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Abdullah discusses peace process with Pakistan’s PM

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(Last Updated On: August 26, 2020)

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah spoke with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on the phone Wednesday to discuss the Afghan peace process and the importance of Pakistan’s support.

According to a statement issued by Abdullah’s office, Khan reaffirmed his support to the Afghan peace process and said he hopes intra-Afghan negotiations start soon so as to “end the current crisis in the country.”

Khan noted that peace in Afghanistan meant peace and stability in Pakistan and that peace would boost regional cooperation.

“There is a remarkable opportunity for peace in Afghanistan and we must seize this opportunity to achieve peace,” Abdullah told Khan.

Abdullah also highlighted the importance of regional consensus and Pakistan’s collaboration for bringing peace in Afghanistan.

“Both sides reiterated that a reduction in violence could create an environment for negotiations between the two sides (government and Taliban),” read the statement.

Khan meanwhile invited Abdullah to visit Islamabad, a statement issued by Abdullah’s office said.

The discussion between the two coincided with a trip by a Taliban delegation, led by the group’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, to Pakistan.

On Tuesday, the Qatar-based group, met with Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi and discussed issues around the peace process.

In the meeting, Qureshi emphasized that “there was no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and that a political settlement was the only way forward.”

The “Foreign Minister underlined that this historic opportunity must be seized by the Afghan stakeholders to secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive negotiated political solution,” a statement issued by Qureshi’s office said.

Qureshi also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, united, democratic, and prosperous Afghanistan and emphasized the need for the implementation of the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February so as to pave the way for the immediate start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

“The Foreign Minister also cautioned against ‘spoilers’ who did not wish to see the return of peace in the region,” the statement read.
In addition to discussions around peace, Qureshi also highlighted the importance of Pakistan-Afghanistan ties based on amity, shared history, and geography and reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

He urged the international community to enhance its engagement for reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan.

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District governor killed in an ambush in Logar

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2020)

Abdul Hai Zazai, the governor of Zazai Maidan district in Khost province, was killed in a targeted attack in Logar province.

According to local officials, Zazai was ambushed and killed by unknown armed men in Logar’s Altamur area while he was traveling to the capital Kabul.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon.

The officials stated that one of the Zazai’s bodyguards was also killed and another one was wounded in the attack.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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NATO reaffirms financial support for Afghan forces through 2024

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2020)

NATO reiterated commitment to providing financial support to the Afghan security forces through 2024.

In a statement released on Monday, NATO said that its allies and partners met at the plenary meeting of the Afghan National Army Trust Fund Board to review the implementation of their financial contributions in support of the Afghan security forces.

According to the statement, the members of the organization discussed their financial contributions to the Afghan forces for 2021 and “reiterated their commitment to providing financial support to the Afghan security forces through 2024.”

“Today’s commitments help underpin the confidence that our financial support to the Afghan security forces will continue to be strong beyond 2020,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated in the meeting.

“International funding support to the Afghan forces is a key pillar of our commitment to Afghan security. As of 5 October 2020, total cumulative contributions made to the Trust Fund since its establishment amount to over 3,2 billion US dollars,” Stoltenberg pointed out.  

The NATO-run Afghan National Army Trust Fund was created in 2007. It has played a vital role to enhance the effectiveness and sustainment of the Afghan security forces by funding activities ranging from installation of donated equipment to training, literacy courses, professional military education, and capacity building.

The Trust Fund is open for contributions by the broader international community. It is one of three funding streams used by the international community to channel its financial support to Afghanistan’s security forces and institutions.

The other two are the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), administered by the United Nations Development Programm, and the United States Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF).

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Global coronavirus caseload crosses the 40 million mark

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2020)

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide passed the 40 million mark on Monday, according to a Reuters tally. 

Reuters reported that this comes as the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere appears to have fuelled a resurgence in the spread of the disease. 

Experts however believe the true numbers of both cases and deaths are likely much higher, given deficiencies in testing and potential under-reporting by some countries.

The Reuters data shows the pace of the pandemic continues to increase as it took just 32 days to go from 30 million global cases to 40 million, compared with the 38 days it took to get from 20 to 30 million, the 44 days between 10 and 20 million, and the three months it took to reach 10 million cases from when the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China, in early January.

Reuters also reported that record one-day increases in new infections were seen at the end of last week, with global coronavirus cases rising above 400,000 for the first time.

The United States, India, and Brazil remain the worst affected countries in the world. 

 

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