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Taliban not interested in working together for peace: Ghani

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(Last Updated On: July 20, 2021)

President Ashraf Ghani said Tuesday after a prayer ceremony at the Presidential Palace marking Eid al-Adha, an event marred by a rocket attack, that the Taliban has no intention of working for peace.

Despite the rockets falling, Ghani and other high-ranking officials calmly continued praying.

Mirwais Stanekzai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, stated that the first rocket hit close to the Edgar mosque, the second one landed close to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the third one landed in the Chaman-e-Hozori area of the city.

He said that the rockets were fired from the Parwan-e-Se area of Kabul.

Addressing a ceremony after the prayers, Ghani stated: “The Taliban have no intention and will for peace… We sent the delegation to convey our last words [to tell them] that we are sure, we have the will and we are ready to sacrifice for peace.”

Ghani added that the Taliban showed that they have no will for peace and “we have to make decisions based on that.”

“I have told the world that the release of 5,000 prisoners [Taliban] was a big mistake. At that time I told them and our politicians that it [the release] will have dire consequences; I told them that this Taliban will deceive you and they are not such people to hold commitments.”

“You cannot capture this country through rockets… come to participate in a national process [election] and convince people [to elect you] and see how people will make you heroes,” he said.

Referring to the formation of public uprising forces, Ghani stated all forces should be registered in the framework of the Afghan security forces, “neither formation of militias is acceptable nor arbitrariness in the country.”

Ghani stated that the Taliban should be questioned why they are destroying buildings, “why the love of homeland is a dishonor for you [Taliban], why they execute [people] in dessert [court], they blew up roads and houses, why they use car bombs, why they blew up mosques.”

He added that the Taliban destroyed more than 260 government buildings as they were public facilities.

Ghani asked the Taliban if they had any positive message for the people of Afghanistan “especially for Afghan women”.

The president, meanwhile, stated that the Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) must stay out of politics.

“When a soldier is being hired through mediators [politically] the result is a cowardice defeat and escape from the battlefield.”

“Why our sacred uniform was disgraced? Because there was political interference… I don’t accept any interference [in the Afghan forces],” Ghani said.

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ANDSF to launch offensives in north to retake fallen districts

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(Last Updated On: July 27, 2021)

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are expected to start offensives in Balkh province and across the country to retake fallen districts and areas, said Bismillah Mohammadi, acting minister of defense on Tuesday during a trip to Balkh.

According to Mohammadi, if the Taliban think they can win militarily, they are wrong.

“Hopefully we will witness our offensives across Afghanistan and we will recapture areas one after another,” said Mohammadi.

He also praised ANDSF for their achievements in Balkh, Samangan and Herat provinces.

“It is our obligation to defend the country until our last breath. We assure people that yesterday Kaldar was recaptured and earlier one district in Herat was recaptured,” said Mohammadi.

The acting minister of defense said that people, especially youths, stand by the ANDSF to defend the country.

“When I assessed the situation in Mazar, I saw that most people who stand by ANDSF were youths. Not only in the north but in all Afghanistan, uprising forces were established to defend people,” added Mohammadi.

During his visit to Balkh, Mohammadi also met Afghan army soldiers.

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Well known Afghan comedian gunned down in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: July 27, 2021)

A well-known local comedian, Nazar Mohammad, who was known as Khasha Jawan, was gunned down on Tuesday, allegedly by the Taliban, in Kandahar, sparking widespread condemnation.

According to sources, Khasha Jawan was assaulted by the militants before being killed.

He was allegedly then dragged out of his house, with his hands tied behind his back and his body dumped in the Dand district of Kandahar.

A video doing its rounds on social media shows the militants assaulting Khasha Jawan before killing him.

Vice President Amrullah Saleh wrote on his Facebook page that Khasha Jawan was executed by the Taliban in a “kangaroo court.”

“Footage of the moments before the execution of Khasha Jawan Kandahari in a kangaroo court shows that the Taliban does not abide by Sharia; they have no court, no law, and no humanity,” Saleh said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture and Information stated that Khasha Jawan sent out strong messages through “art and allegory” to the people.

Waheed Omer, Director General at the Office of Public and Strategic Affairs of the Afghan government, stated: “Footage of Taliban killing a bound local comedian in Kandahar is a drop [in the ocean compared to] the massacre campaign that the Taliban has waged across Afghanistan.”

“Please don’t look the other way. Raise your voice on whatever stage that you have access to. These savages are after rooting our people out,” Omer tweeted.

The Taliban, however, stated that Nazar Mohammad was a member of the Afghan security forces.

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Taliban negotiating team member’s son killed in clashes in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 27, 2021)

Anas Haqqani, a member of the Taliban’s negotiating team, confirmed Tuesday that the son of Mohammad Nabi Omari, a member of the Taliban leadership and negotiating team, was killed in a battle with government forces.

In a tweet, Haqqani confirmed the killing of Omari. But he did not give any further details.

The Afghan government also confirmed that Abdul Haq Omari, who was the deputy chief of the Taliban military wing in Paktia province, was killed in a clash with Special Forces.

Meanwhile, Shaheen 209th Military Corps claims that a Pakistani army officer Javed was killed by NDS forces.

According to the Corps, he was a serving Pakistani army officer and was leading the Taliban in Logar, Paktia, and Paktika provinces and was killed on Tuesday morning in an operation by NDS 01 unit.

The Corps also said that a commander of tactical training and head of the Taliban Red Unit in Faryab province, along with seven of his fighters was killed.

“Qari Hayatullah, known as Osama, the head of the Taliban’s red unit and commander of the Taliban’s tactical and terrorist training for Faryab province, was killed Monday afternoon in a joint operation by defense and security forces in the village of Deh Azizan in the Sabz area of Pashtun Kot district,” read the statement.

During the operation nine other members of the group were wounded, the Corps added.

The Taliban has not commented yet.

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