Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The former Mayor of Balkh province, Muhammad Nasir Aini was sentenced to one year and a half in prison and paying 5 million Afghanis by the primary court of the Anti-Corruption Justice Center in accusation of misusing authority.
The court also ordered the prosecution of former Balkh governor Mohammad Ishaq Rahgozar.
The public hearing of the former mayor of Balkh was held on Sunday.
The Attorney General said the trial was attended by the defendants of the case and their defense lawyers.
According to the Attorney General, Nooran Shah, the director of financial accounting at Balkh Municipality, was acquitted at the public hearing, and a verdict was issued to prosecute Mohammad Ishaq Rahgozar, former governor of Balkh, Jan Mohammad, financial and administrative director of Balkh Municipality.
Afghan Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum has called for military pressure on the Taliban group.
Dostum made the remarks at a gathering marking the anniversary of murdering od Mohammad Baqir Mohaqiq in Sheberghan city of Jawzjan province.
Marshal Dostum stated that currently, the geography and national sovereignty of the country are in danger, and if these tensions continue, the Taliban will be the winner.
He noted that the Taliban have increased their activities due to the insecurity of highways and the collapse of districts.
The former Vice President warned that if the political leaders do not put aside their differences, they will lose the country to the Taliban
In the meantime, Mohammad Mohaqiq, President Ghani’s senior adviser, warned that if the peace talks
had no result, they would not surrender to Taliban.
The two political figures who stressed on having a republic system in the country, have voiced concerns over the future political structure of Afghanistan.
The Supreme Audit Office of Afghanistan says that during the current solar year of 1399, SAO has conducted 423 audits across the country.
Mohammad Naeem Haqmal, head of SAO, at a press conference of “Government Accountability to the Nation”, said that as a result of these audits, 26 cases included misuse of authority, embezzlement, land grabbing and other cases which have been referred to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).
Mr. Haqmal added that the perpetrators of the cases include ministers, provincial police commanders, provincial mayors, and other local government employees.
In the meantime, Fazel Hadi Fazel, Deputy Director of the Supreme Audit Office for Financial Audit and Enforcement of Legislative Documents, also said that the office’s investigations in the areas of compliance with laws and regulations, financial and administrative, anti-corruption and information technology system audits in public sectors include ministries, independent government departments, state-owned companies and municipalities.
The Presidential Inspector General Office says that corruption exists in the budget allocated for the fight against the coronavirus in the country.
Inspector General, Ghezal Haris in a press conference on Sunday said that equipment and medicine have been purchased 330,354,921 Afg higher than the market’s rate.
According to Haris, the department had reviewed the corona budget expenditures in 24 provinces and reviewed the results of 16 provinces with referring the cases to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).
She said that the coronavirus budget spending have been reviewed in the provinces of Herat, Nuristan, Maidan Wardak, Badakhshan, Kandahar, Takhar, Ghor, Samangan, Khost, Logar, Bamyan, Daikundi, Baghlan, Kunduz, Parwan, Nangarhar, Paktia, Badghis, Sarpol, Paktika, Balkh, Jawzjan, Zabul and Kapisa.
Ghezal Haris said the results of investigations in seven other provinces would be sent to the Attorney General’s Office in the near future.
She explained that in one province due to the extent of corruption, a number of officials have been introduced to AGO, and in another province where there has not been much corruption, no one has been introduced to the Attorney General’s Office.
The Presidential Inspector added that there are certain cases of corruption and negligence in the use of the Corona budget, and that the principle of austerity and economy has not been considered.
Afghanistan received 500,000 doses of AztraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from India on Sunday.
According to Health authorities, the vaccine is still waiting for emergency approval from the World Health Organisation before it can use them.
Ghulam Dastagir Nazari, head of the immunisation program at the health ministry said the doses would be stored in Kabul until the emergency authorisation was received, which it hoped would happen in a week.
The vaccines were produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), which is producing the AstraZenecca/Oxford University vaccine for mid- and low-income countries.
“The (WHO) certification process is underway and hopefully it will be done in a week and we will start the vaccination process in all 34 provinces,” Nazari added.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Hanif Atmar has met US Chargé d’Affaires Ross Wilson & discussed the peace process and cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the new US administration.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MoFA) in a press release said that FM Atmar acknowledged the United States’ commitment and support to the Afghan people and government
over the past nineteen years, and welcomed the new US Government’s messages regarding the peace process and the review of the US agreement with the Taliban.
According to the press release, the two sides discussed the latest security and political developments in Afghanistan, the challenges of the peace process, the importance of regional and international support for the success of the talks, and the strengthening of bilateral and trilateral cooperation, including with Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia.
During the meeting, Mr. Atmar stressed the need to increase consultations between the two governments, review the US agreement with the Taliban, and making decisions conditional on objective facts.
In the meantime, ambassador Wilson assured the US continued commitment and cooperation with Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 24 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1,783 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported three deaths and 14 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 55,359 the number of total reported deaths is 2,413and the total number of recoveries is 48,413.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Kunduz, Nimroz, Kunar, Faryab and Panjshir.
The representative of Ghazni province at the Lower House of Parliament, Arif Rahmani says Afghan lawmakers had a positive meeting with the Interior Minister, the Acting Defense Minister deputy director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) about the Behsud district’s protest.
Mr. Rahmani stated that during the meeting, the report of government’s delegation which was sent to Behsud was evaluated.
He noted that the meeting emphasized the implementation of the provisions of the report.
“It was decided to introduce the prepatrators of the incident to the General Attorney’s Office (AGO) at the earliest time and address the incident in the light of the law,” MP Rahmani said.
Rahmani stressed that the authorities’ determination to resolve the case is commendable, and that tensions and tensions should be reduced.
This comes as more than 30 civilians were killed and wounded in a protest on last Friday.
At least two Afghan soldiers and a former director of the National Directorate of Security were killed in an attack by members of the Taliban group in the northern province of Kunduz, local media reported on Sunday.
According to the reports, the Taliban attacked a military checkpoint in the province’s Aliabad district last night.
The Kunduz governor’s office confirmed the incident but declined to comment on the casualties.
The Afghan armed forces and the Taliban continue to engage in clashes across the country despite the start of second round of peace negotiations between the government and representatives of the group in Doha.
A new United Nations report has acknowledged the action taken by Pakistani government against individuals engaged in terrorist activities, adding that terrorist group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is responsible for over 100 cross-border attacks within three months last year.
On its part, Pakistan has consistently highlighted the terrorism threat from the TTP.
The 27th report to the United Nations Security Council, under the United Nations (UN) monitoring team that tracks Al Qaeda, Islamic State and other extremist groups, points to the arrests in Pakistan of ‘individuals engaging in terrorism financing and the freezing of the assets of designated individuals and entities’.
Diplomats noted that the UN acknowledgment of Pakistan actions comes at a time when India continues to blame Pakistan for inaction against the designated groups.
Reporting on the activities of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the UN report saw the ‘reunification of splinter groups (of TTP) that took place in Afghanistan’. The report records that ‘five entities pledged alliance to TTP in July and August (2020), including the Shehryar Mehsud group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Hizb-ul-Ahrar, the Amjad Farooqi group and the Usman Saifullah group (formerly known as Lashkar-e- Jhangvi)’.
The report cautions that the merger of TTP has enhanced the threat of terrorism to Pakistan and the region, as it has ‘increased the strength of TTP and resulted in a sharp increase in attacks’. In this regard, the UN reported that ‘TTP was responsible for more than 100 cross-border attacks between July and October 2020’.
The report said that, based on estimates, the TTP’s fighting strength ranges between 2,500 and 6,000.
One policeman was killed and two others suffered injuries in a car bomb blast on a security outpost in Khogyani district of Nangarhar province on Sunday morning, local officials said.
The spokesman of Nangarhar governor, Attaullah Khogyani said, it was a suicide attack on the checkpoint. No terror group has so far taken responsibility for the attack
Afghanistan has witnessed a sharp rise in violence. Attacks on security personnel have also escalated.
The country’s forces have launched raids on Taliban hideouts and killed several terrorists in recent weeks.
Data from the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission shows that in 2020, over 2,000 people were killed in incidents for which no one claimed responsibility.