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Relations with Pakistan bigger challenge than combating terror groups: Ghani

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(Last Updated On: July 25, 2016)

President Of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani Speaks At The Council On Foreign Relations In NYC

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists and said having state-to-state ties with the neighboring country a “bigger challenge” for his government than combating terror groups such as al-Qaeda and Taliban.

The Afghan President also said that Kabul was proud of its friendship with India as New Delhi shares Afghanistan’s democratic aspirations.

In contrast, Ghani said that Pakistan provides sanctuaries to terrorists and trains them, making relations with Pakistan, the bigger challenge for his country.

“We cannot understand when Pakistan says it will not allow a group of terrorists to amend its constitution, army act and prepares a National Action Plan against them. Simultaneously, Pakistan tolerates another group which attempts to undermine the government and bring horror, death and destruction to Afghanistan,” Ghani told Geo News.

The 64-year-old Afghan president said he can provide addresses of Taliban leaders in the Pakistani city of Quetta, Dawn quoted the Afghan president as saying Saturday, a day Kabul witnessed the deadliest terror attack in 15 years which killed 80 people and left hundreds injured.

Ghani claimed that Afghan forces have bombed the chief of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Mullah Fazlullah, 11 times along with attacks on his close aides.

“Can you show me a single operation against the Haqqani network, against Mullah Omar, against Mullah Mansoor, Mansoor traveled on a Pakistani passport out of Karachi, does Fazlullah travel on an Afghan passport out of Kabul,” asked Ghani.

The Afghan President also alleged terrorists wounded in Afghanistan are openly treated in Pakistani hospitals.

“Afghan designated terrorists also hold open meetings in Islamabad,” he said.

Ghani rejected allegations that Afghan government had leaked the news of former Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar’s death, which resulted in suspension of Pakistan-facilitated dialogue between the Taliban and government in the Pakistani resort city of Murree.

“The news of Mullah Omar’s death came from the Taliban. We did not leak it, we just gave an official statement. After the news was leaked, we confirmed it from 19 sources, all within Taliban network,” said the Afghan president.

Responding to a question, Ghani said Afghanistan was proud of its friendship with India, as India shares Afghanistan’s democratic aspirations.

“India is a historical friend of Afghanistan, India is building dams in Afghanistan, it is a democratic country and shares our democratic aspirations,” said Ghani, adding that his country’s foreign policy is no other country’s business.

Ghani presented a three point agenda in order to build trust measure with Pakistan. He asked Pakistan to go after declared terrorist groups, saying “if you don’t take action against them, we won’t trust you.”

Ghani said all countries should act on the quadrilateral process, regarding reconcilable and irreconcilable (groups). Thirdly, he said those who reject peace talks should be evacuated from Pakistan.

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EU reaffirms commitment to support Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) has adopted conclusions reaffirming the EU’s political commitment to support the people of Afghanistan on their path towards peace, security, stability, democracy, prosperity, and self-reliance.

The council said in a statement that the EU will condition its future political and financial support to ensure that the republican, democratic, and values-based principles are protected and further promoted. 

“The conclusions also reiterate the EU’s support for a negotiated political settlement leading to lasting peace and reconciliation, which must build on the democratic and human rights achievements of the past 19 years,” the statement said.

In its conclusions, the Council calls on the Taliban to build trust and confidence allowing the prompt start of intra-Afghan negotiations based on the sufficient numbers of prisoners already released. 

“The Taliban should respect both the spirit and letter of their bilateral agreement with the government of the United States signed in Doha on 29 February 2020. In this regard, the EU strongly condemns attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel and facilities, including the horrific attack at the Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul of 12 May,” the statement noted.

The conclusions stress that the EU stands ready to provide political and financial support for the people of Afghanistan by:

  1. Supporting the Geneva Ministerial Pledging Conference
  2. Strengthening EU assistance for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Using all instruments available in full cooperation and complementarity with the UN, NATO and regional partners, to contribute to the stabilization of the country
  4. Supporting institutional reform and capacity-building, including in the sectors of security and defense, based on the principles of democratic governance and human rights
  5. Assisting with the reintegration of former fighters as well as their families, the victims of conflict and the most vulnerable, including through specialized child protection programs
  6. Promoting regional cooperation, stability, peace, trade and sustainable connectivity in line with “Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU Strategy” as adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council in October 2018
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Police arrest irresponsible armed men, rescue woman – Takhar

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

Afghan forces have arrested a group of irresponsible armed men in operation in Takhar province, rescuing a woman, police confirmed.

The operation was conducted in Pir Kanda Kaw, Persian name, area in Farkhar district of the province on Friday night.

Khalil Asir, a spokesman for the provincial police told Ariana News that the gang’s head was shot dead in fire exchanges and six members of the bands were detained by police. 

Asir added that a woman – Kabul’s resident – who was abducted by the gang has been rescued.

Meanwhile, Afghan forces have seized a number of weapons and ammo of the group during the raids.

The band was involved in murders, armed robbery, kidnappings, and harassment of people, Police further said.

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ATN employee Sulaiman Yousufi dies of Coronavirus

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

COVID19 took the life of an employee of the Ariana International Television Network.

Sulaiman Yousufi, an employee of Ariana News and Ariana TV, died of coronavirus today.

Mr. Sulaiman Yousufi was infected by the Coronavirus a few days ago and died early today after severe suffering from respiratory troubles.

Yousufi had been working in the transportation department of Ariana TV and Ariana News for over a decade.

He is survived by a son and two daughters.

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