04 June 2020

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 Kabul (BNA) A probe team led by Iran's deputy Foreign Minister Mohsin Baharwand on Tuesday met with Haneef Atmar, acting foreign minister, and the two sides discussed issues around the investigation of the border incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “Mohsin Baharwand expressed his deep sorrow over the incident and condemned it in the strongest possible terms,” said MoFA. According to the statement, the Iranian delegation said that such an act was not acceptable to the people and government of Iran and that Iran is ready to investigate the case together with the Afghan probe team to maintain justice. Minister Atmar thanked Iran’s medical assistance for fighting COVID-19, asking for delegation’s further work on border incident. He said such incidents to shadow friendly ties between the two neighbors, calling the reason behind investigation to prevent such tragic incidents in the future. At the end of April, over 50 Afghan migrants were trying to cross the border when they were “tortured and drowned” by Iranian guards, according to eyewitnesses. On May 8, President Ghani tasked a 10-member team to probe reports of the drowning of dozens of Afghan migrants by Iranian border security forces earlier this week. Yarzada

Monday May 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Afghanistan has risen to 11,173 as 591 new positive cases have been registered within the last 24 hours.
According to official in Ministry of Public Health, one patient has died due to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the number of COVID-19 related deaths to 219 since the outbreak of the disease in Afghanistan.
A total of 1,095 patients have recovered since the outbreak of the virus in the country, according to the ministry.

Monday May 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) At least four people lost their lives and seven more were wounded after a mortar shell hit on a residential house in eastern Laghman province the other day.
Asadullah Dawlat Zai spokesman of Laghman governor told BNA correspondent, the mortar shell hit on a residential house in relevant areas of Alishing district of the province, as a result four people including children lost their live and seven others were wounded.


Monday May 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Afghan President Ashraf Ghani launched a process on May 24 to release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners after welcoming an offer by the militants of a three-day cease-fire to mark Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
"As a responsible government we take one more step forward. I announce that I will expedite the Taliban prisoner releases," Ghani said in an address to the nation marking Eid al-Fitr.
Ghani also urged the Taliban to press ahead with the release of Afghan security personnel they hold.
A presidential spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, later tweeted that "President Ghani today initiated a process to release up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners as a good will gesture in response to the Taliban's announcement of a ceasefire during Eid."
Sediqqi added that Afghanistan's government "is extending the offer of peace and is taking further steps to ensure success of the peace process."
In February, the United States and the Taliban signed an agreement aimed at ending the longest military action in U.S. history. The deal lays out a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in return for security commitments from the Taliban.
It also stipulates that Kabul must free 5,000 Taliban prisoners, while the militants are to release 1,000 captives -- a move expected to lead to intra-Afghan negotiations.
The Taliban on May 23 announced the cease-fire would start the following day. Shortly afterward, Ghani ordered security forces to abide by the cease-fire as well.
In a post on Twitter, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the movement's leadership has ordered all fighters to "conduct no offensive operation against the enemy anywhere." In addition, they have been told to ensure "the security of fellow citizens."
Zalmay Khalizad, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, described the cease-fire as “a momentous opportunity” to accelerate a stalled U.S.-Taliban peace process.
“Other positive steps should immediately follow: the release of remaining prisoners as specified in the U.S.-Taliban agreement by both sides, no returning to high levels of violence, and an agreement on a new date for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations,” Khalizad wrote on Twitter.
A deadline for the Taliban to hold talks with the Afghan government passed in March amid a spike in violence and disagreements between the two sides over prisoner swaps.
The prospect of direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban gained a boost on May 17 when Ghani and his political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, reached a power-sharing agreement nearly eight months after disputed elections that led to a parallel government and hampered efforts to broker a peace deal.
The United States has about 12,000 troops in Afghanistan. Washington pays about $4 billion a year to maintain the Afghan military.
Despite both sides vowing to observe the three-day cease-fire, a reported mortar attack has killed four civilians in the eastern Laghman Province.
A further seven were also wounded in the incident that took place in the Ali Shang district of the province, the provincial governor's spokesman, Asadullah Dawlatzai, said.
An investigation has been launched to find out who carried out the shelling, Dawlatzai said.
No group has claimed the attack, but the Taliban has a strong presence in many parts of the district, and staged a number of deadly attacks on the Afghan security forces there in recent weeks.
Taliban militants control about half of Afghanistan's territory and have continued to carry out attacks since the deal was signed.
Afghan intelligence service spokesman Javid Faisal said on May 23 that at least 146 civilians were killed and 430 wounded in Taliban attacks during Ramadan.


Monday May 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Qatar, Germany, Indonesia, Norway and Uzbekistan have announced that they “warmly welcome” the announcement by the Afghan government and the Taliban of a ceasefire during the blessed Eid al-Fitr, the official Qatar News Agency reports.
They wish all Afghans a joyful and blessed Eid.
In a joint statement, the five countries said the ceasefire is a positive step forward that gives cause for hope. The Afghan people deserve an end to violence as well as a dignified peace and stability, the statement noted.
It added that the five countries encourage the parties to take further steps in the days and weeks ahead in order to enter into, without delay, intra-Afghan negotiations aimed at securing a durable peace settlement that ends the conflict in Afghanistan.
Recalling the appeal of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the five countries have urged for a permanent and comprehensive reduction in violence so as to bring lasting relief to the Afghan population. “In this connection, we also encourage the taking of necessary measures to protect vulnerable groups and individuals, including prisoners, from the pandemic,” they added.
“As like-minded countries resolved to co-operate in our support for an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan, we stand ready to assist the process in any way the parties may wish,” the statement further stressed.
Concluding their statement, the five countries said “we take this opportunity to recognise and commend the long-standing efforts of all relevant parties, including those of Qatar and the United States, in supporting the peace process in Afghanistan”.

Monday May 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Six irresponsible armed men were killed during clashes with two irresponsible armed groups in northern Baghlan province yesterday.
Col. Yousufi security directorate in police chief of Baghlan told BNA reporter, the conflicts took place between two irresponsible armed groups in Shah Kash region, Bano Andarab district of the province, in which two irresponsible armed men from both sides were killed.
Police officials started searching to identify and capture the perpetrators of the incident, Yousufi added.

Monday May 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) India on Sunday welcomed the ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban over three days covering the festival of Eid.
“We hope that this ceasefire would extend further and become permanent to address the dire humanitarian situation resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and pave the way for durable peace and stability for the people of Afghanistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
“India stands with the people of Afghanistan in their quest for enduring peace, security, sovereignty, and prosperity,” the statement added.
Earlier, India had expressed concern over the violence in the country despite a deal between the US and the Taliban that would allow for the US to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan after a more than 18-year long stay.
Last week, on May 17, within hours of a power-sharing deal between Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday after months of political discord triggered by last year’s disputed presidential election, India on Sunday welcomed the deal.
In its response, India hoped the political agreement and creation of a council for national reconciliation will result in renewed efforts for establishing enduring peace and stability, and putting an end to externally sponsored terrorism and violence in Afghanistan.
“India welcomes the political agreement concluded by the political leadership in Kabul today,” the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement.
It had said India is concerned over continuing violence and terror attacks in Afghanistan and called for an immediate ceasefire as well as assistance to people reeling under the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the deal, Ghani will stay as the president while Abdullah will helm the High Council of National Reconciliation (HCNR) with executive authority and his team will have a 50 per cent share in the cabinet, Afghan media reports said.

Monday May 25, 2020
Kabul (BNA) In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I extend my sincere congratulations and greetings to the entire Islamic world on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Happy Eid-ul-Fitr!
May Almighty Allah accept your prayers and worships during the holy month of Ramadan.
Unfortunately, this year we observed Ramadan amidst spread of corona pandemic, which gravely affected people in Afghanistan and across the globe. I appreciate all our elders for attending here during this hazardous time.
However we had the honor of hosting our people on such a day at the Presidential Palace, this time we need to limit the number of people. On the one hand, offering Eid prayer is incumbent upon us according to the Shariah/Islamic Law, and on the other hand the risky situation requires adopting preventive and precautionary measures.
Moreover, we are required to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Public Health and as you see all elders here are maintaining a proper distance. I ask all the people of Afghanistan to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Public Health as well as that of the international health organizations and avoid communal Eid celebrations and unnecessary visits.
Our religious clerics have consensus that those who lose their lives due to coronavirus have the rank of Shaheed – martyrs. I pray for speedy recovery for the infected and wish high rank in paradise for the demised.
I extend my gratitude to Public Health Ministry staff, health professionals in private sector, doctors, medics and nurses for fighting the invisible enemy. We wish health and wellbeing for all our health personnel, who are the first responders and fighting the contagion on the front line. Based on the Cabinet’s decision, special benefits and privileges have been taken into account for them that will come into effect.
My honorable compatriots;
Today we are proud that proponents of the Republic are standing in unity. I particularly appreciate Dr. Abdullah for accepting to lead the High Council for National Reconciliation. It is a heavy burden resting on our shoulders, but we can carry the burden by sharing it.
I once again welcome the Taliban’s announcement of a cease-fire. Last night I instructed all Afghan Defense and Security forces to thoroughly observe the ceasefire and adopt a defensive posture. I repeat: I instructed all Afghan Defense and Security forces to thoroughly observe the cease-fire. I hope this Eid becomes a joyous and happy moment for all our compatriots, as it was during the three-day Eid ceasefire two years ago.
As a responsible government, we want to take another step. We declare that the Taliban prisoners’ release process will be accelerated for which necessary measures will be in place. In the meantime, I call upon the Taliban to release the Afghan defense and security forces in their captivity as soon as possible.
One issue needs to be clarified. Some circles have instilled into the Taliban that accepting a ceasefire will weaken them; and in case they observing a cease-fire for a long period of time, they will lose their political influence/force. I want to clarify that the Taliban are a reality of the Afghan society. Where the Taliban can prove this political influence is the negotiation table, not the battle field. And we need to understand that announcement of ceasefire by the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that has been my and Dr. Abdullah’s stance for several years, signifies our strength, not weakness.
Winner of the peace will be the great nation of Afghanistan. The war brought nothing, but adversity and misery particularly for Afghan women. Afghan women are at the front row of political consensus for peace like the Afghan politicians here and the entire Afghan nation.
Peace is our national demand and we need to understand that the people of Afghanistan will be the owner of peace agreement, not individuals and groups. It is the Afghan people that ultimately approve the peace agreement.
I ask the Taliban to avoid harming the Afghan nation. Anybody who gets wounded or martyred will cause another irreparable suffering and damage. From a Sharia perspective, all our Islamic clerics agree that the ongoing war is not legitimate. Therefore, the fundamental approach is to enter into peace negotiations, where the Afghan government’s negotiating delegation stands ready to immediately begin the process. This is an inclusive delegation that represents the Afghan nation and government in which presence of all segments of the Afghan society is ensured.
Stability is the ultimate goal of peace. We have gone through instability; we know and feel it in our bones. Peace is the lost piece of our society; peace and stability are interrelated. Therefore we need to look for a year of sustainable and lasting peace that can lead to stability.
I have separately discussed with army corps commanders, provincial police chiefs and directors of national security during the past four weeks as an effort to improve the general security status of the country and to assure them of my full support for our brave defense and security forces.
I reaffirm my commitment that we continue to support our forces financially and spiritually and to provide them with better equipment, enablers and food.
I extend gratitude to our Defense and Security forces that are fighting and paying the ultimate sacrifice to protect their compatriots and bring stability to their homeland. I am grateful to their families who send their sons to serve at the ranks of the Afghan forces to defend the homeland. Once again, I extend my congratulations to the Afghan nation, particularly the families of our fallen heroes on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
A stable Afghanistan will lead to a stable region, and a prosperous Afghanistan will ensure prosperity in the region. Regional connectivity and ample regional cooperation is the key to our future success. Here I want to call upon all our regional partners and our neighbors, near and far, to work together with the Afghan government and people for peace and enhancing stability in the Afghanistan and the region.
Stay home. Stay healthy and safe.
Long live Afghanistan


Saturday, May 23, 2020
Pul-e-Khomri (BNA) A four Member-Taliban militants were joined peace process in Baghlan.
According to BNA correspondent, colonel Mohammad Wais Samimi police commander of Baghlan told reporters, the militants were joined to government with their hand weapons.
This is the second group of armed opposition to join the peace process in Baghlan this week.
Meanwhile, a group of 15 Taliban insurgents joined the government three days ago in Tala and Barfak District, Badakhshan.
T. Yarzada


Saturday, May 23, 2020
Faizabad (BNA) Fourteen Taliban terrorist group were killed in security forces raid in outskirt of Faizabad city Badakhshan.
Senaullah Rohani police spokesman of Badakhshan told BNA, Taliban late yesterday night attacked on police checkpoint in Faizabad city, which were faced with sever resistance of security troop, and with killing of 14 insurgents and wounding of several others, they fled the scene.
Two policeman were also martyred in the conflict, Rohani added.
T. Yarzada



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