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Afghan Taliban Flag Flying in Pakistan Protest

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(Last Updated On: November 4, 2019)

Supporters of the Afghan Taliban group are seen among the anti-government protesters in Pakistan asking for the resignation of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Footage from the protest shows a group of protesters holding the Taliban flag among thousands of Islamist marchers.

The presence of pro-Taliban men in a civil protest, however, has sparked reactions in Afghanistan; the Taliban militant group has been fighting the Afghan government for over 18 years, rejecting all government calls for a civil way to compete for power.

“What they should be doing through a civilized platform, they (the Taliban) are doing by the power of weapons and bloodshed in Afghanistan,” said Fazl Karim Aimaq, a member of the Internal Security Committee in Afghan Parliament.

Moreover, Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Geran Hewad reacted to the presence of pro-Taliban protesters by saying “Pakistan has already been accused in the US State Department Country Reports on Terrorism of not taking required measures to ban the commute of militants from Afghanistan through its borders.”

However, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana FazalurRehman describes the presence of pro-Taliban protesters as normal.

“What is wrong with it? Aren’t the Taliban welcomed in Pakistan? On the international level, aren’t they welcomed by the United States and Russia? What is wrong if some Afghans have come here and raised their flags”, said Maulana Fazal-ur-Rahman.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) led by Fazal-ur-Rahman is protesting against the government in Islamabad and has warned of ‘dire consequences’ if it does not step down.

Maulana is known for his links and unwavering support to the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban in the past.

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We are committed to assisting Afghan forces as long as needed: NATO SCR

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(Last Updated On: July 13, 2020)

Stefano Pontecorvo, the Senior Civilian Representative of NATO to Afghanistan said that foreign troops would continue assisting the Afghan forces “as long as needed”.

In an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Stefano Pontecorvo said that the decision in this regard would be made by the Afghan government.

Pontecorvo added that the Taliban’s high level of violence is unacceptable, noting that the government’s concerns about not releasing the remaining Taliban prisoners are legitimate.

Given the stalemate over the release of prisoners, he called on both laterals to show flexibility in achieving peace. He also legitimizes the Afghan government’s concern about the remaining Taliban prisoners.

“Although the prisoner release is slowly proceeding, we would like to see this stepped up a bit, but there are issues which are real issues on the side of the government on releasing the remaining number of prisoners. We call for flexibility from all sides,” NATO SCR Stefano Pontecorvo told Ariana News.

This high-ranking NATO civilian official considers it important to build internal consensus at the leadership level to achieve peace. He says the countries of the region and the world have agreed on a general consensus in this regard. He also says that the presence of the forces of NATO in Afghanistan will be at the request of the Afghan government.

“We don’t want to stay here forever, but we are committed to assisting for as long as we need to be here, and that will be decided by the Afghan government.”

Meanwhile, NATO Envoy called on the Taliban to remain committed and credible in achieving peace.

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Taliban attacks kill 19 Afghan forces in Kunduz, Badakhshan provinces

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(Last Updated On: July 13, 2020)

The Taliban militants attacked security base and outposts in Kunduz and Badakhshan provinces on Sunday night, killing at least 19 Afghan forces.

Mohammad Yousuf Ayoubi, head of Kunduz provincial council told Ariana News that the insurgents stormed a base of Afghan forces in Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province on Sunday night.

Ayoubi said, at least six army soldiers and six policemen were killed and seven policemen were wounded after several hours of clashes with the Taliban fighters.

According to him, the base fell to the hands of the Taliban for a short period and they fled and seized the equipment of the base after back-up troops arrived in the area.

Local officials, however, confirmed the incident but did not provide details about the casualties. 

In a separate incident, the Afghan forces came under attack in the Arghanchkhah district of Badakhshan province.

The attack resulted in the death of seven Afghan forces, Nek Mohammad Nazari, a spokesman for Badakhshan governor confirmed. 

The incident happened at around 11 p.m. Sunday and lasted for three hours, Nazari said, adding that at least five Taliban militants were also killed in shoot exchange.

In southern Kandahar, at least 11 Taliban insurgents were killed in the counterattack of the Afghan forces in the Shorabak district of the province.

Jamal Nasir, a provincial police spokesperson told Ariana News that five insurgents were wounded and their attack was pushed back.

Nasir noted that no casualty was imposed on the Afghan forces.

The Taliban militants yet to comment about the incidents. 

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Dozens killed, wounded as Taliban attack NDS office – Samangan

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(Last Updated On: July 13, 2020)

Taliban militants attacked the office of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Aybak city, the capital of Samangan province, killing 11 people and wounding 70 more, local officials confirmed.

The officials said that a suicide attacker detonated an explosive-laden vehicle at the entrance gate of the NDS office at around 10:50 on Monday.

Following the blast three assailants engaged in fighting with the Afghan forces

The Taliban militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group in a statement claimed that dozens of the NDS employees were killed or wounded in the incident.

The attack comes as the group signed an agreement with the US in Qatar, pledging not to carry out attacks the Afghan forces in the big cities of the provinces.

Meanwhile, President Ghani condemned the attack and called it “Criminal, anti-human and terrorist act”.

Ghani added that the Taliban attack meant to insist on conflict and continue violence.

“ President Ghani called on the Taliban to stop fighting and killing Afghans and accept the call for peace of the government and people of Afghanistan and the international community to end the war and establish peace. 

He added that escalating violence and war would undermine progress in the peace process.

“Today’s Samangan attack killing & injuring civilians is absolutely unjustifiable. Taliban’s insistence on continuous violence is jeopardizing the unique opportunity for peace. I call on TB to cease bloodshed & engage constructively at the negotiating table, “said Stefano Pontecorvo, the NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan.

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