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The government accused of having no plan for the industrialists

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) accused the government of having no plan to support the domestic products and industrialists in the country. During the inauguration ceremony of marble production town on Monday in Kabul, Khan Jan Alokozay, Deputy Head of ACCI said that the National Unity Government plays a double game with the investors adding that the government should make way for investment and capacity building in the country. According to him, since shut down of AISA (Afghanistan Investment Support Agency), the government has not distributed any land for industrialist. The inaugurated town includes 30 marble production houseworks which have been built on 300 acres of land with a cost of $50 million by the investors. The Commerce Ministry’s General Director for Private Sector Development said that the government welcomes and ensures to support the marble industry in the country. 

Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey: trilateral meeting to discuss the peace process

in MIDLE EAST by

During a press conference with CEO Abdullah Abdullah, Turkish Prime Minister Binali said Turkey has suggested a trilateral meeting of officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey to discuss the peace process in Afghanistan. Afghan Executive Office has expressed optimism over the trilateral meeting and hopes the summit will reduce tensions between Kabul-Islamabad. During the visit to Kabul, the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Turkey strongly supports the Afghan government’s efforts for peace in the country, and called on the Taliban to start dialogue with the Afghan government. Bashir Ahmad Tayenj, a Member of Parliament believes that Turkey can play a key role in Afghan peace process because is a powerful Islamic country with an effective role in regional politics. Furthermore, analysts stress on Turkey’s pressures over Pakistan to stop interfering in Afghanistan’s affairs and fight against terrorism. Turkey’s call for peace in Afghanistan comes as the Taliban still maintained its silence and has yet to formally respond to the peace offer. 

Abdullah, prioritizing economic indexes

in ECONOMY/MIDLE EAST by

During the session of executive committee for development of private sector, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said that Afghanistan should seek ways for prioritizing of economic indexes and solving of problems before private sector. Dr. Abdullah said there were eye-catching growth of private sector and small entrepreneurships as well as production and imports, adding more works needed to improve and accelerate the process. Dr. Abdullah told the officials to pay attentions to boosting of imports and exports as well as growth of domestic production and ways to ease transportation of goods. He added to focus on prevention of time elapsing during security check of the importing and exporting goods. Minister of Commerce and Industries held the session on achievements, challenges and progress of the Executive Committee on development of private sector, adding 10 documents were prepared to ease the process of export and import of goods. The documents included acceleration of the security check process of goods, technical standard, custom license, license of entrepreneurship and transit, prepared in consultation with traders. World Bank representative to Kabul praised Chief Executive’s support of the private sector, saying the process would take time and require joint efforts. The Chief Executive also instructed the Ministry of Commerce and Industries to present the problems in Council of Ministers meeting, so that to be discussed in detail.

Civilian causalities in Kunduz air raid

in MIDLE EAST by

The Afghan Defense Ministry says Monday’s attack by the government air force on a Taliban meeting in Dasht-i-Archi district of Kunduz province, killed at least 18 fighters, including a senior commanders of the group Quetta Shura member Mawlavi Baryal. The Defense Ministry’s Deputy Spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said that the Afghan Air Force did not target civilians but Taliban members that opened fire on Afghan air force helicopters and then on civilians after the airstrike. Radmanish showed photographs and aerial footage of the targeted area, saying that people photographed were Taliban leaders and fighters. During the attack, civilians, including children, lost their lives so the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is investigating the incident amid reports of civilian casualties. UN said that UNAMA actively looking into disturbing reports of serious harm to civilians, adding that all parties have to respect the obligations to protect civilians from impact of armed conflict. The President’s office, meanwhile in a statement on Tuesday said that it has appointed a task team to investigate Monday’s airstrike in Dasht-e-Archi of Kunduz province. The assigned commission is headed by General Khudaidad Hazara, the Inspector General of the National Security Council, and include presidential advisors Tahir Safai and Sayed Sulaiman Hamid.

Pakistan delegation reaches Afghanistan to discuss peace plan

in ASIA/POLITICS by

An high-level Pakistani delegation arrived in Afghanistan on Monday to hold talks on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), weeks after the Afghan president offered Taliban to join the political process. The Pakistani delegation is headed by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and comprises senior civil and military bigshots, including Director General Military Operations Maj Gen Shamshad Mirza. The tour precedes Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s visit scheduled for April 6, and succeeds visit of National Security Advisor Nasser Janjua who toured the Afghan capital on March 17-18.Janjua called on Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah in separate meetings during his trip to Kabul.

It was during the same trip that Ghani invited Pakistan’s prime minister to “initiate state to state comprehensive dialogue”. Revealing the details of the tour, Dr Faisal had informed that Pakistan had proposed five joint working groups, focusing on ensuring a comprehensive engagement for countering terrorism, intelligence sharing, military, economy, trade and transit interaction, refugee repatriation and connectivity.The FO spokesperson had also reaffirmed that Pakistan will continue to support efforts for peace in Afghanistan, but the Afghan government needed to reach a settlement with different Afghan groups.

Afghanistan to hold legislative elections after years of delays

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

According to Afghan parliament members, the government is plotting to hold a rigged election because the election commission has not been able to preserve its independence. Humayun Humayun, First Deputy Speaker of Wolesi Jirga, or Parliament’s Lower House, said that a circle close to the president and his team has instructed the election commission to do not let anyone except a few figures – who support them – to secure parliament seat in the upcoming election. The MPs claimed that the Presidential Palace has been involved in the decision-making process of the election commission. In fact, MP Abdullah Mohammadi said that the President has ordered the election mission to do not let more than 25 individuals to be re-elected as parliament members.

This comes after the election commission officials were not present in the Lower House’s Saturday session. The House’s Speaker Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi said that National Assembly is responsible in the election process and the election commission officials have acted against the constitution, principles and legitimate rights of the people by not coming to the assembly, so it does not have the capacity to hold the election.

Indian’s minister confirms his cooperation in Afghanistan

in ASIA/ECONOMY by

India’s minister for external affairs said in Tashkent his country’s development assistance stands at $3 billion USD, adding that his country will continue to help rebuild Afghanistan and turn it into a stable economy. According to the minister, last year India embarked upon the New Development Partnership, which will support
116 ‘High Impact Community Development Projects’ in Afghanistan according to the priorities of the Afghan government. They include large scale projects such as drinking water for Kabul city and low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees.

Akbar said that India’s other key priority is helping Afghanistan in building “robust, reliable and year-round connectivity, improving trade and investment relations of Afghanistan with prominent markets in the region and beyond”. He also said that the Indian grant aid of 170,000 tons of wheat supplies to Afghanistan is currently transiting through Chabahar (Port in Iran). Furthermore, the India-Afghanistan air freight corridor helps the connection between the countries. In fact, over 110 flights have carried over 2,000 tons of exports from Afghanistan to India worth over tens of millions of dollars.

 

Israr Karimzai, “Pakistan behind Kabul attack”

in MIDLE EAST by

According to the Patriotic Movement of Afghanistan, terrorist attack on peaceful Kabul Sit-in has been carried out by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Senior leadership of the movement, slammed Pakistan for conducting terrorist and destructive activities in Afghanistan and systemic genocide of ethnic Pashtun, Baloch and Hazara populations in Pakistan. A central leader of the movement, Israr Karimzai, said Afghans were at Kabul-Sit-In to mobilize the general masses in support of Afghan-led peace process. He said Pakistan’s notorious intelligence Agency ISI carried out a heinous act of terrorism against the peaceful and impartial Sit-in. He demanded the international community to recognize and enlist Pakistan as a terror sponsor state and impose economic and diplomatic sanctions on it. Abasin Barial, another central leader of the movement called on Taliban to embrace the comprehensive and precondition talks offer extended by the National Unity Government and put an end to war in the country.

Aimal another member of the movement, demanded the government to launch probe into the incident and further unmask Pakistan for its terrorist involvement in the country. Dr. Naeem Afzali from the Hazara community said Afghans on both sides of the Durand Line could not be separated by the imaginary lines. He said Afghans stand behind the Pashtun Long March and its leadership and endorse their legitimate demands of right to life and freedom. The press conference was attended by more than five hundred activists and politicians, including Zakia Wardak, chairperson of the Afghan Samon Society.

Wrong blood type threatens soldier’s life

in DEFENCE by

The Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in its recent report has said that many
wounded Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel lose their lives due to wrong blood type injections. According to
the report, thousands of ANA personnel have been recruited without their blood being tested or their blood type
have been typed wrongly. The report said that an advisor assisting ANA personnel at Afghan National Army
Recruiting Command told that he was aware that ANA soldiers have been killed from receiving the wrong type of
blood.
Defense Ministry spokesman DawlatWaziri said that he completely rejects this, because it is impossible to send
soldiers to their departments without determining their blood type. The report highlights that in 2017, between
January and July, at least 15,400 new personnel recruited in the ANA did not have their blood tested. The report
says the Afghan National Army Recruiting Command (ANAREC) relied on the results the new soldiers and personnel
brought from the local doctors without knowing whether the physician actually had tested the blood or no. During
the course of the review, SIGAR received information that physicians may be stamping medical forms without
collecting and testing blood samples.

No positive response from Pakistan to terrorism

in MIDLE EAST by

During the “Progress on Peace and Stability in Afghanistan” at the US Institute of Peace, Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar says the response from the Pakistan to terrorism has been mixed. He said that the consensus on how to fight the terrorists has broken slightly. Atmar added that there are nations in the region that draw a distinction between good and bad terrorists. Furthermore, the region actors all agreed to have state-to-state relations for counter terrorism, but there are some stat who look at state to non-state actors relations for counter-terrorism, like some that say they work with the Taliban against Daesh or against the ISIS. According to Atmar, this is unethical and self-defeating in terms of policy. Atmar said Afghanistan faces threat from a nexus of violent extremism, transnational criminalized networks and state sponsorship of terrorists, but it’s not just the Taliban and the Haqqani network that they are fighting. There is an increase of foreign fighters associated with at least three categories of terrorist networks. The global terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda, Daehs and ISIS-K. The regional terrorists such as IMU from Central Asia and China, and Pakistani terrorists such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

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