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Afghanistan-Pakistan border reopens after 4-day closure

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(Last Updated On: May 14, 2016)

torkham crossing

Torkham border crossing has been reopened for thousands of passengers and transit trade convoys after being closed for four days following border tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Afghan envoy in Pakistan announced late on Friday.

The decision was made after Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal met with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif to discuss the issue.

“I just had a detailed meeting with the Pakistan Army Chief, Mr. Raheel Sharif discussing the deep problems and factors of Afghanistan and Pakistan relations including Torkham border tensions,” Zakhilwal tweeted on Friday,” he [Raheel Sharif] guided his forces to reopen Torkham border for passengers and trade convoys, and ordered them to avoid occurrence of the last three days similar incidents in the future”.

The border was closed for all traffic on Tuesday when Afghan border forces objected the construction of border fencing by Pakistan on their country’s soil.

Afghanistan and Pakistan share a 2,500-kilometer-long disputed frontier, known as the Durand Line.

For decades, Afghan leaders have refused to accept the line as a border between the two countries, but Islamabad has always rejected the claim, saying it has long been settled.

Written by: Hesamuddin Hesam

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Taliban kill 28 policemen after calling for them to surrender

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2020)

Uruzgan officials have confirmed 28 Afghan National Defense and Security Force (ANDSF) members have been killed in a raid by the Taliban. 

Zargoi Ebadi, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the security situation has deteriorated rapidly recently resulting in ANDSF troops withdrawing from some checkposts while other checkposts were besieged by the Taliban. 

He said in one siege, in Gizab district, the Taliban urged Afghan National Police (ANP) and local police members to surrender – saying they would then release them. 

However, after surrendering to the insurgent group, 28 ANP and local police members were killed. 

Ebadi said on Wednesday night, the security situation has been brought under control. 

The Taliban has rejected the claims and said the security force members were killed in a skirmish. 

This latest incident comes as concerns rise on the serious increase in violence that is gripping the country. 

Countless attacks are being carried out on a daily basis while dozens of ANDSF members are losing their lives in Taliban attacks. 

This serious uptick in violence comes amid ongoing peace talks between the Afghan peace negotiating team and the Taliban, in Doha. 

However, despite repeated calls from global leaders for a reduction in violence, the conflict continues to escalate. 

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Uzbek president urges UN to establish permanent committee on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2020)

Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan, on Wednesday called on the United Nations General Assembly to establish a permanent UN Committee on Afghanistan to coordinate peace efforts and to facilitate a lasting political settlement in the country.

Mirziyoyev outlined steps his country has taken to try to promote peace in Afghanistan, starting with a major international forum held in Tashkent in March 2018. 

Since then, Uzbekistan has invested heavily in rail and transport infrastructure in Afghanistan, as well as in the energy sector and in education.

In his address to the UN, Mirziyoyev said his government has held extensive talks with all political parties and movements within Afghanistan, including the Taliban.

Mirziyoyev said: “We consider Afghanistan as unalienable part of Central Asia. The high-level Tashkent conference on Afghanistan in March 2018 became a new stage to consolidate international efforts to solve the Afghan problem.

“We fully support the intra-Afghan peace talks which started this September in Doha. We hope these negotiations will help in establishing peace and stability in the much suffering land of Afghanistan.

“In order to facilitate the involvement of Afghanistan in regional economic integration we have started the implementation of large infrastructure projects such as building the ‘Surkhan-Puli-Khumri’ power transmission line, and the railway network from Mazar-e-Sharif to the ports of the Indian Ocean.

“We believe that ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan will always remain at the center of the UN’s attention.

“The hopes and aspirations of the Afghan people can only be realized if we work together and in close cooperation. We need to work based on the principle, from instability and destruction to peace and creation,” he said.

“Therefore, we need to establish at the UN a Permanent Committee that will listen to the hopes and aspirations of the Afghan people. The main aim of the committee should be to assist in the economic and social development of Afghanistan.”

He noted that there is still no clear international strategy for dealing with the aftermath of four decades of strife within the country and that he was proposing a “new format” through which a consensus in support of the peace process could be achieved.

He said diplomats in the region fear that once NATO troops leave, international interest in Afghanistan will fade. “An authoritative international structure is needed to ensure Afghanistan is not now overlooked.”

 

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Bayat Foundation provides much needed aid to flood and conflict victims

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2020)

Afghan charity organization, the Bayat Foundation, this week delivered urgent aid packages to flood victims and conflict-affected families in Maidan Wardak province. 

Bayat Foundation said the food packages include flour, rice, cooking oil and pasta. 

Haji Mohammad Ismail, deputy head of the Bayat Foundation, said: “We have provided aid when needed and today we are distributing food supplies including flour, rice, cooking oil, and pasta to vulnerable, flood-affected people in Maidan Wardak.”

“A few days ago we helped Parwan people and today we are in Maidan Shahr to distribute aid to people who came from Behsood, Nirkh, Chak, and Sayed Abad districts,” said Ahsanullah Arianzai, an advisor to the Afghanistan relief organization.

Both officials stated that the Bayat Foundation would continue helping people in need across the country.

Maidan Wardak is a volatile province where insurgent groups have a strong foothold – resulting in a spike in violence in recent weeks. 

Recipients of the aid are also victims of the recent floods – which hit numerous provinces around the country earlier this month. Over 100 people died in the floods which also damaged and destroyed hundreds of homes, leaving thousands without proper shelter. 

Meanwhile, Maidan Wardak officials and recipients of the food packages welcomed Bayat Foundation’s gesture. Officials also called on other organizations to help vulnerable communities who need urgent help. 

“I thank the Bayat Foundation for providing aid and helping the poor people in Maidan Wardak,” said Mohammad Yaqub Wolesmal, financial director of the province.

In late August, the Foundation provided relief supplies to flood victims in northern Parwan Parwan province.

Since 2006, the Bayat Foundation has helped rebuild Afghanistan and deliver hope and support to the neediest and most at-risk Afghans. 

By providing food and clothing; maternity care for women before and during childbirth and to newborn babies; orphan care and education; competitive sports to challenge the youth; and entrepreneurship programs for widows, women and youth, the Foundation’s goal is to rekindle a healthy and hopeful base so that all Afghans have the opportunity to prosper.

One key initiative is food distribution during the holy month of Ramadan and providing winter aid packages consisting of items such as flour, oil, blankets, and clothing to needy families across the country. Disaster relief packages are also quickly distributed when needed. 

The Foundation has also worked tirelessly to not only help needy families but it has also built schools, hospitals, and clinics in different provinces.

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