20 January 2020

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Friday January 3, 2020
Kabul (BNA) A senior Iranian official said a major railway connecting Iran and neighboring Afghanistan will be ready in March as construction of a key cross-border line is nearing completion.
Abbas Khatibi, a deputy to Iran’s roads and urban development minister, said that the Iran would link up Afghanistan to its railway once construction for the line connecting the city of Khaf in eastern Iran to the Afghan city of Herat is finished, Press TV reported.
Khatibi said a major part of 191-kilometer railway would be complete in March or at last in April, 2019, allowing the two neighboring countries to kick off rail transportation.
Iran has almost finished its part of the Khaf-Herat railway, which runs 139 kilometers in three sections straddling the border between the two countries. Reports in the Afghan media have suggested that the country is intent on completing the fourth and final section of the project through partnership with an Italian contractor.
Once finished, the railway would hugely boost trade between Iran and Afghanistan, a country which has no active railway system, while it would help the Afghans to use various transportation corridors via Iran to expand business with other countries.
Lack of security in Afghanistan has been a major hurdle for completion of the railway. A mine explosion earlier this year on the Afghan side of the project killed one Iranian contractor and injured his colleague.
Iran has implemented massive plans for expansion of its domestic railway network while it has pursued plans for linking up to neighboring countries to facilitate trade.
Afghanistan is expected to hugely benefit from development of the Iranian rail network, especially through a key link connecting the port city of Chabahar on the Sea of Oman to Zahedan, near the Afghan border.
The massive project, which is jointly built by Iran and India, is meant to facilitate trade from the Indian Ocean via Iran to Afghanistan and further north to the Central Asian countries.
Iran-daily
Ansari

Friday January 3, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Doctor Tetsu Nakamura, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this month, was posthumously awarded on Friday a decoration for his contribution to the development of the central Asian country.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, and a letter of appreciation to Nakamura’s widow, Naoko, during a ceremony at his office in Tokyo.
“You deepened the friendly relationship between Japan and Afghanistan and made remarkable contributions to expanding humanitarian assistance and international cooperation,” Abe said in the letter.
The 73-year-old doctor and five Afghans were killed as armed men attacked their vehicle in Jalalabad in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Dec. 4. He was head of the Peshawar-kai aid group based in Fukuoka.
Nakamura had been providing medical aid near the Afghan border with Pakistan for years. He was also involved in tree-planting activities and a project to improve water supplies to poverty-stricken areas after a drought hit Afghanistan in 2000.
Naoko Nakamura said her husband’s death was “truly regrettable and disappointing.” But she also told reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office, “I hope there will be more green land in Afghanistan.”
Their daughter Akiko, who also attended the ceremony, said the letter gave encouragement to the Peshawar-kai, which will continue to operate after Nakamura’s death. “It’s my father’s wish and that of our family that it will carry on,” she said.
Afghan Ambassador to Japan Bashir Mohabbat and Peshawar-kai Chairman Masaru Murakami were also present at the ceremony.
The Gold Rays with Rosette is the fourth-highest of six decorations in the Rising Sun order awarded for achievements in international relations and other fields.
Japantimes
Ansari

Friday January 3, 2020
Kabul (BNA) An Afghan boy taken under state protection by Turkey dreams of becoming a doctor someday.
"Becoming a doctor is my lifelong dream. Turkey has become my second home by giving this chance to me," Ayed Mohamed Mousa said.
Two years ago, the 17-year-old was detained by Turkish security forces as he attempted to cross the Turkish border to Europe.
He was taken under state protection as he was a minor.
Moussa recalled being born in a poor family that migrated to Iran from Afghanistan in the pursuit of a better life.
Next, they wanted to cross to Turkey and onward to Europe.
But things did not go as planned. Only Moussa was able to cross the border to Turkey.
Leaving his family behind, he reached Turkey's border city of Edirne from where he wanted to cross to Greece.
Little did he know, that his detention by Turkish border guards will change his life for the better.
"When I came to Turkey, I met a lot of good people and loved them. Everyone supports me in my quest to get an education including my teachers, principals and the governor of Edirne. Thanks to them I have a good education," he said.
Moussa said he feels indebted to Turkey and wants to serve Turkish people as a doctor.
"I want to respond to the Turkish people's kindness and help," he said.
Bilgin Ozbas, the director of family, labor and social services in Edirne, said Moussa was accepted to Turkey as part of state initiative to provide shelter to unaccompanied children.
He said Moussa learned Turkish within two years and has been the most successful student in his school.
Yenisafak
Ansari

Friday January 3, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The Afghanistan Papers (611 documents summarizing interviews of key US and British officials) released recently by the Washington Post have exposed successive US Administrations, from that of George W Bush onwards, hiding the truth, especially from the American public, that they were in the quagmire of an unwinnable war.
But then witness, for example, top US officials testifying at Congressional hearings about the fictitious nuclear programme of Iraq, used as the excuse to invade that country. However, the continued duplicity of Pakistan and the fact that it would never give up on terrorism was grossly ignored.
The Afghanistan Papers apart, numerous scholars, journalists and counter-terrorism experts in the US and Afghanistan have periodically reported intimate links between the Haqqani Network and Taliban and the Pakistani military, and that the real problem lay inside Pakistan.
Michael Hughes wrote in Huffington Post on July 6, 2010, “Nine years, nearly $300 billion dollars and 1900 dead coalition soldiers later, the US has officially verified that the entire war effort has been focused on the wrong side of the mountains”.
Despite this ‘officially verified’ indicator, Pakistan was left to its machinations, including sheltering Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. How much of the billions of dollars pumped into the war in Afghanistan was wasted by way of corruption was also ignored.
Now the US media is questioning what America has achieved from the war, having pumped in over $2 trillion into Afghanistan: $1.5 trillion spent on war; $500 billion on interest; $87 billion to train the Afghan military and police; $24 billion on economic development, and $10 billion on counternarcotic?
Despite such enormous expenditure, the number of Afghan National Security Forces originally planned to be maintained always could not be achieved, while the counternarcotic campaign was never enforced effectively, by default or design. As per the US Department of Defense, nearly 2,400 American service members have been killed since the start of US military operations in Afghanistan in 2001 up to mid-2019.
Additionally, over 20,000 US service personnel have been wounded in hostile action and 1,892 have died in hostile action. About 147,000 Afghans have been killed in the Afghanistan war since 2001, including 38,000 civilians, reflecting the misery of the Afghan population.
The irony has also been the frequent policy shift of US deployment in Afghanistan, not only by way of pullouts and reinforcements, but also vacating bases that the Taliban occupied and then trying to re-deploy in the same area. It is for such reasons that the Helmand region, bordering Iran, has become a Taliban stronghold. 
US President Donald Trump’s surprise visit to Bagram in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving, to be with the US troops and powwow with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, was perhaps the catalyst for Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) for finally releasing preliminary results of the presidential election on December 22, despite the election being held on September 28.
Why the results were held up for so long remains ambiguous. Ghani appears to be the winner, having won 50.64% of the votes compared to his closest rival, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who won 39.52%. Abdullah’s office has however issued a statement saying, “We would like to make it clear once again to our people, supporters, election commission and our international allies that our team will not accept the result of this fraudulent vote unless our legitimate demands are addressed.”
This indicates continued political strife in Afghanistan. Abdullah had protested the presidential election results in 2014 also, but this time the difference in vote share secured being large, Ghani appears set for the next presidential term. Ghani and Abdullah are both Pashtuns but, irrespective of who is the next President of Afghanistan, it does not change the situation on the ground.
The Taliban are adamant to not have any truck with the Afghan government and, in fact, aim to overthrow them and take control of Afghanistan.
Zalmay Khalilzad, America’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, is trying every trick possible to rope in the Taliban, but is unlikely to succeed with Pakistan continuing its duplicitous game sitting in the lap of Beijing.
Trump’s exhortations that the Taliban are under pressure and desperate to have a deal can hardly fool the American public any more. The converse is actually the case. With the Taliban sitting pretty and supported by China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran directly or indirectly, the ball is in America’s court.
Logically, the US should hit out at the support to the Taliban and Haqqani Network emanating from within Pakistan but, given Trump’s unpredictability, what his next move would be remains a question mark. Within the US, efforts of the Democrats to impeach and send Trump packing will not work because they just do not have the required votes in the Senate.
In fact, there is speculation that it will backfire and strengthen Trump’s chances for a second presidential term. Logically, the US must continue a credible presence in Afghanistan, given that a pullout would result in the possible fall of Kabul to the Taliban and capitulation of the Afghan National Army in some areas.
However, Trump will be under pressure at home, with disclosures like the Afghan Papers and his pre-election promise, to end the war in Afghanistan before his present term ends.
A complete withdrawal from Afghanistan will be catastrophic for the US but Trump may resort to pulling out few thousands before the US election and later weigh reinforcements when he secures his second term. After all, while outlining his policy on Afghanistan in a televised speech from Fort Myers in Virginia on August 21, 2017, Trump had said “it would be counterproductive to announce dates intended to begin or end military options, numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities.”
Eurasiareview
Ansari

Thursday, January 02, 2020
Kandahr (BNA) Fourteen Taliban terrorist group were killed in latest raids of Afghan security forces in Kandahar province.
The air and ground raids carried out on Taliban hideouts in Shahwalikot , Khakriz and Maiwand District, in which six Taliban associated group have been injured and three others were arrested.
Atal ray corps in south of the country with releasing a statement told BNA, the Taliban were suppressed on their hideouts while terrorist and destructive actions.
Two local commanders of Taliban, and three Pakistani insurgents were also among the dead.
T. Yarzada

 

Thursday, January 02, 2020
Herat (BNA) The police of Herat succeeded to discover a consignment of narcotic drug in Herat province.
According to reports, a man wanted to smuggle 900kg of narcotic drug to unknown place, has been detained in suburb of Oba District, Herat province.
Jelani Farhad spokesman for Herat governor told BNA, the detained smuggler has been injured in a clash by security officials.
T. Yarzada

Thursday, 02 January 2020 07:29

ISIS Loyalists Killed in Kunar Air Strike

Thursday, January 02, 2020
Asadabad (BNA)  Six ISIS loyalists were killed in an air strike of security troops in Kunar province last night.
The insurgents were targeted while planning destructive activities on their hideout.
Selab army corps in east of the country with releasing a statement said, six ISIS loyalists were killed.
A hideout of the fighters with all war equipment has been demolished, said the statement.
Another report says, police of Kunar discovered and defused ten mines and prevented from a series of explosions.
Security officials of the province blamed Taliban for the planting mines.
T. Yarzada

 

Thursday, 02 January 2020 07:29

Blast Took The Life of Civilian in Herat

Thursday, January 02, 2020
Herat (BNA)A civilian was lost his life and the legs of a child cult off in a blast in Herat province.
Security officials blamed Taliban for the event.
According to reports, a mine was planted in a main road of Gulran District and exploded while passing of civilians.
Jelani Farhad spokesman for Herat governor told BNA, a man was lost his life and the legs of a child cut off in the blast,
Taliban mostly planted bombs and mines on crowded ways of the province, which victimized innocent civilians.
T. Yarzada

Thursday, 02 January 2020 07:29

School Construction Work Kick Off in Herat

Thursday, January 02, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The construction work of a school building kick off in Zendajan District Herat province.
Feraidon Azhand spokesman for rural rehabilitation and development ministry told BNA, the school will have six classrooms, three toilets and a well.
With completion work of the school, the education problems of 300 boys will be tackled.
T. Yarzada

Thursday, January 02, 2020
Kabul (BNA) With completion work of four water wells in Nimroz province, dozens families accessed to potable water.
Feraidon Azhand spokesman of rural rehabilitation and development ministry told BNA, the wells have been  dig in Charborjak district of Nimroz through national citizenship program of rural rehabilitation and development ministry.
About 400,000 Afghanis have been used in construction of the wells, and 60 water supply problems have been eradicated 60 families.
T. Yarzada

 

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