World – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:46:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 More than 70 People Killed in Pakistan After Train Caught Fire Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:46:14 +0000 At least 73 people were killed and several others wounded after a train caught fire in Pakistan’s Punjab province on Thursday, Pakistani media reported.

The train was travelling from Karachi to Rawalpindi when the incident happened.

The fire has broken when a gas cylinder being carried by a passenger exploded in the passenger train, a Pakistan Railways official has said.

Some of the dead bodies have been identified while several others are unidentifiable.

According to reports, the passengers were cooking breakfast when the blast occurred.

The fire destroyed three of the train carriages, including two economy class carriages and one business class.

Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed has said: “Two cooking stoves blew up. They were cooking, they had (cooking) oil which added fuel to fire.”

“Most deaths occurred when people jumped off the train,” he said.

This is the second major train accident in Pakistan this year. In July, 24 people were killed, when the Akbar Bugti Express travelling from Lahore to Quetta collided with a stationary freight train at the Walhar Railway Station in Sadiqabad Tehsil of Punjab province.

ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Killed By U.S. Forces Sun, 27 Oct 2019 09:24:40 +0000

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group was killed in an operation by U.S. forces in Syria, U.S. media reported.

A U.S. official told The Associated Press late Saturday that al-Baghdadi was targeted in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province. The official said confirmation that the IS chief was killed in an explosion is pending. No other details were available. The official was not authorized to discuss the strike and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, sources have told CNN that Al-Baghdadi is believed to have detonated a suicide vest during the raid.

U.S. President Donald Trump has shared a puzzling tweet saying, “Something very big just happened!”

The White House said that Trump would be making a “major statement” on Sunday in this regard.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Syria war monitor, reported an attack carried out by a squadron of eight helicopters accompanied by a warplane belonging to the international coalition on positions of the Hurras al-Deen, an al-Qaida-linked group, in the Barisha area north of Idlib city, after midnight on Saturday. IS operatives are believed to be hiding in the area, it said.

It said the helicopters targeted IS positions with heavy strikes for about 120 minutes, during which jihadists fired at the aircraft with heavy weapons. The Britain-based Observatory, which operates through a network of activists on the ground, documented the death of 9 people as a result of the coalition helicopter attack. It is not yet known whether al-Baghdadi is one of them, it said, adding that the death toll is likely to rise due to a large number of wounded.

Al-Baghdadi’s presence in the village, which is a few kilometers away from the Turkish border, would come as a surprise, even if some IS leaders are believed to have fled to Idlib after losing their last territories in Syria to U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in March. The surrounding areas are largely controlled by a rival of the Islamic State group — the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS — although other jihadi groups sympathetic to IS operate there. Unverified video circulated online by Syrian groups appeared to support the Observatory claim that the operation occurred in Barisha.

Al-Baghdadi has led IS for the last five years, presiding over its ascendancy as it cultivated a reputation for beheadings and attracted hundreds of thousands of followers to a sprawling and self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria. He remained among the few IS commanders still at large despite multiple claims in recent years about his death and even as his so-called caliphate dramatically shrank, with many supporters who joined the cause either imprisoned or jailed.

His exhortations were instrumental in inspiring terrorist attacks in the heart of Europe and in the United States. Shifting away from the airline hijackings and other mass-casualty attacks that came to define al-Qaida, al-Baghdadi and other IS leaders supported smaller-scale acts of violence that would be harder for law enforcement to prepare for and prevent.

They encouraged jihadists who could not travel to the caliphate to kill where they were, with whatever weapon they had at their disposal. In the U.S., multiple extremists have pledged their allegiance to al-Baghdadi on social media, including a woman who along with her husband committed a 2015 massacre at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California.

With a $25 million U.S. bounty on his head, al-Baghdadi has been far less visible in recent years, releasing only sporadic audio recordings, including one just last month in which he called on members of the extremist group to do all they could to free IS detainees and women held in jails and camps.

The purported audio was his first public statement since last April when he appeared in a video for the first time in five years.

In 2014, he was a black-robed figure delivering a sermon from the pulpit of Mosul’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri, his only known public appearance. He urged Muslims around the world to swear allegiance to the caliphate and obey him as its leader.

“It is a burden to accept this responsibility to be in charge of you,” he said in the video. “I am not better than you or more virtuous than you. If you see me on the right path, help me. If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt me. And obey me as far as I obey God.”

Though at minimum a symbolic victory for Western counterterrorism efforts, his death would have an unknown practical impact on possible future attacks. He had been largely regarded as a symbolic figurehead of the global terror network and was described as “irrelevant for a long time” by a coalition spokesman in 2017.

Al-Baghdadi was born Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai in 1971 in Samarra, Iraq, and adopted his nom de guerre early on. Because of anti-U.S. militant activity, he was detained by U.S. forces in Iraq and sent to Bucca prison in February 2004, according to IS-affiliated websites.

He was released 10 months later, after which he joined the al-Qaida branch in Iraq of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He later assumed control of the group, known at the time as the Islamic State of Iraq.

After Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011, al-Baghdadi set about pursuing a plan for a medieval-style Islamic State, or caliphate. He merged a group known as the Nusra Front, which initially welcomed moderate Sunni rebels who were part of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, with a new one known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Al-Qaida’s central leadership refused to accept the takeover and broke with al-Baghdadi.

Al-Baghdadi’s fighters captured a contiguous stretch of territory across Iraq and Syria, including key cities, and on June 2014, it announced its own state — or caliphate. Al-Baghdadi became the declared caliph of the newly renamed Islamic State group. Under his leadership, the group became known for macabre massacres and beheadings —often posted online on militant websites — and strict adherence to an extreme interpretation of Islamic law.

Over the years, he has been reported multiple times to have been killed, but none has been confirmed. In 2017, Russian officials said there was a “high probability” he had been killed in a Russian airstrike on the outskirts of Raqqa, but U.S. officials later said they believed he was still alive.

Justin Trudeau Re-elected as Canada’s Prime Minister Tue, 22 Oct 2019 11:11:41 +0000 Justin Trudeau win a second term as Canada’s prime minister.

However, Trudeau will have a Liberal minority government, which means he will have to work with other parties to form a government.

“From coast to coast to coast, tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity. They rejected cuts and austerity, and they voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change,” Trudeau told his supporters following the announcement.

The Liberals had won 158 seats.

Canada’s parliament has 338 seats, and the party that wins the majority of those seats automatically forms the government and can easily pass legislation. If no party wins a majority, the parties must team up. 

Here in Afghanistan, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah congratulated Mr. Trudeau on his re-election as Prime Minister.

26 Killed As Earthquake Hits Pakistan’s Kashmir Wed, 25 Sep 2019 05:42:13 +0000 A powerful earthquake rocked several parts of Pakistan on Tuesday, leaving at least 26 people dead, and more than 300 others wounded.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck at a shallow depth of 10 kilometers with its epicenter lying 1km southeast of Mirpur, Pakistan-administrated Jammu and Kashmir.

Tremors were also felt in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Murree, Jhelum, Charsadda, Swat, Khyber, Abbottabad, Bajaur, Nowshera, Mansehra, Battagram, Torghar and Kohistan.

Deputy Commissioner of Pakistan administered-Kashmir, Raja Qaiser told reporters that emergency has been imposed in hospitals. 

He further said that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) have been directed to carry out rescue operations and gather data on the damaged done. 

Meanwhile, Pakistani Army Chief ordered army personnel to participate in the rescue activities.

The country was also hit by a magnitude-7.6 quake on October 8, 2005, that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Khalilzad Briefs Imran Khan About U.S.-Taliban Negotiations Mon, 23 Sep 2019 06:29:09 +0000

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met with the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad on Sunday and discussed the failure of U.S.-Taliban negotiations in Qatar.

Khan met with the U.S. Envoy on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in the New York, USA.

In a statement released on Sunday, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that the two sides discussed Afghanistan and Pakistan-U.S. joint efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

According to the statement, Khan has recalled that “Pakistan had always held that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict.”

He added that his country would continue to support all initiatives towards achieving a sustainable peace in Afghanistan and hoped for an early resumption of the peace process.

“Condemning the recent surge of violence in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said that peace in Afghanistan was vital to advancing his Government’s vision for a peaceful neighborhood and for economic development and regional stability,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that all parties must play their role in strengthening peace and promoting reconciliation as a shared responsibility.

Khalilzad, the chief negotiator of the U.S. held nine rounds of talks with the Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in a year where the two sides had reached an agreement “in principle” but the process was called off after the Taliban carried out an attack in Kabul in which 12 people including an American soldier were killed.

The U.S. President Donald Trump on September 9 that the negotiations with the Taliban “are dead” and emphasized that he had no further interest in meeting with the leaders of the group to end the war in Afghanistan.

Khalilzad Briefs U.S. Lawmakers on U.S.-Taliban Negotiations Fri, 20 Sep 2019 07:38:42 +0000

The United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday briefed the U.S. Congress behind the closed door about the failure of U.S.-Taliban negotiations in Qatar.

“In the last few weeks, we have seen the Afghan reconciliation process go off the rails in spectacular fashion,” Eliot Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“We have learned that the president up-ended the deal and we have learned that the peace deal evidently is dead,” Engel added.

Khalilzad held nine rounds of talks with the Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in a year where the two sides had reached an agreement “in principle” but the process was called off after the Taliban carried out an attack in Kabul in which 12 people including an American soldier were killed.

The U.S. President Donald Trump on September 9 that the negotiations with the Taliban “are dead” and emphasized that he had no further interest in meeting with the leaders of the group to end the war in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has cut $160 million aid for Afghanistan on Thursday while accusing the Afghan government of failing to fight corruption.

The country had allocated $100 million for an energy infrastructure project in the country, “which consists of five substations and other transmission infrastructure between Ghazni and Kandahar and Kajaki and Kandahar.”

The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will be “withholding” another $60 million in planned assistance for Afghanistan due to the government’s failure to meet benchmarks for transparency and accountability in public financial management.

“We expect the Afghan government to demonstrate a clear commitment to fight corruption, to serve the Afghan people, and to maintain their trust,” Pompeo said adding, “Afghan leaders who fail to meet this standard should be held accountable.”

U.S. Announces Death of Osama Bin Laden’s Son Sat, 14 Sep 2019 14:12:41 +0000 U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that Hamza bin Laden, the son of former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, had been killed during a counter-terrorism operation in the region around the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, reports said on Saturday.

According to the Independent, a statement issued by the White House said that the loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives al Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group.

The White House did not immediately provide additional details, including the date of his death. It was previously reported on 31 July that he was killed in an airstrike. 

The US State Department announced in February a $1m (£799,615) reward for information leading to his “identification or location”.

US Lawmakers Want Answers From Khalilzad About Deal With Taliban Fri, 06 Sep 2019 05:34:48 +0000

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has called on the Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad to brief the lawmakers on details of the peace deal he negotiated with the Taliban in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

The Committee’s Chairman Eliot Engel in a letter to Khalilzad on Thursday called on him to testify in September on the proposed peace plan with the Taliban on U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan.

“I am calling this hearing so that Congress and the American people will have the long-overdue opportunity to understand the contours of your negotiations with the Taliban and the potential risks and opportunities that may result,” Engel said the letter.

Engel added that the U.S. Envoy’s agreement with the Taliban has “been disseminated among officials in the Trump Administration and shared with President Ghani’s government.”

The letter further said the Americans and Afghan people deserve to know what the U.S. diplomatic “strategy is for Afghanistan,” adding that the U.S. wants to make sure that it is “negotiating a peace and not simply a withdrawal.”

“Given the challenges this Committee has faced in getting information from the Trump Administration on this issue, I want to be clear: I do not consider your testimony at this hearing optional,” Engel wrote. “If this letter is insufficient to secure your attendance, I will consider other options that would ensure this hearing takes place in a timely manner.”

It is been the third time that the committee is requesting Khalilzad to appear at the U.S. House of Representatives for the questioning.

Engel and ranking member Representative Michael McCaul issued an invitation in February and Democrat members of the committee had also asked Khalilzad to appear in April.

India, France Call for Timely Holding of Presidential Elections in Afghanistan Wed, 28 Aug 2019 11:03:44 +0000 India and France, in a joint statement issued in Paris on 22 August 2019, called for the timely holding of presidential elections in Afghanistan, the Indian Embassy in Kabul said in an online statement on Wednesday.

In addition, the two countries called for the cessation of terrorist violence, and end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries for enduring and sustainable peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.

“France and India cooperate actively for international peace and security, including in the regional crises threatening them,” the statement added.

The statement further said that the two countries support an inclusive peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

“Leading to a lasting political solution based on the preservation of the gains, including the constitutional order, human rights, particularly women’s rights and the liberties gained over the past eighteen years,” the statement concluded.

This comes as the U.S. and Taliban negotiators are close to a final agreement in Qatar and the Afghan presidential election is scheduled to be held on September 28.

Trump Meets With Senior Aides to Consider Deal With Taliban Sat, 17 Aug 2019 04:48:50 +0000

U.S. President Donald Trump held a meeting with his cabinet officials and other senior security advisers on Friday and discussed the status of negotiations with the Taliban over the troop pullout from Afghanistan and prospects for a political settlement to end the long-term war in the country.

Trump held the session at his New Jersey Bedminster Golf Club with Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph F. Dunford, CIA Director Gina Haspel, White House national security adviser John Bolton, and the U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

“Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19-year war, and us, are looking to make a deal – if possible,” Trump said in a tweet after the session.

The U.S. Secretary of State said in a tweet that the United States is working diligently on the path forward in Afghanistan. 

“In close cooperation with Afghanistan, we remain committed to achieving a comprehensive peace agreement, including a reduction in violence and a ceasefire,” Pompeo said. “Ensuring Afghan soil is never again used to threaten the U.S. or her allies, and bringing Afghans together to work towards peace.”

According to a report by the Washington Post, an initial withdrawal under the proposed deal would include roughly 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In exchange, the Taliban would agree to renounce al-Qaeda and to bar it from activities such as fundraising, recruiting, training and operational planning in areas under Taliban control.

U.S. President to Meet Top Security Officials on Afghanistan Fri, 16 Aug 2019 03:11:33 +0000

The U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with his top national security advisers on Friday to review a US-Taliban peace plan that could end America’s longest war in Afghanistan, CNN reported.

According to two sources familiar with the planning, CNN reported that Trump is expected to meet at his Bedminster golf resort with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton.

Several defense officials have told CNN that Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford are expected to be present.

CNN quotes two other sources saying that the major topic will be Afghanistan and the plan that Taliban negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been working on for months to end the conflict in the war-weary country.

According to the multiple sources familiar with the plan, the report said that the peace plan is expected to formalize a significant withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan — from about 15,000 troops to 8,000 or 9,000 troops — and enshrine official commitments by the Taliban to counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad has held at least eight rounds of negotiations with the Taliban delegation in Qatar that he said the last round of talks was “productive” as the two sides had focused on technical details.

“Over the last few days, the sides (the U.S. and Taliban representatives) focused on technical details,” Khalilzad said. “They were productive. I am on my way back to DC to consult on next steps.”

Meanwhile, Khalilzad has shared the details of expected peace agreement with President Ghani before the beginning of the eighth round of US-Taliban talks in Doha, the capital city of Qatar.

Last week, the Newsweek magazine reported that the U.S.-led operations against the militant group in Afghanistan have significantly reduced or halted as the Pentagon continues to plan for a potential withdrawal of thousands of U.S. forces from its longest conflict ever.

The U.S. personnel have been ordered to limit nearly all offensive combat operations against the Taliban and cease advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as the Trump administration proposes cutting U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan by nearly half to 6,000 as a means of finalizing “technical” details among Taliban leadership, senior Pentagon officials quoted by the Newsweek.

However, the U.S. military in Afghanistan has rejected the reports of limitations in the U.S. operations against the militants in the country.

 A spokesman for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, Sonny Leggett said that no changes have been brought to the U.S.’s mission in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Envoy to U.S. Says Kashmir Crisis Could Affect Afghan Peace Tue, 13 Aug 2019 09:29:47 +0000

Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan has said on Monday that his country might redeploy troops from the Afghanistan border to the Kashmir frontier, a shift that could complicate American peace talks with the Taliban, the New York Times reported.

In an interview with the New York Times editorial board, Khan emphasized that the Kashmir and Afghanistan issues were separate and that he was not attempting to link them.

On the contrary, he said, Pakistan hoped the U.S. talks with the Taliban would succeed and that his country was actively supporting them.

“We are doing all that we can and will continue,” Mr. Khan has told the New York Times. “It’s not an either-or situation.”

Such a possibility, coming just as Pakistan’s longstanding Kashmir crisis with India has escalated, could add a new element to the peace negotiations, which are said to be in the final stages and would end the long-term conflict in the war-weary country.

U.S. Preparing to Pullout Thousands of Troops From Afghanistan: Report Fri, 02 Aug 2019 06:59:43 +0000 The U.S. is set to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan as part of an initial peace deal to end the long-term conflict in the war-weary country, the U.S. news agencies reported.

According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration is preparing to reduce its troops in Afghanistan from nearly 14000 to between 8000 and 9000.

The agreement would require the Taliban to broker a peace deal directly with the Afghan government, and give assurances the country won’t be used as a launching pad for international terror attacks, the report said.

The plan has taken shape after months of negotiations between the Taliban and the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad. Officials said an agreement could be finalized ahead of the Afghan presidential election in September, though they cautioned that Taliban leaders could delay and that significant challenges remain, the report added.

Khalilzad has held a series of meetings with Pakistani and Afghan officials over the past several months to brief them about the outcome of his meetings with the Taliban, who are talking to prominent Afghans in Kabul.

“In Doha, if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on,” Khalilzad tweeted on Wednesday, adding that he was, “Wrapping up my most productive visit to Afghanistan since I took this job as Special Representative.”

“The US and Afghanistan have agreed on next steps. And a negotiating team and technical support group are being finalized,” he added.

The U.S. has lost more than 2,400 soldiers in its longest war and has spent more than $900 billion on everything from military operations to the construction of roads, bridges and power plants.

17 Killed After Pakistani Army Plane Crashes in Rawalpindi Tue, 30 Jul 2019 05:04:17 +0000

At least 17 people were killed after a small plane of Pakistan Army crashed in Rawalpindi in early on Tuesday morning, Pakistani the News International reported.

According to the report, the plane has crashed at a residential area near the Rabi Center in Rawalpindi, as a result, 12 civilians and five crew members were killed.

After the crash, massive five broke out at the area that engulfed several houses, the report added.

“A small plane crashed into a residential area. So far we have retrieved 15 dead bodies, including 10 civilians and five crew members,” a rescue official told reporters quoted by the News International, adding that a further 12 people had been injured.

All the victims have been taken to the hospitals, the news agency said.

The plane was on a routine training flight when it crashed. The cause of the said incident has yet to be determined.

Afghan Gov’t Calls for Clarity on Trump’s Remarks Tue, 23 Jul 2019 08:33:48 +0000

The Afghan government in a statement on Tuesday called for clarity on U.S. President Donald Trump’s remarks who said he could win the war in Afghanistan in a matter of days but he does not want to kill 10 million people.

In a joint press conference with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump said on Monday, “If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.”

“If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth, it would be gone, it would be over in, literally, in 10 days,” Trump told reporters. 

“I don’t want to go that route,” Trump said adding that “So we’re working with Pakistan and others to extricate ourselves. Nor do we want to be policemen, because basically, we’re policemen right now. And we’re not supposed to be policemen.”

The presidential palace said in a statement, “Afghanistan is one of the deep-rooted and ancient countries in the world have been able to overcome countless crisis during history. The Afghan nation will allow any foreign power to decide on their fate.”

“Cooperation and relationship of Afghanistan with the world, particularly with the United States, is based on mutual interests and mutual respect,” the statement said.”We support U.S. efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan, but the main fate of the country cannot be determined at meetings of foreign leaders in the absence of Afghan leadership.”

“Afghanistan will remain in the world’s political stage with full strength,” the statement stressed.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government wants clarity on Trump’s statement through diplomatic channels of the two countries.

Trump Says He Could Win Afghanistan War in a Week Tue, 23 Jul 2019 05:15:45 +0000

U.S. President Donald Trump claimed on Monday that he could end the long-term war in Afghanistan in a week but that it would kill millions of people and wipe the country “off the face of the earth.”

Trump met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday and discussed Pakistan’s assistance with bringing an end to the nearly two-decade conflict in the war-weary country.

Speaking to reporters in the White House on Monday, Trump said “I think Pakistan is going to help us out to extricate ourselves.  We’re like policemen.  We’re not fighting the war.”

“If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,” Trump said to reporters. “If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth, it would be gone, it would be over in, literally, in 10 days.”

“I don’t want to go that route,” Trump said adding that “So we’re working with Pakistan and others to extricate ourselves. Nor do we want to be policemen, because basically, we’re policemen right now. And we’re not supposed to be policemen.”

American Model Accuses Ex-Afghan Defense Minister’s Son of Raping Her Sun, 21 Jul 2019 10:40:42 +0000

An American fashion model, Sarah Goolden, claims that son of a former Afghan defense minister stalked and raped her after she rejected him, the New York Post reported.

According to the report, Sarah Goolden, a stunning blonde who’s modeled everything from lacy underwear to designer duds, accuses Hamed Wardak, son of Abdul Rahim Wardak, of attacking her twice during a trip the two took to Miami on July 4th weekend 2018.

“He bought me gifts,” Goolden has told the New York Post. “He uses his money as a tool to influence almost everybody in his life.”

Meanwhile, Wardak’s lawyer, Alexis Fields said that Goolden’s claims are “entirely false,” accusing the model of “attempting to manipulate the current political and anti-immigrant climate to her tactical advantage.”

The blue-eyed beauty says she agreed to date Wardak, 43, after years of him courting her, but a month into the romance, Wardak allegedly became violent during the Independence holiday jaunt, according to the lawsuit, the report said.

Wardak falsely accused her of cheating, at one point “screaming and pulling her by her hair” and yanking her out of bed, according to the lawsuit quoted by the Post.

The next day she tried to leave but was thwarted when the building’s elevators stopped working, Goolden alleged.

He eventually apologized, and the pair went out later that day with friends. As the group boozed it up, Wardak publicly proposed, she alleged.

Fearing another violent outburst if she said no in front of his entourage, Goolden accepted.

She tried to break things off privately, but says Wardak held her down and sexually assaulted her, according to the lawsuit.



She was able to leave two days later, but Wardak allegedly threatened to “ruin” her life, have her followed, “make her look like a con-artist,” and said he would file litigation to drown her in legal fees, according to court papers, read the report.

Since the alleged attack, Wardak filed two lawsuits against Goolden, one accusing her of faking their relationship in a bid to get money, and a second seeking the return of $20,000 he claims he paid for her sick dog, the report added.

She says he’s spent the year since then stalking her, and records show he’s been arrested twice in Manhattan for violating an order of protection Goolden obtained against him, the report noted.

Wardak “is a sick person … and he needs to be stopped,” said Gooldens’ attorney Walker Harman quoted by the New York Post.

“This has been the most traumatic thing I’ve ever gone through,” Goolden has told the New York Post. “It’s a nightmare that will not end.”

U.S. Senator Urges Trump to Not Agree to ‘Absurd’ Demands From Taliban Sat, 20 Jul 2019 10:01:04 +0000

A senior U.S. senator urged the Trump administration to not agree to “absurd” demands of the Taliban militant group for the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan within 18 months.

“I hope the Trump Administration will not give into absurd Taliban demands for US withdrawal within 18 months, regardless of conditions on the ground,” Lindsey Graham said in a tweet on Friday.

Graham said that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan is an “insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types.

“We now have a small US military footprint, along with our allies, that is an insurance policy against the reemergence of al-Qaeda/ISIS types and help hold Afghanistan together,” he said.

“How Afghanistan turns out is vitally important to our own national security interests as this is the place it all started on 9/11,” Graham added.

“We need a good deal, not a fake deal,” he stressed.

The comments come as the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is getting ready for another Afghan peace mission.

Khalilzad said in a tweet that he held talks with Ambassador of Germany, India’s Ambassador and Uzbekistan Foreign Minister on Friday to “consult” with them about the Afghan peace process.  

“Getting ready to launch on another mission in hope of making further progress,” Khalilzad said.

Pakistani Police Arrest Founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba Militant Group Wed, 17 Jul 2019 11:07:57 +0000

Pakistani Police arrested Hafiz Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba insurgent group in Punjab province on Wednesday, Pakistani media reported.

According to Geo TV, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police arrested Hafiz Saeed from Lahore when he was on his way to Gujranwala.

Saeed has been reportedly presented in an anti-terrorism court and sent to prison.

The militant group is blamed for several attacks in Pakistan and is the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai city, India, attacks, in which 10 Pakistani gunmen opened fire at several locations and killed more 165 people.

NATO Defense Ministers Discuss Afghanistan in Brussels Thu, 27 Jun 2019 14:00:13 +0000 On day two of the NATO defense ministers meeting, Afghanistan was discussed at the NATO’s headquarter in Brussels, with all nations contributing to the NATO’s Resolute Support Mission.

The top commander of the Resolute Support mission General Austin Scott Miller and the NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Nicholas Kay briefed the Allies Defense Ministers regarding the situation of Afghanistan.

Speaking with the reporters at the end of the meeting, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that there is “a unique opportunity for peace “in Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg reiterated that the international community is now close to a peace deal than ever before and all NATO Allies strongly support the Afghan peace process.

“Allies fully support the efforts of the U.S. Special Representative, Ambassador [Zalmay] Khalilzad, to achieve a political settlement,” NATO Chief said.

Stoltenberg emphasized that he totally agree with Khalilzad’s principle of “nothing is agreed before everything is agreed.”

He said Afghan forces are making progress and this is important for the negotiating table.

NATO Chief said the international community went to Afghanistan after the September 11 attack which was organized by Al Qaeda from Afghanistan to prevent the country to become a safe place for international terrorists.

“We have confirmed our financial support for the Afghan security forces through 2024. We will stay in Afghanistan as long as necessary, to ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists,” he added.

Referring to the recent achievements of the Afghan forces in the battlefields, Stoltenberg said we have made a lot of progress in Afghanistan.

He further said that his message to the Afghan government is that NATO will stay committed to Afghanistan and his message to the Taliban is that the militants will not win in the battlefields.

This comes as the U.S. and Taliban negotiators are set to hold their seventh round of talks within two days in Qatar aimed at ending the 18-years of violence in Afghanistan.