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Political parties to present united front at Istanbul Summit

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(Last Updated On: April 10, 2021)

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 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.

This comes as the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Kabul for talks with government leaders, ahead of the Istanbul summit.

According to a source, Khalilzad will discuss the latest developments around the peace process with high-ranking leaders and the peace proposal expected to be shared by the Afghan Republic at the Turkey conference.

Khalilzad is also expected to meet with President Ashraf Ghani.

The US-proposed and UN-led summit will see Afghan government leaders, politicians, and Taliban representatives, along with international stakeholders discuss a roadmap to a political settlement in the country.

No official date has been announced for the summit but some sources have said it could start on April 16.

Ghani, Abdullah, and a number of politicians have meanwhile been working on a peace proposal to be presented at the summit.
Over the past week, the HCNR’s leadership committee worked to combine proposals from various entities so that a single plan can be presented in Istanbul.

In an interview with the BBC on Thursday, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh confirmed the Afghan Republic will present a single plan at the summit.

Saleh said the Republic’s plan, which includes early elections, stipulates that incumbent president Ashraf Ghani will not run for the presidency.

Saleh said the Afghan government also wants regional and international guarantees for peace and assurances that no deals are made that give one group all the power.

Saleh said the Republic’s peace plan is comprehensive.

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Continued enforcement of travel ban on senior IEA officials is ‘unjust’

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) describes the international community’s continued travel ban against senior officials as “a cruel and unjust act”.

Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the IEA, says the problems in the country are the result of unfair sanctions imposed by the United States and the international community against the new government of Afghanistan and emphasized that if the world intends to interact with the Islamic Emirate, it should lift all sanctions.

Three months ago, an exemption on the travel ban against 13 senior IEA officials ended, however, the UN Security Council has still not extended it. This has prevented the officials from leaving the country.

“Political isolation had no results before, and it will not have any results now; the Afghan people and us want good relations with countries based on mutual respect,” said Karimi.

When the travel ban exemption expired, the UN Security Council held two meetings in order to decide on whether to continue with the exemption but security council members failed to reach a decision at either of the meetings.

The international community has stood by calls for the formation of an inclusive government, the upholding of human rights and the removal of terrorist threats from Afghanistan as its basic conditions for the recognition of the Islamic Emirate and the end of sanctions.

The Islamic Emirate, however, emphasizes that it has met all conditions for recognition.

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Hamid Karzai left country out of necessity: IEA

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai left the country out of necessity, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said on Sunday.

Karzai left on Saturday for the United Arab Emirates on his first trip out of the country since the IEA takeover in August last year.

“A necessity was created for him and he left,” Bilal Karimi said.

Karzai is expected to travel to Germany from the UAE. Omar Zakhilwal, a former finance minister, who accompanied him on the flight to the UAE said they will soon return to Afghanistan.
Karzai left the country on the same day Defense Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid headed to the UAE. IEA says the trips are not connected.

Experts meanwhile say allowing Karzai to travel abroad increases the level of trust between politicians and the IEA.

Karzai was among only a few former senior government officials who remained in the country after the IEA takeover.

While Abdullah Abdullah, former reconciliation council chief, has had couple of foreign trips, Karzai was reportedly facing travel restrictions.

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Six injured in Saturday’s blast in Jalalabad city

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2022)

Local officials have confirmed that six people were wounded in an explosion on Saturday in Nangarhar’s Jalalabad city.

This is in addition to the major losses to shops in the area that sustained serious damage.

One of the damaged shops was that of Gul Charan – the city’s only Sikh resident.

According to local officials, the incident is being investigated. The blast reportedly occurred in District 1, in Jalalabad city.

The security officials of Jalalabad meanwhile say the explosion was caused by an IED embedded in a flowerpot.

The residents of the city have called on the Islamic Emirate to prevent such events in the future.

So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

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