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Tuesday, 31 January 2012 08:37

Obama confirms drone strikes in Pakistan

Kabul (BNA)

Tuesday 31 January 2012

President Barack Obama on Monday confirmed that US drone aircraft have struck Taliban and Al-Qaeda targets within Pakistan -- operations that until now had not been officially acknowledged.

When asked about the use of drones by his administration in a chat with web users on Google+ and YouTube, Obama said "a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA.

"For the most part, they've been very precise precision strikes against Al-Qaeda and their affiliates, and we're very careful in terms of how it's been applied," Obama said.

"This is a targeted focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases, and so on."

Explaining that many strikes were carried out "on al-Qaeda operatives in places where the capacities of that military in that country may not be able to get them," Obama confirmed that Pakistan's lawless tribal zone was a target.

"So, obviously, a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA, and going after al-Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough terrain along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.

"For us to be able to get them in another way would involve probably a lot more intrusive military action than the ones we're already engaging in."

US officials say Pakistan's tribal belt provides sanctuary to Taliban fighting for 10 years in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda groups plotting attacks on the West, Pakistani Taliban who routinely bomb Pakistan and other foreign fighters.

Sixty-four US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt last year, down from 101 reported in 2010..

The United States had until now refused to discuss drone strikes publicly, but the program has dramatically increased as the Obama administration looks to withdraw all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The Pakistani government is understood to agree to the program despite popular opposition at home, and drones have reportedly killed dozens of Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives and hundreds of low-ranking fighters since 2004.


Tuesday, 31 January 2012 08:05

30 Armed Taliban Join Peace Process

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Herat (BNA) An armed Taliban commander along with his 29 colleagues yesterday joined peace process in Herat province. 
According to Dr. Daud Shah Saba, governor of Herat, Abdullah Charsy, along with his 29 colleagues laid down their arms and joined the peace process in the province. 
They were active and fighting against Afghan government in Pashtoon Zarghoon district of the province. 
The source said since the beginning of the current year, more than 400 armed insurgents have joined the peace process in the province.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Minister of defense General Abdul Rahim Wardak met with Canadian deputy minister for foreign affairs Robert Mars Rosanberg and deputy minister of defense Robert Femberg here in Kabul. 
They discussed related to Afghan security situation and improvement of Afghan national army. 
The Afghan defense minister briefed the Canadian delegation related to improvement of ANA, security transition to Afghan forces and recent achievements of ANA. 
In return, the Canadian delegation expressed happiness over the cooperation existed between Afghan forces and international partners particularly Canada and praised the recent achievements of Afghan and coalition forces in Afghanistan and promised for long-term cooperation with Afghanistan.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 06:13

Taliban Senior Commander Detained In Urozgan

Monday, January 30, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Police of Urozgan province reported from arresting of senior commander of Taliban on Monday. 
Hamdullah senior commander of Taliban with his three followers have been detained in an operation of police forces from Trenkot city. 
Gulab Khan Police chief of Urozgan province said to BNA, the commander was detained by police with his followers on charges of terrorist attack in that province. 
This commander called as treacherous commander of Taliban in southern provinces of the country. 
According to officials, this commander had plan to carry out tens bloody terrorist attacks in Oruzgan province. 
Translated by Suraya-Yarzada

Monday, January 30, 2012
Kabul (BNA) The Taliban have kidnapped a member of Afghanistan’s peace council during a bid to promote talk in the volatile east, underscoring the difficulty negotiators face in wining support for nascent negotiations from the Taliban front line, Mavlawi Shafihullah, a low level member of the High Peace Council set up President Hamid Karzai to liaise with insurgent, disappeared on Friday in the Asmar district of the eastern province of Kunar, authorities said on Sunday.
Shafih, a former education department head in neighboring Nuristan province, had travelled from Kabul to meet insurgents and encourage them to join the peace process after Taliban leaders proposed opening a representative office in Qatar.
As soon as he left his car, Taliban captured him, said Shahzada Shahid, another member of the 70 member council who had travelled to the Kunar capital of Asadabad in an effort to free Shafih with support from community elders.

Monday, January 30, 2012
Kabul (BNA) President Hamid Karzai in his successful trip to Europe has signed documents for long-term cooperation with Italy, treaty for friendship and cooperation with France and long-term cooperation treaty with Britain.
The signing of these documents with Afghanistan sallies under the present conditions that Afghanistan in the military and security responsibility throughout the country and that the process of talks with the Taliban and other groups are being continued can be accessed from different angles.
The signing of long-term strategic cooperation documents with Italy, France and Britain on one hand is a great political achievement for the Afghan order, and on the other hand may influence the sense of position and their regional supporters.
Any way in case we express International and regional aspects of these document, the documents strengthens the international position of Afghanistan and indicate to the regional countries that leave Afghanistan this country will not be alone as in the past and will lose all its potential in war against terrorism.
On the other hand, these documents increases the responsibility of the government authorities towards the people of Afghanistan as in the near future the international forces will leave Afghanistan and it will be the government of Afghanistan that will undertake the responsibility of security and other spheres in the country.
When the president of the country says that NATO forces should leave the country in 2013, it means that the security foundations should from now on prepare themselves, free from any religious, tribal and discriminatory influences and undertake the charge of affairs, struggle with corruption and other political, economic and cultural problems and as Afghans who inherited this homeland serve the ruling order and things goes this way we would have a bright future, and if it does not happen so, and every one move their own will and wish and ignore the problems a great mistake will take place and this nation once again will suffer.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 05:48

One More Historical Piece Returned To MoIC

Monday, January 30, 2012
Kabul (BNA) A monument stolen in the recent decades, was returned to the government of Afghanistan in cooperation with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The monument is an engraved piece which was stolen during the war-years in Afghanistan and smuggled out of the country.
Dr. Zalmai Rassouil Minister of Foreign Affairs who participated in the Ceremony, appreciating the cooperation of the Government of Germany in recovering of the stolen piece said, “Unfortunately, due to the unfavorable war conditions in the country a large number of historical pieces have been smuggled”.
Fortunately, as a result of the efforts of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassies and Consulates General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan outside, and the cooperation of the friendly countries, some of them have been returned and handed over to the country’s national museum.
The piece that is returned to the ministry of Information and Culture is considered as the property of the Government of Afghanistan.”
Subsequently, Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Minister of Information and Culture said that the Ministry of Information and Culture particularly, the  Department of National Museum having made intensified efforts is proud to have changed the country’s national museum, which was destroyed to a ghost house over the three decades of war, to a dignified establishment for retaining of the historical pieces.
From the tens of thousands of the lost historical pieces the Ministry of Information and Culture has been able to purchase, recover or restore some thousands of pieces.
Also a large number of them have been extracted out of the soil.
Afghanistan having been through different historical period was the home of culture and the meeting point of diverse cultures, integrated this cultures, as  a result of which, their traces remain tangible.

The monument that is being returned to the National Museum belongs to the 2nd Century AD which was recovered in cooperation with the Government of the Federal Republic Germany with the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Afghan Embassy in Berlin.
The monument, which belongs to the Kingdom of Gandhara, is 30 centimeters high and 26 centimeters wide portrays on a white surface made out of stone engraved two lines of 8 members of audience standing and listening to the traditions of Buddha sitting on the throne on the right.
The historical piece which was found in Munich of the Federal Republic of Germany last year was returned to Mr. Abdul Rahman Ashraf, and the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Berlin.

Monday, January 30, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Second vice-president, Mohammad Karim Khalili met with the New Special Envoy of the UN for Afghanistan Yan Kobis. 
The UN envoy said at the meeting that participation and cooperation in restoration of peace and stability, assisting the process of successful transition of security responsibilities to the Afghan forces and attraction of regional cooperation is his first working priorities in Afghanistan. 
He added that transition of security is an important issue for Afghanistan and the international community and asked for cooperation of the UN and the government of Afghanistan in this respect. 
He stressed that the process of peace should be comprehensive, massive and transparent and should consider the achievements of the people of Afghanistan in the past one decade. 
In addition to the world efforts he also called for further regional cooperation towards restoration of peace. 
Mohammad Karim Khalili also while congratulating him on his assignment as the UN Envoy expressed the hope that his experiences and efforts can assist the people of Afghanistan in accessing peace and stability. 
He added that in case the international community strive in upgrading the capacities of the Afghan security organs from now on, the government and people of Afghanistan are decisive to successful undertake the security responsibility till the year 2014. 
He noted that peace is a serious need of the people of Afghanistan, but this should not be sacrificed for the new era’s achievements. 
Touching on the massive level of poverty and vulnerability of the people of Afghanistan emanating from the disaster occurrences asked for UN aid to the people of Afghanistan and appreciated the UN appeal for USD437 million as emergency aid for the affected people of Afghanistan.

Monday, January 30, 2012
Sheberghan (BNA) The foundation was laid for three public utility establishments by the Turkish ambassador in Shiberghan city Jawzjan. 
Meanwhile, two other projects were opened yesterday by the Jawzjan governor and the Turkish ambassador there. 
The projects include building of chemical technology faculty of Jawzjan University, equipping of conference hall of the university with internet and building of surrounding wall of the sports ground at a length of 1000 meters, digging of a potable water spring and equipping of Shiberghan guest house.

Monday, January 30, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Chairman of Asian Bank and western bank met with Mince minister and promised their further assistances for development of gas pipeline sector and transferring of gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan. 
Iwan Marnda in his visit from Kabul met with Afghan authorities and talked on different issues like projects of Asian Bank and evaluate it. 
Wahidullah Shahrani Minister of Afghan Mince in a meeting with chairman of Asian Bank, informed him from basic reforms which implemented in that province. 
In this meeting, they discussed regarding transferring of gas pipeline of Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India via Afghanistan. 
The chairman of Asian Bank pledged further assist for development of transferring gas pipeline and rehabilitation of Sheberghan petroleum wells and other petroleum projects inside the country. 
Also, Iwan Marnda called role of Asian Bank as facilities of TAPI project and stressed on economic areas of regional countries and regional cooperation’s in this fields. 
He pledged to complete the assistances within three years. 
Translated by Suraya-Yarzada