Over 9,000 containers loaded with goods worth over $400 million, have been stuck at Pakistan’s ports on its way to Afghanistan for the past five months due to administrative hiccups and customs mismanagement, reported Bloomberg on Monday. The mis-handling of the Afghan-bound cargo started with the COVID-19 lockdowns. Customs officials started screening all the cargo instead of the 5% they used to

8 September 2020

Former intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil said that Taliban would not start talks till the release of Bashir Noorzai, a Taliban financier and drug lord who was arrested in 2005. In a Twitter thread on Tuesday, Nabil surmised that U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad had guaranteed Noorzai’s release. “I think the Taliban will not start talks in Doha till the release of Haji

8 September 2020

Local officials in Panjshir province said that the Taliban attack on parts of the province's Abshar district was repulsed without casualties to security forces and civilians on Tuesday. Mohammad Mansour Anabi, spokesperson for the governor of Panjshir, told Reporterly that the Taliban attacked the Qala Tari village in the Ghulghula area of Abshar district at around 9 am today. Anabi said that after the initial

8 September 2020

A source told Reporterly that three security officials were arrested in Takhar on charges of smuggling drugs. The detainees include the director of internal security of Takhar Police, the head of internal security of Kalafgan district police, and the second commander of the border forces. The source added that one of the officials, the border official, was

8 September 2020

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said that intra-Afghan talks will begin soon and the government’s peace negotiating delegation will be travelling to Qatar in the coming days. Speaking at the commemoration ceremony marking the 19th death anniversary of Ahmad Shah Massoud on Tuesday, Abdullah said he had no enmity with anyone inside Afghanistan, adding “page of enmity with the

8 September 2020

The spokesperson for the Taliban's political office in Qatar said that Mullah Baradar, the political deputy, and Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim, the group’s chief peace negotiator, met Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation yesterday. Naeem Wardak, the Taliban spokesperson wrote in a series of tweets on Tuesday, that the meeting also included Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed

8 September 2020

With the registration of 26 new Coronavirus cases in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours, the current tally has reached 38,250 people infected so far. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said three people succumbed to COVID-19 while 158 recovered. New cases were reported in the provinces of Herat (14), Kunduz (8), Balkh (3) and Paktia (1). The

8 September 2020

The State Ministry for Peace (SMP) said the Taliban need to ensure that they had no government prisoners left unreleased on Tuesday. Najia Anwari, spokesperson for the SMP tweeted that the Afghan government has “met all the requirements to start direct negotiations” with the Taliban. "It is imperative that the other side [Taliban] also formally assure the Afghan people that the release of prisoners of

8 September 2020

Flights between Afghanistan and India have resumed under the ‘Air Bubble’ Agreement between the two countries. Tahir Qadiry, Chargé d'Affaires of the Afghan embassy in India, said that the bilateral arrangement started on Sunday, Sept. 6. “Finally, the Air Bubble Agreement has kicked off and the planes are flying high in the skies again,” Qadiry wrote on Twitter.

8 September 2020

In a bid to facilitate digital payments and increase financial inclusion, banks will now be able to provide services in remote areas that do not have branches. A trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), Afghan Post, and Afghanistan Banking Association, is expanding banking services across the country. Based on the MoU, banks would be able to provide banking services in

8 September 2020