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Ghani officially inaugurates Kamal Khan Dam

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(Last Updated On: March 24, 2021)

President Ashraf Ghani and his two deputies, Amrullah Saleh and Sarwar Danish, officially inaugurated the long-awaited Kamal Khan Dam on the Harirod River in Nimroz province on Wednesday morning.

Flanked by First Vice President Amrullah Saleh and Second Vice President Sarwar Danish, the leaders simultaneously hit three bright yellow buttons that opened the dam’s sluice gates.

As water flowed into a canal for the first time, applause from officials rang out.

Ghani, Saleh and Danish also signed a book on the dam in commemoration of the event before releasing a white dove signifying the country’s desperate wish for peace.

The Kamal Khan dam will not only generate at least nine megawatts of electricity for the local community but will also irrigate over 180,000 hectares of land.

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Universities to reopen once students and staff have been vaccinated

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(Last Updated On: July 28, 2021)

The Afghan Ministry of Higher Education said Wednesday that classroom-based lessons will resume at universities in 11 provinces within the next 10 days once all students and staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The ministry said this includes Kabul University.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul, the minister, Abbas Basir, said once all students around the country have been vaccinated, all universities will reopen.

“We call on all [staff and students at] public and private higher education institutions to be vaccinated over the next two weeks; and if the whole country is vaccinated within fifteen days, training can resume in all provinces by August 12.

“We have asked all universities and each province to implement the vaccine campaign within two weeks and students to use this opportunity,” Basir said.

Meanwhile, a number of students who have already been vaccinated have called on all non-vaccinated students to get their vaccines so that classes can resume as normal.

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Pakistan’s PM says ‘US really messed it up’ in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 28, 2021)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said the United States “really messed it up in Afghanistan” and that Washington should have pushed for a political settlement much earlier.

In an interview with PBS News Hour on Tuesday night, Khan sai: “I think the US has really messed it up in Afghanistan.”

“And people like me who kept saying that there’s no military solution, who know the history of Afghanistan, we were called — people like me were called anti-American. I was called Taliban Khan.”

He said by the time the US realised that there was no military solution in Afghanistan, “unfortunately, the bargaining power of the Americans or the NATO had gone”.

Khan told PBS the US should have opted for a political settlement much earlier, when there were as many as 150,000 Nato troops in Afghanistan.

“But once they had reduced the troops to barely 10,000, and then, when they gave an exit date, the Taliban thought they had won. And so, therefore, it was very difficult for now to get them to compromise,” he said.

When the interviewer asked whether he thought the Taliban resurgence was a positive development for Afghanistan, the prime minister reiterated that the only good outcome would be a political settlement, “which is inclusive”.

“Obviously, Taliban [will be] part of that government,” he added.

Khan said from Pakistan’s point of view, the last thing they want is a civil war; “that is the worst-case scenario, because we then … we face two scenarios, one [of them being] a refugee problem,” he said.

“Already, Pakistan is hosting over three million Afghan refugees. And what we fear is that a protracted civil war would [bring] more refugees. And our economic situation is not such that we can have another influx.”

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UNAMA calls for govt to reassure donors that it has plan to deal with crisis

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(Last Updated On: July 28, 2021)

UNAMA chief Deborah Lyons said Wednesday in a series of tweets on the Joint Coordination & Monitoring Board (#JCMB) meeting that donors want reassurance from the Afghan government that it recognizes the nature of the current crisis and has a strategic outlook to address it.

To address Afghanistan’s long term issues, peace negotiations must begin in earnest and with sincerity, Lyons tweeted.

Without progress at the negotiating table, and instead human rights abuses occur, the Taliban will not be seen as a viable partner by the international community, she said.

With battlefield advances, Taliban have inherited responsibilities. The world is watching closely how they now act, she said.

No major donor will finance repression of women, discrimination of minorities, denying of education to girls, or decrees of an authoritarian government, Lyons stated.

There are 18 million Afghans today facing dire humanitarian needs. They must be prioritized and the UN family as a civilian entity in Afghanistan will assist, the UNAMA chief said.

Donors at the meeting, which was cohosted by government and the UN have been urged to support critical humanitarian needs, Lyons stated.

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