Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:47:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Disqualified Candidates Protest Breaks Out for Second Day in Kabul Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:40:25 +0000 Protest erupted in Kabul for the second day in a row on Tuesday against the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC) after it removed the names of 35 candidates from the list over allegations of them having links with illegal armed groups.

The demonstrators warned to continue protest until the electoral bodies make the reason of their disqualification clear as claiming they have not been told the reason behind their disqualification.

“It is not fair! We are gathered that the government and election commission hear our voices,” Zadran, one of the disqualified candidates said.

Another disqualified candidate, Gholam Haidar Jailani added, “We have civil options to use them for reaching our goals and justice.”

However, the IECC says the commission has taken the decision based on the constitution and is not changeable.

“The decisions have been finalized and their protest would have no result,” Ali Reza Rohani, the secretary of IECC asserted.

In the meantime, the UNAMA has welcomed the recent electoral developments in Afghanistan, particularly the decision about the parliamentary candidates.

The electoral observing and monitoring institutions also stressed that the reason behind disqualification of candidates should be shared with observers and media outlets.

“We have not been in the decision makings and the candidates still do not know the reason of their disqualification,” Yousuf Rashid, CEO of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan FEFA said.

IECC removed 35 names from their final list of parliamentary election candidates on Saturday as the candidates claim that they were not given the opportunity to lodge an appeal against the decision by the commission.

‘No Enemy Activity Occurred in Ghazni City Today’ – NATO-Led RS Tue, 14 Aug 2018 15:32:30 +0000

NATO-led Resolute Support and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Spokesman Lt. Colonel Martin O’Donnell said on Tuesday that Ghazni City remains under the Afghan government control.

In a statement, he said that “no reported enemy activity has occurred thus far today” in the city.

“The Afghan National Army’s 203rd Corps, the Afghan National Police’s 303rd Zone and Afghan Special Security Forces continue to conduct clearing operations to root out remnants of the Taliban within the city,” Mr. O’Donnell said in a statement. 

“What we observed as these Afghan-led operations drove a large portion of Taliban from the city over the last day or so, was the retreating Taliban attacking the more vulnerable surrounding districts, which Afghan forces are reinforcing,” he said.

He noted some Taliban fighters remain in the city, adding that these insurgents do not pose a threat to the city’s collapse.

The Resolute Support Spokesman further said that the Taliban who have hidden themselves amongst the Afghan populace do pose a threat to the civilian population, who were terrorized and harassed.

“The Taliban, who falsely and repeatedly claim that they do not target civilians, have executed innocents, destroyed homes, burned a market and created the conditions for a potential humanitarian crisis with this attack,” he said.

According to the official, “clearly” the Taliban have paid no heed to the calls of the Afghan people for them to reconcile and join the peace process.

“From a U.S. Forces-Afghanistan perspective, U.S. airpower has killed more than 220 Taliban since, August 10,” Mr. O’Donnell said.  “In addition to the initial strike on Friday, U.S. forces conducted five strikes Saturday, 16 strikes Sunday, 10 Monday and none thus far today.”

“Also, AH-64s from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Combat Aviation Brigade provided close-air support on Friday, Sunday and Monday,” he added.

‘Political Parties not Effective in Afghanistan’ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 14:19:31 +0000

The political parties are not effective in Afghanistan and that except criticizing the government do not have “comprehensive” plans, according to First Deputy of Meshrano Jirga.

“Let’s strengthen the system instead of destroying and condemning it further. We urge the [political] parties to pay heed on national interest,” said First Deputy of Senate House (Meshrano Jirga).

Some political parties, however, believe that they do not have any kind of responsibility regarding the issues of war and peace in the country except having an encouraging and supporting role.

“In political issues [the parties] can play a constructive role but the issues of war and peace are the responsibility of the government. Political parties could only encourage and support and can’t have an active role in the issue of war,” said Anwarulhaq Ahadi, Chairman of New National Front of Afghanistan.

Waqif Hakimi, a member of Jamiat Islami party, meanwhile, said that the government has not respected and paid heed to their plans.

This comes as currently, more than 70 political parties are officially registered at the Ministry of Justice.

MoFA Optimistic Over Building National, Int’l Consensus on Afghan Peace Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:38:06 +0000 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has expressed optimism over the formation of national and international consensus regarding the peace process in Afghanistan.

“A stronger consensus has been formed regarding Afghanistan’s peace and we hope it would have acceptable results in the upcoming months,” Faramarz Tamana, head of MoF Institute of Strategic Studies.

MoF Institute of Strategic Studies considers Pakistan as an actor that plays negative role in Afghanistan peace process and emphasizes the country has no will regarding peace in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has always played negative role in Afghanistan peace issue. Pakistan has never had any honesty and seriousness with the Afghan policy regarding peace. We hope the new government of Pakistan joins to a regional consensus,” Tamana added.

According to international relations analysts, Pakistan’s isolation for cooperation in recent Afghan peace efforts can destroy all plans of Kabul-Washington regarding the direct negotiations with Taliban.

“Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan’s peace is so weak because the country had never been honest. But Afghanistan’s peace would be very difficult without the serious cooperation of Pakistan,” Zia Danish, university teacher said.

Previously, the representatives of U.S. and Taliban met in Qatar and discussed Afghanistan peace issue and the two sides are scheduled to meet again in Doha in September for the second time.

Reports suggest the main focus of U.S. and Taliban officials is the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

MoMP Seeks Attracting Investment in Mining Sector Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:32:05 +0000

Ministry of Mine and Petroleum (MoMP) says seeking to attract investment in the mining sector in a bid to increase government revenues.

“We are attempting to get the approval of economic high council on all projects of the mining sector in order to ease the problems and boost the contracts’ process in the sector,” said the ministry’s spokesman Abdul Qadir Mutfi.

According to the official, contract for extracting Badakhshan Gold Mine and Balkhab Copper Mine in Sar-e-Pul province have already got approved by the economic high council.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), meanwhile, said that increasing contacts in the mining sector is effective and that the government should support the private investments in the sector.

“We support this so that investments in mining sector get raised, but the government should have issues in this regard that need to be solved,” said Khan Jan Alokozay, Deputy Head of ACCI.

Since the formation of the National Unity Government contracts in the mining sector had been halted. But reports suggest that the contracting process has resumed now. 

Contracts Signed to Reconstruct Salang Highway, Build Bridge in Takhar Tue, 14 Aug 2018 12:55:39 +0000

Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) has signed contracts for building a bridge in Takhar province and reconstructing Salang Highway – linking Kabul with northern part of the country.

Salang Highway will be reconstructed – beginning from Chokak village until Freshtagan Bridge in Baghlan province with an estimated length of 11 kilometers and width of 11 meters.

The Minister of Public Works Yama Yari said that the project will cost about 122 million AFN and will be completed in six months.

The highway – passing through treacherous mountains in Parwan and Baghlan provinces – connects nine provinces with the capital Kabul.

In the winter season, traveling the highway is dangerous for passengers due to heavy snow and cold weather.

“Little time left for the winter season and we are hopeful the highway get reconstructed so that the issues of people could be solved in the winter,” said MP Mohammad Azim Mohseni.

The head of the contracted firm, Mujahid Mujahid, meanwhile, said that they are committed to repairing the highway on its scheduled time and with high quality.

In addition, the Ministry of Public Works said that it will build Hazrat Sultan Bridge in Ishkamesh district of northern Takhar province, adding that the contract of the project has been signed with a private company and it will cost more than eight million AFN.

According to MoPW, the project will be completed in six months and more than 50 villages could get benefit from the project.

Ghazni City Is Under Full Control of Gov’t: Chief of Army Staff Tue, 14 Aug 2018 07:35:02 +0000

Afghanistan’s Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali said Tuesday that Afghan security forces have full control of Ghazni City.

He added that a clearance operation was underway in the city and it will expand to the districts of the province later.

At the same time, Deputy Interior Minister for Security Gen. Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi claimed that the Taliban were aided by Al Qaeda and Daesh affiliates to attack the city.

Provincial governor Wahidullah Kalimzai confirmed that about 30 civilians and more than a hundred security personnel had been killed.

Governor Kalimzai said that Salaam mobile network will be activated in the city in another few hours.

On Aug. 10, hundreds of Taliban fighters attacked Ghazni city and fought with government forces for four days.

The development comes after fresh reinforcements led-by the Chief of Army Staff and Deputy Interior Minister for Security was deployed to the province to push Taliban back from the city center.

On Monday, the Minister of Defense Gen. Tariq Shah Bahrami put the number of dead Taliban fighters at about 200.

However, Taliban insurgent group still claims the group controls “all previously liberated points in Ghazni city”.


Zerbena 13 Aug 2018 | زیربنا، ۲۲ اسد ۱۳۹۷ Tue, 14 Aug 2018 04:35:12 +0000

NIGARISH: The New Round of US-Taliban Talks Tue, 14 Aug 2018 04:33:09 +0000

PAS AZ KHABAR: Challenges to the Final List of Candidates Tue, 14 Aug 2018 04:27:57 +0000

TAHAWAL: Why the leadership of the Ghazni’s Clash is Given to the NDS Security Forces Tue, 14 Aug 2018 04:25:05 +0000

‘U.S.-Taliban Next Round of Talks to Be Held in Doha in Sep’ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:38:29 +0000 A member of Taliban group says the White House diplomacy efforts are proving successful, groundbreaking preliminary talks with the U.S. last month were “very helpful” and that another round will take place in Doha in September.

The Guardian newspaper has written that a senior member of the Taliban’s Quetta Shura told the newspaper that the first round of basic contacts “were very helpful” and “The next round will be more specific and focused on key issues.”

According to U.S. website the Daily Beast, the Taliban negotiators have shown willingness to compromise on the longstanding demand to evict all foreign troops before any negotiations with the Afghan government.

The report claimed that the Taliban could even countenance a remaining U.S. force in the country so long as it was involved in the political process that reached such an agreement.

In the meantime, Afghan political analysts say the peace talks should be accompanied by the preservation of Afghan values.

They stressed that Afghan government must be the main side of negotiations in these talks.

“We emphasize that the peace process should be led by Afghans and Afghan measures and principles should be considered in the process,” Chaman Shah Etimadi, a representative of Ghazni province at the Lower House added.

Four Taliban members met Alice Wells, a senior US state department official, at a hotel in the Qatari capital on 23 July for the first face-to-face talks in seven years.

AGHAZE ROOZ 13 AUG 2018 Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:14:41 +0000

Security Ministers Brief Media Regarding Situation in Ghazni Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:14:20 +0000 Security officials say the operation was underway against the Taliban in Ghazni City from different directions and that the city was in control of the Afghan security forces.

The Taliban attack on Ghazni has continued for a fourth day – with intense fighting and conflicting claims over who controls Ghazni City.

Addressing a joint press conference on Monday in Kabul, the Defense and Interior ministers said that more than a thousand of backup forces have been deployed to retreat the insurgents from the city.

They said the military offensive was ongoing against the Taliban from four directions, stressing that the Afghan security forces were controlling the city.

“Today, additional troops have been sent to Ghazni City to clear the city from insurgents and maintain the security of [Ghazni-Kabul] highway,” said the Minister of Defense, Tariq Shah Bahrami.

“The Taliban’s claims that they have taken control of some parts of governmental areas including a prison in [Ghazni City], were proved false,” said the Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak. “The Taliban know that how much they lied to the nation.”

Barmak stressed that the situation in the city has been changed and that the security forces have presence in the city. “The situation of the city is totally in control of the security forces,” he said.  

Sources, meanwhile, told Ariana News that the Taliban and the Afghan security forces are still engaged in sporadic clashes in Khwaja Alam, Qala-e-Tahweldar and Godal Ahangaran areas of the city.

Bahrami stressed that the Taliban were using civilians’ homes as shelters and it has challenged the security forces’ mission in the city. But he expressed hope that the situation change in their favor within 24 hours.

The Death toll in four-day battle in Ghazni City 

Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami said that about 100 Afghan security forces and up to 30 civilians have been killed in four-day battle in Ghazni City, the provincial capital on the key highway between Kabul and Kandahar. 

 “Possibly about 100 Afghan Defense and Security Forces and 20-30 innocent civilians were killed in four-day battle in [Ghazni province],” Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami said. He stressed that the exact figures were not cleared yet.

In addition, Bahrami said that the “enemies” have suffered almost 200 dead including their 12 key commanders, and about 150 wounded in the ongoing battle in Ghazni City so far.

Reports suggest that at least 100 Afghan Commando forces have been disappeared in Ajrestan district of Ghazni province. But the Interior Minister Barmak said that the commando forces have retreated the district, following furious clashes with the insurgents.

MoE Confirms Indian Delegation Will Visit Afghanistan Soon Mon, 13 Aug 2018 14:09:18 +0000 The Ministry of Economy (MoE) says a delegation from India is expected to visit Afghanistan in the near future to talk about economic projects with Afghanistan officials.

According to MoE officials, the projects will be implemented in the fields of agriculture, energy, manufacturing and construction of roads.

The value of projects is estimated up to half of a billion dollars.

“Our main focus in talks with Indian delegation is on implementation infrastructure projects. These projects will be effective for the economy of the country,” Suhrab Bahman, spokesman of MoE said.

In the meantime, officials in the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) considers the role of India essential in the economy of the country and emphasizes that the Afghan government should expand economic ties with India.

“India has always played an important role in economic and infrastructure projects of the country. We demand the government to give more roles for India in the projects,” Jalaluddin Saeed, a member of ACCI added.

Afghan officials stressed that India has assisted and cooperated with Afghanistan in many fields during the past years and these economic cooperation will be continued between the two countries.

EU, Norway Call for Conclusion of Legal Proceedings against Gen. Dostum Mon, 13 Aug 2018 12:26:03 +0000

 The European Union and Norway in a released statement on Monday called for the conclusion of the legal proceedings against First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum who return to Kabul from more than a year-long exile in Turkey, following the allegation of torturing and abusing a political rival Ahmad Eshchi.

  “The European Union and Norway takes note of the return of 1st Vice President, General Abdul Rashid Dostum to Afghanistan. We expect the conclusion of the legal proceedings against General Dostum, in full respect of the law and due process. Nobody should be above the law,” the EU and Norway heads of missions in Afghanistan said in a statement.

“It is important that all Afghans continue to work together to promote peace, stability, and democracy throughout the country, based on full respect for the rule of law by all citizens,” the statement added.

Gen. Dostum return to Kabul on July 22. He went to Turkey after reports in 2016 that his guards had seized political rival Ahmad Eshchi and subjected him to beatings, torture and violent sexual abuse.

He denied the accusations but, amid international demands that he face justice to show that powerful political leaders were not above the law, he left the country in May last year, saying he needed to seek medical treatment in Turkey.

Suicide Bombing Occurs Near IEC Main Office in Kabul Mon, 13 Aug 2018 10:03:23 +0000 At least one policeman was killed and another injured in an explosion near the gate of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) where supporters of disqualified candidates had gathered as a protest, police confirmed.

Kabul Police Spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said the blast took place at around 1:15pm in police district 9 when a suicide bomber attempted to enter among the protesters.

He added that the suicide attacker detonated his explosives-packed vest after he was identified and stopped by police.

Initially, police told Ariana News that the blast was as a result of a sticky bomb attached to a police vehicle.

Immediately there was no claim of responsibility.

Earlier today, backers of six disqualified candidates closed down IEC main office to protest over the removal of 35 names from the parliamentary election candidate list.

NDS Special Forces Deployed to Defend Ghazni City Mon, 13 Aug 2018 06:11:22 +0000 More than six hundred Special Forces of the Afghan intelligence agency have been deployed to Ghazni province, security sources said Monday.

According to the sources, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) has taken the lead of the ongoing military operation in the province after three days of fierce fighting between the Taliban insurgents and government forces for control of the provincial capital of Ghazni city.

On Friday morning, Taliban launched their coordinated attack over the provincial capital.

Following that, army commandos were assigned to defend the city, but reports indicate that commandos have inflicted high casualties as well.

Reports also suggest that Taliban militants, Afghan forces, and civilians have experienced heavy casualties during the last three days.

The displaced residents of Ghazni province who arrived in Kabul on Sunday claimed that major parts of the province have been collapsed to Taliban, expect the governor’s office and provincial directorate of security.

However, the army chief of staff, Gen. Sharif Yaftali rejected the claims during a press conference and said that the control of all strategic parts including the civilian and military institutions are under the full control of Afghan forces.

PAS AZ KHABAR: Uzbek officials Meet Taliban Delegation in Tashkent Mon, 13 Aug 2018 05:48:16 +0000

ELECTION 97 12 Aug 2018| انتخابات ۹۷، ۲۱ اسد ۱۳۹۷ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 05:38:10 +0000