Regional – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Sat, 25 May 2019 15:45:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Parliament Deadlock Shows No Sign of Breaking Sat, 25 May 2019 15:45:58 +0000 The tensions over the election of the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament continued on Saturday with no breakthrough.

Tensions erupted after MPs divided over the selection of Mir Rahman Rahmani as the House Speaker. Rahmani’s rival MP Kamal Naser Osuli rejected to accept the election result.

In the election, Rahmani secured 123 votes of the 244 votes cast while Osuli got 55 votes. The interim speaker of the House announced Rahmani as the winner.

Following that tensions erupted between the followers of the two sides. A 27-member committee was formed to resolve the issue between the two sides.

Majority of the committee members endorsed Rahmani’s selection as the Parliament Speaker but 11 members of the committee refused to accept the committee decision.

On the latest developments, lawmakers close to Rahmani said the discussions have ended because Rahmani was elected as Parliament speaker by a majority of votes.

At the same time, a number of the lawmakers blasted some specific circles for benefiting from the tensions.

The lawmakers stressed that if the problem remains unsolved, they will hold their sessions out of the hall.

 “We are plagued by this situation as the parliament has been taken hostage; the people criticize us for this problem,” said Belqis Roshan, an MP from Farah province.

“We are representatives of our people and do not follow anyone. Whatever is going on in the parliament is just unacceptable,” said Shegufa Noorzai, an MP from Helmand.

Osuli’s supporters say that the controversial issues have remained unsolved and the Saturday session ended without any positive result.

 “The discussions have no result as the cases have remained unsolved,” said Mirwais Yasini, an MP from Nangarhar province.

MP Kamal Naser Osoli suggests that the voting over the only controversial vote should be held secretively.

“Sixteen members of the committee have decided that Rahman Rahmani is the winner of the election, and the remaining eleven members demanded that another voting should be held over the only controversial vote,” said Khan Mohammad Rezaee, an MP from Kabul.

On the other hand, 130 MPs have signed a letter confirming the selection of Rahmani, saying that based on the parliament’s regulation of internal affairs, the confirmations by 130 lawmakers act as a law.

Moscow Invites Taliban to Afghanistan-Russia Relations Anniversary Sat, 25 May 2019 15:39:28 +0000 The familiar sources with the event said on Saturday that leaders and members of the Taliban office have been invited to attend the centennial celebration of the diplomatic relations between Afghanistan and Russian.

The familiar sources with the event that Hamid Karzai and some other politicians will also attend this event.

An intra-Afghan dialogue is supposed to be held between the Afghan politicians and the Taliban on the sideline the event.

“The Afghan politicians will have talks with the Taliban on the Afghan peace process,” said Nazar Mohammad Motmaein, a political commentator.

The ceremony is going to take place on May 28 but it is not cleared yet if the Afghan government is invited to attend it or not. 

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Afghan High Council of Peace denied providing information on this.

“The Taliban delegates and the Afghan government officials will not have official talks in this summit,” said Sayeed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban member.

It seems that since the beginning of peace talks between Washington and the Taliban in Doha, and the Taliban and Afghan politicians in Moscow the relations of Kabul with Moscow and Washington got worse. 

The intra-Afghan peace dialogue in Doha between the Taliban and Afghan government delegates was supposed to take place in late April but the Summit canceled after disagreements over the lengthy list of government were introduced.

Ghani Is Ready to Negotiate with Presidential Candidates: ARG Sat, 25 May 2019 14:13:18 +0000 The Afghan Presidential Palace (Arg) on Saturday announced that President Ashraf Ghani is ready to negotiate with the protesting presidential candidates regarding the extension of his tenure beyond May 22.

“The President actions are based on the laws of the country, especially whatever the President has done after being registered as a candidate. The President is ready for any constructive discussion in this regard,” said Durrani Waziri, a Spokesperson for the President.

The announcement comes after the Stability and Partnership electoral ticket led by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Friday said that the concerns regarding the extension of National Unity Government’s tenure are negotiable. Abdullah asked for restricting the authorities of President in using government resources for electoral campaigns.

“The obstinacy of the government with the presidential candidates adds to the problems. Treating the major national issues obstinately can have bad consequences,” said Assadullah Saadati, the running-mate of CE Abdullah.

Meanwhile, the presidential candidates stress that the government should guarantee that it is not interfering in the election process and will not misuse the government resources for campaigning purposes.

“The President has to listen to the presidential candidates and give a guarantee that he is not misusing the government resources for his personal benefit during the election. In addition, he should show his commitment for holding a transparent election,” said Faramarz Tamana, a presidential candidate.

Based on the country’s Constitution, the legal tenure of the National Unity Government led by President Ghani ended on May 22.

However, due to the postponement of the presidential election to September 28, the Supreme Court extended Ghani’s service term until the re-election of a new president.

At least 11 presidential candidates and some political parties opposed the move and warned of holding widespread protests against the continuation of the government after May 22.

30 Militants Including Taliban’s Red Unit Commander Killed in Helmand Sat, 25 May 2019 11:28:52 +0000 The Afghan intelligence special forces have killed 30 militants including two senior Taliban members in Helmand province, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement on Saturday.

The Taliban militants were killed during “targeted operations” over Taliban bases in Marja and Sangin districts of the province, the statement added.

Two senior Taliban militants were identified as Mullah Abdul Hakim, the commander of Taliban’s red unit, and Mullah Anargul, the Taliban’s shadow governor for Marja district of Helmand.

49 rounds of mines, one AK-47, seven radio communication devices, 1,000 bullets, and some military equipments were also seized during the operation, the statement further said.

In addition, eight Taliban bases were also destroyed in the operations.

Taliban has not made a comment about the report yet.

Helmand is among the volatile provinces in south of Afghanistan where the insurgent group have a huge presence in a number of its districts.

11 Daesh Fighters Killed, Wounded in Nangarhar Sat, 25 May 2019 08:24:35 +0000 Afghan police forces have killed Five Daesh fighters including a key commander of the group during an operation in Deh Bala district of eastern Nangarhar province, Interior Ministry (MoI) said in a statement on Saturday.

Responding to a Daesh terror attack in Nangarhar, the Afghan security forces launched an operation in Deh Bala district of the province on Friday.

During the operation, at least five Daesh militants including a key commander of the terror group were killed and six others wounded, the statement said.

Nangarhar is among the insecure provinces in eastern Afghanistan where the Taliban and Daesh fighters have a presence in a number of its districts.

Blast in Kabul Kills 2, Injures 16 Fri, 24 May 2019 13:43:39 +0000 According to a statement by the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOI), an explosion happened in Altaqwa mosque in eastern Kabul around 1:30 PM on Friday.

Kabul Police Force said that the explosives were relocated in the bearer of the mosque.

“The explosion happened when people had gathered for offering the Friday prayer in the mosque,” said Ferdaws Faramarz, Spokesperson for the Kabul Police Force.

Two peoples including Mawlawi Sami Rahman-an Afghan well-known religious scholar were killed and 16 others were injured as a result of the blast, added the statement.

However, witnesses of the incident told the number of causalities is twice than what MOI reported.

Yet, no individual/group has claimed the responsibility for this blast.

This is not the first time that a mosque is targeted by attacks as religious places have been targeted also in the past.

Gov. Takes New Measures to Prevent External Products Trafficking Fri, 24 May 2019 12:31:04 +0000 The Afghan government takes new measurements to prevent trafficking of the external products into the country.

“Stopping the external products trafficking will result in rising of the internal products,” says the private sector while it appreciates this action.

According to the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI), trafficking of the external products to the markets has created many challenges for the merchants in the country.

As said by the officials in the ACCI, President Ghani has promised to build security stations in five zones of the country in order to prevent trafficking of the external products.

“There are both internal and external products trafficking. To prevent these, President Ghani, in meeting with the officials in the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA), has promised to build security stations in the vulnerable locations of the country,” said Jalaluddin Saed, chief of the Afghan-German Economic Council.

Meanwhile, experts stress of eradicating challenges from Afghanistan Customs and Revenue Department (ACRD) first in order to implement this action of the government; while they consider this action advantageous to the country’s economic. 

“Serious measures are needed to preclude the trafficking. This would be advantageous to the economics of the country,” said Kamaluddin Kamal, an economic expert.

This comes as the lack of attention by the Ministry of Finance to the country’s customs department and the existence of corruptions have caused the increase of trafficking of external products into the country.

Senate Speaker’s Adviser Arrested on Charges of Supporting Terrorists Fri, 24 May 2019 08:02:10 +0000

The Afghan Police forces have arrested Haji Dilawar, an adviser to Senate Speaker Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, on charges of supporting terrorist groups in capital Kabul, Interior Ministry (MoI) said in a statement.

Dilawar was arrested during an operation conducted by the Afghan counter-terrorism forces in Kabul city of Thursday, the statement said.

According to the statement, security forces also seized some fake documents, fake number plates, illegal weapons, 700 thousand Pakistani rupees, an armored vehicle as well as Pakistani ID cards.

It comes as criminal activities have tremendously increased in Kabul city where a criminal incident is being reported almost every day.

Last year, the Afghan security forces stopped Haji Dilwar’s car at a checkpoint in Jalalabad city of eastern Nangarhar province and removed black films from his car, a day after that the soldier who was involved in removal of tinted windows along with other soldiers was killed in a blast, Nusrat Rahimi a spokesman for MoI said.

The MoI’s findings show that Haji Dilawar had coordinated the attack, Rahimi added.

Kandahar Car Bomb ‘Wounds Ten’ Fri, 24 May 2019 05:46:45 +0000

A car bomb has wounded at least ten people in the provincial capital of southern Kandahar, officials said on Friday.

Gen. Tadin Khan Kandahar Police Chief told Ariana News that the blast happened on 22th street of Aino Mina, an elite housing development on the outskirts of the Kandahar city, on Thursday night.

Khan said, as a result, six children and four women were injured in the incident.

He added the investigations are underway to find out that what the motive behind the attack was.

However, reportedly the blast targeted houses of Baloch leaders at the area but Kandahar police chief denied the claims.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Candidates Organize Civil Movements Against Government Wed, 22 May 2019 16:07:04 +0000 In spite of the oppositions, President Ghani is on power even though his tenure ended on Monday, May 22.

The Council of Presidential Candidates believes that this action is an indecency and ignoring the country’s Constitution by ARG (Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace).

Faramarz Tamana, a presidential candidate, says that they do not want to break the government structure; however, the government should respect the law and the oath that they had made at the beginning of their tenure.

This members of the Council warned that they and their supporters will organize civil movements including disobedience in the next few days against the government to prevent the illegal extension of President Ghani’s tenure.

“The Afghan people do not accept this situation. They will organize the legal movements in case the government leaders ignore our demands and continue their illegal administration,” said Qader Shah, Spokesperson for the Peace and Moderation election ticket led by Mohammad Hanif Atmar.

Despite the closure of roads leading to the ARG by containers on Wednesday due to possible protests, ARG said that President Ghani will continue working in his position normally.

Based on article 61 of the country’s Constitutions, the National Unity Government legal term ended today, May 22.

However, the Supreme Court of Afghanistan approved the extension of President Ashraf Ghani’s tenure late on April until the re-election of a new president.

Special Committee Endorses Rahmani’s Selection Wed, 22 May 2019 15:38:08 +0000 The 27-member committee on Wednesday endorsed Mir Rahman Rahmani selection as the Parliament Speaker after assessing the votes cast.

The majority of the committee members said that votes recounting have revealed that the only controversial vote was valid and Mr. Rahmani has secured the fifty percent plus one vote.

“After recounting the archived votes, it was revealed that Rahmani has secured 124 votes, Osuli has secured 55 votes, 54 votes were invalid, and 13 votes were blank. A total of 246 votes were in the ballot boxes so Rahmani has won the election with 124 votes,” said Ghulam Hussain Nasseri, an MP from Kabul.

However, eleven members of the committee opposed the move; therefore, the final decision was decided to be made in a general session of the lower house of parliament.

“The decision regarding the invalid votes should be made in the general session of the House based on the assessments, procedures, and MPs commitment,” said Mirwais Yasini, an MP from eastern Nangarhar province.

At the same time, the parliament interim speaker reiterated that he has announced Rahmani as the winner based on the regulation of the parliament’s internal affairs.

“In accordance with article 72 of the regulation of the parliament’s internal affairs we made our decision. It is clearly stated in article 72 that the decision should be made based on the votes cast,” said Ata Mohammad Dehqanpoor, former interim speaker of the parliament.

This comes as the parliament descended into chaos on Sunday when lawmakers brawled over the appointment of a new speaker, an inauspicious start to the assembly which was sitting for the first time since chaotic elections last year.

UN Sets Condition for Funding Afghan Elections Wed, 22 May 2019 13:51:52 +0000 The United Nations has set a new condition for Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission in return for funding the upcoming presidential election of the country which is scheduled to be held on September 28.

According to an IEC official, who wishes not to be named, the UN has recommended IEC to hold the presidential elections on the scheduled date and postpone the provincial council and Ghazni parliamentary elections for another date.

Recently, Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said that “the UN’s technical advice is that with only 4 months remaining to 28 Sept Presidential Election day there is a need for realism and urgent focus among all actors in the Afghan election process.”

However, Yamamoto stated that IEC is independent in making decisions about elections in Afghanistan.

“The IEC decides on how many elections to hold. The UN provides technical guidance to it and respects its decisions,” he said.

Conversely, IEC has rejected the UN proposal of delaying the provincial councils and Ghazni parliamentary elections, saying holding all the three elections on the same day is their red line.

“We have decided to hold the three elections on September 28, certainly the government and donors will fund all the process,” said Rahima Zarifi, a commissioner of the IEC.

Meanwhile, electoral observers say that it is not clear yet who will fund the upcoming elections.

So far, the Afghan Ministry of finance has funded 25% of the elections budget for voter’s registration process but it was not clear who will fund the rest of the $207 million.

Heavy Explosion Rocks Ghazni City Wed, 22 May 2019 10:21:08 +0000 At least four people were killed and 15 others wounded in an explosion in the capital city of Ghazni province.

Provincial deputy police chief Ramazan Ali Mohseni told Ariana News that the blast happened on Wednesday afternoon.

He further said that two soldiers and two children were killed while five policemen and 10 civilians were injured as a result of the incident.

The Interior Ministry Spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said it was a premature explosion as police detected it and tried to stop it.

He further said that an explosives-packed vehicle was hit with rockets near Ghazni PRT area after the driver refused to stop at a police checkpoint.

According to the Interior Ministry, three people including two policemen and a child were killed and five civilians were injured in the incident.

Immediately there was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Seven Daesh Fighters Killed in Kunar Operation Wed, 22 May 2019 09:35:02 +0000 Seven Daesh fighters including a commander of the group were killed during a special operation in Kunar province on Tuesday night, the interior ministry said in a statement.

According to the statement, the operation was conducted by police special forces in Chabail village of Noorgul district.

The deceased Daesh commander was identified as Mukhlesh who was responsible for a group of 20 terrorists.

The statement further said that four weapons, three binoculars, grenades, Pakistani identity cards, and some other equipment were also seized during the operation.

Taliban’s Guerrilla Warfare Commander Killed in Ghazni Operation Wed, 22 May 2019 07:26:45 +0000

At least six Taliban militants including a local commander of the group were killed in an operation conducted by the Afghan security forces in Ghazni province, Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI) said in a statement.

In a statement released on Wednesday, MoI said that the operation was conducted in Godol village in Qarabagh district of Ghazni on Tuesday.

During the operation, the Taliban’s guerrilla warfare commander for Qarabagh district along with five militants was killed, the statement said.

A Taliban vehicle and a number their weapons were also destroyed during the raids, the statement added.

The Taliban militants who are active in Ghazni province are yet to make comment on the report.

Ghazni is among the insecure provinces in central Afghanistan where the Taliban militants are actively operating in a number of its districts including the capital city of the province.

25 Taliban Fighters Killed in Central Part of Afghanistan Tue, 21 May 2019 11:29:25 +0000 At least 16 Taliban fighters have been killed during a military operation conducted by Afghan special forces in Nerkh district of Maidan Wardak province.

On Tuesday, the 203rd Thunder military corps said in a statement that Afghan forces conducted a joint operation in Nerkh district last night, killing 16 Taliban fighters.

In a separate operation, Afghan forces have killed nine Taliban militants in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, the statement added.

The Taliban insurgent group has not made a comment about the report yet.

This comes as the Taliban group has intensified their insurgency in Ghazni and Maidan Wardak provinces.

In the latest move, Taliban closed Kabul-Kandahar highway for traffic in Sayed Abad district of Maidan Wardak province.

Roadside Bomb Kills 4 Civilians in Kapisa Tue, 21 May 2019 11:05:34 +0000 At least four civilians including two women and a child were killed after a roadside bomb detonated in Kapisa province on Monday, a local official said.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon in Dara Afghanya village in Nijrab district of the province.

Abdul Qudus Mujadidi the district governor of Najirab said the incident happened after a motorbike hit a roadside bomb.

Najirab also called Nijraw is located in the central part of Kapisa province where the Taliban militants have a presence.

Six Civilians Killed in Irresponsible Armed Groups Gunfight in Takhar Tue, 21 May 2019 10:47:48 +0000 At least six civilians were killed after clashes erupted between two irresponsible armed groups in Takhar province of Afghanistan, a security official said.

Local officials and residents of Chah Ab district said on Tuesday that two irresponsible groups are fighting in the district since the last two days.

According to the reports, armed men of Bashir Qanet, an irresponsible commander of Hizb-e Islami, and senator Afzal Shamal are fighting each other.

Local residents further said that government offices and schools are closed and residents cannot go out from their homes due to fierce fighting.

Meanwhile, Hashmatullah Muslim the Acting Police Chief of Takhar said that six civilians and an irresponsible gunman have been killed as a result of the clashes.

He added that security forces have been deployed to the area to control the situation.

This comes as this week at least 10 people were killed and seven others injured after clashes erupted between another irresponsible armed group and residents of a village in Rustaq district of the province.

Airstrike Kills Civilians in Helmand Mon, 20 May 2019 10:36:06 +0000 At least three civilians have been killed and eight others injured as a result of airstrikes in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, an official said on Monday.

Provincial governor spokesman Omar Zwak said that the incident took place last night in Gerishk district of the province.

He added that the airstrikes have hit two civilian houses in Zanboli area of the district.

Immediately, it was not clear whether the strikes were carried out by foreigners or Afghan forces.

Meanwhile, local residents of the area claim that five people were killed and 10 others injured as a result of the bombing.

The wounded people have been taken to Lashkargah emergency hospital for treatment.

Helmand is among the volatile provinces in the south of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgent group have a huge presence in a number of its districts.

This comes days after an American airstrike accidentally killed at least eight policemen in the province.

The police had requested air support after a Taliban attack near their outpost near the Lashkar Gah city of Helmand province.

Nine Taliban Militants Killed in Farah Airstrike Mon, 20 May 2019 07:32:02 +0000

At least nine Taliban insurgents were killed in an air operation conducted by foreign forces in western Farah province, the Afghan army said on Monday.

Hashmatullah Ahmadi a spokesman for the Afghan army told Ariana News that the operation was conducted at Todank and a number of villages in Balablok district of the province.

Ahmadi said as a result at least nine Taliban militants were killed.

During the raids, a number of Taliban’s vehicles and weapons were also destroyed, he added.

The Taliban militant group has not made a comment about the incident yet.

Farah is among the insecure provinces in western Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents operate in a number of its districts.