Jamiat-e-Islami eyes major role in Afghan presidential elections

The Jamiat-e-Islami of Afghanistan led by Salahuddin Rabbani and Ata Mohammad Noor eyes major role in the next presidential elections of Afghanistan by expanding the leadership council of the party.

Speaking during a gathering in Kabul, Rabbani said the party will have a presence in the next presidential elections.

Rabbani further added that temporary leadership council of the party has expanded and is now having more than 60 members, which was previously having only 9 members.

Emphasizing on pluralism as key principle of the party, Rabbani said Jamiat-e-Islami is home to all Afghans and anyone can become a member of it.

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Holding of the “Kabul Process” Preparation and Coordination Meeting

KABUL – The preparation and coordination meeting for the purpose of exploring the objectives and prospects of the “Kabul Process” meeting, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Hikmat Khalil Karzai and participated by Ambassadors and representatives of the friendly countries held this afternoon in the Storai Palace of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Kabul Process is going to be held on June 6, 2017 in Kabul.

According to decision of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the “Kabul Process” meeting will held in Kabul with participation of the Republic of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of India, Republic of Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, State of Qatar, United States of America, Kingdom of Great Britain, Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Norway, Canada, United Nations Organization and the European Union to discuss on the peace, security and counterterrorism issues.

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Female Afghan pilot aims to make historic solo round-the-world flight

A female Afghan pilot aims to make solo round-the-world flight and become the youngest woman in the history to have such an achievement, it has been reported.

The 29-year-old woman, Shaesta Waiz, was preparing to launch the trip on Monday by starting from the trans-atlantic leg of the journey.

Waiz moved to United States in 1987 and became the youngest certified female pilot from Afghanistan after obtaining her pilot’s license.

“When I found my passion — flying — that’s when I started to challenge myself. I started to read. I started to do better in maths. I started to look at the world differently, the sky differently,” Waiz was quoted as saying in a report by AFP.
She said “What’s important is finding your passion and going after it.”

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Afghan forces retake control of Qala-e-Zal district in Kunduz

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have retaken the Qala-e-Zal district of Kunduz province, ten days after the Taliban insurgents seized its control.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) confirmed that the control of the district was retaken during the operations launched around 6 am local time today.

The provincial police spokesman Mr. Rahmani earlier said the offensive is underway as the Afghan forces have made major gains as the offensive is underway.

He said the operations were launched from the Aqtapa village and Afghan forces are moving forward to fully clear the district.

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MPs Concerned Over Hizb-e-Islami’s Refusal To Give Up Arms

Hizb-e-Islami says its men need to be armed as their safety is not guaranteed but that they will not turn their weapons on government.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami members have so far refused to hand over their weapons, which has in turn sparked concern among MPs.

This comes after Hekmatyar and his men officially returned to Afghanistan early this month after the group’s leader sealed a peace deal with government last year.

Despite Hizb-e-Islami having assured the nation that their armed men will not turn their weapons on government, MPs on Wednesday raised the issue and voiced their concerns.

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715 Afghan civilians killed, 1466 wounded in past 3 months: UNAMA

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UANAMA) released its latest civilian casualties report covering a period of three months since the start of 2017.

In the first quarter of 2017, UNAMA documented 2,181 civilian casualties (715 dead and 1,466 injured), a four per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2016. Civilian deaths decreased by two per cent while civilian injuries decreased by five per cent, the report said.

The report further added that consistent with trends in 2016, ground engagements continued to cause most civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices, as well as suicide and complex attacks.

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2017 to be a tough year for the Afghan forces: US defense secretary

The United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has said the ongoing year of 2017 will be another tough year for the Afghan security forces.

Mr. Mattis arrived in Afghanistan in an unannounced visit on Monday to meet with the Afghan officials and the officials of the US forces and the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday afternoon, Mattis said “2017’s going to be another tough year for the valiant Afghan security forces and the international troops who have stood and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan against terrorism and against those who seek to undermine the legitimate United Nations-recognized government of this nation.”

Mattis condemned the deadly attack on the Shaheen Army Corps in North of Afghanistan, saying “And, as if we needed a reminder, as I stand here before you, of the type of enemy that we’re up against, the killing of Afghan citizens, soldiers, protectors of the people, just as they were coming out of a mosque, you know, coming out of a house of worship — it certainly characterizes this fight for exactly what it is.”

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Officials Claim Over 130 Soldiers Killed In Deadly Attack

An official told TOLOnews on Saturday morning that at least 135 soldiers were killed in Friday afternoon’s attack on the Afghan National Army’s 209 Shaheen Corps Headquarters in Balkh province.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity as government has not officially released figures, said at least 60 soldiers were also wounded in the attack. He said some were in critical condition.

However, the ministry of defense and government last confirmed the actual death toll at 11 but the MoD issued a statement Saturday morning that said “about 100 have been killed and wounded.”
Reuters however reported that at least 140 soldiers had been killed. They quoted a senior local official, who had also spoken on condition of anonymity. Reuters also reported that other officials said the toll was likely to be even higher.

Soon after the four-hour long siege ended, government said 11 had been killed but a spokesman for the U.S’s Central Command Colonel John Thomas, told Reuters “we’re talking probably more than 50 casualties.”

“There is a mosque and a dining facility on the base that seemed to, at this point from our reports, be the subject of a significant attack from enemy forces,” he was quoted as saying.
The attack happened at about 1.30pm on Friday at a mosque on the base. Insurgents in army vehicles and reportedly wearing military uniforms penetrated multiple layers of security before launching their attack.

Injured soldiers being treated at the Mazar-e-Sharif hospital said that security at the base was extremely strict and that soldiers were never allowed onto base without ID cards.

One wounded soldier, Hussain, said he felt the insurgents must have had inside help in order to get onto the base.

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335 acres of land cleared of opium poppy by Afghan forces in Nangarhar

At least 335 acres of land cultivated with opium poppy were cleared during the ongoing eradication campaign in eastern Nangarhar province.

According to the local government officials, the campaign was conducted in the vicinity of Ghani Khel, Chaparhar, and Khogyani districts.

The officials further added that 110 acres of land were cleared of opium poppy in Chaparhar, 100 acres of land were cleared in Ghani Khel, and 125 acres of land were cleared in Khogyani district.

The local officials are saying that the campaign is jointly being conducted by the Afghan police, Afghan army, and the Afghan intelligence operatives and the eradication will continue until all areas are fully cleared of opium.

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Massoud warns of instability and war after dismissed by President Ghani

Ahmad Zia Massoud has warned of political instability in the country in his reaction to the presidential decree regarding his dismissal as senior presidential adviser for reforms and good governance.

Speaking during a press conference in Kabul, Mr. Massoud also warned that the unilateral decisions by the President will take the country towards a civil war, urging the President to withdraw his decree regarding his dismissal.

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