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Afghan, US should exert regular pressure on Pakistan to fight terrorism

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(Last Updated On: January 9, 2016)

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A number of former US diplomats have stated that Afghanistan Government and international community should exert pressures on Pakistan rather than much focusing on peace talks process, saying Pakistan needs to be convinced to combating terrorism, otherwise peace talks won’t give good results as passed experienced indicated.

US former Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and James Dobbins the US former envoy to Afghanistan have written an article in News week magazine saying Pakistan chief of Army Raheel sharif who have visited Kabul had promised to Afghan leaders that Pakistan will exert pressures on Taliban leaders to come behind the negotiation table and re-begin peace talks process.

Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said,” for the time being the only solution which is suitable for peace talks is to exert pressure on Pakistan, and Afghanistan doesn’t have be changed into save heaven for terrorism and extremism.”

According to their statements beginning of peace talks is a must but Pakistan Government should stop Afghan Taliban for launching military operations.

Part of the statements of US diplomats indicated that Taliban may want some of the eastern and southern provinces control which isn’t acceptable for white house and Afghanistan Government, those places may be changed into a save heavens for terrorism and extremism.

Former US envoy to Afghanistan James Dobbins said,” in order to decrease violence, US Government should exert regular pressure on Pakistan, major part of US aids which is given to Pakistan should be spent on shutting down save heavens of Haqqani,Taliban in Pakistan.”

The writer has also pointed out on some of the other major factors which enables Afghan security forces to do well the US Government should fill some of the gaps which are intelligence information,logistic and air supports to Afghan security forces.

Reported by Fahim Noori

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NATO calls for prisoner release issue to be resolved urgently

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(Last Updated On: July 15, 2020)

NATO has called on the Afghanistan government and the Taliban to “urgently resolve issues related to prisoner releases,” and to enter into intra-Afghan peace talks. 

In a statement issued by the organization on Tuesday, NATO said: “An Afghan-owned and led peace process aimed at finding a political resolution that ends decades of conflict is the only way to deliver sustainable peace to the Afghan people and to ensure Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability.

The organization said it was committed to contributing to an environment conducive to this outcome.

“We call on all sides to rapidly resolve the remaining issues still precluding the start of inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations,” the statement read.

According to them, the “current level of violence – driven especially by Taliban attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, remains unacceptably high, causing instability and undermining confidence in the peace process.”

They pointed out that during the 2018 and 2020 Eid al-Fitr ceasefires and the period of reduced violence leading up to the signing of the US-Taliban agreement and the issuance of the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration, all sides demonstrated the political will and capacity to stop the fighting.

The statement went on to point out that given the impact of COVID-19, “we echo the call of the United Nations for the Taliban to agree to a humanitarian ceasefire that applies to all sides. Both sides must also urgently resolve issues related to prisoner releases.”

NATO pointed out that the military presence of the Alliance and its partners in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan is conditions-based.

“We will continue to consult and, if conditions allow, to adjust our military presence to support the peace process, initiated by the US-Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration.

“We urge the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban to fulfill their commitments, including entering into intra-Afghan negotiations and ensuring terrorists never again find safe haven on Afghan soil.

Highlighting recent attacks, NATO stated that these “heinous attacks targeting civilians, including women, children, civil society members, religious figures, and health care workers throughout Afghanistan underscore the urgency of fulfilling these critical commitments.”

In conclusion, the statement noted that NATO reaffirms its longstanding commitment to Afghanistan, the Afghan people, and the Afghan security forces through the Resolute Support Mission.

“We expect intra-Afghan negotiations to lead to an enduring and comprehensive peace agreement that puts an end to violence, safeguards the human rights of all Afghans, including women and children, upholds the rule of law, and ensures that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists.”

On Tuesday night, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted: “The level of violence in Afghanistan driven by Taliban attacks, undermines confidence in the peace process. We call on all sides to rapidly start intra-Afghan talks. NATO Allies will continue to consult on our military presence to support peace process.”

This statement comes after a disagreement over about 600 prisoners from a total of 5,000 the Taliban want released prevented the launch of US-brokered peace talks.

Although prisoner releases by both sides have taken place, the Afghan government has said it does not want to release some prisoners for security reasons and its Western allies also object to some of them being set free.

The United States and the Taliban struck a landmark agreement in February on the withdrawal of US forces in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.

As part of the pact, the Taliban agreed to open power-sharing talks with the Afghan government.

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Ghani meets with top US general to discuss peace process

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(Last Updated On: July 15, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani met with US Central Command chief, General Kenneth F. McKenzie on Tuesday in Kabul for talks on security issues. 

According to the Presidential Palace, ARG, Ghani, and McKenzie discussed the peace process, the security situation, support for the Afghan security and defense forces and strengthening of the joint security partnership.

McKenzie also reassured Ghani of the US’s continued support and cooperation.

“I am here to reassure you and the people of Afghanistan that the support and cooperation of the United States is in place for the peace, development, and security of Afghanistan, and we will continue to support you,” he said.

He also said the US would not let Afghanistan become a safe haven for insurgent groups.

This comes after McKenzie said in June that the US military was ahead of a timetable to bring the total number of troops in Afghanistan down to about 8,600, as negotiated with the Taliban.

However, he said he did not see the second part of the drawdown schedule being on time.

He said at the time: “We also agreed that in May of 2021, if conditions will allow, we’re prepared to go to zero,” adding that those conditions would depend on whether the US could be assured that attacks against the United States will not be generated in Afghanistan.

“Frankly, if you were to ask me my opinion, those conditions have not been fully met. So we’ll continue to work that,” McKenzie said last month.

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135 new Coronavirus cases registered – Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The Ministry of Public Health says that in the last twenty-four hours, 135 positive cases of Coronavirus have been registered in the whole country, with Kabul having the highest number of cases of Covid-19 with 51 people.

Coronavirus cases are declining in Afghanistan. However, the number of patients in the country is still in the triple digits.

 According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health, 135 positive cases of Coronavirus have been registered in the country in the last 24 hours, of which 51 were in Kabul, 37 in Herat, 16 in Ghor, nine in Logar, nine in Balkh, four in Kunduz, three in Baghlan, three in Laghman, two in Takhar and one in Kunar have been infected with the Coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health has said that with the registration of these cases, the total number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan has reached 34,740.

“Over the past 24 hours, 135 positive cases of the coronavirus have been identified in Afghanistan,” said Masoumah Jafari, deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health.

The ministry added that 24 people had died in the past 24 hours and that the death toll from the Coronavirus had risen to 1,062.

According to the Ministry of Health, in the past 24 hours, 279 people with the Coronavirus have recovered and the number of recoveries has reached 21,454.

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