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Talks team deadlock broken, as both sides agree to initial roadmap

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(Last Updated On: November 23, 2020)

In a major step forward, the talks teams for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban have agreed on four key issues as the basis for talks going forward.

This comes after a deadlock of more than a month, following the start of talks on September 12 in Doha.

According to sources in Doha, the two sides agreed to include the US-Taliban deal, UN endorsements for Afghan peace process, the will of the Afghan people and commitments of the negotiating teams as the foundation of talks going forward.

“We do not underestimate these challenges, no matter how difficult they may be. But we have reason not to be disappointed. For all our differences, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is committed to a positive approach to peace,” said Sayed Sadat Mansour Naderi, minister of peace affairs.

The negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan says that the two negotiating parties will announce their declarations of agreement and the finalization of the procedure.

On the other hand, the head of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Massom Stanikzai says that the Taliban’s lack of flexibility has made the path to peace difficult.

“Unfortunately, the Taliban’s short-sightedness has made this difficult. Continuing meaningful dialogue to reach a common vision is the shortest way to peace. This fact requires patience, caution and public consensus,” said Stanikzai.

The head of the negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has been in Kabul for the past few days to consult with the leadership of the government and to get the final approval of the negotiating council of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The delegation is optimistic that progress in the Doha talks will pave the way for a ceasefire sooner rather than later.

“Ending the violence during the talks is the first proposal ordered to build public confidence. Recently, when the talks began, the Afghan people witnessed a dramatic increase in violence,” said Fawzia Kofi, a member of the negotiating team.

It is however not yet clear whether the delegations will negotiate on a ceasefire first, once talks get underway, or on the future of a political system.

As much as the Afghan Republic’s team want to focus on a ceasefire, the Taliban want the political future to be the starting point.

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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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Parliament rejects draft budget for second time

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

Members of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) have rejected the proposed budget for the new fiscal year 1400 for the second time.

MPs said the second draft budget is also unbalanced and still does not address the issue of equal pay for government employees.

MPs said they will not approve the budget until the money has been allocated appropriately and that demands of the parliament regarding the equalizing of salaries are taken into account.

They said that the government also added two more articles to the draft budget which were not acceptable to them. 

MPs first rejected the draft budget on December 30 citing “serious problems” which they said hinged on the disproportionate allocation of money to projects and emergency codes. 

The draft budget was approved by the cabinet in November following adjustments in the Public Finance and Expenditure Management Regulation, a draft plan of hydrocarbons regulation; draft statute of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (the Afghan power company); and the draft law on cadastre.

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