News Updates

14 June - 30 June, 2019
  • Afghan Taliban bombers kill 19, including election workers
    Afghan Taliban bombers targeting a district centre in southern Afghanistan have killed at least 19 people, including eight election workers, officials said on Sunday. The attack comes as a new round of talks between the United States and the Taliban to end the 18-year long war in Afghanistan entered a second day in Qatar. The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with a spokesman tweeting that their fighters had captured the district centre, killing 57 security forces.
    The insurgents killed at least 25 members of a pro-government militia in an attack in northern Baghlan province on Saturday.
    The violence comes amid stepped-up efforts by the United States to find a negotiated end to America's longest war, with Washington and the Taliban opening a fresh round of negotiations in Doha on Saturday. (Dawn, 1st July, 2019)
  • Taliban kills 25 as peace talks with US get under way in Doha
    The Taliban is to meet the US envoy for the seventh round of negotiations in the Qatari capital. (Al Jazeera, 29 June, 2019)
  • Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in Pakistan for key talks
    The visit comes as Kabul accuses Islamabad of interfering in its internal affairs and amid peace talks with the Taliban. (AlJazeera, 27 June, 2019)
01 June - 13 June, 2019
  • Islamic State in Afghanistan Remains a 'Very Worrisome' Threat, US General Says.
    (RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany) — The Islamic State group in Afghanistan is a “very worrisome” threat to the United States, and U.S. counterterrorism efforts have yet to shrink its extremist ambitions, a senior American general said Wednesday.
    Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie said IS would be hard pressed, however, to carry out an attack on the U.S. homeland because it is under strong military pressure.
    “ISIS in Afghanistan certainly has aspirations to attack the United States,” McKenzie said. “It is our clear judgment that as long as we maintain pressure on them it will be hard for them to do that.” (Time, 13.6.2019)
  • Kabul, Islamabad Agree on High-Level Exchanges
    ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed high-level exchanges between the neighbours are essential for strengthening bilateral cooperation.The agreement came at a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman in Islamabad. Zaman was visiting Islamabad for the first review session in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) -- the framework for bilateral ties agreed last year.
    Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and Afghan Deputy FM Zaman earlier led their respective delegations at the APAPPS review session. “The session provided the two sides an opportunity to review progress made under this framework since the inaugural session and exchange views on further collaboration in agreed areas of cooperation,” the Foreign Office said. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called for making bilateral ties framework with Afghanistan effective. Under APAPPS, Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to discuss political and diplomatic issues and matters pertaining to economy and trade, refugee repatriation, military and intelligence cooperation as the way forward towards better ties. But APAPPS could not progress well over the past year and the engagements under it came to a halt after a few meetings because of a sharp uptick in Taliban violence.
    The APAPPS review comes ahead of President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan on June 27. It would be Ghani’s third visit to Pakistan. His previous trips took place in Nov 2014 and Dec 2015. (Pajhwok) (Daily Outlook, Kabul, June 12, 2019)
  • Pakistan, Afghanistan to resume talks on June 10
    The review session of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) will be held in Islamabad on June 10, 2019. Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood will lead the Pakistan delegation while the Afghan side will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Idrees Zaman.
    The APAPPS was established in May 2018 to provide a comprehensive and structured framework for institutional bilateral engagement between Pakistan and Afghanistan in diverse areas of cooperation. The mechanism works through five Working Groups namely: Politico-Diplomatic; Military-to-Military Coordination; Intelligence Cooperation; Economic and Refugees. The inaugural session of APAPPS was held in Kabul on 22 July 2018, where the two sides had agreed to synergise efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation and build trust.
    The forthcoming session will provide the two sides an opportunity to review progress made under this framework since the inaugural session and to exchange views on further collaboration in agreed areas of cooperation. ( Pakistan Today, June 9, 2019)
  • Three explosions hit Kabul killing one and injuring 17
    One person is killed when a magnetic bomb attached to a bus carrying university students exploded in Afghan capital. ( Al Jazeera: June 3, 2019)