21 November 2018

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Tuesday November 20, 2018 Kabul (BNA) BRITAIN'S elite Parachute Regiment has been sent back to Afghanistan for its first combat mission since 2014, as the country continues to reel under mounting attacks from Taliban forces and IS. More than 80 heavily armed troops from B Company 3rd Battalion landed in Kabul last week in a bid to stem outrages that have claimed the lives of more than 3,000 civilians this year. While MoD chiefs said the deployment is merely "rotational", sources at Army HQ in Andover said the regiment had been a deliberate choice due to mounting challenges facing coalition troops in Kabul. "The security matrix has been increasingly challenging since January," the senior source confirmed. "While officially we cannot single them out, the Paras have vast experience in security operations and are a natural fit at this time." As part of a promised 440-troop increase to the region, 3 Para will join a battlegroup built around 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles and will be tasked with directly engaging the enemy. Speaking ahead of deployment, a source attached to 3 Para said: "This is our first run out and return to a combat role since 2014 - to say we're pleased to be back on operations is an understatement. "Unlike other regiments we won't be doing any training. Our task is to focus just on force protection." The Taliban has increased its presence in Afghanistan and now controls around a third of the country, while IS continues to carry out high-profile suicide attacks in Kabul and Eastern Afghanistan. These included an April blast outside a voter ID registration center that killed 63 people, and twin explosions in a high-security official zone that killed 25, including nine journalists. In the meantime, the number of trained Afghan security forces has declined to just 296,400, far below the authorized strength of 334,000. Earlier this month it emerged that 28,000 Afghan police officers and soldiers had been killed since 2015, with 242 murdered last week. In the once-safe rural district of Jaghori an entire company of 50 elite Afghan commandos were either killed or wounded. The Paras' six-month tour comes 16 years after they became the first British unit to enter battle-torn Kabul in 2002 as part of Operation Fingal, where they assisted the interim administration with security and stability. In 2006 they returned under Operation Herrick IV, when a focus on reconstruction and hearts and minds, soon gave way to heavy fighting. They faced 500 enemy contacts, with some forward-operating bases only offering soldiers two hours of sleep a day. In the two-month siege at Musa Qala, 88 men of Easy Company, which included elements of the Royal Irish, fended off a continuous attack by more than 500 Taliban insurgents. British troops marked the end of combat operations in 2014, after US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron said the 13-year mission - prompted by Al Qaeda's use of Afghanistan for training camps before 9/11 - had succeeded. But Donald Trump reversed the policy, increasing troop levels from 8,400 to 16,000 and making their stay objective-based rather than on a timeline. While UK Special Forces remain active, Britain's 600 regular infantry soldiers are mostly limited to instructing Afghan cadets. Under US pressure, that will increase to 1,100 next year. Yesterday, a MoD spokesman said: "3 Para has deployed to Afghanistan as part of the UK contribution to the Nato mission." AFGHANISTAN remains critical for the defense of the West so we must back Afghan forces. But there is more to it than just denying Afghanistan to jihadists. The coalition operation that commenced there in 2001 successfully prevented terrorists launching further 9/11-style attacks on the West from there, albeit at a cost to the lives of British, American and other coalition forces. Coalition operations there also neutralized a threat to bring down the government of nuclear-armed Pakistan, while Iran backs insurgents across the country as part of its regional aggression. It is time we reinforced the US's combat efforts, with troops if necessary, but especially with intelligence, air and Special Forces. The Government might not have the political appetite to do much more but the stakes are high. Express Ansari
Tuesday November 20, 2018 Kabul (BNA) Rashid Khan is confident the Afghan connection between himself and Hazratullah Zazai can help make Maratha Arabians contenders for the T10 League title. Neither Rashid nor Hazratullah played in the inaugural edition of the 10-over competition in Sharjah last year. Back then, Rashid, was well on his way to global stardom, playing a lead role in Australia’s Big Bash League, before going on to be feted as the best short-format spinner in the sport by Sachin Tendulkar at the Indian Premier League. Hazratullah was then largely unknown beyond his own borders in Afghanistan. That all changed, however, when he hit six sixes in one over in a match in the Afghanistan Premier League in Sharjah in October. The fact he had already proved his worth by hitting the only century in that competition, as well as that it happened it at the same venue as where the T10 League, which starts on Wednesday, will played meant he was suddenly highly sought after. Although neither Rashid nor his young colleague have had any experience of T10 cricket as yet, Rashid is confident they can thrive. “It is a totally different format, my first time to be playing the T10 format, and it is totally different cricket,” Rashid said. “I think it will be very entertaining. We have a very good side. I think it will be a game in which everything will happen very quickly. “The smarter and clever you are, the more you will perform. Hopefully we will have a good year. “We have a good balanced team, and with three players from Afghanistan. Hazrat is here, and Najeeb [ullah Zadran]. “We have Kamran Akmal, DJ Bravo. Everyone is very good. It is 10 overs and only one or two batsmen can change the game for you. “Everyone should contribute. Whoever gets the chance should try to go and finish the game, and try 100 per cent.” Maratha Arabians already have enviable power with the bat in the form of Hazratullah, Alex Hales and Akmal, but Rashid believes they could even learn a thing or two from their high-profile coaching staff. Wasim Akram is back in charge of the franchise for a second season, while Virender Sehwag has moved into a coaching capacity after being the lone India player involved last season. Rashid is excited about the prospect of working with both. “I am surprised and happy to be with this side, because there will be lots of things I will be able to learn from them, and get their experience,” Rashid said. “Someone who has been called the ‘Sultan of Swing’, and who has played all over the world, I will try my best to grab that experience from him. “Especially Sehwag, the way he was in batting for India was superb. The job he has done, I think he knows better [than anyone] how to start the innings, from how he has done in the past for India. “It will only be a short time, but I am hoping to learn as much as I can.” Thenational Ansari
Tuesday November 20, 2018 Kabul (BNA) Clashes erupted Thursday among students at Kabul University’s hostel after oral argument of two students standing on a dinner queue for getting foods. The argument changed to clashes later among big groups of students and unfortunately paved the way for interference of political opportunists. Eye witnesses claimed that they heard continuous firing shots from inside Kabul University. But, a spokesperson to Kabul police says it was police who fired in the air to control the situation and escort those out who trapped in the hostel. According to Kabul police, 19 students were wounded and one killed in the incident and 35 others have been detained by police for further investigation. Officials or Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) by rejecting ethnic discrimination behind the incident told media that in accordance to laws and disciplinary procedures of the ministry all higher education institutions and academic centers of the country are protected from political and ethnic activities. Zia Rafat, a Kabul University lecturer, believes that the ministry of higher education should have educational and awareness programs for students at the university hostel as it is a place education and cultural programs should be held. He stressed that the ministry should also review its management in connection with food quality and modality of food distribution to students in the hostel. On the other hand, Afghanistan Students Association (ASA) has said that discrimination and ethnic divide in universities and other academic institutions must be addressed. “Government and relevant agencies should step up efforts to foster unity among university students and eliminate discord and discrimination in state-run and private universities across the country, said head of ASA Zahir Faizy in a statement. He said there were certain people within the country and abroad who were plotting to fan the flame of discord and discrimination among Afghan youth particularly university students in higher education institutions and academic centers, adding that this should be tackled. Pointing to old method of curriculum in some universities, he asked the relevant organs to take necessary measures to work on new curriculum in order to boost up teaching quality in the universities. He also urged the related organs to improve facilities for students at universities in the country. Followed the incident, ministry of higher education in a statement has declared that central hostel was to be remained closed until improvement of the situation. It is worth mentioning that Kabul University has witnessed similar incidents in the past too. Four years ago, similar incident occurred in the hostel of the university and as a result 23 people were wounded. After the incident, the ministry of higher education closed all universities of the country for a week. Lailuma Noori Ansari
Tuesday November 20, 2018 Kabul (BNA) In the sideline of sixth meeting of “Heart of Asia” or “Istanbul process”, held in Panjab state of India, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Indian prime minister Narendra Mudi met each other and agreed upon establishment of air corridor between Afghanistan and India. After two years of this historical meeting and in presence of both sides political and commercial authorities, the two sides officially inaugurated the first part of air corridors between the two countries in June 19th of current year. According to the related in-charge, Seddiqullah Mujadeddi, the second part of air corridors between Afghanistan and India based on the demand of Afghan traders was established and the commodities of Afghanistan are transferring from air ports of Kabul and Kandahar to Mumbai city. The third portion of air corridors between Afghanistan and Turkey was established in June of current year and in the first flight that took place by Turkish Airline Company, 15 tons dried fruit and carpet exported to Turkey. The fourth part of corridors between Afghanistan and Europe was established in Mizan of solar current year and in first flight, twelve tons Karakul pelt to Finland and eight tons were exported to Italy. First, the exporting goods are loading in international airport of Hamid Karzai and then to Europe via Turkey. The fifth part of air corridors was established in Aqrab of current solar year between Afghanistan and China and in first flight, 20 tons black pine-nut exported to China. Previously, the pine-nut of Afghanistan was exporting to world markets in the name and mark of Pakistan. But now, with inauguration of air corridors, the pine-nut of Afghanistan is exporting in the name and mark of Afghanistan to international markets. In opening ceremony of this air corridor, president Ghani said that government would focus its serious attention towards hidden treasuries. The president added that those who create crisis for us, we change the crisis into opportunity that it mentions to Pakistan. Pakistan made efforts to keep Afghanistan into its economic monopoly and with occurrence of any violence, this country with closing of its borders, prevented from merchandize of Afghanistan that this according to the president was changed into opportunity with establishment of air corridors. The spokesman of ministry of industry and commerce, Musafer Quqandi says that the aim of establishing of air corridors is increment of export, improvement of economic situation and introducing of commodities of Afghanistan to the warm markets of the world. Quqandi added that the exporting items of Afghanistan are different comparing world markets. For example: The dried and fresh fruits has warm market in India that in the first flight to India, 20 tons of agricultural products have been exported to this country via air corridor and in turn, decorative means and food items imported to Afghanistan. Domestic and foreign companies have signed protocols with us and the merchandize are exported to India via Kabul and Kandahar provinces and in the future the export of our merchandize would take place to India via Balkh and Herat provinces as well. According to Quqandi, via air corridors, worth $70 million, Afghanistan through 60 flights exported commercial goods, to abroad that this itself indicates the exports of Afghanistan has increased and the price of one Kg goods is calculated from 25 to 45 cents. Karima Malikzada Ansari
Tuesday, 20 November 2018 14:40

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)’S Birthday

Tuesday November 20, 2018 Kabul (BNA) Born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Macca, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was orphaned at an early age and was brought up under the care of his uncle Abu Taleb. After his childhood, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) primarily worked as a merchant. Occasionally he would retreat to a cave in the mountains for several nights of seclusion and prayer; later, at age 40, he reported at this spot, that he was visited by Gabriel and received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that “God is One”, that complete acceptable to God, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to other Islamic prophets. Prophet Muhammad PBUH gained few followers early on, and met hostility from some tribes in Macca. To escape persecution, he sent some of his followers to Abyssinia before he and his followers in Macca migrated to Medina in the year 622. This event, the Hejra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hejri Calendar. In Medina, Prophet Muhammad PBUH united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. After eight years of fighting with the Maccan tribes, he made an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Macca. The attack went largely uncontested and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took over the city with little bloodshed. He destroyed the pagan idols in the city and sent his followers out to destroy all remaining pagan temples in Eastern Arabia. In 632, a few months after returning to Medina from The Farewell Pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) fell ill and passed away. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity. Massouda Qarizada Ansari

Friday November 16, 2018 Kabul (BNA) At least 69 armed oppositions were killed during clearing operations led by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces within the last 24 hours across the country. Ministry of national defense press office stated BNA, the operations have launched to annihilate anti-government militias and protect the lives and properties of people in insecure areas of Laghman, Nangarhar, Paktika, Ghazni, Paktia, Maidan/Wardak, Kandahar, Urozgan, Farah, Takhar, Ghor, Faryab, Helmand and Nimroz provinces. It is mentionable that, 15 militants were wounded and some heavy and light weapons belonged the terrorists have been seized by Afghan security forces during the military operations, the source added. M.A.Ansari

Friday November 16, 2018 Kunduz City (BNA) About 13 anti-government militias were killed during clashes with Afghan security forces in northern Kunduz province last night. Col. Mohammad Hanif Rezayee spokesman of 209 Shaheen army corps reported BNA, the conflicts took place, when a group of Taliban fighters stormed on Afghan security forces’ checkpoints in Qala Zaal district of the province that faced with full resistance of Afghan security forces. 13 armed oppositions were killed, 16 wounded and dozens others forced to flee from the area, Rezayee added. Several local commanders of Taliban group were among the dead. According to another report, Three Afghan security troops were martyred and two others were wounded following mine blast in vicinity of Qala Zaal district of the province. M.A.Ansari

Friday November 16, 2018 Kabul (BNA) The 171st meeting of the National Procurement Commission (NPC) presided by H.E Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was held on Wednesday evening. According to BNA report, in this meeting 26 procurement contracts were reviewed which resulted in approval of 21 contracts worth more than 3.37 billion Afghanis which include the following: • The contract for construction of a school with 24-classroom and its equipment at the Shahristan district of Daikundi province; related to the Ministry of Education; • The contract for construction of training center of document`s printing house; related to Ministry of Finance; • The contract for procurement of 21 food items required by the police forces-zone 606th of Ansar; on the basis of framework agreements of Ministry of Interior; • The contract for construction of beyond kokcha road from Khwajah Ghaar district to Dashte qala district with 17Km long; related to the Ministry of Public Works; • The contract for provision of bandwidth internet with capacity of STM-16 from Iran through Government to Government (G2G) method; related to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. • The contract for connection of eight ministries of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan through fiber optics; related to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. • The contract for construction of blocks D -3, -4 located in Panjsad Family area; related to the Kabul Municipality; • The contract for procurement of 3500 tons of diesel fuel required for heating system; related to Makroriyan`s maintenance enterprise directorate of Kabul municipality; • The contract for construction of E part of Rahman Mena road from Karteh Naw (Noor Ahmad Shah Mena) road to ring road with 7.190 Km long and 60 Meters width; related to the Kabul Municipality; • The contract for procurement machines, devices, diagnostic & filter equipment (GeneXpert, Dust filter and Test Kit) required for TB programs; related to the Ministry of Public Health; • The contract for procurement of 159 items of medical equipment required by emergency & ICU units; related to the Ministry of Public Health; • The contract for maintenance and repair of 82 different types of fire fighting vehicles in seven lots through framework agreement; related to the Ministry of Defense; • The contract for establishment and development and development of a strategic network for communication and other related services required by the communication directorate of Ministry of Defense; • The contract for provision of prepaid service electronic card on monthly basis for Suraya satellite mobiles; related to the Communication directorate of Ministry of Defense; • The contract for procurement of 3 fire fighting vehicles required by emergency directorate of Ministry of Defense; • The contract cancellation of the project for design and construction of Machalgho dam; related to the Ministry of Energy and Water; In addition; after review and scrutiny of the contracts; the request for amendments in a number of the projects approved by NPC as follows: • The request for amendment (Time extension, Increase in cost, and amendment in contract contents) in consultancy project; related to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock. • The request for amendment (Time extension) in detailed design of electricity production dam and irrigation of Bakhsh Abad of Farah province related to the Ministry of Energy and Water; However; the contract for procurement of 132 type of medicines required by the chief of army staff health commandant; for further review with Combined Security Transition Command (CSTC-A) was returned. In addition; and according to the agenda; the NPC members discussed on the follow up for implementation of the previous NPC instructive decisions; which include the following projects: • The consultancy service contract for development and advancement of the health information center; related to the Ministry of Public Health was returned and Ministry of Public Health & Integrity Watch Afghanistan instructed to review the technical assessment of the project. • The procurement of goods and additional services for fundamental, intermediate and miscellaneous rehabilitation of Ministry of Defense’s generators in three lots and in accordance with the producer company was returned for further reviews by NPC. • The contract for reconstruction of the road from Gardez to Zurmat district related to the Ministry of Public Works approved by NPC and it was decided to proceed this contract through local contractors. During the discussion on the mentioned projects; H.E President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan instructed the Ministry of Public Works to review all the contractors who work as Joint venture (JV). The President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; once again; emphasized on support and strengthening of the capacity of Afghan companies. • Four contracts (127 components of trailers, 21 types of Mobil oil, 17 types of Tire, 180 types of spare parts of Humvee vehicles related to the Ministry of Defense were returned by NPC and it was decided to convene a joint meeting between Ministries of Defense, Interior and Combined Security Transition Command (CSTC-A) with collaboration of Ministry of Economy and this project also to be reviewed. Moreover; the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority`s request regarding the objection of State Corps company regarding the tendering of the project for construction of a terminal building(ATM), apron and parking of airport of Khost province; was also approved by NPC. The ministry of Public Works` request regarding the time extension for the road construction project of Kabul-Logar (From Logar`s petrol station to Chel Dokhtaran) with 7 Km long approved by NPC. However, the Ministry of Defense`s request for procurement of 186 types of laboratory reagents and medical solutions required by chief of army staff health commandant was returned and the mentioned Ministry entrusted to review the alternative methods including the Government to Government(G2G) procurement method and share the report with NPC. Subsequently; according to the Ministry of Defense's request, due to the winter's arrival, the coal project of this ministry was addressed to domestic companies and the wood (Fuel) project of the Ministry for the proposed companies. Subsequently; the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) presented the report of a conducted research in the context of evaluating the estimated prices to NPC members and they pledged that another research regarding the conflict of interest and how it will express will be finalized and present to the NPC. The head of NPC and members appreciated the research. In this meeting; beside the NPC members, the officials of National Procurement Authority, the national and international observers including the Finance, Budget and National Economy Commissions of the Parliament, the Integrity Watch Afghanistan(IWA), and the Combined Security Transition Command (CSTC-A) of the Resolute Support had also participated. Ansari

Friday November 16, 2018 Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani urged women on Tuesday to come up with a clear list of suggestions for peace negotiations as he continues his meetings on forming an advisory board for peace process, BNA reported. The advisory board is expected to advise the government on how to proceed with negotiations with the Taliban, and the President has insisted on making the peace process inclusive of all demographics, especially women. The participants of the meeting were representing different women’s organizations. M.A.Ansari

Friday November 16, 2018 Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani stressed on proceeding with peace process based on national consensus in a meeting with Jamiat-e-Islami solidarity council representatives yesterday. BNA quoting Presidential Palace reported that, the President sought advice from the participants of the meeting regarding the formation of an advisory board that will advise the government on the composition of the negotiating team and a framework for their conduct. The participants of the meeting welcomed President Ghani’s move to create an advisory board for an inclusive and nationally consensual peace process. The President recently started meeting with various demographics of the country, and will continue the meetings for several days to come. M.A.Ansari

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