Connect with us

Latest News

US rejects claims its pushing for interim government in Afghanistan

Ariana News

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: January 13, 2021)

US Chargé d’Affaires to Kabul Ross Wilson said Wednesday afternoon that the United States has not advocated for an interim government nor is it advocating for one.

“We have not advocated, and the United States is not advocating, an interim government,” Wilson tweeted.

He said the United States is committed to bringing about an end to conflict in Afghanistan through a political settlement that ensures the country remains sovereign, unified and democratic, is at peace with itself and its neighbors and can preserve gains made over the last 19 years.

He stated that the first phase of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in Doha constituted an important step forward, “but much remains to be done”.

“The United States remains firm in its call for an immediate reduction of violence and ceasefire,” he said.

Wilson also stated that he had spoken with the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and that he has “and will continue to talk with Afghans about the need to accelerate the talks in Doha and solicited from those we have met their ideas, as well as their concerns.”

“The outcomes of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations are up to Afghans and we believe those outcomes should reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Afghan people,” he said.

Mention was first made about an interim government early last week when sources stated President Ashraf Ghani refused to meet with Khalilzad in Kabul for this very reason.

Sources stated that Khalilzad was urging a shift to an interim government but that Ghani was opposed to the idea.

On Sunday some Afghan politicians said that Ghani has cultivated new “friendships” with some of his critics in order to avoid an interim government and to stay in power.

This comes after Ghani appointed Mohammad Mohaqiq, head of the Wahdat-i-Islami Party, as his senior political and military adviser and introduced Rahila Dostum as a member of the Wolesi Jirga (Upper House of Parliament).

Mohaqiq’s appointment comes after a reported “cold shoulder” in the past after not having been invited to the Presidential Palace for any meetings.

“All political parties think that an interim government should be established. If Ghani thinks that he will be in power for four years it may be a reason for the appointments,” said Sattar Murad, a leading member of Jamayat-e-Islami party.

Sources close to Mohaqiq said that the move to appoint him was based on his abilities and role in the peace process.

The Presidential Palace on Saturday vowed to retain Afghanistan as a republic and only hand over power to an elected successor.

Latest News

Kabul jolted by powerful explosion

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: April 20, 2021)

A powerful explosion tore across Kabul on Tuesday night in what appears to have been a targeted attack on a convoy of vehicles belonging to the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

The incident happened just before 10pm on the Airport Road in the city.

According to sources, the convoy was targeted in PD15 in Charahi Shahid on Airport Road.

There have been no reports of casualties so far but damage was caused to buildings in the area.

Continue Reading

Featured

CENTCOM chief in midst of ‘detailed planning’ for counterterrorism ops

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: April 20, 2021)

Carrying out airstrikes against terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan without a US troop presence in the country will be difficult but “not impossible”, the commander of US Central Command General Frank McKenzie said on Tuesday. 

Speaking to the House Armed Services Committee, McKenzie said he is in the midst of “detailed planning” for options for so-called “over the horizon” forces, or forces positioned elsewhere in the region that could continue counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan. 

He said he plans to give Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin those options by the end of the month.

“If you leave Afghanistan and you want to go back in to conduct these kinds of operations, there are three things you need to do: you need to find the target, you need to fix the target, and you need to be able to finish the target,” McKenzie said. 

“The first two require heavy intelligence support. If you’re out of the country, and you don’t have the ecosystem that we have there now, it will be harder to do that. It is not impossible to do that.”

McKenzie’s testimony comes almost a week after President Joe Biden announced he was withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan and that they would all be home by September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. 

According to The Hill, Biden’s decision came despite repeated statements from US military officials that the Taliban was not yet upholding its end of a deal made during the Trump administration to reduce violence and break from al-Qaeda, as well as warnings about the potential for chaos in Afghanistan that could allow an al-Qaeda resurgence should US troops withdraw.

Meanwhile, McKenzie’s comments about the difficulty of intelligence gathering without a troop presence echo comments last week from CIA Director William Burns, who told senators the ability to collect intelligence on threats in Afghanistan will “diminish” with a US military withdrawal, the Hill reported.

On Tuesday, McKenzie also said he continues to have “grave doubts” about the Taliban’s reliability in upholding its commitments under the deal signed last year.

McKenzie declined to tell lawmakers how he advised Biden as the president deliberated the withdrawal, but said he had “multiple opportunities” to provide Biden with his perspective.

The Hill reported that speaking broadly about options to continue strikes once US troops leave, McKenzie said surveillance drones could be positioned in a place where they can reach Afghanistan “in a matter of minutes” or ”perhaps much further away.”

“We will look at all the countries in the region, our diplomats will reach out, and we’ll talk about places where we could base those resources,” he said. 

“Some of them may be very far away, and then there would be a significant bill for those types of resources because you’d have to cycle a lot of them in and out. That is all doable, however.”

Right now, McKenzie added, the United States does not have any basing agreements with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan or other countries surrounding Afghanistan.

McKenzie also said there are a “variety of ways” to strike targets, including long-range precision fire missiles, manned raids or manned aircraft.

“There are problems with all three of those options, but there’s also opportunities with all three of those options,” he said.

“I don’t want to make light of it. I don’t want to put on rose-colored glasses and say it’s going to be easy to do. I can tell you that the U.S. military can do just about anything. And we’re examining this problem with all of our resources right now to find a way to do it in the most intelligent, risk-free manner that we can.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley are also scheduled to brief the full House and Senate behind closed doors later Tuesday on Biden’s plan for Afghanistan.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Ghani launches major development program of 1,000 projects

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: April 20, 2021)

President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday officially launched the start of construction of 1,000 infrastructure projects across the country.

Addressing an event to mark Good Governance and Human Resources Week, Ghani stated that the projects would be implemented in Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, and Nangarhar provinces at a cost of 5.7 billion AFN.

According to Ghani, development projects such as the construction of dams, roads, and bridges are crucial for improving the lives of people.

“Completion of these 1,000 projects is important for the trust of people and will be implemented across Afghanistan. Every citizen has a fundamental right to have access to services so that we can fulfill the government’s commitments to meet the challenges of the people,” Ghani said.

Highlighting the increasing violence in Afghanistan, Ghani claimed that the Taliban still continue to destroy infrastructure in Afghanistan.

According to him, the group has damaged infrastructure in Afghanistan worth $1 billion.

“The Taliban has destroyed dozens of bridges and culverts,” he said.

Ghani called on the Taliban to plant “flowers” instead of detonating mines.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Ariana News. All rights reserved!