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Money Changers Claim Paying $5m Per Month for Kidnappers as Extortion

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(Last Updated On: November 28, 2017)

Money changers at Sarai-e-Shahzada Market in Kabul on Tuesday claimed that they are paying as many as $5 million per month for kidnappers and certain powerful individuals with the government as extortion.

“We paid five million [dollars] last month as extortion to some within the system and to some outside including armed oppositions,” said Qazi Sheren Aqa Safi, the Head of Sarai-e-Shahzada Council. ” The issue has created many challenges for us.”

kidnappings of traders is said to be a huge hurdle for getting people to invest in Afghanistan.

“My son was kidnapped in Allawdeen area [of Kabul] and his abductors have been arrested and received ransom as well, but my son is still not here, where I should go?,” a money changer, Jan Aqa said.

Some tribal elders urged the government to ensure security of money changers and traders.

“Money changers have invested here and the government should maintain their security,” said Abdul Khaliq Hussaini, a tribal elder.

This comes as earlier, the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) expressed deep concerns over the increase in kidnappings and assaults on traders, especially in Nangarhar, Herat and Kabul provinces.

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Ghani, Pompeo discuss next steps in Afghan peace process

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo via video conference on Monday and discussed the next steps in the Afghan peace process.

The video conference was attended also by first VP Amrullah Saleh, and second VP Sarwar Danish, Abdullah Abdullah head of High Council for National Reconciliation, US special Peace Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, Resolute Support commander Scott Miller.

The Presidential Palace said in a statement that the two sides discussed joint efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Pompeo said that the main objective of the US is a united, sovereign, democratic, and stable Afghanistan in the framework of enduring long-term and strategic relations between the two countries, the statement added.

The two sides discussed further steps on the peace process including prisoner releases and place of intra-Afghan negotiations.

They emphasized on joint cooperation on reporting during the process.

“They agreed that the next steps in the peace process should be worked on in the next upcoming days and the Afghan government shall work on a mechanism that would determine rules of the game for the undeclared ceasefire.

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Taliban gunned down four civilians in Badakhshan: official

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)

The Taliban fighters have gunned down four civilians in Badakhshan province, a local official confirmed.

The incident has taken place in the Shewa area in the Arghanchkhah district of the province on Monday evening.

Nek Mohammad Nazari, a spokesman for the provincial governor told Ariana News that the militants have shot dead two men along with their sons.

According to Nazari, the incident happened at the Taliban controlled area and the motive yet to be determined.

The Taliban militant group yet to make a comment on the matter.

The province has borders with Pakistan, Tajikistan, and China. Some militant groups including the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and Daesh are actively operating in a number of Badakhshan’s districts.

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Afghanistan’s population closes to nearly 33 million

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2020)

According to the 1399 census – Persian calendar – the population of Afghanistan is estimated at 33 million roughly.

The National Statistics and Information Authority said that 51 percent of the country’s population is male, and more than 23 million Afghans live in rural areas.

The population of the country in 1399, the Persian calendar, saw an increase of almost 700,000 people.

The number of nomads is estimated at 1.5 million, and the youth under the age of 15 make up to 15.5 million.

Sixteen million and eight hundred thousand people are men and sixteen million and one hundred thousand are women, according to the authority.

A number of sociologists believe that in the official procedure of census, the estimation faces technical challenges, and therefore, there is social skepticism about these statistics.

On the other hand, some citizens say that the war in Afghanistan has been going on for years and that the government has not been able to keep track of the count on those living under the Taliban dominance.

It is worth noting that currently over 54% of the Afghans live under poverty, and as the population grows, so will the poverty.

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