Afghan President Ghani calls for peace talks with Taliban

Ashraf-GhaniKabul, Sept 29 : President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan on Monday used his inaugural speech to call on Taliban insurgents to join peace talks after 13 years of war.

Speaking after a ceremonial and democratic transfer of power, President Ghani said, "We ask opponents of the government, specially the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami (another militant group), to enter political talks. Any problems that they have, they should tell us, we will find a solution."

"We ask every villager to call for peace. We ask Muslim scholars to advise the Taliban, and if they don't listen to their advice, they should cut off any relations," he added.

Afghans express relief at election deal

John KerryKabul: Amid relief that a dangerous rift in the country's troubled democracy has been averted, Afghan officials praised a deal between presidential contenders brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry and said today they hope to finish a full ballot audit within weeks.

Kerry unveiled the breakthrough deal yesterday night, with both hopefuls promising to abide by the results of the audit, followed by plans for the winner to form a government of national unity with participation of the losing side.

Obama leaves Afghanistan without meeting Karzai

Hamid-Karzai-Barack-ObamaKabul, May 26 : US President Barack Obama paid a short visit to Afghanistan but returned home without meeting his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai due to differences over the venue, an official statement said Monday.

Obama returned home after spending a few hours Sunday with US troops at Bagram airbase, 50 km north of Kabul, Xinhua reported.

The Afghan Presidential Palace, in a statement released here, said that Karzai had refused to meet Obama at Bagram.

US president pays surprise visit to Afghanistan

Barack ObamaKabul, May 26 - US President Barack Obama paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan Sunday, an Afghan official said.

The US president arrived in the Bagram air base in north of Kabul, the main US base in Afghanistan, late Sunday, Xinhua quoted an official source as saying on condition of anonymity.

The aim of his trip is reported to meet American soldiers on a memorial day weekend and he will also visit the injured soldiers who got wounded in Afghanistan conflicts.

Obama is not planning to meet President Hamid Karzai and the two leading presidential candidates of upcoming presidential runoff, the media reported.

Karzai-Kerry talks extended

Harzai KerryKabul, Oct 13 : US Secretary of State John Kerry Saturday extended talks with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on a key security agreement but some contentious issues remain to be finalised, media reported citing a presidential spokesperson.

There is still "some work" to be done related to documents, Aimal Faizi told reporters here, adding that he hoped it would be concluded soon, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

The spokesperson said the talks between President Karzai and John Kerry were rescheduled for a third round in the evening as the previous two rounds produced no satisfactory results.

John Kerry makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

John-KerryKabul, Oct 11 : US Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan's capital Kabul Friday, Xinhua reported citing private television channel Tolo.

During his stay to Kabul, the US top diplomat, according to Tolo, would hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the situation in Afghanistan with particular reference to possible inking of a security pact between the two countries.

The controversial security pact, if inked, would enable US to a keep limited number of its forces in Afghanistan after 2014 when the NATO-led troops wouls leave the militancy-ridden country.

Kabul urged to fire human rights commissioner

Hamid-KarzaiKabul, July 4 : President Hamid Karzai should immediately dismiss Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) member Abdul Rahman Hotak after he voiced opposition to the new Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Afghanistan's Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women is known as the EVAW Law.

Hotak said that in his view EVAW Law was "violating Islam" and there needed to be a law that people were "comfortable" with.

US wants Kabul to ink security deal within three months: Karzai

Hamid-karzaiKabul, June 29 : The US wants to ink the proposed security agreement with Afghanistan within the next three months even as Kabul has suspended talks with Washington over the pact, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday.

"President (Barack) Obama emphasised recently to reach agreement over the security pact within three months until next October," Xinhua quoted Karzai as saying at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Afghan president said the talks for inking the security pact were still suspended, and that Afghanistan has its conditions over the controversial agreement.

Karzai leaves for state visit to India

Hamid-Karzai_Kabul, May 20 : Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Monday left on a two-day visit to India, the president's office said in a statement.

"President Hamid Karzai, leading a high-level delegation, left this morning (Monday) on a two-day state visit to India at the invitation of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee," Xinhua quoted the statement as saying.

During his visit, Karzai is scheduled to meet Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian officials.

Afghanistan objects to Pakistan's border constructions

General-Zahir-AzimiKabul, April 15 : The Afghanistan government Monday protested about unilateral construction of facilities by neighbour Pakistan along its eastern border, Xinhua reported.

"The recent construction of a gate and other facilities along the so-called Durand line took place without any coordination with Afghanistan," Afghan defence ministry spokesperson General Zahir Azimi told reporters during a joint press conference with International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) here.

10 Afghan kids die in NATO air strike

10 Afghan kids die in NATO air strikeKabul, April 8 - At least 10 children were killed and six women were injured in Afghanistan's Kunar province in a security operation involving NATO's aircraft, an official said Sunday.

It occurred when Afghan forces backed by the NATO-led coalition forces launched cleanup operations against Taliban militants in Shigal district Saturday morning, reported Xinhua citing district governor Zalmai Khan.

46 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan

46 Taliban militants killed in AfghanistanKabul, March 24 - Afghan police backed by army and NATO-led forces have killed 46 Taliban militants in operations across the country, the interior ministry said.

The operations took place in Kunduz, Badakhshan, Kandahar, Zabul, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Khost and Paktiya provinces, Xinhua cited a ministry statement as saying.

One Taliban man was wounded and 26 were arrested, it said.

However, the statement did not say if there were any casualties among security forces. (IANS)

Powerful blast in Kabul

Sediq-Sediqi_Kabul, Jan 16 : A powerful blast rocked the Afghanistan capital Wednesday. It occurred close to a compound of intelligence agency and the interior ministry building in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul.

The bomb targeted a government department in Kabul's New City, a crowded business centre, the official added requesting anonymity. He said there could be casualties.

Interior Ministry's spokesperson Sediq Sediqi confirmed the incident but said it was too early to provide details. (IANS)

NATO soldier shot dead in Afghanistan

NATO soldier shot dead in AfghanistanKabul, Jan 8 - A soldier with the NATO-led coalition forces was killed when a man in Afghan army uniform opened fire at coalition troops, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform shot at International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members Monday, the coalition said.

It did not say whether the shooter was killed or captured.

Karzai leaves for official visit to US

Hamid-karzaiKabul, Jan 7 : Afghan President Hamid Karzai Monday left for a three-day official visit to the US where he will meet his American counterpart Barack Obama and discuss key issues including a bilateral security agreement, the Presidential Palace said.

The discussions would focus on security, economic and political transition in Afghanistan, equipping and strengthening of Afghan security forces, and the peace process, Xinhua reported.

Talks between Washington and Kabul on the bilateral security agreement formally began in Kabul Nov 15, 2012.

Female shooter in Afghanistan insider attack Iranian national, says official

/Sediq-SediqiKabul, Dec 26 : The female police officer who killed a U. S. contractor in Kabul on Monday is an Iranian national, according to an Afghan government official. Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Seddiqi, said the Afghan police officer is an Iranian citizen who met her Afghan husband in Iran.

They eventually went to live in Afghanistan, where he managed to help her illegally obtain Afghan citizenship, reports CNN. The US has long been concerned about Iranian terror-related activity against U. S. targets. But Seddiqi said he doesn''t have evidence to link the attacker to militant groups carrying out acts of terror.

Karzai blames Pak for failure of Afghan government, NATO ‘to provide security to people’

 Karzai blames Pak for failure of Afghan government, NATO ‘to provide security to people’ Kabul, Oct 8 : Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has accused Pakistan of supporting the insurgents fighting NATO forces in his country, saying that the Taliban couldn''t “lift a finger without the Pakistanis”.

During an interview with the BBC marking ten years since the start of war, Karzai admitted that his government and the US-backed NATO mission have failed to provide security to Afghans.

Six men held as plot to assassinate Afghan President Karzai uncovered

 Six men held as plot to assassinate Afghan President Karzai uncovered Kabul, Oct 6 : A plot to kill Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has been foiled by the nation’s intelligence agents in Kabul following the arrest of six men, including one of his own bodyguards.

The group was reportedly affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network, an insurgent faction that has been blamed for a string of recent high-profile attacks.

Karzai accuses Pakistan of playing ''double game'' in fight against militants

 Karzai accuses Pakistan of playing ''double game'' in fight against militants Kabul, Oct 4 : In a barely veiled reference to Pakistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that a "double game" is being played in the fight against militants.

In his televised address, Karzai described Afghanistan and Pakistan as "inseparable brothers", but accused Islamabad of not cooperating on security issues, "which is disappointing for us".

Pakistani killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, claims Afghan govt.

 Pakistani killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, claims Afghan govt. Kabul, Oct 3 : The Afghan government has cited investigations to claim that the killers of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, its negotiator with the Taliban, were Pakistanis.

"Documents and evidence together with the biography, address and phone numbers of suspects involved in the incident have been submitted to the government of Pakistan in order to arrest and hand [suspects] over," the BBC quoted the Afghan government statement, as saying.

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