18 November 2018

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Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has decided to suspend the repatriation process of Afghan refugees in Pakistan for around four months due to cold weather. According to a spokesperson of the UNHCR, the repatriation process will be halted from first of next month till 28th of February next year due to drop in temperature and severe cold. He said all UNHCR centers in Pakistan and Afghanistan will remain closed during the winter. Registered Afghan refugees will not be given financial compensation in case of return during the period. The operation will resume from March next year. On Thursday, Afghan-Pak second meeting of the Refugee Working Group (WG) on Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) was held at the Pakistani Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON).
Both sides deliberated on the ways to enhance mutual cooperation for a dignified, gradual, time-bound and complete return of the Afghan nationals to their country. During the meeting, the two sides had exchanged views and agreed on the rules of procedure for the meetings of the working group. The next meeting of the APAPPS Working Group on Refugees will be held in Kabul in January next year. The first meeting was held in Kabul on July 22, 2018, as part of the inaugural session.
The Afghan delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Dr Alema. SAFRON Secretary Mohammad Aslam led the Pakistan side in the meeting, which discussed matters related to Afghan refugees and other categories of Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan.
 

Monday, 12 November 2018 07:10

Acting MoIC Visits Chehelsotoun Palace

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Accompanied by Acting Mayor Ahmad Shuaib Rahim, Agha Khan development foundation ambassador, Ms. Nurjahan Mawani, deputy MoIC on cultural affairs, Prof. Mohammad Rassoul Bawari, MoIC’s advisor on international affairs, Dr. Tariq Reshad, director of historical monuments, Abdul Ahad Abbasi, director of archeology department, Noor Agha Noori, the ministry’s director of policy and plan, Abdul Moqim, Acting Minister of Information and Culture looked round the Chehelsotoun Palace yesterday, BNA reported.
Chehelsotoun Palace had been destroyed during the domestic wars. Its reconstruction has been started in 2014 with the assistance of Germany cost €12.5 million. Last month, a trilateral agreement was signed between the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC), Kabul Municipality and Agha Khan Foundation, based on which the three gardens of Chehelsotoun, Babur and Temor Shah Mausoleum to be managed as Kabul’s historical gardens.
At the same time, these gardens would be supervised by a nine-member MoIC’s board, Kabul Municipality department and Agha Khan cultural foundation, in which any entity has introduced three members in this respect.
 

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Peace efforts have increased recently to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan. But, how can the war get ended? It is a complicated question that can be answered. The only way that end the ongoing war in Afghanistan is negotiations or talks between the warring sides.
Zalmay Khalilzad has been appointed by US Secretary of State as the country’s special envoy on Afghanistan reconciliation to end the US long war of the history in Afghanistan. In recent months, direct talks between US officials and representatives of the Taliban group have started. Both sides have held direct talks two times in Qatar. Afghan Taliban has repeatedly rejected any kind of talks with Afghanistan government and asked for direct talks with US officials. Zalmay Khalilzad as newly-appointed envoy of the US secretary of state on Afghanistan reconciliation can play constructive role in Afghan peace process as he better knows Afghanistan and has close relations with most of Afghan leaders. According to Afghan experts, Khalilzad is acquainted with the culture, policy and society of Afghanistan and has good experiences with policies of the regional countries. For maintaining peace in Afghanistan, the country needs close cooperation of its neighboring countries in particular Pakistan. Now that Khalilzad has been appointed to help maintain peace in Afghanistan, hopes have increased that he would find a way for solution of Afghanistan dispute through political settlement.
After Taliban regime was toppled by US in 2001, Zalmay Khalilzad started his key role in Afghanistan. From 2003 – 2005, Khalilzad was the US ambassador to Afghanistan. The new Afghan constitution was ratified by efforts of Khalilzad, who is known as builders of the interim government of Afghanistan after the Bonn conference. Once Khalilzad had said that the main reason of the interferences of Pakistan in Afghanistan was the Indian presence, Kunar River and sharing of the Taliban group in power. The people of Afghanistan want Zalmay Khalilzad to end the US long war in Afghanistan through peace and negotiations. But, ending the longest war of US and ongoing war in Afghanistan is possible when Pakistan stops its relations with terrorist groups in particular Taliban. To end the current deadlock in connection with peace and reconciliation and war in Afghanistan, national unity government seriously needs cooperation of the international community and regional countries.
US has declared that the country would make its efforts towards ending the 17-year war in Afghanistan; therefore, the country is supporting the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process. It is worth mentioning that the people of Afghanistan are the victim of the imposed war in their country as thousands of people have lost their live during the past 17 years. Afghans want peace and wish to live in a peaceful environment like other nations of the world as they are tired of continued war and violence posed by terrorist groups being supported by Pakistan.
Lailuma Noori
 

Monday, 12 November 2018 07:08

‘H4AH Supports ANDSF Heroes’

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Help for Afghan Heroes (H4AH) is an Afghan-registered, apolitical, non-profit organization (charity) founded in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2016. 
H4AH strives to help Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) members who have been wounded or injured and the families of ANDSF heroes who have been martyred serving the country. One thousand ANDSF heroes have so far been registered in the charity. The charity’s media in-charge, Hamida Sala told The Kabul Times our mission is to help deliver an enduring national network of support for Afghan heroes by supporting wounded ANDSF personnel and families for psychological consultations to disabled and injured Afghan security forces, through which to return them to normal life.”
Likewise, the charity could pave the way for martyrs’ remaining in the field of receiving their salaries. Furthermore, making documentary from Afghan forces’ braveries, sacrifices, pains and disabled and martyred families’ problems is the best way to deliver their messages in and abroad.
The charity’s of deceased ANDSF servicemen and women. Additionally, we will seek to garner support for Afghan Heroes from Afghanistan’s international partners. H4AH is tailored to support the families of those who have been injured or have lost their lives while serving Afghanistan, she added. On charity’s health services she said, “H4AH is making effort to prepare the ground emergency assistances are usually provided in winter, holy month of Ramadan and other occasions, she went on to say. Replying a query she said, “To raise the Afghan security forces’ morale, the charity have so far assisted almost 1150 health insurance, 123 scholarships, aids in holy month of Ramadan and Eids to the Afghan forces’ martyred families.” At the end, she asked religious ulama, influential figures, private sector, national traders, national and international donors to support the charity to further honor the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces braveries and sacrifices.
Karima Malikzada
 

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Former Afghan refugee Safiya Wazir recently won an upset victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary against four-term State Representative Dick Patten.
By winning the Democratic primary for the 17th district of New Hampshire, she is on track to become the first refugee to ever serve public office in the state of New Hampshire.
She will face Republican candidate Dennis Soucy in the general election in November.
Wazir, 27, fled Afghanistan with her family when she was six years old and arrived in the U.S. in 2007.
After settling in Concord, New Hampshire, she made a new home in the United States, eventually becoming a citizen.
While the victory came as a surprise, it was absolute. Wazir dealt a heavy blow to incumbent Patten, winning 327 to 143 in Tuesday’s primary.
"Thank you to all my supporters who helped me win tonight’s Dem. primary. I will work hard for all the residents of Ward8," Wazir said on Twitter.
The newly-elected Democratic nominee is running on a campaign platform of advocating for school safety, access to health care and equal housing and economic opportunities.
M.A.Ansari
 

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Following increasing of insecurities in a number of provinces of the country, lawmakers by expressing concern over insecurities have asked the government to take serious steps in this regard.
Speaking in general meeting of parliament’s lower house, speaker of the house Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said: “In recent weeks, Taliban have increased their attacks on some parts of the country in particular Ghazni, Farah, Urzugan and Badakhshan and if the government does not pay serious attention to the situation, armed insurgent groups will increase their attacks on the respective provinces.” Ibrahimi believes that Taliban have recently got modern arms and ammunitions causing increased casualties of Afghan forces and civilians. “The insecurities have intensified ahead of the Moscow meeting on Afghanistan held on Friday with participation of Afghanistan’s high peace council and representatives of the Taliban group that wants to show its power to the world,” Ibrahimi added. On the other hand, representatives of Ghazni people in lower house of parliament say increasing insecurities in the province can put negative impacts on security of Kabul; therefore, the government should adopt necessary measures to address current insecurities in Ghazni province. In the meantime, officials for ministry of defense have informed of particular preparations for addressing insecurities in some provinces of the country.
“Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will continue their military operations to suppress insurgents and provide security for the people,” said Ghafoor Ahmad Javed, a spokesperson to ministry of defense.
He added that military operations were underway in various provinces of the country such as Ghazni, Urzugan, Badakhshan, Kunduz, Faryab and Farah. Afghan military experts believe that in recent months armed insurgent groups have sustained heavy casualties in military operations conducted by ANDSF in various parts of the country; therefore, the insurgent groups have increased their attacks to revenge it. “Experiences have shown that armed insurgents are always trying to insecure strategic provinces of the country. Thus, the government of Afghanistan should further make effort towards strengthening intelligence organs to spoil most of the attack and plots of the enemies,” said Javed Kohistani, an Afghan military expert. He also stressed on further coordination between the country’s defense and security organs, adding that one of mechanisms that could defeat the armed insurgents was better coordination among security organs.
Hadi Khalid, former deputy of interior ministry, believes that Afghanistan is now in good position among regional countries; therefore, powerful and big countries want to cooperate with Afghanistan in maintaining peace and stability. He added that achievements in recent years have showed capabilities and successes of the country’s defense and security forces.
It is worth mentioning that the country’s defense and security organs have assured the people that the country’s defense and security forces have full preparations to control the insurgents’ attacks in strategic provinces of the country.
Suraya Raiszada
 

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Accompanied by vice president, Mohammad Sarwar Danesh and a number of authorities of the system, president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in continuation of his provincial visits, this time went to Bamyan and Dykondi provinces, opened a number of development projects and met local officials, representatives of civil society, Ulema and local influential in these two provinces. Security of the central regions particularly Bamyan and Dykondi has always been evaluated fragile due to bordering with volatile province, and wrong deployment of ANSF in previous years. For instance security of Bamyan specially the roads leading to this province has always been threatened from the direction of relevant districts of Maidan Wardak, Parwan, Baghlan and Ghor provinces as the security of Dykondi has been threatened from the direction of certain insecure areas in Ghor and Uruzgan provinces.
During his visit, the president ordered that for each of these provinces a regional army battalion and for maintaining security of highways and development projects in two provinces and a unit of 500 personnel be formed to take part in protection of these provinces, the roads leading to them and works of development projects there. This could be considered as an important step for improving security of these provinces.
Dykondi province was established few years now as a third degree province within the framework of government main organization. The president approved that Dykondi should be promoted to second degree province.  The president during his visit to Bamyan launched long discussions on further effectiveness of government provincial departments and their organizations with concerned officials and issued essential instructions that would no doubt result in improvement and development of local governance in these provinces.
With promotion of Dykondi to second degree province, more resources would be allocated in governance structure, budget and program and certainly the local government capacities and capabilities would remarkably improve. During the visit of president to these provinces several development projects were officially opened including construction of Bamyan-Doshi road, Solar power project and the road in Nily city the provincial capital of Dykondi. With the construction of 155 km long Doshi-Bamyan road, not only the two Bamyan and Baghlan provinces would be connected with a standard road and unprecedented and extraordinary transportation and travel facilities would be available but this road would be considered as an alternative to Salang highway and indeed it would connect north to the south of the country that could be used in emergency situations in case of need. In usual conditions its exploitation would decrease transportation pressure on Salang road.
According to explanations of presidential deputy spokesman, Shah Hussein Mortazawi to media, the president laid the cornerstone of three following power projects of 220 KV Sub-Station, extension of 220 KV transmission line of Doshi to Bamyan and construction of power distribution network for 20000 subscribers. During his visit to Dykondi, the president opened the solar power generation project and power transmission and distribution network of Nily city. With completion and exploitation of these projects, big step will be taken for access of local population to power energy. Because access to power energy is one of the vital steps towards development.
 

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) The witnesses in economic affairs believe that transportation of Afghan merchandize via air corridors of Germany is easy but expensive.
They say that the impact and role of air corridors of Afghanistan with regional countries is important in the growth of export-import of Afghanistan. A number of economic experts of Afghanistan believe that establishment of air corridors is effective in the economic growth of the country. According to them, the air corridors not only regarded as important for export-import of Afghan merchandize to regional countries, but it expands the ties of merchants with other regional countries in the field of commerce. Fortunately, now we are the witnesses of establishment of air corridors among India, Turkey, Indonesia and China and hope the commercial ties further be grown more with regional countries. Economic witness, Saifuddin Saihoon in a briefing with The Kabul Times on importance of establishment of air corridors said that Afghanistan is a land-locked country and lacks vast railroad and transportation infrastructures and to grow its economy is making effort with utility from air corridors to expand its export.
Based on the same, in current year, the government of Afghanistan practically inaugurated several air corridors to ease transportation of Afghan traders’ merchandize to overseas that recently we are the witnesses of establishment of air corridor with People’s Republic of China that through this, the Afghan products especially pine nut directly transported to that country via this corridor. He added that within recent years, after repeated closing of Pakistan borders before consignments of Afghan traders, the government of Afghanistan decided beside commercial borders to open air corridors for export of dried fruits and merchandize to abroad. According to him, it is possible transportation of merchandize through air corridor would be expensive but in present situation, this decision would be regarded as a positive step towards development of commerce of Afghanistan and can in some extent rescue our country from commercial alignment with those countries who close their ports before our merchandize any time they want and incur our merchants.
This measure would have its positive impact for development of private sector as well as this measure strengthens friendship among nations and also has its impact on their politics. At the same time, the chamber of commerce and industry time and again has asserted every year, when the export of Afghan products begins to Pakistan, the latter created some limitations in its borders with Afghanistan that as a result, our merchants and farmers sustain worth millions of dollars annually. So, establishment of air corridors in some extent remove the problems of Afghan merchants in the connection. It is said that for the first time, the fresh fruit of Afghanistan was transported to India through air corridor. In this flight 60 tons fresh and dried fruits was dispatched to New Delhi and after this, similar flights took place to Turkey and Kazakhstan. According to the authorities of government of Afghanistan, annually, $30 million is gained through air transportation and establishment of air corridors can play its positive impact in enhancement of this income.
Simultaneously, Afghanistan is making effort to expand as soon as possible the capacity of Chabahar port of Iran and open water way towards India and central Asia. Anyway, in present condition, the government takes step to grow and develop national economy. It is a hope for a bright future of the country. At the same time, the in-charges of chamber of commerce regard not only the role of air corridor as positive for increment of export with regional countries but regard it as effective for increment of total exports of Afghanistan. They believe that the air corridor of Afghanistan as an alternative way and positive pressure caused we face with lesser problems in land transportation. Based on the same, our export to regional countries is increasing daily and all these are the achievements earned through establishment of air corridors and efforts made by government of Afghanistan. It is mentionable that now, the government of Afghanistan has opened similar air corridor with China that through this, several tons of black pine-nut of Afghanistan have been exported to China.
Shukria Kohistani
 

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) During a meeting held on Sunday, Acting Minister of Information and Culture and head of media violations and complaints investigation commission, Hasina Safi briefed the participants about the functions done by the commission over the last six months, Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported.
Attended by Zia Bumia, Seddiqullah Tawhidi, Jawan Shir Haidari and other members of the commission as well as Sabir Momand, the ministry’s spokesperson and media advisor, acting minister Safi said the commission has held 12 ordinary and 3 extraordinary meetings during the first half of the year, the agency further said.
During these meetings, the commission addressed 32 complaints and 5 cases of media violations, she added, BNA went on to say.
The commission members are decisively making effort to pave the way for freedom of speech and media’s legal activity, she stated.
Likewise, she added the commission asks the citizens and media in-charges to deliver their complaints to the commission on media violations and with evidence so they are addressed in accordance with the country’s enforced laws and the commission’s procedure and authorizations.
The commission’s members also answered the reporters’ questions about the complaints’ registration and processing.
 

Monday November 12, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Non-Resident ambassador of Ukraine for Afghanistan, Viktor Nikit³uk bid farewell here yesterday to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Salahuddin Rabbani.
According to BNA report, FM Rabbani thanked Ukraine for its support and cooperation with Afghanistan and called for the opening of Ukrainian Embassy in Kabul. He also appreciated Nikitivok’s achievements as the non-resident Ukrainian Ambassador for Afghanistan and wished him success in his future endeavors. Nikitivok emphasized further cooperation between the two countries.
 

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