Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
President Ashraf Ghani has expressed hope that the delay in NATO’s decision on a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan will help the peace process.
The Predetial Palace in a statement on Wednesday said that President Ghani at a meeting with the members
of the Lower House of Parliament said the ground had been paved for more serious peace talks with the Taliban.
“The alliance decision sends a big message,” Ghani remarked, referring to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s statement that the only would leave Afghanistan, only when allowed by security conditions on the ground.
“Afghanistan is in a better position than ever to achieve a just peace, and there will be extensive consultations with the parliament in coming months,” President said.
According to the government’s negotiating team, the Taliban have promised returning to talks as soon as their leaders come back to Doha
Kabul Police spokesman, Ferdaws Faramarz said that at least one person was injured after a clash erupted between stone slab sellers in Kabul this afternoon.
Faramarz said that the incident happened in Kart-e Mamorin area of the capital.
He noted that the stone slab sellers blocked a road with fire.
Faramarz added that Police are now at the scene and try to solve the problem.
Local officials confirmed that the director of Ghazni governor’s board meetings, Muhammad Musa Akhlaqi was assassinated by unidentified armed men in Ghazni city today.
The spokesman of Ghazni Police, Muhammad Wares Naeemi said that the incident happened in Muhajeren township of PD5 in Ghazni.
According to Naeemi, the son of Akhlaqi was wounded during the shooting.
He added that they were on their way from the center of city toward home when they came under armed attack.
President Ashraf Ghani has said that all land usurpation cases will be seriously investigated and the grabbed lands will be reclaimed soon.
Speaking at a program called “National Session of Government Cases” at the Presidential Palace on Thursday, Ghani said: “Land grabbing has no exact time and date. Anyone who has usurped government properties must return to government based on the religion and laws of Afghanistan.”
Mr. Ghani has emphasized that the land grabbers are the thief of the next generation of Afghanistan and will not be indifferent about it.
Noting that government-owned property will ensure Afghanistan’s future development, he said all usurpation cases will be seriously investigated and reclaimed.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursday reported 16 new positive cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported four deaths and 195 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 55,696 the number of total reported deaths is 2,442 and the total number of recoveries is 49,281.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Nimroz, Helmand, Daikundi, Kunat and Nuristan provinces.
At least six uprisings forces were killed and four more were wounded in a car bomb explosion on a security outpost in Herat province on Wednesday night, local media reported.
According to the reports, after the blast, the Taliban stormed the outpost and clashes continued for several hours between the uprising forces and the militants.
In the meantime, the provincial governor, Wahid Qatali confirmed the explosion but did not provide further details about the casualties.
Qatali said that the incident occurred in Qodos Abad village of Kahsan district near the Islam Qala border.
The security officials and Taliban group have not commented on the incident so far.
Afghan security officials say 488 Taliban insurgents have been killed and 43 more wounded during the clearance operations in the past month in Kandahar province.
The Special Operations Corps in a statement said that the operations have been conducted in Arghandab, Arghistan, and Panjwayee districts.
According to the statement, Afghan forces have also seized 52 heavy and light weapons, 447 bombs, destroyed 51 vehicles and 20 hideouts.
Pakistani Director General (DG) of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Babar Iftikhar on Wednesday said that Pakistan has done what it could do to influence the Taliban.
“Even Afghan leaders are admitting that Pakistan has done utmost for peace in Afghanistan,” he said while talking to foreign media at his office.
He said that it is for the citizens and the government of Afghanistan to determine the future of their country, how the dialogue process would further, and who they back to take it on. “We only aim for a long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.”
According to Pakistani media, he emphasised that there should not be any void in Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan now is not what it was in ’90s and the state infrastructure cannot be trounced easily, and Pakistan also has changed,” he said.
“It’s impossible for the Taliban to recapture Kabul and that Pakistan would support them. It isn’t going to happen.” The Pakistani DG ISPR maintained that the policy of the Pakistan government to extend a hand of peace to the neighbours was very clear.
An explosion hit the base of the Afghan armed forces in the Uruzgan area of Ghazni province on Wednesday, the provincial governor’s office confirmed.
According to reports, the blast was very powerful and damaged nearby houses. The governor’s office did not give any details about the casualties.
According to the eyewitness, the explosion was orchestrated by the Taliban group, which dug a tunnel into the base and planted explosives there.
There is no information about the casualties of the incident.
No group including Taliban has claimed responsibility for the explosion.
The third meeting of the EU-Afghanistan Special Working Group on Human Rights, Good Governance and Migration was held on Wednesday in a virtual format during which both parties agreed to work together for the protection of human rights and good governance in the country.
“The EU and Afghanistan reaffirmed their commitment undertaken with the signature of their bilateral Cooperation Agreement for Partnership and Development (CAPD) to respect democratic principles and human rights, as well as the principle of the rule of law as essential elements of the CAPD and underpinning the internal and international policies of both parties,” the two parties said in a press release on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the two parties also discussed human rights and fundamental freedoms in the context of the ongoing Afghan peace process and expressed grave concern about the continuing high level of violence, condemning the increasing number of targeted killings of media workers, civil society activists and law enforcement officials, who are essential bastions of a democratic and open society.
The EU called on the Afghan government to provide for the security of these important actors in society, as well as conduct thorough investigations, bring the culprits to justice and keep the Afghan public fully informed about the measures taken.
The EU also recalled the imperative of respecting and promoting International Humanitarian Law to protect civilians in conflict by all parties to the conflict.
The protection of civilians, medical and education facilities as well as humanitarian workers, cannot wait for peace. The parties stressed that only an immediate cessation of violence would restore confidence in the sincerity of the Taliban for a political settlement to end the war.
The statement cited: “The EU and Afghanistan agreed on the importance of an enhanced promotion of inclusivity in the peace talks, notably the involvement of women, youth, minorities, internally displaced persons, refugees and victims of war, to ensure an ownership of the process by all Afghans.”
In the field of governance, the EU and Afghanistan emphasized the importance of free, fair, credible, transparent and inclusive electoral processes that would facilitate the legitimate transfer of power and discussed the experiences of their electoral cooperation and the prospects of continuing electoral reform. Anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) issues were also addressed, in view of the EU’s ongoing assessment of Afghanistan’s AML/CFT regime.
“The parties discussed the measures taken by the Afghan Government and commended their joint coordination in the area of anti-corruption policy and institutional reforms and committed to keep the matter high on their bilateral agenda,” the statement added.