05 April 2020

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Saturday April 4, 2020
KANDAHAR CITY (BNA) Over 12 anti-government militias were killed and three others were wounded following air attack in southern Kandahar province the night before last.
According to reports, the attack carried out, while a group of Taliban fighters had plan to storm on Afghan security forces’ checkpoints in Shah Wali Koot district of Kandahar province.
Atal army corps in the south of the country by releasing a statement reported that 12 armed oppositions including their two local commanders were killed and three more were wounded following the air raid.
Taliban said nothing about the incident so far.
According to another report, Afghan national police personnel by discovering and naturalizing eight round of different type of mines succeeded to prevent several bloodiest incidents in crowded areas of Kandahar province.
Taliban fighters are responsible for the foiled mine plantings, local officials said.

Saturday April 4, 2020
Kabul (BNA) In a landmark development, Afghanistan has started extracting gas from a newly discovered field in northern Jawzjan province, officials confirmed on Thursday.
This is the first time in four decades that natural gas is being extracted in Afghanistan, acting Minister for Mines and Petroleum Enayatullah Momand told state broadcaster RTA Pashto.
“We are extracting 150,000 cubic meters of gas from a 1500-meter well at the field in Sheberghan city of Jawzjan,” he said.
Feroz Bashari, head of the government’s information center, told Anadolu Agency the excavation work was underway for a while before one of several deep wells proved viable.
“The government can earn up to $8.5 million per year from the extraction and distribution of this gas found in Jawzjan,” he said.
He said the development opens hundreds of employment opportunities, and will also ensure uninterrupted gas supply to Jawzjan and the neighboring Balkh provinces.
U.S. Geological Survey data values Afghanistan's mineral resources at $908 billion, while the Afghan government's estimate is $3 trillion.

Saturday, 04 April 2020 06:21

Six NDS Personnel Martyred in Badghis

Saturday April 4, 2020
QALA-E-NAW CITY (BNA) About six National Directorate Security (NDS) personnel were martyred following Taliban attack in Badghis province the night before last.
Najmuddin Burhani spokesman of Badghis governor told BNA, six National Directorate Security personnel were martyred and two others were wounded during an attack carried out by Taliban fighters in Muqar district of the province.
In reaction attack, casualties also have caused to the insurgents, but the exact number is not clear yet, Burhani added. 

Saturday April 4, 2020
Kabul (BNA) China stands together with Afghan people to fight the novel coronavirus, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu said at a handover ceremony of the first batch of China-aided medical supplies on Thursday.
"On behalf of Chinese government, I'm handing over the much-needed medical assistance to the Afghan government. The medical assistance includes ventilators, protective clothes and face masks," Wang said at the ceremony which was also attended by Mohammad Sarwar Danish, second vice president of Afghanistan.
The donation by China was the latest action of Sino-Afghan cooperation to fight the virus and reflected the true brotherly friendship between the two neighbors, said the ambassador.
"At the most difficult moment in China's fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, Afghanistan jointed the international community to extend its hand to China. Such expressions of friendship will always be remembered by the Chinese government and people," said Wang.
Noting the helping hand China has lent to other COVID-19-hit countries, Wang said, "please rest assured, China stands together with Afghan people to fight this virus. We will continue to provide support within our capacity."
On his part, Danish expressed sincere gratitude for China's donation at the ceremony, adding "I want to also congratulate China on their unparalleled achievements and success in the fight against COVID-19."
Afghan authorities confirmed 43 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing to 239 the total number of patients in the country since the outbreak of the disease in mid-February.

Saturday April 4, 2020
Kabul (BNA) “I went to Iran to find work, but I had to come back because work was very limited and because of the spread of COVID-19,” said Juma Gul.* Juma Gul is one of more than 100,000 undocumented Afghan migrants who returned from Iran to Afghanistan in March through the Islam Qala border in Hirat Province.
Juma Gul is from Badakshan Province in the far north-east of Afghanistan. Like the vast majority of returnees, he went to Iran to find work, primarily in construction or seasonal agriculture. However, demand for Afghan labour dwindled due to the economic crisis in Iran and, more recently, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Iran, where more than 38,000 cases have been confirmed thus far.
“We feared being detained and deported in Iran and now we fear being detained in Afghanistan. I did not even inform my family that I am back; I only told my brother,” said Juma Gul. More than 80 per cent of Afghan migrants in Iran do not have work permits and face increasing levels of stigma.
To help stem the COVID-19 outbreak in Afghanistan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) health teams, in close partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) at the border, are providing surveillance screening and medical care, and raising awareness around COVID-19. In addition, Juma Gul and other vulnerable people returning from Iran are being supported at a reception centre at the Islam Qala border, where they are served a meal and refreshments.
“Returnees come back from Iran in a state of total exhaustion. Together with partners, we want to make sure that undocumented returnees are well briefed on their right to assistance and know how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19,” said Nick Bishop, an Emergency Response Officer with IOM Afghanistan.
Juma Gul will be transported by IOM from the reception centre to temporary accommodations in Hirat City. Returnees and their families are given cash assistance so that they can return to their areas of origin. Non-governmental organizations are also providing hygiene kits, and family tracing and reunification for unaccompanied migrant children.
In 2019, more than half a million people returned to Afghanistan, the vast majority of whom returned from Iran.
In Afghanistan, the Ministry of Public Health reports show that 239 people across 19 provinces are now confirmed to have the virus as of 1 April. Hirat is still the most affected part of the country, with 184 of the confirmed cases. Five people have now died from the virus. Contact tracing for the people confirmed with COVID-19 is ongoing.

Saturday April 4, 2020
Kabul (BNA) On April 1, humanitarian aid was sent to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on behalf of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to help prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.
The aid consists of basic necessities to fight the coronavirus. The humanitarian aid, including medical masks, protective overalls, thermal imagers for detecting the disease, pyrometers, flour, oil, rice, laundry soap, clothes for children, was sent along the route Angren – Tashkent – Termez – Mazar-e-Sharif.
“Today there is no country in the world that would be indifferent to the fate of other countries,” said a press officer of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Uzbekistan Samandar Hikmatullayev. – Coronavirus infection has put the entire world’s population at risk. It can be defeated only by the joint efforts of all countries. The assistance provided by Uzbekistan to the Afghan people is a clear example of this cohesion.

Saturday April 4, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The announcement of prisoner swap comes after after the Afghan government announced the formation of a 21-member peace negotiating team intended to undertake direct talks with the Taliban once the prisoners were released…reports Asian Lite News
The Afghan government and the Taliban are set to swap the first batch of their prisoners on Thursday, a move expected to pave the way for the start of intra-Afghan talks between the two sides, according to sources.
This development come after two video meetings between the Afghan government and the Taliban, TOLO News reported citing the sources as saying on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a three-member delegation from the Taliban arrived in Kabul to discuss the issue.
This was the first time that the Taliban had been invited to Kabul to directly meet Afghan government officials since the 2001 US invasion.
The sources said that upto 100 Taliban prisoners will be swapped with 20 government forces.
Thursday’s announcement comes after the Afghan government announced the formation of a 21-member peace negotiating team intended to undertake direct talks with the Taliban once the prisoners were released.
The prisoner release process was originally slated to be held before March 10 as per the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha on February 29, Efe news reported.
But it was delayed due to differences over procedures to be followed and pending security guarantees by the insurgents that these persons won’t return to battlefields after being released from jail.
As per the US-Taliban deal, 5,000 insurgents and 1,000 government prisoners are set to be released in the first phase.
The insurgents and the government have remained deadlocked over the swapping of prisoners, which was a part of the US-Taliban accord and considered crucial for the commencement of the intra-Afghan talks.
The US on February 29 reached an agreement with the Taliban for a roadmap to pull out American troops from the war-ravaged country.
The plan is set to start with the withdrawal of 8,600 soldiers within 135 days from the date of the signing of the deal.
Currently, some 14,000 US troops remain deployed in the country.

Saturday April 4, 2020
Kabul (BNA) A 20-year-old Afghan woman who lives in Chiba Prefecture recalled crying in her room with her younger sister when their brothers were allowed to go to school.
She came to Japan when she was 16, but her father was vehemently against the idea of letting her attend classes. Among the reasons he gave were that boys and girls sit side by side in class and school uniform skirts are too short.
Obviously disappointed by her father’s stance, she said she had hoped the Japanese government would step in.
“If this were Europe, administrative officials would intervene to make sure I could develop my academic skills,” she said. “How can I live my life from this point on if I can’t go to school?”
The issue of foreign families denying girls a chance to attend school has not received much attention partly because foreign children are not subject to compulsory education in Japan.
According to an education ministry survey, about 124,000 foreign children of elementary and junior high school age live in Japan. An estimated 20,000 of them do not go to school, but the percentage of girls in this group has not been confirmed.
Although parents’ religious beliefs could be blamed for denying their daughters a chance to go to school, experts say that is often not the case.
“Under Islamic thinking, men and women are isolated from each other on certain occasions, but there is no problem for women to play active roles in society,” said Masanori Naito, a Doshisha University professor well-versed in Islam. “Only some Islamic conservatives have negative feelings about women’s activities.”
Instead of attending classes, the Afghan woman said, she prepared three meals a day for her family of six, washed the dishes and cleaned up.
She developed a love for South Korean and Chinese TV dramas shown on the internet in between her chores, and she went to a mall on weekends to look at clothes and shoes.
When she told her father and brothers that she wanted to be a designer, they laughed at her.
She was finally allowed to attend a nongovernment-run free school when she turned 19. But she felt even emptier because of the age difference; her classmates were studying to move on to senior high school.
She said all her female relatives who have immigrated to the United States and Canada attend colleges and senior high schools.
Many guardians among first-generation immigrants in Japan have worked to support their families rather than receiving a higher education.
“It seems that many of them want their children to help run their shops and do household chores sooner rather than letting them study,” said Noriko Hazeki, 68, president of the nonprofit organization Multicultural Center Tokyo.
Hidenobu Matsuzawa, 71, head of an association that supports Kurdish people in Saitama Prefecture, said that type of thinking was also prevalent in Japan until just a while ago.
“Although equality is now emphasized, not many women occupy managerial positions,” he said.
Yoshimi Kojima, an associate professor at Aichi Shukutoku University, said the government should inform foreign parents about Japan’s way of thinking toward education while respecting and guaranteeing their right to religious beliefs.
“Japanese society also needs to change to provide (everybody) a second chance (in education),” Kojima said.
Elaheh Fedaei, 18, a Muslim from Afghanistan, attends the Chiba prefectural Oihama Senior High School. She says that she knows no Muslims around her who would deny a girl’s right to receive an education.
Her dream is to attend medical school in Japan and become a doctor in her homeland.

Tuesday March 31, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Hundreds of Afghan nationals, majority had gone to Pakistan for treatment, are stuck in Pakistan due to closure of the border with Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistan last week extended closure of the border for another two weeks.
Ambassador Atif Mashal said Pakistani government has promised to reopen the crossing soon for few days after his efforts and contacts with Pakistani officials. He said the Afghan embassy will arrange the embassy’s transport for the patients and families in view of closure of transports in Pakistan.

“We will wait for Pakistani government’s decision on Monday and we are hopeful that the problems of our people will be addressed,” Mashal said in a series of tweets.
He advised Afghan nationals to show courage as the entire world faces a difficult situation because of the pandemic of the coronavirus. “Many Pakistanis are stranded abroad and similarly nationals of other countries are stuck in Pakistan,” he said. “We will continue efforts to find out solution to the problems of Afghans living in Pakistan. I also urge Afghan
Mashal also visited Afghan students at the International Islamic University Islamabad and distributed masks and sanitizers among the students. He asked the students to contact the embassy in any emergency situation. The university administration has allowed Afghan and other foreign students to stay in hostels closed for Pakistani students.
Representatives of Afghan refugees told Daily Times that they presently face problems to transfer bodies of the refugees died in Pakistan. They said transfer of bodies need permission from the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan which usually causes delay in taking the bodies to Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, talking to VOA Pashto, Mashal said he has not received any information about harassment of Afghan refugees in Pakistan in the situation arising out of the corona pandemic.
He said Pakistani government has extended cooperation to the Afghan embassy and the embassy has shared with Pakistan if there was any compliant.
He dispelled the impression that Pakistan has adopted discriminatory approach towards the refugees and said the corona problem has changed the situation for everyone and not just for Afghans. “I thank the government of Pakistan for paying attention to our concerns and we will work jointly in the current human tragedy,” he said.

Tuesday March 31, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Afghan government said on Monday that the prisoner release will not start on March 31 (today). Earlier, following second virtual meeting between the Afghan government and the Taliban last week, the group and US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said the sides agreed to begin prisoner releases on March 31. On Sunday, the sides met again through video link.
"There is no prisoner release happening on Tuesday. Taliban agreed in the video conference yesterday (Sunday) to send a team to Kabul to hold further technical discussions with the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan," Javid Faisal, a spokesman for National Security Council, said on Twitter.
According to a statement from the council, The Taliban will send their technical team to Kabul with assistance from ICRC, and the government will host the Taliban team in Bagram to continue work on prisoner release.
The Taliban have demanded that 5,000 prisoners must be freed all at once as a pre-condition to peace talks, while the Afghan government is seeking a phased and conditional release.
A deal the insurgents signed with the United States in Doha last month for a US troop withdrawal specified the freeing of up to 5,000 prisoners by March 10. The Taliban would free 1,000 prisoners, according to the deal.

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