Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his country supports the Afghan peace process and wished for the talks to start as soon as possible.
Talking to Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Wednesday, Khan expressed hope that the current crisis in Afghanistan would end with the establishment of peace and stability.
In his speech, Khan said that “peace and stability in Afghanistan means peace and stability in Pakistan and the beginning of more effective joint regional cooperation” according the official press release of the conversation by Sapedar Palace.
He also extended a formal invitation to Abdullah to visit Pakistan.
Abdullah thanked Khan for his support and added, “An exceptional opportunity for peace has been provided in Afghanistan and we must seize this opportunity to achieve it.”
The Afghan leader thanked him for his cooperation in the regional consensus for achieving peace and for the invitation to visit Pakistan.
The two sides also stressed in their talks that reducing violence could pave the way for the intra-Afghan negotiations to start.
With at least 70 people killed and over a 100 injured so far, the casualties of the flash floods in Charikar, Parwan continue to rise with search operations underway on Wednesday.
The State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs said in its initial report that over 300 homes were destroyed in the floods along with acres of agricultural land.
Many of the houses in Charikar were built in an area prone to flooding.
President Ashraf Ghani was “deeply affected” by the loss of lives and financial losses caused by the flash floods and directed relevant agencies to provide emergency assistance to the flood victims.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh also addressed Parwan residents on Wednesday morning.
“Due to the large amount of damage caused by floods, the provincial disaster management committee cannot reach it [affected areas]. We have instructed all relevant government departments in Kabul to help in coordination with the State Minister of Disaster Management.”
“Be assured that all material and technical resources available to the government will be used to help you and care for the victims,” Saleh added.
Minister Ghulam Bahauddin Jilani, of the State Ministry of Disaster Management, also spoke to the Parwan governor and pledged assistance.
Acting Minister of Defence (MoD) Assadullah Khalid also reached Parwan to monitor the search and rescue operations.
The MoD has provided bulldozers, loaders and other machines to clear the roads so that other humanitarian aid can reach the disaster-struck areas.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said that 212 civilians were killed and injured in 59 roadside mine explosions and due to magnetic mines in the past month, which was a 11% increase compared to the month before.
The rights commission released their findings on Tuesday, that 97 people have been killed, including 11 women and 13 children, while another 115 have been wounded in such explosions from Jul. 22 to Aug. 21.
“We call on the warring parties to respect International Humanitarian Law principles of distinction, proportionality and necessity,” AIHRC tweeted.
The commission also reported a 11% increase in civilian casualties from the monitoring period in the previous month where 191 civilians were killed or wounded.
The AIHRC urged the warring parties, especially the “armed anti-government forces” to strictly refrain from blind military tactics that cannot distinguish between military and civilian targets.
The commission also called tactics which target government officials, political activists, civil society activists, human rights defenders and religious scholars who have no direct role in the conflict, a war crime.
Iran reiterated its support for the peace process in Afghanistan and said the conflict should be solved through talks during the virtual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process on Tuesday.
“We support the peace process by Afghans with the participation of all Afghan groups, including the Taliban, and without any foreign influence and interference,” said Seyed Rasoul Mousavi, Assistant to Iranian Foreign Minister and Foreign Ministry’s Director-General for West Asia.
The virtual meeting of 14 nations and international organisations, was co-chaired by Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab, and Tajikistan’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Khusrav Noziri.
Nab welcomed the participants and thanked the countries and member organisations for supporting the Afghan peace process and the fight against COVID-19.
He called for the cooperation and coordination of the member countries for the success of the peace process, referring to the decision of the Loya Jirga, the prisoner exchange and the humanitarian ceasefire.
“He called for the start of inter-Afghan talks between the Islamic Republic and the Taliban,” the press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Addressing the event, the Iranian official said that the problems in Afghanistan cannot be solved militarily and called the peace talks as the only way to reach an acceptable political solution.
“We are ready to help strengthening the peace negotiations by the help of our capacity and capability upon the demand of participants,” Mousavi said.
Tajikistan also spoke about the importance of cooperation among the countries and organisations for the peace process.
Dushanbe will host the 9th Conference of Foreign Ministers of Heat of Asia at the end of the year.
The Istanbul conference’s main goal for Afghanistan is to strengthen the regional and international consensus on the peace process.
The State Ministry for Disaster Management said that flash floods in Charikar city centre has caused heavy damage in Parwan on Wednesday.
Wahida Shahkar, spokesperson for the governor of Parwan, said the toll has risen to 38 dead and 77 injured so far.
The Parwan capital had been experiencing heavy rainfall but the flash floods started at 2 am on Wednesday.
In addition to the casualties, the floods have caused extensive damage, with the ministry stating that around 300 houses had been destroyed, according to the initial reports.
Rescue operations are still underway, and the final tally of the damage has not been done.