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Sapidar submits new proposal of participatory gov’t to Arg

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(Last Updated On: April 20, 2020)

Sapidar has shared its new plan to create a new, inclusive government with Arg.

A source close to Abdullah confirmed that Abdullah had agreed to lead the High Reconciliation Council, some ministries and a number of provinces; however, some of Abdullah’s allies did not agree with the plan.

On the other hand, figures close to Mohammad Ashraf Ghani have announced that the two sides are approaching a political agreement and said that the tensions would end soon.

In the meantime, one of Abdullah’s allies said that many members of Abdullah’s electoral team agree with Abdullah’s new plan to lead the High Reconciliation Council and have a 40 to 50 percent share in power.

Sayed Ishaq Gilani, an ally of Abdullah, said: “They have finally accepted and they have gone through everything. We thank them. They are working on a plan that will be shared with Arg soon.”

But sources say that Salahuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Zia Massoud strongly oppose Abdullah’s plan which is why some of the members of Abdullah’s team have met with Rabbani recently to convince him.

“First of all, they wanted the prime minister’s position and 50 percent of the power, and now they want a reconciliation council and the appointment of some ministers and governors. I think they are in a state of agreement,” said Abbas Ibrahimzada, a member of the parliament.

This comes as in a conversation with former president Hamid Karzai, the US ambassador stressed the need for Afghan political leaders to unite.

“Their emphasis was that the two sides should unite,” said Shahzadah Massoud, a close associate of the former president.

Sapidar and Arg did not comment on the matter, but sources in Sapidar Palace underlined that in the latest case, Hamdullah Moheb and Masoom Stanekzai, on behalf of the Arg, have met Abdullah to find out Abdullah’s will  – he has shared his new plan with them.

Abdullah’s 40 – 50 percent share of power, his leadership of the peace process, and General Dostum’s position as deputy chief of staff are said to be included in the new Sapidar plan – looking forward to hearing  from Arg.

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Pakistan embassy expresses ‘deep sadness’ over visa-stampede tragedy

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2020)

Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul issued a statement Wednesday morning has expressed its regret over the loss of lives in Tuesday’s stampede at a stadium close to their consulate in Jalalabad city, which claimed the lives of at least 15 people. 

The stampede happened about 5km from the consulate after thousands of Afghans had gathered to start the application process for visas to travel to Pakistan. 

Among the dead were at least 11 women, many of whom were elderly. 

Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, posted a condolence message on Twitter and said the embassy was working with the Afghan authorities to improve the visa application process. 

“We are committed to continue visa issuance to Afghan nationals under new visa policy while making the process smoother and streamlined at our end,” he said. 

He also stated he was “deeply saddened at the reports of casualties at a stadium in Jalalabad 5 km from Pakistani Consulate where visa applicants were being organized by Afghan provincial authorities. We sympathize with the families of victims.”

The embassy said in an official statement the incident happened when visa applicants were being “gathered and organized by the provincial Afghan authorities.

The embassy also appealed to the Afghan people for their cooperation and to the Afghan authorities “for better and secure management of the Afghan visa applicants”.

“We sympathize with the families of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured in this unfortunate incident.”

The statement noted that the embassy “would like to emphasize again that in view of brotherly relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan Embassy in Kabul and our consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazer-e-Sharif continue to issue multiple entry visas to the Afghan applicants for their visits to Pakistan for family, business, medical treatment, education and other purposes.”

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At least 15 dead in stampede near Pakistan consulate in Jalalabad

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2020)

At least 15 Afghans, many of them elderly women, were killed and more than a dozen injured in a stampede in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province while waiting for visas from the Pakistan consulate, officials said Wednesday. 

The incident happened on Tuesday in an open ground close to the Pakistan consulate where over 3,000 Afghans had gathered to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa to travel to Pakistan. 

Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in Jalalabad city, said of the 15 people dead, 11 were women and several senior citizens were wounded.

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Pakistan parliament to host trade and investment forum for Afghans

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(Last Updated On: October 21, 2020)

Pakistan’s National Assembly will host a Pakistan-Afghanistan trade and economic forum next week to enhance bilateral relations and find ways to overcome transit and trade challenges. 

The two-day seminar in Islamabad will include a 17-member Afghan parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) and representatives from Afghanistan’s trade and investment community. 

Pakistan’s The News reported delegates attending from Pakistan will include political leaders, academics, investors, and traders.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the opening ceremony of the conference on October 26 and a video message from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will be telecast during the event.

The seminar is being viewed as a positive sign of change and a way to overcome issues faced by traders and investors in both countries and will also open new avenues of political and parliamentary cooperation and coordination between the two countries. 

 

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