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Prisoner releases delayed, Afghan gov’t sets condition

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(Last Updated On: March 15, 2020)

The National Security Council says that if the Taliban does not guarantee that the prisoners will not go back to fighting, none of them will be released adding that they can’t be let go under name of “peace” and return back to battlefields.

Sources close to the Taliban underline that the government’s plan of releasing prisoners will take four months which is an explicit violation of the US-Taliban deal.

The government, however, said that the release was stopped, and if it is not guaranteed that it will not return to the battlefield, none of them will be released.

Jawid Faisal, the NSC Spokesperson, said, “The Afghan government has prepared a mechanism to direct and seize opportunities for peace. Dealing with the given list and releasing the prisoners are parts of the mechanism as we don’t want them to return to the battlefield.”

On the other hand, the Taliban insist that unless the 5000 prisoners are released, they will not step into the Intra-Afghan talks with the Afghan government.

Jalaluddin Shinwari, the Taliban’s former attorney general, said, “The government has a plan on releasing the prisoners in four months. It will endanger the process.”

This comes as Islamabad wants both the US and the Taliban to honor the deal and help Afghans reach their demands through negotiations.

Pakistani FM Shah Mahmoud Quraishi called the Taliban “clever and smart” as he thinks that the Taliban are not only good fighters but also good negotiators.

Quraishi underlines that the Taliban understood the challenges before the negotiations, noting that the Taliban have control over 45% of Afghan territory for real and “truth be accepted”.

Some of the civil activists gathered in Kabul and expressed their opposition and concerns regarding the Taliban prisoner release.

Silay Ghafar, the spokesperson of the Afghan National Solidarity Party, said, “The Taliban have violated democracy in the last two decades. They have killed millions of Afghans. Releasing them means dishonoring the blood of martyrs.”

A group of 100 Taliban prisoners was supposed to be released Saturday – as per the US-Taliban agreement.

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Taliban storm police outpost in Paktia, killing 14

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

At least 14 Afghan forces were killed after the Taliban militants stormed a security outpost in Paktia province, the Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement.

The incident has taken place in the Dandaw Patan district of the province on Thursday night.

At least 14 Afghan border police were killed and three others wounded, the MoD said, claiming that the Taliban has broken the ceasefire.

The ministry added that the insurgents suffered heavy casualties as the Afghan forces have pushed back the Taliban.

The Taliban militant group yet to make a comment about the incident.

It has been the Taliban’s second major attack against the Afghan forces after a 3-day ceasefire was ended on Tuesday midnight. 

On Wednesday, the Taliban fighters attacked a security outpost in Parwan province in which at least seven local army soldiers were killed and two more were wounded.

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Afghanistan Cricket team to play test against Australia

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

Australia will host Afghanistan for test series in November as the country is lifting the restrictions.

Afghanistan Cricket Board confirmed (ACB) saying that National Team is scheduled to play a one-off Test match against Australia from 21st to 25th November 2020.

The day-night contest would be the first Test between the countries so far which will be held in Australia’s Perth, the organization said.

The ACB CEO Lutfullah Stanikzai said he is looking forward to the contest and hopes that the match is played if the pandemic of COVID-19 is contained by then. 

“Australia is a strong side in world cricket. However, our team will also be well prepared. The match will provide a great experience to them,” he added. 

It comes as Australia has announced a schedule for its summer games, taking the first steps in resuming international cricket matches.

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Children included among refugees forced into river by Iranian border guards

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2020)

Findings show some children were among the ones thrown killed into the Harirud River by Iranian border guards.

The families of those who were thrown into the Harirud River by Iranian border guards a few weeks back have demanded the government share the results of the fact-finding committee with them.

The Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has also acknowledged that there were children among the victims.

Naeem Nazari, deputy head of the Independent Human Rights Commission, said their investigation revealed that several children included those thrown into the river by Iranian border guards.

Herat Governor Sayed Wahid Qatali also said that the investigation was ongoing, and some considerable results had been achieved, which would soon be made public.

On the other hand, the families of those who were thrown into the river by Iranian border guards are asking the government to share with them the results of the investigation conducted by the fact-finding committee.

A delegation led by the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister arrived in Afghanistan a few days ago and met with Afghan officials.

The Iranian and Afghan delegations stressed that this issue should be seriously investigated and that the results should be shared with the people.

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