Ghani In Nangarhar; Assures Forces Of All Support

Kabul: President Ghani, leading a high-level government delegation, headed to the 201st Selab Army Corps on Thursday morning, to assess the security situation of Nangarhar region. Ghani chaired a senior security meeting with the Nangarhar governor, the Corps Commander, Nangarhar’s National Directorate of Security Chief, the commanders of the 3rd Brigade of the Corps and the Border Force, Nangarhar police chief, the commander of the 999th Special Police Unit, listened to their briefings and plans on the security situation in the region.

The President praised the courage and sacrifice of the ANDSF in defending the homeland and protecting the people and issued the necessary instructions to the relevant officials in order to improve the security situation in eastern provinces and to thwart the enemy’s sinister conspiracies, and assured them of any support, stated the Presidential Palace.

President Ghani met with officers, brigadiers and soldiers of the 201st Selab Army Corps and other ANDSF members and listened to their demands and suggestions. A number of ANDSF members spoke on behalf of others and expressed their demands and suggestions in the areas of supplies, funding and equipping the ANDSF, more support for the Air Force, more attention to the families of the martyrs, utilizing the experience of the retired generals and officers, and a pay rise.

They said that the enemy had no will for peace and that the ANDSF will fight the enemy with high morale and protect the republic and people until the last moment of their lives. The President gave the necessary instructions to the relevant agencies to solve the problems of the officers, brigadiers and soldiers of the Corps and other ANDSF members, and added that measures will be taken to fund and equip the ANDSF. Ghani instructed them to work on strengthening the outposts and maintain close relations with the people, and the problem in payments will be solved. The President also issued the necessary instructions to the relevant officials to review the structure and implement promotions.

Also, Amrullah Saleh, the first vice-president of Afghanistan, spoke to the protesters in Takhar who had been in the capital, Kabul, since the past four days seeking more security in the province.

“Your protest tent [in Kabul] is irrelevant. All security and defense agencies are at your service. You can collectively form a unit and enter your areas with weapons and equipment in different ways and do your responsibility against the Taliban. Nothing is made of noise in Zarnegar and Shahr-e Naw parks. The government is at your service with all its might. You can join a local company – a mobile guerrilla group – a militia within the framework of National Directorate of Security or any formation and structure you wish. Anyone who has advised you to protest in Kabul has given unbiased advice,” said Saleh.

Meanwhile, the Taliban consider last weeks’ negotiations with the Afghan government in Qatar a “positive” development and hope to resolve the disagreements through dialogue, spokesman for the movement’s political office Mohammad Naeem said. “Regarding the two-day meeting that took place in Doha, I can say that it showed progress because this was the first time when the leaders of both sides came together to discuss and solve the country’s problems. This is a positive step. We hope that our country’s problems will be resolved through dialogue,” Naeem told Sputnik.

When asked about potential talks with Turkey, which has expressed interest therein, the spokesman replied that any statements at this point would be premature, but confirmed that the movement was in contact with Ankara. “We are in contact with Turkey and the neighbouring countries. Of course, I cannot comment on this until it is clear what the talks are about and what the [other side’s] demands are. We are yet to understand what the issue is and what they want,” Naeem added. However, on Thursday, a meeting was held between the negotiating teams of both sides. In this meeting, beside of Eid al-Adha greetings, both sides emphasised on the continuation, acceleration and effectiveness of the peace negotiations.

Meanwhile, a temporary camp for refugees from Afghanistan will be set up in Khatlon region in south of Tajikistan, region governor Kurbon Hakimzoda told a press conference in Bohtar. The construction of the refugee camp is handled by the Interior Ministry of Tajikistan in cooperation with international organizations. The camp will be erected in Jaihun district.

Kurbon Hakimzoda said hundreds of nationals of Afghanistan, military personnel among them, crossed the border into Tajikistan for the last several weeks. A tent camp was set up in Mumirak area, at the former training ground of the Russian military base. All refugees, who fled to Tajikistan, were returned back to Afghanistan.

On the other hand, in Badakhshan’s Wakhan District Governor Juma Khan Amu told Salam Watandar that a civil engineer at a health clinic in Pamir, a COVID-19 nurse, and a company guard have died in Pamir area of the district and their bodies have been taken to the district center.

Amu added that a doctor, in coma, was also transferred from Pamir to Wakhan who regained consciousness. Amu said that the cause of death of the three has not yet been determined, but it is said that these people died due to lack of oxygen. Amu highlighted that there is little oxygen in Pamir and those who travel to the area should carry oxygen with them. According to him, before the fall of Wakhan district to the Taliban, the contractor which is building the health clinic in the Buzai Gonbad area of Pamir had been reminded that they had to carry oxygen to prevent possible incidents. Meanwhile, Provincial Deputy Public Health Director Noushin Gohar Karimi confirmed the deaths of the three men, saying that the motive for their deaths has yet to be clarified and that an investigation has been launched into their bodies to determine the reason.

In other news, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has announced the timeframe for holding annual exams for public and private schools in the warm regions and mid-year exams in the cold and extreme cold regions. In a statement, the MoE stated that the annual exams of the academic year 1399 in the warm regions were not completed and the exams for the remaining subjects should be taken from the 6th of Asad (July 28), taking into account the recommendations of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and observing social distancing.

According to the MoE schedule, the mid-year exam of the 1400 academic year in cold and extremely cold areas should be held in open spaces or in two or three shifts from the 6th to the last day of Asad (July 28-August 22), taking into account health guidelines and social distancing. The MoE added that schools are required to consider health advice, including wearing a mask, refraining from gatherings, observing social distance, and conducting outdoor exams, and that a decision will be made on the start of classes in joint coordination with the MoPH, considering the developments.

Schools and universities were closed for two weeks in 16 provinces on May 29, due to a growing number of patients infected with the COVID-19. Two weeks later, the MoPH closed schools and universities across all provinces. Recently, the MoPH announced that in joint cooperation with the Ministries of Higher Education, Education, and other educational institutions, they have prepared a plan according to which the activities of educational institutions will resume gradually.

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