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US-Taliban Representatives Hold Secret Talks in Islamabad

Ariana News

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(Last Updated On: October 5, 2019)

The U.S. and Taliban negotiation teams have held secret talks in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

A six-member American delegation has met with the Taliban’s 12-member delegation during their visit to Pakistan on October 2.

According to sources informed of the Afghan peace talks, the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and the top commander of NATO and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan General Scott Miller were also present at the pre-scheduled meeting.

Apparently, the meeting was scheduled at the sideline of the UN General Assembly in New York where the U.S. chief negotiator Ambassador Khalilzad met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The two sides have discussed the Afghan presidential election which took place on September 28 and the formation of an interim government after the announcement of the election results, sources close to the Taliban insurgent group told Ariana News.

“Ambassador Khalilzad wanted to know the position of Taliban if Afghanistan fails to have an elected government and forms an interim government,” said Waheed Muzhda, a pro-Taliban political commentator.

However, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister on Political Affairs Edris Zaman said on Saturday that the U.S.-Taliban meeting focused on the release of two American prisoners.

“The ongoing talks in Islamabad is focused on two U.S. hostages with Taliban. The talks is held between hostage takers which is Taliban and the government of the United States and is mediated by Pakistan,” Mr. Zaman said.

Minawar Shah Bahaduri, an Afghan lawmaker believes that the result of the Afghan presidential election will lead the country into a crisis and Washington will raise question on its legitimacy; therefore, the U.S. is paving the ground for the formation of an interim government in the country.

“An interim government will be formed in order to put pressures on the government and the Taliban to accept peace and at the same time to have its permanent presence in Afghanistan,” Mr. Bahaduri said.

Both the U.S. and the Taliban group have not made a comment about the report yet.

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Ghani orders establishment of new council to empower Afghan women

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday signed a decree to establish is High Council for Women aimed at empowering Afghan women.

“President Ashraf Ghani, in accordance with the national constitution, issued a decree to establish the Women’s High Council,” the president’s office said in a statement.

According to the statement, the Council will be led by Ghani and will focus on “women empowerment ensuring women’s rights.”

“The Council will be led by H.E the President and will focus on women empowerment, ensuring women’s rights, increasing coordination with our international partners, and better policy execution,” the statement said.

Based on the decree 26 representatives from different sectors of society will be members of the Council.

“Based on the decree, including the female deputy provincial governors, women advocates, and civil activists, 26 representatives from governmental entities and non-government organizations will be the members of the Council,” read the statement.

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Historical Takhar school gutted in blaze

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2020)

The historical Abus Osman Taloqani High School in Takhar province was believed to have been intentionally set on fire on Thursday, local officials confirmed.

Abu Osman Taloqani High School, in the provincial capital Taloqan, was destroyed in the blaze.

Currently about 3,000 students are registered at the education facility.

Footage on social media Thursday showed how chairs, desks, documents, and books inside the building were completely destroyed.

Takhar education officials have not yet commented on the incident and no group or individual has claimed responsibility for setting fire to the school.

The Taliban, however, denied any involvement in the incident, saying that the group had nothing to with the fire at the school which is located close to police and NDS headquarters in Taloqan.

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Kapisa police official killed in Taliban attack

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2020)

Taliban militants gunned down an Afghan police official on Thursday in Parwan province, a local official confirmed.

Abdul Shayiq Shurish, a spokesman for Kapisa police told Ariana News that Suliaman, the battalion commander of Kapisa police brigade, was killed by the Taliban at around 9 a.m. Thursday in Sayad village of Parwan.

Meanwhile, a clash broke out between the Afghan forces and the insurgents in Shaker village in the Tagab district of Kapisa at around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Shurish said, at least two local army soldiers were killed and another one was wounded in the battle.

Four civilians including women and children were also injured in the clash, he added.

Shurish claimed that the Afghan forces have inflicted casualties on the Taliban, saying that details yet to be determined.

The Taliban yet to comment on the incidents.

It comes as the intra-Afghan talks are expected to start next week in Doha, where the government and the Taliban delegations would negotiate a political settlement for ending the conflict in the war-weary country.

The government negotiating team is expected to negotiate a comprehensive ceasefire in the first round of talks.

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