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Pakistan to Host Soon U.S.-Taliban Talks on Afghan Peace

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(Last Updated On: December 15, 2018)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says the United States is scheduled to meet on Monday (Dec 17) with the Afghan Taliban and that Islamabad has facilitated the dialogue at Washington’s request.

“The same U.S. that had been asking us to ‘do more’ is now asking Pakistan to facilitate its talks with the Afghan Taliban,” Imran Khan said as quoted by Pakistan Today.

 “When I used to say this matter cannot be resolved without dialogue, [they] would term me ‘Taliban Khan’,” said the PM, revealing that Pakistan had arranged talks between the US and Afghan Taliban on Dec 17.

Khan made the remarks while addressing a ceremony to mark the 100-day ceremony of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The Afghan government will not have any representative in the U.S.-Taliban talks in Pakistan; however, Afghanistan’s High Peace Council (HPC) told Ariana News that the Taliban are meeting the U.S. representatives to facilitate intra-Afghan dialogue.

“The Taliban meet Americans, but eventually, the Afghan government and Taliban delegations will kick off talks to reach on a peace agreement,” said Qazi Amin Weqad, a member of the HPC.

Sayed Akbar Agha, a former member of the Taliban, meanwhile, said that the United States asks Pakistan to put pressure on the Taliban to convince the armed group of allowing the U.S. to have base in Afghanistan while “Taliban is rejecting the issue.”

This comes as Kabul today hosted a trilateral meeting with China and Pakistan aimed at opening talks with the Taliban to end the 17 years of war in Afghanistan.

COVID-19

Afghan man claims to have discovered Coronavirus antidote

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

A man in Kabul claims to have discovered an antidote, vaccine for the treatment of the Coronavirus.

Hakim Alokozai, who introduces himself as an herbal doctor, says the antidote is made from natural herbs extracts.

The man, identified as Mohammad Hakim Alokoziai, has been an herbal doctor for many years and now claims to have developed a vaccine after weeks of studies and research about the disease.

He claims to have applied what he called a vaccine, to several Covid-19 patients and came up with positive results.

Meanwhile, Khushal Nabizada, Kabul head of the public health department, said that the introduction of a drug or the treatment of diseases needs scientific requirements, therefore the treatment of patients should not be arbitrary.

Nabizada underlined that after tests and obtaining a license, this person can prescribe his medicine, and if he has created and/or tried to scam people, he will face the law and be prosecuted

Researchers around the world, in much developed, including the United States, China, Russia, and the European Union, have been trying to develop Coronavirus vaccine and antiviral drugs for months, but none have succeeded to this date.

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Ceasefire must to start, advance peace talks – Abdullah

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council of Reconciliation, speaks of some progress in starting the Intra-Afghan talks.

He also underlined that the government’s negotiating team was ready to start the talks with the Taliban anytime and that the two sides need to take action.

This marks Abdullah’s first speech since taking office as chairman of the High Reconciliation Council after 12 days.

Abdullah called the three-day ceasefire on Eid holidays and the significant exchange of prisoners between the Taliban and the government, promising steps to start the Intra-Afghan talks.

He also called on the countries in the region to continue their cooperation in the Afghan peace process.

Although he announced the full preparations of the government’s negotiating team to start direct talks with the Taliban, he stressed that the start of direct talks with the Taliban requires actions by both sides.

Abdullah said that the final structure of the council would be formed next week.

Meanwhile, a technical team of the Taliban arrived in Kabul following the 3-day ceasefire and is working to ease up the prisoner releases with the Afghan government.

The Taliban’s technical team continued talks for the third day behind closed doors with government representatives in Kabul, focusing on the release of prisoners at both ends, with the aim of speeding up the process and paving the ground for the Intra-Afghan talks.

It is worth mentioning that on the fourth day of the unofficial ceasefire, neither the Taliban nor the government has reported any incidents of violence. To this point, both sides seem optimistic about the cessation of violence.

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Afghanistan to transit trade via Pakistan’s Gwadar port

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

The Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) enables Afghanistan to transit trade through Pakistan’s Gwadar port under the OPTA agreement.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that Afghanistan is trying to improve its economic relations with all neighboring countries and the region, pointing at the Pakistani port of Gwadar as the closest and cheapest transit route for Afghanistan’s trade.

In the meantime, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s senior advisor of economy, Abdul Razzaq Daud, has said that trade with Afghanistan is set to begin through the Gwadar port, starting with 16,000 tons of fertilizer to be shipped to Afghanistan.

In addition, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment considers the Gwadar port as less expensive than any others; however, it criticizes that the neighboring countries are not honest enough in their economic relations with Afghanistan.

On the other hand, experts point out that if Pakistan complies with international economic and transit laws, Afghan traders will be able to import and export goods via Gwadar port at lower costs.

This comes as economic relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been often strained due to political tensions, and the country has severally closed its ports to Afghan traders.

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