Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Afghan Army in northern part of the country has reported that 6 Taliban insurgents were killed in Balkh province.
As a result of a clash between 211 Shahin Operation forces and Taliban insurgents that took place in Chahar Saraka region of Margin Taqa of Balk district, 6 Taliban insurgents were killed and 5 others were injured, 209th Shahin Corps said in a statement on Thursday.
209th Shahin Corps added that, no harm was posed to civilians in the clash but a security personnel was killed and 5 others were wounded.
Security officials have reported that a 13-year-old teenager has been detained on charges of killing 6 security forces in Nangarhar province.
A 13-year-old juvenile was detained in Jalalabad city, suspected of killing 6 security forces, Nangarhar press office said in a statement on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference Shah Mahmood Miakhel, the governor of Nangarhar province said that the teenager is the resident of Khost province who killed the 6 security forces as he was ordered by Taliban group.
The detained teen confessed to his crime and said he had been involved in terrorist activities in Nangarhar province for seven months, as per Nangarhar governor.
Miakhel emphasized that the teen’s case had been dispatched to a juvenile special prosecution unit.
Presidential Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi in a press conference said that The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is ready for direct negotiations with the Taliban.
He added that the negotiating team is final and we look forward to further developments at this stage.
“The negotiating team is comprehensive team and we have sought to consult with various parties on each stage of the peace process. The Islamic republic of Afghanistan is a people representative government,” said the spokesman.
He reiterated that the government believes in a peace that preserves the interests of the people and does not harm the republic.
He further said that the ISIS is a threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan. In partnership with our international partners, we are fighting ISIS and other terrorist groups.
He ensured that the government is working together with the United States and NATO to eliminate ISIS havens.
The second vice-president of Hanif Atmar’s electoral team, Mohammad Mohaqiq has shifted to Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral team.
Asadullah Sa’adati, the second vice-president of Abdullah Abdullah’s electoral team today announced on his Facebook page that Mohaqiq’s joined the “Stability & Partnership” electoral team.
Meanwhile, Atmar’s team has not commented regarding the separation of Mohaqiq from this team so far.
The “Peace and Moderation” electoral team of the Presidential candidate, Hanif Atmar collapsed after differences sparked between Atmar and Atta Mohammad Noor on Prime Ministerial position.
Provincial officials reported that a group of 13 IS-K fighters surrendered to Afghan forces in Kunar province.
Kunar press office in a statement said on Thursday that 13 IS-K fighters including a commander of the group who is identified as Momin, laid down their arms and surrendered to the government.
The statement added, the individuals were involved in terrorist activities in Nurgal, Shaigal and Ghaziabad districts of the province.
The statement further added that Abdulsatar Mirzakawal, governor of Kunar said that surrender of these individuals plays an important step for the security of the province.
Kunar governor emphasized that all armed individuals and groups have the opportunity to lay down arms and join the government, the statement said.
Mr. Mirzakawal noted that security forces will continue suppressing IS-K group.
The members of IS-K terrorist group surrendered to government just after the group carried out a suicide attack on a wedding ceremony in Kabul which raised serious concern of Afghan government and United States about the presence of IS-K in Afghanistan.
Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman to the President issued a statement saying that the Afghan government strongly condemns Pakistan’s recent cross-border shelling.
He added that it considers it a sign of the country’s lack of commitment to ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and region.
These remarks of spokesman for presidential palace come just after reports surfaced that Afghanistan’s Kunar province was hit by missiles of Pakistani forces in the last three days.
Security officials have announced that 6 children were killed and wounded in a mine explosion in Faryab province.
The Press office of Faryab Police headquarters said in a statement: “Taliban group had placed a mine near the gate of their hideout in Shah Nazir village of Khwaja Namosa region of Pashtunkot district, for fear that security forces would carry out night raid at their compound.”
The statement added that, after the Taliban left the area, a number of children aged between 8 to 10 while playing in the area where the mine eventually exploded, and as a result one child was killed and 5 others were injured.
The injured were evacuated to Maimana city, the capital of Faryab province and are under treatment, the statement said.
Ambassador of India to Afghanistan, Mr. Vinay Kumar felicitated the Afghan U14 Boys, U17 Girls & Boys teams at Embassy of India Kabul, prior to their departure, to participate in the Subroto Cup, Delhi.
The Ambassador encouraged the young players to have healthy competition, and recommended them to interact with other teams, forge friendship with Indian youth & explore Indian culture.
“Afghan youth have regularly participated in the Subroto Cup Tournament.We wish them luck in the 60th Edition, organized by the IAF”, said the official twitter account of the EoI Kabul.
The UN marked 22nd August as “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief”. Thereafter the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) supported it and said that Violence against individuals on the basis of religion or belief is a human rights violation.
There are continuing acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, including against persons belonging to religious communities and religious minorities around the world.
The number and intensity of such incidents, which are often of a criminal nature and may have international characteristics, are increasing.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres remarked that, ”On this Day, we reaffirm our unwavering support for the victims of violence based on religion and belief. And we demonstrate that support by doing all in our power to prevent such attacks and demanding that those responsible are held accountable.”
UN stated that international days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.
The World Bank on Thursday launched a stakeholder’s consultation to identify economic initiatives to support and sustain peace in Afghanistan once a potential political settlement is reached with the Taliban.
After completing several consultations with international and Afghan stakeholders, the World Bank is now seeking broader input from all stakeholders and made public several draft documents on its website to facilitate the process, a statement by WB noted.
At the 2018 Geneva Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan, the World Bank was tasked to support planning for post-settlement economic development projects and programming following discussions.
According to World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan Henry Kerali, the consultations will serve several purposes. “First, we want to show that a peace agreement can bring substantial economic benefits to all Afghans and is in the interest of all parties involved in the ongoing conflict. Second, we want to identify potential principles and themes to guide programming decisions following a settlement. Finally, we want to provide some concrete ideas about the kind of programs that could be scaled up or initiated to maintain peace and realize new economic opportunities in Afghanistan.”
Kerali also noted that the consultations come at a critical time for Afghanistan. “The World Bank is merely providing technical analysis and is not involved in any negotiations; our priority is to plan for the future of Afghanistan. Peace prospects can improve if the right economic conditions are in place and create job opportunities for those who might otherwise take up arms.” Mr Kerali also noted that public input would be vital to ensure effective planning.
India should be wary about a possible U.S.-Pakistan “deal” on Afghanistan, warned former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Mr. Karzai, who was in Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, said he had conveyed the “fears for Afghanistan” if there was a deal that involved Pakistan, reported The Hindu.
“We Afghans have suffered massively the consequences of American-Pakistani deals,” Mr. Karzai told The Hindu in an interview. “Now too, this is very likely, and this is our fear and concern. We have been clear with Ambassador Khalilzad that we will fully back negotiations for peace in Afghanistan, but we draw a clear distinction between peace in Afghanistan and U.S.-Pakistani deals in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that India, which had suffered similar consequences “should be extremely worried”.
Responding to US President Trump’s recent comments, where he framed the India-Pakistan problem over Kashmir as a religious issue, Mr. Karzai said the U.S. President was being “too simplistic”.
“Hindus and Muslims have lived together for centuries in this part of the world and produced great achievements together. Any division on a Hindu-Muslim basis is very simplistic,” Mr. Karzai said.
These remarks come just as U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is set to begin another round of talks in Doha to try and reach a deal with the Taliban.
In brief statement, the NATO Resolute Support announced that two US service members were ‘killed in action’.
The NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan said the two service members were killed on Wednesday.
Their names were being withheld until after their relatives were identified, the statement said.
This has brought the number of US military personnel to be killed in action in Afghanistan this year to 14.
The incident occured as the US and Taliban are set to resume talks for Afghan peace process in Doha, US being led by special representative Zalmay Khalilzad.
US President Donald Trump has shown a lot of willingness to end the long drawn war in Afghanistan, and he has also said time and again that he wants a troop drawdown.