Latest News – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:01:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Maziya wins Dhivehi Premier League, with Afghan National Football players aboard Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:01:35 +0000 Maziya football team, having two Afghan National Football players in, won Dhivehi Premier League.

Owais Azizi and Sharif Mohammad, Afghan National Football players, hold the Dhivehi Premier League Title with Maziya FC in the Maldives.

Maziya’s match with Green Street FC ended with a result of 5-1 in favour of Maziya.

The match was the 15th victory for the Maziya FC in the league.

Maziya now stands as the champion having 47 points with a difference of 11 points with the second team.

Peace, not person/ministry exclusive – all laterals should be included: Abdullah Mon, 20 Jan 2020 14:52:54 +0000 Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah strongly criticized the current peace process by the Afghan government saying that “Peace is not exclusive to a person or a ministry”. He underscored that a ministry cannot conduct the peace process and that the Afghan peace envoy should be comprised of people as well as the government.

Recently, disagreements between the two leaders of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan have been evolving.

Last week Ashraf Ghani assigned the State Ministry of Peace to proceed with the Peace Talks with the Taliban. The decision was not welcomed by Abdullah Abdullah.

Abdullah says, “Afghan people have the absolute right to participate, negotiate, and take stand in the Peace Talks. The negotiating envoy should be multilateral, including the government and people – no ministry can singlehandedly advance the peace process.”

This comes as the politicians believe that the disagreements between the two power poles of Afghanistan can drag the peace process into chaos. On the other hand, the Taliban also haven’t agreed on the government’s ceasefire demand.

Ashraf Ghani’s condition for the peace talks is a ceasefire, while Abdullah insists on agreeing with ‘violence reduction’ which the USA and the Taliban both have agreed on.

Many believe that Afghanistan is in a very critical moment that every political disagreement, verbal tension, and serious encounter can put the peace process into a difficult position. The Taliban can benefit from the tensions between Ghani and Abdullah.

The peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are reportedly going to start two weeks after the peace agreement is signed in Qatar. The Presidential Palace says that the government peace envoy is ready, however, the chief executive’s office rejects the statement saying that “there is no envoy.”

In the meantime, Abdullah Abdullah complained about the latest employments made by Ashraf Ghani and called them “one-sided” adding that he didn’t react because he wanted to preserve the political stability.

He further added in the cabinet conference that the National Unity Government of Afghanistan will continue till the final results of the election are announced saying that the government will be valid based on the “agreement signed five years ago”.

Meanwhile, the MPs also seem fed up with the ongoing tensions. They say that the final results should be announced as soon as possible to put an end the tensions.

The recent disagreements between Ghani and Abdullah seem to be serious and not so easy to settle. Now, the real question is, “What is the main factor behind all the differences?” Politicians’ answer, “Power”.

Five students die after school building collapses Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:13:33 +0000 Five female students lost their lives after the roof of a private religious school – madrasa – collapsed in the city of southern Kandahar province, says a local official.

Nazar Mohammad Samimi, the spokesman for the provincial education directorate, told Ariana News that the incident took place in Kandahar city, Monday morning.

He added that some 8 other students were injured.

The provincial public health officials, however, say that they have received only 4 dead bodies related to the incident.

The reason behind the collapse is unknown.

UN condemns attack on military camp – Yemen Mon, 20 Jan 2020 09:03:11 +0000 The United Nations Sunday condemned the missile attack on a government military training camp in Yemen, in which at least 80 soldiers were killed and 130 others wounded.

The UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said that the attack could derail a fragile political process that aims to calm the almost five-year-old war.

“I have said before that the hard-earned progress that Yemen has made on de-escalation is very fragile. Such actions can derail this progress,” Griffiths said.

The Houthi fighters attacked a mosque in a military camp in the central province of Marib — about 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the capital Sanaa — during evening prayers, news agencies reported.

Meanwhile, the UN Envoy urged all parties to “stop the escalation” and focus energies into policy instead.

“The negotiation tables are more effective than battlefields in resolving the conflict,” Griffiths said.

Yemen’s exiled President, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi condemned the attack adding that the attack “confirms without doubt that the Houthis have no desire for peace.”

The Houthi movement has not claimed the responsibility for the attacks so far. Yemen has been mired in almost five years of conflict since the Iran-aligned Houthi movement ousted Hadi’s government from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014, prompting intervention in 2015 by a Saudi-led military coalition in a bid to restore his government.

The United Nations has been trying to re-launch political negotiations to end the war and, separately, Saudi Arabia has been holding informal talks with the Houthis since late September 2019 about de-escalation. This has seen violence decrease on a number of fronts in recent months.

Three carjackers captured red-handed by local men: PD^12 Kabul Sun, 19 Jan 2020 17:45:09 +0000 Sunday evening January 19th, some local young men halted 3 carjackers who were going to steal a car in Rahman Baba Mina, PD^12 of Kabul, and handed them over to the police.

Reportedly, one of the carjackers intoxicated himself and was subsequently taken to hospital. The other two, in the presence of the owner of the car, have been taken to the PD^12 police station.

The police in the PD^12 Kabul has confirmed the attempt. However, they adjourned providing any details until further investigation.

Four people killed in cold blood by unknown men in PD^7 Kabul Sun, 19 Jan 2020 17:05:17 +0000 Four members of a family were killed in cold blood by some unknown men in PD^7 Kabul, Sunday evening.

According to the Ministry of Interior, around 07:00 pm Sunday, some unknown men broke into a house in Jangalak area of PD^7 Kabul and killed 4 members of the family, including a woman and 3 children, with the use of a cold weapon, reportedly an axe. The family belongs to Abdul Satar an employee of the Ministry of Transport.

Nusrat Rahimi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, says that police went to the scene of the crime as soon as they were tipped off and that they are investigating to find the detail of the incident.

Stay tuned for the update in the matter.

To ‘reduce violence’ is a strategy to escape peace: Danish Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:10:29 +0000 Vice President Sarwar Danish, says that amid the peace talks, the strategy to ‘reduce violence’ is an escape from peace and, it is to deceive Afghans and the International Community.

Danish, speaking at the gathering of ‘revealing the strategy for Protecting the Human Rights Defenders’, held by the Amnesty International, Sunday morning January the 19th, said that the plan to ‘reduce violence’ is in a way marginalizing the peace, and one-upping the people of Afghanistan and the International Community.

The deputy of the president said, “The Taliban and their supporters may convince the United States to sign the peace agreement, but for the people of Afghanistan, who indeed are the prime dimension in the matter, it will not solve any problem whatsoever.”

In respect to the improvements in the peace talks between the Taliban and their American counterpart, Danish said, “We, as the government and the people of Afghanistan, certainly welcome peace and stability – putting an end to the devastating war is a desire our people longed forever.”

The presidential deputy, further clarified regarding the mechanism of the peace talks saying, “Until the start of the ‘intra-Afghan peace talks chaired by the government of Afghanistan’ and the approval of a ‘full ceasefire’, there will be no trust between the laterals and no hope for the future.”

Danish added that up and till now, the Afghan government as well as the people, civil societies, political parties and tribal leaders, have been sidelined. That said, to bring peace seems impossible.”

Regarding the content of the peace agreement, he said that the people of Afghanistan will approve an agreement that involves all aspects adequately, be it putting an end to the war or being a part of the government, all through democratic and legal ways, and create a peaceful life for the people of Afghanistan.

He also spoke of the principles of a republic, civil rights, and protection of human rights as the most important values of the people of Afghanistan. “Elections, freedom of speech and media, and respect to women and minorities are the primary elements of human rights and, must not be disregarded,” he said.

Danish underscored that saying ‘yes’ to an ‘emirate’ state and/or a government of any sort that means dictatorship and violates democracy and human rights, will not only desert peace but will also intensify a new format of war in Afghanistan.

Afghan Boxer Zakariya Beats Nigerian Rival Gabinga Sun, 19 Jan 2020 11:20:14 +0000 Zakariya Zamani, an Afghan professional boxer, last night beat his Nigerian opponent, Gabinga, once again.

The competition was a rematch called in on Gabinga’s challenge through the ‘Marine Pro Boxing’ India.

Zakariya Zamani won the match in round 6. He was announced the winner of the match with the highest score.  

To date, Zamani has had 3 professional matches, with no losses at all.

Six members of a family killed in cold blood – Faryab Sun, 19 Jan 2020 11:15:28 +0000 The Taliban militants have shot killed six members of a family in northern Faryab province, local officials confirmed.

The governor of Faryab Naqibullah Faiq said the incident took place Saturday at around 7:15 pm in Andkhoi district of the province.

According to Faiq, a number of Taliban insurgents broke into a house in Khanaqa village of Andkhoi district, Faryab, and shot the household in cold blood.

He added that six people – two men, two women, a baby girl, and a 14-year-old girl included – have been killed, and a woman and her kid have been wounded in the shootout.

The Taliban have denied all sorts of involvement in the incident, in a statement adding that the killing has been the result of some personal vendetta.

Afghanistan vs Kirghizstan 19 Year Olds Futsal Tournament, Friday Sun, 19 Jan 2020 07:44:41 +0000 Afghan 19-year-olds female futsal players are preparing for the Central Asia tournaments.

The first round of the Central Asia 19-year-olds futsal tournaments, comprised of Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kirghizstan, are to take place 24 through 29 January. Tajikistan is hosting the tournaments.

Afghan 19-year-olds female futsal players are going to play its first tournament versus Kirghizstan, this Friday. Secondly, they will be playing versus Iran, next Saturday.

Charge d’Affaires Ross Wilson begins his tenure in Kabul Sun, 19 Jan 2020 07:04:55 +0000 Ross Wilson started his tenure as the Charge d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Kabul on Saturday, the US Embassy said in a statement.

Earlier, Wilson was the US Charge d’Affaires at the country’s embassy in Georgia, 2018 through 2019.

Meanwhile, Ross Wilson tweeted Saturday that he was excited to start work at the US Embassy in Kabul “during such crucial time in the history of Afghanistan”.

“Be it Afghan Elections, the quest for peace, or other priorities, my country and I strongly support all Afghans as they choose the future of this proud country,” Wilson said.

Ross Wilson is replaced with John Bass, who was the US ambassador for two years since September 2017.

The Diplomat received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and master’s degrees from Columbia University and the US National War College.

Wilson has served as the US ambassador to Azerbaijan from 2000 – 2003, and to Turkey from 2005 – 2008, and his later assignments were as US chargé d’affaires in Turkey in 2014, and the Republic of Georgia, 2018 through 2019.

Only one transit cargo arrived through Lapis Lazuli Route Sat, 18 Jan 2020 17:45:46 +0000 It has been a year since the Lapis Lazuli Route has been inaugurated, but only one transit cargo has arrived from Afghanistan to Turkey.

The private sector wants the government to provide facilities along the route.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries promises to help solve problems related to the Lapis Lazuli Route.

The Lapis Lazuli route has been inaugurated last year in December in Herat. This route connects Afghanistan to turkey through Turkmenistan and then to Europe.

The businessmen say that since the inauguration, only one transit cargo has been sent to Turkey. They want the government to provide further facilities along the route.

More than 20 Taliban militants killed – Herat Sat, 18 Jan 2020 16:59:48 +0000 At least 20 of the Taliban armed men were killed and others were wounded as a result of the artillery and aerial attacks conducted by the Afghan Security Forces in Chasht and Koh-e Zoor districts of Herat province.

One of the strikes in Koh-e Zoor district a prominent Taliban commander, Aqa Fazil Ahmad known as “Gorg – the wolf” and 15 of his men, in Oghcha village.

In the airstrikes in Chasht Sharif district, 5 fighters of Mullah Abdul Rahman Maldar were also killed.

Taliban have suffered severe damages as a result of the strikes.

This comes as 10 days ago, Mullah Nangialai and 16 of his men were killed in airstrikes in Shindand, Herat.

Not so long before, the Ministry of Defense announced that intense winter operations, both aerial and strikes at night, will be conducted all over the country.

US-Taliban Peace Talks will be inconclusive without a ceasefire: ARG Sat, 18 Jan 2020 15:17:29 +0000 Afghan Presidential Office says there have not been any improvements in talks about ‘ceasefire’ and/or ‘reduction of violence’ between the US and the Taliban delegations for peace talks.

Sediq Seddiqi, the presidential spokesperson, says that the Taliban should have gone to Duha with a ‘ceasefire’ strategy because the reduction of violence does not hold any logic, legal and military sense, and does not have a practical aspect.

Peace Talks are in a strategic stage. On the condition of signing the agreement, the Taliban have submitted their will to the US to reduce violence. The USA, the European Union, and the UN have all agreed on the reduction of violence from the Taliban. However, the presidential office in Kabul considers ‘reduction of violence’ as baseless, and it wants the Taliban to declare a full ceasefire.

Hajji Deen Mohammad, deputy to the peace council, says, “In order to head start the negotiation and break the deadlock, the government is right to emphasize on ceasefire. However, there should always be open doors to negotiation. It shouldn’t be on hold.”

The Office of Chief Executive, on the other hand, is not on the same page with the government – it agrees with ‘reduction in violence’ to continue peace talks.

Some political experts believe that the government’s position regarding the preconditions may affect the progression of the peace talks.

Ahmadullah Alizai, head of the New Foundation Party of Afghanistan, says, “The neighboring and the International Community have agreed on bringing peace; the government should not stand against it.”

In the meantime, the internal security commission of the Afghan parliament has also asked all the parties involved, especially the Afghan government, to be flexible. Fida Mohammad Ulfat Salih, head of the internal security commission of the Afghan parliament, says, “I am sure once the negotiations proceed, one of the parties will become flexible, and we will reach to what we want.”

Now, the question is, what will be the consequences, if the opportunity to reach peace is lost because of the differences?

Khan Agha Rezai, a member of the internal security commission of the Afghan parliament, says, “If the peace talks end inconclusively, we will see cities getting out of the government’s rule, and there will be more insecurity.”

Meanwhile, the Afghan presidential office underscores that it will not agree with only ‘reduction of violence’ – ‘ceasefire’ is the condition.

Sediq Seddiqi, the presidential spokesperson, says, “All of our allies, the European Union in particular, in their meetings with the president of Afghanistan, have defended the position of the Afghan people, which is ceasefire and a ‘once and for all’ end to the war.” 

The US talks with the Taliban have been considered as an opportunity to put an end to the war in Afghanistan. However, since the beginning of the talks, Kabul and Washington have had differences in several areas.

Land grabbing, molestation, official’s inadequacy, no more tolerable: Ghani Fri, 17 Jan 2020 16:55:32 +0000 Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani instructed the relevant officials to announce the list of the public property’s grabbers and accelerate the implementation of the security plan for Kabul.

Based on the presidential statement, Ashraf Ghani directed the mayor and governor of Kabul to announce the list of the public property grabbers as soon as possible, and anyone denying the law and order in this regard should be banned from leaving the country and be introduced to the judiciary.

Ghani stated the mentioned orders on January 26 in a gathering called the ‘national conversation’ in Arg, the presidential palace.

Besides the officials, some of the residents of PD 1, 2, 8, 9 and 16 of Kabul also participated in the gathering to pronounce their problems, suggestions, and objections in different areas.

Land grabbing and harassment of female students in Kabul were some of the problems highlighted by residents to be taken into account.

President Ghani told the Kabul Police Chief to take serious actions to prevent female harassment in school whereabouts and other relevant parts of Kabul.

Forty year old man arrested on charges of forced marriage to 8 year old girl – Baghlan Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:33:23 +0000 A man, aged 40 has been arrested on charges of forced marriage to an 8-year-old girl by the Baghlan Police.

Khadija Yaqeen, Chief of Baghlan Women Affairs, underlined that the girl was married to a 40-year-old man for two months by force and torment. The Central Baghlan Police has taken the victim to a Safe House once they were informed of the case, while the 8-year-old girl’s father, who is the main accused in the case, has not been arrested yet.

The victim comes from Laqayeha village of Central Baghlan District. She became the victim of “forced intermarriage” by the family of Fazluddin, the 40-year-old accused, for two months. The child had been physically and mentally tortured by the family of Fazluddin.

Yaqeen expressed her concerns about the continuity of abominable and hideous cultures in the remote villages of Baghlan. She added that based on some reports, another girl, aged 12, is also a victim of “honor force marriage” in Deh Salah district of Baghlan. Efforts are underway to rescue the 12-year-old girl.

The Baghlan Safe House officials say that what has happened in the past two months to the 8-year-old victim, has hurt her mental stability, adding that they are providing better aid and effective advice for her to recover.

World’s most powerful passports: Japan tops 2020 rankings Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:36:45 +0000 The Henley Passport Index, which measures the world’s most travel-friendly passports from time to time based on data received from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), has released its first report of the new decade.

According to the report, Japan is now on top of the list. Now, a Japanese passport offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations around the globe.

Asia dominates the top of the list, with Singapore in second place and South Korea joins Germany in third place.

European countries stay strong in the top 10 of the rankings, while the US and the UK are shown down the rankings – from the number one to eighth in comparison to what they held in 2015 rankings.

Afghanistan ranks the lowest. Its passport stands in number 107 – last in the list.

A Japanese passport holder can access 165 more destinations than a holder of the world’s weakest passport, that of Afghanistan, which offers visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to just 26 destinations.

Afghan-China Transit Trade embarks through Gwadar Seaport Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:55:42 +0000 Transit trade between China and Afghanistan has begun with the inauguration of Gwadar Seaport on the southern coasts of Karachi, Pakistan, and with the arrival of the first transit trade ship from China.

The Embassy Pakistan in Kabul says that the commercial goods will be transited from the Gwadar Seaport to Chaman port in Kandahar, with a distance of 1,000 km.

Based on the Pakistani embassy’s statement, this would be the shortest distance in the region for the Afghan Transit goods from any seaport to the Afghan Cities including Kabul and Kandahar.

The Pakistani Embassy said that the functioning of Gwadar Seaport would cut down the costs of import to Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the Chinese Embassy in Kabul said in a tweet that the Transit Trade between China and Afghanistan has started with the arrival of a trade ship from China to Gwadar Seaport.

Gwadar Seaport has been built on the southern coasts of Karachi, Pakistan, situated close to the southern provinces of Afghanistan.

USA’s support of corrupt warlords ‘unintentionally’ strengthened Taliban: SIGAR Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:37:08 +0000 The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) underlines that the US government has unwantedly reinforced the Taliban by backing up the corrupt warlords in Afghanistan.

John Sopko, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said that to bring security, the US and its allies supported some warlords who were governing some provinces and districts of Afghanistan.

Sopko added that the US had thought that if the warlords had the US support, they would become more responsible, but it turned in a way that compelled Afghans to join the Taliban forces.

The US has spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and building the infrastructure since 2001. A portion of the money was devoted to fighting against corruption. However, some of the Afghan people still refer to the Taliban ‘desert courts’ instead of the Afghan Judiciary, because of the corruption in government administrations.

Sopko clearly stated that the ‘Afghan people going to the ‘desert courts’ instead of the Afghan Judiciary, after all the money spent, was a shocking fact for him.

Some US Members of Parliament have also expressed their concerns regarding the rising violence in Afghanistan.

McCaul, a US MP has underlined that the US strategy to form security forces for Afghanistan did not improve the security situation in Afghanistan. Poor coordination and insufficient training have added to the level of violence. He says this is not acceptable for the USA.

SIGAR admits that the US efforts were inconclusive due to lack of historical, cultural, social, and political understanding. The US deployed its forces into Afghanistan to suppress terrorism. However, two decades past, there still is war in Afghanistan.

Russian Parliament to review Putin’s selection of new PM Thu, 16 Jan 2020 09:06:11 +0000 The parliament of Russia Thursday, January the 16th, will review a not-so-famous tax chief Mikhail Mishustin’s nomination as the new prime minister of Russia, recommended by Vladimir Putin.

After Dmitry Medvedev resigned as Russia’s prime minister along with his whole cabinet, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia nominated Mikhail Mishustin, Wednesday, as the new prime minister of the country.

Dmitry Medvedev and his cabinet resigned right after Putin announced that there will be amendments in the constitution of the country which will cause a remarkable alteration in Russia’s balance of power.

Medvedev said Wednesday that his cabinet’s resignation is aimed to pave the ground for Putin so that he can bring desirable improvements to the constitution.

The proposed amendments in the constitution will mean a transition of power from the presidential cabinet to the parliament.

Putin’s current presidential term closes to an end by 2024. As per the present constitution of the Russian Federation, Putin cannot run for the president anymore. Putin’s proposals for the constitutional amendments may likely enable him to extend his power.

Mishustin, 53, has worked for the Russian since 1998. He has led Russia’s tax services since 2010.

Russia’s new administration will be officially effective after the parliament’s approval. Putin has asked the present cabinet to stay put until the new government takes over.