Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Youth activists in Afghanistan’s central highlands province of Bamyan gathered at a UN-backed symposium to strategize on ways to promote social cohesion in the interest of advancing peace, locally and nationally.
Some 40 young activists from seven districts across Bamyan attended the event, organized by UNAMA’s Bamyan regional office, to exchange ideas on factors hindering the participation of young people in Afghanistan’s social, political and economic life and to chart out possible next steps to maximize their engagement in promoting a culture of peace.
In the wide-ranging discussion, participants not only recognized the power of young people to shape Afghanistan’s future but also underscored the importance of empowering the new generation.
While young Afghans face significant challenges, including illiteracy and unemployment, there is a growing recognition that any peace efforts in Afghanistan must be inclusive and must therefore involve young people. That concept is reaffirmed by Security Council Resolution 2282 (2016), which recognizes the importance of youth in deterring and resolving conflict.
Afghanistan has one of the largest youth populations in the world. According to some estimates, three-quarters of the country’s population is below the age of 30, making young people a vital demographic. Young Afghans are also among the most affected by the protracted conflict, grappling with high levels of illiteracy, unemployment and poverty.
Participants in the symposium jointly resolved to establish volunteer youth groups in Bamyan’s capital, along with all districts across the province, to expand their networks and regularly engage in promoting social cohesion and peace.
The Acting Minister of Foreign, Idrees Zaman met with the Ambassador of the Germany in Afghanistan, Mr. Peter Prügel, the Ministry of Foreign (MoF) said.
MoF in a press release said that the two sides discussed a range of issues including, the recent visit of the German Defense Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to Kabul, the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process – 8th Ministerial Conference recently held in Istanbul and the presidential elections.
“During the meeting, they also talked about the intra-Afghan peace talks and the role of Germany in Afghanistan’s peace efforts,” the statement reads.
MoF also added that the German Ambassador reiterated his country’s commitment and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.
At least three people were killed and one other was wounded in a traffic accident in Baghlan province on Monday, local officials said.
The spokesman of Baghlan Police, Muhammad Jawid Besharat told Repoterly that the incident took place when a Corolla type vehicle collided with a 404 bus.
Besharat noted that the accident occurred in Boghabi area of Pul-e Khomri city, the center of Baghlan province.
Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister for Management and Resources, Naheed Esar attended the 9th annual political consultation meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Central Asian states and Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Foreign (MoF) in a statement said that the meeting, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan by the initiative of the UN regional office on proactive diplomacy, stressed the joint counter terrorism, narcotics, and extremism.
According to the statement, the participants deemed significant the regional connectivity and strengthened economic and trade cooperation for the development and prosperity of Central Asia and Afghanistan.
“Ms. Esar, pointing out the recent victories of the Afghan National Defense and Security forces against ISIS in the eastern parts of Afghanistan, counted the terrorist group as a threat to the security of Afghanistan and the region,” the statement reads.
The statement stated that Esar also pointed at complicated relationships between the terrorist groups and criminal organizations and emphasized the need for bolstered counter terrorism, counter narcotics mechanisms.
“She also called the regional connectivity and economic, trade, transit, and energy related cooperation significant for the improvement of economic stability and prosperity in the region,” the statement added.
United States Senator Lindsey Graham has called on Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad for discussions centered on the situation in neighboring Afghanistan.
The Republican senator and his delegation arrived in Pakistan’s federal capital early on Monday morning and held talks with the premier and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Senator Graham’s visit comes in the backdrop of reports of an imminent US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Balkh Police commander says a raid on the residence of Nizamuddin Qaisari, the former police chief of Faryab’s Qaisari district has ended, but the commander’s fate remains unknown.
Police chief of Balkh, Ajmal Fayez in a press conference on Monday said that at least 7 illegal gunmen loyal to Qaisari were killed and 35 of his men were arrested.
“During the raid, when our military vehicles were damaged, the clashes had stopped for some time. Qaisari may have fled at that time and had driven himself out of the houses around,” Fayez said.
He cited the reason for the continued search of Qaisari’s house, the existence of ammunition warehouse, adding that security forces are trying to find the warehouses and hiding places in his house.
Fayez stated that the detainees are currently in Balkh police custody and investigations and biometrics of them are underway.
He further added that at least two security forces were wounded and the civilian had no casualties, but a number of the neighboring houses have been damaged.
Afghan local officials say at least one killed and four others were wounded as a result of an explosion in the district building of Khaja Ghar district of Takhar province.
The spokesman of Takhar Police, Abdul Khalil Asir told Reporterly that the blast took place at around 11:00am on Monday.
According to Asir, one of the guards of Khaja Ghar chief district was killed and four other employees in the building were wounded.
He further added that the blast was as a result of a replaced IED and the chief district has not been hurt in the incident.
Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Defense, Munira Yousufzada has met with Matar Salim Ali Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of the United Arab Emirate (UAE) at the headquarters of the ministry in Abu Dhabi.
During the meeting, both sides discussed their joint cooperation in the military and defense sectors, along with ways of further developing them, WAM news agency has reported.
They also exchanged their views on regional and international developments, along with several topics of mutual concern.
Officials of Hezb-e Jubish party have confirmed that Nizamuddin Qaisari, the former police chief of Faryab’s Qaisari district is alive and has been transferred to the Jawzjan province.
The social head of Hezb-e Jubish party, Sayed Najibullah Hashemi in an interview with media reporters on Monday said that Qaisari is in a good health condition and has been transferred to Jawzjan.
This comes as on Sunday night, the Afghan army forces struck on Qaisari’s house with helicopter gunships as Qasari has refused to surrender to Afghan security forces.
Based on reports, at least ten armed men of Qaisari have been killed and nearly 30 of his men have been arrested.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) says that at least 12 inmates have been released from a Taliban prison in Uruzgan province.
MoD in a press release on Monday said that at least 12 prisoners have been released from a Taliban jail in Shahid Asas district of Uruzgan during a special operation by the Special Unit Forces.
According to the press release, at least three Taliban insurgents were killed and five other were arrested during the operation.
MoD further added that a Taliban’s weaponry cache was also destroyed in the operation.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced that the recounting process of Presidential votes have been completed in Panshjir, Sar-e Pul and Jawzjan provinces.
After the “Stability and Partnership” electoral team has allowed the recounting process of ballots in seven provinces of the country, the IEC officials on Monday declared that the process has been completed in three provinces of the country.
This comes as the recount and audit process of presidential election had already been completed in 27 provinces, but due to the opposition of the supporters of the “Stability and Partnership” team, the recounting process in seven other provinces remained uncompleted.
However, after the leader of the “Stability and Partnership” team Abdullah Abdullah allowed the recount process of the other remaining provinces, the IEC officials started the ballot recount process.
Afghan security officials say at least three police soldiers have been killed in an armed attack by unidentified individuals in Herat province.
The spokesman of Herat Police, Abdul Ahad Wali Zada told Reporterly that two armed individuals opened fire on a Police outpost on Sunday night and killed three soldiers.
According to Walizada, after the firing, the two attackers were killed and Police sized two AK weapons and a motorcycle from them.
In the meantime, at least four civilians were after a hand-grenade was thrown into a coffee shop in PD7 of Herat city last night at around 19:00pm (local time).
An Australian commando Sergeant Kevin Frost who went public three years ago about his involvement in an alleged war crime in Afghanistan has died.
Last week the 45-year-old went missing near his Busselton home, and over the weekend his family confirmed he had been found but had “tragically passed away”.
Friends have paid tribute online to their mate “Frosty”, who they say was a “fearless”, “proud” and “witty” man.
His death comes as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his Government will consider calling a royal commission next year into veterans’ suicides.
In 2016 Sergeant Frost told the ABC he had helped to cover up the alleged murder of an Afghan prisoner.
The residents of Nangarhar, particularly social media activists, have started campaigns against use of Pakistani rupees in the province.
Bordering with Pakistan, Nangarhar province commonly uses Pakistani currency which has had an adverse effect on the value of Afghani.
As per Wasdam report, the activists have called for ban of Pakistani currency in the province through social media and massive gatherings.
Insecurity, fragile economy, and negligence of government are cited as the prime reasons behind the rise in using Pakistani currency in Nangarhar.
A total of 1,410 youth after completion of six-month military course and receiving certificates in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif have been commissioned to the army, said an army statement.
The newly graduated soldiers would be deployed in the Northern provinces, where winter operations against the armed oppositions would start soon, Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, Commander of Army Corps based in the northern region said, according to the statement.
Afghan government continues recruiting new troops amid increasing militancy as the armed opposition groups have stepped up activities and challenging the security forces in major parts of the country.