22 February 2019

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Thursday, 14 February 2019 11:23

31 Kg Narcotic Drug Seized in Herat

Thursday February 14, 2019

HERAT CITY (BNA) Afghan national police personnel succeeded to discover and seize 31 kilograms narcotic drug from western Herat province.
Abdul Ahad Walizadah spokesman of police chief in Herat told BNA correspondent, the narcotic drug type of Shisha and Caristal have been discovered by police personnel from Herat-Islam Qala highway.
A smuggler who wanted to transfer the narcotic drug to Iran was arrested by Afghan police personnel as well, the source added.
M.A.Ansari
 

Thursday, 14 February 2019 11:23

24 Armed Oppositions Kill Across the Country

Thursday February 14, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Ministry of national defense reported that at least 24 anti-government militias were killed during joint military operations conducted by Afghan security forces within the last 24 hours across the country.
The ministry’s press office stated BNA, the military operations have launched by support of Afghan air forces to annihilate anti-government militias and ensure peace and stability in secure areas of Kapisa, Parwan, Laghman, Ghazni, Kandahar, Sar-e-Pul, Balkh, Jawzjan, Takhar and Helmand provinces.
The statement added that, 24 anti-government militias were killed and 20 others were wounded during the military operations.
M.A.Ansari
 

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Kabul (BNA) The emerging trends from the hurried efforts to resolve the Afghan tangle presage new security challenges to India. The US desire to withdraw its troops from there at the earliest have resulted in two separate peace processes with different stakeholders and different underlying objectives. The Taliban, however, are common negotiators. The new dimensions provide legitimacy to the Taliban and a government led by this group would not be in India’s interest. The US under Trump had been working to withdraw its troops which he had promised at the time of his election and now keeping in view the 2020 elections, he has accelerated his efforts to find a way out to withdraw the troops at the earliest. The US policy was flawed in Afghanistan. The US while attacking the Taliban in Afghanistan never took any action against Pakistan where the Taliban are enjoying sanctuaries. The US in fact rewarded Pakistan by providing assistance of more than $33 billion since 2002.
Now in desperation to leave, Trump released five hardened Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo, termed by late US Senator McCain as ‘the hardest of the hard core’ to meet the precondition of the Taliban for negotiations. The US changed its policy from Afghan-led and Afghan- owned peace process to Taliban-led and Taliban-owned peace process. This deal was made without consulting the elected Afghan government. In the process, it effectively delegitimized the Afghan government which was formed after national elections- an objective of the Taliban. Trump did not consult any other neighboring country as also the Indian Government which is deeply involved in economic development in that country risking the lives of its workers and security forces protecting them. By its acts, the US has placed the Taliban in the central position and the most important group for resolving the problem in that country. The Taliban from the cause of the problem have emerged as the solution of the problem.
In January, the U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad held a series of direct talks with Taliban negotiators in the Qatari capital, Doha, culminating in the basic framework of a possible peace deal. The other peace negotiations were sponsored by Russia. Realizing that the US was in a hurry to withdraw, Russia took action to unite all sections of the Afghan society for arriving at political solution under the Moscow Format, which echoed the Indian stance. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed on the need for ‘an inclusive inter Afghan dialogue to advance the peace process for the national reconciliation and the early establishment for the peace in Afghanistan’. The High Peace Council of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Taliban representatives were present in this meeting. The US, Iran, China, Pakistan and the Central Asian Republic also sent their representatives.
India did not send any official delegation, but was represented at the meeting by TCA Raghavan, head of the foreign ministry-run Indian Council for World Affairs, and Amar Sinha, a former Indian envoy to Kabul. Both are experts on the region. India considered it necessary to keep itself informed about the developments. A second conference organised in Moscow by the Afghan Diaspora leaders based in that country the 5th-6th February 2019. This conference has been attended by representatives from Afghanistan’s neighbours, opposition politicians, and the same Taliban negotiators that met with the American delegation in Doha. After the talks, a joint declaration was issued that highlights nine key points they agreed on. Withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, supporting Doha peace talks, removing Taliban members’ names from the UN blacklist, the release of Taliban prisoners and official inauguration of Taliban’s political office in Qatar are among the agreements reached in Moscow talks.
Before the declaration was released, Hamid Karzai the former President said the main issues they focused on in Moscow were peace and stability in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country. Significantly, former national security advisor Mohammad Haneef Atmar told the reporters that they reached an agreement that says the intra-Afghan negotiations should be inclusive which means the Afghan government will be included in future talks.  Notwithstanding the above optimistic views expressed in the peace processes, the ground situation remains grave. In essence, the Taliban have gained importance and have frozen out the elected Afghan government. The Russians perceived the US led peace process as the US plan to monopolise the peace talks with the Taliban that was conducted in secrecy while keeping the regional countries in the dark. Hence they took another initiative. The US unilateralist action has increased the salience of Russia and Iran in India’s Afghan policy. Now India has to take well calculated steps for protecting its own interests. While there is a remote possibility for a unified government in Afghanistan given different factions controlling different parts, the current moves give the Taliban a higher position.
This in turn would allow the ISI and Pak Army unleash more jihadis in Kashmir and their efforts to radicalise the region would be accelerated. The situation demands that we keep a close watch on both the processes and take proactive steps to maintain close relations with the elected government. For this India should hold bilateral discussions with Afghan government as also other political leaders who would be contesting the next presidential election. India cannot afford to remain out of the country that Pakistan is assiduously trying. Our geography does not allow us a choice. At the same time, India needs to accelerate the development of Chabahar port to maintain connectivity with Central Asia and Afghanistan. Prophylactic steps in Kashmir would also be required to check the adverse impact of the developments in Afghanistan.
Timesofindia.
 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019 10:43

Afghan Civilians Are Dying For Peace

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Kabul (BNA) The sun had already set behind the towering blast walls of the Kabul compound when a small Mazda truck pulled up at the razor wire-topped gate.
Down the street, 25-year-old Tooryalai walked briskly in the chilly January evening on his way to the naan shop in the neighborhood of Qabil Bai, where he would buy a pile of piping hot flatbread to take home to his family after selling vegetables all day from a cart in the neighborhood. Tooryalai liked to talk with his friends after work, but he always made sure he was home by dark.
His family didn’t live inside Green Village, a secure compound on the outskirts of the Afghan capital inhabited by foreigners and international organizations. Like the other day laborers and farmers who tilled fields in the nearby foothills, Tooryalai’s family lived in one of the mostly single-story adobe homes that wrapped around the concrete T walls of the compound’s perimeter.
Ajabi Gul’s house was typical in the neighborhood. A neighbor of Tooryalai, he was settling down by the window of his two-room home after a day of working on one of the farms nearby with a kettle of hot tea and his nine-year-old niece Alia on his lap.
It was a typical evening as the family gathered around their gas heater that doubled as their stove for dinner at the end of a short winter’s working day, a scene being repeated in districts across Kabul. What happened next was all too typical for the Afghan capital.
Packed inside the Mazda pickup truck were enough explosives to be heard across Kabul when they detonated.
Seventeen years after the United States invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban government, ordinary Afghans continue to die at an alarming rate. According to local news outlet Pajhwok, nearly 1,000 Afghans died violently in January. Shocking though the statistics are, what they obscure are the individual tales of tragedy and heartache attached to every one of those deaths.
The blast at the compound blew out windows across the neighborhood. Nearly 100 metres from the explosion, Tooryalai was knocked unconscious. Three friends walking alongside him were killed instantly.
Ajabi Gul’s tea kettle was blown from the windowsill onto Alia, the scalding tea burning her from her shoulders to her knees.
The January 14 blast was the first major security incident to hit Kabul in 2019. It would be followed in succession by a series of smaller separate attacks around the country. Amid a backdrop of ongoing peace negotiations, a resurgent Taliban has continued to attack government institutions, security installations and areas where foreigners are known to congregate. Civilians often bear the brunt.
In the frantic moments after the blast, as the dust settled and first responders rushed to the scene, Tooryalai’s family dialed his phone but could not reach him. The naan shop where Tooryalai bought bread was heavily damaged, the windows blown out and the façade buckled. Tooryalai was nowhere to be found.
It wasn’t until hours later that his family found him swaddled in bandages, and in critical condition at the nearby hospital where he had been rushed after locals pulled him unconscious among the wreckage of the bread shop.
In the children’s ward of a hospital nearby, Alia was receiving treatment for her burns.
After some hours, Tooryalai regained consciousness. Speaking through an oxygen mask in the intensive care ward, he whispered: “I am getting better.”
He died a few days later, lifting the death toll from the attack to 10 killed. The blast wounded 113 more people.
His death was not the first time the war has visited the family. Tooryalai’s brother Baryalai once lost fingers and toes in a mine explosion. Another uncle died in another explosion five years ago in Kabul. In the wrong place at the wrong time, is how the family explains these incidents.
“Each explosion damages us, our houses are damaged from the blast, one day we will be under this house,” Baryalai said, while pointing out cracks in the foundation of his home.
The family, says Tooryalai’s uncle Noorallen, is dying for peace. “If there is real peace we will be happy,” he added. “If the Taliban are Afghan they are our brothers.”
Alia was discharged from the hospital a week later.
Her seven siblings are asked to leave the room in her home when her bandages are changed. Her mother, Rabia, does not want to frighten them. It’s the same room where Alia was wounded by the explosion.
Her father, Alla Gul, has not worked in weeks. He’s borrowed money to care for her and buy medicine. Some of the other farmers have donated money but most cannot afford to help.
The nurses in the ward taught Rabia how to change the dressings and clean her wounds. The process is painful. The bandages stick to her skin and must be pulled off slowly. Alia’s mother and grandmother try to soothe her during the process as she screams, kicks and thrashes. “No! Oh God,” she wails.
In the weeks following the explosion the shops that were destroyed had been repaired. There was still evidence of the explosion all around Qabil Bai. Shards of glass on the ground, cracked façades and a handful of people walking around with bandages on their arms and legs.
In Alia’s home, the window that shattered has been replaced by a plastic sheet, as the family cannot afford to buy a new pane.
Thenational
 

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan says there is no order to withdraw US forces from Afghanistanand the Afghan government should participate in peace talks with the Taliban, in remarks on a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Monday.
Shanahan met the US commander and troops and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the unannounced one-day visit, his first in his new role.
Reports that Donald Trump, president of the United States wants to withdraw about half of the estimated 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan, has raised concerns among Afghan and regional officials about the effect it might have on security in the country.
Afghan troops have been struggling to contain Taliban forces that control or contest about half of the country and a growing number of fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).
Shanahan said the US has "strong security interests in the region" which would determine what happened with US troop numbers.
"I have not been directed to step down our forces in Afghanistan," Shanahan said.
"I think the presence we want in Afghanistan is what assures our homeland defence and supports regional stability."
Peace talks
He said the aim of his trip was to get an understanding of the situation on the ground from commanders and then brief Trump on his findings.
US officials, led by chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad, have held several rounds of talks with the Taliban in Qatar and other countries in the region in the past eight months, in what is widely seen as the most serious bid yet for peace in Afghanistan since the Taliban were removed by US troops and US-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.
Ghani’s government has not been included in the talks. The Taliban has refused to meet the Afghan government calling it a "puppet" of the US.
Shanahan echoed what Washington had been saying for months, that any eventual peace deal would have to include the government.
"The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like in the future. It's not about the US, it's about Afghanistan," Shanahan said.
"The US has significant - significant - investment in ensuring security, but the Afghans decide their future," he said.
Shanahan's meeting with Ghani covered a range of defence issues important to the bilateral relationship, Pentagon spokesman Commander Sean Robertson said.
That included "achieving a political settlement to the war that ensures Afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven from which terrorists can plan and launch terrorist attacks against the United States, our interests and our allies," Robertson said.
The Afghan government said the meeting showed the continued US commitment to Afghanistan.
"Both sides said that the peace process and the fight against terrorism will continue, and the military and security alliance between Afghanistan and US will continue until peace is achieved," the president's palace said in a statement after Ghani's meeting with Shanahan.
Khalilzad has expressed hope of finding a deal before Afghan presidential elections scheduled for July but has emphasised that any troop withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground.
The next round of talks is due on Feb 25 in Qatar where the Taliban has its political office. Civilian casualties
Shanahan’s visit to Afghanistan came as the United Nations said it was investigating "credible" reports of Afghan civilian deaths and injuries from an air attack over the weekend in Helmand, a Taliban stronghold.   
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said late on Sunday it would share its findings once an inquiry into the "aerial operations" in Sangin district was completed.
The Taliban is responsible for about half of civilian casualties, with the remaining deaths and injuries attributed to ISIL and coalition attack, according to a UNAMA report.
But air attacks have stepped up and the UN has said civilians continue to pay a disproportionate price in the fighting.
The US dropped 7,362 weapons during air attacks in 2018 in Afghanistan - approaching double the number of 2017, US Air Forces Central Command figures show.
Aljazeera
 

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan spin-bowling sensation Mujeeb Ur Rahman has signed up to play for county side Middlesex in their T20 campaign this season.
The 17-year-old has picked up 54 wickets in all formats since making his debut at the age of 16. He will be hoping to have the same impact as compatriot Rashid Khan at Sussex last year.
Rahman has enjoyed a successful Big Bash campaign with Brisbane Heat, picking up 12 wickets including best figures of 3-16.
“Middlesex Cricket is today delighted to announce the signing of Mujeeb Ur Rahman for this season’s Blast campaign,” the county said in a statement.
“The 17-year-old spinner becomes head coach Stuart Law’s first signing of the summer and will be available for the entire Blast campaign. He will join up with the Middlesex squad in early July to prepare for the tournament ahead.”
“It is with great pleasure to say that Mujeeb has agreed to play for Middlesex in the Blast,” said Law. “His unique style of spin has proven to be difficult to play against and his record is outstanding in this format.”
sport360
 

Wednesday February 13, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan and Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asia Department Zamir Kabulov will hold a meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad in the Turkish capital of Ankara on February 22, as he himself said. "The meeting will take place in Ankara on February 22," he said in response to a TASS question. According to Kabulov, the parties will particularly discuss preparations for the next round of the Moscow consultations on Afghanistan.
The Russian presidential envoy added that he would also hold consultations on the Afghan issue with Turkish diplomats during his visit to Ankara.
Russia would like representatives of the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) to take part in the presidential election in Afghanistan, their non-recognition of the election has an adverse effect on the situation in the country, he said. "I would like the Taliban to take part in that election. However, their approach is different. They do not fully recognize the current constitution of Afghanistan," he said. "The Taliban did not recognize the presidential elections in the past as well, and that will, of course, have an adverse effect on the situation. However, if the Taliban movement needs an acceptable partner willing to conduct negotiations, they will have to agree with that."
The Taliban movement may be controlling up to 70% of Afghanistan’s total area, he added.
"The Taliban members are controlling more than half of Afghanistan’s territory. Directly speaking, they may be controlling up to 70% of the country’s territory," he said.
Russia does not rule out the possibility of cooperation with representatives of the Taliban movement in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, terror group, outlawed in Russia). "Why not?" he said, adding that "the Taliban is fighting against the Islamic State in Afghanistan fairly successfully even without that cooperation."
TASS
 

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Based on Union of money exchangers in Sari Shahzada, Kabul city, the exchange rate of Afghani as a follow:
                                                                           
One Dollar                                                          74/50       Afs
One Pound Sterling                                                 96       Afs
One Euro                                                            86/50       Afs
One Emirate’s Dirham                                       20/30       Afs
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees                           532      Afs
One Thousand Indian Rupees                              1070      Afs
One Thousand Iranian Rupees                            06/40      Afs
One Russian Ruble                                              01/10     Afs
M.A.Ansari
 

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) At least 8 armed oppositions were killed during clashes with Afghan security forces in southern Kandahar province last night.
The terrorists have been targeted when they were busy on organizing a series of destructive activities in Shah Wali Koot district of the province.
A security source in Kandahar told BNA reporter, eight anti-government militias were killed and two more were injured following the conflicts.
M.A.Ansari
 

Tuesday February 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Three narcotic drug smugglers were arrested by police personnel in northern Takhar province.
Spokesman of police chief in Takhar told BNA correspondent, the smugglers had plan to transfer 119 kg narcotic drug type of opium from Takhar province to Balkh province, which were arrested by police personnel in Mabar Sharqi region, Taliqan city the provincial capital of the province.
The smugglers are under investigations, Aseer added.
M.A.Ansari
 

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