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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Aybak (BNA) With the completion of power line extension in Samangan province the homes of hundreds of families in several villages have been enlightened, head of power department in Samangan Engineer Abdul Latif said. 
The project at a cost of 140000 US dollars provided by USAID and Breshna Company has benefited 700 houses. 
The power has been imported from Uzbekistan, Latif further said. A resident of Aybak city namely Mohammad Ibrahim said his house is lit over the past one week.  Engineer Latif also added with the completion of Samangan power sub-station 10000 houses, government departments and shops would benefit from power.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) The ministry for Mines would ink the agreement on transit facility for TAPI with the government of Turkmenistan today, spokesman for the ministry of Mines Jawad Omar said yesterday, adding the Council of Ministers after discussion on the subject has authorized the minister for Mines Wahidullah Shahrani to sign the transit facility agreement with Turkmenistan. 
If inked would facilitate the transition of Turkmenistan gas through Afghanistan on Pakistan onward to India. 
The agreement on TAPI was inked between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in Qaus 1389. 
Afghanistan would earn 400 million US dollars as transit-duty annually.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 06:12

Flood Affected Areas Reviewed

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Officials with the natural disaster management authority along with lawmakers from Saripul district in a meeting with vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili on the chair reviewed the flood affected areas and the modality of providing assistance. 
According to the reports some 20 people had been killed, 20 others missing and some 1500 families sustained losses and thousands of farmlands were washed away and hundreds of cattle were killed. 
UN and ISAF have provided food, medicine and potable water to the affected families. 
The ministry for agriculture had provided 50 tons flour and 50 tons rice to the affected people in Saripul while the defense ministry has provided 32 tons food and non food items to the affected families in Saripul and Jauzjan provinces. 
The vice president Khalili besides calling on the governors of Saripul and Jauzjan provinces and receiving latest report on the situation decided the following assistance which includes 10 million Afghanis. 
It also assigned the ministry for rural development to provide drinking water in conjunction with UNICEF. 
It also called on the agriculture ministry to provide 150 tons wheat and 50 tons rice besides the previous assistance which includes 50 tons flour and 50 tons rice.  It also called on the ministry for public works to reopen all the ways damaged by the recently floods at its earliest.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Marshal Mohammad Qaseem Fahim acting president chaired a plenary session of the Council of Ministers (CM) held at presidential palace yesterday.
To begin with, Marshal Fahim prayed for the soul of Mawlawi Arsalan Rehmani religious scholars, member of the senate and member of high peace council who has been martyred at a terrorist incident and wished peace for his soul and patience for his family members. 
The CM session also prayed for the soul of those who have lost their lives in floods in Saripul, Baghlan, and Takhar provinces and instructed the national disaster preparedness committee and the relevant ministries to urgently dispatch aid to the affected families. 
Minister of interior affairs presented a proposal of the ministry for payment of a sum of money by the finance ministry for ensuring stable capital of the security enterprise. 
The CM considered as justified the proposal for activities of the security enterprise for maintaining the security of the national projects and asked the interior ministry that for the time being allocate the sum from its ordinary budget and the fiancé ministry was advised to reassess the allocated budget for the purpose and prepare a proposal to the presidential office for ensuring the budget accordingly. 
Minister of mines informed the CM on his forthcoming visit to Turkmenistan for concluding the gas extension pipeline (TAPI) from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan, and India which was confirmed by the CM. 
Minister of Urban development presented the draft of the regulation for addressing construction losses and stressed that in this regulation the construction losses including non-observation of average construction norms, in terms of technical, construction codes, resistance against earthquakes, parking sites and other social needs that requires cash fines, and even destruction of the constructions. 
The CM instructed the ministries of justice, urban development, Kabul municipality and independent administration for local organs to study the regulation and advise its amendment to a law considering the provisions of other laws and through the law committee refer it to the CM accordingly. 
The CM also decided that those high-rise building which carried their activities without attaining the permission of Kabul Municipality and work on them are stopped, that the companies designed those buildings guarantee all their technical norms, construction codes, soil tests before the Kabul Municipality after through assessments approve their construction maps. 
Minister of justice presented information on legislative plan of 1391. 
The CM instructed the justice ministry that considering the priorities and the needs of the government organs, it should undertake a review of its legislative plan and present to the CM accordingly. 
The minister of transport and civil aviation informed the CM on payment of USD2 million guarantees by the Kam Air and Safi Airways which have been registered before the creation of the private airlines companies. 
The CM instructed the ministry to complete the process of amendment of this regulation. 
Meanwhile, the ministry of transport and civil aviation informed the CM on expropriation of two jiribs of land property of Sayed Shir Ahmad for expansion of Lashkargah airport at a total price of Afs 2,600,000. 
The CM approved this proposal and advised the ministry and the local organs department to pay the price of the land to the owner. 
Three international conventions were also presented to the CM by deputy minister of foreign affairs which were confirmed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Farah (BNA) The joint operations of Afghan security forces had claimed the lives of 30 Taliban militants and injured 17 others in Balablok district of Farah province yesterday, provincial police chief Mohammad Ghaous Malyar said, adding in the operations lasted for four days 30 Taliban fighters were killed and 17 others wounded. 
Two Afghan soldiers and personnel of national directorate for security were killed and three others including two policemen were injured during the operations. 
He further said, Speaking on the subject, police chief of Balablok district Abdul Basir said that dozens of families had fled their homes and have returned to their homes and have returned to their homes after Taliban retraction.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Chicago city (BNA) President Hamid Karzai met with his Pakistani counterpart Asef Ali Zardari in Chicago city the other day. 
Peace process in Afghanistan and role of Pakistan in this process topped the agenda of their meeting. 
To speed up peace process, the Pakistan side asked the head of High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani to visit this country in near future based on previous invitation. 
President Karzai one more laying emphasize on sincerely fight against terrorism and extremism in the region, said that for survival of both nations, it is necessary that fight against terrorism and extremism be taken place sincerely. 
Likewise, during this meeting Afghanistan and Pakistan exchanged views on expansion of bilateral ties, economic and commercial cooperation between the two nations.  
During this meeting, the Afghan side demanded from Pakistan to permit entrance of some consignments of textbooks of Afghan schools stopped in Pakistan. 
Similarly it is agreed the Pak, foreign minister to visit Afghanistan in near future.

Statement By His Excellency Hamid Karzai President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan NATO Summit Meeting on Afghanistan
Chicago, United States of America
21 May 2012
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
President Obama,
Secretary General Rasmussen,
Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much, President Obama, for the warm welcome and hospitality in the magnificent city of Chicago. It is a pleasure to be addressing this important summit of the NATO Alliance, the ISAF contributing countries and other partners from around the world.
The road that has led to this important juncture in the partnership between Afghanistan and the international community started right here in the United States over a decade ago when, in the aftermath of the 9/11, the world coalesced around the objective of eliminating international terrorism. Much has been achieved in this struggle, including in the fight against Al-Qaeda, as well as in helping Afghanistan rebuild from the rubble of war and turmoil. The Afghan people are grateful to all the nations represented here today, who have supported Afghanistan over the past decade so that we could send our children to school, improve the health and living standards of our citizens, and lay the foundations of a vibrant democracy and a prospering economy. Your support has helped Afghanistan assume its rightful place in the community of nations. Our achievements would not have been possible without the sacrifices given by the Afghan people as well as the many young men and women of the various countries who have come to help us.
However, as we celebrate our shared achievements of the past decade, we must not overlook the immense sacrifice and suffering of the Afghan people and we must address the shortcomings of the approach in fighting terrorism. The war on terror has narrowly focused on Afghanistan where Afghan villages and towns have suffered terribly from an unending stream of violence, whereas terrorist safe havens, training camps and support networks, have remained untouched beyond Afghanistan’s frontiers.
More than a decade into this fight, terrorism remains a serious threat, and extremism and radicalism are on the rise. Spreading across societies in the region, these menaces, as we all know, have dire consequences not just for the stability of Afghanistan and Pakistan but also for the security of the region and the world as a whole.
Ladies and gentlemen,
While lessons of the past must be learned, it is the future of this critical partnership between Afghanistan and the international community that must be the focus of this important Summit today. In looking to the future, I consider the ongoing Transition process in Afghanistan to be the most important strategic priority in our joint efforts. Long before the launch of the Transition framework two years ago in Lisbon, I had voiced the strong desire of the Afghan people to regain control of their destiny and to be responsible for defending our own homeland.
Less than one year since the process of Transition was launched last July, the Afghan National Security Forces have assumed lead security and protection responsibility for half the Afghan population. Over the next six months, the ANSF area of responsibility will reach 75 percent of population across all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
The recently signed Memoranda of Understanding between Afghanistan and the United States, bringing night raids and detention centers under Afghan authority, is a significant development in the Transition process, as well as a sign of respect for our sovereignty.
We see the fulfilling of the Transition benchmarks, including the complete transfer of responsibility by mid-2013 and the withdrawal of International Security Assistance Force by end-2014, not only as a step forward in our security strategy, but also as a necessity if our country is going to achieve lasting peace and self-reliance. We see an irreversible Transition as a duty we owe to the men and women in uniform from your countries, to whom we are grateful, who need to be relieved of a responsibility that we Afghans ought to shoulder ourselves.
An irreversible Transition in Afghanistan will also depend on continued support and cooperation from our NATO allies and other partner countries. Such support, particularly in training, equipping and capacity development of the ANSF, would be crucial to Afghanistan’s ability to defend itself against any external and internal threats. In this context, we welcome the shift in NATO’s role from combat to a new training, advising and assistance mission . We look to the ISAF coalition partners and the wider international community to provide the Afghan Security Forces with the required enablers including advanced Counter-IED, enhanced logistics, intelligence, air assets, as well as the capability to secure Afghanistan’s airspace.
I commend the leadership and vision that NATO and its member states, particularly the United States, have shown in putting together a long-term support plan for the ANSF. I believe the estimated annual cost of 4.1 billion dollars for the ANSF in the post-Transition period is a sustainable figure. In this context, I reiterate the Afghan Government’s commitment to contribute 500 million dollars towards this objective, as well as our commitment to increase this contribution over time as our economy becomes stronger. As for the remaining 3.6 billion, I hope this conference will produce firm international commitment for contributions in the period after 2014. I also emphasize the importance of creating new mechanisms for spending these resources in a way that is efficient, cost-effective and flexible so that Afghan institutions gain maximum benefit from international support.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are grateful to Germany for hosting last year’s Bonn Conference on Afghanistan. At that conference, my government and the international community committed to a vision of long-term partnership encapsulated in the Transformational Decade 2014-2024. The Transformation Decade is critical to securing our future and moving Afghanistan towards greater self-reliance. In this context, we see an enduring partnership with NATO and our other allies as key to our long-term national security interests and important to our ability to contribute towards regional stability and international peace. Earlier this year, we signed long-term partnership documents with India, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. More recently, we have signed partnership agreements with Germany and Australia. We have also concluded a landmark strategic partnership agreement with the United States of America, which will serve to shape the long-term relationship between our two countries for at least another decade to come.
These partnerships mark a new chapter in Afghanistan’s relationship with its allies. They signify a relationship between equal partners based on the mutuality of interests. We have entered these partnerships with a view to realizing the long-standing aspirations of the Afghan people for peace and stability. The credibility of these partnerships will depend on success in achieving peace and stability for Afghanistan. Consistent with our national interest, our partnerships with the United States and other countries are not aimed at a third country and will not pose a threat to the region. It is our genuine belief that these partnerships will be in the interest of stability and greater prosperity in the region.
Furthermore, our vision for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan is fundamentally anchored in a region that is stable, economically integrated and conducive to shared prosperity. In this context, the Istanbul Process presents a unique opportunity for Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbors to engage in a sincere dialogue to build confidence and promote cooperation at the regional level. As part of the Istanbul Process, Afghanistan is committed to playing its role in bringing the region together in greater dialogue and partnership, and we hope the Process will continue to enjoy the confidence and support of our regional and international partners. In this context, we look forward to the Kabul Ministerial Conference in June as the follow up step to the Istanbul Process as well as to its further evolution thereafter.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Another vital element of achieving lasting stability in Afghanistan is the success of the peace and reconciliation process, which we have pursued with particular vigor and commitment for many years. Building on the strong consensus that exists within Afghanistan for a peaceful end to the conflict, we have extended a hand of reconciliation to the Taliban and other militant groups. Subject to the principles we have laid out for a peaceful outcome, including renunciation of violence, cutting ties with terrorism, safeguarding the achievements of the past ten years and upholding the constitution, we will work to make the peace process inclusive and a genuine alternative for all those who wish to return to dignified lives in our society.
Pakistan’s constructive engagement and cooperation will be instrumental for bringing the Taliban leadership to the negotiating table. We believe that Afghanistan and Pakistan have strong mutual security interests to work together in order to defeat the terrorists intent on killing our people, undermining the sovereignty of our countries, and destabilizing our region. Over the past few years, we have closely engaged Pakistan to assist us with the peace process, and I am hopeful that the weeks and months ahead will witness more tangible measures in this regard. However, while Pakistan and other countries from the region and beyond have a role to play in supporting the peace process and ensuring its success, it is for the Afghans to fully own and fully lead this process.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Transformation Decade is based on the assumption that, to achieve self-reliance, Afghanistan will enjoy significant development contributions from the international community for at least another decade after 2014. In this context, I thank the Government of Japan for convening an international donors’ meeting on Afghanistan in July of this year in Tokyo. Building on the solid commitment to a secure and prosperous Afghanistan expressed at last year’s Bonn Conference, we will submit to the Tokyo Conference a strategic economic plan for more self-reliance in the decade beyond 2014. Our economic plan will aim to gradually reduce our dependence on international aid, utilize Afghanistan’s own economic potentials, and achieve sustainable and equitable development for all our people.
We will also move forcefully on implementing a comprehensive agenda for further reform and improving governance, including the development of strong and effective institutions of state. Weak institutions, the existence of parallel structures such as the PRTs and reliance on aid contractors have created a gap between the people and government institutions. We will phase out all parallel structures, improve public service delivery and fight the menace of corruption, whether it is within the Afghan Government or outside. In particular, in the remaining part of my term in office, I will continue to focus strongly on building a system of public administration that is apolitical, professional, clean and founded on the principle of job security for civil servants.
The upcoming elections in 2014 is an important milestone in Afghanistan’s political maturation, and will have significant impact on the long-term stability and consolidation of democracy in Afghanistan. Therefore, our elections must be marked by integrity and free from internal or external intervention. We are determined to take all necessary measures to ensure a smooth political transition, in full accord with the Afghan Constitution, and taking into consideration the aspirations of all segments of Afghan society for a pluralistic and democratic polity.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are grateful to all the countries, gathered here today, for reaffirming their commitment to the financial sustainment of our security forces beyond 2014. Afghanistan’s security is fundamentally tied to the security of the region with implications for global security. A stronger Afghanistan, with capable and effective security forces, will be the lynchpin of stability and security in the region, and a reliable partner of the international community. Therefore, your contribution to the future development of the ANSF, for which we are very grateful, is a judicious investment in the defense of regional and international security.
Thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA)On the sideline of the NATO summit, President Hamid Karzai met Monday in Chicago with Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed political reconciliation, Pakistan’s role in the peace process, socio-economic development, human rights, status of Afghan women and girls, specially their access to higher education and training.
Ban Ki-moon said, the United Nations would remain as a committed partner with Afghanistan and described regional cooperation and peace talks as important.
The Secretary-General reiterated that the United Nations is ready to provide technical support to the Afghan authorities to hold credible and democratic elections.
Thanking for the UN support and cooperation, President Karzai deemed the years ahead to be of particular importance for Afghanistan because it would undertake more responsibilities beyond 2014.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) In the sideline of the NATO Summit, President Hamid Karzai met with Turkish President, Abdullah Gul in the city of Chicago on Saturday.
Issues discussed between the two leaders included further expansion of the bilateral relations, the peace process and Turkey’s role as well as the outlook of a future cooperation between Afghanistan and Turkey.
The two leaders agreed to take up the existing bilateral relations to a strategic level.
President of Turkey said, “Afghanistan is our friend and a brother whom we wish to support at all times.” President Gul added he hoped the trilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey can continue for the good of all.
President Gul said his country stands ready to help in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, training of the Afghan security forces and to support the Afghanistan Peace process.
President Karzai described Turkey a historic friend of the people of Afghanistan, who he said always look to Turkish people as brothers and who seek with Turkey an enhanced strategic relationship. President Karzai said I hope that with such a strategic cooperation agreement with Turkey, the relations between the two countries can have an established framework to cooperate.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 04:45

Afghan, US Presidents Meet In Chicago

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Kabul (BNA) On the sideline of the NATO Summit, President Hamid Karzai and President Barack Obama met on Sunday in Chicago.
During the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the Afghan-US strategic relationship, the NATO Summit, Afghanistan beyond 2014, security transition and the Afghan peace process.
Welcoming President Karzai and his accompanying delegation to Chicago, US President said in a joint press conference, “During my visit to to Kabul recently. During that trip to Afghanistan, we were able to finalize the Strategic Partnership Agreement that reflects a future in which two sovereign nations -- the United States and Afghanistan -- are operating as partners, to the benefit of our countries’ citizens, but also for the benefit of peace and security and stability in the region and around the world.”
President Obama added, “And so the Strategic Partnership Agreement, this NATO Summit, are all part and parcel of a shared vision that we have in which Afghanistan is able to transition from decades of war to a transformational decade of peace and stability and development.”
Underscoring the friendship between the two countries, US President noted, the people of Afghanistan desperately want peace and security and development and so long as they’re reflecting that resilience and that hope for a better future, they will have a friend in the United States of America.
Addressing President Obama, President Karzai said, “Afghanistan reaffirmed its commitment to the transition process and to the completion of it in 2013, and the completion of withdrawal of our partners in 2014, so that Afghanistan is no longer a burden on the shoulder of our friends in the international community, on the shoulders of the United States and our other allies.”
The President added, “Afghanistan, indeed, Mr. President, as you very rightly put it, is looking forward to an end to this war, and a transformational decade in which Afghanistan will be working further for institution building and the development of sounder governance in the country and a better economy, where the Afghans will be taking steady steps towards self-reliance in all aspects of life, that Afghanistan will be collecting its own revenues. But in the meantime, that the world community, in particular the United States and our allies in NATO and ISAF, will be with us to make sure that we take steady and strong steps and are back while you are making those steps towards 2024, when Afghanistan will be largely defending itself and providing for itself.”
Pointing to the strategic partnership, President Karzai said, the partnership that was signed a few weeks ago in Kabul has turned a new page in Afghan-US relations and the new page is a page of two sovereign countries working together for the mutual interests -- peace and security and in all other areas of concentration.