr. Fazli also called the accusations which were previously made by a number of MPs “untrue” that he was interfering in the selection of other institutions.
This comes as including the six ministries, the Central Bank and the Attorney General’s Office also run by acting heads.
At least two people were killed and five more were wounded in a magnetic IED blast in Kabul on Sunday afternoon, police said.
Police said the balst targeted a ranger type vehicle and a woman and two children are among those injured in the explosion.
According to police, the driver of the vehicle and a passerby were killed in the blast.
The blast happened near the Baraki roundabout in a busy and heavy traffic hour at around 04:22pm (local time).
Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab met with Chinese ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu on Sunday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a press release said the two sides discussed strengthening the regional cooperation during the meeting.
According to the press release, Mr. Nab and China’s ambassador also discussed preparations of the two countries for the upcoming 9th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process which is scheduled to be held in Tajikistan in the near future.
The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) was founded on November 2nd, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey which provides a platform for sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region.
This platform was established to address the shared challenges and interests of Afghanistan and its neighbors and regional partners.
The Heart of Asia is comprised of 15 participating countries, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations.
Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) said the violence is taking its toll from Afghan people every day and the peace talks should begin at the earliest time as soon as possible to end the situation.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Commission on Development Programs and seeking assistance for HCNR, Dr. Abdullah said that establishing a ceasefire is the main demand of the Afghan people and that peace talks must continue to achieve this demand.
“The Afghan people, especially the security forces, are still sacrificing in defense of the people’s rights and achieving peace,” Abdullah said.
He expressed hope that one day, Afghanistan would witness peace.
According to him, no priority is higher than a just and acceptable peace for the people of Afghanistan.
The chairman of HCNR, noted that a peace in which all its people could be involved and benefited is a lasting peace.
Mr. Abdullah added that in order for such peace to be sustainable, providing services to the people and contributing to the economic situation of the people and the sustainable development of the country is a key issue.
This comes as it has been nearly two months that the intra-Afghan talks stalled. The Afghan government accuses the Taliban of abandoning the negotiating table.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib has called on the Taliban to stop destroying schools and educational centers.
“On International Mother Language Day, I call on the Taliban to stop the destruction of schools and educational centers so that Afghan children can have access to education in their mother language,” Mr Mohib wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
According to him, burning and bombings of schools and educational centers deprives children of education in their mother language.
“The destruction of schools and educational institutions means opposing against the future of Afghan children,” Mohib said.
21 February was declared to be the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO in 1999. It has been observed throughout the world since 21 February 2000
In the meantime, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has said that the country’s indigenous languages are in a difficult situation due to the war situation, poverty and low level of literacy in Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 13 new positive cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
The ministry reported no death and 14 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 55,617 the number of total reported deaths remains ar 2,432 and the total number of recoveries is 47,834.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Laghman, and Nuristan provinces.
As the US government continues to assess the Doha peace agreement, the Office of the National Security Council (NSC) says that at the time of the signing of the peace accord between the United States and the Taliban, the necessary consultations were not conducted with the Afghan government.
NSC spokesman Rahmatullah Andar said in a video message on Sunday that the US-Taliban peace agreement
had failed to lead to peace, end the war, stop the bloodshed and improve the living conditions of Afghans.
Andar noted that the Afghan government opposes even an hour of bloodshed in the country and considers the protection of Afghanistan as its responsibility and looks at issues of peace, war and other issues from this perspective.
Earlier, Afghan government officials had repeatedly expressed concern about the signing of a peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban.
President Ghani also stressed at that time when parts of the agreement were vague and needed clarification.
Despite opposition to the Doha agreement, the Afghan government agreed to release more than 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
The National Security Council spokesman’s remarks come as the new US-led government, led by Jobiden, has been revising it since taking office.
Yesterday, the US Secretary of State said in a telephone conversation with the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah that the US government continues to assess and review the situation in Afghanistan, & the country wants to accelerate the peace process and reach to a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement.
At least 16 civilians including two children were wounded in an explosion in Lashkargah city of Helmand province today, Afghan local sources told Reporterly.
According to sources, the blast took place when explosives attached to a motorcycle detonated in PD1 of Lashkargah city.
In the meantime, the health authorities in Helmand emergency hospital said at least one killed and 14 wounded were transferred to the hospital.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives have arrested a joint network cell of Haqqani-IS-K in PD17 of Kabul city.
NDS in a statement said that the joint network is consists of five members.
According to the statement, the detainees were identified as Jawid, Ahmad Murid, Rohullah, Abdul Hafiz, and Abdul Jabar.
The statement added that the detainees were involved in maintaining, transferring bombs and the rocket attacks on the death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari, Bagram and Hamid Karzai airports.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) says Afghan Air Forces foiled three car bomb attacks in Khakriz district of Kandahar province yesterday.
MoD in a statement said that the Taliban attempted to target security forces and civilians with the three bomb attacks.
The statement added that Afghan forces also detected and defused 76 roadside bombs in Maiwand district of the province.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who is on a four-day visit to Balochistan, has said that the government is boosting security arrangements by erecting fences along the borders with Afghanistan and Iran.
According to Pakistani media, the country’s Interior Minister stated that 90pc fencing work had been completed at the Afghan border and the remaining work would be completed in four months.
He noted that Pakistan was developing its border management system on modern lines to provide maximum legal crossing and trade facilities at the borders with Afghanistan.