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Afghanistan needs to be more decentralized: Khalilzad



(Last Updated On: April 3, 2022)

Afghanistan’s government needs to be more decentralized and political inclusivity needs to be ensured in order to prevent another war, former US special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Saturday.

Speaking at the Islamabad Security Dialogue conference, Khalilzad said that the US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has had both positive and negative consequences.

“On the positive side, the war has ended already. There is a government that controls all of Afghanistan, but on the negative is that the government is not legitimate in the sense that it doesn’t come true what it has agreed to do in the agreement that ended the war, meaning the US war, which was that the new government would be as a result of intra-Afghan negotiations so that it reflects the diversity,” Khalilzad said.

He said that currently the Afghan government is “very centralized” and a more decentralized government would also ensure economic participation and inclusivity.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), however, rejected Khalilzad’s claim that the government is very centralized.

Enamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for IEA, said that the government is committed to ensuring balanced development across Afghanistan and it would work for greater inclusivity.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, told the conference that “we have to be patient and accommodative” over the IEA’s performance.

“Instead of imposing sanctions which have never worked, we must incentivize Afghans for their positive behavioral changes,” Bajwa said.

He said that disengagement with Afghanistan is not an option. “We urge the international community to share their concern directly with Afghan interim government.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also said that after 40 years, there is no internal war in Afghanistan and one government controls the entire country.

“This presents a unique opportunity to stabilize Afghanistan and build sustainable peace the international community can achieve by engaging with Afghan authorities, unfreezing Afghanistna’s financial reserves and reviving reconstruction and sustainable development of Afghanistan,” Qureshi said.

He also urged IEA to positively respond to the expectations of the international community with regard to inclusivity, human rights including women’s rights, girls’ education and the threat of terrorism.

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Hundreds of needy families receive aid packages in Paktia



(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)

Hundreds of needy families in Gerda Seray district of Paktia province have received aid packages in the holy month of Ramadan, local officials said.

The packages have been distributed by a German foundation to residents of this district.

Khalil Rahman Haqqani, Minister of Refugees and Repatriations, said the ministry is fully prepared to meet the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees.

While distributing aid to those in need in this district, the minister asked international organizations to cooperate with Afghanistan in dealing with IDPs.

Habibullah Shahzad, head of Paktia migrant affairs department, meanwhile said that these aid packages include flour, oil, sugar, beans, tea, gas cylinders and blankets.

The recipients are happy that they have received aid in the holy month of Ramadan, but say they need more aid to meet their needs.

According to the refugees ministry, there are currently more than one million IDPs in the country who need emergency assistance in addition to shelter.

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Daesh claims responsibility for attack near Afghan foreign ministry



(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)

Daesh has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack that killed at least six civilians in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Monday, Reuters reported.

The group published the details of a suicide bomber, on its Telegram account, saying that the attack was carried out by “Abdul Hameed Khorasani.”

Monday’s attack was condemned by several national and international individuals and organizations, including the UN mission in Afghanistan.

“Reports of numerous casualties in today’s attack in Kabul-at least one child among them. It is unacceptable that ordinary Afghans continue to be targeted as they go about their daily lives,” UNAMA said in a tweet.

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AWCC launches 3G services in a remote area of Kunar province



(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)

Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) has rolled out 3G services to the remote Chaghan district in the northeastern province of Kunar.

Being so remote, Chaghan residents have struggled with limited telecommunications in the past but this week they welcomed AWCC’s initiative.

Officials in the area also welcomed the move and said the new infrastructure installed in Chaghan also helps cover surrounding areas.

“An AWCC site was opened in a dominant location. This is a very good place. It is connected to the [provincial] center and covers some areas of Marawar district and Watepur district. We are grateful to AWCC,” said Sajjad, provincial director of communications.

Ejazul Haq Yousufzai, head of Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority (ATRA) in Kunar, said efforts are ongoing for the development of telecommunication services so as to reach all districts in the province.

Local authorities in Kunar expressed their appreciation for the provision of telecommunication and internet services by AWCC and acknowledged that the services provided by the company are of a good quality.

“First of all, we are very grateful to the employees of AWCC for providing these services to the people of Kunar. We ask all companies and institutions to provide such services to the mountainous province of Kunar,” provincial governor, Ahmad Taha, said.

Abdullah Haqqani, deputy governor of Kunar, said: “Kunar is a mountainous province. The number of [cellphone] towers is not enough. We demand that problems faced by the people get solved.”

Local residents also expressed their satisfaction with the recent move of AWCC.

“The opening of this site is a great achievement for these two valleys. With this, these two valleys were connected to the center. The problems that people were facing before have now been solved,” Hayatullah, a resident of Kunar province, said.

Meanwhile, AWCC officials in the eastern zone assured the people of Kunar that the company will provide telecommunication services to all remote areas of the province.

“This site plays a key role for these two valleys, Dangam, Ghazi Abad, Nari, Watepur and up to Nuristan. Without the site, other sites cannot provide these services,” said Attaullah Sahil, head of AWCC in the eastern zone.

With the improvement of the security situation, AWCC has not only expanded its telecommunication services in the eastern zone, but it has covered many remote areas of the zone with 3G and 4G internet services.

Kunar province lies in the northeastern section of the country and borders northern Pakistan. The vast majority of the province is mountainous and extremely rugged.

The province is dominated by the lower Hindu Kush mountains which are cut by the Kunar River to form the forested Kunar Valley. The mountains, narrow valleys with steep walls, and rivers present formidable natural obstacles and have historically constrained all movement through the province.

Even in the early 21st century, movement on foot, with pack animals, or with motorized vehicles is extremely limited and channeled due to the significant geographic restrictions.

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