Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Thursday that 32 people including 20 civilians, were released from a Taliban prison in northern Baghlan province during a special operation by the commandos force.
MoD in a statement said that the men were rescued from a Taliban prison in Dand Shahabuddin area of Baghlan province during a commando force operation on Thursday.
The rescued people include 12 security forces and 20 civilians, the statement said, adding that three armed Taliban insurgents were arrested during the operation.
The Taliban have not yet commented on the incident.
The leader of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Islam militant group Mangal Bagh has been killed in a bomb blast in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, local media reported on Thursday.
According to the reports, Bagh was killed at around 12:00pm in blast in the Bandari locality of Achin district.
The bomb reportedly was planted closed to his house main gate.
Nangarhar officials have not commented on the incident so far and also Mangal Bagh group’s also did not comment on the incident.
The chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Abdullah Abdullah had a video conference with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations Team on Thursday.
Abdullah’s office in a statement said that Dr. Abdullah listened to the report Afghan negotiations team, the progress they have made, and the challenges they face.
“I praised the team for their tireless efforts, and hard work for peace. I instructed them to continued their efforts for peace,” Abdullah said.
According to the statement, Dr. Abdullah reiterated the republic’s commitment for peace, and finding a political settlement for the current crisis.
“I instructed the team to focus on ceasefire, reduction of violence, & an end to the targeted killings as the priorities of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” he added.
In the meantime, the chief of Afghan negotiators team, Masoum Istanikzai shared information about the activities of the team, the achievements and the problems of the second round of talks.
The statement stated that Mr. Stanikzai emphasized on the determination of the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to discuss important and vital issues, the end of war and bloodshed and find a political solution to the country’s problem.
The IRA assured that the regional countries and the world announced their support for the stance and efforts of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to achieve peace and an end to the war to the war in the country.
Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks Afghanistan as the 12th most corrupt country in the world in 2020.
The study illustrates Afghanistan in 165 place among 179 countries in the world.
Corruption in Afghanistan is perceived to have increased compared to last year as the country now ranks 165 out of 179 countries, on a global corruption perceptions list prepared by Transparency International (TI), an international non-governmental organisation based in Berlin.
The Berlin-based non-profit releases the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) every year, ranking 179 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people.
The 2020 CPI report highlighted the impact of corruption on government responses to COVID-19 and compared nations’ performances on health care and democratic norms and institutions.
“This year’s CPI paints a grim picture of the state of corruption worldwide. While most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption in nearly a decade, more than two-thirds of countries score below 50. Our analysis shows corruption not only undermines the global health response to COVID-19, but contributes to a continuing crisis of democracy,” the report said.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursday reported 48 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1896 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported one death and 34 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 54,939 the number of total reported deaths is 2,399 and the total number of recoveries is 67,583.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Parwan, Maidan Wardak, Badakhshan, Badghis, Helmand, Laghman and Kunar.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) has said that the sixth culprit of the deadly bombings in Bamiyan province has been arrested.
NDS in a statement said that the detainee has been identified as Tariq Hussein who was a secret member of the Gulbuddin group, the Taliban’s intelligence chief in Bamyan.
According to the statement, the detainee was in charge of transporting Taliban’s magnetic mines and explosives, most recently in Bamyan province, after which another Taliban members planted them in the Wali Aser market and Sark-e-Naw Hospital in the central Bamyan.
This comes as at 30 people were killed and nearly 60 more were wounded in the deadly bombings of Bamiyan province last year.
Previously, the local authorities have announced five prepatrators of the incidents were arrested by NDS operatives.
Afghan local officials say a vehicle of the Public Protection Forces targeted by an IED blast in PD7 of Jalalabad city of Nangarhar province today.
The provincial Police spokesman, Farid Khan said the incident happened at around 10:00am on Thursday.
According to Farid, at least three PPF soldiers were wounded in the blast.
Farid added that in a separate incident two people were killed by unidentified armed men today in PD6 of Jalalabad city.
Tejas Networks has announced that it has signed a multi-year contract with Asia Consultancy Group (ACG), a leading independent private company providing Telecommunications infrastructure, managed & engineering services across Afghanistan.
As per PRNnewswire report, as part of this contract, Tejas will supply its state-of-the-art 100G-600G capable DWDM/OTN and PTN products to establish a high-capacity national backbone and packet access network in Afghanistan.
ACG with its headquarters in USA, is a full life-cycle managed network service provider in Afghanistan for last many years.
“At ACG, we are committed to develop a state-of-the-art, terabit-scale optical network that can cost-effectively address the escalating network capacity requirements of our service provider customers. After a rigorous evaluation process, we selected Tejas’s TJ1600 Metro and Long-haul DWDM/OTN products and TJ1400 PTN products for this important build-out. We are truly impressed by their scalability, extreme flexibility and operational simplicity when compared to other competitive offerings in the market today.” said Dr. Dzung Nguyen, CTO of ACG. “We look forward to working closely with the Tejas Networks team to ensure that we fully leverage the advanced capabilities of their products and implement an agile and future-proof network that can adapt well to the explosive growth in Afghanistan’s mobile, broadband and cloud services markets in the coming years.”
President Ashraf Ghani and German chancellor Angela Merkel had a virtual conversation on Wednesday night and discussed the reduction of violence and a ceasefire in the country.
The Presidential Palace in a statement said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the escalation of violence was a matter of concern and that it was unacceptable that Afghans were being harmed while conflict and peace talks ran parallel to each other.
According to the statement, the two sides stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan.
“Both sides stressed the need to expand relations between the two countries and also discussed the expansion of bilateral relations, regional issues and the Afghan peace process,” the statement reads.
Merkel said Germany supports an independent and prosperous Afghanistan dominated by a democratic system, and that Afghanistan’s efforts should lead to peace and stability in the country.
She reiterated her commitment to continue providing assistance to Afghanistan.
The statement cited that both sides discussed the NATO Defense Ministers’ Conference scheduled for February; its importance to Afghanistan; its impact on the peace talks and the message that the conference will continue to support Afghanistan, especially the security and defense forces.
President Ghani also thanked Germany for its assistance and cooperation in various fields and said Afghanistan will use all resources available to expand economic and trade cooperation between the two nations.