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In Nawroz message, Ghani calls on Taliban to stop killing Afghans 

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(Last Updated On: March 21, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called on the Taliban to stop killing Afghans and not to let “strangers” manipulate them. 

Speaking at an event to mark the New Persian Year, Nawroz, at the Presidential Palace on Sunday, Ghani said the conflict carried out by the Taliban is not legitimate. 

“The Taliban have no legitimacy for this war. They are [Taliban] proud that they did not attack the foreign forces, but who gave them the legitimacy to kill their Afghan brothers? It is enough and don’t be the hand tool of strangers,” Ghani said. 

Ghani also said that Afghanistan’s foreign policy focuses on the long-term interests of the country.

“Our foreign policy has one principle and that is Afghanistan’s lasting interests, Afghanistan has neither a lasting friend nor a lasting enemy,” Ghani said.

Ghani also said the New Year, 1400, would be a year of digitization for Afghanistan.

“Today is a happy day that in the shortest time all our civilian salaries and air and defense will be electronic and will be done by phone,” Ghani said. 

“Distribution of electronic IDs distributions has surpassed three million, and Afghanistan will see a major digital boom this year,” Ghani added.

He also said there are still concerns around drought in the country and he called on parliament members to prioritize the country’s water management projects this year.

“Our water everywhere which is our dignity will be managed in Afghanistan,” Ghani said.

Ghani stated that major economic projects are underway and Afghans have the capacity to become self-reliant.

Ghani also hoped that this New Year, Afghan children will start school without security threats

“We will achieve peace; a peace that ends bloodshed in the country and a peace with justice,” Ghani said.

Ghani’s comments come just hours after reports emerged that Ghani said he will attend the planned peace summit in Istanbul next month on condition that the Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada also attends. 

 

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Govt rolls out curfew in 31 provinces to curb Taliban activities

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(Last Updated On: July 24, 2021)

The Afghan government announced Saturday it has imposed a curfew in 31 provinces around the country in a bid to curb Taliban activity.

According to the Ministry of Interior’s deputy spokesman Ahmad Zia Zia, the curfew will come into effect immediately and will be enforced from 10pm to 4am. 

Kabul, Nangarhar and Panjshir provinces are the only three that have been exempt. 

“Based on the security [situation] officials announced a curfew in 31 provinces; the decision was taken to prevent Taliban activities,” said Zia.

Meanwhile, residents of Kapisa province said that a number of families have been displaced due to clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban in Nijrab, Alasay and Tagab districts.

“Due to the war between ANDSF and Taliban in Nijrab, Alasay and Tagab districts, many of the residents of the districts have been displaced. We want to know what government intends to do about this,” said Shamila Mashal, a civil society activist.

In addition to these districts, heavy clashes have been ongoing between ANDSF and Taliban in Ghazni, Wardak, Takhar, Kunduz, Kunar, Laghman, Herat, Helmand and Nimruz provinces.

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Commander of US, NATO forces in Afghanistan is stepping down

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(Last Updated On: July 12, 2021)

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller is stepping down Monday in a move that marks the symbolic end of the U.S. military mission in the country.

Miller has commanded the military coalition in Afghanistan since August 2018, longer than any previous commanding general in that position and will turn over command of U.S. Forces Afghanistan to the commander of U.S. Central Command, Marine General Frank McKenzie.

NBC reported that as the head of CENTCOM, McKenzie already had authority over Afghanistan and many of the neighboring countries. He will continue to work from CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa, Florida, and his forward headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar.

Miller is expected to retire, three defense officials said, NBC reported.

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Biden: US military mission in Afghanistan will end Aug 31

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2021)

The United States’ military mission in Afghanistan will officially end on August 31, US President Joe Biden announced Thursday during an update on the troop withdrawal process.

Biden stated a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is “not inevitable” because the Afghan military not only outnumbers the Taliban but is much better equipped. 

He also said the US intelligence community’s recent warning that Afghanistan’s government is on the verge of collapse is “wrong”. 

Biden’s remarks during a press briefing at the White House came after he and Vice President Kamala Harris met with national security leaders for an update on the troop withdrawal process.

He also said: “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build, and it is the right and the responsibility of Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.” 

Biden announced that the US is implementing an evacuation plan to withdraw Afghans who assisted the American military.

Biden said Washington would begin flights this month to relocate Afghan interpreters and other personnel who aided the US military – as well as their families – to third-party countries while they await expedited visa processing to move to the United States.

“There is a home for you in the United States if you so choose, and we will stand with you just as you stood with us,” Biden said.

He noted that the US has already approved 2,500 special immigrant visas for Afghans who assisted the US military but said that “up until now, fewer than half have exercised their right to do that.”

There are an estimated 18,000 Afghans who qualify for the special immigrant visas.

 

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