Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Special Forces of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) have arrested a mine planter of Taliban terrorist group in Kabul during a targeted operation.
According to NDS press release, Naqibullah, son of Ghulam Nabi, was recruited by Taliban commander Mashhudullah and Dadullah, the Taliban commanders. He had informed the Taliban terrorist group 14 times about the return and movement of the security forces convoy to the Siah Gard district of Parwan province.
“Naqibullah also took charge of three Taliban mine-planters after being transferred to Kabul province, where they were tasked with placing magnetic mines and detonating target vehicles,” the press release said.
According to the information of NDS, the Taliban group, based on the leadership of the Quetta Shura, intends to carry out terrorist attacks in areas where there are large crowds and group members have been given the task of refusing to take responsibility after being arrested.
The Ministry of Justice has announced that Bahador Aminian, Iran’s ambassador to Kabul, during a meeting with Justice Minister Fazl Ahmad Manavi, said that about 20,000 Afghan prisoners are being held in the country’s prisons and that the Iranian government is ready to send them to Afghanistan.
The Iranian ambassador added that the files of 2,600 Afghan prisoners in Iranian prisons have been completed and are ready to be transferred to Afghanistan.
During the meeting, he called on Afghanistan to pay attention to the transfer of 25 Iranian prisoners to the Iranian government.
The Ministry of Justice added that efforts are being made to find a logical solution to the problem of Afghan refugees in Iran and the transfer of Afghan prisoners from that country.
Manawi stressed that he is working to strengthen and implement the agreement on extradition of criminals between Afghanistan and Iran.
Nominee ministers for women affairs, mines and petroleum, transport, refugees, urban development, and public works presented their plan to the parliament vowing to bring reforms in their relevant institutions if they get a vote of confidence from MPs.
The Lower House of Parliament suspended the vote of confidence in cabinet members on November 24th.
The Parliament’s decision follows remarks by First Vice President Amrullah Saleh at the Geneva meeting about the involvement of a number of members of the lawmakers in corruption.
The House of Representatives has previously warned that it will suspend voting for cabinet members until Saleh submits his evidences and documents to prove his claims.
The remaining members of the cabinet are scheduled to present their plans at subsequent meetings, and then parliament will set up a ballot to approve these officials.
Turkmenistan is committed to promoting the socio-economic development of Afghanistan, reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
The Turkmen ministry says Turkmenistan’s commitment is shown in infrastructure projects initiated by Turkmenistan, including the construction of social facilities on the territory of Afghanistan on a gratuitous basis.
The construction of the TAPI gas pipeline, electric power and communication lines along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route, as well as railway lines connecting Turkmenistan with Afghanistan and other countries in the region is important for the Afghan economy, the ministry added.
The representatives of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning Land Acquisition for the Afghan portion of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.
The Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI), also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, is a natural gas pipeline being developed by the Galkynysh – TAPI Pipeline Company Limited with the participation of the Asian Development Bank.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported 252 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1387 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 11 deaths and 87 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 43,924 the number of total reported deaths is 1,763 and the total number of recoveries is 36,731.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Takhar, Nangarhar, Badakhshan, Maidan Wardak, and Laghman provinces.
The head of Zabul’s provincial council, Ata Jan Haqbayan along with two others were wounded and his driver was killed in a suicide attack in the province on Sunday morning, local officials confirmed.
Zmaray Sahak, the spokesman of Zabul Security Command told Reporterly that the incident happened in Qalat, capital of the province, on Sunday morning after Haqbayan had just left his home to go to his office.
No group including the Taliban has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.
India will on Monday host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) heads of government virtually which will witness the participation of 7 Prime Ministers–6 from the member states of SCO itself Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and one from observer member of Belarus.
SCO has 8 member states and 4 observer states. Pakistan, which is a member of SCO will be represented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan giving it a miss.
Other 3 Observer states –Afghanistan is being represented by President Ashraf Ghani, Iran by its First Vice President of Iran, and Mongolia by its Deputy Prime Minister.
The Sindh government of Pakistan shifted 16 Afghan children, who had been imprisoned in a jail in Sukkur district, to a children’s remand home in Karachi on Saturday.
The Pakistan’s provincial chief minister’s special assistant on human rights, Veerji Kolhi, told The Express Tribune that Pakistan Peoples Party’s chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and CM Murad Ali Shah had taken notice of his request to release the children from the environment of the jail.
“The children have been shifted to Karachi and the Afghan consul general has also been contacted to help in their repatriation,” he added.
Over a week ago, the Kashmore-Kandhkot district police arrested 21 Afghan citizens, including 16 children, for illegally entering the country.
At least 26 security forces were killed and 17 more were wounded in a suicide car bomb that targeted the Public Protection Unit in Ghazni province on Sunday morning, local officials confirmed.
The incident occurred in PD3 of Ghazni on Sunday, Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, a provincial council member told Reporterly.
According to him, the attacker detonated “a Humvee vehicle which was full of explosives.”
Army commandos were also based at the compound, Faqiri added.
Noo group has claimed responsibility for the blast.
Afghanistan has condemned an Iranian plan to impose 25-year jail terms on anyone deemed an “illegal migrant” while also giving officials authority to fire on vehicles suspected of carrying asylum seekers.
If approved by Iran’s parliament, the move could affect nearly 2.5 million Afghans who have fled their homeland since the start of the conflict over four decades ago and are now living in Iran.
“We are highly concerned about this. We hope that Iran will not resort to such a move,” Abdul Basit Ansari, an adviser for Afghanistan’s ministry of refugees, told Arab News.
“We can jointly work to solve this issue, and we insist on voluntary repatriation of Afghans,” he added.
Iran’s Sharq newspaper, citing the country’s Islamic Council, said recently that the parliament was working to “regulate illegal migrants” and would put its proposals up for approval “very soon.”
Under the plan those entering or living in Iran without a permit will be jailed for 25 years, and will face hefty fines and confiscation of property.
A suicide car bomb struck the Afghan Public Protection Forces (APPF) battalion in central Ghazni province on Sunday, local officials confirmed.
A provincial council member, Nasir Ahmad Faqiri said the exact number of casualties is not clear so far, but part of the public protection forces and commandos were stationed there.
In the meantime, health officials in Ghazni province confirmed that at least eight wounded from security forces have been transferred to the provincial hospital so far.
The government of Afghanistan and the Taliban group have agreed on procedural rules for peace talks to end the country’s 19 years of conflict.
The terms, which consist of 21 articles, have been “approved” by both parties to break weeks of stalemate, Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, where they have a political office, said on Twitter.
A member of IRA Peace Negotiation team, Nader Naderi also said, the negotiation teams of both sides have ONLY agreed in principle to the 21 articles of the rules and procedures, with the exception of the introduction because it requires further discussion & clarification.
“Therefore in the joint meeting on Nov 17, 2020 in the presence of the host country, it was decided that the rules and procedures will only be considered final once it is presented to the general meeting of both delegations & approved there,” Naderi said.
The peace deal the U.S. signed with the militants on Feb. 29 requires the Taliban to cut ties with all terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, in exchange for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The U.S. has started withdrawing forces from the country and will reduce its troops to 2,500 from 4,500 by Jan. 15, with more scheduled leave by May.
The Afghan government expressed concern over what it considers a premature withdrawal that could leave the country in civil war.