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HPC Outlines New Strategy for Ensuring Peace Talks with Armed Oppositions

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(Last Updated On: January 11, 2018)

The High Peace Council (HPC) on Thursday said it has outlined a new strategy as part of the peace and reconciliation efforts with the armed oppositions including the Taliban.

“The environment is ready, and we Afghans should work together to bring peace in Afghanistan,” said Habiba Sarabi, the Deputy Chairperson of the High Peace Council. “We are very glad to have international community as partner to support us.”

Habiba Sarabi made the remarks at an event titled “Voices for Peace in Afghanistan” which was held in Serena Hotel in Kabul.

Sarabi said that last year, HPC has worked hard to finalize a strategy for bringing justice and sustainable peace in the war-torn country.

“Last year, for six months the High Peace Council have worked very hard to finalize the strategy, the vision for this strategy is to bring sustainable and justice peace in Afghanistan so the Afghans could stay in a secure environment,” she said.

According to Sarabi, the strategic objectives in the new policy, include negotiation through contacting with armed people who are engaged in fighting against the government, national consensus which is one of the major and important object for High Peace Council and monitoring on the political agreements – the High Peace Council will monitor all the political agreements between the government and oppositions as they have been doing with Hezb-e-Islami.

The Deputy Head of HPC said that national consensus could not be done without regional and international consensuses and it is mostly depends on the Afghan government.

Promoting the local initiative such as conflict resolution with the local elders and building the capacity of High Peace Council at the headquarters and local level as well as promoting culture of peace in the country are the other strategic objectives of the new strategy.

“We have to change culture of violence to culture of peace, …from homes , villages and local level,” she said.

Sarabi, meanwhile stressed that they have set up some advisory boards for the High Peace Council including women, youth and religious scholars boards as a move to take the public advisory for peace process.

The official concluded that the High Peace Council had reintegration program which proved unsuccessful therefore, it is not part of their new strategy.

At the event, the EU ambassador in Kabul, Pierre Mayaudon stressed that building national consensus is important for ensuring peace in Afghanistan.

“Building up a national consensus together with regional and international consensuses is undoubtedly one of the priorities of all those who combine the efforts to promote the goals of peace in Afghanistan,” he said.

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UN: Taliban have not cut ties with al-Qaeda

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)

According to the latest report by the Security Council of the United Nations, the Taliban have not cut ties with al-Qaeda, even after a peace deal with the United States.

The United Nations has said in a report that al-Qaeda in Afghanistan has been secretly conducting military operations in collusion with the Taliban, and that the group has even held several meetings with al-Qaeda leaders lately to strengthen their ties.

In its latest report, the UN Security Council has revealed the Taliban’s close ties to al-Qaeda, even after a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban. According to the report, al-Qaeda is active in 12 Afghan provinces, with an estimated 400 to 600 military personnel.

The United Nations has said that al-Qaeda leaders have met with the Taliban for more than six times over that last 12 months, and Gul Agha Ishaqzai, a former adviser to Mullah Mohammad Omar, has assured al-Qaeda leaders that the Taliban not will cut ties with al-Qaeda at any cost.

The UN report said, “Al-Qaida and the Taliban held  meetings  over  the course  of  2019  and  in  early  2020  to  discuss  cooperation  related  to  operational, training  and  the  provision  by  the  Taliban  of  safe  havens  for Al-Qaida members  inside Afghanistan. Al-Qaida is covertly active in 12 Afghan provinces. Monitoring Team’s estimate is between 400 and 600 armed operatives.”

“According to interlocutors, al-Zawahiri met with members of the Haqqani Network in February 2020. Hafiz Azizuddin Haqqani (not listed) and Yahya Haqqani (TAi.169)19consulted al-Zawahiri over the agreement with the United States and the peace process,” added the statement.

However, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for Afghanistan’s peace, has said that the Taliban had pledged to cut their relationships with terrorist groups in exchange for the withdrawal of the US troops.

Khalilzad has said that The United States is monitoring the implementation of the Taliban’s commitment to the peace agreement, and under this agreement the Taliban will in no way host terrorist groups and severe ties with al-Qaeda.

On the other hand, Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban member, said that The United Nations wants to hide its failure by saying that the Taliban is linked to al-Qaeda, noting “I don’t think they have any evidence to prove that.”

The Afghan government has also previously spoken of the Taliban’s close ties to ISIS and other terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

The Taliban denied the UN report’s statements regarding the group.

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Coronavirus Afghanistan updates; cases hike to 16,509

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)

The Ministry of Public Health said that 759 new positive cases of Coronavirus have been reported in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of cases to 16,509.

Wahidullah Majrooh, a deputy for the Ministry of Public Health said, “In the past 24 hours, 1,322 cases were examined, of which 759 were tested positive, with 22 recoveries and five deaths.”

The new registries in the capital and provinces are reported as follows: Kabul with 266 cases, Herat 212, Balkh 39, Nangarhar 34, Paktia 66, Baghlan 27, Bamyan 21, Ghazni 18, Takhar 17, Faryab 18, Khost 25, Parwan four, Kapisa seven, Samangan two, and Badakhshan with three cases.

The Ministry of Public Health once again warns that if the people do not cooperate in the fight against the Coronavirus, the pandemic will affect all.

Wahidullah Majrooh, Deputy of the Ministry of Public Health, said, “Successful and effective treatment of the virus is dependent on every citizen of the country. A healthy diet and mental health will help to fight the Coronavirus. Let’s make sure we keep the community safe from the virus.”

The number of people infected with the Coronavirus is growing every day, raising public concerns.

The Ministry of Health emphasizes that the growing number of patients stems from people’s disregard for medical guidelines, which will result in the humanitarian crisis.

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Ghani, Pompeo discuss next steps in Afghan peace process

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(Last Updated On: June 2, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani spoke with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo via video conference on Monday and discussed the next steps in the Afghan peace process.

The video conference was attended also by first VP Amrullah Saleh, and second VP Sarwar Danish, Abdullah Abdullah head of High Council for National Reconciliation, US special Peace Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, Resolute Support commander Scott Miller.

The Presidential Palace said in a statement that the two sides discussed joint efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Pompeo said that the main objective of the US is a united, sovereign, democratic, and stable Afghanistan in the framework of enduring long-term and strategic relations between the two countries, the statement added.

The two sides discussed further steps on the peace process including prisoner releases and place of intra-Afghan negotiations.

They emphasized on joint cooperation on reporting during the process.

“They agreed that the next steps in the peace process should be worked on in the next upcoming days and the Afghan government shall work on a mechanism that would determine rules of the game for the undeclared ceasefire.

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