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Afghan Community in U.S. Called for Inclusion of Afghan Gov’t Representatives in Peace Talks

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(Last Updated On: February 13, 2019)

The Afghan diaspora in the United State has called on all stakeholders, and peace initiatives including the U.S., Afghan government, and Taliban to guarantee inclusion of all Afghan State representatives in the ongoing peace talks.

The Afghan-American diaspora, in a statement, has welcomed the ongoing peace talks on Afghanistan and called it a “vital step” towards the restoration of peace and stability in their war-torn country.

According to the statement, the community has asked all initiatives to guarantee that any ongoing and future peace process will guarantee the inclusion of all the Afghan State representatives, women, youth, and minority representatives in Afghanistan.

“Since 2001, the Afghan people, the United States, and the international community have both made great sacrifices and gains, which must be respected and preserved going forward,” the statement said.

The community has also urged all peace negotiators that any achievements that are gained during the last 18-years must be recognized and preserved as part of any negotiated peace agreement.

 “Afghan women, in particular, have made the most significant strides in exercising their fundamental human rights since 2001,” therefore,” the statement noted.

The Afghan diaspora stressed that women’s involvement must occur at the earliest phases of peacebuilding to ensure gender inclusion; “indeed, women’s substantive role in negotiations is vital to the long-term durability of peace agreements”.

The Afghan-American diaspora stressed that any peace agreement must preserve and promotes the following values:

  • Democratic processes to ensure an inclusive, legitimate political settlement;
  • Mechanisms to ensure the Afghan public, including women, youth, minority, and diaspora involvement in the negotiation and implementation of a peace agreement;
  • The provision of women’s meaningful participation in the peace process—not tokenism—in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for incorporating women into all facets of peacebuilding;
  • Women’s rights to education, public participation, and all social, economic, political, cultural, and other human rights protected under international law;
  • An independent, free press and a strong civil society;
  • A commitment to combat corruption, narcotics, and drug trafficking through strong legal, policy, and accountability mechanisms;
  • Preservation of the national security and defense institutions, particularly the Afghan Army, Police, and Intelligence Forces;
  • The Afghan Constitution as the basis for any peace framework or agreement, including any constitutional amendments.

 

COVID-19

People complain of lack of medicine in Afghan-Japan hospital

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(Last Updated On: July 7, 2020)

COVID-19 patient relatives complain of a lack of medical supplies at the Afghan-Japan hospital – one of the isolation wards for COVID-19 patients in Kabul – saying they have to buy medicines from outside the hospital.

According to patients’ relatives, the hospital provides oxygen only that while using balloons the attendants themselves have to set them up.

Ahmad Zahir Sultani, head of Afghan-Japan hospital, however, said that situation is under control, adding the hospital puts efforts to satisfy the patients and their attendants.

It comes as Afghanistan witnesses a decline in confirmed cases while it saw a spike in daily deaths cases. Only 34 COVID-19 patients have died in the past 24 hours.

In a daily update, the Ministry of Public Health recorded 239 new Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.

It brings the total affected people to 33190 with 898 deaths and more than 20,000 recoveries.

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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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