Khalilzad meets with Ghani twice in one day over peace proposal
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) on Saturday to discuss the peace process and the upcoming Istanbul summit.
“Khalilzad met with Ghani twice during the day and discussed the upcoming Istanbul summit, the timeframe, finalization of the list of participants, and the preparations for the conference,” the Presidential Palace said.
HCNR Chairman Abdullah stated in a tweet that he and Khalilzad discussed “the Afghan Peace Process, the Doha talks, internal consensus and preparations for the upcoming conference in Turkey.”
“We welcome the acceleration of the process & achieving a comprehensive political settlement,” Abdullah tweeted.
The Istanbul summit is expected to be held on April 16 in Turkey.
In Kabul, the government and Afghan politicians are working on peace plans to be addressed at the Istanbul summit.
Ghani is expected to propose his three-phase peace roadmap at the conference.
Ghani’s roadmap – from an unending war towards a just and lasting peace proposal includes three phases, a political agreement; a peace government; and peacebuilding, state-building, and market-building.
In the first phase, Ghani proposed a political settlement, an internationally monitored ceasefire, a regional and international guarantee of peace as well as continued counter-terrorism efforts, and the convening of a Loya Jirga to approve the agreement.
The second phase will be to hold a presidential election and establish a “government of peace” and implement arrangements to move towards a new political system.
The third phase will involve building a “constitutional framework, security, reintegration of refugees and considering government priorities” for Afghanistan’s development.
On the other hand, the Afghan Political Parties Committee said Saturday it would present a separate peace plan at the Istanbul summit on the Afghan peace process, which is due to be held next week in Turkey.
The committee includes major Afghan political parties such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami; Hizb-e-Wahdad Islami led by Former Vice President Mohammad Karimi Khalili; Hizb-e-Wahdad led by Mohammad Mohaqiq; Hizb-e-Jamiat Islami led by Salahuddin Rabbani; Junbish-i-Milli led by Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum; Hezb-e-Mahaz-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan led by Sayed Hamed Gailani, and Afghan Millat Party led by Anwar al-Haq Ahadi.
Mohammad Homayoun Jarir, a member of Hizb-e-Islami, stated that the parties, as government opposition, would share a joint plan for Afghan peace at the Istanbul conference.
“We have made a separate plan for the parties committee. We will participate in the summit as the opposition. So far we (Hizb-e-Islami party) have not handed over any plan to the High Council for National Reconciliation,” Jarir said.
Meanwhile, Mahiuddin Mehdi, a member of the Jamiat Islami party, called on the participants to discuss a federal system for Afghanistan.
“As far as we know, a Presidential Structure has not yielded any results in Afghanistan, and we must terminate the centralized system and reach a result over a decentralized system (federalism),” Mehdi said.
IEA special forces kill key Daesh commander in eastern Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate’s special forces in an operation on Wednesday killed a top Daesh commander along with his accomplice in eastern Nangarhar province, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported.
This Daesh commander’s name was reportedly “Turab”.
The operation was conducted on Wednesday evening in Wuch Tangi village of Shiwa district in eastern Nangarhar province, according to the provincial officials reported by Bakhtar news agency.
30 Afghan students off to Kazakhstan to continue their studies
The Ministry of Higher Education said on Thursday that 30 Afghan students will soon leave for Kazakhstan where they will continue their studies in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
At a meeting with the students held at the Ministry of Higher Education, Mufti Mohammad Tahir Ahmad, the deputy minister of student affairs, expressed his gratitude to Kazakhstan for awarding scholarships to Afghans and emphasized the need to strengthen relations with the countries in the scientific and academic sectors.
Ahmad said the students were ambassadors of their country and stated that: “Besides preserving your religious and national values, you must also respect the laws and culture of the host country. Pay more attention to your learning and knowledge.”
He added that: “The eyes of hope of the people and the system are fixed on you, so that after acquiring science and knowledge, you will play your part in the development of your country.”
Dr. Nazar Mohammad Irfan, the head of foreign relations and scholarship regulation of the Ministry of Higher Education, also addressed the students and said Kazakhstan was among the countries that stood by the people of Afghanistan in difficult times and continued their cooperation in various sectors, especially higher education.
He also asked the students to make the most of this opportunity and build their country with their own hands.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat, the academic vice president of Kabul University, spoke about the value of science and knowledge and the objectives of the Ministry of Higher Education in the area of education and training of young staff from the perspective of the holy religion of Islam and religious beliefs, and asked the students to make the basis and focus of all their activities on “Islamic belief”.
According to the ministry, 256 people took part in a scholarship selection exam, and 30 students were chosen. They will pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the fields of economics, computer science, law, physics, biology and chemistry.
Army corps commander visits Nimroz border checkpoints
The Ministry of National Defense of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) says that Alhaji Mullah Sharafuddin Taqi, the commander of the 215 Azam Army Corps, traveled to Nimroz province on Wednesday, at the head of a delegation and visited the 3rd and 5th border checkpoints located on the border with Iran.
The defense ministry said in a statement that the commander met with Nimroz officials, including the provincial police chief, and discussed the need to improve coordination between the forces and border protection.
Referring to the recent cross-border skirmish with Iran, the commander of the 215 Azam Army Corps said: “The Islamic Emirate considers border protection its responsibility and is committed to establishing diplomatic relations with neighboring countries.”
However, he called the forces the defenders of borders, territorial integrity and independence of the country and promised to cooperate in solving their problems.
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