Newsfeed; Tuesday, April 20 2021

Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…


  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Recruitment Of 11,000 Teachers Begins In Afghanistan: Naderi

    Kabul: At a ceremony on Governance and Human Resources Week on Tuesday, Nader Naderi, chairman of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission, said that the recruitment process for 11,000 teachers in Afghanistan has begun.

    Faiz Mohammad Katib High School students in western Kabul took to the streets on Tuesday to protest the shortage of teachers and textbooks. The announcement of the posts would be done in two phases- in the first stage, teaching positions related to 21 provinces of the country will be competed and in the second stage, teaching positions of other provinces will be announced.

    So far, 51,000 teachers have been hired through free competition, 30% of whom are women, added Naderi.

    Kazem Tabesh, head teacher at Faiz Mohammad Katib School, said that the school had 16 formal teachers and nearly 9,000 students. Such a gap was filled was paid teachers, however, this year, students are facing a shortage of teachers and textbooks because the Ministry of Education has not approved the recruitment of paid teachers.

    On Monday, a number of students of the Sayyid al-Shuhada girls School in the Cheheldokhtaran district of the PD13 protested against the lack of teachers and textbooks.

    Meanwhile, schools in western Kabul are facing a shortage of 1,375 teachers. It is estimated that about 30,000 students study in schools west of Kabul.

    0 Shares
  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    5 Pakistani Al-Qaeda Affiliates Killed In Airstrike

    Kabul: At least five Pakistani al-Qaeda affiliates have been killed in an airstrike by the Afghan Air Force in Hemland Province, as per the Ministry of Defense (MoD) statement released on Tuesday.

    At least 13 militants, including five members of al-Qaeda, were killed during the raid wherein a Taliban hideout was targeted in Nahre-e-Saraj distrtict of Helmand province.

    The MoD statement further added that the five members of al-Qaeda belonged to Pakistan’s Punjab province, who were professional bomb makers. They trained Taliban members on how to make IEDs and bombs.

    Earlier as well, al-Qaeda and foreign fighters were killed in various operations among the ranks of the Taliban. A few months ago, al-Qaeda’s second in command Abu Mohsin al-Mesri was killed in an ANDSF targeted attack in Ghazni province.

    Taliban have repeatedly denied any links to the al-Qaeda, but several senior members of the group were killed in recent months in Taliban-controlled regions.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Afghanistan Assumes Chairmanship Of Colombo Process

    Kabul: Afghanistan on Tuesday took over the chairmanship of the Colombo Process from Nepal for a period of two years. The Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino, congratulated Nepal for its successful leadership over the last two years.

    The Colombo Process – also known as the Regional Consultative Process on the Management of Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia – was established in 2003, to bring together 12 South and Southeast Asian labour-sending countries in a member state-driven, non-binding regional consultative process on migration to facilitate dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest and concerns relating to labour mobility.

    Afghanistan is likely to pursue an ambitious program of priorities to guide its mandate and advance its achievements. Bashir Ahmad Tahyanj, Afghanistan’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, said that the Afghan Chairmanship will focus on how to ensure that labour mobility governance responds to the socioeconomic recovery from COVID-19, protecting workers throughout the labour migration process and ensuring safe and regular pathways for migration.

    The chairmanship was handed over in a virtual ceremony during which Nepal was commended for its achievements, notably the work of the five Colombo Process Thematic Areas Working Groups towards greater understanding of labour migration governance across and beyond the region, and the contribution of the Colombo Process Member States to the Global Compact for the Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Ajmal Ahmadi’s Signature Is Invalid: Finance Committee of Parliament

    Kabul: The signature of Ajmal Ahmadi, Acting head of the Central Bank, has been declared invalid by the Finance, Budget, Public Accounts and Banking Affairs Committee of the Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday in a letter to the state Ministry on Parliamentary Affairs.

    As per the letter, Ahmadi’s tenure has been termed as illegal. The letter, signed by Mir Afghan Safi, chairman of the Finance Committee of the Parliament, reports that “Afghan resources in the Central Bank” have been misused and that Ahmadi has not been held accountable.

    The Finance and Budget Committee of the Parliament has asked the President to nominate another qualified person to chair the Central Bank.

    The commission has asked the state Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs to send copies of the letter to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, embassies and budget units to prevent banking transactions inside and outside the country until a new head is appointed.

    The Finance Committee of the Parliament says that Ahmadi’s signature is not valid and that anyone who acts on his signature will be responsible.

    The House of Representatives has previously declared Ajmal Ahmadi’s signature invalid when he was head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    In a plenary session, the House of Representatives also declared the signature of Kabul Mayor Davood Soltanzavi invalid.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    8 Policemen Die In Taliban Attack In Badakhshan

    Kabul: At least eight police officials in Badakhshan province have been killed after Taliban insurgents attacked a police station in the Zibak district of the province, local officials said on Tuesday.

    Abdullah Naji Nazari, member of Badakhshan Provincial Council, said that the Taliban had launched their attack at 1am in the village of Sar Rig in Zibak district. Two other policemen were injured during the clash. The clashes continued till 4am.

    The Badakhshan provincial council member said that the Taliban had taken all the equipment of the police station. Nazari said the Taliban had already withdrawn from the area and the area is under the control of government forces.

    Meanwhile, Badakhshan police spokesperson Sanaullah Rouhani confirmed the Taliban attack. He said that the attack had been countered and that “heavy” casualties had been inflicted on the Taliban. Rouhani also confirmed the casualties of government forces during the clash.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Drought Worsens In Afghanistan As 13 Million Lack Food

    Kabul: There is an urgent need to prevent the deepening crisis in Afghanistan as at least one third of the country’s population does not have access to adequate food due to drought, said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

    Afghan Red Crescent Society Acting President, Dr Nilab Mobarez, said, “We are deeply concerned about worsening and severe water shortages in many areas, depleted food crops and crippled economic activity, such as decimated local markets and basic incomes. In the past month, Afghan Red Crescent volunteers and response teams have urgently ramped up relief, including food and cash assistance for thousands of drought-affected families across the parched provinces of Badghis, Baghlan and Faryab.”

    At least 13.1 million people are facing food shortages, according to the latest food insecurity analysis.

    This food security crisis compounds social and economic hardships already faced by millions of people in Afghanistan due to the COVID-19 pandemic and years of conflict.

    The IFRC has issued an Emergency Appeal seeking 7.5 million Swiss francs to support the Afghan Red Crescent to deliver cash grants to buy food supplies and restore livelihoods and crops for 210,000 people in ten of the provinces worst affected by food insecurity and drought. Wheat production is expected to be slashed by up to 27 per cent in 2021, according to the Afghanistan Inter-Cluster Coordination Team.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Another Call For Taliban To ‘Remain Engaged’ in Afghan Peace Process

    Kabul: Pakistan has urged the Taliban to remain engaged in the Afghan peace process after the group said that it would not attend peace conferences till all foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

    The Taliban made the announcement after the US and NATO revealed their decision to withdraw troops by September 11. “They take their own decisions, but we will do whatever we can to convince them that it is in their national interest to remain engaged,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.

    The refusal has thrown the peace process into disarray with Turkey scheduled for Saturday to host a summit that diplomats had hoped could create new momentum towards a political settlement between the Taliban and Afghan government.

    Qureshi said he believed the Taliban would benefit from staying involved but said he had no contact with the group.

    In fact, globally calls are growing for the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and end the bloodshed. Andreas von Brandt, the EU ambassador in Afghanistan, on Saturday had urged the Taliban to take the upcoming UN-led conference on Afghanistan seriously and hoped that the Taliban will not miss this opportunity offered to them at the upcoming Istanbul conference. A conference is scheduled on the Afghanistan peace roadmap starting on April 24 in Istanbul that would include the United Nations and Qatar. The Afghan government is ready with a unified plan, however, the Taliban has rejected coming to the negotiating table till all foreign troops have not been withdrawn from the country.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Taliban Flogs 3 in Herat For Breaking Their Fasts

    Kabul: In a video shared on social media, three young men have been seen being flogged by Taliban associated for breaking their fasts during Ramadan in a remote village in Obe district of Herat province.

    So far, security agencies have not responded to the news. Last week, a video was posted on social media showing Taliban flogging a woman. The incident also took place in the Obe district of Herat province, where Taliban insurgents were prosecuting her.

    According to local residents, the incident took place about ten days before the video was posted on social media in a village in Obe district of Herat.

    In the past, the Taliban have held field trials for men and women in areas under their control. In recent years, the group has stoned several women to death.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Infra Worth $1bn Damaged In Afghanistan By Taliban: Ghani

    Kabul: Highlighting the violence prevalent in the country, President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday said that the Taliban have damaged infrastructure in Afghanistan worth $1 billion.

    Ghani, who was speaking at the meeting of Governance and Human Resources Week at the Presidential Palace, said, “I ask them why do you spoil? If you do not have the ability to build and do not have a positive plan, at least stop destruction.”

    He called on the Taliban to plant “flowers” and “wheat” instead of exploding mines and take part in the development of the country.

    President Ghani said that any public benefit project that the Taliban destroys harms the Afghan people.

    On the withdrawal of troops, he said that with the withdrawal of these forces, a new chapter of cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community will begin.

    According to Ashraf Ghani, economic relations, strengthening Afghanistan’s security and defense forces, humanitarian aid and Afghanistan’s development are at the forefront of this chapter in cooperation between the international community and Afghanistan.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Ministry of Health Reports 176 New Cases of COVID-19

    Kabul: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday reported 176 new positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the last 24 hours.

    The ministry also reported seven deaths and 28 recoveries from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

    The total number of cases now stand at 58,213 while the number of reported deaths is 2,557 and the total number of recoveries is 52,272.

    MoPH added that the new cases were reported in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Takhar, Paktia, Parwan, Helmand, Bamiyan, Maidan Wardak, Badakhshan, Logar, Ghazni, Kunar, Laghman and Khost provinces.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Released Taliban Prisoner Among 6 Kidnappers Arrested in Takhar: NDS

    Kabul: Six kidnappers from the Takhar province have been arrested by the special forces through an operation, announced National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Tuesday.

    NDS said that the detainees have been identified as Mangal, Shams-ul-Rahman, Hamed Mohib and Sayed Shafiq. Mangal had been released earlier this month, according to the Taliban list on Kabul’s Pul-e-Charkhi prison.

    According to the directorate, members of the network were linked to the kidnapping network in Kunduz, Baghlan, Nangarhar and Balkh provinces and were detained by NDS forces when they tried to kidnap three national businessmen.

    NDS stressed that some weapons and two vehicles were also seized from these people.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Head of Zabul Provincial Council Injured In Explosion

    Kabul: Atajan Haq Bayan, the head of the Zabul Provincial Council, has been injured in an explosion which occurred at the Zabul governor’s office building on Tuesday.

    Haq Bayan’s brother, Ismail Zabuli, said that it was not clear how the blast occurred and said that Atajan is in good health.

    Local officials have not yet commented on the incident. No group, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the blast.

    Five months ago, Haq Bayan’s car was the target of another explosion in the city of Qalat, but he survived the attack.

    The blast killed three civilians and wounded about 20 others.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Students Protest Against Lack of Books, Teachers in Kabul

    Kabul: Seeking distribution of books and appointment of more teachers, hundreds of schoolchildren of the Fayz Mohammad Katib school in Etefaq township of Dasht-e Barchi area took to the streets to protest against the government’s apathy towards education.

    Slogans like “Eudcation Minister, we want books” and “We want teachers” echoed across the streets during the protest.

    The students said that their high school lacks 188 teachers and that 9,000 students have been left destitute at the school.

    The gathering comes just a month after the official start of the school term in Kabul and a number of other Afghan provinces.

    A large number of schools in the capital, especially in the western part of Kabul, are on unannounced leave (holiday).

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Taliban Should Engage in Dialogue: Fawzia Koofi

    Kabul: The Taliban should move towards negotiations and dialogue and must end the violence in the after because after the foreign troop withdrawal there is no more excuse for war, said Fawzia Koofi, a member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team with the Taliban.

    Koofi said that Afghanistan need lasting peace and stability and the Taliban must end the war.

    “With the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, there is no excuse for the war to continue: It is now up to the Taliban to make the most of the remaining opportunity and achieve lasting peace. The countries involved in Afghanistan’s affairs must force the Taliban to make a greater commitment to a political solution. The people of Afghanistan expect the warring parties to prevent the situation from deteriorating and to pave the way for peaceful coexistence and stability,” she said.

    The continuation of this situation has left the political fate of Afghanistan unclear to this day and the war has intensified.

    In fact, globally calls are growing for the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and end the bloodshed. Andreas von Brandt, the EU ambassador in Afghanistan, on Saturday had urged the Taliban to take the upcoming UN-led conference on Afghanistan seriously and hoped that the Taliban will not miss this opportunity offered to them at the upcoming Istanbul conference. A conference is scheduled on the Afghanistan peace roadmap starting on April 24 in Istanbul that would include the United Nations and Qatar. The Afghan government is ready with a unified plan, however, the Taliban has rejected coming to the negotiating table till all foreign troops have not been withdrawn from the country.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Car Bomb Blast Kills 2 Afghan Security Forces in Herat

    Kabul: At least two security personnel have been killed and 15 others have been wounded after a car bomb blast and clashes with the Taliban in Ghorian district, say local officials.

    The spokesperson of Herat Governor Jilani Farhad said that the car bomb detonated at around 2:25am on Tuesday and then the Taliban insurgents reached the police HQ and the Uprising Forces base in Ghorian district.

    He said that women and children are among the 12 civilians who were wounded and two security forces were wounded. At least four houses were destroyed in the clashes.

    Farhad also said that the Taliban were defeated in the Ghorian clashes and fled the area due to air support for ground forces.

    He added that 15 Taliban insurgents were also killed and wounded in the incident.

    The Taliban has not commented on the matter yet.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    US Troop Drawdown, Ties With Afghanistan Discussed in Cabinet Meet

    Kabul: With the withdrawal of all foreign troops imminent, the Afghanistan government is preparing to set up its mechanisms to protect the sovereignty of the country. The cabinet on Monday discussed the government’s preparations and also the new dimensions of the UA-Afghanistan ties.

    President Ashraf Ghani, chairing the cabinet meeting, said that the exit of foreign troops in no way meant the weakening of Kabul-Washington ties. According to a statement from the Presidential Place, Ghani told Monday’s meeting that the US withdrawal opened a new chapter in bilateral relations.

    The statement added the cabinet also conferred on the enforcement of bilateral and multilateral agreements following the departure of the American forces.

    The participants proposed convening a Loya Jirga on Afghanistan’s impartiality in the wake of the foreign troop withdrawal, a process which will be completed by September 11.

    According to Biden, the United States will not leave Afghanistan in a hurry, but responsibly and in coordination with its allies. The US president said that Washington will continue to assist Afghan security forces after the withdrawal. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani posted on Twitter that he had spoken with President Biden about the recent US decision. “As we move towards the next phase of our partnership, we will continue to work with US and NATO partners on ongoing peace efforts,” the president wrote. “The proud Afghan security and defense forces are fully capable of defending their people and their country, what they have done all along, and the People of Afghanistan will forever be grateful to them,” he said.

    The announcement comes even as a conference is scheduled on the Afghanistan peace roadmap starting on April 24 in Istanbul that would include the United Nations and Qatar. The Afghan government is ready with a unified plan, however, the Taliban has rejected coming to the negotiating table till all foreign troops have not been withdrawn from the country.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Key Taliban Commander Killed in Pakistan

    Kabul: In a big development, a key Taliban commander was killed and two of his comrades were injured on Monday in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as per official sources.

    “Maulvi Naik Mohammad, a key Taliban commander was killed in the Haji Camp area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar, and two of his comrades, including Azizullah Mashhur Mustafa, the head of the city network, were wounded,” Nangarhar Governor Ziaulhaq Amarkhil said in a tweet.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, including Taliban. However, reports suggest the commander has been killed by ISIS Pakistan.

    The incident comes after, Andreas von Brandt, the EU ambassador in Afghanistan, on Saturday had urged the Taliban to take the upcoming UN-led conference on Afghanistan seriously and hoped that the Taliban will not miss this opportunity offered to them at the upcoming Istanbul conference.

    The Turkey conference on Afghanistan is scheduled for Saturday. This comes after Washington announced its decision to withdraw US troops out of Afghanistan till September 11.

  • 20 Apr 2021 Share this post

    Afghanistan Talking Point Between Indian FM And US Secretary Of State

    Kabul: Afghanistan was a point of discussion when Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his American counterpart Anthony Blinken spoke to each other via the phone on Monday.

    Apart from Afghanistan, other regional and bilateral issues were also discussed. “Had a warm and productive conversation with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to reaffirm the importance of the US-India relationship. We discussed regional security issues of mutual concern in Afghanistan and global challenges such as climate change,” Blinken said in a tweet.

    “Conversation covered recent developments in India’s immediate and extended neighbourhood. Exchanged views on the UNSC agenda. Also discussed issues pertaining to our health cooperation,” Jaishankar said in a separate tweet.

    The two leaders agreed for frequent coordination in support of a lasting peace and development for the people of Afghanistan, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

    Earlier, Jaishankar had said that the future of Afghanistan should not be a return to the past and there is a definite need to ensure double peace in the country. Even General Bipin Rawat, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, told a security conference that the worry was that “disruptors” can step into the space created by the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. He declined to name the countries that could act as disruptors.

    In the aftermath of the foreign troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, India will have tremendous concern on the resurgence of the Taliban and its territory being used as a safe haven for terrorist, experts said.

    US President Joe Biden has said that troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan starting May 1 to end America’s longest war by September 11, rejecting calls for them to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation’s grinding internal conflict. According to Biden, the United States will not leave Afghanistan in a hurry, but responsibly and in coordination with its allies. The US president said that Washington will continue to assist Afghan security forces after the withdrawal. He, at the same time, called on Pakistan, Russia, China, India and Turkey to “support” Afghanistan, adding that these countries “have a significant stake in the stable future” of the war-torn country.