Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby NRao » 11 Mar 2020 09:02

Taliban prisoner swap begins as part of Afghan peace talks

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has approved the release of 1,500 Taliban prisoners as part of efforts to secure a peace deal with the insurgent group.

The presidential decree requires all prisoners to give "a written guarantee to not return to the battlefield".

In exchange, the Taliban has agreed to hand over 1,000 government troops.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby nithish » 22 Mar 2020 01:08

Taliban Kill 24 Afghan Troops, With Inside Help

A Taliban ambush that appears to have had inside help killed up to 24 Afghan security forces in southern Afghanistan early Friday, officials said.

It was the latest Taliban assault on government forces since the militant group signed a peace agreement with the United States on Feb. 29. The Taliban have so far ceased attacks against American and coalition troops, but they have continued to target Afghan government forces.

A group of Taliban fighters attacked a joint police and army outpost around 3 a.m. Friday on the main highway to Kabul in Zabul Province, parts of which are under the militants’ control. Rahmatullah Yarmal, the governor of Zabul Province, said the attackers were aided by at least five police officers who then escaped with the Taliban fighters.

“The outpost was attacked, and it completely collapsed in just one hour,” Mr. Kareem said. “There was no one left alive.”

Direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban were supposed to begin March 10, with the ultimate goal a postwar government that would include the militants. The agreement envisioned a “confidence-building measure”: the release by March 10 of 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 security forces held by the militants.

But Mr. Ghani, whose government was excluded from the U.S.-Taliban negotiations, has said he would not release the prisoners without concessions from the Taliban, who have refused.

The dispute has stalled the peace process and left the government unable to set up its negotiating team.

“We thought the Taliban would be flexible after announcing a reduction in violence, but they are becoming more aggressive against the security forces,” said Mr. Kareem, the tribal elder.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Guddu » 22 Mar 2020 09:14

Karan Thapar is being an a$$ in the interview..Sood was better, but not forceful.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 25 Mar 2020 17:16

X-Posting from Strategy dhaga

Mukesh.Kumar wrote:To those challenging CAA, this is why CAA is there:
Gurdwara attacked in Afghanistan. Source: BBC

Afghan security forces are battling militants who stormed a busy temple belonging to the Sikh religious minority in central Kabul.

At least one person died and a number were wounded after suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the temple in the Shorbazar area at 07:45 (03:15 GMT).

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby g.sarkar » 25 Mar 2020 17:22 ... 05522.html
Kabul Sikh temple siege: Dozens killed in attack claimed by ISIL
The deadly siege of Sikh religious complex ends after the attackers were killed, gov't says.
Afghan forces have killed gunmen who attacked a Sikh religious complex in the capital Kabul, ending the hours-long siege that has killed 25 people, the Ministry of Interior has said.
The deadly attack was claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group. Earlier, the Taliban armed group denied it was behind the siege that left at least eight others wounded.
Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said in a message to journalists the operation by the security forces to defeat the attackers was over and all of them had been killed. Security forces cordoned off the area, located in old Kabul, after gunmen stormed the complex, the government said.
Narindra Singh Khalsa, a parliamentarian from the minority Sikh community, told AP news agency he had been near the Gurdwara - the Sikh place of worship - when the attack happened and ran to the site. Those killed included a child whose body was brought to a Kabul hospital, emergency services and the hospital said.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 27 Mar 2020 18:15

Gurudwara attacker was from Kerala. Let's see if other channels also report this. ... 2020-03-27

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Gerard » 29 Mar 2020 06:58

View: Afghanistan’s Kashmir fallout
By Lt. General (Retd) Syed Ata Hasnain

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Gerard » 05 Apr 2020 23:44

Pak-backed terror module in Afghanistan that targeted India busted, 37 arrested
Afghanistan vice president Amrullah Saleh cheered the Afghan intelligence agency for the breakthrough.“I am sure he is already singing & will sing more to the dismay of his patrons in & out. A treasure of intelligence. Make him talk,” tweeted Saleh,

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby tandav » 06 Apr 2020 12:36

Gerard wrote:Pak-backed terror module in Afghanistan that targeted India busted, 37 arrested
Afghanistan vice president Amrullah Saleh cheered the Afghan intelligence agency for the breakthrough.“I am sure he is already singing & will sing more to the dismay of his patrons in & out. A treasure of intelligence. Make him talk,” tweeted Saleh,

Is deporting them to India to stand trial for their crimes against India possible?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 07 Apr 2020 08:47

Why India is distancing itself from Iran - Sanjay Kapoor, Business Line
Long before Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif criticised India for the “massacres of Muslims” during the Delhi riots, an act that attracted sharp rebuke from India’s foreign ministry, there were plenty of signs that the two countries had begun to move away from each other in different directions that were prompted by their respective foreign and domestic policy compulsions and now the coronavirus pandemic.

This drift manifested itself in the speedy manner that New Delhi announced the banning of flights from Iran after incidents of coronavirus were reported in the US-sanction racked country. Later, it had to back-pedal a bit and allow Iran’s Mahan Air to fly to Delhi to pick the stranded countrymen and drop the Indians back home. Iranians were taken aback by the alacrity with which connection with them was severed at a time when they were reeling under a catastrophic pandemic that is destroying their economy and lives.

Many senior officials of the government have died compelling Iranian President Rouhani to demand the removal of US sanctions and immediate help to tide over this crisis. Iran has also sought assistance from India to fight the virus — as it is being denied the basic instruments to fight this virus due to the sanctions. India has not offered any aid.

Iran’s troubles and its changing world view, where it wants to create a more aggressive Islamic counterpoint against Saudi Arabia controlled Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), is impacting the balance of power in the region. It’s ambitions, though, have been hurt by the raging pandemic, which has already seen 2,600 deaths and thousands infected. Iranians have demanded from the US lifting of sanctions and has also sought India to use its considerable influence on Washington to help them. Tehran’s long grouse against Delhi, as articulated by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, is that it just does not stand up to the US.

All these reasons and more are raising severe doubts about even the recent Indian foreign policy investments in Iran including on the Chabahar port. The big question is: Will India’s attempts to have an enduring land route to Afghanistan and Central Asia, by sidestepping Pakistan, through Chabahar survive the vicissitudes of recent times? In the past few months though, the Commerce Ministry has eased rules to speed up the project, but it continues at its own pace.

The Chabahar port

India’s existential anxieties about its creative foreign policy to side step Pakistan and rebuild ties with Iran through investing in Chabahar port have deepened ever since US signed an agreement with Islamic Republic of Afghanistan — as Taliban is called. The agreement will allow Washington to withdraw its troops that have been locked in a war for 19 years. Agreement with Taliban does not factor Indian interests and the shifting ground realities. It has been crafted by a desperate US to get out of Afghanistan before the US elections so that President Donald Trump could safely say that he fulfilled most of the electoral promises.

India has justifiable fears that the Taliban — a proxy of Pakistan — would not respect Indian interests or investments. After the agreement in Doha was signed, Taliban is expanding rapidly. Like it happened in the past, city after city may start falling. They may also unleash violence against Indian interests — the recent massacre of 25 Afghan Sikhs in a gurdwara is a case in point.

Taliban’s rise also could see the stifling of Chabahar port’s growth and the transit route to Afghanistan’s route 606 or Zaranj-Delaram road (built by India), which allows India’s ingress to garland highway and connects further to Central Asia. This could fit well with Pakistan’s plans that has been lobbying hard to prevent Chabahar from acquiring any commercial or strategic meaning.

There is a belief that the agreement with Taliban may not have taken place so soon if Iran’s Quds Force chief, Qassem Suleimani, had not been assassinated at the turn to the new year.

Islamabad has been resentful of General Suleimani and his visible proximity to India
, which saw his frequent criticism of Pakistan’s use of terror as state policy. “We are telling that country (Pakistani) not to allow their borders to become a source of insecurity for the neighbouring countries; anyone who has made this plot for Pakistan is seeking to disintegrate that country,” Suleimani told an Iranian news agency. There was expectedly, great joy in Pakistani military establishment when Suleimani was killed.

A month after his death at Baghdad airport, Iran’s Ambassador to Islamabad, Syyed Muhammad Husseini, revived an old proposal to build an association of five nations to resolve problems of this region. Termed as the “ golden ring”, the proposed alliance, besides Iran also included Pakistan, Turkey, Russia and China.

Is there any meaning to this proposal and its implications on the region — including Afganistan — if so then how is it linked to General Suleimani assassination?

Undoing diplomatic initiatives

Husseini’s detailed remarks made at an Islamabad think-tank did not go unnoticed as it was seen to undo much of the diplomatic investment that Iran has made with India that included giving management control of Chabahar. Iranian Ambassador Husseini suggested linking Chabahar with China funded Pakistani port of Gwadar and jointly exploring the region. Without saying that in so many words, it was possible to sense a strategic abandonment of the Chabahar-centred trilateral initiative between Iran, India and Afghanistan. China’s promise of investment of $250 billion in Iran’s crumbling infrastructure was hastening this decision. “Construction of railway track on Pakistani territory to China, linking the two ports will lead towards economic development in this region,” said Husseini.

Such a formulation would be music to the ears of Saudi Arabia and Pakistani military establishment that has been upset with Iran’s decision to give management control of Chabahar port to India — a policy aggressively supported by the slain Quds force chief. Chabahar for Saudi Arabia meant an opportunity for Iran to spread its influence in South and Central Asia. Saudi scholars have felt that it would be in their national interest if Chabahar trilateral agreement was scuppered. Saudi diplomats have wondered why India was allowing its “imagined interests” to determine its diplomatic and strategic locus towards Iran and Central Asia. In their view, its real interests reside with the Gulf region, which provides employment to Indians and also oil to India.

Suleimani had also played a significant role in preventing the enlargement of Islamic State of Khurasan (ISK) in Afghanistan. He was seen as a thorn on the side of Saudi Arabia, the US and Pakistan and routinely obstructed plans they had for Afghanistan and the region. He helped certain Talibani groups that were preponderantly Shia, to fight the Islamic State and provided them the leverage in their negotiations with the US mediator for a just settlement. It was from this standpoint that he was an asset for India by helping in looking after its interests in Afghanistan and also in providing critical intelligence on the violent Wahabbi networks operating in Kashmir.

Once the haze of coronavirus lifts and the death toll of this pandemic, which has killed thousands in Iran and in the neighbouring areas, gets known, the direction of the region’s foreign policy will become apparent. China that has had an early start in rebuilding itself after the coronavirus pandemic may well have a big say in it.

The writer is the Editor of Hardnews Magazine

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 11 Apr 2020 19:31

Aslam Farooqui is the new Ajmal Kasab, but very high. Of course, Pakistan is worried. But, this time, they didn't say he was not a Pakistani because the guy is in top echelons of ISI and jihadism.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Tuan » 07 May 2020 00:30

My latest piece for The Geopolitics on US-Taliban peace talks: ... eace-deal/

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Rsatchi » 07 May 2020 00:58

'The Japanese Samurai dictum reminds us that “to kill an enemy, shoot his horse first.” In this spirit, we must first eliminate the support bases of all the terrorist organizations to obliterate them. This can only be done through a fusion of soft diplomacy and hard military might. As Roosevelt put it: “speak softly and carry a big stick.”'
For this to happen : is the world ready to break up the mother-ship: Pakistan first!! :roll:

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Vivek K » 07 May 2020 05:32

Rsatchi wrote:^^^
'The Japanese Samurai dictum reminds us that “to kill an enemy, shoot his horse first.” In this spirit, we must first eliminate the support bases of all the terrorist organizations to obliterate them. This can only be done through a fusion of soft diplomacy and hard military might. As Roosevelt put it: “speak softly and carry a big stick.”'
For this to happen : is the world ready to break up the mother-ship: Pakistan first!! :roll:

Should India wait for the world to come to that decision? What price will be enough before India can think in its interest?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 13 May 2020 01:36
There is a bottom that one doesnt sink to...killing maternity wards..what is that these guys are stooping to...i think it is a part of all round strategy...

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby chetak » 18 May 2020 20:13

the cunning contours of the taliban - paki - us requirements are becoming clearer by the day and all of them are keen that India should be the only loser but still provide unquestioned and unconditional "aid" to the new rogue taliban paki dispensation waiting to grab power in afghanistan.

India had no part to play in any of the negotiations and yet here we are, being dragged right into the middle of this ticking time bomb of a fiasco by all three looking to paint us the main villain.

Zalmay Khalilzad remains ever the untrustworthy snake oil salesman, loyal only to himself and his best interests and an undeclared ally of the taliban whose interests he is hell bent on protecting and in these tribal circles, such "loyalty" traditionally has very tangible payoffs.

all three are past masters and very accomplished in the art of the taqiya and in most cases, it is India that has been the victim of their black arts

Taliban accuses India of playing 'negative' role by supporting Kabul govt

Indrani Bagchi
May 17, 2020,

NEW DELHI: The Taliban has lashed out at India, accusing it of playing a “negative” role by supporting the government in Kabul.

In an interview to Azm, a news website, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, deputy head of the Taliban's political office in Qatar and head of the negotiating team with the US, was quoted as saying that “if the Indian government wants to take positive steps in the Afghan peace process and in rebuilding a new Afghanistan, we are counting on it, but according to him, India has been inside Afghanistan for the last 40 years. It played a negative role and maintained economic, military and political ties with a "corrupt" group instead of the nation.”

Sources here said the recent urgent Khalilzad mission to New Delhi was not so much about asking India to talk to the Taliban, as to get New Delhi to persuade the Kabul government to release the Taliban prisoners. The Ghani government is believed to be dragging its feet, presumably, as sources say, because they don’t believe the Taliban is actually interested in an intra-Afghan dialogue.

In a recent interview to the Daily Times of Pakistan, Stanekzai asserted, “Intra-Afghan cannot start unless 5000 of our prisoners are released and there would be no ceasefire and reduction in violence unless intra-Afghan dialogue starts. The US and the Kabul administration are responsible for this situation.”

In a recent press conference, Zalmay Khalilzad underscored the importance of the release of prisoners, which appears to be becoming a deal-breaker. “We have pushed to get both sides, the Afghan Government and the Taliban, to release prisoners. Already some 1,011 prisoners have been released by the government, Talib prisoners, and 253 Afghan Government prisoners have been released by the Taliban."

India’s point to the Khalilzad delegation was that India could help only if India was in the room on Afghanistan’s future. The US, according to India, has been playing the Pakistani game by keeping India out of recent consultations on Afghanistan’s future. That, according to Indians involved in Afghanistan has been the US game for years now. India has resisted US pressure before, and they say, unlikely to give up its gains in Afghanistan at this point, when the game is still open.

On talking to the Taliban, the Indian government remains cautious. Sources here say there are unofficial contacts with Taliban, but there appears to be no concerted view among the Taliban themselves about engaging with India. There are differences within the Taliban regarding India — therefore India is not going to rush in to start talking to the Taliban.

India is one of the most visible supporters of the Kabul government, both during Karzai’s time and now with Ghani. This has given India a good deal of leverage particularly when India has been kept out of regional formulations on Afghanistan’s future. To the clamour asking India to talk to the Taliban, Indian policy makers believe they have a stronger position being Afghanistan’s development partner, rather than making nice with a terror group like the Taliban, which continues to take orders from Pakistan.

The government in Kabul is convinced they would not survive if the Taliban were to take a piece of the power structure. In recent days, the Ghani government has been targeting both Taliban and ISKP positions. Taliban too have stepped up violence and refuse to consider a ceasefire before talks with the Afghan government, so as to maintain a position of strength.

In addition, the divisions between Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah have added to the inaction, say sources.

Stanekzai’s core complaint is directed against the US, which, he said had been unable to get the Kabul government to release the 5000 Taliban prisoners that had been promised as part of the peace deal with Zalmay Khalilzad. That was one of the big deliverables for the Taliban in the US peace deal. The Taliban prisoners were supposed to have been released by March 10, according to Stanekzai.

The US has gone out of its way to pin the responsibility of recent terror attacks on the ISKP, not the Taliban. Khalilzad said, “We believe that ISIS and the Taliban are mortal enemies, and in the war against ISIS, Taliban have played an important role. Of course, the government has as well, and we have played a vital role in that fight. And that fight is not finished, and we believe that our assessment currently is that the attacks that took place against the hospital and the attack in Nangarhar on a funeral procession was the work of ISIS...”
Indian officials remain sceptical — recent attacks on Indian interests, like the gurdwara in Kabul, showed that the planning of the attacks, execution and claiming responsibility were being done by the LET, Haqqanis and the ISKP respectively. This makes it difficult for India to believe the US when it says that Taliban and ISKP were “mortal” enemies.

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