Newsfeed; Monday, May 31 2021

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Global Cooperation With Afghan Forces To Continue Till 2024: Asadullah Khalid

    Kabul: National Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid, who returned to office after a long absence on Monday, said that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan does not mean the end of world cooperation with Afghanistan.

    Khalid, who was speaking at the graduation ceremony of 500 commandos at the headquarters of the Special Operations Camp in Kabul, said that the international community is committed to training, financing and repairing the equipment and vehicles of the security and defense forces until 2024.

    “You are graduating at a stage where you are carrying a heavy burden of duty and we have set out to defend the homeland independently,” Khalid told the newly graduated commando forces. He added that before the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, more than 90 percent of the operations were led by Afghan security and defense forces, after which the forces will defend their country independently.

    According to him, the Afghan security and defense forces have recently proved that they can defend their country’s territory. Khalid also said that if the Afghan government wants, the foreign air force may also help the Afghan forces.

    On the other hand, the Minister of National Defense said that although they have the ability to defend, attack the enemy and protect Afghanistan, but the strategy of the Afghan government is to ensure peace. He said the government has made every effort to achieve this goal, but the enemy [the Taliban] continues to fight with all its stubbornness.

    He expressed the hope that the day and hour would come when the Taliban would give up their stubbornness and everyone would live in peace. Khalid said that the Afghan security and defense forces, including their leadership, are defending the country and will not allow it to fall into the hands of the enemy.

    He stressed that no one will be allowed to disband the army and that they will protect peace and stability in the country.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Rahmani Calls On Pakistani Parliament To Force Taliban To Make Peace

    Kabul: Mir Rahman Rahmani, Speaker of the House of Representatives, met Asad Qaisar, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Pakistan, on the sidelines of the Pico Economic Summit in Islamabad, on Monday.

    Rahmani called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Pakistan to press the government to cooperate in the peace process and force the Taliban to negotiate with the government.

    The Speaker of the House of Representatives said that the possibility of achieving peace in Afghanistan has been provided and it is necessary for neighboring countries and the region to cooperate in this regard so that the peace process can move forward with Afghan ownership.

    According to Wolesi Jirga TV, the two sides discussed the peace process and Pakistan’s role in the process. Strengthening trade and economic relations between the two countries, the role of the Pico Summit in the growth of trade, economy and stability of the region and facilitating the issuance of Pakistani visas for Afghan applicants have been other topics of discussion between the two sides.

    Rahmani said Afghanistan is a good place for investment and trade and a crossroads for neighboring countries and the region.

    According to Rahmani, neighboring countries, the region and Pico members can use Afghanistan to boost trade and economic development in coordination with the Afghan government.

    Mir Rahman Rahmani has also called for a Pico summit to be hosted by Afghanistan next year. The Speaker of the House of Representatives of Pakistan has agreed on this.

    The Pico Meeting is held once a year between member countries on trade and economic issues.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    We Do Not Make Peace With Literature Of Surrender: Spanta

    Kabul: Rangin Dadfar Spanta, the former president’s national security adviser, said on Monday that the literature on war and peace needs to be changed, and that literature on surrender and supplication cannot bring peace.

    “We have left the discourse of the peace process to the Taliban and are acting passively,” Spanta said during the “Kabul Peace Symposium”.

    Criticizing the current peace process in the country, Spanta said, “What is going on in the country under the name of peace is an incomplete and poisonous process that has led to a compromise between the United States and the Taliban and its supporters, and not its hidden parts.”

    According to him, the US-Taliban agreement is not a “republican” agreement, and the Taliban have repeatedly emphasized this.

    The former national security adviser says that wherever the Taliban have gone in the last three years, the “red carpet” has been laid under their feet and their supporters are by their side without hesitation. However, on the republican side, the situation is more difficult, and the government’s misguided policies are increasingly dividing the government and the people, and the continuation of monopolistic policies is in the Taliban’s favor.

    Criticizing those who do not legitimize the defense of the republic, Spanta says that if the defense of the republic has no legitimacy, then the transfer of power to the Taliban is legitimate, and when power is handed over to the Taliban, what is the need for peace talks? “On the other hand, can talking about peace talks be serious when the Taliban are not willing to make peace with the Republic?” he asked.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Avoid Publishing Baseless Information About Dangers Of Antennas: ATRA To Kabul Municipality

    Kabul: Two days after the Kabul Municipality released a video about the damages of telecommunication antennas in residential areas, the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) said such statements posed “serious” threats to telecommunications infrastructure.

    ATRA administration on Monday called the video report of Kabul Municipality irresponsible and unfortunate and said that its information is irrelevant, lacking research and studies of international health conventions; scientific studies and are bound to confuse the public.

    According to the statement, informed parties around the world believe that antennas and telecommunication waves are regulated according to standards and do not cause any harm to health. ATRA said that it has also been approved by the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.

    “Kabul Municipality is neither responsible for health nor has telecommunications expertise,” it said. “Such claims and statements are beyond their remit and pose serious problems for the telecommunications sector, in which almost three billion dollars have been invested.”

    “I am really surprised to see such a baseless message from a credible government source,” the statement quoted Omar Mansour Ansari, director general of the ATRA office, as saying. He asked the leadership of Kabul Municipality to remove this video message from the communication channels of this institution.

    Ansari also called on the Kabul municipality to take action to “compensate for this mistake.” Two days ago, the Kabul Municipality stated in a video that the presence of telecommunication antennas in residential areas would lead to “gradual death.” The video emphasizes that these antennas cause headaches, heart stress, low sperm count, premature birth and cancer. Kabul Municipality has said that the Ministry of Public Health is also warning about the effects of these antennas.

    Meanwhile, the municipality has said that telecommunication antennas should be removed from residential areas as soon as possible. It has also asked citizens to help clear them of residential areas.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    6 Family Members Killed in Jawzjan; AIHRC Calls For Stop To Violence

    Kabul: At least six members of a family were killed when mortar shells fired by the Taliban targeted a house in Faizabad district of Jawzjan province on Sunday night, said Jawzjan police chief Khawaja Abu Bakr Jilani.

    Jilani said that the Taliban wanted to attack the Kokldash security checkpoint between Faizabad and Aqcha districts. He added that when reinforcements arrived at the checkpoint, the Taliban fired at them as well, as a result of which the group’s mortar shell hit a residence.

    Jawzjan police chief added that two other people were injured in the incident. The injured were taken to hospital for treatment. The Taliban have not yet commented.

    Meanwhile, the findings of the Independent Human Rights Commission show that from the May 27 to May 27 this year, 24 civilians were killed and 43 others were injured in violence in the country.

    The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHEC) announced the preliminary figures on Monday. According to the Independent Human Rights Commission, they were killed in seven separate incidents in Sar-e-Pul, Helmand, Parwan, Nangarhar and Kapisa provinces, as well as the Kabul-Herat highway due to airstrikes, mortars, heavy weapons and roadside mines.

    Five of the dead were women and seven were children. The AIHRC says that the Afghan people are suffering from all this violence, killing and brutality, and that attacks on civilians, training centers and public facilities must be stopped immediately.

    It calls on the United Nations and the international community to uphold the human rights of the Afghan people and to use all available means and methods to force the parties to a permanent ceasefire and to resolve issues through negotiation.

    “We all have a legal and moral responsibility to defend and protect the human rights of the Afghan people,” the statement said. The Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has called on the government and the Taliban to stop the violence and to respect the right to life and other human rights.

    Finally, the Commission on Human Rights has stated that war crimes and crimes against humanity will not be forgotten over time and that the perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions at any time and under any circumstances.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Traffic Accident In Badakhshan Leaves 8 Dead

    Kabul: At least eight people have been killed and nine others were injured in a traffic accident which occurred at 10am on Monday in the Taqasab village in Arghanjkhah district of the province, said Nik Mohammad Nazari, spokesperson for the governor of Badakhshan.

    Nazari also said that the vehicle deviated from the road. The car was traveling from Arghanjkhah district to Faizabad city, the center of Badakhshan. He added that three women and a child were among the victims and one child was among the injured.

    The spokesperson for the governor of Badakhshan said that the injured had been taken to hospital for treatment. Of the nine injured, four were discharged from the hospital after initial treatment and the other five are being treated currently.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Ministry of Health Reports 1566 New Cases of COVID-19

    The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday reported 1566 new positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the last 24 hours.

    The ministry also reported 30 deaths and 181 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

    The total number of cases now stand at 73,256, while the number of reported deaths is 2,974 and the total number of recoveries is 57,630.

    MoPH added that the new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Takhar, Kunduz, Nimroz, Faryab, Helmand, Wardak, Badakhshan, Daikundi, Logar, Laghman, Kapisa, Bamiyan, Ghazni, Kunar, Panjshir, Zabul, Ghor, Uruzgan, Khost, Paktika and Jawzjan provinces.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    5-year-old Kidnapped Child Rescued In Takhar

    Kabul: The National Directorate of Security (NDS) has announced that its operational forces have rescued a five-year-old child from a kidnapping cell in Takhar province in a targeted operation. The child has been identified as Mohammad Zakaria.

    A statement from (NDS) released on Monday states that Mohammad Zakaria was abducted near his home on May 25 and transferred to an unknown location. According to the statement, the kidnappers demanded 500,000 afghanis from the family in exchange for the child’s release.

    The statement also said that national security forces rescued the child and handed him over to his family after stabilizing his custody. National security forces have arrested a man on the suspicion of kidnapping the child.

    Last month, police rescued a three-year-old boy from a prison in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Taliban Attacks Daikundi Police Supply Convoy In Parwan

    Kabul: At least two policemen were wounded and a soldier is missing after Taliban ambushed a supply convoy of the Daikundi police which was moving towards the Parwan province in Shinwari district on Sunday noon.

    As per security sources it is not known whether the missing soldier has been captured by the Taliban or has escaped. Only police soldiers were injured in the incident as per the source, but the Parwan security chief said that one person was killed and three others were injured in the incident.

    Parwan security chief Abdul Wasi Rahimi said three Taliban insurgents had also been killed in the clashes. In this incident, two police rangers were destroyed and set on fire.

    The incident took place while police were securing supply vehicles to Daikundi province.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Peace Should Be National, Not A Foreign Project: Karzai

    Kabul: Stressing that it is necessary for all stakeholders of the intra-Afghan talks to understand that peace is “national” and not a foreign project, former president Hamid Karzai said on Monday that the talks have failed as it is not being owned by the people.

    The former president called on the government and the Taliban to take the peace talks out of the “project” mode and turn it into a national and Afghan process, so that they can be concluded sooner.

    He was speaking during the “Kabul Peace Symposium” organized by the Nation Party and added that Afghan people have been “pitted” against each other. “Let’s go to Bamyan. We have good hotels and the weather is good and there is no need for air conditioning,” he added.

    Hamid Karzai also mentioned other provinces and said that these provinces could be the venue for negotiations. Karzai added that if the peace process is transformed from a project to a national process, the talks will be concluded as soon as possible.

    According to him, after securing peace, Afghanistan will be able to talk to its neighbors and the world with determination and independence.

    The former president referred to the experiences of peace talks, including the World War II, and noted that large-scale wars such as the World War II ended in a short period of intensive negotiations and that Afghanistan peace talks should take place within a month or less.

    Other speakers at the meeting also stressed on the need to “nationalize” the peace process.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Continuation of Violence, Targeted Murders Concerning: Parliament

    Kabul: Ahmad Javid Jayhun, the first deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, said on Monday during the plenary session of the House of Representatives that the continuing violence and targeted killings, as well as attacks on civilians across the country, are concerning.

    Jayhun, who chaired the session, said that every day a number of citizens of the country are victims of violence and targeted killings and that the continuation of the war is a loss-making policy and has no victory. According to him, the main losers are the ordinary people of Afghanistan.

    He added that the only solution to Afghanistan’s problem is political participation and unity.

    Recently, a wave of violence and targeted killings has increased in various parts of the country. Jayhun added that the security situation in a number of provinces, including Uruzgan, Helmand, Kandahar, Sar-i-Pul, Laghman, Nuristan, Baghlan, Ghazni, Jawzjan and Badghis, have deteriorated.

    At the same time, he said that the country’s security and defense forces, as “true sons”, defend the country’s territorial integrity and material and spiritual resources at the expense of their blood and lives.

    Jayhun added that supporting the security and defense forces is a national duty. He stressed that the House of Representatives welcomes and supports the “nationalist” struggles of these forces.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    Taliban Offensive Rises Across Provinces

    Kabul: The Taliban offensive is increasing across districts with the group’s insurgents setting fire to a checkpoint in Parwan, however, their juggernaut has been repulsed in Badakhshan province, as per sources.

    Security sources in Parwan said that the Taliban insurgents set fire to a checkpoint of the uprising forces in Mandi area of Kuh-e-Safi district of the province after capturing it on Sunday night. According to the source, the clashes lasted for several hours after the Taliban attack, but eventually the popular uprising forces retreated.

    The source said the Taliban had suffered casualties in the clashes, however, there were none suffered by the uprising forces.

    Meanwhile, in Badakhshan province, sources said that attacks by Taliban fighters on parts of Khash and Raghistan districts of the province have been repulsed.

    Nik Mohammad Nazari, spokesperson for the governor of Badakhshan, said on Monday that the Taliban attacks took place on Sunday night, but were met with fierce resistance from security forces. Nazari also said that uprising forces and the air force had played a role in repelling Taliban attacks in the two districts.

    He said more than 15 Taliban fighters had been killed or wounded during the clashes.

    On the other hand, the spokesman of Badakhshan governor said that as a result of ground and air attacks by security and defense forces in Khash district of this province, several villages have been cleared of Taliban fighters. He stressed that the security and defense forces were not harmed during the clashes.

    However, Nazari also added that Taliban fighters in the argo district of the province have cut off agricultural water to more than 800 families, including Shahmari village. Nazari added that due to the shortage of agricultural water, the residents of this village are facing many problems and difficulties.

    Last week, local officials continued to say that Taliban fighters had attacked homes and civilians in the Yaftal district of the province, displacing more than 500 families. The spokesman for the Badakhshan governor said families displaced by the Taliban in the center of Yaftal district, neighboring villages and the town of Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan province, were covered by government aid.

    He added that the Taliban also use civilians as shields in the Yaftal-e-Payan district.

    The Taliban have not yet commented on the matters.

    In another security incident, a police officer from Kapisa province was assassinated in Parwan province.

    A security source said that the commander of the police communications command in the Hese Dowom of Kohistan district of Kapisa province was taken out of his house in Parwan by unidentified gunmen in the middle of the night on Sunday and was shot dead.

    The incident took place in Dolana village, the capital of Parwan province. No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Also, the driver of Samia Sadat, a member of the House of Representatives, was killed in the capital of Parwan province on Sunday evening.

  • 31 May 2021 Share this post

    If Pakistan Continues To Restrict Afghan Flights, Afghanistan Will Do Same: Civil Aviation Authority

    Kabul: To prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Afghanistan, Pakistan cut 80 percent of Afghan flights to Islamabad. However, the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority said that the decision was unilateral and contrary to the terms of a previous agreement between the two countries.

    Mohammad Naeem Salehi, spokesperson for the agency, said that talks would be held with Pakistan this week to resolve the issue. “If Pakistan insists on its unilateral decision, Afghanistan will do the same. The Civil Aviation Authority is following up with the other side, Pakistan, this week. If there is no positive response, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Government of Afghanistan will do the same. That means the flight of PIA planes will also be reduced,” he said.

    According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Kabul and Islamabad, Kam Air Airlines flies to Islamabad five times a week, and Pakistan Payai Airlines flies to Kabul five times a week.

    However, Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said that Islamabad had canceled four Afghan flights a week to Pakistan without consulting and informing them, contrary to the terms of the MoU, because of what it said was to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

    On the other hand, Suleiman Omar, Commercial Officer of Kam Air Airlines, said that the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority should pave the way for the resumption of the company’s flights to Islamabad, “The rights of Afghan companies must now be protected and defended. The situation during COVID-19 is critical. We need to work together and try to get our flights back on track,” he added.

    Afghan officials have previously said that Pakistan has not always adhered to its commitments and, in addition to political issues in economic and trade matters, has acted unilaterally and in its own interests. Two years ago, as political tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi escalated, Pakistan blocked its airspace for several weeks in the face of Afghan flights to India.