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Taliban Refuses To Heed the Demands of Peace Activists

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2018)

The Taliban has not paid heed to the given three-day deadline of the activists of Helmand peace march who arrived in Kabul earlier last week and placed list of demands aimed at facilitating peace in the country.

The activists days earlier gave a three-day deadline for the Taliban to extend ceasefire with the government as part of their efforts to facilitate peace talks between Kabul-Taliban in strife-torn country.

Last week, they met with President Ashraf Ghani and asked the president to agree on their four key demands that included the extension of ceasefire, a venue for peace talks,  “joint system” that could preserve the interests of all citizens and withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

In response to their given three-day deadline, the activists  on Saturday (June 23), said that the Taliban leadership has contacted them and that it stressed on withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

“They stressed once again on withdrawal of foreign forces particularly, asked us again to hold protest tents near Baghram Airbase [in Parwan province], ” said Iqbal Khyber, the head of the peace convoy.

Following the Taliban’s silence response to their demands, the activists are expected to launch a three-day long protest tents in front of some embassies in the capital Kabul including the embassies of the U.S., Russia, Pakistan and Iran from Sunday.

“The members of our leadership will be present and then would go to the embassies and will stay for three days in each of the embassies,” said Azad, a member of the peace convoy.

“We clarify that these [foreign] political offices and international forces in Afghanistan are not here to ensuring peace, but making efforts to destroy peace and stability in the country,” Iqbal Khyber said.

This comes the government has accepted all of the placed demands of the peace activists, including conditionally extension of ceasefire with the Taliban to one year.

“Unofficial contacts and talks have been maintained in the past, but an appropriate time is needed for ensuring official talks [with the Taliban],” said a presidential advisor Abas Basir.

By Shakib Mahmud and Bayes Hayat

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Hundreds of prisoners rounded up as Jalalabad prison attack continues

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

Almost eighteen hours into the Jalalabad prison attack, Afghan security forces are still trying to bring the situation under control and round up escaped prisoners. 

Officials have said that hundreds of prisoners who escaped during the attack have since been caught. 

Some prisoners who have been arrested told Ariana News that six attackers entered the prison and ordered them to leave. The prisoners were told that if they did not leave they would be killed by the assailants. 

A security source said that the prisoners who escaped include Taliban members, Daesh militants, and criminals.

The attack started just after 6.30 pm on Sunday night and has continued through the night and Monday morning. 

Daesh, which claimed responsibility, detonated a car bomb outside the prison on Sunday evening, blowing the gate open. Militants then stormed the facility.

In the ensuing gun battle, hundreds of prisoners escaped. 

It is believed, however, that Daesh militants took control of two prison towers earlier and that some prisoners have taken up arms and are fighting alongside the attackers. However, there has been no official confirmation of these reports. 

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, meanwhile said the death toll has risen to 21 and 43 wounded. 

He said the victims include prisoners, security forces, and civilians. 

Zahir Adil, a spokesman for the provincial health directorate, told Ariana News that 13 of those wounded are in a critical condition. 

This attack started just a day after Afghanistan’s intelligence services announced the Afghan special forces had killed a high-ranking Daesh member in an operation in eastern Afghanistan.

A statement late Saturday by the National Directorate of Security said the slain militant was Assadullah Orakzai, an intelligence leader for the IS affiliate (Daesh) in Afghanistan. The statement said he was killed near Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. IS has its headquarters in the province.

Orakzai was suspected of being involved in several deadly attacks against both military and civilian targets in Afghanistan.

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Iran arrests pro-Taliban Afghans who waved group’s flag in park

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

Iranian authorities have arrested a group of Afghans who waved a flag in celebration of Eid al-Adha in a park in Tehran.

MENAFM reported that Iranian intelligence and police officials confirmed to local media outlets that the security forces arrested the group during an operation.

The officials also said that the individuals were arrested in connection with the publication of the pictures of the Taliban flag which they had taken in Mellat Park in Tehran.

The suspects are in police custody and an investigation is underway, officials told MENAFM.

The Iranian authorities reportedly acted to detain the Taliban supporters after the images shocked Iranians on social media.

This move comes after comments were made recently by some of Afghanistan’s Western allies that Iran was not doing enough to support the peace process.

However, Iran has been quick to reject these claims. 

On Saturday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani described peace in Afghanistan as peace and stability for the entire region.

He told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a telephone conversation that Iran had always stood by the people and government of Afghanistan with regards to peace and stability. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to always deepen relations with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan based on historical and cultural common grounds and strengthening these relations by taking advantage of economic, trade and transit capacity between the two countries,” he said.

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UAE to host IPL 2020 as tournament gets provisional green light

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(Last Updated On: August 3, 2020)

Cricket fans around the world will be glad to hear that the ever-popular IPL tournament is back on track for this year after having been suspended in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) met via video-conference on Sunday to discuss the issue and decided to go ahead with the tournament, starting in September. 

However, matches will not be held in India this year and will instead be played in the United Arab Emirates – in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. 

According to the IPL GC, they still need final clearance from the Indian government for the tournament to take place. 

VIVO IPL 2020 will be played from September 19 and the final will be played on  November 10. 

The 53-day tournament will witness afternoon and evening matches.

The Governing Council also discussed the comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which will be finalised and published in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for safe and successful Sponsors and all the Stakeholders acknowledge that the IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so. 

BCCI will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date in close partnership with all of its stakeholders and will continue to take guidance from the Government of India, State Governments and other State Regulatory bodies.

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