20 January 2020

RSS Facebook

Friday January 10, 2020
Kabul (BNA) After bearing the brunt of jihadist dynamite and looting by thieves, the archaeological treasures of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province are facing a new and possibly more daunting threat: climate change.
Nestled in the heart of the Hindu Kush mountains, the Bamiyan valley's picturesque cliffs -- where centuries-old Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 -- still contain a network of caves housing temples, monasteries, and Buddhist paintings.
The valley is also home to the silk-road era Shahr-e Gholghola fortress and the Shar-e Zohak citadel to the east.
Experts say that a pattern of dry spells followed by heavy rain, and larger than usual spring snowmelts is putting this historic art and architecture at risk of destruction.
Afghan officials warned in a 2016 United Nations report that the structures "may collapse and suffer from severe erosion"due to conditions directly linked to climate change.
"The erosion processes are much faster, the rains more devastating and the wind erosion stronger, which has an extremely harsh impact on the sites," Philippe Marquis, the director of the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan, told AFP.
Marquis -- who has explored and worked in the region for decades -- explains that Afghanistan "is very fragile geologically, especially as vegetation cover has greatly diminished" due to deforestation.
French imaging company Iconem concurred, saying Shar-e Zohak is "very fragile" due to erosion that has increased considerably over the last 30 years.
For Baqe Ghulami, 21, who hails from Saikhand district in northern Bamiyan, climate change has long been a reality residents have had to confront.
"The weather is changing, now summers are warmer and winters colder," he says, while overlooking the empty spaces where the two towering Buddha statues once stood.
Many of the artefacts pre-date the arrival of Islam to the region but despite the fact they come from another religion, the residents who spoke with AFP proudly defended the area's history as their own.
- 'Erosion is increasing' -
From the empty caves, visitors can see the Cultural Center, which began construction in 2015 but has yet to be completed.
It aims to educate visitors about the urgent need to preserve the area's heritage.
"There is no benefit if people just see (the sites) without information," says Ali Reza Mushfiq, 26, director of the Department of Archeology at Bamiyan University, complaining that a dearth of funding has left many in the dark -- including his own students who lack access to books.
The archaeologist readily admits that "erosion is increasing", but believes the real danger comes from "human influence at the site", including looters, who are rampant in Afghanistan.
The Shar-e Gholghola Fortress and other key sites are now guarded to protect against such issues.
The removal of landmines from the area has seen thousands visit in recent years, but the influx of recent visitors has done little to change the reality on the ground.
"We must start training... (the) local people to teach them how not to destroy the site," says Mushfiq, adding that some residents continue to store feed and house livestock in the historic sites.
A stone's throw from the cave of the great Buddha, Ammanullah, 37, says he and his family have moved into one of the caves, building a home inside made of odds and ends with plastic sheets for windows.
He is not alone, many other poor families have sought shelter next to ancient artefacts and structures.
"There are 18 families here… we didn’t have other options," says Ammanullah.
"We would go if we were given a house."
For Marquis, however, the greatest threat does not come from local residents encroaching on the site or from theft.
"Even if it is dramatic, it is much less damaging than the destruction caused by erosion," he said.
Mitigating the impacts of erosion and the effects of climate change would cost billions of dollars in Afghanistan, but the war-torn country has little ability to shoulder such a burden.
The Global Adaptation Initiative, run by the University of Notre Dame in the US, currently ranks Afghanistan 173 out of the 181 countries it scored in terms of a nation's vulnerability to climate change and its ability to adapt.
Afp
Ansari


 

Friday, 10 January 2020 10:05

Withdraw From Afghanistan, Ceasefire or Not

Friday January 10, 2020
Kabul (BNA) About 14000 American soldiers were absent from their family Christmas dinner tables this holiday season. But they could be back with their families next December — if our leaders would bring them home from our failed war in Afghanistan, that is.
The current state of affairs is not promising. On Dec. 29, the Taliban council agreed to a temporary ceasefire in Afghanistan to pave the way for peace talks, but the Taliban chief has yet to agree to the measure. It doesn’t seem he’s too interested in peace. Just the evening before, the Taliban had claimed responsibility for an attack in Northern Afghanistan that killed 17 local Afghan fighters.
Negotiating with terrorists is usually a zero-sum game, and they know it as well as anyone else. It’s why waiting for the Taliban to strike an honest peace deal is like waiting for rain in a desert. Sadly, it’s a strategy the United States has fallen for far too many times.
The prospect of a peace deal in Afghanistan regained momentum after President Trump made his first visit to the country on Thanksgiving. Peace talks had previously halted in September, when Trump canceled a secret Camp David meeting with the Taliban because of their involvement in an attack in Kabul that killed an American. Now, with the president’s support, our Afghanistan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has resumed a hectic attempt to orchestrate a backstage conclusion to the war, but his plans for peace remain on very thin ice.
Politicians have repeatedly made false promises when it comes to ending the war in Afghanistan.
Former President Barack Obama promised to end the war by 2014 but increased our troop numbers by 2016. Before his election, President Trump repeatedly called the war a waste of lives, resources, and time. Last year, he made an even grander promise to bring all the troops home by 2020.
In an attempt to reach that lofty goal, Trump has considered starting with bringing 4,000 troops home, but that has yet to materialize. And what’s worse, after watching the lack of foreign policy discussion during the Democratic debates so far, it’s painfully obvious that pulling our troops out of Afghanistan falls low on the totem pole for Democrats too.
It shouldn’t.
Last year, 20 Americans died during combat operations in Afghanistan. This may seem like a low number considering the total number of troops there, but it’s actually the most casualties for a calendar year since 2014. According to the Washington Post, "since 2001, more than 775,000 U.S. troops have deployed to Afghanistan, many repeatedly. Of those, 2,300 died and 20,589 were wounded in action."
Let’s not forget the toll this war has taken on local Afghans, too.
Per the Washington Post’s Afghanistan Papers, it’s estimated that 61,124 Afghan security forces personnel, 43,074 civilians, and 42,100 Taliban insurgents have died. Afghans need time to rebuild their war-torn country, but many of them can’t even remember a time when they weren’t at war with themselves or a foreign power.
Afghanistan is a country that has been at war with itself for decades, and things aren’t getting better despite our best efforts. The U.S. merely needs to call the war a stalemate and save our troops and resources for another day. We certainly do not need approval from the Taliban, or anyone else for that matter, to leave Afghanistan. Waiting for an idealistic peace deal is a recipe for forever war.
Perhaps our nation’s New Year’s resolution ought to be realizing American military force is not the answer to every problem around the world. By focusing time and resources on problems the U.S. actually can alleviate, we’ll engage in far fewer endless commitments and get ourselves out of situations we should’ve left years ago. But Afghanistan isn’t one we can fix, and we’re only making things worse.
It’s time to pack up and get out
Washingtonexaminer
Ansari

Friday January 10, 2020
Kabul (BNA) a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Oil recently announced that Ashraf Ghani (Ashraf Ghani) ordered the termination of contracts with the two companies at the (Badakhshan) Gold Mine in Badakhshan and the Balhab (Balkhab) copper mine in Sar-ePul at the National Senior Economic Council meeting (High Economic Council meeting) in November 2019.
Mutfi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Oil, said that the operating contracts for the two gold and copper mines were terminated because they were unable to meet the commitments they had made in the bid, mainly because the companies had failed to meet their financial commitments, and the two companies were supposed to invest $87 million in these projects.
In 2012, a former government minister was a major shareholder in a Turkish-Afghan mining joint venture and a British mining company that won the rights to exploit the Badakhshan gold mine and the Balhab copper mine, respectively.
Metal
Ansari

Friday January 10, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan and Adelaide Strikers all-rounder Rashid Khan on Wednesday scripted his fifth hat-trick in the shortest format of the game.
He achieved the feat in the ongoing match against Sydney Sixers in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL).
Rashid dismissed Jack Edwards, James Vince and Jack Edwards on successive balls to achieve the feat.
BBL's official handle tweeted the video of Rashid's hat-trick and captioned the post as -- "He's done it! A hat-trick for Rashid Khan! What a moment #BBL09".
Rashid has been setting the tournament ablaze with this quick fire knocks. He has also been using a 'camel' bat in the tournament, and it has garnered quite a lot of attention.
But the batsman failed to trouble the scores against Sydney Sixers in the ongoing match.
In the ongoing match between Strikers and Sixers, the latter won the toss and opted to bowl first.
Strikers kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and hence was restricted to 135 in the allotted twenty overs.
mid-day
Ansari

Thursday, 09 January 2020 10:02

Bridge Constructed in Taliqan

Thursday, January 09, 2020
Takhar (BNA)  A bridge was constructed and put into exploitation in Taliqan center of Takhar province yesterday.
Engineer Sabghatullah Nazari head of rural rehabilitating and development of Takhar told BNA, the bridge was 175m long and six m wide has been constructed from budge of national road construction program of rural rehabilitation and development ministry in Taliqan city at the cost of 107,900,000 Afghanis.
Construction of the bridge has connected nine villages to Taliqan main highway, he added.
At the inauguration ceremony of the bridge, Takhar governor directed police and traffic management of the province, after this, vehicles from Badakhshan will be guided by this route.
T. Yarzada

Thursday, 09 January 2020 06:37

Taliban Insurgents Killed in Nooristan Strike

Thursday, January 09, 2020
Paroon (BNA) Four Taliban insurgents were killed in Nooristan last night.
The insurgents were suppressed near Durand Line by security troops while wanted to plant a mine in a convoy of border police forces.
Border senior commander in east of the country told BNA, four Taliban insurgents were killed in the strike.
The Taliban had just arrived from Pakistan to Nooristan province.
Another report says, police of Nooristan discovered and confiscated six mines from crowded ways of the province and prevented from a series of explosions.
No one has been detained in connection of the failed planting mines.
T. Yarzada

Thursday, January 9, 2020
Kabul (BNA) In a meeting held with participation of a number of representatives of people in lower house of parliament yesterday at Vice President Office, various political and social issues were reviewed and discussed.
In the meeting attended by second deputy speaker of the house and a number of lawmakers, priorities of people in the field of public services, development, justice and maintaining of security were discussed.
Pointing to strong determination of national assembly for the protection of values of constitution and national interests and supporting the country’s political system, representatives of people in the house stressed they would be cooperative with the government, particularly with the second vice president for implementation of the people’s demands.
In the meeting, Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh by praising the lawmakers for their presence said that positive and constructive interaction between all three powers of the country in particular between legislative and executive powers was in the interest of the country and essential for the people of Afghanistan.
Stressing also on positive and constructive interaction between various tribes of the people of Afghanistan in lower house of parliament, VP Danesh said differences and hatefulness were never in the interest of the people, adding that in big national issues as maintaining security, balanced development and national partnership which were part of the government’s principal priorities, cooperation of national assembly with the government was a serious need.
In the meeting, it was decided that such meetings should be continued for further coordination in various affairs.
Yarzada

Thursday, January 09, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Mohammad Rasul Bawary, the deputy minister of information and culture on cultural and art affairs inaugurated a 2-day exhibition showing calligraphy of the Islamic era at the National Gallery, BNA reported the other day.
Up to 60 manuscripts from the Ghulam Maimanagi Training Center artists have been displayed at the exhibition, said the agency.
Attended by a number of the ministry's officials, Prof. Bawary said the exhibition has been held to welcome Kabul as the center of the Islamic culture in 2024.
The deputy minister shared information about the Islamic era works and calligraphies and added that despite new technology in calligraphy, various types of handwritten manuscripts have special position in this art, the agency quoted.
He also called holding such exhibitions effective in the growth of art and artists in the country, according to the agency.
Yarzada

 

Thursday, January 09, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has held a telephonic conversation with the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper the other day, Bakhtar News Agency reported.
During the conversation, the two sides spoke about the current security situations in the region, particularly the recent tension between the US and Iran, said the agency.
Both sides emphasized on addressing the tension via diplomatic channel, according to the source.
Yarzada

Thursday, January 09, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah met with US embassy charge d ’affaires late on Tuesday evening, a statement from the CE press office said Wednesday.
During the meeting which was held at the Spidar Palace, both sides spoke about the recent regional developments, efforts for peace, the process of meeting electoral complaints, said the statement.
The two sides also exchanged views on good governance, according to the statement.
Yarzada


 

Page 1 of 330