Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Kabul: Acting Minister of National Defense Bismillah Mohammadi said that the airstrikes by army forces on Taliban positions have shocked the group. The acting Minister of National Defense said on Sunday that the people of Afghanistan will not forget security forces’ sacrifices.
Mohammadi said that security and defense forces, especially the air force, had carried out numerous attacks on Taliban positions in recent weeks, inflicting heavy casualties on the group. Acting Minister of National Defense pledged to the army forces to take special care of their problems and shortcomings. The Air Force is one of the best equipped units in the country.
The Pentagon has recently announced that it will provide more fighter jets and technical and logistical assistance to the Afghan Air Force.
Meanwhile, Nangarhar’s Provincial Governor Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhel led a high-level delegation and visited frontlines, and praised the sacrifices made by the ANDSF. Provincial Governor’s Spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said that the ANDSF in Khogyani district have repelled 51 Taliban attacks, over the past three months. Amarkhel emphasized on defeating the Taliban and assured them of full cooperation. According to local officials, the ANDSF operation is successfully ongoing across several of districts in the province, and along with inflicting heavy casualties to the Taliban, they also cleared a number of villages.
In other news, security officials in Kapisa province reported that a madrassa principal, Mawlawi Hazrat-uddin has been assassinated by unidentified motorcyclists in Hesa Duwum Kohistan district. Provincial Police Spokesman Shayeq Shoresh said that the Mawlawi was the principal of Kalota girl’s madrassa, who was assassinated on the way home at 11:20 am on Sunday. Shoresh added that the perpetrators fled after the incident; however, efforts have started to capture them.
Also, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) reported that three terrorists, who wanted to detonate a culvert in Qalandar district, Khost province, fell victim to their own improvised explosive device (IED), and were killed. The MoI added that the Taliban have no plan to develop and improve Afghanistan, except bloodshed and destruction of public facilities.
Meanwhile, Turkmenistan has begun moving heavy weaponry, helicopters, and other aircraft closer to its border with Afghanistan, and reservists are being put on alert in the capital, a further sign of the worry spreading across Central Asia as Taliban fighters continue major offensives. A senior official at a Turkmen security agency told RFE/RL that more troops from an army garrison near the city of Mary are being sent to bolster border guard units. Mary is about 400 kilometers north of Serhetabad, a major border crossing with Afghanistan. The official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, said additional forces sent to the border include officers as well as fighter jets and helicopters. It is unclear exactly how many units are being sent to the border or the numbers of aircraft being dispatched there.
On the other hand, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Sunday said that safety of Indian personnel is paramount after India evacuated staff posted in its consulate in Kandahar in view of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. “India is closely monitoring the evolving security situation in Afghanistan. The safety and security of our personnel is paramount,” the Indian foreign ministry has said in a statement.
“The Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed. However, due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India-based personnel have been brought back for the time being,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement. He also emphasized, “this is a purely temporary measure until the situation stabilizes. The Consulate continues to operate through our local staff members.”
Referring to the functioning of visa and consular services in capital city Kabul, he said “Arrangements are being made to ensure continued delivery of visa and consular services through our Embassy in Kabul.” “As an important partner of Afghanistan, India remains committed to a peaceful, sovereign and democratic Afghanistan,” he added.
In fact, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and the Indonesian embassy in Kabul are continuously monitoring the security situation in Afghanistan following the US announcing an end to its military mission in the country by August 31 this year. “To protect Indonesian nationals in Kabul, the Foreign Ministry and the Indonesian Embassy in Kabul have formulated a contingency plan to anticipate any possibilities,” director of Indonesian citizens and legal entities at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Judha Nugraha, said in a written statement released on Saturday. The Indonesian embassy has established communication with relevant parties to monitor the safety of Indonesian nationals in Afghanistan, he informed. “Based on the initial database of the Indonesian embassy in Kabul, 46 Indonesians are staying in Afghanistan,” he said. However, most of them have returned to Indonesia, he informed adding, only three Indonesians are currently still in Afghanistan.
Kabul: Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah met with the head and members of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan negotiation team, who had visited Iran to meet the Taliban delegation.
Delegation head Mohammad Younus Qanuni appreciated Iran for hosting the talks, provided a report about the meeting contents, and demands from both sides, and added that the republic delegation emphasized on finding an inclusive political solution through negotiations. Delegation members stressed on the need for unity, finding a peace solution to the crisis, avoiding war and conflict, and the continuation of negotiations.
Abdullah welcomed the joint declaration of both parties, appreciated delegation’s efforts and Iran’s hosting the talks, and said that the republic is committed to a just and lasting peace, and the way out of the current crisis is to negotiate. Abdullah added that the republic has repeatedly emphasized that the problem of Afghanistan has no military solution; however, actions of both parties indicate the extent of their commitment to this declaration, urged the Taliban to seize this opportunity before it’s too late, and commit to negotiation and resolving major national issues.
Abdullah emphasized on national unity and internal cohesion and added that the republic is committed to peace and is equally responsible for the fate of the nation, and the position of the people is clear against using force, as no one should think that they can impose themselves on the people through force.
Also, dozens of religious scholars from various parts of Gardez city, Paktia province, held a conference and called on the Taliban to stop fighting the ANDSF. Clerics stated that foreigners have ended their presence in Afghanistan and taking up arms against the ANDSF is forbidden, as they announced their support for the recent conference held by Afghan and Pakistani clerics on peace, which called for an end to violence. Provincial Hajj and Religious Affairs Director Mawlawi Izharullah Zaheer said that the continuation of fighting by the Taliban indicates that the group doesn’t respect fatwas issued by scholars around the world. Zaheer added that foreigners have left, but dozens of youths and children are being killed on a daily basis; the Taliban should respect the fatwas and stop killing Afghans. Head of provincial ulema council Mawlawi Abdul Ghafoor said that Pakistani and Afghan ulema conference in Saudi Arabia was in the interest of both the government and Taliban, who neutrally called for an end to the ongoing conflict.
Provincial Governor Gul Nabi Ahmadzai called on the Taliban to stop killing Afghans for the interest of others, the government is never an obstacle in the way of peace and it is embracing peace openly, and the Taliban can join the process unconditionally.
Meanwhile, as clashes escalate in Bamyan’s neighboring provinces, local officials said that people can volunteer to take up arms against possible Taliban attacks. Bamyan Governor Sayed Anwar Rahmati told a news conference on Sunday that although the local government does not currently have weapons to distribute to the people; but volunteers can use their own weapons to support the defense and security forces against the Taliban onslaught. Rahmati added that some legal capacity has been requested from the central government, and if it is approved, it will include the necessary equipment. According to Rahmati, residents of various parts of Bamyan had repeatedly stated their readiness to take up arms against the Taliban; but the local government did not want the “atmosphere to become too warlike and out of the presence of official government forces.”
Rahmati said that due to “widespread propaganda” by the Taliban, the Bamyan provincial security committee had decided that district volunteers would also be allowed to enter the provincial capital “armed” and that these forces would be used to defend Bamyan. Meanwhile, the governor of Bamyan stressed that so far only one security checkpoint in the Baghak area of Shibar district had “problems” but that there were no specific problems in other parts of the province.
On the other hand, the head of Iran’s Khorasan Razavi’s Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants Affairs, Mohammad Taghi Hashemi predicted that with the needs of the Afghan government and people, and locals in border trade and revenues from the Islam Qala – Dogharoon border crossing, the crossing point will reopen within days and operations will normalize there. Hashemi added that the border crossing remained closed since the Taliban’s presence, but the situation at borders is good in terms of security and enjoys stability and peace, and a number of Iranian trucks have entered Iran through the point without a problem.
Hashemi stated that the Taliban have informally agreed to have no problem with normalization of movement at the border, but the reopening of the border crossing requires formal negotiations, decisions and declarations, and no declaration has arrived from Tehran yet. Referring to past experiences of Taliban being stationed at the borders, Hashemi said that the border will soon be decided upon and border operations will normalize. He added that both the Taliban and Iran insist that normal activities continue at the border crossing, and both sides are allowing normal transfer of goods and abide by the rules ruling borders. The Afghan government has yet to comment on the issue.
Kabul: Ajmal Omar Shinwari, spokesman for the security services, on Sunday said that in the past five days, 12 security forces had attacked Taliban positions in 25 provinces. He added that 1,177 Taliban insurgents had been killed and 651 wounded in 124 attacks since Wednesday last week.
According to Shinwari, the Taliban have lost control of the Aliabad in Kunduz, Yaftal in Badakhshan, Adraskan in Herat and Arghandab districts of Kandahar in the past four days. He added that the Taliban had killed four civilians, wounded six others and set fire to a school.
Ajmal Omar Shinwari said that the security forces are fully prepared to carry out offensive operations and clear areas that are facing a high threat or state of emergency; however, they delayed the operation due to the possibility of civilian casualties and public facilities. “The Taliban are using civilians and mosques as shields,” he added. “Therefore, we cannot carry out air and artillery attacks.”
Shinwari, meanwhile, noted that the Taliban group is incapable of fighting security forces, and that the group does not adhere to any principles of warfare and human rights by shielding civilians and homes. On the other hand, Shinwari denied the damage of the choppers in Kunduz, the claim that the Baghlan police chief cooperated with the Taliban and that the Taliban controlled 85% of Afghanistan’s territory.
Shinwari also said that Islam Qala customs in Herat province is under the control of the country’s security and defense forces. Shinwari also spoke about Sher Khan port in Kunduz province, saying that the port is not currently under the control of any party. Shinwari said Sher Khan port is currently a disputed area between security and defense forces and Taliban fighters. He said that efforts are being made to send more security forces to Sher khan port and secure the port as soon as possible without any casualties to civilians or the port facilities. Regarding the port of Hairatan, Shinwari said that all security problems in the port have been resolved.
Meanwhile, leading a high-level National Directorate of Security (NDS) delegation, along with the heads of Parliamentary Complaints and Women’s Affairs Committees Sadiq Qaderi and Nahid Farid, MPs Shahpoor Popal and Mohammad Reza Khoshak, NDS Chief Ahmad Zia Saraj traveled to Herat province to assess the security situation. The delegation held a meeting with provincial governor Abdul Saboor Qane, provincial council head, the 207th Zafar Army Corps commander, and other senior security officials, wherein Qane explained the security situation and plans and measures to gain support from the central government and welcomed people and mujahideen’s support to suppress the Taliban.
According to the statement, the delegation from Kabul met with Abdul Sabur Ghaneh, Governor of Herat, Kamran Alizai, Chairman of the Provincial Council, Khayal Nabi Ahmadzai, Commander of the 207th Zafar Corps, and senior security officials. It added that in this meeting, the governor of Herat expressed the security situation, ongoing plans and measures to gain the support of the center, and expressed satisfaction with the readiness and cooperation of the people and the Mujahideen for the suppression of the Taliban. The city of Herat has recently been besieged by the Taliban following the fall of several districts in Herat, and residents of the province are concerned about the security situation.
Meanwhile, hundreds of local residents, tribal elders, civil rights activists, youths, and religious scholars from across Laghman province gathered in Mehtarlam city, and announced their support for the republic system, provincial government, and ANDSF and praised their sacrifices. Provincial governor Abdul Wali Wahidzai, police chief Lutfullah Kamran, provincial NDS chief Shahid-ul-Haq Shahid also participated in the gathering. Participants described the ANDSF as the main protectors of the people, stated that those who facilitate the evacuation of outposts to the Taliban are traitors and should be prosecuted, and vowed to support them in the fight against the Taliban.
Governor Wahidzai appreciated their support, said that the people of Laghman have always defended their land and system throughout the history, and it’s time to stand by the ANDSF against the enemy. Wahidzai added that clerics around the world have called the Taliban war as illegitimate, but the group continues killing Afghans, and ignores all Islamic and national values; however, the ANDSF will clear the lost areas in accordance with strategic plans. Wahidzai called on the people to fulfill their Islamic and national responsibilities, and increase cooperation with the ANDSF and provincial government in order to improve the security situation in the province.
In another special NDS Unit operation in Kama district of Nangarhar province, they arrested four Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS-KP) members along with a pistol, three magazines, three mobile phones, a dagger, 101 rounds of PK, 32 bullets of AK-47, memory cards, and military uniforms.
On the other hand, Second Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh chaired the meeting of the Joint Committee of Government and Media on Sunday, hoping that the committee, media community, and journalists will be able to fulfill their responsibilities in this sensitive situation. Deputy Committee Head Zia Bumia reported an increase in threats against journalists across the country, amid an increase in fighting, and that media activists and journalists expect that the Committee implement serious measures in this regard. The Ministry of Information and Culture reported that a number of journalists and media activists have been detained by the Taliban in some areas, and the group is cracking down the media and journalists.
Committee members made necessary decisions about the protection and safety of journalists facing the threats, and that provincial committees of the Committee take precautionary measures wherever journalists are at risk and threatened. It was also decided that in the event of a serious threat and the lack of facilities in the provinces, journalists at risk should be transferred to safety after necessary assessment and in coordination with relevant agencies. Danesh assured international media journalists that security agencies will cooperate to provide information from battlegrounds.
Also, President Ashraf Ghani has approved the proposal of the Afghan Electricity Company (Breshna) to transfer 22 diesel generator bases from Bagram military base to Nangarhar province. Sangar Niazi, a spokesman for Breshna, told the Etilaat roz daily on Sunday that ownership of the generators has now been transferred to Breshna based on the company’s proposal and approval by Ghani from the Ministry of Defense and the Presidential Office of Operations and National Development Support.
Niazi added that these 22 of Bagram airfield diesel generators will be transferred to Nangarhar province soon. He stressed that Breshna had proposed transferring them to the Nangarhar area due to a lack of electricity in the area, and that President Ghani had approved it. This area includes Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar and Nuristan provinces. A version of the proposal, endorsed by a Breshna spokesman, also states that the 22 generators will generate a total capacity of 10.69 megawatts of electricity.
Kabul: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 1075 new positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 67 deaths and 851 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases now stand at 134,653, while the number of reported deaths is 5,791. The Ministry of Health has called on Afghan citizens to follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Acting Public Health Minister Vahid Majroh met with representatives of health partners and donors and stressed the need to address emergency cases at healthcare centers. Majroh said that Afghanistan is now in its worst situation over the past two decades, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in emergency cases, and that the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) prioritizes addressing war victims alongside fighting the virus.
Majroh appreciated donors’ cooperation and urged them to assist the MoPH in providing emergency kits and equipping health centers that are in serious need during the current situation. Majroh also called on the World Health Organization’s representative launch a needs-assessment survey at the health centers and assist the centers in terms of medical facilities and equipment, in accordance with the assessment. Majroh added that the MoPH will reactivate the hospitals at the Bagram and Kandahar Air Bases, and it needs technical assistance of health partners in activation process. Health partners emphasized on joint cooperation with the MoPH in the mentioned areas.
Kabul: Local officials in Ghazni province said that Taliban fighters have attacked parts of Malistan district of the province. Amir Mohammad Javed, Malistan district governor, told the Etilaat roz on Sunday that the Taliban had launched attacks in the Shirdagh and Kharzar areas from the Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province and another group of Taliban fighters had entered from the Ajristan district.
Javed added that the Taliban attack in the Shirdagh and Kharzar areas had met with resistance from security forces and that more than 40 Taliban fighters had been killed in clashes between the two sides. According to him, security and defense forces in the district are fighting the Taliban with high morale and need help from the center and air support to suppress the Taliban.
Meanwhile, Amil Khan Momand, press officer of the 203rd Thunder Corps, told Etilaat roz that the 3rd Brigade of the Corps will soon provide troops and equipment to Malistan district. He also stressed that the defense forces in the district are currently stationed in their strongholds with high morale.
Also, spokesman for Nangarhar’s provincial governor, Attaullah Khogyani, told Etilaat roz daily that Kuz Kunar district governor Moallem Akbar’s vehicle hit a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) at about 9:00am on Sunday, slightly wounding the governor. Khogyani added that the explosion occurred while Akbar was on his way to the office. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, Defense Ministry officials denied the Taliban claim that they targeted two army helicopters in Kunduz province. Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said in a tweet on Sunday that the Taliban claimed that a rocket attack on Kunduz airport had damaged military choppers. “Do not believe the lies and poisonous propaganda of the terrorists,” he added. Earlier, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that two US-backed Afghan Army black Hawk helicopters had been destroyed in Kunduz province on Saturday night.
On the other hand, Iran’s police spokesman Mehdi Hajian announced that the country has returned Afghan border guards and customs officials to their country, who took refuge in Iran after the Taliban forces attacked the Islam Qala border crossing on Thursday. Hajian added that Afghans were accommodated by Iran for a few days but according to the official request of the Afghan government and based on the decision of the Iranian officials, they were returned by a flight to their country.
In other news, the Attorney General’s Office has announced that the duties of five prosecutors from the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office have been suspended on charges of committing “official crimes.” A statement from the Attorney General’s Office released on Sunday states that the prosecutors have been charged with “official crimes” in the case private company Ariana Telikam. No further details were provided about the case. According to the statement, the duties of these prosecutors were suspended at the meeting of the Supreme Fiction High Council last Thursday after the presentation of the report of the Audit Prosecutor’s Office. The Attorney General added that the Director General of the Judicial Center for Combating Serious Crimes of Corruption has been tasked with launching an investigation into the accused.
Kabul: As per statistics from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the number of acute cases of violence against women and girls, especially suicide, has increased in the country this year.
According to the ministry, since the beginning of this year, 77 acute cases of violence, including suicide, murder, rape and acid abuse, have been registered in the center and provinces of the country. The Ministry of Public Health did not provide exact figures, but said that the suicide rate has risen since last year.
As war and insecurity intensify in the country, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs announced an unprecedented increase in acute cases of violence against women and girls. Ministry spokeswoman Roya Dadras told Hashte Subh daily that the number of girls and women dying by suicide is increasing compared to last year. According to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, 77 cases of acute violence were reported in Sar-e-Pul, Herat, Balkh, Badghis, Ghor, Kabul, Bamyan, Baghlan, Takhar, Helmand, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Faryab, Nimroz, Kapisa and Nangarhar provinces. According to Dadras, the prevalence of coronavirus, poverty, insecurity, forced marriages, underage marriages, domestic violence and psychological pressures are key factors in suicide and other violence against girls. She added that of 77 cases of violence, 55 are under investigation by the judiciary.
According to the Dadras, eight of these cases took place in areas under Taliban control, and 12 others have been finalized, and the perpetrators have been punished in accordance with the law. According to statistics, Sar-e-Pul has the highest suicide rate among the provinces. Similarly, Herat, Balkh and Badghis provinces have the highest suicide rate after Sar-e-Pul. In the most recent case, an 18-year-old girl died by suicide in the village of Gorkab, in the Suzma Qala district of Sar-e-Pul province.
Meanwhile, Ahmadjan Naeem, Deputy Minister of Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Public Health, said that the ministry does not have exact figures because people consider this a disgrace and do not report suicides. “What is being registered in this ministry is under the headings of poisonings and burns, and accordingly, it is more than last year,” he said. “But there are no exact figures on how many of these cases are self-harm and suicide.”
According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Public Health, 70% of those who die by suicide are women. Among them, 40% die by suicide due to depression, 22% due to obsessive-compulsive disorder, 20% due to anxiety and 18% due to mental disorders. Most experts believe that vulnerable groups, such as adolescents, young people, and especially young girls, have been victims of sexual and domestic violence and therefore choose to commit suicide.
Another study conducted by the Afghan Human Rights Organization in the southwestern part of the country shows that bad customs and lack of gender equality in Herat, Badghis, Farah, Kandahar, Nimroz and some other provinces have led to the suicide of women and girls.
Meanwhile, Radio Barin, a local radio station in Parwan province suspended its operation, after unidentified gunmen threatened to kill its employee. A host of the Radio, Lina Mohammadi, told Hashte Subh daily that she was beaten up and received death threats from two gunmen in Charikar city last Wednesday, when she was on her way to the office.
Mohammadi said that she was initially opposed to disclosing the issue to the media because of problems in society and fear that her family would impose restrictions on her; however, her colleagues motivated and cooperated to publicize the matter. She wants the issue to be investigated by the security services to prevent threats against other female journalists. Radio Barin was on air 16 hours a day, covering north of Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, and Panjshir provinces.
Managing Director of the Radio Navid Qaderi told the daily that female employees decided to stop working after the incident, and it has now been decided that the operations will be suspended, as its employees don’t feel safe and secure. Qaderi added that the radio had 18 female employees before the COVID-19 outbreak, but now there are six female employees, who also don’t want to continue their work.
Deputy Provincial Governor on Social Affairs Roshna Khalid, who owns the radio, told the Daily that the decision to suspend the radio operation was taken by the managing director. Provincial Police Chief Abdul Rauf Uruzgani told the daily that he had been involved in military operations and was not aware of the issue; however, he will seriously pursue any complaints if Mohammadi has. Uruzgani added that an intelligence team has been coordinating with the media and journalists to seriously investigate such threats.
Executive Director of Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan, Mujib Khelwatgar, criticized Parwan’s security agencies and told the Daily that provincial government, particularly security agencies, should investigate the matter and share its findings with the media. Khelwatgar added that the Ministry of Interior and provincial government should seriously assess these cases, given the current political situation, so as not to cause more media outlets to suspend their operations, as it will create problems and confusion when the officials say they are unaware.
Earlier, Nai announced that about 20 local media outlets in Taliban-controlled areas had stopped broadcasting.
In other news, Kandahar’s provincial Repatriation and Refugee Director Dost Mohammad Nayab reported that 27,000 families were displaced due to violence, over the past seven months. Nayab added that 16,000 families have shifted in Kandahar city, and that the directorate plans to provide assistance to about 10,000 families. Meanwhile, head of the Mirwais Regional Hospital Daud Farhad said that the hospital received 491 wounded individuals from the city and other districts, over the past month, 102 of whom, including civilians, succumbed to their injuries and some were discharged.
Even as per the Pajhwok Afghan News agency, as many as eighty-one civilians were killed last week in Afghanistan despite ongoing international efforts to bring peace to the country. It reported that last week, 30 civilians were killed and 51 others were injured due to 17 attacks in 11 provinces. Kandahar, Baghlan, Faryab, Khost, Jawzjan, Paktika, Kapisa, Kabul, Logar and Takhar among the attacked provinces.
Also, as the war spread across the country, several districts in Bamyan province fell to the Taliban and a number of residents of the provincial capital fled their homes. Residents of Bamyan said that a large number of families have moved to Kabul as Taliban attacks have increased on the province’s border. Residents of Bamyan said that many of these families have fled their homes in Zargaran, Pitab Laghman, Sar-e-Asyab, Sayedabad and other parts of the city center due to fears of possible Taliban attacks on Bamyan.
The Bamyan local government, however, assures that the security situation in the province is not a concern and that people should not make decisions based on rumors. Mawlavi Atiqullah Atiq, Bamyan’s deputy finance and administration chief, told Hashte Subh daily that the clashes in Baghak area of Shibar district in the province was being contained and that there was no particular concern. Mohammad Rahim Aliyar, a representative of the people of Bamyan in the House of Representatives, told Hashte Subh daily that the situation is “not too worrying”. According to Aliyar, propaganda and psychological warfare in the country in favor of the Taliban have also had a negative effect on the morale of the people in Bamyan. The member of the House of Representatives called on the people to fight psychological warfare and work with the security forces to defend Bamyan.
In fact, considering the security situation in the country, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations is concerned about the return of Afghan migrants and does not consider the current situation in the country conducive for the forced return of Afghan migrants until the security situation improves. The leadership of the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations has repeatedly expressed its strong reservations with host countries and international agencies in this regard.
Therefore, as a result of these efforts and after the consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the National Security Council, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations has stopped the forced return of Afghan migrants from the EU and other European countries for the next three months. The Afghan government has officially informed the host countries to stop the deportation from July 8, 2021, onwards. The Government of Afghanistan took this action in relation to the Joint Declaration between Afghanistan and the European Union on Cooperation in the Field of Migration (JDMC), the Joint Declaration with Germany on Cooperation in the Field of Migration, and the bilateral and trilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Sweden, Norway, Finland, and France as well as Denmark, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Additionally, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations considers forced return as inappropriate in light of the increasing number of internally displaced people and due to aforementioned deteriorating security situation, which led to a new wave of migration abroad.
Also, the Human Rights Watch expressed concern about retaliatory killings, amid an increase in violence in Afghanistan. Associate Asia Director for Human Rights Patricia Gossman told Radio Azadi that retaliatory killings, abuse and forced evacuation have had long history in Afghanistan, and the Taliban have committed such acts when they previously captured areas. Gossman added that other militia forces, who have recaptured the areas from the Taliban, have committed same acts and punished civilians, and she warned that the cycle of violence and retaliatory actions are dangerous and has led to collective atrocities in some cases.
Gossman urged the international community to remain vigilant as districts are changing hands. Deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense Fawad Aman told Radio Azadi that people have mobilized and picked up arms in support of the ANDSF and against the Taliban, as they hate the group and oppose the revival of Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Therefore, their objective is to protect the people, support the ANDSF, and eliminate the Taliban. Meanwhile, President Ghani’s Senior Advisor and Director General of Office of Public and Strategic Affairs, Waheed Omar, stated that Taliban controls burnt districts and destroyed school through threat and intimidation, which is tactical but strategic failure. Omar added that the past two months proved that the Taliban don’t have a long life on this land, and will be eliminated from every corner of this country.
Kabul: Following the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, Minister of Higher Education Abbas Basir said that the current situation in the country should not affect the educational situation.
Abbas Basir, on Sunday, in a program entitled “The first round of the National Curriculum Review and Development Program for the Departments of Journalism and Language and Literature of Public and Private Universities”, spoke about clustering and standardization of curricula.
Basir said that the purpose of clustering is for educational institutions to be able to prepare their educational and training curricula at the same time as the market progresses and needs. The Minister of Higher Education emphasized that the education system should change from a teacher-centered to a student-centered one.
Abbas Basir continued his speech by saying that the Ministry of Higher Education is working to move the education system from education-oriented to research-oriented and to create equal clustering in all educational institutions. The School of Journalism’s clustering program, which includes the Department of Public Relations, Journalism, Studies and Communication, Radio and Television, and the School of Language and Literature, which includes the Departments of National, English, Russian, Turkish, Chinese, Spanish, German, and Urdu, Arabic, French, library and information science, was held on Sunday at the Ministry of Education.
Meanwhile, in a statement to the media, deputy presidential spokesman Mohammad Amiri said that the Afghan government has taken all practical steps towards peace, and has always been present at the negotiating table. Amiri urged the Taliban to stop fighting, violence, and massacring the people, and honestly join the negotiating table.
Kabul: Security agencies announced that the newly installed air defense system in Kabul was activated at 2:00am on Sunday.
According to these institutions, the system has proven to be useful in repelling rockets and missiles across the world, designed to provide security. The statement urged Kabul residents not to be alarmed while hearing noises. BBC quoted a source that the system has already been installed (before the statement issued by security agencies) at the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA).
Meanwhile, Badakhshan’s provincial government reported to have repulsed, in support by people’s forces, over 10 Taliban attacks against Kuran wa Munjan district, over the past four days. It stated that 17 Taliban insurgents, including foreign nationals, were killed and 19 others were wounded, during the attacks. It also appreciated the ANDSF and people’s forces in the district, for their coordination and high morale, to repel Taliban attacks.
Also, Takhar’s provincial police headquarters announced that they have repulsed Taliban attack against Taloqan city. It stated that the Taliban launched attacks against the city from four directions on Saturday night and Sunday morning, which were repulsed by the ANDSF and people’s forces. It added that 40 Taliban insurgents were killed and 30 others were wounded during the attacks, and assured that the ANDSF in support of people’s forces are prepared to defend the city against any enemy attacks.
On the other hand, President Ghani has ordered the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to begin recruiting Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces. In a video conference with provincial police chiefs, Acting Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal announced the order, and also stressed the need to address the problems of equipping and arming the Afghan National Police (ANP) and pledged to pay serious attention to the matter.
Meanwhile, the 2nd Brigade Commander of the 209th Shaheen Army Corps in Jowzjan province, Abdul Ghani Nizami, reported that 3,000 people have mobilized to defend Sheberghan city, and fight the Taliban alongside the ANDSF, without any privileges. Nizami added that tribal elders, civil rights activists, and youths in the province provide food and fresh fruits to the ANDSF on the frontlines, on a daily basis. Provincial council member Abdulhai Hayat said that every citizen is responsible to defend the country, when their homeland and national interests are in danger. A number of female civil rights activists also vowed to fight the Taliban, who don’t value human rights and women rights.
Meanwhile, the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) reported that an imported electricity pylon was damaged by an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Jangal Bagh area of Parwan province, at 4:35am on Sunday morning. Head of Parwan Breshna Rohullah Sajid said that four IEDs were placed; however, two IEDs were detonated and two others were detected and neutralized by the police. DABS employees are present in the area to repair the damaged pylon; however, they have yet to start working due to the possible presence of IEDs in the area. Despite this, electricity flows normally.