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President Ghani offers extension of ceasefire with Taliban for one year

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Afghan President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani has offered to extend the ceasefire for one year with Taliban if they are ready for the extension of ceasefire.

President Ghani said this during a meeting with the members of Helmand peace convoy who arrived in Kabul on Tuesday. Ghani said that the government announced the ceasefire based on the Fatwa of the religious leaders which is reflects the will of the nation and adding that if the Taliban group for a three day ceasefire then they can agree for a one year ceasefire as well.

He stressed on the Taliban group to believe in intra-Afghan talks and specify the venue for the talks and adding that the government is fully prepared for the negotiations.

He told the members of the Helmand peace convoy that he is prepared to go anywhere they ask him for the peace talks.

President Ghani also urged the members of the peace convoy to visit Taliban leader Mullah Hebatullah and ask him for peace and reconciliation.

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‘Respect the will of the nation and start peace talks’

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Chief Executive of the Unity Government Abdullah has called on the leadership council of the Taliban group to respect the will of the nation and start peace talks with government in a bid to end the ongoing violence.

Abdullah issued a statement to welcome the arrival of Helmand peace convoy to Kabul and said the government supports the peace convoy and is prepared to positively respond to the demands of the peace activists.

The statement further added that the Chief Executive of the Unity Government supports the efforts by Helmand youths for peace as well as their civil movement for marching on foot from Helmand to Kabul.

He said the move shows that peace is a national need and is being demanded by the people at any cost. According to Abdullah, government has clearly shown its clear stance and goodwill regarding peace which received a positive feedback from the Taliban as well in the form of ceasefire.

The Chief Executive also added that the response by the Taliban proved that there is an interest all sides for peace and reconciliation and expressed hopes that the Taliban will positively respond to the government and nation’s demand for reconciliation and start peace talks.

He emphasized that the government is committed to peace process and is prepared to use all the available opportunities to positively respond to the demands of the people.

 

 

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Jihadi, political leaders urge Taliban to come to negotiation table

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Declaring support to government ceasefire with Taliban, several jihadi, political leaders have urged Taliban to start peace talks with government in the larger interest of the people of Afghanistan.

The jihadi, political and national leaders said this during an advisory meeting with President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani on peace process and ceasefire with Taliban Tuesday.

A press release issued by Presidential Palace said participants of the meeting unanimously supported extension of ceasefire and peace process and shared their recommendations and proposals with president on management of current situation.

It said the president thanked the jihad and political leaders and valued their views on national, political and major issues of the country.

The president vowed to hold consultative meetings with political parties on key issues. The president was scheduled to share details of these meetings with nation but his address to nation was cancelled due to unknown reasons.

The political and jihadi leaders who meet the president included former president Hamid Karzai, chairman Dawat Party, Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf, Hezb-e-Islami emir Gulbadin Hekmatyar, Ustad Khailil, Ustad Mohaqiq, Younas Qanooni and several others.

 

 

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24 Taliban, security men killed, hurt in Farah clash

Monitoring Desk

HERAT: At least two dozens of Taliban gunmen and Afghan National Army (ANA) troops were killed and wounded during clashes in western Farah province, ANA said Tuesday.

Taliban gunmen attacked security forces’ outposts in Shahr-e-Kohna area of Pusht-e-Rod district but the security force strongly retaliated, killing 10 Taliban and wounding seven others, said Mohibullah Mohib, spokesman of Farah police. The said the Taliban retreated after suffering casualties.

Noorul Haq Khaliqi, spokesman of Farah governor, told AIP that three ANA troops were also killed in the clashes.

A press release issued by ANA’s press office in Farah said 13 Taliban were killed while eight Taliban and three troops wounded during the clash that occurred in Shahr-e-Kohna area.

Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi said in statement emailed to AIP that Commander Wasee Khan among six ANA troops were killed and four more wounded in the attack

He would not say if there were any casualties to Taliban.

Meanwhile, a unclaimed decapitated body was found in the Nawabad area of Herat city, capital of Herat province, security officials.

 

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Kunaris deprived of electricity despite massive water reservoirs

Monitoring Desk

ASADABAD: The residents of eastern Kunar province have complained against the non-availability of electricity despite huge water reservoirs and flowing rivers.

They say the government often made commitment to construct dams but failed to honour its pledges.

Ziaulhaq, the resident Asadabad, the provincial, capital said all government envoys who discharged duty in Kunar had pledged the construction of electricity projects and end the electricity issue but none of them honoured their commitment.

Ezatullah, another resident of Asadabad, said daily activities of the resident and business badly affected as there was no electricity in the province. He said when there electricity for at least two hours their business could earn up to 2,000 afghanis but when there is complete outage they do no work.

He added there is fuel based electricity facility which is expensive they could not afford it.

Maulvi Syed Walli, the resident of Kunar, want the government to provide imported electricity to Kunar province as well. He said if the government could not do this than it should construct hydropower dams on Kunar River so that the people could benefit from the water.

Tribal elder Hayatullah said every governor and minister who came to Kunar pledged the construction of dams but they never implemented their promise.

Fazal Wahid Afkari, the resident of Shegal district, said the construction of electricity dams on Kunar River is the priority of every candidate during election campaign but after the election they forget their pledges. He said Former President Hamid Karzai during his second tenure pledged the construction of Sur Taq Dam which was not implemented so far.

Omaidullah, the resident of Narang district said in the past 18-year the government officials often pledged with the people of Kunar to construct small and big dams for them but they never implemented their pledges.

He said the Sur Taq dam could supply electricity to all eastern provinces. Eng. Abdullah Wali, head of the Da Afghanistan Breshana Shirkat (DABS) acknowledged the complaints of the people of Kunar regarding electricity in the province.

He said currently 350 kilovolts of electricity was being generated in Kunar which was only supplied to government institutions. He added Kunar needed 50 megawatt of electricity. Wali said the survey to supply imported electricity to Kunar had been completed and 15 acres land had been identified for the construction of a sub-station, the land acquisition paper work had been completed as well, he added.

Wali added 80 percent work on the hydropower dam which will generate 2.1 megawatt electricity had been completed. The dam is being built in Mangi area of Paich Dara.

 

 

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Senate criticizes Taliban over not extending truce

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: A number of Meshrano Jirga or Senate members on Tuesday criticized the Taliban for not extending their ceasefire with government forces, blaming the war in Afghanistan on ‘interferences’.

Earlier, the Afghan government declared a 9-day truce with the Taliban who announced a three-day ceasefire. Both the sides adhered to the ceasefire but the Taliban resumed their attacks against Afghan forces soon after their Eid days ceasefire ended, while the government extended it by another 10 days.

The Meshrano Jirga’s Tuesday discussed the ceasefire. Allahdad Andar, a senator from southern Ghazni province, welcomed the government for extending ceasefire and asked the Taliban to follow suit. He said the conflict served no one’s interest and only destroyed the country.

Senator Baz Mohammad Zurmati said the people were tired of the war and both the government and the Taliban should extend their ceasefire. He said the Afghan government was ready to accept all legitimate demands of the Taliban.

Abdullah Qarlaq, a senator from Kunduz province, said that the government was more tolerable and flexible about the ceasefire with the Taliban. “Both the Taliban and Afghan forces offered Eid prayers together and exchanged greetings when they came to the city, but the Taliban after the ceasefire first attacked those Afghan forces who hosted them on Eid.”

Mohammad Hassan Hottak, another member of the upper house, said: “Those fighting in Taliban ranks are also tired of the war, but their leaders would never want peace in Afghanistan because they live in luxury houses outside this country, they fight for the interest of others in Afghanistan.”

  1. Alam Ezdyar, first deputy chairman of Meshrano Jirga, said that the country needed peace which continued to elude the Afghans due to interference of foreign intelligence agencies.

“The Afghans want peace not only in their own country but in the entire region,” said Ezdyar, who asked the government to be in contact with the Parliament before holding any kind of negotiations with the Taliban.

 

 

 

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China lauds Afghan govt’s peace efforts

Monitoring Desk

BEIJING: China highly appreciates Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s peace efforts in the country, hoping that the announced ceasefire will lead to reconciliation between the two sides through dialogue.

“We have taken note that the Afghan government extended its willingness to hold negotiation with the Taliban on the ceasefire issue,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang at a regular press conference here on Tuesday.

We call on all parties in the Afghan’s conflict to achieve domestic reconciliation and peace through dialogue and political negotiations. China firmly supports the peace and reconciliation process, and is willing to play its constructive role in the early realization of peace in Afghanistan.

Commenting on the report published by the French Senate, showing willingness to participate in the construction of the “Belt and Road,” Geng Shuang said, the “Belt and Road Initiative” is an open and inclusive international cooperation initiative.

“It pursues the principles of consultation, co-building, and sharing. Participating countries can play a role and receive benefits. In the specific cooperation, we pay attention to the comfort of all parties, pay attention to maintaining openness and transparency, and follow recognized international standards and rules. We are willing to discuss with European countries including France the specific ways of cooperation under the “One Belt and One Road” framework, effectively link development strategies, expand interest integration, and achieve higher levels of mutual benefit,” he added.

On the trade issue, the spokesman, the US side incriminated black and white speeches and made groundless accusations against China. Its purpose was to cover up its unilateralism and protectionism. In recent days, the consensus reached by both sides has been ignored and capricious.

It has again provoked a trade war. Its practice has already lost faith in the world, harming the interests of people and enterprises of China and the United States, and harming the interests of people all over the world.

“China does not want to fight a trade war, but it is not afraid to fight a trade war. It will continue to take effective measures to resolutely safeguard national interests and the interests of the people and resolutely safeguard economic globalization and the multilateral trading system.

At the same time, no matter how the external environment changes, China will adhere to the established rhythm, adhere to the people as the center, firmly push forward the reform and opening up, firmly advance the high-quality economic development, and accelerate the construction of a modern economic system.

We advise the US to return to rationality and stop the words and deeds that harm others. This is the way out,” he added.

 

 

 

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The enemy of Afghanistan wants to derail the peace process

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Afghan government officials said that the enemies of Afghanistan are attempting to derail the peace efforts between the government and Taliban group but they will not be succeeded in their failure attempts.

Presidential spokesperson Shah Husssain Murtazwi told reporters that certain circles having enmity with the ceasefire and peace process with the Taliban group are based inside the country as well as abroad.

He did not disclose further information in this regard but added that the government is independent in its decisions and actions regarding the ceasefire and peace efforts.

In the meantime, Murtazwi said President Ghani has met with the former President Hamid Karzai, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Ustad Sayyaf, Khalili, Mohaqiq, Qanooni and a number of other prominent political figures during a consultative meeting regarding the ceasefire initiative.

He sid the political figures have endorsed the ceasefire initiative of the unity government.

Murtazwi also added that President Ghani will continue to meet with the political figures, civil society activists and media to consult regarding the initiative for ceasefire.

 

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Four Afghan security personnel killed as clashes resume after Eid ceasefire

Monitoring Desk

KUNDUZ: At least four security personnel were killed after Taliban gunmen attacked security check posts in Kunduz province on Monday night.

Local Kunduz officials informed Afghan media on Tuesday that the Taliban fighters attacked in Dasht-e-Archi Bazar and during the clash at least seven Taliban fighters were killed and five others were injured.

Officials also confirmed that two ANA soldiers and two local police force members were killed and four others injured in the clash with the militants.

This was the first clash in Kunduz since the end of the Eid ceasefire on Sunday night.

 

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Hekmatyar hails president’s ceasefire decision

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has visited Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of the Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), at his residence and congratulated him on Eid, a statement from Presidential Palace said on Monday.

Hekmatyar thanked President Ghani for visiting him at his residence for Eid greeting and hailed his efforts for ceasefire. Hekmatyar said peace was the dire need of the people and HIA fully supported ceasefire and peace process.

The president said that three-day ceasefire showed that peace was a nation-wide demand and there was a national consensus existed on this.

“We have been consulting with different political stakeholder on peace and your vision in this regard is highly appreciated,” president said.

Meanwhile, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and former President Hamid Karzai have exchanged Eid greetings and discussed ceasefire during a meeting here, a statement from Presidential Palace said on Monday.

Karzai termed President Ghani’s decision of ceasefire a fresh step towards durable peace and stability in the country and congratulated the nation on the truce, the statement said, adding both leaders discussed ongoing situation in cordial environment.

Karzai said that it was the responsibility of all stakeholders to support the President Ghani’s decision of the ceasefire with the Taliban.

Ghani hailed the vision of former president and admired public support from the peace process and ceasefire with the Taliban. Both sides wished a bright future for Afghanistan without conflict and problems.