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Ghani, Modi Slam Pakistan on Terrorism

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2016)

heart_of_asiaPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized Pakistan on terrorism at the inauguration of the sixth Heart of Asia ministerial conference on Sunday in Amritsar, a city in Punjab state of India.

The theme of the conference is ‘enhanced cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the Heart of Asia region’.

President Ghani delivered his speech at the opening of the conference, praised India for its ‘no strings attached’ help and attacked Pakistan for providing sanctuary to terrorists.

He stressed on the importance of the India-Iran Chahbahar port development project for Kabul’s regional connectivity plans.

At the same time, he said that Pakistan’s proposed $500 million in funds for reconstruction of Afghanistan was better served fighting terrorism.

“There is need for a fund to combat extremism. Pakistan has generously pledged 500 million dollars for reconstruction of Afghanistan. This fund, Mr. Aziz, could very well be used for containing extremism because without peace any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of our people,” Ghani said, directly addressing Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz who was in the conference.

He added, “Afghanistan suffered the highest number of casualties last year. This is unacceptable … Some still provide sanctuary and support or tolerate these [terrorist] networks. As Mr. Kakazada, one of the key figures in the Taliban movement recently said, if they did not have sanctuary in Pakistan, they would not last a month”.

“I don’t want a blame game, I want clarifications on what is being done to prevent the export of terror,” Ghani continued.

He emphasized the need to confront terrorism and called on Pakistan to “verify cross-frontier activities”.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described terrorism “the biggest threat to Afghanistan’s peace and the region”, adding we must counter it.

“We must counter terrorists and their masters. We must demonstrate strong collective will to defeat terror network that cause bloodshed and spread fear,” PM Modi emphasized.

“Silence and inaction on terror in Afghanistan and the region will only embolden terrorists and masters and those fund them,” Indian PM added.

Modi said India is committed to ‘durable peace’ in Afghanistan, and announced plans to connect India and Afghanistan via an air transport corridor, as well as discussed the possibility of trilateral cooperation over Iran’s Chahbahar port.

“India-Afghanistan-Iran cooperation on the Chahbahar port will help Afghanistan to connect its economy to the rest of the world,” Modi said.

The ‘Heart of Asia’ initiative was launched in 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey for encouraging economic and security cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours for dealing with the common problems of terrorism, extremism and poverty

Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates are part of the Heart of Asia initiative.

Six key areas in which the 14 countries have been pursuing confidence-building measures since the 2013 Almaty meeting are disaster management, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, trade and investment, regional infrastructure, and education.

The process is supported by 17 other, predominantly Western, countries, and 12 international organisations which are also sending senior representatives.

By: Hesamuddin Hesam

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MFA Afghanistan denies Pakistan’s claim that India supports Pakistani Taliban

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2020)

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied Pakistan’s claim that India is cooperating with the Pakistani Taliban on the Afghan soil.

After India said Pakistan was a safe haven for terrorist groups in the region; Pakistan now claims that India supports the Pakistani Taliban on Afghan soil and is using them against Pakistan.

Moreover, Pakistan believes that India obscures the situation in Afghanistan.

Ayesha Farooqi, the spokeswoman for Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that India wants to divert the world’s attention from its support for the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan adding that In fact, India is trying to muddy the Afghan peace process.

In the meantime, Kabul has reacted strictly to Pakistan’s remarks. In a statement, the Afghan Foreign Ministry denied Pakistan’s claim that India supported the Pakistani Taliban and its activities against Pakistan, assuring that Afghan territory would never be used against any country.

“No group is allowed to use Afghan territory against another nation. We urge countries in the region to cooperate in the Afghan peace process and play a constructive role,” the statement said, “lasting peace in Afghanistan means that terrorist groups cannot pose a threat to the region.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, supports India’s policy toward Afghanistan, saying that New Delhi has played a key role in the recent peace efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“I believe that New Delhi’s policy of avoiding any engagement with the Taliban has had its day, especially in view of the upcoming launch of intra-Afghan talks and eventual transformation of the Taliban movement into an influential legal political force in Afghanistan,” said Kabulov.

However, after the signing of the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban, there are signs of the emergence of other militant groups.

The Afghan government says the anti-government militants have direct Pakistani support; while Pakistan claims to have played a key role in the peace efforts.

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Coronavirus in Afghanistan; 582 new cases, 19,551 total

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2020)

The Coronavirus in Afghanistan grows with the course of every day – a total of 582 infections have been reported, with 18 deaths, in the past 24 hours.

The total number of the Coronavirus cases in Afghanistan has reached 19,551, and the Ministry of Public Health says if people do not cooperate, the number of people infected with the virus will increase dramatically.

“In the past 24 hours, 761 samples have been tested, of which 582 have been positive, 18 patients died and 68 others recovered,” said Wahidullah Majrooh, MOPH deputy minister.

Meanwhile, the MOPH emphasizes that if people want to decrease the risk of the virus, they should pay serious attention to the medical instructions.

The ministry underlined that there weren’t sufficient gears to effectively fight the virus in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the government has extended the restriction on movement for another three months.

Officials from the ministries of Labor and Social Affairs, Interior Affairs, Public Health, and the Governor of Kabul have presented a new quarterly plan in a joint meeting to impose restrictions on movements in the city.

According to the government’s new quarterly plan, it is mandatory to wear a mask, avoid social gatherings, prevent elders from leaving the home, and follow the health guidelines.

Also, service providers must perform their activities with strict health care measures.

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Afghan refugees killed in Iran; MFA investigating the case

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2020)

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that they have been investigating the burning of a vehicle carrying Afghan nationals in the Iranian city of Yazd.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to Iran blames the human traffickers for their failure to comply with traffic rules which led to the burning of the Afghan refugees’ transport.

One day after the burning of a car carrying Afghan refugees in Yazd province of Iran, the Afghan ambassador, who went to Yazd to investigate the incident, met with the injured, said that the car caught fire because of the human trafficker’s negligence on following the traffic rules.

“First, the Iranian police shoot at the car’s tire, and the smuggler speeds up until the car hits the roadside barrier and catches fire,” said Ghafoor Liwal, Afghan ambassador to Iran.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, three Afghan refugees were killed and five others were injured in the incident.

“Iran’s treatment of Afghan refugees is against human rights law,” said Naeem Nazari, deputy commissioner for human rights.

The incident has sparked a wave of reactions on social media, with users highlighting the incident and criticizing Iranian leaders.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has never taken a long-standing action regarding the plight of Afghan refugees,” said Faramarz Tamana, a former head of the MoFa’s Center for Strategic Relations.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry added that it would proceed with the matter with its counterpart as per the outcomes of the investigation.

It is worth mentioning, weeks ago, reports indicated that the Iranian border guards had thrown and killed a number of Afghan refugees in the Harirud River. This was followed by the Afghan and Iranian governments assigning a joint delegation to look into it; however, the results are pending.

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