Newsfeed; Thursday, March 12 2020

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    ‘Peace Process Has Long Path, Requires Patience’: Ghani

    President Ashraf Ghani in a video message on the occasion of the 25th death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari said that the peace process has a long path and needs patience.

    “Now, peace changes to a priority for the people. The peace process will be transparent and the delegation team will enter to the talks representing the Afghan people,” Ghani said in the video.

    He noted that at the end of the peace process, the Lower House of Parliament will decide about the agreement with Taliban.

    Ghani emphasized that people needs a national unity and the next year will be named as the year of soladiraty.

    “We will continue to pursue the wishes of the martyrs’ national unity for accurate modification, fair participation in power, active participation of women and elimination of discrimination,” he added.

    This comes as the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is now in Kabul and is bargaining for the peace talks with the Taliban group.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Woman Gives Birth to five Children in Nangarhar

    A woman has given birth to quintuplets in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, the provincial public health officials said.

    Dr. Roshan Ahmadi, the head of the maternity division of Nangarhar region hospital said a woman has given birth to quintuplets, including four baby girls and a baby boy.

    According to Dr. Ahmadi, the babies are in good health condition and are under supervision in pediatric division of the hospital to receive necessary care.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    12 Specialist Doctors Graduate From FMIC in Kabul

    To meet the critical needs for medical specialists in Afghanistan in fields such as pediatrics and cardiology, the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) graduated twelve specialists, according to the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

    The doctors were awarded certificates in seven specializations, including Anesthesia, Radiology, Orthopedics, Pediatric Surgery, Pathology, Pediatric Medicine and Cardiology.

    FMIC’s Post-Graduate Medical Education (PGME) flagship program was developed in partnership with the Aga Khan University and Ministry of Public Health.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    15 Afghan Migrants Discovered By Hungarian Police in Romanian’s Van

    Hungarian motorway police stopped a Chrysler minivan with 15 Afghan migrants hidden on board in the early hours of Thursday morning, Hungary’s national police announced.

    Police said the van was stopped near Győr in western Hungary and all 15 people hidden in the vehicle declared themselves to be Afghani. None of the migrants had any documents to confirm who they were or where they came from.

    The vehicle, which was traveling towards Austria, was impounded and all 15 migrants were returned to Romania.

    In addition to the Romanian driver of the van, police also arrested the driver of an Austrian-registered Mercedes, who they said acted as a scout and was driving ahead of the Chrysler.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    US Seeking Solution for Ghani & Abdullah Differences: Khalilzad

    US Special Envoy on Afghan peace process Zalmay Khalilzad says his country is still trying to find a solution to the disagreements between Dr Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.

    He warns that if disagreements between President Ghani and Dr Abdullah continues, the peace process may fail.

    Zalmay Khalilzad in an interview with Tolonews in Kabul said that he tried a lot to find a solution before the inauguration ceremonies of the two leaders, but the time was short.

    He warned that the continuation of disagreements between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah may adversely affect the security situation, the armed forces, and most importantly the Afghan peace process, which he says is a historic opportunity.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Turkey Ready to Take on Mediator Role in Afghanistan Negotiations

    Turkey is ready to mediate intra-Afghan peace talks in case of a request, the country’s Kabul envoy.

    Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Oğuzhan Ertuğrul said that the peace deal that was signed between the Taliban and the United States on Feb. 29 is a crucial step for Afghanistan’s future and if there would be any request to do so, Turkey is ready to host the negotiation process.

    Ertuğrul highlighted that the road to peace is a tricky one and the first step on it is to launch a negotiation process with representatives from all segments of the Afghan society.

    The Feb. 29 pact between the Taliban and the U.S. has cleared the way for the withdrawal of U.S.-led international forces after more than 18 years of war, but peace still has to be negotiated between the militants and the U.S.-backed government.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    UNAMA Stresses on An Inclusive Gov’t Acceptable to All

    The United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto met Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday, the UN said in a statement.

    According to the statement, Yamamoto has stressed stressed the importance of the Afghan leaders coming together to create an inclusive government acceptable to all in accordance with the constitution.

    “This is critical for the formation of a representative peace negotiation team,” Yamamoto said.

    This comes as Afghanistan now has two presidents and despite US efforts, the list of Afghan negotiation team for the peace talks is not clear so far.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Female Afghan Journalist Among 10 European International Leadership Award Winners

    Afghan female journalist, Lailuma Sadid won an award by the European Leadership Women Association and was known as an active Europe-based journalist on Friday, the March 6th.

    The other award winners are from Italy, Belgium, Taiwan, Congo, Cambodia, and Morocco.

    The prizes were given to those who were well-versed active in the areas of human rights, politics, information and Journalism, commerce, economics and sports.

    Lailuma Sadid is the daughter of a leading politician engineer. She studied journalism at Kabul University and now lives in Brussels, Belgium and works as a freelance journalist in close cooperation with the NATO and European Union agencies.

    She sought asylum in Belgium to flee from the death threats she was facing as a female journalist in Afghanistan and despite living in exile, she pursued her education and got her Master’s in Political Science at ULB.

    Lailuma is said to be the only Afghan female journalist based in Europe.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    UN Security Council Hails Qatar’s Role in US-Taliban Negotiations

    The UN Security Council hailed Qatar’s mediation, role and auspices of the negotiations between the United States and the Afghan Taliban.

    During a session held on the Situation in Afghanistan, and after voting on a resolution adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council in which the recent agreement between the United States and the Afghan Taliban was approved, the Acting Deputy Permanent

    Representative of the US Mission to the United Nations ambassador Cherith Chalet expressed in a statement her country’s gratitude to the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and to the decisive support and role played by Qatar in hosting US-Afghan Taliban talks, that culminated in the signing of the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the two parties in Doha on February 29.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    1st ID Soldiers in Afghanistan ‘Maintaining Readiness’ Amid Troop Withdrawals

    As the U.S. military begins pulling troops from Afghanistan because of a recent peace agreement with the Taliban, 1st Infantry Division officials at Fort Riley said Tuesday they have not received orders modifying the deployment schedule of its soldiers.

    The deal, signed on Feb. 29 after more than a year of negotiations, outlined a timeline for withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a country with which the U.S. has been embroiled in war since 2001.

    Lt. Col. Terence Kelley, director of public affairs for the 1st Infantry Division, said its soldiers will continue with their training and duties, responding wherever and whenever needed. He said he could not comment on how this deal may affect future missions or operations in the region as that decision would largely come from the U.S. Department of the Army or the U.S. Central Command.

    “For us, at our level, we’re really just focused on maintaining readiness and making sure our troops and our units are prepared to execute whatever mission they’re assigned,” Kelley said.

    The agreement is not a final peace deal and depends on the Taliban holding its end to prevent “any group or individual, including al-Qaida, from using the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.”

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    MSF Report Exposes Afghanistan’s Neglected Healthcare Crisis

    The international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) finds that Afghans today still struggle to get access to healthcare due to pervasive violence, widespread poverty, and a weak public health system.

    MSF in a report said that widespread poverty puts care out of reach for many Afghan people, as witnessed daily through the stories of patients.

    “An urgent priority now must be to ensure greater access to free, high-quality healthcare and respond to the acute medical needs,” the report said.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Iran Says Will Do Its Best to Restore Stability to Afghanistan

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has voiced Tehran’s determination to restore sustainable stability to Afghanistan.

    The remarks by the Foreign Ministry official comes as Ashraf Ghani and his chief rival, Abdullah Abdullah, took the oath of office as the president of Afghanistan on Monday, plunging the fragile country into a new crisis.

    “The only way towards prosperity, stability and security in Afghanistan is forming a comprehensive unity government which includes all Afghan elites and political figures and groups,” Mousavi told a regular news briefing.

    He underscored that Tehran’s policy is to support for Afghan-Afghan talks.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Visa Section of Pak Embassy in Kabul Closed

    The visa section of Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul has been closed after symptoms of coronavirus found in a staff member, on Wednesday.

    The embassy worker has been quarantined as a precautionary measure.

    The movement of a suspected case of the disease to be restricted for 14 days to monitor and confirm whether he or she is infected by novel coronavirus or not.

    The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Afghanistan has increased to seven according to a recent report.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Afghan-American Women Association Issues Statement on US-Taliban Deal

    Afghan-led NGO in the Washington DC area, in consultation with the Afghan Women’s Education Center (AWEC – based in Afghanistan) and the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN – representing around 125 women groups in Afghanistan), welcomed the peace agreement between the United States and Taliban leadership with hopes for an enduring peace and prosperous future for the Afghan people.

    (A-AWA) in a statement cited that history shows that a peace deal that divvies up power and resources between political strongmen, the Taliban, and the warlords will fail.

    “While this agreement could represent a viable beginning towards peace in Afghanistan through its facilitation of intra-Afghan talks, it also raises significant concerns,” the statement reads.

    The statement stated that the United States and the international community did not sacrifice their military forces and families, to say nothing of trillions of taxpayer dollars, for a rushed deal that abandons an aspiring democracy for reasons of political expediency.

    “Afghan Peace means that women must also be involved in all stages of negotiations, from defining the agenda to establishing mechanisms for implementation, monitoring, reconstruction, peace-building, and development,” it added.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    British Forces to Begin Their Final Retreat from Afghanistan

    After nearly two decades, the UK finally looks set to depart the country following the US peace deal with the Afghan Taliban.

    According to the Times newspaper, “hundreds” of British troops are set to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by “mid-July” as part of the “first phase” of the US-Taliban peace deal.

    Altogether, 330 British soldiers are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of the summer. Currently there are 1,100 “regular” UK military personnel stationed in Afghanistan, most of them in and around Kabul.

    The full evacuation of the British troops, as part of the “second phase” of the drawdown, is dependent on the sustainability of the volatile peace agreement between the US and the Taliban leadership.

    The Times defence editor, Lucy Fisher, tweeted that there is “doubt” about durability in view of the Taliban’s propensity to engage in further resistance against US and UK forces.

  • 12 Mar 2020 Share this post

    Canada Accuses Doctor of Crimes Against Humanity for Virginity Tests on Women in Afghanistan

    Canadian immigration authorities are trying to deport a doctor who performed “virginity tests” on women in Afghanistan, alleging her actions amounted to a crime against humanity.

    Before crossing the border into Canada to make a refugee claim, Saida Ahmadi worked at a hospital in northern Afghanistan where her duties included virginity examinations.

    Although Canadian officials said such tests have “no scientific validity,” in Afghanistan they can be used to prosecute girls and young women for the supposed moral crime of sex before marriage.

    At hearings held in secrecy in Vancouver, the officials have accused Ahmadi of conducting such tests “at the request of the state” and testifying in court about the results, making her complicit in the oppression of Afghan women.

    Virginity tests amount to torture and the persecution of women, the government officials argued, and aiding and abetting prosecutions amounted to a crime against humanity.