18 October 2018

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Kabul (BNA) At the initiative of Dr. Sayed Makhdom Raheen Minister of Information and Culture a meeting with the media from the armed forces, foreign ministry and in charges of the government and private media networks was organized. 
Addressing the meeting Dr. Raheen said that today’s gathering is aimed at consolidation of unity and observance of the national interests and further strengthening of understanding among the media networks. 
He added that the policy of the ministry of information and culture for the past ten year has been creation of such an atmosphere among the media and the society at large so that no one could hidden anything from the public, whether it is the government TV, and in case the government newspapers hidden it other private TV will reflect it any way. 
With the efforts of the ministry today no reality can be hidden from the eyes of the people in any parts of the country and that is for the blessing of the media men. 
For this very reason we should work towards institutionalization of the freedom of speech and alongside that in this particular time we should take into account the importance of national interests and national unity. 
Lutfullah Mashal spokesperson of the national security department, Mohammad Sedeeq Sedeqi spokesperson of interior ministry, General Dawlatlzai deputy spokesperson of defense ministry and Feramurz deputy spokesperson of foreign ministry said that a series of shortcomings exist in the programs of some of the media networks and they regretted those media that under the influence of neighboring countries are resorting to anti-national interests. 
They also advanced a series of their problems and demanded that access to the spokespersons should be eased. 
They also appreciated the ministry of information for organizing such a gathering during which they could voice their views aimed at improving their activities considering the reporting principles and the national interests of the country.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Kabul (BNA) A mixed delegation comprising of the UN agencies and the World Bank met with second vice-president Mohammad Karim Khalili yesterday. 
The delegation led by the representative of the international organization of UNICEF to Afghanistan explained the program for malnutrition of children in Afghanistan. 
It is said that on the basis of assessments carried out by the UNICEF food insecurity, low income and illiteracy of mothers are the basic factors for malnutrition among the children in Afghanistan. 
They said that the priority of the situation requires that a foundation higher than one or several ministries take practical measures in this respect. 
They asked Khalili to attach attention towards the importance of this issue so that better response is made towards improving malnutrition among the children. 
Representing the nation and the government of Afghanistan Khalili appreciated the achieved efforts towards recognition of the factors of malnutrition among the children and as how to overcome this problem by the different US foundations and the World Bank and added that creation of a united base or foundation for addressing this problem will be decisively supported by the government of Afghanistan. 
He also assured of coordination among the responsible organs of the government with the UN agencies in order to combat malnutrition, adding that efforts towards elimination of the problem is a vital issue for the Afghan government and the leadership of the government shall soon express its viewpoints in this respect. 
They also provided information to Khalili about the practices for responding to the needs of the affected during the occurrence of natural calamities. 
This program will be implemented with the cooperation of the Afghanistan National Disaster Preparedness Administration.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Kabul (BNA) First Vice-president Marshal Mohammad Qaseem Fahim during his meeting with the US ambassador to Afghanistan called the agreement between Afghanistan and the US in Kabul on transition of responsibility of night operations to the Afghan forces an important achievement. 
During the meeting Marshal Fahim said that this agreement of understanding can open the way for signing of strategic cooperation between Afghanistan and the US, adding that the people of Afghanistan are in need of peace and we shall use all means to attain peace and security of the people of Afghanistan. 
The US ambassador expressing satisfaction over improvement of security situation in Afghanistan said that the ten years achievements in Afghanistan is visible and we should not over look it. 
He considered transition of the night operation responsibility to the Afghan security forces as a matter of certainty for the people of Afghanistan and added that the US supports any process that the leadership of government of Afghanistan undertakes. 
As regards preparations for signing of the strategic cooperation treaty between Afghanistan and the US he noted that work on this occasion has been started and it is expected that the treaty would be signed before the holding of the Chicago Conference on Afghanistan.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Karzai chaired a plenary session of the Council of Ministers held at presidential palace yesterday. 
Initially president Karzai explained the Memorandum of Understanding on transition of night operations and said that recently we reached agreement with the US on transition of all responsibilities of night operation from the ISAF and NATO forces to the Afghan military forces and he called this agreement a good achievement towards consolidation of national sovereignty in the country and stressed that this was the wish of the people of Afghanistan and this was voiced and supported by their representatives at the Traditional Loya Jirgah. 
He instructed the ministry of defense, interior, national security department so they should carry on night operations on the basis of order of the country’s courts so that the concern of the people from this point of view is eliminated, their life and property is saved and the human rights of the nationals are respected on the basis of the Afghan Constitution and other enforced laws of the country. 
This agreement has been reached on the basis of continued talks of strategic cooperation treaty on all provisions of the draft treaty of strategic cooperation with the US. 
President Karzai in order to accelerate the process of trade, economic cooperation with the Russian Federation, instructed the minister of economy to undertake the responsibility of the inter-governmental commission with the Russian Federation in relation to attraction of cooperation of that country in trade, economy and reconstruction and with the cooperation of the related ministries prepare a regular plan and coordinate it with the Russian side. 
Prof. Shahrani senior advisor minister of the presidential office explained the results of his visit to Kuwait for participation at the Islamic Equilibrium in which annually the Islamic countries are invited for participating at this conference. 
It was proposed at this conference that offices be established in Islamic countries for this purpose with the cooperation of Kuwait State so that the benefits of Islam are publicized for the Ulema and to the public at large. 
The CM instructed the presidential advisor so that with the cooperation of foreign minister prepare the base for creation of such an office with the cooperation of Kuwait State and report back to the coming CM session. 
The Minister of Finance explained the changes in the National Budget (both ordinary and development) by the proposal of the National Assembly including:
1- Increasing of Afs 63 million in ordinary budget of National Assembly,
2- Increasing of USD five million in development budget for completion of construction of Herat-Cheghcharan road in Garndewal project, USD2 million for reconstruction of universities, UD21 million for reconstruction of hospitals and USD2 million for construction of Pamirs road. 
He stressed that the amendments were inserted into the budget chapters and codes and no change has occurred in the overall budget figures. 
Minister of Transport and civil aviation apprised the CM on the contract of Kabul and Kandahar airports with the British Arms Strong company instead of the Global Company that refused to implement the project. 
The CM instructed the national security advisor and minister of transport to study the offer of the Gozen Security Service of Turkey and start talks with it and report back on the results of the discussions to the coming session of the CM accordingly. 
The CM also advised the government organs to anticipate their work plan and process the related contracts in their due time. 
Minister of communications and information technology presented a proposal on authorizing the CM committee for processing the procedures for installation of the air satellite of the World Communication on the 50 East degrees on Indian sea for its usage by Afghanistan. 
The CM confirmed the proposal of the communications ministry and instructed the CM economic committee to assess the documents and the process and the ministry informs the CM on progress of its performance in this respect. 
Minister of agriculture and irrigation informed the CM on creation of a large logistical park for building of cold storages, processing of agricultural products and procurement of food items by the name of Afghan logistical park with the ANHAM an American company. 
The high investment commission asked procurement of 500 jirib of land for implementation of this project with capital investment of USD500 and the agriculture and irrigation ministry has allotted the land on the east of the Kabul airport on the basis of rent of Afs 12000 per jirib of land annually. 
The CM considered the project as necessary for the center and provinces and confirmed it in principle and instructed the ministry of agriculture and irrigation to proceed with the completion of necessary documents and procedures with the US Company and inform the CM on its accomplishments in this respect. 
Meanwhile the minister of agriculture and irrigation informed the CM on the renting of 80 jirib of farm land of Darul Aman silk worm for three year to the widows and vulnerable women till full growth of mulberry trees on annual rental of Afs. 5,000 per jirib of land that was adopted by the CM accordingly.

Monday 09 April 2012,

 

LONDON: Rapid growth of Islamic finance is increasing pressure for the industry to enter the accounting mainstream, by seeking guidance from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), the global body which sets the tone for book-keeping in conventional finance.

It would be a controversial move - by basing itself on religious principles, Islamic finance seeks to set itself apart from conventional finance. But some experts think the industry is becoming so big that it can no longer sit comfortably outside a trend towards harmonizing accounting rules across the world.

"The whole thing about financial reporting around the world today is the global move towards a single comparable set of high-quality financial reporting standards..." said Samer Hijazi, financial services audit director at accounting giant KPMG, who monitors the development of Islamic finance.

Islamic financial assets hit $1.3 trillion globally in 2011, a 150 percent increase over the past five years as the industry expanded into new countries beyond core markets in the Middle East and Malaysia, financial lobby group TheCityUK estimated last week.

At present the industry remains governed by a patchwork of national regulators, Islamic standard-setting bodies and scholars interpreting Islamic law - a recipe for different rules and practices. This is creating confusion among investors, especially as major Western banks begin to enter the market.

Most of the countries in which Islamic banks operate already use the IASB's International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). But these standards have been developed for conventional finance, not Islamic transactions, in which interest and pure monetary speculation are banned and trades must be underpinned by physical assets.

So there is the potential for conflict between Islamic finance and conventional accounting rules. For example, in order to earn returns but not contravene the ban on interest, Islamic banks buy an asset such as a house on behalf of a customer and lease it out until the customer is able to acquire ownership.

Under current IFRS standards, accountants say, this would probably be treated as a financial lease, requiring the bank to record the lease as an interest-earning loan - in apparent contravention of sharia law.

"IFRS is all about substance over form whereas sharia law is very much about compliance with legal form," said Andrew Hawkins, director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

GUIDELINES

The solution, some experts say, is to have the IASB introduce standalone guidelines under its IFRS framework that are tailor-made for Islamic finance. These guidelines would ensure a uniform approach across the industry while blending with the IASB's standards for conventional finance.

Bodies such as the Asian-Oceanian Standard Setters Group (AOSSG), a regional organization which creates accounting guidelines, are calling on the IASB to put the drafting of Islamic finance standards on its agenda. The AOSSG has set up a working group to liaise with the IASB.

More than three-quarters of 24 financial standards-setting bodies that responded to a survey by the AOSSG at the start of this year said there should not be separate Islamic accounting standards issued by other bodies outside the IFRS framework, because they could be incompatible with the global move towards convergence around IFRS, according to the AOSSG.

Involving the IASB in Islamic finance may not be easy, however. While the IASB has said Islamic accounting may move onto its agenda as it begins to identify its project priorities in coming months, the body is preoccupied with a range of regulatory initiatives around the world, so it is unclear if Islamic finance will become a priority anytime soon.

Also, the whole idea of having global reporting standards is that there is one set of rules which are not industry-specific. Adding standards specifically for Islamic finance could undermine the uniformity of IFRS standards and spur demands for other exceptions to be made.

For example, the problem of how Islamic banks classify their leases to customers might be solved if the IASB agreed to describe them as operating, not financial, leases. But the IASB might not be willing to do this for fear of violating a basic accounting principle and disadvantaging conventional banks.

In an interview with Reuters, Alan Teixeira, senior technical director at the IASB, said his body would consider the issue of Islamic finance. But he declined to say whether, when and how it might get involved in standard-setting.

"The ideal situation is to have one set of words that everybody can use," Teixeira said. "The biggest challenge will be to see whether or not we can write the right words that don't conflict with sharia law but fundamentally get the same level of transparency and good level of reporting."

Teixeira said the IASB was thinking of setting up a working group to educate its board about sharia law so that it could make informed decisions.

"It might be that we can address any concerns by having guidance about how to apply or interpret certain aspects without necessarily changing an IFRS," he said.

RIVALRY

Another potential problem is that any IASB involvement in Islamic finance could bring it into rivalry with other organizations.

The Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) already sets standards for the industry; Khaled Al Fakih, newly appointed secretary general of AAOIFI, has said it is conducting a strategic review of all its standards to make sure they are fresh, complete and relevant. Results of the review are expected this year.

AAOIFI does not carry as much weight with regulators around the world as the IASB does, and many financial firms may prefer to deal with a single organization for both conventional and Islamic accounting, rather than contending with two separate bodies. So the IASB might ultimately win any contest for influence in Islamic finance - but the tussle would not be pleasant, and it could further confuse investors.

"The challenge AAOIFI has is in persuading various regulators to adopt its standards and that's going to be difficult in the current environment," said Hijazi.

"There is so much regulatory and governance change in the pipeline, it will be very difficult for the regulators to now call on financial institutions to produce an additional set of accounting or financial statements." (Reuters)

 

Monday 09 April 2012,

 

M NEW YORK: People diagnosed with cancer have a sharply higher risk of suicide and fatal heart attacks immediately after receiving their diagnosis, a Swedish study published showed.

"Previous studies have shown that cancer patients are at higher risk of suicide and cardiovascular disease, which up until now has mainly been ascribed to the emotional strain of living with the potentially fatal disease and the often physically demanding cancer treatment," the Karolinska Institute said in a statement.

"Newly published data on patients with prostate cancer suggest, however, that being given the diagnosis may, in itself, be associated with a marked increase in the stress-related disease and death," it said.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed more than six million Swedes from 2001 to 2006, including more than 500,000 who were diagnosed with cancer during that period.

"Only a small proportion of patients committed suicide immediately after being diagnosed with cancer. However, the suicide risk during the first week following the diagnosis was twelve times higher than in people without cancer," the Karolinska said.

"Similarly, the risk of cardiovascular death was six times higher during the first week and three times higher during the first month after a cancer diagnosis, compared to people without cancer," it said.

The risk was greatest in malignant cancers with a poor prognosis, such as lung and pancreatic cancers, and least pronounced in skin cancer, it added.

The fact that the risk decreased in magnitude over time "supports the conclusion that the risk increase may be traced to the diagnosis itself rather than the emotional or physical suffering related to progression of the cancer or its treatment," it said.

Doctor Fang Fang of the Karolinksa Institute, who led the study, said the researchers hoped their findings may lead to improvements in the care of newly diagnosed cancer patients

Monday, 09 April 2012 17:34

Quetta: firing incident claims six lives

Monday 09 April 2012,

QUETTA: Six people were killed while two others sustained injuries in a firing incident on Prince Road ,Quetta, Pakistan Monday, Geo news reported.

Eyewitness accounts state that people riding on two motorcycles opened fire on people sitting outside a show shop located on Prince Road.

According to initial reports the target of the attack was members of the Hazara community.

 

Saturday 07 April 2012,

(BNA),

 

SKARDU: An avalanche smashed into a Pakistan Army camp Saturday burying at least 100 soldiers including a colonel at Gayari sector near the Siachen Glacier.

Troops with sniffer dogs, aided by helicopters, were frantically trying to find signs of life in the snow after the avalanche engulfed the remote camp in mountainous Gayari, Siachen.

A team of doctors and paramedics has also been rushed to the high-altitude region, which suffers extreme weather conditions - temperatures on the strategic Siachen glacier plummet to minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94F).

"More than 100 soldiers of NLI (Northern Light Infantry) including a colonel were trapped when the avalanche hit a military camp," army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told.

"The rescue mission is continuing and rescuers are trying to rescue the soldiers."

Harsh weather and the high altitude claims many more lives than actual fighting over Siachen.

A military statement said the avalanche struck early on Saturday morning, raising the possibility that soldiers were asleep at the time.

"Around 100 persons of army came under a snow slide early this morning in Gayari sector near Skardu," it said.

"Rescue efforts are on. Sniffing dogs, helicopters and troops on ground are employed on rescue efforts."

ISPR has said that it was in process of releasing the names of the trapped soldiers shortly.

Friday 06 April 2012,

Kabul, (BNA) ,

KANDAHAR: Seven people were burnt to death in southern Afghanistan on Friday when a fuel tanker supplying a NATO base crashed and set their vehicle on fire.

Both the security chief of Panjwayi district in Kandahar and the provincial

police chief said there was no insurgent activity at the time, but residents

told  press the tanker was attacked by Taliban using rocket-propelled grenades.

killing spree in the same district on March 11.

Sardar Mohammad, Panjwayi's security chief, told: "A fuel tanker supplying fuel for ISAF overturned and caught fire, and simultaneously a civilian minivan was passing nearby also set ablaze."

Seven people were killed and three others injured, he said, who were taken to hospital.

Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq confirmed the death toll,: "This fuel tanker was coming from the city of Kandahar to Panjwayi district at high speed.

"On its way this tanker overturned and caught fire," he said. "A civilian minivan was passing on the way and the vehicle was also set ablaze."

Friday, 06 April 2012 17:52

Quetta: JUP leader gunned down in Saryab

Friday 06 April 2012,

 (BNA) ,

 

QUETTA: Unknown gunmen on Friday killed Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) provincial leader Maulana Mohammad Qasim in Saryab.

According to police, the JUP Balochistan chief was killed when gunmen opened fire at his house. He was severely wounded and rushed to hospital but he succumbed to his injuries before reaching there.

The attackers successfully fled from the scene, Pak  police told.

His body was shifted to Civil Hospital while investigations were kicked off.

The supporters of JUP protested the killing of Maulana Mohammad Qasim at Saryab Road