Over 9 million ballot papers being printed for parliamentary polls

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday said that more than nine million ballot papers for the upcoming parliamentary election would be printed outside the country.

The IEC did not name the country where the ballot papers are expected to be printed, but reports suggest that the design of the ballot papers has already been sent to Dubai, UAE for printing.

Hafizullah Hashimi, a commissioner of the IEC said that the ballot papers being sent outside the country for printing as a move to prevent fraud and ensure transparency in the election process.

“The commission has taken the decision to print [the ballot papers] outside Afghanistan, in order to ensure its safety and quality, and maintain the trust of the people & the candidates,” he said.

The election observers, however, pessimistic regarding the IEC’s this move, saying it will pave way for massive fraud in the election process.

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Noor threatens to boycott elections and form interim Gov’t

Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of Balkh province and CEO of Jamiat-e-Islami party on Tuesday warned that if transparency of the upcoming elections was not guaranteed, they would boycott the elections and would announce an interim government.

Addressing at an Eid ceremony in Mazar-e-Sharif city, Noor said the political parties have set a two-week deadline for the National Unity Government (NUG) in order to bring reforms and transparency in the upcoming election processes.

“If they don’t bring changes for transparency in the electoral system and didn’t hold a fair election, we will boycott the election process in advance and will take our next step,” Noor said.

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Taliban rejects involvement in today’s rocket attack on Kabul city

The Taliban militants have rejected the involvement of the group in today’s coordinated rocket attack on Kabul city.

The Taliban spokesman Zabilullah Mujahid in a statement said the fighters of the group have no links with today’s attacks in Kabul city.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) officials are saying that all militants involved in the rocket attack on Kabul city have likely been killed.

MoI spokesman Najib Danish had earlier said the attack was likely carried out by three militants using two vehicles loaded with several rockets.

Danish further added that two security personnel have been slightly wounded during the clashes with the militants.

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Taliban rejects the group has ordered a halt to suicide attacks in the cities

The Taliban group has rejected reports suggesting that the leadership of the group has ordered a halt to suicide attacks in the cities.

A spokesman for the Taliban group Zabiullah Mujahid issued a statement rejecting the statement attributed to him in a report in which he was quoted as saying that the group will not carry out suicide attacks in the cities anymore.

Mujahid further added that no such statement has been made during the interview in response to a question that why no suicide attack has been carried out in Kabul or other main cities.

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Saudi Arabia assures Afghanistan of support in peace efforts

Saudi Arabia has assured Afghanistan of supporting its efforts in fight against terrorism and play role in the Afghan peace process.

This was conveyed during an official visit of National Security Advisor (NSA) Mohammad Hanif Atmar to Saudi Arabia during which he held meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Prince Mohammed bin Salman assured NSA of Saudi led IMCTC support from Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism; he further said Saudi Arabia would always play its role in the Afghan Peace Process to ensure lasting peace in Afghanistan,” the NSA office said in a statement.

According to the statement, both sides have discussed important issues of mutual and regional interest including the support of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) from Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism, and the Afghan Peace Process.

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Usurped public lands will be reclaimed, insists President Ghani

President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday said that the government will “legally” distribute lands to all its citizens, insisting that he will reclaim all usurped public lands from land-grabbers.

Speaking during inauguration ceremony of Institutional Development Programme for Land Administration held in the Presidential Palace (ARG) on Thursday, Ghani said public treasury belongs to the entire nation and it cannot be consumed for personal interests.

“Close to five million Afghans are living outside of the country, they should return and lands should be distributed to them, and will establish a land bank in regard,” he said.

The president added the government is committed to ensuring safety of public properties. He said lands in Afghanistan have worth millions of dollar, if well managed.

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Ghani: Balkh issue to be resolved within the framework of Afghan constitution

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says the issue of the Balkh political leadership will be resolved within the frameworks of the constitution of Afghanistan.

Speaking to elders and residents of northern Balkh province in ARG Palace on Wednesday, President Ghani said all steps regarding Balkh political leadership have been taken in accordance with the constitution of Afghanistan and the issue will be resolved within the framework of the constitution of the country.

He vowed to bolster the system by strengthening the rule of law and justice, insisting that no one has the right to stand against the national interests of the country and the decisions should be taken based on democratic values and approaches.

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Khamenei: Creators of Daesh seeking to relocate it to Afghanistan

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday claimed that creators of Daesh (also known as Islamic State) are seeking to move IS fighters from Syria and Iraq to the war-torn Afghanistan.

“The very same hands that created Daesh to use it as an instrument for oppression and crime against the people of Syria and Iraq, now and after facing defeat in the regions, are seeking to relocate Daesh to Afghanistan,” reacting to the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul, Khamenei said.

In addition, Khamenei accused U.S. for having hand behind insecurities in Afghanistan where Washington has invested billions of dollars for state-building and fighting against terrorism.

He claimed that by doing so, Washington aims to legitimize its military presence in the region.

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Ghani warns Taliban of ‘revenge’ for recent bloody attacks in Kabul

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has vowed to take “revenge” against those responsible for the recent deadly attacks in Kabul that have killed more than hundreds of people.

“Those who do not belong to this country and declare war must realize that we will take the revenge for every drop of bloods,” Ghani said.

President Ghani in a joint press conference with his Indonesian counterpart Joko “Jokowi” Widodo noted that Taliban rebels are committing violent acts to get rid of isolations.

Ghani thanked the Indonesian leader for his visit and the condolences that Widodo expressed for the victims of the attack in Kabul earlier in the day when Islamic State militants attacked Afghan soldiers guarding a military academy, killing at least 11 troops and wounding 16.

He also called on the International Community to use every options against those countries that supports terrorism.

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Abdullah: Fight against terrorism needs to continue in Afghanistan

Afghan Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah has warned that the fight against terrorism needs to continue in Afghanistan; otherwise, the scope of this horror will also reach the United States.

“Fight should be continued against terrorism in Afghanistan. Those terror groups who are fighting in our country now are fighting against you all. I must say that the terrorist groups are supported in the region and have secure hideouts in the region,” CE, Abdullah said during his speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in U.S.

Abdullah called the U.S. new strategy toward Afghanistan effective and emphasized that the policy can bring Taliban group to the negotiation table.

“Part of the US strategy toward south Asia and Afghanistan, the political element aim is that those forces which are fighting against the government and people of Afghanistan will be persuaded to come to the negotiation table,” CE said.

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