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Ex-Minister Accuses ARG of Power Monopoly, Paralyzing Development Process

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(Last Updated On: July 1, 2018)

Former Energy and Water Minister Ali Ahmad Osmani on Sunday accused the Presidential Palace (ARG) of power monopoly.

He said that all authorities of governmental institutions have been monopolized by Ghani’s office, so the development process in the country is paralyzed.

“nepotism and racism-based governance are major challenges for good and systematic governance. The transfer of authorities from legal institutions into the office of [President’s] advisors based on nepotism have paralyzed the objective processes of governance in most of the institutions,” Osmani told reporters at a press conference in Kabul.

He also accused President Ashraf Ghani’s office of acting based on ethnicity, saying the Presidential Palace has prevented the leadership of the Ministry of Water and Energy to execute its major projects during the last three years.

Osmani noted that his resistance for better water management, denial to accept illegal requests from President’s advisers and enforcing his authorities were among the major reasons for his disagreement with Ghani’s office.

“Challenging the working programs, stopping the ministries plans and development projects, preventing us from our internal and external official trips, threatening, suspending the job of high-level and low-level employees in the ministry, preventing from ministerial reforms and transferring the legal authorities to advisers or even other ministries were [our main disagreements],” Osmani added.

In addition, the former official asked Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of the National Unity Government, to enforce his authorities.

“Why I didn’t want to resign?,” Osmani asked and responded. “We are fighting against outlaws and for the rule of law since a while and our resignation would have paved the way for lawbreakers.”

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, a spokesman for the Presidential Palace, in an online statement rejected the allegations saying if the minister is having any evidence he should share it with legal bodies.

Recently, President Ghani fired Osmani when Chief Executive Abdullah was traveling abroad and appointed one of his deputies as acting minister.

Immediately the Chief Executive reinstated him saying Osmani is one of the successful and active ministers of the government and the majority of the projects in the Ministry of Energy and Water have been inaugurated or due to be inaugurated under the management of Mr. Osmani.

Abdullah said Osmani will remain in his position and the issue will be resolved in line with the agreement for the formation of the unity government, but later reports emerged that he has agreed on the dismissal of Mr. Osmani.

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MoF finalizes plan to collect Zakat and Usher

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2022)

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said on Sunday a plan outlining the collection process of Usher (Islamic tax on certain harvests) and Zakat (Islamic tax on personal income) has been finalized and will be submitted to the council of ministers soon.

Officials said that after the approval of the plan a special board will be established to collect the Usher and Zakat from Afghan citizens.

“Two things are very important to us; first we want to collect it (Usher and Zakat) via a digital system, and second we want to spend it via a regular system based on Sharia laws,” said Ahmad Wali Haqmal, spokesman for the MoF.

Some clerics meanwhile welcomed the IEA’s plan, saying that Zakat and Usher money should be distributed to people who deserve it.

“When the officials collect Zakat from traders, it should reach deserving people, and the process should be transparent. Second, it should be done in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and Chamber of Commerce, which registers traders’ properties,” said Amanullah Ahmadi, a cleric.

The move however was met by mixed reactions among the public.

One Kabul resident, Ahmad Wais Akbari said: “People’s financial situation should be understood, employment opportunities should be created, salaries should be paid, in this case, everyone is ready, but the current situation is problematic,” said Akbari.

“We accept this but employment opportunities should be created for people, there is a lot of problems,” said Abdul Ghafar, a resident of Balkh.

“We demand the Islamic Emirate to not collect Usher from poor farmers,” said Naqibullah, a farmer in Takhar.

This comes as many investors fled the country after the mid-August takeover by the IEA and Afghans who stayed behind are dealing with a severe economic crisis.

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US seeking revenge for its defeat by imposing sanctions: China envoy

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2022)

China’s ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu criticized the United States for seeking revenge on Afghans for its defeat by imposing economic sanctions, and said that the US was using the issues of an inclusive government, human rights, women’s rights and freedom of expression as pretexts in Afghanistan.

In a meeting with Acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, on Sunday, the envoy said that China wants to work with Afghans to help them.

During the meeting Wang called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to ensure that Afghan soil will not be used against any country, the interior ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Afghan interior ministry officials thanked China for its humanitarian assistance and called on China to continue its assistance to the Afghan people during this difficult time.

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Five million Afghans fell victim to drugs in the past 20 years: Deputy PM

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2022)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials said Sunday that five million Afghans have become addicted to drugs in the past 20 years but that these addicts will be provided with treatment.

Speaking at an event in Kabul on Saturday, Abdul Salam Hanafi, deputy prime minister of Afghanistan said: “We have seen that nothing was done for Afghanistan during the occupation period, however, our youths are addicts and social problems increased.”

Meanwhile, the minister of information and culture of IEA, Khairullah Khairkhwa said that in addition to sanctions, some foreign countries launched propaganda campaigns against the IEA after their defeat.

“Experience has shown that countries which faced sanctions, built their own countries. We will solve the current problems,” said Khairkhwa.

IEA officials also welcomed humanitarian assistance being provided by the international community but reiterated that they would not accept conditions based assistance.

Officials also called on the people to accelerate their efforts to improve the current economic, social and health crisis

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