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Afghan Gov’t Discloses Its Peace Offer to Taliban

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(Last Updated On: February 28, 2018)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered peace talks with Taliban without preconditions on Wednesday morning after officially opened the Kabul Process  II conference in Kabul.

Ghani proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners as part of a range of options including new elections, involving the militants, and revision of the constitution as part of a pact with the Taliban.

He said Afghans from across the country in consultation with government and the High Peace Council (HPC), have reached a consensus on the desire for peace.

“The National Unity Government offers peace talks with Taliban without preconditions,” Ghani said. Adding that peace talks with the Taliban will be implemented in three steps.

The president further said that the government is agreed with opening political office for the Taliban, issue passports for the group members of the Taliban, allow freedom of travel, and assist in removal of sanctions, allow access to media, and agree with the return of their family.

 Kabul Process II meeting which was attending by representatives of 25 countries and three international organizations aimed at creating a platform for peace talks, adds to a series of signals from both the government and the Taliban suggesting a greater willingness to consider dialogue.

Following the conference, a detailed document has been disclosed in which the government mapped out suggestions on the building blocks for peace-making with Taliban and other involved elements.  

  1. A political process: ceasefire, recognition as political party, transitional confidence-building arrangements, and inclusive, credible, free and fair elections;
  2. A legal framework: constitutional review, justice and resolution of grievances, enabling laws or decrees, prisoner release and removal from sanctions lists;
  3. Reorganization of the state: rule of law and reform, balanced spatial development, reintegration of refugees and internally displaced populations;
  4. Security: for the population, as well as for those being reconciled – who are reintegrating;
  5. Economic/social development: inclusive and sustained growth, equitable access to land and public assets, fighting corruption, national job creation programs, reintegration of refugees, and ex-combatants;
  6. International community support and partnership: diplomatic financial support, status of foreign fighters and removal from sanctions;
  7. Implementation modalities, specifying urgent, short and medium-term benchmarks and monitoring and verification mechanisms and arrangements. 

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UN Security Council to meet over situation in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is scheduled to hold a meeting on Tuesday that will focus on the current situation in Afghanistan.

UNSC members are expected to discuss economic, humanitarian and security concerns.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) spokesman Bilal Karimi said the IEA welcomed meetings that are held with the aim of cooperating with the government and people of Afghanistan.

He also said that Afghans expect cooperation and that such meetings must be held in accordance with international laws and principles.

However, the IEA still does not have a designated UN representative – one year after taking control of the country.

Instead, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, who assumed leadership of the Afghan mission to the UN in December last year, will address the security council members.

The IEA does not however recognize him as the legitimate envoy to the UN.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Faiq said that he would address the security council meeting and speak on behalf of Afghans.

“On behalf of Afghans, in this important meeting, like always, I would like to raise the voice of my nation,” he said.

In September last year, the IEA asked the UN to accredit Suhail Shaheen, the head of the IEA’s political office in Qatar, as the new ambassador.

But in December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in which it indefinitely delayed a decision over the rival claims to the representative seat for Afghanistan.

At the time, the IEA criticized the UN’s failure to decide on this issue, saying it was ignoring the rights of the Afghan people.

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Influential Muslim cleric al-Qaradawi dies at 96

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

Senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was based in Qatar, died on Monday, according to a post on his official Twitter account.

The cleric was an Egyptian Islamic scholar and was chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

He was best known for his programme al-Sharīʿa wa al-Ḥayāh (“Sharia and Life”), broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 40–60 million worldwide.

He is also known for IslamOnline, a website he helped to found in 1997 and for which he served as chief religious scholar.

Al-Qaradawi published more than 120 books, and received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship, and is considered one of the most influential Islamic scholars today.

Al-Qaradawi has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian political organization, although he repeatedly stated that he was no longer a member. He has over the years been critical of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

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Rare 5,000-carat Afghan ruby unveiled in Dubai

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(Last Updated On: September 26, 2022)

A rare 5,000-carat gemstone that went on private display in Dubai has been heralded as a “blessing from heaven” for the residents of the impoverished village in which it was unearthed.

The ruby, which weighs about 1 kilogram, has been hailed as “one of a kind” due to its rich purple coloring and size, the National News reported.

The ruby was discovered in the village of Hyderabad, bordering Iran and Afghanistan and its owner said he hoped the unexpected find would help bring a change of fortune for villagers without access to schools, hospitals or even electricity for some.

The uncut stone could cost at least $10 million in the market, asset manager Patrick Pilati told The National.

“It was an accidental finding from the village called Hyderabad bordering Iran and Afghanistan. There is no mining activity in the village that is under the jurisdiction of Afghanistan,” he said.

The rough stone is deep purple in color and bigger than the palm of a hand.

A certificate of authenticity …by the International Testing Laboratory Gems and Jewellery, in Jaipur, Rajasthan in India, and shown to The National, stated the rough ruby weighs 5,010 carats.

Azad Rokhsati, a gemologist, who was also present at the event, confirmed the size and weight.

“I have never seen anything like this,” he said.

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