World – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:26:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NCAA to give athletes extra year in Curtailed Spring Sports Tue, 31 Mar 2020 17:26:30 +0000 The National Collegiate Athletic Association voted Monday to allow another year of eligibility for all spring-sport athletes, whose seasons were cut short by the Coronavirus outbreak; however, the decision did not cover winter sports disrupted by the pandemic.

The NCAA says that whether an athlete is able to return, will largely depend on the decisions by universities, which will determine how much scholarship aid to offer and whether to apply for an individual to receive a waiver allowing an additional season.

It also says that the additional season applies to sports like baseball, softball, golf, tennis, lacrosse, track and field, beach volleyball and rowing.

The association states that those sports were shut down on March 12, the same day the NCAA ended postseason tournaments in winter sports — like men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling and gymnastics.

According to the NCAA vote, the winter athletes will not be allowed to claim extra eligibility.

Top sports figures join fundraising for coronavirus relief Tue, 31 Mar 2020 16:52:36 +0000 Over 115 athletes, coaches, and sports personalities have joined to raise money for a response fund to help individuals fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.

Simone Biles, Mark Cuban, Stephen Curry, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Hawk, Rose Lavelle, Jack Nicklaus, Michael Phelps, David Ortiz, and Michael Strahan are some of the athletes who have donated items that will be offered to donors who make a minimum $25 donation.

David Schwab, the executive vice president for the sports agency Octagon, helped come up with the idea of “Athletes for Relief” following the postponement of the NBA and NHL seasons and the cancellation of the NCAA tournament on March 12.

Schwab said, “Right away, so many athletes were asking how they could help? What could they do? This was a way for them to do something together.”

“Every day we all wake up thinking about the people who are sick and the spread of this disease. And this will help those people,” he added.

Donors can visit, and a minimum $25 donation under the name of the athlete of their choice will enter them to win everything.

Winners will be selected at the conclusion of the fundraiser on May 1.

Contagion – movie that prophesied coronavirus-like pandemic Mon, 30 Mar 2020 13:58:30 +0000 Fears of the coronavirus have prompted movie fans to re-examine quarantine and pandemic based movies – one of many is ‘Contagion’, a 2011 American thriller film, plotted around a pandemic with creepy events similar to that of the COVID-19 of now.

The film has been topping the charts on social media and entertainment community. It also exemplifies how people often use fiction as a means to process reality.

Recently, the stars of the film have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19.

Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, and Jennifer Ehle have teamed up with scientists from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health to offer four individual homemade videos.

Damon, a character in the film, says, “That was a movie. This is real life. I have no reason to believe that I’m immune to COVID-19. And neither do you.”

German finance minister takes own life as COVID-19 affects economy Mon, 30 Mar 2020 11:23:53 +0000

The finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state Thomas Schaefer has committed suicide apparently after becoming worried over how to cope with the economic fallout that has derived from the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister-President of the German state of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, said in a recorded statement on Sunday, “We are in shock, we are in disbelief and above all, we are immensely sad.”

“It’s precisely during this difficult time that we would have needed someone like him,” he added.

Schaefer, 54, was found dead near a railway track on Saturday. The Wiesbaden prosecution’s office believes it is suicide. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

He was Hesse’s finance chief for 10 years. He kept good ties with companies, workers, and counterparts.

Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, where the European Central Bank is also located, is a part of the Hesse state.

Popular and well-respected, Schaefer had long been touted as a possible successor to Bouffier, who like Schaefer, belongs to Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU party.

US Secretary of State’s press statement on Afghanistan political impasse Tue, 24 Mar 2020 07:02:12 +0000 The United States Secretary of State expressed in a press statement, 23rd March 2020, that the US deeply regretted that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had informed Secretary Pompeo that they had been unable to agree on an inclusive government.

The statement in its opening note says, “The United States is proud of our partnership with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Afghan people, and admires what Afghanistan has achieved since 2001. We have forged a deep bond, especially with Afghan security forces, through shared sacrifice in responding to threats to international peace and security since 2001.”

The statement underlines that the national priority the United States attaches to help bring about a political settlement to forty years of the devastating war, Secretary Pompeo came to Kabul Monday with an urgent message and spoke to the nation’s leaders to impress upon them the need to compromise for the sake of the Afghan people.

“The United States deeply regrets that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have informed Secretary Pompeo that they have been unable to agree on an inclusive government that can meet the challenges of governance, peace, and security, and provide for the health and welfare of Afghan citizens. The United States is disappointed in them and what their conduct means for Afghanistan and our shared interests. Their failure has harmed U.S.-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonors those Afghan, Americans, and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country,” the statement writes.

The statement further says, “Because this leadership failure poses a direct threat to U.S. national interests, effective immediately, the U.S. government will initiate a review of the scope of our cooperation with Afghanistan. Among other steps, we are today announcing a responsible adjustment to our spending in Afghanistan and immediately reducing assistance by $1 billion this year. We are prepared to reduce by another $1 billion in 2021. We will also initiate a review of all of our programs and projects to identify additional reductions and reconsider our pledges to future donor conferences for Afghanistan. We have made clear to the leadership that we will not back security operations that are politically motivated, nor support political leaders who order such operations or those who advocate for or support the parallel government.”

It is also said in the statement, “The United States remains convinced that a political settlement is the only solution to the conflict. We note that Afghan leaders are acting inconsistently with their commitments under the Joint Declaration, chiefly failing to establish an inclusive national team to participate in intra-Afghan negotiations or take practical steps to facilitate prisoner releases by both sides as a confidence-building measure to reach a political settlement and achieve a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. We are proceeding with the conditions-based withdrawal of our forces in accordance with the U.S.-Taliban agreement.”

The statement, however, highlights that the United States is prepared to support these efforts and revisit the reviews initiated today if Afghan leaders choose to form an inclusive government that can provide security and participates in the peace process.

“The United States is not abandoning our partnership with Afghanistan, or our commitment to support the Afghan security forces, but reviewing the scope of our cooperation given the irresponsible actions of Afghan leaders. To illustrate America’s steadfast commitment to the Afghan people, the United States will be providing $15 million in assistance to help combat the spread of the coronavirus in Afghanistan,” the statement concludes.


Tadamichi in his farewell note: I depart Kabul with one wish “for peace to return to Afghanistan” Sat, 21 Mar 2020 12:06:17 +0000

Tadamichi Yamamoto, special representative of the UN’s secretary-general for Afghanistan, says in a press release March 21st, 2020, “I depart Kabul with one wish, a wish that I share with millions of Afghans: for peace to return to Afghanistan.”

He wishes 2020 to be the year that the war ends and Afghans can look forward with hope to a peaceful and flourishing society.

Tadamichi says in the release, “It has been a rare privilege and honor to head the UN family in Afghanistan in the service of all Afghan people.”

“After completing my assignment of more than five years I extend profound thanks to my colleagues and so many Afghan and international partners and friends,” says Tadamichi.

He acknowledges through his wish note that the challenges remain daunting, nonetheless, he underlines that “I have every confidence that they can be overcome because of the Afghan people’s capabilities, for which I have a great admiration.”

He concludes his statement with a promise that the United Nations will be there for the Afghan people in the time ahead.

Coronavirus; Afghanistan-Pakistan border closed Mon, 16 Mar 2020 10:08:11 +0000 The Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham has been closed for 15 days from today, aimed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the News reported.

According to the report, Pakistan issued a notification, urging the Afghan and Pakistani citizens to cross the Torkham border before it was closed for all kinds of movement.

Around 50,000 Afghan citizens, including women, children and truckers reached the Torkham border to enter Afghanistan. The Afghan side of the Torkham border was also over-crowded with Pakistani nationals who wanted to enter Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the import and export between the countries would remain suspended during the two weeks of the border closure.

The officials, however, said emergency patients coming from Afghanistan could enter Pakistan. The Pakistani authorities set up quarantine centers at Torkham border town and in Landikotal, the report said.

Pakistan asked its citizens to remain at homes and avoid movement, the report added.

Earlier this month, Uzbekistan closed its border – Afghanistan–Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge – with Afghanistan amid fears of coronavirus spreading to the country.

UN Security Council resolution endorses US-Taliban peace agreement Wed, 11 Mar 2020 16:18:13 +0000 The UN Security Council passes a resolution presented by the United States of America endorsing the US-Taliban agreement on bringing peace to Afghanistan.

The resolution writes, “The developments endorsed by this resolution are the product of more than a year of unprecedented US diplomatic engagement with the Taliban, in coordination with our partners in Afghanistan, the region, and around the world.”

It also underlines that the UN Security Council does not recognize the Taliban as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and does not endorse the return of the Taliban as the IEA.

The resolution calls on the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to build trust and move towards the intra-Afghan peace talks soon.

According to the resolution, various political movements, civil activists, women, in particular, should take part in the peace process of Afghanistan.

The international community should continue their humanitarian support of Afghanistan, the resolution reads.

The resolution wants the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to form an all-inclusive negotiating delegation comprised of political leaders, civil society and women to intensify the peace process.

In the meantime, US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted, “The resolution demonstrates the international community supports our approach to security for the world from Afghanistan. And peace, unity, and sovereignty for the Afghan people


“The UN resolution also calls on both the Taliban and the Afghan government to continue confidence-building measures and to move quickly to intra-Afghan negotiations,” Khalilzad tweeted.

Clinton: Afghan women should be taken into full confidence in the Afghan peace process Wed, 11 Mar 2020 12:46:06 +0000 Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State urges women participation in the Afghan peace negotiations. “There can be no sustainable peace without women’s participation and rights,” she stressed.

Speaking in a meeting at UN Headquarters on Tuesday to some Afghan women, ambassadors, and activists, Clinton underlined to never again allow the Taliban to impose “a reign of terror against women and girls.”

She continued, “This is not just morally wrong, this is dangerous, dangerous to every country represented here.”

Clinton also warned that if women were sidelined, the prospects for sustainable peace would be slim, noting “If society is torn apart and women pushed to the margins, it is more likely that terrorists will find a haven.”

“Women must be included, and women’s rights respected, as part of any peace negotiation in Afghanistan”, said Clinton. 

In the meantime, Adela Raz, Afghanistan’s permanent envoy to UN, said in the meeting, “Like in other countries in political turmoil, the rights of AFG women & their position in society have been politicized & sacrificed. Knowing from past experience, the AFG women of today are not willing to compromise their future.”

Karen Pierce, UK’s Envoy to the UN, also demands “effective” and “meaningful” participation of Afghan women in the peace process.

“We expect to see the effective and meaningful participation in the peace process of women, as well as youth and other minorities. And while any peace deal is ultimately for afghans to decide upon, we affirm that it should protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all,” said Pierce.

Moreover, Rula Ghani, Afghanistan’s first lady, addressing the meeting through a video conference, said that Afghanistan was a free society where everybody enjoyed rightfully and knew their responsibilities; therefore, no decision would be made without the consent of the people, the women of Afghanistan.

One of the dilemmas in the intra-Afghan peace dialogues has been the active participation of women, and the protection of their rights, plus their achievements made through the last two decades, to be preserved in the pre- and post- peace process in Afghanistan.

UK welcomes work with Ghani’s gov’t, concerns over parallel administration Tue, 10 Mar 2020 12:57:06 +0000 The UK, in a statement released on 10 March 2020 by the British Embassy Kabul, noted its commitment to support a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, expressing its concerns about the establishment of a parallel administration.

The statement writes, “Following HE Dr Ashraf Ghani’s inauguration as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, we welcome the opportunity to work with him and his government in the interests of all the people of Afghanistan and to support efforts to bring an end to the long-running conflict in Afghanistan.  

It says that the Afghan political leaders face critical choices, pointing at the Mazari commemoration on 6 March, the statement underlines “the need to find the path to peace”.

“We support President Ghani’s commitment to forming an inclusive government which puts unity and peace first,” the statement reads.

The UK expressed its concern over the parallel governments, “We are concerned by the establishment of a parallel administration and call on all concerned to come together and resolve differences constructively.”

Through the statement, the UK expresses its commitment to support a more stable and prosperous Afghanistan. “We will continue to push for an inclusive political settlement, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms and the fight against terrorism,” it said.

The statement concludes noting that this is the path that offers the best chance for a brighter future of Afghanistan.

Joint statement regarding the US-Taliban agreement Tue, 10 Mar 2020 10:13:10 +0000 A joint statement was agreed on the occasion of the signing of the US-Taliban Agreement on February 29 in Qatar.

The representatives of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations met on March 1 in Doha, Qatar and:

  1. Welcomed the important steps, enabled by the United States – Taliban agreement and the United States – Afghanistan joint declaration of February 29, towards ending the war and opening the door to intra-Afghan negotiations scheduled for March 10.
  2. Expressed their readiness to work towards a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement that ends the war, contributes to regional stability and global security, respects the internationally-recognized rights of all Afghans also reflected in the Afghan Constitution and is honored by all Afghans, including the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, political leaders, civil society and the Taliban.
  3. Reiterated that a comprehensive and sustainable peace can be achieved only through an inclusive negotiated political settlement among Afghans, in which, notably, women participate meaningfully, and by respecting Afghanistan’s integrity and sovereignty.
  4. Reaffirmed that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is not recognized by the international community, and furthermore, the international community will not accept or support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
  5. Welcomed the Taliban committing to join a political process and their prospective role in a new post-settlement Afghan Islamic government as determined by the intra-Afghan negotiations.
  6. Appreciated the February 22-28 reduction of violence and urged all sides to further decrease violence in order to create an environment conducive to intra-Afghan negotiations.
  7. Called on the Taliban and other Afghan armed groups to take concrete steps to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used by either them or al-Qa-ida, Daesh, or other international terrorist groups to threaten or attack other countries.
  8. Stated their expectations that all sides will observe a ceasefire for the duration of intra-Afghan negotiations to enable participants to reach agreement on a political roadmap for Afghanistan’s future and the modalities of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
  9. Called on all Afghans to begin discussions immediately on issues of mutual concern, such as prisoner releases and a ceasefire.
  10. Reaffirmed existing commitments to provide political support and economic and development assistance to a future Afghan government, provided that it preserves and respects the internationally-recognized rights of all Afghans also reflected in the Afghan Constitution, including for women, youth and minorities, and responds to the desire of Afghans to build on the gains achieved since 2001.
  11. Reaffirmed existing commitments to continue assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces on a sustainable basis.
  12. Took note of the readiness of the United States upon the commencement of the intra-Afghan negotiations to engage with other members of the United Nations Security Council and Afghanistan to review the status of sanctions designations in order to support the peace process, noting that Taliban action to further reduce violence, make sustained efforts to advance intra-Afghan negotiations and otherwise cease to engage in or support activities that threaten the peace, stability, and security of Afghanistan or other countries will affect the review.
  13. Encouraged all countries to support the Afghan people and contribute to a lasting peace settlement in the interest of all.
  14. Welcomed all international efforts that support the Afghan peace process.


Coronavirus; the people should not attend New Year Festival Thu, 05 Mar 2020 12:53:39 +0000 Ministry of Public Health urges citizens not to attend the Nawroz festival – Persian New Year – to prevent contracting with the novel coronavirus.

Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz said, “About Nawroz, we advise people not to attend mass gatherings. It is better not to attend the Nawroz festival – for the good of them and their families; because there are possibilities of coronavirus outbreak, we emphasize on not attending the festival.”

In Afghanistan, tens of suspicious cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed so far; however, only one case has been confirmed positive in Herat – the infected had returned from Qum city of Iran.

The government of Afghanistan, as a part of its precaution strategy, decided not to open schools and universities in Herat.

Also, in a cabinet meeting, the president called the return of refugees a critical problem and ordered officials to surge precautions in western borders of the country.

According to the ministry of public health, 81 coronavirus possible cases have been tested so far, out of which only one has been diagnosed positive, the rest have been all negative.

The tested people came from Herat, Farah, Helmand, Ghor, Baghlan, Balkh, Faryab, Ghazni, Logar, and Kabul provinces.

Minister Feroz says that each coronavirus test costs up to USD1,600.

US House Speaker Pelosi calls for women’s role in Afghan peace talks Mon, 02 Mar 2020 09:48:01 +0000 Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said that she is cautiously optimistic about the US-Taliban agreement that could lead to the drawdown of the US troops from Afghanistan.

In a statement released on Sunday, Pelosi said yet many significant additional steps – including the start of intra-Afghan dialogue – remain to achieve comprehensive and enduring peace in the war-weary country, stressing the Afghan women must be at the negotiating table and that their voices must be heard.

“These steps include the start of critical intra-Afghan negotiations between Afghan political leaders, the Taliban and civil society to advance a political settlement and permanent, sustainable ceasefire agreement,” Pelosi said.

Meanwhile, Pelosi stressed the participation of Afghan women in the Peace talks with the Taliban, saying “their voices must be heard.”

 “The participation of women in the peace process is critical for the security, economy, and governance of Afghanistan,” said Pelosi. 

She said that all achievements gained by Afghan women of the last two decades must be safeguarded.

“We cannot afford to turn back from or lose ground on the important advancements made by and for women and girls in Afghanistan,” she underscored.

The United States Congress continues to stand by the people of Afghanistan in our shared mission to advance a future of security, stability, peace, and prosperity for all in the country and region, Pelosi noted.

It comes as, on Saturday, the US and Taliban sign an agreement in which US troops reduction in the first 135 days of the deal is highlighted.

Five nations to facilitate the Intra-Afghan dialogue Sun, 01 Mar 2020 18:01:34 +0000 A group consists of five countries has been formed to facilitate the intra-Afghan dialogue.

The group is comprised of Germany, Norway, Uzbekistan, Qatar, and Indonesia.

According to the US-Taliban agreement signed Saturday in Qatar, the intra-Afghan dialogue starts on 10th March.

The Taliban demanded the release of up to 5000 of its prisoners, in exchange for 1000 Afghan forces who are in the Taliban’s captivity.

However, President Ghani said Sunday that Afghanistan has no commitment to release the prisoners and that the Taliban demands cannot be considered as a pre-condition for the talks.

Markus Potzel, German Special Envoy for Afghanistan told Ariana News that his country was ready to host the process.

Meanwhile, the two sides are expected to discuss the ceasefire and the formation of the future government.

It comes as the Taliban has frequently denied holding direct talks with the Afghan government, but it seems that the Taliban has shown flexibility to sit around the negotiation table with all laterals in the next ten days.

No commitments to releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners – President Ghani Sun, 01 Mar 2020 12:48:07 +0000 In a press conference today, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani addressed that there wasn’t any commitment to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

According to him, the matter could be a part of the Intra-Afghan negotiation, but not a pre-condition.

Ghani said, “There is no commitment to release 5000 Taliban detainees. We have clearly shared it with the US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and other officials.”

It comes as yesterday an agreement for bringing peace to Afghanistan was signed between the US and the Taliban in Doha city of Qatar. The agreement cites that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released by 10th March – the first day of the intra-Afghan dialogue.

Moreover, the Afghan president emphasized that releasing the Taliban prisoners was not a responsibility of the US, it was the responsibility of the government of Afghanistan.

He added, “We do not agree with the US on releasing the Taliban prisoners. The US facilitates. Facilitating does not mean decision making.”

The Intra-Afghan dialogue has been scheduled to start on 10th March; however, so far there hasn’t been a political consensus over forming a negotiating delegation to run the talks with the Taliban.

In the meantime, President Ghani says that the negotiating delegation “will represent the values of Afghanistan’s Islamic Republic and the constitution. Kabul authorizes the delegation.”

Ghani says, the delegation will enjoy limited authority, “the constitution of Afghanistan, the parliament and/or the Loya Jirga [referendum] are the decision-makers.”

US Secretary of Defense, NATO Gen Sec to visit Kabul Fri, 28 Feb 2020 07:51:24 +0000 The US Secretary of Defense and the NATO General Secretary are visiting Kabul tomorrow to meet with the government of Afghanistan.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi, US Secretary of Defense and NATO Gen Sec Jens Stoltenberg are going to visit Kabul tomorrow, Feb 29th, to make a joint US-NATO-Afghan government announcement to underline commitment on cooperation.

Sediqqi confirms that the US-Taliban peace agreement is being signed tomorrow, February 29th, in Doha

He also said that in the Afghan government’s perspective, the Taliban has been proved honest to the ‘7-day violence reduction’ term.

48 hours to hold US-Taliban peace agreement signing ceremony Thu, 27 Feb 2020 16:18:24 +0000 The US-Taliban peace agreement signing ceremony has been scheduled to occur in 48 hours in Doha city of Qatar.

The participants of the ceremony will be foreign ministers from 30 countries and representatives of the United Nation.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appreciated the role of Qatar in facilitating and hosting the peace negotiation.

The Afghan government, however, does not address whether it has been invited to the ceremony.

Earlier today, Timothy Weeks, an AUAF professor who had been taken captive by the Taliban for about 3 years, arrived in Doha and has been welcomed by Annas Haqqani.

Pugwash’s former director Khalil Safi says, “The foreign ministers of 30 countries and the UN representatives and a proportion of politicians and civil activists from Afghanistan are also invited to participate in the ceremony.”

Russia and Pakistan have declared their preparation in order to participate in the event. Pakistan’s foreign minister said that without their cooperation, progress in the peace talks would not be possible.

Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mohammad Qureshi said that it was a new window they were looking through. He added that he was invited to participate in the event of 29 February to finalize the US-Taliban talks, noting that they are here because they don’t want to be considered a barrier. The progress was impossible without Pakistan’s cooperation – to conclude it with results is a work of the Afghans themselves, he said

Taliban says that the Afghan government has not been invited to the agreement-signing ceremony. The Afghan government also has not stated on the matter.

Sources, on the other hand, say that Qatar’s special representative for Afghanistan has invited a proportion of politicians and civil activists in order to participate in the event.

Reportedly, the US-Taliban peace agreement is scheduled to be signed Saturday, February the 29th.

The Embassy of Iran to Kabul stops council services Mon, 24 Feb 2020 08:52:11 +0000 The Embassy of Iran to Kabul announced Monday that it had stopped the customer services of its council to stop the coronavirus outbreak.

The Embassy of Iran to Kabul, in a statement on 24th February, announced that for precautious hygiene reasons to prevent coronavirus outbreak, services to Afghan visitors have been put on hold.

The statement says, “The council of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran kindly notifies the Afghan people that for precautious hygiene purposes, to prevent coronavirus outbreak, services to visitors have been put on hold, effective from Monday 24th February on, until the next notice. Updates of any sort will be timely released to the public.”

Three possible coronavirus cases recorded in Herat: MOPH Sun, 23 Feb 2020 16:51:32 +0000 Three possible cases of coronavirus were recorded, Sunday, in Herat province, sharing a border with Iran, following an outbreak of the virus in the neighboring country with confirmed cases and fatalities.

The Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health said that three possibly infected individuals have recently returned from Qom city, where Iran’s first fatality of the virus was reported.

The provincial public health officials said that the subjects were being kept in quarantine at the Infectious Diseases Hospital of Herat, adding that collected blood samples have been sent to Kabul for diagnosis.

Mirwais Salehi, the Director of Infectious Diseases Directorate of Public Health said, “No need to be afraid, but everyone has to consider personal hygiene and boost their immune system against the coronavirus.”

Meanwhile, the provincial governor Abdul Qayum Rahimi stressed that measures have been taken to prevent the outbreak of the virus, calling on citizens to follow the doctor’s directions.

Moreover, the Office of National Security Council has imposed a temporary travel ban from and to Iran. Also, it has banned the import of chicken and eggs from Pakistan and Iran, aimed to tackle the spread of the virus from outside.

As fears spread amongst the people, the price of a bundle of the mask has risen from AFN40 to AFN800 in Herat province.

Ending domestic differences ends the war in Afghanistan – Sirajuddin Haqqani Thu, 20 Feb 2020 16:10:29 +0000 As the US and Taliban representatives are about to sign a peace deal, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy leader of the Taliban said that “No peace agreement” comes without mutual compromises.

The two laterals are reportedly expected to sign a peace agreement following a 7-day probationary period of ‘reduction in violence’ later this month.

Haqqani, in a letter published by the New York Times, said that the Taliban “are about to sign an agreement with the United States and we are fully committed to carrying out its every single provision, in letter and spirit.”

He stressed that achieving the potential of the agreement, ensuring its success and earning lasting peace in Afghanistan would depend on an equally scrupulous observance by the United States of each of its commitments.

“Only then can we have complete trust and lay the foundation for cooperation — or even a partnership — in the future,” Haqqani said.

The letter noted the need for lasting peace in Afghanistan, as Haqqani said that the Afghans have suffered for more than four decades, “The long war has exacted a terrible cost from everyone… Everyone has lost somebody they loved.”

“Everyone is tired of war. I am convinced that the killing and the maiming must stop,” said Haqqani adding, “My fellow Afghans will soon celebrate this historic agreement.”

Meanwhile, Haqqani said that if the US and Taliban could reach an agreement, the intra-Afghan disagreement should be resolved through dialogue.

Haqqani, in the letter, considers the idea that Afghanistan is being used by disruptive groups to threaten regional and global security, calling it “inflated” and “politically motivated exaggerations” by the players of the war.

He writes, “We have already suffered enough from foreign interventions. We will take all measures in partnership with other Afghans to make sure the new Afghanistan is a bastion of stability and that nobody feels threatened on our soil.”

Afghanistan cannot afford to live in isolation. The new Afghanistan will be a responsible member of the international community, Haqqani said.

He further states that Afghans will remain committed to all international conventions as long as they are compatible with Islamic principles, adding that other countries are expected to respect the sovereignty and stability of Afghanistan and consider it as a ground for cooperation rather than competition and conflict.

Source: New York Times