Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Officials said that five Taliban fighters were killed and eight others were wounded in a counterattack by security forces in the Dehrawood district of Uruzgan on Sunday night.
Ahmad Shah Sahel, spokesperson for the Uruzgan governor’s office, told Reporterly on Monday, that a group of Taliban fighters had attacked security checkpoints in the district.
He added that two Afghan security forces were also killed while four were injured during the clash.
The Taliban have not yet commented.
The government-controlled areas of Dehrawood have been under constant attack of the Taliban in the past week, with the militants blocking roads and essentially laying siege to the district.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh who is charge of the security of Kabul city, announced on Monday, that they had begun gathering intelligence from door-to-door.
He said that intelligence coverage has started from each alley and will grown to encompass all zones and neighbourhoods within the city.
No one has the right to lie or hide facts from the national security forces, the vice president said.
He announced that criminals and terrorists, along with their accomplices will be duly prosecuted.
According to his new decision, beggars will not be allowed to stand or spread out in the middle of the roads.
He also said that high-rise buildings that are being constructed without permits will be demolished.
Kabul Municipality has been asked to compile a list of all such illegal constructions and extensions for action to be taken. “The government will impose additional taxes and fines for the same amount that they built without a permit,” Saleh explained.
All shops that have encroached on the sidewalk have been warned to clear them for pedestrian traffic or face closure.
Saleh also said that the crime reports and charts are monitored every morning for progress as they document all incidents and ongoing investigations in each district.
A few officials have also been arrested for being involved in criminal activities, he said.
He requested the people to cooperate with the government because only a “strong government” can guarantee the “dignity” of its citizens.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) reported 87 new Coronavirus cases from the 523 samples tested in the government’s laboratories in the past 24 hours in Afghanistan.
The MoPH reported five deaths and 146 recoveries, pushing those figures to 1,497 dead and 33,760 recovered from COVID-19.
The World Health Organization-backed survey revealed that around 31.5% of Afghanistan’s population contracted the virus since the country imported its first cases from neighboring Iran.
Government officials say the reason behind conducting the new survey was to prepare for a possible second coronavirus wave. With the help of the new data, authorities will be better equipped to deal with the situation, they say.
The members of the cabinet will be introduced to the House of Representatives on Wednesday by the Presidential Palace.
Speaker of the House, Mir Rahman Rahmani, said during Monday’s session of the parliament, that a week after the nominees were introduced, the relevant commissions can present their credentials to the “acting” ministers.
The parliamentarians were advised to ensure security during Wednesday’s ceremony.
The government had announced that the cabinet nominees will be presented to the House of Representative for a vote of confidence this week.
Badakhshan security officials said that 29 Taliban militants were killed and 63 were wounded over the past week as they mounted an offensive in several districts of Badakhshan, moving closer to the provincial centre of Fayzabad.
The clashes, which have been ongoing, intensified with the Taliban’s attacks on government positions. At least 18 security forces were killed with heavy casualties reported on both sides.
The deteriorating security situation has seen the Taliban carry out successive attacks and raising insecurity in almost 22 of the districts of the province.
Media reports clashes of varying intensities in Arghanj Khwa, Darayim, Fayzabad, Jurm, Khash, Kohistan, Kuran wa Munjan, Maimay, Raghistan, Tagab, Warduj, Yaftal Bala, Yamgan and Yawan districts.
While acknowledging the escalation of insecurity, Badakhshan Police spokesperson Sanaullah Rouhani, told local media that the security forces have also countered the Taliban attacks, killing and wounding 55 militants in Warduj and 20 in Fayzabad city.
He denied claims that PD8 of Fayzabad had fallen to the Taliban and said that security forces had made a tactical retreat to prevent civilian casualties.
Provincial officials said a child has been killed in a rocket fired by Pakistani troops in Kunar on Sunday.
Abdul Ghani Musamim, spokesperson for the Kunar governor’s office, told Reporterly on Monday, that a rocket fired by the Pakistani military landed on a civilian home in the Marawara district of the province.
He said the rocket hit a home in the village of Tarkho Obe and injured four other people of the family.
The killed child’s mother, was among the injured.
The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) said they would be printing and distributing 97,000 university degrees after graduates of several public and private universities complained that they had been missing out on job and academic opportunities.
The students accused the MoHE of holding their degrees even after three years of having graduated and complained of corruption in education institutions.
They said the universities deceived them to continue delaying the graduation process.
The MoHE acknowledged the problem and said it will be resolved by next year and they were in the process of printing 97,000 diplomas for students who graduated last year.
However, the MoHE said they will only distribute diplomas to universities that, according to the procedures, have completed the documentation process required for obtaining degrees.
The problem of the 2.5 million Afghan migrants in Iran is a priority for the government, said Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, during a gathering in Tehran on Sunday.
Abdullah, who is on an official visit to Iran, was invited to a banquet hosted by the Afghan Embassy in Tehran, where he met diplomats, the embassy staff and migrant representatives.
The chairman said that Kabul and Tehran had agreed on a plan to regulate the movement of Afghan refugees to Iran and they had started the process of distributing the electronic ID cards to their citizens here.
The Afghan ambassador to Iran, Abdul Ghafoor Liwal, said the main problem of the immigrants was the lack of official documents needed to apply for resident and legal movement.
The Afghan refugees also said they want to be involved in the ongoing peace process.
In Iran, Abdullah also met with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Parliament Speaker Bagher Ghalibaf on Sunday.
In the meeting, Zarif reaffirmed Tehran’s support for the government of Afghanistan, an Afghan-led peace process, and the agreements among the participants in the intra-Afghan talks.
He also expressed Iran’s support for the Taliban’s participation in Afghanistan’s political structure.
For his part, Abdullah expounded on the most recent developments in Afghanistan and the latest status of the peace talks.
In a post on his Twitter page, Abdullah described his talks with the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) speaker as “constructive”.
Ghalibaf discussed the Afghan peace talks and said Iran is unwavering in its support for the independence and security of Afghanistan.
Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said that formation of an interim government cannot help the peace process, in remarks during an interview with an Iranian channel on Sunday night.
During an interview, Abdullah, who is visiting Tehran, said that the peace negotiations in Doha are at the preliminary stage and the agenda for the talks has not been prepared yet, and the issue of the formation of an interim government has not been raised.
However, he added that its proposal will not help the peace process since the expected outcome of an interim government plan is “unclear” and not a solution to lasting peace.
The Afghan leader stressed that the goal of the talks is to achieve lasting peace, and that to achieve this goal, the two sides must agree on a comprehensive solution.
When asked about the future power sharing formula, the Taliban had also said the “system of choice” would be in place.
“We want an independent Afghan inclusive of Islamic system, not a monopoly of power in which the people of Afghanistan see their aspirations subdued,” said the group’s political office spokesperson Naeem Wardak, in an interview with Ekurd Daily.