Newsfeed; Saturday, October 26 2019

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Afghan Security Forces Are Well-Integrated: Gen. Miller

    US commander of international forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller says the Afghan security forces are well-integrated.

    Gen. Miller at a press conference following NATO’s defense ministerial meeting in Brussels said, “The recent election’s success from security standpoint was the integration of intelligence services, police and army services.”

    He emphasized that NATO’s partnership with Afghanistan remains strong and the alliance’s recent meeting reaffirmed its commitment to its mission in the country.

    He added that the ministers discussed also about Afghanistan peace process.

    In the meantime, the US ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison also declared that she met with Resolute Support Mission Commander Gen. Miller.

    “We all agree the best way to achieve peace in Afghanistan is through an enduring political settlement,” Hutchison said.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Preliminary Presidential Election Results To Be Announced Soon: IEC

    The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says the biometric information has been transferred to the central server and the primary presidential election results will be announced in the near future.

    The IEC commissioner, Awrang Zib in a press conference on Saturday said, “All information have been transferred to the central server and currently, biomedical filtration is underway.”

    He noted that today is the last day of votes’ filtration and the votes that have problems will be recounted.

    The IEC commissioner added that all devices that had been quarantined had been transferred to the central server based on the commission’s decision.

    Awrang Zib stressed that the efforts are underway that the time of announcement for election result will be tonight or tomorrow.

    The preliminary result of Afghanistan’s presidential election was scheduled to be announced on October 19 but it didn’t happen due to technical problems with vote transferring.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Unanimity Within NATO Defense Ministers on Afghan Mission ‘Impressive’: Nicholas Kay

    The NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Ambassador Nicholas Kay called the unanimity within the NATO defense ministers on Afghan mission as ‘impressive’.

    After the conclusion of NATO defense ministers meeting on Afghanistan in Brussels, Nicholas Kay in a press conference told reporters, “Let me say I was really impressed and struck by the strong unanimity within the defense ministers.”

    He declared that they defense ministers are committed to the mission in Afghanistan and there was talk of making sure that the mission there is an enduring mission and that the force posture level is an enduring sustainable mission.

    “I am very struck by everybody repeating that the NATO mission is conditions based”, he added.

    This comes as the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Brussels said the NATO’s support to Afghanistan remains “steadfast”.

    “Our support to Afghanistan with both forces and funding remains steadfast. NATO has supported the US-led peace talks, and we would welcome if they were resumed but the Taliban have to make real concessions and show real willingness to reduce violence,” Stoltenberg said at the second day of NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels.

    Stoltenberg added NATO will continue to support the Afghan security forces as they fight international terrorism and create the conditions for peace.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    More Than 800 Taliban Militants Killed, Wounded in 7 Past Months in Herat

    Afghan security officials have said that 604 Taliban insurgents were killed and 283 others were wounded during the past seven months in Herat province.

    The spokesman of Herat Police, Abdul Ahad Wali Zada in a press conference on Saturday said, “Herat Police have conducted at least 30 independent and joint operations in Chesht, Oba, Pashton Zarghon, Keshk, Robat Sangi, Keshk-e Kohna, Farsi and Kahsan districts in the past seven months and inflicted heavy casualties on Taliban.”

    According to the Wali Zada, Taliban’s key commanders are among the killed and 27 other militants were arrested too.

    “Afghan forces also seized 1540kg drugs, 1073 liters of alcoholic drinks, 13 weapons, 34 vehicles, and $250,” he said.

    The Herat Police spokesman stated that 21 acres of lands planted with narcotics have also been destroyed and 70 drugs addicted have been referred to the health clinics.

    He added that around 1983 individuals were also arrested in accusation of armed robberies, being members of armed irresponsible groups and smuggling during the past seven months.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    ‘We Need To Stay in Afghanistan To Prevent The Next 9/11’: US Congressman

    US Navy SEAL-turned-congressman Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) believes the United States should maintain a permanent military presence in Afghanistan similar to bases in former war zones such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea in order to prevent terrorist groups from plotting the next 9/11-style attack on U.S. soil.

    Speaking at a veterans workshop hosted by Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) in Frederick, Maryland, the Texas Republican has said policy-makers must first do a better job of explaining to the American public what its objectives are in Afghanistan.

    “We’re not explaining that if we let our enemies have the operational space they will commit another 9/11,” Crenshaw said. “This will happen. If we vacate Iraq in 2011 you will get ISIS. I’m worried about Syria at this point as well. We are leaving a small contingent of special operations forces there it sounds like. That’s important.”

    The former SEAL said the U.S. needs to keep talking with the Taliban to accomplish its mission in Afghanistan. First, Crenshaw said, policy makers need to be clear on what that mission is.

    The congressman, who lost his right eye after being injured by an IED blast during a 2012 deployment to Afghanistan, said that he favored an ongoing troop presence similar to other large U.S. military forces left stationed around the world in the aftermath fo World War II.

    “We’re not still in World War II and yet we’ve had troops in Germany and Japan ever since then,” he said. “No one says that we’re still fighting the Korean War, but we never left. So why is public opinion different there? It doesn’t really make sense and we haven’t done a good job explaining that part of the debate to people.”

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Suspected IS Recruiter For Afghanistan Arrested In Maldives

    Police in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives have detained a local man who the United States says is a recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

    Muhammad Ameen, 35, was arrested on October 23 on suspicion of spreading an “extremist ideology,” Maldivian police said the following day.

    He allegedly mobilized fighters for IS in Afghanistan.

    No further details were provided about the suspect although U.S. authorities last month designated him as a foreign terrorist leader of IS-Khorasan, a group that is reportedly active in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Citing local media, AFP reported that Ameen first sent fighters to Syria, but was now focused on recruiting Maldivians for combat in Afghanistan.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Islamabad Wishes To See A Stable, Prosperous Afghanistan: Pakistani President

    Pakistan’s President Dr Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan wished to see a stable and prosperous Afghanistan as both the countries enjoyed historic fraternal ties.

    In a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, the two leaders exchanged views on various issues of mutual interest including peace and security in the region, and cooperation in development and connectivity projects, Pakistan’s President House statement said.

    Pakistan’s president expressed the hope that bilateral relations would further gain momentum in the upcoming years.

    President Alvi said that Pakistan had been hosting more than four million Afghan refugees over the last four decades and the country had always emphasized for their return in a dignified and honorable manner.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    ‘Afghanistan Is Much More Important To US Than Syria’: Ex-US Ambassador

    The Former US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker says the U.S. does not have to turn into a defeated country in Afghanistan, urging the White House to stop the ‘rush for the exits.’

    The U.S. reportedly has begun, quietly, to reduce its military presence in Afghanistan.

    “If the administration fails to maintain a responsible, measured approach, sustaining our support for the Afghan people and protecting American interests, the consequences could be severe: increasing both instability in South Asia and the Islamist threat globally,” Crocker said.

    “Afghanistan is much more important to US than Syria. Afghanistan is no Syria. Yes, Syria is a mess, too. And the Turkish incursion there has only made matters worse. Afghans need American troops.”

    He stressed that whatever happens at the negotiating table, U.S. national security interests require that US keep a right-sized military presence in Afghanistan.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Airstrike Kills Key Haqqani Network Leader in Logar

    A prominent Haqqani Network leader who had planned and facilitated terrorist attacks in Kabul has been killed in an airstrike in Logar province, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.

    MoD in a statement said that the security forces launched the airstrike in Zarghoon Shahr Village, killing Qari Burhan and some Pakistani and Arab militants.

    According to the statement, Qari Burhan was in command of a notorious group of terrorists and had planned most of the deadliest attacks in Kabul city.

    Qari Burhan had planned the 2017 attack close to Jamhuriat Hospital which killed 103 people and wounded 235 others, MoD said, adding that he had planned and facilitated the attack on a high rise building in Abdul Haq Square in 2011.

    MoD noted that Qari Burhan had close cooperation with Al Qaeda terrorist network and was facilitating the transfer of suicide bombers to Ghazni and Logar provinces.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    President Ghani Met Indian Officials on Sidelines of NAM Summit

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has met with Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Meeting.

    The meeting was conducted in Baku on Friday.

    President Ghani has traveled to Baku to attend the 18th summit of the NAM which is said to be attended by as many as two dozen heads of state and governments from 120 countries across the world.

    The summit that kicked off on Friday is based on the theme ‘Upholding Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world’.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    QRCS Launches Second Phase of Afghan Edu Project

    The representative mission of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Afghanistan has launched Phase 2 of a project to back education in remote areas.

    Materials and supplies have been provided to establish nine schools in educationally underserved areas in the provinces of Ghor and Oruzgan, QRCS has said in a statement.

    At a total cost of $324,000, the project is being implemented jointly by QRCS and the Afghan Welfare Society for the benefit of 1,800 students in total.

    Under the project, QRCS has provided 70 tents to be used as classrooms, 900 double desks, 17,000 copies of curriculum books for basic education, 1,800 school bags and sets, 500 teaching aids and nine containers to be used for storage and as offices.

    “Despite the recent improvements in Afghanistan’s education system, it remains among the worst in the world due to many challenges, such as limited access to education, with 3mn school-age children, mostly female,” the statement notes.

    There are gaps in the number of schools, infrastructure, and water & sanitation services. Hundreds of schools remain destroyed or closed in insecure areas, leaving hundreds of thousands of students uneducated.

    “The project complements government efforts to meet the demand for education and create a learning environment. It is inspired by a belief that education is key to development and stability,” the statement adds.

    Farida Abdulsamad, a fifth-grade student from the village of Sheikh Al-Manad, Ghor province, said: “I am very happy. For five years, I have not received education at all. This project will enable me to continue pursuing my education.”

    Abdulmo’men Al-Qurban, municipality head, said this aid would help meet the basic needs of the area and make a big difference, by providing education opportunities for girls. He thanked QRCS for reaching out to this remote area as the first humanitarian organization to offer educational aid.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Terrorism Threat Requires Different Type of Coordination: Ghani

    The threat of terrorism requires a different type of coordination, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said at the 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku on Oct. 25.

    “We must act on the basis of the Bandung Principles. The threat of terrorism requires a different type of coordination. Solving another problem, which is environmental changes, requires political will,” the Afghan president said.

    As pre Trend report, Ghani noted that the country is fully committed to peace and he does not want its territory to be used for the transit of illegal goods.

    “We offer peace even to the Taliban. We ourselves are responsible for our security,” the Afghan president said.

    Ghani also expressed gratitude to the United States for the assistance in the fight against terrorism.

    The 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement is being held in Baku on Oct. 25-26.

    A preparatory meeting of the high-ranking officials of the participating countries was held on Oct. 21-22. The foreign ministers of the participating countries discussed the preparation for the summit on Oct. 23-24.

    Representatives of 158 countries and international organizations participate in the summit, including ministers of foreign affairs, heads of state and government and other senior representatives.

    Azerbaijan will chair the organization in 2019-2022.

    The Non-Aligned Movement, uniting states that did not join any military-political blocs during the Cold War, has transformed into one of the important multilateral mechanisms.

    Today, the Non-Aligned Movement is the second political platform after the UN by the number of member states.

  • 26 Oct 2019 Share this post

    Afghanistan Remains Top Priority For NATO: Stoltenberg

    NATO’s support to Afghanistan remains “steadfast”, the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

    “Our support to Afghanistan with both forces and funding remains steadfast. NATO has supported the US-led peace talks, and we would welcome if they were resumed but the Taliban have to make real concessions and show real willingness to reduce violence,” Stoltenberg said at the second day of NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels.

    He said the ministers will discuss NATO mission in Afghanistan, which remains a “top priority” for the alliance.

    Stoltenberg added NATO will continue to support the Afghan security forces as they fight international terrorism and create the conditions for peace.

    Early September, U.S. President Donald Trump declared the peace talks with the Taliban “dead” following a recent attack in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul which killed a dozen people, including a U.S. service member.

    Following the U.S. move, the Taliban opened new battle fronts across the war-weary nation, as Afghan security forces — suffering casualties and desertions — struggle to beat back a revitalized insurgency.