Thursday, 14 August
Presidential Election Latest
Election campaigns were still patchy. After 18 days from the launch of the presidential campaigns, only a few teams have had public gatherings mostly in Kabul. Other teams seemed confused over the ambiguity of peace talks that have overshadowed the election. Abdul Latif Pedram was the 8th candidate who has launched his presidential election campaign. Speaking to a gathering of supporters in Kabul, he said that his team was a strong supporter of federalism and decentralization in Afghanistan. Mr. Pedram said that although the National Unity Government was no longer legitimate, he was still ready to continue the presidential election race. Security on the provincial level, job opportunities for low-income population, friendly diplomatic relations with the region were among his key programs.
Wednesday, 13 August
Developments in peace talks
A source in the Taliban’s political office in Doha was quoted by the BBC that immediately after Eid holiday the group had started an internal discussion on ‘final agreement’ with the Americans. According to the source, the group will come up with a final decision, and another US-Taliban meeting will need to be held to add the amendments in the final agreement jointly. The source also said that the Taliban believe the Afghan government’s stress on the election before peace was opposition to ensuring peace in the country. President Ghani on a speech right after Eid Praying said his government was not in a position to decide over the peace deal and that a newly elected government with a stronger mandate was needed to give the final verdict.
Release of ex-Kabul Bank CEO Khalilullah Ferozi
Media reports suggested that the government has released former CEO of Kabul Bank Khalilullah Ferozi from the prison. Mr. Ferozi was sentenced to 10 years in jail. The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass reacted to the alleged release of the former CEO of Kabul Bank Khalilullah Ferozi. Ambassador Bass said in a Twitter post “Disturbed by reports the #Afghan government requested early release for Kabul Bank fraud perpetrator Khalil Firozy before the conclusion of his sentence. Countless Afghans suffered in the past decade because international assistance funds were stolen for personal gain.”
Tuesday, 13 August (Third day of Eid)
The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan denied reports Tuesday that the Pentagon is scaling down operations in the war-torn Middle Eastern nation. The website Newsweek has reported a day before that U.S.-led operations against the militant group in Afghanistan have significantly reduced or halted as the Pentagon continues to plan for a potential withdrawal of thousands of U.S. forces from its longest conflict ever.
Monday, 12 August (Second day of Eid)
Taliban Prisoners Release & Peace Talks Development
The Taliban announced that 8th round of negotiations was wrapped up at 02:30 am between both negotiation teams following continuous work. In a short statement, the Taliban said “Work was tedious and effective. Both sides agreed to consult their respective leaderships for next steps.” At the same time, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) had confirmed that based on a presidential decree on the occasion of Eid, 35 Taliban prisoners were released from the NDS jail. A statement released from the NDS said that these prisoners were freed as part of a goodwill gesture for peace talks with the Taliban. Yesterday, the Taliban also freed 76 prisoners in different provinces; however, the news was later marked as false by the ministry of interior.
Sunday, 11 August (First day of Eid)
Ghani: No Peace Deal without a Strong Mandate
Addressing the nation, right after Eid Prayer, President Ghani said his government was in its last stage, thus did not have a strong mandate to make a decision on a peace deal with the Taliban, stressing that the elections should take place to allow a new strong government decides on making peace with the Taliban. “We negotiate with no conditions but make peace with conditions’, president Ghani said in his speech broadcast live via national TV and other local media. “The nation needs to give a strong mandate to its government to make important decisions, that’s why the election is crucial,” he underlined. President Ghani went on saying, “Foreigners cannot decide for us; we proceed with our own determination”.
Saturday, 10 August
Eid Eve Preparations
Ministry of Interior announced that extra security measures, including the deployment of additional armed police and more security checkpoints, were in place to secure Eid celebrations. Taliban were expected to observe an ‘undeclared’ ceasefire like the one in previous Eid. On the ground, amid all of the security worries, Eid preparations were full of hustle and bustle in major cities across the country.
Friday, 09 August 2019
Presidential Election Latest
Khalil Roman deputy of Motherland electoral team resigned and has asked Noorullah Jalili, the presidential election candidate to seek for his replacement. In a letter published on his Facebook, Mr. Roman said he was suffering from a severe illness. The announcement came a day after Hanif Atmar’s electoral team suspended its campaigns. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission said the new biometric devices, which will be used on the Election Day, had arrived in Kabul.
Armed Groups Clashes in Takhar
Takhar governor said troops were deployed to Chah-aab district, where clashes between two armed groups have been takin place for the third consecutive day. At least eight people, including five civilians, were killed and 12 others were wounded. Abdul Haq Shafaq, the provincial governor told the media that he was trying to solve the tense via tribal elders. Governor Shafaq also said that he was visiting Kabul to discuss the situation with high ranking officials. It had been confirmed that two rival armed groups loyal to Hezb e Islami and Jamiat Party were involved in this fighting.