Newsfeed; Monday, August 2 2021

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…


  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    US Begins New Afghan Refugee Program

    Kabul: US President Joe Biden’s administration has launched a new program to resettle certain Afghans as refugees in the United States.

    The U.S. State Department announced the setting-up of Priority 2 (P-2) refugee program on Monday. The program comes as fighting surges in Afghanistan ahead of the formal completion of the U.S. troop withdrawal at the end of this month, with the Taliban pushing to capture key provincial capitals.

    The Department of State announced a Priority 2 (P-2) designation granting U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) access for certain Afghan nationals and their eligible family members. The state department added, “The US objective remains a peaceful, secure Afghanistan. However, in light of increased levels of Taliban violence, the US government is working to provide certain Afghans, including those who worked with the United States, the opportunity for refugee resettlement to the United States. This designation expands the opportunity to permanently resettle in the United States to many thousands of Afghans and their immediate family members who may be at risk due to their U.S. affiliation but who are not eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) because they did not have qualifying employment, or because they have not met the time-in-service requirement to become eligible. Access to the USRAP is a critical mechanism to provide protection for these individuals.”

    Individuals Eligible for the P-2 Program, include, “Afghans who do not meet the minimum time-in-service for a SIV but who work or worked as employees of contractors; locally-employed staff, interpreters/translators for the U.S. Government, United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), or Resolute Support; Afghans who work or worked for a U.S. government-funded program or project in Afghanistan supported through a U.S. government grant or cooperative agreement; Afghans who are or were employed in Afghanistan by a U.S.-based media organization or non-governmental organization.”

    The state department added that Afghans and their eligible family members (spouse and children of any age, whether married or unmarried) can be referred to the P-2 program by a US government agency. For non-governmental organizations (NGO) and media organizations that were not funded by the U.S. government, but are headquartered in the United States, the senior-most U.S. citizen employee of that organization may make a referral.

    Biden has faced pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups to aid Afghans at risk of Taliban retaliation because of their association with the United States during the 20-year U.S. war. About 200 SIV applicants whose visas are in the final stages of processing and family members flew into the United States last week at the start of an evacuation effort dubbed “Operation Allies Refuge” that could include as many as 50,000 people or more. They were taken to stay at a military base in Virginia to complete their final formalities before being resettled around the country.

    Meanwhile, in other news, India’s Permanent Representative to UN TS Tirumurti said that India will always be a supporter of initiatives that can bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, while laying out the Afghanistan policy perspective that India at the UN will pursue during the Security Council Presidency starting Monday.

    “We will not discount the possibility of the Security Council, taking stock of the situation in Afghanistan during this month. And as the President of the Council, we will of course be very supportive of the initiative by member states that can bring these and stability to the country,” he told ANI in an exclusive interview.

    In the backdrop of intensifying conflicts in Afghanistan, Tirumurti’s comment comes when asked about how India plans to take the lead highlighting the situation in Afghanistan and will India initiate a discussion on Pakistan for supporting the Taliban. “India has consistently kept the spotlight on combating terrorism, both inside the discussions in the council and outside as well. They not only strengthened the efforts to combat terrorism, especially for example in financing terrorism. But we also prevented efforts to dilute the focus on terrorism,” Tirumurti replied.

    The top Indian envoy to the United Nations reiterated that India has always maintained it would like to see an independent, peaceful, democratic stable and prosperous Afghanistan. “As the Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar has underlined, it is important that any government that comes to power in Afghanistan is seen as legitimate in the eyes of the people. I believe these are common concerns of the members of the Security Council as well,” Ambassador Tirumurti further added.

    TS Tirumurti said that the situation of Afghanistan is of grave concern. The violence has been continuing unabated, and in fact, has increased. The UN has reported that the number of civilian casualties is growing. targeted killings are increasing, women, girls and minorities are being systematically targeted including the recent attack on the United Nations compound that was targeted in Herat. Tirumurti shared that “The members of the Security Council are naturally deeply concerned at the turn of events.” Also, Kazakhstan is going to ratify the agreement on military cooperation with Afghanistan.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    US Conducts Airstrikes In Lashkargah

    Kabul: The Afghanistan Ministry of Defense on Monday confirmed that the US army has conducted airstrikes in the provincial capital city of Lashkargah in Helmand province. 215 Maiwand Army corps based in southern Helmand province also said that the aerial strikes killed 40 Taliban insurgents.

    The corps added that the fighters had attacked central prison in Lashkargah city which was driven back by the strikes. US army has recently intensified its airstrikes on the Taliban to support Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

    Earlier US CENTCOM commander General McKenzie had said that the US army will conduct airstrikes in support of the ANDSF in the fight against the Taliban even after full withdrawal but acknowledged that the strikes will be over the horizon. The Taliban attacked Lashkargah city nearly ten days ago and recently toppled two Police Districts in the city and then got closer to the central jail.

    The Afghan government has recently sent reinforcements to the city which led to heavy conflicts between the warring sides leaving hundreds of families displaced. “US Air Forces targeted Taliban insurgents in Lashkargah city today morning,” Ministry of Defense tweeted.

    The AAF also targeted Taliban gatherings in Lashkargah city, before noon on Monday. As a result, 17 Taliban insurgents were killed and three others were wounded and a Taliban vehicle was destroyed, as per the 215th Maiwand Army Corps. The ground and air forces targeted Taliban gatherings and hideouts in Lashkargah city at 12:30pm, killing 21 Taliban insurgents, including Taqi, Taliban’s military in-charge for Washir district, and Mujahid, Taliban’s military incharge for Nawa district, and wounding five others.

    Also, as a result of the air operation in the western part of Herat city in Shivan and Dastgerd areas, the enemy suffered heavy casualties and fled the area. Simultaneously, these commandos entered the city from the airport direction and cleared both sides of the Herat to Kandahar highway and Pul-e Pashtun from terrorist elements.

    People’s forces are also deployed in various areas, especially in the entrances of Herat city, as per the governor’s office. Extensive clearing operations have been launched on the outskirts of Herat provincial center on Monday, said MoD deputy spokesperson Fawad Aman. According to him, the operation will continue until Herat city is cleared of the Taliban. He added that ANDSF and Public Uprising Forces are now advancing.

    On the other hand, Kabul police said that the shooting in Kabul’s PD4 was the result of a police operation against a “criminal group”. Kabul police spokesman Firdaws Faramarz did not elaborate. It’s been an hour that the sound of continuous gunfire can be heard in PDs 4 and 10.

    Also, Faryab police reported that the Taliban flogged a child, whose father was a former ANDSF member. Police spokesman Abdul Karim Youresh said that the incident happened in Koh-e Sayad village of Shirin Tagab district and added that the 12-year-old was named Jan Agha and that his father was serving in the ANDSF, who had fled to Maimana city after the Taliban captured Shirin Tagab district; however, his family remained in the district and was harassed by the Taliban. Youresh said that the Taliban have “brutally” beaten the child, asking for his father’s gun. The Taliban are yet to comment on the incident.

    And, security officials in Jowzjan province reported that a 20-year-old woman, named Asila, died by suicide in Sakhiabad village of Sheberghan city on Sunday afternoon. Provincial police spokesman Massoud Nadim told Subh-e Kabul Daily that the reason behind the incident was domestic violence and the woman killed herself with a weapon. According to Nadim, further investigations have begun. Also, local officials in Nangarhar province said that a 35-year-old woman, named Negina, has been killed by her son-in-law in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital. Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said that the incident took place on Monday morning in PD7 of Jalalabad city. Khogyani added that the motive for the murder was family problems and that efforts are ongoing to arrest the killer.

    Meanwhile, in other news, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee said that it is committed to upholding the principle of freedom of expression under the Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the applicable laws of the country.

    The Committee has recommended the following matters in this war situation for the country’s media community including, observance of the principles of journalism in all journalistic and media works is considered necessary; every member of the media community, including media protection institutions, is obliged to comply with the provisions of applicable laws, especially the media law. Media protection institutions are tasked with defending the rights of journalists and the media. Defending rights should not be interpreted as defending violations of the rules and principles of journalism; the purpose of journalism is to ensure the public interest through information; media should take measures to ensure the safety of journalists; journalists should be very careful in using words in their reports. The use of an inappropriate word may help to worsen the situation of war, which in itself endangers the interests of the people.”

    The Committee urges all journalists and the media to seriously consider the above-mentioned issues so that the credibility of the media and journalists is not damaged. The Committee declares that it will not defend the illegal and immoral activities of journalists and the media in any way.

    On the other hand, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations announced that 11,923 Afghan refugees have returned from Iran and Pakistan in the past two weeks (July 17-30). According to the Ministry’s border department at the Milak border crossing in Nimroz province, 11,882 people have returned from Iran, who had travelled to Iran for work or to travel to other countries. The Ministry has confirmed that a number of these migrants have been returned by Iranian border guards.

    In the past two weeks, 31 migrants have also returned from Pakistan through the Torkham border crossing. The Ministry stated that 5% of returnees have been identified as in need and will receive humanitarian assistance.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    Ministry of Health Reports 587 New Cases of COVID-19

    Kabul: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday reported 587 new positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the last 24 hours.

    The ministry also reported 30 deaths and 945 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

    The total number of cases now stand at 148,572, while the number of reported deaths is 6,804.

    The Ministry of Health has called on Afghan citizens to follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    Attack Against Takhta Pul district Repulsed

    Kabul: Kandahar security officials said that the Taliban attacked a check post in Mela Pul area of Takhta Pul district at around 2:00am, but were repulsed by the ANDSF.

    District police chief Mohammad Hashim Rigwal told VOA that Taliban insurgents were targeted by the Afghan Air Force, killing 35 insurgents. The Taliban had gathered from Spin Boldak district and other areas to conduct the attack, he said.

    The Taliban attacked security outposts on the border between Lal wa Sarjangal and Dawlat Yar districts, Ghor province, too on Sunday night, which was repulsed. As a result, a Taliban insurgent was killed and four others were wounded. The ANDSF also seized four motorcycles during the clashes, as per the Provincial Governor’s Office.

    In other news, Radio Alina has now stopped broadcasting. Radio Aline was located in Nurgram district of Nuristan province, established in the year 2011, and funded by Internews Foundation. As the whole country became insecure, Nurgram district also came under militant attack. Therefore, in order to protect the safety of the employees and the equipment, it stopped broadcasting on July 13, leaving a five-member team of the radio station, including a broadcast manager, two journalists, an editor and a presenter unemployed. The radio covered Nurgram and Du Ab districts of Nuristan and the northern part of Laghman province, as per the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association

    Also, as per a notification by the Military Coordination Council of Herat Province, “In order to clear the vulnerable areas of Herat from the presence of terrorist elements and the Taliban, clearance operations will be launched in the northern areas of the city, the PDs 7, 14, 2, 3, and Injil area and Kababian village. Dear fellow citizens, we respectfully ask you to stay in your homes, refrain from moving around these areas.”

    Meanwhile, officials at the Ministry of Education said that the ministry is a service, educational and non-political institution and that schools should not be used as military centers. Attaullah Wahidyar, deputy education minister, told a news conference that 176 schools across the country have been destroyed in recent months due to clashes between the Taliban and security forces, whilst no school should be used as a military center and shield. Wahidyar added that the Afghan government has acceded to the Safe Schools Declaration and that the government is obliged to take the necessary measures to protect schools in conflict.

    Wahidyar stated that the Ministry in a letter asked all security agencies to protect schools in war zones, and that these forces have pledged to protect schools and that the Ministry expects a respect to the “self-education and theology” centers and prevent damage to the enlightenment centers of the country’s children. Wahidyar confirmed casualties among school students and teachers, saying that the ministry still does not have accurate statistics on casualties and the number of schools that have been closed. Wahidyar said that the Ministry needs the support of the people to achieve its goal. The Taliban are accused of destroying schools in areas under their control. The group, however, accuses government forces of building trenches and military bases in schools.

    And according to the Herat’s Military Coordination Council on clearing the city, and Injil and Guzara districts of terrorists, as well as due to concerns of families regarding the security situation, all public and private schools are closed in the city and Injil and Guzara districts from today until further notice.

    Meanwhile, sources at the Kabul Police Headquarters confirmed that unidentified gunmen assassinated a cleric in Qala-e Haji area of Deh Sabz district on Sunday night. The religious scholar was called Qari Shah Wali, who was a mosque imam and was also a school teacher. The case is being investigated by police. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Also, security sources in Baghlan province confirmed that three individuals were killed in clashes between the ANP and people’s uprising forces in Pul-e Khumri city, the provincial capital. Ahmad Javid Besharat, spokesman for provincial police, told the Etilaat Roz Daily that the clash took place due to misunderstanding, which also wounded three others from both sides. Besharat added that a delegation has been appointed by the provincial government and Baghlan police to investigate the matter.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    Time Has Come For National Dialogue And Unity: Ghani

    Kabul: President Ashraf Ghani, addressing the extraordinary session of the parliament on Monday, said that the Afghan government and people have made their choice and will not bow to any destructive force. The president said that the time has come for the national dialogue to begin and that unity is a condition for survival.

    Ghani said that in such a situation, it is not his job as president to become emotional; because the people want him to resolutely pass Afghanistan through this test of survival. “While this devastation and daily bleeding hurts the cells of my body, I stand firmly in my place. I am 72 years old and I am not looking for any wealth or privileges, but I want today’s generation and tomorrow to have a prosperous life,” he said.

    Ghani emphasized that he would not kneel before any destructive force. “Or we sit on our knees at the real negotiating table, or we break your knees on the battlefield,” he told the Taliban. “We have made our choice, let the Taliban and their supporters make their choice,” added Ghani. He added that the people of Afghanistan are facing open sedition and aggression aimed at deceit and deception. “This aggression has been imposed on Afghanistan, and fighting against sedition and aggression is the duty of every individual,” he stressed.

    Ghani said that the Afghan government has made many sacrifices for peace and has taken great strides that no group or country can take anywhere in the world; but the Taliban deem the government’s sincerity as weakness. “The problem started when Afghan and international peace lessons were not followed and a national process was replaced by an accelerated imported process. This process was based on crude hypotheses and was based on the pressure on the republic and the destruction of democracy. Not only did this process not lead to peace, efforts were made to legitimize an aggressor and a vicious group, as well as efforts to delegitimize a single republican position, creating ambiguity and doubt, and the current situation is the product of this situation,” he added.

    The President said that the priority of the Republic is peace, but he sees sedition in the intentions of the Taliban and its supporters. He said the Taliban were hostile to the people and were doing so in exchange for money. Ghani said that with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, it is everyone’s responsibility to address the dangers that have arisen.

    “Two and a half years ago, I wrote to the US President to decide on the withdrawal of his troops. This work of mine was criticized. The reason for the current situation is that the right decision was not made. The exit of the United States will lead to dangers. Managing this risk is our sole responsibility,” he said. The president called on parliamentarians to work together to ensure that security forces are in the expected position in the next six months.

    “We will rise again with vigor. We are facing an unprecedented invasion of terrorism. We are facing an onslaught with a dark-minded mindset, followed by drug traffickers and gemstones. The emergence of this suspended obstacle has caused the Taliban to see their advantage in the war. This miscalculation will humiliate the Taliban,” he claimed. Although no foreign troops are present in Afghanistan, the president said, but within the new chapter of relations, financial and military support for the ANDSF will continue.

    Also, Mir Rahman Rahmani, speaker of the Lower House of Parliament, said that the continuation of the war has no winner and that the Taliban should know that as violence escalates, civilians will be killed. Addressing the extraordinary joint session of both parliament houses, Rahmani said that the parliamentarians “appreciate the government’s efforts to bring peace and do not see war as a solution. The Taliban should know that the continuation of war and violence is a lose-lose game and it has no winner and hurts the people.”

    According to him, the withdrawal of the US and NATO placed the full responsibility for the fight against terrorism on the ANDSF. Rahmani emphasized that in such circumstances, the parliamentarians would support the ANDSF and stand by them on the battlefield. Rahmani also appreciated the support of the people’s forces for the ANDSF.

    Appreciating the role of security forces, the Parliamentary Statement, read, “The brave ANDSF and people forces, as the true and honest sons of this country, who lose their lives day and night in defending the country and providing security by shielding their chests against the enemy are and will be supported by this House and appreciates their work and sacrifices. One of the long-standing aspirations of the people is, above all, peace and the establishment of permanent security. We support every effort to bring peace and stability in the country and we will do our best in this field.”

    The parliamentary statement also called on the Taliban and other armed opponents of the government to end the machines of orphanage, Islamic defamation and economic destruction, avoid further destruction of the history of regional civilization, and to join the peace. It also called on the United Nations, the United States, the involved countries, the international and regional organizations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to provide material and political support to the people and government of Afghanistan, as they have for the past two decades, and help us achieve a permanent and enduring peace.

    Meanwhile, Second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh supported President Ghani’s speech at an extraordinary session of the parliament, saying that now is the time for the Afghan people to mobilize against the Taliban. Danesh wrote on his Facebook page on Monday that now that the government leadership has explicitly declared its key priorities in the face of Taliban aggression, the Afghan people are expected to mobilize against the ignorant group, unite with the ANDSF, and deprive the Taliban of their dream for a Taliban emirate.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    Taliban Attack Repulsed In Herat

    Kabul: Local officials in Herat province said that the Taliban attack on the entrance gates of Herat city has been repulsed.

    A statement from the Herat governor’s media office said that 100 Taliban insurgents were killed and several others were wounded, across the city, during air and ground attacks by the ANDSF with the support from the popular forces, over the past 24 hours.

    However, the Herat governor’s media office said hundreds of families, including women and children, have been forced to flee their homes due to Taliban attacks in residential areas. Aref Jalali, the chief physician of the Herat Regional Hospital, told the Etilaat Roz Daily that 10 people, including four civilians, were killed and 78 others, including 48 civilians, were injured in clashes in the city on Sunday. The Taliban have yet to comment.

    Governor Abdul Saboor Qane told the daily on Sunday that a joint clearance operation was underway in several areas of the city. Herat residents are urging the government to take immediate action to repel Taliban attacks.

    Meanwhile, security sources in Parwan province told the media that the Taliban offensive in the western highlands of Charikar had been repulsed. According to these sources, five members of the popular uprising were killed in the attack.

    However, one source said that the Taliban had suffered more casualties in the attack. The Taliban have not yet commented. The group had previously attacked west of Charikar. The west of Charikar has borders with Ghorband, which is now under Taliban control.

    Also, the ANDSF repulsed Taliban attacks in Achin and Spinghar districts, killing nine insurgents and wounding five others. Two ANDSF members were also killed during clashes as per the Nangarhar Governor’s Office. In fact, as per the Nangarhar Governor’s Office, during an operation conducted by the NDS special forces in Jalalabad’s PD8, an ISKP targeted killer was arrested along with a suspect with a pistol and 2 magazines.

    Meanwhile, local officials in Ghazni province confirmed that a civilian was killed by a DShK bullet fired by the Taliban in Jaghori district of the province. Ehsan Sharifi, acting Jaghori district governor, told Etilaat Roz daily that the incident took place on Sunday in al-Ghazar village. Sharifi added that the victim was hit while collecting crops.

    Sharifi also added that in the past five days, one civilian and another military member have been killed in the Hotqul area of Jaghori. The civilian was a 12-year-old girl who had been killed by a Taliban mortar shell in Chahardeh village. According to Sharifi, a soldier was wounded during a clash with the Taliban in Hotqul and later succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Kabul.

    He also said that in the past five days, three other civilians have been injured in the area as a result of heavy Taliban firing. The Taliban are yet to comment on the matter.

    Also, President Ashraf Ghani met with a number of kochi (nomad) elders and representatives at the Presidential Palace on Sunday evening. At first, the Kochi delegates expressed their full support for the system, the flag, the president’s national plans and the peace process, emphasizing that they were ready to defend the country as in the past. They praised the president’s efforts for peace, national projects and attention to the Kochis.

    President Ghani said, “We have worked hard for peace, but the Taliban are responsible for the war, killing and destruction. If they are Afghans, they should come [to the negotiating table] so that we reach a conclusion.” Addressing the nomadic elders, the president said, “You have full authority on my behalf. Go to the Taliban for [holding] a Jirga. If Mullah Hebatullah is alive, find out which cave he entered and hold peace Jirga with him.”

    Ghani said that my duty is to protect the system so that peace can be established within the framework of the system. I have repeatedly told the Taliban that we are authorizing the people, setting the stage for elections, and that I am ready to hand over power to whoever the people elect as my successor. At the end of his speech, the President said: “It is time to lay down the gun and make a joint effort for the development and welfare of the people,” as per the Presidential Palace.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    Afghan delegation To Investigate Kidnapping Of Ambassador’s Daughter In Pakistan

    Kabul: A delegation from Kabul has traveled to Pakistan to investigate the abduction and torture of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter in Islamabad, Foreign Ministry spokesman Gran Hewad said.

    Hewad did not elaborate on the composition of the board. Silsila Alikhel, daughter of Najibullah Alikhel, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, was abducted on July 16 in Islamabad and released after being tortured. The Foreign Ministry has said that Alikhel was tortured both mentally and physically.

    Although Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has repeatedly denied the abduction of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter, the Afghan Foreign Ministry has called the remarks as biased. The ministry added that the remarks have “further hurt people’s feelings and raises concerns about the transparency and credibility of the investigation.” The Ministry also stressed that no reason could justify the occurrence of a crime that has been proven by medical reports and available evidence.

    Meanwhile, according to retired Gen. David Petraeus, the fear of the Taliban overwhelming the Afghanistan military was real before the near-complete US withdrawal, but a new “civil war” is a real possibility. “I feared that we would come to regret the decision to withdraw our forces,” Petraeus said in an interview with WABC.

    “There is a real potential of a civil war between the Taliban and their insurgent and extremist partners, government forces, and various warlord militias.” While Petraeus expressed “enormous confidence in the national security team that the president has established” and “they are extremely aware of the challenges that are accumulating in Afghanistan,” a civil war would reset the U.S. position all over again, he feared.

    Also, China is a threat to complicate “the situation,” because “they have tried in the past,” he added. “A sustainable presence is probably the best course with a lot of drones and close air support available,” Petraeus concluded.

    These remarks come even as former President Hamid Karzai said that the US has lost the war in Afghanistan not when it decided to withdraw as the Taliban regained power, but years ago, when it bombed Afghan homes in the name of fighting terror.

    The invasion of the US-led coalition in Afghanistan back in 2001, after the tragedy of 9/11, was welcomed by a significant part of the Afghan population that wanted to free themselves from “extremism and violence” of Taliban rule, Karzai said in an interview with RT. The support of the locals was one of the factors that led to America’s “immediate success” in its war against Taliban. “We began to look forward with tremendous hopes,” the former Afghan president said. Yet, these hopes were dashed by the US troops and the way Washington conducted its ‘war on terror,’ he believes.

    [The Americans] told us that the sanctuaries are outside of Afghanistan. But then they began to bomb Afghan villages and homes and get our people hurt and killed, and homes destroyed. The US actions also shattered all hope for political reconciliation during the times that his own government was in power, Karzai recalled. He explained that his cabinet gave many former Taliban fighters a pardon and that had convinced them to settle down and start a new, peaceful, life.

    “Then, the US suddenly began to attack the Taliban homes and attack villages – and they forced them to flee the country. It was this violence against the Afghan people in the name of fighting the Taliban that led me to calling the Taliban our brothers,” the former president said. “Things went wrong. They began to re-emerge and the part of the population went with them.”

    Now, as the US is about to fully withdraw from Afghanistan, Karzai believes that the only way forward is to talk to Taliban even though their terrorist activities cannot be simply forgotten. Afghanistan urgently needs a government that would have authority over the whole country, the ex-president said. If this is the case, all the threats that Afghanistan itself and the nations in the region are facing would “automatically go away,” he believes.

    Karzai no longer pins his hopes for Afghanistan’s future on some “distant superpowers” like the US. Instead, he says, Kabul needs to understand the value of its geostrategic location and use it to “promote confidence and trust between our neighbors and major powers in the region” like Russia, India and China, and have them as “allies for stability.”

    On the other hand, despite the recent advances of the Taliban in Afghanistan, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) said on Sunday he wants to maintain the existing policy regarding deportations to the country. In an interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Seehofer said, “We are currently negotiating with Afghanistan so that we can continue to deport criminals there.” Seehofer argued that Afghan criminals in Germany must continue to be “able to be returned to their home country.” Germany’s largest pro-immigration advocacy organization, Pro Asyl, however, said that it is not just criminals who have been deported, but also well-integrated migrants.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    Afghanistan’s Exports Increase By 30%

    Kabul: The Ministry of Industry and Commerce on Sunday announced that Afghanistan’s exports during the first six months of the fiscal year 1400 (current solar year), has increased by about 30%, as compared to the same period last year.

    Ahmad Fawad Ahmadi, the ministry spokesperson, said that most exports during the period went to India, Pakistan and China.

    Last year, Afghanistan’s exports to India amounted to $405,908,164 USD; exports to Pakistan were $211,519,319 USD, and to China $55,322,979 USD, whilst the UAE, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Tajikistan are among the countries to which Afghanistan has exported goods.

    The Ministry has not provided a specific amount for the value of exports to the mentioned countries this year and has not said anything about the type of exported goods, but most of Afghanistan’s exports are dried fruits, carpets, saffron and some other items. These items are exported through air corridors and land border crossings.

  • 2 Aug 2021 Share this post

    Attack Repulsed Against Lashkargah Prison

    Kabul: The 215th Maiwand Army Corps reported that a 40-member Taliban group conducted an attack against Lashkargah prison, Helmand province, on Sunday night, which was repulsed by ground and air counterattacks.

    The Corps added that 38 Taliban insurgents were killed and 2 others were wounded.

    Meanwhile, the operation of the Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport [Kandahar International Airport] in Kandahar province, which was temporarily suspended due to a rocket impact and caused a temporary suspension of civilian flights at the airport, was resolved due to the efforts of the technical team. All flights at the airport have returned to normal.

    Also, Kabul police detected and neutralized an IED, readied on a mobile phone, in PD7 on Monday morning. In fact, Kabul police detected and neutralized another magnetic IED, readied on a mobile phone, in Qala-e Babu area of PD6 on Sunday afternoon.

    Meanwhile, Jihadi leader Mohammad Ismail Khan, who leads the people’s uprising forces in Herat, called on men and women in Herat city to mobilize against the Taliban. Khan warned that the city’s security situation is sensitive, and that the enemies of the Afghan people want to redouble their efforts to put pressure on the people, and thus, create problems in the city’s security belts.

    Khan said that in these circumstances, it is the responsibility of residents of Herat to stand up, assuring that the ANDSF and the popular forces are defending the city and will not allow any problems to arise for the city, but it is necessary for everyone in the city of five million to feel responsible in this critical situation. Khan pointed out that all those who have the facilities and weapons should stand up and unite with the ANDSF and the popular forces, and added that he believes that all those who are capable will defend the city.

    This comes even as Kunar’s Directorate of Refugees and Repatriations said that over the past week, some 7,500 families have been forced to flee their homes due to escalating fighting and violence in the province. Abdul Rashid Safi, provincial director of refugees and repatriations, told the Hashte Subh daily on Saturday that the families had been displaced from Ghaziabad and Nari districts, which had recently fallen to the Taliban. According to Safi, of 7,000 displaced families, about 5,000 have been relocated to Asadabad, the provincial capital, and to Sarkani, Marawara, Sawkai, Nurgal, Khas Kunar, and Wata Pur districts, which are among the safest districts in the province, while the rest have taken refuge in Nangarhar province. Safi said that due to the war and insecurity in the province, the number of displaced people is increasing every day. Safi assured that the government and aid agencies in the province are fully prepared to take care of the displaced.