Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) says over five million electronic-IDs will be distributed to the citizens of the country by the end of the current year.
Ahmad Javid Rasouli, NSIA chief, said
to Afghan Senators on Sunday’s session at the Upper House of Parliament.
“1.7 million electronic identity cards have so far been issued and around 20 percent of the country’s total populations would benefit from the service in the next one year,” Rasouli said.
He said 2.7 million people had applied for electronic ID cards, but 1.7 million of them had received them so far.
Currently 25,000 people register for electronic ID cards on a daily basis but the authority has the ability to issue 16,000 cards in a day, he added.
Rasouli said efforts were on to expand the capacity of ID cards distribution for next year. NSIA has developed a plan to distribute the cards to five million citizens of the country next solar year, he said.
NSIA currently has 70 offices of electronic ID cards distribution, but the number of these offices would be also increased, he added.
Police say security forces have arrested the commander of Toofan, a gang leader of the armed robbers in Kabul.
According to Kabul police, the man was arrested in a targeted police operation in PD16 of Kabul city and several weapons were seized from him.
Kabul police say Toofan was a wanted criminal who has been accused of armed robbery, kidnapping and extortion.
In the meantime, Kabul police announced the arrest of 16 other individuals in connection with criminal acts in Kabul.
According to the police, detainees are accused of armed robbery, murder, car theft, carrying illegal weapons and extortion in several Police districts of Kabul city.
Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with his Turkmen counterpart Raşit Meredow, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan who is on a two-day visit to Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Foriegn Affairs (MoFA) in a press release said that FM Atmar welcomed Mr. Meredow and his accompanying delegation to Kabul, describing Turkmenistan as a friendly neighbor and brotherly country to Afghanistan.
Calling Kabul-Ashgabat ties as excellent and friendly, FM Atmar said that Mr. Merdow’s visit and the new agreements signed between the two sides are the steps towards further strengthening bilateral relations.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that expanding regional connectivity, strengthening trade, transit, political and economic cooperation, and building regional consensus on the Afghan peace processware at the top priorities of Afghanistan’s foreign policy.
He noted that the expansion of ties among regional countries, especially with Turkmenistan, benefited peace and development in the region.
In the meantime, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan thanked Mr. Atmar for the warm hospitality of Afghanistan during his visit to Kabul.
Mr. Meredow stated that Ashgabat is committed to cooperating with Afghanistan in trade, transit, commerce, and regional connectivity and considered the success of the Afghan peace talks vital for achieving these goals.
The Turkmen Foreign Minister assured Mr. Atmar of his country’s firm support for the success of the peace process and the stance of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on regional peace and consensus.
Afghan security officials say at least six security forces fled their outpost in Kotal Rawza area of Ghazni province for unknown reason and without any casualties with the insurgents on Saturday night.
Ghazni police spokesman Ahmad Khan Sirat said that six security forces left their outpost with their weapons that three of them have gone missing and the next three have come to the center of city.
According to him, investigations are underway from the three security forces.
“The police leadership of the Ghazni is aware of the issue and will transfer the new personnel to the security outpost at the earliest time. The insurgents claim that an outpost has been collapsed in the area is completely baseless,” Sirat said.
This comes as the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that the group’s fighters had captured the Ghazni “Kotal Rawza” checkpoint and captured four government forces.
Afghan security officials are investigating reports that an alleged airstrike on Saturday night killed at least 12 civilians in Nimroz province, the Maiwand 215 Corps said.
The Maiwand 215 Corps has said in a statement that security and defense forces targeted a Taliban extortion zone on Highway No. 9 in Khashrud district of Nimroz province, as a result of which several Taliban were arrested.
According to the statement, during the clashes between the Afghan forces and the Taliban, the Afghan Air Force, with the support of the ground forces, carried out an operation in which the Taliban group suffered heavy casualties.
The statement cited that the civilian casualties claim will be investigated in coordination with the local administration and security organs of Nimroz province.
This comes as local media reported that at least 12 civilians were killed in an airstrike carried out by the Afghan forces in Nimroz province on Saturday night.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 76 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1,427 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 9 deaths and 208 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 53,538 the number of total reported deaths is 2,288 and the total number of recoveries is 43,948.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Badghis, Kapisa, Laghman, Kumar and Panjshir.
Presisent Ashraf Ghani has met with the CEO of G42 Analytics and discussed the potentials and need for bringing in robust digitalization inputs to uplift Afghan digital infrastructure and strengthen e-governance systems for service delivery and economic growth.
Presidential spokesman, Sediq Sediqi said, “Both sides stressed on urgent need for implementing a digital strategy, upgrading the current IT, digital and e-governance platforms and bringing in tailored-expertise to realize the President’s vision of digitalization.”
According to Sediqi, the Presisent stressed that delivering a roadmap for a digital economy, managing big data, building on digital infrastructure, e-governance, and taking core government functions on digital platforms is the key focus of the Afghan Government.
The 14th exclusive exhibition of Iranian products will be held in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul in the next month (begins on January 20), the head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization announced.
Holding this exhibition after a period of about one year due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions is a great opportunity to enter the Afghan market and reconnect with old customers and find new markets, Hamid Zadboum stated.
As per the Tehran Times report, the director-general of TPO’s Asia-Pacific Office said that a preferential trade agreement with Afghanistan is going to be signed in the near future.
Speaking in the fourth meeting of Khorasan Razavi-Herat Joint Trade Committee in Mashhad, Reza Seyed-Aqazadeh said: “Necessary coordination has been made with the Ministry of Commerce of Afghanistan and primary talks will be held on January 13 in the form of a video conference between the officials of the two sides to finalize and operationalize this agreement as soon as possible.”
He mentioned previous tariff agreements between the two countries and added: “Previously, in 2015, the tariffs for the imports of five commodity items from Afghanistan including the imports of sesame were reduced; the tariffs on sesame imports were reduced from 10 percent to five percent.”
Three people including Zia Wadan, a spokesman for the Public Protection Force were killed and two others wounded in an explosion in Karte naw area of PD8 of Kabul city around 8:30 AM on Sunday morning, the Kabul police spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed.
Kabul police said the incident took place when Wadan was on his way to the office. According to Kabul police, One person was injured in the incident.
No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Interior Ministry in a statement blamed the Taliban.
President Ghani also condemned the attack and called it “a crime against humanity and against Islamic values.”
“The increase of violence by the Taliban shows that the group opposes the spirit of peace and is not committed to peace, and the group seeks to kill innocent people and damage public facilities,” Ghani added.
DABS – Afghanistan Electricity company announced that Uzbekistan power export to Afghanistan reinstated to 300 megawatts following Tashkent’s efforts to fix technical issues in its power plants.
The company stressed on efforts to normalize the import of electricity from Uzbekistan so that the the total power supply for Afghanistan increase to over 450 MW.
In the past two days, Uzbekistan’s electricity imports to Afghanistan dropped from 300 to 150 megawatts.
Tajikistan has also reduced its electricity supply to Afghanistan from 90 to 60 megawatts.