22 September 2019

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Politics

Tuesday March 13, 2012,

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday warned against "a rush for the exits" in Afghanistan, as questions mount about US war strategy after a US soldier killed 16 civilians in a shooting rampage.

"It's important for us to make sure that we get out in responsible way, so that we don't end up having to go back in," Obama said in an interview with Pittsburgh CBS station KDKA.

"But what we don't want to do, is to do it in a way that is just a rush for the exits."

Obama said the shooting rampage, which mostly targeted women and children, was "absolutely heartbreaking and tragic," but stressed that a withdrawal from Afghanistan involving tens of thousands of troops had to be done responsibly.

"We have got hundreds of advisers in civilian areas as well, we have got huge amounts of equipment that have to be moved out. We have got to make sure that the Afghans can protect their borders to prevent Al-Qaeda coming back."

In a separate interview with Denver CBS affiliate KCNC Obama added that it was "important for us just to make sure that we are not ... in Afghanistan longer than we need to be."

The White House had earlier insisted that its Afghan strategy would not be impacted by the "awful" rampage.

"Our strategic objectives have not changed and they will not change," said White House spokesman Jay Carney, adding the US goal remained defeating Al-Qaeda and empowering Afghans to ensure their own security.

Obama is committed to gradually withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan under an agreement with NATO partners which foresees a full drawdown by the end of 2014.

But a string of incidents, including Sunday's massacre, killing of coalition forces by Afghan troops and riots that followed the burning of Korans by US soldiers has some observers questioning the viability of US strategy.

"This is a challenging time, no question," Carney said, but added that the administration would continue to work on what it sees as vital US national security interests in Afghanistan.

"I don't believe this incident will change the timetable of a strategy that was designed and implemented to allow for the withdrawal of US forces, to allow for the transfer of lead security over to the Afghans," he said.

Carney added that discussions about the pace of the drawdown have been taking place with US allies and will certainly continue at the NATO summit in Chicago in May.

The Pentagon on Monday reiterated that the lone US soldier accused of the house-to-house murder spree would be prosecuted, but ruled out a demand from the Afghan parliament to put him on public trial in Afghanistan.

Investigations and prosecutions of US service members are governed by "agreements in place with the government of Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

He insisted the US military has "very strong means to address wrongdoing."

Little said the US Army sergeant alleged to have committed the Afghan killings is in his 30s, served three tours of duty in Iraq, and was deployed in Afghanistan for the first time.

"This is an isolated incident and we will pursue accountability for the alleged actions of this service member," he said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added her voice to the revulsion at the killings, after Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to offer their condolences on Sunday.

"This is not who we are and the United States is committed to seeing that those who are responsible are held accountable," said Clinton, speaking at the United Nations. She described the incident as "terrible" and "awful."


"I hope that everyone understands in Afghanistan and the rest of the world that the United States is committed to seeing Afghanistan continue its move toward a stable, secure, prosperous, democratic state."

She acknowledged, however, that after the burning of Korans last month sparked widespread protests "we have had a difficult and complex few weeks in Afghanistan."

 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Kabul (BNA) Mishrano Jirga (Upper House) of Afghan parliament is condemning martyrdom of 16 Afghan innocent civilians in Panjwayee district of Kandahar province by a US soldier, expressing deep sympathy to the martyred families and honorable people of Afghanistan and wishing the injured immediate recovery.
Chairman, administrative panel and members of Mishrano Jirga seriously condemn such killing and considers that killing of innocent civilians is an inhuman act and against all norms and international rules and such act and issues as  burning the Holy Quran could make the assistance and cooperation of NATO unproductive and will raise serious reaction of Afghan people and national assembly of Afghanistan.
Therefore, leadership of coalition and NATO forces are to train well in order that they never trample the rights, religious and culture of Afghan people.
Mishrano Jirga is asking the government of the Islamic republic of Afghanistan to make USA and NATO submit the killers of the 16 innocent to justice in order that such crime to avoid in the future.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Kabul (BNA) German Prime Minister Angela Merkel yesterday afternoon telephoned Hamid Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and offered him condolences over Panjwayee incident in which 16 innocent civilians were killed and five others injured in a spree shooting by a US soldier. 
The German chancellor who arrived yesterday in Mazar-e-Sharif in a telephone conversation evaluated security transition process as successful and pledged for further cooperation in this regard. 
In return, President Hamid Karzai welcomed the German Chancellor to Afghanistan and appreciated Germany and its people for their cooperation with Afghanistan, adding the recent Bonn conference was a good example of such cooperation. 
In the telephone conference, the German Chancellor asked the Afghan president to travel to Germany before Chicago conference to discuss related to strategic cooperation between Afghanistan and Germany. 
It is worth mentioning that the strategic cooperation between Germany and Afghanistan was once discussed during the current year in the sidelines of Bonn conference and was agreed signing a long-term strategic cooperation between the two countries.

Monday, March 12, 2012
Kabul (BNA) March-8, International Women Day (IWD) was celebrated at a gathering held in the ministry of public health (MPH) and attended by large number of women from different governmental organs to laud the high position of the women in the society. 
Beginning with, some verses of the Holy Quran had been recited by Munira Qarizada following which the national anthem was sounded and then Minister of Public Health, Dr. Suraya Dalil celebrated the high position of the women with reading out a poem as follows: 
Not men had been those who had won the west battlefield. 
But, those whole lions had only been many from the women. 
The minister said she wants to celebrated the international day and commonly renew their commitment to support the women and work for their welfare. 
According to her, for making a tranquil Afghanistan, there was intense need of the women participation, as there are many female doctor, midwife, teacher, engineer, reporter, lawyer, economist and politician. 
She said hundreds of years ago, the women campaigns for justice had been commenced and as a pleading movement changed into a bright fact for the women rights and this role in the society. 
At that time, the women, by their uprising in front of the flax weaving factory in New York could prove that any uprising for their rights would guarantee their victory to receive their legitimate rights. 
The United Nations, this year, had included the slogan in the international women day for helping the rural areas women to take part in different social, economical, cultural and political as well as the girls in the rural sites to go to school and take their future decision. 
Dr. Dalil asked the women as part of the society to try to economically be capable to get success against one of the main human and UN targets “elimination of poverty” in the country. 
Some gifts had also been distributed among the participants following the conclusion of the auspicious ceremony. 
March, 8 the international women day is being celebrated in the war-torn Afghanistan, while the women across the country, particularly, in the rural areas are unfamiliar with the day which is being marked across the world.