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Afghan, US Forces target Daesh in North of Afghanistan

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson has said US and Afghan forces targeted the Daesh stronghold in North of Afghanistan.

He said that the Afghan and US Special Operators disrupted Daesh capacity to terrorize the people in northern Afghanistan.

General Nicholson said this is in a statement which he issued on Friday. He added the terrorist organization were terrifying the local people by using foreign fighters and now the US forces had destroyed their capacity which they were using against the people.

Earlier on 28 January, Afghan forces captured Khitab Aka, Daesh’s head facilitator of foreign fighters in Jawzjan. Less than two months later, on Mar. 16, a US airstrike killed Aka’s replacements, Daesh commanders Omair and Abu Samaya, as the duo met in Sar-e Pul province, US Forces-Afghanistan Headquarters said in a statement on Thursday.

Nicholson claimed that Daesh fighters were in southern Nangarhar and most of the valleys have been liberated from IS-K: the populations returning, the kids going back into school.”

He added that there will be no safe haven for any terrorist group in Afghanistan as we are continues to hunt them across the country.

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Atmar seeks continued German cooperation with Afghanistan

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: National Security Advisor (NSA) Mohammad Hanif Atmar during meetings with German officials has stated that Afghan government was implementing peace and war strategy simultaneously, an official said on Thursday.

Qader Shah, spokesman for the National Security Council (NSC), told Pajhwok Afghan News that NSA during his official trip to Germany held meetings with German chancellor, NSA John Hacker, defence and foreign affairs officials and discussed security, political and diplomatic relationship.

He said Atmar’s trip to Germany amid at improving and expanding bilateral relation. During meeting with German chancellor, NSA, Atmar stressed over further promoting bilateral economic and political relationship.

Atmar thanked Germany for its military role in the Resolute Support (RS) mission and termed Germany support for the capacity building of Afghan police vital.

Atmar stressed over international community’s greater and organised efforts against terrorism and politically pressurizing countries who had provided sanctuaries to terrorists. He termed German government’s decision logical regarding the surge of military personnel in Afghanistan and termed the decision a huge step in fight against terrorism.

Atmar and German officials discussed recent offer of the Afghan government regarding peace talks and hailed Berlin support from the Afghan government’s peace initiative.

He demanded German cooperation in the training and capacity building of police force and added German played important role in the professional training of police and demanded more cooperation in this regard.

Shah said the NSA also held meetings with foreign affairs and defence ministry officials and talked about further improvement of state to state relationship.

He thanked the German government for improving the capacity government officials and civil servants.

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Uruzganis celebrate Nawroz festival in frontline village

Monitoring Desk

TIRINKOT: The residents of central Uruzgan province celebrated the day one of the annual festival Nawroz or new year in the frontline village of Shah Mansoor in the provincial capital. Uruzgan has been the scene of bloody clashes between security forces and Taliban insurgents over the two years. The Taliban have been in control of many areas in districts and the provincial capital, Tirinkot.

The first day of Nawroz festival — a large number of residents celebrated the day in Shah Mansoor, a frontline village. Shah Mansoor village was with the Taliban five months ago but now it serves at the front line of the war between the two sides.

Sardar Wali, a resident of Tirinkot, said he was happy celebrating the new year in a village which had been under the Taliban five months ago.

He urged both the warring sides to announce ceasefire and retreat from people’s lands and properties in order the displaced families could return.

Bari Dad in Shah Mansoour village told Pajhwok that hundreds of youth arrived in the frontline village to celebrate the new year because they had other palace to visit. He said the provincial capital, Tirinkot, remained besieged by the rebels. The resident urged the Taliban to renounce violence and joint the government peace process.

On Thursday, the second day of Nawroz festival, children and elderly people were also seen arriving in the Shah Mansoor village to celebrate the new year. A security official in the area, Malak Zainullah, said a few months ago when the village was with the Taliban local people were unable to come out and hold such a gathering.

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Police commander among 3 killed

Monitoring Desk

SHABARGHAN/JALALABAD: A police commander among three persons was killed in Taliban attack and security forces’ operations in Faryab and Nangarhar provinces.

Taliban gunmen killed a police commander, Zalmay Bai, after an attack in the Sherin Tagab district of Faryab, Faryab police said in a statement Thursday.

It said the deceased had recently been appointed as commander of a 30-member group of police, adding the slain police officer known as Akbari was the nephew of Wolesi Jirga member, Muhammad Hashim Ortaq.

Taliban claimed the attack.

Meanwhile, security forces conducted operations in the Arabano and Laka Ghondai villages of Khugyani district, Nangarhar province, killing two persons and detaining 18 others, said Sherin Agha, a local resident.

He said a mentally challenged man, Ashraf, was among the dead, adding the second slain man named Malakhi and was a farmer.  There was no word by Afghan authorities in this regard.

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Mortar shell kills two children

Monitoring Desk

TIRINKOT: Two children have been killed, their father and another child injured when a mortar shell landed on their house in Tirinkot, the capital of central Uruzgan province, a local elder said on Thursday.

Aminullah, the elder of locality, told Pajhwok Afghan News the mortar shell struck the house when security forces were conducting operation in the area. Security officials were unaware of the incident but said investigation had been launched. Security forces have launched clearing operation in the area from the past few days.


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Durrani promises more facilities to farmers in new year

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Minister Eng. Nasir Ahmad Durrani on Thursday promised farmers would be offered more opportunities this new year to improve their situation.

The minister was speaking at a gathering of farmers coming from Kabul, Parwan, Logar, Ghazni, Panjsher and Bamyam provinces to celebrate the National Farmer’s Day here. Durrani told the ceremony named “My Homeland, May Farmer” in Kabul that his ministry was working to provide technical services to farmers to increase their production.

To support farmers, he said, the Ministry of Agriculture had prioritized increasing the agriculture production level, market access, building infrastructure for preservation of fruits and vegetables, restoring canals, paying attention to livestock in the 1397 new solar year.

“In order to have to good corps, the ministry is trying to reduce the problem of water scarcity in 30 provinces by restoring 257 irrigation networks,” he added.

According to Durrani, about 12 cold stores would be built in 10 provinces with each having the capacity to score 500 tons of fruits and vegetables.

The minister said more than 120,000 dairy cattle would be matured through artificial insemination for the development of livestock in the country this new year. Durrani said his ministry also planned to establish milk processing factories for farmers in Kabul, Logar, Parwan and Maidan Wardak provinces.

Others plants were to construct a grape processing factory in Parwan, pine nuts in Paktika, five silos and five strategic sites in five provinces, research farms, 11 quarantine centers and crop production laboratory complex in Parwan.

Hamid Helmandi, a senior advisor to the president on agriculture, said 20 percent of farms would be covered in cites with water hand pumps and about two million farmers would be provided jobs.

“We are still using outdated agricultural machinery, if we renew our machines, we will be able to make great changes in our products,” he added.



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Rahgozar to replace Noor as Balkh Governor

Monitoring Desk

BALKH: Former Governor Ishaq Rahgozar will be reappointed as Balkh governor on Thursday at a official ceremony.

 Spokesman of provincial governor, Muneer Farhad told media outlet that Akram Same will also be appointed as the replacement of Sayed Kamal Sadat, the current provincial police chief of Balk.

The development comes a day after ousted governor Atta Mohammad Noor said in his Nawroz speech at the Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif that he had almost reached a final agreement with the Presidential Palace over the discord between the two and that an announcement would be made soon.

This comes after President Ashraf Ghani accepted Noor’s resignation in December last year. However, Noor said the letter was outdated and he refused to step down until a list of demands by Jamiat-e-Islami Party of Afghanistan was met.


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Elements pressing on violence to face nation’s stern response: Ghani

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday said that war was not the way resolved crisis and those who wanted to continue with conflict would be faced with unforgiving reaction of the nation.

The president dubbed peace as the urgent need of society and added all portions of the society had developed a mutual consensus on honorable peace and stability in the country. He was addressing at Presidential Palace to mark Nawroz, the first day of the New Solar year.

The president termed peace, administrative reforms and election as government priorities and added other major developments would take place in the New Year and hope that it would bring progress and stability to the country. Ghani said the masses developed consensus over administrative reforms besides peace and said the New Year would call education years.

Reforms in the civilian and military services would continue and the state institutions would become younger, he added.

The process of hiring, he said, was underway through the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Services Commission (IARCSC) and every Afghan should believe that education and qualification were the only principles of hiring.

Referring to the conduct of polls on the already declared date, he told the masses: “Evaluate the performance of your representatives in Wolesi Jirga and give them the marks and expected the same from the lower house.” Ghani called on people to fully participate in the upcoming Wolesi Jirga and district council election.”

He said reforms in the security institutions were underway and the nation would see the results soon.


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NPC approves 21 contracts worth 5.5 billion afghanis

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The National Procurement Commission approved 21 contracts worth 5.5 billion afghanis, a statement from the presidential palace’s media office said. The NPC that met under President Ghani’s chairmanship discussed and approved requests for award of the contracts, the statement said.

The meeting approved 15 new contracts to purchase foodstuffs (dry bread, meat, vegetables, dairy and fruit), diesel and petrol, gas and wood needed by Afghan National Police Corps.

The meeting also approved a procurement contract for equipment required for a power substation in Pul-i-Charkhi area on the eastern outskirts of Kabul. The contract was related the Breshna company in Kabul.

The NPC okayed contract for procurement of contracts between the Government of Afghanistan and other governments and international organizations and procurement contracts for commonly used items. The National Procurement Commission also endorsed contracts for septic tank drainage and solid waste management projects, maintenance of power system, air conditioners and generators and water supply and sanitation system related to the Ministry of the Interior.

In addition, commission members stated that the Ministry of Interior contracts were for the year 1397 only and the ministry was required to review quality of the contract every quarter of the year.

President Ashraf Ghani said logistics were a means of supporting and strengthening the private sector and a plan should be prepared for participation of all domestic companies in the bidding process

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JI, govt to soon announce understanding, says Noor

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Former governor of Balkh province and chief executive of Salahuddin Rabbani-led Jamiat-i-Islami, Attaullah Muhammad Noor, has said differences between his party and national unity government have been resolved and the two sides would soon announce understanding in this regard.

Addressing a ceremony marking the beginning of new solar year, the influential former warlord said his party and the government had differences over the issue of Balkh governorship but the allies insisted on solving the problem through negotiations.

He said several rounds of talks were held between the government and Jamiat and the two sides agreed on most of the issues, adding he accepted the decisions of the allies.

He also thanked his party leadership, deputies and executive council for authorizing him to ink agreement with government.

All the points of the agreement would be implemented, Noor said without going into details of the understanding between government and his party.

He said his party would take part in the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.

President Muhammad Ashraf sacked Atta Muhammad Noor as Balkh governor few weeks ago but Noor ejected the president’s decision and refused to relinquish power. The government also failed to send new governor to Balkh.

It is said that Atta Muhammad Noor has given some names to government to pick one of them as governor of Balkh province.