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Abdullah Slams Officials for Threatening Political Movements

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2017)

Apparently referring to the head of intelligence agency, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah says no government official is allowed to threaten political movements using their authorities.

“Governmental institutions should not be used to threaten political movements as it is the right of the people,” CE Abdullah who was speaking at the access to information conference in Kabul said.

This comes after Former Afghan spy chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, claimed that Masoum Stanekzai, the head of National Directorate of Security (NDS), has threatened him against his political activities.

According to Nabil he was asked to reduce the activities of Mehwar political party.

NDS Afghanistan has not reacted to Nabil’s remarks yet.

On the other hand, Abdullah believes that the government power is linked with people’s trust toward the governmental institutions transparent performance.

“Governmental organs performance toward a sound direction ensures people’s confidence on the government,” he added.

In addition, Afghan Chief Executive emphasized that no official is allowed to threaten journalists, because he said “we are the information trustee and it is the government responsibility to pave the way for accessing the information”.

By Sameera Zafari & Hesamuddin Hesam

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Millions of dollars embezzled in Afghan customs: Watchdog

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

Integrity Watch of Afghanistan says that corrupt employees in Afghan customs, local tyrants, and government figures have embezzled millions of dollars of customs revenues.

Based on the findings of local authorities, ten cargoes are being pulled out of the customs office without paying the customs duty with the same plate number, and about 100 cargoes are not paying their customs duties daily.

Ghulam Hashim, a member of the Herat Provincial Council, said: “Ten trucks are being cleared through customs with one plate number. Extra tonnage vehicles up to 100 trucks a day, extra tonnage fuel tankers were being cleared through customs.”

The head of Islam Qala Customs also confirms the widespread corruption in this customs.

“The threats from the powerful and the mafia are so much that 100 percent of the legal work cannot be done there, the high-level work of the employees is carried out by force, and even some employees, including the human resources manager, have been beaten,” said Mustafa Hakimi, Herat’s customs chief. “

Herat’s governor says only 30,000 afghanis are paid out of the three million AFN from the costums duties of a cargo.

Ahmad Wahid Qatali, the governor of Herat, said: “Seven vehicles have been loaded, seven of which have illegal loads, overloads, warnings and reload.”

Findings of Integrity Watch of Afghanistan from the Customs Office show that millions of dollars’ worth of customs revenue has been lost.

“Millions of dollars of Afghanistan’s customs revenue is wasted every year because there are people infected with corruption in the customs and the intervention of local powerful people and people within the government,” said Naser Timouri, a researcher at Integrity Watch of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Finance, however, confirmed the existence of corruption in the customs.

“The issue of corruption is not in doubt that it exists, but the figures presented are waiting for the governor to share his findings with us so that we can find out on what basis the governor obtained these figures,” said Shamrooz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance. It’s found. “

Observers at Integrity Watch of Afghanistan say that non-transparent and non-competitive customs clearance has corrupted the structure.

Farid Ahmad, a spokesman for the Independent Administrative Reform Commission, said: “So far, all recruitment at customs has been done by the Ministry of Finance and the Independent Administrative Reform Commission has played no role. But by presidential decree, customs posts are set to compete freely.” “

Although the Ministry of Finance says that scanners have been set up in customs offices for corruption, sources say that in some customs offices, the scanners are kept inactive due to product exemptions.

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Kabul hosts meeting for strengthening regional consensus on peace

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

The Afghan government Monday held a meeting in Kabul on the peace process for strengthening regional consensus on the Afghan peace process.

Representatives from 19 countries and international organizations including the United Nations participated in the meeting.

The video session, led by Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, kicked off with a speech by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday evening.

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the meeting was aimed at strengthening regional consensus and focused on reducing violence, starting Intra-Afghan talks, reaching a ceasefire, and releasing Taliban prisoners.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called on all laterals to the war in Afghanistan to reduce violence and increase their efforts to achieve peace.

Speculation to start the talks between the two sides comes as tensions have escalated and the level of violence has risen.

The Taliban have made the release of their prisoners conditional on the start of peace talks between Afghans in which an agreement will be reached on a ceasefire, and the government has made the release of all Taliban prisoners conditional on the release of prisoners.

The Afghan government, however, says it is not possible to release specific figures of Taliban prisoners whose group insists on their release.

The Taliban have carried out 36 offensive attacks on Afghan forces in six provinces in the past 24 hours, according to the latest government figures. In addition to the escalation of attacks, it is to be seen whether the regional consensus and international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will succeed in bringing the two sides to the negotiating table or not.

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Israel launches spy satellite to keep a better eye on enemies

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

Israel on Monday (July 6) launched a new spy satellite that it said would provide high-quality surveillance for its military intelligence.

Israel has been building up its surveillance capabilities to monitor enemies such as Iran, whose nuclear program it sees as a major threat.

The satellite, called Ofek 16, was shot into space early Monday morning from a site in central Israel by a locally-developed Shavit rocket, which was used to launch previous Ofek satellites.

“We will continue to strengthen and maintain Israel’s capabilities on every front, in every place,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The Defense Ministry called Ofek 16 “an electro-optical reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities.”

The first images will be received in about a week.

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries was the main contractor for the project and the satellite’s payload was developed by defense firm Elbit Systems.

Source: Reuters

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