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Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar asked the local militant groups to join the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.

 

Pakistan will host direct talks between the government in Kabul and Afghan Taliban, including other insurgent groups, by the first week of March, said a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the fourth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) in Kabul on Tuesday.

 

International concern about the rise of the Taliban and Islamic State (ISIS) in Afghanistan are sidelining women's rights, to the detriment of the country's prospects for peace and development, an international women's charity said.

 

As the quadrilateral group on Afghanistan meet for the fourth time,there are still confusing signals from Kabul as to its genuine commitment to the peace process. Though Afghanistan’s new envoy to Pakistan Dr. Omar Zakhiwal has claimed that his Government is committed to the quadrilateral peace process, ground realities speak otherwise as some circles from within Kabul are trying to attach pre-conditions to the talks.

 

The outgoing commander of Operation Resolute Support and American troops in Afghanistan, General John F Campbell, paid a farewell to Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on February 18th, 2016.

 

This month, the outgoing commander of America’s military effort in Afghanistan told Congress that the country the United States invaded more than 14 years ago was at “an inflection point.” The Taliban reportedly holds more territory than at any time since 2001, and civilian casualties are at record levels.

 

The Russian government has recently said that it would not participate in the Afghan peace process. Moscow called the quadrilateral coordination group’s talks, a “US-led process”.

 

When saboteurs crippled the Afghan capital’s power supply last month, the tailors in Najeebullah’s clothing shop had to abandon their electric sewing machines for hand-cranked models. Their output fell by half.

 

Shortly after sunrise, an Afghan special operations helicopter descended on two vehicles racing through the empty deserts of southern Afghanistan, traversing what has become a superhighway for smugglers and insurgents.

 

The United States spent more than $7 billion in the past 14 years to fight the runaway poppy production that has made Afghan opium the world’s biggest brand. Tens of billions more went to governance programs to stem corruption and train a credible police force. Countless more dollars and thousands of lives were lost on the main thrust of the war: to put the Afghan government in charge of district centers and to instill rule of law.

 


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