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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: 8 IS militants in Kabul

in DEFENCE/MIDLE EAST by

The national intelligence agency has arrested eight Islamic State operatives in the capital, Kabul. The arrests follow an assault by five heavily armed Islamic State suicide bombers on the Afghan military academy in Kabul that killed 11 soldiers. The suspects were recruiting Afghan youth and planning terror attacks in Kabul, the agency said. They were accumulating funds for subversive activities. Afghan security forces have since improved security around the capital and made raids against IS militant. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, acting on findings of a probe into the assault, fired seven army officers, including two generals, for ‘professional negligence”. The situation in Kabul is criticized and Ghani’s government is accused of failing to protect the city and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Trade Ties with Indonesia

in ECONOMY/MIDLE EAST by

Afghanistan and Indonesia will develop their trade relation in different industries. “Soon we are going to work on expanding trade relation with Indonesia and so it could pave the ground for export of dry and fresh Afghan fruits in the country”, said the Ministry Spokesman Musafer Qoqandi. According to the Minister of Commerce, the trade turnover between Kabul and Jakarta is about $350 million. “We can work with Indonesia as currently we have taken steps for importing vehicle’s tires, batteries and lubricants”, said Khan Jan Alokozai, Vice President of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI). Afghan economic analysts believe the government to should encourage the Indonesian businessmen to invest in Afghanistan. This comes as the Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Kabul on Monday, where he meet President Ghani.

Ghani and Pakistani army chief hold talks on key bilateral issues

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

In the wake of new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia the environment has changed and new opportunities have come into existence for Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani told a high-level British official on Monday. British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth, Mark Field, and President Ghani exchanged views on various topics, including the US strategy of Afghanistan and South Asia, peace and stability in the region and Afghanistan, upcoming elections, transit and trade, and other regional affairs. A statement from the Presidential Palace received by Pajhwok Afghan News said President Ghani expressed gratitude to the government and people of United Kingdom for its assistances to Afghanistan in the past few years. Ghani said as a result of the US strategy, the environment changed and fresh opportunities took shape for Afghanistan that would be achieved in collaboration with international partners in order for ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and beyond.

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