Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced support for holding the parliamentary election and the Afghanistan Peace process as he made a surprise visit to Kabul on Tuesday.
He announced his support from the Presidential election and Afghanistan’s Peace process in his meeting with President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
The Presidential palace press release said, that President Ghani has discussed the increase of security forces’ activities and capacities, coordination, mutual relations, Peace process and the Afghanistan’s upcoming presidential election with Pompeo.
During the meeting, Mike Pompeo praised the increase in Afghan security forces’ activities and capacities, adding that the Afghan security forces have showcased greater capabilities in the recent months.
On the other side, President Ghani and US Secretary of State expressed satisfaction over the increase in coordination levels and mutual relations between the Afghan government and United States.
During the meeting, President Ghani declared that the Afghan government and the international partners have demonstrated their willingness and preparations for solving the country’s forty years of political crisis and now is the time that Taliban and their supporters announce their readiness.
He supported US efforts in Afghanistan peace process and stressed that the allied countries and international partners are better to prevent the sporadic and solitary efforts in this process.
President Ghani emphasised that the efforts and messages in a unified form will have a result. Dr. Abdullah also said in the meeting that the majority of Afghans are demanding a stable peace in the country, however this peace should not be at the cost of losing the achievements achieved with the peoples’ scarifications.
Mike Pompeo also stated that the US government supports the peace process and the upcoming presidential elections in Mizan of the ongoing year and is ready for any cooperation.
President Ghani conceded that to ensure a just, clear and inclusive election, the entities and friend countries should not only increase the number of their supervisors, but must have coordination with their colleagues in the elections.
The Moby Media Group, signed a contract with an Afghan firm at a ceremony in Kabul on Monday to provide insurance coverage to its employees.
Addressing the ceremony, the CEO of Moby Group in Afghanistan, Shafic Gawhari, said the company will reassess its security strategy and human resources policy to provide better attention to its employees, as reported by TOLO News.
Gawhari said the discussions on insurance coverage to Moby employees took almost three years. “It is accident insurance. If our colleague or an employee is injured or becomes disabled during an incident or, God forbidden, he loses his life, then his family should be taken care of,” he added.
The Afghan Ministry of Education says that the gates of 12 female, male and mixed schools were opened in Ishkamish district of Takhar province.
The schools were closed due to security threats to students, which have now been reopened with favorable security conditions and cooperation of citizens, ministry of education said in a statement on Tuesday.
Noria Nazhat spokesperson of Ministry of Education says that, with the opening of these schools, the group for receiving education will be facilitated for 7558 students including 2011 girl students.
She added that two schools “Sadbargan high school and Yaka Bagh secondary school”, which were temporarily closed due to the insecurity and displacement of students’ families to the center of Namak Ab district, were transferred to the city of Taloqan and the provision of intermediate educational services for students were provided beneath the tents.
According to Ministry of Educaion, during the year 1397, the gates of more than 350 schools which were closed schools have been reopened to students, but now more than 400 schools across the country are still closed students due to insecurity.
Herat Police Command says that in the past three months, 80 Taliban insurgents including 5 key commanders of the group were killed and wounded in four districts of the province.
Speaking in a news conference in Herat, Abdul Ahad Walizadah spokesman of Herat Police Command said that, as a result of joint operation of security forces in Chishti Sharif, Awbeh, Pashtun Zarghun and Kashk-e Rubat Sangi districts of the province, 50 Taliban insurgents including 5 key commanders were killed and 30 others were injured.
He noted that in these operations, 10 embedded mines were defused and a big explosive storage which was used to make IEDs was discovered.
As a result of the intelligence operations during the past three months, 841 people were arrested with charges such as armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, smuggling and selling narcotics, document fabrication, bribery, etc. along with 10 Kalashnikov and 15 pistols, as per Walizadah.
He further added that 120 people were arrested in connection with the cultivation, trafficking and sale of drugs, 17 of whom were major drug traffickers, and were introduced to judicial institutions.
According to Herat police spokesman, 85 kg of different drug types, 506 liters of alcoholic beverages and fermented raisins were also confiscated by police.
Presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar has said that the incumbent government is a major threat to upcoming presidential elections and national unity of the country.
Atmar made the remarks during a gathering of protesting presidential runners and their supporters in Kabul earlier today.
Calling the incumbent government as illegitimate, Atmar said the government has violated the constitution of Afghanistan and is busy hatching plans to spark divisions among the people.
Atmar further added that the incumbent government has opposed all steps and efforts regarding peace and reconciliation process.
Meanwhile, Atmar claimed that the incumbent government is attempting to spark divisions among people in a bid to extend its reign over power.
Atmar also added that the incumbent government wants the election to be conducted under its administration.
Atmar said they want an interim government and president as per the constitution of Afghanistan in a bid to pave the way for a transparent election.
Six Taliban insurgents were killed, three wounded and four others were arrested after Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) launched a clearance operation in Nehr Saraj district of Helmand.
ANDSF seized one AK-47 rifle, one rocket, one pistol, two radio handsets, one vehicle and three motorcycles as well.
Meanwhile, ANDSF conducted a joint clearance operation to clear Bilcheragh district of Faryab. The operation went successful & ANDSF cleared this area with no loss & the Taliban were forced to leave the area. The clearance operation ongoing in insecure villages of Bilcheragh district.
Moreover, Afghan National Police (ANP) discovered and seized 16 roadside bombs, seven hand grenades, one pistol and 20 pistol bullets during a search operation in PD 2, Kandahar City.
Security forces reported the recapture of Bilcheragh district of Faryab from Taliban control after almost a year.
In a joint statement, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that, that by conducting special operations, the Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) retook the Bilcheragh district of Faryab from Taliban control.
Meanwhile, according to the ministry, the district was under control of Taliban for a year.
Security officials further added that within this period, the Taliban used to take people hostage and obtained ransom from them and the schools were also closed.
A number of presidential candidates held a gathering in Kabul to protest against the continuation of National Unity Government tenure.
According to the reports, Council of Presidential Candidates have organized a large gathering in Ghazi stadium in Kabul on Tuesday.
This gathering is held while the Council of Presidential Candidates had previously considered the extension of the government work illegal after May 22 and demanded a caretaker government.
This gathering of Council of Presidential Candidates is about to discuss matters about the future measures regarding continuation of National Unity Government tenure.
US Ambassador to Kabul John Bass expressed on Twitter that Afghanistan’s “vibrant” media is testament to the gains of the last 18 years, and that Journalism is not a crime.
He added that journalism is in fact a valued public service to the world.
“We call on the Taliban to stop threatening Afghan journalists. More violence, against journalists or civilians, will not bring security and opportunity to Afghanistan”, he wrote.
He conceded by saying that violence won’t help either the country or the Taliban to reach their political objectives.
These remarks of Bass were in the Taliban threatening that if the media do not stop what they call anti-Taliban “propaganda” within a week, the media will be targeted by the group in the capital as well as provinces.
A number of media outlets are launching commercial advertisement against the group and also publish special contact numbers of security departments which must be stopped, The Taliban Military Commission said in a statement on Monday.
The Taliban’s statement states that if all local radio stations (FM and non-FM), TVs and the rest of the media do not stop this activity within a week, they will be targeted.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Brussels on Monday.
Stoltenberg appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace as per the statement by NATO and said that its positive role is “imperative” for regional peace and stability.
Pakistan recently hosted the Afghan Peace Conference last week in which many Afghan politicians took part. However its role in supporting insurgents in Afghanistan has been time and again pointed out by many countries and Afghanistan. The US has also cut back on important aid to Pakistan because of similar suspicions.