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Living with so much violence is no way to live: Khalilzad



(Last Updated On: December 25, 2020)

US Special Representative for National Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has condemned the recent assassinations of public figures, and said such levels of violence “breed a climate of fear” and could drive more people away from their homeland.

Khalilzad’s statement came just hours after the latest in a string of targeted attacks, which claimed the life of Freshta Kohistani, a women’s rights activist, who was gunned down in Kapisa province on Thursday evening.

In a series of tweets overnight Friday, Khalilzad also reacted to the killing of Yousef Rasheed, the CEO for Afghanistan Free and Fair Election Foundation (FEFA).

Rasheed was killed in a targeted shooting outside his house in Kabul on Wednesday morning. The FEFA CEO and his driver both died in a hail of bullets.

Khalilzad said: “Yousef Rasheed’s assassination is reprehensible. We condemn it. We also condemn the recent murder of several doctors working in Puli Charkhi and women’s rights activist Freshta Kohistani.”

He said the perpetrators of these attacks “must be held accountable.”

“Yousef was a patriot. He dedicated himself to making his country a better place. He advocated peace and progress. He was sensitive to grievances of all sides,” Khalilzad stated.

“People like Yousef and Freshta are essential for any society. They are its conscience and keep its heart beating. They should not be fearful, intimidated, or worse, killed,” he stated.

“Living with so much violence is no way to live. It breeds a climate of fear. Fear will drive more Afghans to leave their homeland. Who will then be left to advocate for rights and freedoms?

“This is not the way a society will thrive and prosper.

“These targeted killings and assassinations must stop. They threaten the peace process. The Afghan people demand peace.


“A ceasefire and political settlement remain urgent. I urge the negotiating parties to redouble their efforts. We stand ready to help,” Khalilzad said.

Psychological war game

On Thursday, Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh said Afghanistan’s enemy was playing a “psychological war game” by trying to create fear, panic, despair and division as it stepped up high-profile targeted assassinations around the country.

Referring to recent assassinations and attempted assassinations, Danesh said under the current circumstances “we need to tighten our ranks in every way and not give in to the enemy’s psychological warfare.”

Danish said the aim of recent attacks was to destabilize the entire system, the values of the past 20 years, to create fear, panic, despair, division, distance between government and the people, to gain points at the negotiating table or to stop the peace process.

A marked increase in violence has wracked the country since the start of the peace talks process in Doha in September but in recent weeks targeted killings have also been on the rise.

On Wednesday, Rasheed and his driver Sami were killed in Kabul by unknown gunmen, a day after five doctors were also killed in the city in a targeted IED explosion.

On Monday night, Rahmatullah Nikzad, a freelance reporter and head of a media safety union was gunned down in Ghazni while he was reportedly on his way to mosque.

Nikzad with the fifth journalist killed in the past two months.

Since November 7, former TOLOnews presenter Yama Siawash; Radio Azadi reporter Elyas Daee; Enekaas TV presenter in Nangarhar Malala Maiwand; and Ariana News presenter Fardin Amini were all killed in separate incidents.

Other targeted attacks over the past few months have also included government figures, including the failed attempt on the life of the First Vice President on September 9.

Amrullah Saleh survived the targeted IED explosion against his convoy of armored vehicles but 10 civilians in the immediate area were killed.

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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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