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US Resumes Secret Talks with Taliban in Qatar

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: November 26, 2019)

The U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has held secret meetings with the Taliban representatives in Qatar, a source close to Taliban said on Saturday.

According to the source, the secret talks aims to pave the way for the resumption of officials talks between the two sides to end the 18 years of bloody war in Afghanistan.

“We have information that informal talks are ongoing right now,” said Mawlawi Qalamuddin, a former Taliban official.

The U.S. and Taliban negotiators held several rounds of formal talks for a yearlong until they reached an agreement “in principle”. However, the U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly called off the talks after Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul that killed several Afghans including an American soldier.

President Trump on Friday said that Washington is working on an agreement with the Taliban militant group.

“You know we’re pulling way down in Afghanistan. We’re working on an agreement now with the Taliban,” Trump told Fox News on Friday.

The new developments come days after the Taliban released two foreign professors in exchange for the release of three Taliban prisoners. In addition, Taliban released 10 Afghan soldiers following the release of their prisoners by Afghan government.

On the other hand, Latif Mahmoud, a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday told Ariana News, this time, the U.S. in consultation and cooperation with the Afghan government, will take steps for the launch of a ceasefire, reduction of violence, and ensuring a sustainable peace.

By Hesamuddin Hesam

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At least 15 dead in stampede near Pakistan consulate in Jalalabad

Ariana News

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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

Ariana News

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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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Gailani calls for Afghans to unite under the umbrella of Islam 

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2020)

After weeks of waiting for progress around the Afghan peace talks that are currently underway in Doha, Hamid Gailani, the leader of the Mahaz-e-Milli Islami Afghanistan party on Tuesday called on all parties to the conflict to unite as Muslims and to form an interim government. 

Gailani called on both government and the Taliban to take steps consistent with what “the mighty Allah has said about peace”. Citing the Holy Quran, Gailani said “and peace is good”  and that “we should do good for the people.”

“We are both Afghan and Muslim and it is the Afghans and Muslims who are suffering on both ends, people who die or get wounded from any of the sides are both Afghan and Muslim.

“Brothers, let’s be united, jointly and with understanding and for the sake of Allah, get rid of this sedition and take steps toward peace, which has been favored by Allah,” said Gailani, who is the son of the late politician and respected religious leader Pir Sayed Ahmed Gailani. 

In reference to negotiations, Gailani suggested a shift in dynamics and said: “Both sides are plaintiff. In every (traditional) negotiation, religion/Sharia, national traditions, and international law, there is always a need for a third side in conflict resolution. Therefore, as I see it we have no option for solving the issue other than the formation of an interim administration, in which all sides will have representation and agreed by all, and steps towards peace be taken in light of it.”

“Then a national government, according to the wishes of people and with the participation of all sides based on national consensus, be formed so that the seditious war comes to an end.”

Gailani is yet another voice calling for an end to the ongoing war – a war that has lasted for almost 40 years and one which the majority of stakeholders, including foreign partners and neighboring countries agree that there is no military solution. 

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