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Atmar Accuses Gov’t of Removing Officials with Links to His Election Ticket



(Last Updated On: February 18, 2019)

Presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar on Monday accused the government of removing officials with links to his election ticket.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul Atmar said that the presidency has taken “illegal cleansing” approach towards the government officials.

He claimed that so far 12 members of his election team have been sacked or forced to resign including Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq who is the running mate of Atmar as his second deputy in July presidential elections.

Expressing his concerns over the dismissal of election commissioners following the amendment of electoral law, Atmar said that decision was made unilaterally as presidential candidates had not been consulted.

He also urged the government to consult with political leaders before appointing new election commissioners.

Regarding the consultative Loya Jirga which will be held next month, Atmar said that he supports the gathering if it truly represents the Afghan people, but he said he will be against it if is aimed to undermine the ongoing peace talks and be an election campaign.

President Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansoori, however, said that dismissals of government officials are part of government’s reform plan.

It comes as recently, a number of presidential candidates and political parties have criticized Amrullah Saleh’s participation in government’s official meetings.

They said Saleh’s participation in the meetings “illegal” and that more of a campaign for the elections.

However, Saleh said that has received no concessions from the government by accompanying the president in meetings.

He stressed the president has asked him to participate in some political and consultative meetings which focus on peace and war issues, adding that he has neither used this opportunity for his personal or any group’s interest and nor will use it.

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China welcomes Huawei executive home, but silent on freed Canadians



(Last Updated On: September 25, 2021)

Chinese state media welcomed telecoms giant Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, back to the “motherland” on Saturday, after more than 1,000 days under house arrest in Canada, on what they called unfounded charges of bank fraud.

But they have kept silent about Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians released from Chinese custody in an apparent act of reciprocation by Beijing.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV carried a statement by the Huawei executive, written as her plane flew over the North Pole, avoiding U.S. airspace.

Her eyes were “blurring with tears” as she approached “the embrace of the great motherland”, Meng said. “Without a strong motherland, I wouldn’t have the freedom I have today.”

Meng was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver after a New York court issued an arrest warrant, saying she tried to cover up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions.

After more than two years of legal wrangling, she was finally allowed to leave Canada and fly back to China on Friday, after securing a deal with U.S. prosecutors.

Huawei, founded by Meng’s father Ren Zhengfei, said in a statement that it “looked forward to seeing Ms. Meng returning home safely to be reunited with her family.” It said it would continue to defend itself against U.S. charges.

Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, detained by Chinese authorities just days after Meng’s arrest, were released a few hours later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said.

State news agency Xinhua formally acknowledged the end of Meng’s house arrest on Saturday, attributing her release to the “unremitting efforts of the Chinese government”.

Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Global Times tabloid backed by the ruling Communist Party, wrote on Twitter that “international relations have fallen into chaos” as a result of Meng’s “painful three years”.

He added, “No arbitrary detention of Chinese people is allowed.”

However, neither Hu nor other media have mentioned the release of Spavor and Kovrig, and reactions on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform have been few and far between.

The foreign ministry has not commented publicly.

China has previously denied engaging in “hostage diplomacy”, insisting that the arrest and detention of the two Canadians was not tied in any way to the extradition proceedings against Meng.

Spavor was accused of supplying photographs of military equipment to Kovrig and sentenced to 11 years in jail in August. Kovrig had still been awaiting sentencing.

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Four kidnappers killed by IEA forces in hostage drama



(Last Updated On: September 25, 2021)

Herat security officials said four kidnappers had been killed in a clash with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) forces on Saturday morning.

The incident happened during an operation to rescue a local man and his son who had been taken hostage by the kidnappers.

According to officials, the kidnapping happened in PD12 in Herat city and the hostages were then taken to PD14.

The officials did not give any further details.

IEA officials said both father and son were rescued.

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One killed, seven wounded in Nangarhar explosion



(Last Updated On: September 25, 2021)

Nangarhar provincial officials confirmed on Saturday that an explosion was reported in PD1 in Jalalabad city.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials confirmed the explosion, but did not provide details about the casualties.

Eye witnesses said however that the incident took place when an IEA military convoy hit a roadside mine.

A source at Nangarhar regional hospital confirmed that one IEA member had been killed and seven others, including civilians, had been taken to the hospital.

According to the source, four civilians were among the wounded.

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