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Parliament Calls Dostum’s Turn Back Against Law

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(Last Updated On: July 19, 2017)

After the plane of Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum was denied permission to land in northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif late on Monday, he returned back to Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

On Wednesday, Afghan parliament speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi reacted to the incident and said that the Vice President can return to the country at anytime because he has not been convicted or found guilty for an offence so far.

“The First Vice President can travel outside or return back to the country at anytime. If anyone creates problem for his return, it is against the law and shall not be repeated again,” reiterated Ibrahimi.

Sources close to the first Vice President say that he is expected to return home next week through Hiratan, a port in northern Balkh province which locates along the border between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.

“The first Vice President is expected to return to Afghanistan very soon,” said Abdullah Qarluq, Deputy of Junbish-e Mili Party led by VP Gen. Dostum.

In addition, people close to Atta Mohammad Noor the governor of Balkh province say that efforts are underway to include more political groups in the new political alliance named “High Council of Coalition for Salvation of Afghanistan”.

“After the consultations ended, the Coalition for Salvation of Afghanistan will officially announce its existence in a big gathering where all of its founders will attend,” said lawmaker Farhad Azimi who is a close aide of governor Noor.

The office of President Ashraf Ghani has denied to make a comment about the report so far. But reports suggest that the President has assigned the Urban Development Minister, Sayed Sadat Mansoor Naderi, to mediate in resolving the issue between VP Dostum and President Ghani.

By Farshad Saleh & Hesamuddin Hesam

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Rescue workers search for survivors after Mumbai building collapses

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2020)

Indian officials confirmed late Monday that at least 10 people died in a building collapse earlier in the day. 

The four-story residential building, on the outskirts of Mumbai, collapsed in the early hours of Monday morning while people were asleep. 

Search and rescue teams are still working to find survivors trapped in the rubble. 

During the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rains weaken the foundations of buildings that are poorly constructed or old, India experiences frequent structure collapses.

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Violence intensifies across the country, despite peace talks

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2020)

Clashes have intensified between the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and Taliban militants in 14 provinces in the past ten days – inflicting heavy casualties on both sides. 

Government sources said clashes have been recorded in 33 districts in total and that at least 30 members of the ANDSF and 401 Taliban insurgents have been killed in the skirmishes. 

In addition, 126 ANDSF members and 114 militants have been wounded.

Sources said the Taliban has in this time increased attacks against government forces in Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Logar, Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar, Kandahar, Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Balkh, Helmand and Uruzgan provinces.

Details of civilian casualties were not however released. 

Concerns continue to rise regarding the escalation in violence, with global leaders calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. 

On Monday, US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad voiced his concern and called for an immediate reduction in violence. 

In a post on Twitter, Khalilzad said: “Over the last few days, there has been a clear rise in violence in Afghanistan. 

“This escalation is regrettable as Afghans, including many civilians, are losing their lives. 

“Given the recent start of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations, it is imperative all sides reduce violence significantly,” he said.

This comes as Afghan negotiators and the Taliban’s talks team discuss intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha. 

However, a marked increase in violence has been evident over the past ten days – specifically since the start of the peace talks. 

Citing UN figures, EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia said on Friday violence in Afghanistan in the last five weeks has been “the highest in the last five years”. 

 

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Calls grow for a ceasefire on International Day of Peace

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(Last Updated On: September 21, 2020)

Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo on Monday said that peace in Afghanistan is within reach as the talks currently underway in Doha are a historical opportunity to find a political settlement and resolution to the decades-old war. 

Marking the International Day of Peace, Pontecorvo said the start of peace talks, in Doha a week ago, was a milestone and ushered in a new phase in the peace process. 

“Today, most Afghans have not had the fortune of experiencing their country at peace, still they are hopeful,” he said adding they were hopeful for a sustainable and lasting peace that ends violence and safeguards the human rights of all Afghans. 

He said it was about upholding the rights especially for women, children, ethnic minorities; preserving the hard-won gains of the past 20 years; upholds the rule of law and ensures that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists. 

He also stated that NATO’s goal in Afghanistan was to support the country and help attain lasting peace and security. 

Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry also issued a short statement on Twitter and thanked the country’s international partners for working closely with government in its efforts to bring about peace. “Let’s work together to make sustainable peace for all Afghans possible, urging Taliban to respect the wish of Afghan public for ceasefire,” their tweet read. 

The High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Chairman Abdullah Abdullah also issued a statement on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. 

He called on the Taliban to end the violence and embrace a ceasefire.

He said Afghanistan is at a historic juncture and that the ongoing talks are aimed at reaching a lasting agreement and peace.

“People are tired of the ongoing wars and conflicts. History has proved that war is not the solution to conflicts, and only talks can pave the way for a peaceful life,” the statement read.

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

 

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