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Qaisari’s arrest not authorized by the central government

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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2020)

The operation of Nizamuddin Qaisari’s arrest was not authorized by the officials in Kabul. The fact-finding committee of the Afghan Parliament on Qaisari’s case underlined that Khushal Sadat, former security deputy for MOI and the former commander of 209 Shaheen Corps, Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, led the assignment to take Qaisari into custody, adding that they didn’t have a warrant by the court, however, the Balkh police chief said that they had been ordered by the central government.

The fact-finding committee said that Qaisari’s arrest was conducted without a warrant by the Attorney General or the Supreme Court and/or any orders from the Ministry of Defense or Interior Affairs.

“The Afghan security forces surrounded Qaisari’s house, used air forces, and bombarded a house where a family was living. Everything was against the law,” Mahdi Rasekh, a member of the committee said.

The committee underlined, after the investigations, that Khushal Sadat and the 209 Shaheen Corps commander, Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, are responsible in the case.

“The Defense Minister didn’t send a warrant, and based on evidence, Khushal Sadat organized the mission,” said Sayed Zaher Masroor, a member of the committee.

The committee added that the security forces had looted Qaisari’s belongings and properties.

Furthermore, two people were taken in custody and then killed by the security forces, according to Rasekh, “Qaisari’s chef and bodyguard were arrested and were later shot by the security forces.”

Qaisari’s house was surrounded on December 14th midnight by the Balkh police which had a press release the next day stating that, they were supposed to arrest Qaisari on charges of land grabbing and carrying illegal armed forces.

The arrest assignment turned out to be a 24-hour clash between the security forces and Qaisari’s guards, leaving 7 dead and 11 others wounded.

Balkh

ADB approves APPC’s loan to enhance Afghanistan’s energy security

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(Last Updated On: June 18, 2020)

On 17 June, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Afghan Power Plant Company Limited (APPC) signed a $10 million loan, ADB said in a statement.

According to ADB, this loan is part of a financing package for the Mazar gas-fired power plant, supporting Afghanistan’s efforts to achieve long-term energy security through affordable domestic power sources.

The project is the first private sector gas-fired plant in Afghanistan to be funded by development finance institutions, says ADB.

ADB says that in line with its long-term corporate strategy, Strategy 2030, the bank supports essential infrastructure through the private sector in a fragile and conflict-affected situation.

“ADB will also administer a $10 million loan for the project provided by Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP),” the statement adds.

The ABD says that the loan provides long-term financing to build and operate a 58.56-megawatt gas-fired power plant located near Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

“The project cost a total of $89 million, will use indigenous gas and is expected to generate 404 gigawatt-hours of power annually,” the statement writes.

Director of Infrastructure Finance Chakraborty, said, “This project is definitive proof that indigenous gas-based power generation is capable of displacing electricity imports in Afghanistan and helping to deliver energy security.”

He added, “Its success will send an important signal to the market that Afghanistan’s power industry is now ready to attract more private sector investment and financing.”

APPC Chairman Ismail Ghazanfar said, “This is the first step in Ghazanfar Group’s vision of helping to develop 5,000 megawatts of energy generation facilities in Afghanistan through partnerships with international development banks, local and international companies, and the Government of Afghanistan.”

It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan imports at least 75% of its energy needs.

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Balkh

At least 1,000 pigeons die of starvation – Balkh

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(Last Updated On: June 9, 2020)

Restrictions on movements and the ban on pilgrims entering Rawza have led to a shortage of food for pigeons, which have so far killed some 1,000 of them due to starvation.

The Coronavirus has not only challenged human life but has also threatened the life of pigeons in Rawza-e Mubarak – the shrine of Ali – in Mazar which due to the restrictions face lack of food.

Reportedly, nearly 1,000 pigeons have died of starvation so far, according to officials.

They emphasize that if the government does not help provide the pigeons with food, a large number of birds may vanish.

The pigeons – widely known as ‘the white doves’ that spreads the feeling of freedom – are the birds that in the sky of Mazar-e-Sharif catch the eyes of all the spectators and fly around the blue dome of the shrine of Ali.

Before the Coronavirus pandemic, thousands of people used to visit the shrine every day and, see the pigeons and would sprinkle them with seeds, the bird food.

For three months now, due to the spread of the Coronavirus, pilgrims have been barred from entering the holy spot. Thus, the white doves, who have become accustomed to the people, have faced a shortage of seeds – a serious threat to their survival.

A number of residents of Mazar-e-Sharif, who have been throwing three bags of wheat and corn to pigeons each day since the beginning of the pandemic and curfews, say that the situation will get worse if the government and relevant bodies do not help.

The exact number of pigeons is unknown, but officials say that there are more than 10,000 of them.

These birds, which were never far from human love and pilgrims’ special attention, feel alone now and their survival depends on human help.

Officials at the shrine say that they have shared the problem with the local government and the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, but they have not yet addressed the problem.

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Balkh

Ulema: Eid-ul-Fiter prayers must be practiced as per pertinent guidelines

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2020)

 The Ulema call on people to practice the Eid-ul-Fiter prayers in line with the guidelines given by the ministries of Hajj and Religious Affairs and Public Health.

In a resolution, the Ulema (religious scholars) asked the imams to shorten the Eid prayer sermons and focus their agenda on ending the war, bringing peace, and healthcare guidance against the Coronavirus.

In addition, the Ulema underline the need for healthcare measures, such as disinfecting the prayer venues, performing the prayers in the open air, keeping distance, and wearing masks.

They also have banned the presence of the infected from joining the congregations.

Aimed to prevent the outbreak of the Coronavirus, they want the people to celebrate the holiday indoors with their families, and seriously avoid in-person socializing such as visits, embracing, hugging, and handshakes.

In the meantime, Baghlan health officials announced that over 60 mosques where the prayers are scheduled to be held Sunday in Pol-e-Khumri, have been disinfected and that the campaign continues in all parts of the province.

The Baghlan police chief has also announced to provide special security for the prayer venues (mosques) and the city.

In Kabul, officials say the city will be completely quarantined during the Eid, and people should stay indoors throughout the days and avoid traveling at all to prevent the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior has said this Eid will be a curfew in Kabul and that the police are going to enforce the curfew strictly.

It is noteworthy that the health officials have consistently said that an unprecedented calamity is on its way to hit the nation unless the people abide by the rules of restrictions and follow the health guidelines.

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