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Khalilzad Urges Taliban to Stop Violence, Embrace Peace

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(Last Updated On: May 3, 2019)

The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading the U.S. delegation in the new round of talks with the Taliban in Doha, the capital of Qatar, has told the group’s representatives on the opening session that it is time to “stop violence and embrace peace.”

“In our opening session, I underscored to the Talibs that the Afghan people, who are their brothers & sisters, want this war to end. It is time to put down arms, stop the violence, & embrace peace,” Khalilzad said in a tweet on Friday.

Meanwhile, in a reaction to Khalilzad’s remarks, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban militant group said in a statement on Friday, “Khalilzad should forget about the idea that we (Taliban fighters) would put down our arms. Instead of such fantasies, he should drive the idea to the U.S. about ending the use of force and incurring further human and financial losses for the sustaining the Kabul administration(the Afghan Government).

The two parties will discuss the four components of the framework agreement, which was agreed upon in the last two rounds of talks, which are: foreign troop withdrawal, guarantees that will prevent the use of Afghanistan soil by any groups or individuals against the security of the United States or any other country, intra-afghan dialogue and negotiations, and reduction in violence leading to a comprehensive ceasefire, Qatar-based QNA News reported.

Pointing out to this, Khalilzad added, “Peace will require that we find common-ground on four inter-connected issues: troop withdrawal, counter-terrorism assurances, intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations, and reduction in the violence leading to a comprehensive ceasefire.”

According to QNA News, the State of Qatar, which acts as the mediator in this conflict, welcomes the current round of talks between the United States and the Taliban and considers this round of important development to achieve peace in Afghanistan.

The State of Qatar hopes that these rounds of talks will achieve the desired results to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan, the report added.

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Regional consensus crucial to Afghan Peace Negotiations: SAARC

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(Last Updated On: September 25, 2020)

Foreign Ministers of SAARC member states have emphasized the importance of the regional consensus for the success of the Afghan Peace Negotiations (APN).

In the SAARC Information meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which was held virtually on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Acting Foreign Minster Mohmmad Haneef Atmar thanked SAARC member-states for their support to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

According to a statement released on Friday, Atmar called on the participating countries to extend necessary support to Afghanistan for achieving “a humanitarian ceasefire between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolution.” 

“Atmar stressed that the humanitarian ceasefire would help enable relevant institutions of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to provide medical services to the affected communities living throughout Afghanistan,” the statement read.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia.

Its member states are Afghanistan, joined the organization in 2007, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

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Eight militants killed in Kandahar clash

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(Last Updated On: September 25, 2020)

At least eight Taliban militants were killed and 11 more wounded in a clash with the Afghan forces in southern Kandahar provinces, police confirmed.

The incident took place in Takhta Pul district of Kandahar province on Thursday night.

Kandahar police spokesman Jamal Nasir Barakzai told Ariana News that the clash started after dozens of insurgents attacked a security checkpoint of the Afghan Security Forces. 

Meanwhile, the Afghan forces have also sustained casualties in the skirmish.

Barakzai stated that three policemen were killed and four others wounded in the battle.

The Taliban yet comment in this regard.

The Taliban have increased attacks of the Afghan forces across the country.

At least 64 Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ASDF) members have been killed in several days of clashes in central Uruzgan province.

Uruzgan officials confirmed the incident, saying that the center of the Gizab district of the province has been under besieging by the Taliban militants for several days. As well as the insurgents have launched coordinated attacks on Dihrawood in the past two days.

The officials have warned that the two districts would collapse to the hands of the Taliban if the government does not send reinforcement.

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Gizab, Dihrawood districts in Uruzgan on verge of collapse: officials

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(Last Updated On: September 25, 2020)

The center of Gizab district of Uruzgan province has been under besieging by the Taliban militants for several days, local officials said Friday. 

According to the officials, thousands of Taliban insurgents have launched offensives to capture Gizab and Dihrawood districts. 

So far, 64 security forces have been killed in the clashes with the militants in the Gizab district. 

The officials added that the casualties in the Dihrawood district yet to be determined. 

The local officials urged for immediate reinforcements and help, saying that both districts are on the verge of collapse.

Meanwhile, residents also said that the Afghan forces yet to evacuate the civilians from the frontline.

It comes as the Taliban have intensified attacks against the government forces across the country since the start of the peace talks in Doha.

Earlier this week, the Taliban militants had killed at least 28 Afghan National Defense and Security Force (ANDSF) members after they surrendered in Gizab district. 

The Taliban, however, had denied the claims and said the security forces were killed in a skirmish. 

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