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Afghan govt. offers to recognise Taliban as political group

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]UN mission welcomes the move

The latest developments in Afghan capital Kabul indicate some kind of reconciliation between the west-backed government and Taliban, the hardened terrorist group engaged in attacking civilians and the people associated with the government.

President Ashraf Ghani’s approach towards Taliban was altogether different on Wednesday when he offered to “recognize” Taliban as a legitimate political group without any pre-conditions, as part of a proposed process for ending 16-year long war.

During his address at the conference President Ashraf Ghani proposed a ceasefire and prisoner release as part of  a range of options, including new elections involving the armed group and a constitutional review as part of a pact with the Taliban.

“We are making this offer without preconditions in order to lead to a peace agreement. Taliban are expected to give input to the peace making process, the goal of which is to draw the Taliban, as an organization, to peace talks” he said.

The conference was attended by representatives of 25 countries, involved in the Kabul Process.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]Meanwhile, TOLO News reports from Kabul that the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has welcomed Afghan government’s renewed call for unconditional peace talks with Taliban and the outlining of a framework for peace, presented at the Kabul Process II conference in Kabul.

So far, Taliban, fighting to return to power after its government was removed by US lead northern alliance in 2001, has offered to begin talks with the US but refused to start direct discussions with Kabul.

At the same time, while President Ashraf Ghani was making his landmark statement, a senior Taliban official based in Doha told Aljazeera that group invites US officials to its political office in Doha, Qatar to discuss a “peaceful solution” to end the bloodshed in the country.

On Friday, Afghan local media had claimed that Afghan government has been discussing with Qatari authorities the closure of Taliban’s office in Doha as this had “no positive consequence in terms of facilitating the peace talks”.

The Taliban official has also warned Afghan government that the talks of shuttering the Doha office would scuttle the group’s offer of talks altogether.

Recently, in a softening move, Taliban have recently vowed to support and protect the $10-billion trans-national gas pipeline originating from Turkmenistan to reach India via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Read Also:- Taliban commits to safeguard $10 billion TAPI gas pipeline project

Their announcement came when President Ashraf Ghani, along with Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar, inaugurated the construction of Afghanistan section on February 24.

Taliban ruled roughly three quarters of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and enforced strict interpretation of Islamic law, generally perceive by Saudi originated Wahabi ideology. It held control of most of the country until being overthrown after the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001 following 9/11 terror attacks in the United States.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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India News

US reiterates its call for fair, transparent, legal process for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, speaks on Congress frozen accounts

The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections.

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A day after India summoned an US diplomat over their remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case, the US reiterated its call for fair, transparent, timely legal processes on Wednesday.

Responding to questions on India summoning Gloria Berbena, the US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that they will continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Notably, the meeting at the foreign ministry’s South Block office lasted nearly 40 minutes yesterday with India objecting strongly to the US remarks on the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal.

Matthew Miller also responded to a question on the Congress party’s frozen bank accounts. The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections. He added that the US encourages fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of the issues.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested last week by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to the Delhi liquor policy scam. Earlier, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Sanjay Singh were arrested in the same case.

The External Affairs Ministry had earlier stated that states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others, and this responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies, adding that it could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents.

The Ministry further emphasized that India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. It mentioned that casting aspersions on India’s legal procedure is unwarranted.

The United State’s remarks followed days after Germany’s Foreign Office stressed that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. The Indian government labelled their remark as blatant interference in internal matters.

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Latest world news

5 Chinese nationals killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan

This is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

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Nearly five Chinese nationals were killed in an explosion during an attack on their convoy by a suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday. Reportedly, the suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers travelling from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu, situated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Regional police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur said that five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in the attack. As yet, none has claimed responsibility for the attack. Bisham Station House Officer (SHO) Bakht Zahir asserted that the incident was a suicide blast and the authorities concerned were collecting the evidence.

The Station House Officer further added that security arrangements were tightened at the spot and the bodies were being shifted to a hospital. He added that they will investigate from where and how the vehicle of a suicide bomber came and how it happened. Notably, this is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

Previously, two attacks hit an airbase and a strategic port in the southwest province of Balochistan where China is investing billions in infrastructure projects. Several Chinese engineers and Pakistani construction workers have for multiple years been working on hydroelectric projects as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative in the western province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa.

Notably, Dasu is home to a significant dam project, has been a target of previous attacks. Earlier in 2021, the attack in Dasu resulted in the deaths of nine Chinese nationals, along with two Pakistani children. The incident occured when a bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the Dasu Hydropower Project site was targeted.

There was confusion surrounding the nature of the attack initially, with some reports suggesting it was a bus accident. Nonetheless, subsequent investigations revealed that it was indeed a terrorist attack. The bus was hit by a blast, leading it to plunge into a ravine.

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