KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan arrested and handed over several Muslim Uighur militants from China’s west in an effort to persuade China to use its influence with Pakistan to help start negotiations with the Taliban, Afghan security officials said on Friday.
The deal sheds light on China’s increasing importance in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with its involvement in efforts to end the war with Taliban, who have been fighting since 2001 to re-establish Islamist rule in Afghanistan.
ISLAMABAD/KABUL (Reuters) – Senior Pakistani army and diplomatic officials said on Thursday the Afghan Taliban have signalled through the Pakistani military that they are willing to open peace talks.
Previous efforts to negotiate an end to a war that began in late 2001 have proved fruitless, but the latest signals raised hopes of a much-needed boost for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and for a breakthrough in Afghan efforts to find peace following the withdrawal of most U.S.-led troops last year.
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s parliament said on Wednesday it will not confirm seven out of 25 nominees to a long-awaited cabinet because they hold dual citizenship, another obstacle to President Ashraf Ghani forming a government after nearly four months in office.
Candidates in jeopardy include Nur al-Haq Ulumi, nominated for the key security post of minister of interior, as well as the nominee for foreign minister, Salahuddin Rabbani.
KABUL (Reuters) – The Afghan president’s bid to form a cabinet nearly four months after taking office ran into fresh trouble on Monday after his candidate for finance minister withdrew and doubt was cast over as many as 11 nominees believed to hold dual citizenship.
President Ashraf Ghani is hoping to finalise a 25-member ministerial team after overcoming disagreements with his chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, who shares control over appointments under the deal to share power following a disputed election.
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s nominee for agriculture minister in the new cabinet is on an Interpol wanted list for tax evasion in Estonia, a fact Ghani’s spokesman said was unknown to his office at the time of his nomination.
Interpol’s website lists Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, 52, as wanted in Estonia for “large-scale tax evasion, fraudulent conversion” in cases dating back to 2003.
KABUL (Reuters) – The Afghan cabinet, finalised this week after months of haggling, leaves a powerful faction that helped oust the Taliban in 2001 significantly weakened, in a bold but risky break from the past by President Ashraf Ghani.
Known as “mujahideen” because many also fought the Soviets in the 1980s, the group is angry at being overlooked for key security posts and is threatening to block nominees when they are presented to parliament in the coming days.
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani nominated ministers for his new cabinet on Monday, after a wait of more than three months, to try to establish a working government to tackle the violence-racked country’s problems.
Many government institutions have been all-but-paralysed for a year amid a drawn-out election crisis and uncertainty over whether the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops last month will lead to more violence by Taliban insurgents.
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan assumed full responsibility for security from departing foreign combat troops on Thursday, a day after Afghan army mortar shells killed at least 20 civilians attending a wedding party in volatile southern Helmand province.
The move will test the readiness of 350,000 Afghan forces who will bear responsibility for fighting increasingly organized Taliban insurgents.