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Afghanistan Emphasizes on ‘Responsible Withdrawal’ of Foreign Troops

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(Last Updated On: May 11, 2019)

In reaction to the latest round of talks between the U.S. and Taliban negotiators in Qatar, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on Saturday that foreign forces will withdraw from Afghanistan responsibly.

“Foreign forces must withdraw from Afghanistan responsibly. Doha talks aimed to pave the ground for intra-Afghan dialogue,” said Sebghatullah Ahmadi, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman.

MoFA Spokesman further said that U.S.-Taliban talks are ongoing in coordination with the Afghan government.

The U.S. and Taliban negotiators concluded their sixth round of talks in Doha, the capital of Qatar on Thursday.

Taliban said the talks was “positive and constructive” but the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation said there is a need for “faster progress”.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Taliban said that in the latest round of talks, the two sides have only agreed on the timeline of the foreign forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and there was no agreement on security guarantees.

“The two sides have agreed on troops withdrawal. They will consult with their leaders and then they will sign the draft agreement,” said Mawlawi Qalamuddin, a former Taliban official.

On the other hand, preparations are underway to hold the already delayed intra-Afghan dialogue meeting in Doha after the holy month of Ramadan.

“Now efforts are underway to hold the intra-Afghan dialogue between the sixth and seventh round of talks. They will use the decisions of intra-Afghan dialogue in the seventh round to end the Afghan crisis,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, another former Taliban official.

At the same time, Omid Maysam, a spokesman for the Office of Afghanistan’s Chief Executive said that consultations are ongoing on the formation of a new negotiation team.

“Discussions and consultations regarding the formation of the negotiating team that should be able to represent the whole Afghanistan are ongoing and we hope to introduce the new delegation in the near future,” said Maysam.

This comes as the U.S. has said it will not agree to any withdrawal of troops until the Taliban put in place security guarantees, implement a ceasefire and sign off on other commitments including an “intra-Afghan dialogue” with the Afghan government and other politicians.

COVID-19

Gov’t officials don’t follow health guidelines, social distancing

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The failure to comply with health guidelines and social distancing in gatherings by a number of high-ranking government officials has been criticized.

Citizens blame officials for being negligent to the Coronavirus, saying that their behavior is a sign of the government’s reluctance in the fight against the virus.

In the latest instance, the chairman of the High Reconciliation Council amongst other officials attended a ceremony without abiding by the health guidelines and/or social distancing.

That is, Salem Izadiar’s commemoration ceremony with the presence of high-ranked government officials and citizens, including high-ranking officials – without keeping any of the health guidelines in mind, is considered to be one of the main causes of Coronavirus outbreak.

Additionally, the Minister of Interior Affairs, who is considered as one of the key officials in the fight against Coronavirus, also attended a meeting in Baghlan, not taking into account any social distancing and/or health measures.

It is worth mentioning that recently Rashid Bashir, the police chief of Kunduz province, and Fahim Qarluq, the governor of Qala-e-Zal district the province, died of the virus.

The Ministry of Public Health has frequently expressed concerns over social non-compliance with health guidelines and its dire consequences.

On the other hand, the death toll from the virus has increased; however, only a part of the fatalities are officially recorded, but a larger proportion of Covid-19 positive or suspicious deaths are, for some reason, not reported at all.

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Dr. Ayaz Niazi’s assassination triggers queries

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

The assassination of Dr. Ayaz Niazi, imam of the Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque, has raised questions and reactions.

Dr. Niazi became the target of an IED explosion at the mosque yesterday evening while preparing for the evening prayer.

He died at the hospital of deadly injuries.

A number of military experts have called yesterday’s incident a ‘political terrorist attack’ and blamed the security agencies for not preventing such attacks in Kabul.

Intelligence experts attribute the weakness in the intelligence agencies that leads to such horrific attacks.

President Ghani personally visited the Mohammad Dawood Khan hospital today and, while praying for the deceased and offering condolences to his family, he ordered security agencies to follow up on the incident.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has announced the formation of a delegation to investigate the incident and arrest its perpetrators.

About Dr. Ayaz Niazi:

Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niazi was 56 years old and was born in Yamgan district of Badakhshan province. At the age of twelve, he learned the holy Quran by heart. After high school, he joined Al-Azhar University in Egypt and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Islamic Economics. Also, he had a Ph.D. in Islamic Jurisprudence from Al-Azhar University in Egypt. Dr. Niazi served as a professor at the Faculty of Sharia at Kabul University and as imam at the Mohammad Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque.

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Covid-19 impacts; Afghanistan’s exports on hold

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

Afghanistan’s exports to other countries have been stalled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and no alternatives have been considered yet.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) blames the government for failing to remove hurdles in Afghanistan’s exports, saying that the private sector will lose millions of dollars if trade with neighboring countries does not resume.

Officials in ACCI say that trade routes with neighboring countries have been blocked since the outbreak of the coronavirus, and the government has failed to find alternatives.

On the other hand, experts attribute the lack of work capacity in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan to the decline in exports to other countries.

“Officials at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan have failed to come up with a basic plan for exports and investment in the country,” experts say.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country, a number of countries, including Iran and Pakistan, have closed their borders with Afghanistan.

In addition to the cessation of Afghanistan’s exports, this act sparked prices to rise domestically.

Meanwhile, experts and traders believe that the government should look for alternative ways to keep the drift of export and import alive.

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