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No Specific Address To Contact Taliban As Calls For Peace Rises

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2017)

Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) has no specific address to contact the Taliban as the Afghan government is ready to even open a political office for the group in Kabul, a member of the Council said on Friday.

With a new leadership, the Council is expected to announce a new strategy in the coming weeks but still unclear whether the Afghan government would contact Taliban political office in Doha, the capital of Qatar, or Islamabad.

“There is no question of negotiating in Doha or Islamabad. We want to encourage the armed opposition groups to peace talks and as the President has told the armed oppositions can open an office even in Kabul,” said Mawlawi Khabir HPC Deputy Chief.

As calls for peace rises, Pakistani officials have once again started to lobby in favor of the Taliban group, emphasizing on consideration of political incentives for the group.

“Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan,” said Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria during a press briefing on Thursday,” we believe the focus should be on exploring political incentives that can attract Taliban to negotiations.”

Experts believe that the only solution to end the ongoing violence in Afghanistan is to end negative confrontation between Islamabad – New Delhi as well as other regional countries.

“Pakistan and India is having rivalry in Afghanistan. A new formula is need to resolve this issue,” said Tajikistani researcher Qasim Shah Sikandarov.

These remarks come as President Ghani has said less time is left for the Taliban group to accept the reconciliation offer or face serious consequences. In addition, Ghani is seeking peace agreement with Pakistan first and then with the Taliban group.

Reported by: Bais Hayat

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India overtakes Russia to become world’s third hardest-hit nation in pandemic

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

India on Sunday surpassed Russia with the number of COVID-19 cases, to become the country with the third-highest number in the world.

Adding just under 24,000 new Coronavirus cases late Sunday, India’s total is now at 697,836, according to Worldometer data.

In its daily update, India’s health ministry on Sunday reported the record spike in cases and stated that 613 people had died in 24 hours.

India’s count surpassed Russia’s current caseload of 681,251. With this, only the US and Brazil have recorded higher numbers of COVID cases than India.

According to local news reports, this surge in numbers came as infections rose in the western and southern parts of the country amid heavy monsoon rains.

NDTV stated that Maharashtra, the worst-hit state and home to the densely packed financial hub Mumbai, recorded over 7,000 new cases while Tamil Nadu and Delhi recorded more than 4,200 and 2,500 fresh cases respectively.

The surge in cases in India comes despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns in March to control the virus spread.

Authorities have made wearing masks mandatory in public places, while large gatherings are banned and shops and other public establishments are required to implement social distancing.

But epidemiologists have told India’s media that the country’s peak could still be weeks or months away, suggesting the country’s already severely overburdened healthcare system will come under further stress.

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Militants attack security checkpoint – Kabul

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

One militant was killed and another arrested in Shakar Dara district of Kabul province, police said.

The militants stormed a security checkpoint in Mir Bacha Kut district of Kabul and faced resistance by police, Kabul police said in a statement, adding that the Afghan forces pushed back the insurgents and they fled the area following clashes.

According to the statement, one of the militants was killed in chasing in Shakar Dara district of the province and the other one was arrested.

The incident took place at around 2 a.m. Monday.

Meanwhile, the Taliban militants attacked Afghan security forces on the Balkh-Jawzjan highway on Sunday.

The Defense Ministry said that three insurgents were killed and four others wounded in a counterattack.

In Logar, the Afghan forces pushed back the Taliban in the Puze Niai area in the Barakibarak district of the province.

The Taliban yet comment about the incidents.

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Afghanistan to host regional meeting on peace process

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

Afghanistan will host a summit on Monday which will be attended by regional countries to discuss the Afghan peace process. 

Representatives from 19 countries, the United States, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and neighboring countries are expected to attend the meeting.

The meeting will be held on Monday at the Presidential Palace via a video conference.

Reduction in violence, the start of inter-Afghan talks, the exchange of prisoners, and the establishment of a humanitarian ceasefire are points of the meeting’s agenda, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.

“The countries of the region and Afghanistan’s strategic partners will join the regional summit which will be held as a video conference on Monday,” MFA spokesman Gran Hiwad said.

Monday’s meeting will bring together a number of countries that have conflicting interests in Afghanistan. They will be brought together to reach a consensus on peace talks, the government said. However, the government has repeatedly stated that there is a consensus on the peace process in the region.

“The Afghan government has always said that we have a regional consensus. In tomorrow’s meeting with twenty countries, they will once again emphasize the regional understanding of Afghanistan’s peace and security,” said Ahmad Saeedi, a former Afghan diplomat in Pakistan.

The regional meeting, hosted by Kabul, will begin with a speech by the President, and at the end, 19 countries and the United Nations will announce a joint declaration on peace in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Kabul will host a trilateral meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China on peace talks. But holding the meeting out of sight of India beyond New Delhi’s regional opposition to Islamabad and Beijing is seen as detrimental to the peace process.

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