Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Laghman officials said on Sunday, a suicide bomber who tried to attack Senate Speaker Fazal Hadi Muslimyar has been arrested by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives in the province.
Asadullah Dawlatzai, spokesperson for the Laghman governor, said that Irfanullah, known as Surkhroudi, is a suicide bomber assigned by Qari Bilal who is responsible for organizing suicide attacks for the Taliban.
He added that Irfanullah was arrested in a joint operation by the NDS Forces of Laghman and Nangarhar provinces in the Qarghayi district along the Kabul-Jalalabad highway.
The security personnel also found a According to him, during the operation, a Zarang motorcycle and 256 kgs of explosives, and arrested another person.
Faryab officials said three Afghan security personnel were killed in a Taliban attack in the Dawlat Abad and Shirin Tagab districts of the province on Sunday.
Faryab Police spokesperson Abdul Karim Yurash said that Taliban fighters launched attacks on security checkpoints in the districts in the morning, killing three and injuring one security personnel.
Yurash said that the attack was repulsed after several hours of fighting.
He added that a few Taliban fighters were also killed but their exact numbers are not known.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said two new cases of polio were registered in Badakhshan province, taking the tally for this year to 49 cases so far.
Merjan Rasekh, head of public awareness at the MoPH’s Polio Eradication Programme, said that the cases were reported in the districts of Yamgan and Kishim.
Rasekh said the victims were permanently paralyzed.
The MoPH had already resumed the vaccination campaign in Afghanistan in 20 provinces.
However, while 6.1 million children received the vaccine, another 2 million were excluded due to insecurity in their areas.
The MoPH will also be launching polio vaccination drives in 10 other provinces from tomorrow.
Warning the world that setting “unrealistic” timelines for a hasty international withdrawal from Afghanistan will be “unwise,” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said abandoning the peace process for any reason would be a “great travesty” in an opinion piece for The Washington Post that was published on Saturday.
Khan said all partners should “resist the temptation” for setting early timelines.
He reiterated the call for an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process, adding that the world had learned of how “peace and political stability in Afghanistan could not be imposed from the outside through the use of force.”
“The path we have travelled to get here wasn’t easy, but we were able to press on thanks to the courage and flexibility that were on display from all sides. The United States and its allies facilitated the prisoner exchange between Kabul and the Taliban. The government of Afghanistan and the Taliban responded to the Afghan people’s yearning for peace,” he stated, referring to Pakistan’s efforts in the peace process.
Talking about the difficulty of the talks, Khan said that “a bloodless deadlock on the negotiating table is infinitely better than a bloody stalemate on the battlefield,” calling on all parties who have invested in peace in Afghanistan to resist the temptation for settling unrealistic timelines.
He also said that like the U.S., Pakistan does not want to see itself turn into a sanctuary for international terrorists again.
“Since 9/11, more than 80,000 Pakistani security personnel and civilians have laid down their lives in perhaps the largest and most successful fight against terrorism,” he said.
Talking with the Afghan government’s peace delegation, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said they remained committed to a “just, durable and dignified peace.”
Abdullah’s office released a statement on Saturday that he spoke to the negotiating team in Qatar and thanked them for their “patience, coherence and unity of opinion” in the ongoing peace process.
“You have gone to Qatar to carry out a great national mission with a message of peace, and the people and government of Afghanistan unanimously support you,” he told them.
Chief government negotiator Masoom Stanekzai thanked the Afghan leadership for their support of the team and updated Abdullah on the latest developments in the peace talks.
After reviewing the report of the negotiating team, they stressed on the firm determination of Afghanistan to end the war and achieve a lasting and dignified peace.
From the 267 samples tested in the past 24 hours, 35 were found to be positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said, confirming 39,227 cases of the virus so far.
The new cases were reported in the provinces of Kabul (14), Balkh (6), Badakhshan (5), Daykundi (5), Kunduz (4) and Parwan (1).
The MoPH reported no new deaths and seven recoveries in the past day.
There are 5,132 active Coronavirus cases in Afghanistan, along with 32,642 who have recovered and 1,453 deaths.
Security officials in Kunduz said they had managed to clear four villages as a result of joint operations in Aliabad district.
Hijratullah Akbari, Kunduz Police spokesperson, said that eight Taliban fighters, including one of their leaders, were killed and 12 others were wounded during the operation.
He added that a Taliban vehicle was also destroyed and 11 mines were discovered and defused.
Up to 90 Afghan students will start studying in 22 major at Iran’s International University of Chabahar (IUC) from October.
Head of the university, Naser Abravesh told IRNA that necessary permits for admission of internationals students had been issued.
The university had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jami University of Afghanistan on developing scientific, research, technology and educational cooperation.
This prepared the grounds for Afghan students to study in IUC, in-line with its international objective to interact with other institutions in the neigbouring nations.
IUC admits 100 top Afghan students in 22 international departments through written tests and in-person interviews.
The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations (MoRR) said 500,000 Afghans have returned to their homeland since January 2020.
MoRR said a majority, 480,000 were from Iran alone. In the past month alone, over 8,000 Afghan refugees have returned from Iran.
Abdul Basit Ansari, media adviser for the MoRR, said that they are talking to the Iranian authorities to resolve the problems faced by Afghans living there.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) also said 549,769 undocumented Afghans from Iran and Pakistan have returned, of which 349,932 were spontaneous returnees while 195,067 were deported.