Saturday, November 30, 2013

Afghanistan: ICC Prosecutor Finds Grave Crimes --- The prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should expedite its preliminary inquiry on grave international crimes committed in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said today. In its November 2013 Report on Preliminary Examination Activities, the ICC prosecutor’s office found that “[W]ar crimes and crimes against humanity were and continue to be committed in Afghanistan,” and that it would examine whether the government was taking sufficient action to investigate and prosecute these crimes. -- “The ICC prosecutor’s finding that war crimes and crimes against humanity are still being committed in Afghanistan should kick-start a full inquiry to spur justice in the country,” said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “This would signal to human rights abusers in Afghanistan that they can’t evade justice forever.” -- Afghanistan has been a “situation under analysis” since 2007, in which the prosecutor considers whether to open formal investigations into alleged crimes in violation of international law. -- The prosecutor’s office should expedite a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan to collect testimony and improve its information exchange with Afghan organizations, government bodies and, relevant international entities, Human Rights Watch said. -- Afghanistan joined the ICC in 2003. An ICC commitment to reinvigorate its pursuit of possible prosecutions in Afghanistan could promote broader accountability in the country, Human Rights Watch said. As international military forces prepare for the withdrawal of combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the government and foreign donors have given no serious consideration to the persistent problem of impunity for human rights abuses. -- Under the Rome Statute of the ICC, a case is only admissible before the court if the government has been, “unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution.” -- Afghan government efforts at accountability, especially concerning its own forces, have achieved little, Human Rights Watch said. The government’s Action Plan for Peace, Reconciliation and Justice, issued in 2005, has not been carried out. President Hamid Karzai, with the backing of the United States and other governments, suppressed the release of the sole major effort to follow the Action Plan, the human rights commission’s 800-page report mapping serious abuses from 1978 to 2001. -- More, at:

نواز شریف: صلح در افغانستان متضمن ثبات در پاکستان است --- آقای شریف در یک نشست خبری مشترک با رئیس جمهور کرزی در مقر ریاست جمهوری گفت که کشورش بر گفتگوی های صلح در افغانستان حمایت میکند، زیرا تامین صلح در افغانستان تاثیر مستقیم بر وضعیت پاکستان دارد. -- آقای شریف طی سخنانش امروز درکابل صلح را درافغانستان به نفع کشورش خواند اوافزود:"بادرنظرداشت پیوند های دینی، مذهبی، جغرافیایی پاکستان میخواهد صلح درافغانستان تامین شود زیرا تحکیم صلح دراین کشور به نفع هردوکشور است. -- وی تصریح کرد تحکیم صلح درافغانستان ازاجندای کاری اش بوده ودراین راستا بارئیس جمهور افغانستان تلاش های مشترک را انجام داداست که نتایجی نیزباخود داشته است. -- وی تاکید نمود افغانستان درشرایط حساس قرار دارد وهردوکشور به همکاری یکدیگر درعرصه های زیربناء، انرژی پروژه های فرامنطقوی که سبب رشد اقتصاد هردو کشورگردد، ضرورت دارند. -- آقای شریف طی سخنانش خطاب به مردم افغانستان گفت: "اطمینان میدهم که پاکستان درهرقدم وهرشرایط آماده هرگونه همکاری باافغانستان است." - وی ازجامعه ی جهانی نیزخواست تاهمکاری هایش را باافغانستان ادامه دهد.-- درهمین حال رئیس جمهور کرزی درکنفرانس مشترک باهمتای پاکستانی سفر صدر اعظم پاکستان را به افغانستان موثرخواند واظهار امیدواری کرد تااین سفربتواند روابط رابین هردو کشور مستحکم ترسازد. -- رئیس جمهورکرزی طی سخنانش نقش نوازشریف صدراعظم کشورپاکستان را در آوردن صلح مفید عنوان کرده گفت: "باانتخاب صدراعظم جدید آقای نوازشریف روابط بین دوکشور بهترشده وتلاش های صلح نیز به سوی موفقیت درحرکت است وماامیدوارهستیم اوضاع بهتر ازاین شود وچنانچه ازحسن نیت آقای شریف هویدا است مابه نتیجه خوبی خواهم رسید که منافع هردوکشور درآن تضمین گردد." -- وی تحقق پروسه صلح را به سود هردوکشور وتروریزم را تهدیدیدی برای هردوملت خواند ونابود کردن تروریزم وافراطیت را اولویت های کاری هردوکشور توصیف نموده افزود گفتگو در مورد برقراری صلح و ثبات در افغانستان و همچنین همکاری های سیاسی و اقتصادی میان دو کشور، از اجندای اصلی سفر نوازشریف به افغانستان است. - وخت

Pakistani military open artillery fire in Kunar province --- According to local authorities in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, Pakistani military opened artillery fire at a number of areas in Shegal district late Friday. -- Provincial security chief, Abdul Habib Syed Khel said at least 20 rounds of artillery shells were fired by Pakistani military late Friday night. -- Mr. Syed Khel further added that no casualties were reported following the cross-border shelling, however the shelling caused property damage to the local residents. -- Local residents in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan urge president Hamid Karzai to share the issue with the Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Kabul. -- According to the local residents in Kunar, dozens of people have been killed or injured following the cross-border shelling by Pakistani military during the recent years. -- Pakistani military has been shelling eastern provinces of Afghanistan including Kunar and Nuristan province during the past one year. - Khaama Press (KP)

US drone crash in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan --- According to local authorities in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, a US drone has crashed in Chaparahar district on Saturday afternoon. -- Chaparhar district chief, Haji Mohammad Sadiq Dawlatzai confirming the report said the drone crashed due to technical issues. -- The United States regularly uses drones for attacks and surveillance missions in Afghanistan, as well as in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border, among other places.- In the meantime, Taliban group in Afghanistan claimed that the US drone was shot down by Taliban militants. - Khaama Press

Pakistan PM in Kabul Discusses Taliban --- Nawaz Sharif said after meeting in Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai that an agreement had been reached to allow members of an Afghan peace council to continue talks with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was released from Pakistani detention last September. Sharif did not elaborate. --- "Mullah Baradar has been released. We discussed this matter at length today and we jointly have agreed on a mechanism and we will see it is properly implemented, and anybody who is sent by the president to Pakistan to talk to Mullah Baradar, we will carry out the instructions given to us by the president and make sure that such meeting takes place," Sharif said. -- Karzai, however, said in a statement released by his office after the meeting that he had asked for Baradar's "full release," indicating that the former insurgent was still under Pakistani supervision. He also requested the release of all Afghan Taliban held by Pakistan. -- It added that Sharif told Karzai he agreed on "facilitating the meeting of Mullah Baradar with his family, agreed on his full release, but mentioned that this issue should also be discussed with the Americans." -- Pakistan has released around four dozen Taliban prisoners over the last year. It has never said how many it is detaining. The U.S. has in the past expressed concern about the release of Taliban without some way of monitoring their whereabouts. -- Sharif said 2014 was a "milestone" as foreign forces depart and Afghanistan takes responsibility for its future and sovereignty. NATO and United Nations mandates that have kept tens of thousands of international forces in Afghanistan since the American invasion in late 2001 expire next year. -- Both men made very short remarks after their meeting and took no questions. Both expressed their general desire for closer ties, trade and regional peace. -- Karzai said that working together "Afghanistan and Pakistan will be rescued from terrorism and extremism." - More, PATRICK QUINN - Associated Press

Pakistan, Afghanistan Leaders Meet to Jump-Start Taliban Peace Talks --- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met on Saturday in Kabul in a bid to breathe life into attempts to open peace talks with the Afghan Taliban insurgency, just months ahead of a crucial political transition in Afghanistan. -- In a midday press conference, Mr. Karzai said he and Mr. Sharif discussed "practical steps" to bring Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents to the negotiating table. The Taliban have so far refused to negotiate with Mr. Karzai, describing him as an American "puppet." -- "Terrorism and extremism are a danger for both countries, and we discussed the shelters and havens which are present in the region, and we talked about how to put a stop to them," Mr. Karzai said. - More, Nathan Hodge - WSJ

.نوازشریف: زمان برداشتن گام‌های قاطع فرا رسیده --- نواز شریف، نخست وزیر پاکستان در دیداری با حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در کابل، از تعهدات کشورش برای برقراری صلح پایدار در افغانستان گفته است. -- نخست وزیر پاکستان در نشست مشترک خبری با حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان تاکید کرد که پاکستان در کنار افغان ها می ایستد و در بخش های مختلف از تامین ثبات و امنیت تا همکاری‌های اقتصادی کمک می‌کند. -- آقای شریف از کشورهای منطقه و دخیل در مسایل افغانستان خواست که برای "معکوس کردن جریان ویرانگر جنگ" دست به دست هم بدهند چون به باور او، حالا زمان برداشتن گام های جدی برای تداوم گفتگوهای صلح و "پایان موفقانه جنگ" فرارسیده است. --- آقای کرزی در ادامه گفت: "امروز روی تمام مسایل میان دو کشور مفصلا صحبت کردیم، هم بین هیات های دو کشور و هم در جلسه خصوصی من و آقای شریف مسایل مفصلا مطرح شده است؛ این که روند صلح را چگونه به پیش ببریم، اقدامات عملی چگونه انجام شود، نقش آمریکایی ها در این روند چه باشد..." -- رئیس جمهوری افغانستان گفت امیدوار است تلاش ها برای نابودسازی پناه‌گاه های شورشیان و مبارزه مشترک بر علیه افراطیت و تروریسم نتیجه بدهد. - More, BBC

US carriers urged to comply with China air zone rules --- The US says it expects its civilian aircraft to observe China's rules in an air defence zone in the East China Sea. -- A US statement said this did not mean the US accepted China's requirements in the zone covering territory claimed by China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. -- China wants all aircraft there to file flight plans and identify themselves. -- The US, Japan and South Korea say they have flown military aircraft in the area unannounced. But China said it scrambled fighter jets on Friday. -- The move was to monitor US and Japanese aircraft in the zone. -- Japanese officials gave no details of the flights, but said they were continuing to conduct routine operations in the region and had encountered no "abnormal instances so far". - More, BBC

Airlines Urged by U.S. to Give Notice to China --- WASHINGTON — Even as China scrambled fighter jets to enforce its newly declared air defense zone, the Obama administration said on Friday that it was advising American commercial airlines to comply with China’s demands to be notified in advance of flights through the area. -- While the United States continued to defy China by sending military planes into the zone unannounced, administration officials said they had made the decision to urge civilian planes to adhere to Beijing’s new rules in part because they worried about an unintended confrontation. -- Although the officials made clear that the administration rejects China’s unilateral declaration of control of the airspace over a large area of the East China Sea, the guidance to the airlines could be interpreted in the region as a concession in the battle of wills with China. -- “The U.S. government generally expects that U.S. carriers operating internationally will operate consistent with” notice requirements “issued by foreign countries,” the State Department said in a statement, adding that that “does not indicate U.S. government acceptance of China’s requirements.” -- On Saturday, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said, “We will not comment on what other countries are doing with regard to filing flight plans.” It was not immediately clear if the Obama administration had notified Japan, a close ally, of its decision. - More, NYTimes

Interview: Karzai Says He'll Agree To Deal Once The U.S. Meets His Demands --- Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he has two demands before he'll sign a Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States and that he'll approve the document as soon as those demands are met -- despite saying earlier he would wait until his country's presidential election is completed in April 2014. RFE/RL's Akbar Ayazi sat down with Karzai in Kabul for an exclusive interview to discuss the Afghan president's views. -- Hamid Karzai: The Afghans now want to conclude an agreement with the United States, and the Loya Jirga has done well in backing it. We consider this agreement to be in the interests of Afghans. But our condition is to ensure the protection of Afghan homes. The Americans should stop attacks against Afghan homes. Another condition is peace in Afghanistan. If we don’t have peace, this agreement will turn into a disaster for Afghanistan instead of a blessing. --- Karzai: The Americans have their own agenda and their own plans. Whatever is behind their programs or their plans is up to them. But we Afghans need to have our own plans. We showed the Americans that Afghanistan wants friendship and an alliance with them. We are not against them. But in this friendship and alliance with the United States, the Afghans want to protect Afghanistan's interests. We don't want to stand against American interests. But we want to protect our homeland. And what are our homeland's interests? Our interest is to protect the homes of the Afghans from American attacks, night raids, and the unnecessary suffering of our people so that Afghan women and children are not forced to abandon their homes at night because of fears of American bombs and helicopters. You know well that in Afghanistan during the past few years people have taken their women and children to the mountains just to protect them from American attacks at night. It is impossible to have a security agreement with America while our people are still forced to leave their homes because of the fear of American forces. So if America wants to conclude a security agreement with us, America needs to respect the security of Afghan homes and let the Afghan children, men, and women live in their homes in security. --- Karzai: It is up to the Americans whether they want to stay or go. Even if we sign a thousand agreements with them, if it doesn't suit their interests they will leave -- just as they left Afghanistan alone in 1990s during the years after jihad. I was a deputy foreign minister then and I saw how the West abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal. I used to go to them and ask them to leave one junior official behind in their embassy. But they closed their embassy and left. So if it is not in their interest, they will never come here. If America wants to be in Afghanistan today, it is because of their own interests --- whether it is security interests or their major economic interests. As an independent nation, we have the right to protect and promote our interests. - More, RFE/RL's Akbar Ayazi, or go to:

چرا رئیس جمهور کرزی در مقابل قرارداد امنیتی مانع ایجاد می کند؟ --- دیود یانگ عضو برنامه امنیتی امریکا در واشنگتن می گوید تکتیک های کرزی به شخصی می ماند که از موقف قدرت سخن می گوید و فکر می کند هر چیزی که خواسته باشد، واشنگتن آنرا قبول خواهد کرد: «کرزی فعلاً یگانه مانع در راه امضای موافقت امنیتی می باشد. تمام امکانات در دست اوست. او شاید خودخواهانه می خواهد از حامیان گذشته که او را بقدرت رساندند فاصله بگیرد تا میراث خود را بهتر بسازد و یا اینکه او غیرمنطقی به این باور است که می تواند در آخرین لحظه به اهدافی برسد که در وقت مذاکرات در مورد این پیمان به آنها دست نیافت.» -- به گفته او بحران های دیگر در جهان زیاد شده که توجه واشنگتن را بخود جلب کرده اند و افغانها درک نمی کنند که امریکا به چه اندازه خساره مالی را در افغانستان تحمل کرده و تا چه حد از این کشور خسته شده است. تصور دیگر اینست که رئیس جمهور کرزی واقعاً خواهان این توافق نیست: این امکان وجود دارد که رئیس جمهور کرزی نمی خواهد که واشنگتن شریک آن باشد و تقاضا های اخیرش بخاطر منحرف ساختن این موافقت می باشد. رئیس جمهور کرزی واشنگتن را تحت تنقید قرار میدهد که نتوانست صلح را در افغانستان تامین کند و اخیراً در صحبت با رادیو آزادی قدم فراتر گذاشته و گفت که جنگ بر افغانستان تحمیل شده و مردم افغانستان بخاطر منافع کسی دیگری قربانی می شوند. -- مایکل شانک از بخش برسی و حل بحرانها در پوهنتون جورج میسن می گوید، با دعوت لویه جرگه شاید هدف آقای کرزی همین بوده باشد که این موافقت را از بین ببرد. به گفته او تصمیم لویه جرگه شاید به طبع دل آقای کرزی برابر نبوده باشد و از این رو اکنون خودش شخصاً تقاضا های را به میان گذاشته است تا موافقت را برهم بزند: «به عقیده من قابل باور است که کرزی می خواهد امریکا از افغانستان خارج شود. او فکر می کرد که حمله امریکایی ها بر خانه های افغانان و مصونیت قضایی برای عساکر امریکایی سبب لغو این موافقت در لویه جرگه خواهد شد. اما این کار نشد و اکنون او همه خواسته های خود را روی میز بیرون کرده است.» -- More, Reading Karzai's Mind - رادیو آزادی

Pope Francis: Liberals love his 'trickle-down' takedown --- Pope Francis made headlines on Tuesday when he called on the Catholic Church to be more decentralised and to focus on missionary outreach and helping the poor - a recurring theme of his first eight months as pope. Few probably expected the pontiff to take a shot at supply-side economics and "trickle-down theories" by name, however. -- In his "apostolic exhortation", Pope Francis wrote: -- Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralised workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. -- Needless to say, this has liberal commentators buzzing. An anti-supply-side pope? What would Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher think? - More, Anthony Zurcher - BBC

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pakistan's Sharif visits Kabul for talks with Karzai --- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has arrived in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday for talks with President Hamid Karzai. -- High on the agenda will be efforts to revive Afghanistan's peace process before Nato troops withdraw next year. -- Mr Karzai has said he wants Islamabad "to facilitate peace talks" with the Taliban, over whom - he says - Pakistan has a high degree of influence. -- It is believed the Taliban launch attacks from bases inside Pakistan. -- Elements of Pakistan's intelligence service have also been accused of backing the Afghan Taliban, although Islamabad strongly denies this. - More, BBC

Sharif arrives in Kabul to push for peace talks --- KABUL (PAN): Heading a high level delegation, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Kabul on Saturday to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai for talks on issues of mutual interest, including efforts to revive Afghanistan’s stalled peace process. -- Sharif would meet Afghan President to discuss issues of mutual interest, including efforts to revive Afghanistan’s stalled peace process, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday. -- “The prime minister’s visit is taking place at a time when important political and security transitions are underway in Afghanistan, marked by forthcoming elections and NATO/ISAF troop drawdown during 2014,” the statement said. - More, Pajhwok

باختر - کشته، زخمی شدن و دستگیری هفتادوپنج طالب مسلح والقاعده درتازه ترین درگیری ها در نورستان --- درحالیکه درگیری ها درولایت شرقی نورستان پایان یافته مسوولان محلی ازکشته وزخمی شدن حد اقل هشتاد طالب مسلح وعضو شبکه القاعده خبرمی دهند. -- این درگیری های سه روزه که دربخش هایی ازولسوالی کامدیش رخ داده بود، درآن حداقل بیست طالب مسلح واعضای القاعده به دست نظامیان افغان اسیرشده اند. -- ازسویی هم گفته می شود پنج سربازپولیس سرحدی که ازسوی طالبان مسلح دستگیرشده اند، توسط نظامیان آزاد ساخته شده اند. --جنرال عبدالباقی نورستانی قوماندان پولیس ولایت نورستان به آژانس باخترگفت که دراین درگیری های سه روزه بیست وپنج طالب مسلح واعضای القاعده کشته وحداقل سی تن دیگرشان زخم برداشتند. - جنرال نورستانی کشته وزخمی شدن شش سربازپولیس مرزی را نیزدراین درگیری ها تایید کرد . - More

U.S. General Apologizes to Afghan President After Airstrike --- KABUL—The top U.S. general in Afghanistan called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to apologize following a coalition airstrike that killed a child and injured two women, an incident that further complicated attempts to reach a security agreement on long-term American military presence here. -- Mr. Karzai's spokesman, Aimal Faizi, said Friday the airstrike, in the Garmsir district of southwestern Helmand province, represents a "clear breach" of a commitment made by President Barack Obama in a letter to the Afghan leader this month to "respect the sanctity and dignity of Afghans in their homes and in their daily lives." -- "This strike is an indication that the U.S. has no regard for the lives, houses, and sovereignty of the Afghan people," Mr. Karzai said in a statement protesting Thursday's airstrike in Helmand. "Under these circumstances, the BSA with the U.S. may not be signed." -- The coalition said in a statement Friday the Helmand airstrike targeted a "known insurgent" riding a motorcycle. The coalition official described the insurgent as a "midlevel Taliban commander" who had been involved in organizing attacks on Afghan and coalition forces and ferrying around bomb-making materials. -- The insurgent was killed after a first--and unsuccessful--strike that killed and injured civilian bystanders, the official added. -- "The initial attempt to strike him missed," the official said. "We believe it was that airstrike that caused the civilian casualties." -- Mr. Karzai has long condemned coalition airstrikes and raids on Afghan homes, calling them a violation of Afghan sovereignty. While coalition officials said the incident Thursday didn't target or strike a house, Mr. Karzai has insisted the bilateral agreement would preclude foreign troops from attacking Afghan homes. - More, Nathan Hodge - WSJ

Taliban kill six literacy workers in Afghanistan: officials --- (Reuters) - Taliban militants gunned down and killed six people in Afghanistan working on a government-backed literacy project in the northern province of Faryab, officials said on Wednesday. -- "They were travelling this morning to observe a literacy project when the Taliban stopped their car and shot them," said provincial police chief Nabi Jan Mullahkhil. -- The victims worked for a French aid group involved in the project, and just one of the seven workers gunned down survived, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development said. --- The United States is threatening to pull out all its troops unless the deal is clinched by the end of the year. -- A U.S. exit could prompt others to follow, and make aid donors reluctant to provide more funds as corruption is rampant and deteriorating security makes it harder to monitor cash flows. Despite the billions invested in rebuilding the war-ravaged nation, Afghanistan remains dependent on foreign aid. - More

Afghan president condemns U.S. airstrike that killed a child --- (Reuters) - President Hamid Karzai said U.S. forces had bombed a home in southern Afghanistan, killing a small child and wounding two women, and condemned the attack as a sign of disregard for civilian lives, his spokesman said on Thursday. -- "It shows that U.S. forces have no respect for the decisions of the Loya Jirga and life of civilians in Afghanistan," said Karzai's spokesman, Aimal Faizi. -- The child killed in Thursday's bombing was two or three years old, Faizi said, adding that the attack took place after the targeted individual ran into a home for safety. -- "They give no importance to the life of civilians. They are killing civilians like flies," Faizi said. - More

کرزی: ادامه کشتار غیر‌نظامیان نشان بی‌احترامی نیروهای آمریکایی به تصمیم مردم افغانستان است --- روز جمعه، ٨ قوس/آذر، دفتر حامدکرزی، رئیس جمهوری افغانستان، با انتشار خبرنامه‌ای از کشته شدن غیرنظامیان در حمله هوایی نیروهای آمریکایی خبر داده و این حمله را به شدت محکوم کرد. -- در خبرنامه دفتر رئیس جمهوری افغانستان که در اختیار رسانه‌ها قرار گرفت آمده است که در حمله هوایی نیروهای سازمان پیمان اتلانتیک شمالی (ناتو) به یک منزل مسکونی در ولایت هلمند در جنوب افغانستان یک کودک کشته و دو زن زخمی شده‌اند. -- دفتر حامد کزری با محکوم کردن این حمله، گزارش والی ولایت هلمند را نقل کرده که گفته است حمله هواپیماهای بدون سرنشین آمریکایی قبل از ظهر دیروز، پنجشنبه، در روستای فقیران ولسوالی گرمسیر روی داده است. -- در خبرنامه از رئیس جمهور افغانستان نقل قول شده که "از سالها بدینسو مردم بی‌گناه ما تحت نام جنگ علیه تروریسم قربانی می‌شوند و خانه‌های شان مصونیت ندارد." -- رئیس جمهور افغانستان افزوده است که "تا زمانی که این چنین خودسری‌ها و ظلم نیروهای خارجی برمردم ما ادامه یابد، موافقت‌نامه امنیتی با آمریکا امضاء نخواهد شد." -- در واکنش به خبر حمله هوایی روز پنجشنبه، نیروهای ناتو در افغانستان نیز اعلام کرده‌اند که درباره حادثه ولایت هلمند تحقیق خواهد شد. - More, BBC

Syria war 'damaging a generation of children', UN warns --- The war in Syria is creating a generation of damaged children, a UN report warns. -- School-age refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries are increasingly cut off from education and forced to work to survive, the study found. -- As many as 300,000 living in Lebanon and Jordan could be without schooling by the end of 2013, the UNHCR says. -- Many of those not at school go out to work for long hours and for low pay from as young as seven years old. -- More than half of 2.2 million Syrian refugees are children, the UN says, with many facing grave dangers even outside the war zone. -- Those perils include threats to their physical and psychological well-being, according to the report's authors. -- Launching the report, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said: "If we do not act quickly, a generation of innocents will become lasting casualties of an appalling war." -- More than 70,000 Syrian refugee families now live without fathers, the UNHCR estimates, with some 3,700 refugee children living unaccompanied or without both parents. - More, BBC

Thursday, November 28, 2013

U.S. Experts Fear Afghan Future Without BSA --- Meanwhile, a number of leading American analysts warned that if the BSA was not signed, and the U.S. cuts of military ties with Afghanistan, the country would likely see a resurgence of the Taliban, and parts of the Southern and Eastern regions would likely be isolated from Kabul entirely. -- "If we suddenly cut off the Afghan government, there is a very serious risk that the country will divide, and that the Taliban will have great presence," Anthony Carson from the Center for Strategic and Global Studies said. -- O'Hanlon spoke about the military partnership between the U.S. and Afghanistan in both practical and principled terms, highlighting the fact that both countries have dedicated immense amounts of lives and resources into their common fight against the Taliban. He suggested not moving forward with the BSA would be "to throw away the sacrifice and the great investment that we have made through the years, with six hundred billion dollars in U.S. expenditures, and more than two thousand American lives lost." --- In a meeting with a number of families who had lost relatives in conflict over the past 12 years, who also participated in the Jirga, Karzai said on Wednesday that he respects the decision of the Jirga, but he still won't let his preconditions regarding raids on Afghan homes and the Taliban peace process. - More, TOLONews

Just the Beginning: Afghanistan Troop Deal Prelude to Another Half Decade of War --- The current debate over a bilateral security agreement with Afghanistan disguises far more serious challenges in the years to come. The BSA is a necessary first step in creating the conditions for United States troops to stay in Afghanistan and function there. But even if Afghan President Hamid Karzai can be persuaded to stop manipulating the issue in an effort to gain domestic political support, it is only a prelude to the real challenges the U.S. faces in staying in Afghanistan. -- This is a long list of risks to deal with. It does not mean the U.S. cannot deal with them, or that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won over time. It does mean, that the debate over the BSA is at most step one in a complex series of more serious challenges, the U.S. will have to adapt to conditions it cannot now predict and any U.S. involvement with a change of success does require men, money and at least a half decade of further effort. The Afghan conflict is already the longest war in U.S. history, but if a workable BSA is agreed upon, it is anything but over. - More, Anthony H. Cordesman

US should help revive Afghan peace process: Karzai --- KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai, who is stalling on signing a security pact with Washington, on Thursday called on the US to help revive Afghanistan’s faltering peace process through sincere cooperation by pushing for formal negotiations. -- In a radio speech to the nation, Karzai said he would sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA) if their demands were considered and the people of Afghanistan felt themselves secure and in peace. --“Our people in every nook and corner of the country do not feel secure in their homes. That’s why we have long been opposed to raids on civilian homes. We can have peace and security when we are able to stop foreign forces from conducting operations in our villages and cities. This provides the basis for our condition of the protection of Afghan homes.” - More, Pajhwok

Thanksgiving: Facts & history on why we celebrate --- When was the first Thanksgiving celebrated? Did people always eat turkey and cranberries on this day? Who were the Pilgrims anyway? See gallery -- There are a number of claims about the first Thanksgiving, but the most common one is that it took place in Plymouth Colony, Mass, in 1621. -- Gov. William Bradford, leader of the Plymouth Pilgrims, invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast. Mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies were probably not present, but chances are lobster, seals and swans were. -- ndividual colonies and states celebrated days of thanks for centuries. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. Americans have been getting together with family for food and some football ever since, sometime traveling hundreds of miles to spend the day with loved ones. - More,

Russian Radio - The role of Afghan opium in global economy --- While the White House envoys and the President of Afghanistan are engaged in fierce bargaining over the terms and timing of signing the Afghan- US agreement on defence, experts are wondering how this bargaining will affect the other spheres of Afghan life. -- Some experts in Kabul have already stated that Afghans do not need the agreement because, in their opinion, Americans have given nothing to Afghanistan but growth in drug production. Others believe that the agreement has its advantages which should be used. -- Meanwhile, the theme of the alleged link between Western troops stay and increasing drug production in Afghanistan is interesting in itself . There are various versions. One of them comes from our columnist Evgeny Ermolaev. --- If you draw on the map of the world the paths of drug traficking and on another map designate the trails used by international terrorists, a comparison of both charts will reveal an amazing resemblence. However, this looks surprising only at first glance. - The founders of "al- Qaeda" Osama Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri tied their terrorist network to the networks of drug traffickers from the very beginning. But the Afghan Taliban took ​​an imprudent step, deciding to at least significantly limit drug production in Afghanistan if not completely stop it. After that, the Americans came to the country and drug production was not only restored immediately but also greatly increased in volume. And the money to "al- Qaeda" started pouring in again. --- As for the U.S., the reason for their passivity is quite obvious. Drugs from Afghanistan are not going overseas. They mostly end up in the region, as well as in Russia and Europe. U.S. does not think that it's for them to defend the interests of others. Including the interests of Muslim countries, whose population is becoming addicted to the poison from Afghanistan. -- And only Afghans themselves can cope with this disaster. Americans will certainly not help them, the history of the last ten or so years has clearly shown this. - More,

نقش تریاک افغانستان در اقتصاد جهانی --- در حالیکه قصر سفید و رئیس جمهور افغانستان پیرامون شرایط و موعد امضای موافقت نامه افغانی – امریکایی در عرصه امنیتی چانه زدن ها ادامه میدهند، تحلیلگران پیشبینی میکنند که این چانه زدن بر عرصه های دیگر زندگی در افغانستان چه تاثیرات بجا خواهد گذاشت. برخی آگاهان امور همین اکنون در کابل اعلام داشته که افغانان اصلاً به موافقت نام هیچ نیاز ندارند، چون امریکایان به افغانستان بدون افزایش تولید تریاک هیچ چیزی دیگر به ارمغان نه اورده اند. دیگران عقیده دارند که موافقت نامه جهات مثبت خود دراد که از ان باید استفاده کرد. -- موضوع رابطه اقامت نیروهای غربی و افزایش تولید مواد مخدر در افغانستان به ذات خود دلچسپ است. در اینجا نظریات مختلف ممکن می باشند. یکی از انها را مبصر رادیوی «صدای روسیه» افگنی یرمالایف ارایه میکند: --- اگر در روی نقشه جهان سیمای گسترش مواد مخدر افغانی را ترسیم نمود و در روی نقشه دیگر راه های نشان داد که تروریستان از انها استفاده میکنند و بعداً این دو نقشه را با یکدیگر مقایسه کرد، پس مطابقت حیرت انگیز بدست می اید. این در نظر اول حیرت اور معلوم میشود. موسسین القاعده اسامه بن لادن و ایمن الظواهری از همان ابتدا شبکه تروریستی خود را به شبکه گسترش مواد مخدر وابسته ساختند. ولی طالبان افغانستان گام غیرمحتاطانه برداشتند و فیصله نمودند که اگر تولید مواد مخدر در افغانستان از بین برده نشود، پس حداقل باید ان را به شدت محدود ساخت. بعد از این به افغانستان امریکایان امدند و تولید مواد مخدر نه تنها احیا، بلکه به حجم چندین برابر افزایش داده شد. و پول یکبار دیگر بصورت سیل اسا بر القاعده فروریخت. -- دومین صادرکننده عمده مواد مخدر امریکای مرکزی است که به تولید کوکائین اختصاص یافته است. در این اواخر افزایش صدور کوکائین از امریکای لاتین به اروپا مشاهده میشود. القاعده در اینجا نیز برای خود کار یافته است. کوکائین از امریکای لاتین به افریقای غربی از طریق بحر منتقل میشود و از انجا از طریق صحرا و کشورهای مغرب و بعداً به اروپا صادر میشود. طبق محاسبات عاید حاصل از فروش مواد مخدر با ان کمک برابر است که لیبیا در دوران قدافی به کشورهای افریقای غربی تخصیص میداد. وحالا به مرتب زیاد شده، ولی به مردم دیگر و برای اهداف دیگر استفاده میشود. حودث طوفانی مالی بیانگر جدال بر سر تقسیم این پول ها می باشند. -- تحلیلگر ویکتور نادیین رایفسکی میگوید که صحبت ها در باره حمایت اشخاص بانفوذ در غرب از تجارت مواد مخدر از دیر زمان شنیده میشوند. به گفته کار شناس، قصور غرب در بی تفاوتی کامل نسبت به این معضله می باشد: More, صدای روسیه

When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay --- Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014. -- Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida. -- But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors. -- In December 2007, there were 25,000 American troops, compared to 36,000 contractors. -- In March of this year, the number of U.S. troops stood at about 66,000 — supported by a contracting force of 108,000. -- Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, monitors military spending. "The contractors are there doing jobs to support the troops and those jobs in previous wars were often done by other troops," he says. -- Gone are the days when soldiers suffered through kitchen duty or cleaned latrines. Now those jobs are being done by young contractors from places like Sri Lanka. -- The U.S. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan, a lot of that paying for contracts. Because there's no final decision on the number of U.S. troops, it's hard to know how many contractors will be needed after 2014. -- Officials expect that the U.S. will maintain a presence at Bagram Air Field, a sprawling facility north of Kabul. And American training teams will likely be spread around at Afghan bases throughout the country. - More, Tom Bowman, NPR

وزارت عدلیه افغانستان: سنگسار وارد قانون جزا نمی‌شود --- وزارت عدلیه/دادگستری افغانستان می‌گوید قصد ندارد سنگسار را وارد قانون جزای این کشور کند. این وزارت در پاسخ به نگرانی های مطرح شده از سوی گروه‌های مدافع حقوق بشر درباره گنجانده شدن مجازات سنگسار در پیش‌نویس قانون جدید جزاء افغانستان، گفته بخش "جرایم، حدود، قصاص و دیه" در قانون مجازات، تغییری نخواهد کرد. -- صبح روز چهارشنبه بی‌بی‌سی به بخش‌های از پیش‌نویس قانون جزای افغانستان دست یافت که نشان می‌داد دولت در نظر دارد، مجازات سنگسار، قطع دست و صد ضربه شلاق را بعنوان مجازات وارد قانون جزای افغانستان کند. - More, BBC

Karzai faces growing pressure in Afghanistan to sign deal to maintain U.S. troop presence --- KABUL — President Hamid Karzai is facing a growing backlash from Afghan political leaders over his reluctance to sign a long-term security agreement with the United States. -- Obama officials have said they are not willing to reopen negotiations with Karzai, noting that the agreement was finalized after a year of discussions. And they say they need a completed accord soon to be able to plan a post-2014 presence, focused on anti-terrorism operations and training the Afghan military. But some U.S. officials say they are willing to give Karzai more time and remain hopeful he will buckle under domestic political pressure. -- “Militaries have to plan, and you can’t just have a last-minute deal, but I think there is a bit more flexibility than these arbitrary dates that have been set” by the U.S. side, said Linda Robinson, a Rand Corp. senior international affairs specialist who recently wrote a book on U.S. Special Operations missions in Afghanistan.- More, Washingtonpost

رادیو آزادی -- امریکایان ولې دومره تاکید پر دغه ژر امضاء کوي؟ --- ولسمشر حامد کرزی: -- «امریکایان خپله برنامه لري، امریکایان خپل پروګرام لري دا چې د دوی د پروګرام شاته څه دي دا د دوی کار دی خو موږ افغانان باید خپله برنامه ولرو، خپل پروګرام ولرو. موږ وښووله امریکا ته چې افغانستان له دوی سره د دوستۍ او د اتحاد غوښتونکی دی، مخالفت نه ورسره لري، خو افغانان په دې دوستي او دې اتحاد کې له امریکا سره د افغانستان خیر هم غواړي. د امریکا منفعت ته نه ودریږو، خو د خپلې خاورې خیر هم غواړو. زموږ د خاورې خیر څه شی دی؟ -- زموږ د خاورې خیر دا دی چې د افغانستان د خلکو کورونه د امریکایانو له حملو، د شپې له ورتګ او د خلکو له ازار او اذیت څخه خلاص شي چې افغانان دوباره، ښځې ماشومان د شپې له خپله کوره غره ته د امریکا د راکټ او هلکوپترو له بیرې ولاړ نه شي. تاسو به خبریاست چې په افغانستان کې په دې تیرو څو کلونو کې د امریکا د شپې د حملو د لاسه ، یا د بمبارۍ د لاسه خلکو خپل ماشومان او بچیان او ښځې غرو ته بیوللې او شپې به یې ورې کولې چې د شپې امریکایان ورنه شي. ناممکنه خبره ده چې امریکا به له موږ څخه امنیتي سند غواړي او زموږ خلک به د شپې د امریکا له بیرې خپل کور کلی پریږدي، نو که امریکا له موږ څخه امنیتي سند غواړي امریکا دې د افغانستان د خلکو د کورونو عزت وکړي او د افغانستان کلی، بچی ، نر ښځه دې په خپل کور کې په امن او په مصونیت او په عزت ژوند وکړي. دوهم بیا راځم، سوله، بې سولې دا قرارداد د افغانستان لپاره شر راولي نه خیر دلیل یې وروسته درته وایم.» --- «خوب، تصمیم امریکا کار امریکاست. آنان می توانند تصمیم بگیرند که باشند و یا می توانند تصمیم بگیرند که نباشند. زمانی که تصمیم گرفتند که نباشند، اگر ما هزار قرارداد امنیتی را هم برایشان می دهیم، آنان می روند قسمی که در سالهای بعد از جهاد و پیروزی جهاد افغانستان، این ها یک باره افغانستان را تنها رها کردند. ما دیدیم. من خودم معین سیاسی در آن زمان بودم، دیدم که چطور امریکایی ها و غربی ها بعد از آن که شوروی از افغانستان رفت، افغانستان را رها کردند و ما پشت شان می رفتیم که یک مأمور کوچک تان را در سفارت تان بگذارید، گفتند نخیر. بستند سفارت های خود را و رفتند. -- پس که منفعت آنان نباشد، هیچگاهی به ما ارزش قایل نمی شوند و نه به این جا می آیند. اگر امروز امریکا می خواهد در افغانستان باشد، به اساس منفعت خودش است، چی آن منفعت امنیتی شان باشد و چی آن منفعت بزرگ اقتصادی و دیگر مسایل شان باشد. ما به حیث یک ملت حق تحفظ و پیشبرد منفعت خود را داریم. هرچند غریب و بیچاره استیم، ولی حق آن را داریم که منفعت خود را تشخیص کنیم و به آن منفعت باز کوشش کنیم، برای نگهداشتش و برای پیشبردش. در جرگهء ما ملت ما فیصله کرد که با امریکا دوستی می خواهد و پایگاه برایش می دهد، ما تجربهء ده سال گذشتهء خود را هم درین مورد داریم. می دانیم که امریکا در کدام مورد صداقت کرد و در کدام مورد نکرد و تا به حال امریکا در افغانستان به نام ملل متحد بود. --- بعد از امضای این قرارداد امنیتی امریکا به اساس امضای قرارداد امنیتی با ما می باشد و بعد از امضای این قرارداد تمام اعمال امریکا، در حقیقت، خوبش یا بدش به امضای ما می باشد در آن جا مسوولیت مستقیم از دولت افغانستان می باشد. پس، به این ترتیب، اگر امریکا برای ادامهء حضور خود در افغانستان بعد از 2014 به اساس امضای حکومت افغانستان می خواهد باشد ، باید شرایط افغانستان را قبول کند که آن شرایط ملت افغانستان است، که آن حیثیت و امنیت خانه های ماست و آن صلح ماست.” --- «په ډیر دلایلو، په اوراقو په اسنادو. زما په نظر په افغانستان کې دا جنګ یو جوړ شوی جنګ دی چې په هغه کې افغانان د نورو د منفعتو لپاره قرباني کیږي او قرباني شول. موږ د امریکا یا د نورو سترو هیوادو د منفعت لاره نه نیسو خو موږ دا وایو چې که تاسو افغانستان ځانته هغه ځای بولئ چې د هغه څخه تاسو خپل منفعت په پراخه پیمانه اخیستی شئ او یو پایګاه د دې منفعت دپاره چې جهاني منفعت دی ستاسو، دلته غواړئ، نو د افغانستان منفعت ته هم باید توجه وکړئ. -- که د امریکا سره د امنیتي قراداد معنی دا وي چې دغه د نن حالت دې وي او جنګ دې ادامه ولري او په هغه کې دې افغانان مړه شي نو دغه قرارداد د افغانستان په ګټه نه دی. که امریکا سره د امنیتي قرارداد معنی دا وي چې موږ یې په همدغه نیت منلی دی، جرګې په همدغه نیت منلی دی چې په افغانستان کې دې سوله او امنیت راشي، ټول افغانان دې پر خپلو کورو کرار شي بیا نو دا قرارداد د افغانستان په ګټه دی. دا چې ولې سوله د دوی په لاس کې ده دې ته هم راځم. -- مصاحبهء اختصاصی با حامدکرزی رییس جمهور افغانستان - More, اکبر ایازی رییس بخش جنوب آسیای رادیو آزادی

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Karzai Calls U.S. Obstacle to Peace in Afghanistan --- Afghan President's Relationship With Western Allies Close to Breaking Point --- Mr. Karzai's provocative remarks, in a Pashto and Dari-language interview with the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty recorded Tuesday, capped a turbulent week in which his relationship with the Obama administration and other Western allies has come perilously close to a breaking point. -- The U.S. says that the security agreement, necessary to maintain a limited American and allied military presence in Afghanistan after the coalition's mandate expires at the end of next year, must be completed over the next month. -- "If peace is not restored, the [Bilateral Security Agreement] will be an evil for Afghanistan," he said. "Signing the agreement by the end of the year is the Americans' demand, not the demand of the people of Afghanistan. Without peace, this pact will bring evil and no good to our soil." -- "I know who the obstacles for peace in Afghanistan are, they are America and Pakistan," Mr. Karzai added in the interview. "If America wants the security pact, they must cooperate for peace." -- Mr. Karzai also accused the U.S. of interfering in the 2009 election, saying that the bloody attacks that kept the voter turnout low in many ethnic Pashtun provinces weren't carried out by the Taliban. - More, wall street journal

Afghanistan's populist prince --- Country's first president's nephew, and former king's grandson Nadir Naim hopes to serve the nation if he wins at polls.--- Prince Nadir Naim was barely three when a now iconic National Geographic photograph was taken of him with his late grandfather, the former Afghan King Mohammed Zahir Shah, at a farm near Kabul. - That was in the summer of 1968. -- Five years later, the king would lose his throne in a bloodless coup d'état led by his cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan. --- Decades of occupation, jihad and civil war left the former king's favourite retreat in shambles. Today, returning refugees in makeshift homes have overtaken the orchard where Prince Nadir remembers playing hide-and-seek with his cousins on Friday afternoons. -- For Prince Nadir, the farm now stands as a symbol of a paradise lost, but one that can still be regained. He says that it must be restored and converted into a public park for all Afghans to visit and remember better days - But right now, he is looking to the future, as he wages another campaign of "restoration". --- On October 6, Prince Nadir announced his candidacy for the 2014 Afghan presidential elections. He is among 11 figures across the political spectrum, who are running for the top job, including three former foreign ministers Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Dr Zalmai Rassoul and Hedayat Arsala, a former World Bank consultant, Ashraf Ghani, and the brother of the incumbent, Qayum Karzai. -- With NATO troops set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, whoever follows the current head of state, the affable Hamid Karzai, will inherit the colossal challenges of coping with a crumbling economy, a spike in opium cultivation, deteriorating security conditions and an emboldened, even metastasized insurgency. --- The 48-year-old former aide to King Zahir Shah defines this silent majority, as "the ordinary noble people of Afghanistan who love their country, want to live in peace with each other and lead a life of dignity in their country." -- Prince Nadir, son of the late king's daughter, Princess Mariam returned to Afghanistan as his grandfather's private secretary in 2003 - after more than 20 years in exile in the UK. -- For his part, Prince Nadir insists his motivation stems from "a sense of moral duty" rather than "personal ambition". -- "I have always maintained that I am here to serve the Afghan nation in whatever capacity they see fit. I have made myself available to the Voice of the People and the entire Afghan nation. This is the main difference between the other political personalities and me," he says. -- Indeed, while Prince Nadir may be a fresh face on the Afghan political stage, he already stands out as one of the very few politicians who venture on city streets without armoured vehicles and dozens of bodyguards. His pedigree and his newly-acquired savy have now put him on par with some of the more seasoned and established figures vying for the presidency. - More, Tanya Goudsouzian - Aljazeera

مصاحبهء اختصاصی با حامد کرزی رییس جمهور افغانستان ---- حامد کرزی رییس جمهور افغانستان می گوید، امضای تفاهمنامهء همکاری های امنیتی و دفاعی الی اخیر سال 2013 میلادی، خواست امریکاست و بر اساس خواست امریکا این سند را امضا نمی کند. --رییس جمهور کرزی بعد از ختم لویه جرگهء مشورتی در نخستین مصاحبهء اختصاصی اش با رادیو آزادی گفت، تفاهمنامهء همکاری های امنیتی و دفاعی برای افغانستان مهم است، اما برای امضای آن شرط افغانستان اینست که تلاشی خانه های افغان ها متوقف شود. -- حامد کرزی می گوید، در جریان دورهء کاریش تلاش خواهد کرد تا برای تامین صلح و امنیت کار کند و در این راه قربانی بزرگ هم داده است. -- اکبر ایازی رییس بخش جنوب آسیای رادیو آزادی این مصاحبهء اختصاصی را با حامد کرزی رییس جمهور افغانستان انجام داده است. --- مصاحبهء اختصاصی با حامدکرزی رییس جمهور افغانستان -- له ولسمشر کرزي سره د ي خانګړې مرکې متن -- More,

CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents against al-Qaeda --- In the early years after Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents, sending them home to help the United States kill terrorists, current and former U.S. officials said. --- The CIA promised the prisoners freedom, safety for their families and millions of dollars from the agency’s secret accounts. --- It was a gamble. Officials knew there was a chance that some prisoners might quickly spurn their deal and kill Americans. --- The program was carried out in a secret facility: eight small cottages a few hundred yards from the administrative offices of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The cottages, hidden behind a ridge covered in thick scrub and cactus, were designed to feel more like hotel rooms than prison cells, and some CIA officials jokingly referred to them collectively as the Marriott. -- Nearly a dozen current and former U.S. officials described aspects of the program to the Associated Press. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret program publicly by name, even though it ended in about 2006. --- Current and former officials said dozens of prisoners were evaluated, but only a handful, from a variety of countries, were turned into spies who signed agreements to work for the CIA. - More, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, — Associated Press

Editorial Board: U.S. and Afghanistan need to work together to reach deal on forces ---- AFGHAN PRESIDENT Hamid Karzai and the Obama administration are playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship, one that could lead to a strategic reverse for the United States and a catastrophe for Afghanistan. -- Both sides are culpable: Mr. Karzai, choosing to ignore the overwhelming sentiment of the Afghan political elite, is balking at signing a security agreement that would allow for a small U.S. force to remain in the country after 2014; he says he won’t act until after a presidential election in April. The Obama administration unwisely responded by setting an unnecessary deadline of Dec. 31 for Mr. Karzai’s signature and declaring that, if it is not met, it will plan on withdrawing all forces after next year. --- Both sides seem to be betting that the other is bluffing. But the stakes are much too high for a pointless game of political chicken. Mr. Karzai is risking the loss of not just a force of advisers and counterterrorism operators that could be crucial to preserving the Afghan army and government after next year but also billions of dollars in military and economic aid already pledged by Washington and its NATO allies. That’s why a 50-member assembly of leaders handpicked by Mr. Karzai voted overwhelmingly over the weekend to endorse a draft 10-year agreement between the United States and Afghanistan and urged Mr. Karzai to sign it within a month. -- Though some U.S. officials claim that a stable Afghanistan is no longer a strategic interest, the United States also has much to lose: namely, the fragile gains purchased by a dozen years of hard fighting that have cost nearly 2,300 American lives. Those gains include an Afghan army that has taken over 99 percent of the fighting against the Taliban and held its own, as well as a nascent democratic political system that is headed toward a competitive presidential election to replace Mr. Karzai. No wonder NATO allies are quietly urging the White House not to throw away in a fit of pique the achievements of the most consequential operation in the alliance’s history. -- Mr. Karzai’s shifting reasons for delaying his signature reflect pent-up resentment toward President Obama and his staff, who have mistreated the proud Afghan leader throughout the past five years. While U.S. officials have a right to be irritated by the Afghan president’s antics, their insistence that an accord can’t wait past the end of the year is unjustified. Military logicians already know they must withdraw more than 35,000 of the 50,000 U.S. troops in the country next year; experts say they can wait as late as next summer to learn whether the rest must also leave. Since the leading presidential candidates support the pact, the administration can afford to wait Mr. Karzai out, if necessary. -- Instead, the Afghan’s irascibility is playing into the hands of White House political operatives who would like to withdraw all U.S. forces while assigning blame to the host government, as happened with Iraq in 2011. If that’s what happens, the consequences would be similar: an escalating civil war that destroys U.S. allies and empowers ­extremists. - More, Washingtonpost

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

سخنگوی کرزی: باید از توقف بازرسی خانه‌ها و آغاز مذاکرات با شورشیان مطمئن شویم --- ایمل فیضی سخنگوی حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان می گوید آقای کرزی شرایط خود برای امضای موافقتنامه امنیتی میان آمریکا و افغانستان را با سوزان رایس مشاور امنیت ملی آمریکا در میان گذاشت. --سخنگوی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان می‌گوید، مشاوره امنیت ملی باراک اوباما در دیدارش با حامد کرزی تصریح کرده است که آمریکا از هیچ نامزدی در انتخابات آینده ریاست جمهوری افغانستان حمایت نخواهد کرد و اگر انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان به دور دوم کشیده شود، مطابق به قانون افغانستان، دور دوم انتخابات در ظرف دو هفته برگزار خواهد شد. -- سایت خبری طلوع به نقل از خانم رایس نوشته است: او به حامد کرزی اطمینان داده که هدف آنها در تمام دوازده سال گذشته این بوده که افغانها را در تامین صلح و امنیت پایدار کمک کند و هدف موافقتنامه دوجانبه که اگر آقای کرزی آنرا امضا کند نیز همین است که آمریکا را قادر می سازد تا به افغانها در تامین یک صلح پایدار کمک کند. اما دسترسی به این اهداف یک شبه ممکن نیست. -- خانم رایس قرار است با نمایندگانی از نهادهای مدنی افغانستان نیز دیدار کند. - Mor, BBC

Winter Storm Boreas Update: Thanksgiving Travelers Brace for Airport Delays and Rough Roads --- The massive Winter Storm Boreas, already blamed for at least 14 deaths, trekked east on Tuesday, spreading its travel misery with a dangerous mix of snow, sleet, ice and heavy rain. Thanksgiving travelers scrambled to book earlier flights to get ahead of the nasty storm. -- By Wednesday morning, Boreas will impact the entire East Coast, likely creating havoc on the roads and in the air on the busiest travel day of the year. - More,

News Analysis: Karzai’s Bet: U.S. Is Bluffing in Warning on Security Pact --- In the face of a warning delivered in person on Monday by the national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, that the United States would consider leaving no troops at all in Afghanistan past 2014 if Mr. Karzai did not promptly sign a long-term security agreement, he has made it clear that he considers it a bluff. Not only did he refuse to sign, he added conditions, including the release of all inmates from the Guantánamo Bay prison camp. -- Some Afghan officials worried that their president, who has made brinkmanship with the Americans his defining trait, had finally gone too far. -- “Mark my words, if we do not sign this security agreement with the Americans, things will get worse than Iraq and the 1990s Afghan civil war,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, a member of Parliament from Paktika Province. He urged the Americans to remember that “Karzai is not Afghanistan, he is just another individual, with illogical and illegal demands that are against all diplomatic norms.” -- “We don’t want the Americans to burn down the entire house to exterminate one louse,” he added. --- Stephen Biddle, a political science professor at George Washington University, compared it to a game of chicken, when two cars are driving head on at each other to see which one will swerve first. -- “Neither driver wants a wreck,” he said, “but they are both willing to risk something they don’t want in order to get something they do want, and that creates car wrecks occasionally.” --- Mr. Karzai did say he would sign, but suggested not until after the presidential elections, next April. Many close to him still think he might still sign earlier, taking political cover by bowing to the loya jirga’s decision. -- “President Karzai hasn’t gone crazy,” said Jamal Naser Osoli, a pro-Karzai member of Parliament from Khost Province. “Americans intervened in previous elections, which nearly led the country to a crisis.” - More, NYTimes

New Rules Would Rein In Nonprofits’ Political Role --- The Obama administration on Tuesday moved to curb political activity by tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, with potentially major ramifications for some of the biggest and most secretive spenders in American politics. -- New rules proposed by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service would clarify both how the I.R.S. defines political activity and how much nonprofits are allowed to spend on it. The proposal covers not just television advertising, but bread-and-butter political work like candidate forums and get-out-the-vote drives. -- Long demanded by government watchdogs and Democrats who say the flow of money through tax-exempt groups is corrupting the political system, the changes would be the first wholesale shift in a generation in the regulations governing political activity by nonprofits. - NICHOLAS CONFESSORE - nytimes

Leakers, privacy activists find new home in Berlin --- BERLIN — During the Cold War, Berlin was one of the most spy-ridden cities in the world. Now it’s the place where people go to escape government surveillance. -- An international cadre of privacy advocates is settling in Germany’s once-divided capital, saying they feel safer here than they do in the United States or Britain, where authorities have vowed to prosecute leakers of official secrets. -- In Berlin, they have settled in a counterculture paradise, home to hackers’ clubs, cheap rent and a fiercely supportive local population that in 2011 gave more than 10 percent of the seats in its regional parliament to the Pirate Party, a political organization that seeks to preserve Internet and information freedoms. - In Berlin, they have settled in a counterculture paradise, home to hackers’ clubs, cheap rent and a fiercely supportive local population that in 2011 gave more than 10 percent of the seats in its regional parliament to the Pirate Party, a political organization that seeks to preserve Internet and information freedoms. - Michael Birnbaum, washingtonpost

سپینه ماڼۍ وايي، نور له افغانستان سره پر امنیتي موافقه خبرې نه کوي --- سپینې ماڼۍ هم خبرداری ورکړ چې که دافغانستان ولسمشر حامد کرزي امنیتي موافقه ژر لاسلیک نه کړه امریکا به له افغانستانه ټول پوځیان وباسي. دسپینې ماڼۍ په وینا دافغانستان له ولسمشر حامد کرزي سره دمتحدو ایالتونو دملي امنیت دسلاکارې سوزن رایس خبرې دامنیتي موافقې په اړه دامریکا وروستۍ خبرې دي او نور به په دې هکله له افغان چارواکو سره خبرې ونه کړي. -- لوېدیځو رسنیو وویل چې دامریکا دملي امنیت سلاکارې دافغانستان له ولسمشر حامد کرزي سره دکتنې په وروستیو شېبو کې خبرداری ورکړ چې که امنیتي تړون ژر لاسلیک نه کړي امریکا له افغانستانه خپل ټول پوځیان باسي. راپورونه وايي چې کرزي مېرمن رايیس ته ډاډ ورکړ چې امنیتي موافقه به لاسلیک کړي خو ویې نه ویل چې کله به یې لاسلیک کړي. په همدې منځ کې دافغانستان دولسمشر ویندوی وايي چې متحدو ایالتونو دشفافو انتخاباتو او په ټاکنو کې دهیڅ کاندید دنه ملاتړ په باب دولسمشر کرزي غوښتنې ته مثبت ځواب ویلی خو دافغانانو دکورونو دتلاشۍ په اړه لا هم دواړه خواوې دنظر اختلاف لري. -- دسپینې ماڼۍ له یوې اعلامیې سره سم مېرمن رايس افغان ولسمشر حامد کرزي ته وویل: «که امنیتي موافقه ژر لاسلیک نه کړي، امریکا ته به دځواکونو له ایستلو پرته بل انتخاب پاتې نه شي ځکه چې بیا له ۲۰۱۴ وروسته وخت لپاره پلان نه شي جوړولی او په نتیجه کې به یې متحد ایالتونه او ناټو خپل حضور په افغانستان کې پای ته ورسوي.» په اعلامیه کې همداراز ویل شوي: «مېرمن رایس په دې تاکید وکاوه چې دراتلونکي کال له انتخاباتو وروسته وخت ته دلاسلیک ځنډول ګټه نه لري.» -- سپینې ماڼۍ ویلي چې کرزي امریکا ته نوي شرطونه ایښي چې یو یې دافغانانو دکورونو دنه تلاشي کولو په اړه دی او بل دا دی چې امریکا دې له طالبانو سره دسولې خبرې پیل کړي. کرزي دګوانتنامو له محبسه دافغانانو دخلاصون غوښتنه هم کړې ده. دامریکا دملي امنیت سلاکارې وویل، هیواد یې په افغانستان کې شفافو، عمومي، له هرراز مداخلې پرته له خپلې قانوني پروسې سره سم په خپل وخت انتخاباتو ته ژمن دی. - تاند

No 'Magic Wand' To Satisfy Conditions Overnight: Rice --- U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice early Tuesday in an exclusive interview with TOLOnews said that "we have no magic wand" to bring peace and broker a deal with the Taliban to convince President Hamid Karzai to sign the security pact between the two countries. -- "I assured President Karzai the whole purpose of twelve years of American investment and presence in Afghanistan has been to help the Afghan people enjoy lasting peace and security," Rice told TOLOnews. "The whole purpose of the Bilateral Security Agreement if President Karzai chooses to sign it is to enable the United States to continue supporting Afghanistan in its efforts to achieve lasting peace and security, but it can't be achieved overnight as people know." -- "We have no magic wand. We have the ability to continue to support the Afghan National Security Forces, train, advise and assist them as they mature into a highly capable military," she said. --- "Well, our message and my message on behalf of the United States to President Karzai is that the best way to bring over time lasting peace and security to the people of Afghanistan is for there to be a Bilateral Security Agreement promptly signed so that we can plan and prepare for our continuing presence after 2014 and so that we can continue to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces, help provide them with the equipment that they need and that we can continue investing great sums as we have in the past in Afghanistan's development. If we don't have a Bilateral Security Agreement promptly signed, all of that is made much more difficult, if not impossible," she said. -- The U.S. National Security Advisor said that "It's not a deadline for the United States. It's the reality of the circumstances. We have concluded the negotiations of the agreement. That was done last month in fact when Secretary of State John Kerry met with President Karzai, and in their telephone conversations before the Jirga they worked through the last remaining issues. President Obama sent a letter to President Karzai. So, the text is concluded, the negotiation is done." - To watch the interview at - TOLOnews

Karzai tells Susan Rice of more demands for accord extending U.S. troop presence --- KABUL — Efforts by the United States and Afghanistan to finalize a long-term security arrangement appeared on the brink of collapse Monday as Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a new set of demands, and the Obama administration said it would be forced to begin planning for a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces at the end of 2014 -- .In a two-hour meeting here, Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s top national security adviser, told Karzai that if he failed to sign the bilateral security agreement by the end of this year, the United States would have “no choice” but to prepare for withdrawal, according to a statement by the National Security Council in Washington. -- Washingtonpost

.کرزی لاهم د امنیتي تړون پر ځنډولو ټینګار کوي --- د افغانستان ولسمشر حامد کرزي د امریکا د ملي امنیت له سلاکارې سره په خبرو کې ویلي، تر هغو به امنیتي تړون لاسلیک نه کړي چې امریکا ورته د افغانانو کورونو کې د عملیاتو د بندولو تضمین او ډاډ نه وي ورکړی. -- سوزان رایس ویليو د راتلونکي کال تر ټاکنو وروسته د امنیتي تړون د لاسلیک ځنډول "د منلو وړ نه دي". -- سپینې ماڼۍ هم ویلي، چې "ولسمشر کرزي د تړون لپاره نوي شرطونه وړاندې کړي، او ښکاري چې سم لاسي د امنیتي تړون لاسلیکولو ته چمتو نه دی". -- د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ دفتر وايي، ولسمشر حامد کرزي د امریکا د ملي امنیت له سلاکارې سوزان رایس سره وکتل. -- له ارګه خپره شوې ویناپاڼه وايي، د حامد کرزي او اغلې رایس ترمنځ د خبرو ډېر تمرکز دواړو هېوادونو ترمنځ د د امنیتي او دفاعي تړون په اړه و. -- دواړو د تړون د لاسلیکېدو د وخت په اړه هم خبرې کړې دي. -- ویناپاڼه کاږي، ولسمشر حامد کرزي په خبرو کې یوځل بیا ټینګار کړی، چې افغانان د امریکایانو له لوري دا ډاډ ترلاسه کول غواړي، چې کورونو ته به یې پوځيان د عملیاتو لپاره نه ورځي، په ټاکنو کې به لاسوهنې نه کېږي او هېواد ته به سوله راځي. -- د خلکو کورونو ته د امریکايي پوځيانو د ننوتلو په اړه، د نړیوالو ایتلافي ځواکونو قومندان جنرال ډنفورډ ویلي، خپلو سرتېرو ته یې سپارښتنه کړې ده، چې د امنیتي تړون او د کلېکاږل مشورتي لویې جرګې د وړاندیزونو پربنسټ دې عمل وکړي. -- ولسمشر حامد کرزي د امریکا د ملي امنیت سلاکارې ته ویلي، چې خپل ولسمشر بارک اوباما ته د افغانانو هغه غوښتنې ورسوي، چې امریکايي ځواکونه یې نور باید کورونو کې عملیات ونه کړي.-- وړاندې د سپينې ماڼۍ د ملي امنيت شورا وياندې کېتلېن هېدن ویلي وو چې: "افغانستان اوس هم د امريکا د ملي امنيت په لومړيتوبونو کې دى او دا اغلې رايس لپاره يو فرصت دى چې هلته د شويو هڅو جاج واخلي." -- واشنگټن پوست په خپل يوۀ خپارۀ کړي رپوټ کې وايي افغانستان ته د سوسن رايس له سفره د امريکا دا هوډ څرگندېږي چې، اړتيا ده ولسمشر کرزى پر دې خبرې باوري کړي چې امريکا له افغانستان سره له امنيتي تړون څخه د لاس په سر کېدو په تړاو باټې نه وهي. - More, BBC

Deadlock persists, US again warns of zero option --- KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai and America's National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice have failed to narrow down Kabul-Washington differences over the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) on a future US military presence in Afghanistan. -- On a trip to visit US troops in Afghanistan, Rice had a meeting with Karzai at his office in Kabul on Monday night, when the president reaffirmed his administration's conditions -- a clear US commitment to peace in the country, an end to raids on civilian homes, transparent presidential elections and release of Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay. -- During the two-hour meeting, Karzai once again made clear that he would ink the deal only after the US helped his administration in entering reconciliation parleys with the Taliban and freed all 17 Afghan nationals from its naval detention facility in Cuba, officials from both sides said. -- Obama's advisor held out no concrete assurance to Karzai regarding of the US intensifying its role in the Afghan-led peace drive, according to a statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Karzai asked the US delegation to convey Afghan people's demands to Obama. -- In Washington, the National Security Council said Rice had told the Afghan president if he did not sign the security pact by the end of 2013, the US would be left with no option but to exercise the zero option -- withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan. --A statement from the council said Rice “stressed that we have concluded negotiations and that deferring the signature until after next year’s elections is not viable.” She reiterated that if the BSA was not inked promptly, Washington would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no US or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan. -- On the other hand, Karzai's statement was equally strongly-worded, telling Rice that he would not budge from his principled position on signing the agreement. He emphasised on the US military to put an immediate end to raids on Afghan homes and demonstrate its commitment to peace talks. - Pajhwok

US says may pull out all troops as Afghan leader holds up deal --- WASHINGTON — Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign a security deal with the United States, the White House said, and Washington may have to resort to the "zero option" of withdrawing all American troops from the strife-torn country next year, as it did in Iraq. -- Karzai told U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice in Kabul on Monday that the United States must put an immediate end to military raids on Afghan homes and demonstrate its commitment to peace talks before he would sign a bilateral security pact, Karzai's spokesman said. -- The White House said Karzai had outlined new conditions in the meeting with Rice and "indicated he is not prepared to sign the (bilateral security agreement) promptly." -- Rice, who made a three-day visit to Afghanistan to visit U.S. troops, told Karzai it was "not viable" to defer signing the deal until after the election, the White House said. -- "It is vitally important that there is no more killing of Afghan civilians by U.S. forces and Afghans want to see this practically," Faizi said. -- Karzai also called on Washington to send remaining Afghan detainees at the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, back to Afghanistan, saying that the Loya Jirga, the assembly of elders and leaders that convened last week to debate the deal, had endorsed the pact with this condition. -- Faizi said Karzai also asked the U.S. officials to guarantee that the United States would refrain from endorsing any candidate in national elections next year. -- Faizi said the Afghan president had asked his American visitors to return to the U.S. president with his message. -- "The ball is in your court now, and get back to us," he said. - More, msn / Reuters

Monday, November 25, 2013

On International Day, UN urges renewed efforts to end violence against women, girls --- 25 November 2013 – Today is an opportunity for each person to recommit to ending the harm being committed against one out of three women, senior United Nations officials said marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. --- “Violence against women and girls directly affects individuals while harming our common humanity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, which this year focuses on the theme of raising awareness by wearing the colour orange. - More,

Readout of National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice's Meeting with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan --- At the end of her three-day trip to Afghanistan to visit American troops and civilians and to assess conditions in the country, Ambassador Rice met with President Karzai, at his invitation, for a working dinner at the Palace. -- Ambassador Rice conveyed to President Karzai that the United States welcomes the Loya Jirga's overwhelming endorsement of the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) and is prepared to sign the agreement in the coming days. Ambassador Rice underscored the opportunity provided by the BSA to sustain the partnership between the United States and Afghanistan to support Afghans in achieving lasting peace, security and development. In response, President Karzai outlined new conditions for signing the agreement and indicated he is not prepared to sign the BSA promptly. - More, For Immediate Release -

U.S. Official Gives Karzai an Ultimatum on Signing Security Pact --- KABUL, Afghanistan — President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, imposed an ultimatum on President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Monday, telling him to stop his delay in signing a security agreement or potentially face the complete and final pullout of American troops by the end of 2014, according to American and Afghan officials. -- But while Mr. Karzai was said to have assured her he would sign the deal at some point, he gave no time frame for it. And over dinner at the presidential palace in Kabul, he later insisted on difficult new conditions as well, including the release of all inmates at the American prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, adding to the perception of crisis between the two nations, officials from both countries said. -- “Ambassador Rice reiterated that, without a prompt signature, the U.S. would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no U.S. or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan,” according to a summary of the meeting released by the White House. - More, ROD NORDLAND - NYTimes

بشري حقونو دافغانستان له حکومته وغوښتل چې دسنګسار قانون اجرا نه کړي --- دبشري حقونو څارونکې ډلې دافغانستان له حکومته وغوښتل، هغه وړاندیز فوراً رد کړي چې پراساس یې زناکار ته دمرګ سزا ورکول کېږي. دعدلیې دوزارت یوې کاري ډلې، چې دیوه نوي قانون پر مسودې کار کوي، وړاندیز کړی چې دزناکارو ښځو دسنګسارولو په شمول دې دزنا په برخه کې سخت اسلامي قوانین اجرا شي. --- دبشري حقونو دڅار ډلېپه یوه اعلامیې کې، چې دتاند په ګډون یې ګڼو رسنیو ته استولې، دهغو مرستندویانو په ګډون چې دافغانستان له عدلي او قضايي پروسو سره مرسته کوي، له نړیوالو مرستندویانو څخه غوښتي ولسمشر حامد کرزي ته په زغرده ووايي چې دجزا په قانون کې دسنګسار زیاتول به دمرستندویو هیوادونو دمرستو دپای ته رسېدو سبب شي. دبشري حقونو دڅار ډلې دآسیا دڅانګې رئيس براډ اډمس وویل: «دا کاملاً ټکان ورکوونکې ده چې دطالبانو درژیم له پرزېدو ۱۲ کاله وروسته دکرزي حکومت بېرته دسنګسار جزا تطبیقوي. دکرزي حکومت باید لږترلږه دبشري حقونو له لومړنیو ژمنو سره خپله وفاداري ثابته کړي او دا وړاندیز سمدستي رد کړي.» - More, تاند --, HRW Afghanistan: Reject Proposal to Restore Stoning

Afghan elders endorse U.S. troops’ presence but President Karzai still refuses to sign --- KABUL — An emotional showdown between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and 2,500 tribal elders here Sunday ended with some — but not all — of what the United States was hoping for. -- The elders endorsed an agreement under which the United States will continue to provide advice and training to Afghan security forces, and conduct counterterrorism operations, after the withdrawal of international combat forces at the end of next year. -- Delegates said it was in Afghanistan’s “vital national interest” to have a partnership with the United States, and they urged Karzai not to delay the signing of the bilateral security agreement until after the country holds elections in April. -- “President Karzai should promise us, he should sign the [agreement] as soon as possible,” said Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, the former Afghan president who chaired the four-day gathering, known as a loya jirga. “This agreement will be beneficial for the people.” -- “We are studying President Karzai’s speech. We continue to believe that signing the agreement as quickly as possible is in the interests of both countries,” said Robert H. Hilton, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. -- But the jirga, whose vote is not binding, set a few conditions before expressing approval of the agreement. Most notably, the elders called for a 10-year time limit on the post-2014 troop presence and said they would seek reparations for damages caused by U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan. -- Karzai said the Obama administration undermined him when it allowed Taliban leaders to establish a temporary office in Doha, Qatar, in June, during an unsuccessful effort by the United States to broker peace talks between the Taliban and Karzai’s government. He accused the Obama administration of interfering in the country’s 2009 elections, which he called an attempt to weaken the Afghan government. And he lashed out at the U.S. military for entering the homes of Afghan civilians. -- After Karzai spoke, Mojaddedi pleaded with Karzai to reconsider. - “Mr. President, give us your pledge that you will sign the deal soon,” Mojaddedi said. He added, apparently in jest, that he would have to move out of Afghanistan if there is no long-term security deal with the United States. - Mojaddedi said, “If you don’t sign it, we will be disappointed,” according to an account published by the Associated Press. - More, Tim Craig - Washingtonpost

جبهه مخالفان سیاسی کرزی باخت --- گفته‌های جبهه مخالفان سیاسی کرزی غلط ثابت شد. آنان پیش از برگزاری جرگه مشورتی در مورد موافقت‌نامه امنیتی و پس از آن، گفتند که کرزی می‌خواهد، از این جرگه، مجوزی بگیرد برای تاخیر در برگزاری انتخابات. هم‌چنان این جبهه از طریق سخنگویانش اعلام کرد که کرزی می‌خواهد در جرگه مشورتی، برای یک نامزد مشخص تبلیغ کند. هم‌چنین جبهه مخالفان کرزی می‌گفتند که این جرگه، ابزاری برای امتیازگیری شخصی کرزی از امریکایی‌ها است. اما همه این حرف‌ها، نادرست از آب درآمد. در همان روز اول جرگه مشورتی، اعلام شد که غیر از بحث و مشوره روی موافقت‌نامه امنیتی با امریکا، هیچ چیز دیگر در آجندا وجود ندارد و تا آخر هم چنین بود. همه اعضای جرگه موافقت‌نامه را تایید و از امضای زودهنگام آن حمایت کردند. -- کرزی حتا به مخالفان موافقت‌نامه امنیتی، اجازه حرف زدن داد و از حق آزادی بیان آنان در جرگه حمایت کرد. کرزی از حق آزادی بیان بلیقس روشن و یک نماینده بدخشان که مخالف موافقت‌نامه امنیتی با امریکا بودند، حمایت کرد. علاوه بر آن، در این جرگه مشورتی برای هر نامزد انتخابات ریاست‌جمهوری، یک کرسی گذاشته شده بود. به هر نامزد انتخابات ریاست‌جمهوری، اجازه داده شده بود که در جرگه مشورتی شرکت کنند. تقریبا تمام نامزدان انتخابات ریاست‌جمهوری، در جرگه مشورتی شرکت کرده بودند. هیچ‌کدام آنان تا حال از بابت این‌که گویا کرزی به نفع یک نامزد، در درون جرگه کار می‌کرد، شکایتی نکرده‌اند. -- امتناع نابه‌جا, به ‌نظر می‌رسد که تنها نامزد مطرحی که از شرکت در جرگه مشورتی امتناع کرد، داکتر عبدالله بود. به‌نظر می‌رسد که برخی از مشاوران و اطرافیان او، توانایی تحلیل دقیق اوضاع را ندارند. هم‌چنین دیده می‌شود که دسترسی آنان به معلومات دقیق بسیار کم است. شاید همین مشاوران، داکتر عبدالله را وادار کردند تا از شرکت در جرگه امتناع کند و به سخنگویان ایتلاف ملی اجازه دهد تا علیه جرگه تبلیغات کنند. این سیاست کاملا اشتباه بود. نه در جرگه حرفی غیر از بحث موافقت‌نامه امنیتی مطرح شد و نه در آن، کسی برای یک نامزد مشخص تبلیغ کرد. -- داکتر عبدالله و اطرافیان او هم می‌توانستند در جرگه مشورتی شرکت کنند و از این فرصت برای تبلیغات‌شان استفاده کنند، اما به‌دلیل نبود دوراندیشی سیاسی در تیم سیاسی ایشان، این فرصت را از دست دادند. جبهه مخالفان سیاسی کرزی که حالا در اطراف داکتر عبدالله گرد آمده‌اند، علاوه بر این‌که علیه جرگه تبلیغات می‌کردند و نسبت به انگیزه‌های کرزی با ابراز بی‌اعتمادی، می‌گفتند که برگزاری جرگه مشورتی با قانون اساسی در تضاد است. غیرقانونی بودن برگزاری جرگه مشورتی، حرفی است که پشتوانه منطقی و استدلالی نیرومند ندارد، اما چیزی که درست است این است که قانون اساسی احکام مبهم و تفسیرپذیر دارد. --- غیرقانونی خواندن جرگه, یکی از بندهای قانون اساسی می‌گوید، رییس‌جمهوری می‌تواند در مواردی که صلاح ببیند و مربوط به منافع کلان کشور باشد، به آرای عموم مراجعه کند. متاسفانه مصداق خارجی این آرای عمومی در قانون اساسی کشور، تعریف نشده است. حال حقوق‌دانان ارگ، برگزاری جرگه را مصداق مراجعه به آرای عموم می‌دانند و شاید حقوق‌دانان اطراف داکتر عبدالله جرگه را مصداق چنین چیزی نمی‌پندارند. هر دو جناح یکی از ماده‌های قانون اساسی را تفسیر می‌کنند. تاویل هر دو طرف هم یکی از تعبیرهای ممکن از آن ماده قانون اساسی است. -- متاسفانه مرجع تفسیر قانون اساسی هم در این وثیقه ملی، مشخص نشده است و کمیسیون نظارت بر تطبیق قانون اساسی هم، به روشنی نمی‌گوید که صلاحیت تفسیر قانون اساسی را دارد یا نه. اما جبهه مخالفان کرزی، فقط یک تفسیر ممکن از یکی از بندهای قانون اساسی را تبلیغ می‌کردند و جرگه را غیرقانونی می‌خواندند. به‌نظر می‌رسد که داکتر عبدالله و سیاستمدارانی که با او در یک ایتلاف حضور دارند بسیار بد بازی کردند و اعتبار تحلیل‌ها و موضع‌گیری‌های خود را کم ساختند. هیچ یک از پیش‌بینی‌های آنان تحقق نیافت. -- جبهه مخالفان سیاسی کرزی، هم‌چنان نخواست در تلاش‌هایی شرکت کند که هدف از آن نمایش همبستگی مردم افغانستان، در پشتیبانی از موافقت‌نامه امنیتی و داشتن روابط گسترده با جهان است. گرچه جبهه مخالفان کرزی، از امضای موافقت‌نامه امنیتی با امریکا حمایت می‌کنند، اما با امتناع از حضور در جرگه مشورتی و تبلیغ علیه آن، نقش منفی بازی کردند. --- این واقعیت‌ها نشان می‌دهد که برخی از سیاستمداران و جبهه‌های سیاسی بسیار خام بازی می‌کنند و در پایان، هیچ چیزی به‌دست نمی‌آورند. اگر جبهه مخالفان سیاسی کرزی، در جرگه مشورتی شرکت می‌کرد، می‌توانست از امروز به بعد موجی تبلیغاتی ایجاد کند و خواستار امضای زودتر قرارداد امنیتی از سوی کرزی شود. این امر موقعیت جبهه مخالفان سیاسی کرزی را تقویت می‌کرد، اما آنان این فرصت را از دست دادند. - More, هشت صبح

Obama’s National Security Adviser Meets With Karzai --- KABUL, Afghanistan — President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, met with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Monday, in the wake of an intensifying confrontation with the United States over a long-term security deal, American officials said. --The meeting comes a day after Mr. Karzai rejected a recommendation from his own handpicked assembly of Afghan leadership figures to promptly sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States. The deal provides a legal framework for an extended American military presence in Afghanistan after 2014. -- On Sunday, at the conclusion of a four-day-long loya jirga, or grand assembly, Mr. Karzai said in a speech that he was forbidding any further American counterterrorism raids on Afghan homes, which would all but bring to an end American combat operations in Afghanistan. Most of the remaining American combat missions are conducted by Special Operations forces hunting for insurgents hiding in local homes. -- He also said he wanted to continue negotiating the terms of the bilateral security agreement with the United States, and would not sign it until after elections next April. American officials, who say Mr. Karzai had earlier committed to completing an agreement by this November, say putting off the deal would make it impossible to prepare for a follow-on military mission after 2014. -- The spokesman for Mr. Karzai, Aimal Faizi, said the Afghan president took as a threat Mr. Kerry’s warning on Friday that there could be no security in Afghanistan if the agreement were not signed. - More, ROD NORDLAND - nytimes

Elders Back Security Pact That Karzai Won’t Sign --- KABUL, Afghanistan — An angry President Hamid Karzai, at times openly hostile to his American allies, on Sunday rejected the final recommendation of a four-day Afghan grand assembly that he should promptly sign a security agreement with the United States. -- He also demanded that American forces cease raids on Afghan homes immediately, saying that he would nullify any bilateral security agreement if there was even one more such raid. -- “From this moment on, America’s searching of houses, blocking of roads and streets, military operations are over, and our people are free in their country,” Mr. Karzai said, his voice filled with emotion. -- “If Americans raid a house again, then this agreement will not be signed,” he said, with the American ambassador, James B. Cunningham, in the audience. -- “Give me a chance to do politics and don’t give this agreement for free to the Americans,” he said, adding that he would sign it “once we are sure we are on the path of peace and Afghanistan has a new president.” -- The jirga ended on a dramatic note when its organizer, Sibghatullah Mujadidi, a longtime Karzai ally, took the podium after Mr. Karzai’s speech and threatened that if the bilateral security agreement was not signed in three days, “I will resign all my positions and seek refuge in another country.” Mr. Karzai then returned to the podium and angrily insisted, “America cannot kill anyone in their homes.” - More, ROD NORDLAND - nytimes

آرمان ملی -- دو قــدرت جهــان در تلک انگلیس --- از دید انگلیس ها افغانستان کلید آسیا شمرده می شد . اما به منظور این که امريکايي ها به افغانستان حضور نیابند « وینستن چرچل » نخست وزير انگلیس در سال 1943 افغانستان را برای امريکايي ها سرزمین انکارشده توصیف نموده بود. -- روسیه نیزدرمقابل اهداف واستراتیژی انگلیس ها درافغانستان به سوی امپراطوری هندبرتانوی توجه داشتند رهبران مختلف حکومات افغان درگرواهداف استراتیژیکی روسیه وانگلیس ازآغازقرن هفدهم الی امروز قراردارند .« پتر کبیر» امپراطورروسیه درسال 1703پلان توسعه امپراطوری خویش را به سوی آب های گرم طرح و سازماندهی نمود بعداً این مفکوره برای اکثریت رهبران روسیه به یک اصل مبدل گردید. انگریزها سه مرتبه درافغانستان جنگ و ویرانی رابرمردم وکشورما تحمیل نمودند وبا تحریک احساسات ملی واسلامی دردوطرف دیورند علیه سعادت ملی مردم افغانستان و انتخاب راه آینده سرنوشت ملی ما قرار گرفت. درسال 1837 ویتکوویچ نماینده روسیه به کابل آمده و با امیر دوست محمد خان وارد مذاکره و ایجاد مناسبات نیک گردید که مورد خشم انگلیس ها قرار گرفت و با امیر دوست محمد خان جنگ ومناقشه های جدیدی را پیش گرفتند . بعداً در جنوری 1878هيأت دیگر روسی تحت ریاست جنرال ستولتیوف به کابل آمده با مقامات دولتی افغانستان ملاقات هايی داشتند که به میل انگریز ها قرار نگرفت و خشونت را پیشه نمودند. --- به تاريخ 21 فبروری 1919امان الله خان در کابل اعلان پادشاهی نمود و به تاریخ 7 اپریل همین سال امان الله خان پیامی به رهبران کشور های شوروی، امریکا، جاپان، ترکیه، فرانسه وایران فرستاد که برای برقراری مناسبات نیک و همکاری های متقابل و انکشاف دوستی میان مردمان این کشورها اشاره شده بود ولی برای انگلیس ها بی نهایت رنج آوروتحریک کننده بود که بعداً به تاريخ 4 می 1919 جنگ سوم افغان انگلیس که به جنگ استقلال افغانستان مشهور است توسط انگلیس ها آغاز گردید . --- به تاريخ 16، 6، 1946 معاهده سرحدی برمبنای خط تالویگ میان شوروی و افغانستان به امضا مي رسد افغانستان وارد مرحله توازن میان شوروی وامریکا قرارمی گیرد وانگریزها شدیداً مراقب اوضاع مي باشد تا اين که محمد ظاهرشاه به امریکا مسافرت می نماید و قبل ازآن به شوروی نیز سفرنموده بود .ایجادعلایق ومناسبات نیک رهبران افغان با امریکا و شوروی برای انگریزها ناخوش آیند مي باشد و تحریکات ضد شاه درمناطق جنوبی و شرقی افغانستان به وسیله اعمال پاکستان دامن زده مي شود وایران نیز تلاش دارد تا موضوع آب هلمند را درافغانستان مورد بحث قرار بدهد وافغانستان در گیر یک بحران طبیعی خشک سالی قرارمی گیرد که بحران آفرین بوده و ریزرف های شوروی وقت موفق مي گردد تا چهره سیاسی واستراتیژیکی اوضاع افغانستان رابه نفع خویش به وسیله سردارمحمد داوود درماه جولای سال 1972 تفسیر بدهد. قدرت شاهی به جمهوری جوان تحت قیادت سردار محمد داوود افغانستان و منطقه را در تغيیر و تهدید جدی برای انگریز ها مبدل مي سازد، انگلیس وامریکا ،سعودی، ایران، مصر، عراق و ترکیه همه در جهت ایجاد یک کمربند جدید ضد استراتیژیکی علیه شوروی وقت تعهد و پیمان می بندند و پاکستان را به یگانه مرکز انسجام نیروهای اسلامی ضد شوروی مبدل ساخته. -- دقت نمائید سالیان 1975الی 1977 افغانستان ومنطقه برای کشورهای ضد شوروی خیلی ها قابل توجه و دقت ایشان قرار گرفت و درهمین سال ها رهبران کشورهای هند، پاکستان، ایران، امریکا و شوروی ازافغانستان و محمد داوود ازاین کشورها دیدارو تمایلات خاص خویش راداشته است . به خصوص بازدید سردار محمد نعیم برادر سردار محمد داوود به صفت نماینده خاص رئیس جمهوري افغانستان ازامریکا به تاريخ 29، 6، 1976 و مسافرت رئیس شورای وزیران شوروی وقت « بورگورنی » از افغانستان به تاريخ 9، 12، 1975 و باز دید سردار محمد داوود در اپریل 1977 از شوروی وقت ، بازدید بوتونخست وزير پاکستان از افغانستان درجون 1977 وکودتای تاریخ 9، 9،1977 جنرال محمد ضیاالحق درپاکستان ، اوضاع افغانستان ومنطقه را برضد شوروی ،امریکا به نفع انگليس ها درتغيير خاص قرارداد. - More, سنجر غفاری

Afghanistan: Reject Proposal to Restore Stoning --- (Kabul) – The Afghan government should immediately reject a proposal to restore stoning as punishment for adultery. A working group led by the Justice Ministry that is assisting in drafting a new penal code has proposed provisions on “moral crimes” involving sex outside of marriage that call for stoning. -- “It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “President Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand.” -- The penalty of death by stoning violates international human rights standards, including prohibitions on torture and cruel and inhuman punishment. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Afghanistan has ratified, allows countries that continue to impose the death penalty – a dwindling minority – to do so only for the most serious offenses, which precludes such a sentence for adultery. Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances because of its inherent cruelty. - More, Human Rights Watch

کننگهام: رییس جمهور کرزی موافقتنامه امنیتی را زودتر امضا کند --- سفیر ایالات متحدهء امریکا در کابل می گوید: خرسند است که لویهء جرگه افغانستان با اکثریت از موافقتنامهء امنیتی دوجانبه میان کابل و واشنگتن پشتیبانی کرد و از رئیس جمهور خواست که آن را تا پایان ماه آینده امضا کند. در اعلامیهء سفارت امریکا آمده است که جیمز کننگهام سفیر امریکا در کابل گفته که فیصلهء دیروز لویه جرگه از تداوم همکاری امنیتی افغانستان با ایالات متحده و شرکای بین المللی آن حمایت می کند. کننگهام افزوده که یک جا می توانیم پیشرفت چشگمیر افغانستان را حفظ و تقویت کنیم. در اعلامیه آمده است که ایالات متحده چشم به راه امضای این توافقنامهء امنیتی است. - More, رادیو آزادی

John Kerry, Secretary of State - The Loya Jirga and the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement --- The Loya Jirga, a gathering of thousands of representatives of the Afghan people in accordance with a proud tradition, has powerfully backed the Bilateral Security Agreement we have been negotiating with the Afghan government. Very significantly, the Loya Jirga also urged that the BSA should be signed before the end of the year. I can't imagine a more compelling affirmation from the Afghan people themselves of their commitment to a long term partnership with the United States and our international partners. - More,

Statement by U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham on the Conclusions of the Loya Jirga --- I am gratified that the Loya Jirga, which represents the Afghan people, overwhelmingly offered support for the Bilateral Security Agreement and asked President Karzai to sign it by the end of next month. The participants in the Jirga spoke eloquently about the partnership between Afghanistan and the United States, and their belief that the Agreement will make Afghanistan’s future more secure. Today’s decision by the Jirga endorses Afghanistan’s continued security cooperation with the United States and our international partners. Together we can preserve and build on Afghanistan’s tremendous progress. We look forward to signing the agreement. -

Declassified Documents: NSA Wanted To Collect Geolocation Data --- At the very latest, it's been clear since the scandal surrounding spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone that when American intelligence services comment on their practices, every single word has meaning. If an official says, for example, "We don't do that and we will not do so in the future," it could well mean, "We did that up until now." -- In that light, one statement written by the NSA in secret documents declassified in redacted form by the US government on Monday seems of particular interest. In the 2010 document, a staff member for a US senator on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence asked the agency to "Please clarify when NSA can collect FISA geolocation data, either through telephony or Internet." -- In other words, the senator wanted to know if, in addition to telephone and Internet metadata, the US intelligence agency was also tracking the location of everybody who has a mobile phone or Internet connection. FISA is a reference to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which permits US intelligence agencies to undertake certain types of eavesdropping and data collection within the scope of the law. --- The document indicates that the NSA already had concrete plans in 2010 to save the geolocations of all mobile phone and Internet users in the United States in addition to the connection data for phone calls, emails and Internet connections. Apparently officials didn't feel additional laws were needed for monitoring that kind of data. Equipped with this power, almost every movement of every single mobile phone user in the United States could be captured for years at a time. The NSA currently saves metadata for at least five years. - Der Spiegel

Secret US-Iran talks paved way for nuclear deal --- Meetings that ran parallel to official negotiations help achieve most significant Washington-Tehran agreement since 1979 -- The Obama administration asked journalists not to publish details they had uncovered of the secret diplomacy until the Geneva talks were over for fear of derailing them. The Associated Press and a Washington-based news website, Al-Monitor, finally did so on Sunday. -- • Stop enriching uranium above 5%, reactor-grade, and dilute its stock of 20%-enriched uranium, removing a major proliferation concern.-- • Not to increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. -- • Freeze its enrichment capacity by not installing any more centrifuges, leaving more than half of its existing 16,000 centrifuges inoperable. -- • Not to fuel or to commission the heavy-water reactor it is building in Arak or build a reprocessing plant that could produce plutonium from the spent fuel. -- • Accept more intrusive nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including daily visits to some facilities. - More, Guardian

Iran nuclear deal: joint plan of action - full document --- More, The Guardian

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PTI protesters will re-assemble today --- On Sunday, the protesters roughed up drivers as they sought to stop trucks carrying NATO troop supplies and equipment from passing through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). -- The rally came a day after a party led by politician and cricket star Imran Khan said it would prevent NATO supply trucks making their way to and from Afghanistan from travelling through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province until the US stops drone strikes. -- The US leads the NATO coalition of troops battling the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. - thenews

متن کامل سخنرانی حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان در محفل اختتامیه لویه جرگه مشورتی --- خوب، بزرگهای عزیز! من در بیانیه افتتاحیۀ ام به شما معزیزین کشور عرض کردم که مردم افغانستان با جهان دوستی می خواهند که ما در دوستی با جهان، ترقی خود را می بینیم و در استقلالیت عزت خود را می بینیم و عرض کردم که برای امضای قرارداد امنیتی بین افغانستان و امریکا اگر جرگه موافقت کرد و ولسی جرگه تصویب کرد مراحل تطبیق را در نظر بگیریم، مراحل تطبیق برای ایجاد امن و صلح در افغانستان و برگزاری انتخابات شفاف. خوشحال هستم که شما بزرگان عزیز مسئله امنیت و صلح را در قرارداد تان در نظر گرفتید، ولی اما صلح چه وقت؟ و امنیت چه وقت؟ امنیت امروز بعد از فیصله ای شما یا امنیت ده سال یا پانزده سال بعد؟ -- امنیت امروز، به این معنا که سر از امروز که جرگه افغانستان به امریکا اظهار دوستی کرد سپردن پایگاه به امریکا کار مفت و آسان از لحاظ عاطفی و از لحاظ عقلی برای ما نبوده که به یک کشور خارجی پایگاه بدهیم بسیار سر ما سخت تمام می شود، به خدا اگر غیرت ما قبول کند ولی مجبوریت داریم از دست حالات سی سال پیش ما و از دسیسه های خارجی، از هر گونه اش، پس زمانیکه ما اینها را پایگاه می دهیم به خاک ما، امنیت ما شرط اول ماست و از امروز است. به این معنا که امریکا سر از همین لحظه دیگر در خانه های ما عملیات کرده نمی تواند. سر از همین لحظه دیگر در خانه مردم افغانستان نه شب و نه روز برای عملیات رفته نمی تواند. همین منظورتان است یا نی؟ -- این قرارداد به همین است که امنیت وطن ما جور باشد صلح افغانستان، من خدمت شما عرض کردم در افتتاحیه که صلح افغانستان در قدم اول بدست امریکا، در قدم دوم بدست پاکستان است و این ثابت است پیش من مطلق ثابت است، پیش من یک عالم دلایل دارم یک عالم دلیل اثبات دارم، --- برای افتتاح دفتر قطر برای طالبان که ما مخالف بودیم، دولت افغانستان، ما مخالف بودیم چون شک داشتیم از ابتدا که این دفتر هدف دیگری دارد، که این دفتر برای اینست که یک جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان باشد و در اینجا باز یک امارت اسلامی افغانستان جور کنند، ما یکی آنرا میخواهیم، چی این باشد یا آن ، برای ما فرق ندارد مقصد یک افغانستان باشد و یک حکومت داشته باشد. -- بحث کردیم یکسال کامل با امریکا، روزیکه دفتر قطر باز میشد، یکروز پیش از آن، چندین روز قبل از آن با دولت امریکا صحبت کردیم که برای ما یک خط اطمینانیه بیاید که دفتر قطر یک دولت علیعهده به افغانستان نمیشود و یک سفارت یک دولت علیعهده به افغانستان نمی شود، آنها مهربانی کردند برای ما خط روان کردند، و چیزهاییرا که ما در این خط از آنها خواسته بودیم برای ما نوشتند، من یک قسمت آنرا برایتان میخوانم: -- به امضای رییس جمهور محترم امریکا، به من نوشت که ما به همرای حکومت افغانستان کاملاً هم عقیده هستیم که دفتریکه در قطر برای طالبان باز میشود، صرف به هدف مذاکره با شورای عالی صلح افغانستان بوده و در مورد همین اصل با دولت قطر به تماس هستیم و ضمانت هایی میگیریم تا اصولی را که ما و شما با هم وضع کردیم و افغانستان خواهش کرده تطبیق شود، به این معنی که این دفتر نه سفارت است، نه امارت است، نه حکومت است و نه حاکمیت. -- ولی دیدیم که در افتتاح اش بیرق امارت اسلامی را بلند کردند و لوحه امارت اسلامی را زدند، اگر این سند پیش ما نمی بود، ما باخته بودیم، چون این سند را قبل از قبل گرفته بودیم، ما اعلان کردیم که قبول نداریم، هر چی اینها کوشش کردند که یک دو روز معطل کنید ما پس میائیم، اما گفتیم نخیر! دور کنید! و در جریانیکه به این دفتر مذاکره میکردیم بارها مستقیم و غیر مستقیم برای ما از جانب مختلف خارجی پیشنهاد شد که اگر شما به طالبان یک گوشه افغانستان را بسپارید، یک ولسوالی را یا دو ولسوالی را، ما گفتیم ابداً، خوش آمدند در حکومت مرکزی شریک شوند، وزیر شوند، رییس جمهور شوند، رییس شورا شوند، وکیل شوند، همه اش را بگیرند ولی گوشه اش را داده نمی توانیم. -- همه اش را بگیرند ولی گوشه اش را داده نمی توانیم و با نماینده ها و آنهاییکه با برادر های ما طالبها به تماس بودند، تماس گرفتند، مولوی صاحب ضعیف را خواستم پیش خود، همرایش نشستم و گفتم برادر همینطور آوازه شنیدیم و همینطور پیشنهادات مستقیم و غیر مستقیم صورت میگیرد، آیا برای شما هم همینطور پیشنهاداتی شده یا نشده؟ گفتم شما چی میگین؟ گفت ما رد میکنیم. گفتم آفرین! احوال بده به طالب های تان، به کلان های تان که فریب نخورند، پس اعلامیه دادند طالبان که ما این فریب را نمی خوریم و افغانستان واحد را میخواهیم، به آن حرف خود باید ایستاد باشند. -- دوی ویل، چې موږ ته استثنأ قایل شی! که زموږ څوک و نیول شي یا اختطاف شي نو بیا موږ ورشو، سره جوړ نه شولو. چې سره جوړ نه شولو ما د امریکې سفیر ته وویل ،چې تاسو څه عجله لرۍ، ولې عجله لرۍ، چې دا قرارداد حتماً له موږسره امضأ شي. ولې پنځه میاشتې منتظر کیږۍ نه؟ نوی حکومت راځي هغه به پنځه کاله عمر ولري هغه سره ولې قرار داد نه امضأ کوۍ؟ ویل یې نه دا انتظار نه شو کولی، ماویل ولې یې نشۍ کولی؟ پنځه میاشتې څه دي ۱۲ کاله دلته وۍ پنځه میاشتې انتظار نشۍ کولی؟ -- هغوی ویل نه موږ خپل پروګرام لرو او د دې امکان شته، چې د اول رونډ تر انتخاباتو وروسته دغه انتخابات دوهم رونډ ته پنځه شپږ میاشتې وځنډیږي، دلته زه ورخطا شوم، چې دوهم رونډ، ولې پنځه شپږ میاشتې وځنډیږي؟ ذهن مې فوراً ولاړ تیرو ریاست جمهوري انتخاباتوته چې هغه چل زموږ سره وشو. -- اول مو انتخابات وکړه بندنامه یې کړل، رسوا یې کړل او معاملې یې را سره شروع کړې، چې دا راسره ومنه یا دا راسره ومنه، لودین صاحب نه پوهیږم ،چې دلته ناست دی که نه!؟ او نجفي صاحب نه پوهیږم ،چې ناست دی که نه!؟ -- چې د امریکې خارجه وزیر صاحب دی جان کیري صاحب، ډیرپوه سړی دی، دلته یې را ته وویل، چې ته له دغو انتخاباتو څخه تیر شه دوهم رونډ ته به ولاړ شو. ما ورسره و منله ،چې سمه ده دا انتخابات نور زموږ د دې ملت په درد نه خوري، چې د دې انتخاباتو په نتیجه کې زه راهم شم دا ملت یې نه مني چون دا بدنامه شول، دوهم رونډ د انتخاباتو ته ځو. -- لودین صاحب غږ راباندې وکړ،چې رییس صاحب مې منه دوهم رونډ نه کوي. ما ویل نه کوي یي هغه لاس پورته کړ جان کیري صاحب، چې حتماً یې کوو قسم یې یاد کړ. خو دوهم رونډ انتخابات و نه شول. هلته ما اووه کاله حکومت کړی ؤ یوه سلسله مې درلودله یو دولت مې درلوده یو شناخت مې د افغانستان په ټولنه کې درلود نو د افغانستان حالات ثابت پاتې شول. -- که بیاهم په آینده کې اول رونډ د انتخاباتو وشي او دوهم رونډ ونشي او پنځه میاشتې یې معطله کړي، زما او زما د معاون صاحبانو وخت به هم پوره شوی وي مشروعیت به د حکومتدارې نور نه لرو نوی رییس جمهوربه راغلی نه وي او افغانستان به بې حکومته پاتې وي. -- متوجه هستید همراه ما من گفتم که انتخابات شفاف شود، از آن مجلس مه ترسیدم که ای قسم برایم گفتند، نکند که خدا ناخواسته همان طور شود که روند اول انتخابات ما صورت بگیرید، دو کاندید برایند باز معطل شده برود و معطل شده برود، هر دو کاندید هم خود را برنده بگویند و انتخابات ما نشود. -- پس ما از جامعه جهانی تعهد میخواهیم که قسمیکه قانون اساسی افغانستان گفته، با شدن روند اول انتخابات، اگر در روند اول انتخابات نتیجه نگرفتیم، رئیس جمهور تعیین نشد، دو نفر بیرون آمدند کمتر از 50 فیصد، ولی اول بودند طبق قانون در خلال مدت دو هفته باید انتخابات دیگر دایر شود، چرا پنج ماه، چرا شش ماه، چرا چهار ماه، ترتیبات بگیرند از همین حالی بکنند انتخابات را، پس ما انتخابات خود را به موقع میخواهیم و انتخابات دوم را در ظرف دو هفته میخواهیم تا که راه معامله گری بند شود. - More,

Hamid Karzai refuses to sign US-Afghan security pact --- A security pact with the US, which is critical to Afghanistan's ability to pay its soldiers and hold off the Taliban, is in limbo, after President Hamid Karzai shrugged off the recommendations of a national council that has approved the deal and said he would continue talks with Washington. -- But Karzai stunned US diplomats and many of his own security officials when he told the opening session of the jirga that the bilateral security agreement should not be signed until after presidential elections in April. -- Washington quickly announced that a deal had to be agreed by the end of the year, but on Sunday Karzai said that the US had to prove its good intentions by keeping its soldiers out of Afghan homes, ensuring the vote was transparent and promoting peace talks with the Taliban. -- "If I sign and there is no security, then who is going to be blamed for it?" he told delegates, who interrupted his speech several times to both question and support him.-- The agreement will allow US soldiers to stay on at nine bases, mentoring the still ill-equipped and patchily trained Afghan police and army, and pursuing al-Qaida and linked groups. --It is politically sensitive for many reasons, not least because it undermines Afghanistan's reputation as the "graveyard of empires", with the ignominious withdrawal of Soviet forces referenced several times in jirga speeches on Sunday. -- Karzai chose to ignore those requests, warning his audience that "Afghanistan has always won the war but lost in politics". He added that he planned to carry on with negotiations because the US had broken previous commitments to protect the country and support the peace process. - More, Emma Graham-Harrison - Guardian

Egypt's government bans protests without police approval --- (Reuters) - Egypt's president passed a law on Sunday making it illegal to hold demonstrations without the approval of the police and banning protests in places of worship, a move rights groups condemned as a blow to political freedom. -- As the law was being announced by state media, thousands of anti-government protesters were on streets in Cairo and other cities, as they have been regularly in the nearly three years since a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak. -- It imposes jail sentences of up to seven years and fines of up to 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($43,600) upon protesters who carry weapons, explosives, ammunition or fireworks, wear masks or block roads, Badawi said. People who organise protests without permission will be fined between 10,000 and 30,000 Egyptian pounds. - More

Afghanistan's Karzai rejects elders' advice to back U.S. deal quickly --- (Reuters) - "If there is no peace, then this agreement will bring misfortune to Afghanistan," he said. "Peace is our precondition. America should bring us peace and then we will sign it." -- The president did not elaborate, but has previously said a free and fair vote is needed to guarantee peace in the country and his spokesman later said Karzai had not changed his mind. -- As the meeting ended, assembly chairman Sibghatullah Mojeddedi told Karzai: "If you don't sign it, we will be disappointed." Karzai responded "Fine!" and left the stage.-- Some believe Karzai is simply concerned that the United States and other Western countries may attempt to interfere in next year's presidential election. Having served two terms, he is ineligible to run again. - More

U.S., Iran held secret talks on march to nuclear deal --- (Reuters) - U.S. and Iranian officials met secretly in such out-of-the-way places as Oman, using military planes, side entrances and service elevators to conceal their efforts to lay the ground for Sunday's nuclear agreement. -- The contacts, first reported in detail by the Associated Press and later confirmed by U.S. officials and a former Iranian official, helped to bring about a deal that could help to end a decade-long impasse over Iran's suspect nuclear work. -- After four days of talks, Iran and six world powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, known as the P5+1 - clinched an interim deal curbing the Iranian nuclear programme in exchange for some sanctions relief. -- A former Iranian official confirmed the secret talks and said they took place with the wary approval of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was sceptical of the outcome but agreed to all the meetings to take place. - More

لویه‌جرگه: موافقت‌نامه با آمریکا ظرف یک ماه امضا شود --- لویه‌جرگه مشورتی کابل که برای بحث و مشوره‌دهی بر سر توافق‌نامه امنیتی میان کابل و واشنگتن برگزار شده، این توافقنامه را با 'اکثریت مطلق' تایید کرد. لویه‌جرگه همچنین در قطعنامه‌ای از رئیس جمهوری خواستند تا توافق‌نامه را تا آخر امسال امضا کند. -- در قطعنامه ۳۱ ماده‌ای لویه‌جرگه که از سوی معاونان جرگه در حضور حامدکرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان خوانده شد، آمده است که: -- اعضای جرگه با تاکید بر سخنرانی تاریخی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در افتتاح لویه جرگه مشورتی، مسوده موافقتنامه امنیتی میان افغانستان و آمریکا را تایید می‌کنند. --- آقای کرزی گفت باید این توافقنامه بلافاصله موجب تامین صلح و امنیت در افغانستان شود، در غیر آن این توافقنامه را قبول ندارد. -- آقای کرزی گفت: "اگر یکبار دیگر آمریکا به خانه‌های افغانها برود و حمله کند، قرارداد نیست (تمام است). اینها (آمریکایی‌ها) باید در پایگاه‌های خود بنشینند. از امروز بازرسی خانه‌ها، تلاشی خانه ها و راه گیری از سوی آمریکا متوقف است و مردم افغانستان آزاد هستند." -- رئیس جمهوری افغانستان گفت دو درخواست مشخص از آمریکا دارد. 'تامین صلح' و 'برگزاری انتخابات شفاف'. او یکبار دیگر گفت که بدین باور است "تامین صلح در افغانستان ابتدا بدست آمریکایی‌ها است و بعدا به دست پاکستانی‌ها." -- او گفت ما می‌خواهیم تا آمریکا ضمانت کند حتی اگر انتخابات به دور دوم می‌رود باید در زمان تعیین شده در قانون یعنی دو هفته برگزار شود. آقای کرزی گفت چانه‌زنی‌های خود با آمریکا را در مورد توافقنامه امنیتی همچنان ادامه خواهد داد. -- همچنین جن ساکی، سخنگوی وزارت امور خارجه آمریکا دو روز پیش در واکنش به سخنان آقای کرزی گفت: "به نظر ما هرچه زودتر باید این موافقت‌نامه امضا شود تا به افغانستان تا پیش از انتخابات پیش رو، اطمینان خاطر دهد و به آمریکا و دیگر هم‌پیمانان هم فرصت دهد درباره حضور نیروها پس از سال ۲۰۱۴ برنامه‌ریزی کنند." -- More, BBC

Afghan leader says peace needed before US security deal --- KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan president Hamid Karzai said the United States should bring peace to his country before he would sign a security deal enabling American troops to stay beyond 2014, despite calls by an assembly of tribal elders to agree to the pact. -- "If there is no peace then this agreement will bring misfortune to Afghanistan," Karzai said on Sunday in his closing remarks to the Loya Jirga assembly of elders and dignitaries convened to decide on the security pact. "Peace is our precondition. America should bring us peace and then we will sign it." -- As the meeting came to a close, assembly chairman Sibghatullah Mojeddedi told Karzai: “If you don’t sign it, we will be disappointed.” In response, Karzai said, “Fine!” and left the stage. -- In a statement, U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham said he was gratified that the assembly “overwhelmingly offered support for the Bilateral Security Agreement and asked President Karzai to sign it by the end of next month.” -- “Today's decision by the Jirga endorses Afghanistan's continued security cooperation with the United States and our international partners.” -- "He has to be the one ... to sign off on this loss of Afghan sovereignty. He knows intellectually that this is in Afghanistan's interest, but at the same time it's distasteful to him," Neumann said. - More, NBC's Richard Engel reports.

Assembly endorses accord with recommendations --- KABUL (PAN): The consultative Loya Jirga on Sunday overwhelmingly approved the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington by issuing a 31-aritcle declaration that asked the US to set up courts at its bases in the country to try American troops accused of committing crimes in Afghanistan. -- On the final day of the four-day gathering of tribal leaders and politicians divided into 50 committees, featuring 2,500 delegates, officials read out the declaration. Each committee submitted its list of proposed revisions and clarifications to the draft agreement. -- “Peace, security and a transparent election are pre-conditions for signing,” Karzai said. “If peace doesn’t come, elections go wrong, then we will lose the country.” - More, Pajhwok

Major Powers Reach Deal With Iran To Freeze Nuclear Program --- GENEVA—The U.S. and five other world powers struck a historic accord with Iran on Sunday, agreeing to ease part of an economic stranglehold in exchange for steps to cap Tehran's nuclear program and ensure the Islamist government doesn't rush to develop atomic weapons. -- The agreement calls for Iran to stop its production of near-weapons grade nuclear fuel—which is uranium enriched to 20% purity—and for the removal of Tehran's stockpile of the fissile material, which is estimated to be nearly enough to produce one nuclear bomb. -- Iran, in return, will gain relief from Western economic sanctions that U.S. officials believe will provide between $6 billion and $7 billion in badly needed foreign exchange for Tehran over the next half-year. -- The agreement reached in Geneva is an interim deal for about six months that will allow international powers to try to strike a permanent pact, an effort experts said would be the true test of Iran's new government, headed by revitalization-minded President Hasan Rouhani. - More, wall street journal

Israel Criticizes Nuclear Pact --- TEL AVIV—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly criticized the agreement between Iran and six world powers, calling it a "historic mistake" that doesn't diminish the existential threat facing the Jewish state. -- Mr. Netanyahu gave his brief remarks as he started a weekly cabinet meeting, which was likely to focus on the Iran issue after a morning during which he and his allies denounced the agreement for not doing enough to stop what the Jewish state believes is Iran's goal toward acquiring a nuclear weapon. -- "What was achieved in Geneva last night is not an historic agreement, it's an historic mistake." Mr. Netanyahu said. "Today the world has become much more dangerous, because the most dangerous regime has made a significant step toward getting the most dangerous weapons in the world. For the first time the leading powers in the world agreed to uranium enrichment in Iran, ignoring security council decisions that they themselves spearheaded." - More, WSJ

Afghanistan's Karzai Stands Firm on U.S. Security Deal Delay --- KABUL, Afghanistan--Afghan President Hamid Karzai Sunday defied the assembly he had convened to consider a critical security agreement with Washington, rejecting the gathering's request for rapidly sealing the deal and repeating demands for a lengthy delay. -- In a combative speech just after the Loya Jirga's 3,000 delegates approved the security agreement, Mr. Karzai voiced a litany of complaints about the U.S. He also named three "preconditions" to finalizing the deal--establishing security, achieving peace with the Taliban, and conducting the presidential elections slated for April. - More, WSJ

Afghanistan's Karzai says will sign US deal but sets conditions --- Kabul — Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that he will sign a security agreement with the United States provided it cooperates in peace efforts and ends raids on Afghan homes. -- Karzai was speaking at the end of a four-day meeting of elders and chieftains, which endorsed the pact allowing the US to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan till 2024. -- He said he would sign it in return for US "cooperation" in Afghanistan's efforts to make peace with Taliban insurgents. - More, AFP

مشورتي لویې جرګې امنیتي تړون ومانه --- د افغانستان مشورتي لویې جرګې د افغانستان او امریکا ترمنځ امنیتي تړون ومانه او ولسمشر کرزي ته یې سپارښتنه وکړه چې باید د روان کال تر پایه لاسلیک شي. -- افغان ولسمشر حامد کرزي په اختتاميه وينا کې وويل چې امريکايان سر له ننه نه شي کولی عمليات وکړي، د خلکو کورونه تلاشي کړي. -- ولسمشر کرزي خبرداری ورکړ که امريکا عمليات وکړي او د خلکو کورونه تلاشي کړي په خبره يې تړون نه شته. --ښاغلي کرزي له امريکا سره د امنيتي تړون لاسليکېدل يوه سخته چاره وبلله ويې ویل چې افغاني غیرت يې نه مني، خو وايي مجبوره يو چې تړون لاسليک کړو. -- په اختتاميه غونډه کې د ولسمشر کرزي د خبرو ډير تمرکز پر دې ورټول و، چې بايد د امنيتي تړون له لاسليکيدو سره سم په افغانستان کې سوله راشي. -- افغان ولسمشر له جرګې وړاندې په افغانستان کې د امريکا له سفير سره د ليدنې په اړه وویل چې هغه ورته ويلي، که ټاکنې دويم پړاو ته ځي نو دويم پړاو ټاکنې به پنځه شپږ مياشتې وروسته کېږي. -- ده وويل دا پخپله ښيي چې ښايي په دغه موده کې ځينې ستونزې رامنځته شي او د واک تشه رامنځته کړي. -- ده په خپلو خبرو کې بيا بيا پر دې ټينګار کاوه چې امريکا باید په افغانستان کې د رڼو او عادلانه ټاکنو په اړه ضمانت ورکړي. -- ښاغلي کرزي جرګه والو ته خطاب کې وويل: ''دا چې تاسو ماته واياست یوه مياشت کې دې تړون لاسليک کړم. زه به یې لاسليک کړم خو که سوله رانشي ملامتي د چا ده''. -- ولسمشر کرزی وايي موږ د محبوریت له مخې دلته راټول شوي یوو چې امریکا ته اډې ورکوو. --نوموړي زیاته کړه چې که سوله رانه شي، دغه قرار داد د افغانستان لپاره بدبختي ده، که سوله راغله، ستاسې سلا مشورې په پام کې نیسم او دغه سند لاسلیکوم. - More, BBC

Afghanistan elders seek US security pact signing in 2013 --- A meeting of Afghan elders has called for a security deal with the United States to be signed this year. -- The grand assembly endorsed the pact, which allows thousands of US troops to remain in Afghanistan once combat operations have ended. -- Three days ago, President Hamid Karzai said the deal should be signed after elections due in April. -- The US has said it is neither "practical nor possible" to delay the signing -- The deal also has to be approved by the Afghan parliament. - More, BBC

Jirga bodies want deal inked in 6 weeks --- KABUL (PAN): The consultative Loya Jirga on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States entered its final day on Sunday, when almost all 50 committee heads recommended the pact should be signed withing six weeks. - More, Pajhwok

لویه‌جرگه: موافقت‌نامه با آمریکا ظرف یک ماه امضا شود --- لویه‌جرگه مشورتی کابل که برای بحث و مشوره‌دهی بر سر توافق‌نامه امنیتی میان کابل و واشنگتن برگزار شده، این توافقنامه را با 'اکثریت مطلق' تایید کرد. لویه‌جرگه همچنین در قطعنامه‌ای از رئیس جمهوری خواستند تا توافق‌نامه را تا آخر امسال امضا کند. -- در قطعنامه ۳۱ ماده‌ای لویه‌جرگه که از سوی معاونان جرگه در حضور حامدکرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان خوانده شد، آمده است که: -- اعضای جرگه با تاکید بر سخنرانی تاریخی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در افتتاح لویه جرگه مشورتی، مسوده موافقتنامه امنیتی میان افغانستان و آمریکا را تایید می‌کنند. -- در صورتی‌که جانب آمریکا به تعهدات خود عمل نکند، افغانستان باید امتیازات را که در اختیار آمریکا قرار داده، پس بگیرد. -- آقای کرزی گفت باید این توافقنامه بلافاصله موجب تامین صلح و امنیت در افغانستان شود، در غیر آن این توافقنامه را قبول ندارد. -- آقای کرزی گفت: "اگر یکبار دیگر به آمریکا به خانه‌های افغانها برود و حمله کند، قرارداد نیست (تمام است). اینها (آمریکایی‌ها) باید در پایگاه‌های خود بنشینند. از امروز بازرسی خانه‌ها، تلاشی خانه ها و راه گیری از سوی آمریکا متوقف است و مردم افغانستان آزاد هستند." -- او خطاب به اعضای لویه‌جرگه گفت: "شما از من خواستید که تا یک ماه دیگر این موافقتنامه را امضا کنم. آیا تا یک ماه دیگر صلح و امنیت در افغانستان تامین خواهد شد؟ اگر نشد مسئول کیست؟ طبعا مسئول من هستم." -- رئیس جمهوری افغانستان گفت دو درخواست مشخص از آمریکا دارد. 'تامین صلح' و 'برگزاری انتخابات شفاف'. او یکبار دیگر گفت که بدین باور است "تامین صلح در افغانستان ابتدا بدست آمریکایی‌ها است و بعدا به دست پاکستانی‌ها." --- آقای کرزی گفت تجربه گشایش دفتر قطر نشان می‌دهد که باید از آمریکایی‌ها تضمین‌های لازم گرفته شود. رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در مورد انتخابات گفت: "سه روز پیش از انتخابات با سفیر آمریکا در کابل نشست داشتیم و در مورد لویه‌جرگه و توافقنامه امنیتی صحبت می‌کردیم. من از سفیر آمریکا پرسیدم که چرا شما تاکید دارید که حتما موافقتنامه با ما امضا شود؟ چرا بعد از انتخابات امضا نمی‌کنید؟ سفیر آمریکا گفت که ما برنامه‌های خود را داریم. او گفت انتخابات شاید به دور دوم برود و در این صورت دور دوم انتخابات پنج تا شش ماه آینده به تاخیر می‌افتد. دلیل اینکه من گفتم انتخابات شفاف برگزار شود، از همان مجلس با سفیر آمریکا ترسیدم." -- او گفت ما می‌خواهیم تا آمریکا ضمانت کند حتی اگر انتخابات به دور دوم می‌رود باید در زمان تعیین شده در قانون یعنی دو هفته برگزار شود. آقای کرزی گفت چانه‌زنی‌های خود با آمریکا را در مورد توافقنامه امنیتی همچنان ادامه خواهد داد. -- صبغت‌الله مجددی، رئیس لویه‌جرگه مشورتی در پاسخ به سخنان حامدکرزی، گفت که فیصله لویه‌جرگه این است که رئیس جمهوری این توافق‌نامه را هرچه سریعتر امضا کند. -- او گفت: "رئیس صاحب جمهور به ما وعده بدهد که این قرارداد را به زودی امضا می‌کند. اگر رئیس جمهوری امضا نکند، من از افغانستان هجرت خواهم کرد. من مجبور خواهم شد در این ریش سفیدی کشور را ترک کنم. چون کسی به حرف ما گوش نمی‌کند." -- آقای مجددی در واکنش به این سخنان حامدکرزی که آمریکایی‌ها از تعهدات خود سرباز خواهند زد گفت: "اگر آمریکایی‌ها از تعهدات خود سرباز زدند با اراده مردم افغانستان مواجه خواهند بود." -- در جریان صحبت‌های آقای مجددی، رئیس جمهور کرزی یکبار دیگر گفت "آمریکا اجازه ندارد به خانه‌های‌ما برود. نمی پذیریم!" -- براساس گفته‌های قبلی حامدکرزی، اکنون مسوده موافقتنامه امنیتی باید به پارلمان افغانستان فرستاده شود و بعد از آن روسای جمهوری افغانستان و آمریکا باید آن را امضا کنند. - More, BBC

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Deal Reached To Limit Iran's Nuclear Program --- Iran and six world powers have reached a preliminary agreement in Geneva on curbing Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. --- Obama said: "These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran's most likely paths to a bomb. Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program. And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program." - More, Greg Henderson - NPR

Karzai Insists U.S. Forces Killed Civilians in a Raid --- KABUL, Afghanistan — For the second time in less than a week, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has picked a high-profile fight with his American allies, in the midst of a grand council that he convened to support a long-term security agreement with the United States. -- American officials reacted with anger and exasperation on Saturday after Mr. Karzai publicly accused American Special Forces troops of killing civilians in a raid on an Afghan home; American officials said it was an Afghan-led raid that killed only insurgents. -- In another long telephone call on Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Afghan leader that if the agreement was not signed within a month, there would be no agreement to sign. -- American officials have insisted that without a deal this year, they would not have time to prepare an American force for its mission after 2014, which the security agreement calls for. - ROD NORDLAND - nytimes

Syria Seen as Most Dire Refugee Crisis in a Generation --- KILIS, Turkey — As the boom of shelling resounded along Turkey’s border with Syria here on a recent afternoon, Zakaria Deeb had nowhere left to run. -- Nearly three years of bloody civil war in Syria have created what the United Nations, governments and international humanitarian organizations describe as the most challenging refugee crisis in a generation — bigger than the one unleashed by the Rwandan genocide and laden with the sectarianism of the Balkan wars. With no end in sight in the conflict and with large parts of Syria already destroyed, governments and organizations are quietly preparing for the refugee crisis to last years. - nytimes

رئیس لویه‌جرگه: کرزی حق ندارد که موافقتنامه امنیتی را امضا نکند --- در سومین روز لویه‌جرگه مشورتی، صبغت الله مجددی، رئیس این جرگه درباره اظهارات حامدکرزی که گفته بعد از تصویب این کلیک موافقتنامه امنیتی افغانستان و آمریکا توسط لویه‌جرگه مشورتی او این سند را امضاء نکرده و به بعد از انتخابات موکول می‌کند، امروز به خبرنگاران گفت:" کرزی حق ندارد که این گپ(سخن) را بزند و تمام خواهشات که گفته بود(آمریکا) قبول کرده و این به ضرر افغانستان است و ما این را قبول نداریم." -- او گفت که امروز بررسی این سند نهایی شده و اختلافات نیز بسیار جزئی است. -- در خبرنامه این دفتر آمده که رئیس جمهور به موضع قبلی خود اصرار کرده که این موافقتنامه را زمانی امضاء می‌کند که حمله نیروهای خارجی به خانه افغانها متوقف، آمریکا در روند صلح این کشور صادقانه همکاری کند و به برگزاری انتخابات شفاف و عادلانه در این کشور کمک کند. -- رئیس جمهوری افغانستان گفته که افغانها قرارداد امنیتی را در صورتی می‌خواهند که صلح، ثبات و امنیت در این کشور دایمی شود. - More, BBC

Iranian nuclear talks end without a deal --- GENEVA — Two days of marathon negotiations, by far the most direct and extended high-level contact between the United States and Iran in more than three decades, ended early Sunday without agreement on an interim plan on Iran’s disputed nuclear program. -- After a tumultuous day of bargaining, diplomats emerged after midnight to acknowledge they had fallen short of a deal that would have required Iran to suspend key parts of its nuclear program in exchange for modest relief on economic sanctions. The sides will try again Nov. 20. - washingtonpost

اعضای جرگه مشورتی: پیمان امنیتی باید تایکماه آینده به امضاء برسد --- برخی از شرکت کنندگان لویه جرگه مشورتی میگویند پیمان امنیتی تا یکماه آینده باید به امضاء برسد. -- آنها میگویند که تاخیر در امضای این قرار داد به زیان افغانستان است و امکان میرود تصامیم در مورد تغیر یافته و سبب مداخلات برخی از کشورها شود. --- پیش از این ظهر امروز صبغت الله مجددی رییس تدویر لویه جرگه مشورتی نیز به رسانه ها گفت که در پیمان امنیتی و دفاعی تمامی خواسته های افغانستان پذیرفته شده و تاخیر در امضای آن به منفعت این کشور نیست. -- او افزود: "کرزی صاحب هیچ حق ندارد که همچون یک گپ را مطرح کند، من می گویم که این کار سهو و اشتباست، بخاطریکه تمام خواهشات که کرزی صاحب داشت و آنچه را که ما می خواستیم آنها تطبیق و قبول کردند، با آن هم آنها را معطل می سازند، این کار به ضرر و زیان افغانستان است و ما هیچ آن را قبول نداریم." --- در همین حال صادق مدبر مسوول برگذاری لویه جرگه مشورتی در گفتگو با آژانس خبری وخت گفت: "کارهای ۴۵ کمیته امروز به پایان رسیده و روسای این کمیته -- ساعت ۵ عصر گزارشات شانرا ارایه میکنند و متباقی ۵ کمیته فردا گزارش خواهند داد. - وخت

Iran, six world powers clinch breakthrough nuclear deal --- (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough agreement early on Sunday to curb Tehran's atomic ambitions in exchange for limited sanctions relief, in a first step towards resolving a dangerous decade-old standoff. --- The deal between the Islamic state and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia was nailed down after more than four days of negotiations. --- "We have reached an agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Twitter feed. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also confirmed the deal. - More

Karzai intends to press showdown with Obama over security pact, aide says --- KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai will continue to defy U.S. threats to walk away from a security agreement between the two countries and plans to reiterate in a speech to a grand council Sunday that he will not sign it before spring, his spokesman said Saturday. -- “They have waited this long, they can certainly wait five more months,” spokesman Aimal Faizi said Saturday of the Americans. The Obama administration has characterized the deal, whose terms Karzai had agreed to last week, as a “final offer” that must be completed by the end of this year. -- The tension has escalated into a remarkable stare-down between two leaders who say they want the same thing — U.S. troops providing long-term training and support for the Afghan military — but find themselves on the brink of walking away from that partnership. -- “The core of the issue,” Faizi said, is a “lack of trust” between the two governments. - More, washingtonpost

For Soviet defeat in Afghanistan, US helped create a nuclear Pakistan? --- NEW DELHI: In July 1987, a Pakistani, Arshad Pervez, was arrested by US authorities when he was trying to bribe a Customs official to get an export license to buy high strength maraging steel — mainly used for building centrifuges to enrich uranium — and large amounts of beryllium that could be used only for Islamabad's still covert nuclear weapons programme. Around the same time, a Chinese national and two US citizens were indicted for illegal exports of advanced computers and similar technology to Pakistan. -- According to newly-declassified documents by the National Security Archive, the arrest led to a huge debate within the Reagan administration. Ken Adelman, the chief of Arms Control & Disarmament Agency (ACDA), according to the documents, wanted to come down hard on Pakistan. But the State Department hesitated, unwilling to jeopardize US-Pakistan relations, particularly as General Zia-ul-Haq was supporting the Afghan mujahideen. "We are particularly concerned about weakening the President's hand in discussions with the Soviets on Afghanistan, which [are] at a critical stage." - More,

No reason for deferring accord: Mujaddedi --- KABUL (PAN): Former president and consultative Loya Jirga chairman, Sibghatullah Mujaddedi, on Saturday opined the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and United States should be signed before the presidential vote. - More, Pajhwok

فواید اقتصادی امضای توافقنامه امنیتی و دفاعی برای افغانستان! --- شماری از آگاهان امور اقتصادی افغان به این باور اند که ثبات اقتصادی و بازگشت سرمایه ها به کشور وابسته به امضاء موافقتنامه امنیتی و دفاعی کابل و واشنگتن می باشد. اگرچه مشوره روی موافقتنامه امنیتی و دفاعی در لویه جرگه مشورتی هنوز هم جریان دارد، برخی از آگاهان اقتصادی می گویند، این موافقتنامه راه را برای جلب همکاری ها و مساعدت های اقتصادی به کشور می گشاید. این آگاهان بدین باور اند که حفظ سرمایه گذاری ها، تعاملات با همکاری های اقتصادی و استخراج معادن همه به امضاء موافقتنامه امنیتی و دفاعی با امریکا گره خورده اند. -- آقای کرزی گفت که بر بنیاد این قرارداد در ده سال آینده امریکا تا شانزده میلیارد دالر برای افغانستان کمک می کند: «فواید دیگر این مواقفتنامه اینست که کمک ها صورت می گیرید وزیر صاحب مالیه برای تان خواهد گفت که امریکا به اساس این موافقتنامه برای ما در ده سال شانزده میلیارد دالر کمک می کند که 5 میلیارد آن به عساکر ما و سه و نیم یا چهار میلیارد دیگر آن را به بازسازی می دهد که این ارقام را باز وزیر صاحب مالیه به تفصیل برای تان ارایه می کند.» - رادیو آزادی

NSA bulk data collection violates constitutional rights, ACLU argues --- Civil liberties campaigners told a New York court on Friday that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of all US phone records violates the constitutional rights to freedom of association and privacy. -- The American Civil Liberties Union called for the NSA's program, first revealed by the Guardian in June, to be ended, arguing that it breached the first and fourth amendments as well as exceeding the authority Congress gave to the government through the Patriot Act. -- “This kind of dragnet surveillance is precisely what the fourth amendment was meant to prohibit,” ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer, said before the hearing. “The constitution does not permit the NSA to place hundreds of millions of innocent people under permanent surveillance because of the possibility that information about some tiny subset of them will become useful to an investigation in the future.” - More, Dominic Rushe in New York - Guardian

Friday, November 22, 2013

How Afghans see America: the cowboy that divided the village --- "Don't be foolish. America is still the lion of the jungle!" -- This is what an Afghan commentator said dismissively about an article on the worldwide decline in US power. Better to be with the lion than tickle its tail, risking to agitate the mighty beast. Given the Afghans' own history of violence, the idea that might naturally means right resonates with many. It explains why in 2001, Kabul's Taliban famously shaved off their beards while the rest looked up at "Uncle Bush" as their personal savior. Much has changed since then. -- The stories that Afghans tell each other about America in this final year of the war reveal the US as bewildering and unfathomable. In the plot of current Afghan history, Uncle Sam variously turns up as the embodiment of evil and its polar opposite, a potential savior. The latest "deal" between the two countries will only add to that. -- Like the rest of the world, Afghans interpret their experience with the US within the context of their own dominant narratives. The story of Afghan nationalism – a small Muslim nation under threat by foreign superpowers – still resonates with nationalist opinion leaders. They regard the US as the latest empire intent on destroying the Afghans' way of life. Often writing from the distance of exile, the authors of such tales face a serious question: how come the Afghan people defeated the Soviet Empire only to end up being occupied by America? -- To make sense of this departure from the "natural course" of Afghan history, the writers resort to conspiracy theories. The Afghans' own civil war fighters, the mujahedin of past decades and the Taliban of today, are depicted as mercenaries in the pay of Washington. In such stories, militant Islamism is seen as a US creation, 9/11 as the US government's own plot, and the war on terror as the US's agenda to stir up trouble among Muslims and weaken their resolve, making them recognize the state of Israel as legitimate. - More, Nushin Arbabzadah - Guardian

Afghanistan rejects U.S. call for quick security deal --- "We do not recognize any deadline from the U.S. side," said Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Karzai, as Afghan tribal elders considered the pact for a second day. "They have set other deadlines also, so this is nothing new to us." -- "It is absolutely up to the Jirga to decide about the BSA. The president very clearly said good security, peace and good elections are the key to the signing of this document." -- Most participants at the gathering's second day appeared to favor ratifying the pact. But reporters had little access to opponents of the deal and were kept away by security staff. -- "We have to sign this agreement with the United States of America," said Aminullah Mawiz Nooristani, an elder from eastern Nuristan province. "President Karzai has to sign it as soon as we announce our decision." - More

United States gives Afghanistan year-end deadline for crucial security deal --- (Reuters) - President Hamid Karzai triggered uncertainty about a vital security pact with the United States on Thursday by saying it should not be signed until after Afghanistan's presidential election next April, prompting the White House to insist on a year-end deadline. -- Without an accord on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), the United States says it could pull out all its troops at the end of 2014 and leave Afghan forces to fight the Taliban insurgency on their own. -- A senior Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Karzai intended to leave the pact unsigned until he is sure the international community will not interfere in the election. Karzai's spokesman, Aimal Faizi, confirmed that, adding that the grand assembly and parliament also had to approve the pact. -- A senior Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Karzai intended to leave the pact unsigned until he is sure the international community will not interfere in the election. Karzai's spokesman, Aimal Faizi, confirmed that, adding that the grand assembly and parliament also had to approve the pact. - More, Hamid Shalizi and Jessica Donati

Nation pays tribute to President Kennedy on 50th anniversary of assassination --- Few tragedies loom as large in the American psyche as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was gunned down in Dallas a half-century ago today. -- Now, we pause to remember that dark day in the country's history — recalling a shared trauma that can feel both political and personal. -- It was raining in Dallas on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy touched down at Love Field amid a five-city swing through the Lone Star State. - More, Daniel Arkin, NBC News

Thursday, November 21, 2013

امریکا د سږ کال تر پایه تړون لاسلیکېدل غواړي --- د امریکامتحدو ایالتونو له افغان چارواکو غوښتي چې د دواړو هېوادونو ترمنځ امنیتي تړون د روان کال تر پای مخکې ورسره لاسلیک کړي. -- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزرات یوه ویاند ویلي د تړون د لاسلیک په تړاو د افغان ولسمشر حامد کرزي وړاندیز چې ویلي یې وو شپږ میاشتې وروسته یعنی د ولسمشرۍ تر ټاکنو دې وځنډول شي، نه عملي دی او نه هم ممکن. -- له دې مخکې افغان ولسمشر حامد کرزی ویلي و که جرګه له امنيتي تړون سره موافقه وکړي او ملي شورا يې تصويب کړي نو امنيتي تړون دې هغه مهال لاسليک شي چې انتخابات په سم ډول ترسره شوي وي. -- ښاغلي کرزي دغه څرګندونې په کابل کې د امريکا او افغانستان ترمنځ پر امنيتي تړون د بحث لپاره راټولو شويو شاوخوا ۲۵۰۰ استازو ته وکړې. -- ''که چېرې تاسې موافقه وکړه چې دا تړون وشي نو باید امريکا له موږ سره متعهده شي مخکې له دې چې دا تړون تاسو ومانه او شورا تصويب کړ. نو تړون دې هغه مهال لاسليک شي چې زموږ انتخابات په سمه او په عزت شوي وي. امنيت مو تثبيت شوی وي او موږ پرې پوهېدلي يو چې امن خواته روان يو او دوی دې په کې راسره همکاره شي. په تېرو انتخاباتو کې موږ خپلې تجربې لرو، چې تکراروم يې نه. که تاسو او شورا موافقه وکړه موږ يو معياد غواړو، چې زموږ کار په خير شي. زموږ انتخابات سم وشي. که خرابه شي پر ما تاوانېږي''. - More, BBC

Afghan Leader Jeopardizes Security Pact --- Obama administration plans to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan for years to come were thrust into doubt on Thursday when Afghan President Hamid Karzai unexpectedly called for delaying a long-term security deal until his successor is elected next spring. -- The surprise move, which Mr. Karzai announced in a televised address before a special Afghan council that will advise him on the deal, cast a new cloud of uncertainty over the fate of the security pact. The administration warned that failure to complete the agreement by the end of the year could force the U.S. to pull out of Afghanistan altogether in 2014. -- Mr. Obama replied with a letter Thursday morning, Mr. Karzai said, but its text—initially released by Kabul—fell far short of the Afghan demands. The letter didn't acknowledge any American mistakes and said the U.S. has redoubled its efforts to ensure that Afghan homes are respected by U.S. forces. -- Mr. Obama's letter also raised the "enormous sacrifices" made by American soldiers in Afghanistan and said U.S. troops wouldn't enter Afghan homes unless there is "urgent risk" to U.S. nationals. --- Mr. Karzai, in an hour-long address to the Loya Jirga gathering, told Afghan politicians that the "agreement should be signed when the election is conducted, properly and with dignity." -- "There is mistrust between me and America," he told the advisory body. "I don't trust them, and they don't trust me." -- "We need to have that agreement signed by the end of the year," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters on his plane while en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a security conference. -- In Thursday's speech, Mr. Karzai said that if the Loya Jirga and the Afghan Parliament approve the security deal, the final signature would depend on the outcome of the presidential elections scheduled for April. Alluding to what he previously described as Western interference in the 2009 election, Mr. Karzai said: "We have had our experiences in the past election, and I won't repeat them." -- David Sedney, the former U.S. deputy assistant defense secretary who oversaw Afghan policy at the Pentagon until May, said the 2009 election had a long-lasting impact on Mr. Karzai's approach to negotiations with the U.S. - More, wall street journal

متن کامل سخنرانی حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان در محفل افتتاحیه لویه جرگه مشورتی --- تر دې د مخه چې ولاړم شم بحث ته، چې ولې دا جرګه جوړه ده؟ د جرګې د ترتیباتو لپاره د کابل ښار تقریباً وتړل شو، پنځه ورځې رخصتي اعلان شوه، د کابل ښاریان په تکلیف شول، محصلین له درس څخه پاتې شول، د افغانستان د خلکو په نماینده ګۍ دکابل د معززو ښاریانوڅخه او د محصلینو څخه عفوه غواړم. -- یک مسئله بسیار مهم ملی بود، نمی توان جزء این کار دیگری کرد، باید جرگه می آمد و وطن غریب ما برای جرگه همین یک جای را دارد و آن هم پهلوی پوهنتون پولی تکنیک ماست، مردم به تکلیف شدند از محصلین، از مردم شهر کابل و آنهای که از اطراف به کابل می آیند روزمره، معذرت می خواهیم. --- امروز بحث خود را از دوزاده سال پیش آغاز می کنیم بازهم، به گذشته های دورتر شاید در آخر بحث خود بیاییم دوازده سال پیش در جهان یک حادثه ای به اتفاق افتاد که آن حادثه یازدهم سپتمبر سال 2001 بود در امریکا، که تعمیرات بزرگ امریکا توسط طیاراتی منهدم شدند، به وزارت دفاع امریکا حمله شد و یک طیاره ای دیگر هم پیش از اینکه به مقصد خود برسد سقوط کرد. با آن حادثه ای که به مردم امریکا رنج آورد سه هزار مردم ملکی شان را به قتل رساند توجه امریکا و جامعه جهانی دوباره به طرف افغانستان جلب شد و امریکا و ناتو و آیساف به اثر فیصله شورای امنیت ملل متحد و جامعه جهانی بنام جنگ علیه تروریزم به افغانستان آمدند و چون طالبان در آن زمان هم پیمان القاعده دانسته شده بودند و جهان گفت که از افغانستان شده، پس حکومت طالبان و نظام شان مورد حمله جامعه جهانی قرار گرفت. ملت افغانستان که از سالها در رنج بود و در جنگ بود و در کشت و خون بیچاره گی می زیست با دیده باز و با آغوش باز جامعه جهانی را به افغانستان خوش آمدید گفت به امید یک افغانستان آزاد، آرام و مترقی و در همکاری ما و جامعه جهانی رژیم طالبان و به همراه شان القاعده و خارجی های که از بیرون سرحدات افغانستان با ایشان پنهان به خاک ما آمده بودند اینها از افغانستان دور شدند. --- چون اینها تا به حالی به اساس فیصله ملل متحد در اینجا هستند، سال آینده این فیصله ملل متحد ختم میشود پس بعد از آن که اینها در اینجا باقی میمانند برای یک مرحله گذار دیگر اینها ضررت به یک توافق همراه مردم افغانستان را دارند اگر مردم افغانستان برای شان این توافق را دادند، میتوانند بمانند در غیر آن مجبور که بروند و رفتن شان به این ترتیب که ما به یک حالت گذار نرویم و ترتیب خود را نگیریم به خیر کشور ما نیست، دلیلش را بعداً برای تان عرض میکنم. --- بزرگان عزیز، خواهران و برادران عزیز ما همه ما بخاطر داریم تاریخ کشور خود را دیدیم و خصوصاً تاریخ چهل سال پیش را دیدیم که افغانستان برنده جنگ و جهاد شد ولی شکست خورده سیاست شد، درست است یا نه؟ ما برنده جهاد شدیم شوروی را از افغانستان کشیدیم منفعت اش را تمام دنیا گرفت، امریکا یکه تاز دنیا شد از برکت جهاد ما جرمنی تجزیه شده متحد شد، مبارک شان باشد، سخت از دل خوش شدیم دوست ما بود، آسیا میانه آزاد شد کشور های مستقل پهلوی ما، برادر های ما آزاد شدند تاجکستان ، ازبکستان ، ترکمنستان ، قزاقستان ، قرغزستان و آزربایجان، اروپای شرقی آزاد شد پاکستان صاحب بم اتوم شد از برکت جهاد ما چون پول دنیا برایش آمد واقعاً که همی قسم شد، بدون هیچ گونه شک صاحب ترقی شد، صاحب نظام شد و صاحب استخبارات شد، آی اس آی بلا کرد، در آن وقت ها پول امریکا هم همرایش بود. -- ایران هم آباد شد از برکت جهاد ما، ما چی شدیم؟ زیر پای، یک خارجی رفت یک خارجی آشکار که سر تانک آمده بود، از شوروی مه چی کله کنم نر واری آمد و ما هم نر واری همرایش جنگیدیم، شکستش دادیم آنها هم رفتند از خاک ما ولی از اشغال آشکار خلاص شدیم، اشغال پنهان ده جان ما آمد خون ما ریخته شد شهر های ما ویران شد، قصر های ما ویران شد، مهاجرت ما به میلیون ها زیادتر شد، بلاخره این شد که مملکت ما به این جا رسید. -- حالی ملت افغانستان تدبیر باید بکند، هند پانزده روز پیش به مریخ راکت روان کرد باور تان میاید، شنیدید برادران و خواهران ما! هند به مریخ راکت روان کرد اگر سفیر شان اینجا حضور داشته باشد مبارک شان باشد بسیار خوش هستیم، مملکت که زیر دست انگلیس بود در یک و نیم صد سال امروز مستقل و به مریخ راکت روان میکند، ترقی کرد. -- افغانستان باید که ترقی کند افغانستان به پیش برود افغانستان باید در ثبات باشد، افغانستان در تضاد و تصادم نباشد ما نه به همسایه های خود تضاد و تصادم میخواهیم و نه با کشور های بزرگ جهان. اگر به آنجا برویم هم توسط کشور های بزرگ جهان و هم در تبانی با آنها با بعضی همسایه های ما دو باره زیر پای میشویم، بناً هر فیصله که میکنیم تدبیر سیاسی و عاقبت اندیشی داشته باشیم چون تصامیمی که امروز میگیریم تا به فردای نسل های آینده افغانستان ما خیر یا شر میگذاریم کاری بکنیم که افغانستان مستقل، افغانستان با عزت، افغانستان با وقار و افغانستان بدون هیچ گونه مشکلی ولی در همکاری و توافق با جهان و در قوت زندگی کند اما چطور و از کدام راه اینجا گپ برمیگردد بر اعتماد. - More,

President Karzai's Speech At Loya Jirga on BSA 21 Nov 2013 - YouTube

کرزی: موافقتنامه امنیتی با آمریکا بعد از انتخابات امضا خواهد شد --- حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در مراسم گشایش لویه‌جرگه گفت حتی اگر مفاد این موافقتنامه از سوی لویه‌جرگه تائید شود و پارلمان افغانستان نیز آن را تصویب کند، امضای آن از سوی رئیس جمهوری به بعد از انتخابات موکول خواهد شد. -- لویه‌جرگه مشورتی که ۲۵۰۰ تن عضو دارد، پنجشنبه ۳۰ عقرب/آبان، با سخنرانی حامد کرزی، به کارش آغاز کرد. -- این لویه‌جرگه قرار است در پایان روز چهارم، موافقت و یا هم مخالفت خود را، با امضای موافقتنامه امنیتی میان آمریکا و افغانستان اعلام کند. مصوبات این لویه‌جرگه قانونا ضمانت اجرایی ندارد اما حامد کرزی اعلام کرده است که او به نظر لویه‌جرگه در مورد این تصمیم گیری مهم، احترام می‌گذارد. -- آقای کرزی در مراسم گشایش لویه جرگه گفت، بسیاری از کشورهای منطقه، از جمله چین و روسیه با امضای چنین پیمانی بین آمریکا و افغانستان موافق است. عربستان سعودی، ترکیه و پاکستان نیز آنگونه که آقای کرزی می‌گوید موافقت خود را با امضای چنین پیمانی اعلام کرده است. به گفته آقای کرزی تنها مقام های ایرانی صریحا گفته اند با امضای چنین پیمانی مخالف اند اما به تصمیم و اراده مردم افغانستان، احترام می‌گذارند. -- آقای کرزی سعی کرد در این سخنرانی، نکات مختلف این موافقتنامه و نفع و ضرر آن را برای اعضای لویه جرگه توضیح دهد: "اما در مورد سود این قرارداد باید بگویم افغانستان هنوز در مرحله انتقالی قرار دارد و ادامه حضور و حمایت جامعه بین‌المللی از افغانستان بسیار مهم است در صورتیکه برای افغانستان صلح و آرامش بیاورد. من می‌دانم که آوردن صلح بدست آمریکایی‌ها است و تجربه که در ده سال گذشته بدست آورده ام به من نشان می‌دهد که صلح بدست آمریکا است. اول اگر آمریکا و دوم اگر پاکستان در کنار افغانستان ایستاد شوند، هم در افغانستان و هم در پاکستان صلح تامین خواهد شد." - More, BBC

Karzai says he might leave it to successor to sign U.S. accord --- KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivered a tepid endorsement of a proposed 10-year security pact with the United States in a rambling speech to an Afghan tribal gathering here Thursday, but surprised attendees by saying Afghanistan might not sign the accord until next spring. -- Karzai told an assembly of 2,700 Afghans that the Bilateral Security Agreement is vital to Afghanistan’s future security. However, he complained bitterly about his relationship with the United States and suggested waiting for his successor to sign the deal after Afghan elections in April. -- The U.S. clearly expected a much quicker resolution. President Obama wrote Karzai on Thursday seeking to have the pact concluded "promptly." -- Obama wrote that U.S. forces will "not enter Afghan homes for the purposes of military operations, except under extraordinary circumstances involving urgent risk to life and limb of U.S. nationals." The security deal would create a much smaller U.S. force to Afghanistan, primarily for training and counter-terrorism, after combat troops withdraw. -- "My trust with America is not good. I don’t trust them and they don’t trust me," Karzai said in Dari to the delegates, most of them white-bearded elders in ornate turbans, at the close of his 75-minute address. -- "I have fought with them the last 10 years, and they have made propaganda against me," he added, an apparent reference to depictions of Karzai by some American officials here as corrupt, cunning and unreliable. -- Those arch comments set off a blast of Twitter posts by Afghans even before Karzai had finished speaking. -- Karzai accused the U.S. of pressuring him to sign the deal too quickly. He insisted on taking time to study proposed language "line by line and word for word" while seeking consultation with Afghan elders. -- "We wanted to be careful because we were in a weak position and the United States was in a strong position," Karzai said. -- Karzai asked the loya jirga why U.S. forces raided Afghan villages when the U.S. knows where "terrorist sanctuaries" are, referring to Pakistan. "Why don’t you go after them there?" he asked.-- U.S. troops accused of crimes in Afghanistan would be subject to U.S. rather than Afghan law, despite Karzai’s insistence on legal jurisdiction. The agreement says U.S. law also covers the "civilian component," or Pentagon civilians, with U.S. military units. But it says Afghanistan "maintains the right to exercise jurisdiction over United States contractors" and contractors’ employees. -- Karzai had also pushed hard for a defense treaty obliging the U.S. to defend Afghanistan militarily against "external aggression," specifically from Pakistan, an erstwhile U.S. ally. The U.S. resisted. Instead, the text of the agreement says the U.S. will view external aggression with "grave concern" and "consult urgently" with Afghanistan. -- Afghan approval of the pact would mean a continued flow of billions of dollars in U.S. military and reconstruction aid. Karzai told the loya jirga that Afghanistan cannot survive without U.S. and international support. -- "If they leave unhappy, that will be harmful to us," he said of departing combat troops. -- In a remark certain to antagonize U.S. commanders, Karzai told the loya jirga: "I ask them to give me fighter jets but they give me helicopters. I ask them to give me tanks but they give me pickup trucks. I don’t want them. I can get them from Japan." -- At one point, Karzai drew ripples of laughter while demanding that the U.S. treat Afghanistan with dignity and respect as an honest partner -- "and bring a lot of money,’’ he added. - More, David Zucchino - latimes

Karzai Says Security Pact With U.S. Should Be Signed Next Year --- KABUL, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai signaled on Thursday that a security deal with the United States might not be finalized until next year, even if a grand council of Afghan leaders ratifies it this week. -- Speaking before the council, a loya jirga, that he had convened on Thursday to ratify the bilateral security agreement, Mr. Karzai told them: “If you approve this agreement, I want this agreement to be signed after the presidential elections. If you agree to sign this agreement with the Americans, we will ask for some time.” - More, AZAM AHMED - NYTimes

Afghan President Hamid Karzai outlines plans for post-2014 U.S. mission --- KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday expressed support for a newly forged security pact that would permit thousands of U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan for 10 years, but suggested that he is unlikely to sign the agreement until after his country’s presidential elections in April. -- Following weeks of negotiation and diplomatic tension, Karzai said the draft bilateral security agreement was agreed to early Thursday, after President Obama wrote Karzai a letter assuring him that U.S. forces will continue to respect the “sanctity and dignity of the Afghan people.” -- Karzai read the letter to more than 2,500 Afghan officials and leaders who are gathered in Kabul for four days of deliberations on the proposal. Speaking in a tent that resembled an inflatable sports stadium, Karzai urged the delegates at the event, known as a loya jirga, to consider the consequences of a full U.S. withdrawal from the country. - More, Tim Craig - Washingtonpost

Karzai Will Defer Signing U.S.-Afghanistan Deal Until After Elections --- KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's president said he backs a security deal with the United States but told a gathering of elders on Thursday that if they and parliament approve the agreement it should be signed after next spring's elections. -- "If you accept it and Parliament passes it, the agreement should be signed when the election is conducted, properly and with dignity," Karzai said toward the end of a speech that lasted more than one hour. -- He said such a move would show America's assurance "that we are moving on the path to security and they are accompanying us on this path." -- The Loya Jirga can revise or reject any clause of the draft agreement. Whatever they agree upon then goes to the Afghan parliament, which could make still more changes before the agreement is approved. - More, AP

کی مسوول آینده کودکان در افغانستان است؟ --- نهاد های حامی حقوق اطفال در افغانستان میگویند که حکومت آن کشور در بخش حفاظت و مراقبت از کودکان بی سرپرست کار های چشمگیری را انجام نداده است اما مقامات حکومتی از برنامه های مختلف در این راستا صحبت میکنند. زهرا سپهر رئیس موسسه حمایت از کودکان میگوید که با آنکه افغانستان از جمله ۱۳۹ کشور امضا کننده کنوانسیون حقوق کودک در سازمان ملل متحد است، ولی هنوز تلاش های موثری برای اعادۀ حقوق کودکان در کشور صورت نگرفته است. او میگوید که در حالیکه دولت خود در رسیدگی به کودکان فقیر و بی سرپرست فعالیت چشمگیری ندارد، در فراهم آوری زمینه ها برای نهاد های اجتماعی و مدنی بخاطر رسیدگی این کودکان نیز کاری را انجام نداده است. -- خانم سپهر میگوید که فعالیت های نهاد های مدنی در رابطه به رسیدگی به کودکان باید از طریق وزارت کار و امور اجتماعی انجام شود ولی بنا بر موجودیت فساد، بیشتر این نهاد ها حتی امکانات واضح ساختن رقم واقعی این کودکان را ندارند. به عقیده خانم سپهر، روابط کاری میان وزارت کار و امور اجتماعی و نهاد های حفاظت از اطفال چندان خوب خوب نیست زیرا این وزارت از تغییرات مثبت در زندگی کودکان افغان سخن میزنند، در حالیکه نهاد های حفاظت از کودکان آنرا رد میکنند. - More, صدای امریکا

Karzai says doesn't trust U.S., but needs security pact --- (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a meeting of tribal elders and political leaders on Thursday they should support a vital security pact with the United States, but acknowledged there was little trust between the two nations. -- The Loya Jirga, or grand council, involving about 2,500 Afghans convened a day after Karzai and Washington reached agreement on a pact defining the shape of the U.S. military presence after a 2014 drawdown of multinational NATO force. -- "My trust with America is not good. I don't trust them and they don't trust me," Karzai said. -- "During the past 10 years I have fought with them and they have made propaganda against me." -- The five-day Loya Jirga will now debate the draft and decide whether U.S. troops will stay or leave Afghan forces to fight the Taliban insurgency alone. - More

کرزی متن نامه‌ای باراک اوباما را در جرگه مشورتی کابل خواند --- حامد کرزی، رئیس جمهوری افغانستان می گوید که باراک اوباما، همتای آمریکایی او، به مردم افغانستان تعهد کرده است که سربازان آمریکایی "به جز در موارد استثنایی" به منظور بازرسی وارد خانه‌های مردم افغانستان نخواهند شد. -- آقای کرزی گفت که این تعهد، در نامه‌ای که رئیس جمهوری آمریکا به دفتر او فرستاده تذکر داده شده است. -- این نامه، ساعتی قبل از گشایش لویه‌جرگه مشورتی در کابل، به دفتر رییس جمهور کرزی رسید. این جرگه قرار است جزییات قرارداد امنیتی میان کابل و واشنگتن را بررسی کرده و در مورد رد و یا تایید آن تصمیم بگیرد. --آقای کرزی بخشی از برگردان نامه رییس جمهوری آمریکا را چنین خواند: "ما در گذشته و به خصوص در این اواخر، تلاشهای خود را دو برابر کرده ایم تا به مساله مصونیت و محرمیت خانه های مردم افغانستان احترام گذاشته شود. ما به تلاشهای خود برای رعایت وقار و حرمت مردم افغانستان در خانه هایشان همانگونه که به وقار مردم آمریکا احترام می‌گذاریم، ادامه خواهیم داد." -- با این حال، این نامه افزوده:"نیروهای نظامی به استثنای موارد فوق القاعده نمی توانند وارد خانه های مردم افغانستان شوند و آن هم در مواردی که زندگی اتباع ما در خطر باشد." -- آقای کرزی از شرکت کنندگان لویه‌جرگه مشورتی کابل خواست تا با در نظر داشت منافع افغانستان و آینده این کشور در مورد قرارداد امنیتی با آمریکا تصمیم بگیرند. -- او گفت که افغانستان در حال گذار قرار دارد و در این مرحله مهم، نیاز است تا حمایت جامعه جهانی را با خود داشته باشد. - More, BBC

Karzai says Afghan peace in US hands --- KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Thursday said he had received a letter from his American counterpart, promising respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty and seeking protection of the US troops staying in the country after 2014.-- In the letter, Obama had promised US troops would enter Afghan homes only under exceptional circumstances, the president told the consultative Loya Jirga in Kabul. He hoped the jirga would take a constructive decision on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) in the supreme national interest.-- Karzai acknowledged the long-running trust deficit between his administration and the United States, admitting: “I don’t trust them and they have little confidence in me. I leave the decision to you when the BSA should take effect -- before or after the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections.” -- Lasting peace and security were among the main conditions of his government for the agreement, he said. “What I have learnt from my 10-year rule, peace in Afghanistan is in the hands of Americans and Pakistanis.” He called upon both to play a sincere role in this regard. --China, India and Russia were supportive of the security deal, despite their differences with Washington on other issues, he said. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey also overtly back the deal that is stoutly opposed by Iran. -- He insisted on inclusive and transparent polls, free of domestic and foreign interference. The vote was central to future stability in the country, he said, seeking international support for the elections. -- “Whatever decision you take will be supported by the nation. Even people outside the country are waiting for the verdict of this august forum,” the president said, emphasising on participants not to let anyone influence their conclusion. -- While welcoming participants and wishing them all success in taking a positive decision on the country’s prosperous future, he asked the jirga to minutely study the BSA text before they floated any suggestion on it to the government. -- Karzai reiterated his administration’s oft-repeated stance that terrorist hideouts were not in Afghan villages. International troops, therefore, should take action where militant safe havens existed, he argued. -- Under the agreement, the president explained, 10,000 to 15,000 US, NATO and Islamic countries’ troops would stay in the country after the 2014 pullout of foreign combat soldiers. -- If the BSA was signed, he said, the US would have the right to Bagram Airbase, Kabul International Airport, Kandahar Airbase, Shindand Airbase, Herat International Airport, Mazar-i-Sharif Airport and Shorab base in Helmand. -- They will also use land ports in Torkham, Nangarhar, Spin Boldak, Kandahar, Torghondi, Herat, Hairatan, Balkh, and Sher Khan in Kunduz. - More, Pajhwok

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Loya Jirga to debate US-Afghan security deal --- An assembly of more than 2,000 Afghan elders is due to discuss the text of a long-awaited bilateral security agreement with the US. -- The deal to be debated at the Loya Jirga will determine the presence of US troops in the country after 2014. -- A draft reportedly says the Afghan government concedes that US troops will be subject to US justice rather than local courts. - More, BBC

Gold bars worth $1.1m found in plane toilet in India --- A stash of 24 gold bars worth more than $1.1m has been discovered in the toilet compartment of a commercial plane in eastern India. -- Cleaners found the haul in two bags on board a Jet Airways flight at Kolkata airport, officials said. -- India is one of the world's main gold consumers and imports are seen as a major contributor to the country's account deficit. - BBC

Afghanistan and US agree text of security deal --- The US says it has agreed the text of a bilateral security agreement with Afghan officials. -- The deal paving the way for some US troops to remain after 2014 will be discussed by delegates at a meeting known as the Loya Jirga on Thursday. -- Late on Wednesday the Afghan foreign ministry published a draft deal that would give US troops remaining after 2014 immunity from Afghan courts. -- "We have reached an agreement as to the final language of the bilateral security agreement that will be placed before the Loya Jirga tomorrow," US Secretary of State John Kerry said. - More, BBC

نامزدهای انتخابات ریاست جمهوری ۱۳۹۳ افغانستان --- محمد نادر نعیم، نوه (نواسه) محمد ظاهر، شاه سابق و برادرزاده محمد داوود خان، رییس جمهور سابق افغانستان است. -- او بیشتر عمر خود را در بیرون از افغانستان سپری کرده است. در سال ۱۹۷۷ و یک سال قبل از کودتای ثور به رهبری حزب دموکراتیک خلق، به لندن رفت و آموزش های خود را در آنجا ادامه داد. -- آقای نعیم در سال ۲۰۰۳ و پس از فروپاشی طالبان به افغانستان بازگشت و در همکاری با ظاهرشاه که آن زمان لقب بابای ملت را کسب کرده بود، در موقف های مختلف دولتی کار کرد. - More, BBC

George W. Bush tells Jay Leno: Not worried how history will judge --- (CNN) -- It seems George W. Bush can take a joke -- and tell one. -- But before the former President sat down with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show late Tuesday, the comedian turned his successor, Barack Obama, into the brunt of his hard jabs. -- Leno told the 43rd president that he was surprised that he agreed to appear this time. It was Bush's fourth appearance on the show. -- As he has often in the past, Bush said that history will judge his legacy. But he didn't appear concerned.-- Historians are still preoccupied with George Washington, he said. "If they're still writing biographies of the first guy, the 43rd guy doesn't need to worry." - More, Ben Brumfield, CNN

SECURITY AND DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN --- Publish Date: Nov 20, 2013 Category: General - The United States of America (hereinafter, “the United States”) and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (hereinafter, “Afghanistan”), hereinafter referred to collectively as “the Parties” and singularly as a “Party;” -- Recognizing the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, signed May 2, 2012, (the "Strategic Partnership Agreement") and reaffirming that, as recognized in that Agreement, the Parties are committed to strengthen long-term strategic cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including: advancing peace, security, and stability; strengthening state institutions; supporting Afghanistan’s long-term economic and social development; and encouraging regional cooperation; -- Confirming the recognition in the Strategic Partnership Agreement that cooperation between the Parties is based on mutual respect and shared interests; - More,

Afghans release draft of security accord with U.S. --- KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Afghan government published late Wednesday what it described as a "pre-decisional" copy of an agreement being negotiated with the United States on the two nations' security partnership after international combat troops withdraw at the end of next year. -- The late-night posting on the website of the Afghan Foreign Ministry came just hours before a traditional assembly of 2,700 Afghan notables is to open in Kabul to vote on the agreement. - latimes

In Syria, a new order for daily bread --- ALEPPO, Syria — The bags of pita bread are stacked in tight formation on the sidewalk, as if standing at attention. -- The war in Syria has disrupted food supplies, and few scarce commodities are missed more than bread, a staple in the nation. At the height of the shortages last year, Syrians posted sonnets online about a boy and his beloved: a loaf of bread. - More, latimes

After JFK’s death, she shaped his legacy --- Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963 - In the photo, the pink pillbox hat is pushed back and her hair falls in a perfect auburn flip. She is wearing frosted pale pink lipstick and holding a bouquet of red, red roses. The president walks beside her. ¶ So much power resides in that photo taken at Dallas’s Love Field, 50 minutes before everything changed. -- But it is Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy at whom people stare, as if trying to look past that impenetrable field that would only grow stronger. - More Washingtonpost

U.S., Afghanistan agree on language of security accord, Kerry says --- Afghanistan and the United States have reached agreement on “the final language of the bilateral security agreement” to be presented to Afghan leaders Thursday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Wednesday. -- Kerry did not mention the separate “assurances” that Afghan President Hamid Karzai sought Tuesday in the form of a letter signed by President Obama. White House and State Department officials said they were “still working through” that aspect of the agreement. - More, Washingtonpost

Obama Presents Top Honor to Bill Clinton --- WASHINGTON — Standing wordlessly before a flickering flame, their faces etched in the sunlight slanting through a canopy of thinning trees, two Democratic presidents came together Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the memory of a third. -- President Obama and former President Bill Clinton walked up a hillside to the grave of John F. Kennedy, where, joined by Michelle Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, they laid a wreath to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death by an assassin’s bullet. -- A military bugler called out taps, the mournful notes resounding on a crisp, clear autumn day that seemed a softer echo of the stark grandeur of the state funeral on Nov. 25, 1963. - More, MARK LANDLER - nytimes

As Afghan Pact Is Reached, Kerry Says Apology Wasn’t Considered --- WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that the United States and Afghanistan had completed a bilateral security agreement that will be submitted to a grand council of elders in Kabul the next day, but he stated emphatically that there had been no discussion of an American apology to President Hamid Karzai or to his nation as part of the deal. -- “President Karzai didn’t ask for an apology. There was no discussion of an apology,” Mr. Kerry said. “I mean, it’s just not even on the table.” - More, THOM SHANKER - NYTimes

George W. Bush says brother Jeb should run for president 'if he wants to' --- The 43rd president made the comments in an interview with Jay Leno Tuesday on NBC's "The Tonight Show," where he appeared with his wife Laura. -- When Leno mentioned that Bush had avoided speaking on policy questions during his post-presidential career, Bush said, "I don't think it's good for the country for a former president to criticize his successor. ... It's hard for some to believe, but I think eight years in the spotlight's enough." -- When asked to reflect on his presidential legacy, Bush said "It's gonna take a while for history to judge my decisions. Therefore, I'm not too worried. They're still writing biographies about the first guy (George Washington). The 43rd doesn't have to worry." - More, foxnews

Former President Bush displays painting prowess on Leno --- “The Tonight Show” host revealed the artistic skills of George W. Bush when the former president visited Tuesday in his first late-night show appearance since leaving office. The 43rd president said he took up painting as a hobby after reading a Winston Churchill essay on the subject. He eventually hired an art teacher to help bring out his talent. -- “She said, 'What's your objective?' I said, ‘There’s a Rembrandt trapped in this body. Your job is to find it,'" Bush said to laughter. -- “It’s changed my life,” he said, before presenting Leno with a lifelike portrait of the comedian. Earlier, when Leno commented on Bush's talent, he joked: "I can't even see where you painted over the numbers.” -- Bush has mostly kept a low profile since leaving the Oval Office in January 2009. But he told Leno history eventually would serve as the judge of decisions he made. - More, TODAY

لویه جرگه با 50 کمیته بالای موافقت نامه امنیتی افغان-امریکا کار می کند -- چرا لویه جرگه مشورتی؟ --- فاروق بشر، استاد حقوق و علوم سیاسی پوهنتون کابل و تحلیلگر مسایل سیاسی می گوید: برای برگزاری لویه جرگه -- وی می گوید: «لویه جرگه مشورتی در قانون اساسی افغانستان جایی ندارد، این جرگه مشورتی را که رئیس جمهور برگزار می کند، بر اساس ماده قانون اساسی نیست، بلکه در قانون اساسی به رئیس جمهور افغانستان صلاحیت داده شده است که در مسائل مهم کشوری با مردم افغانستان مشورت کند، این جرگه مشورتی "لویه جرگه مشورتی" مسما شده نمی تواند.» -- وی می افزاید که در لویه جرگه چهار روزه ای که در ماه نومبر سال 2011 به خاطر امضای " موافقت نامه استراتیژیک" میان افغانستان و امریکا برگزار شد، اعضای لویه جرگه به صراحت تایید کردند که موافقت نامه امنیتی با امریکا مورد تایید شان است. او اضافه می کند: «از نقظه نظر قانون اساسی افغانستان، قراردادهایی که بین دو یا چند کشور به امضا می رسد، مرجع تایید و یا رد آن شورای ملی افغانستان است.» -- بنا براظهارات آقای بشر برگزاری این جرگه مشورتی تقریبا 40 میلیون دالر مصرف خواهد داشت و رخصتی های چند روزه نیز به مردم ضربه اقتصادی خواهد زد. او به این باور است که: "امضای قرارداد امنیتی با امریکا برای افغانستان یک امر ضروری است، اما برگزاری لویه جرگه در شرایط کنونی کار منطقی و قانونی نیست". - More, صدای آلمان

Iran: Afghan Refugees and Migrants Face Abuse --- (Kabul) – The government of Iran’s policies toward its Afghan refugees and migrant population violate its legal obligations to protect this vulnerable group from abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Iranian forces deport thousands of Afghans summarily, without allowing them the opportunity to prove they have a right to remain in Iran, or to lodge an asylum application. --- The 124-page report, “Unwelcome Guests: Iran’s Violation of Afghan Refugee and Migrant Rights,”documents how Iran’s flawed asylum system results in a detention and deportation process with no due process or opportunity for legal appeal. Iranian officials have in recent years limited legal avenues for Afghans to claim refugee or other immigration status in Iran, even as conditions in Afghanistanhave deteriorated. These policies pose a serious risk to the rights and security of the almost one million Afghans whom Iran recognizes as refugees, and hundreds of thousands of others who have fled war and insecurity in Afghanistan. The practices also violate Iran’s obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention. --- “Iran is deporting thousands of Afghans to a country where the danger is both real and serious,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Iran has an obligation to hear these people’s refugee claims rather than sweeping them up and tossing them over the border to Afghanistan.” - More, Human Rights Watch

Afghan refugees in Iran face abuse, says HRW --- The US-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Iran of violating its legal obligations towards refugees from Afghanistan and failing to protect them from abuse. -- In a report published on Wednesday, HRW says thousands of Afghans have been summarily deported from Iran without a hearing of their right to remain. -- About 2.4 million Afghans are resident in the country. - More, BBC

Many children 'slower runners than their parents were' --- Many children cannot run as fast as their parents could when they were young, a study of global fitness says. -- Experts say the work - being presented at the American Heart Association's annual meeting - suggests children's fitness levels may be declining. -- To stay healthy, children and young people need to do at least an hour of physical activity - such as walking or cycling to school and running in the playground - every day. It can be done in small chunks rather than one session. -- More, Michelle Roberts - BBC

Afghans Seek Admission of Military Errors by the U.S. --- Afghan officials said a long-term security pact could be reached with the United States if President Obama acknowledged mistakes and vowed not to repeat them. - More, nytimes

U.S. to offer Afghans assurances to resolve dispute --- A last-minute hitch in the agreement over a post-2014 U.S. military presence in Afghanistan appeared to have been resolved Tuesday as the United States agreed to put certain assurances in a letter to Afghans that is likely to be signed by President Obama, U.S. and Afghan officials said. -- The assurances will include a pledge that U.S. troops will enter Afghan homes only in exceptional circumstances to save lives, as well as what has become a standard U.S. expression of regret for Afghan suffering and the loss of innocent lives in the 12-year-old war. -- The proposed letter is to be read to an assembly of more than 2,500 Afghan elders and officials, scheduled to start Thursday in Kabul, that will consider whether to endorse the long-term security agreement with the United States. Obama’s final decision on signing the letter will depend on wording that is still under discussion. - Washingtonpost

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jacqueline Kennedy’s bloodstained pink suit, preserved but not on view --- On Dec. 6, 1963, two weeks after the assassination, Jacqueline Kennedy and her children moved out of the White House. Although still in mourning, she was careful about what needed to be preserved from Nov. 22. -- Her bloodstained pink suit, which many thought was Chanel but came from Chez Ninon, was placed in a box that was marked “worn by Jackie 11-22-63.” It was not cleaned. -- The suit was sent to the National Archives with instructions not to display it for 100 years. - Washingtonpost

Interview: Presidential candidate Qutbuddin Helal, Favors Reconciliation, Discusses Women and Suicide Attacks --- "I hope that the advisory council thinks about reconciliation...they should be free and not be under pressure," he said. -- "The foreigners are here now, and what are the benefits? The war continues and violence is increasing day-by-day," Helal said. -- "Women have the position of mother, sister and honor...women have a high position in Islam," he said. -- On the subject of suicide attacks, Helal seemed somewhat of an apologist. He argued suicide attacks carried out by insurgents were simply responses to the attacks foreign forces carry out against them. --Helal previously served as one of the top leaders of Hezb-e-Islami under Gulbadin Hekmatyar. -- To watch the full interview with Helal click here: - TOLOnews

باختر -- اعلامیه مطبوعاتی کمیسیون آماده گی برای تدویر لویه جرگه مشورتی --- طوریکه هموطنان عزیز آگاهی دارند، لویه جرگۀ مشورتی مردم افغانستان، که یگانه اجندای آن، بحث روی سند قرارداد امنیتی بین افغانستان و ایالات متحدۀ امریکا میباشد، به تاریخ 30 عقرب سال جاری به اشتراک نماینده های مردم در هفده کتگوری، تدویر می یابد. -- در این اواخر برخی رسانه ها و گروه ها، با سوء استفاده از فضای باز و مناسب برای آزادی مطبوعات، سند جعلی را بنام قرارداد امنیتی به نشر رسانیده و باعث مغشوش ساختن اذهان عامه گردیده اند. تجربه نشان داده که در آستانۀ هر گرد همایی ملی، از جانب بعضی گروه ها، برای تأمین اهداف مختلف، تبلیغات سوء صورت گرفته، ولی خوشبختانه نتایج برگزاری گردهمایی های ملی، این چنین تبلیغات را به حیث کذب محض ثابت ساخته است. -- کمیسیون آماده گی برای تدویر لویه جرگۀ مشورتی در حالیکه سند نشر شدۀ جعلی از جانب بعضی رسانه ها و گروه ها را بر خلاف متن اصل سند قرارداد امنیتی میداند، به توجه میرساند که سند قرار داد امنیتی بین افغانستان و ایالات متحدۀ امریکا تا کنون تکثیر نگردیده است. -- به مردم آگاه افغانستان اطمینان داده میشود که اصل سند قرارداد امنیتی حین تدویر جرگه، به دسترس هر یک از اعضای لویه جرگۀ مشورتی غرض بحث در کمیته های کاری قرارداده میشود. لذا از هموطنان خواهشمندیم تا بخاطر حصول آگاهی های لازم راجع به لویه جرگۀ مشورتی و قرارداد امنیتی بین جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان و ایالات متحدۀ امریکا به نشرات مراجع معتبر و رسمی رجوع نمایند.

US and Afghanistan wrangle with deal to keep troops in place after 2014 --- The US and Afghanistan are close to reaching a draft security agreement that would allow American forces to stay in the country past 2014, Afghan officials have claimed. The deal is critical to Afghanistan's hopes of stability after western combat troops leave next year. -- However any deal would need to include a public apology for past mistakes by American forces from the US government, the Afghan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said on Tuesday, prompting a flat denial from Barack Obama's top national security aide that any such concession was on the table. An apology would almost certainly be politically controversial in Washington. -- Faizi said an apology was part of the negotiations and “would acknowledge the suffering of the Afghan people, recognise mistakes in the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan, and guarantee that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated”. -- “I am not going to comment on letter that hasn't been written,” said the White House spokesman, Jay Carney. “This issue has always been one that is subject of conversations with the Afghans, and the general issue of Afghan casualties has always been one of concern to the US military, which takes enormous care to avoid civilian casualties.” - More, Guardian

Simon Jenkins - The bloody disaster of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan is laid bare --- Forty-three people died on Friday in clashes between militias in Libya, as did 22 on Sunday from bombs in Iraq. In Helmand, a return of the Taliban to power is now confidently expected. Why should we care? - Why should it feature on our news? -- The answer is that we helped to bring it about. Britain's three foreign wars in the past decade were uninvited military interventions to topple installed governments. All have ended in disaster. -- In each case – Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan – it was easy to see evil in the prevailing regime. These are bad guys that we need to go after, said the Americans. Yet the removal of law and order from a nation is devastating, however cruel that order may have been. Iraqis today repeat that, whatever the ills of Saddam Hussein, under his rule most ordinary citizens and their families could walk the streets at night without fear of murder or kidnap. Religious differences were tolerated. -- In each of these cases Britain and its allies, chiefly America, intervened to overthrow the army, disband government, dismantle the judiciary and leave militias to run riot. Little or no attempt was made to replace anarchy with a new order. "Nation building" was a fiasco. The British bombs that flattened government buildings in Kabul, Baghdad and Tripoli did not replace them, or those who worked in them. Those who dropped them congratulated themselves on their work and went home. -- It is hard to exaggerate the misery and chaos created by so-called "liberal interventionism". It is hard to think of a more immoral foreign policy, roaming the (chiefly Muslim) world, killing people and sowing anarchy. That is why the blood-stained consequence should be splashed across headlines. Those who seek political kudos by visiting violence on foreign peoples should never be allowed to forget their deeds. -- More, Guardian

U.S., Afghanistan work toward deal on night raids - KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — In a phone call Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged "mistakes" and asked Afghan President Hamid Karzai to allow American forces to enter Afghan homes in "exceptional circumstances" as the two sides rushed to finalize the wording of a draft security agreement ahead of a meeting of tribal elders who must approve the deal. -- Night raids by American forces have been one of the touchiest issues in the 12-year-old war and an agreement to allow them to continue, even on a conditional basis, would clear a major obstacle that has held up the pact. U.S. officials said Monday that Karzai had conceded that the Americans could maintain exclusive legal jurisdiction over U.S. soldiers and contractors after 2014 as part of the deal. -- The U.S. declined to release specific details about the negotiations and stressed nothing was final until the gathering known as the Loya Jirga makes its decision. -- State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the two sides continue to make progress, but "we're not there yet." -- Many Afghans are angry over incidents including the February 2012 accidental burning of hundreds of copies of the Islamic holy book, the Quran, a March 2012 shooting spree by a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan that killed 16 people, and unintended civilian deaths from U.S. bombs. The night raids are particularly offensive because they are perceived as violating the sanctity of women in the house despite U.S. claims that they are a useful tool in killing insurgent leaders. - More, USATODAY

Rice: Reports of a U.S. apology to Afghanistan are false --- "No such letter has been drafted or delivered. There is not a need for the United States to apologize to Afghanistan," National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on CNN's "Situation Room." -- "Quite the contrary, we have sacrificed and supported them in their democratic progress and in tackling the insurgents and al Qaeda. So that (letter of apology) is not on the table." -- Rice said she has seen news reports but has no idea where they are coming from, describing the claims as a "complete misunderstanding of what the situation is." -- The claim first surfaced following talks Tuesday between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, when Karzai's spokesman told reporters that Kerry said President Barack Obama would write an official letter guaranteeing the United States would not repeat "past mistakes" that led to civilian casualties. - More, CNN

JOHN KERRY - Afghan women on the march --- On my many trips to Afghanistan as a senator and as secretary of state, I’ve met with a remarkable array of Afghan government officials, businesses people, development experts, diplomats, brave American troops and their courageous Afghan counterparts — all of whom have sacrificed for the promise of a safe, secure and sovereign Afghanistan. -- More, Politico

Endless Afghanistan? US-Afghan agreement would keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely --- KABUL – While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key US-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces. -- The document outlines what appears to be the start of a new, open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan in the name of training and continuing to fight al-Qaeda. The war in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be ending, but renewed under new, scaled-down US-Afghan terms. -- The 25-page “Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” is a sweeping document, vague in places, highly specific in others, defining everything from the types of future missions US troops would be allowed to conduct in Afghanistan, to the use of radios and the taxation of American soldiers and contractors. - More, Richard Engel, NBC News

50 Years After Assassination, Kennedy Books Offer New Analysis --- In the 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the public has never tired of books about the charismatic young president and his tragic death. -- This year, the market has been particularly flooded with Kennedy books — from glossy photograph collections to serious biographies and histories to a new round of books devoted to conspiracy theories. -- There were already thousands of books about Kennedy before this 50th anniversary year, but Tony Lyons of Skyhorse Publishing believes there is always room for more. His company is releasing 25 Kennedy books this fall: eight new ones and 17 reprints. -- "I think that this is the biggest story probably in U.S. history," Lyons says. -- Lyons firmly believes that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. Most of the books he is publishing point the finger at an assortment of conspiracies: the CIA, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Mafia — even Kennedy's own father, Joseph Kennedy, is blamed for the assassination. One book Lyons expects will sell well is a primer on conspiracy theories by Jesse Ventura. - More, Lynn Neary - NPR

Monday, November 18, 2013

مذاکرات کابل و واشنگتن دو روز قبل از لویه‌جرگه 'به بن‌بست رسید' -- تنها دو روز پیش از برگزاری لویه جرگه مشورتی، حامد کرزی، رئیس جمهوری افغانستان، یک شرط عمده توافقنامه امنیتی با آمریکا را رد کرده است. -- منابع افغان و آمریکایی به خبرگزاری رویترز و روزنامه نیویورک تایمز گفته‌اند که آقای کرزی این پیشنهاد را که نیروهای آمریکایی حق داشته باشند در صورت نیاز به خانه‌های افغان‌ها داخل شده و آنرا باز رسی کنند، رد کرده است. -- اینکه آیا نیروهای خارجی پس از پایان ماموریت رزمی ناتو در افغانستان، می‌توانند منازل افغان‌ها را جست‌وجو کنند، برای مدتها موضوع مورد اختلاف میان مذاکره کنندگان آمریکایی و افغان بوده است. -- ا یک منبع افغان به رویترز گفته که در مذاکرات آخر هفته گذشته، مساله بازرسی خانه‌های افغان‌ها به عنوان بزرگترین مانع در برابر امضای موافقتنامه امنیتی بروز کرد؛ زیرا به گفته این منبع حامدکرزی با شدت با دادن چنین حقی به آمریکایی ها مخالفت کرده است. -- یک منبع افغان که نخواسته نامش فاش شود، گفته "آمریکایی‌ها می‌خواهند تا به نحوی همراه با نیروهای افغان یا بدون آنها حق ورود به خانه‌های افغان‌ها را داشته باشند اما رئیس جمهوری هیچ یک از این گزینه‌ها را قبول ندارد." - More, BBC

U.S.-Afghan security pact hits impasse as time runs out --- (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has rejected a provision of a U.S.-Afghan security pact, putting the entire deal in jeopardy just days before the country's elite gather to debate it, a senior Afghan official and a Western diplomat said. -- The question of whether foreign troops will be able to search Afghan homes after NATO's combat mission ends next year has long been a sticking point of an agreement setting out the terms under which remaining U.S. forces will operate there. -- But in a series of meetings over the weekend the enter-and-search issue emerged as the biggest roadblock facing the security pact as Karzai dug his heels in, the Afghan official, who has been close to the talks, told Reuters. -- "They want a window left open to go into Afghan homes, but the president does not accept that - not unilaterally and not joint," the Afghan official said, referring to house raids by U.S. troops either on their own or with Afghan forces. - More

نگرانی‌های بی‌مورد در خصوص موافقت‌نامه امنیتی --- با این‌که بسیاری از کارشناسان سیاسی تاکید دارند که امضای سند همکاری‌های امنیتی بین افغانستان و امریکا به سود دولت و مردم افغانستان می‌باشد، اما در عین زمان دیده می‌شود که برخی از اشخاص، بر نگرانی‌هایی در خصوص این سند و امضای آن تاکید دارند. به‌نظر می‌رسد برخی از نگرانی‌هایی که از سوی مخالفان امضای این سند بر شمرده می‌شود، چندان قابل اهمیت نیست. -- یکی از نگرانی‌هایی که از سوی برخی از مخالفان امضای این سند عنوان می‌شود، دلخوری همسایگان افغانستان از امضای این سند است. این مخالفان تاکید دارند که چنان‌چه این سند بین دولت افغانستان و ایالات متحده امریکا به امضا برسد، برخی از همسایگان افغانستان ناراضی خواهند شد. به‌نظر می‌رسد ابراز نگرانی در خصوص نگرانی و یا عدم نگرانی همسایگان، در خصوص امضای سندی که قرار است بین دولت افغانستان و امریکا به امضا برسد، یک نگرانی منطقی نمی‌تواند محسوب شود.نگرانی در خصوص نارضایتی همسایگان، در حالی از سوی این عده از مخالفان ابراز می‌شود که بسیاری از کارشناسان بر اصل سودمندی این سند برای افغانستان تاکید دارند -- در چنین صورتی این سوال پیش می‌آید که چه چیزی باعث می‌شود تا این افراد نارضایتی همسایگان و نگرانی‌های آنان را در برابر این سند مهم‌تر از سودمندی آن برای افغانستان بشمارند. به بیان ساده‌تر، سوالی که در برابر موضع‌گیری این افراد مطرح است، این می‌باشد که چه مصلحتی باعث شده است که این افراد نگرانی‌های همسایگان و ناراحتی کشورهای همسایه را بر منافع و مصالح ملی افغانستان، ترجیح بدهند. - More, روزنامه هشت صبح

Afghan Talks at Impasse Before Vote, Officials Say --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Despite recent optimism about talks over a future American military presence here, two senior Afghan officials said on Sunday that the negotiations were at a profound impasse, days before an Afghan grand council is scheduled to meet to seek popular support for a deal. -- The officials said both sides had refused to budge on American negotiators’ insistence that United States troops retain the right, at least in some form, to enter Afghan homes — something President Hamid Karzai has openly opposed for years. -- The three negotiators reconvened on Sunday, and General Dunford proposed to modify the wording of the agreement to say that troops would only enter homes “on extraordinary occasions,” the same official said. -- Mr. Karzai responded that “in no way will you be allowed to go into Afghan homes,” the official said. “If that is needed, show us your intelligence and we will go in alone.” -- The Afghans said that if Washington did not give up its insistence that American troops be allowed to enter Afghan homes, they would present two versions of the disputed clause to the loya jirga: one with the American position and another with the Afghan government’s position. - More, nytimes

Sleep Therapy Is Seen as an Aid for Depression --- Curing insomnia in people with depression could double their chance of a full recovery, scientists are reporting. The findings, based on an insomnia treatment that uses talk therapy rather than drugs, are the first to emerge from a series of closely watched studies of sleep and depression to be released in the coming year. -- The new report affirms the results of a smaller pilot study, giving scientists confidence that the effects of the insomnia treatment are real. If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987. -- Depression is the most common mental disorder, affecting some 18 million Americans in any given year, according to government figures, and more than half of them also have insomnia. - Moire, BENEDICT CAREY - NYTimes

John Edwards Revisits His Past, Hanging Law Shingle Again --- Now, Mr. Edwards is returning to his roots and opening a new law practice. The plaintiffs’ firm, Edwards Kirby, reunites him with his former partner, David F. Kirby, and includes on its payroll his eldest daughter, Cate Edwards. -- “The reason we formed this firm is because we all believe in the same thing — in standing up for the disenfranchised and those who need an equal chance,” Mr. Edwards said in a telephone interview from his offices in Raleigh, N.C. “That’s why we exist.” - More, Legal/Regulatory - NYTimes

Sunday, November 17, 2013

رادیو آزادی -- داکتر سپنتا در مورد توافقنامه امنیتی و دفاعی به ولسی جرگه معلومات داد --- مشاور امنیت ملی افغانستان می گوید، امریکا و افغانستان در توافقنامهء امنیتی و دفاعی توافق کرده است که بر علیه هر گونه تجاوز علیه این کشور به گونه مشترک مبارزه می کند. -- مشاور امنیت ملی افغانستان می گوید که با امضای توافقنامه امنیتی و دفاعی کابل واشگتن همکاری امریکا با افغانستان در بخش های مختلف نظامی، اقتصادی و مبارزه با تروریزم افزایش خواهد یافت. -- « مطابق این قرارداد طرفین با هر گونه استفاده از نیروی مسلح یا تهدید علیه تمامیت ارضی و استقلال سیاسی افغانستان به شمول گروه های مسلح از جمله تامین پناه گاه و تسلیحات از سوی یک کشور خارجی و یا یک کشور دیگر مشترکاً و قویاً مقابله می کنند.» -- مشاور امنیت ملی گفت، توافقنامه را با کشور های همسایه و منطقه شریک ساخته اند و به گفته وی به جز از یک کشور، سایر کشور ها به شمول روسیه و چنین با امضای آن توافق نشان داده اند. -- هر چند وی به گونه مشخص از این کشور نام نبرد اما گفته می شود که ایران با امضای این سند مخالفت نشان داده است. -- در این حال مشاور امنیت ملی می گوید، هرگاه این توافقنامه امنیتی و دفاعی امضا نشود مشکلات بیشتر شده و بالای کمک های امریکا به افغانستان تاثیر گذار خواهد بود: -- « من معتقد هستم که بدون این سند افغانستان یک کشور منزوی خواهد بود، متعهد شده اند که 4.1 میلیارد که 5 صد میلیون آن از خود ماست، و بقیه از کمک های خارجی است، برای ده سال آینده تا سال 2024 جهت آموزش، تجهیز و تمویل اردوی ملی و پولیس ملی در اختیار ما بگذارند، این دارای اهمیت است برای افغانستان غریب و ناتوان.» -- از سوی دیگر مشاور امنیت ملی می گوید، هرگاه توافقنامه امنیتی میان کابل و واشنگتن به امضا برسد، بین 10 تا 16هزار سرباز امریکا و سایر کشور های عضو آیساف در افغانستان باقی خواهند ماند. -- مشاور امنیت ملی افغانستان می گوید، توافقنامه امنیتی کابل و واشنگتن برای مدت ده سال بوده و طرفین می توانند در جریان این مدت قرارداد را فسخ کرده و یا در ادامه به تمدید آن موافقت نمایند.

Sec. Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush Advocate for Afghan Women's 'Hard-Fought Gains' --- November 15, 2013 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush came to Georgetown today to talk about protecting the progress made by women and girls in Afghanistan after American troops leave the country next year. -- The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), which Clinton says may be the “first ever” such institute in the world, co-sponsored the symposium, entitled “Advancing Afghan Women: Promoting Peace and Progress in Afghanistan,” with the George W. Bush Institute; the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council; and the U.S. Alliance in Support of the Afghan People. -- “We can point to a lot of progress,” Clinton told a packed Gaston Hall full of diplomats, Georgetown faculty and students. “But we’re well aware this is a serious turning point for all the people of Afghanistan … in particular for the hard-fought gains that women and girls have been able to enjoy and what we can do as Americans to try and support these courageous women and men who want to build the Afghanistan that they imagine.” -- “We don’t want the people of Afghanistan to think that because our troops are leaving they no longer matter to us, because they do matter and the relationships and the friendships we built, especially with Afghan women … really do matter to us,” Bush said, “and I want the people of Afghanistan to know that the people of the United States do support them.” - More, Georgetown University

Blast in Kabul ahead of assembly on future of U.S. troops --- (Reuters) - A suicide bomber rammed his car into an Afghan army vehicle providing security for a compound where Afghanistan's political and tribal elites are due to gather next week to debate a security pact with the United States. -- At least six people were killed and 22 wounded in the blast, said Sediq Sediqqi, an Interior Ministry spokesman. He said the casualties were a mix of soldiers and civilians. -- The blast occurred shortly after 3 p.m., fewer than 100 metres (yards) from a huge tent where more than 2,000 prominent Afghans are due to gather, a Reuters witness said. - More

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Kerry, Clinton: Afghanistan nearing turning point --- WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, say Afghanistan is reaching a turning point that will be critical to maintaining advances made by women since the end of Taliban rule. -- Kerry says Afghan women need a seat at the table of any peace negotiations and the rights of both men and women must be respected. - More, AP

Afghanistan: where the poppies blow --- Because of the impact of modern weedkillers, the poppy no longer blooms so readily in the Flanders fields that are in our minds at this time of remembrance. But its lethal cousin is prospering as never before in the fields of Helmand. -- It is a dismal irony that the little red flower that became a symbol of sacrifice in the first world war should now also be a symbol of the failure to control the opium trade in Afghanistan. - More, Guardian

US seeks Bagram base under BSA: Spanta --- KABUL (PAN): National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta on Saturday said the US had sought only one independent military base and up to 16,000 American troops would stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was signed. -- Briefing Wolesi Jirga -- or lower house -- members on the security pact, the presidential advisor said the US had no plan to establish military bases in Afghanistan, except the Bagram airbase in central Parwan province. -- However, he said the US wanted to deploy its troops to eight areas for training Afghan forces, if Afghanistan wanted so. -- Spanta said the eight areas included Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif (the capital of northern Balkh province, Jalalabad (the capital of eastern Nangarhar province), Shorabak district of southern Helmand, Gardez (the capital of southeastern Paktia province), Shindand district of western Herat province and Kandahar Airfield in southern Kandahar province. -- He said the US was bound under the security deal to train and equip Afghan forces on the level of NATO member states. - More, Pajhwok

اسپنتا: آمریکا فقط بگرام را به عنوان پایگاه نظامی می‌خواهد --- رنگین دادفر اسپنتا مشاور امنیت ملی، حامد کرزی، رئیس جمهوری افغانستان که روز شنبه به مجلس نمایندگان فرا خوانده شده بود، اعلام کرد که آمریکا فقط بگرام را به عنوان پایگاه نظامی در این کشور می‌خواهد. -- او افزود که این پایگاه تنها مرکزی خواهد بود که نیروهای آمریکایی درآن مستقر و علاوه بر آن، این نیروها از بخشی از فرودگاه کابل در مرکز، مزارشریف در شمال، قندهار در جنوب، هرات در جنوب غرب، شیندند در جنوب غرب، شوراب در هلمند، گردیز در جنوب شرق و جلال آباد در شرق افغانستان استفاده خواهند کرد. -- او افزود در صورتیکه قرارداد امنیتی میان افغانستان و آمریکا امضاء و قانونی شود، این نیروها حق تردد در فرودگاه‌های بگرام کابل، قندهار، شیندند و هرات را خواهند داشت و اجازه دارند در این میدانها رفت و آمد کنند. - More, BBC

Deadly Bomb Strikes Kabul Near Where Elders Are to Debate Security Pact --- KABUL, Afghanistan — A powerful car bomb that exploded near the site where Afghan elders are set to vote on a long-term security agreement with the United States killed at least 10 people on Saturday, rattling central Kabul and underscoring the insurgency’s desire to prevent an American presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014. -- The bomb exploded shortly after 3 p.m. near the gates of Kabul Educational University, as students and pedestrians were filtering through the area, police officials said. An Afghan Army Humvee patrolling the area was also struck, killing at least one soldier and wounding three others, according to witnesses and the spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense. --As the area is cleared, more bodies are likely to be uncovered. - More, nytimes

Friday, November 15, 2013

په افغانستان کې ۱۵۰ ورځې رخصتي --- افغانستان چې په نړۍ کې له وروسته پاتې هيوادونو څخه يو دی، دکال په ۳۶۰ ورځو کې ۱۵۰ ورځې يي رخصت وي. يادې ورځې او رخصتۍ په خپل وار سره د بيلابيلو ورځو په مناسبتونو جوړې شوي دي. په ټول هيواد کې دا رخصتۍ هغه څه دي چې ډيری يی انديښمن کړي دي. يو شمېر شنونکو او ځوانانو له افغان ځواک سره په خبرو کې وویل چې په دې ډول هيواد کې داسې رخصتۍ د انديښنې وړ خبره ده. -- په هيواد کې رخصتۍ: هره اونۍ دوه او په ځينو دفترونو کې درې ورځې چې په خپل وار سره په مياشت کې اتو تر دولسو ورځو پورې رسيږي. دا رخصتۍ چې په عادي ډول روانې دي په کال کې نيږدې ۱۲۰ ورځې جوړوي. داخترونو په مناسبت په کال کې دوه ځلې رخصتي چې په هر اختر کې درې ورځې رخصتي وي او که چيرې دچهارشنبې په ورځ اختر شي نو څلورو ورځو ته غځيږي چې اته ورځې کيږي. همداسې دآزادۍ ورځ، دمجاهدينو ورځ، دروسانو دراتګ او وتلو ورځ هم په خپل وار سره په هيواد کې رخصت وي چې دا هم درې ورځې کيږي. همداسې ځينې نوې جوړې شوې موسمي رخصتۍ لکه د سولې شهيد، ملي قهرمان او دې ته ورته ځينې نورې ورځې هم په تيرو لسو کلونو کې رامنځ ته شوي دي چې دا هم نيږدې ورځې رخصت وي. دښونکي ورځ، د مور ورځ، دبې کارۍ ورځ، دشهيدانو ورځ او دې ته ورته ډيرې ورځې دي چې په افغانستان کې په ګرمه رخصتۍ کې يي لمانځنه کيږي. -- په تيرو دولسو کلونو کې په هيواد کې دګڼو هيوادونو پراخې لاسوهنې ته په کتو سره اوس اوس دعاشورا يا دپيغمبر صلی الله عليه وسلم دلمسي امام حسين ورځ هم رخصت شوې چې سږکال ياده رخصتي نيږدې درې ورځو ته رسيږي، همداسې تل په هيواد کې دټاکنو، مشورتي لويي جرګې، لويي جرګې، او په ډيرو نورو نومونو هم رخصتۍ شته دي. په هيواد کې په ښونيز نظام کې هم دکال په منځ کې شل ورځې رخصتي راځي، او شل ورځې دکال په سر او شل ورځې هم دکال په منځ يانې پنځلسو ورځنيو رخصتيو کې زده کونکي او ښونکي نه په ځای کيږي. که چيرې دهيواد ټولې رخصتۍ را ټولې شي او پوره حساب يي وشي ډيرې دحيرانتيا وړ دي. يو کال کې ۳۶۶ ورځې دی په افغانستان کې يي ۱۵۰ ورځې په مستقيم ډول او تر پنځوس ډيرې ورځې هم پکې په نامستقيم ډول سره رخصت وي. - More, افغان ځواک

Former German President Goes on Trial --- BERLIN — For the first time in modern German history, a former president, Christian Wulff, went on trial on Thursday in a state court in Hanover, charged with illegally accepting favors while he was governor of the state of Lower Saxony. -- Mr. Wulff’s trial is expected to last into the spring and hear more than 40 witnesses. Mr. Wulff, who pleaded not guilty, has said he wants to clear his name. He rejected an offer from prosecutors to settle the case if he agreed to pay a fine of $27,000. - More, ALISON SMALE - nytimes

The TV Watch: We Interrupt This Generation --- Life was pre-empted on Nov. 22, 1963. -- And television is intent on recapturing that moment of rapt, uninterrupted and wholly unprecedented attention. -- The extravaganza surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination is a poignant last hurrah that could prove as glorious — and futile — as a cavalry charge in the era of drone attacks. Modern television was born on the day John F. Kennedy died. - ALESSANDRA STANLEY - nytimes

C.I.A. Collecting Data on International Money Transfers, Officials Say --- WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers handled by companies like Western Union — including transactions into and out of the United States — under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its huge database of Americans’ phone records, according to current and former government officials. -- The C.I.A. financial records program, which the officials said was authorized by provisions in the Patriot Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, offers evidence that the extent of government data collection programs is not fully known and that the national debate over privacy and security may be incomplete. - More, NYTimes

Thursday, November 14, 2013

نواده پیامبر گرامی اسلام، برای احیای عزت و اقتدار جامعه اسلامی قیام کرد --- امام حسین نواده پیامبر گرامی اسلام، برای احیای عزت و اقتدار جامعه اسلامی قیام کرد و این هدف مقدس جز از راه وحدت، همدلی و برادری بدست نمی آید. این مطلب را محمد کریم خلیلی معاون رییس جمهور امروز در محفل بزرگداشت از عاشورا که در مسجد نبی اکرم در غرب کابل برگزار شده بود، ابراز داشت. -- معاون رییس جمهور با اشاره به این مطلب که عاشورای حسینی مربوط به جامعه انسانی و همه مسلمانان جهان است گفت؛ امام حسین برای نجات انسان از قید پلیدی ها و بد بختی ها قیام کرد نه برای گریستن ما و بخشیده شدن گناه امت اسلامی. وی مکتب عاشورا را مکتب آموزنده عنوان نموده و در تجلیل از عاشورا به باز گوکردن و برجسته کردن ابعاد نجات بخش و انسان ساز آن تاکید نمود. -- وی با اشاره به خطر بحران فرقه گرایی، همبستگی و اخوت را برای مردم افغانستان بسیار مهم و ضروری خوانده و گفت که از هر حنجرۀ ای که صدای نفاق و پراکندگی بلند شود، صدای مردم افغانستان نیست. - کابل باختر 23 عقرب

New Study Shows Brain Benefits Of Bilingualism --- The largest study so far to ask whether speaking two languages might delay the onset of dementia symptoms in bilingual patients as compared to monolingual patients has reported a robust result. Bilingual patients suffer dementia onset an average of 4.5 years later than those who speak only a single language. -- While knowledge of a protective effect of bilingualism isn't entirely new, the present study significantly advances scientists' knowledge. Media reports emphasize the size of its cohort: 648 patients from a university hospital's memory clinic, including 391 who were bilingual. It's also touted as the first study to reveal that bilingual people who are illiterate derive the same benefit from speaking two languages as do people who read and write. It also claims to show that the benefit applies not only to Alzheimer's sufferers but also people with frontotemporal and vascular dementia. - More, Barbara J. King - NPR

عاشورا تحت تدابیرشدید امنیتی در کابل برگذار شد --- عاشورای حسینی امسال تحت تدابیر شدید امنیتی در نقاط مختلف از سوی علماء‌ شیعه و سنی ومقامات دولتی برگزارشد. -- در محفلی که به همین مناسبت در مدرسه ی خاتم النبیین (ص) برگذار شده بود، ‌شماری زیادی از سخنرانان و علماء دینی از هردو فرقه ی مذهبی شیعه و سنی اشتراک داشتند. -- علماء اهل تشیع نیز با یاد اوری از کارنامه ی امام حسین (ع) از مسلمانان افغانستان خواستند تا هرچه بیشتر برای وحدت میان هردو مذهب تشیع و تسنن کار تلاش نمایند. -- یکی از اشتراک کننده گان این محفل و استاد مدرسه ی خاتم النبیین (ص) قاسم الیاس به اژانس خبری وخت گفت زنده گی امام حسین باید درس آزاده گی و فداکاری برای امت اسلامی در برابر ظلم و ستم و نا هنجاری های زمان باشد. -- وی از هواداران هردو فرقه ی مذهبی به خصوص جوانان خواست تا بیشتر روی وحدت ملی تکیه کنند تا ایجاد تفرقه میان شیعه و سنی و بیشتر روی همکاری های متقابل در خنثی سازی توطیه های دشمنان کشورشان کار نمایند. -- الیاس در مورد رسم زنجیر زنی در جریان این مراسم گفت که این آیئن بیشتر جنبه ی نظری دارد تا رابطه دینی و از عزارداران خواست تا "خون خودرا برای مریضان هدیه کنند تا اینکه در عزاداری بریزند". - وخت

Laura Bush - Afghan women’s gains are at risk --- Twelve years ago this week, the Taliban regime retreated from Kabul. Children were finally free to fly kites, women emerged from behind their burqas and girls could again dream of going to school. Women and girls have made hard-won advancements. Afghan women have seats in parliament, run businesses and even serve as police officers and park rangers. -- Yet these gains are fragile, and there is a real danger that they will be reversed. In the first half of this year, according to the United Nations, Afghanistan’s civilian death rate rose precipitously. Because of improvised explosive devices and the deliberate targeting of civilians by anti-government forces, the death rate for women and children jumped 38 percent from the same period last year. Many prominent women have also been ruthlessly targeted by the Taliban. -- For many Americans, the situation in Afghanistan seems too complex and too far away to confront. I worry that the message we are sending to Afghan men, women and children is that their lives are not worth our time or attention. That message must change — we cannot abandon them. -- We know from our own history — from the Civil War to women’s suffrage and civil rights — how hard and long the path to freedom is. As the people of Afghanistan continue on their own hard path to freedom, they must know that we are with them. - More, Washingtonpost

Obama, David Cameron Discuss National Security Challenges In Iran, Syria, Afghanistan --- WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have discussed ongoing national security challenges in Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. -- The White House said Obama and Cameron spoke by phone Tuesday. The two leaders discussed their support for talks between world leaders and Iran over its nuclear program, a week of talks in Geneva ended without agreement. Talks are to resume next week. - huffingtonpost

متن توافقنامه امنیتی کابل واشنگتن (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8) --- هیات مذاکره کننده به سرپرستی اکلیل حکیمی سفیر افغانستان در آمریکا پس 68 ساعت جلسه با آمریکایی ها نتیجه این جلسات را به رییس جمهور کشور فرستادند. -- در این گزارش آمده است که آمریکایی ها هیچ نوع تعهدی را نسبت به افغانستان نپذیرفته اند. -- این درحالی است که مسوولان برگزاری لوی جرگه اعلام کرده اند تا زمان برگزاری لوی جرگه مشورتی، متن توافقنامه امنیتی میان آمریکا و افغانستان افشا نخواهد شد، این متن در اختیار ما قرار گرفته و بند هایی از آن را در هفت قسمت در معرض دید هموطنان قرار می دهیم ! - More, Afghanpaper

Interview: Abdullah On Prisoner Releases, Peace and Foreign Policy --- "The release of thousands of criminals and their presence and continued criminal activities in society would undermine the morale of the Afghan forces in their fight against terrorism," Abdullah said. -- The Karzai government has pushed an increasingly conciliatory tact with the Taliban this year, perhaps looking to get a ceasefire deal in motion before the elections in April, or the NATO troop withdraw deadline at the end of next year. But the government has come under fire as the Taliban has repeatedly rebuffed overtures for negotiations and continued its insurgent campaign unflinchingly. - "Unfortunately, there has been no balance in the foreign policy of Afghanistan in the past, and it is very important to solve this issue," Abdullah said. "So far, we don't have a clear definition of friends and enemies, neighboring countries have a right to be concerned." - To watch the full interview with Abdullah click here: - TOLOnews

Why U.S. Could Opt For 'Zero Option' In Afghanistan --- When the United States first suggested that all options would be considered when it came to a long-term security agreement with Afghanistan -- including leaving no U.S. forces on the ground after 2014 -- it was seen as bluster. -- But as talks drag on, the "zero option" is beginning to look increasingly realistic. -- David Young, a civilian adviser to NATO in eastern Afghanistan and an adjunct fellow at the American Security Project in Washington, says convincing the U.S. public of the need for continued military engagement beyond 2014 will be a tough sell. -- "If the Afghan economy and Afghan security forces can't stay afloat on their own now, then another five years or 10 years certainly won't be able to do it -- that's the rationale," Young says. "We've pumped everything we can into this situation and into this country, and if this doesn't do it then nothing will." -- The growing unpopularity of the Afghan war largely stems from financial concerns in the United States. -- "These days in Washington, the mention of Afghanistan makes people sigh deeply," Smith says. "There is profound donor fatigue. Afghans don't realize how much the West would love an excuse to pull out and walk away. It would save billions of dollars a year for America at a time when America is hurting for cash." - More, Frud Bezhan -

A Contrite Obama Unveils a Health Fix --- WASHINGTON — President Obama bowed to mounting political pressure from across the country and on Capitol Hill on Thursday and announced new rules that will let insurance companies keep people on health care plans that would not have been allowed under the Affordable Care Act. - nytimes

Afghanistan's air force on road to independence --- The ability to remove injured soldiers from the battlefield without U.S. assistance is a key test for the country's small air forces and a measure of its independence. -- WASHINGTON — Afghanistan's young air force has nearly tripled the number of casualty evacuation missions it has flown this year, coalition officials say, a critical step in efforts to get the country's security forces to operate independently. - More, usatoday

Scientists shed light on creativity by studying pianists' brain activity --- Scientists claim to have shed light on the neural basis of creativity by scanning the brains of accomplished pianists while they improvised on a keyboard. -- Images of the pianists' brains highlighted areas that seemed to underpin their musical creativity, alongside regions that were strongly connected in pianists with the most improvisation experience. -- The scans point to a network of brain regions that are involved in creative playing, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which has previously been linked to the suppression of stereotypical responses and the selection of improvised actions. - Ian Sample - Guardian

پښتانه يهوديان نه دي!!! --- په اوولسمې ميلادي پيړۍ کې د هند د مغلو يو لودي سردار خان جهان په امر ليکل شوي تاريخ په لومړي ځل د پښتنو د يهودي کيدو خبره واچوله. په دې موضوع پسې نور ډېر خرافات او معلومات هم ورزيات کړل شوو، ورو- ورو پخپله پښتنو هم په دې باور وکړ چې دوی د ” بني اسرايل” يو له هغه لسو ورکو قبيلو څخه دي چې د خپلې خاورې نه يې کډه کړې وه. -- اوس يوې ساينسي څېړنې دا خبره ثابته کړه چې د پښتنو او يهودانو ترمنځ هيڅ نسلي رشته نشته. د دې لپاره لومړی د پښتنو او د يهودانو د ډي – اېن – اې – څيړنه د بريطانيې پروفيسر( تیودور پرفیټ) په ۲۰۰۸ او ۲۰۰۹ کې وکړه. -- په ۲۰۱۰ م کې د هندوستان د ممبیئ د ایمیونو هیماټولوجي د ملي انسټیټوت د ارثي علومو ماهري شهنازعلي د اترپردیش ایالت په ملیح آباد کې چې پښتانه پکې اوسیږی، د اپريدو د وینو سامپلونه واخیستل. اپريدي د خپل ټبر نه بهر واده نه کوي او ځکه د دوی د وينې سامپل مناسب وگڼل شو او دا يې په حیفا کی د اسراییلو د ټيکنالوجی په انسټیټوټ کې د ساینس پوهانو په مرسته د يهودانو د سامپلونو سره پرتله کړل، د دې دواړو نتيجې منفي وې. -- د لکهنئو پوهنتون یو استاد نورس اپریدی هم دا ډول څیړنې وکړې خو هیڅ نتیجه یې نه ده ورکړې. -- وروستۍ ساينسي څيړنې د امریکا د حکومت د وراثتی شورا د ادارې لخوا په ۲۰۱۲ م کې وشوې، دوي د افغانستان او پاکستان د څو سوو پښتنو د وینو نمونې واخیستې او هغه یې په ډېرو پرمخ تلليو ليبارټرو (لابراتوارونو) کې معاينه کړل. -- د ۲۰۱۲ د مارچ پر ۲۸ دې ادارې اعلان وکړو چی اوسني افغانان ( پښتانه) د پينځو زرو کالو راهیسی پخپلې سيمې کې اوسیږی او د بلې سيمې څخه نه دي راغلي. -

The Only Way Forward in Afghanistan --- Tribal elders in Afghanistan are preparing to meet next week to discuss the Bilateral Security Agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan, which governs details of the relationship between the countries after 2014. But news this week of Afghans protesting against the agreement and reports by the United Nations regarding record amounts of opium production show how unstable the country remains as it approaches U.S. troop withdrawal next year. - More, Michael Shank - US News and World Report

Pentagon cancels plans to buy Russian helicopters --- (Reuters) - The Pentagon no longer will buy Russian helicopters for the Afghan Air Force from Rosoboronexport, a state-owned arms exporter that also sells weapons to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. defense officials and a leading Senate opponent of such deals said on Wednesday. -- The switch in Pentagon policy appears to end, at least for now, its plans to buy an additional 15 Russian Mi-17 helicopters for $345 million, sources familiar with the matter said. - More

Afghanistan, After the War Boom --- When I was house-hunting in Kabul earlier this year, most of the available properties were the abandoned facilities of long-departed international organizations. They were compounds with servants’ quarters and gussied-up gardens, houses meant for a different era, when it seemed like the wartime wealth would carry on forever. -- In the chill of a mid-March morning, I climbed inside one of Kabul’s many vacant structures to meet some members of the middle class. The bare scaffolding of a construction site was serving as an informal shelter for men who had traveled from the provinces in search of jobs. Many were university-educated professionals who had Facebook accounts and listened to the BBC. -- One of the men—who had been sleeping on a thin mattress on the concrete floor—had previously administered a U.S.A.I.D. program in the south. Abdul Manan, twenty-seven years old at the time of our conversation, seemed despondent—not only about losing a good job, but about what would happen when American money stopped flowing to the rural districts where he had run agricultural projects, supplying seeds to farmers. “We all knew that this new wealth wouldn’t last forever, but what we didn’t understand was how quickly it would evaporate,” he said. “We were all hoping that it would last for some time. This is a mistake I made.” -- The full economic impact of the troop withdrawals is difficult to measure, as it depends on factors that are hard to predict, such as whether the Taliban rises again. The last time that the U.S. stopped paying attention to Afghanistan, after the withdrawal of Soviet troops in the late nineteen-eighties, civil war ensued. - More, Posted by May Jeong - The New Yorker

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Monitor's View - Why US must help Afghanistan kick the heroin-trade habit --- Sometimes nations, like people, can become addicted to the drug trade – and then choose to kick the habit. Thailand, Turkey, and Lebanon, for example, have greatly reduced heroin trafficking, while Colombia has cut into its cocaine production. Might Afghanistan, the world’s largest source of heroin, be next? - More, Csmonitor

UN agency issues urgent call to action as Afghan opium cultivation hits record high --- 13 November 2013 – The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today issued an urgent call to action as opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit a record high this year, rising by 36 per cent, while production is up by almost half since 2012. -- The 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey, released in Kabul by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics and UNODC, says the area under cultivation rose to 209,000 hectares (ha) from last year’s total of 154,000 ha – higher than the peak of 193,000 ha reached in 2007. -- In addition, two provinces – Balkh and Faryab – lost their ‘poppy-free’ status, leaving 15 provinces poppy-free this year compared with 17 last year. - More, UN

نگرانی ها در مورد اخراج افغان ها از کشور های اروپایی و عربی --- برخی از فعالان جامعه مدنی از حکومت افغانستان و جامعه جهانی می خواهند تا مانع اخراج اجباری افغان های مهاجر و مقیم در کشور های اروپایی و آسیایی شوند. آنها می گویند، در این اواخر افغان ها از کشور های مختلف بخصوص آسترالیا، عربستان سعودی، ایران و پاکستان به طور اجباری اخراج شده اند و این روند ادامه دارد. -- نادر فرهاد سخنگوی کمیشنری عالی سازمان ملل متحد در امور مهاجرین یا یو ان اچ سی آر می گوید، مهاجرین که معیار های پناهنده گی را پوره کرده اند، باید برایش شان امکانات زنده گی در هر کشور که درخواست قبولی را کرده اند، فراهم گردد. به اساس گزارش ها در حال حاضر شش میلیون افغان در کشور های مختلف جهان مهاجر هستند که 4 میلیون آن در ایران و پاکستان به سر می برند. ادامه بیش از سه دهه جنگ، فقر و بیکاری سبب شده تا یک تعداد زیاد افغان ها به کشور های مختلف مهاجر شوند. - رادیو آزادی

It’s the Economy: Switzerland’s Proposal to Pay People for Being Alive --- This fall, a truck dumped eight million coins outside the Parliament building in Bern, one for every Swiss citizen. It was a publicity stunt for advocates of an audacious social policy that just might become reality in the tiny, rich country. Along with the coins, activists delivered 125,000 signatures — enough to trigger a Swiss public referendum, this time on providing a monthly income to every citizen, no strings attached. Every month, every Swiss person would receive a check from the government, no matter how rich or poor, how hardworking or lazy, how old or young. Poverty would disappear. Economists, needless to say, are sharply divided on what would reappear in its place — and whether such a basic-income scheme might have some appeal for other, less socialist countries too. - More, ANNIE LOWREY - NYTimes

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Afghanistan's poppy farmers plant record opium crop, UN report says --- Afghanistan's farmers planted a record opium crop this year, despite a decade of western-backed narcotics programmes aimed at weaning farmers off the drug and cracking down on producers and traffickers. -- For the first time over 200,000 hectares of Afghan fields were growing poppies, according to the UN's Afghanistan Opium Survey for 2013, covering an area equivalent to the island nation of Mauritius.-- "This is the third consecutive year of increasing cultivation," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the outgoing Afghanistan director for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which publishes the report. "The assumption is that the illicit economy is to gain in importance in the future." - More, Emma Graham-Harrison - Guardian

Obama warns of 'dangers' in forgetting Afghanistan as he honours veterans --- Barack Obama has warned of the danger of forgetting the war in Afghanistan as he marked Veterans Day by discussing preparations to end the longest war in American history. -- “This winter, our troop levels in Afghanistan will be down to 34,000 and by this time next year, the transition to Afghan-led security will be nearly complete, and the longest war in American history will end,” he told an annual remembrance event at Arlington cemetery. - More, Guardian

Desperate Philippine typhoon survivors loot, dig up water pipes --- (Reuters) - Desperation gripped Philippine islands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan as looting turned deadly on Wednesday and survivors panicked over delays in supplies of food, water and medicine, some digging up underground water pipes and smashing them open. -- Five days after one of the strongest storms ever recorded crashed into cities and towns in the central Philippines, survivors in remote regions complained they had yet to receive any aid. - More

یک آگاه مسایل سیاسی : نصیرالدین حقانی به دلیل روابط پنهانی با سی آی ای ازسوی استخبارات و طالبان پاکستانی کشته شده است --- یک آگاه مسایل نظامی که نمیخواهد نامش گرفته شود میگوید که دراین اواخر روابط پنهانی میان سی آی ای و اعضای مهم شبکه حقانی بسته شده است. -- این آگاه مسایل سیاسی به این باور است که حلقه وابسته به حکیم الله محسود و جلال الدین حقانی دروزیرستان از نفوذ زیادی برخوردار اند و هردوگروپ از لحاظ سنن زبان ، و داشته های محیطی باهم شباهت های زیادی دارند. -- شبکه حقانی درافغانستان و شبکه حکیم الله محسود درپاکستان عامل حملات بیشمار تروریستی ودسته جمعی اند. -- افراد و قوماندانان حکیم الله محسود درمناطق قبائیلی دروزیرستان بسر میبرند مگر قوماندانان و افراد سرشناس شبکه حقانی دراسلام آباد اند . -- این آگاه مسایل نظامی به ادامه میگوید به تعقیب قتل حکیم الله ، شبکه وابسته به او پیرامون چگونگی قتل حکیم الله تحقیقات را آغازکردند که مخفیگاه او چگونه برای امریکائیان افشا شده است. -- قرارمعلوم این شبکه به واقعیت های دست یافته که نشان میدهد که مخفیگاه حکیم الله محسود ازسوی نصیرالدین حقانی که با نام ذبیح الله مجاهد سخنگوی گروه طالبان فعالیت داشت برای سی ای ای افشا شده است . -- به گفته این آگاه مسایل نظامی هرگاه نصیرالدین حقانی ذبیح الله مجاهد بوده باشد او به عنوان سخنگوی گروه طالبان از محل اقامت سران این گروه و همکاران پاکستانی آنها اطلاع داشته و آن را به سی آی ای افشا کرده است. -- چنین معلوم میشود که نصیرالدین حقانی در انتقام خون حکیم الله محسود کشته شده باشد، زیرا این برای طالبان پاکستانی و ادارات استخبارات آنکشور قابل تحمل نبوده که یک طالب افغان در اسلام آباد قدرت نمایی کند و برای سی ای ای کار نماید و معلومات طالبان پاکستان را به استخبارات امریکا بدهد. - More, باختر

Afghan opium crop hits record high ahead of Western withdrawal: U.N. --- (Reuters) - Afghan opium cultivation has hit a record high as international forces prepare to leave the country, the United Nations said on Wednesday, with concern that profits will go to warlords jockeying for power ahead of a presidential election next year. -- The expansion of poppy to 209,000 hectares (516,000 acres), will embarrass Afghanistan's aid donors after more than 10 years of efforts to wean farmers off the crop, fight corruption and cut links between drugs and the Taliban insurgency. -- "The short-term prognosis is not positive," said Jean-Luc Lemahieu, head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Afghanistan. - More

Iranian foreign minister blames West for snag in nuclear talks --- (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's pinning of blame on Iran for the lack of a deal on its nuclear program last week, saying splits between Western countries prevented a breakthrough. -- Responding to remarks by Kerry in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Zarif said that singling out Iran only served to undermine confidence in the Geneva negotiations, which will resume on November 20. - More

Last Jew in Afghanistan faces ruin as kebabs fail to sell --- (Reuters) - Zabulon Simintov always removes his kippah, the skullcap worn by Jewish men, before entering his cafe in a dilapidated building that also houses Afghanistan's last synagogue. -- "Let me take off my cap, otherwise people will think something bad about me," Simintov said cheerfully as he descended grime-caked stairs to the ground-floor cafe. - More

ناروی گروهی از پناهجویان افغانستان را اخراج کرد --- پس از چندین سال برای اولین بار گروه ده نفره پناهندگان افغان از کشور ناروی که عضو اتحادیه اروپا می باشد، به شکل اجباری دوباره به افغانستان بازگردانده شدند. اعضای یک گروه از پناهجویان که روز یکشنبه (10 نوامبر / 19 عقرب 1392) از اسلو، پایتخت ناروی به کابل فرستاده شدند، ادعا می کنند که ناروی شرایط افغانستان را در نظر نگرفته و درخواست پناهندگی آنان را رد کرده و آنان را اخراج نموده است. این جوانان که 18 تا 25 سال عمر دارند، در یک طیاره ای اختصاصی "چارتر" به میدان هوایی بین المللی کابل منتقل شدند. -- این جوانان می گویند که با قبول خطرهای زیاد در مسیر راه و هزینه کردن مبالغ هنگفت خود را به ناروی در اروپا رساندند. آنها از جامعه جهانی و حکومت افغانستان می خواهند که صدای آنان را بشنوند و درک کنند که جان آنان در این کشور در خطر است. نظیف، جوانی است که از طریق ایران، ترکیه، یونان و ایتالیا با تحمل خطرهای زیاد خود را به ناروی رسانده بود. او می گوید که با آنان در ناروی بسیار بد برخورد شده است و در وضعیتی نامناسب که مردم افغانستان در حال گریز هستند، دوباره آنان را به افغانستان اخراج کرده اند. او می گوید: "آنجا با ما بسیار بدرفتاری کردند. نه به ما خانه دادند، نه موادخوراکی کافی و نه هم اجازه کار به ما دادند." --- در همین حال مرتضی رئوفی، یک عضو "کمیشنری عالی ملل متحد در امور پناهندگان" در کابل در عکس العمل به اخراج این گروه ده نفری جوانان از اروپا می گوید: "اگر چه افغانستان را هنوز هم نمی توان به عنوان یک منطقه امن پنداشت، اما افغان ها هم باید از رفتن به اروپا به وسیله قاچاقبران انسان خودداری کنند." به گفته او خطر هایی که افغان ها برای رسیدن به اروپا به جان می خرند از خطر زندگی کردن در افغانستان ناامن بیشتر است. وی می افزاید: "افغانستان از جمله کشور هایی است که خیلی از اتباع اش مهاجرت می کنند. اما این واقعا نگران کننده است که آنان در مسیر راه با مرگ، آزارجنسی، آدم ربایی و گم کردن اعضای خانواده و مشکلات اقتصادی زیادی روبرو می شوند. برخی هم به مقصدشان مثل آلمان، انگلستان و برخی دیگر کشور های اروپایی می رسند، اما همه قبول نمی شوند، پرونده های شان بررسی می شود، برخی ها جواب رد می گیرند و اخراج می شوند و یا هم برای مدت طولانی منتظر جواب می مانند." - دویچه ویلی

New Pentagon report paints mixed picture of Afghanistan security --- WASHINGTON – As the United States withdraws combat forces from Afghanistan, Afghan police and army units are suffering a sharply higher casualty rate and in some cases, have negotiated local non-aggression pacts with insurgents to avoid coming under attack, according to a new Pentagon report. -- Afghan Army and police casualties have soared by 79% this year, while casualties from the international coalition have fallen by 59%, according to the congressionally mandated report, which covers developments in Afghanistan from April to September. - More, latimes

Monday, November 11, 2013

Illinois congressman back from Afghanistan, lauds U.S. successes --- WASHINGTON— — After a visit to Afghanistan, Rep. Adam Kinzinger said he supports the drawdown of U.S. forces at the end of 2014 but believes 9,000 to 10,000 U.S. troops will be needed on the ground afterward. -- Kinzinger, who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he visited Kabul, Bagram Air Field and Mazar-e-Sharif and left with a sense of optimism. He said Afghan forces were improving, the so-called green-on-blue killings of U.S. troops by Afghan infiltrators had been sharply cut, and the U.S. was no longer conducting unilateral missions except for counterterrorism operations. -- He said Americans have the mistaken idea that the U.S. has 100,000 troops in the country and they are "getting shot up over the mountainsides and the Afghans aren't doing anything. And actually, it's just the opposite." -- Kinzinger said he doesn't want another Iraq, where, he believes, defeat was snatched "from the jaws of victory" with a "precipitous" U.S. pullout that has allowed ongoing waves of bombings. - More, latimes

In Afghanistan, interpreters who helped U.S. in war denied visas; U.S. says they face no threat --- KABUL — A growing number of Afghan interpreters who worked alongside American troops are being denied U.S. visas allotted by Congress because the State Department says there is no serious threat against their lives. -- In the initial phase of the visa process, “an applicant has to establish that he or she has experienced or is experiencing an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of employment by or on behalf of the U.S. government,” said Robert Hilton, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. -- He said the applications were examined by an embassy committee, which decided whether they should move forward to Washington. -- Hilton and other U.S. officials would not explain what constitutes a “serious threat” or discuss specific cases in which applicants were denied visas. - More, Kevin Sieff - Washingtonpost

محصلین: مسایل مذهبی و سیاسی، سبب اخلال روند تدریس پوهنتون ها می شوند --- شماری از محصلان و استادان پوهنتون کابل می گویند که روند درسی در این پوهنتون بخاطر برگزاری مراسم عاشورا برای مدت پنج تا ده روز متوقف شده است. تعداد از محصلان پوهنتون های کابل انتقاد کرده اند که حکومت بخاطر برگزاری مراسم مذهبی و مسایل سیاسی در برخی موارد سبب اخلال روند تدریس پوهنتون ها می شود. چند تن از محصلان پوهنتون کابل در صحبت با رادیو آزادی ادعا کرده اند که جریان تدریس بخاطر برگزاری مراسم عاشورا برای مدت پنج تا ده روز متوقف شده است. -- سه تن از محصلین می گویند این رخصتی روند تدریس را با مشکل مواجه خواهد ساخت: «ده روز یا یک هفته شده که پوهنتون رخصت است همه از درس های خود عقب می مانند، بعضی ها که صنف چهارم هستند نمی توانند امسال فارغ شوند.» -- «این رخصتی برای محصلین که ولایات شان دور است مشکل است که دوباره بیایند، این یک نوع نابسامانی را ایجاد کرده است.» -- «این رخصتی کار خوب نیست بخاطریکه سال گذشته محصلین صنف های چهارم شرعیات و حقوق هم از استاژ قضایی شان عقب ماندند و هم از وظیفه بازمانده اند که تا حال بیکار هستند و امسال نیز محصلین صنف چهار به همین سرنوشت دچار خواهند شد.» -- عین حال تعداد از استادان پوهنتون پل تخنیک کابل شکایت می کنند که جریان تدریس در این پوهنتون از تاریخ دهم عقرب بخاطر آماده گی های برگزاری این جرگه متوقف شده است. آنان می گویند که حکومت بخاطر تدویر این جرگه باید محل مناسب را مدنظر بگیرد تا سبب ایجاد مشکلات به پوهنتون ها نگردد. - رادیو آزادی

John McCain says NSA chief Keith Alexander 'should resign or be fired' --- Senator John McCain has called for Keith Alexander to "resign or be fired" as the head of the National Security Agency, in an interview with the German news weekly Der Spiegel published on Sunday. -- The senator for Arizona, a former Republican presidential candidate, said Alexander should be held accountable for the leaks of thousands of documents by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, which revealed NSA surveillance and spying on a massive scale. McCain said Snowden, who worked for the NSA as a contractor, should never have had access to classified information. -- "And now we have a contractor employee, not a government employee, who has access to information which is, when revealed, most damaging to the standing prestige of the United States and our relations with some of our best friends," McCain said. "Why did Edward Snowden have that information? And what are we doing as far as screening people who have access to this information? It's outrageous, and someone ought to be held accountable." - More, Karen McVeigh - Guardian

NSA: our analogue spying laws must catch up with the digital era --- News that US intelligence services tapped the phones of allied leaders has generated understandable outrage in Europe. But far more significant is the American government's practice of monitoring the communications of millions of ordinary people, who have no legal redress in the United States because they are foreigners. --- Electronic surveillance has become easy. Authorities can reconstruct someone's life with a simple request to their mobile phone provider, while the costs of storing and processing massive amounts of data have declined dramatically. We already live much of our lives through digital communications, and the trend will only accelerate, so we need swift reform, or the problems will escalate. The issue is not just our emails and mobile phones but also our calendars, address books and medical and banking records. Governments and corporations are increasingly able to track people's location, associations and communications. --- It's time for governments to come clean about their practices, and not wait for the newest revelations. All should acknowledge a global obligation to protect everyone's privacy, clarify the limits on their own surveillance practices (including surveillance of people outside their own borders), and ensure they don't trade mass surveillance data to evade their own obligations. Of course it is important to protect security, but western allies should agree that mass, rather than narrowly targeted, surveillance is never a normal or proportionate measure in a democracy. - More, Kenneth Roth - Guardian

Vast Challenges for Philippines After Typhoon --- CEBU, Philippines — Three days after one of the most powerful storms ever to buffet the Philippines, the scale of the devastation and the desperation of the survivors were slowly coming into view. -- The living told stories of the dead or dying — the people swept away in a torrent of seawater, the corpses strewn among the wreckage. Photos from the hard-hit city of Tacloban showed vast stretches of land swept clean of homes, and reports emerged of people who were desperate for food and water raiding aid convoys and stripping the stores that were left standing. - More, NYTimes

Sunday, November 10, 2013

'Space Ferrari': Where Satellite Is Set To Crash --- Debris from a one-tonne defunct satellite that is heading towards Earth is mostly likely to crash in the ocean or the polar regions, scientists have said. -- There had been fears parts of the craft could hit Europe, but experts have now said there is a "very high probability" this would not happen. -- The European Space Agency's research satellite will mostly disintegrate as it enters the atmosphere 50 miles above the Earth. -- A 200 kg (440 lb) fragment weighing the same as a car engine will survive and will break into smaller debris, it is believed. - The pieces that fall will weigh up to 90 kg (200 lb), said the ESA. -- The impact from the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) was likely to take place on Monday. - More, Sky News

Philippines calls for help as huge rescue operation begins after typhoon Haiyan --- A huge rescue operation is under way in the Philippines to help the victims of typhoon Haiyan, which may have killed more than 10,000 people in the city of Tacloban alone. -- The Philippines does not have sufficient resources on its own to deal with a disaster of this magnitude, and the US and other governments and agencies were mounting a major relief effort, said Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon. - More, Guardian

Typhoon Haiyan: at least 10,000 reported dead in Philippine province --- At least 10,000 people are thought to have died in the central Philippine province of Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, lashed the area, swallowing coastal towns, a senior police official said early on Sunday morning. -- About 70-80% of the buildings in the area in the path of Haiyan in Leyte province was destroyed, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria. "We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials. The governor said based on their estimate, 10,000 died," he said. -- Many corpses hung on tree branches, buildings and sidewalks, Associated Press reported. -- The super-typhoon made landfall on Samar and Leyte islands in the eastern Visayas at about 4.40am on Friday local time, with winds up to 315km/h (195mph) tearing roofs off buildings, turning roads into rivers full of debris and knocking out electricity pylons. - More, Guardian

Geneva talks end without deal on Iran's nuclear programme --- Three gruelling days of high-level and high-stakes diplomacy came to an end in Geneva with no agreement on Iran's nuclear programme, after France blocked a stopgap deal aimed at defusing tensions and buying more time for negotiations. -- A six-nation group of major powers and Iran agreed only to meet again on 20 November, but on a lower level – senior diplomats rather than foreign ministers. - Guardian

Saturday, November 09, 2013

افغان های اخراج شده از کشور های اروپایی، در کابل مظاهره کردند --- شماری از جوانانی که تازه از کشور های اروپایی اخراج شده اند مدعی هستند که آنان بنا بر درخواست حکومت افغانستان اجباراً اخراج و به افغانستان انتقال داده شده اند. ده ها تن از همین افراد به شمول برخی از نماینده گان جامعه مدنی دیروز شنبه در برابر شورای ملی دست به اعتراض زده خواستار وضاحت از سوی حکومت شدند. --- عتیق الله عادل و علی کریمی دو تن از افغانان اخراج شده به رادیو آزادی گفتند: «تقریباً سه سال در ناروی بودم و در آنجا درس می خواندم اما مرا جبراً فرستادند به افغانستان و برای ما گفتند که رئیس جمهور کرزی آمده و وزیر مهاجرین با ما تفاهمنامه امضاء کرده است.» -- معترضان با انتقاد از وزارت مهاجرین و عودت کننده گان می گویند که به مشکلات شان از سوی این وزارت رسیده گی صورت نمی گیرد. بر اساس گزارش ها هنوز هم حدود شش میلیون افغان در 73 کشور جهان به عنوان مهاجر زندگی می کنند که تقریباً 5 میلیون تن تنها در کشور های ایران و پاکستان اقامت دارند. -- افغانستان نخستین کشوری است که بیشترین رقم مهاجران را در کشور های خارجی دارد. بیکاری، فقر و ناامنی سبب شده تا یک تعداد زیاد افغان ها با قبول خطر اقدام به مهاجرت های غیرقانونی کنند. آگاهان به این باور اند که در کنار تامین امنیت هرگاه زمینه اشتغال برای افغان ها در داخل کشور فراهم گردد، می توان جلو رفتن افغان ها به کشور های خارج را گرفت. - رادیو آزادی

US targeted Baitullah Mehsud on Pakistan’s request: Husain Haqqani --- Washington: Pakistan's former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, in his book, has revealed that Islamabad has often asked the United States to use drones to eliminate Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan leaders.-- Former TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike in 2009. -- He also revealed that US President Barack Obama secretly offered Pakistan in 2009 that he would nudge India towards negotiations on Kashmir in lieu of it ending support to terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Taliban, but much to his disappointment Islamabad rejected the offer. -- This is Haqqani's interpretation of the secret letter written by President Obama to the then president Asif Ali Zardari, which was personally hand delivered by his then National Security Advisor Gen (rtd) James Jones. -- The letter's content is for the first time being disclosed by Haqqani, the then Pakistan's envoy to the US. - More,

Interview - Presidential Priorities According to Sherzai --- With nearly all NATO coalition troops departing as the alliance's combat mission comes to an end in December of 2014, Sherzai said a partnership with the U.S. extending past that date would be beneficial for both countries. He was particularly adamant about what the U.S. could do to prevent meddling from neighboring countries as Afghanistan continues to develop alongisde a persistent insurgent conflict. -- "We face interference from abroad, and still the war continues in Afghanistan," Sherzai told TOLOnews. "We must defend our nation from external interferences and the global powers should help us." -- The Presidential candidate said he thought the peace process was important, but that he would go about things a little differently than they are being done now. For starters, he said the High Peace Council should be composed of a greater diversity of Afghan intellectuals and leaders. -- Sherzai spoke about other non-security related priorities as well, including plans to fight administrative corruption, improve the rule of law and develop a culture of meritocracy in Afghanistan. - More, TOLOnews

Interview - Sayyaf Talks Taliban, Women and BSA --- "I really don't understand what is the issue between us and the Taliban, over what issue we are fighting," he said. "If the reason is clarified, then someone can base talks on that." --- "I think there are misconceptions in the public about my perspective on women's education," he said. "I support honorable education opportunities for women, because women's honor and dignity are very important." -- "All aspects should be considered and a wise decision should be taken to bring the country out of crisis, but only in line with our national sovereignty," Sayyaf said. --- Sayyaf noted that there are some reservations that neighboring countries have about the BSA, but said Afghanistan's interests should first and foremost be taken into account in finalizing the agreement. -- The full interview with Sayyaf , TOLOnews

'معتادان افغان در سال گذشته به ارزش ۳۰۰ میلیون دلار مواد مخدر خریده اند' --- وزارت مبارزه با مواد مخدر افغانستان گفته که دلیل عمده میزان بلند کشت و تولید مواد مخدر در این کشور، نا امنی است. -- ولایت‌های هلمند، ارزگان، قندهار و فراه در جنوب افغانستان از ولایاتی نا امن این کشور به شمار می‌روند که بخش بیشتر مواد مخدر هم در همین ولایت ها کشت و تولید می‌شود. -- تعداد معتادان افغانستان حدود ۱.۶ میلیون نفر برآورد شده که ۵.۳ درصد جمعیت این کشور تشکیل می‌دهد و نشان‌دهنده یکی از بلندترین آمارهای اعتیاد در جهان است. -- در کنار تهدیدهای امنیتی، میزان بلند تقاضا، درآمد بلند از مجرای خرید و فروش مواد مخدر و فعالیت گسترده قاچاقبران مواد مخدر هم از دیگر عوامل افزایش کشت کوکنار در افغانستان به شمار می رود. - More, BBC

C.I.A. Is Said to Pay AT&T for Call Data --- WASHINGTON — The C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to assist with overseas counterterrorism investigations by exploiting the company’s vast database of phone records, which includes Americans’ international calls, according to government officials. -- The program adds a new dimension to the debate over government spying and the privacy of communications records, which has been focused on National Security Agency programs in recent months. The disclosure sheds further light on the ties between intelligence officials and communications service providers. -- Because the C.I.A. is prohibited from spying on the domestic activities of Americans, the agency imposes privacy safeguards on the program, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because it is classified. Most of the call logs provided by AT&T involve foreign-to-foreign calls, but when the company produces records of international calls with one end in the United States, it does not disclose the identity of the Americans and “masks” several digits of their phone numbers, the officials said. -- Still, the agency can refer such masked numbers to the F.B.I., which can issue an administrative subpoena requiring AT&T to provide the uncensored data. The bureau handles any domestic investigation, but sometimes shares with the C.I.A. the information about the American participant in those calls, the officials said. - More, CHARLIE SAVAGE - NYTimes

F.D.A. Finds 12% of U.S. Spice Imports Contaminated --- NEW DELHI — About 12 percent of spices brought to the United States are contaminated with insect parts, whole insects, rodent hairs and other things, according to an analysis of spice imports by federal food authorities. -- The finding released on Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration is part of a comprehensive look at the safety of spice imports that has been years in the making. The federal authorities also found that nearly 7 percent of spice imports examined by federal inspectors were contaminated with salmonella, a toxic bacteria that can cause severe illness in humans. - More, GARDINER HARRIS, NYTimes

A Conversation With: Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Amar Sinha --- Having occurred amid growing fears about the security situation after the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, the attempted bombing of the Indian consulate in Jalalabad province on Aug. 3 ignited frantic speculation about whether India planned to exit in the face of danger or stay and deepen its footprint. -- Despite these risks, many officials believe India has to stay in Afghanistan to counter Pakistan’s influence in the country, and prevent the nightmare scenario of its spies or army using the country as a backyard to train militants for launching attacks on Indian soil after the U.S. military pullout at the end of 2014. - More, NYTimes

'Massive destruction' as typhoon kills at least 1,200 in Philippines, says Red Cross --- (Reuters) - One of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall devastated the central Philippines, killing more than 1,000 people in one city alone and 200 in another province, the Red Cross estimated on Saturday, as reports of high casualties began to emerge. -- The death toll is expected to rise sharply from the fast-moving storm, whose circumference eclipsed the whole country and which late on Saturday was heading for Vietnam. - More

Iran nuclear deal unlikely as split emerges in Western camp -diplomats --- (Reuters) - Barring a last-minute breakthrough, talks between Iran and six world powers on curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions were set to end without an agreement on Saturday as a split emerged between France and the other Western powers, diplomats said. - More

Pentagon offset budget cut impact in key areas -watchdog --- (Reuters) - When $37 billion in budget cuts hit the Pentagon abruptly early this year, officials took steps that minimized the impact on key areas like the Afghanistan war but also took action that could raise long-run costs, a watchdog agency said on Thursday. - More

Afghan troop deaths climb but U.S. says transition on track --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan troop casualties climbed 79 percent during key fighting months this year as the still-resistant Taliban kept up the pace of its attacks and NATO forces moved into a support role in preparation to end their combat mission, the Pentagon said on Friday. - More

افغانستان دوازده موزیم ولایتی می سازد --- مقامات وزارت اطلاعات و فرهنگ افغانستان می گویند که در نظر دارند دوازده موزیم ولایتی بسازند. آنان می گویند که به دلیل نبود موزیم های معیاری، بسیاری آثار تاریخی این کشور را نابودی و فرسودگی تهدید می کند. -- تنها در ولایت های کابل، غزنی، هرات، قندهار، خوست و کاپیسا موزیم هایی وجود دارند که آثار باستانی در آنان به نمایش گذاشته شده اند. موزیم ملی افغانستان در پایتخت این کشور مشهورترین موزیم می باشد. -- عمراخان مسعودی، رییس موزیم ملی افغانستان می گوید که این موزیم سیستم کنترول درجه حرارت، رطوبت، نور و اطفائیه ندارد و همچنان کمره های امنیتی نیز در آن نصب نمی باشد. دو سال پیش کار اعمار یک ساختمان جدید با استندردهای بین المللی برای این موزیم آغاز شد و تا حدودی نیز پیش رفته است. -- افغانستان در سال 2003 عضویت پولیس بین المللی "انترپول" و "ایوپول" را به دست آورده است و در همکاری با انجمن بین المللی موزیم ها و سازمان علمی فرهنگی ملل متحد، یونسکو، برای بازگرداندن آثار از خارج تلاش می کند. -- دولت های قبلی افغانستان کنوانیسون های بین المللی مربوط به آثار تاریخی را امضا نکرده بودند. در سال 2005 وزارت خارجه افغانستان دو کنوانسیون را در این رابطه پذیرفت. مسعودی می گوید: «در روشنی مفادات این کنوانسیون ها ما توانسته ایم از سال 2007 به این سو بیش از 9 هزار قلم آثار را که از سوی پولیس انترپول شناسایی شده اند ادعای ملکیت کنیم و به افغانستان برگردانیم. ما یک لیست سرخ آثار باستانی غارت شده افغانستان را تهیه کرده ایم و کار هنوز هم برای پس گرفتن آنان جریان دارد.» - دویچه ویلی

India braces for increase in Kashmir militancy as US winds down presence in Afghanistan --- SRINAGAR, India — India is bracing for more militancy in the battle-scarred region of Kashmir, believing that fighters now focused on resisting U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan will shift toward the Himalayan flashpoint with Pakistan. - More, Washingtonpost

FDA take a bite out of unhealthy foods --- “START HOARDING donuts,” a blogger declared Thursday. “The FDA is banning trans fats.” -- In fact, the preliminary move by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, the source of most of the trans fat in the food supply, is an insignificant imposition on liberty that would save lives. People won’t lose their doughnuts, french fries, pizza or other indulgences because of it. The FDA should implement its ban as quickly as possible. -- Trans fat is about the worst kind of fat you can eat. It increases your LDL — “bad” — cholesterol and is thought to lower your HDL — “good” — cholesterol. It’s worse than the saturated fat in butter. It found its way into Americans’ food because it is a little cheaper than some other oils and has a long shelf life. - More, Washingtonpost

Shrinking Numbers and Growing Persecution Threaten Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan --- KABUL, Afghanistan — J.K. Sharma, a large Sikh man in a black turban, works out of a small room lined with jars and herbs in the ruined and dusty Shor Bazaar in Kabul. In a war-ravaged country where miracles are in short supply, Mr. Sharma makes a living as a magician, providing advice and talismans to Muslim Afghans for a fee. -- Community leaders of these two religious minorities estimate that 35 years ago around 100,000 of them lived in Afghanistan. After three decades of fleeing from conflict to countries like India, Canada and Germany, only 3,000 are left. The majority of the 300 families remaining are Sikhs. - More, NYTimes

Afghanistan to free 80% of high-security detainees, Pentagon says --- WASHINGTON – The Afghan government has moved to release 80 percent of the high-security detainees who were handed over this year by the U.S. military and evaluated by an Afghan review panel, according to a Defense Department report released Friday. - More, Japan Times

Friday, November 08, 2013

Iran nuclear talks to enter third day after 'progress' --- US Secretary of State John Kerry said important issues remained "unresolved". -- Talks between Iran and world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme are to enter an unscheduled third day in Geneva. -- Under a deal being floated, Iran could freeze expansion of its nuclear activity for limited sanctions relief. -- "There is more work to do," the US official told reporters after talks ended late on Friday evening. -- More BBC

‏لطیفه کبیر سراج اولین نطاق زن در رادیوی افغانستان، چشم از جهان بست --- خانم لطیفه کبیر سراج اولین بانوی که صدایش از امواج رادیو افغانستان بلند شد در ایالات متحده امریکا از جهان چشم پوشید. خانم کبیر سراج تنها اولین زن نطاق نبود که با چادری به رادیو رفته و اخبار را قرائت می کرد، بلکه یکی از فعالان نهضت زنان در افغانستان نیز بود. لطیفه کبیر سراج دختر سردار عنایت الله خان فرزند ارشد امیر حبیب الله خان (امیر شهید) و بردار بزرگ غازی امان الله خان بود. -- در ایام کودکی وقتی که نظام امان الله خان توسط حبیب الله کلکانی به سقوط مواجه شد، سردار عنایت الله خان برای سه روز زمام حکومت افغانستان را بدست گرفت، اما چند روزی نگذشت که سردار عنایت الله خان با تمام خانواده اش به شمول لطیفه کبیر سراج به هند رفته، از آنجا به عراق و از عراق به دعوت شهنشاه ایران به تهران رفته و در آنجا مسکن گزین شدند. خانم لطیفه سراج دوره ابتدایی مکتب را در ایران به پایه اکمال رسانده و به ادبیات زبان دری سخت علاقه مند بود. -- در دوره صدارت شاه محمود خان و زمامداری اعلیحضرت ظاهرشاه بابای ملت، خانواده عنایت الله خان که خودش در ایران دارفانی را پدرود گفته بود، به افغانستان دعوت شده و زندگی دوباره را در افغانستان آغاز کردند. لطیفه کبیر سراج در آغاز به حیث معلم دری، تاریخ و جغرافیه در لیسه ملالی تدریس می کرد و هم زمان با آن معلم زبان دری در شفاخانه مستورات بود که به نرس ها سوادآموزی می کرد. -- او تنها معلم و آموزگار نبود بلکه یکی از اولین کسانی بود که برای تقویه نهضت زنان دست و پا می زد و در تقویه ارزش های دموکراسی گام بر می داشت. او و خواهراش زینب علاوه بر کار های فراموش ناشدنی برای نهضت زنان، در رشد تیاتر افغانستان نیز تلاش کردند و زینب ننداری را یکجا تقویت کردند. -- خانم کبیر سراج در یک زمانی به نطاقی در رادیو افغانستان آغاز کرد که اکثریت زنان افغان از سواد ابتدایی هم بهره مند نبودند. وقتی که مرحوم عباالغفور برشنا آمر عمومی نشرات رادیو افغانستان بود، در ابتدا برنامه های رادیویی را با صدای خانم لطیفه سراج در خانه ثبت می کرد و بعد از طریق امواج رادیو به نشر می رساند. بعد از مدتی او مستقیماً به رادیو رفته و صدای خود را بلند کرد. اولین جایزه نطاقی را از طرف (عبدالرووف بینوا) بدست آورد و چندین تقدیرنامه از طرف وزارت اطلاعات و کلتور وقت حاصل کرد. -- ‏در سال 1358 هجری شمسی، زمانیکه قوای شوروی سابق افغانستان را اشغال کرد، خانم سراج دوباره از آغوش میهن جدا شده به پاکستان رفت و از آنجا به امریکا پناهنده شد. وی در خارج از کشور نیز فعالیت های چشمگیر فرهنگی انجام داده است. در سال 1980 میلادی زماینکه به امریکا اقامت گزید از طرف دولت امریکا به حیث نطاق دری در رادیو صدای امریکا مقرر شد و برای مدت ده سال وظیفه ژورنالیستی را پیش برد. -- لطیفه کبیر سراج تنها معلم و نطاق نبود بلکه برای یک نسل جوان دختران افغان رهنما و الهام آور بود. یک تن از این دختران جوان سهیلا اصغری می باشد که در رادیو و بعد رادیو تلویزیون نطاقی می کرد. ‏خانم لطیفه کبیر سراج در سال 1338 هجری شمسی مطابق به سال 1959میلادی با کبیر سراج ازدواج نمود و حاصل ‏ازدواج ایشان پنج پسر و دو دختر می باشد. خانم لطیفه کبیر سراج روز چهارشنبه 15 عقرب به سن 90 سالگی در دیار غربت در ایالات متحده داعی اجل را لبیک گفت. - رادیو آزادی

US trashes, sells its unwanted gear in Afghanistan -- KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — The withdrawing U.S. military is destroying most of the equipment it is leaving behind in Afghanistan after 13 years of war, selling the scrap for millions of dollars to those willing to buy it. -- The policy stands in stark contrast to the Americans' withdrawal from Iraq, when they donated or sold still-usable items worth about $100 million. -- Afghans are angry at the policy, arguing that even furniture and appliances that could improve their lives is being turned into useless junk. -- "They use everything while they are here, and then they give it to us after breaking it," said Mohammed Qasim, a junk dealer in the volatile southern province of Kandahar. He gestured toward the large yellow frame of a gutted generator, saying it would have been more useful in somebody's home, given the lack of electricity in the area. -- In the last year, the U.S. has turned equipment and vehicles into 387 million pounds (176 million kilograms) of scrap that it sold to Afghans for $46.5 million, according to Mimi Schirmacher, a spokeswoman for the military's Defense Logistics Agency in Virginia. -- The scrapped material was too worn out to repair or not worth the expense of carrying it back to the U.S., officials said. -- Spokesmen for President Hamid Karzai said the government has "repeatedly" asked U.S. officials to neither destroy nor remove its military equipment from Afghanistan when its combat troops leave. -- "We oppose the destruction of any of the equipment and hardware that can be of use by the Afghan security forces," deputy presidential spokesman Fayeq Wahedi told The Associated Press in an email. -- Crichton said the Iraqis were better prepared to receive and maintain the equipment. -- The lessons learned from Iraq included how to save money by dismantling, relocating and disposing of equipment it didn't want to ship home, she said, as well as earning money by selling it as scrap to the locals. The U.S. deployed an estimated $33 billion in equipment to Afghanistan. - More, KATHY GANNON, Associated Press

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep --- While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say. -- The process is important because what's getting washed away during sleep are waste proteins that are toxic to brain cells, Nedergaard says. This could explain why we don't think clearly after a sleepless night and why a prolonged lack of sleep can actually kill an animal or a person, she says. -- So why doesn't the brain do this sort of housekeeping all the time? Nedergaard thinks it's because cleaning takes a lot of energy. "It's probably not possible for the brain to both clean itself and at the same time [be] aware of the surroundings and talk and move and so on," she says. -- That's probably not a coincidence, Nedergaard says. "Isn't it interesting that Alzheimer's and all other diseases associated with dementia, they are linked to sleep disorders," she says. - More, Jon Hamilton - NPR

جادوی سلامتی بخش خواب بر بدن انسان --- یک پژوهش جدید یافته است که سیستم پاکسازی در دماغ -که مسوول پاک کردن محصولات اضافی زهری است که در جریان فعالیت روزمره سلول های بدن تولید می شوند-در هنگام خواب به پیمانۀ گسترده فعالیت می کند. -- در هنگام فعالیت این سیستم حتا سلول های بدن اندازۀ خود را کوچک می سازند تا پاکسازی محیط اطراف خود را سهل و ساده تر سازد. دانشمندان می گویند که پاکسازی شبانگاهی بدن توسط دماغ خود یک دلیل قانع کنندۀ بیولوژیکی برای قدرت سلامتی آور خواب است. -- مایکن نیدرگارد، نویسندۀ پژوهش جدید و جراح اعصاب در پوهنتون راچستر می گوید که خواب دماغ را در حالت دیگری قرار می دهد که در آن همه فرآورده های اضافی تولید شده در جریان فعالیت های روز، از بدن طرح می شود. در این میان یکی هم پروتین بیتا امایلوید است که در دماغ بیماران الزایمرس قابل دید است. -- شب زنده داری و بیدار خوابی به ویژه در هنگام شب مانع کارکرد دماغ برای پاکسازی بدن از وجود مواد زهری می شود. از اینرو می توان پی برد که محرومیت از خواب می تواند پیامد های قوی و فوری داشته باشد. کم خوابی دوامدار می تواند سبب گیجی، سستی و ازدیاد خطر ابتلا به نیم سری شود. - More, - darivoa

FDA seeks to ban trans fats in processed foods due to health risks --- (Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed banning artificial trans fats in processed food ranging from cookies to frozen pizza, citing the risk of heart disease. -- Partially hydrogenated oils, the primary dietary source of the fats, have been shown to raise "bad" cholesterol. Reducing the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease a year, the FDA said. -- "Artificial trans fat is a uniquely powerful promoter of heart disease, and today's announcement will hasten its eventual disappearance from the food supply," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. -- Products that still contain trans fats include some varieties of crackers, refrigerated dough, coffee creamers and ready-to-use frosting, among others. Some products will be harder to reformulate than others, FDA officials said. - More

Iran, powers aim to seal deal on ending nuclear standoff --- (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers were closing in on a long-elusive deal on Friday aimed at allaying international fears about Tehran's atomic aims and reducing the risk of a new war in the volatile Middle East. -- After the first day of a November 7-8 meeting, they said progress had been made towards an agreement under which the Islamic state would curb some of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited relief from sanctions that are damaging its economy. - More

تحلیل گران: راه ابریشم از محراق توجه امریکا دور شده است --- تحلیلگران امور می گویند که با خروج نیرو های امریکایی در ختم سال ۲۰۱۴ از افغانستان، ایالات متحده تعاملات خود با افغانستان و در مجموع با آسیای مرکزی کاهش خواهد داد و خلای دیدگاه واضح ایالات متحده در بارۀ منطقه، شاید با حضور سایر کشور ها، مانند چین پُر شود. تحلیلگران به این باور اند که بعد از سال ۲۰۱۴ که افغانستان احتمالاً با کاهش یا هم توقف کامل کمک های مالی ایالات متحده به اردوی افغانستان مواجه شود، حکومت افغانستان قادر به مبارزه و غلبه بر طالبان نخواهد بود. تحلیل گران میگویند که با موجودیت یک افغانستان بی ثبات، ستراتیژی جدید راه ابریشم که به منظور انسجام اقتصادی افغانستان با آسیای میانه ایجاد می شود و هم اندیشه خط لولۀ گاز که ممکن از داخل خاک افغانستان عبور کند غیرموثر است. --- مقامات پیشین و کنونی ایالات متحده با این دیدگاه های تحلیلگران موافق نیستند. دیود سیدنی که در این اواخر مسؤول برنامه های وزارت دفاع در آسیای مرکزی است، می گوید که حتی با خروج نیرو های بین المللی، سیاست ایالات متحده برای افغانستان و یا آسیای مرکزی تغییر نخواهد کرد. "پالیسی ایالات متحده در افغانستان، آسیای مرکزی و جهان با فرارسیدن سال ۲۰۱۴خاتمه نمی یابد. فکر هم نمی کنم که حضور عساکر امریکایی در افغانستان نیز در ۲۰۱۴ به پایان برسد." - More, صدای امریکا

With US set to exit Afghanistan, is legalizing the Taliban the way to end the war? --- As the White House grapples with just how many US troops should still be in Afghanistan by the end of next year, some longtime Pentagon advisers are increasingly convinced that any “plausible” deal that ends the longest war in American history will involve legalizing the Taliban. -- Others say President Obama should continue to keep US force levels in the tens of thousands so that they can continue to train Afghan soldiers in the art of running an army. -- More than 12 years after US troops began fighting in Afghanistan and after thousands of lives lost, it is an “inconvenient fact” that the Afghan National Security Forces will not be ready to secure their government or their territory after 2014, says Frederick Kagan, an analyst at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. -- If the Afghan National Security Forces are unable to win the war outright after 2014 – a fair possibility, given that they are unable to win the war now with the help of US troops, helicopters, and intelligence assets – ”that leaves only two plausible long-term outcomes to the conflict,” says Stephen Biddle, a senior fellow in defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. - One is a “negotiated settlement with the Taliban at some point, whether near or distant,” he told lawmakers at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Middle East subcommittee last week. “The other is defeat for the Afghan government.” -- In a series of recent congressional hearings and think tank discussions, Washington continues to debate the proper number of US troops to stay in Afghanistan post-2014. --- Rohrbacher did not wait for a response, but went on to note that $15 billion is the “whole gross national product” of Afghanistan. He then proposed a less conventional end to the war. “I assure you, with the experience that I have had in Afghanistan, which is extensive, that for $3 billion we can buy off every tribal leader and every political leader in that country,” Rohrbacher said. “And for an extra $1 billion, there can be smiles on their faces and they can wave American flags,” he added. “Just get our troops out of there.” - More, Csmonitor

Review & Outlook : An Afghanistan Commitment --- The next meaningful military call waiting on President Obama's desk is Afghanistan. The precedents (Iraq 2011, Syria this year) aren't encouraging, but the U.S. can still get this one right. -- Three years ago, President Obama settled on an arbitrary deadline of December 2014 to end "combat operations" in Afghanistan. This war won't be over because the U.S. says so. A robust foreign force will be needed for years to keep Afghanistan out of the hands of the Taliban and al Qaeda. --- The hitch? Start at the White House. Some national security aides want a complete American pullout from Afghanistan next year, as in Iraq three years ago. The zero crowd (pun intended) wants to play to Americans who are understandably tired of 12 years of conflict. State and the Pentagon support a larger U.S. footprint, but in this Administration they are marginal players. -- Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, a difficult partner prone to erratic outbursts, rarely helps his cause in Washington. Last month, after Secretary of State John Kerry thought he had struck a deal on a bilateral security treaty during a visit to Kabul, Mr. Karzai pulled the rug out. He refused to grant U.S. troops immunity from Afghan prosecution after 2014 and punted the decision to the loya jirga, an assembly of tribal elders due to meet this month. -- America retains jurisdiction over all servicemen stationed overseas, whether in Germany or South Korea, and Mr. Karzai should understand that this is not negotiable. His stunt gives officials in Washington the excuse many of them are looking for to hit the "zero option." -- War fatigue and years of bad press in the U.S. have obscured Afghan successes. The country has a legitimate constitution. Girls are being educated and the economy is growing. The Taliban can wage an insurgency from Pakistan but they don't control much territory. The government in Kabul may be corrupt, but it's far better than anything Afghanistan has seen since its descent into civil conflict in the late 1970s. -- These gains came at a heavy American price. The U.S. has a strategic interest in building on this progress, and it's up to the U.S. Commander in Chief to finally get off the sofa and close the deal. - More, Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The dark side of psychology in abuse and interrogation --- This week the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF) have published the most comprehensive study on the role of psychologists in the War on Terror. At 269 pages, the full report is as detailed as it is grim, concluding that American psychologists collaborated extensively with the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, and the CIA to develop a range of interrogation methods used in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo Bay. More --- Those ethical standards themselves are unclear. The American Psychological Association (APA) – the official professional body for psychologists in the US – officially rejects torture but it also supports the role of psychologists in interrogation: "It is consistent with the APA Ethics Code for psychologists to serve in consultative roles to interrogation and information-gathering processes for national-security related purposes". The APA has yet to indicate which, if any, of the methods listed in the IMAP/OSF report would be consistent with its ethical policy. - More, Guardian

Tim Berners-Lee: encryption cracking by spy agencies 'appalling and foolish' --- Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the computer scientist who created the world wide web, has called for a "full and frank public debate" over internet surveillance by the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, warning that the system of checks and balances over these two powerful bodies has failed. -- As the inventor of the global system of inter-connectivity known as the web, with its now ubiquitous www and http, Berners-Lee is uniquely qualified to comment on the internet spying that has been revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. -- In an interview with the Guardian, he expressed particular outrage that GCHQ and NSA had weakened the security of the internet by cracking much of the online encryption on which hundreds of millions of users rely to protect the privacy of their data. - More, Guardian

Carl Levin: Afghanistan is better today, thanks to American troops --- In late October, I traveled to Afghanistan. It was my 12th trip since the start of the conflict there. I was struck by the rapid, positive changes that are transforming security and daily life for the people of Afghanistan. -- Just as striking are the changes in the Afghan economy and Afghan society. During this trip, we drove across Kabul to visit the American University of Afghanistan — one of dozens of new colleges and universities now open in the country. As we drove through the city center, we saw streets full of cars, rows of shops, and new buildings going up. -- The American University of Afghanistan truly is a remarkable story. In the seven years since it opened its doors, the American University has grown from 53 students to over 1,000, including more than 300 women. -- The American people deserve to hear that their contributions in Afghanistan have made a tangible difference in the lives of Afghans in a relatively short time. We haven’t just worked for the good of the Afghan people, but for our own security - More, thetimesherald

مقاله سفیر سابق امریکا در افغانستان و عراق، مذاکره با ایران مفید است -- بلافاصله پس از یازده سپتامبر، مذاکرات با ایران بر سر افغانستان بسیار موفقیت‌آمیز بود. هر دو دشمنی مشترک داشتیم، طالبان و دوستانشان در القاعده. هر دو دولت فکر کردند که می‌توانند در این مورد با هم همکاری کنند. ایرانی‌ها بسیار سازنده، آینده‌نگر و متمرکز بودند و حتا در یک زمان پیش از شروع حمله نظامی امریکا نقشه بسیار ارزشمندی از نظام جنگی طالبان برای ما فراهم آوردند. -- توافق ایرانی- امریکایی در کنفرانس بن در مورد افغانستان محور برقراری تشکل فعلی به رهبری حامد کرزی بود که حالا رییس‌جمهور افغانستان است. -- مذاکرات با ایران پس از بازگشایی سفارت امریکا در کابل ادامه یافت. ما به توافق‌های زیادی در مورد مسایل امنیتی و سازندگی رسیدیم. اما ناگهان زمانی‌که جرج بوش ایران را در اوایل سال ۲۰۰۲ محور شرارت خواند، همه‌چیز متوقف شد. رهبری ایران به این نتیجه رسید که به رغم همکاری ایران با جنگ امریکایی، این کشور دشمن همیشگی ایران باقی خواهد ماند. پس از این‌ سخنرانی همکاری متوقف شد و هزینه‌اش سنگین بود. در آن زمان ما در حال مذاکره بودیم که حکمتیار که در ایران در بازداشت خانگی بود به افغانستان و پس از آن تحت کنترل امریکا در آید، اما پس از آن سخنرانی، ایران کمک کرد تا حکمتیار پنهانی به افغانستان بازگردد و هنوز هم او نیروهای ایتلاف و افغانی را هدف قرار می‌دهد. - More, هشت صبح -- RYAN C. CROCKER - Talk to Iran, It Works -- NYTimes

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Op-Ed: RYAN C. CROCKER - Talk to Iran, It Works --- Immediately after 9/11, while serving in the State Department, I sat down with Iranian diplomats to discuss next steps in Afghanistan. Back then, we had a common enemy, the Taliban and its Al Qaeda associates, and both governments thought it was worth exploring whether we could cooperate. -- The Iranians were constructive, pragmatic and focused, at one point they even produced an extremely valuable map showing the Taliban’s order of battle just before American military action began. -- They were also strong proponents of taking action in Afghanistan. We met through the remaining months of 2001 in different locations, and Iranian-American agreement at the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan was central to establishing the Afghan Interim Authority, headed by Hamid Karzai, now the president of Afghanistan. -- I continued to hold talks with the Iranians in Kabul when I was sent to reopen the United States Embassy there. We forged agreements on various security issues and coordinated approaches to reconstruction. And then, suddenly, it all came to an end when President George W. Bush gave his famous “Axis of Evil” speech in early 2002. The Iranian leadership concluded that in spite of their cooperation with the American war effort, the United States remained implacably hostile to the Islamic Republic.-- Real cooperation effectively ceased after the speech and the costs were immediate. At the time, we were in the process of negotiating the transfer of the notorious Afghan warlord, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, from Iranian house arrest to Afghan custody and ultimately to American control. Instead, the Iranians facilitated his covert entry into Afghanistan where he remains at large, launching attacks on coalition and Afghan targets. - More, NYTimes -- Ryan C. Crocker, a former United States ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq

Why President Karzai Has to Sign the Bilateral Security Agreement --- While it is a usual practice bargaining for the sake of national interest and political gains in any negotiations, reaching a decision, however, on Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) has been a challenging task. Apparently, President Karzai and Secretary Kerry reached a de facto agreement on this matter, but the thumbs-up is still to be given by the Consultative Loya Jirga (gathering of tribal elders) planned for November 19th. - Despite President Karzai's political posturing, nobody in the country fears that he would not sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) even though some foreign media outlets have been casting doubts on it, usually adding to the sensationalist and negative coverage of Afghan affairs. -- Political players, no matter what their party affiliation is, understand the vulnerability of Afghanistan's geopolitical position in terms of its long term security in the region. They also understand that there is, unfortunately, no reliable ally for Afghanistan in its immediate neighborhood. Iran -- a potential nuclear power, and Pakistan -- already a nuclear power, continue to see Afghanistan at their peripheral outlooks which define their relationship with enemies or allies. This political equation is unlikely to change in favor of Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. For decades, they have been involved in arming radical groups, trying to destabilize Afghanistan for their own interests and fueled ethno-linguistic and religious differences in order to increase their regional hegemony. --- Sealing BSA is extensively linked to President Karzai's post 2014 legacy. BSA is widely perceived as the single reason preventing Afghanistan from relapse into yet another civil war, and is the physiological guarantor of peaceful political transition in 2014 through democratic processes, elections. Although many notorious Afghan warlords are potential Presidential or Vice-President hopefuls, however, they can go rough and undermine the legitimacy and outcomes of the presidential elections in the absence of international forces, "President Karzai can't allow another chaotic civil war on his watch, and he is, undoubtedly, convinced that he needs full support of international forces to make things rights for Afghanistan next year," said a close member of President Karzia's inner circle with the condition of anonymity. - More, Hamid Saboory - HuffPost

د مالیې له وزارته په لسګونو ملیون افغانۍ غلا شوي --- د لویې څارونوالۍ ویندوی بصیرعزیز د سې شنبې په ورځ تایید کړه چې په دې تړاو دوه شکمن کسان نیول شوي چې دواړه د مالیې وزارت مامورین دي. -- راپورونه وايي چې د مالیې له وزارت څخه په بلخ کې یوه بانکي حساب ته ۳۲۸ اعشاریه ۵ ملیون افغانۍ په الیکترونیکي ډول لېږدول شوې وې. دا پیسې بېرته د مالیې وزارت ته استول شوي خو ۶۱ ملیون افغانۍ لا هم په دې منځ کې ورکې دي. دا پیسې په ۳۸ بانکي چکونو د بلخ له بانکونو څخه ایستل شوي دي. -- ویل شوي چې په دې غلا کې د مالیې وزارت د بلخ ولایت مسؤول چارواکی لاس لري خو دا کس د بلخ د والي عطا محمد نور په مداخله خوشي شوی او ازاد ګرځي. -- د لویې څرانوالۍ سرچینې وايي چې په دې اړه څېړنې روانې دي. -- د ولسي جرګې اقتصادي کمېټې له ولسمشر کرزي څخه غوښتي چې د دې غلا مسوول ته سزا ورکړي. - تاند

Interview: Zalmay Rasool Discusses 'Roadmap' for First 100 Days --- Presidential candidate Zalmay Rasool discussed the key features of what would be his "roadmap" for the first 100 days in office, if elected President in April. -- Rasool, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, told TOLOnews that security, the economy, the peace process and corruption would be his top priorities. -- "We would review corruption cases that are sitting in the legal and judicial organs and would publicize the outcomes...I would establish a special court if needed," Rasool said. -- The Presidential hopeful also spoke about the Taliban peace process. -- Rasool advocated an openness in foreign policy, and said Afghanistan could not afford to be isolated from the international community, especially in the South Asian region, anymore. - The full interview with Rasool can be seen here: TOLOnews

Rapid Fielding Expects to Expand Post-Afghanistan --- As the war winds down in Afghanistan and the military shifts its footing toward new threats , the Pentagon's rapid fielding office is expanding to take on longer-term prototyping and developmental projects. -- "We are going to look more at developmental prototyping in addition to what we've done over the last couple of years which is operational prototyping," Earl Wyatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Rapid Fielding, told in an interview. -- This comes at the same time that budgets across the Defense Department are dropping and many have questioned the future of military agencies that were stood up to respond to the needs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Wyatt told he expects Rapid Fielding to survive the budget axe. -

Galaxy Quest: Just How Many Earth-Like Planets Are Out There? --- A team of planet hunters estimates that about 22 percent of the sun-like stars in our galaxy may have planets about the size of Earth that are bathed in similar amounts of sunlight — and potentially habitable. - More, NPR

Hagel warns of dangers in deep cuts to defense --- WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is preparing top-to-bottom changes, including a push to limit the growth of military pay, as it adjusts to steep budget cuts and the winding down of war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday. -- In a speech on U.S. defense priorities, Hagel said that as the Obama administration preserves the military's strength it will make it a less prominent tool of foreign policy. That's not a new goal but one Hagel said is more achievable now that the U.S. is ending more than a decade of foreign conflict and the public is weary of war. -- He sketched a future focused on investments in space and cyber technologies, missile defense and a strategy that assumes the world will not soon resolve challenges posed by terrorism and "heavily armed" states like North Korea. - He advocated a more humble U.S. approach to foreign policy. - More, The Associated Press

Germany calls in British ambassador over spy claims -- The British ambassador in Berlin has been called in to Germany's foreign ministry to respond to spying allegations. -- The UK's Independent newspaper says the British embassy in Berlin may house a "top-secret listening post". -- The Independent report, published on Tuesday, was based on NSA documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden. - More, BBC

.قانون تدارکات افغانستان تعدیل می‌شود --- نشست ملی تدارکات برای بحث روی تعدیل قانون تدارکات امروز در کابل برگزار شد. -- حکومت افغانستان تلاش دارد نواقص موجود در این قانون را رفع کرده و مصرف کمک‌ها را سریعتر و شفافتر سازد. -- وزیر مالیه گفت که نادیده گرفتن قانون تدارکات یکی از دلایل مهم عدم شفافیت در پروژه ها و طولانی و پرمصرف شدن پروژه های بازسازی است. -- او گفت: "در پروسه تدارکات مداخلات وجود دارد، مداخلات در داخل اداره و بیرون اداره، افراد صلاحیت ندارند یا اگر دارند به دلیل مداخلات جرات ندارند، افراد مداخله می کنند و پروسه را با کندی مواجه می‌سازند مثلا پروسه دو سه ماهه، یک سال را در برمی‌گیرد. اکنون پروژه ها در افغانستان قیمت ترین پروژه ها در نوع خود در منطقه هستند." -- مصرف نشدن کامل بودجه‌های عادی و انکشافی، یکی از چالش‌هایی است که هر ساله حکومت با آن دست و پنجه نرم می‌کند. -- افغانستان طی دوازده سال گذشته از میلیارد‌ها دلار کمک جامعه جهانی در بخش بازسازی و پروژه های انکشافی بهره برده اما حالا مقامهای افغان تلاش دارند برای موثریت بیشتر این کمک‌ها هماهنگی‌ها و شفافیت را با تعدیل قانون تدارکات بیشتر سازند. - More, BBC

Iran Talks Won't Change U.S. Missile Plans in Europe, Kerry Says --- WARSAW—The U.S. is going ahead with its missile defense plans for Europe despite improving relations with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday, two days before the next round of nuclear negotiations with Iran in Geneva. -- The U.S. expects to put land-based missile interceptors in northern Poland by 2018, three years after a site in Romania is expected to become operational. The base in Poland will seek to protect Europe and the U.S. from missile attacks that could be launched mainly from Iran. - More, WSJ

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki: ‘American policy has been wrong’ --- The Post’s Lally Weymouth spoke this week with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki, former chief of intelligence and brother of the foreign minister. Excerpts: - More, Washingtonpost

U.S. risks setback to oversight of Afghan reconstruction, agency says --- The U.S. military withdrawal will hamper efforts to monitor U.S.-funded rebuilding projects in Afghanistan, a special inspector general tells a House panel. - More, latimes

Union urges arming TSA officers after LAX shooting --- When Congress formed the Transportation Security Administration two months after 9/11, the agency's mission was clear: Its officers would not carry guns or make arrests. Instead, they would focus on screening passengers for weapons, bombs and other dangerous materials.-- But the shooting death of a TSA officer at Los Angeles International Airport — the first fatality in the agency's history — could change that. -- "The sad truth is that our TSA officers are subject to daily verbal assaults and far too frequent physical attacks," said Jeffrey David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees. "We feel a larger and more consistent armed presence in screening areas would be a positive step." - More, latimes

باختر - یک عالم دینی: قتل درمسجد یک عمل کفر آمیز است --- جمعه شب گذشته سه تن از افراد پولیس محلی درحالیکه قصد داشتند غرض ادای نماز خفتن داخل مسجد قریه سرکانه ولسوالی خیرکوت ولایت پکتیکا شوند درپی انفجاری به شهادت رسیدند . منابع امنیتی پکتیکا گفته اند که بمب در نزدیکی در ورودی مسجد جاسازی شده بود که برعلاوه شهادت سه تن از افراد پولیس محلی به شماری دیگر از نماز گذاران آسیب رسید ومسجد نیز خساره مندشد. درجریان یکماه گذشته این دومین باریست که نمازگذاران درداخل مسجد هدف یک حمله تروریستی قرار میگیرند در روزاول عید قربان نیز مخالفان مسلح باکارگذاری بمب درداخل مسجد درولایت لوگر نمازگذاران راهدف قرار دادند. -- حمله برمساجد واماکن مقدسه درافغانستان یک پدیده صادر شده از بیرون است که باتاسف دردوسه سال اخیر واقعات زیاد شده که میتواند یک امر نگران کننده باشد. یک آگاه مسایل نظامی که سابقه کار در ادارات امنیتی کشور داشته میگوید که حمله برمساجد یک پدیده تازه وبیرونی است. او اضافه میدارد، مردم افغانستان، باوجود آنکه اضافه از سی سال خشونت را درکشور تجربه کرده اند مگر هیچگاهی از مسجد واماکن مقدسه برای اغراض واهداف شان استفاده نکرده اند درحالیکه حمله برمساجد ،اماکن مقدسه، تجمع های دینی درپاکستان سابقه طولانی دارد حتا آنانیکه برا ی منافع پاکستان درکشمیر هندوستان جنگ کرده اند بارها بعد از انجام حملات از ترس عساکر هندی برمساجد پناه برده اندوعساکر هندی هم بخاطر احترام به مساجد ازحمله برآنها خود داری کرده اند . -- درکنار آن سازمان های افراطی پاکستان بارها به عناوین مختلف یکدیگر رادرداخل مساجد ویا محلات تجمع مسلمانان کشته اند، باتاسف که این پدیده درسالهای اخیر این پدیده زشت به افغانستان نیز صادر شده است . -- به این ترتیب حلقه های افراطی پاکستان که خود درخشونت های مذهبی، جنگ مذاهب وحمله بر اقلیت های دینی سابقه بد وزشت دارند میخواهند درپناه حمایت سازمان های استخباراتی کشورشان مردم افغانستان را نیز درتقابل مذهبی قرار دهند، ارزش ومصونیت مساجد را نزد مردم ما کاهش دهند. - More

Monday, November 04, 2013

Wardark Aims to Stem Corruption, Advance Peace Process -- Wardak claimed that if elected he would bring all high-ranking officials guilty of corruption to justice. He said the pervasiveness of unaddressed corruption had tarnished the reputation of government in the eyes of Afghans and the international community. -- One of the strategies for curtailing corruption that Wardak promoted in his interview was the digitization of all government documents. He said all administrative affairs on the national and local level should be updated with new technology. --Wardak also discussed peace negotiations with the Taliban, and stressed that he would be dedicated to advancing the possibility of full reconciliation. -- "We are ready to sacrifice for this purpose...we will do everything and never give up," he said. - The full interview with Wardak can be seen here: - More, TOLOnews

U.S. officials offer few concessions on NSA spying to privacy board --- (Reuters) - The U.S. government is open to some changes to how it conducts its phone and Internet surveillance programs as long as they do not undermine the programs' effectiveness, U.S. officials told a privacy oversight board on Monday. -- How exactly the U.S. phone and online data-gathering programs could strike such a balance - helping thwart terrorist plots while also protecting Americans' privacy - is under review by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Pakistani Party Votes to Block NATO Supply Lines if Drones Persist -- LONDON — The ruling party in a northwestern province of Pakistan voted Monday to block NATO supply lines by Nov. 20 unless the United States stops its drone strikes in the nearby tribal belt. -- The party, Tehreek-e-Insaf, which governs Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, passed a resolution that threatened to block the supply lines through the region in response to a C.I.A. missile strike that killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, on Friday. - More, nytimes

Pakistan Court Grants Bail to Musharraf --- ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A court in Islamabad granted bail to the former military leader Pervez Musharraf, his lawyer said Monday, in a case related to his role in the 2007 siege of a mosque where the army fought militants holed up inside the compound. -- “We were expecting this decision,” Afshan Adil, a lawyer on Mr. Musharraf’s defense team, told reporters outside the court in the capital. “The bail has been given on merit.” - nytimes

Mohammed Morsi Trial: Judge Adjourns Proceedings Until Jan. 8 --- CAIRO -- CAIRO (AP) — After four months in secret detention, deposed President Mohammed Morsi defiantly rejected a court's authority to put him on trial Monday, saying he still was Egypt's leader and that those who overthrew him should face charges instead. -- The trial, which was interrupted twice on its first day by shouting in the raucous courtroom, was then adjourned until Jan. 8 to allow lawyers time to review the case against Morsi and his 14 co-defendants — all prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood. - More, huffingtonpost

About 40 percent of Syrians need humanitarian aid: U.N. --- (Reuters) - The United Nations estimates that around 9.3 million people in Syria or about 40 percent of the population need humanitarian assistance due to the country's 2-1/2-year, the U.N. humanitarian office said on Monday. -- "The number of people we estimate to be in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria has now risen to some 9.3 million," Pitt said, summarizing Amos' remarks to the 15-nation council. "Of them, 6.5 million people are displaced from their homes, within the country."

In court, defiant Mursi says he is still Egypt's president --- (Reuters) - Ousted Egyptian leader Mohamed Mursi, given his first public forum since his overthrow in a trial where he could face execution, declared on Monday he was still Egypt's legitimate president and shouted: "Down with military rule!" -- "I am Dr. Mohamed Mursi. I am president of the republic," said Mursi. -- "We are in a state, not a (military) camp. Down down with military rule," said Mursi. "I am a witness that what is happening is a part of a military coup. I ask the Egyptian judiciary to not act as a cover for the military coup."

Indian firms seek to renegotiate $10.8 billion Afghan iron ore deal: Kabul official --- (Reuters) - A consortium of Indian companies led by Steel Authority of India is seeking to renegotiate the terms of an iron ore deal in Afghanistan worth up to $10.8 billion, a senior official at the Ministry of Mines said on Tuesday. -- nvestment in Afghanistan's mining sector is considered one of the greatest hopes of the country attaining economic independence and the halt will add to concern that it will not be able to support itself economically as aid flows shrink.

NATO chief urges Pakistan to keep Afghan transit lines open --- (Reuters) - NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Pakistan on Monday to keep open supply lines to NATO forces in Afghanistan despite anger over a U.S. drone strike that killed the Pakistani Taliban leader. -- "I feel confident that the Pakistani authorities will maintain open supply routes and transit routes because it is in Pakistan's own interest to contribute positively to stability and security in the region," Rasmussen told a news conference.

Pakistan's best bet in Afghanistan - Foreign Policy --- No country aside from Afghanistan has more to lose than Pakistan from the coming departure of international forces. All post-2014 scenarios seem dark for Pakistan should the challenged Afghan state begin to unravel. In a protracted civil war, a reluctant Pakistan stands a good chance of being drawn into the conflict along with other regional powers. Taliban gains leading to a radical Islamic regime in all or most of Afghanistan, while once welcomed by Pakistan, may now result in empowering Pakistan's own militant extremists. Intensified fighting across the border is certain to push millions of new refugees into a Pakistan unprepared and unwilling to absorb them. Prospects that a successfully negotiated political agreement might some time soon avert these outcomes seem dim. - More, Marvin G. Weinbaum

Letters: USAID in Afghanistan - Re "Afghan projects may lose oversight," Oct. 30 --- The article overlooks Afghanistan's development progress as it breezes over USAID's rigorous oversight of our projects worldwide. -- In the last 10 years, Afghans have seen a 20-year increase in life expectancy and a 62% decrease in child mortality. A decade ago, female education was banned in Afghanistan. Now, almost 3 million girls attend school. -- Americans can be proud of their contribution to those achievements. -- Furthermore, allegations of widespread waste and mismanagement are unfounded. Where USAID has identified instances of waste and project mismanagement in Afghanistan, we have terminated contracts and projects. -- Our multi-tiered approach to monitoring development projects ensures that our rigorous oversight standards will continue to be upheld in the future. - More, William Hammink - Kabul, Afghanistan -- The writer is USAID's mission director in Afghanistan. - latimes

Special Report: As Egypt's Brotherhood retreats, risk of extremism rises --- (Reuters) - In Egypt's second city, medical student Ahmed Nabil lives in fear that the police may come and arrest him any day. As a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, he is part of a movement facing an onslaught by the security forces which toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. -- "These days we can be picked up at any time," said Nabil, whose parents are also members of the organization, Egypt's oldest Islamist movement and a supporter of Mursi.

Afghans want BSA to guarantee their security: Karzai --- KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Sunday said the Afghan people, if convinced of their protection and respect for their country's sovereignty, would support the signing of the bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States. -- He made the remarks at a meeting with a US congressional delegation, led by Foreign Affairs Committee member Adam Kinzinger, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. US Ambassador James B. Cunningham was also present on the occasion. -- Members of the visiting delegation briefed the president on its recent trip to Pakistan, saying their conclusion from the meetings they held with host leaders was that Islamabad was aware of the need for cooperating with Kabul. - More, Pajhwok

کرزى: توقع افغانها از همکاری درازمدت با امریکا تامین امنیت و مصوونیت آنهاست --- کابل (پژواک، ١٢ عقرب ٩٢): حامد کرزی رئيس جمهور ميگويد، اگر مردم افغانستان مطمین شوند که سند امنیتی و دفاعی باعث امنیت و مصونیت شان میشود و حاکمیت ملی افغانستان احترام میشود، آماده خواهند بود که این سند را به امضا برسانند. در اعلاميه اى که امروز از سوى دفتر مطبوعاتى رياست جمهورى به آژانس خبرى پژواک مواصلت ورزيده، آمده است که حامد کرزی، شام امروز با هیئت کانگرس ایالات متحده امریکا تحت ریاست آدم کنزنگر عضو کمیسیون روابط خارجی، ملاقات کرد. -- در این ملاقات که سفیر امریکا در افغانستان نیز حضور داشت، دو طرف در مورد مسایل مختلف مطرح میان دو کشور به شمول همکاری های درازمدت ستراتیژیک، سند همکاری های امنیتی و دفاعی با ایالات متحده و اوضاع منطقه بحث و گفتگو نمودند. در خبرنامه افزود شده که هیئت کانگرس امریکا در مورد سفر اخیر شان به پاکستان نیز به ريیس جمهور افغانستان معلومات داد و تاکید کرد که برداشت آنها از ملاقات ها با مقامات پاکستانی این است که آنها، امروز اهمیت همکاری با افغانستان را درک کرده اند. - Pajhwok

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Egypt on high alert as Mohammed Morsi arrives for trial --- He and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures face charges of inciting the killing of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace. -- Security services are on high alert after supporters of the former president called for major protests. -- Mr Morsi was ousted by the military in July after protests against his rule. -- According to state TV, he arrived at the courtroom, inside the Police Academy in Cairo. Other key Brotherhood figures, Essam el-Erian, Mohammed al-Beltagi and Ahmed Abdel Aati are also there. -- While Mr Morsi was airlifted into the compound by helicopter, other defendants were said to have been brought in by armoured personnel carriers. - More, BBC

India a Hub for Patients From Afghanistan --- The staggering influx of Afghans traveling to Delhi is partially the result of India’s introduction of a special medical visa for Afghans in 2005. These medical visas are free and do not require applicants to provide financial statements or proof of medical insurance. -- According to the Indian Embassy in Kabul, over 100,000 medical visas have been issued just since the beginning of 2010, about half the number of total visas for travel to India from Afghanistan in those three years. -- Twenty flights operate weekly between Delhi and Kabul. In the fall, as the weather in Delhi cools, airlines use bigger planes and sometimes add extra flights to accommodate increased traffic. - More, NYTimes

Afghan president Hamid Karzai criticises timing of Pakistani Taliban leader's killing --- President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai tells visiting US Congress delegation that drone strike that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud "took place at an unsuitable time" but expresses hope the peace process will not suffer - More, Telegraph

'شصت درصد پاسگاه‌های پلیس شاهراه افغانستان اخاذی می‌کنند' --- یک سازمان غیردولتی موسوم به دیدبان شفافیت در گزارشی نوشته که شصت درصد پلیس شاهراه‌های افغانستان اخاذی و با رانندگان بدرفتاری می‎کنند. --- اکرم فضلی از مسئولان این سازمان به خبرنگاران گفت که پلیس شاهراه با مصونیت کامل از پیگرد قانونی، اخاذی می‌کنند و از رانندگان مالیات غیرقانونی می‌گیرند. -- آقای افضلی گفت که گرفتن پولهای غیرقانونی از رانندگان کامیونها توسط نیروهای پلیس مستقر در پاسگاه‌های شاهراه‌ها تقریباً به امری معمولی تبدیل شده و رانندگان هم آن را به عنوان "مالیات موازی" با مالیات قانونی پذیرفته اند. - BBC

Mursi faces trial in Egypt in test of democracy --- (Reuters) - Deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood arrived at a Cairo police academy on Monday to face trial on charges of inciting violence, state media reported. -- It is the second time in just over two years that an ousted president has been in court in Egypt, a pivotal Arab nation some fear is sliding back into autocratic rule. -- The trial raises fears of deepening instability in the region's most populous country

وزیر امور خارجه آمریکا برای ترمیم رابطه با عربستان وارد ریاض شد --- جان کری وزیر امور خارجه آمریکا وارد عربستان سعودی شده است و انتظار می رود برای ترمیم رابطه واشنگتن با متحد دیرینه اش وارد عمل شود. -- پیشتر گزارش شده بود شاهزاده بندر بن سلطان، رییس اطلاعات عربستان سعودی به دیپلمات های اروپایی گفته است کشورش در رابطه با آمریکا "تغییری جدی" خواهد داد. --براساس گزارش ها عربستان سعودی از مذاکرات صلح برای سوریه که ممکن است به روی کار آمدن دولتی با حمایت ایران در دمشق شود ناخرسند است. -- ریاض درعین حال از نزدیک شدن رابطه آمریکا و ایران برای حل بحران هسته ای تهران نگران است. - BBC

John Kerry arrives in Saudi Arabia to smooth ties --- America's top diplomat is expected to try to repair ties with a long-standing ally that have been frayed by the conflict in Syria and the recent US outreach to Iran. -- He first made an unscheduled stop in Egypt, where he called for an end to violence and a move to full democracy. -- Saudi Arabia is reportedly unhappy that peace talks over Syria could lead to an Iran-backed government in Damascus. -- Riyadh is also concerned about a US-Iran rapprochement over Tehran's nuclear programme. - BBC

Mursi to go on trial as Egypt struggles for democracy --- (Reuters) - Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi, goes on trial on Monday under a security crackdown that has devastated his Muslim Brotherhood movement and raised concerns that the army-backed government is reimposing a police state. -- Mursi, who was ousted by the army on July 3 after mass protests against his rule, is due to appear in court at the same Cairo police academy where autocrat Hosni Mubarak also faces trial following his own overthrow in 2011. -- Mursi, who has been held in secret location since his removal after only a year in office, is due to appear along with 14 other senior Muslim Brotherhood figures on charges of inciting violence.

Kerry sees signs Egypt moving back towards democracy --- (Reuters) - A day before Egypt's deposed Islamist president goes on trial, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday expressed guarded optimism about a return to democracy in the country during a tour partly aimed at easing tensions with major Arab powers. -- Kerry said the relationship between the United States and Egypt should not be defined by aid but by a partnership, and promised to launch talks on a U.S.-Egypt strategic dialogue.

Husain Haqqani, Interview: A Continued U.S. Presence In Afghanistan 'Will Help Prevent Civil War' --- Pakistan wants to impose its will on Afghanistan. Just as Pakistanis do not want a foreign country imposing its will on them, Afghans will not accept this. Pakistan needs to think about establishing a new kind of friendship with Afghanistan. Such relations can be built on befriending any Afghan government and desist from imposing a government of one's choosing on them. -- am afraid that, after the withdrawal of American forces [next year], the Pakistani establishment will once again push for imposing the people its likes on the government in Kabul. This will hurt our Afghan brothers and will harm Pakistan's interests. - More, RFE/RL

Senate bill would validate NSA’s harvesting of phone, e-mail records, privacy advocates say --- Privacy advocates and at least one U.S. senator are expressing concern that legislation introduced Thursday would not only endorse the National Security Agency’s collection of all Americans’ phone records, but also give the agency permission to collect massive amounts of their e-mail records. --- The bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which advanced out of the Senate Intelligence Committee, would codify limits that a special court has placed on the NSA’s use of the records. -- But if the FISA Improvements Act became law, Congress would be validating expansive powers that have been claimed by the NSA and upheld by a court — but never explicitly written into statute — to harvest the phone and e-mail records of millions of Americans, the advocates say. - More, Ellen Nakashima

As U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan, poppy trade it spent billions fighting still flourishes --- The United States is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan having lost its battle against the country’s narcotics industry, marking one of the starkest failures of the 2009 strategy the Obama administration pursued in an effort to turn around the war. --- Despite a U.S. investment of nearly $7 billion since 2002 to combat it, the country’s opium market is booming, propelled by steady demand and an insurgency that has assumed an increasingly hands-on role in the trade, according to law enforcement officials and counternarcotics experts. As the war economy contracts, opium poppies, which are processed into heroin, are poised to play an ever larger role in the country’s economy and politics, undercutting two key U.S. goals: fighting corruption and weakening the link between the insurgency and the drug trade. - More, Washingtonpost

LAX shooting: Gunman wanted to kill several TSA agents, complaint says --- The man authorities allege opened fire inside Los Angeles International Airport on Friday “made the conscious decision” to try to kill multiple TSA employees, according to a federal criminal complaint. -- In a handwritten letter found in a bag recovered from the scene, authorities say suspect Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, stated he would attempt to kill several Transportation Security Administration agents and wanted to “instill fear in your traitorous minds.” - More, latimes

Kerry Tries to Reassure Arab Allies --- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday tried to reassure America's Arab friends that the United States will not allow them to be attacked "from outside," in an apparent warning to Iran. -- He specifically mentioned Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt as nations, alongside unspecified "others," that the U.S. will defend. Those others likely would include Israel, the strongest U.S. ally in the region. -- "The United States will be there for the defense of our friends and our allies," Mr. Kerry said in Cairo. "We will not allow those countries to be attacked from outside. We will stand with them." - More, WSJ

Kabul Airport Landing System Breaks --- KABUL—The Kabul international airport's automated landing system used in low-visibility conditions has been out of service for over two months, officials said, potentially isolating the Afghan capital when winter fog and snow set in. -- So far, Kabul flights haven't been affected, with some 50 civilian aircraft landing and taking off every day using regular visual guidance, GPS and radar. But with winter approaching, Afghan aviation authorities are raising alarm. "It can be very serious in bad weather," said Capt. Hamid Zahir, the head of the civil aviation body that manages the airport. -- The instrument-landing system is an internationally standardized way of providing precision guidance for aircraft on their final approach and landing when visibility is low. Without a functioning instrument-landing system, many flights are likely to be canceled or delayed in bad weather, says Richard Steckel, an airline pilot and researcher at the Center for Aviation Safety Research at Saint Louis University. - More, WSJ

Qayoum Karzai Stresses Kabul-Washington Security Relationship --- "We cannot combat terrorism without international support, it has deepened its roots in the region and we need U.S. cooperation," he said. -- Karzai is one of the ten Presidential candidates who made the Independent Election Commission's (IEC) preliminary list of candidates announced last Tuesday. -- The full interview with Qayoum Karzai, can be seen here: - TOLOnews

کشتن تروریستان چندان دشوار نیست --- کشته‌شدن حکیم‌الله محسود، رهبر طالبان پاکستانی نشان می‌دهد که اگر تلاش‌های منطقه‌ای و بین‌المللی برای از بین بردن رهبران گروه‌های خشونت‌طلب در منطقه به‌صورت جدی دنبال شود، از بین بردن رهبران این گروه‌ها کار چندان سختی نمی‌باشد. کشته‌شدن رهبر طالبان پاکستانی نقش بسیار بارزی در تحرکات این گروه خواهد داشت. اگرچه ممکن است رهبران طالبان پاکستانی بخواهند با تشدید احساس انتقام در نزد پیروان حکیم‌الله محسود، به تحرکات خویش ادامه دهند، اما مرگ این فرمانده طالبان نشان داد که تحت تعقیب قرار دادن قوماندان‌ها و رهبران گروه‌های شورشی می‌تواند نتیجه بخش باشد. -- اگرچه در این اواخر گفته می‌شد که محسود علاقه نشان داده است تا با دولت پاکستان گفتگو کند، اما کارشناسان بر این تاکید داشتند که محسود در این تصمیم جدی نخواهد بود. با کشته‌شدن وی یکی از مخالفان سرسخت دولت پاکستان از بین رفته است و ممکن است با مرگ وی روحیه کلی طالبان پاکستانی نیز تضعیف شود. - روزنامه هشت صبح

Los Angeles airport gun suspect charged with murder --- The man suspected of carrying out Friday's gun attack at Los Angeles Airport has been charged with murder. -- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has now reopened fully. -- About 1,550 flights with 167,000 passengers were affected, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said. - More, BBC

LAX Suspect Set Out To Kill Multiple TSA Officers --- LOS ANGELES (AP) — The unemployed motorcycle mechanic suspected in the deadly shooting at the Los Angeles airport set out to kill multiple employees of the Transportation Security Administration and hoped the attack would "instill fear in their traitorous minds," authorities said Saturday. -- Paul Ciancia was so determined to take lives that, after shooting a TSA officer and going up an escalator, he turned back to see the officer move and returned to finish him off, according to surveillance video reviewed by investigators. -- After killing that officer, Ciancia fired on at least two other uniformed TSA employees and an airline passenger, who were all wounded. Airport police eventually shot him as panicked passengers cowered in stores and restaurants. More, The Associated Press

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud killed in CIA drone strike --- The CIA's secret drone campaign claimed one of its highest profile scalps on Friday with the killing of the chief of the Pakistani Taliban by an unmanned aircraft in the country's lawless tribal areas. -- akimullah Mehsud, the feared leader of an alliance of militant groups attempting to topple the Pakistani state, was killed when a missile struck a compound in the village near the capital of North Waziristan, according to militant, US and Pakistani sources. -- "He was right at his front door and at least three missiles were fired." - More, Guardian

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Deadly rampage creates chaos at LAX --- A composed, solitary gunman shot his way into Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning, killing a transit security screener and injuring at least one more before being wounded by police and taken into custody. The incident was over in less than 10 minutes but caused chaos at the world's sixth-busiest airport and disrupted thousands of flights across the nation. -- The suspected gunman was identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, a New Jersey native who lives in Los Angeles. -- It appears the gunman targeted Transportation Security Administration agents, who are not armed. Authorities said he approached several people cowering in the airport terminal, pointed his gun at them, asked if they "were TSA" and then moved on without pulling the trigger if the answer was no. A witness said the gunman cursed the TSA repeatedly as he moved through the terminal. -- The TSA was created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in an attempt to improve the safety of American transportation. Its screeners cannot make arrests and do not carry weapons. - More, latimes

Pakistan Taliban secretly bury leader, vow bombs in revenge --- (Reuters) - Pakistani Taliban fighters secretly buried their leader on Saturday after he was killed by a U.S. drone aircraft and quickly moved to replace him while vowing a wave of revenge suicide bombings. -- The Pakistani government denounced the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud as a U.S. bid to derail planned peace talks and summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest. Some lawmakers demanded the blocking of U.S. supply lines into Afghanistan in retaliation. -- Mehsud, who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, and three others were killed on Friday in the militant stronghold of Miranshah in northwest Pakistan.

That Other Big Afghan Crisis, the Growing Army of Addicts --- ISLAM QALA, Afghanistan — The addicts stalk the streets of this border post like hollowed-out skeletons, hair matted by filth and eyes glassy. The villages that hug the roads are veritable zombie towns, where families of men, women and children hide their addiction within barren mud compounds. -- The number of drug users in Afghanistan is estimated to be as high as 1.6 million, or about 5.3 percent of the population, among the highest rates in the world. Nationwide, one in 10 urban households has at least one drug user, according to a recent report from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In the city of Herat, it is one in five. -- From 2005 to 2009, the use of opiates doubled, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, putting Afghanistan on par with Russia and Iran, and the number of heroin users jumped more than 140 percent. Most drug experts think the rate of drug use has only increased since then. --- In a country troubled by adversity, from its long-running war to rampant corruption, drug addiction ranks low among national priorities. Government funding for treatment and outreach is less than $4 million a year. There are just under 28,000 formal treatment slots available nationwide, officials say, and such programs rely heavily on roughly $12 million a year in extra international funding for treatment. - More, NYTimes

Rice Offers a More Modest Strategy for Mideast --- WASHINGTON — Each Saturday morning in July and August, Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s new national security adviser, gathered half a dozen aides in her corner office in the White House to plot America’s future in the Middle East. The policy review, a kind of midcourse correction, has set the United States on a new heading in the world’s most turbulent region. -- At the United Nations last month, Mr. Obama laid out the priorities he has adopted as a result of the review. The United States, he declared, would focus on negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, brokering peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and mitigating the strife in Syria. Everything else would take a back seat. -- That includes Egypt, which was once a central pillar of American foreign policy. Mr. Obama, who hailed the crowds on the streets of Cairo in 2011 and pledged to heed the cries for change across the region, made clear that there were limits to what the United States would do to nurture democracy, whether there, or in Bahrain, Libya, Tunisia or Yemen. -- The president’s goal, said Ms. Rice, who discussed the review for the first time in an interview last week, is to avoid having events in the Middle East swallow his foreign policy agenda, as it had those of presidents before him. -- “We can’t just be consumed 24/7 by one region, important as it is,” she said, adding, “He thought it was a good time to step back and reassess, in a very critical and kind of no-holds-barred way, how we conceive the region.” - More, MARK LANDLER - NYTimes

US let Taliban come back from defeat, says top envoy --- American mistakes paved the way for the Taliban insurgency and the subsequent heavy toll of Nato and civilians lives could have been avoided, according to Washington’s top diplomat on Afghanistan and Pakistan. -- James Dobbins, Washington’s envoy to the region, said that the shift in US focus to Iraq, disintegration of the post-September 11 global coalition and a failure to set up a reconciliation process earlier in the conflict could have prevented the Taliban’s return. -- “I think we made several mistakes back in 2002,” he said. “I think it was probably a mistake to delay a serious attempt at reconciliation until 2011. -- “Those initiatives would have been better taken earlier. The decision to move onto Iraq ultimately made it more difficult to turn attention back to Afghanistan once the situation there deteriorated. -- “So by 2005, 2006 it was clear that much more needed to be done in Afghanistan and we simply didn’t have the resources to do so.” -- Mr Dobbins served as the US representative at the Bonn conference in 2002 that harnessed global support from Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan as well as the West to rebuild Afghanistan. He said the failure to maintain support from those countries had also damaged the effort to establish President Hamid Karzai’s fledging government. - More, Damien McElroy - Telegraph

COMMENTARY: Cutting food stamps is a bad way to balance the budget --- “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” (Luke 3:11) --- WASHINGTON (RNS) Many of us are blessed enough to not know what it is like to be hungry, to regularly miss meals, or to consume a diet void of essential nutrients for a healthy life. But now, millions of our brothers and sisters here in the United States may, sadly, be facing these situations because of a reduction in their food stamp benefits. -- We must remind Congress that God calls our leaders to deliver the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. Gutting programs like SNAP shows a blatant disregard to this divine call. -- Forty-nine million Americans live at risk of hunger, and more than 1 billion people around the world live in extreme poverty. Any policies that create additional poverty among the working poor, or further impoverish hungry people around the world, are reprehensible. It is unacceptable for lawmakers to take vital food stamp benefits away from millions of Americans who are struggling to recover from the ongoing impacts of the recession. - More, Rev. David Beckmann - Washingtonpost

باختر - ملا امامان: بم ايښودل، ځانمرګي بريد او جګړه د اسلام د مبين دين د ارشاداتو پرخلاف دى --- ملا امامانو او واعظانو نن د جمعې د لمانځه په خطبو کې د مسلمانانو ترمنځ دروغې جوړې په باب د اسلام د مبين دين د ټينګار په باب خبرې وکړې او د دولت -- له وسله والو مخالفينو څخه يې وغوښتل چې دقرآني لارښوونو له مخې دې سولې او روغې جوړې ته مخه وکړي . -- د هيواد له مرکز او ولايتونو څخه د باخترد خبري آژانس د خبريالانو د خبرونو له مخې: په دې خطبو کې دغه راز په هيواد کې د بم ايښودلو، ځانمرګو بريدونو او د جګړې د دوام عملونه د اسلام د مبين دين د لارښوونو پرخلاف وبلل شول او وويل شول چې د دغه شان عملونو دوام هره ورځ د ځوانانو، بوډاګانو، ښځو او معصومو ماشومانو او د دغه هيواد د مسلمانانو د وينې د توئيدنې او شهادت سبب کيږي اوپه يقين سره چې دغه شان عملونه د ګمراهانو کار دى چې د دين خلکو او د هيواد د دښمنانو په اشاره عملي کوي او له شک پرته چې ستره ګناه کوي اوبايد هغوى توبه وکړي او د خپل هيواد د مسلمانو خلکو له وژنې څخه لاس واخلي . - More

Obama meets with Iraq’s Maliki, vows ongoing partnership; no public aid commitment made --- President Obama assured visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday that the United States wants to be a strong partner in bringing about a stable and inclusive Iraq amid a rapid spike in sectarian violence that threatens security across the country. -- Obama said he urged Maliki to pass an election law so Iraqis can express their differences politically instead of using violence. The United States has been seeking to pressure Maliki to stop his Shiite-led government’s political mistreatment of Sunnis and hold him accountable for a failure to govern inclusively. washingtonpost

A Fiscal Scold, Merkel Softens Tone at Home --- BERLIN — A German government that has for years preached austerity as the sole path to prosperity, both at home and abroad, is poised to break open its pocketbook. -- Among the measures being demanded are a minimum wage — the country’s first — of $11.50 an hour, equal pensions in the east and the west, equal pay for men and women, higher child care payments, a tax increase for the wealthy, and sharply increased funding for infrastructure, education and energy. -- There is little change for the moment in Germany’s attitude toward its neighbors. While Greece, Italy, Spain and even France are hacking away at long-cherished parts of their social safety net to meet the demands of Berlin and their international creditors, Ms. Merkel, a conservative, and her unyielding finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, are resisting any sort of redistribution of funds within the euro zone. -- “The Germans say to themselves, ‘We are a family, and the other Europeans are distant relatives,’ ” said Jürgen W. Falter, a professor of political science at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. “In a family, you stand together; distant relatives, you help when you can.” - More, NYTimes

After troops leave, U.S. to lose access to Afghan reconstruction projects worth billions --- As coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan, U.S.-funded reconstruction projects worth billions of dollars in far-flung regions of the country will soon be impossible for American officials to safely visit and directly inspect. - More, Washingtonpost

Letter to the Editor: Oversight of USAID projects in Afghanistan will continue --- The Oct. 27 front-page article “Access to Afghan projects to be lost ” highlighted a critical issue for USAID projects in Afghanistan but did not include some of the very strong oversight we have in place. As the head of USAID programs in Afghanistan, I have made it a priority to protect U.S. taxpayer money and ensure our programs are saving lives, creating opportunities for Afghans and eliminating extreme poverty in a region that is critical to U.S. national security. -- Each USAID project has its own unique monitoring plan to ensure it effectively tracks progress and identifies potential problems as they arise. Monitoring projects in Afghanistan after most U.S. troops depart won’t be a new situation for USAID: We successfully monitor programs in dangerous and hard-to-reach settings all over the world, such as South Sudan, the West Bank, Gaza and Colombia. - More, Larry Sampler - Washingtonpost

Friday, November 01, 2013

Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan? Let Congress Vote! --- In mid-November, the Christian Science Monitor reports, a loya jirga in Afghanistan -- a national meeting of tribal leaders and other notable Afghans -- will vote on whether to meet the Obama administration's terms for keeping U.S. troops in the country beyond the end of 2014. -- If you care about democracy in Afghanistan, you should be happy for the Afghans. Whether or not -- and if so, under what conditions -- they want to have thousands of U.S. troops in their country after 2014 is obviously a very big deal for them. Why shouldn't they have full deliberation and debate? -- But if you also care about democracy in the United States, you should be a bit troubled. Because Congress has never approved keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the end of 2014. - More, HuffPost, Robert Naiman