Afghanistan current affairs, news, discussion and update | Page 8 | World Defense

Afghanistan current affairs, news, discussion and update

AliYusuf

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Did a secret Afghan deal just happen?


Pakistan is abuzz with the noise of Maulana’s dharna among other things. American media is abuzz with Trump’s impeachment and his decision to pull out troops from Syria, among no other things. However, it almost came as a shock to read the news that the newly-appointed US Defence Secretary, Mark Esper — who was called “Esperanto” by his tweeting boss — arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced trip on Sunday. Not much has been reported about what he did there. There has been a renewed hope of resurrecting the peace talks between the United States and the Taliban. The talks had been cancelled by President Trump citing an uptick in violence and the death of a US soldier. Secretary Esper, while in Afghanistan, said, “The aim is to still get a peace agreement at some point, a political agreement. That is the best way forward.”


Secretary Esper’s arrival in Afghanistan is not the only news I was flabbergasted by. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also in Afghanistan on Sunday. She reportedly met Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah as well as American military commanders, diplomats and civil society leaders. Interestingly, the US media on Sunday did talk of Pelosi but only in the context of Trump’s impeachment. Somehow, Pelosi in Afghanistan either totally escaped their radar or was deliberately drowned in other stories.


Earlier this month, Taliban leaders were hosted by Islamabad, where they met Pakistani officials. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Quraishi infuriated India by hugging Taliban officials. There was also a meeting between Taliban officials, including the co-founder, Mullah Baradar, and the US Special Envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, in Islamabad, who were coincidentally there at the same time. General Austin Miller, the commander of the American-led forces in Afghanistan, happened to be in Islamabad then too. It remains murky whether the General also attended the meeting. Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for the American-led coalition in Afghanistan, declined to comment on General Miller’s travels.


The Taliban members also chose to be tight-lipped about the meeting which is quite unusual. Before Trump cancelled the talks, an agreement had been reached by both sides and even initialed, only awaiting formal signatures. Khalilzad and the Doha-based Taliban had spent nine rounds of negotiations to reach that “in principle” agreement. Not much has been said about what truly made Trump cancel a done deal.


Then on Monday, General Miller announced that the size of the force has dropped by 2,000 over the last year, dropping to 12,000-13,000. American and Afghan officials also hinted at the eventual size of the force dropping to 8,600. That is roughly the same size that was agreed upon in that “in principle” agreement with the Taliban. I wonder if a secret deal with the Taliban has been executed. If we connect the dots, it seems a deal was made in the shadows — of Margalla Hills — instead of the Catoctin Mountains of the leafy Camp David.


Now, this shadow deal could work for all the stakeholders: one, the Taliban wouldn’t have to talk to Ghani, who would be spared the embarrassment. Because, truthfully, the talks had collapsed because there were indications that the Taliban refused to stand next to President Ghani at Camp David before the formal signing and announcement of the deal. Two, Trump gets his troops out and keeps his campaign word to end “endless wars”. That can get him re-elected. That is what this is all about anyway. Three, America makes a face-saving deal where it doesn’t appear to be abandoning its allies, which is exactly what it is coming under fire for in Syria. Here is a free advice for India, take it or leave it: pack your bags before the Americans do, because for you, winter is coming in Afghanistan.


Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2019.

@AliYusuf @Khafee
A lot is happening in the background on the sly.

Those who think it's just the US who have a decision to make to stay or leave ... forget that another major player is also putting it's weight in favor of the Taliban and influencing events in a big way i.e. China supported by Russia in the background.

So a decision may be needed to be taken, by the US, on what and when depending upon the fact that whether the onus of the decision remains with them anymore or not. Maybe taking a decision now to minimize the effects of growing influence of the Chinese later ... be the prudent thing to do.

Lets wait and see.
 

!eon

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The current US plane was not shot by Taliban and also they are not claiming it. They don't hide such matters.
But Iranians want to score points and saying they provided missile to hit the plane. Ghazni is 400km away from nearest Iranian border.
In fact Iran helped US forces when they attacked Taliban after 911.

Though a helicopter was shot down on 24th, 25th of this month in Helmand. Taliban claimed it, but was never reported in any international or national media.
 

Khafee

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Report: NATO task force no longer reporting Taliban attacks in Afghanistan
May 1, 2020
By Don Jacobson

1588374587900.png

Afghan Army soldiers patrol a checkpoint in Hogyani district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, on February 9. File Photo by Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA-EFE


May 1 (UPI) -- The U.S.-led NATO task force in Afghanistan has stopped releasing information on the number of Taliban attacks, now deeming the information too sensitive to publicize, a U.S. military watchdog says.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, established by Congress in 2008 to keep watch over U.S. funds spent in Afghanistan, said in its quarterly report Friday coalition forces are withholding data on "enemy-initiated attacks."

Special Inspector General John Sopko criticized the move, saying the decision eliminated "one of the last remaining metrics SIGAR was able to use to report publicly on the security situation in Afghanistan" after coalition forces discontinued a system in 2018 that assessed Taliban control of individual districts.

Sopko said the coalition cited sensitivity of ongoing negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government and the United States as the reason for halting the information.

"[Enemy-initiated attacks] are now a critical part of deliberative inter-agency discussions regarding ongoing political negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban," U.S. military officials told SIGAR, adding that the data may again become releasable to the public once the deliberative process ends.

The discussions are part of a February peace deal between the United States and Taliban, under which U.S. forces will leave Afghanistan in exchange for power-sharing negotiations between Kabul and the militant group.

While they didn't release actual data on Taliban attacks in the first quarter, U.S. officials did tell SIGAR the group refrained from targeting NATO coalition forces during the period, and instead focussed their fire on Afghan government security forces.

Kabul has said Taliban attacks are responsible for killing and injuring dozens of soldiers and hundreds of civilians since the peace deal was signed Feb. 29.

U.S. officials told SIGAR the Afghan government maintains control of Kabul and major population centers, but the Taliban, while reducing attacks in provincial capitals, is pushing for control in other areas.
 

AliYusuf

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Report: NATO task force no longer reporting Taliban attacks in Afghanistan
May 1, 2020
By Don Jacobson

View attachment 12548
Afghan Army soldiers patrol a checkpoint in Hogyani district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, on February 9. File Photo by Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA-EFE


May 1 (UPI) -- The U.S.-led NATO task force in Afghanistan has stopped releasing information on the number of Taliban attacks, now deeming the information too sensitive to publicize, a U.S. military watchdog says.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, established by Congress in 2008 to keep watch over U.S. funds spent in Afghanistan, said in its quarterly report Friday coalition forces are withholding data on "enemy-initiated attacks."

Special Inspector General John Sopko criticized the move, saying the decision eliminated "one of the last remaining metrics SIGAR was able to use to report publicly on the security situation in Afghanistan" after coalition forces discontinued a system in 2018 that assessed Taliban control of individual districts.

Sopko said the coalition cited sensitivity of ongoing negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government and the United States as the reason for halting the information.

"[Enemy-initiated attacks] are now a critical part of deliberative inter-agency discussions regarding ongoing political negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban," U.S. military officials told SIGAR, adding that the data may again become releasable to the public once the deliberative process ends.

The discussions are part of a February peace deal between the United States and Taliban, under which U.S. forces will leave Afghanistan in exchange for power-sharing negotiations between Kabul and the militant group.

While they didn't release actual data on Taliban attacks in the first quarter, U.S. officials did tell SIGAR the group refrained from targeting NATO coalition forces during the period, and instead focussed their fire on Afghan government security forces.

Kabul has said Taliban attacks are responsible for killing and injuring dozens of soldiers and hundreds of civilians since the peace deal was signed Feb. 29.

U.S. officials told SIGAR the Afghan government maintains control of Kabul and major population centers, but the Taliban, while reducing attacks in provincial capitals, is pushing for control in other areas.
How the situation has changed.
The US and it's changing fortunes.
 

Mingle

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How the situation has changed.
The US and it's changing fortunes.
It will worse after COVID crisis US economy is in free fall Afghan war will be theior last priority plus they joined hand with Talibans Ghani and his cronies has no real value left I believe US is very lucky that peace deal came just neck of time.
 

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Afghan President, Chief Rival Reach 'Tentative Agreement' To End Months-Long Feud
1588466599900.png

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, appeared close to ending a months-long political crisis that has undermined peace talks with the Taliban and the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abdullah said in a series of tweets on May 1 that progress in negotiations with Ghani to end the political impasse "reached tentative agreement on a range of principles."
He did not provide details of the agreement.

Abdullah, who previously served as Afghanistan's chief executive under a U.S.-brokered power-sharing deal with Ghani, has refused to recognize the results of last year's September presidential election, which was marred by low voter turnout and allegations of fraud.

After much delay, the Afghan election commission in December announced that Ghani had won the election with just over 50 percent of the votes needed to avoid a runoff. Abdullah secured 39 percent.

Instead of recognizing the results, Abdullah declared himself president, although the international community recognizes Ghani.

The political crisis has undermined Kabul's position ahead of planned intra-Afghan peace talks at a time when the Taliban is increasing attacks despite a deal it signed with the United States in February.

It also comes as Afghanistan struggles to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which according to official numbers has infected 2,335 people and killed another 69. The real number of infections is believed to be much higher.

"We hope to finalize the political agreement at the earliest so that we can pay undivided attention to tackling [the] COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring a just, dignified & lasting peace, & confronting the security & economic challenges in a spirit of national unity & solidarity," Abdullah said on Twitter.

To apply pressure on Ghani and Abdullah, the United States announced in March that it was cutting $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan. The European Union has also said the lack of progress to end the two rivals' feud could lead to aid cuts.

Meanwhile, NBC News reported this week that the combination of the coronavirus and U.S. frustration over the slow pace of Afghan peace talks has
hastened calls by President Donald Trump to pull troops out of Afghanistan or consolidate forces on bases.

With reporting by AFP and dpa
 

Mingle

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Afghan President, Chief Rival Reach 'Tentative Agreement' To End Months-Long Feud
View attachment 12592
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, appeared close to ending a months-long political crisis that has undermined peace talks with the Taliban and the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abdullah said in a series of tweets on May 1 that progress in negotiations with Ghani to end the political impasse "reached tentative agreement on a range of principles."
He did not provide details of the agreement.

Abdullah, who previously served as Afghanistan's chief executive under a U.S.-brokered power-sharing deal with Ghani, has refused to recognize the results of last year's September presidential election, which was marred by low voter turnout and allegations of fraud.

After much delay, the Afghan election commission in December announced that Ghani had won the election with just over 50 percent of the votes needed to avoid a runoff. Abdullah secured 39 percent.

Instead of recognizing the results, Abdullah declared himself president, although the international community recognizes Ghani.

The political crisis has undermined Kabul's position ahead of planned intra-Afghan peace talks at a time when the Taliban is increasing attacks despite a deal it signed with the United States in February.

It also comes as Afghanistan struggles to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which according to official numbers has infected 2,335 people and killed another 69. The real number of infections is believed to be much higher.

"We hope to finalize the political agreement at the earliest so that we can pay undivided attention to tackling [the] COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring a just, dignified & lasting peace, & confronting the security & economic challenges in a spirit of national unity & solidarity," Abdullah said on Twitter.

To apply pressure on Ghani and Abdullah, the United States announced in March that it was cutting $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan. The European Union has also said the lack of progress to end the two rivals' feud could lead to aid cuts.

Meanwhile, NBC News reported this week that the combination of the coronavirus and U.S. frustration over the slow pace of Afghan peace talks has
hastened calls by President Donald Trump to pull troops out of Afghanistan or consolidate forces on bases.

With reporting by AFP and dpa
This will good for Pak Ghani will loose power further and abdullah along Talibans will share it. So bad news for PTM and ANP cum PPP beacuse they act like pets of Ghani in Pak it's welcomeing news for sure. Pak needs to make her Goodwill along tajiks and Hazara Uzbaks of Afghanistan and abdullah is guy we should lend hand with time has changed so the politics.
 

Zeeman

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Abdullah is a very very strong anti Pakistani. Ghani has played a clever hand . By handing peace negotiations to a hardliners he has basically washed his hands off from any responsibility of Implementing peace accord. Basically he is telling Americans to now deal with Abdullah was was totally against the peace deal. On the other hand Talibans will never deal with non Pashtun leader.
so things are going to explode.... Afghan style .
 

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Taliban, U.S. engage in Twitter spat amid rise in Afghanistan violence
May 3, 2020
Abdul Qadir Sediqi
1588510397500.png


KABUL (Reuters) - Representatives of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Taliban insurgents engaged in a rare public spat on Saturday, venting on social media about the stalling Afghan peace process.

After lengthy talks behind closed doors, the Taliban and United States signed an agreement in February for reduced violence and a move towards talks with the Afghan government, but attacks by the group have increased since then.

Sonny Leggett, spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, used Twitter to address his Taliban counterpart on Saturday, saying U.S. forces wanted the peace process to move forward, but would respond if the militant group continued to increase attacks.

“Attacks generate attacks, while restraint produces restraint. If the violence cannot be reduced - then yes, there will be responses,” Leggett, said on Twitter, tagging and addressing Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Mujahid responded that the path to a resolution lies in the implementation of the Doha agreement.

“Do not harm the current environment with pointless & provocative statements,” Muhajid tweeted to Leggett, adding, “we are committed to our end, honor your own obligations.”

The Taliban say the United States has not pushed the Afghan government to implement a prisoner exchange mentioned in the agreement, which stipulated the exchange of 6,000 prisoners - 5,000 members of the insurgent group and 1,000 of the Afghan forces.

Leggett conceded there has been a reduction of violence against cities and against coalition forces.
“But we spoke of ALL sides reducing violence by as much as 80% to pave the way for peace talks,” Leggett added, referring to increased attacks on Afghan forces.

The Taliban have mounted more than 4,500 attacks since signing a deal with the United States, according to data seen by Reuters. The provinces hardest hit are ones with the most COVID-19 infections, which are spreading rapidly across the war-torn country.

Writing by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Frances Kerry
 

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Taliban Truck Bombing Kills At Least Five At Afghan Military Center
May 04, 2020
  • By RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

1588624539400.png




A truck-bomb attack at a military center in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province has killed at least five people and wounded several others.

The May 4 attack came as U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said attacks by the Taliban were increasing, despite the United States and the militant group having signed a peace deal in February.

The Taliban, claiming responsibility for the bombing in Helmand, said it attacked a center where at least 150 members of the Afghan army and intelligence wing were stationed.

"Five members of the Afghan security forces and intelligence services were killed and seven others were wounded in a truck-bomb explosion in Grishk district," Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the regional governor, told RFE/RL.

The Taliban claimed the toll was much higher, saying that "dozens" of Afghan soldiers had been killed and wounded in the attack, which occurred late on May 3.

"Dozens of members belonging to the enemy forces have been killed and wounded in the attack," Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmedi said in a statement.

The Afghan Defense Ministry had earlier said only one member of the army was wounded.

In a separate incident, at least 20 people were injured when suspected Taliban militants threw a hand grenade into a mosque in the Khayerkot district of the southeastern Paktika Province late on May 3, police said.

Afghan security forces have suffered heavy losses across the country over the past two months.

The violence threatens to unravel a February peace deal between the United States and the Taliban, as the Afghan army is forced to fight the militants with less U.S. backup.

Esper did not mention the bombing on May 4, but acknowledged an increase in violence by the Taliban, although he noted that the militant group had not attacked U.S. forces.

Speaking during an online question-and-answer session hosted by a Washington think tank, Esper said a tentative power-sharing agreement announced last week between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah was encouraging.

The Afghan government needed to organize itself, and then the peace process needed to get back on track, he said.

He said the peace deal remained "the best path forward."

With reporting by Reuters and Tolo News
 

BATMAN

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This will good for Pak Ghani will loose power further and abdullah along Talibans will share it. So bad news for PTM and ANP cum PPP beacuse they act like pets of Ghani in Pak it's welcomeing news for sure. Pak needs to make her Goodwill along tajiks and Hazara Uzbaks of Afghanistan and abdullah is guy we should lend hand with time has changed so the politics.
Abdulla Abdulla is a RAW puppy.
Held un-accountable meetings with top RAW officials in and out of Afghanistan.
Pakistan have no stakes in Afghanistan.
It was total idiocy of Imran Khan to waste state resources in helping US and Afghan factions talks.
Specially when Pakistan's socio-economic outlook in worst than most of world, our focus shall be working for betterment of Pakistan.
 

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U.S. Says Taliban Not Living Up To Commitments
May 06, 2020
1588803161800.png

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (file photo)


U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said the Taliban is not living up to its commitments as militant violence is increasingly threatening a fragile deal signed with Washington this year.

After extended talks in Qatar, the Taliban and the United States signed an agreement on February 29 for reduced violence and a move toward talks with the Afghan government aimed at ending the 18-year conflict, but attacks by the militants have increased since then.

"I don't think they are," Esper told reporters on May 5 when asked if the Taliban were living up to their commitment.

Esper said he believed the Afghan government was also not living up to its commitment.

The Afghan government was not part of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban, but the deal called for Kabul to release 5,000 Taliban fighters as a confidence-building measure ahead of intra-Afghan talks.

Esper said the Afghan government and the Taliban "both need to come together and make progress on the terms that [are] laid out."

Progress on advancing to discussions between the Taliban and the Afghan government has been delayed, partially by the political feud between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, who both claim to be Afghanistan's rightful leader following September's disputed election.

The Taliban has stepped up violence, with an increasing number of attacks in the 45 days since signing the deal, which paves the way for a U.S. troop drawdown.

The United States is continuing its drawdown of forces in Afghanistan, which are expected to reach about 8,600 troops this summer.

The violence in the war-damaged nation has coincided with the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

A recent report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction warned that the spread of COVID-19 could derail the stalled peace efforts.

Afghanistan has registered 2,704 coronavirus infections and 85 fatalities, but there are fears the actual number could be much higher.

On May 4, the Taliban called on the Afghan government to speed up the release of prisoners amid the rapidly spreading outbreak.

"In the last 3 days, our 300 prisoners were released from the Kbl Adm. [Kabul administration] prisons which we welcome," Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted.

"However, it is not enough -- the process should be expedited so the prisoners be saved from the Coronavirus and the way be paved for an earliest inception of intra-Afghan negotiations," Shaheen wrote.

The Afghan government so far has released about 750 Taliban inmates from jails, according to the Office of National Security Council (ONSC).

The agreement also provides for the militants to release 1,000 Afghan security force members.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and tolonews.com
 

!eon

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Afghan Authorities have arrested the head of Daesh in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Umer Khorasani along with two more senior leaders.

@Khafee Strange things happening
Everybody is desperate to show loyalty with Taliban now |0|
 

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