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Ghani claims Afghanistan in best position yet to achieve peace

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2021)

In a meeting with a number of Wolesi Jirga MPs, President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that now more than ever, the grounds for a free and just peace have been laid.

“Afghanistan is in a better position than ever to achieve a free and just peace, and there will be extensive consultations with the National Assembly in the coming months,” Ghani said.

Ghani also stated that NATO’s decision not to stay or leave Afghanistan is a big message to the Taliban, who expected the people to surrender.

“The fact that NATO has not yet decided is a big message, and the claims of those to whom the people will surrender will end; now the serious negotiations to reach a solution will pave the way for it (peace),” Ghani added.

On the other hand, the Afghan government’s peace negotiating team says that the Taliban have promised to resume talks after members of their delegation and their leadership return to Qatar.

“The Taliban themselves stated we should be at the negotiating tables to start talks when their leaders have returned,” said Harifa Zurmati, a member of the Republic’s negotiating team.

The State Ministry for Peace also said its contact groups have started work and are holding meetings in Doha.

“Meetings between the contact groups were not held for about a month, but now they have been held for the past two days and fortunately the meetings have started and are continuing,” said Najia Anwari, Strategic Communication General Director and spokesperson for the State Ministry for Peace.

The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan says that the first issue on their agenda is a nationwide ceasefire, while the Taliban has their first issue as that regarding the ruling system.

NATO, the European Union and other foreign partners have backed the call for a ceasefire so as to end violence and civilian casualties.

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Earthquake victims in Gayan district still in need of food and shelter

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Hundreds of survivors of this week’s earthquake, who lost family members and their homes, are still in desperate need of help.

Sayed Bakhta, one of the survivors said that he has lost four family members and two others are hospitalized, adding that survivors are dealing with a lack of food and no shelter.

“We have no shelter here now, we don’t have food, all the victims are sitting outside without having shelter,” he said.

A number of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) officials who have visited Gayan district of Paktika say that almost 90 percent of residential areas have been destroyed.

“Almost 90 percent of residences are destroyed; only a few them are suitable for living, most of them are uninhabitable,” said Qalandar Ebad, acting minister of public health.

In the meantime, rugged roads have hampered relief efforts as Gayan victims grapple with a humanitarian crisis, but military helicopter try to deliver aid to the victims.

“According to the order of the Prime Minister, a meeting was held and according to that meeting, the ministries and donor organizations were instructed to come to the earthquake site as soon as possible and use all their facilities to save the people,” said Sharafuddin Muslim, deputy Minister of State for Disaster Management.

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121 children among those killed in Afghanistan earthquake: UNICEF

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

The United Nations children’s agency said on Friday 121 of those who were killed in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan this week were children.

Mohamed Ayoya, UNICEF Representative to Afghanistan, said as of late Thursday night, at least 1,036 people were reported killed and more than 1,643 reported injured.

The toll included 121 deaths and 67 injuries among the children, according to the official.

He said that Bermal district in Paktika province has the highest number of casualties and that several thousand homes were destroyed or damaged.

“Children and adolescents are extremely vulnerable and at high-risk of family separation, emotional and psychological distress, abuse and exploitation, and other forms of violence,” Ayoya said.

“UNICEF, in coordination with UN agencies, partners, and the de facto authorities (led by the Ministry of Defence) is rapidly preparing a multi-sectoral response covering health, WASH, child protection, nutrition, education, social mobilization, and including a cash component,” Ayoya said.
“UNICEF will be conducting a rapid market assessment in the affected areas in the upcoming days. The assessment will inform the feasibility and appropriateness of cash as a response to support early recovery. UNICEF has already trained partners for beneficiary registration on the ground.”

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Pakistan dispatches second consignment of earthquake relief

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday dispatched eight trucks loaded with relief goods for earthquake victims in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan government, the consignment, arranged by the National Disaster Management Authority, has been handed over to Afghan authorities.

The consignment consists of family tents, tarpaulins, blankets and emergency medicines.

“Pakistan is committed to continue supply of relief goods to Afghan brethren,” the statement read.

This comes after Pakistan sent in earthquake aid on Wednesday, just hours after the 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan’s eastern provinces, killing over 1,000 people and destroying thousands of houses.

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