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MPs Are Concerned About Holding Election in Insecure Provinces

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2019)

A number of lawmakers in the lower house of parliament say that holding the upcoming presidential election in most provinces of the country is not possible due to the security situation.

They say that most parts of the country are under security threats.

The lawmakers further warn of the unsuccessful past elections to be repeated if the government and the electoral commissions do not do their duties for holding a transparent and inclusive election.

“If the peace talks do not reach an agreement, we cannot access to an inclusive election in Afghanistan. Certainly, the transparency of the election will be questionable if it held in such a situation,” said Ghulam Farooq Majrooh, an MP from Herat province.

“If the officials act according to what they have promised to the people, I think still we have enough time to hold a transparent election,’ said Maryam Sama, an MP from Kabul province.

Meanwhile, a number of MPs from Daykundi province and civil activists say that if the government does not pay attention to this province’s security, they will shut down the polling stations in the province and boycott the presidential election.

“The Daykundi province is under intense attacks of the Taliban for two months; at least 120 security forces have been killed and injured,” said Ali Akbar Jamshidi, and MP from Daykundi province.

“We boycott the election and close down the polling stations if the security forces do not receive supports by the government,” said Mukhtar Ansari, a civil activist of Daykundi province.

This comes as the lawmakers stress that the people’s votes should not be used politically otherwise the legitimacy of the election will become questionable which can create serious challenges in the country.

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Afghanistan Cricket Board lifts playing ban on Riaz Hassan

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) has announced that Riaz Hassan, Afghanistan U19 National Team player’s three-year ban has been lifted by ACB after almost 15 months.

The ACB Discipline Committee said that upon showcasing better ability, Hassan can participate in formal and informal games.

Riaz Hassan is a batsman in Afghanistan U19 National Team, who during a Tri-series with India and South Africa, was banned due to disciplinary violations in India.

“Riaz Hassan was banned for three years due to disciplinary violation. However, Hassan contacted ACB and sought mercy while expressing regret over his previous actions and violations. Taking that into consideration and based on section 30 of the principles of Discipline Committee, approved by CEO and endorsed by ACB Chairman, he was pardoned his remainder of the time,” read ACB Discipline Committee decision.

The Board further said that in addition to the HR principles, the Afghanistan Cricket Board also has disciplinary rules for player violations that apply to their intentional and unintentional mistakes.

Meanwhile, the ACB said Tuesday that all National Team players were tested for COVID-19 fortunately, “all players tested negative.”

The players were tested upon the completion of a recently concluded training camp as an added precautionary measure to fight the spread of the Coronavirus, the ACB tweeted.

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Khalilzad says first phase of US-Taliban agreement completed

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The United States said that it has implemented the first phase of the US-Taliban agreement which was inked in Doha, the capital of Qatar.  

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said the US and Taliban have reached day 135, “a key milestone in implementation of the US-Taliban Agreement.”

“The U.S. has worked hard to carry out the 1st phase of its commitments under the Agreement, including to reduce forces and depart five bases,” Khalilzad said.

He added that NATO troops in Afghanistan have been downed in “proportional number.”

Although, the first of the agreement was completed the Taliban and the Afghan government yet to remove obstacles – including prisoner releases and reducing violence – ahead of the intra-Afghan talks, where the two sides would sit in direct talks to discuss further steps including a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire.

Khalilzad said that there has been major progress in this regard, “albeit slow, on prisoner releases.”

“And violence has been high, especially in recent days and weeks. Afghans continue to die in large numbers for no reason,” the US Envoy noted. 

It comes as the Taliban militant group attacked an office of the Afghan National Directorate of Security in Aybak city of Samangan province, killing or wounded dozens of civilians that Afghan forces.

Khalilzad has condemned the attack saying that it was contradicted their commitment to reducing violence until a permanent ceasefire is reached in intra-Afghan talks.

“We condemn today’s attack. The use of major explosives to detonate a vehicle in a provincial capital is unacceptable and will strengthen those who oppose peace and plays into the hands of spoilers. All sides must reduce violence,” he tweeted.

Khalilzad said that the US is seeking to implement the next of the Doha agreement, “our approach will remain conditions-based.” 

The United States will press for “completion of prisoner releases, reduction of violence, complete delivery on CT commitments and start of and progress in intra-Afghan negotiations.”

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US soldier dies in ‘non-combat-related incident’ – Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The US Department of Defense said Monday that an American soldier died in Afghanistan on, July 12, 2020.

Pentagon said in a statement that the soldier has lost his life as a result of a non-combat-related incident in southern Kandahar province.

The incident is under investigation, the statement noted.

The statement identified the soldier as 1st Lt. Joseph Trent Allbaugh, 24, from Folsom, California.

“Allbaugh was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 108th ADA Brigade, Fort Campbell, Kentucky,” the statement said.

It comes as earlier this month; an American soldier was killed in a vehicle accident in Farah province.

The soldier was later identified as Spc. Vincent Sebastian Ibarria, 21, from San Antonio, Texas, US.

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