Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
India has welcomed the announcement of preliminary results of the presidential election of Afghanistan and said that New Delhi remains committed to working with the Afghan government in its “fight against terrorism”.
The presidential election in Afghanistan was held on September 28 and the result was declared on Sunday in which incumbent Ashraf Ghani secured victory with 50.64 per cent votes.
In a statement released on Monday, the India’s Ministry of External Affairs said, “We welcome the announcement of the preliminary results of the Presidential election of Afghanistan held on 28 September and commend leaders and institutions for their hard work to preserve and strengthen democracy in the country.”
The MEA also extended hope that Afghan leaders and other stakeholders “will work together to further strengthen the democratic polity and to fight the serious challenges of terrorism facing the country”.
“India remains committed to working with the people and Government of Afghanistan in its fight against terrorism and in its pursuit of socio-economic development,” the statement added.
Presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has said that the preliminary results of Presidential elections were against what his team expected.
During a press conference about the preliminary election results, Hekmatyar declared that they have asked the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to re-hold the election in those areas where the biometric devices have been stolen, and that the people responsible should be punished.
“They shamelessly stole our votes. Our votes should have been more than 750, 000,” he said.
Hekmatyar emphasized that the foreign troops have never wanted a government that wants freedom.
He warned that the Hizb-e-Islami has the power to defend its rights.
“We have asked the IEC to recount all the ballot boxes and we asked them why they are only counting 8,000 boxes. If the IEC had met our demands, now we would have accepted the election results,” he asserted.
He further added that of the cases are not addressed properly, the situation would become like Bolivia, Iraq and Libya, saying, “We saw how the Iraqi government collapsed following few days of protests.
Afghan local officials in Herat province say the deputy of Taliban’s military commission in Ghor province has been arrested.
Herat governor office in a press release on Monday said that Qari Aminullah, the deputy of Taliban’s military commission was arrested from Gozara district of Herat province.
According to the press release, Aminullah was arrested during an operation by the 600th Special Operation Zone from Ardo Bagh village of Gozara district.
The press release added that noted that Qari Aminullah was one of the most dangerous and active Taliban commanders in Ghor province who has been responsible for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks in the western part of the country.
The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) has stressed that all electoral complaints should be documented; otherwise they will not be accepted.
IECC officials officially started the process of registering complaints about the preliminary results of the Afghan Presidential election on Monday.
The deputy of IECC, Mawlavi Din Muhammad Azimi has told reporters that the process of registering complaints about the preliminary results of the presidential election has begun and will continue for another three days.
According to Azimi, the “Stability and Partnership” electoral team has so far filed 4,000 complaints and the other electoral teams will also register their complaints.
He assured that the IECC officials would address with all complaints based on the law and take decisions.
This comes as the head of Independent Election Commission (IEC) released the long-delayed outcomes at a news conference in Kabul, noting that Ghani secured around 51% (50.64 exact figures) of the more than 1.8 million total votes.
At least ten people have been killed and wounded as a result of a magnetic bomb explosion at a funeral ceremony in Baghlan province, local officials said.
The spokesman of Laghman governor, Asadullah Dawlat Zai told Reporterly that the incident took place at around 11:00am (local time) at a funeral ceremony of a tribal elder in Dawlat Shah district.
According to Dawlat Zai, at least three people were killed and seven others were wounded in the incident.
The Taliban group has not commented regarding the incident so far.
Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is keen that India joins a railway project in Afghanistan that will help in stabilizing the country and connect it to Eurasia and Iran.
The railway, almost 650 km in length, which will connect Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat cities and will later be extended to Kabul, is a major project agreed to by President Ashraf Ghani and President Mirziyoyev.
The preliminary surveys for the project have already been completed. “Uzbekistan support a greater presence of India in Central Asia that will also help Afghanistan,” sources said.
Uzbekistan has an interest in opening trade and connectivity routes all the way to the Indian Ocean.
The project, for which Uzbekistan has already pledged $500 million, could become another major regional connectivity project for India, after its construction of the Zaranj-Delaram Highway in Afghanistan and the Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar, Iran.
The Japanese government said Monday it will award a decoration to Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese aid worker who was killed in a shooting earlier this month in Afghanistan.
As per the Japan Times report, the 73-year-old physician will be awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in a news conference.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also give a letter of gratitude to honor “Dr. Nakamura’s years of significant achievement for the development of Afghanistan” in a ceremony to be held Friday, the top government spokesman said.
The Gold Rays with Rosette ranks as the fourth highest among six decorations in the Rising Sun order awarded for achievements in international relations and other fields.
Nakamura had been providing medical aid near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan for years while involved in the construction of irrigation channels and tree-planting activities after a drought hit Afghanistan in 2000.
Recognizing his contributions, the Afghan government commended the doctor last year.
On Dec. 4, Nakamura, who headed the Peshawar-kai aid group based in the city of Fukuoka, and five Afghans including his driver were killed as armed men attacked their vehicles in Jalalabad in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
An American service member was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, the US military stated, without providing further details.
“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” US Forces in Afghanistan said.
Yet it is not clear where the soldier was killed.
The incident comes amid escalating tensions in the country due to the presidential elections on Sunday.