Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami referred to sustainable development as Iran’s strategy in the region, saying Iran is ready to connect Khaf-Herat railway to Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of training Afghanistan railway staff, Eslami said Iran’s development is intertwined with that of its neighbors.
Peace and security in regional states are in fact like those in Iran, he added.
The Iranian minister said that Iran has always tried to establish sustainable peace in the region and to remove foreigners’ intervention.
Referring to Iran’s support for Afghans, Eslami said that countries with cultural commonalities will be able to develop by using human resources.
The European Union (EU) says the current level of violence in Afghanistan must stop.
EU in a press release has stated that the Taliban and various terrorist organizations are responsible for the significant majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, they must stop sustaining the current level of violence.
“Yesterday’s attack on an official of the Ministry of Telecommunications and IT and the brutal killing of two female judges at the Supreme Court, and the injury of their driver, on the 17th of January follows a series of recent assaults on civil servants in Afghanistan. These assassinations are terrible crimes that call for transparent investigations and prosecution to end the impunity of these killings. They are also a deliberate attempt to silence a polity based on principles of rule of law, democratic values and respect for human rights that undermine a peace process in need of mutual trust. These targeted killings must stop,” the press release reads.
The press release stated that the EU Delegation together with the diplomatic missions of the EU Member States are mourning with the families of the deceased and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.
“We continue to be steadfast in our resolve to assist the people of Afghanistan in achieving peace and justice,” the press release added.
Amin Ahmadi, a member of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan negotiating team says the Taliban has no eager to seriously talk with the republic side.
Ahmadi said the Taliban is trying to release their prisoners based on US agreement in Doha without considering the Afghan people’s demands.
“The Taliban must prepare themselves to accept the principles of justice and fairness in order to prevail peace in the country,” Amin Ahmadi wrote in a note on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
Ahmadi noted that the Taliban group wants the United States to release its prisoners, regardless of the will and opinion of the Afghan government and people to end the war and establish a ceasefire.
The member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan pointed out that the Taliban, on the other hand, continue their war and violence under the name of jihad until the formation of a pure Islamic system”, regardless of the republic system to end the war.
“In fact, the main reason is that the Taliban do not think of a just and inclusive peace, they only think of fulfilling their own aspirations,” he said.
“The Republic side believes that the current Taliban war is not a jihad, but a vicious cycle of killing Muslims, so it is absolutely forbidden and is ready to prove this religious truth in a dialogue with the other side,” he said.
He added that he expects all Ulema and the people to call for an end to the war and emphasize its sanctity.
In the meantime, Hafiz Mansour, another member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, told the media that Taliban representatives are not seeking constructive and fruitful talks and had raised the issue of releasing the remaining prisoners with the Americans and the government’s negotiating team.
“The negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has once again asked them to discuss the current war, both from the perspective of Islam and the Qur’an,” Mansour said.
According to him, first of all, the Taliban should clarify why they kill innocent people every day.
The remarks come as the Taliban are said to be sabotaging the second round of talks due to political developments in the United States.
Following the rejection of the Lower House proposal for the equalization of government’s employees, the Minister of Justice, Fazel Ahmad Manawi said the salaries of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) employees must be fair.
MoJ in a press release, said that the Justice Minister made the remarks in a leadership council meeting at the Ministry today, saying the difference in the salaries of the employees of this ministry is not acceptable.
“Two employees in the same office and at the same time, with the same responsibility, should not get two different bonuses,” the justice minister stressed.
At the same time, he said he would try to resolve it through the High Council of the Rule of Law if there are legal obstacles for equalizing the salaries of Ministry of Justice employees.
The International Federation of journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA) condemned the attack on a Radio station in Kunduz province and urged the Afghan government to investigate the case.
A mob of nearly a dozen people led by the imam of a local mosque attacked Zohra Radio in north eastern Kunduz province on January 15 damaging the radio’s equipment and vandalizing the office.
According to AIJA, the angry crowd also attempted to attack Radio Kaihan and Radio Chiragh but were prevented and stopped by security forces as they attempted to enter into the radio stations. Zohra Radio is planning to file case against the perpetrators.
Meanwhile, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee and Afghanistan Ministry of Information and Culture issued statements condemning the attack.
From January 2020, 11 media workers were murderedin Afghanistan including one on January 1, 2021.
Attacks on journalists, threats from militant groups, gender-based violence against women journalists, government controls on information have also been documented, according to AIJA.
The AIJA said: “The attack to the Zohra radio indicates that media in Afghanistan are unsafe not only from militant groups but also from different interest groups. AIJA demands the Afghanistan government to end the culture of impunity on crime against journalists.”
The IFJ said: “The safety situation for journalists in Afghanistan must be a major priority for the Afghanistan government.”
Afghan local officials in Kunduz province say at least 26 Afghan security forces were killed in Taliban’s attacks in Kunduz province.
A Provincial Council member of Kunduz, Safiullah Amiri told Reporterly that the Taliban carried out a widespread attacks on security outposts in Dasht-e Archi district last night.
According to Amiri, 13 Afghan army forces and 4 of the uprising forces were killed and two others were wounded in Taliban’s attack in the center of Dasht-e Archi district.
He cited that an outpost has collapsed to Taliban after killing of 13 security forces.
In the meantime, Amir noted that eight government forces were killed after Taliban attacked the security outposts in Bagh-e Sherkat area of PD3 in Kunduz city.
He added that a security forces was killed by a Taliban sniper in Char Dara district during the clashes.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of Pamir 217 Corps Abdul Hadi Nazari in a statement confirmed the Taliban’s attack in Kunduz province.
Nazari said that more than 15 Taliban militants were killed and 12 more were wounded during last night’s clashes.
He only confirmed that three of Afghan soldiers were killed and four others were wounded.
This comes as the Taliban group has increased attacks on government forces’ positions in Kunduz province.
Amrullah Saleh, the first Vice President has said that in order to strengthen the foundations of the republic, one of the four elections (Ghazni Parliamentary election, the provincial councils, district councils and a number of municipalities elections)will be held next summer.
Mr. Saleh wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday “Although we hope to hold the four elections; But if we couldn’t hold them all because of logistical problems, we will definitely hold one or two.”
According to him, for this purpose, a meeting was held with the Independent Election Commission under the supervision of the President.
Mr Saleh said he had the task to report on constituencies for provincial council elections within a month.
“Constituency is one of the most complex and sensitive election issues; Because it can lead to a sense of abstraction and reduction for a section or sections of society. Afghanistan is a country of structural diversity, and it will not be easy to satisfy all classes – tribes and clans on demarcation issues,” he said.
Mr. Saleh noted that his second task is to coordinate with international organizations and institutions, especially the United Nations, to determine what experiences they have learned from the previous elections and what kind of cooperation they will have with the Afghan government in the upcoming elections.
Recently, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) proposed to the Government of Afghanistan that the parliamentary elections in Ghazni province, provincial councils, district councils and a number of municipalities elections be held in the next summer.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar had a telephone conversation with the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms. Jutta Urpilainen.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MoFA) in a press release said that the two sides discussed the latest developments in the peace talks in Doha, and the EU’s partnership with these Afghan Government.
According to the press release, FM Atmar conveyed his appreciation for the EU’s support of Afghanistan’s peace process and thanked the Commissioner for the EU’s observers’ work at Doha and the union’s support for the need for the preservation of the last two decades’ gains in the Afghan peace talks.
Minister Atmar noted that ensuring an immediate ceasefire, a lasting peace settlement and bringing an end to the targeted assassination of political and social activists in the country were the key priorities of the Afghan government which should be taken into account during the second round of the talks in Qatar.
The press release said that Urpilainen assured Mr. Atmar of the European Union’s firm support to the continuation and success of the Afghan peace process.
Ms. Urpilainen reaffirmed EU’s long-term support to peace and stability in Afghanistan with an emphasis on immediate ceasefire.
The two sides also discussed EU’s pledge of financial aid during the Afghanistan 2020 Conference held in Geneva and Afghanistan’s commitment for accountability.
They discussed the situation of Afghan refugees in EU member states and further strengthening cooperation in this regard.
Local officials in Uruzgan province say 10 people have been injured in a motorcycle bombing in the provincial capital, Trinkot.
Uruzgan Governor Mohammad Omar Shirzad said the blast occurred on Tuesday.
The site of the explosion at the Ghazi Amanullah Khan crossroads in the city of Tirinkut, has been reported.
According to him, the bombed motorcycle targeted a personal vehicle belonging to the police forces.
According to Shirzad, the blast did not cause any casualties, but a number were superficially injured.
The governor of Uruzgan says two policemen and a woman and a child are among the injured.
Mohammad Omar Shirzad said most of the injured were “OK” and many had been released from hospital.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the blast. Uruzgan is one of the most insecure provinces in the country, where the Taliban are active.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday reported 137 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 2097 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 8 deaths and 143 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 54,278 the number of total reported deaths is 2,354 and the total number of recoveries is 64,554.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Takhar, Paktia, Baghlan, Parwan, Kunduz, Nimroz, Maidan Wardak, Badakhshan, Badghis, Kapisa, Helmand, Laghman, Kunar, Ghor, Khost, Faryab, Samangan, and Nuristan.