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Khalilzad in Kabul as peace talks teams set to resume negotiations

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(Last Updated On: January 5, 2021)

As the Afghan Republic’s negotiating team left Kabul for Doha early Tuesday, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Afghanistan to discuss peace process issues with high-ranking government officials.

Khalilzad’s trip to Kabul is part of his regional visit, which will also include a stop in Qatar.

The intra-Afghan negotiations, scheduled to have started Tuesday, in Doha, is the second round of talks between the Republic’s team and the Taliban.

The teams are expected to focus on the agenda of the talks going forward and on a ceasefire.

According to the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah: “The leadership committee of the High Council for National Reconciliation on Monday evening met with the Afghan Republic negotiators and discussed the latest developments in the peace process and provided the team clear guidelines for the next round of talks.”

He also said the Republic’s team has the full support of the nation and is authorized to discuss the peace agenda.

“We are committed to achieving a lasting peace, and we ask the Taliban to do their part. We are looking for a successful second round,” he said.

On Monday, Khalilzad stated he “returns to Doha and the region with expectations that the parties will make tangible progress in the next round of Afghanistan peace negotiations”.

“Both sides must demonstrate they are acting in the best interest of the Afghan people by making real compromises and negotiating an agreement on a political settlement as soon as possible and an immediate significant reduction in violence/ceasefire,” Khalilzad said.

“The current levels of violence, including targeted killings, is unacceptable. Those perpetuating the violence seek to undermine the peace process and the country’s future. They do not reflect the will of the Afghan people, who yearn for peace,” he said.

On Monday, he met with Pakistani officials including Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

After the meeting, Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated they discussed “matters of mutual interest including overall regional security situation with particular reference to ongoing Afghan reconciliation process.”

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EA reassures returning Afghan politicians and military figures of their security

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) new Commission for Contact With Afghan Personalities living in exile was officially launched in Kabul on Saturday and a 15-article work plan was read out.

The head of the IEA’s new commission, Shahabuddin Delawar, said the commission was to facilitate the return to Afghanistan of exiled political and military “personalities.”

On Saturday, he said all returning personalities would enjoy full security.

The commission’s work plan has fifteen clauses, the critical ones being that the property and lives of the politicians who return to the country will be safe.

“It is the obligation of the Islamic Emirate to protect their dignity, their property and their lives and to meet their legitimate demands, and the commission will serve them,” said Delawar.

“So this is what we want from our compatriots, Everyone who returns to, Afghanistan is your home.”

Delawar said that many figures, from many countries including Turkey, Iran and Tajikistan, have contacted the commission about returning.

Regarding contact with former president Ashraf Ghani, Delawar said that there was no need to talk to him.

“No negotiations have taken place with Ashraf Ghani or anyone else, and there is no need for negotiations anymore. Security is maintained all over the country, national sovereignty has been restored, and peace is inter-Afghan, but the system must be strengthened,” he said.

Meanwhile, Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that the establishment of the commission is the best reference and center for those inside or outside the country.

He also said that Abdullah Abdullah, who is currently living outside the country, will return home. On reported restrictions around former president Hamid Karzai being allowed to travel, Muttaqi said he was not aware of any such decision.

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IEA approves committee to regulate, improve and advance Hajj affairs

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(Last Updated On: May 21, 2022)

Enamullah Samangani, Deputy Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said Saturday that cabinet has approved a plan to establish a National Hajj Committee to regulate, improve and advance Hajj-related issues.

Samangani wrote on his Twitter page: “The committee is chaired by Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Deputy Prime Minister, and the Ministries of Guidance, Hajj and Endowments, Transport and Aviation, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Public Health and Interior ministry, the general directorate of intelligence (GDI), and the chamber of commerce are its members.”

According to Samangani, in order to regulate, improve and advance Hajj affairs in the provinces, a committee chaired by the deputy governor with the participation of delegates from the departments of Hajj and Endowments, airport, police headquarters, intelligence and public health should be established.

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UN envoy says Afghanistan’s new rulers have no clear plan for good governance

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(Last Updated On: May 21, 2022)

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons says the new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government has an unclear strategy in terms of leading the political and economic situation.

In an interview with CNN, Lyons said the IEA does not have a clear plan for good governance and its economic plan is unclear.

She said she has met separately with the leaders of the new government, but no specific plans have been put forward so far.

“We have tried to find out what their views are on Afghanistan, how they want to develop this country, so far they do not have a clear definition in this regard, so far there is no plan to determine how they want to lead the country, if they have an economic plan, what is that?

“We are still working in separate meetings with the leaders to find out what the plans are for the future and overcoming the problems. We are currently acting as a bridge between Afghanistan and the international community,” said Lyons.

According to her, some leaders of the IEA agree that girls should go to school, but not everyone has yet reached a common decision.

“In my meeting with the leaders of the incumbent government, I found that some of them know that this issue is very important for the international community and they are in favor of reopening schools for girls, but others have the opposite view, a single position has not yet been formed.

“Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are not allowed to go to school,” said Lyons.

At the same time, former President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the IEA’s desire to have good diplomatic relations with the United States and other international countries, but said he hopes the new rulers decide as soon as possible on the reopening of girls’ schools.

“Sirajuddin Haqqani spoke of the government’s willingness to have good diplomatic relations with the United States and the international community which is in the interest of Afghanistan. He [Haqqani] also said that the girls would return to school soon, which I hope would happen as soon as possible,” said Karzai.

Speaking to CNN, Karzai said the issue of hijab was clear. “Afghanistan is an Islamic country and the issue of women’s hijab is very clear in Islam,” he said.

Afghan women already wore hijab, covering the face is not a hijab, covering the face by female media workers who appear on TV is also not a hijab; this is not Afghan culture, he said.

He called on the IEA to scrap the decision that women must cover their faces. On the issue of teenage girls not going to school, Karzai stated that girls need to return to school as soon as possible.

“I denounce it in the strongest words and want the Taliban (IEA) to allow girls to go back to school as soon as possible,” he said.

Karzai also confirmed a recent report by a US watchdog organization that the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan led to the military collapse of the republic.

According to Karzai, a number of other issues also contributed to this including, the Doha Agreement, and the more than 3,000 US airstrikes a year.

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