US General in Doha To Revive Talks with Taliban

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Taliban delegation in Doha

Gen. Austin S. Miller, Commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, met the Taliban leadership in Doha, said a spokesman…reports Asian Lite News

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US Representative Zalmay Khalilsad signs the deal with Taliban deputy and co-founder of Taliban movement in Afghanistan Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar

Col. Sonny Leggett, spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, said the meeting on Friday was “part of the military channel established in the (US-Taliban) agreement” which was signed in Doha on February 29, reports TOLO News.

Leggett that “the meeting was about the need to reduce the violence” in the war-torn country.

Taliban also confirmed the meeting.

A spokesman of the group in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen, said in a tweet that the meeting was about the implementation of the US-Taliban deal and the violations that have happened so far.

As part of the US-Taliban agreement, the Taliban cannot attack US military facilities in Afghanistan.

The release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners is also part of the agreement.

Shaheen said attacks that have happened in “non-combat” areas were also discussed in the meeting.

The Afghan government has started the release of Taliban prisoners and has freed 200 of them.

But the Taliban on Friday said some “unidentified” prisoners have been released while their team was not in Kabul to monitor the process, as agreed.

The group has said that this is a “hurdle” in the way of the peace process.

GHAZNI, May 28, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Afghan security force members take part in a military operation in Ghazni province, eastern Afghanistan, May 27, 2019. More than 70 people including Taliban fighters and security personnel have been killed in Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, while some Afghan politicians and a Taliban delegation met in Moscow to mark the 100th anniversary of Afghanistan-Russia diplomatic relations, on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Rohullah/IANS) by .
Afghan security force members take part in a military operation in Ghazni province, eastern Afghanistan. (Xinhua/Rohullah/IANS)

Stranded Afghans

More than 20,000 stranded Afghans went back to their country via Pakistan’s Torkham during the last four days of border reopening, it was reported.

Officials told Dawn news on Friday that the last day was comparatively calm as only about 1,100 Afghans, mostly men, crossed the border prior to its closure.

The total number of Afghans who returned home during the four days was 20,066, they said.

Officials said that the second and third day (April 7 and 8) were very tough for them as the ‘influx’ of the stranded Afghan was beyond their expectations.

“Cumulatively, almost 18,000 Afghans, including men, women and children, went back home in these two days as the government had relaxed its immigration policy by allowing just all and sundry t cross the border,” an official told Dawn news.

He said that border remained opened till midnight on Wednesday, while it was closed at around 10.30 p.m. on Thursday, the second day of its reopening.

“On the first day, we allowed only 1,000 Afghans, who all possessed valid travel documents,” said the official. He added that they could not keep pace with the process of immigration due to large number of returning Afghans.

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Taliban delegation in Doha

Official figures showed that on Thursday, 485 Afghans with valid visas on their passports, 461 with their Afghan national identity cards and 57 with Proof of Registration Cards (POR) were allowed to go back to their homeland.

Officials said that they had completed all arrangements for resumption of the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan via Torkham from Friday.

Pakistan had earlier announced to resume bilateral trade with Afghanistan on a restricted basis with more emphasis on the health screening of both drivers to check transmission of coronavirus on any side of the border, Dawn news reported.

The Khyber district administration in assistance with local health authorities have also established four separate quarantine centres in Landi Kotal where suspected COVID-19 patients would be kept after their arrival from Afghanistan.

Shamsul Islam, an official, said that stranded Pakistanis and transporters would be kept at those quarantine centres for 14 days where they would be provided with all health facilities along with free food.

Also Read – Afghanistan Releases 100 Taliban Prisoners