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Taliban Prisoners Still Under Afghan Government Custody: Sediqqi

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(Last Updated On: November 16, 2019)

Presidential Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi on Saturday confirmed that Anas Haqqani, Mali Khan and Hafiz Rashid, three members of the Haqqani Network, are still under government custody, because Taliban couldn’t deliver on their promises.

“Taliban’s failure to comply with the conditions has delayed the [prisoners] swap process,” Sediqqi wrote on Twitter.

Ghani’s Spokesman further said that the Afghan government will review the prisoner exchange process and will act based on the national interests of the country.

Last week, President Ashraf Ghani confirmed the release of key Taliban members, saying they would be freed in exchange for the release of two foreign lecturers from the American University of Afghanistan.

Hajji Din Mohammad, Deputy of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council told Ariana News that the prisoner swap was halted at the last minute following a deadly car bombing in Kabul and a similar attack on U.S. forces in the Logar province on 13 November 2019.

The Afghan Parliament Speaker, Mir Rahman Rahmani, speculated on Saturday that the two professors, Kevin King, 61, from the U.S., and Timothy Weeks, 49, from Australia, might have died.

“Taliban showed that they have no authority to make a decision about war or peace,” the Lower House Speaker added.

However, in a phone call with Ariana News, the Taliban spokesman Zabihulla Mujahid on Friday said, their prisoners were expected to be transferred to Qatar and Taliban would hand over the two AUAF professors to Americans inside Afghanistan, but for unknown reasons the swap did not happen.

COVID-19

Afghan man claims to have discovered Coronavirus antidote

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

A man in Kabul claims to have discovered an antidote, vaccine for the treatment of the Coronavirus.

Hakim Alokozai, who introduces himself as an herbal doctor, says the antidote is made from natural herbs extracts.

The man, identified as Mohammad Hakim Alokoziai, has been an herbal doctor for many years and now claims to have developed a vaccine after weeks of studies and research about the disease.

He claims to have applied what he called a vaccine, to several Covid-19 patients and came up with positive results.

Meanwhile, Khushal Nabizada, Kabul head of the public health department, said that the introduction of a drug or the treatment of diseases needs scientific requirements, therefore the treatment of patients should not be arbitrary.

Nabizada underlined that after tests and obtaining a license, this person can prescribe his medicine, and if he has created and/or tried to scam people, he will face the law and be prosecuted

Researchers around the world, in much developed, including the United States, China, Russia, and the European Union, have been trying to develop Coronavirus vaccine and antiviral drugs for months, but none have succeeded to this date.

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Ceasefire must to start, advance peace talks – Abdullah

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council of Reconciliation, speaks of some progress in starting the Intra-Afghan talks.

He also underlined that the government’s negotiating team was ready to start the talks with the Taliban anytime and that the two sides need to take action.

This marks Abdullah’s first speech since taking office as chairman of the High Reconciliation Council after 12 days.

Abdullah called the three-day ceasefire on Eid holidays and the significant exchange of prisoners between the Taliban and the government, promising steps to start the Intra-Afghan talks.

He also called on the countries in the region to continue their cooperation in the Afghan peace process.

Although he announced the full preparations of the government’s negotiating team to start direct talks with the Taliban, he stressed that the start of direct talks with the Taliban requires actions by both sides.

Abdullah said that the final structure of the council would be formed next week.

Meanwhile, a technical team of the Taliban arrived in Kabul following the 3-day ceasefire and is working to ease up the prisoner releases with the Afghan government.

The Taliban’s technical team continued talks for the third day behind closed doors with government representatives in Kabul, focusing on the release of prisoners at both ends, with the aim of speeding up the process and paving the ground for the Intra-Afghan talks.

It is worth mentioning that on the fourth day of the unofficial ceasefire, neither the Taliban nor the government has reported any incidents of violence. To this point, both sides seem optimistic about the cessation of violence.

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Afghanistan to transit trade via Pakistan’s Gwadar port

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2020)

The Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) enables Afghanistan to transit trade through Pakistan’s Gwadar port under the OPTA agreement.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that Afghanistan is trying to improve its economic relations with all neighboring countries and the region, pointing at the Pakistani port of Gwadar as the closest and cheapest transit route for Afghanistan’s trade.

In the meantime, the Pakistani Prime Minister’s senior advisor of economy, Abdul Razzaq Daud, has said that trade with Afghanistan is set to begin through the Gwadar port, starting with 16,000 tons of fertilizer to be shipped to Afghanistan.

In addition, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment considers the Gwadar port as less expensive than any others; however, it criticizes that the neighboring countries are not honest enough in their economic relations with Afghanistan.

On the other hand, experts point out that if Pakistan complies with international economic and transit laws, Afghan traders will be able to import and export goods via Gwadar port at lower costs.

This comes as economic relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been often strained due to political tensions, and the country has severally closed its ports to Afghan traders.

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