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Muscat meeting to discuss Afghan-Pak relations: CEO

MEHTERLAM (Pajhwok): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday said relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan would be discussed in upcoming Quadrilateral Cooperation Group (QCG) meeting in Muscat, the capital of Oman.

Talking to reporters in Mehtarlam, the capital of eastern Laghman province, Abdullah said good relations with neighbours was Afghanistan’s need and said the recent visit of the Pakistan Army Chief was aimed at decreasing tensions and improving relations between the neighbors.

The QCG comprised of officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US would meet in Muscat tomorrow (Monday) to help revive the Afghan peace process. The Taliban have denied participation in the huddle.

Speaking in Mehtarlam, Abdullah termed peace and stability in Afghanistan as equally important for neighboring countries and the region. He said for the sake of regional stability, more focus should be on stability in Afghanistan at the QCG meeting.

The CEO, without naming any country, said support to militant groups in Afghanistan by the neighboring countries could backfire and threaten the neighboring countries too.

“We don’t have other option but to maintain good relations with our neighbors,” the CEO believed. He termed Pakistan Army chief visit to Kabul a step forward to improve relations between the two countries and said Afghanistan welcomed it.

Referring to ongoing operations against Daesh in eastern provinces, the CEO said Afghan security forces with the help of people would eliminate Daesh militants.

He said more attention would be paid to logistics and equipment of Afghan forces.

A few days back, Taliban militants killed five security personnel who had traveled away from their post to fetch drinking water.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan strained after Islamabad failed to implement its pledges made at QCG meetings in 2015.

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Noted Afghan women rights campaigner dies in US

KABUL (Pajhwok): A courageous Afghan women rights campaigner has died of multiple system atrophy and a degenerative neurological disorder, a news report said on Sunday.

After fleeing Afghanistan before the 1979 Soviet invasion, Sima Wali worked for the rest of her life to support the Afghan women under Taliban’s oppressive regime.

The Washington Post reported Ms. Wali died on Sept. 22 at her residence in Falls Church, Virginia. She was 66, according to her nephew Suleiman Wali.

Her humanitarian efforts was commended by Amnesty International and other non-profit organisations. While on a visit to her native country in 2005, she narrowly escaped being taken hostage.

At the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan, she had said: “We still have to fight for women to be represented in every sector of Afghan society. We will not go away.’’

She had played a key role in the formation of the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs after the ouster of the Taliban regime in 2001. Ms Wali also helped direct international funding to the Afghan women, children and refugees.

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Police foils terrorist bid in Kabul

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Ministry of Interior told on Sunday that police arrested a truck bomber on Saturday night in Kabul city along with a truck loaded with explosive and foiled a major terrorist bid in the capital.

MoI added that police given signal to the suspected truck to stop and the driver paid any heed and trying to cross the check post in Khushal Khan area of Kabul city, police shot at him in which he was injured and was arrested by police.

Later the police found the truck was loaded heavy explosives and also two rockets which had been packed under the tomatoes.

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Taliban gunmen killed five members of a family

Monitoring Desk

HERAT: Taliban gunmen killed members of a family in Ghorian district of Herat province on Saturday night.

Jilani Farhad, spokesman of Herat governor told media that the incident occurred in the remote Chahgardana area of Ghorian district and police started investigation in this regard.

Security official told local media that five people of a family were killed by the armed supporters of local Taliban commander identified as Mullah Sangin. He added that a local resident identified as Abdullah wife eloped with another man and in response Abdullah kidnapped his father and mother-in-law and they were from the same tribe of Mullah Sangin.

The Taliban gunmen in reaction killed Abdullah and four other members of his family and freed the Abdullah’s father in law and mother in law, he added.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman, Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi claimed the responsibility for the incident and adding that Taliban killed five kidnappers and freed the abducted people including two women.

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Five Taliban fighters killed in AAF airstrikes

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: As many as five Taliban fighters were killed in airstrike conducted by Afghan Air Force (AAF) on Friday in Sar-e-Pul province.

As per the local media reports, the Army officials said that A.29 fighters planes of AAF conducted airstrikes and targeted the Taliban hideouts in Mirza Olang area of Sayad district.

Army official claimed that the local leader of Taliban identified as Mullah Syed Ahmad also killed in the airstrike.

The Taliban group has not commented on the matter so far.

Sar-e-Pul is among the relatively under control of Taliban gunmen and the Taliban insurgents took control of the strategic Mirza Olang a couple of months ago.

 

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Over 8000 civilian causalities in nine months: UN

Monitoring Desk

KABUL:  The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced that as many as 2640 killed and 5379 people were injured in the past nine months in different parts of Afghanistan.

As per UNAMA report total 8019 people suffered causalities in Afghanistan in different incidents including suicide attacks, armed clashes, coordinated attacks and IED blasts.

The report added that 298 were killed and 709 women were injured in the nine months. Similarly, 689 children were killed and 1719 injured were included.

The report added that attacks on women had jumped to 13 percent and causalities to children increased to five percent comparing to last year.

The death and injured ratio increased to one and nine percent respectively compared to same period of last year.

The UNAMA report added that terrorist incidents were occurred in Kabul, Helmand, Nangarhar, Kandahar and Faryab provinces and it urged the warring sides to take care of the lives and properties of civilians.

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Karzai says Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace process critical

KABUL (INP): Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Thursday said the holding of a Loya Jirga was critical and that it was extremely important for Afghanistan to project a united front.

He said this was in order for people to come together to resolve the crisis the country is facing. He said a Loya Jirga should be held as soon as possible and must include all stakeholders from politicians, to tribal elders, civil society activists, through to members of the public.

In addition he said he was against the US’s new war strategy, which he said did not carry a message of peace. Karzai stated he also sent a letter to the Taliban asking them to join the peace talks process. According to him, he told the Taliban that all their war was doing was killing the people and destroying their homes.

He also called on the country to stand together in order to work towards strong cooperation and friendship with all foreign parties including the US, other countries and neighboring states.

Karzai said that when he was president he was opposed to the war, a stance that still stands today. He said during his presidency he visited Pakistan over 20 times and told them Afghanistan only wanted good relations with Islamabad.

Karzai said Pakistan’s role in the peace process was critical and without this, peace will be impossible in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. He went on to say that Pakistan has not been honest in its dealings with Afghanistan over the years and at times comes across as being an ally of the US and at other times as an ally of Afghanistan.

He said both the US and Pakistan have done exactly what they want in Afghanistan. “I hope that Pakistan knows today that it cannot force Afghanistan to reach their goals,” he said.

“We know we have a historical problem with Pakistan,” he added but went on to say “we still want good relations with Pakistan and we want very good relationships with other neighboring countries.” He however said he would not accept the Durand Line as the official border between the two countries.

He also labeled Daesh and al-Qaeda as terrorists and condemned the Taliban for their actions in terms of killing civilians. He also condemned US airstrikes but emphasized the need to sit and talk peace with the Taliban.

However, he noted that he did not want the US to withdraw from the country but that “their presence must benefit Afghanistan”. Karzai said he only wanted success for the national unity government saying it was in fact his “legacy”.

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15 Taliban gunmen killed in AAF airstrike in Paktiya

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: At least 15 Taliban fighters were killed in different airstrikes conducted by Afghan Air Force (AAF) in Paktiya province.

Interior Ministry of Afghanistan issued a statement on Wednesday and informed the media persons that Afghan Air Force conducted airstrikes targeted Taliban hideouts and killed 11 gunmen in Syed Karam district of Paktiya province.

It added that in another airstrike conducted in Ahmadabad district of the same province and killed four Taliban fighters and cache of weapons were destroyed in these airstrikes.

However, Spokesman of Paktiya governor, Abdul Hasrat, however, told local media that strikes were carried out by foreign forces in the Bokar area of Syed Karam and Woch Gharak area of Ahmadabad districts.

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IS fighters allegedly kidnap three workers of Construction Company

Monitoring Desk

SHABARGHAN:  Three workers of road Construction Company allegedly kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) localy known as Daesh in Sayyad district of Sar-e-Pul province on Wednesday.

Local media reported that Daesh kidnapped three persons including two senior officials of construction and one labor from the area.

However, Chief of Sar-e-Pul province, Khalilullah Dastyar said the officials of the construction company were kidnapped because of their rivalry in the area while the factor of kidnapped for ransom could also not be ruled out.

He added that police are conducting investigation in the incident and conducted raids in the different areas for safe recovery of the abducted persons.

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Eight Taliban fighters killed in US drone strike

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: At least eight Taliban fighters were killed and 15 other were injured in a US drone strike in Badakhshah area of Afghanistan on Tuesday.

As per details, the US conducted carried out drone strike in Raghistan district and targeted Taliban hideouts in the area and destroyed cache of Taliban weapons in the strike.

Badakhshan police chief, Abdul Khaliq Aqsai has said in a series of ground and air operations, the foreign forces bombarded the enemy targets in Raghistan district by using drones and as a result eight bodies of the Taliban fighters have been identified.

The Taliban confirmed that a drone strike had been carried out but claimed that they suffered no casualties.