Monday, February 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Bärbel Kofler has urged the government to stop deporting rejected Afghan asylum seekers to their home country.
Some 12,000 have been asked to leave, despite Afghanistan not being considered a "safe countries of origin." Germany needs to reassess its integration policy, the Bundestag's human rights commissioner, Bärbel Kofler (SPD), said on Saturday, amid growing concerns over the deportation of rejected Afghan asylum seekers back to their home country. "The situation in Afghanistan hasn't changed," Kofler told the German "Passauer Neue Presse" newspaper. "Rather, it's the domestic political situation here that has changed. People shouldn't be the ones carrying the burden of this upheaval." Of the 250,000 Afghans living in Germany, 11,900 have been asked to leave the country since mid-December, according to the German Interior Ministry.
The policy has prompted outcry and protests across Germany, as large parts of Afghanistan remain violent and under Taliban control. The country is not on Germany's official list of "safe countries of origin." "The security situation in Afghanistan may vary from region to region, but one cannot say that the situation anywhere in the country is particularly good," Kofler said. She also indicated that many Afghan asylum seekers, legal or otherwise, had integrated successfully in Germany and "found their place in society." They, and the Germans who have supported them, cannot understand "why they are suddenly being torn away from their homes," she said. The issue of deportations has put the federal government at odds with some states. While deportations are a state matter, the federal government has made clear that it wants to play a bigger role in them. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party has been pushing for speedier repatriations of failed asylum seekers following December's terrorist attack on a Berlin Christmas market.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan has been place among the repressed economies of the world, after becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2016, according to the annual ranking launched by The Heritage Foundation.
Scoring 48. 9 points, Afghanistan has been ranked at the 163th place out of the world’s 180 countries and ranked among the repressed world economies, with its maiden entry into the annual index of Economic Freedom, said The Heritage Foundation. According to the ranking launched by the foundation, the list was topped by Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand. The United States ranked 17th while China has gained 111th spot. In South Asia, Afghanistan is at the bottom of the ranking, with the Maldives positioned at 157th spot. Ranking of other South Asian countries are Bangladesh 128, India 143, Pakistan 141, Nepal 125, Sri Lanka 112 and Bhutan 107.
Over the past decade, the country achieved rapid yet volatile economic growth, the Foundation said construction and agriculture have been the key contributors to economic expansion. Political uncertainty and security challenges remain formidable, it said. “The rule of law continues to be fragile and uneven across the country.” It added the inability to deliver even basic services reliably had eroded public confidence in the government; and systemic corruption had undermined the effectiveness of courts, the banking sector, and other parts of the economy. Corruption was endemic throughout society and demands for bribery at border crossings hampered development of a market economy, The Heritage Foundation alleged. The presence of a large informal economy continued to dampen development of a functioning labor market, the foundation pointed out. “Processes for establishing businesses and obtaining necessary licenses are relatively streamlined, but other structural barriers persist,” it said. Due to the severe underdevelopment of Afghanistan’s financial system, the government has very limited influence on monetary policy, it added.
According to the foundation, the judicial system operates haphazardly; in many places, justice is administered by inadequately trained judges according to a mixture of legal codes. Political and economic expert, Mohammad Haidar Hemmat said undoubtedly Afghanistan had an economy reliant to the foreign countries funds and asked the government for doing more in fighting corruption, monitoring the counter-corruption process and providing enough political support to the anticorruption institutions, if wants to gain good results from its efforts. He said the people wanted the government to opt strong will in its leadership to uproot corruption. Corruption, he said has caused many crisis including failure to practice law, capital flee, brain drain and distrust to halt foreign aids. Both the government and the people in cooperation with the corruption fighting entities, could overcome the problem jointly. Kabir Ranjbar, another analyst, confirmed the report and said Afghanistan needs to use the available opportunity to grow its economy, but insecurity is the biggest problem and caused the people of Afghanistan to lose all possibilities. He said fighting corruption was effective, when the culture of award and punishment was institutionalized and the law implemented on all including the powerful individuals as well as the role of the attorney general office, he believed was the key to seriously fight the phenomenon.
The entities within the government should also go ahead strongly in war on corruption and presence of the heinous phenomenon had caused all developments halted. This while, since the last 14 years, all anticorruption institutions struggled to fight corruption, but no one has still been introduced to the legal and judicial system, pushing Afghanistan to the world’s most corrupt nation, after N. Korea and Somalia.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani delivered his remarks in the 53rd Munich Security Conference later Saturday evening.
President Ghani said that terrorism has combined social networks and virtual networks, using criminal economic networks particularly drugs as a platform for global criminal politics. He said that there is no boundary which terrorism will not cross and no space or social group that it will spare. The Conference was organized in Munich city of Germany, attended by more than 30 State Leaders and 80 Defense and Foreign Ministers. The President added that Afghanistan is the frontline state and the first line of defense against terrorism, fighting 20 groups classified as terrorists by US and UN. He added that our fight against terrorism is not only for the liberty of Afghanistan but also for global security. President Ghani in his remarks said that in order to contain terrorism, it requires a consensus, comprehensive approach, use of legitimate force, inclusion of key social strata like women and youth and isolation of states sponsoring terrorism.
Afghan civil society head, Aziz Rafeyee told that the conference should share all security issues of the world, particularly Afghanistan and how to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, as security of the world has direct link with Afghanistan.
“As seen any security threat risen from terrorism activities in the borders with Afghanistan have overwhelmed security of the region and the world. So there is a need to discuss security issues of Afghanistan as a great threat to the world,” said Rafeyee. He emphasized for considering security of Afghanistan, the most important factor for security of the region and the world and that the Afghan leaders should use the great opportunity for its interest and help peace and security restore in the terrorism suffered nation. According to him, both Afghanistan’s security and economic interests should be linked with those of the world and help the country reach peace to make the world stable. Another civil society activist, Seddiqa Farahmand also hoped the Munich conference could do more for security of the country, as she said the people have since long been victimized by terror and are still paying life and property price against the heinous phenomenon. “The world shouldn’t leave Afghanistan alone in war on terror and the Munich conference should have realized that terrorism safe havens are beyond the Afghan borders and the world leaders attending the summit should focus on main hideouts and training centers of terror to help the world security,” she said.
A house member, Hashemi also asked the world for not extending firm cooperation with Afghanistan in war on terrorism and the Munich Conference should focus on the core source of terrorist groups and impose enough pressures on the terrorism supporting countries and force them to give up financing and training destructive circles and target their hideouts everywhere found. A military expert, Jawid Kohistani said the Munich conference which is held to discuss the world security each year, is too important as the world counties are facing joint threats from Daesh, al-Qaeda and other extremism groups. Afghan present’s participation in the conference, Kohistani said was too important, as terrorist’s threats in Afghanistan are increasing and his presence in the conference would be effective to discuss support to the Afghan security forces and prevention of terrorism influence into the country. He asked the world leaders attending the conference to provide enough financial and equipment support to the Afghan security forces to enable them fight insurgency. Kohistani said the country’s president should provide comprehensive security plan to the munich conference to gain the world support to launch joint counterterrorism effort worldwide and he hoped a joint resolute effort of the world could prove effective against terrorist networks and their supporters.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Jalalabad City (BNA) In the last 2 days more than 370 mortar shells thrown from other side of Durand-Line in different parts of eastern Nangarhar province.
Ataullah Khogyani spokesman of Nangarhar governor told BNA, as a result of heavy weapons and mortar shell strikes some civilians were wounded and their residential houses have been destroyed in various villages of Laal Poor and Goshta districts of the province.
Government authorities say, accommodation, food and cash aids will donated as soon as possible for displaced people.
Monday February 20, 2017
Ghazni City (BNA) Saifullah Akhtar a senior commander of Al-Qaeda terrorist group was killed during a special operation carried out by National Directorate Security (NDS) personnel in southern Ghazni province.
Press office of NDS department reported BNA, the special operation was launched in different parts of Nawa district of the province, as a result the top commander were killed along with his several men.
Saifullah Akhtar was a distinguish commander of the terrorist group who had active role in most destructive and terrorist activities across the country.
Also he led Pakistani terrorist group against Afghan government.
Monday February 20, 2017
Jalalabad City (BNA) In continuation of Shaheen 25 military operation recently five ISIS loyalists were killed in eastern Nangarhar province.
According to press office of 201 Sylab army corps stated BNA, the operation sometimes ago was conducted with participation of Afghan National Police, Afghan border police, public order police and National Directorate Security (NDS) personnel to eliminate ISIS fighters, ensure peace and stability and government sovereignty in various parts of Koot and Deh Bala districts of the province.
Several villages have been clean-up from existence of the terrorist group adherents since start of the operation, the source added.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani asked Qatar to close the Taliban’s political office if the rebel group does not evince any interest in joining the peace process.
The Presidential Palace said President Ghani made the remarks at a meeting with the Qatari foreign minister on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. In a statement from presidential palace office, the president said he discussed with Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani the Afghan peace process and Taliban’s political office in Qatar. It was important for Taliban to shun the insurgency, join the peace process and avoid wasting the available opportunity, the statement quoted him as saying. “If the Taliban don’t bring positive changes to their policy and continue violence until the next solar year, they would be sanctioned and their Qatar office shut,” the president warned. President Ghani claimed investigations into a recent Kandahar attack showed the Taliban were involved. Such acts proved the fighters had no regard for civilian lives or respect for diplomats from friendly countries, he added. Twelve people including five UAE diplomats, two MPs and the deputy governor for Kandahar were killed. At least 18 others -- the governor and the UAE ambassador included-- were injured in the attack on December 31. A few days back, Ambassador Juma Al Kaabi also succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the attack.
The president said peace was a priority for the Afghan government but he accused the Taliban of choosing to fight on. Minister Thani said there was no justification for violence and his country remained committed to continued cooperation with Afghanistan in restoring peace.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive (CE) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said on Sunday efforts had been launched to prevent Pakistani attacks on eastern provinces.
Dr. Abdullah’s remarks come as Pakistan has resumed firing mortar and artillery shells into border districts of Kunar and Nangarhar provinces, inflicting casualties on civilians. The shelling has also displaced hundreds of families. A statement from the CE Secretariat said Dr. Abdullah met a number of tribal elders and influential figures from the two provinces. Participants, residents and elders of Kunar briefed Dr. Abdullah on the security situation in the province and recent rocket attacks from Pakistan, asking for an immediate halt to the strikes. They also sought the prevention of Daesh militants from stealing into the province. They said Daesh fighters had attacked a public order police check-post in Chapa Dara district, killing six personnel. Kunar residents voiced their concerns about the expanding foothold of Daesh in the province, urging the government to launch a crackdown on the dreaded outfit.
Abdullah thanked Kunar residents for supporting their own security forces, saying the government had initiated efforts to stop the rocket attacks. The chief of army staff was in Nangarhar, closely tracking the issue. The CE promised reforms and other necessary steps to curb Daesh activities in the province. The ongoing year would be problematic in terms of security; but Afghan forces had complete preparedness, he concluded.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan and the European Union have signed a Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development (CAPD).
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also attended the signing ceremony.
EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Vice–President of European Commission Federica Mogherini and Minister of Finance Eklil Hakimi signed the agreement in Munich on Saturday. "The European Union has always stood by the Afghan people and will continue to do so. After the successful international conference we have jointly chaired in Brussels last year, now our cooperation grows even more,” Mogherini said. In a statement, she hoped the agreement would help build on the areas such as human development, anti-corruption, state building and the rule of law, as well as cooperation on migration. The EU official added the accord was a partnership agreement by name and by nature. The EU would keep working with Afghan partners for the stability and the sustainable development of the country. For his part, Hakimi called CAPD a vital new framework for partnership between Afghanistan and the European Union. The agreement built on mutual commitments to stability and development at various global conferences.
“It also formalizes our partnership and provides an opportunity to strengthen friendship and cooperation between Afghanistan and the EU by conducting regular political dialogue on various fronts,” he remarked.
The proposed dialogue will focus support for peace, security and development in Afghanistan and the region. “I thank Ms. Mogherini, on behalf of the EU, for opening up a new chapter in the Afghanistan-EU relationship.” CAPD is the first contractual relationship between EU and Afghanistan and establishes the legal framework for EU-Afghanistan cooperation. It confirms the EU's commitment to Afghanistan's future development during the "Decade of Transformation" (2015-2024). The two sides will also hold talks on human rights, in particular the rights of women and children. The agreement will provide the basis for developing a mutually beneficial relationship in an increasing range of areas such as rule of law, health, rural development, education science and technology, actions to combat corruption, money laundering, the financing of terrorism, organized crime and narcotics.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Combating terrorism needs inter-state cooperation at international, regional and national levels, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said at the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC).
The Conference was organized in Munich city of Germany, attended by more than 30 State Leaders and 80 Defense and Foreign Ministers. The President added that Afghanistan is the frontline state and the first line of defense against terrorism, fighting 20 groups classified as terrorists by US and UN. He added that our fight against terrorism is not only for the liberty of Afghanistan but also for global security. On Saturday night, the president told the conference in Munich that Afghanistan is a country in the frontline of the war on terrorism, fighting against about 20 terrorist groups.” The terrorist outfits had been identified by the United States and United Nations, he said. More than 30 heads of state and about 80 interior and foreign ministers attended the meeting. President Ghani added the fight against terrorism in his country was aimed not only at stabilizing Afghanistan and preserving freedom but also at ensuring global security.
In a statement from the Presidential Palace, President Ghani said terrorists used social medial networks and technology for financial crimes and political offences at the international level.
Terrorism did not recognize borders and no area would remain secure from it, the president remarked. “For fighting against terrorism, we need a consensus, a comprehensive approach and the use of legitimate force, taking important segments of society like women and youth on board and isolating the countries that support terrorism.” The recent attacks in Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand and other parts of the country -- as well as in the Sindh province of Pakistan -- showed there were no good or bad terrorists, he stated. “Terrorism is a major contemporary challenge and combating it needs a long-term commitment.” Understanding the various emerging manifestations of terrorism might be difficult, he added. President Ghani went on to allege that terror financing weakened states on the one hand and administrative corruption encouraged the phenomenon on the other. “We can succeed in fighting against terrorism,” he said, adding it was necessary that countries using terrorism as a tool of achieving their political aims be isolated for effectively battling the scourge. The Munich Security Conference is an annual event on international security policy and has been taking place since 1963. It is the world's largest gathering of its kind. The MSC is known for providing an open and informal platform for allies --and adversaries -- to meet.