Monthly Archives: May 2017

Chinese factor clearer in Afghan peace process as regional ties deepen -Global Times China

Relations between China and Afghanistan are growing at a tremendous pace. Last year, Beijing not only played a vital role paving ground in the Afghan reconciliation process, but also helped the unity government in Kabul to improve law and order. Beijing is well-aware of the sensitive security situation in the war-devastated country. Chinese leadership is exploring all possible avenues to establish lasting peace in the neighboring country.

Currently, ties between China and Afghanistan stand on three pillars.

First, Beijing has focused energies on the return of lasting peace and stability in the war-torn country.

Beijing is playing a crucial role helping Kabul in the peace process. China was instrumental in convincing the regional players that Afghan problems need home-made solutions. China has… Read More on Global Times China

ISIS leader joins peace process with his 11 fighters in East of Afghanistan – Khaama Press

A local leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan has joined peace process in Nangarhar province.

Provincial governor Ataullah Khogyani told reporters that Tawiz Khan joined peace process with his 11 fighters due to the ongoing efforts to attract the anti-government armed militant groups to reconciliation process.

Khogyani further added that the reconciliation process is being led by the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS).

He said the group was previously conducting anti-government insurgency in Kot, Nazian, Achin, and Haska Mina districts.

According to Khogyani, the group was operating under… Read More on Khaama Press

Economic development and security the focus of UN-backed event in western Afghanistan – Reliefweb International

HERAT – Strategies to address the link between economic development and security were discussed by panellists at a UN-backed debate in the western province of Herat last week.

The debate, which was the third in a series of similar events supported by the Herat regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), drew an audience of around 20 people, including community elders, religious scholars, civil society representatives, government officials and journalists, each of whom raised issues and asked questions of the panel.

“Afghanistan has tremendous capabilities and resources, and if these resources were managed properly, the insurgency would diminish,” said Abdul Rahim, a Herat community leader and one of the panellists.

Nasir Ahmad, another panellist, said that beyond the need for economic development as one of the important factors in tackling insecurity, justice must be central to any…. Read More on Reliefweb International

Trump’s Afghanistan Reset Needs a Soft-Power Mission, Too – Defense One

Defense Secretary James Mattis, right center, consoles outgoing Afghanistan Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi the day he resigned, at Resolute Support headquarters, Kabul, Apr 24, 2017.

Reconciliation and peace-building can only occur if there is an open dialogue and people are working towards a shared, communal interest.

In the last several weeks, a series of events in Afghanistan have demonstrated how important it is that the U.S. seriously reassess its approach to America’s longest war. The decision to drop the “mother of all bombs” in Nangarhar province; Defense Secretary James Mattis’ surprise trip to Kabul; and the Taliban attack on Mazar-e-Sharif – taken together, they demonstrate the fragile and tumultuous situation the U.S. is facing in Afghanistan.

As President Donald Trump and officials in the White House, Pentagon, State Department, intelligence agencies, and Congress weigh new plans for Afghanistan, including sending up to 5,000 additional troops, there’s one key part of the U.S. arsenal they shouldn’t forget: our ability to… Read More on Defense One

Escalating the war in Afghanistan would be the wrong decision – CNN

(CNN) —In recent days, with Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency continuing to gain steam and America’s longest war staggering through its 16th year, analysts have started invoking the v-word (and it’s not “victory”).

Vietnam is a sadly apt analogy. Indeed, just as they did in Vietnam 50 years ago, US troops in Afghanistan are fighting a costly, intractable, and unending conflict against a relentlessly resilient asymmetric foe.
However, it’s not a perfect analogy. The Vietnam War provoked impassioned debate back home, but Americans are hardly discussing the war in Afghanistan. It’s completely off the radar.
It’s high time we talk about this forgotten war, and especially with the Trump administration…. Read More on CNN

Afghanistan: ex-warlord’s return raises hope for peace – Asia Times

In a significant new development, the exiled Afghan leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar recently returned to Kabul after 20 years. Controversial yet widely revered by the Pashtuns in Afghanistan, the prominent ex-warlord has retained immense influence over his followers, and his symbolic homecoming has already unsettled his opponents. In his heyday, Hekmatyar spearheaded an effective and lethal resistance movement against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and his career peaked with two brief stints as prime minister.

Last year, the Afghan government granted Hekmatyar amnesty for his role in the civil war of the 1990s and a peace accord was signed with the aim of winning over an important faction allied with the Taliban. He was designated a “terrorist” by the US State Department in 2003 but recently the UN Security…. Read more on Asia Times

Hekmatyar warmly welcomed by Afghan govt – Pakistan Observer

Kabul-The Afghan government warmly welcomed the leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to ARG Presidential Palace Friday.
Hekmatyar arrived in capital Kabul before noon Thursday after almost twenty years and conclusion of the peace agreement with Afghan government.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani hailed Hekmatyar for reaching an agreement with the government to accept reconciliation and insisted that the government is committed to pave the way for peace for the Afghan nation.
Speaking during a gathering in ARG Palace, President Ghani said the conclusion of peace agreement with Hezb-e-Islami proves that the Afghan nation and government is committed to peace and stability.
President Ghani called on the other insurgent and militant groups to adopt negotiations rather violence, raising questions regarding the capabilities of Taliban to…. Read More on Pakistan Observer

Germany envoy urges Pakistan for role in Afghan peace process -Samaa TV

ISLAMABAD: German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Sabine Sparwasser said Pakistan can play a key role in reconciliation process in Afghanistan.  

She said this while talking to National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua in Islamabad.

They discussed peace process in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism cooperation… Read More on Samaa TV

Kabul uneasy as former warlord Hekmatyar returns after 20 years -Normangee Star

Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar speaks during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani – RTS154Y7

Hekmatyar stressed his call for the Taliban to relinquish their arms and join in reconciliation, adding that the time of war and the lifting of arms is over, and it is time for everyone to unite and cooperate for the establishment of security and peace in the country.

Hekmatyar described Taliban as “brothers” and called upon them to join the peace process and “test the peace once” to end the excuse for the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan.

After more than 20 years, Hekmatyar, who leads the country’s second largest… Read More on Normangee Star

Afghan president calls upon Taliban to join peace process -Xinhuanet.com

KABUL, May 4 (Xinhua) — Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday called upon Taliban militants to give up fighting and initiate peace talks to boost the national reconciliation in the war-battered country.

“I am calling upon Taliban to follow Hekmatyar step and initiate dialogue with government for returning lasting peace in Afghanistan,” the president said at a ceremony held in Presidential Palace to welcome Hekmatyar.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Afghanistan’s Hizb-e-Islami, or Islamic Party, arrived in Kabul on Thursday, ending decades of exile and fighting against the government to strengthen national reconciliation and… Read More on Xinhuanet.com