Ariana News – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Sun, 16 Jun 2019 15:02:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 IEC Proposes $150 million for Holding Presidential Election Sun, 16 Jun 2019 15:02:21 +0000

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) has submitted a proposal of $150 million for holding the upcoming presidential elections.

Habib ul Rahman Nang, the Chief of IEC Secretariat said on Sunday that the proposal has been given to the government and the international community.

He added that a part of the budget will be invested for procuring the remaining biometric devices.

However, electoral observers and experts blame IEC officials for lack of competency to spend the budget as required.

“The budget must be provided to the IEC but the international community and the ministry of finance must strengthen their monitoring mechanisms to enhance transparency in the process,” said Habib Shinwari, member of a Kabul-based electoral monitoring organization.

“The budget will be prepared based on the operational plan but IEC has failed to prepare its operational plan yet and they have changed the election timeline many times; therefore, they cannot present the exact amount of the election budget,” said Daud Ali Najafi, a former IEC official.

Earlier, IEC said that it has allocated $12 million for the voter registration process while observers said that the process is unsuccessful because IEC has failed to conduct the public awareness campaigns.

The Afghan presidential election is scheduled to be held on September 28 this year.

Efforts Underway to Increase Fruit Gardens in Afghanistan Sun, 16 Jun 2019 14:43:21 +0000 The officials in the Ministry of Agriculture say that they are trying to increase the number of fruit gardens across the country.

“We try to improve the gardeners’ benefits by increasing the number of fruit gardens in overall the country,” said Akbar Rostami, the Spokesperson for the Agriculture Ministry.

Officials say that the fruit harvests have considerably improved to thousand tons this year and the domestic market was good enough.

Gardeners have sold their harvests valued millions of Afghanis, Rostami adds.

11,000 tons of peach were produced this year, the official further said.

“Creating the peach gardens is one of the main plans of the ministry so that we can bring the gardens’ harvest to the market with good price in the spring,” he said.

Experts say that annually lots of fresh fruits valued millions of dollars are being imported to the country and the government has to provide the market for the domestic fruits.

“We have provided the grounds to export the country’s fresh fruits through building standard fridges, doing marketing, and standard packaging,” said Hakimullah Sediqqe, an economic expert.

This comes as the price of some vegetables and fruits have unprecedentedly reduced in the country this year.

Recently, the price of each kilogram of fruits like watermelon and vegetables like okra and tomato reduced to 1 and 3 Afghanis in Farah province.

Zerbena – 16 June 2019 /زیربنا: ۲۶ جوزا ۱۳۹۸ Sun, 16 Jun 2019 14:16:45 +0000

Rahmani Says ‘Waiting for National Interest’ But ‘Won’t Retreat’ Sun, 16 Jun 2019 13:55:29 +0000 Mir Rahman Rahmani the controversial new Parliament Speaker said on Sunday that he is waiting for the contentment of the opposing side to begin his job as the House Speaker.

“To respect the national interest of the country, I’m waiting for our colleagues to be satisfied based on the parliament’s procedure of internal affairs,” Rahmani said.

The tension in the Parliament erupted after Rahmani, an MP from Parwan province, was announced as the House Speaker at the end of the election process but his rival Kamal Naser Osuli, an MP from Khost province, refused to accept Rahmani’s win.

Rahmani added that he has received the fifty percent plus one vote based on the Parliament’s procedure of internal affairs but some outlaw circles are trying to keep the creating challenges.

“There are some proposals suggesting my resignation but I will never retreat from my position because I have won the highest vote in the history of parliament,” he added.

Rahmani further stresses that there are no legal challenges since he has got the highest vote of confidence.

“I got fifty percent plus one vote and won the election according to article 71 of the Parliament’s procedure of internal affairs. One of my votes was announced invalid while it was not. The problem was created by the outlaw groups,” he further said.

Rahmani’s remarks come after lawmakers have failed to resolve the impasse during the last one month although several committees were formed but ended with no result.

Ghani Plans to Form State Ministry for Reconciliation Affairs Sun, 16 Jun 2019 13:45:33 +0000 President Ashraf Ghani is expected to form a new ministry for peace and reconciliation after more than 3,000 participants of a consultative Jirga on peace recommended the closure of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council.

Sources in the government say that President Ghani wants to appoint his Chief of Staff Abdul Salaam Rahimi in the position.

Mohiuddin Munsif, an Afghan senator believes that the new move is wastage of government budget and the government should appoint trusted figures to the High Peace Council.

The presidential palace denied making a comment about the decision.

However, sources in the High Peace Council and Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Office who wish not to be named said that the decision is not final yet.

If the new plan is approved the fate of High Peace Council will remain unknown.

Ataulrahman Saleem, a senior official at the HPC argues that the Council had some achievements despite failures.

Meanwhile, sources close to the Taliban says that a delegation of the Taliban militant group has traveled to Beijing to hold talks with Chinese officials ahead of their seventh round of talks with the United States in Qatar.

Taliban visit from China comes after a scheduled intra-Afghan meeting in Norway was canceled due to the Taliban’s disagreement over the presence of Amrullah Saleh and Salaam Rahimi.

“Norwegian officials told Taliban that the Afghan government officials will attend at the meeting; therefore, Taliban apologized from Norwegian officials for being unable to attend at the meeting and instead they traveled to China,” said Waheed Muzhda, a pro-Taliban political analyst.

Ghulam Farooq Majroh, an Afghan lawmaker says that without flexibility the Afghan peace process will not have a result.

This comes just days ahead of the Taliban’s latest round of talks with the US in Qatar that will be followed by a German-Qatar hosted intra-Afghan dialogue.

Govt Oppositions Gathering Supporters for ‘Huge Protests’ Sun, 16 Jun 2019 13:36:05 +0000 The Council of Presidential Candidates and a number of political movements are gathering their supporters to stage a huge protest against the government in the next few days, sources familiar with the developments told Ariana News.

The political parties are planning to gather over 50,000 people for launching demonstrations on the upcoming Thursday.

Meanwhile, members of the Council of Presidential Candidates say that they have not changed their position regarding the illegal extension of President Ghani’s tenure beyond May 22.

“We do not care what Ghani says now. He was the country’s President before May 22nd. We do what we want,” said Shahab Hakimi, a presidential candidate.

According to the sources, the protests will begin at the end of this week from specific locations and will spread to major parts of the city.

“Our main goal is to advocate the people’s rights. The current government is a dictatorship government in which the people are being used as tools,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, the running mate of a presidential candidate.

Politicians express their concern regarding the ongoing tension between President Ghani and presidential candidates, saying it will have consequences for the war-torn country.

 “The presidential candidates should try to solve the issue with the government through understanding each other because the security situation is considerably serious and we should be careful,” said Mohammad Asif Sediqi, second deputy of the Senate Speaker.

This comes a day after the presidential candidates warned that they will boycott the upcoming presidential election if Ghani remains in power.

In response to the candidates’ warnings, a spokesman for President Ghani said that he wishes the political parties give the leadership opportunity to the new generation rather than only to their own children.

The tensions between President Ghani and the presidential candidates erupted after the Supreme Court extended Ghani’s tenure until the re-election of a new President.

Aghaze Rooz – 16 June 2019 / آغاز روز: ۲۶ جوزا ۱۳۹۸ Sun, 16 Jun 2019 11:57:27 +0000

AGO to Probe Ahmadzai’s Claim Publicly Sun, 16 Jun 2019 10:48:21 +0000

The Attorney General’s Office of Afghanistan (AGO) said in a statement on Sunday that it will investigate Habibullah Ahmadzai’s claim over the sexual abuse of women at the Presidential Palace in the presence of the Ulema, media, Afghan Women Network, and Civil Societies.

The AGO in an official letter has called on General Council of Afghan Ulema, Media, Afghan Women Network, Civil Societies, and Integrity Watch Afghanistan to introduce their representatives on July 13th for completing the investigations regarding Ahmadzai’s claims, the statement said.

The Office has assigned a qualified and competent prosecutor’s committee to review the case in the light of the provisions of law and by considering their legal competency, demand the documents and evidence to support the claims made by Ahmadzai, and begin the investigation of the case in the best possible way, read the statement.

General Habib Ahmadzai, a former special security advisor to President Ashraf Ghani claimed that the presidential palace asks women for sexual favors in exchange for a minister seat or for becoming a member of parliament.

However, the presidential palace has rejected the allegations.

د افغانستان او پاکستان د عمل پلان د مشرتابه کمیتې ناسته تر سره شوه Sun, 16 Jun 2019 10:13:51 +0000

د افغانستان د بهرنیو چارو وزارت په ډاګه کړې، چې د سولې او پیوستون لپاره د افغانستان او پاکستان د عمل پلان د مشرتابه کمیتې د هوکړو پرمخ وړلو ناسته د افغانستان د بهرنیو چارو وزارت د سیاسي معین په مشرۍ او د اړوند ادارو د معینانو او استازیو په ګډون جوړه شوه.

د سرچینې د څرګندونو له مخې؛ ښاغلي زمان پاکستان ته د خپل وروستي سفر په اړه، چې سولې او پیوستون لپاره د افغانستان او پاکستان د عمل پلان په اډانه کې ترسره شوي او دغه راز د افغانستان او پاکستان د سرمشرانو د لیدنې په تړاو، چې د سعودي عربستان په جده ښار کې تر سره شوه، ګډونوالو ته پوره معالومات وړاندې کړل.

همدارنګه د سوداګرۍ، د کډوالو او بیرته راستنیدونکیو چارو، د عدلیې او کورنیو چارو وزارتونو معینانو او اړوند ادارو استازو هم ددغه پلان لپاره خپل راتلونکي پلانونه وړاندې کړل.

پدې ناسته کې پاکستان ته د هېواد د ولسمشر سفر سره اړوند موضوعاتو په تړاو هم بحث او خبرې وشوې.

د افغانستان او پاکستان د عمل ګډ پلان پېنځه برخې لري. يعنې د دې لپاره پېنځه کاري ډلې جوړې شوي، چې په امنيتي، سياسي، پوځي، د کډوالۍ او د اقتصادي همکاريو په برخو کې کار کوي.

Ghani to Attend Afghanistan-England Cricket Match in UK Sun, 16 Jun 2019 09:35:24 +0000

President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday morning left Kabul for London, United Kingdom, at the head of a high-ranking delegation, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

According to the statement, president Ghani is expected to hold meetings with the U.K. officials during his visit to the country.

The president would also attend an ICC World Cup match between Afghanistan and the host England, the statement said.

The match is scheduled to be held on Tuesday in Manchester city of U.K., the statement said.

It comes as the Afghan team has so far played against Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and South Africa and has lost all four matches.

Zerbena – 15 June 2019 | زیربنا: ۲۵ جوزا ۱۳۹۸ Sun, 16 Jun 2019 09:15:12 +0000

9 Taliban Militants killed in Farah Operations Sun, 16 Jun 2019 08:02:14 +0000

At least four Taliban insurgents were killed and five others wounded in clashes with the Afghan forces in western Farah province, Interior Ministry (MoI) said in a statement.

In a statement released on Saturday, MoI said that Afghan security forces conducted an operation in Shaikh Abad village of the provincial capital, Farah city, in which three militants were killed and three others injured.

In a separate incident, at least a militant was shot dead and two others injured by the Afghan forces during a raid, the statement added.

During the operation, four armed-mine were also defused by Afghan forces, the statement further said.

The Taliban militant group yet to make a comment about the incident.

Farah is among the insecure provinces in western Afghanistan where the Taliban militants are actively operating in a number of its districts.

Dozens of Documents Are Pending to Be Processed in Parliament Sat, 15 Jun 2019 15:26:26 +0000 The State Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs (SMPA) said on Saturday that more than a hundred legislative and international documents alongside with the documents of the candidate ministers are pending due to tensions in the lower house of Parliament.

“We have sent 92 legislative documents, 22 international documents, and dozens of the nominee ministers for processing to the Parliament but they are pending due to the absence of the House Speaker,” said Zekrullah Farzaei, the Spokesperson for SMPA.

The tensions in the lower house of Parliament over the selection of the Speaker are continuing for one month.

Though the Parliaments is independent in selecting its administrative panel, SMPA says they can cooperate in solving the challenges if requested.

At the same time, a number of lawmakers in the Parliament stress that the discussions over the selection of the Speaker have ended but some specific circles do not want the Speaker to begin his job.

“Based on the election, the winner of the election is clear according to the casted votes and the Parliament’s internal affairs principles. There are specific circles which are being directed from outside of the Parliament to create challenges inside the house,” said Mohammad Reza Khosh Watandost, an MP from Herat province.

“We are concerned about the current situation of the Parliament. Mr. Rahmani should begin his job as the House Speaker,” said Iqbal Safi, and MP from Kapisa province.

Meanwhile, some of the Kabul residents criticize the ongoing tensions in the Parliament.

“The people’s problems have increased. We want the nation’s house to solve the people’s problems not to create the problems by itself,” said Saleem Faqeri, a Kabul resident.

“The measures should be taken for solving the challenges disregarding the ethnic issues. Otherwise, the ethnic issues hurt the Parliament,” said Ajmal Amini, another Kabul resident.

The tensions in the Parliament erupted after Mir Rahman Rahmani, an MP from Parwan province, was announced as the House Speaker at the end of the election process but his rival Kamal Naser Osuli, an MP from Khost province, refused to accept Rahmani’s win.

Over 32,000 Voters Registered for Upcoming Election: IEC Sat, 15 Jun 2019 15:17:03 +0000 The Independent Elections Commission (IEC) said on Saturday that since the beginning of the voters’ registration process more than 31 thousand voters in 33 provinces have registered themselves.

The officials of IEC further said that more than 1,500 voters have registered themselves in Ghazni province.

“Recently, at least 1820 voters have registered themselves in Ghazni as more registration centers have been opened in last days,” said Habiburrahman Nang, Chief of the IEC Secretariat. 

However, the electoral observers believe that the voters’ registration process is deceiving and are concerned about the people’s absence in the process.

“We are concerned that the Independent Elections Commission report unreal statistics of the voters’ number to hide the objections regarding the people’s absence in the registration process,” said Yousuf Rashed, Chief of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).

Moreover, electoral experts blame IEC for making political decisions, adding that IEC’s political decisions are the main reason behind the closure of the voter registration centers.

“The Independent Elections Commission functions politically and yet does not know the exact locations of registration centers across the country,” said Fazl Ahmad Manawi, a former IEC official.

IEC goes for the upcoming presidential election while 44 out of 423 registration centers are closed in 33 provinces across the country due to the security and technical issues. Moreover, 159 out of 247 registration center are closed in Ghazni province.

Gunfight Between Herat PC Members Injures Two Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:46:10 +0000 At least two people have been slightly injured after clashes erupted between the provincial council members of Herat province in the west of Afghanistan.

On Saturday, verbal clashes between members of Herat provincial council turned violent and they engaged in physical clashes.

Their bodyguards opened fires in the air for several minutes to threaten each other until the Afghan security forces surrounded the area.

All routes ending to the building of Herat provincial council was cordoned off by police and local officials mediated to end the tension.

Members of the Council called on the law enforcement units to investigate the issue.

“This issue must be investigated. We are tasked to help people for their security and well-being,” said Ghulam Habib Hashimi, a member of the Council.

“We are calling on the President to pay attention to Herat tension. Unfortunately, we cannot tolerate the situation anymore,” said Mohammad Sardar Bahaduri, another member of the Council.

“We have complained several times to all senior government officials but no action has been taken,” said Dr. Noor Ahmad Haidari, a member of the Council.

However, Kamran Alizai, the Head of Herat Provincial Council who was himself engaged in the verbal and physical clashes with other members said that the issue was a misunderstanding.

“It was a misunderstanding. We respect all members of the Council. Probably, their guards have opened fire due to fear but there was no firing from our side,” Alizai said.

In 2017, Alizai was sentenced to eight months in jail over the misuse of authority. He was accused of entering forcefully along with 20 of his armed supporters into the Herat attorney office and freeing a convict under investigation.

Aghaze Rooz – 15 June 2019 / آغاز روز: د غبرګولي ۲۵ کال ۱۳۹۸ Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:16:43 +0000

US to Begin 7th Round of Talks with No Changes on Taliban’s Position Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:01:41 +0000 The seventh round of direct talks between U.S. and Taliban negotiators will begin in the near future in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

On this round of talks, the U.S. chief negotiator Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad is eyeing to include the intra-Afghan dialogue and a ceasefire on the agenda as well.

However, sources familiar with the talks say that the Taliban will only negotiate over foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan in return for their pledge not to welcome foreign extremists.

Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen, a pro-Taliban analyst said that the Taliban delegation will not negotiate over internal issues even if Khalilzad bring the issue of ceasefire and intra-Afghan dialogue up at the meeting.

Mawlawi Qalamuddin, a former Taliban official added that following the seventh round of talks, Germany and Qatar are expected to host the intra-Afghan dialogue where the representatives of the Afghan government cannot participate.

The U.S. peace envoy, who is in Kabul meeting with representatives from different walks of society, is expected to finalize the timetable of foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan and Taliban’s guarantees that they will not welcome foreign extremists.

However, Khalilzad has also stressed that all talks would take place in accordance with the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

“We expect that the Taliban accept the launch of an intra-Afghan dialogue to have a result. Without intra-Afghan dialogue, peace is not possible,” said Abdul Rahman Wardak, a lawmaker from Wardak province.

No Single State Can Tackle Terrorism Alone: Abdullah Sat, 15 Jun 2019 13:04:24 +0000 Speaking at the fifth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on Saturday in Dushanbe, Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that no single state can tackle terrorism alone.

Abdullah called for strengthening regional and international cooperation in fighting terrorism, saying that safe havens must be denied for terrorists.

He added that the security threats posed by the terrorist activities are still the main challenge for the region.

The Afghan leader insisted for collective efforts and sincere cooperation.

“It is important that all countries should interactively cooperate with each other in wide range of fields especially security to overcome their vulnerability against terrorist attacks,” he said, “We cannot afford leaving one another alone in our fight against regional terrorism considering the rapid rise of cross-regional terrorist groups such as the ISIS/Daesh.”

At the same event, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the developments in Afghanistan requires special attention.

“The Afghan people need help in achieving national reconciliation and economic recovery,” the Russian president said.

Presidential Candidates Warn of Boycotting Upcoming Elections Sat, 15 Jun 2019 12:54:48 +0000 A group of presidential candidates announced on Saturday that more than ten of them will not participate in the upcoming presidential elections if President Ghani remains in power before holding the election.

The candidates added that their electoral tickets and their supports will boycott the upcoming presidential elections if an interim government is not formed before the upcoming election.

However, no measures have been taken to solve the tensions between the presidential candidates and President Ghani yet.

Previously, the Presidential Palace announced that Ghani is ready to negotiate with the candidates but the candidates rejected to discuss their demands in the Presidential Place.

Shahab Hakimi, a presidential candidate said that the protesting candidates will boycott the election if their demands were not met before the election day.

The opposing candidates claim that President Ghani is misusing the government facilities and government’s budget for his electoral campaigns and has started opening electoral offices in the provinces.

In addition, they claim that President Ghani gathers supporters by making new appointments in the high-ranking government positions. They accuse Ghani of predesigning the presidential elections through intervening in the Independent Elections Commission’s affairs.

“The elections should be transparent and the government should not try to monopolize the upcoming elections for its own benefits,” said Sheida Mohammad Abdali, a presidential candidate.

However, the Presidential Palace claims that President Ghani has directed all government offices not to interfere in the election affairs. Moreover, Ghani has neither stepped down of the power nor his authorities have been reduced.

“It is illegal if anyone wants to use the government facilities for his/her personal benefits,” said Abdulqadir Qalatwal, an MP from Zabul province.

So far, the presidential candidates have warned of staging protests against the government but none of their supporters have come on the streets for demonstration yet.

The candidates say that they have completed their plans for launching the protests in coming days.

Notorious Gang Leader Killed in Kabul Sat, 15 Jun 2019 11:21:11 +0000 Nabi Kohbandi, the head of a criminal gang was arrested in the capital Kabul on Saturday, the interior ministry said in a statement.

According to the statement, Kohbandi was arrested after he was injured during a gunfight with police members in PD9 area of Kabul this morning.

Later on, the interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said that he has died.

Featured under police wanted list, Kohbandi was a dangerous criminal who was leading a criminal network of 10 gangsters in PD9 area of Kabul city.

The network was involved in armed robberies and disrupting public order, the statement further said.

Recently, police killed Enayat Qochi, head of one of the most dangerous criminal networks in Kabul.