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‘Desperation will never bring peace’ – Opinion

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(Last Updated On: May 17, 2020)

A former Pentagon official has said that desperation for the Afghanistan peace deal creates a dangerous precedent.

Michael Rubin, a famous American writer, and a former Pentagon official, has said in his latest analytical piece, “Khalilzad’s increasing desperation – ignoring and excusing terrorism and demanding other countries do likewise – will never bring peace; rather, it will simply condemn the region to greater bloodshed.”

In this piece of writing, he says that since Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives have signed the agreement, violence has only increased.

“It is against such a backdrop that Khalilzad’s exculpation of Taliban involvement in attacks earlier this week on a funeral procession in Nangarhar and a maternity ward in Kabul must be taken with a grain of salt,” he wrote.

According to him, Afghan authorities say they have developed compelling evidence which indicates that the Taliban are responsible for the funeral and the maternity ward attacks; while Khalilzad urges all officials to take his word for it before investigations are complete.

Rubin believes that the “envoy is acting dishonestly in order to keep the agreement he signed on life support.”

He says it never hurts to talk to enemies, but if one side seeks peace and the other looks at diplomacy as an asymmetric warfare strategy, talks will not succeed.

“Calibrating national security to wishful thinking rather than reality is always unwise,” he says.

He underscores that Khalilzad’s demands of negotiating with a group that believes Hindus and other non-Sunni Muslims deserve death could undercut broader U.S. counterterrorism policies.

He wrote that the more Khalilzad wants the peace agreement to succeed, the more the Taliban tries to condemn the agreement to failure.

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Afghan people want transparency in peace process

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2020)

Afghan citizens call on the High Council for National Reconciliation to take practical steps in the peace process.

The people of Afghanistan see the current peace efforts vague and call on the government to keep the people into confidence about the progress made in this process.

Residents of Kabul say the peace process must be transparent and speedy. They also claim that people are not fully kept updated on peace efforts.

While the start of the Intra-Afghan negotiations depends on the release of all 5,000 Taliban prisoners and one thousand of government prisoners, no prisoners have been released by the two sides in the past four days.

This comes as the Taliban’s technical delegation, which has come to Kabul to identify their prisoners, has not yet left Kabul.

It is to be noted that nearly 3,000 Taliban prisoners and nearly 400 government prisoners have been released so far, and a number of countries have called for speeding up the process.

“Negotiations will not begin until all 5,000 prisoners are released,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban member.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission has shared a list of its proposals with the chairman of the High National Reconciliation Council to be pitched in the agenda of the Intra-Afghan talks.

“The rights of children, women, minorities, and victims of war must be protected throughout these talks,” said Naeem Nazari, deputy head of the Human Rights Commission.

“Women must play a significant role in peace processes,” said Fawzia Kofi, a member of the peace negotiating team.

On the other hand, the Norwegian Foreign Minister has told his Afghan counterpart that his country is trying to pave the way for the start of the Intra-Afghan Talks.

Earlier, sources said that the date for the start of the talks was set for June 15 and that the two sides were now trying to make a choice out of Qatar, Germany, Norway, and Uzbekistan as the host for the holding the talks.

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Leading tennis player charged with assaulting ex-wife

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2020)

Nikoloz Basilashvili, a leading tennis player has been sued by his ex-wife for assault, CNN reports.

A statement from the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia indicates that Nikoloz Basilashvili, who is ranked No. 27 in the world, was charged with violence against Neli Dorokashvili.

Although an investigation into the criminal case is ongoing, Basilashvili was released on a bail of $31,300 and is due to return to court on July 16 for the next hearing.

In a statement on Basilashvili’s Facebook page posted after he posted bail, his legal representatives said the allegations are “false and totally unsubstantiated.”

The couple, who have a five-year-old son together, divorced last year.

His lawyers have said, “We would like to ensure Nikoloz Basilashvili’s fans that video footage already submitted to the court evidences our client’s position and fully discharges him from the abovementioned untrue allegations.”

On the other hand, Dorokashvili’s lawyer says there is evidence to support her claims, noting “There are people who are witness to their relationship. There are some video records and audio records. There also some transcripts, there are dialogues of phone text messages and so forth.”

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Twitter disabled Trump’s video tribute to Floyd for copyright reasons

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2020)

Twitter has pulled down Donald Trump’s tribute video to George Floyd on its platform.

On a copyright complaint, Twitter has pulled down Donald Trump’s tribute video to George Floyd on its platform, news agencies report.

A Twitter representative has said, “We respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives,”

The clip is said to be a collation of photos and videos of protest marches and instances of violence in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, with Trump’s voiceover.

The three-minute 45-second video is still on YouTube, with over 60,000 views and 13,000 likes – it was tweeted by Trump’s campaign on June 3.

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