16 January 2019

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Chaired by deputy minister of art and culture for information and culture Prof. Mohammad Rasoul Bawary, 4th meeting of commission on holding Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan International Seminar was held the other day with participation of authorized representatives of relevant institutions.
In the meeting, Prof. Bawary said that decision would be made for translation and publication of all relicts written by Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan, adding that similar step would be also taken for all other articles.
Afterwards, participants in the meeting discussed agenda of the international seminar.
At the end, members of the commission asked the country’s writers and researchers to send their articles written regarding cultural, literal and political personality of Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan to the commission.
 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) United States Agency for International Development (USAID) acting director Jeffery P. Cohen called on Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh.
In the meeting, Cohen considered role of second vice president in maintaining of rule of law, counter corruption and reforms in various sectors in particular reforms in electoral system and judicial organs as effective.
Considering USAID as one of close partners of the people of Afghanistan in the past 17 years, second vice president stressed on the agency’s continued cooperation in coming years.  Second vice president said that with cooperation of international partners in the past 17 years, the people of Afghanistan have achieved new values as political system based on the will of Afghan people, constitution, human rights, freedom of expression and media and other values and protection of such values also require mutual cooperation between Afghan people and international partners.
Vice-president Sarwar Danesh considered presence of terrorist groups as common threat for the people of Afghanistan and US and fighting the threat was considered as possible if followed by mutual and friendly cooperation of Kabul was Washington.
Briefing in connection with US aid programs for development in Afghanistan, USAID acting director said the agency’s aid programs would continue in Afghanistan as before.
 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) On the first day of his trip to Beijing the country’s (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi have discussed Afghan owned and Afghan-led peace process, regional security and bilateral relationship between the two countries, his office said the other day.
The NSA thanked the assistance of the government of China with Afghanistan in different areas and termed Beijing’s role vital in regional peace and stability.
Chinese foreign minister stressed over the Afghan led and owned peace process and added peace in Afghanistan may not be possible without direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.  The Chinese foreign minister reiterated his country’s support to Afghanistan in diverse fields, particularly in peace and reconciliation process.
 

Saturday January 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, addressing a gathering held to mark the country’s 15th constitution approval anniversary, said any move to hold peace meeting with the Taliban in the absence of the government was against national interests, his office said the other day.
According to BNA report, “No sign of the Taliban inclination for peace and change in the viewpoints of their supporters for peace has so far been seen,” said the CE asking all political parties and personalities to not enter peace deal with the militants, merely for their temporal interests. Emphasizing on a peace deal under the umbrella of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Chief Executive of the national unity government noted that any peace deal with the Taliban in the absence of the government, was against national interests.
The CE said review on the composition of the negotiating delegation was under discussion, but any peace deal out of the government’s framework, would yield nothing except desperation. Dr. Abdullah said he was also one of the government’s oppositions, but has never been intended to bypass the system. He also said that formation of a transitional government was not in the interest of the people and basically such a system’s creation was not practical. According to him, delay in the presidential election was for more transparency in the process and according to him, the peace and political reconciliation process had no role in delay of the presidential process.
 

Saturday January 12, 2019

Kabul (BNA) President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in a gathering of journalists from all over the country told that their demands should be turned in to a list of commitment to be assessed in one of the country’s cabinet meeting.
According to BNA report, the President, after hearing details about the entities created from various groups of journalists in the journalists national meeting, by their representatives, Abdul Basir Haqju, Wazhma Tokhi, Farhad Juya and Simin Sadaf, welcomed the journalists coming from 34 provinces of the country said: “Your selection of the most dangerous journalism career is the indicator of your love to your country, law and the national interests.” According to the President, creation of an active economy was very effective to overcome poverty and joblessness and that the country stands on its feed via an actively created economy, in which the free journalists could attend for discussion. The President said that Afghanistan would reach a lasting peace and that the culture of peace could be significant in the elimination of 40 years’ crisis.
He called the role of journalists very important in strengthening of national unity and emphasized that role of each Afghans needed to be ensured in the nation-building process. He instructed the presidential spokesman, Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri to turn the demands of journalists into a scheduled commitment to be discussed in any of the cabinet meeting, as according to him, all administrations’ commitments needed to practice them. The President said the entire Amania (The era of King Aamnullah Khan) historical castles would be rehabilitated and work on the Kabul Balahesar (Kabul Fortress) would soon be started, adding that the 100th freedom anniversary of the country would be turned into a national discussion.
 

Thursday January 10, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Tajikistan plans to increase electricity exports to Afghanistan in 2019, Trend reports with reference to Avesta News Agency.
At the peak of electricity production (spring-summer season), Tajikistan may offer Afghanistan and Uzbekistan more electricity than was supplied last year.
Preliminary negotiations on this issue with the energy industry officials of neighboring countries will be held in the first quarter this year. The Tajik side plans to offer Afghanistan and Uzbekistan an increase in the supply of electricity due to the growth of electricity production in the country and the demand for electricity in neighboring countries.
Tajik energy officials claim that there is plenty of snow in the highlands of the republic this year, and the newly commissioned energy capacities allow increasing electricity production in the spring-summer period.
Earlier it was reported that last year about 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was exported to neighboring Uzbekistan.
Trend
 

Thursday January 10, 2019

Kabul (BNA) The Afghan president’s special peace envoy has expressed hopes the war that has ravaged Afghanistan for over 17 years and cost the United States about $1 trillion will end in 2019.
Mohammad Omer Daudzai summed up his optimism in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, saying: “We are naming 2019 as a year of peace for Afghanistan.”
However, he cautioned there won’t be peace until the Taliban, who have held several rounds of talks with Washington’s special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, agree to direct talks with the Afghan government.
So far, the insurgents have refused.
Khalilzad is on a new tour of the region and will travel to India, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This time he isn’t expected to visit Qatar, where the Taliban have a political office.
Apnews
 

Thursday January 10, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Some experts believed Afghanistan constitution, the unique one in the region, but said in many cases it’s many articles have been ignored or less implemented in the country. At the threshold of marking the week of constitution in the country, some activists from civil society and human rights organizations said the constitution has been ignored in many cases. Many articles of the country’s constitution, particularly on access to information, civil rights and women right of political partnership have not been properly implemented, Aziz Rafeyee head of civil society complex adding however it is regionally unique constitution. “All know that both the government and the citizens are duty-bound to implement constitution, but unfortunately, there are some defections in the implementation of the constitution,” Rafeyee told The Kabul Times.
He said accurate information are not sent by the Afghan authorities to the citizens and nor the country’s media can receive enough information from the government institutions to share with the people. “In many cases, articles of the constitution, related to security, employment, implementation of justice as well as social and economic situations have been ignored,” the expert said.
According to him, women’s rights are badly harmed, their rights are violated in the society. Unfortunately, women partnership in the government’s institutions declined and those in the leadership, have no authority to attend the big decision-making. Mujib Khelwatgar, Chief Executive Officer for the Nai-Media supporting agency in Afghanistan, confirmed that the country’s constitution has been ignored in many areas.
He said media, as the fourth force, have not still enough access to information, as they are not helped to receive information and share with media. Khelwatgar asked the government for supporting the country’s constitution and both the government authorities and other related organs should help media get access to information and share them with the people.
“Afghanistan has experienced three decades of war and is in need of security,” he said adding insecurity is still a challenge before the government and the people of Afghanistan. He said: “If we want the consitution to be fundamentally implemented, anyone should call themselves duty-bound for its observation.” Seddiqui, the spokesman of Afghanistan Human Rights Organization also said that Afghanistan had the best constitution, but its implementation has forever been faced challenges. “We have good and effective media, but the related organs are not ready to provide them with information,” the spokesman said.
People in remote areas of the country have no access to justice, women are facing various kinds of violence, but no source have information about them, he said.
Suraya Raiszada
 

Thursday January 10, 2019

Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan government officials are making effort to further equip Afghan Air Forces (AAF) with modern combat planes in coming years so that the country’s air forces can independently conduct air strikes against enemies in the country. Previously, ANA army chief of staff had said NATO member countries has assured Afghanistan of the organization’s continued support to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) and; on the other hand, US has also assured of continued further support to Afghan security forces in particular the Afghan Air Forces. Afghan officials say Afghan pilots and technical workers still need training although NATO and U.S. have assured of supporting Afghan Air Forces. According to AAF officials, the country’s air forces will be equipped with more than 100 helicopters in near future to provide close air support to Afghan ground forces. Besides strengthening and providing military equipment to ANDSF, the country’s defense and security forces need further advising and training in planning of ground and air operations.
Meanwhile, it is determined that India will provide 4 Mi-25 helicopters to the Afghan Air Force (AAF) this year during March and June as the Indian National Security Advisor has promised this to Afghanistan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Muhib in his last visit to India.
Previously, Afghan officials had said that contract for purchasing the helicopters were signed last year between Afghanistan, India and Belarus and based on the agreement, Belarus would provide the helicopters to Afghanistan in a year. It is also said that the agreement worth $20 million will be funded by India, a country that provided three helicopters to Afghanistan years ago. Afghan military experts believe that Afghanistan is among countries that has suffered a lot from terrorism, saying counterterrorism needs world determination; therefore, NATO member countries in particular US should help Afghanistan in the connection. “Further equipment and support of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces can make the Afghan forces stronger and help them fight independently against international terrorism, but ANDSF needs further professional trainings so that they can professionally implement military planning in battlefields against the enemies,” said Amir Mohammad, an Afghan military expert.
He said that if NATO wanted the ANDSF to stand on its feet and independently fight terrorism, it should continue its financial and military support to the forces and exert further pressures on supporters of terrorist groups having safe havens beyond Afghanistan borders. Javed Kohistani, another military expert says it is absolutely good that ANDSF are supported and equipped by the international community, adding the more Afghan defense and security forces are supported, the more they can effectively fight terrorism. According to Afghan political and military experts, prior to civil war, Afghanistan had the powerful military and air forces in the region and now Afghanistan government and international community are making effort to once again strengthen the Afghan Air Forces that has now dozens of various planes, but unfortunately the AAF still has not been equipped with modern equipment and planes.
Suraya Raiszada
 

Thursday January 10, 2019

Kabul (BNA) “Gender mainstreaming is bringing more children back to school, ensuring women’s participation in decision-making, and overall how we can contribute to the development of Afghanistan,” said Zohal Hashemi, Director of Human Resource Development at the Afghanistan Ministry of Education.
“In this workshop, we learned what our responsibilities are and what we should do.”Zohal is one of 20 participants who took part in the UNITAR Women’s Leadership Program for Afghanistan: Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which was held in Hiroshima and Tokyo from 28 November to 8 December. All participants were young women working in Afghanistan; they represented a diverse range of organizations from both Kabul and the provinces, including the Office of the First Lady, the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Zan TV. The program is supported by the government and people of Japan.
Although gender issues in Afghanistan have seen recent improvements, 87 percent of women experience physical, sexual, or psychological violence during their lifetime, only 19 percent of women participate in the labor force (2016), and only 17 percent of all Afghan women are literate, according to UN Women Afghanistan. Against this background, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Hiroshima Office program aims to empower Afghan women to be change makers in their workplaces and communities through offering training on leadership, good governance, and the SDGs. All of the programme’s subject matter was examined through a gender lens, such as what makes effective women leaders and how each of the SDGs — not just Goal 5: Gender Equality — is impacted by gender.
The programme also taught concrete skills related to project development and implementation. Tahera Fahimi, a Program Officer at the Organization for Better Tomorrow in Afghanistan, said, “This workshop showed me the logical relationships between the steps to identify need, looking for solutions, and developing projects to address these needs, as well as how our organizations can help society.”
Participants developed detailed, concrete action plans, which they presented on the final day of the workshop. Action plans ranged from training young women on job interview and CV writing skills to decrease female unemployment, to providing safe-houses for children so that they are not forced to become child laborers. Many commented that they were eager to implement their actions plans as soon as they return to Afghanistan. The programme included a number of study visits to, and guest speakers from, various organizations working on gender issues. In Tokyo, the group explored lessons learned with representatives from the Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Japan Civil Society Network on SDGs.
The group was hosted by H.E. Dr. Bashir Mohabbat, Ambassador for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Japan, for an Embassy reception. H.E. Dr. Mohabbat also visited the participants at the end of the workshop in Hiroshima and commented, “Young people are the future of our country, but if we hope to see true peace and development in Afghanistan in the coming years, it is critical that all members of society have the tools and opportunities to participate equally. For this reason, I am glad to see the young women in the UNITAR Women’s Leadership Program for Afghanistan engaged not only with the highly relevant subject matter the training provides but also in building bonds and communicating with each other.”In Hiroshima, participants visited the Hiroshima Prefectural Government Work Style Reform Promotion and Working Women Support Division, as well as Essor, the Hiroshima Women’s Center working for gender equality. Resource Persons from UNITAR, UNDP, and the Gender Action Platform also led sessions during the workshop; they spoke with participants about gender, governance, action plan development and leadership issues from an international perspective, giving participants key information on how to successfully promote gender-based projects and policies.
Ms. Mihoko Kumamoto, Director of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, stated “Looking toward 2030, Afghanistan is taking concrete steps toward achieving the SDGs, but we cannot simply assume these goals will be achieved without the active participation of women in all fields. The group of twenty passionate and talented women leaders are now equipped with the knowledge, skills, and network to lead the way toward sustainable development, peace, and the empowerment of all in Afghanistan.”
“I learned a lot about how to work in a group where everyone thinks in different ways,” said Tamana Farewar, a Zone Manager with the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “How to work with diversity is the thing I especially learned from this journey.”
In the programme’s closing ceremony, a participant called on everyone to share their key message. Withone voice, the 20 women said, “We will bring the change.”
 

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