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Pakistani Chief of Army Staff surprise visit to Kabul

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(Last Updated On: June 9, 2020)

Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in an unannounced visit to Kabul met with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday

The Presidential Palace said in a statement that Pres. Ghani and Gen. Qamar Bajwa discussed the Afghan Peace process and Pakistan’s support of the process.

It comes as Khalilzad met with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa Sunday and discussed steps required for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations.

“The two took note of recent progress created by the Eid ceasefire and accelerated prisoner releases as well as reduced violence ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations,” US Embassy in Islamabad said in a statement.

According to the statement, the two sides agreed that peace in Afghanistan offers an unprecedented opportunity to advance security, connectivity, and development

for the region.

Meanwhile, the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a video conference in Brussels reaffirms the organization’s support to the intra-Afghan talks.

“Lasting peace in Afghanistan, we can only have if there’s intra-Afghan negotiations, an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led process. And we support that,” Stoltenberg said.

“There are many problems, many reasons to be concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, but there is a huge achievement that we now have a strong Afghan security force which is able to fight terrorism themselves,” he noted.

The NATO chief added that the best way that NATO could do is to “continue to train and help the Afghan security forces so they can create peace and stability in their own country themselves.”

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New US president tells Americans ‘we will get through this together’

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2021)

Joe Biden was sworn in as America’s 46th President on Wednesday in Washington DC.

Biden will preside over a deeply polarized electorate, with millions of voters still believing defeated Trump’s false claims of election fraud, and a divided Congress, where gridlock looms as the default and success will come only by compromise, Reuters reported.

Few presidents have taken power in circumstances such as these: a still-raging pandemic claiming lives, a continuing threat of armed insurrection and a defiant former president who faces a Senate trial charged with encouraging an attack on his country’s capital.

Speaking at his inauguration, Biden said:” “We will get through this together! Together!.

He said the world is watching today and that America has been tested but it has come out stronger for it.

He also said the US will lead by the power of example.

He also called for a moment of silence for all those who died from COVID-19 in the past year.

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Two explosions rattle Nangarhar 

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2021)

Two blasts rocked eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday afternoon, local officials confirmed.

The provincial media office said in a statement that the first blast happened at around 3 pm after a vehicle hit a roadside IED in the Sherzad district of the province.

Two civilians were killed and four others were wounded in the blast.

Half an hour later, a roadside mine hit a civilian’s car in Khogyani district Nangarhar, killing at least two people and wounding three more, the district governor Shamsul Haq Sapai told Ariana News.

Meanwhile, Zia-Ul-Haq Amarkhil, the Governor of Nangarhar said that both IEDs were planted by the Taliban.

The Taliban has not commented in this regard.

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Attacks are against the values of Islam, Atmar tells OIC chief 

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2021)

Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar held talks on Wednesday with Yousef al-Othaimeen, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in Saudi Arabia and discussed the current peace talks being held in Doha, Qatar. 

In a statement, the Jeddah-based organization said discussions were held on the peace process, and on how the OIC can support the talks. 

Al-Othaimeen reiterated the OIC’s commitment to supporting the Afghan people, and development projects in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Atmar praised the OIC for its role in forging unity among Islamic countries in support of the peace process and for issuing special resolutions to form a consensus among Islamic countries to resolve the crisis in Afghanistan. 

At the meeting, Atmar called the war in Afghanistan illegitimate from the point of view of Islam.

“The crimes that are being committed in Afghanistan today are completely incompatible with the beliefs of Muslims and Islamic teachings; Attacks on female judges, killings of Kabul University students and attacks on maternity hospitals are certainly not justifiable in Islam,” he said.

Atmar also stated that if the opposition is truly committed to peace, the Afghan government would not see any obstacles to national reconciliation and the success of the peace process, and would be ready to pave the way for political participation on all sides in accordance with the free will of the Afghan people and internationally accepted standards.

“We want the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to continue its previous demands to end the bloodshed and resolve the political crisis in Afghanistan through holding follow-up meetings, expert consultations and sending special groups to consult with the teams,” he said. 

In response to the Foreign Minister’s remarks, the Secretary-General of the OIC said that he commends and supports the flexible and adaptable position of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan towards peace.

Al-Othaimeen pointed out that killing, violence and intimidation are contrary to the essence of Islam and that people should be made aware that Islam is not a religion of terror and violence, but a religion of unity and convergence. 

He praised the role of religious scholars in this regard, saying that scholars in Islamic societies have an important position not only from a religious point of view but also from a political point of view.

 

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