Monday April 3, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Ashraf Ghani President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for an official visit aiming expansion of foreign relation left Kabul for Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
BNA political analyst commenting on the issue writes President Ghani for an official visit left Kabul for Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore. The aim of the visit, is improving relations with above countries and using their experiences of those countries in reconstruction of war stricken Afghanistan. Afghan politicians taking the visit a good omen expressed hope that the visit could lead in to further strengthening relations, cooperation and investment of those countries in various field in Afghanistan.
Australia as a great industrial and agricultural country in the world can successfully help Afghanistan in establishing agricultural projects, educational and good governing programs. Because it enjoys of high capability in agriculture, education, management of water and extraction of mines. On the other hand Australia during the last 15 years have been one of the active countries in war against terrorism and a good partner of Afghans in reconstruction of their war-torn country. For instance, Australia during its military commission in Oruzgan province implemented many constructional projects and invested 500 million dollars in rehabilitation of Afghanistan.
Australia for improving trade with Afghanistan and establishing facilities for Afghan traders adopted effective measures, establishment of Australia–Afghanistan commercial council is an example of them started operation in 2013. These figures indicate that Australia is serious and honest in cooperation and expansion of its relation with Afghanistan. Australia currently is the host of thousands of Afghan refugees now they have won the citizens of that country and Australian authorities supporting them respect their culture and traditions.
The visit of president Ghani to Indonesia the most populated Islamic country can improve the prestige and stance of Afghanistan among Islamic countries. Afghanistan and Indonesia have an ancient and historical relation, both countries were the founder of non-alliance movement. Indonesia is among the 20 countries of the world enjoy richest economy. Therefore, this country with rich economy, effective labor force, and expertise can be helpful for Afghanistan.
Singapore is well-known name among Afghan businesspersons and commercial circles. This country has adequate experience in reconstruction, because it as a colony and underdeveloped country, lack of natural resources emerged as a great economic and commercial power in Asia. Therefore, we consider using the experiences of such a country worth a lot for reconstruction and progress of Afghanistan. The visit of President Ghani to these three countries can prove the intention and will of Afghanistan for cooperation and peaceful co-existence among the world countries and supports the Afghan stance in counter terrorism, this notorious phenomenon struggle in the region and the world.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Based on Khan Mohammad Baz’ head of currency exchangers in Kabul, Shahzada market report the exchange rate of Afghani as a follow:
One Dollar 67/45 afgs
One Pound Sterling 83/95 afgs
One Euro 71/50afgs
One Emirate’s Dirham 18/35 afgs
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees 626afgs
One Thousand Indian Rupees 1010 afgs
One Thousand Iranian Rupees 17/60 afgs
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The election system would be computerized a move if done, would guarantee transparent elections, officials of the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) said.
In fact, this will be effective for holding transparent elections and acceleration of votes’ counting process, they further said. At the same time, the Population Registration Administration declared it is ready to start distribution process of electronic ID cards within three months, Homayoun Mohtat, head of the administration said. At the first stage, the electronic ID cards will tentatively be distributed for six months and then, the process will practice all-over the country. These programs are promising for holding transparent elections in the country. The government of Afghanistan had earlier been using the oldest mechanisms in electoral system which resulted in many problems in collection of votes, specifying the number of voters, wide frauds and announcing the result of elections. The issue had faced the country’s election with a failed experience, an action which would have Election system to be computerized, officials led the process to crisis.
The past electoral crises have caused the people not to trust in elections anymore, thus, the government should pay serious heed to pave the way for holding fair and transparent elections throughout the country. Now, the plan which is about to be done by IEC can really be an essential step toward holding transparent elections in the country. Indeed, this is not that easy to apply but will take long. To computerize the election process will cost much. Above all, using advanced technology particularly in remote areas will face the IEC with serious problems, because, there is not enough professional force to use such systems in different parts of the country. Furthermore, it needs much time if the IEC wants to establish the capacity for the process through trainings. On the other, the distribution process of electronic ID-cards has not been started so far and if it starts within three months, the related office cannot surely distribute ID-cards to nearly 14 million eligible people before the parliamentary elections.
Anyway, implementation of such plans can take long and if the government wants to execute them, it is not that easy to be completed in six months. Delay in holding election process is a great blow to newly-established democracy body of Afghanistan, as the parliamentary elections which was about to be held two years ago, has been postponed so far. Likewise, if the parliamentary elections are not held this year will affect the next presidential elections. The National Unity Government tenure will end by 2019—a year that the presidential elections should be held. Thus, if the parliamentary elections are held in 2018, the government might be unable to hold the presidential elections in 2019. Therefore, delay in parliamentary elections will follow with delay in presidential elections, an action which will face the democratic process and country with challenges.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) 1395 year passed with its all ups and downs, but what achievements and challenges Afghanistan national defense and security forces had in the respective year.
Afghanistan security officials say in 1395 armed insurgents tried to destabilize the country and had menacing plans for destabilizing a number of provinces, but fortunately all their programs and plans were thwarted by the country’s national defense and security forces. Related to achievements and security programs planned by Afghan National Army (ANA) forces for prevention of enemies’ attacks in 1395, a spokesperson to Ministry of Defense (MoD) Gen. Dawlat Waziri said, “Last year was full of achievements and challenges for Afghan national defense and security forces, but fortunately the country’s security forces were able to thwart all programs and plans of the armed insurgents. Tactically armed insurgents launched attacks on various parts of the country, but strategically they failed to reach their goals as we were continually working to thwart their strategic plans and were not able to control even one of the country’s remote districts, which were considerable achievements for Afghan security forces.”
“Afghanistan national defense and security forces have been able to plan and launch numerous operations in various provinces of the country during the first six months of the past year. Shafaq 2nd operation was launched and started on 1st of Qaws last year by Afghan national defense and security forces in insecure districts of Nangarhar, Nooristan, Badakhshan, Daikundi and Badghis where a number of Taliban leaders and commanders were perished and some others were arrested”, Waziri said, adding that retaking areas and districts facing enemies threats was another achievement for the government and security forces. The MoD spokesperson further said that fortunately achievements of ANA forces were unprecedented in 1395 as armed insurgents had sustained heavy casualties in Kunduz, Faryab, Helmand and Urzgan provinces.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Interior (MoI) says Afghan National Police (ANP) forces were able to launch and plan more than 3900 operations in 1395 in various parts of the country where armed insurgents’ notorious commanders, so-called governors and district governors were killed and more than 12,000 others were perished. According to MoI officials, last year Afghan security forces were able to prevent and thwarted 15 suicide attacks and more than 1003 members of Taliban were arrested by security forces, which was a big achievement for ANP. During the past one year, Afghan national security forces have launched and planned more than 3000 operations on hideouts of armed insurgents in different parts of the country.
During the current year, further operations will be planned and launched for retaking districts which are now under control of Taliban, MoI says.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan government has worked on a security program and will be implemented during the upcoming four years and the people will witness positive changes towards maintaining security in the country.
A spokesperson to National Security Council Tawab Ghorzang says a four-year plan has been prepared based on overall assessments for development of ANDSF and effectiveness of their activities and operations. “The plan will encompass increasing the number of combat helicopters, Super Tocano jets, development and increasing of commando and special forces, reforms in ANDSF supplies and strengthening of intelligence sections of security forces”, Ghorzang said. Mobilization of Afghan national defense and security forces in particular the country’s air force was the main part of BSA between Kabul and Washington, but is said that such commitments have not been implemented so far. Nevertheless, MoD says Washington has stepped up new policies for mobilization of Afghanistan national security forces and counter terrorism in the country, adding that US Defense Secretary has decided to further equip ANDSF as handing over new airplanes to Afghan air force is part of US commitments in counter terrorism effort in the country.
Meanwhile, a number of military experts while praising Afghan national defense and security forces for their efforts towards maintaining security in the country stressed new plans and programs should be taken for surpassing armed insurgents during the current year. Former ANA chief of staff Shir Mohammad Karimi by considering role of RS mission as significant in the country said the mission was a good supportive for Afghan security forces in 1395, hoping that further effort should be made for coordination of ANDSF during the current new year. This comes as the people of Afghanistan were seriously concerned over increasing security in the country last year, but there are anticipations that by implementation of the security program and plan security threats will reach to its lowest level and the people will live in secure environment in 1396.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The Government of Japan has recently provided over 10 million funds to UNHCR, UNICEF, UNMAS, WFP, and IOM for humanitarian and emergency assistance in Afghanistan, the Japanese embassy in Kabul said here yesterday.
The funding from Japan will allow those agencies to address humanitarian challenges through provision of vital support to refugees returning from Pakistan and Iran, and to people suffering from food insecurity, malnutrition, natural disaster, displacement and other critical situations. The contribution responds to requirements under UNOCHA’s 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, the statement from the embassy said.
“Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – USD 1,461,500 Funding from the Government of Japan will support UNHCR in facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran and Pakistan, in fostering sustainable reintegration of the returnees through community-based livelihoods projects, and delivering humanitarian assistance to refugees in Khost and Paktika. The funding provided will enable UNHCR to monitor as many as 34,000 individuals, and an estimated 10 percent, will be provided with direct assistance as a result of protection monitoring,” the statement added. In addition, Japan’s contribution assists UNHCR in maintaining the functioning of three encashment centers in Herat, Jalalabad, Kabul and Kandahar, which benefit an estimated 30,000 Afghan returnees, as well as in providing live-saving humanitarian assistance through the provision of the cash grant.
According to the embassy, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – USD 761,900 contribution from the Government of Japan will enable UNICEF to provide timely and tailored psychosocial support and referrals, education, life skills and life-saving child protection in emergency information to at least 15,250 children affected by armed conflict, displacement and natural disasters in Afghanistan. The contribution will also support UNICEF to monitor, report and respond to grave violations against children which include; killing and maiming of children, recruitment or use of children as soldiers, sexual violence against children, attacks against schools or hospitals, denial of humanitarian access for children, and abduction of children.
United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) – USD 2,000,000 Funding from the Government of Japan will support demining activities in Nimroz province, where many communities remain affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). It is expected that a total of 1.60 square kilometers of land will be cleared of landmines and ERW, directly benefitting 339 people who reside within 500 meters from contaminated areas, with indirect beneficiaries using the land for grazing is estimated at 107,490. The removal of a hazard near a major road connecting Nimroz and Helmand provinces will shorten the traveling distance between the Zaranj District (Helmand) and Chahar Burkak District (Nimroz) by 40 km. The assistance will contribute to socio-economic development as well as an overall reduction of civilian casualties.
World Food Program (WFP) – USD 3,178,625 funding from the Government of Japan will help to directly address food insecurity and malnutrition in Afghanistan, as well as to provide Humanitarian Air Services. WFP will procure, transport, and distribute over 1,150 metric tons of food commodities including fortified wheat flour, fortified vegetable oil, pulses, salt and Ready to Use Supplementary Food. The food assistance is to assist about 71,400 vulnerable people with a family ration for the period from two months to nine months, especially survivors of natural disasters, internally displaced persons malnourished children and nursing mothers. In addition, WFP will operate air transportation services for passengers and cargos to facilitate humanitarian and development activities in Afghanistan, including timely medical and security evacuation as required, the embassy’s statement added.
International Organization for Migration (IOM) – USD 3,147,125 funding from the Government of Japan will support IOM to provide humanitarian assistance to 14,800 Highly Vulnerable Afghan undocumented returnees from Iran. Additionally, the project will implement a reintegration tracking mechanism for vulnerable undocumented returnees in the high-return provinces of Herat and Nimroz, and aims to involve 20% of project beneficiaries. Japan’s contribution will also help to facilitate return of 19 highly skilled and qualified Afghans from Iran, in order to contribute to the national development and self-reliance of Afghanistan by engaging the Afghan diaspora in improving the capacity of public and private sector institutions. Japan has been strongly supporting Afghanistan’s nation-building efforts in a wide range of fields from security to economic and social development, providing assistance in various sectors including agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, rural development, and human capacity development. Cumulative Japanese assistance to Afghanistan since 2001 amounts to USD 6.4 billion.
The Kabul Times
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) 45 armed insurgents including their three local commanders were killed following clearing operations carried out by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in past 24 hours across the country.
Ministry of National Defense reported BNA, the operations were conducted with support of Afghan air and artillery forces to suppress armed oppositions and ensure peace and stability in relevant areas of Kapisa, Nangarhar, Paktika, Ghazni, Kandahar, Zabul, Farah, Faryab and Helmand provinces, as a result 45 anti-government militias including their three local commanders were killed.
Four ISIS fighters were among the dead and 14 others including their two commanders were wounded during the operations as well.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan to their motherland will begin today.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman, 380,000 registered Afghan refugees were repatriated to Afghanistan from different areas of Pakistan last year.
A repatriation center has been opened at Chamkani, near Peshawar, to register those refugees who want to go back to Afghanistan.
UNHCR is providing $400 to each returning Afghan refugees besides food and other basic items.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Mazar-e-Sharif (BNA) As many as 200 Taliban militants joined peace process in northern Balkh province, local officials said.
According to the local government officials, the insurgents were earlier launching insurgency against the government and security forces in the vicinity of Alburz Mountains.
The insurgents were led by Khan Mohammad Cherik and Mullah Dawan Khan and were fighting in the favor of the Taliban group. The militants also handed over various types of light and heavy weapons, ammunition and other military kits.
The provincial government media office said the militants joined peace process due to the efforts of the government officials and security institutions of the province.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Japanese ambassador to Kabul in a meeting with acting minister of information and culture, Prof. Mohammad Rassoul Bawari assured of his country’s cooperation with Afghanistan in archeology sector, Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported Sunday.
In the meeting, both sides discussed Japan cooperation in different sections such as historical monuments of Afghanistan particularly archeology, Bamyan historical relics, theater, movie, media and holding symposium on Afghanistan’s cultural heritages mainly Bamyan giant Buddhas which is expected to be held on October by UNESCO in Tokyo, according to the agency.
The Japanese ambassador to Kabul while the first secretary of the embassy was present, besides assuring continued cooperation of his country, has delivered a collection of information, list of movies and TV programs which were not in contrary with Islamic values to the acting minister of information and culture, the agency added.
Likewise, thanking Japan’s cooperation in different fields particularly in cultural sector, the acting minister of information and culture, Prof. Mohammad Rassoul Bawari said Japan was among the good friends of Afghanistan, BNA continued.
He also asked Japan to enhance cooperation with the ministry of information and culture, adding Japan assistances in different fields particularly in cultural sections would enjoy great value, the agency added.
According to another report, the acting minister of information and culture, Mohammad Rassoul Bawari inaugurated the “Spring Painting Exhibition” at the National Gallery, BNA said.
Calling organizing such exhibitions effective to growth of the artists, acting minister of information and culture asked the artists not to introduce art in certain range, the agency added. The exhibition will continue for three days, BNA said.
Monday, April 03, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Deputy Minister of Information and Culture on Youth Affairs, Dr. Kamal Sadat said that based on presidential instruction, he has considered special programs for Paktika province, Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported.
According to the agency, Dr. Sadat said the programs would be implemented within a few weeks.
In the meeting which was attended by Shamim Katawazi, the presidential advisor on youth affairs and heads of deputy ministry on youth affairs, Dr. Sadat added his administration would execute almost 10 programs in different sections of cultural, social and education in Paktika province, BNA added.
Likewise, Shamim Katawazai, the presidential advisor on youth affairs said that based on president’s instruction, the infrastructural programs should be launched in the province as soon as possible.
He said the present office supports the programs and infrastructural projects being implemented in Paktika, adding arrangement of scholarships and construction of cultural houses are among the programs of the province.