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Ghani Says Trump’s Plan Has Better Chance to Succeed than Obama’s

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2017)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy to win the war in Afghanistan, stands  a better chance of working here than previous plans, because Trump wants regional approach and a harder line with Pakistan.

Speaking at an Asia Society meeting in New York, Ghani said that former President Barack Obama “did not have a partner in Afghanistan,” and his strategy to try to successfully conclude the 16-year war and withdraw U.S. troops has been failed.

Ghani did not elaborate, but his remarks implicitly criticized his predecessor, Hamid Karzai, who frequently disdained U.S. policy and the U.S.-led international military force.

“President Trump is not just an individual (but) a team of partners in Afghanistan,” Ghani said. “The Trump administration’s strategy has the uniqueness of immense consultations with us.”

Ghani gave Obama credit for his decision to maintain some U.S. forces in Afghanistan rather than following his pledge to pull them all out, saying that decision “ensured our survival” at a time when Taliban militants were strengthening in their drive to defeat and unseat the government.

Asked how Trump’s strategy differs from Obama‘s, Ghani said Trump’s plan takes “a regional approach” to security and a harder line with Pakistan while providing a new opening for peace talks.

“The message to Pakistan to engage and become a responsible stakeholder in the region and in the fight against terrorism has never been clearer,” Ghani said. “What I am offering the Pakistan government, the Pakistan security apparatus, is the invitation to a comprehensive dialogue.”

“If Pakistan does not take this opportunity, I think they will pay a high price,” he said, without elaborating.

“Afghans are determined to fight,” he said. “No one should mistake our will to defend our country.”

Ghani, in a separate interview with National Public Radio due to air on Wednesday revealed some details of Trump’s Afghanistan strategy not previously disclosed by the White House.

He said the administration’s objective is to bring 80 percent of Afghanistan back under the government’s control in the next four years. The United States currently estimates that the government directly controls only about half the country.

Ghani told NPR that the new strategy’s goal is to double the size of the Afghan commando force and elevate it from a division to a corps command, while bolstering the Afghan military’s airpower.

All this would occur as Kabul overhauls its military leadership, he said.

“We ourselves are changing management and leadership. Our minister of defense is under 40. A new generation is taking over,” he told NPR, adding that older generals are being honorably retired.

As for when the 16-year-long war would end, Ghani said at the Asia Society meeting, “I think we are not talking a decade or longer. We are talking some limited years.”

With Inputs from Reuters and RFERL

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ATN employee Sulaiman Yousufi dies of Coronavirus

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

COVID19 took the life of an employee of the Ariana International Television Network.

Sulaiman Yousufi, an employee of Ariana News and Ariana TV, died of coronavirus today.

Mr. Sulaiman Yousufi was infected by the Coronavirus a few days ago and died early today after severe suffering from respiratory troubles.

Yousufi had been working in the transportation department of Ariana TV and Ariana News for over a decade.

He is survived by a son and two daughters.

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Prisoner release; Taliban’s technical team negotiating with gov’t

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

Both the Taliban team and the government are negotiating on how to verify and release the prisoners, as well as obtaining guarantees of not returning to the war, Arg said.

An agreement on peace between the Taliban and the government has not yet been reached, but the US-Taliban peace agreement which was signed three months ago in Doha, Qatar says that the Afghan government should release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 prisoners from the Taliban side.

A Taliban delegation is now in Kabul negotiating the prisoners’ release.

However, the Taliban has said that the team was in Kabul only to monitor the release of prisoners and has no further authority over other aspects of the peace process.

The Afghan government and the Taliban in their latest actions came to an agreement about a three-day ceasefire on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr.

The Afghan government is now urging the Taliban to take new and more practical steps in the process of starting Intra-Afghan negotiations.

Arg said that the government’s negotiating team was ready and that the government was committed to take new measures.

Sediq Sediqqi, the presidential spokesman said that the Afghan government had taken major steps towards peace and it was time for the Taliban to show the green light.

Sources close to the Taliban said that the unannounced ceasefire by the group is ongoing, but they will not start the Intra-Afghan negotiations until thousands of the Taliban prisoners are released.

The United States and the international community are waiting for the Afghan government and the Taliban to begin the first round of Intra-Afghan Talks, as the start of these talks could open new doors to the Afghan peace process.

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Official: Laliga to resume on June 11

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

The Spanish Football league known as La Liga will officially resume on June 11, says the Laliga’s president Javier Tebas.

While the Coronavirus shutdown the European football leagues for two months, the major football leagues are now preparing to resume their matches.

The Germany’s Bundesliga is already resumed, whereas the other major leagues are yet to resume their matches.

According to Javier Tebas, the Laliga’s president, the match between Real Betis and Sevilla on June 11 could restart the league.

Tebas added the 2020-2021 season of Laliga will start on September 12.

This comes as all matches of the league for this season will be held behind the closed doors.

The England’s Premier League is expected to start on June 17th, while the Italy’s Serie A will resume on June 21st.

The French Football League was cancelled for this season, and Paris Saint German became the early champion of the season.

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