Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Farid Popalzai has been appointed as Afghanistan’s Permanent Rep to IMCTC. Having joined the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCT) in 2016, this is the first time that Afghanistan is sending a representative to the coalition headed by Popalzai.
“Too confident of his skills and abilities to represent Afghanistan and deepen and broaden country’s cooperation and collaboration with other Islamic countries in the area of counter terrorism & violent extremism. A much merit-based appointment by ONCS and Govt leadership We will miss you at ONSC”, wrote Tariq Arian, the spokesperson of Afghan National Security Council.
The chief executive of the government Dr Abdullah Abdullah says that the efforts to hold elections does not mean ignoring the peace process, because the main obstacle to peace is the Taliban, and for the hope of eliminating the obstacles, delay in the election is not justified.
Speaking at World Mother’s Day occasion on Wednesday, Dr. Abdullah said that: “continuation of peace process does not mean that we overlook the election. This is the process that the people of Afghanistan are committed to and the preparation are taken for holding presidential elections.”
He added that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) provided the platform for new round of voter registration and participation in this process is the first step towards the success of presidential election.
“We expect the Afghan people to make this process successful, and by maintaining its independence, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) should continue the works in order to witness a change in the results of election for the better future of our country,” Abdullah stressed.
He added that if one night before the election and the day after it, the framework for a peaceful settlement which is acceptable for the people of Afghanistan is provided, the people will welcome it, but they do not accept neglect of the process even for a moment or day.
“Peace is a priority for the majority of people of Afghanistan and despite the challenges, all of us must strive to overcome obstacles”, said the chief executive of NUG.
The National Directorate of Security has reported the killing and injury of 3 Pakistani terrorists in Herat province.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement on Wednesday that, the NDS elite forces arrested two Pakistani terrorists from Kamarzard area in the Kerkh district of Herat province and seized some weapons and also killed another terrorist.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said that the terrorists originally hail from Punjab province of Pakistan.
The statement further added that the three terrorists, Mohamad Hakim alias Bilal son of Obaidullah, Rafiullah and Rauzuddin, were fighting for the Taliban leader Mullah Wakil Ahmad Osmani.
NDS also added that Mullah Osmani is actively involved in terrorist related activities in Kerkh district of Herat and bordering regions between Herat and Badghis.
According to NDS, one of the detainees is wounded and is currently receiving medical treatment at the 207 Zafar Army Corps Hospital.
The Independent Election Complaints Commission says that for the last two days, the process of registering complaints for the new round of voter registration has started.
Speaking in a news conference in Kabul, Qasem Elyasi, the secretary and spokesman for the Independent Election Complaints Commission said that, in addition to start of the new round of voter registration, the commission has begun its work for registering the complaints of the process and since Tuesday, the staff of the commission have been instructed to register the complaints of the process of voter registration.
He added that, 35 centers in Kabul are covered by Election Complaints Commission staff and since yesterday, the provincial offices have also been tasked to (mobile visits) register and categorize the complaints.
The spokesman of Election Complaints Commission stressed that, although the process of registering the complaints has begun since last two days, but so far, the exact figures for complaints are not clear.
He added that there will be a joint meeting tomorrow with the election commission to talk about the lack of enough voter registration centers, and if the Election Commission has facilities, they will provide more centers for the process.
Election Complaints Commission will make every effort in the framework of its authorities to hold presidential election, as per Elyasi.
Meanwhile, the new round of voter registration started on June 8 and is set to continue till June 29.
Local officials have reported the arrest of five people in connection with terrorist activities in Ghazni province.
Five people were arrested in separate operations from different areas in connection with terrorist activities by security forces in the province, Ghazni provincial press office said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement added that, the detainees were involved in embedding mine and also killing security personnel in Ghazni province.
These individuals were arrested from surroundings from Khwaja Omari and Andar districts of Ghazni province and surrounding of Maidan Wardak province.
President Ashraf Ghani is set to visit UK next week, as per a statement by presidential palace.
Ghani is planning to meet the British PM and is also set to watch a Cricket World Cup match between Afghanistan and England.
The 2019 Cricket World Cup is taking place in England and Afghanistan is one of the competing teams.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with the High Peace Council CEO Umer Daudzai on Wednesday.
The two sides discussed recent round of talks in Doha, intra-Afghan negotiations and building regional as well as international consensus for peace.
Khalilzad arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday and has been visiting provinces since then.
Two security forces were injured in an attack by Taliban on Khwaja Ghar district of Takhar province, as per security officials.
Khalil Aseer, the spokesman of Takhar Police Command told Reporterly that Taliban insurgents attacked on Khwaja Ghar district on Tuesday night around 2AM, and as result, two soldiers were injured.
The Taliban attack was repulsed by security forces and the area is currently under control of security forces, he added.
The spokesman of Takhar Governor stressed that heavy causalities were inflicted on Taliban but the exact figure is not clear.
Taliban had also claimed that they had had captured the center of Khwaja Ghar district.
The press office of Takhar province said in a statement that as a result of the ground and air operations of ANDSF and Afghan Air Force in surrounding of Khwaja Ghar district, 15 Taliban insurgents were killed and 10 others were wounded.
Two commanders of Taliban insurgents are also among the individuals killed in the operations, as per the statement.
Security officials have reported that a religious scholar was killed in Nangarhar province.
Speaking to Reporterly on Wednesday, provincial governor spokesman, Ahmad Farid said that, Mawlavi Safiullah, an Imam of a mosque was killed on Tuesday night by unidentified individuals in Shad Khan village in Khewa district of Nangarhar province.
The incident is under investigation of police forces and so far, no one has been detained in connection with it, as per Ahmad Farid.
Meanwhile, recently the serial killings of religious scholars have increased in the capital and also in some of the provinces of Afghanistan.
CEO of High Peace Council Umer Daudzai met with EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia as well as EU Ambassador to Kabul Mayaudon, as per a statement tweeted by Duadzai.
The two sides talked about the upcoming Intra-Afghan Dialogue in Doha, peace achievement, and reforms & future plans of the HPC.
“We expressed our gratitude for the ongoing support of EU in various fields”, Daudzai added.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad spent his Tuesday visiting Mazar i Sharif.
“Received a warm welcome in the city of my birth including this nice song”, he tweeted.
He also expressed that Mazar has changed a lot as the city has had a major “construction boom”.
“I also heard about security problems particularly in Faryab, Jozjan, Balkh and Saripol. There is widespread support for a peace agreement that protects the gains of the last 18 years ASAP. We agree”, Khalilzad emphasised.
The US Envoy also met with Balkh Provincial DG Shuja, Deputy Corp Commander Adam Khan & political leaders including Atta Noor and Muhammad Mohaqiq, civil society, & women, and gave a TV interview to the local outlet Arezo TV.
Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Sunday.
The presidential palace said in a statement that on Tuesday, President Ghani met with German Special Envoy Markus Potzel in Kabul.
Potzel, as per the statement, briefed president Ghani on the former’s trip to Doha as well as on the preparation for the intra-Afghan talks.
Resolute Support Deputy Commander Lt Gen Camporeale has said that mounting military and political pressure on the Taliban will help in creating conditions for peace in the country.
While addressing a ceremony in Herat on Monday, Lt. Gen.Camporeale said that a political settlement is the only possible way to bring peace in Afghanistan.
“I am confident that the continuous combined military, diplomatic and social pressure on the Taliban is necessary for peace and reconciliation to become a reality in Afghanistan. There is no military solution and the only possible way is a political settlement,” he said.
Camporeale recently became the Deputy Commander of the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, succeeding Gen Richard John Cripwell, of the British army.