15 December 2017

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Saturday December 9, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG) the other day, spoke about the role of women in society-building and other affairs, expressed their full support to women presence in all affairs of the government.
President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani stressed the importance of women’s increased role in all spheres of the government, a statement from the presidential palace said.
During a meeting with female lawmakers at the Presidential Palace, where the country’s First Lady Rula Ghani has also attended on Thursday evening the statement added.
Attended at the meeting, two members of the country’s Lower House, Razia Sadat Mangal and Kubra Mustafa, and Sadiqa Balkhi, member of the Meshrano Jirga, represented the parliamentarians to speak on the occasion, voicing their support to the national unity government’s foreign policy and the agenda of the reforms, according to the statement.
The president said such meetings should continue and argued that the Afghan society should realize the potential of the female population.
“Discrimination against women is not our culture,” said the president as quoted by the statement adding the Afghan women have never been excluded from decision making.
He assured that women’s role and participation will increase day by day and the national unity government had firm stance in this regard.
The Chief of Executive the National Unity Government, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, in a separate meeting with a number of women activists, also insisted on the increased role of women in different spheres of the government, particularly in decision-making.
He said consultation would continue with other authorities, to draw their attention to the women and tackle problems of women prisoners all over the countries jails.
Efforts were underway to provide better ground for the women to have presence in the education structures, as needed.
 

Thursday December 7, 2017

Kabul (BNA) At least 51 anti-government militias including 25 ISIS fighters were killed and 7 others were wounded during joint clearing operations led by Afghan National Security and Defense Forces within the last 24 hours across the country.
Ministry of National Defense press office stated BNA, the operations were conducted with support of Afghan air and artillery forces to suppress armed oppositions and protect the lives and properties of people in insecure areas of Nangarhar, Kunar, Paktia, Ghazni, Khost, Kandahar, Farah, Maidan/Wardak, Jawzjan, Faryab, Kunduz and Helmand provinces.
Also with the last 24 hours 10 planned operations, 20 special operations were launched by Afghan security forces in 9 provinces.
Meanwhile, Afghan air forces conducted 106 air flight for supporting Afghan National Army and 14 strikes targeted hideouts of enemies across the country in this time.
Some heavy and light weapons, ammunitions and military mobilizations have been seized by Afghan security forces following the operations, the source added.
T/M.A.Ansari
 

Thursday, 07 December 2017 10:53

New Silk Road

Thursday December 7, 2017

Kabul (BNA) If we have a glance on Silk Road and refer to different scientific and historical books, it has a 5500 years historical background.
The road lengths 8000km in which its 122km were once passing from some provinces of Afghanistan.
The Silk Road or Silk Route was an ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction originally through regions of Eurasia connecting the East and West and stretching from the Korean peninsula and Japan to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Silk Road concept refers to both the terrestrial and the maritime routes connecting Asia with Africa, the Middle East and southern Europe. The overland Steppe route stretching through the Eurasian steppe is considered the ancestor to the Silk Road(s).
The road has kept its geo-economic and geostrategic position since long, an action which was in the benefit of exchanging culture and protection of heritages.
Trade on the Silk Road played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of China, the Goguryeo kingdom (Korea), Japan, the Indian subcontinent, Persia, Europe, the  Horn of Africa and Arabia, opening long-distance political and economic relations between the civilizations.
Though silk was certainly the major trade item exported from China, many other goods were traded, as well as religions, syncretic philosophies, and various technologies.
Diseases, most notably plague, also spread along the Silk Routes. In addition to economic trade, the Silk Road was a route for cultural trade among the civilizations along its network.
The main traders during antiquity included the Chinese, Arabs, Indian, Somalis, Syrians, Jews, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Georgians, Armenians, Bactrians, Turkmens, and (from the 5th to the 8th century) the Sogdians.
Since 2006, regional believes and countries’ leadership have decided to name the road as ‘New Silk Road Economic Belt.’
Likewise, ‘One Belt One Road ‘initiative was first introduced by Chinese government in 2013, which is a development strategy and framework that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily in Eurasia.
It consists of two main components, the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR) and Afghanistan is not only part of silk route but a hub of ancient silk route.
Thus, if the road is reconstructed, there is no doubt it would positively affect Afghanistan’s security.
Abdul Hadi Quraishi
 

Thursday December 7, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the delegation accompanying him attended the official dinner hosted by President Abdulla Aripov of Uzbekistan, Tuesday evening, Presidential Palace of Uzbekistan.
The dinner was also attended by Afghan and Uzbek investors and the business community. The President said, “This visit ushered in unrolling a fresh and new chapter in the Afghan-Uzbek relations particularly in the arena of economy and trade.”
He added, “Afghanistan and Uzbekistan will become two lasting and united partners in Central Asia and Uzbekistan will become one of our major partners.” The President told the reporters, “One of the projects that are agreed upon today is the transmission of electricity with the implementation of which 12 Afghan provinces will be provided with electricity and the investment sector will also be facilitated with dependable energy.”
Remarking on the importance of transit facilitation between the two countries, President Ghani said that the agreement on implementation of Mazar e Sharif – Herat Railways will contribute to regional connectivity and allow smooth flow of exports. He said, “This is one of the major regional transit projects and both countries are earnestly working on the implementation and funding.”
President Ghani stressed the need for expediting the joint investment process. He said, “The private sector is our principal partner who can take constructive steps in aiding the two countries to achieve mutual prosperity.” The President further said, “A procurement mechanism of state-to-state nature will be devised, providing the private sector with investment facilities.”
 

Thursday December 7, 2017

Kabul (BNA) US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has paid a visit to Islamabad, capital city of Pakistan to ask the country for effectively counterterrorism effort. The US Defense Secretary met with Pakistan officials and discussed safe havens of terrorists including Taliban and Haqqani Network in Pakistan soil and asked the country to change its policy regarding terrorists’ safe havens.
Before his trip to Islamabad, Mattis said: “We have heard from Pakistan leaders that they do not support terrorism. So I expect to see that sort of action reflected in their policies.”
Washington in past had also put pressure on Pakistan for providing safe havens and supporting Taliban and Haqqani network. Since the start of the war in Afghanistan, militants in Pakistan have crossed the mountainous and ill-defined border to wage attacks against US, Afghan, and allied forces. They then would return to their safe havens in Pakistan, where they have had a long-standing relationship with the ISI, the Pakistan intelligence agency, but Pakistan is rejecting the claim.  US President Donald Trump has accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to terrorists and pledged if Pakistan did not change its policies, it would face serious step by the US administration. US Defense Secretary in his meetings with Pakistan officials stressed on President Trump’s demand for action against safe havens of terrorist groups.
The US defense secretary trip to Islamabad came amid increasing of US pressures on Pakistan for action against Taliban and Haqqani network.
According to NATO RS commander to Afghanistan Gen. Nicholson, there have been no changes in Pakistan’s support for militant networks.
“They identified certain steps that they were going to take. We’ve not yet seen those steps play out,” Gen. Nicholson said in his recent briefing. He said the US has been very direct about what it expects Pakistan to do in the fight against the Taliban.
Pakistan has not taken any step in destroying terrorist centers in its soil. Instead, the country has recently released leader of Laskhar-e-Tayeba Hafiz Saeed. The US administration has warned if Hafiz Saeed was not detained again, the country would face with serious outcomes. , in case that Pakistan by depending on its new regional allies was determined to resisting on its previous stance against US and Washington’s new strategy and kept on supporting terrorists, the issue will further weaken strategic formulas ruling on current situation in diplomacy and security of the region in particular Afghanistan.
Decisions and policies of Pakistan will show what policy will be followed by the country in connection with war in Afghanistan.  The US administration suspended $ 255 million military assistance to Pakistan in August of the current year until the country starts action against terrorists in its soil.  It is worth mentioning that Mattis’ trip to Pakistan comes at the end of a short trip to the region, including stops in Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait.
Lailuma Noori
 

Thursday December 7, 2017

Kabul (BNA) At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan HE Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan HE Mohammad Ashraf Ghani paid an official visit to Uzbekistan on December 4-6, 2017.
During negotiations, which took place in the atmosphere of traditional friendship and mutual trust, two Heads of States exchanged views on all aspects of large-scale bilateral cooperation, as well as international issues of mutual interest. The Parties noted with pleasure the convergence and similarity of their views on all matters discussed.
The Presidents discussed the process of implementation of previous agreements and signed bilateral documents and recognized that recently cooperation between the two countries in political, trade-economic, cultural, humanitarian, as well as other areas have been developing at a rapid pace. In this regard, the Heads of States made the following statements:
1.              Proceeding from mutual aspiration to further develop and strengthen wide-ranging cooperation based on equality, good neighborhood, mutual benefit and respect, the Parties expressed their readiness to further enhance the legal framework of bilateral relations, the practice of holding political consultations at various levels, and consolidate mutual partnership.
2.            The Afghan side applauded the policy pursued under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan HE Shavkat Mirziyoyev in terms of enhancing and deepening mutually beneficial ties with neighboring countries and expanding regional cooperation. HE President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani highly assessed the Development Strategy of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021, which is being actively implemented, and characterized it as an important factor in ensuring Uzbekistan’s further prosperity and well-being. Similarly, HE President Shavkat Mirziyoyev appreciated the vision and efforts of HE President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in strengthening and expanding multi-dimensional ties of friendship, common security and trade, transit and economic development between Afghanistan and the Central Asian States and in particular the deepening of trust and cooperation between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. As a result of these commendable efforts, Central Asia and Afghanistan have begun to develop the closest and the most mutually beneficial ties since the independence of the Central Asian states.
3.             The Heads of States noted with pleasure the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their countries and reaffirmed the development of good neighborhood ties during this period.
4.             Recognizing that cooperation at the international level meets the interests of the two countries, the Parties noted that they are interested in extending mutual support and consolidating mutual partnership within the framework of international organizations, primarily the United Nations.
The Parties reaffirmed the importance of ensuring sustainable development, security and stability in the world on the basis of the goals and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and universally recognized norms of international law, increasing the role of this organization and its institutions in addressing global and regional challenges.
5.             The Presidents noted with satisfaction the productive cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
6.             The Heads of States reaffirmed that all conflicts, confrontations and disagreements in the international relations can be resolved solely through political negotiations and other peaceful means and in strict compliance with fundamental international norms and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
7.             The Presidents have common belief that the earliest achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan is an important element for maintaining and strengthening security and stability in Central Asia, the neighboring regions and beyond. They emphasized the need for a political solution to ensure peace and reconciliation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban through an Afghan Government-led and owned process. To reach this goal, the two leaders stressed the need for an effective regional and global cooperation to create an enabling environment for lasting peace and reconciliation.
8.             The Heads of States expressed their deepest concerns about the growing threats posed by international terrorism and foreign fighters, extremism, transnational organized crime, illegal migration, illicit drug or psychotropic substances trafficking, and other challenges to regional security. In this respect, the two leaders emphasized the importance of bilateral interaction, regional consensus and global cooperation in countering the abovementioned threats and challenges to security. HE President Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed his appreciation and support for the efforts made by the Afghan side for promotion of regional and global cooperation in this regard. The Parties especially underscored that signing of an Intergovernmental Protocol on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Security Issues plays an important role in this direction.
9.             The Presidents noted that the further development of mutually beneficial trade-economic relations is important for strengthening the existing relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In this regard, the Parties reaffirmed the importance of further increasing the volume and expanding the range of trade by continuing the implementation of the Roadmap for further development of a full-fledged cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan signed in Kabul in January 2017. To this end, the Parties noted the importance of extensive use of Uzbek-Afghan trading houses established in the cities of Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif and the opportunities of “Termez-Cargo” International Logistic Center established in Termez city.
The Afghan side expressed gratitude to the Uzbek side for the assistance extended to meet the needs of the country’s economy in various goods and services. The Uzbek side expressed its readiness to further increase the supply of wheat, medicine, electrical equipment, building materials, mineral fertilizers, cars, ambulances, agricultural machinery, industrial and food products to the Afghan market. The Parties expressed their readiness to take all necessary measures to increase the volume of mutual annual trade to 1 billion USD by 2019 and ensure its steady growth in subsequent years.
10.       The Heads of States positively assessed the results of the second meeting of the Joint Commission on Trade, Economy, Transport and Energy, held in Tashkent in December 2016. They underlined the need to further strengthen the role of the Commission as an effective mechanism in ensuring the timely and unconditional implementation of agreements at the highest level, as well as in the elaboration of coordinated measures for further development of mutually beneficial cooperation, primarily, in trade, transit, economic and transport-communication spheres.
11.        The Presidents noted the priority importance of bilateral cooperation in the field of transport and transit corridors, which provide the shortest and most effective access to foreign markets.
In this regard, the Parties agreed to further intensify mutual efforts aimed at ensuring the construction of railways and highways, as well as facilitating the development of transit traffic and trade on the territory of Afghanistan. In particular, based on the efficient bilateral cooperation and the experience of mutual benefit, the Parties agreed to jointly implement the following projects aimed at further development of transport infrastructure in Afghanistan:
·       Construction of the “Mazar-e-Sharif–Herat” railway line, planned within the framework of the “Trans-Afghan Transport Corridor”;
·       Construction of the “Surkhan–Pul-i-Khumri” power transmission line with a capacity of 500 KW from the Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan to the town of Pul-i-Khumri of Afghanistan;
·       Reconstruction of the Kabul Ring Road, the Qaisar-Laman Road, the Salang Tunnel etc.
The Presidents welcomed the signing of cooperation agreements on the “Termez-Hairatan” bridge between the relevant organizations of the two countries.
12.      The Parties welcomed the launching of direct flights from Kabul to Tashkent as an important milestone in strengthening regional connectivity, business-to-business and people-to-people interaction.
13.       Realizing their historical responsibility for the preservation and strengthening of the centuries-old friendship, brotherhood and cooperation between the peoples of the two countries, the Parties reaffirmed their commitment to the further development and strengthening of bilateral ties in the field of culture, education, science, art, sports and other spheres.
14.       The Afghan side expressed gratitude for Uzbekistan’s assistance in developing human capacity in various important sectors and industries of Afghanistan.
15.       The Parties expressed confidence that the opening of the Consulate of Afghanistan in Termez will make a worthy contribution to the development of bilateral and regional cooperation by swiftly resolving the consular and legal issues of citizens of not only the two countries but also other states, especially those engaged in trade and economic activities.
16.       The Presidents expressed confidence that fruitful negotiations, as well as bilateral documents signed during the visit, will contribute to further strengthening traditionally, friendly and good neighborly relations between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan based on equality and mutual interest.
17.       The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan HE Mohammad Ashraf Ghani expressed his gratitude to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan HE Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the people of Uzbekistan for warm hospitality extended to the Afghan delegation and invited the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to pay an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at his convenience. The dates of the visit will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.
 

Thursday December 7, 2017

Lashkargah City (BNA) At least 8 armed oppositions belonging Taliban terrorist group were killed during recent clashes with Afghan security forces southern Helmand province.
The clashes took place the night before last, while a group of Taliban militants stormed on Afghan security forces’ checkpoint in Sangeen district of the province.
A senior commander of Afghan National Army in the south of the country told BNA correspondent, 8 anti-government militias were killed following the conflicts.
According to another report, Afghan security troops succeeded to discover two weapon storages of Taliban militants in Helmand province.
The weapon storages had been discovered from Garashak district of the province.
Some heavy and light weapons have been seized from the discovered weapon storages, a security official in Helmand said.
T/M.A.Ansari
 

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 10:23

UNHCR Assist Displaced Families In Logar

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Pul-e-Alam (BNA) Nearly 2,000 displaced families received assistances in Logar province yesterday.
Salim Saleh spokesman for Logar governor told BNA, the assistances took place by United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees affairs (UNHCR) with cooperation of rural rehabilitation and development office of that province.
Each family got 200 dollars, blanket, medical packages and winter cloths.
According to another report, the rural rehabilitation and development office assisted 180 tons of foodstuffs worth more than 7 million Afghanis for 1000 needy and poor families
T. Yarzada
 

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 10:23

New Ministers And Their Obligations: Commentary

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The House of Representatives recently giving confidence vote to 11 nominated ministers took a firm step toward ending a notorious being acting minister.
BNA political analyst commenting on the issue writes recently the lower house of parliament voted to 12 nominated ministers, where except Mrs. Nargis Nehan the acting minister for mine and petroleum ministry others succeeded to obtain confidential vote.
A number of political experts, civil society activists and defending women rights severely criticizing the dealing of the members of lower house of parliament to Mrs. Nehan called a discriminatory act against women.
However, the lower house of parliament by giving confidential vote to the other nominated ministers took a firm step for ending the notorious phenomenon of being acting minister.
Working as acting ministers in National Unity Government so far considered as a wide administrative gap and because of it the leadership of the Unity government severely criticized.
The lower house of parliament voted to eleven ministers on the eve of New Year and beginning of financial year where the government should prepare itself for performing great tasks.
On the other hand the new ministers should do their best for improvement of management in their relative ministries and counter – corruption should be at the top of their working agendas.
The members of parliament should remember that they gave non confidential votes for ministers who had not spent their development budget. Therefore, the people expect the expenditure of developmental budget should be at focus of attention of parliament members as before and provide the ground for proper and reasonable spending of the budget and serious monitor the process of it.
On the other hand there are rumors that some members of parliament are interfering in works of ministers and enforce their demands on them; it would better for them to avoid this illegal act and support the government as accountable and responsible delegates of their suffering people.
The people hope their delegates perform good services for our suffering community who are severely in need of such services.  
Abdul Khalil Minawi
BNA Director General 
 

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 07:12

CE Meets Pakistani Journalists

Wednesday December 6, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah met with a number of Pakistani journalists yesterday.
In the meeting held at Sapedar palace, the country’s chief executive while welcoming the Pakistani journalists to Kabul spoke related to relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, counterterrorism and recent changes and common threats in Afghanistan and the region. The country’s chief executive also said that Afghanistan has always shown goodwill to Pakistan, adding that Afghanistan was ready to have good relations with all countries in the region. He regarded terrorism as threat to all countries and the region. Talking also related to economic opportunities in the region, the country’s chief executive stressed that the regional countries should honestly fight terrorism and make use of present economic opportunities in the region. Chief executive also answered questions raised by Pakistani journalists in the meeting.
 

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