Connect with us

Latest News

New Bill By U.S Senators Seek Congressional Oversight of Afghan Peace Process

Ariana News

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: November 25, 2019)

Two Members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday introduced a new bipartisan legislation that would provide congressional oversight of the Afghanistan peace process, according to a statement from U.S. Senator Todd Young.

“The Ensuring a Durable Afghanistan Peace Act of 2019,” introduced by the committee’s top ranking Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez from New Jersey and his Republican colleague Sen. Todd Young from Indiana, would require congressional oversight “For U.S. diplomatic efforts to achieve a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan and any agreement that emerges from that process.”

According to Senator Menendez, the new legislation is an effort to ensure that Afghanistan would not descend in to chaos as U.S. draws down its military operation in the country.

“This bipartisan effort is in line with the Administration’s goals to achieve a political end to the war in a responsible manner, and also seeks to protect the hard fought gains made for the rights of Afghan women and minorities,” Senator Menendez said. “Afghanistan can never again become a platform for terrorist attacks against the United States or our allies. This is exactly why Congress must assert its oversight authority in the event that the Trump administration restarts negotiations with the Taliban,” Senator Menendez said.

Moreover, Senator Young said, “Unfortunately, like other war powers discussions, Congress has taken a backseat in the debate over the future of our mission in Afghanistan”, adding that as Afghanistan conflict is moving toward a stalemate and U.S. is pursuing negotiations with Taliban, “Congress must be a part of the process to ensure that our mission is brought to a responsible end.”

Based on the statement, The Ensuring a Durable Afghanistan Peace Act of 2019 if enacted would:

  • Expresses support for pursuing a peace deal with the Taliban to bring an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.
  • States that any action to curtail or remove U.S. military forces from Afghanistan include regular consultation with Congress. 
  • Expresses support for the social, economic, and political progress the Government and people of Afghanistan have achieved since 2001. 

Transmission of Agreements to Congress 

  • Requires that the administration transmit the final agreement with the Taliban to Congress, to include a description of counterterrorism assurances, U.S. troop withdrawal, the status of direct Afghan negotiations and progress towards reaching a comprehensive ceasefire. 
  • Requires an initial verification assessment report, not later than 60 days after finalizing an agreement with the Taliban, that assesses:
    • The extent to which the Secretary of State can verify that the Taliban are complying with their obligations and commitments under the peace agreement;
    • Whether the Taliban and Haqqani Network have transparently and verifiably broken ties with al-Qaeda;
    • An assessment of the viability of the intra-Afghan governing agreement; and,
    • An assessment as to whether the terms of ceasefire are being met by all sides in the conflict. 

Reporting on Verification and Compliance

  • Requires a quarterly report assessing whether the key tenets of the peace deal are being honored, including:
    • Assessment of terrorist activity in Afghanistan, Taliban actions with respect to the counterterrorism guarantees, and threats against the United States homeland;
    • Assessment as to whether the Taliban are in compliance with their commitments under the peace agreement;
    • Updated assessment of the intra-Afghan agreement, and whether the terms of the ceasefire are being met by all parties of the conflict;
    • Description of the status of human rights, including the rights of women and minorities and their access to education, justice and economic opportunities following a peace deal; and,
    • A description of the rule of law, governance structures, freedoms of press and media, and civil society’s operating space following a peace deal.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Featured

Saleh lashes out over Kabul blast, says ‘rotten ideology’ must be rooted out

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: October 24, 2020)

Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said on Saturday night that ISIS Afghanistan (IS-K) and the Taliban share the same “ideological gene” and that the “rotten ideology” needs to be rooted out. 

Reacting to the deadly bombing earlier Saturday evening in a suburb of Kabul, Saleh tweeted: “The suicide attack at a private learning center in West of Kabul killed 11 and maimed many young hopefuls. The rotten ideology of quest for false heaven has to be rooted out. Talibs & IS-K share the same ideological gene. They are together at tactical level now. Future ?!”

Within half an hour of Saleh’s tweet, the death toll in the suicide bombing had however risen to 13. 

Saleh was one of many who condemned the incident and questioned the high levels of violence despite ongoing peace talks in Doha. 

Patricia Gossman, Associate Asia director for Human Rights Watch, posted on Twitter and said: “Yet another senseless, cruel attack in Kabul. Civilians going about ordinary activities—walking down the street, sitting in lessons, or getting care in a hospital—continue to suffer sudden and terrifying violence. Why are their stories not told in the peace talks?”

Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, also  condemned the attack and labeled it a “terrorist attack” that was “against Islamic and human values.” 

EU special representative for Afghanistan Roland Kobia also slammed the high levels of violence and said: “This and other recent attacks on provincial capitals illustrate the so-called ‘Reduction in Violence’. Enough. There must by full unity of the international community, + massive pressure for an immediate ceasefire asked by all Afghans.”

The attack came in an area of west Kabul that is home to many from the Shia community, a minority in Afghanistan that has been targeted by groups such as the Islamic State (IS-K) in the past.

Saturday’s incident happened when a suicide bomber tried to enter an education center but was prevented from doing so by the guards. He then detonated his explosives in a narrow alley. 

In the past, the area has witnessed deadly explosions that have killed dozens of people over the years. 

In 2018 dozens of students were killed in an explosion at another education center and in May this year, 24 people including mothers, babies and expectant mothers were killed when gunmen attacked a maternity ward at a hospital in the area. 

The Taliban meanwhile was quick to distance themselves from Saturday’s attack but no other group has yet accepted responsibility for the explosion.

Continue Reading

Featured

At least 13 killed in suicide bombing outside a Kabul college 

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: October 24, 2020)

At least 13 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in a densely populated area of Kabul city. 

Ministry of Interior spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed Saturday evening that the death toll stands at 13 and about 30 others were wounded. 

He also stated that a suicide bomber had tried to enter the Kawsar-e Danish Training Center but was prevented from doing so by the guards at the gate. 

The suicide bomber then detonated his explosives in the alley, Arian said. 

Soon after the explosion, the Taliban’s spokesman distanced the group from the incident and stated they were not behind the attack. 

In a message on Twitter, Zabihullah Mujahid said “the Taliban was not responsible for the explosion in Pul-e Khoshk area [of Kabu].”

Videos posted on social media painted a grim picture of blood and bodies lying in the alley immediately after the incident. Local residents also frantically covered the victims with blankets while others carried the wounded to vehicles so they could be transported to hospital. 

No other group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

Continue Reading

Featured

Civilians killed in Kabul city explosion

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: October 24, 2020)

A number of people have been killed in an explosion that ripped through a densely built-up area in Pul-e-Khushk in Kabul city on Saturday evening.

The incident happened at about 5 pm local time.

Videos posted to social media show local residents frantically calling for blankets to cover bodies lying in a narrow lane while others assist the wounded. 

The exact number of people killed has not yet been confirmed. 

Early reports also indicate the explosion targeted an education facility in the area. 

Details to follow.

Continue Reading

Trending