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At Least 12 Killed, 31 Wounded In Kabul Suicide Bombing

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(Last Updated On: June 11, 2018)

At least 12 people including women were killed in a suicide blast in PD6 in Darulaman area of Kabul City, the security officials said Monday. 

The explosion occurred at the entrance gate of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD)  on Monday at around 01:00 p.m. local time.

Kabul Police Chief spokesman told Ariana News reporter Ali Asghari that 31 people were wounded in the suicide bombing.

The MRRD spokesman, meanwhile, said that 13 people were killed in the attack, adding that all of them were the low-ranking employees of the ministry. 

An eyewitness told Ariana News that the blast happened as the employees were leaving the ministry’s building.

No group including the Taliban has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Blinken urges cooperation and unity in letter to Ghani

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(Last Updated On: March 7, 2021)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he is concerned that a withdrawal of all American troops could impact the security situation in Afghanistan and lead to the Taliban making serious gains but also said the US does not intend to “dictate terms to the parties”. 

In a letter to President Ashraf Ghani, of which Ariana News obtained a copy, Blinken said that proposals currently on the table reflect some of the ideas under consideration but “even with the continuation of financial assistance from the United States to your forces after an American military withdrawal, I am concerned that the security situation will worsen and that the Taliban could make rapid territorial gains.”

Blinken also called on Ghani to “positively consider” the proposal that US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will share with him and that the Afghan president works with the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, former president Hamid Karzai and Adbul Rasul Sayyaf, an Afghan politician. 

On this note, he said such a “group of four” would present a united front. 

Blinken also stated that Washington intends to ask the United Nations to convene a meeting for Foreign Ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the US to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan. 

“It is my belief that these countries share an abiding common interest in a stable Afghanistan and must work together if we are to succeed.”

He said Khalilzad has been asked to prepare and share with Ghani and the Taliban leaders written proposals aimed at accelerating discussions on a negotiated settlement and ceasefire. 

However, he pointed out that although Washington has “not yet completed our review of the way ahead, we have reached an initial conclusion that the best way to advance our shared interest is to do all we can to accelerate peace talks and to bring all parties into compliance with their commitments”.

He said the roadmap outlined for the peace process will enable the Republic and the Taliban to develop the foundational principles that will guide Afghanistan’s future constitutional and governing arrangements; a roadmap to a new and inclusive government; and the terms of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. 

He said to Ghani: “I urge you to develop constructive positions on these written proposals to discuss with Ambassador Khalilzad.”

Blinken also stated that Washington will ask Turkey to host a senior-level meeting of both sides in the coming weeks to finalize a peace agreement. 

“I urge you or your authoritative designees to join other representatives of the Islamic Republic in this meeting,” he said to Ghani.

Blinken did however say that Washington shares Ghani’s view that every effort must be made to reduce the violence in Afghanistan. He said these high levels of violence “are exacting an unacceptable toll on the Afghan people and deeply undermining efforts to achieve peace.”

“We have prepared a revised proposal for a 90-day Reduction-in-Violence, which is intended to prevent a Spring Offensive by the Taliban and to coincide with our diplomatic efforts to support a political settlement between the parties.

“I urge you to positively consider the proposal…” he said. 

Blinken went on to state in his letter to Ghani that unity and inclusivity on the Republic’s side was essential for the “difficult work that lies ahead”.

“As you and your countrymen know all too well, disunity on the part of Afghan leaders proved disastrous in the early 1990s and must not be allowed to sabotage the opportunity before us,” he said in reference to the devastating civil war. 

He said to Ghani that his “work together with Chairman Abdullah and your engagements with former President Karzai and professor Sayyaf show promise toward building a more united Afghan front for peace.

“I ask that you work together to further broaden this consultative group of four such that Afghans regard it as inclusive and credible; to build consensus on specific goals and objectives for a negotiation with the Taliban about governance, power-sharing and essential supporting principles; and to agree on overall tactics and public messaging that will demonstrate unity of effort and purpose.”

He then said: “We will strongly support all efforts taken to make this united front work.”

In conclusion, he told Ghani: “I am making this clear to you so that you understand the urgency of my tone regarding the collective work outlined in this letter.”

Transitional government proposed

The letter coincides with the emergence of Washington’s plan for a transitional government – which the Taliban confirmed Sunday. 

In an interview with Ariana News, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the plan was being considered by the Taliban’s leadership in Doha and that “a final decision has yet to be made in this regard.”

Naeem stated that the plan includes a transitional government, an Ankara, Turkey summit, and a ceasefire.

The Afghan government has also received US President Joe Biden’s proposed plan for the formation of a transitional government which would include the Taliban.

The plan consists of three key points; a principled guideline for the future of Afghanistan, a transitional government, and a permanent ceasefire.

According to a section of the plan that Ariana News read, a President of Afghanistan would be elected at the end of the transitional government period.

According to the plan, Islam will be considered the official religion of the country, and all Afghan citizens are granted immunity as “Afghanistan is a common home of all ethnicities and religions.”

A transitional government would consist of the following three main cornerstones:

The executive administration, including a president, deputies, ministers, and independent directorates

The legislature, which includes the Senate and Parliament, in which the Taliban will be represented and;

The judiciary, which would also include the Independent High Council of Islamic Jurisprudence and the Commission for Drafting a New Constitution.

According to the plan, the High Council of Islamic Jurisprudence would be composed of 15 members including seven Taliban members, seven members of the Afghan government, and a person would be chosen by the president of the government.

The council would be tasked to prepare Islamic guidance for social and cultural affairs.

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Key points outlined in Washington’s plan for transitional govt

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(Last Updated On: March 7, 2021)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has handed over Washington’s plan for the formation of a transitional government in Afghanistan, the Taliban confirmed.

In an interview with Ariana News, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the plan was being considered by the Taliban’s leadership in Doha and that “a final decision has yet to be made in this regard.”

Naeem stated that the plan includes a transitional government, an Ankara, Turkey summit, and a ceasefire.

He added that the Taliban has not yet taken a clear position in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government has also received US President Joe Biden’s proposed plan for the formation of a participatory government which includes the Taliban and the convening of an international summit.

Nader Naderi, a member of the government’s peace delegation said Sunday the plan needs serious and careful consideration.

“We have received many plans from different countries, but these plans need to be seriously and comprehensively reviewed in order to meet the interests of the people,” Naderi stated.

The plan consists of three key points; a principled guideline for the future of Afghanistan, a transitional government, and a permanent ceasefire.

According to a section of the plan that Ariana News read, a President of Afghanistan would be elected at the end of the transitional government period.

According to the plan, Islam will be considered the official religion of the country, and all Afghan citizens are granted immunity as “Afghanistan is a common home of all ethnicities and religions.”

The Transitional government will consist of the following three main cornerstones:

  • The executive administration, including a president, deputies, ministers, and independent directorates
  • Legislature, which includes the Senate and Parliament, in which the Taliban will be represented and;
  • The judiciary, which would also include the Independent High Council of Islamic Jurisprudence and the Commission for Drafting a New Constitution.

According to the plan, the High Council of Islamic Jurisprudence will be composed of 15 members including seven Taliban members, seven members of the Afghan government, and a person would be chosen by the president of the government.

The council would be tasked to prepare Islamic guidance for social and cultural affairs.

Meanwhile, the Afghan NSA Hamdullah Mohib stated that the plan is not the US government’s official scheme for Afghanistan.

The plan that the Americans have handed over to everyone; we have been told that it is not the US government’s official plan, said Mohib adding that the government is reviewing it.  

Addressing a press conference in Kabul Mohib stated that the plan is aimed at sharing power to resolve the current security issues.

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Abdullah claims govt’s shortcomings affecting Republic’s position in Doha

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(Last Updated On: March 7, 2021)

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation said Sunday that the republic’s shortcomings have weakened the government’s position with regards to the peace talks with the Taliban.

Speaking at an event to mark International Women’s Day Abdullah said that the fragmentation that exists within the Afghan political structure will not help propel the peace process in terms of the people’s demands.

“The fragmentation at the Afghan political level does not help to show the strength of the Afghan people in representing the will and aspirations,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah, referring to the new US plan, stressed that one should not be afraid to come up with ideas, but these ideas should be used to accelerate the peace process.

“Presenting plans should not be feared, instead they should be discussed, what should be lacking should be corrected, and if there are any problems, the problems should be highlighted,” Abdullah added.

On the other hand, Afghan women have criticized their lack of involvement in the Afghan peace process, saying the Taliban’s view towards them has not changed.

“We are unhappy with the peace process and a post-peace government in the peace process and their presence has been marginalized,” said Habiba Sarabi, a member of the Afghan negotiating team.

This comes amid concerns that have been raised about the undermining of women’s achievements in a future political system.

Meanwhile, Rula Ghani the First Lady emphasized the need to preserve women’s achievements in the peace process.

In a video message on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Rula Ghani said that Afghan women have made good progress in the last ten years, and at the same time, they want to ensure peace in which their achievements are preserved.

Officials at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs said the country’s women will not go back. They emphasized that the international community must guarantee the preservation of the achievements of Afghan women.

Ghani and the First Lady were meanwhile supposed to attend the event at the Loya Jirga tent but were not present. This sparked a reaction from women at the event.

However, many raised concerns about the current situation in the country, saying that the money donated for the development and empowerment of women in cities and villages has not been used properly and that women in parts of the country are still not aware of their basic rights.

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