15 October 2019

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Gardiz (BNA) Maiwand Bank Branch was opened in Paktia province yesterday.
According to BNA correspondent from Gardiz city, a function was held for this occasion, Joma Khan Hamdard governor of Paktia called establishment of the Branch a useful step in fields of business asked creation of the bank’s branch at the remote location of Paktia province.
Ahmadzai Touhedyar the head of east-south zone branch of Maiwand Bank said BNA Maiwand Bank started its activities in 2009 in Kabul and so far has 44 branches which 15 branches are active in center and others are active in provinces.  T. Suraya-Yarzada

Monday April 21, 2014
Kabul (BNA) The impending with drawl of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan presents a compelling opportunity for strategic cooperation between India and China.
Although bilateral relations between the two remain troubled by territorial disputes and imbalanced trade, both countries’ interests seem to overlap in Afghanistan. The most obvious area of concern for both India and China is the domestic security situation in Afghanistan-neither would like to see Afghanistan turn into a haven for terrorist groups following the US withdrawal. Furthermore, should the United States and Afghanistan fail to conclude the Bilateral Security Agreement in time, India and China will be motivated even further. While China has seen opportunities for investment in Afghanistan, it is becoming increasingly apparent that its foreign policy towards the country is being driven more by security concerns.
During a recent visit to the country, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized the importance of domestic stability in Afghanistan for the internal stability of China’s western province of Xinjiang. For China, the possibility of Afghanistan turning into a permanent place of refuge for insurgents and terrorists that would eventually foment unrest in Xinjiang is anathema. Wang’s counterpart reassured him that Afghanistan “Would never allow the ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) to take advantage of the Afghan territory to engage in activities endangering China, and will continuously deepen security cooperation with the Chinese side.” Similar to China, the Indian government and Indian investors have shown great interest in emerging opportunities in Afghanistan in mining, hydrocarbons, infrastructure development and other sectors. Despite India’s formidable commercial interests in Afghanistan, there is also a strong strategic push to prevent the country from succumbing to domestic instability.
Keeping the Taliban at bay in Afghanistan is paramount for India. India’s interests in Afghanistan are also tied to its concerns about Pakistan and Pakistan-based terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). LeT most infamously staged the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which killed over 180. It is known to operate in Afghanistan where it bombed the Indian embassy in 2008, in April 2013, ISAF forces apprehended a senior LeT leader in Ghazni province. On the surface, it would appear that given China’s close partnership with Pakistan, India and China cooperation in Afghanistan would necessarily be superficial and limited. However, Pakistan and China find themselves at odds in Afghanistan. For Pakistan (particularly its military), the over-whelming strategic objective in Afghanistan is to undermine Kabul’s ability to govern the rest of the country and maintain Afghanistan as a subordinate backyard, free from foreign influence.
This has effectively been the dictum that Pakistan’s elites have aimed for since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This objective is incompatible with China’s interests in Afghanistan and will likely lead to some friction between these allies. Pakistan is central to Afghanistan’s fate, but it will likely be unable to condition the manner in which India and China cooperate in that country. The groundwork for deeper cooperation between India and China seems to exist, but not particularly on a bilateral level between the two countries. India, China and Russia have had several trilateral dialogues on cooperation in Afghanistan.
Despite this, Afghanistan did not feature in Manmohan Singh’s October 2013 trip to Beijing when he spoke with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. New developments are slightly more promising. Over the weekend, India Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh traveled to Beijing to speak with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhu Zhenmin. The meeting presented a rare opportunity for the two countries to exchange views on their mutual concerns in Afghanistan. Ultimately, there is room for cooperation between India and China in Afghanistan following the exit of the United States and NATO forces. Whether Asia’s two giants will be able to capitalize on the opportunity will depend on several factors.
While India’s current government has been willing to approach China about Afghanistan, it remains to be seen if the next government-possibly led by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-will be as interested in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. For China, the more it grows involved in Afghanistan, the more it will find itself at odds with its supposed “All-weather” partner Pakistan. While uncertainties abound in how exactly India and China will approach Afghanistan, what remains certain is that Afghanistan will continue to be a nexus of geopolitical interest for its neighbors.

Monday, April 21, 2014
Kabul (BNA) Helmand province has been promoted from grade (B) to grade (A) province under a decree from president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. According to BNA correspondent from Helmand province, in a ceremony held on this occasion in Lashkarga city with participation of local officials, influenced figures and a number of people, governor of Helmand Maj. General M. Naeem said the province had been promoted from grade (B) to grade (A) based on decree of the country’s president and decision of ministerial council.
Helmand had remarkably developed in various sectors in the past few years and one of people’s demands was to see Helmand as first grade provinces, the governor added.
According to Helmand governor, the people expected Nadali and Nawa as grade (A) districts and Gerishk and Garmsir as grade (B) districts.
He added Helmand people would practically put the province as first grade provinces, but it was necessary the government should put consideration to military, health, education and reconstruction sectors in the province.

Sunday April 20, 2014
Kabul (BNA) Local officials in the western province of Heart have reported that almost 80 percent of the works have been accomplish on Salma Dam and the project is expected to be operational in the coming winter. The project has the capacity of generating 42 megawatt electricity and will provide irrigation water to 75,000 hectors of land. According to Heart governor Syed Fazlullah Wahidi, currently there are no any obstructions on way of the project and almost 80 percent of the works have been completed on the project. The Salma Dam has 107 meter width and 550 heights and is one of the infrastructural projects in the western zone.
Economic commentators believe that Afghanistan is dire need of economic development and construction of infrastructural project like Salma Dam could contribute in boosting national economy of the country. In the meantime, a number of residents in the province have accused the local officials of not focusing on the construction works to be completed on the Salma Dam. The residents blame that despite several past since the foundation stone of the Dam laid, construction works yet to be completed. Initially the works on establishment of Salma Dam started in 1976 during the government of Sardar Mohammad Dawood Khan.
In that era, almost 25 of works were completed on the Dam which later on postponed because particular political developments and later on because of the escalation of war and civil instability. After the collapse of the Taliban regime, construction works once again triggered on the Dam after the establishment of new political system in the country in 2001. The Indian government as part of its financial aids and cooperation to Afghanistan has pledged to construct the Dam. Salma Dam is located 162 Km away from Heart city in the eastern part on the Harirod River in Chisht district.