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Insecurity Draws Concerns Over Closure of Some Polling Centers

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(Last Updated On: August 30, 2018)

More than seven thousand polling stations were listed for the upcoming elections, but more than 2,000 centers were closed because of insecurity.

Now with the increase of insecurity in the cities of Gardez, Maimana, Sar-i-Pul and several other parts of the country, concerns have peaked over the possibility of closure of other polling centers.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) says the fall of any part of the country by terrorists would make it impossible for the election to be held in that part of the country.

Seyed Hafizullah Hashemi, secretary of the IEC has warned that some polling centers will be closed on Election Day if insecurity stays in high level and other sectors may collapse into the hands of terrorists.

According to IEC, It is difficult to hold elections in 32 districts of Afghanistan with the current security challenges, even in impossible areas.

The observing and monitoring institutions do not consider the security situation well. They are said to believe that the recent intensification of insecurity will reduce the number of open polling centers on Election Day.

“If we are to continue with this situation, it would be impossible to hold the election. If it is held, maybe there would be no overall general election,” Naeem Ayoub Zada, chairman of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) said.

The issue of ensuring election security is one of the main issues of the Interior Ministry’s security meetings, but apparently the intensity of the war and the increase in insecurity will challenge the overall pace of the election.

“All polling centers are listed in the Ministry of Interior and security measures have been instructed to the responsible,” Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman of MoI added.

In addition to the closed centers due to insecurity, the current challenges in Ghazni province caused the parliamentary election to not be held in the province which means that Ghazni will not have any new representative in the next parliament and that its people would be deprived of the right to vote.

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MFA Afghanistan denies Pakistan’s claim that India supports Pakistani Taliban

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2020)

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied Pakistan’s claim that India is cooperating with the Pakistani Taliban on the Afghan soil.

After India said Pakistan was a safe haven for terrorist groups in the region; Pakistan now claims that India supports the Pakistani Taliban on Afghan soil and is using them against Pakistan.

Moreover, Pakistan believes that India obscures the situation in Afghanistan.

Ayesha Farooqi, the spokeswoman for Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that India wants to divert the world’s attention from its support for the Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan adding that In fact, India is trying to muddy the Afghan peace process.

In the meantime, Kabul has reacted strictly to Pakistan’s remarks. In a statement, the Afghan Foreign Ministry denied Pakistan’s claim that India supported the Pakistani Taliban and its activities against Pakistan, assuring that Afghan territory would never be used against any country.

“No group is allowed to use Afghan territory against another nation. We urge countries in the region to cooperate in the Afghan peace process and play a constructive role,” the statement said, “lasting peace in Afghanistan means that terrorist groups cannot pose a threat to the region.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, supports India’s policy toward Afghanistan, saying that New Delhi has played a key role in the recent peace efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

“I believe that New Delhi’s policy of avoiding any engagement with the Taliban has had its day, especially in view of the upcoming launch of intra-Afghan talks and eventual transformation of the Taliban movement into an influential legal political force in Afghanistan,” said Kabulov.

However, after the signing of the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban, there are signs of the emergence of other militant groups.

The Afghan government says the anti-government militants have direct Pakistani support; while Pakistan claims to have played a key role in the peace efforts.

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Coronavirus in Afghanistan; 582 new cases, 19,551 total

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2020)

The Coronavirus in Afghanistan grows with the course of every day – a total of 582 infections have been reported, with 18 deaths, in the past 24 hours.

The total number of the Coronavirus cases in Afghanistan has reached 19,551, and the Ministry of Public Health says if people do not cooperate, the number of people infected with the virus will increase dramatically.

“In the past 24 hours, 761 samples have been tested, of which 582 have been positive, 18 patients died and 68 others recovered,” said Wahidullah Majrooh, MOPH deputy minister.

Meanwhile, the MOPH emphasizes that if people want to decrease the risk of the virus, they should pay serious attention to the medical instructions.

The ministry underlined that there weren’t sufficient gears to effectively fight the virus in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the government has extended the restriction on movement for another three months.

Officials from the ministries of Labor and Social Affairs, Interior Affairs, Public Health, and the Governor of Kabul have presented a new quarterly plan in a joint meeting to impose restrictions on movements in the city.

According to the government’s new quarterly plan, it is mandatory to wear a mask, avoid social gatherings, prevent elders from leaving the home, and follow the health guidelines.

Also, service providers must perform their activities with strict health care measures.

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Afghan refugees killed in Iran; MFA investigating the case

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(Last Updated On: June 6, 2020)

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that they have been investigating the burning of a vehicle carrying Afghan nationals in the Iranian city of Yazd.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to Iran blames the human traffickers for their failure to comply with traffic rules which led to the burning of the Afghan refugees’ transport.

One day after the burning of a car carrying Afghan refugees in Yazd province of Iran, the Afghan ambassador, who went to Yazd to investigate the incident, met with the injured, said that the car caught fire because of the human trafficker’s negligence on following the traffic rules.

“First, the Iranian police shoot at the car’s tire, and the smuggler speeds up until the car hits the roadside barrier and catches fire,” said Ghafoor Liwal, Afghan ambassador to Iran.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, three Afghan refugees were killed and five others were injured in the incident.

“Iran’s treatment of Afghan refugees is against human rights law,” said Naeem Nazari, deputy commissioner for human rights.

The incident has sparked a wave of reactions on social media, with users highlighting the incident and criticizing Iranian leaders.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has never taken a long-standing action regarding the plight of Afghan refugees,” said Faramarz Tamana, a former head of the MoFa’s Center for Strategic Relations.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry added that it would proceed with the matter with its counterpart as per the outcomes of the investigation.

It is worth mentioning, weeks ago, reports indicated that the Iranian border guards had thrown and killed a number of Afghan refugees in the Harirud River. This was followed by the Afghan and Iranian governments assigning a joint delegation to look into it; however, the results are pending.

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