Newsfeef; Sunday, June 6 2021

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…


  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Without Pakistan’s Cooperation, Not Possible To Move Forward In Peace: Atmar

    Kabul: In what seemed like damage control after a war of words broke out between the Pakistan and Afghanistan representatives recently, Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Sunday said that it is impossible to stop the bloodshed and make peace without Pakistan’s cooperation.

    He was speaking during a news conference in Herat and said that the Afghan government and people “understand very well that without Pakistan’s cooperation, it will not be possible to stop the bloodshed and make peace”.

    “We believe that in any case, we must maintain dialogue and cooperation with Pakistan,” he added. He also spoke about the severance of diplomatic relations between the Pakistani government and Hamdullah Mohib, the country’s national security adviser, saying that the national security adviser on behalf of Afghanistan had emphasized on the issue of bloodshed and progress in peace, both of which were of concern to the Afghan people and government.

    In Atmar’s view, the current state of international relations is not one that has been created specifically for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and he regrets it, but the Afghan government will not allow this to impede cooperation between the two governments.

    The senior diplomat insisted that preparations were underway for President Ghani to visit the United States, and that the Afghan and US State Ministries were working on that.

    Following a speech by Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser in Nangarhar province, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that his country had severed diplomatic relations with Afghanistan’s national security adviser.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    NDS Arrests 10 People In Kunduz On Criminal Charges

    Kabul: The National Directorate of Security (NDS) announced in a statement on Sunday that it has arrested 10 people on criminal charges in Kunduz province.

    The NDS stated that the agency, considering the activities of these individuals, have arrested them by carrying out a series of operations. They are accused of killing civilians, government employees, kidnappings and armed robberies in Kunduz province.

    Some weapons and ammunition were also seized during the operation.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Without Pakistan’s Cooperation, Not Possible To Move Forward In Peace: Atmar

    Kabul: In what seemed like damage control after a war of words broke out between the Pakistan and Afghanistan representatives recently, Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Sunday said that it is impossible to stop the bloodshed and make peace without Pakistan’s cooperation.

    He was speaking during a news conference in Herat and said that the Afghan government and people “understand very well that without Pakistan’s cooperation, it will not be possible to stop the bloodshed and make peace”.

    “We believe that in any case, we must maintain dialogue and cooperation with Pakistan,” he added. He also spoke about the severance of diplomatic relations between the Pakistani government and Hamdullah Mohib, the country’s national security adviser, saying that the national security adviser on behalf of Afghanistan had emphasized on the issue of bloodshed and progress in peace, both of which were of concern to the Afghan people and government.

    In Atmar’s view, the current state of international relations is not one that has been created specifically for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and he regrets it, but the Afghan government will not allow this to impede cooperation between the two governments.

    The senior diplomat insisted that preparations were underway for President Ghani to visit the United States, and that the Afghan and US State Ministries were working on that.

    Following a speech by Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser in Nangarhar province, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that his country had severed diplomatic relations with Afghanistan’s national security adviser.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Khalilzad Meets Ghani, Abdullah Separately

    Kabul: To discuss the way forward for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, met President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), separately, on Sunday.

    President Ghani and Khalilzad discussed the expansion of cooperation and the continuation of political, diplomatic, security, defense and economic relations. The US delegation stressed on the continuation of the $3.3 billion annual assistance to the Afghan security and defense forces, and the message of the US government in support of the security and defense forces, especially the forces, Air and the economic and human rights sectors.

    The US delegation to Afghanistan has said that it is working to preserve and strengthen the achievements of the past two decades in order to achieve the desired goal of an independent, united, neutral, democratic and peaceful Afghanistan.

    According to the Presidential Palace, the delegation will continue discussions with the Afghan government on supporting the security and defense forces and cooperating in the fields of human rights and economics in the coming days. Khalilzad also said that the United States is committed to fighting terrorism, supporting security and defense forces, and providing economic assistance to Afghanistan.

    The US Special Envoy for Afghanistan has said that his country strongly supports the peace process and is working to build a global and regional consensus in support of peace efforts. Khalilzad said it was time for the parties involved to reduce the violence and start serious and fruitful talks.

    According to the Presidential Palace, Khalilzad said in a meeting with Abdullah Abdullah and members of HCNR that he had come with his delegation to discuss a new chapter in cooperation and relations with Afghanistan.

    He also said that the United States supports the political consensus and unity between the politicians and the people of Afghanistan, and that political consensus and internal unity will give the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan a stronger position in peace efforts.

    During the meeting, Abdullah told Khalilzad, “You have constantly reiterated that we should focus on the new chapter of relations between the two countries. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has always been committed to peace; Because war is not the solution and our people should not fall victim to blind and meaningless wars any more. Take advantage of this opportunity to make peace.”

    Abdullah Abdullah has stressed that neither side should miscalculate that it could end the current war by force. He added that the government is trying to form a national and political consensus at this critical juncture.

    A new round of Khalilzad’s visit to Afghanistan with a delegation of several US agencies to the peace-related region of the country began on June 4. The delegation was also scheduled to travel to Doha.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    War Major Barrier To People’s Access To Human Rights: AIHRC

    Kabul: Emphasizing that the main challenge to consolidating a democracy and human rights in the country is war, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Sunday celebrated its 19th year of establishment.

    As per the AIHRC statement with the start of the peace process, the commission hoped that opportunities would be provided for an end to the war and for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. However, the negotiation process has not yet been able to satisfy the people and the commission.

    “Violence has not abated, the necessary trust has not been built between the parties to the conflict, the prospects for peace remain unclear, and the position of human rights in the negotiations has not been commensurate with the commission’s expectations,” the commission said.

    The AIHRC is committed to upholding the constitution, values and democratic achievements of the Afghan people, especially women, and providing justice for the victims of war in order to achieve inclusive peace. According to the commission, women’s participation in peace talks is low and should be increased from 9% to at least 30%.

    The AIHRC has also made proposals to the government, the Taliban and the international community in a document entitled “Examining Women’s Political and Social Participation, Their Concerns and Demands in the Peace Negotiation Process”.

    The document calls on the Afghan government as the main executor to increase the political and meaningful presence of women in the negotiations, and that women should play a role as mediators and signatories in the negotiations.

    It also urged the Taliban to respect women’s rights as enshrined in the Afghan constitution. Immediate cessation of killings and field trials of women, protection of girls’ right to education, ban on attacks on educational facilities, including schools and educational staff, were some of their other demands.

    The AIHRC further calls on the international community to go beyond mere condemnation and to put on its agenda the principle of its responsibility to protect fundamental human rights treaties.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Explosion, Clashes Reported Near Balkh District Police HQ

    Kabul: A car full of explosives detonated in front of the Balkh district police headquarters on Sunday, said Adel Shah Adel, spokesperson for the Balkh police.

    He added that according to initial information, the attackers entered the police headquarters after the explosion and clashes broke out between the attackers and the police.

    Casualties among the military and civilians have been reported, but the exact number has not been disclosed yet. According to Adel, reinforcements have been sent to the scene.

    He emphasized that all roads leading to the Balkh district police headquarters have been blocked by security forces.

    No group, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Meanwhile, two women, a 12-year-old child and the driver of the car in which they were travelling, were killed after the vehicle hit a roadside mine in Ibrahim Khel area of Gardiz, the capital of Paktia province on Sunday, said the governor of Paktia Halim Fadai.

    He added that the family members were going to attend a wedding when the incident occurred.

    Fadai said that the mine was planted by terrorists. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the blast.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Majrooh Calls On Private Hospitals To Save Oxygen

    Kabul: Dr Vahid Majrooh, the Acting Minister of Public Health, in a meeting with representatives of the private sector on Sunday, instructed them to regulate oxygen consumption in private hospitals.

    The acting Minister of Public Health called the lack of oxygen supply at COVID-19 hospitals one of the major challenges in treating patients and said that as per oxygen-producing companies in Kabul, private hospitals use the most oxygen.

    This comes at a time when the Ministry of Public Health on Sunday reported 50 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, the highest daily number yet. The death toll now stands at 3,195 in the country. The health ministry also reported 1,379 new positive cases of COVID-19 of 4,544 samples tested in the last 24 hours.

    Majrooh stressed that due to the increase in patients at COVID-19 hospitals, the Ministry of Public Health needs more oxygen balloons and private hospitals should use oxygen according to their needs and provide the rest to the Ministry of Public Health.

    He also instructed officials to set up a joint committee consisting of private sector members to review the needs of private hospitals, taking into account the number of patients, the number of oxygen balloons and the distribution of oxygen balloons by manufacturing companies in the country’s markets.

    In addition, the Acting Minister of Public Health called on all private hospitals to adhere to the principles of treatment of COVID-19 patients and to perform their functions in accordance with the standards of the Ministry of Public Health.

    Representatives of private hospitals also presented their views and suggestions on addressing the challenge of oxygen deficiency and emphasized on their full cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Afghanistan-Turkmenistan Agree To Sign Agreement On Marble Export

    Kabul: While discussing Afghanistan’s extent of marble exports to Turkmenistan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar and his delegation provided comprehensive information to Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and his delegation on the $200 billion worth of resources and rare stones in Afghanistan, and called the export of the stones significant in strengthening and expansion of trade between Kabul and Ashgabat.

    Highlighting the construction projects for building new cities in Turkmenistan, the Turkmenistan delegation discussed their requirement for marble and expressed Turkmenistan’s full readiness to procure marble from Afghanistan. The two sides emphasized on the importance of marble supply and demand in the two countries’ trade expansion and agreed to sign an agreement on Afghanistan’s marble export to Turkmenistan.

    The two ministers also discussed the importance of implementation of the Torghundi-Herat railway project within the framework of the two countries’ joint perspective on regional connectivity.

    Considering the implementation of this project a good start for the implementation of related railway projects in Afghanistan, they stressed on the need for starting practical work on the project. The two sides agreed to continue negotiations between the sectoral entities of the two countries on the acceleration of the project work as well as conducting practical and comprehensive studies in line with the international standards.

    Meanwhile, the Minister of Mines and Petroleum Harun Chakhansuri, in response to criticism that the Turkmenistan gas pipeline project from Afghanistan to Pakistan and India has not been launched, said that the TAPI project is not an imaginary one and that a large investment had been made.

    During a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Sunday, he said that the necessary technical preparations for the start of the TAPI project on Afghan soil had been undertaken and that the exact time for the start of practical work would be determined in three months.

    “TAPI is not an imaginary project, if it was imaginary, the Asian Development Bank would not have pledged $1 billion to it,” Chakhansuri said in response to a question during the press conference. The Minister of Mines and Petroleum also added that $530 million will be invested in the Herat Gas Utilization Center, but the reason for the delay in the project is the lack of facilities on the territory of Turkmenistan. On the other hand, Afghan government officials acknowledge that the security situation is the most important obstacle to the TAPI project in the country.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    In A First After 13 Years, Ukrainian-Afghan Foreign Ministers Contact Each Other

    Kabul: Stating that time has come to start a new chapter in Ukraine-Afghanistan relations, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba had a phone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Haneef Atmar on Sunday.

    This was the first contact between the Ukrainian and Afghan foreign ministers since 2008 and is said to be an implementation of the Asian strategy for Ukraine. “Ukraine and Afghanistan are united by their long-term friendship and mutual respect. Ukrainians support Afghans in their efforts to restore peace in the country and build an inclusive society,” Kuleba said.

    Atmar also supported Kuleba’s proposal to hold discussions between the foreign ministries of both the countries this year to look at practical steps for the development of cooperation in the political, trade, security and educational spheres. The ministers noted the significant opportunities for the participation of Ukrainian companies in the implementation of infrastructure projects in Afghanistan, in particular in the regions affected by the armed conflict.

    “Last year, trade between Ukraine and Afghanistan amounted to USD 7.17 million. This figure absolutely does not correspond to the potential of the two countries. We should jointly make sure that the volume of trade increases significantly in several years,” Kuleba said.

    He also named other priority areas of cooperation, namely: military-technical cooperation, study of Afghan students in Ukraine, and the supply of Ukrainian food products to ensure food security in Afghanistan.

    The ministers also discussed cooperation between Ukraine and Afghanistan within the framework of international organizations, in particular the UN.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Abkamari District’s Territorial Army Commander Killed In Taliban Ambush

    Kabul: Bismillah Khan, the commander of the territorial army in the Abkamari district of Badghis province, was killed in an ambush by Taliban insurgents, said Zia-ud-Din Akazi, a representative of the people of Badghis in the House of Representatives.

    He added that the incident took place on Saturday night in the village of Dehistan in the Abkamri district and four other members of the territorial army had been killed during the clashes.

    Local officials of the province have not yet commented on the matter.

    Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen killed a woman and her two daughters at their home in PD7 of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, on Saturday night, said Ataullah Khogyani, spokesperson for the governor of Nangarhar.

    The cause has been declared as personal animosity. According to Khogyani, a suspect has been arrested in connection with the case, and efforts are underway to arrest other perpetrators.

    The women victims of the incident were between 25 and 50 years old.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Police HQ Of Qaisar District In Faryab Province Collapses To Taliban

    Kabul: Taliban attacked the center of Qaisar district of Faryab province on Saturday night and seized the police headquarters building in this district, said Nader Saeedi, a member of the Faryab provincial council.

    According to him, many casualties have been inflicted on both sides in this conflict; but the exact statistics are not known.

    Nader Saeedi added that security forces, some of whom were wounded, were besieged by the Taliban in the municipal and district buildings. He says clashes are currently taking place between the two warring sides and the village of Kohi in Qaisar district will collapse if help is not sent.

    The Taliban have not yet commented on the matter.

    Meanwhile, at least 11 civilians were killed in a roadside bomb blast in Abkamari district in Badghis province, confirmed district governor Khudadad Tayib.

    The incident happened at 5.30pm on Saturday in Chalank village of Abkamari district, TOLOnews reported. According to local officials, there were women and children among the victims. Abkamari district governor blamed the Taliban for the bombing, but the group so far has not commented on the incident.

  • 6 Jun 2021 Share this post

    Government Employees Vulnerable To COVID-19 To Get Two-Week Leave

    Kabul: Government employees vulnerable to the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, like those aged 55 and above; those with chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease and cancer) and pregnant women (4 months and older), will get a two-week leave starting Sunday in the capital and provinces, announced the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCC) after the suggestion of the Ministry of Public Health.

    According to the commission, employees of the Ministry of Public Health are an exception. The move is aimed at preventing the spread of the third wave of the coronavirus. The Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission has said that these employees can work from home.

    According to the commission, employees with signature qualifications are required to be present at the office, and other civil servants will carry out their duties in the office in accordance with health measures. The Commission has stated that employees who perform their duties in accordance with this guideline are entitled to all rights and privileges, such as when they are in office, and their absence from office is not considered leave and is not deducted from their annual leave.

    Earlier, educational institutions in 16 provinces of the country were on leave for two weeks. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said there will be no severe restrictions.