Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:39:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Russia Urges Afghan Warring Parties to ‘Cease Hostilities’ Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:39:22 +0000

Russia has urged the warring parties in Afghanistan to cease hostilities and display their “goodwill” to Afghan people and strive for “genuine” peace.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova in a briefing on recent development in Afghanistan has said that they have noted a considerable aggravation of the military-political situation in Afghanistan lately.

Zakhrova said that Taliban have staged a number of large-scale attacks on the military bases and checkpoints of the government forces in Afghanistan.

“In another sensational terrorist attack, the ISIS terrorist group has fired a barrage of mortar rounds against participants in a commemorative event in Kabul on March 7 and wounded presidential candidate Latif Pedram,” she said.

In turn, aviation units of the international coalition and Afghan government forces are trying not to reduce the intensity of air strikes in areas controlled by the armed opposition, and efforts are being made to maintain military pressure on the ground, she said.  

“We emphasise that all this is taking place in conditions of continued talks between the United States and the Taliban on ways to end the armed standoff and to establish a peace settlement in Afghanistan,” Zakharova said.

Referring to the reported progress in latest U.S.-Taliban peace talks, she said: “The media has even reported the conclusion of a preliminary agreement on the terms for withdrawing foreign troops from Afghanistan; however, this document’s paper version should yet be coordinated as well as approved.”

Zakharova also said “quite possibly” the warring parties in Afghanistan are trying to bolster their arguments at the talks by stepping up military pressure.

“We believe that this option has no future, and that it does not facilitate the attainment of agreements,” she said. “In our opinion, it directly serves to torpedo them, not to mention the fact that the continued war inflicts untold suffering on ordinary Afghans.”

“We are urging the warring parties in Afghanistan to cease the hostilities and to display their goodwill to the people of Afghanistan and their striving to achieve genuine peace,” she added.

It comes as the fifth round of peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban representatives was ended on March 11 in Qatar, where the two sides reached an agreement in draft on two issues including withdrawal of foreign forces and counter-terrorism assurances.

Attorney General Says ‘Seriously and Accurately’ Probing Mahsa’s Murder Case Tue, 19 Mar 2019 13:45:47 +0000

The Attorney General Mohammad Farid Hamidi said on Tuesday that he will “seriously and accurately” investigate the murder case of Mahsa – a six-year-old girl who was kidnapped and then killed by a group of kidnappers in Kabul about two weeks ago.

“I can assure you that no political, ethnic, social or social interest would affect our actions in this [Mahsa’s] case,” Hamidi said in a statement. “Based on the law, the case will be addressed seriously, accurately and fairly.”

Hamidi stressed that he would ensure the rule of law and justice in Mahsa’s case.

“The law is there to protect Afghan people’s rights and freedom and the Attorney General’s Office would implement the law impartially, honestly and fairly,” he said.

Appreciating the efforts of the Attorney General’s Office, the relatives of Mahsa reiterated that the perpetrators should be trialed. They said they would “honestly” cooperate with AGO to ensure justice in this regard.

It comes as days earlier, the Interior Ministry said that it has finalized and referred Mahsa’s murder case to the Attorney General’s Office.

The girl was killed by kidnappers after her family didn’t pay the ransom of $300,000 for her release.

Govt ‘incomplete’ Without Parliament, Say Candidates Who Secure Seats Tue, 19 Mar 2019 13:06:27 +0000

A number of candidates who have secured seats in Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the parliament) in October elections say the government is “incomplete” without having a legislative body.

They insisted that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) should declare the final results of the parliamentary elections to determine the fate of the new parliament.

“Failure to open the parliament on time will weaken the government,” said Nimatullah Karyab, one of the front runners in the parliamentary elections. “We urge the government to open the parliament’s 17th legislative term.”

“People are facing an uncertain fate,” said Khan Mohammad Wardak another leading candidate. “We want the parliament to be inaugurated as soon as possible.”  

After a 15-day winter break of the lawmakers, the president was expected to open the parliament’s 17th legislative term. But he has not yet inaugurated the house.

The Presidential Palace earlier, said that the president would not inaugurate the parliament until the IEC reveals the final results of the parliamentary elections.

It comes as the IEC on Tuesday announced the final results of the elections for five more provinces including Herat, Balkh, Paktia, and Badghis.  

MoU Signed for Badakhshan Power Transmission, Construction of Shiwa Dam Tue, 19 Mar 2019 12:31:16 +0000

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Tuesday for the implementation of a power transmission project to northern Badakhshan province and construction of Shiwa Dam, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

The MoU was signed between Mohammad Gul Khulmi, the acting minister of water and energy, Amanullah Ghalib head of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) and Representative of Agha Khan Fund for Economic Development.

The statement said that the purpose of the signing of MoU is to invest $631 million of Agha Khan Fund for Economic Development on the two projects.

The statement added that the contract duration has been considered for 30 years to address the issues of electricity in Badakhshan province.

According to the statement, the project would be implemented in several phases with each phase to be completed over a period of seven years.

U.S. Embassy Alerts of Possible Terror Attacks in Kabul Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:29:25 +0000

The U.S. embassy in Kabul warns of possible complex attacks on the Afghan and foreign government offices in the capital Kabul on Nowroz holiday that will be observed on March 21.

According to a statement released on Monday, the U.S. says the militants continue to plan attacks against a variety of targets in Kabul, including Afghan, U.S., and other foreign government offices and facilities.

“Insurgents have threatened other facilities around the country where foreign citizens may gather, including Jalalabad Airport in Nangarhar province, schools, hotels, and housing compounds,” the statement adds.

“There also may be demonstrations and large gatherings, and celebratory gunfire,” the statement notes.

The statement further alerts U.S. citizens to avoid visiting these areas and advises its citizens to take the following actions during the Nowroz holiday:

  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Consult with security providers at your location.
  • Review your personal security plans and carry a fully charged communication device.
  • Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and local security developments.
  • Enroll in the Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.

Last year during the New Year festival “Nawroz” a suicide bombing killed at least 31 people and wounded 65 others.

The Daesh insurgent group claimed the bombing.

U.S. ‘To End Contacts With NSA Mohib’: Report Tue, 19 Mar 2019 11:22:31 +0000

A senior U.S. diplomat has told President Ashraf Ghani that U.S. officials will no longer deal with his national security adviser, quoting four knowledgeable sources, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the U.S. has taken the decision to end contact with Afghan NSA Hamdullah Mohib after he criticized the U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad for keeping Afghan government in the dark about the negotiations process with the Taliban.

The day after Mohib’s remarks David Hale, the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs on a Phone call told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that Mohib would no longer be received in Washington and that U.S. civilian and military officials would not do business with him, the report said.

“Hale called Ghani and told him that Mohib is no longer welcome in D.C. The U.S. will not deal with him in Kabul or in D.C. anymore,” a former senior Afghan official has told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The former Afghan official said he saw the move as an effort to compel Ghani to “oust” Mohib, who became the president’s national security adviser after serving as his envoy to Washington.

A second source, a congressional aide, agreed that pressuring Ghani to end contacts with Mohib was “one way of looking at this” because the State Department provides funding for the Afghan president’s national security council staff.

There was no official comment regarding the report by the U.S. State Department and Afghan Embassy in Washinton DC.

It comes as Mohib leveled a fierce attack on U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad’s conduct of the talks at the Hudson Institute on Wednesday in Washington DC, accusing the Afghan-born veteran U.S. diplomat of a lack of transparency.

He said that Khalilzad is keeping the “duly elected” Afghan government in dark and that in the latest round of talks in Doha, they were humiliated and made to wait in a hotel lobby.

“We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t have the kind of transparency that we should have,” Mohib told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.

He said the Afghan government was getting the information in bits and pieces.

“The last people to find out (about the peace talks) are us,” Mohib added.

He alleged that Khalilzad has personal ambition in Afghanistan.

Zerbena – 18 March 2019 | زیربنا، ۲۷ حوت ۱۳۹۷ Tue, 19 Mar 2019 05:39:03 +0000

Aghaze Rooz -18 March 2019| آغاز روز ۲۷ حوت ۱۳۹۷ Tue, 19 Mar 2019 05:37:36 +0000

Pas Az Khabar: ‘Afghan National Journalists Day’ Discussed Tue, 19 Mar 2019 05:32:19 +0000

Election97: Challenges of the Presidential Election Discussed Tue, 19 Mar 2019 05:25:28 +0000

UAE to Buy All Afghan Saffron, Establish Air Corridor with Afghanistan Mon, 18 Mar 2019 14:34:27 +0000

President Ashraf Ghani who was on a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates, says Abu Dhabi is ready to buy all Afghan saffron and establish air corridor with Afghanistan.

Speaking to Afghan businessmen in Dubai, Ghani said that the UAE will import all saffron produced in Afghanistan this year.

“My job is to find markets for you, your job is to invest,” he told Afghan businesspersons, inviting them to invest in processing factories and trading among other fields.

 The president stressed that the Afghan government has eased bureaucracy for investment in Afghanistan and that the security institutions have started conducting operations to improve security for businesses and investors.

“Further, through land reforms the Afghan government has recovered several thousands of hectares of land in the past four and a half years, and to incentivize investment the government is willing to lease them to investors at a very cheap price,” Ghani said as quoted in a statement by the Presidential Palace.

The statement said that during the visit, multiple MoUs with were signed to bolstering bilateral ties and trade with UAE. The MoUs were signed in the fields of agriculture, culture, energy, mining, education, and sports.

According to the statement, the visit also focused on cooperating in the areas of trade, investment, and development, with both sides reaching an agreement on launching an air corridor between Afghanistan and UAE.

Parties Involved in Afghan Peace Should Uphold Freedom of Speech: Danish Mon, 18 Mar 2019 13:47:54 +0000

As the U.S. negotiations with the Taliban make progress to reach into a political settlement in Afghanistan, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish says the parties involved in the peace talks should ensure that freedom of speech is upheld and past years’ achievements are protected.

 “We believe that freedom of speech is very important for the people of Afghanistan,” Danish said adding that parties involved in peace negotiations should ensure that freedom of speech and a free press are upheld as enshrined by the constitution.

“With this, we can save our 18 years achievements,” Danish said, who is also the Chairperson of ‘The Joint Committee for the Safety and Security of Journalists” a body working to combat impunity.

The Second Vice President made the remarks at a ceremony held on Monday in Kabul to mark Afghan National Journalists Day.

The event was organized by the Afghanistan Journalist Centre to highlight the critical role that the media plays in Afghanistan. More than a hundred journalists, senior government officials, civil society and the international community representatives attended.

Journalists and media organizations have played a crucial role in changing Afghan society, said UN envoy Tadamichi Yamamoto.

“The work of journalists is critical to promoting the fundamental values of society, including political rights, human rights, and economic and social rights. When we look at the gains of the past 17 years, we realise how much media have contributed,” he said as he acknowledged the difficulties faced by Afghan media.

“Attacks against journalists and media workers are not only criminal acts against unarmed civilians, but they also sap the circulation of free information,” stated Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists and the media, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. 2018 was by far one of the deadliest and most violent years for Afghan press. At least 14 journalists and other media workers were killed, including nine in a single attack in Kabul on 30 April according to the Afghan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC).

During the event today, Shapoor Farahman, a reporter with Ariana News was among top 10 journalists who received the 2019 Afghanistan Journalist of the Year award.

Afghan Forces Who Entered Turkmenistan Soil Due to Heavy Clashes Returned Home: MoD Mon, 18 Mar 2019 13:16:14 +0000

Fifty-eight Afghan Border Force members who entered Turkmenistan territory due to heavy clashes against militants in northern Badghis province have returned home, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The statement said that the forces have returned through Torkhundi port in north, adding that they are back on duty.

The statement added that the forces had entered Turkmenistan soil after being attacked by the militants in Bala Murghab district in Badghis province. 

According to the statement, 58 more of the forces have been captured by the insurgents. 

The clearance operation is underway against the insurgents in the district, the statement noted. 

Separately, the Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement thanked and appreciated Turkmenistan for supporting and providing facilities to those border forces who fled the war and sought refuge in its territory. 

Afghan Delegation Set to Hold Second Round of Talks with Taliban in Qatar Mon, 18 Mar 2019 12:52:26 +0000

An 80-member Afghan delegation is expected to hold the second round of talks with the Taliban representatives in Doha, the capital of Qatar next month.

Former President Hamid Karzai would be leading the delegation which is comprised of Afghan politicians, former Jihadi leaders, and political & civil activists.

Some members of the delegation said that the government has also been asked to introduce its team of negotiators, but the president has not responded positively.

“Preparation has been made for the meeting in Qatar so that U.S. and the Taliban reach into a final agreement with Afghans to find a lasting solution in Afghanistan,” said Ahmadullah Alizai, a former presidential advisor.

The representatives of the U.S. and some other countries including Qatar are also expected to attend this round of intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha.

According to Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, the intra-Afghan negotiation is part of the going peace talks between the United States and the Taliban.

The second Taliban-Afghan politicians’ meeting was scheduled to be held for two days on March 26, but it was delayed after the fifth round of U.S.-Taliban meeting lasted for 16 days.

It comes as the Afghan politicians have held first of their talks with the Taliban in Moscow in February, where the two sides released a declaration in which outlined a nine-point approach to reaching into an intra-Afghan dialogue to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

‘Historic Day for Our People’ – Afghan Says as Afghanistan Earns First Test Victory Mon, 18 Mar 2019 11:25:23 +0000

Asghar Afghan, the Afghanistan captain, detailed just how important and joyous their seven-wicket triumph over Ireland was in the one-off Test in Dehradun on Monday, 18 March.

It was their maiden Test victory, in just their second ever Test – the latest feat by a team that’s made a habit of it. Apart from Australia, who won in their maiden Test, only England and Pakistan have secured a Test win within two matches.

Just how much the victory meant was summed up by Afghan. “Happy for today, it’s a very historic day for Afghanistan, for Afghanistan people, for our team, for our cricket board. We are very happy,” he said.

“When [we play] a lot of Test matches, we mature. Nowadays, we’re playing a lot in Afghanistan first-class cricket. Before, it was three-day, two-day cricket. Now we’re playing first-class cricket.

“It was our dream to play Test cricket. It was just our second Test and we won the game. I’ll give a lot of credit to our bowlers, especially Rashid Khan, Waqar (Salamkheil), Yamin (Ahmadzai), and (Mohammad) Nabi. They bowled very well, on a wicket that was good for batting.”

Apart from the bowling quartet, one of Afghanistan’s stars was Rahmat Shah. He put behind poor form in the ODIs – he scored just one half-century in five outings – to score two in as many innings in Test whites.

He was unfortunate to miss out on a century by two runs in the first innings, and having done the hard work in the second, scoring a 122-ball 76, he was dismissed with just three runs required to seal victory.

However, during the course of his knock he displayed good temperament for Tests, and that is something that bodes well for Afghanistan. “I’d like to congratulate the country for this win,” he said after winning the Player of the Match award.

“There was a difference in the pitches – the ODI wickets were suitable for spin, this was better for batting. I stayed at the wicket, that was important. We played session by session, and tried to win the match, but I’d like to give credit to the bowlers, they bowled really well.”

As for Ireland, there were some smiles, despite being beaten within four days in their second ever Test. Their captain, William Porterfield, reminded everyone that quite a few of their players were playing only their second Test ever while the rest of the team – five players, to be precise – were making their debuts.

Despite that, they troubled Afghanistan considerably, and had they been able to do better with the bat in the first innings, they might yet have been able to change the eventual result.

“It’s obviously the first innings that went wrong for us,” he said at the post-match presentation. “It was big toss to win. Any multi-day game, the first innings you got to capitalise on,” he said.

“If you had done that, batted remotely like we batted in the second innings, it could have been a completely different game. Then you’re talking about potentially chasing upwards of 280 to 300, which could have been a completely different story.”

But that being said, Porterfield wasn’t making excuses. Afghanistan bossed them with both bat and ball in the crucial stages of the match, and he gave credit where it was due. “Take nothing away from Afghanistan,” he said. “They played very well throughout the whole game, and came out deserved winners.

“You want the lads to kick on and make big contributions. We didn’t do that in the first innings. We’re obviously looking to come back into the game from that. Once Afghanistan got past us, they never really let us [back].”

Election97: The Upcoming Presidential Elections Discussed Mon, 18 Mar 2019 05:41:45 +0000

Pas Az Khabar: The Presidential Elections Likely to Delay Mon, 18 Mar 2019 05:20:57 +0000

Zerbena – 17 March 2019| زیربنا ۲۶ حوت ۱۳۹۷ Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:55:46 +0000

Aghaze Rooz – 17 March 2019|آغاز روز ۲۶ حوت ۱۳۹۷ Mon, 18 Mar 2019 04:54:41 +0000

Foreign Policy Isn’t Personal Issue, it Defines National Interests: Abdullah Sun, 17 Mar 2019 14:41:50 +0000

The remarks by the National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib who criticized the U.S. approach towards Afghan reconciliation continued to meet with reactions on Sunday.

During his visit to Washington DC last week, Mohib described the U.S.’s talks with the Taliban as surrender discussion.

He said that the U.S. chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad is keeping the “duly elected” Afghan government in dark and that in the latest round of talks in Doha, they were humiliated and made to wait in a hotel lobby.

“We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t have the kind of transparency that we should have,” Mohib said, adding that the Afghan government was getting the information in bits and pieces.

“The last people to find out (about the peace talks) are us,” Mohib said.

His remarks against Khalilzad sparked a strong reaction of the U.S. State Department.

The department summoned Mohib and rejected his comments. It said Mohib’s comments only serve to hinder the bilateral relationship and the peace process.

Following the matter, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said that national interests have the highest value for the government officials and that it should be a priority in foreign policy.

He said foreign policy defines Afghanistan’s national interests and that it is not a “personal” or an “amateur” issue.

He stressed that the United States has made “great” sacrifices and invested “significant” resources to help Afghanistan’s security and development.

“Our relations with the United States encompass all aspects of our national interests, and sure to withstand momentary sentiments of any particular politicians or officials,” Abdullah said.

Chief Executive also said that peace is their priority, but “honorable and dignified” peace.

“Peace will have a realistic chance only when all Afghans sit together to talk about it,” Abdullah said.

Meanwhile, Sayed Ishaq Gilani said that considering the current situation of Afghanistan, Mohib was not asked to deliver such remarks. 

“I don’t want to be too critical on the government because it is remained unaware [of peace talks], and has the right to object. However, this issue is not in our favor at the given time when we are moving towards achieving peace,” Gilani said.

However, in apparent response, NSA Hamdullah Mohib, a series of tweets on March 15 said that he voiced Afghan people’s legitimate concerns and made Afghanistan’s principled position clear.

“True peace is our people’s innate desire and our primary duty and our responsibility is to the 35 million Afghans, who aspire an honest and lasting peace, but also to all our partners who have invested in our country and people,” Mohib tweeted.

He said the Afghan people and government value their partnership with the United States and are especially “grateful” for America’s “generous” support to our armed forces.

 “As foundational partners, Afghans will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States to fight terrorism in order to ensure our joint security interests, as well as in pursuit of an honest, transparent, and just peace,” he added.