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The Afghan Future Thought Forum brings together 45 intellectuals, opinion shapers, politicians and figures of moral authority to discuss and debate critical issues facing Afghanistan after the signing of the Doha Agreement between the Taliban and the U.S.
Organised by the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS) at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, the forum was announced by the centre’s director Sultan Barakat on Twitter on Thursday.
“This is strictly not a negotiation space,” he said.
“The focus is on technical, substantive aspects of developing ideas, analysis, and insights. It will allow plural views to engage in open dialogue.”
The subjects which will be addressed, range from post-agreement governance in Afghanistan, to comparative perspectives on Muslim societies with constitutions based on Islamic principles.
Issues such as the rights of women in Afghanistan’s future, as well as those of socio-economic importance will also be debated, as the panel includes seven women.
The aim of the panel is to contribute constructively to the creation of sustainable pathways to peace in Afghanistan.
The head of the Afghanistan National Standards Authority (ANSA) was arrested for accepting a $100,000 bribe, after their original demands for an even higher amount were not met.
Office of the Attorney General’s (AGO) spokesperson Jamshid Rasuli said that Director Mohammad Musa Alami was arrested after complaints from 180 businessmen and entrepreneurs. He added that the original bribery demand had been for $200,000.
There were also allegations against ANSA’s technical deputy Khwaja Jawed Sediqqi and head of projects Ehsanullah Hayat, along with deputies responsible for judicial control and supervision of the judicial administration.
Rasuli said the cases are all under investigation.
After acting Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar’s visit to Tehran, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi travelled to Kabul on Wednesday.
The meeting between the two ministers took place on Wednesday evening, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
The high-level delegation from Iran will be participating in the joint meetings of the Economic-Transit and Defence-Security Committees, following up on the decisions made during the Afghan diplomatic visit to Tehran.
The two sides are expected to discuss the finalization of the agreement regulating the employment and stay of Afghan workers to Iran and the renewal of the border commissioners’ contracts in accordance with their joint border cooperation.
The Afghan side handed over a draft to Iran for discussion, follow-up and regulations of measures to prevent the recurrence of accidents and illegal trafficking on the borders, as well as to legalize the presence of Afghan citizens in Iran.
The Iranian minister, while expressing his government’s readiness to expand relations between the two countries, assured Atmar that he would follow up on the agreements and decisions reached during the Afghan delegation’s visit.
Condemning the attacks by Pakistani military on parts of Kunar province on Wednesday, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said that these attacks and the advances at zero point were unacceptable for Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Thursday that as a result of diplomatic efforts, Pakistan agreed to a ceasefire and to hold a regional meeting with security officials on both sides.
This comes after Kunar officials said civilians were killed when Pakistani artillery fired rockets at Asadabad city and Sarkano district of the province. They said the army had also advanced across zero point.
The MFA said such attacks had resulted in civilian casualties and that the construction of arbitrary facilities following the Durand Line was unacceptable to the Afghan government.
They called on Pakistan to refrain from such actions and discuss issues through diplomatic channels.
Abdul Ghani Mosamim, spokesperson for the Kunar governor’s office, said that the death toll from the Wednesday attack had risen to six and the number of injured to 11.
No Afghan goods trucks crossed the Pakistan-India Wagah border at the Attari integrated checkpost on Wednesday, India said.
Pakistan reopened the Wagah border crossing with India on July 15 to facilitate Afghan transit trade with the country.
The Afghan-India bilateral trade was being opposed by a strong lobby of Pakistani traders and some politicians, Indian media reported, adding that it could take two to three days before Afghan trucks reach Wagah.
Pakistan Muslim League’s Aisha Ghaus Pasha had opposed the government’s decision to open the crossing and said they had not taken the parliament into confidence.
President Ashraf Ghani chaired a cabinet meeting on Wednesday where it was decided to conditionally reopen schools and universities from August 6, depending on the status of COVID-19 in the country.
The cabinet said the reopening would take into account the assessment of the Ministry of Public Health depending on the spread of the Coronavirus.
The ministers also discussed plans to adjust the working hours of offices, and approved the recommendations made by the Emergency Committee for the Prevention of Coronavirus, to let workers come in shifts on odd and even days, and to keep working hours from 8am to 4pm.
Ghani also instructed the security and defence institutions to “summon and prepare” for repelling enemy attacks.
Ghani emphasized on implementing the Security Pact while welcoming the newly appointed governors. He wants the programme to be rolled-out gradually from the centre to other provinces.
Cabinet members, provincial governors and heads of departments were instructed by Ghani to register the assets of the relevant authorities under their influence within the week, or they would see a reduction in their salaries.
The cabinet also drafted the second document of the National Peace and Development Framework, for re-booting the Afghan economy and achieving the goals of self-reliance, reducing poverty and deepening the relations between the citizens and the government.