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Miller confirms withdrawal process in Afghanistan is underway

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(Last Updated On: April 25, 2021)

US-Forces commander in Afghanistan General Austin Scott Miller said Sunday the evacuation of some bases has already started in Afghanistan.

“We will turn over the bases primarily to the Ministry of Defense and other Afghan forces,” Miller told reporters in a press conference in Kabul on Sunday, adding that: “The notification day will be the first of May but at the same time as we start taking local actions, we have already begun that”.

The US is expected to hand over three military bases and one airport to the Afghan forces in the next two weeks as part of the US plan for the full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by September 11, sources said last week.

According to a security source, the bases concerned are the Kandahar airport, Camp Shorabak (formerly Camp Bastion) in Helmand, Camp Eggers in Kabul, and the COP (Dash Towp) in Chak district of Maidan Wardak.

Miller meanwhile said that if Afghanistan reached a peace agreement, we would still to leave Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, CIA Director William Burns reportedly made a surprise visit to Kabul this week to discuss the withdrawal process with Afghan officials.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that two credible sources had confirmed the visit. In Washington, the CIA declined to comment when asked by AP about the director’s schedule and the agency’s role in Afghanistan.

On Taliban relation with Al-Qaeda Miller said that: “Taliban still have link to al-Qaeda.”

He also expressed concern about the escalation of violence by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“Violence from the Taliban is still high and this is having a negative impacts on the peace process, and if the violence escalates after the withdrawal, it will be dangerous for the whole region,” Miller said.

Miller says the only reasonable way forward is a political path to peace, otherwise “the violence is senseless,” he says.

The Taliban have intensified clashes across the country as the foreign troops are getting ready to withdraw from Afghanistan.

The Defense Ministry, however, claimed that the group has been defeated on the battlefield.

Miller says he has “a set of orders” and “very clear objectives.” “First and foremost, it’s my objective to ensure that the Afghan security forces are in the best possible security posture,” he says.
 
He also said that they would support the Afghan forces remotely if needed.

“We have the capacity to support Afghan forces remotely,” Miller said.

His comments comes after the head of U.S. forces in the Middle East said on Thursday that he was concerned about the ability of the Afghan security forces to hold territory after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country in the coming months.

President Joe Biden announced last week that the United States will withdraw its remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the al Qaeda attacks that triggered America’s longest war.

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Former commander of Faryab’s uprising forces returns to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

A well-known commander of former uprising forces in Faryab province, Nizamuddin Qaisari, returned to Afghanistan on Sunday after fleeing the country.

Qaisari’s returns comes after efforts were made by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Contact Commission with Afghan Personalities.

Speaking at a meeting after his arrival, Qaisari said the reason for his return is so he can serve his country. He also called on the IEA to form an inclusive government that represents all ethnic groups in the country

“I came for my people; now we have Islamic government; I want to help and work for the government if they want [me] to; I am ready to serve,” Qaisari said. “I am here to unify people, Pashtun, Hazara, Tajik and others.”

The IEA meanwhile welcomes the return of political figures, even those who were once opposed to the Islamic Emirate, the IEA has said.

Experts believe that Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans, and the return of political figures and experts in various fields can provide the basis for lasting stability as well as growth and prosperity of Afghanistan.

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Polio vaccination campaign rolls out in western Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

More than one million Afghan children are expected to be vaccinated over the next few days in the latest polio vaccination campaign that was launched in western Afghanistan on Sunday.

Officials said the campaign will run for four days and be conducted across four provinces in the western region.

Waheed Rahmani, head of the vaccination campaign, said that 1.1 million children under the age of five are expected to receive the polio drops, including 720,000 in Herat province.

He said that so far there are no obstacles in the way of rolling out the campaign.

Volunteers said that they hope to reach all the children who need to be vaccinated.

“I along with my team will work honestly to make Afghanistan free from polio virus,” said Fina Nezami, a volunteer.

“I hope that Afghanistan becomes polio-free and we are happy to go door to door for vaccinations,” said Yagana Nabizada, another volunteer.

Local health officials have assured the public that all areas will be covered by the campaign.

“We have not forgotten areas, and while planning vaccination programs, all the areas are reviewed and if any area is left out, it will be immediately covered,” said Mohammad Asif Kabir, provincial deputy health director.

Around 728,000 children received polio drops in the previous campaign in Herat. Around 5,000 volunteers are involved in the current campaign in Herat.

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China pledges over $7 million in aid for quake victims

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(Last Updated On: June 26, 2022)

China’s ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu met with Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and said his country would provide emergency aid worth 50 million Yuan ($7.5 million) for victims of last week’s earthquake. 

At a meeting on Saturday in Kabul, Wang also said that MCC Mes Aynak copper mining contractor would provide $200,000 in aid. 

Wang said on Twitter: “Chinese enterprises will definitely fulfill their social responsibilities. The friendship between 2 countries and peoples will be further strengthened.”

Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government and people for the timely assistance and assured Wang that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) authorities would distribute the aid promptly, fairly and transparently, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported. 

Aid provided by China will include tents, sheets, fold up beds, and other items urgently needed by the Afghan people. The first batch of aid is scheduled to arrive by charter flight on Monday, Bakhtar reported.

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