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Taliban shall follow political goals through democratic ways: Ghani 

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(Last Updated On: July 10, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani said the Taliban should pursue their political goals through democratic ways such as taking part in the Afghan elections. 

Speaking at a summit to strengthen the global consensus on peace hosted in Kabul, Ghani said that the group could take part in the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Representatives from 19 countries and international organizations including NATO, the United Nations, the European Union had participated in the summit.

President Ghani stressed that the Taliban must be present within the framework of the republican system. Much of the president’s speech focused on global support in Afghanistan’s peace talks. Ashraf Ghani said the government is investigating the release of 1,000 Taliban prisoners from the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Reconciliation Council, also said that the government has boost efforts to finalize the process of releasing prisoners, saying that the first round of intra-Afghan talks would be held in Qatar a week after the completion of the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. Abdullah stressed that the ceasefire is the main agenda of the first round of talks.

“At the moment as we are well aware, the first round will be held in Doha. The initial understanding is that after the completion of exchange of prisoners, it will be one week after that,” Abdullah said, adding, “There is an understanding about the facilitation that the host country should do the facilitation, but on the details of the facilitation, the two sides needs to agree.”

The head of the High Reconciliation Council says that in the first round of talks between Afghans, the ceasefire will be the main agenda and that important issues will be prioritized. According to Abdullah Abdullah, strategies will be discussed in the negotiations on issues of serious disagreement.

He added, “We need to secure the commitment from the Taliban that it will not be a sort of one of the negotiations, but to secure their commitment, not only for deduction in violence in a comprehensive ceasefire but at the same time for continued engagement and as part of strategy, the first agenda will be ceasefire. How to strategize and prioritize it is important.”

The Taliban’s political bureau, however, accuses the Afghan government of delaying the release of prisoners on the pretext of delaying the start of talks between Afghans, although the office acknowledges that there are only a few Taliban prisoners left to be released until the number of released prisoners reaches 5,000.

“They say we have released 4,000 prisoners, but we say more than 3,000. But if they had released the same thousands of prisoners, negotiations would have started and other prisoners would have been released later. They are creating obstacles on the way of the process,” said Sohail Shahin, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political bureau in Qatar.

 The National Security Council says the Taliban have so far released about half of the 1,000 captured security forces. The council emphasizes that the government has so far released 4,099 Taliban prisoners, but the release of 592 prisoners who have been convicted of serious crimes such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, rape, stoning women, assassination, and other criminal offenses will not happen.

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Two police personnel killed in targeted explosion in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

At least two Afghan National Police (ANP) personnel were killed in an early morning IED explosion in Kabul on Saturday. 

According to police the explosion happened in PD3 in Dehbore square area of Kabul. 

Police said a Land Cruiser, belonging to Kabul Police Headquarters, had been targeted in the IED explosion. 

One other ANP member was wounded in the explosion. 

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This comes after a marked increase in targeted killings across the country – specifically against public figures, government workers, journalists and civil society members.

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12 local police killed in Taliban attack in Herat

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

At least 12 members of Afghan local police were killed in an attack by Taliban “infiltrators” in Herat province, local officials confirmed Saturday.

Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walidaza said the incident occurred on Friday night in Ghorian district.

According to Walizada a delegation has arrived in the area to investigate the incident.

So far the Taliban has not commented.

Earlier sources in Herat province said three Taliban infiltrators killed at least 12 members of the local uprising forces, took their weapons, ammunition and fled the area.

Sources added that Taliban infiltrators had joined the force three nights ago.

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‘Digital Silk Road’ on track as Afghanistan and Turkmenistan connect 

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

Thursday marked another milestone in Afghanistan’s modern history when President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the new fiber optic connection between Turkmenistan and the commercial port of Aqina in Afghanistan’s Faryab province.

Within four months of having signed the memorandum of understanding with government the Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) had successfully completed the task of connecting the two neighboring countries. 

In a virtual address at the launch, Dr Ehsan Bayat, the founder and chairman of AWCC, said he was “delighted” to celebrate the company’s success in connecting Afghanistan with its friends in Turkmenistan – especially given the past year that has involved unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also impacted people’s ability to connect with each other across the globe. 

“When Afghan Wireless embarked on the journey to build Afghanistan’s largest nationwide fiber network, we did so with the goal of realizing President Ghani’s vision to transform the country into a hub of digital data connectivity for Central Asia. 

“Today marks an important milestone in the building of a digital silk road across the region with Afghanistan at its center; a road that will connect millions of Afghans to the digital economy.

He said the latest optical fiber connection, between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, is the country’s fifth and sixth international border connections. Others include Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan. 

“From Mazar to Jalalabad, and from Kabul to Kandahar to Kunduz, communities across the country are benefiting from high-speed connectivity. And now our connection to Turkmenistan through Torghundi and Aqina will enable Herat and western cities to become Afghanistan’s next major bridge for digital transformation,” he said.

However, Bayat stated that the impact of AWCC’s project should not be measured in kilometers of fiber laid, or megabytes of data transmitted, or even money invested but instead, it should be measured by the industries revitalized, the local businesses boosted, the jobs created, the pace of economic development and the enhancement to critical services in health, education, commerce and finance.

“This project could not be delivered without Afghanistan and Turkmenistan working together. 

“Afghan Wireless’ optical fiber connection between the two countries that we are celebrating today is a powerful testament that when we work hand in hand with our neighbors, not only do we strengthen our countries individually, but we also strengthen our region together,” he said.

The Turkmenistan to Aqina cable has the capacity to transfer 2,500 megabits of the Internet and can therefore provide high quality and cheap Internet to Faryab province.

According to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, a fiber-optic network is the result of the rapid development of telecommunications and information technology, which has become an integral part of modern life.

The ministry states that along with the progression of technology and innovation, the shape and quality of tools have also changed to a great extent.

At the beginning of the invention of the telephone, copper cables were used to transmit information and sound, but today, with the advancement of technology and increasing human needs, these cables have been replaced by a new generation of signal conductors or fiber optics.

Because of the need for fast and cheap digital connectivity in the country, Government has already connected a total of 25 provinces in the country with the national fiber-optic network.

 

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