13 October 2019

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Friday September 20, 2019
Kabul (BNA) With her life at stake, journalist Najwa Alimi challenges Afghanistan’s traditional view of women and men. In a country where women are seldom allowed to leave their homes unaccompanied, she can be seen on television as a reporter on the Afghan TV channel Zan TV. Nominated by the Swedish section of Reporters Without Borders, Najwa Alimi is awarded the Per Anger Prize for her fight for freedom of expression and women's rights. The Per Anger Prize is the Swedish government's international prize for human rights and democracy, awarded by the Living History Forum.
I want to demonstrate that women can work in an industry considered taboo for them. I realized that journalism was the quickest way if I wanted to reach women all around Afghanistan, and that it could serve as a platform to fight for women’s rights, says Najwa Alimi. Afghanistan is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, but also for women in general. Najwa Alimi is 25 years old, and she currently works as a reporter for the Afghan TV channel Zan TV, the only channel in the country that employs only female reporters and editors. She has made a name for herself as a fearless reporter, raising topics preferably avoided by other journalists, including social vulnerability, homelessness, drug addiction, and women's rights. – As a journalist, Najwa Alimi has been shot at and threatened. To keep fighting for women's rights to be seen and heard takes great courage. Najwa Alimi gives hope to a new generation of Afghan girls and boys, says Ingrid Lomfors, Director of the Living History Forum and chairman of the Per Anger Prize jury. The conditions for women in Afghanistan are slowly improving. But progress is slow, and many women are subjected to both violence and discrimination. More and more women enter the workforce, but harassment and the lack of education still present major obstacles for many of them. Last year, 14 journalists were killed, more than in any other country in the world, and so far this year four journalists have been killed. As female journalists grow in numbers, taking up more space, the threat against them increases. – Receiving the Per Anger Prize makes me even more convinced that I'm on the right track, that I should keep doing what I'm doing, and work even harder, says Najwa Alimi.
Najwa Alimi was nominated for the Per Anger Prize by RSF Sweden, the Swedish section of Reporters Without Borders. In 2017 Reporters Without Borders opened the first center for protection of women journalists in Afghanistan, Committee for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists (CPAWJ) who gives support to women media workers in Afghanistan.
– This prize comes at the right time. In the ongoing peace negotiations the importance of the protection of journalists and women´s rights can´t be underestimated as the key for a sustainable and long lasting result that will benefit all of Afghanistan. There is a need for more journalists like Najwa Alimi putting a spotlight on the often brutal and extreme violations of press freedom and women´s rights, says Erik Halkjaer, President of RSF Sweden. Najwa Alimi will be presented with the Per Anger Prize on 17 October at a ceremony held at the grand theatre Göta Lejon in Stockholm. The prize will be presented by the Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy, Amanda Lind. The prize winner will be available for interviews in Stockholm on 14–16 October.
The Per Anger Prize is the Swedish government’s international prize for human rights and democracy. The prize was established in 2004 to draw attention to diplomat Per Anger's great work during the Second World War. The Living History Forum has been commissioned by the government to award the prize each year.
Nine international organizations participated in the nomination work for the Per Anger Prize: Afrikagrupperna, Amnesty International, Civil Rights Defenders, Diakonia, ICJ Sweden (Swedish Section of the International Commission of Jurists), Kvinna till kvinna, RSF Sweden (Swedish section of Reporters without Borders), the Church of Sweden, and Swedish PEN.
Rsf
Ansari

 

Friday September 20, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The Brisbane Heat has confirmed that Mujeeb Ur Rahman, the Afghanistan spinner, would be returning to the franchise for the 2019-20 edition of the Big Bash League (BBL). The 18-year-old tweaker was one of their star performers last season, having picked up 12 wickets at a league leading economy of 6.04. The team has also roped in chinaman Zahir Khan Pakteen.
Zahir was a part of Afghanistan’s historic victory over Bangladesh in Chattogram and is currently plying his trade for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Prior to that, Zahir played for Lancashire in the T20 Blast and was also picked in the 2018 auction for the Indian Premier League (IPL), though he missed out on the latter due to injury.
Going back to Mujeeb, the Young Turk sounded ecstatic by the Heat’s decision to show faith in him. Last time around, the Heat couldn’t qualify for the semis after finishing fifth on the points table. Mujeeb is confident that next time around, the team will try and go further.
“I had so much fun playing at Brisbane Heat in my first year that I really wanted to return when the opportunity came. They are great guys and I hope we can push for the finals this season,” Mujeeb was quoted as saying in Brisbane Heat’s official website.
Zahir also expressed his delight for joining the Heat and getting to play alongside his ‘good friend’ Mujeeb. “This is a very exciting thing for me, especially to be joining the team where my good friend Mujeeb played last year. He told me great things about Brisbane Heat, so I am looking forward to this challenge so much,” Zahir said.
It is a real joy to see players like Mujeeb and Zahir grow, says Lehmann
Darren Lehmann, the head coach of the Brisbane Heat, was over the moon after Mujeeb and Zahir got into the team’s scheme of things. Lehmann, also a former Australian head coach, hailed Afghan cricket as the best thing to have happened to cricket in recent years.
“I think the arrival of Afghanistan in international cricket has been one of the best things to happen to the game in recent years, and it is a real joy to see players like Mujeeb and Zahir grow in stature for their country and show their skills around the world,” Lehmann stated.
Apart from Zahir and Mujeeb, other Afghan cricketers like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Qais Ahmad have also honed their skills in the BBL. Lehman reckons that playing in the BBL has helped immensely in the development of the Afghan players.
“It’s great that the BBL has played a role in helping with that development with the likes of Mujeeb and now Zahir, joining Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Qais Ahmad in getting starts here,” Lehmann, the former Australian cricketer, added.
Crictracker
Ansari

 

Friday September 20, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Pakistani PM Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he would urge US President Donald Trump next week to revive Afghanistan peace talks with the Taliban militant group, Reuters reports. Trump abruptly canceled secret talks with the Taliban that were planned for September 8.
“It will be a big tragedy if these talks don’t make headway,” Khan said at a ceremony at Pakistan’s Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan. Khan will meet Trump in New York on Monday, and will emphasize that there had been “destruction and chaos in Afghanistan for the last 40 years.”
“We will put our best [effort] that these talks are resumed again,” the PM said, adding that his next role would have been to convince the Taliban to open talks with the Afghan government. Khan is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly while in New York.
The PM also said there was “no chance of talks” with India about its clampdown on the disputed territory of Kashmir until it lifted a curfew for people there.
Rt
Ansari

Friday September 20, 2019 Kabul (BNA) Guaranteeing press freedom is essential for a just and lasting peace in Afghanistan, two press freedom organizations – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Federation of Associations and Media in Afghanistan ¬– said at a press conference in Kabul today. In a joint statement, the two organizations urged the Afghan government and the Taliban to resume peace talks, and called on civil society, politicians and, in particular, candidates for the 28 September presidential election to back their campaign, which is entitled: “There will be no just and lasting peace without guarantees for press freedom.” The two organizations believe that peace and peaceful coexistence will not be possible in Afghanistan without the entire society’s participation, and that this needs guarantees for a free and independent press. They therefore call on participants in the Afghan peace talks to: • Do their utmost to ensure protection for press freedom and journalists, respecting the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s constitution and laws, and the international standards enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. • Strengthen all the fundamental laws, decrees and institutions that, for the past 18 years, have guaranteed press freedom, the protection of journalists and, in particular, the rights of women journalists. • Protect and reinforce the measures that the government of national union and the coordinating committee for the safety of journalists and media have taken to defend the freedom to inform. Reinforce the work of the sub-committees that have been created to monitor and respond to threats and abuses against journalists and media, and the work of the General Directorate for Analysing and Combatting Crime. • Respect the rights of women journalists to work freely. RSF and the Federation of Associations and Media in Afghanistan ¬also call on the Taliban to explicitly undertake to respect international humanitarian law’s basic treaties, starting with the Geneva Conventions. An undertaking to this effect would be a guarantee for the safety of journalists. Media personnel have paid a heavy price in Afghanistan since 2001. At least 100 media workers, including 16 foreign journalists, have been killed in connection with the provision of news and information, More than 40 media outlets have been attacked and destroyed during the same period, while hundreds of threats against journalists and media outlets have been reported. Afghanistan is ranked 121st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Rsf Ansari

Friday, 20 September 2019 15:21

The Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan

Friday September 20, 2019 Kabul (BNA) The Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan: Is Community Engagement the Key? Robert J. Burrowes I have just read a superb book by Mark Isaacs, an Australian who has documented several years of effort by a group of incredibly committed young people in Afghanistan to build peace in that war-torn country the only way it can be built: by learning, living and sharing peace. The book, titled The Kabul Peace House: How a Group of Young Afghans are Daring to Dream in a Land of War, records in considerable detail the struggle, both internal and external, to generate a peaceful future in Afghanistan. Some might consider this vision naive, others courageous, but few would doubt the simple reality: it is slow, daunting, incredibly difficult, often saddening, frightening, infuriating or painful, sometimes uplifting or hilarious and, just occasionally, utterly rewarding. This is a human story written by a person who knows how to listen and to observe. And because the subject is about a group of ordinary Afghans and their mentor doing their best in the struggle to end one of the longest wars in human history, it is a story that is well worth reading. This story is embedded in a combination of (brief) historical background on Afghanistan’s longstanding and central role in imperial geopolitics (including during ‘The Great Game’ of the 19th century) and more recent history on the progressive modernity of Afghanistan prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979 which was followed by an ongoing and multifaceted war in which the United States has played the most damaging role since its invasion of the country in 2001. But the background also includes a description of the ethnic diversity throughout the country, the role of religion and gender relations (and the challenges these social parameters present), as well as commentary on the social, economic and political regression as a result of the war’s many adverse impacts. So the book weaves a lot of strands into a compelling story of nonviolent resistance and regeneration against almost overwhelming odds. However, that is not all. Given that all of the Afghans in this visionary community have each been traumatized by their unique experience of war, the book doesn’t shy away from describing the challenges this presents both to them personally and to the community, including its mentor and even some of the community’s many international visitors. Most of the community members – whether Pashtun, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, Tajik, Sayyid, Pashai... – have suffered serious loss during the war, especially those members who have had family and other relatives killed, or worse. Worse? you might ask. What is worse than death? Well, after reading this book, you will better understand that the context and the manner of death mean a great deal psychologically. None of the victims of this war died peacefully in their sleep after long and meaningful lives and this is just one part of the psychological trauma suffered by so many in this particular community but also in wider Afghan society. So what does this community in Kabul do? Well, throughout its evolution and many manifestations, the community has done many things including run a variety of projects intended to foster understanding, cooperation and learning: foster mutual respect among the diversity of people that constitute its membership, teach some of its members to read and write and facilitate learning opportunities in other contexts, teach the meaning and practice of nonviolence, give street kids the chance to learn skills that will make them employable, make duvets to give to people who go cold in Afghanistan’s freezing winters, teach and practice permaculture, organize protests against the war (including by flying kites instead of drones), and generally working to create a world that is green, equal and nonviolent. If you think this sounds all good and straightforward, given slowly spreading acceptance of such ideas elsewhere (in some circles at least), then you might have underestimated their radical nature in a society in which ideas about nonviolence, equality and sustainability have, for the most part, not been previously encountered and have certainly not taken root. Isaacs records the observations of the group’s mentor on these subjects: ‘Over the years I have seen how the volunteers have changed within their personal lives, even if it means distancing themselves from the traditions of their own family…. But on a public level it’s much slower.’ This is understandable. As Isaacs notes, even in ordinary conversation and group discussions, ‘the weight of resistance, the taboos and the self-censorship’ made an impact on him. In a culture in which, in 2015, a woman in her twenties was stoned, her body run over by a car and then dumped in a river and set on fire because a mullah falsely accused her of burning the Quran, there is a low way to go. One of the things that I found most compelling about the book is the occasional ‘biography’ of one of the community’s main characters. Given pseudonyms to avoid possible adverse repercussions, these stories provide real insight into the lives of certain community members and their struggle to leave home (in some cases), to join the community, to find their place within it and gain acceptance by the other members. Some, like Hojar, are more outspoken and this, for a woman, is unusual in itself. Hojar is deeply aware of the gender inequality and violence against women in Afghanistan and will talk about it. This inspires other women, like Tara, who have not experienced this outspokenness before. But Hojar’s life had started differently, in the mountains where, as a teenager, she was getting up at 3am to start baking bread for her four snoring brothers before milking the goats and sheep. ‘I am not a woman’, she thought, ‘I am a slave’. Fortunately and unusually, Hojar’s parents supported her desire to not marry at 13 or 15, but to continue her education and follow her dreams. It’s a long, painful, terrifying and fascinating journey but Hojar ended up in this novel community experiment in Kabul where her now college-educated talent was highly valued and put to wonderful use. She has my utmost admiration. Unlike Hojar, other community members, like Horse, originally a shepherd in the mountains, are more circumspect on gender equality and other issues. But this doesn’t mean that Horse is not active, at times playing roles in the networking team, the accounts team and, particularly, as coordinator of the food cooperative which provided monthly gifts of food to the impoverished families of one hundred children who studied at the community’s street kids school. If you think raising donations to pay for this food was easy, particularly given the community decision to avoid the international aid sector to try to encourage Afghans to help their fellow Afghans, when more than half of the population lived below the poverty line and unemployment was at 40%, you will find it compelling to read how the teenaged Horse struggled with the monumental range of challenges he faced in that particular role. He has my admiration too. Insaan, a doctor who mentors the community, provides a compelling story as well. Originally from another country, in 2002 a consultation with a patient at his successful medical practice inspired him to depart some time later. After spending more than two years in Pakistan, working with refugees from Afghanistan, he went to Afghanistan in 2004 to work for an international NGO in public health education in its central mountainous region. His ongoing experience in this role, however, taught him that every problem the villagers faced had its origins in the war. And this underpinned his gradual transformation from health professional to peace activist. He discovered Thoreau, Gandhi and King, among others, and ‘became convinced of the power of love’. By 2008, Insaan had initiated his first multi-ethnic live-in community (although he did not live in it himself) in the mountains but in 2011, when his house was deliberately burned down, he departed for Kabul determined to restart the peace work he had begun in the mountains. Starting with three young people who accompanied him from the mountains, the first manifestation of a live-in peace community in Kabul was soon underway. Endlessly paying attention, trying to provide guidance, reconcile those in conflict, and even withstanding threats of violence, Insaan’s love has undoubtedly been the glue that has held the growing and evolving community together. But not without cost. At times, Insaan has struggled, emotionally and otherwise, to survive in this perpetual war zone as the key figure holding this loving experiment together. He is a truly remarkable human being. And it is because of the trauma that he and each of the other community members has suffered, that I hope that, in future, they can somehow dedicate time to their own personal, emotional healing. See ‘Putting Feelings First’ and ‘Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening’. There is no better investment for any human being than to spend time consciously focusing on feeling the fear, pain, anger and sadness that we are taught and terrorized into suppressing during childhood (so that we become the obedient slaves that our society wants). Given the extraordinary violence that the people of Afghanistan have suffered and are still suffering, the value of making this investment would be even greater. Anyway, if you want to read an account of the deeply personal human costs of war, and what one community is doing about it, read this book. It isn’t all pretty but, somehow, this remarkable community, through all of its manifestations over many years, its successes and failures, manages to inspire one with the sense that while those insane humans who spend their time planning, justifying, fighting and profiting from wars against people in other countries, those people on the receiving end of their violence are capable of visioning a better tomorrow and working to achieve it. No matter how difficult or how long it takes. Moreover, we can help too. See Nonviolent Campaign Strategy. So allow yourself to be inspired by a group of young people, each of whom has lived their entire life in a country at war both with itself and with foreign countries, but has refused to submit to the predominant delusion that violence is the way out. Scoop Ansari

Thursday, 19 September 2019 09:07

Top Taliban Commander Dies of Wounds in Pakistan

Thursday September 19, 2019
Kabul (BNA) A senior commander of Taliban group died of wounds in a hospital in Pakistan yesterday.
Mohammad Hanif Rezayee spokesman of 209 Shaheen army corps told BNA reporter, few days ago Qari Abdullah known as Asadullah the top commander of Taliban group was injured during an air attack in Aqcha district of Jawzjan province, then transferred to Pakistan for further treatment, but he lost his life in a hospital belonged to ISI (Inter-Service Intelligence for Pakistan) yesterday.
Qari Abdullah had active role in most terrorist and destructive activities carried out by Taliban group in Jawzjan province.
M.A.Ansari


 

Thursday, 19 September 2019 09:07

Martyrs & Injured Families Received Aid in Parwan

Thursday September 19, 2019
CHARIKAR CITY (BNA) Cash assistances have been donated to dozens martyrs and injured families in central Parwan province yesterday.
According to BNA local correspondent report, each of 29 martyrs’ families have received 200,000 Afghanis and each 51 injured families have received 80,000 Afghanis.
During the cash donation, Fazulddin Ayar governor of Parwan appreciated from leaders of National Unity Government’s attention to the families affected following suicide attack took place in Charikar city the provincial capital of the province two days ago.
At least 29 people were martyred and dozens more were wounded following a suicide attack took place close to an election rally held by President Ghani election campaign team in Charikar city two days ago.
M.A.Ansari

Thursday, 19 September 2019 09:06

Commentary

Saturday, September 19, 2019
Kabul (BNA) The neighboring and the countries of the region should build their relations with Afghanistan according to international norms and standards.
BNA political affairs analyst commenting on the issue writes:  after Donald Trump the president of America cancelled the agreement that close to signing and Taliban were near to victory, they seem more Vern arable
Taliban in order to find the lost opportunity tried their best to bring US in to negotiations once again. Sometimes, they are pleading, other times threatening and sometimes; trying to introduce their regional and international friends and cooperators to America and in this way bring US under pressure.
Recently a four member delegation of the group went to Russia and Iran.
Taliban delegation in Moscow with the second rate officials of that country’s foreign ministry discussed the issues related Afghan peace process and supporting of that country from Taliban. Earlier Taliban have asked Russia to sign at the end of peace agreement between America and Taliban as a guarantor. Russia warmly accepted the proposal.  
But in Iran, the Taliban delegation talked with the authorities of foreign ministry of that county in a high position. (Peace process, recent developments and safety of Iranian projects and the strategy of permanent peace were the issues between the two sides. 
On the other hand Abas Stanukzay  a senior official of Taliban in Doha an interview with senior official of Taliban in Doha in an interview with a western media has asked Trump to send an American delegation on to negotiation table and Taliban are ready make ceasefire with America.
If we precisely pay attention to the proposal it points out to ceasefire only with American military and pains and the problems Afghan people suffering not only ignored but insist on permanency of the deadly fighting.
The regional countries hosting the Taliban delegation in a time, the group during the last month committed the most heinous act against Afghan people.
For all above terrorist events, Taliban claimed the responsibility. Therefore, how do they place Taliban in their capitals and honor them with great names?
It would not be important for Afghan people, what have Taliban have done for their identity but expects the friendly and neighboring countries to act against the group as they deserved.
On the other hand Abas Stanukzai one of the senior officials’ of Taliban in Doha interviewing with a western media has asked president Trump to send an American delegation to negotiation table and Taliban are ready to make a ceasefire with America.
The countries of the region are hosting the Taliban delegation in a time; the group committed the most brutal acts against Afghan people, such as attack on wedding ceremony.
Taliban claimed the responsibility of all above terrorist incidents and honored for conduction such satanic incidents.
It would be important for Afghan people and government that what Taliban are doing for their identity, but expect the friendly and neighboring countries to build their relations with Afghanistan according to international norms and standards. 
Since Taliban is a serious threat for the security of the region and world, therefore hosting the group is against all principles and relation among the countries.

 

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Jalalabad (BNA)  Four people were lost their lives and at least 12 others have been injured in assaulters attack on Electronic National Identity Card center in Nangarhar province yesterday.
According to reports, two suicide bombers exploded themselves near the entering gate of the department, and two other bombers entered to the center and clashed with security forces.
Shah Mahmood Myankhail governor of Nangarhar told BNA, two militaries and two civilians were lost their lives and 12 others have been injured.
No individuals or group has commented the responsibility of the event, but local sources blamed Taliban for the incident.
T. Yarzada

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Ghazni (BNA)  Seven Taliban militants were killed in coalition forces strikes in Ghazni province last night.
Emal Momand press in charge of Thunder army corps told BNA, the Taliban were targeted in air strikes conducted by coalition forces in outskirt of Qarabagh and Abband Districts.
A vehicle and numerous of weapons were destroyed in the raid.
Another report says five Taliban militants were arrested in commando forces operation in Dehyak District, Ghazni province and a weapon cache of the militants has been destroyed.
Likewise, a group of de-miners of Thunder 203 army corps discovered and defused nine mines from Jaji Aryob District of Pakita and Sayeedabad district, Maidan-Wardak province.
T. Yarzada

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