25 September 2020

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Saturday, 19 September 2020 07:37

Men Detained on Suspicion of Robbery

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Mazar-e-Sharif (BNA) Balkh police arrested four men on suspicion of robbery in that province.
Adel Shah Adel, spokesman for Balkh police chief, told BNA that officials arrested the men on suspicion of robbery from Chamtal and Dehdadi districts of the province.
Adel added that weapons were also seized by the officials from the detainees.
T. Yarzada

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Gardiz (BNA) Local officials of Paktia confirmed that the deputy head of provincial council was martyred in an armed attack in Gardez city this morning.
Abdul Rahman Mangal, spokesman for Paktia governor, told BNA that Ayub Gharwal, the deputy head of provincial council, was the target of an armed attack in the provincial capital when he was on his way to university.
Mangal added that Gharwal wounded in the attack and died at the hospital.
No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Paktia police have launched an investigation to arrest the perpetrators of the murder.
T. Yarzada

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA)  For over four years now, occasionally a campaign on Afghan social media would pop-up to recognize women’s identities as they ask, “Where is my name?” The nascent movement takes form but fades after a while.
This time again, the campaign has picked up steam and even been submitted to the House of Representatives.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has signed an amendment allowing mothers' names to be included on their children's birth certificates, after a three-year campaign by women's rights activists.
Using the hashtag #WhereIsMyName, campaigners pushed for the right of women to be named on official documents including children's birth certificates, which previously named only the father.
The President signed the amendment after Parliament had delayed passing the changes, which were scheduled for discussion last week.
"I feel like a bird in a cage whose door has just been opened, achieving the dream of flying in the sky," said activist Sonia Ahmadi, who joined the campaign when it began in 2017.
"My feeling of happiness may seem ridiculous for women in other countries, but when we live in a society where women are physically and spiritually excluded, achieving such basic rights is a big and difficult task."
#WhereIsMyName campaigners are fighting an ingrained Afghan tradition that states using a woman's name in public brings shame on the family. Instead, women are publicly referred to by the name of their closest male relatives.
Their own names are generally not present on documents, on their wedding invitations or even on their own gravestones.
"In a society where everything is against women and they work to keep women down, this is a big step forward," Ahmadi said.
The Afghan cabinet's legal affairs committee said the move was a significant achievement. "The decision to include the mother's name in the ID card is a big step towards gender equality and the realization of women's rights," the committee said in a statement.
The movement, which began in the city of Herat but has since expanded worldwide, has faced opposition in the conservative and patriarchal Muslim country.
During a joint press conference with local authorities and the founders of the movement, Herat Governor Wahid Qattali said he feared there would be resistance to the change.
But Qattali showed his full support for the move, even asking local journalists to include his own mother's name, Zahida, in their reports. "I did nothing for my mother in the past. But I want to grant my Mother this gift to not hide her identity anymore."
Heather Barr, co-director of Human Rights Watch's women's rights division, said while there was still a long way to go, this move forward was "super significant".
"It's one small piece of a much larger puzzle of ways in which women's rights are still systemically violated including by a discriminatory legal system," she said.
"But it's really significant because as long as women's names don't appear on identification cards, don't appear in public records, their identities really don't exist, and a lot of their legal rights don't exist."
Barr said until now, basic things — like school registration, obtaining health care or a passport for their children or travelling with them — have been impossible for Afghan mothers to do without the father present.
"It's a step toward changing a society in which throughout your life you're really seen, first, as the property of your father and then as the property of your husband and then actually as the property of your son," Ms Barr told the ABC. "It's really a testament to their determination that it's gotten as far as it has."
Rohina Shahabi, a spokeswoman for National Statistics and Information of Afghanistan (NSIA), said once implemented, the inclusion of a mother's name along with the father's will be mandatory.
But she said implementing the changes would take time. "We have to receive an official order to start working on the change," Shahabi told the ABC.
"It is too early to say how long it will take. Our team must look into our facilities and our practical capacity and then they will be able to say how long." But Shahabi said the changes would be made as soon as possible.
"One thing I can assure you is that NSIA is so serious about this issue."

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan’s Public Health Ministry said on Wednesday government is preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 in Afghanistan.
The ministry said a second wave could hit the country in the next two months and warned that the next wave could be deadlier than the first.
Akmal Samsor, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health said if “people adhere to health regulations a second wave of Coronavirus will not be so serious.”
On Wednesday, health officials confirmed another 40 people tested positive for the virus over the past 24 hours in the country. In that time, 10 people died from COVID-19 in Afghanistan.
This brings the total number of cases in the country to 38,855 with 1,436 deaths.
However, in a joint survey by the Health Ministry and the World Health Organization last month, findings indicated that at least 10 million Afghans have had the virus.
Many foreign countries have stepped in to help Afghanistan cope with the pandemic especially as its already fragile health care system has struggled to cope.
On Tuesday, the South Korean embassy in Kabul signed a US$1 million grant with WHO to assist in efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan.
According to WHO, the organization will use the funding to implement the “Strengthening access to quality health care in the most vulnerable population in Afghanistan” project, over a six-month period.
The project is expected to bolster efforts to increase COVID-19 testing across the country through the provision of specimen collection kits for 15 rapid response teams (RRTs), which will enable sample collection from 40,500 people; provision of diagnostic kits to the Ministry of Public Health to cover testing for 50,000 people, and provision of testing consumables for RRTs and laboratory technicians across the country to cover testing needs for at least 10,520 people.
“The project will also play a critical role in improving awareness about COVID-19 through community-based engagement, targeting 314,900 people across priority regions of the country and building field teams’ capacity to better engage and communicate with communities,” WHO said.
In a statement issued after the signing of the agreement, WHO Representative in Afghanistan Dr Richard Peeperkorn also warned of a possible second wave and said “the crisis is far from over.”

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Afghan forces during an operation in Surobi district in Kabul killed Ghairatullah, also known as Mullah Sangeen, the deputy commander of the Taliban's "Red Unit," the Kabul Police Headquarters said on Thursday.
Another Taliban fighter named Salahuddin Sadiq was also killed. 10 Taliban were wounded in the operation, said police.
According to Kabul police, Mullah Sangeen "plotted a series of deadly terror attacks in Kabul."

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was deeply disturbed by the report of gang rape of a young girl in Balkh province and ordered Office of the Attorney General and the National Directorate of Security to immediately re-probe the case, a presidential statement said yesterday.
Three days back, media reports said the girl was sexually abused by seven men in Balkh. The girl had been duped into travelling to Balkh from Kabul before she was gang-raped by a man along with sons and son-in-law.
The government has taken all necessary measures to provide treatment to the victim and put any step in necessary measure in place to address the case. The victim was hospitalized last night and is undergoing medical treatment at Ghazi Amanullah Khan, a government Hospital in Kabul, the statement quoted the president as saying.
The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is committed to ensuring justice and protecting human rights of all Afghan citizens, including women and children and will turn no stone unturned to take action against violators of law and perpetrators, the president said, as quoted in the statement.

Saturday, September 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) As talks are underway in Doha, Afghan negotiating team spokesman Nader Nadery says that both sides agreed on internal principles and few more points left to be addressed.
He told media through an audio clip that during a meeting with the Taliban on Wednesday almost 90 percent progress was made on the internal principles, rules and regulation of future meetings. Naderi said they were discussing technical matters for future talks and there was need for being patient and more attentive instead of stressing over acceleration.
Meanwhile Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Thursday said that the talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban will be difficult, stating that the Afghan team will face issues that will require hard decisions to be made.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Dr. Abdullah said Afghanistan’s future would include one that can sustain itself and one that leads to durable peace and stability.
As intra-Afghan negotiations continue, between the Afghan negotiating team and the Taliban, Dr. Abdullah said both sides need to come to a shared agreement on how to move forward.
“Both sides should see the need and come to the realization that we must put people first,” he said and on whether the country’s future was a Republic or an Emirate system, he stated it would come “down to the will of the people”.
However, he said it was important that the will of the people should be exercised in a freeway “one person, one vote is important.”
Asked about the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s constitution, and any possible changes to it, he said there were provisions incorporated in the guiding document which allowed for changes to be made.  He said the provisions were designed for the interests of the country to get the people in the country together in a unified manner but a change to the constitution was not impossible.
Should a peace deal be sealed and structural changes be needed, he stated: “The country needs national institutions, national army, national police or any other security sector.”
Dr. Abdullah said that one aspect of the hard work that lay ahead of the peace talks teams was how to integrate the Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters.
“The blueprint has to be decided by both sides”, and there shouldn’t be preconditions attached to it, he said.  Adding his voice to countless of other officials, both local and foreign, Abdullah said a reduction in violence was critical at this point so that the process could move towards a ceasefire.
“When I talk about casualties, it’s not just on one side. It’s on both sides,” he said adding that this was unfortunate and a “burden on the next generation.” He said there is no winner in a war and no loser in an inclusive, peaceful settlement.
“While they are not recognizing us [Afghan government] or we don’t recognize them as the Islamic Emirate, but we recognize the need to get together, to sit together, to present our views which are different from one another – but to find ways how to reconcile those differences, how to find ways to live together while still maintaining some differences and fighting for it politically rather than through violence.”
He said there could be groups within the Taliban that want to continue with the talks and also to continue with the fighting but that he assumes there are others that are “thinking much more maturely” – based on experience.
He said the fact that the United States is looking at Afghanistan reaching a peace deal “with urgency” was a “bonus. It’s a plus.”
But for the Afghan negotiating team, the “ticking clock,” the urgency was more about stopping the suffering of the Afghan people.
“A unified Islamic Republic will be in a much better position to negotiate … and represent the views of the people”.
“The continuation of the war and suffering, endless, in an endless way, will not put anybody in a dignified position and it’s not a service to the people,” he said.

Friday September 18, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon received Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Mohammad, Hanif Atmar late on Thursday in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan.
Bakhtarnews quoting Asiaplustj reported, the parties discussed the development and strengthening of cooperation in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, on the joint implementation of structural projects of regional importance, as well as addressing topical issues related to security, the press service of the head of state reports.
Tajikistan’s President stressed that cooperation with Afghanistan in Tajikistan's foreign policy is one of the priority areas, and the Tajik side constantly pays serious attention to the development of relations with this neighboring country.
In particular, the parties' interest in bringing cooperation in the field of science, education, culture, art and information to a new level was emphasized.
Rahmon and Atmar noted the importance of further implementation of issues related to the implementation of regional structural and energy projects that are important for the region, which is a factor in attracting Afghanistan to the process of regional cooperation.

Friday September 18, 2020
HERAT CITY (BNA) The construction work of 82 development projects has been completed and put into exploitation in western Herat province today.
The projects include 51 water supply networks, 31 agricultural water canal, retaining walls, culverts and digging wells.
Merajuddin Shams deputy minister in Rural Rehabilitation and Development Ministry says, the projects has been built with a cost of 150 million Afghanis in Karukh, Pashtoon Zarghoon, Zenda Jaan, Kahsan and Farsi districts of the province.
Meanwhile, the construction work of hundreds development projects underway in various parts of Herat province.

Friday September 18, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The United States, as a contributing nation to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, transferred four A-29 Super Tocano aircraft to the Afghan Air Force, during a ceremony in Kabul.
“As we receive these planes, they are a message that NATO is committed to the Afghan Forces,” said acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid. “During these important times this a good example of their continued cooperation, and shows this will continue until the defeat of terrorism in the country and the region.”
The A-29 is the Afghan Air Force's fastest and most powerful aerial interdiction and close-air-attack aircraft. The U.S. has now provided 18 A-29s to the Afghan Air Force since 2016, and plans to transfer an additional six in February 2021.
“I congratulate you all on receiving these new airplanes,” Minister Khalid told a large assembly of pilots and security officials. “I hope they will fly day and night if necessary in order to defend our country.”
Since 2007, NATO has worked to rebuild and modernize the Afghan Air Force, first with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and then under the Resolute Support Mission, which began in 2015. U.S. and Coalition advisors provide training, advice and assistance to the Afghan Air Force from the ministerial level down to the wing, group, and squadron levels.
“NATO’s objective in Afghanistan has always been to deny safe havens for international terrorism,” said Lt. Gen. John Deedrick, commander of NATO’s Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. “The best way to do this is to generate competent, trained and professional Afghan security forces which can maintain security independently. As we work toward peace, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission continues to work closely with all branches of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.”
Since 2015, Resolute Support’s modernization efforts have helped to transform the Afghan Air Force into some of Afghanistan’s most capable security forces. As a result of NATO-led train, advise, assist efforts, the Afghan Air Force now independently plans and executes logistics, resupply, humanitarian relief, casualty evacuation, and combat support missions.
“The education, training and experience which our Afghan Air Force, our Afghan Army and our Special Forces have gained in the past few years is unique in the region,” said Minister Khalid. “The sense of dedication and morale, which is more important than anything, is strong in the soldiers and young people of this country, and we’re always witness to that.” The defense minister noted advances in the security forces are only one part of the gains the country has made over the last 19 years through cooperation with the international community. “In the past two decades, we have seen the reconstruction of the country, the education of the youth, the independence of Afghanistan, and other achievements such as the free media that today we are witnessing here with several cameras present,” Minister Khalid said. He included the increasing role of women in those accomplishments. “In the past two decades, Afghan women have flown in the sky, become pilots, doctors, teachers, ministers and deputy ministers, and they will never go back to those days of the past.”
NATO remains committed to supporting the Afghan forces with advisors and funding, as they work to ensure lasting peace and long-term security for the benefit of all Afghans.

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