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MPS against interim setup, stress timely elections

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Some Wolesi Jirga members have termed the formation of interim government as the beginning of another civil war in the country and asked the government to come up with a clear peace strategy.

Some Lawmaker said the situation in Ghazni’s Malistan and Jaghori districts was unstable and asked the government to provide assistance to displaced persons.

Wolesi Jirga Member Ghulam Hussain Naseri said the government should take steps for the conduct of timely presidential elections.

“Elections can be the only way out to Afghanistan’s current crisis; the interim government is not in the interest of the country. No leadership without elections is accepted for the people if the interim government is established it will be the beginning of another civil war in the country,” he warned.

Another Lawmaker Zaheer Saadat said peace was the first priority of every Afghan but there was need for a proper strategy which shall be acceptable to all stakeholders. He said peace talks needed a strong administration and the people of Afghanistan should be aware of all process. He said the conduct of timely presidential elections was the only way to end the current political crisis in the country.

Shah Etemadi, a lawmaker from Ghazni province, said reinforcement had been dispatched to the Malistan and Jaghori district but the situation had yet to return to normalcy. “We want the government to order clearing operation in Malistan and Jaghori districts and purged the Taliban from the areas,” he said.

Nafeesa Shah, another Ghazni lawmaker, said security forces dispatched to Ghazni had no plan to fight, adding that situation still remained tense.

“No aid has been provided to 16,000 displaced families and after the clearing operations enough force should be present in the area so that the insurgents should not make a comeback,” she said. She asked the government to be more careful and prevent the forces which had recently returned from Syria and Iraq from spreading instability.

Nader Khan Katawazai, another lawmaker, said earlier foreign sent terrorists, but now another group called Fatimyon had been entering Afghanistan to spread instability and terror. “The destruction of Salma and Kajaki dams is the main purpose of Fatimyon militant group,” he said. The lawmaker alleged the involvement of Fatimyon in the incident that occurred in Kabul University.

Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said it was clear that the people of Afghanistan want peace and stressed peace cannot be achieved from a weak position. He emphasised the presidential elections should be held on time and the government should take all measures for its successful conduct. (Pajhwok)





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Forces attack on wedding party leaves 3 killed, 9 hurt

Monitoring Desk

MAIDAN SHAHR: Three individuals have been killed, including a groom, and children and women among nine others wounded as the wedding ceremony attacked by Afghan forces in Jalrez district of central Maidan Wardak province, officials said on Sunday.

Sharifullah Hotak, a member of provincial council, told Pajhwok Afghan News the incident took place in Zewlat area of the district on Saturday after noon.

He said the house in which wedding ceremony was underway stormed by security forces located close to the security base. He, however, added the motive behind the attack was unclear. Three men were killed, including the groom, and nine others, including children and women wounded in the attack.

According to Hotak, the relatives of the victims want probe into the incident as the attack targeted only civilians.

On the other hand, Abdul Rahman Mangal, Maidan Wardak governor’s spokesman, said two people were killed and 13 others wounded after a missile hit a civilians house during a clash between rebels and security forces.

He said it was unclear which side fired the missile and who suffered casualties in the incident.

On Thursday, five individuals were killed as a result of foreign forces airstrike in Torkhel area. A resident of the area Rahmatullah Asghar said three civilians and two militants were killed in the airstrike. But the governor’s spokesman said four rebels had been killed. (Pajhwok)

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Khalilzad eyes peace agreement with Taliban

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The US Special Adviser for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad eyes a peace agreement with the Taliban group ahead of presidential elections.

Ambassador Khalilzad cautiously expressed optimisms regarding the reconciliation between the Afghan government and Taliban and said he expects a breakthrough until April of 2019.

In the meantime, informed sources have told Western media outlets that Ambassador Khalilzad met with the Taliban political leaders in Qatar during separate meetings which lasted for three days.

The meetings were reportedly attended by Taliban leaders Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammad Afzal.

According to the reports, the Taliban militants have demanded the suspension of presidential elections and formation of a transitional government.

Khalilzad arrived in Kabul last week to the meet with the Afghan leaders and officials ahead of his trip to Qatar.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said last week that Ambassador Khalilzad briefed President Ghani regarding the ongoing efforts for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and his planned trips to certain countries. Khalilzad said he would provide further information once completing his trips to the countries which he had visited earlier. (Khaama Press)



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Ghani, Dostum held talks regarding key national issues

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met the First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and held talks regarding the key national issues, including the ongoing consultations regarding the formation of the consultative board for reconciliation.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani met with the First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum on Sunday afternoon as part of the consultative meetings.

The statement further added that President Ghani thanked Gen. Dostum for his views and informed him that the meetings for the establishment of consultative board for reconciliation started last week and meetings are being organized with the political and Jihadi leaders as well as representatives of various sects for the establishment of peace consultative board.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani emphasized that peace is a national process and the views of all sects and movements are required in this regard.

According to ARG Palace, the two sides also held talks regarding the security situation of certain provinces during the meeting.

This comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has so far met with the deputy chief executive Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, leaders of Jamiat Islami and Hezb Islami and some other political leaders regarding the establishment of peace consultative board. (Khaama Press)




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Dozens of weapons, thousands of rounds of ammo seized in Nangarhar

NANGARHAR (KHAAMA PRESS): The Afghan security forces have seized dozens of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo during an operation in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government media office in a statement said the weapons and ammo were seized in Behsud district and two individuals have also been arrested in connection to the transportation of munitions.

The statement further added that 51 various types of weapons and ten thousand rounds of ammo were placed in a transportation truck which was carrying cattle.

According to the provincial government, the arrested individuals originally hail from Kapisa province and had smuggled the weapons and ammo from Pakistan to Bati Kot district some while ago.

The two men were looking to smuggle the weapons and ammo to Kapisa province when they were arrested by the counter-narcotics police forces in Behsud district, the statement added.

The provincial government also added that the detained individuals have confessed to their crime and are in police custody for further investigation.

The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented regarding their involvement in the smuggling of the arms.

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Gen. Dunford says Taliban ‘are not losing’ in Afghanistan

KABUL (TOLONews): The Chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff of the U.S. Military General Joseph Dunford has said that the Taliban ‘are not losing’ in Afghanistan.

Gen. Joseph Dunford has reportedly made the remarks in a security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Emphasizing that much more needs to be done to bring peace to the war-torn country, Gen. Dunford has said “They are not losing right now, I think that is fair to say.”

Gen. Dunford further added “We used the term stalemate a year ago and, relatively speaking, it has not changed much.”

He also added that there would never be a “military solution” on its own to bring peace to Afghanistan, the United States and its Nato partners are working to leverage military, political and economic pressure to convince the Taliban it is in their interest to negotiate a political solution to the crisis with the government in Kabul.

Gen. Dunford has said “Without going into detail here, we do believe the Taliban know that at some point they do have to reconcile. The key to success is to combine all that pressure to incentivize the Taliban” to negotiate.

This comes as the Afghan government and the international allies of Afghanistan are have stepped up efforts to end the ongoing conflict through reconciliation process.

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Key Taliban commanders among 7 detained by Afghan Commandos in Takhar

TAKHAR (KHAAMA PRESS): At least seven Taliban militants including two of their key commanders were detained during a Special Operation of the Afghan Army Commando forces in Takhar province.

The 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the Afghan Commandos conducted Special Operations in Qara Hindu and Qalbaras villages located in the outskirts of the provincial capital of Takhar.

The statement further added that the Commando forces arrested at least seven Taliban militants during the operations, including two of their key commanders.

According to 209th Shaheen Corps, the key Taliban commanders arrested during the operation, have been identified as Mawlavi Azim who is also famous as Kakai and Qari Latif.

The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not commented regarding the report so far.

In the meantime, the 209th Shaheen Corps said at least three Taliban militants were killed and three others were wounded during Toofan-20 operations in Chaghat Payin village in Ishkamish district.

According to 209th Shaheen Corps, the name village had fallen into the hands of Taliban militants on Friday.

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District chief, intelligence director killed in Logar roadside bombing

PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): A district chief and intelligence director for Baraki Barak district have been killed in a roadside bombing in central Logar province, officials said on Sunday.

Police spokesman Shapoor Ahmadzai told Pajhwok Afghan News the blast took place in Sherwaza area of Pul-i-Alam City, the provincial capital when the officials heading to office on Saturday evening.

He said district’s administrative chief Ainuddin Amin and NDS head Aziz Rahman were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in struck a roadside bomb.

He added the vehicle was completely damaged in the blast and the bomb had been planted by Taliban insurgents.

Meanwhile, Shamshad Larawy, the governor’s spokesman, confirmed the killing of the two officials in the blast.

Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast. Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman, claimed that district chief, intelligence director and several bodyguards were killed in the bombing.

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Foreign Minister meets Indian Ambassador to Kabul

KABUL (BNA): Salahuddin Rabbani, Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Mr. Vinay Kumar, ambassador of the Republic of India to Kabul in his office late yesterday.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman press office to BNA, the Indian ambassador’s call comes before the upcoming Geneva Conference.

The two sides discussed and exchanged views on bilateral and regional issues.

Ambassador Kumar briefed Mr. Rabbani on the state of progress in implementation of Indian projects in Afghanistan.

The two sides also discussed issues of mutual interest as well as the past and upcoming events.

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Ghani met with Haji Mohaqiq, other political leaders to discuss peace efforts

KABUL (KHAAMA PRESS): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday met with Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq and other political leaders to discuss the ongoing efforts regarding reconciliation process.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani on met with Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, Sadiq Mudabir, Asadullah Sadati, Mohammad Akbari, Syed Ali Kazemi, Abdul Haq Shafaq, and Mohammad Nateqi on Saturday evening.

The statement further added that President Ghani held talks with the political leaders regarding the establishment of peace consultative board, high peace council activities, formation of peace negotiators delegation, and establishment of various committees in the event peace talks kick off.

President Ghani also listened to the views and recommendations of the political leaders and called their views as vital to reach to a peace deal.

He once again emphasized on national consensus calling it a key foundation of government’s activities and said consultations would be foundation for peace as well.

According to President Ghani, the main purpose of the peace consultative board is to prepare for peace talks and to establish a specific address for Afghan-led peace talks.

This comes as President Ghani had earlier met with Jamiat Islami and Hezb Islami leaders, Senate Chairman, and some other political leaders to consult on peace process.