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Taliban would not hesitate to kill entire gov’t negotiating team: Saleh

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(Last Updated On: August 16, 2020)

Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Sunday blamed the Taliban for the attack on peace negotiator Fawzia Koofi.

Koofi and her sister came under attack by unknown armed men on Friday afternoon on the Kabul-Parwan highway in Qarabagh district of Kabul.

She escaped unharmed in the attack but she sustained minor injuries and was said to be in good health condition.

Saleh called the attack an “anti-human and a terrorist” act which he said was coordinated by the Taliban, adding that the group would kill the entire negotiating team if it could.

In a message on his Facebook page, Saleh wrote, “Only the Taliban and their followers seek their interest in eliminating the voice of diversity from Afghanistan. If the group got the chance they would not hesitate to kill the entire peace negotiators and the Taliban would kill them all in a suicide attack.”

It comes as the intra-Afghan talks, aimed to find a political settled to end the long-term conflict in the war-weary country, is expected to kick start after the Afghan government completes the release process of the final batch of Taliban inmates.

Mohammad Mohaqqeq, leader of Hezbe Wahdat-e Islami party said” “There are two motivations to bring peace in Afghanistan. First, the strong will of the Afghans, and secondly, the foreigners. This process, at least, will last two until three months.”

Meanwhile, the government announced its full preparations to kick off the negotiations.

“There is no complexity from our side, and we are ready to start the negotiations at any time, “said Nader Naderi, a peace negotiator.

The Taliban, on the other hand, underline that the Afghan government hasn’t done any fundamental work, and even the prisoner release has been delayed for several reasons which create an atmosphere of mistrust.

It comes as the Taliban on Saturday urged all laterals involved in peace process to avoid remarks that could damage the process.

“Peace talks and negotiations require all sides to display sincerity and truthfulness. Propaganda, unwarranted remarks and provocative comments do not benefit any side,” the group said in a statement.

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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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