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Afghan senators call for unity and talks in wake of troop pullout decision

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(Last Updated On: April 18, 2021)

The planned withdrawal of US troops and the Taliban’s perceived disinterest in the peace talks have raised concerns among members of Afghanistan’s Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) who in turn called on Afghans to stand together and work for peace.

Speaker of the Meshrano Jirga, Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, called on all Afghans, and politicians to remain united during peace talks with the Taliban.

“All political sides should accelerate their efforts to preserve the republic system. Concerns should not exist regarding US troops’ withdrawal. They came for their reasons and are leaving,” said Muslimyar.

One senator, Muhammad Hanif Hanafi said on Sunday that terrorist groups are still present in the country and pose a threat.

“[US President Joe] Biden’s speech that they have achieved their goal in Afghanistan is false… Terrorists are present in Afghanistan,” said Hanafi.

“ANDSF provides 98 percent of security [in the country]; foreigners say that Al-Qaeda is defeated in Afghanistan, but they should review whether the Taliban have ties with Al-Qaeda or not,” said Anarkali Honaryar, another senator.

Some other senators, meanwhile, stated that an irresponsible withdrawal of troops will show the US up as having been defeated.

“Concerns over US troop withdrawal remain; the withdrawal shows the US has failed in the fight against international terrorists and it is a historical defeat to the US,” said Golalay Akbari, a Meshrano Jirga member.

Some senators meanwhile called on the Taliban to show that they are also Afghans by joining the peace talks process.

“Taliban should help solve Afghanistan’s problems via talks and prove that they are not servants of foreigners,” said senator Faisal Sama.

The senators also called on warring sides to put their personal grudges aside and to work for peace so as to avoid a civil war in Afghanistan.

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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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