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Danish warns against interim govt that ‘might lead to collapse of system’

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(Last Updated On: March 4, 2021)

No peace plan should lead to the collapse of the Republic system and the abolition of the Constitution, Second Vice President Sarwar Danish said on Thursday.

Speaking at an event to mark the 26th death anniversary of Abdul Ali Mazari, Danish said that any plan for an interim and participatory government without holding elections would be a doomed plan.

Danish said plans proposed should be within the current political system and within the Constitution.

“The government emphasizes that, firstly, no plan should be proposed in the absence of the Afghan government and without considering our national interests and only based on the wishes of foreigners; and secondly, any plan should be proposed while maintaining the political system and the Constitution of the country.”

He also said any plan should not put the government and political system at risk of collapsing nor should it threaten the Constitution.

He said “therefore we consider the plan of an interim government as a kind of setback which will cause the current system to collapse,” said Danish.

“Peace with dignity and permanence is important. The people of Afghanistan want a peace that preserves the dignity and authority of the country and does not mean the collapse of the current system.

“The Taliban group demands allegiance from us, but we do not accept such a request and we do not pledge allegiance to anyone,” said Mohammad Mohaqiq, Presidential Palace (ARG) senior adviser.

Former vice president Yunus Qanooni also addressed the event and said that Washington wants to change the format of the talks in order to speed up the peace process.

“The format of the negotiations should change in order to expedite the peace efforts and ensure enduring peace in the country. Afghan peace process requires consensus within Afghanistan, in the region and in the international community,” Qanooni said.

These remarks come as US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad left Kabul on Thursday after a three-day visit to discuss various alternatives and options in a bid to get the peace process moving forward.

Officials who met with Khalilzad over the past few days have said that among the options proposed by Khalilzad is an international summit that includes Afghan leaders, Taliban representatives and members of the foreign community, including Iran and Pakistan.

They also said it was suggested that such a meeting be mediated by the UN and held in another country.

Khalilzad meanwhile arrived in Doha on Thursday and immediately met with members of the Afghan Republic’s negotiating team.

According to one team member, Fawzia Kofi, a number of talks team members discussed the “various dimensions of the peace process and the subsequent stages of that process.

“I once again stressed the importance of the presence and undeniable role of women and the new generation of Afghanistan in this process,” she said.

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IEA urges UN to remove sanctions against its members

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(Last Updated On: March 27, 2023)

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials have once again called on the United Nations to remove the names of IEA members who are on the UN blacklist, and said the international community should engage with the group instead of putting pressure on it.

The UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement to extend travel exemptions, allowing 13 Islamic Emirate officials to travel abroad, which expired in August 2021.

“Some 20 to 25 Islamic Emirate officials are on the UN blacklist and have been sanctioned. Some of them have died, and a few are working with the caretaker government,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, the IEA’s spokesman.

According to Mujahid, adding pressure and force will not bear results. The war of the past 20 years has proven that the people of Afghanistan will not surrender to pressure. Instead, engagement and negotiations are ideal options to reach a comprehensive conclusion, he added.

In addition, inclusion of the Islamic Emirate officials on the UN blacklist violates the Doha Agreement, Mujahid said.

The Doha Agreement is a peace deal between the US and the IEA aimed at restoring peace in Afghanistan. The agreement was signed in Doha in 2020, finalizing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan contingent on IEA security assurance that Afghan soil will not be used against the US by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

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Japan contributes $21 million for life-saving vaccines in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: March 27, 2023)

The Embassy of Japan in Afghanistan on Monday announced that Japan has contributed $21 million for life-saving vaccines for mothers and children, and water and sanitation facilities in schools.

With this funding, UNICEF will provide clean water for 30,000 people in four provinces, and vaccines for 18.3 million mothers and children across Afghanistan.

Amid the devastating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the government of Japan has donated to UNICEF $18 million in support of essential vaccines for over 18 million mothers and children, and $3.6 million for water and sanitation facilities in public schools.

The vaccines are for measles, rotavirus, tetanus and diphtheria, polio, hepatitis B and others. These funds will also enable UNICEF to reach around 10 million children with oral polio vaccines during national vaccination campaigns in 2023.

“This support from the Japanese government will not only help to give mothers and children the immunity boost they need to stay healthy, but it will also improve sanitation and hygiene in schools,” said Rushnan Murtaza, UNICEF Afghanistan Deputy Representative.

“Complementing our past support to Afghanistan in health, nutrition and education, we hope these contributions will create cleaner, safer learning environments and communities for children and their families,” says Takashi Okada, Ambassador of Japan to Afghanistan.

Water and sanitation projects will be implemented in Ghor, Uruzgan, Zabul and Pakitika which are among the most deprived provinces in Afghanistan, according to UNICEF officials.

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At least six civilians dead in Kabul explosion

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(Last Updated On: March 27, 2023)

At least six civilians were killed and several others, including three Islamic Emirate forces, were wounded in a suicide bombing near a security checkpoint in Malik Azghar Square in Kabul, a spokesman for the Kabul security department, Khalid Zadran said.

The Emergency NGO hospital in Kabul meanwhile said on Twitter that it received 12 injured people, including a child from the blast that happened near the Foreign Ministry on Monday afternoon.

The hospital said soon after the explosion that two bodies had also been taken to the hospital.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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