Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women this afternoon heard from representatives of civil society on the situation of women’s rights in Afghanistan whose reports on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women will be reviewed this week, OHCHR reported.
With the peace negotiations underway, this was a critical time for Afghanistan, said the speakers, who raised concerns about the secrecy of the talks.
The absence of the meaningful representation of women in the peace talks raised a fear that the rights of women and other hard-gained achievements of the post-Taliban period might be traded away.
The speakers highlighted concerns about relentless attacks, intimidation, harassment and violence against human rights defenders, and about the lack of implementation of the Elimination of Violence against Women Law – the only law that criminalized 18 acts of gender-based violence and recognized gender-specific crimes.
During the discussion, the Afghan Women’s Network, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Afghanistan, and Women for Justice also spoke on Afghanistan.
Under the trilateral cooperation between India, Afghanistan and China, a capacity building programme for a team of 10 senior Afghan National Police officers started in India on February 17 at Central Detective Training Institute (CDTI), Ghaziabad, Indian government said.
According to a press release by the India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the programme is specially focussed on the various aspects of Community Policing.
“The programme is aimed at further strengthening India and China collaboration on Afghanistan. A similar joint programme for Afghan diplomats was held at Foreign Service Institute in November 2019,” the press release added.
According to data gathered by Gallup, Afghanistan’s median household income is $4,121, with median per-capital income of $378.
Afghanistan’s median household income exceeds that of Pakistan’s ($4,060) and 38 other countries, including Kyrgzystan, Sri Lanka, India and Philippines.
The median income of a nation is a number that falls in the middle of the nation’s income distribution. In other words, half of the nation’s adult residents have disposable income higher than this number, while the other half has disposable income that falls below this number.
This data is aggregated from 2006-2012 and uses Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Vast differences between more economically developed countries and those with developing or transitional economies illustrate how dramatically spending power varies worldwide. Median per-capita incomes in the top 10 wealthiest populations are more than 50 times those in the 10 poorest populations, all of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.
A series of airstrikes and raids by Afghan Special Forces have left six IS-K terrorists dead in eastern Kunar province.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said an airstrike killed four IS-K terrorists in Suki district of Kunar province.
The statement further added that the Afghan Special Forces killed an IS-K terorist and destroyed a weapons cache during a raid in Tarang district of the Kunar.
Another airstrike in Tarang district killed an IS-K militant, the MoD added in its statement.
US peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and briefed about the latest developments in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, PM office said.
During the meeting, PM Imran reiterated Pakistan’s “commitment to a peaceful, stable and democratic Afghanistan”.
“Pakistan welcomes the recent progress in peace talks between the US and Taliban,” PM Imran told the US envoy.
Khan added that he hopes a peace deal is signed at the earliest between the US and the Afghan Taliban, which he believes will pave the way for an intra-Afghan dialogue that can work out a settlement for sustained peace and stability in Afghanistan.
President Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqi says the US-Taliban peace deal is conditional and will be “finalized next week.”
Speaking at a press conference on President Ghani’s recent trip to the Munich Security Conference, Sediqi noted that “peace is a priority for the government and the president, and our peace will be national–not on one side.”
“Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, and Mark Esper, US Secretary of Defense, in a meeting with President Ghani told him that none of the peace agreement article is ‘without conditions,’” Sediqqi said.
The government of Afghanistan assures the people that “we will not be setback” and “will put all of our efforts into keeping the recent achievements,” Sediqqi said.
“Serious work is ongoing over reduction in violence, and we cannot share all the details now,” Sediqqi added.
The final results of Afghan presidential election will be announced today or tomorrow, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on Tuesday.
IEC commissioner Hanif Danishyar told reporters that both partial recounting and auditing of votes as requested by the complaints commission had been completed.
He said that the report of the latest stage is on IEC board’s table for discussion.
IEC had declared incumbent president Ashraf Ghani in the lead with 50.64 percent.
Afghan local sources have confirmed that at least nine uprising forces have been killed in Taliban’s attack in Kapisa province.
Muhammad Mahfoz Safi, a member of Kapisa provincial council said the Taliban insurgents attacked an outpost of the uprising forces in Hajiyan Dara area of Nejrab district early on Tuesday morning.
According to Safi, the situation is currently normal and security forces are present at the area.
In the meantime, the spokesman of Badghis Police, Abdul Shayeq Shoresh told Reportely that the clashes started between Taliban and uprising forces at 02:00am and continued up to 05:00am (local time).
Afghan security officials have confirmed that at least eight security forces and one civilian have been killed in Taliban’s attacks on four districts of Faryab province.
Faryab Police say that the Taliban insurgents attacked the security outposts in Qaisar, Almar, Garizwan and Dawlat Abad district on Monday night, Feb 17.
According to Police, at least four Taliban insurgents were killed during clashes in Qaisar district and one civilian was killed and another one was wounded.
In the meantime, Taliban stormed another outpost in Garizwan district which one Taliban fighter was killed and two others were wounded.
Based on reports from Police, at least three security forces were wounded and one Taliban insurgent was killed during the clashes in Dawlat Abad district.
Police added that the attacks have completely thwarted by the security forces.
President Ashraf Ghani says the withdrawal of 4000 US troops from Afghanistan will have no effect on Afghan Army Forces and the country’s situation.
The Presidential Palace in a statement said that President Ghani has met with the commanders of Afghan Corpses in the second consultation meeting regarding the peace process.
“The enemy failed to achieve their goals in the past two years as the security forces stand against them,” President Ghani said.
“At this critical juncture, the Afghan security forces have the strong support of me, the nation, the International Community and the commitment of NATO,” Ghani asserted.
This comes as the peace talks have recently entered a new phase, with the Taliban agreeing with US representatives on a seven-day violence reduction plan.
Afghanistan Ambassador to Sri Lanka M. Asharf Haidari has pledged that Afghanistan would provide its assistance to Sri Lanka in countering drug trafficking in the South Asian region.
He said Sri Lanka remained a vital conduit in the South Asian region security apparatus and both countries had the potential in increasing our security and defense cooperation bilaterally.
The Ambassador expressed these views during a cordial discussion held with Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne at the Ministry.
“Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have a lot to share and we could cooperate in a multitude of sectors. There is a real potential in enhancing cultural relationship and tourism between the two nations”, he said.
Meanwhile, taking a note on the matters discussed, the Defense Secretary Maj. Gen. Gunaratne highlighted the possibility of bilateral cooperation, covering security and Defense, business and investments and in building institutional capacities and deepening existing ties.
As the Afghan reconciliation process has apparently entered in final phase, China has spelled out its suggestions to deal the issue of Afghan refugees wandering in foreign lands.
“The situation in Afghanistan has entered a critical juncture. The United States and the Afghan Taliban are expected to reach a peace agreement soon, which will pave the way for the political parties in Afghanistan to start the intra-Afghan negotiation on the future domestic political arrangements. And the reconciliation negotiation will lead to the early peace in Afghanistan and start the reconstruction of Afghan,” Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad Yao Jing told an international refugee summit in Islamabad.
“Pakistan and Afghanistan have reached significant consensus on the settlement of Afghan refugee issue within the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS). Chinese often seek addressing both symptoms and root causes when solving a problem. We always believe that foreign assistance can only solve the symptoms in settling the Afghan refugee issue. However, addressing the root causes means resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation, achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region,” he said, and share with the audience his suggestions.