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Friday, February 17, 2012
Kabul (BNA) After landing on Thursday in Islamabad for a trilateral summit scheduled to be held on Friday between the Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, President Hamid Karzai met with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
In a meeting held at the Prime Minister House, the two leaders discussed a range of issues of mutual concern and focused on diverse avenues of expanded bilateral cooperation particularly in the anti-terror war and enhanced trade and commerce.
Pakistan’s PM welcomed President Karzai and said stability in Afghanistan meant stability in Pakistan and that Pakistan respects President Karzai’s leadership.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan would continue to extend full cooperation to Afghan Government in the investigation of the assassination of Professor Buhanuddin Rabbani.
Prime Minister Gilani called for Afghanistan’s cooperation with Pakistan needed for the implementation of the TAPI gas pipeline project and vowed his country was prepared to do all it can in resolving the transit related issues.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan supported any peace process in Afghanistan which was Afghan led and Afghan owned and called for the resumption of operation by the joint peace commission between the two countries.
President Karzai hailed his trip to Pakistan as one of the most important ones in the past ten years and thanked Pakistan for the cooperation in the investigation of assassination of Professor Rabbani in which two suspects have been arrested.
The President hoped that efforts continue so that all perpetrators of the crime are brought to table.
The President reaffirmed Afghanistan’s position in regards to peace talks with the armed opposition and said respect to the Afghan Constitution and women’s rights remain as crucial conditions for any talks.
President Karzai also asked Pakistan to allow entry to Afghanistan for the truck consignments of text books for Afghan schools that are stranded for months in Karachi port city.
Calling terrorism a common enemy that threatened people on both sides of the Durand Line, the President termed it imperative for both the countries to continue to maintain deep and sincere bilateral relations.
The Afghan delegation included Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, National Security Advisor Dr. Spanta, Chief of Staff to the President Abdul Karim Khurram and Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Muhammad Umar Daudzai.
The Pakistan delegation included Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Kehar, Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 10:06

From Refugee to role model

Thursday 16 February 2012,


ABU DHABI: He is the face of Afghan cricket with a story fit for the big screen, and he embodies not only his nation’s turbulent past, but its hopes for a brighter future.

When Nawroz Mangal led Afghanistan against Pakistan last week, it was the end of a long journey which started with his family’s flight from Soviet troops, and continued when he picked up bat and ball as a young refugee.

According to Mangal, now 27, the enduring legacy from those tough days in hard-scrabble Pakistani border camps is a love of cricket which has now blossomed into a successful international career.

“That period was difficult for all the family,” the Afghan captain told press

“We were financially hit and living in refugee camps was very tough on us.

“The best part of those ugly days was that I learnt this beautiful game of cricket.”

It was “this beautiful game” which pitted Mangal’s Afghanistan against Pakistan for their first top-level one-day international in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, with the debutants losing by seven wickets.


Mangal is the figurehead for Afghanistan’s cricket revolution as the most recognisable player of a squad which learned the game on rudimentary pitches in the Pakistani camps.

But he says the biggest obstacle to his cricket career was his father, who wanted him to follow his two brothers by becoming a doctor and looking after the injured soldiers and civilians in his war-ravaged homeland.

It took skilful persuasion from coach Taj Malik — one of the pioneers of cricket in Afghanistan — who travelled to the border camp to convince Mangal’s father of his son’s talent.

Mangal calls those early days “hard to forget”.

But once the Taliban were overthrown by US-led troops and Afghan Mujahidin  in 2001, Mangal and his family returned home and the Afghanistan cricket team was founded. He was then selected for the Asian Cricket Council Trophy in Oman in 2004.

“It was a dream come true for me,” said Mangal.

“While playing in the dusty refugee camps I never realised that I could make it that big, and in Oman I was playing with some top ranked players and I performed.”

Although Afghanistan were knocked out in the quarter-finals, Mangal finished as leading scorer for his team with 271 runs. Three years later, he was named captain of his country.

“With the recognition by International Cricket Council and help from the ACC (Asian Cricket Council) we managed to get tours and facilities and gradually our team improved before we achieved our biggest target in 2009,” Mangal recalled.

That year, Afghanistan became the first affiliate nation to gain full one-day status when they finished fifth in the World Cup qualifying event held in South Africa, only narrowly missing a berth at the 2011 tournament.

The success prompted President Hamid Karzai to form the national cricket board, allocating grants and promising facilities to further harness talent.

And in 2010, Afghanistan won a qualifying tournament to compete alongside the world’s top 10 nations at the World Twenty20 event in the West Indies.

Afterwards, crowds thronged Kabul airport to welcome their newest heroes.

“Qualifying for the World Twenty20 was a great achievement and we were on cloud nine as everyone was talking of our achievement. I think that lifted cricket in Afghanistan more than any other thing,” said Mangal.

By 2010 cricket overtook football as Afghanistan’s most popular game, according to the Afghan board, with more facilities and children now playing on the street — something that was unthinkable under the Taliban.

“It has changed totally,” said Mangal.

“Now you can see kids playing cricket on the streets, something unimaginable in the past.

“With more and more facilities and the team achieving more milestones I think cricket will attain more heights in Afghanistan.”

According to Afghanistan team manager Shafiq Stanakzai, Mangal will play an important part in that success.

“You need role models for every sport and Mangal is ours in cricket. He is cool, wise and inspiring so with him in our team more and more youth will follow the path he and his team-mates have carved,” said Stanakzai

Thursday 16 February 2012,

(BNA) ISLAMABAD: The US Embassy says Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan remains closed to Nato despite comments by a senior Pakistani official that seemed to indicate the coalition would be allowed to transport some food items.

Pakistan closed the crossings to Nato at the end of November in retaliation for American airstrikes that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said this week that Pakistan would temporarily allow Nato to ship perishable items to its troops in Afghanistan. He said the coalition could transport the supplies ”by air or by truck.”

But the US Embassy said on Thursday that the crossings remained closed.

US Ambassador Cameron Munter has said the air route remains open.

Thursday 16 February 2012,

(BNA) -President Hamid Karzai, leading a high-level delegation, left this morning on a three-day official visit to Islamabad to attend the trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

The President is also scheduled to hold separate meetings with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani to talk about a range of issues of mutual concern including enhanced political, economic as well as anti-terror cooperation between the two countries.

President Karzai is also expected to meet with Nawaz Sharif, the President of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), leadership of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazl-ur- Rehman faction, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, head of the Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (PPP) and Maulana Samiul Haq, Chief Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S faction).

The President is accompanied on this trip by Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rasoul, National Security Advisor Dr. Spanta, Chief of Staff to the President Abdul Karim Khurram and Presidential Spokesman Aimal Faizi.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has arrived in Islamabad to participate in trilateral summit, BNA reported.

The presidents of, Afghanistan , Pakistan  and Iran will meet here to promoting regional cooperation and strengthening peace and stability.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and is also expected to arrive in Islamabad today.

The three sides have been holding the trilateral summit since 2009.

Thursday, 16 February 2012 09:16

US drone strike kills six in North Waziristan

Thursday 16 February 2012,

(BNA) MIRANSHAH: A US drone strike targeting a militant compound killed six insurgents in a North Waziristan Agency near the Afghan border Thursday,  Pakistani security officials said.

According to sources, two missiles were fired by a US drone on a compound used by militants in Spalga town near Miranshah and six suspected militants were killed.

The attack was confirmed by security officials in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan region, known as a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

Security officials said several other militants were wounded but the exact number was not immediately known.

The latest attack came a week after US missiles killed Badar Mansoor, the most senior Pakistani in Al-Qaeda, one of America's main targets in the country and wanted for attacks that killed scores of people

Wednesday 15 Feb,


A source in ministry of Parliamentary Affairs told Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) that the list of nine ministers has been sent to Afghan parliament to win vote of confidence

List of them:

1- Obaidullah Obaid, Minister of Higher Education.

2- Engineer Najibullah Aazhang, Minister of Public Works.

3- Dr Hassan Abdulhai, Minister of Urban Development.

4- Wais Barmak, Minister of Rural Development.

5- Suraya Dalil, Minister of Public Health.

6- Mohammad Ismail Khan, Minister of Energy and Water.

7- Husn Banu Ghazanfar, Minister of Women Affairs.

8- Amirzai Sangin, Minister of Communication and Technology.

9- Daoud Ali Najafi, Minister of Transport and Aviation


The ministries of Public Health, Transport and Aviation, Higher Education, Water and Energy, Women's Affairs, Communication and Technology and Urban Development are being managed by acting ministers since 2010.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 06:10

Pakistan admits allowing Nato supplies by air

Wednesday 15 February,


ISLAMABAD: Islamabad publicly admitted Tuesday that it had allowed NATO to use Pakistani airspace to fly supplies into Afghanistan, despite a more than two-month blockade on the border crossings.

"The permission has been given for food items," a defence ministry official quoted Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar as saying at a function in Islamabad.

"Since the food items were perishable, we have allowed them to transport them by air to Afghanistan.

"We have told them to take the supplies out by air and don't bring more for the time being," the official quoted him as saying.

US ambassador to Islamabad, Cameron Munter, last week confirmed that NATO had continued to fly supplies into Afghanistan despite Pakistan's closure of the border to NATO trucks and oil tankers on November 26.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States sunk to an all-time low after air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border in an incident that the United States blamed on mistakes made by both sides

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 05:27

Panetta voices caution on Taliban prisoner deal

Wednesday 15 February,


WASHINGTON: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday he would not approve the transfer of any Taliban inmates held at the US-run prison in Guantanamo Bay unless he was sure the detainees would not return to the battlefield.

President Barack Obama's administration has confirmed tentative discussions with the Taliban insurgency on a possible transfer of five inmates from the prison at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the Gulf state of Qatar.

But Panetta struck a cautious tone at a senate hearing, saying he was legally bound to ensure the release of an inmate would not pose a security threat.

"Absolutely no decisions have been made along this line," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"I can tell you this, that based on the law that's passed by the Congress, I have to certify that anybody who leaves Guantanamo cannot wind up going back to the enemy.

"And I've got to be convinced that those kinds of protections are in place before I certify that anything like that happens."

At the same hearing, the US military's top-ranking officer, General Martin Dempsey, said he had concerns about the security risks posed by transferring the detainees but said he supported efforts at reconciling with the insurgency after 10 years of war.

Speculation has swirled over initial US talks with the Taliban, with officials saying five Taliban militants might be transferred to Qatar as a confidence-building measure, possibly in exchange for the insurgency renouncing violence in a de facto break with al Qaeda extremists.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012 05:01

Pakistani aerial supply route open: US

Wednesday 15 February,


WASHINGTON: US State Department said that Ambassador Cameron Munter has already told that Pakistani airspace is being used for Nato supply which made clear that the route is open, however refused to comment in detail.

Replying a question during a daily press briefing, US State Department's spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that she don't have an accurate answer regarding Pakistani aerial supply routes to Afghanistan.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 15:26

Aspirin could beat cancer spread: study

Tuesday 14 February 2012


SYDNEY: Aspirin and other household drugs may inhibit the spread of cancer because they help shut down the chemical "highways" which feed tumours, Australian researchers said Tuesday.

Scientists at Melbourne's Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre said they have made a biological breakthrough helping explain how lymphatic vessels - key to the transmission of tumours throughout the body - respond to cancer.

"We've shown that molecules like the aspirin could effectively work by reducing the dilation of these major vessels and thereby reducing the capacity of tumours to spread to distant sites," researcher Steven Stacker said.

Doctors have long suspected that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin may help inhibit the spread of cancer but they have been unable to pinpoint exactly how this is done.

By studying cells in lymphatic vessels, the researchers found that a particular gene changed its expression in cancers which spread, but not when the cancer did not spread.

The results published in Cancer Cell journal reveal that the gene is a link between a tumour's growth and the cellular pathway which can cause inflammation and dilation of vessels throughout the body