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US investigating possible plot of killing peace negotiator Khalilzad

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(Last Updated On: June 18, 2020)

US officials have confirmed to The Daily Beast that the US is “taking seriously a shocking claim from its enemy in Afghanistan that the Taliban foiled an ISIS plot to assassinate a Zalmay Khalilzad.

The Daily Beast reports, “Officials said they’re investigating an assertion, made in a recent Taliban video, that the local branch of the so-called Islamic State recruited two men to murder Zalmay Khalilzad, the State Department’s envoy in charge of negotiating peace with the Taliban.”

A State Department spokesperson has confirmed to the Daily Beast that the US officials are investigating the video, noting, “The US Government takes any potential threat against US personnel seriously.”

According to the report, the Afghan government authorities are also investigating the claim.

The report writes, “The video, a purported confession from two blindfolded young men in Taliban custody, claims that elements within the US-backed Afghan government’s National Directorate of Security facilitated the failed plot against Khalilzad.”

According to the Daily Beast, the NDS is known to oppose the Khalilzad-negotiated peace deal with the Taliban; therefore, the group has an incentive to drive a deeper wedge between Washington and Kabul.

A former head of the NDS has publicly denied any complicity, calling it a “fake.”

A former senior US diplomat has said “Khalilzad is much more popular with the Taliban than with the Afghan government.”

The diplomat has added that Khalilzad is getting close (to achieve peace) and people whose interests are threatened by it are concerned.

According to the report, the video, made by the Taliban intelligence operation, was released on Taliban social media accounts on June 12.

“The level of detail in the video, and accounts provided to The Daily Beast by Taliban officials as well as Western diplomats and Afghan government officials, suggest just how dense and menacing that fog has become,” the report writes.

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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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