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Afghan Govt Should Formulate Negotiating Team for Peace Talks – Karen

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(Last Updated On: November 13, 2018)

Karen Decker,  the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul says the step that the Afghan government has to take is to formulate an authoritative negotiating team for peace talks with the Taliban.

Speaking to Ariana News, Karen Decker said that the U.S. has sent a strong signal for reaching a political settlement between the Taliban and the Afghan government by appointing Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.

“…so the next step the one that the Afghan government is taking now is to formulate an authoritative negotiating team that is ready for political talks with an authoritative negotiating team from the Taliban,” she said.

Khalilzad has recently met with the Afghan government leaders including President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in Kabul and briefed them of his scheduled trip to regional countries including Pakistan, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.

“Starting about a month ago Ambassador Khalilzad is meeting and will continue to meet…” she said.

According to Karen, the U.S. will continue its efforts in the Afghan peace process to ensure direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Regarding the issue of drought which affected many provinces in Afghanistan, Karen said the U.S. has announced an addition $44 million in aid to address the drought issue in the country.

“The drought is affecting almost the entire country; 20 of the 34 provinces are facing drought and Afghan people are suffering,” she said.

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Afghanistan Coronavirus updates: 787 new cases, total 18,054

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(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)

The Ministry of Public health confirmed Thursday that 787 people were tested positive for the Coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

According to the ministry, the cases have been registered as follow: Kabul 323, Herat 110, Kandahar 65, Balkh 34, Paktia 36, Nangarhar 54, Badghis 48, Khost 40, Paktika 32, Nimroz 18, Kunar 15, Takhar 8, Bamyan 2, Logar 1, and Parwan 1.

It brings the total affected to 18,054 in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, six people have died of the virus in the past 24 hours and 63 people have recovered and fully discharged for the hospital, the health ministry added.

So far, 300 people have died of COVID-19 while 1,585 others have recovered from the virus.

It comes as, on Wednesday, Fahim Qarluq the district governor for Qala-e-Zal and General Rashid Bashir, Police Chief of the province have died from COVID-19 on Wednesday morning.

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Gov’t officials don’t follow health guidelines, social distancing

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The failure to comply with health guidelines and social distancing in gatherings by a number of high-ranking government officials has been criticized.

Citizens blame officials for being negligent to the Coronavirus, saying that their behavior is a sign of the government’s reluctance in the fight against the virus.

In the latest instance, the chairman of the High Reconciliation Council amongst other officials attended a ceremony without abiding by the health guidelines and/or social distancing.

That is, Salem Izadiar’s commemoration ceremony with the presence of high-ranked government officials and citizens, including high-ranking officials – without keeping any of the health guidelines in mind, is considered to be one of the main causes of Coronavirus outbreak.

Additionally, the Minister of Interior Affairs, who is considered as one of the key officials in the fight against Coronavirus, also attended a meeting in Baghlan, not taking into account any social distancing and/or health measures.

It is worth mentioning that recently Rashid Bashir, the police chief of Kunduz province, and Fahim Qarluq, the governor of Qala-e-Zal district the province, died of the virus.

The Ministry of Public Health has frequently expressed concerns over social non-compliance with health guidelines and its dire consequences.

On the other hand, the death toll from the virus has increased; however, only a part of the fatalities are officially recorded, but a larger proportion of Covid-19 positive or suspicious deaths are, for some reason, not reported at all.

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Dr. Ayaz Niazi’s assassination triggers queries

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The assassination of Dr. Ayaz Niazi, imam of the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque, has raised questions and reactions.

Dr. Niazi became the target of an IED explosion at the mosque yesterday evening while preparing for the evening prayer.

He died at the hospital of deadly injuries.

A number of military experts have called yesterday’s incident a ‘political terrorist attack’ and blamed the security agencies for not preventing such attacks in Kabul.

Intelligence experts attribute the weakness in the intelligence agencies that leads to such horrific attacks.

President Ghani personally visited the Mohammad Dawood Khan hospital today and, while praying for the deceased and offering condolences to his family, he ordered security agencies to follow up on the incident.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has announced the formation of a delegation to investigate the incident and arrest its perpetrators.

About Dr. Ayaz Niazi:

Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niazi was 56 years old and was born in Yamgan district of Badakhshan province. At the age of twelve, he learned the holy Quran by heart. After high school, he joined Al-Azhar University in Egypt and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Islamic Economics. Also, he had a Ph.D. in Islamic Jurisprudence from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Dr. Niazi served as a professor at the Faculty of Sharia at Kabul University and as imam at the Mohammad Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque.

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