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Ghani says Biden’s withdrawal decision was a game changer but govt respects it

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Tuesday at a virtual conference that US President Joe Biden’s decision, endorsed by NATO, to withdraw all foreign troops from the country has been a “game-changing and game-shaping decision”.

Addressing delegates at the Looking towards Peace in Afghanistan after the US-NATO Withdrawal Conference, organized by the Arab Center Washington, Ghani said: “By ending the guessing game regarding the presence of the US forces, whether they will stay, or what they were here for, all stakeholders whether state or non-state had to rethink their assumptions and examine their interests vis a vie the new context and work with us to reframe and accelerate a peace that will lead to a just and lasting peace for the people of Afghanistan and of predictable and stable order for partnership with our neighbors, the region, the Islamic world, and our international partners.”

He said Biden’s decision had not been unexpected but that its resulted in a transition for which “we have mentally been dreading”.

But he said Afghan leaders, himself included, respect Biden’s decision and are now focused on the next chapter of dealings with the US, NATO and other partners who have helped and supported Afghanistan over the years with both “blood and treasure”.

His address came just two days before his trip to the US where he will meet with Biden to discuss the current situation in the country, the peace process and other issues.

On this note, Ghani stated he was looking forward to his discussion with Biden later this week.

Drawing a parallel to the uncertainty the world is facing due to COVID-19, he said it was this type of uncertainty that the people of Afghanistan have dealt with 43 years continuously.

Ghani however stated that the more people point towards a possible collapse of government or hostile takeover, once foreign forces have left, the more they are contributing to anxiety, and to uncertainty among Afghans.

“We as a people, have been denied for 43 years the very basic right of a society – the right to peace.”

He said Afghans are not asking the world for indefinite support but are asking for understanding, for empathy and for partnerships in a meaningful way.

He said should Afghanistan be engulfed in intense conflict, like that seen in Syria and Yemen, “no one in the region will be spared. The consequences will be spread.”

He said the context has changed following the withdrawal decision and that the narrative that occupiers are in Afghanistan “is over”. But the Afghan government has welcomed the departure of foreign troops from the country, he said.

However, partnerships are “going to shift fundamentally” and the new chapter will focus on bringing peace, prosperity and connectivity to Afghanistan, he said.

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Five security force members ‘brutally killed’ in Kabul: Sources

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Five security personnel were “brutally” killed by Taliban militants in Shakar Dara district of Kabul, sources said Sunday.

The incident reportedly took place in the Haji Paik area on Friday night.

According to the sources, the Taliban militants first tortured and then killed the men.

Gowhar Khan Baburi, Governor of Shakar Dara district, said Sunday that the militants had installed a checkpoint in the Haji Paik area where they identified the security force members.

The Taliban stated that the victims were members of the Afghan security forces but denied its involvement in the incident.

In a separate incident, two military personnel – including a student from Marshal Fahim Military University – were killed in the Kalakan district of Kabul.

The incident happened in the Pule Baboch area close to the district’s compound on Saturday night, sources said.

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China and Pakistan call for ceasefire in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Pakistan and China on Saturday called on all Afghan stakeholders to agree to a ceasefire and work together to achieve an inclusive peace agreement and political settlement.

According to Dawn News, the call was made by the two sides during a foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue in Chengdu in Sichuan province in China.

A statement issued by China and Pakistan said the two countries had reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate and support an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation says peace talks are the best way to address Afghanistan issues and that the Taliban cannot impose their “will” on the people of Afghanistan through military force.

Speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Abdullah stated that the Taliban have to seek their goal through peace talks.

“Taliban cannot convert the whole population of Afghanistan into Taliban. Talibanization of Afghanistan is not acceptable,” Abdullah said.

“Peaceful settlement is much better option than the continuation of the war we continue we will continue to make these efforts,” he stated.

“We have different opinions about these things can we find ways to not to fight for imposing our way of life upon the people but to compete for it uh to contest for it through civilian means through peaceful means,” he stressed.

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Abdullah says ‘Talibanization’ of the country not possible

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2021)

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, says that the Taliban cannot impose their “will” on the people of Afghanistan through military force.

Speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera, Abdullah stated that the Taliban have to seek their goal through peace talks.

“Taliban cannot convert the whole population of Afghanistan into Taliban. Talibanization of Afghanistan is not acceptable,” Abdullah said.

This comes as the Taliban have intensified attacks across Afghanistan. According to reports, the Taliban have seized control of half of the districts in Afghanistan.

Abdullah, however, stated that these gains are temporary.

“Yes of course they feel at this moment that they have the upper hand militarily on the ground and that will not last that way,” he noted.
Abdullah says peace talks are the best way to address Afghanistan issues.

“Peaceful settlement is much better option than the continuation of the war we continue we will continue to make these efforts,” he stated.

“We have different opinions about these things can we find ways to not to fight for imposing our way of life upon the people but to compete for it uh to contest for it through civilian means through peaceful means,” he stressed.

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