The Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is in Afghanistan and currently holding meetings with other Taliban leaders, sources told Ariana News on Sunday.
According to the sources, Akhundzada has been in southern Kandahar for the last four days.
Sources said the Taliban’s leader is holding meetings with other Taliban leaders about the situation in Afghanistan and the formation of the future political system.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a leading member of the Taliban’s negotiating team, said Saturday that efforts are underway to form an inclusive political system in Afghanistan.
He stated that Taliban leaders and Afghan politicians are trying to form a system in which all ethnic groups are represented.
“All people will be included in the new system. Talks with all politicians are underway in this regard,” Stanikzai said.
Kandahar grapes being exported to Pakistan daily
Local officials in Kandahar province said on Wednesday that the export of grapes from the province has started, with up to 400 tons currently being exported to Pakistan a day.
Officials said the grapes are being transported overland in refrigerated trucks, through Spin Boldak. However, traders have asked for more facilities at the customs point in order to prevent the grapes from spoiling.
Local farmers have meanwhile said the grapes are of a high quality.
“We are trying hard to export grapes. First we cut with a saw, then we cut with scissors, then we move the grapes in a net and load it into the containers and turn on the cooler to cool the grapes and prevent them from spoiling,” said Qadratullah, a grape farmer in Kandahar.
According to the local officials, about 20 refrigerated trucks are loaded with grapes every day and drive through to Pakistan.
A number of traders in Kandahar say that trucks loaded with grapes are inspected, which is contrary to an agreement, and the inspection process is time-consuming and can spoil the grapes, so they want facilities to be provided at Spin Boldak Customs to prevent this.
On the other hand, officials in the Fresh Fruit Export Commission say that the problem in Spin Boldak is not big and they are trying to solve it.
According to statistics, 250,000 tons of fresh fruits were exported from Kandahar last year.
Officials say that this year, due to the increase in fruit yields, the amount of exports will also increase.
IEA’s Supreme Leader meets with minister and all provincial education directors
The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), met with the Education Minister, Mawlavi Habibullah Agha and directors of education departments of 34 provinces, in Kandahar on Sunday, the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said in a statement.
The IEA’s Supreme Leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada called the meeting of senior education officials in order for them to share their plans, goals, and achievements.
The directors of education for each province shared their plans, developments, achievements and challenges with the supreme leader, the statement read.
Unofficial border gate opens to ease congestion at Spin Boldak crossing
Following an agreement between Kabul and Islamabad, an unofficial gate has been opened only for trucks in the Wesh-Chaman border crossing area of Spin Boldak district.
Traders in Kandahar say that the opening of this gate has provided them with more facilities because in the past, due to heavy traffic, they could not deliver commercial goods to the markets in a timely fashion.
Hundreds of trucks cross the border in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar daily.
The move comes at the suggestion of traders who asked for an extra gate so as to speed up border crossings for cargo trucks.
“We had a gate on the border with Pakistan, but due to the traffic congestion, our transit vehicles were waiting for four to five hours, and now our business has also improved, so the traders from both sides talked and based on their agreement, this new gate is opened,” said Mohammad Sediq, the head of the Chamber of Commerce of Spin Boldak.
Afghan and Pakistani drivers expressed their satisfaction with the creation of this gate and say that it has become easier for them to cross the border.
“Earlier there were congestion problems on the road, now the problems have been solved and there is no problem in our commuting and it is secure,” said Abdul Jabbar, one truck driver.
The residents of Spin Boldek district have also welcomed the move and said the extra gate will boost trade between the two countries.
“I think that if the problems of traders in Spin Boldak are solved and facilities are provided for them, people will be encouraged to trade more and those who have gone abroad or transfer their business abroad will be encouraged and will come back again, and Spin Boldek’s income will also increase,” said Kamaluddin, a resident of Spin Boldak.
In the past traders have had enormous problems with long delays at the border. For traders transporting fresh fruit and vegetables this had become a serious problem. With the new gate, traders hope there will now be no long delays.
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