Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The first group of 10 Afghan women arrived in Tashkent to study in Uzbekistan under the program of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the field of Agronomy for the next 2.5 years, Akipress reported.
This is made possible by a cross-border initiative aimed at supporting the economic empowerment of Afghan women through education grants to study in Uzbekistan.
The Regional Project “Supporting the Economic Empowerment of Afghan Women through Education and Training in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan” funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aims to provide educational opportunities for Afghan women, who face disproportionate barriers to education and employment compared to their men counterparts back home.
Overall, 50 young women from Afghanistan will study and graduate from universities in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. EU has provided a €2 million grant for the initiative, which will be implemented by UNDP in 2020-2025.
The main goal of this project in Uzbekistan is to deliver TVET training for Afghan Women due to the proximity and the experience of the government and higher education institutions in providing international exchange education. The priority sector for education is agriculture as a growth sector with particular attention to promoting gender equality.
The Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) has expressed concern over the fate of the Ghazni Provincial Council and Parliamentary elections and called on the Lower House to postpone voting on the legislative decree on the election law.
Yusuf Rashid, Executive Director of the Foundation for Free and Fair Elections of Afghanistan (FEFA), today, during a press conference in Kabul, expressed his concern about the marginalization of the election issue and the lack of tangible planning for electoral reforms to develop a specific plan for The elections of the Ghazni Parliamentary the Provincial Councils, which are among the main issues in the constitution and the part of the agreements between Arg and Sapidar Palace.
“The persistence of the current situation has raised fears that the election, as one of the main foundations and achievements of the republican system over the last twenty years, will be forgotten, and has raised concerns that the Republican negotiating team is at the peace negotiating table,” he said.
“This principle, as a value and right of citizenship and at the same time the basic line for ensuring lasting stability in the country, cannot be defended,” he asserted.
In addition, he added that in an official letter, FEFA also asked the Lower House to postpone the vote on the legislative decree of the election law and asked the Ministry of Justice and other responsible institutions to prepare a new draft election law in consultation with the relevant institutions.
The Judiciary of the Bamiyan Municipal Court on Monday acquitted 13 civil activists and one journalist in a public hearing.
The members of Bamiyan municipal court said that the individuals were detained last week based on a court ruling in accusation of turning a protest ‘violent’ on November 2018 which led to the killing of two protesters and the destruction of public places.
According to the court, thousands of people in Bamiyan staged protest for the release an uprising forces’ commander, Abdul Ghani Alipoor in Behsoud district of Maidan Wardak province.
Following the protest which turned violent, 14 civil society activists, including a local journalist, were identified by the Bamyan Provincial Military Council as “instigators” of the protest to the Bamyan Provincial Appeals Prosecutor’s Office.
Zaman Ahmadi, a local journalist in Bamyan and one of the defendants in the case, told a public court hearing that there was no evidence against him or the other defendants in the case and that he had been charged only on the basis of a decision of the former Bamyan Military Council.
During the public hearing of the defendants in this case, the prosecutors were unable to provide reasons, documents and evidence that could satisfy the judiciary of this court, and due to the lack of credible documents, 14 defendants were acquitted.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday reported 256 new positive cases of coronavirus out of 1,454 samples tested in the last 24 hours.
The ministry also reported 26 deaths and 90 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
The cumulative number of total cases is now 49,740 the number of total reported deaths is 2,001 and the total number of recoveries is 38,500.
The new cases were reported in Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Paktia, Baghlan, Badghis, Laghman, Ghor, Kunar, Kapisa, Panjshir, Farah, Uruzgan, Samangan and Jawzjan provinces.
Abdul Rahman Atshan, the deputy head of Ghor Provincial Council was killed in a magnetic Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the capital of the province on Tuesday noon, local officials confirmed.
The spokesman of Ghor governor, Arif Aber told Reporterly that an IED detonated near the provincial council building of Ghor province in Firooz Koh city on Tuesday.
According to Aber, another provincial council member of Ghor was also wounded in the blast.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
The export of Pakistani goods to Afghanistan via Torkham border came to a halt on Monday after the local clearing agents of Pakistan stopped work to protest lack of facilities at the border crossing, Pakistani media reported.
According to the reports, protesters said the strike would continue until the authorities met their all demands.
Torkham Customs Clearing Agents head for Pakistan Hazrat Umar told the protersters at the border crossing that they all had long been demanding the round-the-clock border opening for speedy trade with Afghanistan, abolition of scanning condition for all types of export goods, and fixing of a separate place for the examination of export and import goods.
He demanded of the authorities to stop the clearance of goods except fresh food items after 5pm and not register FIRs against clearing agents, whose vehicles carried minor illegal items.
Members of “Iranian Parliament Women’s Fractions and Afghanistan’s Commission on Human Rights, Civil Society and Women’s Affairs, civil society in a virtual session, explored opportunities for cooperation in the field of migrants, peace and security, Khaf-Herat railway and Chabahar Port.
Member of the Parliament of Afghanistan, Nahid Farid said that in this virtual session that the two sides discussed prospects for joint cooperation between Iranian Parliament Women’s Fractions and Afghanistan’s Commission on Human Rights, Civil Society, and Women’s Affairs.
The Iran Embassy in Kabul announced in a tweet that the members of Iranian Parliament Women’s Fractions and Afghanistan’s Commission on Human Rights, Civil Society and Women’s Affairs in a virtual meeting discussed human rights and women’s welfare.
The Embassy said on Tuesday that the two sides discussed the opportunities of both countries in the field of women ‘s affairs, migrants, peace and security, Khaf-Herat railway, investment opportunities, and scientific cooperation.
Afghanistan and Iran in a joint statement agreed to finalize a comprehensive document on strategic cooperation between the two countries within the next three months.
At least four people were killed and wounded in a magnetic IED blast in Kabul city early Tuesday, Police confirmed.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman Tariq Arian said, “A Land Cruiser type vehicle of the Kabul deputy governor, Mohibullah Muhammadi was targeted by an IED in Macroryan Char area of PD9 at around 09:40am on Tuesday morning.”
According to Arian, Muhammadi along with his secretary were killed and two of his bodyguards were wounded in the incident.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
Over the past months, major Afghan cities, including Kabul, have witnessed a spate of terror attacks by Taliban insurgents and the Islamic State.
President Ashraf Ghani spoke via Video Tele-Conference (VTC) with Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and a number of the House members on Monday tonight, Arg said.
The Presidential Palace said in a statement that Afghan First Lady, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, Foreign Minister Mohmmad Hanif Atmar, NSA Hamdullah Mohib, Director General of AOP Fazel Fazly were present at the meeting and Roya Rahmani Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States was also connected to the meeting as well.
According to the statement, both sides talked about the US continued support to Afghanistan, the peace process and next steps and the rights of women.
“They expressed their concerns over the escalation of violence and need for an immediate ceasefire,” the statement added.
A number of sacked workers of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) set up a sit-in tent in front of the ministry on Monday, demanding reemployment for the next solar year.
The protesters claim that MoMP has removed 1,209 workers of total 2,666 from their jobs without convincing reasons.
The protest of fired employees of MoMP has entered its fourth day.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, however, announced that it has undertaken a series of reforms with the aim of creating an administration that is “effective, efficient and with the capacity to mobilize economic change in people’s lives”.
A spokesman for MoMP, Abdul Qadir Mutfa has not confirmed the removing of 1,209 posts, but explained about some structural changes in the ministry.
He noted that 205 unqualified individuals were working on technical posts of the ministry and the ministry planned to shift them to their relevant parts for their efficiency.
He said that 512 other active workers of the ministry would be transferred to Afghanistan Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority considering their working area.
Mutfa said that 78 other workers would retire on completion of their terms.
However, the written that the protesters have in their hands stated that 1,209 post had been removed by the Ministry of Mines.
Protesters added that the terms and procedures of some of the posts have been changed and the conditions have been adjusted to hinder the work of current employees.