Newsfeed; Wednesday, January 8 2020

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    10 Afghan Nationals Among Those Killed after Ukrainian Airliner Crashes in Iran

    10 Afghan nationals were among 176 people killed when a Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed minutes after taking off from Tehran early Wednesday morning.

    The cause of the crash appeared to be catastrophic engine failure.

    UIA flight 752 crashed just three minutes and 42 seconds after taking off.

    The plane was a Boeing 737-800, part of the same aircraft family as the 737 Max plane that has been grounded worldwide since March following two deadly crashes.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    Acting Minister of Energy Resigned

    The Acting Minister of Energy and Water Mohammad Gul Khulmi has resigned due to health issues.

    Khulmi in his resignation letter stated that he was advised by doctors to use an oxygen machine due to the air pollution.

    He said that he was advised to take one-month rest and avoid breathing polluted air.

    President Ashraf Ghani has accepted Khulmi’s resignation, who had been serving in the post for the last one year and half.

    The ministry’s spokesperson said that Khan Mohammad Takal is now caretaker of the ministry.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    Taliban Key Member Arrested In Baghlan

    Afghan security officials say a key member of the Taliban group has been arrested in Baghlan province.

    The spokesman of Baghlan Police, Ahmad Jawid Besharat told Reporterly that the anti-terrorism Police of Baghlan has arrested a key Taliban member who had activities for more than 9 years in Dahan-e Ghori district and was arrested from Cheshm-e Shir area.

    Besharat added that the detainee has admitted to his crime and was related to the group of Majid Akhund Zada, Taliban’s shadow district chief for Dahan-e Ghori district.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    Afghan army helicopter crashed in Farah: MoD

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed that An Afghan army helicopter crashed in Pur Chaman district of Farah province on Wednesday due to a technical issue.

    MoD in a press release said that a MI35 helicopter of the national army was on move from the center of Farah toward Pur Chaman district of the province which crashed at around 11:00a.m.

    According to the press release, two pilots have been killed in the incident.

    The Ministry of Defense added that investigations are underway and further details will be shared soon.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    33% Increase In Afghanistan’s Exports As A Result Of Air Corridors

    Afghanistan has exported over 11,000 tons of goods worth more than $238 million, comprised of fresh and dry fruits, natural herbs, handicrafts, rugs, sheep skin, vegetables and saffron to international markets since the inauguration of the very first air corridor in 2017.

    As per Wasdam report, the implementation of the first air freight initiative between Afghanistan and India in 2017 gave major impetus to increase its footprint to other countries as well. Today, Afghanistan has exported its goods to European, Asian and Arab markets through over 1,100 flights from Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar and Herat airports.

    According to figures from the Afghan Ministry of Commerce, in 2019 about 5,300 tons of goods were exported to India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Germany, UK, Azerbaijan, France, Belgium, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Turkey, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and Holland through 8,55 flights. This indicates a 33% increase in the country’s exports compared to last year’s.

    In 2019, Afghanistan opened air corridors with Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

    The Afghan government will soon establish an air corridor with Indonesia.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    Keralite Woman Jailed in Kabul over IS Links, Mother Seeks Her Release

    A Kerala mother has requested the Centre to see that her daughter Nimisha who was a IS-K supporter and currently lodged in a jail in Kabul is brought back to India.

    Bindhu told the media that she too heard the news that her daughter along with nine other Indian widows of former IS activists are currently lodged in a jail at Kabul.

    “I beg the Centre to take steps to see that my daughter and others who are lodged in a jail in Kabul is brought back to India. I am an Indian and I want the due process of Indian law to look into what they did. I do not want my daughter to be tried in an alien country and I have full faith in the laws of my country,” pleaded Bindhu.

    Indian news channel Network 18 quoted government sources as saying that at least 10 Indian women, the widows of IS-K terrorists who were killed during combat in the mountains of Nangarhar province, are now being held in Kabul’s Badam Bagh Prison.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    10 Indian ‘Widows’ of Killed IS-K Terrorists Held in Kabul Jail

    Indian news channel Network 18 quoted government sources as saying that at least 10 Indian women, the widows of IS-K terrorists who were killed during combat in the mountains of Nangarhar province, are now being held in Kabul’s Badam Bagh Prison.

    The Indian government is debating whether to seek these 10 women’s extradition so that they can face trial on terrorism charges in India or let them serve their sentences in Afghanistan.

    Some senior Indian government officials, according to media reports, have said that not all these women were combatants but they had facilitated the torture of Afghan nationals by IS-K militants.

    To enhance mutual cooperation in India and Afghanistan’s fight against terrorism, Kabul announced last November that it would extradite 13 Indian terrorists, who had surrendered to the Afghan army.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    Force Should Not Be Used To Send Afghans Back Home: Pakistani Senate Panel

    The Pakistan’s Senate Functional Committee has suggested that Afghan refugees should not be forced to return to Afghanistan.

    As many as 2.8 million Afghans are living in Pakistan, with each Afghan family consisting of 7.2 persons and 74 per cent of them born in Pakistan, Chief Commissioner of Pakistan for Afghan Refugees Saleem Khan said.

    “Out of 2.8m Afghans, 1.4m are registered, 850,000 have Afghan residence cards and around half a million have been living without documents. Only 32pc Afghans are in refugee camps and 68pc have shifted out of the camps to different parts of the country,” Mr Khan said.

    Giving further details, he said that 58pc Afghans were residing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 23pc in Balochistan, 11pc in Punjab, 4.5pc in Sindh and 2.4pc were living in the federal capital.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    Iran Actively Working to Undermine Peace Process in Afghanistan: Pompeo

    Iran is actively working to undermine the peace process in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said in a press conference.

    “Iran has refused to join the regional and international consensus for peace and is, in fact, actively working to undermine the peace process by continuing its long global effort to support militant groups there,” Pompeo said at a State Department news conference.

    Pompeo named the Taliban as one of the militant groups he accused Iran of using to undermine Afghanistan peace efforts. He also referred to the “Tora Bora and the Mullah Dadullah Group,” little-known organizations whose strengths, relevance and contacts with Iran were not immediately clear.

    “The Taliban’s entanglement in Iran’s dirty work will only harm the Afghanistan peace process,” Pompeo said.

  • 8 Jan 2020 Share this post

    S. Korea Co-Chairs NATO-Run Fund for Afghanistan Security Forces

    South Korea has become a co-chair of the board of a NATO-run international fund to help bolster Afghan security forces, Seoul’s foreign ministry has said.

    South Korea started its one-year term on Monday on the board of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund, according to the ministry. The board monitors and reviews the fund’s cost effectiveness, financial integrity and accountability.

    A co-chair convenes an annual plenary session of the board in the second quarter, together with the secretary general of the NATO, as well as other meetings in Afghanistan with a local representative, it said.

    The last plenary meeting took place in June.

    “Through this role as the co-chair of the board, we expect to engage more actively in international efforts to support Afghanistan and boost cooperation with NATO as well,” the ministry said in a release.