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Afghan leader proposes peace road map in three phases-document

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(Last Updated On: April 4, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will put forward a three-phase peace roadmap for Afghanistan during a proposed meeting in Turkey, seeking an agreement with the Taliban and a ceasefire before elections, a document seen by Reuters shows.

Washington is pushing for a conference to be hosted by Turkey, with U.N. involvement, this month to finalise a peace deal between the government and the Taliban as a May 1 deadline looms for the withdrawal of all foreign troops.

Ghani’s plan will be presented as a counter to proposals put forward by Washington, rejected by the Afghan government, that envisage immediately drawing up a new legal system for an interim administration to include Taliban representatives.

The document shows Ghani’s “Reaching an Endstate” proposal will include, in the first phase, a consensus on a political settlement and an internationally monitored ceasefire.

The second phase will be holding a presidential election and the establishment of a “government of peace” and implementation arrangements for moving towards the new political system.

The third phase will involve building a “constitutional framework, reintegration of refugees and development” for Afghanistan moving forward.

A senior government official said Ghani has already shared his road map with foreign capitals.

A date for the Turkey meeting is yet to be decided, but multiple sources told Reuters it could take place in two weeks’ time.

The Afghan government and a number of politicians said they would have to agree on an agenda with the Taliban before the meeting.

In a statement last month, the Taliban threatened to resume hostilities against foreign troops in Afghanistan if they did not meet the May 1 deadline envisaged in an agreement between the insurgents and the Trump administration last year.

U.S. President Joe Biden said this month it would be “hard” to withdraw the last U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1 “just in terms of tactical reasons”, but he said he did not think they still would be there next year.

A senior government official said the Taliban was willing to extend the May 1 dateline and would not resume attacks against foreign forces in exchange for the release of thousands of their prisoners held by the Kabul authorities.

Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesman in Qatar, said no such offer had been made.

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India hosting key SCO anti-terror meeting

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) anti-terror body Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) representatives came together Monday for the start of a three-day meeting in New Delhi.

Among those attending is a three-member Pakistani delegation that arrived in India on Saturday via the Wagah border.

The situation in Afghanistan and the worsening humanitarian crisis in the country is expected to be on the agenda.

According to Indian media reports, New Delhi is also expected to raise issues regarding the security situation in Afghanistan.

The RATS is the Executive Committee of the SCO, headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which is a permanent unit of the organisation which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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IEA says girls’ schools will reopen soon

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and deputy minister of the IEA’s Ministry of Information and Culture, said progress has been made at a meeting of religious scholars and girls’ schools would reopen soon.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on Sunday Mujahid said: “Good progress has been made at the meeting of the country’s scholars regarding the reopening of girls’ schools and other major political issues, and girls’ schools will be reopened in the near future.”

He said that the meeting, attended by tribal leaders and influential people of the country, is focusing on major political, security and social issues.

“The Ulema are consulting on the reopening of girls’ schools, and progress will be made soon,” said Mujahid.

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate, said on Wednesday that a meeting of religious scholars would be held to discuss the issue of girls going to school.

The closure of girls’ schools above the sixth grade sparked a major outcry around the world with the international community repeatedly calling for schools to reopen.

Officials at the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate have said that they will reopen girls’ schools in the near future within the framework of Islamic principles.

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Uzbekistan to host international conference on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Tashkent will host a high-level international conference on Afghanistan at the end of July, Uzbekistan’s interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov announced.

Norov said the key focus would be on security, political stability and the socio-economic development of the region.

“As for Afghanistan, unfortunately, we are seeing a decrease in the attention of the international community to the situation in this country. Meanwhile, the situation there remains difficult, due to the acute economic crisis and the difficult humanitarian situation, challenges to regional security and stability remain,” he said.

Tashkent Times reported that Norov felt the international community should take responsibility for the present and future of Afghanistan and provide continued assistance to resolve problems in the country.

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