Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The protection and maintenance department of Salang Pass says the strategic Salang highway has been reopened only for passenger vehicles following the snowstorms.
The department in a press release on Tuesday said that the weather in Northern Salang is now sunny, and the storm is stopped in southern Salang at around 03:00a.m. (local time) today and the weather is now cloudy.
The department has asked the passengers and drivers to avoid speed, extra weight and keep winter equipment, warm clothes, food, additional mobile phones and fuel.
Salang Pass is considered as one of the main highways in the North which links Kabul with nine northern provinces.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says Afghanistan remains one of the world’s poorest countries, where 55% of people live on less than one US dollar per day.
SIGAR in a report under the title of ‘Lessons Learned Reintegration’ said that on average; just $8 percent of capital per year is spent on health care and four decades of war have brutally traumatized the population in the country.
“In the wake of a peace agreement, there may be a significant opportunity to strengthen gains made since 2001 in education, health care and women’s rights—and to expand development efforts to areas that have seen little investment since 2001,” SIGAR said.
“A wider post-conflict recovery strategy is essential to successful reintegration of ex-combatants, Congress may wish to consider funding broad post-settlement development programs in Afghanistan,” LLR report added.
The Charity Watch-Save the Children in reaction to the killing of two children in Balkh has called for stopping the war on children in Afghanistan.
“Once again, innocent children are paying the price for decades of conflict in Afghanistan. Today, a roadside bomb in Balkh Province killed at least two children. That means there are two more families in Afghanistan today mourning the loss of a child, devastated and inconsolable,” Save the Children in a statement said.
The charity watch has emphasized that the killing and maiming of children must stop immediately and perpetrators of such acts must be held accountable.
“A peaceful and productive future for Afghanistan relies on the protection and education of its children,” the statement reads.
It further added that the message is simple; “It’s time to stop the war on children”.
President Ashraf Ghani says the Spin Boldak district will become a developed harbor as a result of investments.
The Presidential Palace in a statement on Tuesday said that President Ghani in a meeting with tribal elders and influential officials of Kandahar province has said that the development projects will be implemented one after another in this province.
“The government will investigate the problem of deeds about the Ainu Mina Township in Kandahar and will act under the light of the law,” Ghani said.
He also called on the Ministries of Finance and Transport to share the proposals with the government to resolve the problems of stopped containers in Herat province.
President further added that, including Kandahar province, education is being given a full attention throughout the country and problems in this area will be resolved.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) says out of all registered complaints, 9,866 complaints have been rejected.
The IECC chief, Zuhra Bayan Shinwari in a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday said the votes of 109 polling stations in 21 provinces have been invalidated and the votes of 5,316 other stations will be recounted.
“Now we are moving into the recount process and so far there have been no serious problems between the two commissions,” Shinwari said.
According to her, 75 individuals along with 71 employees of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) have been fined for their role in election fraud.
The IECC chief noted that there have been 7,960 appeal cases so far and the figure may be changed in the future.
“We are committed to address the complaints impartially. The decisions of the provincial commissions are not final, and the problems have been resolved with the IEC,” she added.
In the meantime, Mohammad Qasim Ilyasi, a commissioner and spokesman for IECC stated that the votes of 5,316 polling stations in 20 provinces will be recounted.
The final result of the presidential election is due to be announced after the IECC officials’ decisions.
Afghan local officials say a suicide attack organizer who has attempted to assassinate the governor of Nangarhar has been arrested in the province.
The office of Nangarhar governor in a press release on Tuesday said that the National Directorate Security (NDS) operatives have arrested the suicide organizer who attempted to assassinate Shah Mahmoud Mia Khel, the governor the Nangarhar.
According to the press release, the detainee was identified as Hekmatullah who has admitted that he attempted to assassinate the governor during the campaign of using AFN currency instead of Pakistani Rupees.
The National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib has left for India to deliver a keynote at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 conference about peace, security, regional connectivity and economic self-reliance.
The NSA office in a press release on Tuesday said that NSA will also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue.
According to the press release, the dialogue is held annually with leaders from around the world from various sectors of politics, business, the media and civil society, where presidents, prime ministers, key ministers, national security advisers and activists from various sectors participate.
The dialogue will also focus on international policies, multilateral discussions, the press release added.
Afghan local officials say 12 people have been detained in connection with Sunday’s prison break in Paktia province.
At least seven prisoners escaped from a jail in Gardez city, the capital of the province, on Sunday night.
“In connection with the escape of seven inmates, at least 12 people have been arrested,” the spokesman of Paktia governor, Abdullah Hasrat told Reporterly.
Hasrat noted that the reason on how the prisoners escaped is not clear so far and investigations are underway.
This comes as the Taliban group has claimed that the escapees were the groups’ members.
Chinese envoy in Kabul, Wang Yu has declared that his country has no self interest in Afghanistan, rather willing to provide a platform for dialogue and communication on the basis of respecting the wishes of all parties.
“We are happy to promote the country’s reconciliation process with Norway and all parties,” Mr. Wang Yu said in a meeting with Tormod Pettersen, Norwegian Ambassador to Afghanistan.
“We exchanged views on Afghanistan’s reconciliation process and the regional security situation.”
Pettersen recalled his working experience at the Norwegian Embassy in China from 2006 to 2010. He appreciated China’s contribution to the Afghan reconciliation process, saying Norway is consistent with China’s position on reconstruction and fighting terrorism in Afghanistan.
Afghan security officials confirmed that at least two people were killed and nine others were wounded in a twin explosion in Mazar-e Sharif city of Balkh province on Tuesday morning.
The spokesman of Balkh Police, Adel Shah Adel told Reporterly, “The blasts happened in PD9 city of Mazar at around 08:30a.m. on Tuesday.”
According to Adel, at least two children were killed and eight civilians along with one Police officer were wounded in the incident.
“The investigations are underway regarding the nature of the blasts, but according to the initial information, the blasts occurred as a result of emplaced IEDs,” he added.
Afghan local officials confirmed that two back to back explosions took place in Mazar-e Sharif city of Balkh province early on Tuesday morning.
Confirming the incident, the spokesman of Balkh governor, Munir Ahmad Farhad told Reporterly, “Two explosions occurred in PD9 city of Mazar city at around 08:30a.m. (local time) on Tuesday.”
Farhad added that the investigations have been started and there is no information available about the casualties.
Details to follow