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Presidential citadel reacts to Taliban “Spring Offensive”; stresses Afghan forces spirits unbroken

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(Last Updated On: April 12, 2016)

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Afghanistan presidential palace in reaction to the announced statement by the Taliban to launch spring offensive said the Taliban’s “Omari” operation is not more than a propaganda and ineffective effort.

The Taliban declared the start of their fighting season on Tuesday, vowing to take control of more territory and launch large-scale attacks against the Afghan government and its foreign allies, including the U.S.

In an email to media, the militants said the spring offensive had begun at 5 a.m. They dubbed the campaign “Operation Omari” in honor of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, who died three years ago.

“Jihad against the aggressive and usurping infidel army is a holy obligation upon our necks and our only recourse for re-establishing an Islamic system and regaining our independence,” the Taliban said in a statement.

The presidential Palace in reaction to the statement said Afghan security forces were prepared to respond to any kind of attack.

“The initiative on the battlefield is in hands of Afghan forces. The Afghan “Shafaq” operation has dealt a heavy blow to the Taliban,” Dawa Khan Mina Pal, President’s deputy spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the National Defense Ministry emphasizes that Taliban are weak against Afghan forces and the experience of Kunduz fall would not be repeated in the future.

“We had a fierce battle last year and we are trying to do not repeat the experience of Kunduz fall again,” Muhammad Radmanesh, deputy spokesman of defense ministry said.

In the meantime, a number of Afghan senators declared that the National Unity Government (NUG) must take serious measures against Taliban’s spring offensive.

The senators stressed to not compassionate to those who target the Afghan people.

They noted that the regional countries seek to rise insecurity in Afghanistan and the government should prevent such machinations.

“The government should take serious measures against the armed Taliban group started a spring offensive and mobilize security institutions to prevent their activities,” senator Jomaddin Geyanwal said.

“The security forces should have no mercy to those who do not want peace and use any option for their elimination,” senator Muhammad Asef Sidiqi said.

The High Peace Council (HPC) is also awaiting for Pakistan’s integrity in brining Taliban to the negotiation table.

“This is important that Pakistan’s honesty is still not clear as previously, the quartet meeting held between US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan for peace,” Khaibar Ochqun, deputy of HPC said.

In line with recent statements, the militants also said they would establish good governance in areas they controlled and avoid civilian casualties and damage to infrastructure.

The seasons have long shaped violence in Afghanistan with fighting easing off in the winter, when mountain passes get snowed in, and picking up again in the spring and summer.

Fighting between the Afghan government and the Taliban is now in its 15th year, and the violence shows no sign of abating.

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11 Taliban militants killed – Paktia

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(Last Updated On: July 4, 2020)

At least 11 Taliban militants were killed in clashes with the Afghan forces and in mine explosions in Paktia province.

Provincial security officials said that the militants carried out attacks on security outposts in the Kelkin area in Mirzaka district of Paktia on Friday night.

At least five insurgents were killed and four others wounded in the counterattack, the officials added.

According to the officials, a security guard of Paktia police chief was also killed in the incident.

Meanwhile, six Taliban fighters – four in Ahmad Khel district and two in Khoshmand district – were killed in their own mine blasts while they were attempting to plant roadside mines to target civilians and the Afghan forces, the 203 Thunder Corps said in a statement.

The Taliban militant group yet to make a comment about the incidents.

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Khalilzad, Qataris, Taliban discuss development opportunities in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 4, 2020)

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Qatari officials discussed the possibility of co-investing in Afghan projects to “consolidate peace and unlock regional prosperity.”

Khalilzad said in a series tweets that he and Adam Boehler, the CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation, who is accompanying him during his trip on Afghan peace, met with officials of Qatar Investment Authority and Qatar Fund For Development in Doha.

“We discussed the possibility of co-investing in Afghan projects to consolidate peace and unlock regional prosperity. The potential to amplify investment impact in Afghanistan with like-minded partners is real,” Khalilzad tweeted.

Khalilzad also met with Mullah Baradar the deputy Taliban leader in Doha on Thursday. The group’s spokesman said in a statement that the meeting focused on the Afghan peace process, quick release of prisoners, the commencement of intra-Afghan negotiations, and other related issues.

“We underscored the economic development opportunities that will follow a sustainable peace,” said Khalilzad, “We agreed developing plans in support of peace can never start too early, assuming the two sides can overcome final hurdles on the path to intra-Afghan negotiations.”

Mullah Baradar and his team were engaged and the Taliban recognize all Afghans will have to make compromises in order to draw in the required investment in Afghanistan’s future, the US Envoy tweeted.

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Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan to expand trade ties

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(Last Updated On: July 3, 2020)

Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan have agreed to form a joint committee to expand trade and transportation relations. 

The leaders of the three countries in an online meeting discussed the formation of a joint committee that could work on regional connectivity, railway development, fiber optics, and transportation.

In a tripartite meeting between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the three leaders discussed trade cooperation. They agreed on the proposal of the President of Azerbaijan to form a joint delegation, which includes ministers of transport and other officials from the three countries.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani welcomed the proposal of the President of Azerbaijan to form a joint delegation of the three countries

At the meeting, the President of Turkmenistan supported the plan of the port of Aqina and Turgundi to better transmit commercial goods.

“So the first thing is to welcome President Aliyev’s suggestion backed by President Berdimuhamedow that we form a joint task force at the level of heads of transports and other relevant ministries from the three ministries,” said Afghan Pres. Ghani.

During the meeting, Mr. Ghani also announced the development of a railway in Afghanistan, saying that the country needs 4,000 to 6,000 kilometers of railways for economic development and that international partners have expressed readiness to cooperate in this area.

Turkmenistan has expanded the railway network to the ports of Aqina and Torghundi for trade with Afghanistan, which the Afghan government wants to become standard ports.

Ashraf Ghani added: “We are creating dry ports to eight locations in Afghanistan… the finance development cooperation of the United States is now willing and ready to work with us to offer guarantees.”

 In the past, Afghans relied heavily on the Pakistani port of Karachi for trade with the world. With the opening of Iran’s Chabahar port and the opening of new transit routes through Central Asian countries, Afghanistan has been able to reduce its reliance on the port of Karachi in recent years

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