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MPs Meet Behind Closed Doors Following Clash with Special Forces

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(Last Updated On: October 12, 2019)

A clash between Afghan parliamentarians and police forces last night sparked mixed reactions among lawmakers in the parliament on Saturday.

Apparently, police have stopped and searched a group of lawmakers in PD9 of the capital Kabul on Friday night for having black tinted vehicles, unregistered weapons and unidentified vehicle number palates.

Following the incident, lawmakers have organized an emergency meeting, with the Minister of Interior Masoud Andarabi remaining at the parliament until midnight to resolve the issue.

Later on, Ariana News obtained voices of some MPs who are calling Deputy Interior Minister for Security General Khoshal Sadat as “the Film Hero”, adding he should be summoned to the parliament since Minister Andarabi is not enough.

In addition, lawmakers held a general session behind closed doors on Saturday where they demanded the resignation of General Sadat.

“Lawmakers want full immunity when it comes to the rule of law. They want to be above the law while they have immunity when it comes to making opinions or voting. When it comes to crimes such as theft, betrayal, land-grabbing or unregistered vehicles they have a responsibility like ordinary citizens,” said Ramazan Bashardost, an MP from the capital Kabul.

However, some MPs claimed that the incident was politically motivated.

“I told them that brothers my vehicle has a registration card from parliament and I showed them my identity card but they collected our IDs and weapons,” said Narender Singh Khalsa, an MP representing Sikh and Hindu community in Afghanistan.

Mr. Khalsa further claimed the police forces harassed them by force and attacked Mariam Sulimankhail, a female lawmaker.

“Police special forces are trying to change the narrative and weaken the legal position of the parliament. They want to portray MPs as bullies,” said Gul Rahman Hamdard, an MP from northern Balkh province.

However, an official in the interior ministry said that the incident is under investigation and the rule of law will be implemented equally.

“The law enforcement and public security is the main responsibility of police. Last night incident between police and lawmakers is under serious investigations,” said Nasrat Rahimi, the Interior Ministry Spokesman.

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Turkey sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan

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(Last Updated On: September 28, 2020)

Turkey is sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan against Armenia as clashes escalate. 

Citing two Syrian rebels, Reuters reported the two fighters, from Turkish-backed rebel groups in areas of northern Syria under Turkish control, said they were deploying to Azerbaijan in coordination with Ankara. 

They declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. Reuters could not independently verify their accounts.

“I didn’t want to go, but I don’t have any money. Life is very hard and poor,” said a fighter who had fought in Syria for Ahrar al-Sham, a group that Turkey has supported.

Clashes broke out on Sunday between the two countries over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh territory which is inside Azerbaijan territory but occupied by ethnic Armenians. 

However, Armenia’s ambassador to Moscow said on Monday that Turkey had sent around 4,000 fighters from northern Syria to Azerbaijan and that they were fighting there, an assertion denied by an aide to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Armenia also said Turkish military experts were fighting alongside Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan denied the reports. Turkey did not immediately comment, although senior officials including President Tayyip Erdogan, who has increasingly been flexing Turkey’s military muscle abroad, have promised support for Baku.

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Abdullah says crisis will deepen if peace opportunity is not seized

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(Last Updated On: September 28, 2020)

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said on Monday that the crisis in Afghanistan will only intensify if the current, historic, opportunity is not used wisely. 

Speaking at a meeting with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi in Islamabad, Abdullah said the majority of Afghans want the ongoing war in the country to end and for there to be peace and stability. 

He told the Pakistani officials that Afghanistan today is very different to the Afghanistan of 2001 – after the ousting of the Taliban regime. 

He emphasized that government was “committed to supporting national achievements.”

Abdullah thanked Pakistan for its help to get the Taliban to sit around the negotiating tables but said the level of violence, by the Taliban, in the country was way too high. 

He also said terrorism was a mutual threat for regional countries, and that “lasting and dignified peace in Afghanistan is in the interests of all regional and neighboring countries.”

Qureshi meanwhile said after the meeting that Abdullah’s visit will greatly help to strengthen relations with Afghanistan and forge a common understanding on the Afghan peace process.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s steadfast support to the peace process, Qureshi emphasized that Pakistan had always maintained there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict and encouraged all parties to reach a political agreement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. 

He said it was now up to the Afghan leadership to seize this historic opportunity to bring an end to the decades-long conflict and secure an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement.

He also said there was a need to guard against the detrimental role of ‘spoilers’, both within and outside Afghanistan, who do not wish to see the return of peace in the region.

“The Afghan Peace Process is of paramount importance for both Pakistan and Afghanistan and  its success ensures socio-economic prosperity for all. Abdullah’s visit further strengthens the amity and fraternity between our countries,” said Qureshi.

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TikTok gets temporary reprieve in US after judge blocks Trump order

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(Last Updated On: September 28, 2020)

TikTok continues to remain available for download on iPhone and Android in the United States after a judge on Sunday blocked the Trump administration’s executive order to force Apple and Google to remove the app from their app stores. 

Had the White House order gone ahead, new users in the US would have been blocked from downloading the popular app. 

TikTok became another point of contention between the US and China recently when the US administration raised concerns about the user data storage system and stated they were concerned the Chinese government might use the information.

For weeks, the US government has called for the American side of the TikTok business to be sold. At one point Microsoft had looked into taking it over. 

Now, however, Oracle and Walmart appear to be interested in the takeover.

On Sunday however, a judge granted TikTok owners ByteDance a temporary injunction against Trump’s ban order but it is only a slight reprieve for the company. 

The judge did not block a much broader ban that will come into effect on November 12th, rendering TikTok unusable in the US.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” TikTok said in a statement.

“We will continue defending our rights for the benefit of our community and employees.”

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