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Key points outlined in Washington’s plan for transitional govt

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: March 7, 2021)

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has handed over Washington’s plan for the formation of a transitional government in Afghanistan, the Taliban confirmed.

In an interview with Ariana News, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem said the plan was being considered by the Taliban’s leadership in Doha and that “a final decision has yet to be made in this regard.”

Naeem stated that the plan includes a transitional government, an Ankara, Turkey summit, and a ceasefire.

He added that the Taliban has not yet taken a clear position in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government has also received US President Joe Biden’s proposed plan for the formation of a participatory government which includes the Taliban and the convening of an international summit.

Nader Naderi, a member of the government’s peace delegation said Sunday the plan needs serious and careful consideration.

“We have received many plans from different countries, but these plans need to be seriously and comprehensively reviewed in order to meet the interests of the people,” Naderi stated.

The plan consists of three key points; a principled guideline for the future of Afghanistan, a transitional government, and a permanent ceasefire.

According to a section of the plan that Ariana News read, a President of Afghanistan would be elected at the end of the transitional government period.

According to the plan, Islam will be considered the official religion of the country, and all Afghan citizens are granted immunity as “Afghanistan is a common home of all ethnicities and religions.”

The Transitional government will consist of the following three main cornerstones:

  • The executive administration, including a president, deputies, ministers, and independent directorates
  • Legislature, which includes the Senate and Parliament, in which the Taliban will be represented and;
  • The judiciary, which would also include the Independent High Council of Islamic Jurisprudence and the Commission for Drafting a New Constitution.

According to the plan, the High Council of Islamic Jurisprudence will be composed of 15 members including seven Taliban members, seven members of the Afghan government, and a person would be chosen by the president of the government.

The council would be tasked to prepare Islamic guidance for social and cultural affairs.

Meanwhile, the Afghan NSA Hamdullah Mohib stated that the plan is not the US government’s official scheme for Afghanistan.

The plan that the Americans have handed over to everyone; we have been told that it is not the US government’s official plan, said Mohib adding that the government is reviewing it.  

Addressing a press conference in Kabul Mohib stated that the plan is aimed at sharing power to resolve the current security issues.

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Afghan journalists launch center to preserve freedom of speech

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: April 17, 2021)

A number of Afghan media officials and journalists Saturday officially launched the Afghanistan Center for Freedom of Speech, which is aimed at supporting the values of free speech, the media, and journalists.

During an event to mark the official launch in Kabul, media workers called for an immediate end to the targeted assassinations of journalists and urged the government to prosecute those responsible.

Addressing guests attending the event, Sharif Hassanyar, Head of News for Ariana News stated: “As we enter a crucial phase [in the country] I think the existence of this organization and defending the values of freedom of speech is a must.”

The new center has been funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Information and Culture and will represent the rights and values of the media community in the country.

EU Ambassador to Kabul Andreas Von Brandt also addressed guests and called on warring parties to stop targeting journalists and media workers.

“Mursal Wahidi, Shahnaz Raufi, Sadia Sadat, Ilyas Dayee, and Samim Faramarz were all murdered because of their profession,” he said.

“These targeted attacks not only deprived the victims of their future but they can also be qualified as war crimes,” Von Brandt noted.

“The EU is not only protecting free speech, the EU is the foremost, the world’s largest and the most successful experiment in peacemaking,” he said.

“I stand here to testify that understanding between hereditary enemies is actually possible and peaceful transitions can be managed, but all this needs of course is compromise and the readiness for each side to make concessions.”

“The EU stands ready to help [Afghanistan],” he said.

Meanwhile, in support of journalists, the center on Saturday also awarded Afghan female journalist Anisa Shahid with their inaugural journalist of the year award.

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Afghan swimmer makes waves in World Para Series in Texas

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: April 17, 2021)

Afghan swimmer Abbas Karimi won a silver medal at the World Para Swimming Series tournament in Texas on Friday evening in the men’s 50m butterfly S5 category.

Posting the news on his Facebook page, Karimi said: “I won this medal for 80 million refugees in the world.”

The Afghan-born swimmer is competing as part of his bid to get into the Refugee Para Athletes Team for the Tokyo Olympics.

He made history at the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City when he became the first refugee to win a medal at a major Para-swimming event. In 2018 he also won gold at the World Series in Indianapolis.

On Saturday, Karimi said about his latest win: “This medal is cool but I want Paralympic medals [from Tokyo].”

More than 100 swimmers have come together in Louisville, Texas for this year’s major swimming contest.

Karimi has so far secured first place in 50m and 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly heats in his category, and second place in the 200m freestyle heat.

Karimi is also expected to take part in the 50m backstroke event in his category on Sunday.

“Thank you so much, everyone, who’s been supporting and praying for me,” Karimi wrote.

Should Karimi make it to the Tokyo Paralympics, he will be the first Afghan to do so.

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EU envoy urges Taliban to attend Istanbul peace conference

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: April 17, 2021)

EU Ambassador to Kabul Andreas Von Brandt has called on the Taliban to engage in serious negotiations with the Afghan government.

Addressing the inauguration of the “Afghanistan Free Speech Hub” by a group of Afghan journalists and media officials in Kabul, Von Brandt said that the Taliban should not miss opportunities for maintaining peace in Afghanistan.

“As we entered in the holy month of Ramadan I still hope that the Taliban will not miss this opportunity offered to them in Istanbul,” he said.

“There is actually no time to waste,” Von Brandt stressed.

“If the Taliban want to be part of a government in Afghanistan, benefit from our development assistance from our trade, from our humanitarian aid, from the international exposure they better start seriously negotiating,” the EU diplomat said.

This comes after US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday announced that a full withdrawal of troops would start from May 1 and end by September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States.

EU Ambassador stated that the organization would continue its mission in Afghanistan beyond foreign troop withdrawal.

“Let one thing be clear the EU delegation will continue to be here and continue to do its work,” Von Brandt said.

He, meanwhile, called on the warring parties to compromise for the sake of the Afghan people.

“Understanding between hereditary enemies is actually possible and peaceful transitions can be managed,” Von Brandt said.

“It is an example…how the blood on the battlefield can be exchanged for patience at the negotiating table, how horrific conflicts and wars can be ended through joint institutions.”

“But all these needs of course compromise and the readiness for each side to make concessions,” he added.

He emphasized that if war continues or intensifies “everybody will lose terribly”.

“Of course we are strong supporters to an inclusive peace process that reflects the concerns of the people of Afghanistan that includes women, war victims, civil society, and of course all groups of the population,” he said.

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