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Afghan leader proposes peace road map in three phases-document

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(Last Updated On: April 4, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will put forward a three-phase peace roadmap for Afghanistan during a proposed meeting in Turkey, seeking an agreement with the Taliban and a ceasefire before elections, a document seen by Reuters shows.

Washington is pushing for a conference to be hosted by Turkey, with U.N. involvement, this month to finalise a peace deal between the government and the Taliban as a May 1 deadline looms for the withdrawal of all foreign troops.

Ghani’s plan will be presented as a counter to proposals put forward by Washington, rejected by the Afghan government, that envisage immediately drawing up a new legal system for an interim administration to include Taliban representatives.

The document shows Ghani’s “Reaching an Endstate” proposal will include, in the first phase, a consensus on a political settlement and an internationally monitored ceasefire.

The second phase will be holding a presidential election and the establishment of a “government of peace” and implementation arrangements for moving towards the new political system.

The third phase will involve building a “constitutional framework, reintegration of refugees and development” for Afghanistan moving forward.

A senior government official said Ghani has already shared his road map with foreign capitals.

A date for the Turkey meeting is yet to be decided, but multiple sources told Reuters it could take place in two weeks’ time.

The Afghan government and a number of politicians said they would have to agree on an agenda with the Taliban before the meeting.

In a statement last month, the Taliban threatened to resume hostilities against foreign troops in Afghanistan if they did not meet the May 1 deadline envisaged in an agreement between the insurgents and the Trump administration last year.

U.S. President Joe Biden said this month it would be “hard” to withdraw the last U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1 “just in terms of tactical reasons”, but he said he did not think they still would be there next year.

A senior government official said the Taliban was willing to extend the May 1 dateline and would not resume attacks against foreign forces in exchange for the release of thousands of their prisoners held by the Kabul authorities.

Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesman in Qatar, said no such offer had been made.

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AWCC rolls out internet services to Nangarhar’s Hesarak district

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(Last Updated On: February 23, 2024)

Officials from Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC) say they have activated 3G and 2G internet services in Hesarak district of Nangarhar province.

The company’s officials said that now thousands of families in this district have access to the internet.

They added that the company will expand 3G and 2G internet services in other districts of this province as well.

“This base is built as standard and today we activated 3G and 2G internet services here,” said Attaullah Sahil, head of AWCC in the eastern zone.

Nangarhar officials meanwhile welcomed AWCC’s move to provide the Hesarak people with internet services and said they hoped residents of other areas will also be provided with the same service.

“An Afghan wireless base has been activated in this district that currently provides 3G and 2G internet services,” said Zabihullah Zaki, Nangarhar’s director of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

In the meantime, the residents of Hesarak district are happy that they have access to the new generation of internet services but call for costs to be reduced.
“We are very happy that the Afghan wireless base was activated here,” said a resident of Hesarak district.

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Muttaqi to UNAMA head: Doha meeting had no tangible outcome

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi said in a meeting with UNAMA head Roza Otunbayeva that the Islamic Emirate closely monitored the Doha meeting and observed that the meeting did not render a “particular result”.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesman of the foreign ministry, said in a statement on X that Muttaqi said the Islamic Emirate hopes that the interactive meetings with the Islamic Emirate will lead to good results.

According to Muttaqi, for the meetings to be effective, there should be comprehensive discussions with the Islamic Emirate on issues related to Afghanistan.

Balkhi, quoting Otunbaeva said from the point of view of Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, no action should be taken to complicate the work with the Islamic Emirate in appointing a special representative for Afghanistan.

The second meeting of special representatives for Afghanistan was held on Sunday and Monday in Doha. The Islamic Emirate did not participate.

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Work gets underway on Hairatan-Mazar section of Balkh to Uzbekistan railway line

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

Reconstruction of a section of the Mazar-e-Sharif-Uzbekistan railway line has started at a cost of $6.3 million, Balkh provincial officials said.

Local officials said the 75-km long line will start at Balkh airport and stretch to Uzbekistan.

The reconstruction of this railway line has been contracted to an Uzbek company and is expected to be operational in three months, officials said.

This railway line, which carries freight, links Hairatan land port to Mazar.

“The cost of this contract is approximately six million and 300 thousand US dollars,” said Mohammad Shafiq Mahmood, the head of Balkh railway.

Local authorities have said the reactivation of this line is important for economic growth and the expansion of trade ties.

“We thank our friendly neighbor Uzbekistan for coming here and starting this project,” said Noorul Hadi Abu Idris, the deputy governor of Balkh.

Mazar-e-Sharif-Uzbekistan railway transports commercial goods from the city of Termez in Uzbekistan first to the commercial town of Hairatan and then to the Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi Airport.

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