Thursday, July 31, 2014

MoneyPak, a Popular Prepaid Money Card, Opens Path to Fraud Schemes --- Federal authorities are sounding alarms about a wide range of fraudulent schemes involving a popular prepaid money card product. -- Thousands of consumers have been lured into sending money through the card, called MoneyPak. For online fraudsters, the reusable green-and-white paper card that can be used to quickly “reload,” or transfer, hundreds of dollars in cash onto another prepaid card is often the money conduit of choice, regulators and law enforcement officials say. -- The abuses are mounting as the market in prepaid cards is increasingly finding favor with Americans who don’t have access to a traditional bank account or credit card. The roughly $80 billion that consumers are expected to put on prepaid debit cards this year is double the amount put on those products in 2010, according to the Mercator Advisory Group, a banking industry consulting firm. Consumers also use the cards to transfer money into PayPal accounts to shop online. -- Law enforcement officials are also concerned about drug dealers and other criminals using MoneyPak to launder small sums of cash, because money transfers using the cards are hard to track. “We are increasingly seeing MoneyPaks used to facilitate Internet fraud schemes and it is a concern for us,” said David A. O’Neil, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the Justice Department. “Anything that makes it easier to get money from the victim to a fraudster concerns us.” -- The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently said that it was looking into consumer complaints about prepaid cards. -- The abuse of MoneyPak, a perfectly legal prepaid card, has created a problem for its seller, Green Dot, the largest provider of reloadable prepaid debit cards, according to Mercator. -- A Pasadena, Calif., bank holding company, Green Dot says it now has a technological answer to address the worst of the illegal uses. A new electronic cash-transfer system it is installing in most of the 92,000 retail stores that sell its products will ultimately replace the MoneyPak altogether, the company says. -- Still, consumer advocates and some in law enforcement question whether the technological fix will work or whether fraudsters would then gravitate to similar but less popular products offered by other prepaid card companies. -- The schemes that use MoneyPak involve fraudsters posing as bill collectors, bail bondsmen, government officials or sales agents in emails, online ads or phone calls. Over the last two years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued at least a half-dozen alerts about schemes involving a MoneyPak. -- In June, Victor Jones, of Arlington, Va., fell victim to one of those scams when he sent $267 to a company that promised to write him a $2,500 loan if he first sent it a handling and processing fee using a MoneyPak. A 33-year-old building services engineer, Mr. Jones never got his loan or his money back. -- Another victim was Diane Stephens, 54, of White Plains, who says she lost $2,000 when she sent money using a MoneyPak to a company she found online to participate as a “mystery shopper.” -- In most cases, the victim is directed to go to a Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade or another big retailer that sells prepaid cards, buy a MoneyPak and have the cashier put as much as $500 on the card. The victim then is typically instructed to email the unique 14-digit access code on the back of each MoneyPak. With that code, anyone can “unlock” the card and transfer the money to another prepaid debit card either by going online or by calling an automated Green Dot phone line. -- To address this problem, GreenDot says it expects that by early next year, most stores will be able to let consumers add money directly onto an existing prepaid card by swiping the card through a machine connected to a Green Dot data-processing center. -- The new system, already in place in Walmart stores that sell Green Dot products, will render obsolete the kind of access codes presently on the back of every MoneyPak card. Customers will be charged the same $4.95 transaction fee as with a MoneyPak now. --- The Federal Trade Commission said last year that Americans reported losing $42.86 million to schemes involving prepaid products. Regulators and consumer advocates say the true figure is probably much higher since many victims do not report being ripped off because of the difficulty in prosecuting such cases and the embarrassment of being duped. - More, NYTimes,®ion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Blogs

په افغانستان کې دامریکا دلګښتونومقایسه --- په یوه نوي څیړنه کې دا جوته شوي چې امریکا په افغانستان کې دومره پیسې لګولې چې تر دوهمې نړېوالې جګړې وروسته یې دلویدیځي اروپا داقتصادي بیارغوني لپاره په مارشل پلان کې نه وې لګولي. په افغانستان کې دامریکا دبیارغوني دلګښتونو دتفتیش ادارې/ سیګار په خپل راپورکې له ۲۰۰۲ کال راهیسې په افغانستان کې دامریکا لګښتونه له هغو مرستو سره مقایسه کړې چې دامریکا دمارشل پلان په همکارۍ اروپا وتوانیدل تر دوهمې نړېوالې جګړې وروسته خپل اقتصاد په پښو ودروي. سیګار لیکي، په ۱۹۵۰ کلونوکې له اروپایې هېوادونو سره دمرستې مجموعه شاوخوا ۱۰۳،۴ میلیارده ډالرو ته رسیده، په داسې حال کې چې دافغانستان سره دامریکا لګښتونه تر ۱۰۹ میلیارده ډالرو ډیر دي. -- په افغانستان کې دامریکا دمرستو څارونکې اداره / سیګار وایې سره له دې چې په دغه مقایسه کې دامریکا له لوري پرافغانستان ډیرې پیسې لګول شوي، خو هغه نتیجه نه ده ترې اخستل شوې چې تمه یې وه. دسیګار دراپور له مخې په مارشل پلان کې په هغه وخت کې شاوخوا ۱۳،۳ میلیارده ډالره اروپایې هېوادنو ته ورکړل شوې چې تر دوهمې نړېوالې جګړې وروسته خپل اقتصاد پیاوړی کړي، خو دوی وایې د ۱۹۵۰ کلونو په مقایسه ښآیې نن دډالرو ارزښت ډیر لوړ وي. که دغه پیسې دننني ډالر په بیه واړول شي نو دمارشل پلان مجموعي شمیره ۱۰۳،۴ میلیارده ډالرو ته رسیږي. -- دسیګار په راپور کې ویل شوي چې په همدې انډول دافغانستان لپاره دامریکا نننۍ مرسته په مجموع کې ۱۰۹ میلیارده ډالرو ته رسیږي. دغه څیړونکي وایې، پردغو دواړو متفاوتو پروګرامونو، چې یو یې دجګړې پر مهال او بل ترجګړې وروسته عملي شول، غورکولو دغه مقایسه لا نوره هم پیچلې کړه. دوی وایې، دامریکا له دې مرستې سره سره په افغانستان کې دپام وړ بدلون او پرمختګ نه دی راغلی. دڅیړونکو په باورهغه څه هم چې شوي ښایې دې ته اړتیا ولري چې امریکا او نور هیوادونه له افغانستان څخه تر وتلو ورسته بیا هم په پرله پسې ډول دمرستو ددوام ژمني ور سره وکړي. -- دسیګار په راپور کې راغلي چې دمارشل پلان مرستي تر ډیره دخوراکي موادو، ماشینونو، کیمیاوي کود او نورو هغو موادو پر واردولو لګول شوې وه چې په اروپا کې تر جګړې وروسته دبیا رغوني لپاره ورته اړتیا وه. دا هغه څه وه چې په جګړو کې له منځه تللي وه. د۱۹۵۰ کلونو په سر کې لدغو مرستو سره دډیرو لویدیځو هیوادونو اقتصادي سطحه تر هغه لوړه شوه چې تر جګړو دمخه یې وه. دسیګار راپور بل لوري ته د افغانستان موضوع ته اشاره کوي او وایې په افغانستان کې دمیلیاردونو ډالرو په مصرف کولو سره څه راپاته شوي؟ دا یوه ښکاره پوښتنه ده. سیګار لیکي له افغانستان څخه دنړیوالو ځواکونو دوتلو له پیل سره دوسلوالو طالبانو سنګرونه لا هم تاوده دي، ملکي تلفات ډیر شوي او افغانستان لا هم دنړۍ دهغو هیوادونو په لست کې پاته دی چې فساد پکښي ډیر دی. -- دامریکا دمرستو پروګرام په پرله پسې ډول د سیګار او نورو ادارو لخوا تر انتقاد لاندي راغلی. سکات سمیت د متحده ایالاتو د سولي په انستیتوت کې دافغانستان او منځنۍ آسیا د پروګرامونو مدیر دی. هغه وایې پداسي حال کې چې ډیرې هڅي او مرستې دافغانستان دامنیت په برخه کې شوي، خو وایې دا ښایې هغه برخه وي چې تر ټولو لږ پرمختګ پکښي شوی دی. سمیت او نور څیړونکي دافغانستان ټولنیزو پرمختګونو ته په اشارې وایې که روغتیایې، پوهني او د اړیکو برخې ته وکتل شي نو ښه خبرونه هم شته، خو ډیری څارونکي پدې باور دي چې لا اوس هم دافغانستان دولسمشرۍ انتخاباتو، پدغه هیواد کې دامریکایې سرتیرو راتلونکی برخلیک او دافغانستان سره د مرستو د دوام په اړه دهیوادونو پر لیوالتیا شک پاته دی. - دآزادی رادیو

Stock Market Ends July in Dive, but Analysts Are Upbeat --- The stock market ended July with the sharpest decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index since April, while the Dow Jones industrial index fell more than 300 points, enough to eliminate all of its gains for the year. --- The reasons for the losses on Thursday were not entirely clear. Disappointing earnings reports by a few major companies, Argentina’s apparent default on its debt and fears about the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East may all have been part of it. And relatively strong economic reports in the United States this week may have caused concern among traders that the Federal Reserve might tighten its expansive monetary policy. -- But whatever the causes of the decline, it wasn’t entirely unexpected, and the reaction of several strategists was fairly upbeat. -- Several assessed it this way: The market fell by 2 percent in one day? It’s about time. -- “I think it’s healthy and normal at this stage of the monetary cycle,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. “After the run-up in the market we’ve had until now, I’d expect that we’d have a real correction. Whether this is the beginning of one, I don’t know, but I think it would be very healthy to have one. And a decline like this one? It’s O.K. to have it.” --- By themselves, the major market measures looked ugly, however. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 317.06 points, or 1.88 percent, to close at 16,563.30, which put it into negative territory for 2014. The Nasdaq composite index lost 93.13 points, or 2.09 percent, to 4,369.77; that technology-laden index remained up 4.63 percent for the year. And the S.&.P. 500 fell 39.40 points, or 2 percent, to 1,930.67; even with that loss, the S.&.P. 500, a barometer of the broad large-capitalization stock market, remained up 4.45 percent for the year. -- More,

Opinion -- Putin’s anti-American rhetoric now persuades his harshest critics --- People I know in Russia, members of the intelligentsia and professionals who have long been critical of President Vladimir Putin’s anti-Western stance, have suddenly turned into America-bashers. Many have been swept away by Putin’s arguments that the United States, not the Kremlin, is destabilizing Ukraine. -- Since the current crisis broke in Ukraine over its efforts to side with the European Union rather than Russia, Putin has been at war with the United States. He seems intent on proving that a U.S.-centric world order is over and that Europe should decide on its own what its relations with Russia will be. -- Putin’s big lie reached fever pitch after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 went down over eastern Ukraine on July 17. Putin swiftly placed the blame on the Kiev government and its reputed U.S. masters — not even bothering to express proper condolences about the dead. -- Instead, the Russian president disingenuously asked for transparency in the investigation into the downing of the plane. In his laconic statements, Putin promised cooperation but delivered little. He insisted issues of politics had to be kept out of the tragedy. -- Such as the nature of autocratic propaganda: The lie has to be overwhelming. -- In his 14-plus years in power, Putin has honed this skill. In the Kremlin universe, when any conflict takes place around the globe, it is the West — particularly the United States — that is to blame. After hearing it repeatedly, this belief is now widely shared by the Russian public. --- My friends in Moscow look at the current crisis in the Middle East and the turmoil created by the Arab Spring 0f 2011, particularly the unrest in Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was forced out and the lawlessness in Libya after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was killed. “These were your American-supported revolutions,” they angrily reproach me. “Now it’s a mess. The U.S. has been wreaking havoc on our doorstep in Ukraine. They are out to get Russia.” -- What has become clear under Putin is that so much of Russia remains the Soviet Union. Under the communist dictatorship, all problems were blamed on the enemies of the people or on Western imperialism. -- Consider that in Moscow today the prevailing story, circulated by the pro-Putin media and pundits, is that the CIA actually loaded Malaysia Flight 17 with dead bodies in order to blame the Russians. Meanwhile, Russian TV networks and newspapers run photos of pro-eastern Ukraine demonstrations in Europe, with protesters demanding, “Stop U-S-A, the contractor of mass killings!” - More, Nina Khrushcheva,

Norway calls off terror alert, no longer sees imminent Islamist attack --- (Reuters) - Norway's government called off a week-long terror alert on Thursday, saying an attack by a militant Islamist group with combat training in Syria was no longer seen as imminent. -- Security forces had been put on high alert last Thursday with armed units placed at high-risk locations after police received information that a small militant group was on its way to carry out attacks in the West, with Norway among its targets. -- The Nordic country will now relax border checks, no longer requiring passports from travelers coming from Europe's Schengen zone, and will recall armed units from the streets -- "The probability that the original information was correct has been reduced," Benedicte Bjoernland, the director of the Police Security Service, the police's intelligence unit, told a news conference. "The threat of an attack is therefore lower." -- Scandinavian governments have repeatedly warned that several hundred people have traveled to Syria from Scandinavia for combat training since civil war broke out in Syria two years ago. This, they said, would pose the greatest single security threat to Scandinavia as they could potentially exert great influence on local Muslim communities. -- NATO-member Norway has been working to clamp down on militant activity. In May it arrested three people suspected of aiding Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria. - More,

جان کری در مورد ابهامات موجود در مورد توافق دو نامزد انتخابات افغانستان توضیح داد --- جان کری، وزیر امور خارجه امریکا در یادداشتی که سفارت امریکا برای مطبوعات فرستاده، در مورد ابهامات به وجود آمده در توافق چند هفته پیش خود با دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری افغانستان توضیح داده است. -- وزیر خارجه امریکا نوشته است که سند مورد توافق شامل تاسیس یک نظام پارلمانی نیست، بلکه یک سمت جدید با عنوان رئیس اجرایی ایجاد می‌کند که زیر نظر رئیس جمهور فعالیت خواهد داشت. -- سپس رئیس ‌جمهوری لویه جرگه ای تشکیل می دهد که تصمیم خواهد گرفت آیا تغییر دایمی نظام سیاسی به نفع کشور خواهد بود یا نه. -- او خطاب به دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری افغانستان گفته است که زمان سیاست پایان یافته و زمان همکاری فرا رسیده است. -- آقای کری گفت که بخش مهمی از روند دمکراتیک افغانستان عملکرد دو نامزد و تیم‌های آنهاست. -- به دنبال خروج آقای عبدالله در اعتراض به آنچه که تقلب "سازماندهی شده" در انتخابات ریاست جمهوری ۲۴ جوزا می خواند، روند انتخابات افغانستان به بحران انجامید و آقای کری در سفری به کابل زمینه توافق بین دو نامزد را فراهم کرد. -- هر دو نامزد گفته‌اند که به طور کلی با بررسی صد درصد آرا و تشکیل حکومت وحدت ملی پس از اعلام نتایج انتخابات توافق کرده‌اند که بر اساس آن نامزد برنده رئیس جمهوری و نامزد بازنده یا کسی که او معرفی می‌کند در سمت رئیس اجرایی حکومت قرار خواهند گرفت. -- با وجود این، در روزهای گذشته اظهارات ضد و نقیض و گاه متضادی از سوی مشاوران و اعضای تیم انتخاباتی هر دو نامزد در رسانه‌ها منعکس شده که نگرانی‌ها از بروز مجدد اختلاف میان آقایان احمدزی و عبدالله را افزایش داده است. -- جان کری در یادداشت خود نوشته، این به عهده خارجی ها نیست که در باره چارچوب سیاسی توضیح بدهند که دو نامزد چند روز پیش آن را پذیرفتند. -- آقای کری می گوید: این سند قانون اساسی افغانستان را نقض نمی‌کند و به نهادهای افغانستان و نقش رئیس‌جمهوری به عنوان رئیس دولت احترام می‌گذارد. -- وزیر خارجه امریکا همچنین گفته است که بررسی آرا یک بخشی از چلنج سر راه دمکراسی در افغانستان است. دمکراسی یک شبه حاصل نمی شود و هر یک رای را باید حساب و احترام کرد. -- آقای کری گفته است که روند بررسی آرا که بسیار آهسته بود، بعد از عید فطر سریع خواهد شد. -- گزارش های تایید ناشده وجود دارد که آقای کری دوباره برای پیشبرد موافقت دو هفته قبل به کابل سفر خواهد کرد. -- BBC,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UN calls for action to eradicate scourge --- 30 July 2014 – Emphasizing that the practice of slavery still plagues modern society, the United Nations marked its first-ever World Day against Trafficking in Persons by calling on the international community to end impunity for perpetrators and help victims, especially women and children, who continue to be particularly vulnerable to the perfidious trade. -- “Most of those trafficked are vulnerable women and children deceived into a life of suffering. They are exploited for sex and forced to work in conditions akin to slavery,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his statement to mark the World Day. -- Millions of people are trafficked a year – women, men and children sold and forced to work in sweatshops, fields and brothels. The purposes of trafficking in persons range from forced and bonded labour to various forms of sexual exploitation, forced marriage, organ removal and other contemporary practices similar to slavery. And women and children account for three quarters of identified victims. -- Calling for an end to a “callous” industry that preys on the most vulnerable and their hopes for a better life, Mr. Ban stressed the need to stop traffickers in their tracks not only by severing funding pipelines and seizing assets but also by addressing deeper underlining issues. -- “Enforcement, cross-border cooperation and information-sharing can all be effective, but ending human trafficking also means tackling the root causes,” he said. “Extreme poverty, entrenched inequality and a lack of education and opportunity create the vulnerabilities that traffickers exploit – ultimately, the best protection is to accelerate development for all.” -- Mr. Ban urged countries that have not yet done so, to ratify and fully implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. On this Day, it is especially imperative to send a message of hope to survivors, he said, emphasizing the need to support the Trust Fund for the Victims of Trafficking in Persons- established by the UN General Assembly in 2010 in line with the Global Plan of Action to tackle trafficking. -- Echoing that sentiment, Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that traffickers turn people into commodities and, despite international efforts, continue to operate with impunity. -- “Not a single day goes by without a fresh report of women, men and children being sold into modern-day slavery; forced to work in sweatshops, fields and brothels, hidden in plain sight in the richest countries in the world, and in the poorest,” he said. -- According to the UNODC, the vast majority of trafficked persons are women, accounting for 55 to 60 per cent. And recent data shows that more and more detected victims are children, particularly girls under the age of 18. Convicting traffickers is essential to signal worldwide that such actions will never be tolerated, Mr. Fedotov said. -- Despite encouraging progress – 90 per cent of countries now have legislation criminalizing human trafficking – convictions reported globally remain extremely low. According to UNODC’s forthcoming 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, some 15 per cent of countries did not record a single conviction between 2010 and 2012, while 25 per cent only recorded between one and 10 convictions. - More,

UN envoy welcomes criteria for invalidation, recount in Afghan audit process --- 30 July 2014 – The top United Nations official in Afghanistan has welcomed the decision to adopt criteria for the invalidation and recount of ballots as part of the ongoing audit over the results of the presidential run-off poll. -- “This decision will ensure that the audit process will lead to the invalidation of fraudulent ballots while all valid votes will be counted, thus honouring the courage and determination of the Afghans who voted in both rounds of the Presidential election,” said Ján Kubiš, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, in a statement released today. -- Having met with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) earlier in the day, Mr. Kubiš said the Commission’s decision to adopt the criteria means that the regulatory framework for the Presidential audit is now complete. -- “It will help minimise the points of friction encountered in the audit so far. I encourage both campaigns to continue demonstrating the political will necessary to proceed expeditiously with the audit, without any interruption,” added Mr. Kubiš, who also heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). -- The IEC decision is based on a UN proposal founded upon international best practice. Under the technical agreement reached by the two Presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, on 12 July, the UN was asked to propose the manner for the international supervision of the audit, which it did after consultations with both Presidential campaigns. -- Agreed on by both of the candidates, the plan involves a complete audit of the results of the run-off held on 14 June– roughly eight million ballots – to be held in Kabul with monitoring by national and international observers, as well as the formation of a government of national unity, among other points. -- With the process resuming on Saturday following the Eid break, the Special Representative said he looked forward to the candidate teams continuing their participation and focusing on large-scale irregularities rather than contesting individual ballots. - More,

U.S. paratroopers in Afghanistan hope to deal a few final blows against the Taliban --- SHINKAI, Afghanistan — It was a homecoming of sorts for Lt. Col. Paul Larson, returning to this remote corner of southern Afghanistan at the twilight of America’s longest war. He was back to take stock of a slice of the battlefield that seemed brimming with possibility when he last led soldiers here a decade ago. -- In 2005, Larson was zealous about counterinsurgency, convinced that irrigation projects, agrarian reform initiatives and new schools would plant the seeds of peace, rendering this impoverished, barren area inhospitable to an insurgency that appeared on the brink of defeat. -- As he flew to his former outpost late last month, commanding the last U.S. battalion conducting full-spectrum combat operations in Afghanistan, Larson’s mission was narrower, less ambitious and without altruistic impulses. -- “It’s a pleasure to be here to help you finish off the last little pockets of Taliban,” the American officer told Col. Gada Mohammed Dost, the Afghan commander who for the past two years has muddled through in this contested sector of southeastern Afghanistan with virtually no American help. -- The 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers under Larson’s command have been tasked with dropping into contested areas to examine how Afghan troops are faring as U.S. forces have thinned out and to deal a few final blows to militant groups that have withstood nearly 13 years of American firepower. -- The mission has given them a rich vantage point on the state of a war the United States will largely disengage from by year’s end — and the soldiers here have divergent outlooks about the odds that this nation stymied by a rocky political transition, a stubborn insurgency and an anemic economy will somehow stabilize. -- As the conflict’s final lethal act, Larson’s men hope to tilt the scales, even if just slightly. - More, Ernesto Londoño, Washingtonpost

The Taliban ‘waiting game’ in Afghanistan, mapped by media since 2009 --- The Washington Post published a strong story Tuesday out of Afghanistan, where my colleague Ernesto Londoño recently spent time with paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division. The unit he embedded with has been assigned to drop into contested areas to see how Afghan troops are holding up against insurgent groups as the U.S. pulls thousands of troops of Afghanistan this summer. -- The story hits on a central theme: The Taliban’s perceived waiting game. -- “If I was an insurgent, I would wait until the Americans left and try my luck with the ANSF,” Capt. Michael Wallace told Londoño, using the acronym common for the Afghan National Security Forces. “When we’re with them, they can make us have bad days, but they’re never going to win.” -- American troops have long questioned whether the Taliban is planning, or able, to launch a massive offensive against Afghan troops once the coalition has pulled almost entirely out of the country. Even Gen. Joseph Dunford, the outgoing top commander in Afghanistan, expressed some uneasiness this month about the speed with which U.S. Special Operations troops will be pulled out of the war zone in coming years. -- That the Taliban is waiting for U.S. troops to withdraw is a long-held narrative of the Afghanistan War. It has especially been the case since late 2009, when President Obama announced a surge of tens of thousands of U.S. troops, while at the same time setting a timetable to begin withdrawing forces. -- Consider this an attempt to illustrate the varying ways it has come up, drawing on media reports over the last five years that hit the “waiting” theme: --- “Washington’s hint of an Afghanistan endgame in saying U.S. troops won’t still be there in 2017 might help win over a war-weary public, but there is no guarantee a notoriously patient Taliban won’t just wait the Americans out.” -- That’s the lede of an analytical piece published by Reuters shortly after Obama’s surge announcement in December 2009. The announcement had been less than 24 hours earlier, but there already was significant concern that setting a timetable was going to be an issue. -- “Will the Taliban hard-liners, now scenting victory, even agree to talks and, as a consequence, be prepared to dump al-Qaeda? Or will they sit out the next eighteen months waiting for the Americans to begin to leave? -- More,

Watch: U.N. official breaks down over deaths of Palestinian children --- As my colleagues report, Palestinian officials and a U.N. agency say Israeli artillery shells on Wednesday hit a U.N.-run school that was sheltering Palestinian families, killing at least 20. A U.N. statement pinned the blame on the Israeli military, which says it's investigating the incident. "Today the world stands disgraced," the statement read. -- For Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which has numerous facilities in Gaza, it's all too much. This is the sixth time UNRWA sites have been hit during Israel's current campaign. He broke down sobbing during an interview, footage of which was screened by Al Jazeera Arabic. Watch above. -- So far in more than three weeks of fighting, 1,340 Palestinians have died, the majority of whom were civilians, including many women and children. Fifty-three Israeli soldiers have perished, as have three civilians in Israel, one of whom was a farm worker from Thailand. - More, Washingtonpost

Kerry on Afghanistan: ‘The time for politics is over’ --- Secretary of State John F. Kerry appealed to both candidates in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election to translate the broad power-sharing agreement they reached with him early this month into a working relationship they can carry into a new government, “whoever wins.” -- “The time for politics is over,” Kerry wrote in an op-ed published online Wednesday by Afghanistan’s TOLOnews in English as well as in Dari and Pashto, the two official Afghan languages. “The time for cooperation is at hand,” he wrote. “There is no time to waste.” --- Kerry’s intervention came amid a crescendo of what a senior Obama administration official called “misinformation and background noise” about the terms of the still-secret accord they reached in their July 12 emergency talks with him. -- The agreement came after Afghanistan’s elections board declared Ashraf Ghani the winner in the June vote to replace longtime President Hamid Karzai, and the declared loser, Abdullah Abdullah, cried fraud. To avoid a national meltdown, Kerry flew to Kabul and negotiated a deal to recount all 8 million ballots and establish a unity government. -- The vote count was slow to get started, but is now underway. But a parallel process to flesh out the unity agreement has been stalled while rumors fly among the two candidates’ camps about its terms. -- “What likely happened is that each campaign, each leader, promised all kinds of positions, jobs, to their constituents. Whoever wins is not going to be able to dish out as many jobs as they had hoped, because of this unity government concept,” the senior official said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about ongoing sensitive negotiations. --- Responding to conflicting reports that the winning president will have little power over a new prime minister, or vice versa, Kerry wrote: “I was there in the room, and I can tell you what is not in that one-page document.” -- “It respects Afghan institutions and the role of the president as the head of government. It does not establish a parliamentary system,” he said. “It creates a new position of chief executive who will report to the president until the president convenes a loya jirga to determine whether a permanent change is in the best interests of the country.” -- The loya jirga, or mass meeting of Afghan ethnic, tribal and political leaders, is to take place within two years. --- “What the agreement does provide is a critical opportunity for both candidates to move beyond political competition to real statesmanship,” Kerry wrote. “Every democracy reaches a decisive moment where the interests of the country must outweigh the interests of politicians. Afghanistan is at that critical point today.” -- The U.S. administration would like Ghani and Abdullah to “sign the document they agreed to, and publish that,” the senior official said. “Then they need to put meat on the bones of that agreement” and “talk to their constituents about what this means and what it doesn’t mean.” -- Although U.S. diplomats are shuttling between the two headquarters to facilitate the process, officials said it is up to the candidates to reach an accommodation. Both Ghani and Abdullah have trained and worked abroad. “These are two guys who understand the international system, who understand sovereignty and governance,” the senior official said. “They know how it works. They have to get it done.” --- On the plus side, the election commission Wednesday agreed to guidelines proposed by the United Nations for dealing with ballots deemed invalid, although the candidates themselves have not yet signed onto that agreement. -- Ballot-counting, suspended for the Eid al-Fitr holiday ending Ramadan, is due to resume later this week. International and Afghan military forces have brought 75 percent of about 23,000 ballot boxes to Kabul from around the country and expect to complete that process by Friday. -- Of the boxes, about 1,000 have been audited so far. Inauguration of the new president, originally scheduled for August, has been postponed indefinitely. - More, Karen DeYoung, Washingtonpost

رادیو آزادی -- مقاله جان کری وزیر خارجه ایالات متحده امریکا --- بار ها طی همه سفر هایم به افغانستان من با یک حقیقت ژرف مواجه شده ام، افغانها یک آینده بهتر میخواهند و سزاوار آن هستند. شما می خواهید بدون ترس زندگی کنید، زمینه بهترین تحصیل را برای اطفال تان مهیا سازید، بهترین سیستم مراقبت صحی با ثبات و یک وظیفه و سایر فرصت هایی که از لحاظ اقتصادی با ثبات باشد، داشته باشید. یک موضوع دیگر برای من واضح گردیده است: دیموکراسی راهی است که افغانها برای بدست آوردن یک زندگی بهتر انتخاب نموده اند. -- بیش از یک دهه رئیس جمهور کرزی افغانستان را در فراز و نشیب رهبری نموده است. من با وی از نزدیک کار نموده ام، و من میدانم که یکی از میراث های ماندگار وی این خواهد بود که چطور افغانستان نخستین انتقال دیموکراتیک و صلح آمیز خود را انجام میدهد. افغان ها در ماه های اپریل و جون یک قدم بزرگ به سوی دیموکراسی نیرومندتر زمانی برداشتند که میلیون ها تن از افغانها به مراکز رأی دهی رفتند تا رئیس جمهور آینده کشور خود را انتخاب نمایند. هر یکی از آرا مهر تأیید بر دیموکراسی و ابراز امیدواری برای آینده بود. -- ایالات متحده امریکا از تاریخ خود آموخته است که راه به سوی دیموکراسی ناهموار است و این سفر در یک شب تمام نمی شود. دیموکراسی ایجاب می نماید تا نهاد های معتبر ایجاد گردد، بالای تفرقه پیروز گردید، فضای اعتماد ایجاد گردد و بخاطر یک آینده درخشان باید با هم کار کرد. امروز، افغانستان و دو کاندید ریاست جمهوری با یکی از این ناهمواری ها مواجه شده اند- یک موقع تصمیم گیری. توانایی آنها برای غلبه بر موانع و همکاری آنها با یکدیگر برای احترام به آرای میلیونها تن از شهروندان شان آینده افغانستان و روابط این کشور را با جامعه جهانی تعیین می کند. -- ایالات متحده امریکا، سازمان ملل و جامعه جهانی در پروسه بعد از انتخابات تنها برای این دخیل اند که با نهاد های انتخاباتی کمک نمایند تا اعتبار برانتخابات را اعاده کنند. متخصصین برای من میگویند که پروسه تفتیش آرا در کابل بزرگترین و پیچیده ترین تفتیش انتخابات میباشد که تا حال به عهده گرفته اند. تعداد کمی از کشور ها توانستند که به این مشکل به تنهایی فایق آیند. -- متخصصین سازمان ملل دوش به دوش با همکاران افغان خود کار می نمایند تا اطمینان حاصل شود که تفتیش آرا با قوانین افغانستان، معیار های بلند بین المللی و از همه مهمتر با توقعات افغانها مطابقت دارد. این پروسه که طاقت فرسا و آهسته بوده است، بعد از ایام عید فطر تسریع خواهد گردید. اما دیموکراسی به عجله بدست نمی آید و هر یک از آرای مشروع سزاوار احترام و شمارش اند. کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات، سازمان ملل و ده ها تن از ناظرین بین المللی شب و روز کار می نمایند تا تفتیش آرا را به اتمام برسانند. پروسه تفتیش آرا تنها یک بخشی از مشکلات فراراه دیموکراسی امروز در افغانستان میباشد. عملکرد کاندیدا ها، داکتر عبدالله و داکتر اشرف غنی و تیم های سیاسی شان نیز حایز اهمیت مشابه میباشد. -- بتاریخ 12 جولای، هر دو کاندیدا با هم دست داده و توافق نمودند که نتیجه تفتیش آرا را احترام می نمایند. آنها هم چنان توافق نمودند تا یک حکومت وحدت ملی را تشکیل خواهند داد که افغانستان را به سوی یک آینده بهتر سوق خواهد داد. این توافق سیاسی جوابگوی وضیعت مشکل برانگیزی میباشد که نیازمند همکاری میان هر دو رهبر و توده کثیری از حامیان شان است. برای رسیدن به این توافق، داکتر عبدالله و داکتر اشرف غنی از خود دولتمداری باورنکردنی نشان دادند. در هر دیموکراسی، بعد از مبارزات شدید انتخاباتی منحیث کاندیدای ریاست جمهوری دشوار است تا به این نکته برسید که شما باید خواهشات خود و حامیان خود را کنار گذاشته و به منافع طویل المدت کشور تان اولویت دهید. هر دو کاندیدا توانستند که به خواهشات خود و حامیان شان فایق آیند. آنها منافع سیاسی را بخاطر منافع ملی کنار گذاشتند. آنها دولتمداری را از خود نشان دادند که ما از رهبران بزرگ توقع داریم. -- اکنون چلنج فراراه آنها عملی نمودن این توافق در روابط کاری قوی در حکومت جدید صرف نظر از اینکه کی برنده می شود، میباشد. زمان برای سیاست به پایان رسیده است. اکنون زمان همکاری فرارسیده است. زمان باید تلف نگردد و من هر دو تیم را ترغیب می نمایم تا در همکاری با یکدیگر حتی در حالی که تفتیش آرا ادامه دارد بالای موضوعات مهمی کار نمایند که کشور شان با آن ها مواجه است. خارجی ها صلاحیت این را ندارند که محتویات چوکات سیاسی را که آنها چند روز قبل قبول کردند، توضیح نمایند. اما من در همان روز در آن اطاق بودم و میتوانم بگویم که در سند یک صفحه یی کدام موضوع گنجانیده نشده بود. -- این سند قانون اساسی را زیر پا نمی گذارد- این سند نهاد های افغانستان را و رئیس جمهور را منحیث رئیس دولت احترام می گذارد. این سند سیستم پارلمانی را بوجود نمی آورد- این سند یک بست جدید را به عنوان رئیس اجرایی ایجاد می نماید که به رئیس جمهور تا زمانی که رئیس جمهور لویه جرگه را بخاطر تصمیم گیری در مورد اینکه آیا یک تغییر دایمی به نفع کشور است یا نه، گزارش میدهد. چیزی را که این توافق نامه مهیا می سازد فرصت مهمی برای هر دو کاندیدا است تا از رقابت سیاسی به سوی دولتمداری واقعی حرکت نمایند. این فرصتی است برای آنها تا باهم یکجا برای ایجاد یک دولت فراگیری که از همه اقشار جامعه نمایندگی کند، کار نمایند - اعم از پشتون ها، تاجک ها، اوزبک ها، و هزاره ها، زن و مرد. -- بلی، دیموکراسی یک پروسه تحولی است. اما هر دیموکراسی به یک نکته ای تعیین کننده میرسد که منافع کشور از منافع سیاستمداران باید به مراتب مهمتر باشند. امروز افغانستان در همان نکته مهم قرار دارد. رهبران این کشور نمی توانند که این فرصتی را که مردم کشور شان را کمک میکند تا به یک زندگی بهتر که سزاور آنها است و آن را می خواهند، از دست بدهند و این یک مشکلی است برای دو دولتمردی که هر دو به کشور شان عشق میورزند. -- -- Op-Ed from Secretary Kerry on Afghanistan

Foreign Policy - The United States Has Outspent the Marshall Plan to Rebuild Afghanistan --- In June of 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall delivered a wholly unexpected commencement speech to the newly minted graduates of Harvard University. The United States, Marshall announced, would launch a massive reconstruction effort to rebuild Europe in the devastating aftermath of World War II. The subsequent effort, the Marshall Plan, put Europe back on the path to prosperity and has been hailed as a monumental, if wildly expensive, achievement of U.S. foreign policy. All told, the United States funneled an inflation-adjusted $103.4 billion to the plan's recipients over the course of four years. -- But the Marshall Plan has now been knocked off its pedestal as America's most expensive nation-building project. Afghanistan now reigns supreme, having gobbled up $104 billion in American aid. And, unlike in Europe, that money hasn't bought the kind of world-class infrastructure that became the cornerstones of numerous flourishing economies. Instead, the funds have mainly bought empty buildings, malfunctioning power plants, and a corrupt government that will be wholly dependent on Western -- read: American -- aid well into the future. --- On Wednesday, John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, released his quarterly report to Congress. The document reads like an early epitaph for the American nation-building effort in Afghanistan. With $104 billion already spent, another $5.8 billion has been requested for 2015. Of the money appropriated, $15.95 billion remains to be spent. --- A significant portion of that money has been directed toward projects that are comically ill conceived or badly carried out. The United States has spent $7.6 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, but opium cultivation there -- a key Taliban funding source -- has risen for the past three years, and helped push global quantities of the crop to a record level. The U.S. Department of Agriculture spent $34.4 million toward a soybean project in the face of scientific evidence indicating that the crop was "inappropriate for conditions and farming practices in northern Afghanistan, where the program was implemented." The United States Agency for International Development has pledged $75 million toward the ill-fated Kajaki Dam project, but the inspector general questions whether that project is at all economically viable. The United States has spent $626 million to provide weapons and equipment to Afghan forces. That aid includes 465,000 small arms, but, according to the IG, for 43 percent of those arms information was missing in a database used to track their receipt in Afghanistan. - More,

Watchdog: Afghanistan Cost More Than Marshall Plan --- KABUL, Afghanistan — By the time its combat troops depart at the end of 2014, the United States will have appropriated more money trying to fix Afghanistan than it did on the Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover economically after World War II, according to an analysis by a government watchdog. -- The comparison in the latest quarterly report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction draws attention to the mixed results of U.S. investments in Afghanistan — $104 billion appropriated since 2002 — versus the success of the Marshall Plan, which is credited with helping to spur the economic revival of Western Europe. -- The Marshall Plan cost about $13.3 billion at the time, but dollars during the 1950s could purchase much more than today's dollars. Adjusting for inflation and stated in today's dollars, the Marshall Plan investment would be equal to $103.4 billion, SIGAR concluded. Using the same adjustments, the SIGAR report, calculated that the actual investment in Afghanistan equals more than $109 billion. -- The intent and focus of the two programs — one launched in the midst of war and the other after peace was restored — differ significantly, making comparisons difficult. Although the U.S. investment in Afghanistan has not brought extensive change, nonetheless there have been improvements that should be maintained, analysts say. This will require continued commitment by the U.S. and other countries, even after combat troops withdraw. -- Much of the Marshall Plan funding was spent on imports such as food, machinery, fertilizer and other items needed in the post-war reconstruction of Europe, which had been devastated in the war. By the early 1950s, economic output in most West European nations had surpassed pre-war levels. -- But what the billions of dollars spent in Afghanistan have achieved remains an open question. -- The Taliban insurgency remains entrenched and many reports indicate it is making gains as international combat troops depart. Civilian casualties are rising to record levels, and Afghanistan itself is regularly listed as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. -- The American aid effort has been regularly criticized by SIGAR and others. -- "The 30 audits, inspections, special projects, and other reports SIGAR issued this quarter examined programs and projects worth approximately $18.2 billion," the watchdog noted in its report, released Wednesday. "Unfortunately, most uncovered poor planning, shoddy construction, mechanical failures, and inadequate oversight." -- Support among Americans for the U.S. effort in Afghanistan is at an all-time low. According to a February Gallup poll, nearly half of Americans now think the war there was a mistake, and more than 80 percent have an unfavorable view of Afghanistan. -- "There are limits to the comparison between the Marshall Plan and Afghanistan, but there's no question we've made a huge commitment and no question that the return on that investment might be less than we hoped for," said Scott Smith, who directs the Afghanistan and Central Asia programs at the United States Institute of Peace. Still, he said, while most money and effort has been poured into the security side, that is perhaps the area where the least progress has been made. -- The money appropriated for reconstruction does not include the billions spent fighting the war in Afghanistan, but unlike the Marshall Plan, it does include a vast amount of cash — nearly $62 billion — for building and sustaining local military and police forces. --- But Smith and others said Afghanistan has seen some progress on social issues. -- "If you look at things like the mortality rate, education, and communications, we've had more good news stories on the civilian side," Smith said. -- SIGAR, however, warns that its ability to make sure aid money is going where it's needed will be drastically lessened as NATO withdraws its troops. -- "Large areas of the country — larger even than SIGAR anticipated last year — will soon be off limits to U.S. personnel due to base closures and troop withdrawals," the report said. -- Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Center said that gains have been made with the help of U.S. aid, but he worries that they are now at risk. - More,

کېري: د ټاکنو په موافقه کې پارلماني نظام مطرح نه و --- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کېري په یوه آزاده سرمقاله کې د افغانستان د جمهوري ریاست د ټاکنو په هکله لیکلي چې دا دموکراتیک بهیر د کړکیچ سره مخامخ شوی دی، او د دواړو سیالو کاندیدانو عبدالله عبدالله او اشرف غنی احمدزي نه یې غوښتي چې په تدبیر سره عمل وکړي. -- ښاغلي کېري لیکلي " د سیاست وخت پای ته رسیدلی او اوس د همکارۍ او مرستې وخت راغلی دی. ښايي وخت د لاسه ور نه کړل شي، او زه دواړه ټيمونه هڅوم چې د يوبل سره په ملګرتيا کې آن په داسې حال کې چې د رايو تفتيش دوام لري په هغو مهمو موضوع ګانو کار وکړي چې هیواد يې ورسره مخامخ دی." --- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر چې د همدې میاشتې په پیل کې یې شاو خوا ۴٨ ساعته د جمهوري ریاست د دواړو نوماندانو ترمنځ د میانځگړیتوب په هلو ځلو تیر کړل او د دواړو اړخونو موافقه یې د دوهم پړاو ټاکنو د ټولو رائیو د بیا پلټنې او د ملي وحدت د حکومت د جوړولو په هکله ترلاسه کړه، افغانانو ته یې په پخله لیکنه کې د دموکراسۍ د خوږو لاس ته راوړنو زیری ورکړی دی. -- د ښاغلي کېري د لیکنې له مخې دموکراسي لوړې ژورې لري او افغانان باید د یوې ښه راتلوونکې لپاره سره گډ کار وکړي. -- هغه لیکي " نن افغانستان او د ولسمشرۍ دوه نوماندان په دې لاره کې د نوموړيو خنډونو څخه د يوه سره مخامخ شوي دي - د پرېکړې یو فرصت. د خنډونو پر وړاندې د هغوی د غلبې وړتيا او د یو بل سره د هغوی همکاري او مرسته د میلیونونو افغانانو رايو ته د درناوي لپاره د افغانستان او د نړیوالې ټولنې سره د دې هیواد د اړيکو راتلونکی ټاکي." ---- خو جان کېري لیکلي دي چې د هغه سیاسي تفاهم سند چې هغه یې د لاس لیک شاهد دی، د افغانستان د اساسي قانون له موادو سره توپیر نه لري. -- د ښاغلي کېري په اند " دا سند اساسي قانون تر پښو نه لاندې کوي - دا سند د افغانستان د بنسټونو او د دولت د رئیس په توګه د ولسمشر درناوی کوي. دا سند پارلماني سیسټم نه رامنځته کوي - دا سند د اجرائيوي رئيس نوی بست منځ ته راوړي چې ولسمشر ته به ځواب وايي تر هغه وخته چې ولسمشر لویه جرګه راوبولي تر څو د دې په اړه پرېکړه وکړي چې دايمي بدلون د هیواد په ګټه دی او که نه." - More,

Op-Ed from Secretary Kerry --- Written by John Kerry -- Again and again, through all my visits to your country, I've been struck by one profound fact: Afghans want and deserve a better future. You want to live without fear, to have the best possible education for your children, health care systems that provide dignity and the jobs and other opportunities that come with a stable economy. --- Something else has been clear to me: Democracy is the path Afghans have chosen to achieve that better life. -- For more than a decade, President Hamid Karzai has led Afghanistan through triumph and tragedy. I've worked closely with him, and I know that one of his lasting legacies will be how Afghanistan makes its first democratic, peaceful transfer of power. -- Afghans took an enormous step on the road toward a stronger democracy in April and June when millions of people went to the polls to choose the country's next president. Every vote was a courageous endorsement of democracy, and an expression of hope for the future. -- The United States knows from our own history the road to democracy is bumpy and the journey is not completed overnight. Democracy requires building credible institutions, overcoming divisions, building trust and working together for a brighter future. -- Today, Afghanistan and its two presidential candidates face one of those bumps in the road -- a moment of decision. Their ability to overcome the obstacles and work together to honor the votes of millions of their citizens will determine the future of Afghanistan and its relationship with the international community. -- The United States, the United Nations and the international community are engaged in the post-election process solely to help the Afghan election institutions restore credibility to the voting. Experts tell me that the audit under way in Kabul is the largest and most complicated election audit ever undertaken anywhere. -- Few countries could meet this challenge alone. --- Specialists from the UN are working side by side with their Afghan colleagues to ensure that the audit meets the laws of Afghanistan, the highest international standards and, most importantly, the expectations of Afghans. The process, which has been painstaking and slow, will accelerate with the end of Eid al-Fitr. But democracy can't be rushed and every legitimate vote deserves to be counted and respected. The Afghan Independent Election Commission, the UN and dozens of international observers are working night and day to conclude the audit. -- The audit is only one part of the challenge confronting democracy in Afghanistan today. Equally important are the actions of the two candidates, Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and their political teams. -- On July 12, the two candidates shook hands and agreed to respect the results of the audit. They also agreed to build a unity government that will lead Afghanistan to a better future. The political agreement responds to a challenging situation that requires cooperation between the two leaders and their broad range of supporters. -- In reaching the agreement, Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani showed incredible statesmanship. In any democracy, it's very hard after an intense campaign as a presidential candidate to come to that moment where you must put your own aspirations and those of your supporters second to the greater long-term interests of your country. Both candidates managed to overcome their reservations and those of their backers. They set aside political interests in favor of the national interest. They exhibited the statesmanship we expect from great leaders. -- Their challenge now is to translate that agreement into a strong working relationship in the new government, whoever wins. The time for politics is over. The time for cooperation is at hand. There is no time to waste, and I encourage both teams to work cooperatively on the critical issues facing their country even as the audit continues. -- It's not for outsiders to describe the contents of the political framework both candidates accepted a few days ago. But I was there in the room, and I can tell you what is not in that one-page document. -- It does not violate the Afghan constitution – it respects Afghan institutions and the role of the president as the head of government. It does not establish a parliamentary system – it creates a new position of chief executive who will report to the president until the president convenes a loya jirga to determine whether a permanent change is in the best interests of the country. -- What the agreement does provide is a critical opportunity for both candidates to move beyond political competition to real statesmanship. It is a chance for them to work together to build an inclusive government that represents all sectors of Afghan society – Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, men and women. -- Yes, democracy is an evolutionary process. It isn't easy. But every democracy reaches a decisive moment where the interests of the country must outweigh the interests of politicians. Afghanistan is at that critical point today. Its leaders cannot afford to miss the chance to help bring their people the better lives they deserve and demand. And that is a challenge for two statesmen who both love Afghanistan. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brokered an agreement between Afghan presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai on July 12 that would audit all eight million votes cast in the runoff presidential election. -- More,

"احتمال افتادن سلاح های امریکایی به دست شورشیان در افغانستان" --- یک گزارش تازه نشان می دهد که واشنگتن و کابل نتوانسته اند حساب صدها هزار میل سلاح تحویل داده شده به نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان را نگهدارند و این مخاطره وجود دارد که برخی از این سلاح ها به دست شورشیان افتاده باشد. -- اداره بازرس کل ایالات متحده امریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان (سیگار) در گزارشی گفته است که ایالات متحده امریکا بیشتر از حد نیازمندی نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان به آنها سلاح تهیه کرده است و قسماً به این دلیل که مقام های کابل در تقاضاهای خود با گذشت زمان تجدید نظر کرده اند. -- اردوی ایالات متحده امریکا از سال 2004 تا حالا بیش از 747 هزار تفنگ خودکار کلاشینکوف (ای کا – 47)، هاوان انداز و دیگر تسلیحات به نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان فراهم کرده است که ارزش مجموعی آن به 626 میلیون دالر امریکایی می رسد. -- اما جان ساپکو،سر مفتش ایالات متحده امریکا در گزارش تازه خود گفته است که واشنگتن و کابل هر دو در نگهداری سوابق و محاسبه این سلاح ها ناشیانه عمل کرده و احتمالاً ده ها هزار میل از این سلاح ها محاسبه نشده اند. -- در این گزارش آمده است: «با توجه به توانایی محدود حکومت افغانستان در محاسبه و ترتیب مناسب این سلاح ها، امکان واقعی افتادن این سلاح ها به دست شورشیان وجود دارد -- در گزارش واضح شده است که حکومت ایالات متحده امریکا در پیگیری این سلاح ها پیش از تحویل دهی به حکومت افغانستان مشکلاتی داشته و مقام های حکومت افغانستان در محاسبه این سلاح ها "مشکلات شدید" داشته اند. -- براساس این گزارش، نگهداری سابقه و لیست موجودی این سلاح ها توسط نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان "ضعیف" بوده و ناپدیدن شدن سلاح ها و دیگر مشکلات محاسباتی در جریان این بازرسی مشخص شده است. -- برعلاوه گزارش حاکی است که نیروهای اردو و پولیس ملی افغانستان حدود 112 هزار سلاح بیشتر از نیازمندی های اظهار شده توسط قومندانان افغان دارند. بیشتر بودن این سلاح ها از حد مورد نیاز به این دلیل بوده که مقام های حکومت افغانستان با گذشت زمان تقاضاهای خود را تغییر داده اند، اما هیچ برنامه ای برای بازپس گیری یا جا به جا کردن سلاح های اضافی نداشته است. -- براساس گزارش مفتش عمومی بازسازی افغانستان، «دلیل دیگری که سلاح ها از یک حد مورد نیاز بیشتر شده است، آرزوی نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان به داشتن سلاح های جدید به عوض ترمیم کردن سلاح های کهنه بوده است». -- مفتش ایالات متحده امریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان هشدار داده است که در سال های آینده وقتی شمار نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان کاهش یابد، ممکن است سلاح های اضافی به یک مشکل بدتر تبدیل گردد. ناتو در نظر دارد که شمار نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان را از 352 هزار تا سال 2017 میلادی به 228500 تن کاهش دهد. -- جان ساپکو همچنان از پنتاگون، وزارت دفاع ایالات متحده امریکا، خواسته است که حکومت افغانستان را در بررسی صد درصد لیست موجودی سلاح های خفیف تحویل داده شده به کابل کمک کند. در این گزارش به حکومت های افغانستان و ایالات متحده امریکا پیشنهاد شده است که نقشه ای را طرح کنند تا همزمان با کاهش نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان، سلاح های اضافی جمع آوری و توزیع آن متوقف گردد. - صدای آلمان

Obama announces expanded sanctions against Russia as E.U. aligns --- LONDON — The European Union on Tuesday overcame months of misgivings to impose a wave of tough new economic sanctions on Russia, including an arms embargo and limits on access to European capital markets for Russian state-owned banks. -- President Obama immediately followed the European action by announcing a new round of U.S. measures that he said will affect “key sectors of the Russian economy.” Among other actions, he expanded the list of U.S.-sanctioned banks and defense companies. -- The United States and Europe banned exports of technology for use in Russian deepwater, Arctic and shale oil exploration. -- The U.S.-Europe combination, Obama said, will “have an even bigger bite” on Russia than a series of lesser measures intended to push the Russians back from their role in destabilizing Ukraine. --- “It didn’t have to come to this. It does not have to be this way,” he said in a brief statement on the South Lawn of the White House. “There continues to be a better choice — the choice of de-escalation.” Obama called on President Vladi­mir Putin to stop supporting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, to pull his troops back from the border, and to promote a negotiated settlement between the separatists and the Western-backed Ukraine government. - More, Washingtonpost

Lost in Afghanistan: U.S. can’t track weapons it sends --- WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has shipped Afghan security forces tens of thousands of excessive AK-47 assault rifles and other weapons since 2004 and many have gone missing, raising concerns that they’ve fallen into the hands of Taliban or other insurgent rebels. -- John F. Sopko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, found in a report released Monday that shoddy record-keeping by the Defense Department, the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police has contributed to the failure to track the small arms. -- The Pentagon is still sending Afghanistan weapons based on its peak 2012 levels of army and police personnel, even as those numbers have declined, Sopko found. -- “The scheduled reduction in Afghan National Security Force personnel to 228,500 by 2017 is likely to result in an even greater number of excess weapons,” the report said. “Yet DOD continues to provide ANSF with weapons based on the (2012) ANSF force strength of 352,000 and has no plans to stop providing weapons to ANSF.” -- Congress has made the Pentagon responsible for tracking all U.S. small weapons and auxiliary equipment sent to Afghanistan, which have totaled 747,000 rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers and shotguns worth $626 million since 2004. -- “However, controls over the accountability of small arms provided to the Afghanistan National Security Forces are insufficient both before and after the weapons are transferred,” Sopko concluded in the report. -- The Pentagon said in response to the audit that it has no authority to compel the Afghan government to perform a complete small-weapons inventory as Sopko recommended, and that the Afghanistan government, not the United States, is responsible for determining whether there are excessive weapons. -- “The DOD does not have the authority to recover or destroy Afghan weapons,” Michael J. Dumont, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, wrote to Sopko in response to his findings. -- Thomas Gouttierre, director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, said he wasn’t surprised by Sopko’s findings of loose weapons in the war-torn nation. A former strategic adviser to U.S. commanders in Afghanistan, he has visited there more than a dozen times since the U.S. invasion in October 2001 after the Sept. 11 attacks. - More, McClatchy,

Thousands of guns unaccounted for by Afghan security forces --- Information on nearly three-quarters of a million guns purchased by the US for the Afghan National Security Forces is either missing or duplicated, an audit of SIGAR inspectors revealed, sparking fears they could have ended up in Taliban hands. -- Both the US and Afghan authorities have failed to keep track of 747,000 weapons purchased for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the latest report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported on Monday. -- Now the US watchdog is expressing fear that at least some of these weapons could find their way into the hands of Taliban insurgents, to be used to kill ISAF and Afghan troops. -- "Without confidence in the Afghan government’s ability to account for or properly dispose of these weapons, SIGAR is concerned that they could be obtained by insurgents and pose additional risks to Afghan civilians and the ANSF," said the report released on Monday. -- The US Department of Defense’s OVERLORD database for Afghanistan has nearly half a million weapons registered, yet over 40 percent of the entries are either duplicated or simply missing. --- Another database called SCIP, the inventory for the 700,000 weapons and auxiliary equipment (worth about $626 million) handed over by the US DoD to Afghan security forces since 2004, has also been found to be inconsistent by SIGAR investigators, who claim that tens of thousands of weapons are now unaccounted for because the data from the Department of Defense “is not very reliable.” -- In 2009 a quarter of a million weapons were sent to Afghan security forces. Of these, the serial numbers of 46,000 guns were unregistered, making all of them virtually untraceable, the General Accounting office said. -- “Accountability over these weapons within DOD prior to their transfer to Afghan ownership is affected by incompatible inventory systems that have missing serial numbers, inaccurate shipping and receiving dates, and duplicate records, that may result in missing weapons prior to transfer to the ANSF,” SIGAR auditors concluded. -- “However, the problems are far more severe after the weapons are transferred to the ANSF. ANSF record-keeping and inventory processes are poor and, in many cases, we were unable to conduct even basic inventory testing at the ANSF facilities we visited,” the report said. - More,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Karzai's powerful cousin killed, worsens strains over poll deadlock --- (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai's powerful cousin, a close ally of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani, was killed in a suicide bomb attack on Tuesday, officials said, deepening strains over an election marred by fraud and under a U.N.-monitored review. -- Hashmat Karzai was hosting an event for the Eid al-Fitr holiday at his home in the southern province of Kandahar, the cradle of the Taliban insurgency, when a man posing as a guest and described as well-dressed set off explosives, the local governor's office said. No one else was killed in the attack. -- There was no immediate claim of responsibility. -- The motives for the assassination were not immediately clear, but the killing deals another setback to hopes that the deadlock over the electoral contest to replace Hamid Karzai as president will be quickly resolved. -- A new president was initially due to be sworn in on Aug. 2, but Western diplomats say it could take weeks, possibly months, before a new leader officially takes office. The delays have fueled security concerns and uncertainty now hangs over a deal to keep U.S. troops in the country beyond the end of the year. -- Sources have expressed anxiety about continued bickering between Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah despite a U.S.-brokered agreement this month to put aside their differences for the sake of national peace. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who visited Kabul this month, will probably have to make a follow-up visit to cajole Ghani, the winner according to provincial results, and Abdullah into forming a unity government, U.S. officials say. -- President Barack Obama has also urged the two Afghan candidates to iron out their differences. - More,

گفت و گو با سفیر سابق آمریکا در افغانستان --- زلمی خلیلزاد، سفیر سابق آمریکا در افغانستان، می گوید که اصلاحات نباید قربانی تشکیل دولت وحدت ملی شود. آقای خلیلزاد می گوید این اصلاحات در درازمدت برای بهبود اوضاع افغانستان و پیشرفت حیاتی است. تشکیل دولت وحدت ملی بخشی از توافقی است که عبدالله عبدالله و اشرف غنی احمدزی، دو نامزد انتخابات ریاست جمهوری برای برون رفت از بحران سیاسی امضا کرده اند. -- داود قاری زاده در آغاز گفت و گو با سفیر سابق آمریکا در افغانستان پرسیده که آیا این کشور بعد از اعلام نتایج ابتدایی انتخابات واقعا بر لبه پرتگاه بحران قرار داشت؟ -- More,

Karzai Cousin Killed by Suicide Bomber in Afghanistan --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Hashmat Khalil Karzai, a cousin of President Hamid Karzai and a powerful supporter of the presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani, was killed by a suicide bomber in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday as he greeted well-wishers at his home, government officials and a witness said. -- Mr. Karzai was killed instantly when a young man embraced him and set off a bomb in his turban, according to these accounts of the attack, in Kandahar Province. -- The bombing comes as political and security tensions have been rising in Afghanistan. Insurgent attacks in Kandahar Province in recent days have rattled the population, which had only relatively recently begun to enjoy a period of peace and security. The country is also mired in political uncertainty as the presidential runoff election between Mr. Ghani and his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, has been halted amid allegations of widespread fraud and threats of violence, forcing organizers to conduct a full audit of the June poll. -- Neither the Taliban nor anyone else has claimed responsibility for the attack. -- Mr. Karzai’s death is a clear blow to the Ghani campaign: he ran Mr. Ghani’s campaign in the south and at the same time secured a seat on the provincial council in the April election. His brother Hekmat Karzai has been a close adviser in Kabul to Mr. Ghani during the campaign. -- “With immense shock, we’ve found out abt the death of dear Hashmat Karzai,” Mr. Ghani said in a statement posted by his Twitter account. A second post read: “His loss has left a void. He’ll be missed!” -- The governor of Kandahar, Tooryalai Wesa, also expressed his sadness. “Hashmat was a big wall for Kandahar,” he said. -- The bomber had mingled with elders and local people who came to greet Mr. Karzai at his home on the second day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday. “The enemy of Afghanistan is always misusing our culture and religion by carrying out cunning and un-Islamic acts,” Mr. Wesa said. -- President Karzai also condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to friends and relatives of his cousin. “Like other Afghans that are being killed daily by these terrorist attacks, our family is not the exception and we accept this sacrifice,” he said in a statement issued by the palace. -- Hashmat Karzai, 45, was a colorful character who kept a tamed lion in a fortress home he built in the family village of Karz, on the southwest side of the city of Kandahar. He had returned from the United States after the fall of the Taliban and ran a security firm, winning major American contracts. - More,

TAKANI: The Impact of the Election Crisis on Democracy --- In this episode of Takani 93, host Shapoor Bakhtiyar discusses the impact of the election crisis on democracy in Afghanistan with the following the guests: -- To watch the whole program, click here: - More,

حشمت خلیل کرزی پسر کاکای حامد کرزی و مسوول کمپاین دفتر احمدزی کشته شد --- حشمت خلیل کرزی پسر کاکای رییس جمهور کرزی و مسوول کمپاین دفتر اشرف غنی احمدزی در یک حمله انتحاری در منزل اش در ولسوالی دند منطقه کرز کشته شد. -- دوا خان مینه پال سخنگوی والی قندهار با تایید این مساله به رادیو آزادی گفته است که این حمله توسط یک فرد انتحاری که مواد را در بدنش جاسازی کرده بود هنگام احوال پرسی با حشمت خلیل آنرا منفجر ساخت. -- به گفته سخنگوی والی قندهار حشمت خلیل از چهار ماه به این طرف مورد تهدید قرار داشت -- وی می گوید این حادثه پس از ساعت 10 پیش از چاشت امروز رخ داده است. -- سخنگوی والی قندهار، کشته شدن یک فرد ملکی در این حادثه را نیز تائید کرد. -- تا حال مسوولیت این حمله را نیز کسی و یا گروهی به عهده نگرفته است. - رادیو آزادی

Obama greets Muslims on Eidul Fitr festival --- WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Greeting Muslims across the globe on the occasion of Eidul Fitr, US President Barack Obama on Sunday said the festival celebrated common values that united humanity and reinforced obligations people of all faiths had towards each other. -- "As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eidul Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families," Obama said in a statement. -- In the US, he said, Eid also reminded them of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of the nation and strengthening the core of democracy. -- "That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities," Obama said. -- "On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration. Eid Mubarak," said the president. -

Afghan president's cousin killed in Kandahar bombing --- KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Cousin of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Hashmat Khalil Karzai, was killed following a suicide bomb attack in southern Kandahar province on Tuesday morning, sources said. -- "The attacker was among visitors of the Eid-ul-Fitar festival. He made his way into Khalil Karzai's house. He detonated explosive hiding in his turban after approaching Karzai," a source told Xinhua anonymously. -- He said the blast took place at around 10:00 a.m. local time. -- The exact number of casualties remained unknown, the source said, adding an investigation was launched into the incident and details will be released afterwards. -- Khalil Karzai was a winner in 2014 provincial council election. He was also campaign manager of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, a presidential candidate. -- A provincial government spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal also confirmed the casualty. -

Monday, July 28, 2014

حشمت کرزی ځانمرګي برید کې ووژل شو --- د افغانستان د ولسمشر حامد کرزي د تره زوی او ولسمشرۍ ته د نوماند اشرف غني احمدزي ملاتړ حشمت کرزی د اختر پر دویمه د سې شنبې پر ورځ په کندهار کې پخپله کور کې وژل شوی. -- د کندهار د پولیسو ویاند، ضیاء دراني بی بي سي ته وویل، د اختر پر دویمه ورځ (سې شنبې) ګهیځ شاوخوا لس بجې خلک د قومي مشر او د ولسمشر حامد کرزي د تره زوی حشمت خلیل کرزي کور ته د اختر مبارکۍ لپاره ورتلل، چې په خلکو کې یوه ځانوژونکي زلمي هم ځان تر حشمت کرزي پورې رسولی دی. -- درانی زیاتوي، دغه شاوخوا ۱۶ کلن زلمي پخپل پټکي (لونګۍ) کې چاودېدونکي توکي ځای پرځای کړي و، چې له حشمت کرزي سره د ستړي مشې او روغبړ پرمهال یې چوولی او حشمت کرزی یې وژلی دی. -- تر اوسه په برید کې د نورو کسانو د وژل کېدو په اړه څه نه دي ویل شوي. -- حشمت کرزی یو ځوان سیاستوال او په کندهار کې یو مخور سړی و. -- تر اوسه د دغه برید پړه چا نه ده منلې. -- کندهار کې زموږ خبریال مامون دراني بي بي سي پښتو وېبپاڼې ته د تیلېفون پر کرښه وویل، دا لومړی ځل نه دی، چې په کندهار کې دا ډول برید کېږي. -- وړاندې د کندهار پخوانی ښاروال کلېکاږل غلام حیدر حمیدي هم یوه کس، چې په لونګۍ کې یې چاودېدونکي توکي ځای پرځای کړي وو، وواژه. -- همداشان، د کندهار د علماوو د شورا پخوانی مشر هم په ورته پېښه کې د حامد کرزي د ورور احمد ولي کرزي د جنازې د مراسمو پرمهال وژل شوی و. -- حشمت کرزی ولسمشرۍ ته د نوماند اشرف غني احمدزي ملاتړی و. -- نور جزییات به وروسته پرلیکه شي. --- د ۲۰۱۱ کال د جولای پر ۱۲، د افغانستان د ولسمشر حامد کرزي ورور او د کندهار د ولايتي شوری د هغه وخت مشر کلېکاږل احمد ولي کرزی په کندهار کې په خپل کور کې د خپل ساتونکي په ډزو وژل شوی و. -- له هغه سره څلور نور ساتونکي هم وژل شوي وو. -- BBC

دافغانستان دجمهوررئیس حامد کرزي داختریز پیغام متن -- بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم -- مطبوعات عزیز کشور اسلام علیکم --- عیدسعید فطر را به مردم غیور و عزیز کشور تاریخی و رنج دیده ما تبریک گفته، به مسلمانان تمام جهان تبریک گفته از خداوند متعال بحیث یک بنده حقیر شان آرزو داریم به ما لطف کند به جهان اسلام، به مسلمانان صلح، امنیت وترقی نصیب فرمایند. -- امروز خصوصاً به این روز مبارک عید که روز خوشحالی است و روز سرور است به تمام آن کشورهای اسلامی که مردم اش در رنج، نا امنی، جنگ و تروریزم به سر میبرند از خداوند امنیت وصلح میخواهیم. از لیبیا تا پاکستان جهان اسلام در رنج است، هر روز در کشورهای اسلامی صدها شهید وکشته میدهیم. خصوصا امروز ما جهان اسلام وبخصوص مردم افغانستان به یاد مردم فلسطین در غزه هستیم که بسیار بی رحمانه کشته میشوند، شب و روز کشته میشوند در هر ساعت یک طفل آن شهید میشود، به آنها آرزو صلح، امنیت، ترقي و خوشحالی داریم. -- خدای تعالی دې د نړۍ ټول مسلمانان له دې مصیبتونو څخه خلاص کړي او امن دې ورته راولي. او بیا زموږ خپلې خاورې افغانستان ته دې الله تعالی سوله، امن او ترقي راولي. -- ستاسو به په یاد وي چې دانتخاباتو په شپوکې کله چې د انتخاباتو مبارزې وې او کمپاینونه وو، په ټول افغانستان کې الحمد الله خیر او خیریت و، په لکونو او سلهاوو زره افغانان را ووتل کمپاینونه یې وکړل، ټولنې یې وکړې، اجتماعات یې جوړکړل خو الحمد الله یو سړی حتی زخمی هم نه شو او ټول په خیر تېر شول او تر انتخاباتو وروسته کله چې انتخابات ترسره شول کله چې درایې شمیرنه شروع شوه هلته پر افغانستان حملې شروع شوې او شدیدې حملې شروع شوې. په دې څوارلسو کلونوکې زموږ پر هېواد داسې شدیدې حملې نه وې شوې لکه په تېرو دوه میاشتوکې چې وشوې او زموږ امنیتي ارګانونه هره ورځ په دوامداره توګه راپور راکوي چې خارجي تروریستان په ډیره پراخه پیمانه او په ډیر تعداد افغانستان ته داخل شوي دي او دلته پر افغانانو حملې کوي .خو په مقابل کې یې زموږ دخاورې امنیتي او دفاعي قواوې د خپلې خاورې دفاع کوي. ډیر شهیدان مو دامنیتي قواوو او ملکي وګړو ورکړي دي. لکه تل افغانستان په غیرت او همت د خپلې خاورې دفاع ته ولاړ دی. -- ډیر هغه ځوانان د دې خاورې چې د طالب په نامه وژل کیږي موږ د هغوی له کورنیو سره هم غمشریکي کوو او تسلیت ورته وایو. دلته د طالبانو پر مشرانو غږ کوم چې پر افغانانو جنګ بند کړي او د پردیو د تروریستانو د راتګ زمینه ساز نه شي او د افغانستان د نا امنۍ او بې ثباتۍ زمینه ساز نه شي، سولې ته دې راشي او د خپلو وروڼو او خویندو سره دې د امن او عزت ژوند وکړي. -- دافغانستان ملت انتخابات وکړل په میلیونونو رایې ورکولو ته را ووتل. دافغانستان خلک غواړي چې انتخابات یې ژر تر ژره نتیجه ورکړي ترڅو دا خاوره خپل نوی جمهور رئیس او نوی حکومت ولري او کارونه یې په چټکتیا او قوت پرمخ ولاړ شي. -- په دې هیله او دافغانستان او دټولې اسلامي نړۍ د خوشحالۍ او نیکمرغۍ په آرزو مو بیا هم دا اختر مبارک شه. باز هم عید همه تان مبارک باشد. خوشحال و آباد باشید. -- منبع : دفتر ریاست جمهوری افغانستان - د۱۳۹۳ لمریز کال دزمري دمیاشتې۶مه نېټه

U.S.-Supplied Weapons Vulnerable After Afghanistan Withdrawal --- Weapons given to Afghanistan have gone missing before, and it may happen again. --- When Afghanistan fought the Soviet Union during the 1980s, the CIA sent shoulder-launched, surface-to-air Stinger missiles to the mujahedeen fighters battling the Red Army. When the Soviets left, many of the missiles went missing, and CIA operatives – including Robert Baer – were assigned to track them down. -- Finding the Stingers was a top priority for the agency because of fears they could be used by militant groups like al-Qaida, which was then based in Afghanistan and in 2001 carried out terrorist attacks against the U.S. The lack of controls for those missiles haunted American officials for years. -- “There was no plan,” Baer says about efforts to supply weapons to the mujahedeen. “Congress told the CIA basically to give them weapons to fight the Red Army, even though they knew it would be hard to track and control them.” -- Weapons are once again at risk of falling into the wrong hands in Afghanistan, as the U.S. military prepares to leave the country after more than a decade of war. About $4 billion in used equipment will be scrapped, destroyed or sold, and there are concerns some weapons may once again wind up with militants in the region. --- The Pentagon is working to ensure that does not happen, but problems already have been uncovered in efforts to track its arms transfers to Afghanistan: The Afghan National Security Forces, or ANSF, have a glut of supplied weapons far above their agreed-upon needs, according to a new report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. -- "Without confidence in the Afghan government’s ability to account for or properly dispose of these weapons, SIGAR is concerned that they could be obtained by insurgents and pose additional risks to Afghan civilians and the ANSF," says the report, released Monday. --- The Afghan police and army have 112,000 more weapons than they need, including 83,000 excess AK-47 rifles supplied to the Afghan National Army by the Pentagon. After 2010, the Defense Department stopped providing non-NATO-standard arms like AK-47s, and the Pentagon told the inspector general it is the Afghan government's responsibility "to determine if they have weapons in excess of their needs," according to the report. The ratio of Afghan personnel to excess weapons may become even greater if the Afghan government downsizes its security forces as projected by 2017, the report says, adding to the risk that the guns will fall into the wrong hands. - More, US News and World Report,

Sunday, July 27, 2014

امروز دوشنبه مصادف است با روز اول عید سعید فطر! --- پس از دیدن هلال ماه شوال در عربستان سعودی، در افغانستان نیز دوشنبه روز اول عید سعید فطر اعلان شد. امروز دوشنبه اول ماه شوال سال 1435 هجری قمری مصادف با عید سعید فطر است. اعلامیهء دیوان سلطنتی عربستان سعودی دیروز گفت محکمهء عالی این کشور پس از غروب، شام دیروز هلال شوال را دیده توانست. در کویت، لبنان، قطر، سوریه، امارات متحد عربی، یمن، بحرین، فلسطین و بخش سنی عراق هم امروز اول عید سعید فطر است. -- ستره محکمهء افغانستان که طبق سنت دیرینهء خود با عربستان سعودی یکجا عید اعلان می کند، در اعلامیۀ شب گذشته تائید کرد که امروز اول عید سعید فطر می باشد. قرار است نماز عید امروز در کابل و دیگر ولایات کشور ادا شود. دفتر مطبوعاتی ارگ ریاست جمهوری به رادیو آزادی گفت که رئیس جمهور کرزی و دیگر مقامات ارشد دولتی نماز عید را در مسجد جامع ارگ ادا خواهند کرد. مقامات امنیتی می گویند، برای ایام عید تدابیر امنیتی خاص را روی دست گرفته اند. -- سخنگوی ریاست عمومی امنیت ملی دیروز در کابل به خبرنگاران گفت که شماری از مخالفان مسلح که قصد حملات انتحاری را در روز های عید داشتند، دستگیر شدند. عبدالحسیب صدیقی گفت، چهار نفر بازداشت شده قصد داشتند در بدخشان، هرات و پکتیکا دست به حملات بزنند. آقای صدیقی دو تن بازداشت شده ها در بدخشان را دهشت افگنانی معرفی کرد که در وزیرستان شمالی آموزش دیده اند. سخنگوی ریاست عمومی امنیت ملی افزود که واسکت های انفجاری، اسلحۀ سبک و دیگر وسایل از افراد دستگیر شده به دست آمده است. -- نگرانی های امنیتی یگانه مشکل نیست بلکه حالت مبهم بعد از انتخابات و ناتوانی اقتصادی مشکلات دیگریست که خوشی های عید امسال را زیر سایهء خود قرار داده است. -- رادیو آزادی

The Warlord Who Defines Afghanistan: An Excerpt From Bruce Riedel’s ’What We Won’ --- He fought with the Soviets, then led the cavalry and B-52 bombers to rout the Taliban. In an excerpt from 'What We Won,' the story of Abdul Rashid Dostum. --- Shibirghan, the capital of Jowzjan province, is a remote and barren place, even by Afghan standards. To the north, Jowzjan borders on the Amu Darya River and Turkmenistan, a former part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Shibirghan is a city of about 150,000 on a flat, dry plain that extends past the river into Central Asia. Most of the city’s population is made up of ethnic Uzbeks, with a minority of Turkmen; the province as a whole is 40 percent Uzbek and 30 percent Turkmen. Natural gas has been exploited in the province since the 1970s, initially by a Soviet energy project. Shibirghan is on the Afghan ring road, the country’s main highway, which connects the country’s main cities. Shibirghan lies between the largest city in the north, Mazar-e Sharif, to the east and the largest city in the west, Herat. -- Since the 1980s, Shibirghan has been the stronghold of Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Uzbek Afghan warlord who has played a complex role in the wars that have wracked Afghanistan since 1978. In 1998, Dostum was my host during a visit to Shibirghan. I had met him before, in my Pentagon office, where he had related his life’s journey to me. A physically strong and imposing man, he has an Asian appearance, a hint of his Mongol roots. That day he was dressed to look like a modern political leader, in a suit and tie. The notorious warlord was hosting a meeting of the Northern Alliance, the coalition of Afghan parties that opposed the Taliban, in his hometown. In addition to Dostum, Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, Hazara Shia leader Karim Khalili, and Mohammad Abdullah, a deputy of the legendary Ahmad Shah Massoud, were in attendance. The U.S. party was led by Bill Richardson, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Karl “Rick” Inderfurth, assistant secretary of State. At the start of the meeting, all the Afghans and Americans held each other’s hands in a symbol of unity for the cameras. -- More, Bruce Riedel, Daily Beast,

U.S.-Israeli tensions rise as hostilities in Gaza subside --- (Reuters) - Israel sees no need for another Gaza ceasefire, an Israeli official was quoted as saying on Monday, as tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and Washington flared over U.S. mediation to end the almost three-week-old war. -- Fighting had subsided over the weekend, with the battered Palestinian enclave's dominant Hamas Islamists endorsing a U.N. call for a 24-hour halt ahead of Monday's Eid al-Fitr festival. -- Yet Israel balked, having abandoned its own offer to extend a 12-hour truce from Saturday as Palestinian rocket launches persisted. Netanyahu's security cabinet met into the early hours of Monday to debate proposals including for an escalation of the Gaza offensive in which almost 1,100 people have died. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the region last week to try to stem the bloodshed, his contacts with Hamas - which Washington formally shuns - facilitated by Egypt, Turkey, Qatar and Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. -- Israel wants Egypt, which also borders the Gaza Strip and views Hamas as a security threat, to take the lead in curbing the Palestinian Islamists. It worries about Doha and Ankara championing Hamas demands to open up the blockaded territory. -- A flurry of media leaks by unnamed Israeli officials damning a draft agreement attributed to Kerry as too accommodating of Hamas was challenged by a U.S. official who, also anonymously, told reporters the top diplomat's efforts had been mischaracterized. -- But U.S. President Barack Obama, phoning Netanyahu on Sunday, put pressure on Israel to hold fire unconditionally and appeared to link its core demand for Hamas to be stripped of cross-border rockets and infiltration tunnels to a peace accord with the Palestinians that is nowhere on the diplomatic horizon. -- "The President stressed the U.S. view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza," the White House said. -- It added that while Obama wanted any truce to be along the lines of an Egyptian deal that ended the last Gaza war, in November 2012, the United States also supported "regional and international coordination to end hostilities". -- Israel did not immediately respond nor publish what, if anything, was decided at the overnight security cabinet session. -- But Israel Radio quoted an unidentified government official as saying: "There is no need for any more ceasefires. Let Hamas stop firing first." - More,

Saturday, July 26, 2014

U.S. tells Pakistan: Do not let Haqqani fighters resettle --- (Reuters) - The U.S. government urged Pakistan on Friday to prevent displaced Haqqani militants from returning to their traditional sanctuary after a Pakistani military offensive near the Afghanistan border. -- The Haqqani network, which mainly operates out of Pakistan's border areas, has been blamed for some of the deadliest and most sophisticated attacks on NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan. -- "What we've asked for is that the Haqqanis, yes they’ve been displaced, yes they've been disrupted, but that they not be allowed to regroup and resettle back into those historical areas," said Jeffrey Eggers from the White House's National Security Council, speaking at a security forum in Colorado. -- That would break a long tradition of tolerating those who did not target the Pakistani state. No one from the Haqqani network has been reported killed, however, since the offensive began in June in the remote region of North Waziristan. -- The United States has long pressed for Pakistani action against the Haqqanis. Islamabad has said it would target any militants, including the Haqqanis, as they proceed with the military operation. -- Pakistan's envoy to Washington, Jalil Abbas Jilani, sitting alongside Eggers and others at the event, acknowledged that Haqqani fighters almost certainly fled the region ahead of the military operation because it was pre-announced. -- But Jilani also urged more to be done across the border in Afghanistan to deal with any militants who may have fled there. -- "We are having good cooperation but I think something more is required to be done in order to make sure that the successes ... are conclusive," Jilani said. -- Afghanistan's envoy to Washington, Eklil Hakimi, said his information suggested that Haqqani militants had safe passage inside Pakistan and were going elsewhere inside Pakistan. -- John Allen, the retired four-star general who led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, voiced skepticism about Islamabad's past willingness to go after the Haqqanis, even as he acknowledged the opportunity presented by the ongoing offensive. -- "When I was commander there, the Haqqani killed or wounded over 500 of my troops. And the operations in Waziristan somehow missed them every time they conducted ops on the eastern side of the border," Allen said at the event. -- U.S. lawmakers warn that Pakistan will have to crackdown on the Haqqanis or lose millions in U.S. military aid. -- "What matters now is how this continues and whether or not the Haqqanis are afforded a sanctuary to return to when the operation gets into its terminal phase," said Eggers, the senior director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the NSC. -- More,

Afghans Don't Like Soybeans, Despite a Big U.S. Push --- This story was published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C. --- Afghanistan has a rich culinary tradition, but soybeans have not been a part of it. American agricultural experts who consider soybeans a superfood find this dismaying, and so over the past four years, they have invested tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to try to change the way Afghans eat. -- The effort, aimed at making soy a dietary staple, has largely been a flop, marked by mismanagement, poor government oversight and financial waste, according to interviews and government audit documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. -- Warnings by agronomists that the effort was unwise were ignored. The country's climate turns out to be inappropriate for soy cultivation and its farming culture is ill-prepared for large-scale soybean production. Soybeans are now no more a viable commercial crop in Afghanistan than they were in 2010, when the $34 million program got started, according to a government-funded evaluation of the effort this year. -- These are the bureaucratic explanations. The ambitious effort also appears to have been undone by a simple fact, which might have been foreseen but was evidently ignored: Afghans don't like the taste of the soy processed foods. This view survived even the U.S. government's use of what it called "food technologists" to teach families how soybean products can be used to make tasty meals. -- As one of the project's managers said, it was a "risky but honorable endeavor," meant to improve the nutrition of malnourished Afghans by raising the level of protein in their diets. As such, the project's problems model the larger shortcomings of the estimated $120 billion U.S. reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, including what many experts depict as ignorance of Afghan traditions, mismanagement and poor spending controls. -- No one has calculated precisely how much the United States wasted or misspent in Afghanistan, but a special congressionally-chartered group known as the Commission on Wartime Contracting estimated in 2011 that it could be nearly a third of the total. A special auditor appointed by President Obama the following year said he discovered nearly $7 billion worth of Afghanistan-related waste in just his first year on the job. --- "We didn't have a reconstruction effort, we just spent a lot of money," mostly to get the Afghan military working and keep its government afloat, commented Anthony H. Cordesman, a Middle East specialist and former defense intelligence analyst who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonprofit group in Washington. The funds allocated to rebuild the country mostly went to "short-term aid projects, without an assessment of the overall economy, with reliance on contractors. And for most of the time you didn't have effective auditing procedures," Cordesman said. -- The Afghan diet reform effort, formally known as the Soybeans for Agricultural Renewal in Afghanistan Initiative, was overseen by the Agriculture Department (USDA) and implemented by the main trade association for the industry, the American Soybean Association. It encountered problems from the start. -- The first crop failed, and subsequent harvests didn't produce enough soybeans to operate a special factory in Mazar-e-Sharif -- constructed and managed by a nonprofit organization based in Iowa at a cost of at least $1.5 million -- that was meant to create a local soybean economy. Afghan farmers participating in the project, discouraged by crop failures, largely abandoned their growing efforts. -- As a result, the factory has instead been forced to use at least 4,000 metric tons of soybeans imported from America at a cost of more than $2 million. But its operation has been so hobbled by shortages that those involved in the project worry that its equipment could soon be dismantled and sold by its local owner. --- In March, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko met with project and government employees in the country who told him there is no "significant demand for soybean products in Afghanistan," as he wrote in a letter the following month to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "This should have been expected, since Afghans apparently have never grown or eaten soybeans before," Sopko wrote. -- Moreover, those running the program told him that "Afghans don't like the taste of bread made with soybean flour," Sopko wrote. He requested that the department turn over all of its internal documents on the program. - More,

احمدضیا مسعود: تغییر نظام منجر به بی ثباتی افغانستان می شود --- احمدضیا مسعود، از اعضای ستاد انتخاباتی اشرف غنی احمدزی، با ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی به شدت مخالفت کرده و این نوع حکومت را یک ائتلاف قومی و سیاسی ناکام خوانده است. -- آقای مسعود امروز در تجمع ای در کابل گفت: "ما هرگونه تعامل سیاسی، هرگونه زد و بند سیاسی و هرگونه ائتلاف سیاسی به جز از طریق انتخابات را به صورت مطلق رد می‎ کنیم." پیشتر، دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری پس از جنجال های گسترده با ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی توافق کردند. در اوج بحران انتخاباتی، عبدالله عبدالله و اشرف غنی احمدزی پس از میانجیگری ایالات متحده امریکا توافق کردند که تمامی آرای دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری بررسی شود و نامزد پیروز حکومت وحدت ملی تشکیل دهد. -- در این نوع حکومت، نامزد برنده رئیس جمهور است و نامزد بازنده ریاست اجرایی حکومت را به عهده خواهد گرفت. عبدالله عبدالله گفته بود که باتوجه به نوعیت حکومت وحدت ملی، انتخابات بازنده ای نخواهد داشت. احمدضیا مسعود اما دیروز در کابل هشدار داد، حکومت که بر اساس زد و بند های قومی و معاملات سیاسی شکل بگیرد، افغانستان را به بی ثباتی می کشاند. او گفت که تشکیل حکومت وحدت ملی مانع حکومت فراگیر در افغانستان خواهد شد، حکومتی که به گفته او تنها مشروعیت آن از طریق انتخابات ممکن است.--- تغییر نظام؟ - احمد ضیا مسعود می گوید که تغییر نظام ریاست جمهوری و تقسیم قدرت منجر به بی ثباتی افغانستان خواهد شد و به گفته او راه را برای آوردن اصلاحات نیز بسته می کند. پیش از این او از منتقدان سر سخت نظام ریاست جمهوری بود و می گفت که تمرکز قدرت، مشکل افغانستان را حل نخواهد کرد. این در حالیست که احمد ولی مسعود برادر احمد ضیا مسعود روز گذشته، در گردهمایی در کابل با انتشار جزوه یی از ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی حمایت کرد و آنرا کلید حل بحران کنونی افغانستان خواند. او گفت: "طرح دولت وحدت ملی از پیشنهادات کنفرانس اجندای ملی بود که قبلا به رئیس جمهور کشور و نامزدان ریاست جمهوری ارایه شده است که بلاخره با میانجیگری وزیر امورخارجه امریکا با تفاهم هر دونامزد انجام شد و گفته میتوانیم که این طرح افغان ها بود نه طرح امریکایی ها." --- ساختار قومی نامناسب؟ - احمد ضیا مسعود می گوید که ستاد انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله با اعمال فشار به تیم انتخاباتی تحول و تداوم حکومت وحدت ملی را بر مردم افغانستان تحمیل می کند. او گفت: "اصلاحات و همگرایی با فشار خارجی ها و یخن دریدن ها می خواهند در حکومت آینده سهیم شوند، این تیم از زور و تهدید برای ایجاد حکومت دلخواه اش کار می گیرد." مسعود، ستاد انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله را متهم کرد که ساختار قومی مناسب ندارد و یک تیم غیرملی است. این در حالیست که او حکومت برخاسته از معاملات قومی در افغانستان را ناکام خوانده و هم زمان گفته است شایسته سالاری در حکومت آینده مطرح باشد نه قومیت. -- خبرگزاری بخدی

Friday, July 25, 2014

Afghanistan And Pakistan: Lessons And Prospects (VIDEO) --- Watch Live at 11:30 - 12:30pm MDT (1:30 - 2:30pm EST). -- The long war in Afghanistan is ending, and, with his presidency, so is our strained relationship with Hamid Karzai. New leadership in Kabul notwithstanding, given our withdrawal and continued instability in neighboring Pakistan, is the return of the Taliban and Al Qaeda inevitable? --- Moderator: - Kimberly Dozier, Contributing Writer, The Daily Beast -- Special Guests: -- General John Allen (Ret.), Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Middle East -- Jeffrey Eggers, Special Assistant and Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, National Security Council -- Eklil Hakimi, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the U.S. -- Jalil Abbas Jilani, Ambassador of Pakistan to the U.S. -- More,

نیویارک تایمز - نتایج انتخابات افغانستان به یک تفتیش توام با جار و جنجال بستگی دارد --- روزنامه نیویارک تایمز زیر این عنوان که "نتایج انتخابات افغانستان به یک تفتیش توام با جار و جنجال بستگی دارد" درباره چگونگِی تفتیش آرای انتخابات یک مطلب نشر کرده است. روزنامه می نویسد: دیده می شود که مناقشات بلانهایت هنگام تفتیش به داد و بیداد طرفین منتهی می شود. نمایندگان هر دو ستاد انتخاباتی درباره مقاصد مفتشین خارجی زیر لب سخن گفته مشکوک به نظر میرسند. -- صندوق های رای برای تفتیش و دریافت علایم تقلب متراکم شده اند و صدها نفر افغان، امریکایی و اروپایی در دو انبار خانه کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات، در آخرین تلاش برای دریافت یک نتیجه قابل پذیرش و دموکراتیک از انتخابات مورد نزاعی که نزدیک بود به برخورد های خیابانی و یا بدتر از آن منجر شود سعی می کنند. آنها همه تقریباً هشت میلیون رای دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری را تفتیش می کنند تا آرای واقعی را از تقلبی جدا سازند. ولی این پروسه در حالیکه یک هفته از آن می گذرد، اطمینان نسبتاً کمتر به وجود آورده و از جدول زمانی تعیین شده عقب می باشد. -- نیویارک تایمز می افزاید که از جمله 22 هزار صندوق رای تا روز چهارشنبه فقط 4.5 فیصد تفتیش شده بود و هر روز شاهد اختلافات و سر درگمی های جدیدی بوده است. روزنامه از اختلافات یادآوری می کند که هنگام تفتیش بروز کرده است، مثلاً اینکه آیا نوشتن انشاالله زیر عکس یکی از نامزدان دادن رای به او پنداشته می شود یا نه و آیا این مناسب است که ناظران میان میزها گشت و گذار کرده همکاران خود را تشویق کنند که به شدت بیشتر استدلال و مناقشه کنند و بپرسند این مرد خارجی قدبلند ریش دار که کارت هویت ندارد کیست؟ ---- یورو ایشیا ویو - در حالی که روزنامه نیویارک تایمز به چگونگی تفتیش آرای انتخابات افغانستان پرداخته، نشریه یورو ایشیا ویو در باره خط آهن افغانستان – ترکمنستان- تاجکستان نوشته است. نشریه می نویسد: پس از اینکه گزارش های اوایل سال جاری گفتند پلان وصل کردن این سه کشور توسط خط آهن از چندان حمایت و پشتوانه برخودار نیست اما به نظر می رسد که این پروژه در این اواخر قابل حرکت شده است. یورو ایشیا ویو می نویسد که ترکمنستان در اوایل سال جاری در مورد این پروژه دو ملیارد دالری که یک بخش آنرا بانک جهانی تمویل می کند عکس العمل سردی از خود نشان داد. -- ولی گزارش های اخیر می رساند که عشق آباد مسیر بخش خود در این خط آهن را مشخص ساخته و سند این پروژه پس از اجلاس سران سازمان همکاری های شانگهای که در اواخر ماه جاری در دوشنبه برگزار می شود امضا خواهد شد. نشریه یورو ایشیا ویو می افزاید که روابط میان عشق آباد و دوشنبه پس از آن گرمتر و زمینه وصل کردن این دو کشور از طریق افغانستان بیشتر مهیا شد که چین در این اواخر در بخش انرژی ترکمنستان ملیارد ها دالر سرمایه گذاری کرد. -- رادیو آزادی

Afghanistan’s Election Result Hinges on a Squabble-Prone Audit --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Seemingly endless squabbles are interrupted by full-scale shouting matches. Campaign aides mutter suspiciously about what foreign visitors might be up to. And ballot boxes are piling up, waiting to be cracked open and examined for signs of fraud. -- In two spartan, stifling warehouses on the edge of Kabul, hundreds of Afghans, Americans and Europeans are engaged in a last-ditch attempt to salvage an acceptably democratic result from an election dispute that has been tumbling toward a street fight, or worse. -- They are auditing all of the roughly eight million ballots cast in last month’s presidential runoff, trying to separate fraud from fact. But a week into the process, the audit has engendered little confidence, and is already desperately behind schedule. -- Only 4.5 percent of the roughly 22,000 ballot boxes had been examined by Wednesday. Each day has seemed to yield some new dispute or confusion that has put on the brakes. Does writing “insh’allah” — God willing — next to the name of a candidate on a ballot constitute a legitimate vote? Is it proper for campaign representatives to move between tables, urging colleagues to argue harder? And who was that tall, bearded foreigner with no badge? --- On Wednesday, the audit was suspended outright for the second time in seven days so that Afghan and Western officials and representatives of the rival campaigns could hash out the rules under which the auditing is supposed to be conducted — rules that were supposed to have been established a week ago. Western and Afghan officials said this should allow the audit to resume Thursday at a speedier pace. -- In the balance is an election that opened almost four months ago with the encouraging sight of millions of Afghans turning out to vote despite bad weather and the threat of Taliban violence. -- With the American troop withdrawal looming, and worries about Afghanistan’s long-term stability, international officials had hoped for a widely accepted result that would give democracy a boost and help cement a positive legacy for the long and costly Western involvement here. --- “Chaotic” seems to have emerged as the description of choice among Western observers who are trying to be diplomatic about the audit. Among those with less discretion, the word “mess,” coupled with various adjectives, has been more common. -- On Tuesday, for instance, two staff members from rival campaigns almost came to blows, shouting and pointing in each other’s face only moments before Ambassador James B. Cunningham and the American special envoy here, James F. Dobbins, arrived for a tour of the audit warehouses. -- Down the middle of each building is a wide walkway separating two parallel rows of plastic tables and chairs. At each table, Afghan election officials, international observers and agents from both campaigns are tasked with opening ballot boxes and looking for signs of fraud. -- It is laborious work that is made even harder by the suffocating heat inside the warehouses, which are little more than bare aluminum sheets wrapped over frames anchored to concrete floors. There is no air-conditioning, there are precious few fans, and drinking water is taboo for everyone — it is Ramadan, and the foreigners do not want to risk offending their Afghan colleagues, who are fasting all through the day. -- To be fair, the audit is an enormous undertaking, and no one had any idea it would be needed until it was announced, at which point it was given just two days to start. It took four. -- Hundreds of foreign observers are being brought in to help, each of whom requires housing and security. Western embassies have all been pressing staff into the effort. - More, NYTimes,

Obama calls Afghan candidates as vote recount drags on --- (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday called Afghanistan's presidential candidates who are fighting over who won a June 14 election and urged them to maintain national unity during a vote recount and transition, the White House said. -- Preliminary results from the runoff election put Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official, well ahead. But his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, rejected the result, claiming major fraud. -- The two candidates agreed to a recount after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brokered a deal, but the process is moving slowly, bogged down by frequent disagreements. Only 1,000 of more than 23,000 ballot boxes had been audited by Thursday. -- Obama thanked the candidates for agreeing to accept the outcome of the recount, and said rhetoric threatening "extra-constitutional measures" was not justified, the White House said in a statement. -- "The President encouraged both candidates to publically endorse their previously agreed political framework and continue their dialogue on the details of its implementation to ensure the Afghan people have full confidence in the ongoing electoral process and outcome," the White House said. -- Obama "urged Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Ghani to continue to move forward in the spirit of collegiality to maintain national unity during this historic democratic transition," the White House said, noting Kerry would continue to consult with both sides. -- The election will determine who replaces Hamid Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since the Taliban was ousted in a U.S.-led war in 2001. Major delays could complicate plans for an agreement to keep about 10,000 U.S. troops in the country after most troops leave at the end of 2014. - More,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Turkish Prime Minister says Israel is 'more barbaric than Hitler' --- Turkey's Prime Minister has lambasted Israel's ground invasion of Gaza and accused the Israeli government of "barbarism that surpasses Hitler". -- Speaking at a political rally in the city of Ordu as part of his re-election campaign, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "(Israelis) have no conscience, no honour, no pride. Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism." -- Erdogun ,who has been a vocal opponent of Israel’s operations in the Gaza Strip, has said that the Israel Defence Forces' actions have been "disproportionate" and would derail any efforts to try and foster better Turkish-Israeli relations. -- Over the past three nights Turkish protesters have hit the streets of Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey’s to largest cities, to rally against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. -- On Friday, violent protests broke out between hundreds of protesters and riot police as protesters tried to enter the Israeli Embassy in Istanbul. -- According to one report, protesters tore down the Israeli flag and replaced it with a Palestinian one. -- Following the rallies, Israel’s government decided to reduce its staff in Turkey due to safety concerns. --- Despite the anti-Israeli sentiment, Erdogan did insist that any anger felt towards Israel should not be taken out on Turkey's Jewish community. -- He told supporters: "I don't approve of any (bad) attitude towards our Jewish citizens in Turkey, despite all this. Why? They are the citizens of this country," - More, Jack Simpson Sunday 20 July,

Two Finnish aid workers killed in western Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - Two Finnish aid workers with an international Christian organization were shot dead on Thursday in Afghanistan's western city of Herat, officials said. -- The attack comes at a sensitive time as Afghanistan audits votes from a disputed presidential election to pick a successor to the incumbent, Hamid Karzai. -- Foreign troops have been in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban since 2001 but are withdrawing from the country this year, leaving Afghan forces to maintain security. -- "The two women who were gunned down were working in the health sector for a foreign aid organization in Herat," provincial governor Fazlullah Wahidi told Reuters. -- Two gunmen on a motorbike approached the aid workers' taxi and opened fire, he said. --- Finland's foreign ministry later said the women were Finnish, while the Afghan Interior Ministry said the two worked for International Assistance Mission, a Christian group that has worked in Afghanistan since 1966. -- "The barbaric fate of the women affects us all. The act is particularly shocking as the women were in Afghanistan to help local people," Finnish president Sauli Niinisto said in a statement. He said he had demanded that local officials do all they can to bring those guilty to justice. -- In a separate incident, explosives attached to a motorbike went off in the northern province of Takhar, killing six civilians and wounding 28 people, the interior ministry said. - More,

Eurozone recovery picks up – except for France --- French nearing third recession since banking crisis as other parts of zone see recovery gather momentum after spring dip -- The dip in fortunes that has spread across the eurozone since spring was reversed last month after businesses expanded output and order books swelled – with the exception of France, which is nearing its third recession since the banking crash. -- A survey of French businesses found sentiment had improved in June, but they still signalled another period of contraction in the currency zone's second largest economy. The French composite purchasing managers' index (PMI) of both the manufacturing and services sector rose to 49.4 from 48.1 in June, but any result below 50 points towards contraction. -- Meanwhile, German business activity recovered strongly and other parts of the eurozone saw the recovery pick up speed. -- The global outlook, which is clouded by the situation in Ukraine, also improved after Chinese factories saw the biggest jump in activity in 18 months, suggesting that the Beijing government's mini-stimulus measures are working. US manufacturers also reported strong demand for their products. -- The German services sector grew at the fastest rate in three years, pushing the eurozone composite PMI to a three-month high. Until the latest figures Germany's economy appeared to be slowing, largely in response to falling orders from China. Analysts said the latest data revealed a turnaround in the summer months that should bode well for the rest of the year. -- Lagging economies such as Spain also performed better than expected, with the largest monthly increase in business activity recorded since August 2007 accompanied by a similar surge in new orders growth. -- Separate official data showed Spain's jobless rate tumbled to its lowest in two years, although nearly a quarter of the labour force is still out of work. -- In France, François Hollande's troubled socialist administration had hoped that a series of major investments and labour market reforms would bear fruit before the summer holiday season. However, unemployment has remained high, order books are low and consumer confidence has waned. -- Financial data provider Markit, which produces the PMI surveys, said: "At the heart of France's woes are a stagnant services economy, which points to weak domestic demand and falling confidence among business and households, as well as an increasingly alarming rate of decline in the manufacturing sector." -- The euro reacted to the generally positive news by rallying from an eight-month low against the dollar to $1.34. It rose against the pound to 79.20 pence, having slumped to a 23-month low on Wednesday.

محمد نعیم بارز - دوکتور عبدالله با مانور تهدید قانون همه چیز را به افتضاح کشید! - More,

Obama presses to close corporate tax loophole 'inversions' --- (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Thursday for an end to a corporate loophole that allows companies to avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions," White House officials said. -- Obama will make the comments during remarks about the economy at Los Angeles Technical College. The president is in California on a three-day fundraising swing for Democrats. --- So-called inversion deals occur when a U.S. company acquires or sets up a foreign company, then moves its U.S. tax domicile to the foreign company and its lower-tax home country. -- Nine inversion deals have been agreed to this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc and more are under consideration. The transactions are setting a record pace since the first inversion was done 32 years ago. -- Several Democrats have offered bills to curb inversions, which let companies cut their taxes primarily by putting foreign earnings out of the reach of the Internal Revenue Service. -- Obama will throw his weight behind the Democratic bills, calling for a rule change that would deem any company with half of its business in the United States to be U.S.-domiciled. -- The proposed changes, already put forward in Obama's annual budget, would be retroactive to May of this year and implemented independently of moves to achieve broader tax reform. --- "We have seen increased activity from companies in the inversion space and as a result the president's view ... is that we should be acting as quickly as possible," a White House official told reporters on a conference call. -- "That will buy us more time and space to ... reform our tax code as a whole." -- Republicans prefer a change to inversions to be part of an effort to reform the U.S. tax code. -- The White House supports broad tax reform but argues that action on inversions is needed now. -- "We can't afford to wait to reform our tax code completely to deal with inversion," the official said, adding that such deals would cost the United States an estimated $17 billion in revenue over the next decade. - More,

Afghan vote recount moves at snail's pace, rival sides far apart --- (Reuters) - The dusty ballot box from the disputed Afghan presidential election was supposed to contain 550 votes. When auditors cut the seal they found barely 30 votes inside. -- Both candidates cried foul, accusing the other camp of stealing votes from a June 14 run-off presidential ballot, the results of which are still being squabbled over amid allegations of widespread vote rigging. -- "Both camps argued over one result sheet for hours," an Independent Election Commission (IEC) official told Reuters. -- Eventually a United Nations official stepped in, and told the two sides to move on and let the IEC investigate. -- Preliminary results from the election put Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official, well ahead, but his rival Abdullah Abdullah rejected the result, claiming major fraud and calling the outcome a "coup" against the Afghan people. -- His supporters threatened to form a parallel government, and Afghans weary of civil war, hardline Islamist rule under the Taliban and a vicious insurgency that has struck civilians as well as soldiers began to fear the worst. --- More than 1,500 Afghan civilians have died in the insurgency during the first six months of the year, although the Taliban failed to deliver on its promise to derail the vote entirely as millions of people turned out in defiance. --- U.S. DEAL IN JEOPARDY - After direct U.S. intervention earlier this month, both sides agreed to a full recount to resolve the dispute, but with more than 23,000 ballot boxes to audit, observers worry that the process is becoming bogged down by rows over every detail. -- If that happens, talks to form a unity government just as thousands of foreign troops prepare to leave the country could drag on for months. --- AFGHANISTAN'S 'HANGING CHAD', The scrutiny mirrors the "hanging chads" of the 2000 U.S. presidential election, when George W. Bush won Florida, and in turn the presidency, by a few hundred votes after officials debated which absentee ballots and punch ballots with hanging flaps to count. -- More,

نگاه مختصر بر زندگی آخرین پادشاه افغانستان -- سید عـبدالله کاظم - More,

U.S. lifts ban on flights to Israel as Gaza toll tops 700 --- (Reuters) - Israel won a partial reprieve from the economic pain of its Gaza war on Thursday with the lifting of a U.S. ban on commercial flights to Tel Aviv, as fighting pushed the Palestinian death toll over 700. -- A truce remained elusive despite intensive mediation bids. Palestinians said residents of two southern villages were trapped by tank shelling, preventing evacuation of casualties. -- Israel says it needs more time to eradicate cross-border tunnels used by Hamas for attacks, while the Palestinian Islamists demand the blockade on the Gaza Strip be lifted. -- With Washington's encouragement, Egypt has been trying to mediate a limited humanitarian ceasefire. One Cairo official said on Wednesday that could go into effect by the weekend, in time for the Eid al-Fitr festival, Islam's biggest annual celebration, which follows the fasting month of Ramadan. -- But a senior U.S. official described any truce by the weekend as unlikely, as did an Israeli cabinet minister who said the hunt for tunnels would take at least four days to complete. --- The death toll in Gaza reached 718 on Thursday as Israeli tank fire and other pre-dawn assaults killed 26 people in the Hamas-dominated coastal enclave, including six members of the same family, Palestinian health officials said. -- In southern Khuzaa and Abassan villages, they said, Israeli shelling left dead and wounded under rubble, while medical crews could not risk attending. -- Israel has lost 32 soldiers to clashes inside Gaza and with Hamas raiders who have slipped across the fortified frontier in tunnels. Rocket and mortar shelling by Hamas and other Palestinian guerrillas has killed three civilians in Israel. -- Such shelling surged last month as Israel cracked down on Hamas in the occupied West Bank, triggering the July 8 air and sea barrage in Gaza that escalated into an invasion a week ago. --- Though Israel's Iron Dome rocket interceptor has shot down most of the rockets fired from Gaza, one that came close to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to bar American flights there. - More,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

رییس جمهور تحایف خویش را به بانک مرکزی تسلیم داد -- کابل باختر اول اسد -- هشت قلم تحایفی که از طرف سران دول حکومات به حامد کرزی رییس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان و بابای ملت داده شده بود امروزبه رییس با نک مرکزی تسلیم داده شد. -- به گزارش خبرنگار آژانس باختر: این تحایف توسط شجاع محمد امل رییس کادرو پرسونل ریاست جمهوری ، شهزاده میرویس عضو خانواده بابای ملت و عزیز احمد وزیر درباربه نورالله دلاوری رییس دافغانستان بانک تسلیم داده شد. -- دراین مراسم که در ارگ ریاست جمهوری برگزارگردید ، رییس کادر و پرسونل ریاست جمهوری صحبت نموده گفت : این تحایف شامل یک دروازه خانه کعبه شریف ساخته شده ازطلا به وزن پنج کیلوگرام، تحفه خادم حرمین شریفین و یک قبضه شمشیر همرا با غلاف طلا ، زنجیرطلا و پاوند طلا تحفه شیخ به بابای ملت . --- همینگونه یک عدد اسفندان، یک عددگلاب پاش ، یک عدد چاینک سرپوش دارو یک عدد پتنوس دایروی طلا تحفه امیرکشورقطر. - نمای ازقصرحسن ساخته شده ازطلا زرد و سفید تحفه امیردولت امارات متحده عربی. - یک قبضه قمه تحفه امیردولت امارات متحده عربی. - یک قبضه خنجر طلا دارای رنگ سیاه تحفه امیردولت امارات متحده عربی . - دوعدد قلم چوبی تحفه مقامات عالی رتبه سینیگال . - و یک قبضه پیش قبض باغلاف و کمربند طلا با بکس کاغذی تحفه مقامات عالی رتبه دولت امارات متحده عربی به حامد کرزی رییس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان میباشد. --- وی افزود که درجریان 13 سال گذشته حامد کرزی رییس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان تحایف را که ازجانب سران دول و حکومات به مناسبت های مختلف برایش اهدا گردیده است ، بخاطر نگهداری درجنب دارایی های دولت به مراجع مربوط تسلیم داده است. --- رییس دافغانستان بانک حین تسلیم گیری این تحایف گفت که تحایفی که از طرف رییس جمهوری کشور و مقامات دولتی که به خاطرنگهداری دردافغانستان بانک به مسوولین این بانک تسلیم داده میشود ، درخزانه بانک ازآنها نگهداری میشود. او خاطرنشان ساخت که موزیمی دردافغانستان بانک بخاطربه نمایش گذاشتن این تحایف و داشته های تاریخی بانک آماده شده که درآینده افتتاح خواهد شد . --- این چندمین باریست که حامد کرزی رییس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان تحایف را که ازجانب سران کشورها برایش اهدا میشود ، به بانک مرکزی و موزیم ملی تسلیم داده است . More,

Zahir Shah Late King of Afghanistan ظاهر شاه . ---- More, YouTube - AfghanGermanOnline,

یادی از مرحوم اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه -- ملالی موسی نظام ---- ملت افغان در حسرت چهار دهۀ صلح و امنیت عصر ظاهرشاهی --- امروز، اول اسد مطابق به ۲۳ جولای، درست هفت سال میشود که ملت افغان رهبر مسلمان، عادل، محبوب اكثریت مردم، بانی پرنسیپ های حقوق بشرو پشتیبان دهۀ طلائی دیموكراسی و حكومت قانون را از دست داد . اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر در عرصۀ چهل سال سلطنت شاهی مشروطه، افغانستان را با تأمین صلح، امنیت در قلب آسیا اداره نمود. ملت افغان با وجود موجودیت شرائط محدود اقتصادی در یک ممکت کوهستانی محاط به خشکه با امتیازاتی که بیطرفی و عدم انسلاک میسر ساخته بود، خارج جنگ و جدل های بیرونی، از هرجهت درامن و امان وبا قناعت حیات بسر برده و شکر سر شاه عادل و ملت پرور افغان را می نمودند --- ده سال اخیر سلطنت مرحوم محمد ظاهرشاه، با ایجابات عصر و زمان و جدایی سلطنت از حکومت که دروازه های حقوق و مزایای فردی را از یکطرف برروی ملت کشود و تفکیک قوای ثلاثه و انتخابات آزاد را از جانب دیگر به ارمغان آورد، با پشتیبانی شخص شاه و تیم ملی گرا و ترقی خواه وی مراحل مختلفۀ دیموکراسی را می پیمود. --- بدون تردید بعد از عصر شکوفان و مترقی امانی، از نگاه قانونیت، مراعات حقوق و وجایب مردم و آزادی های فـــردی « دهۀ دیموکراسی» با جدایی سلطنت از دولت و انتقال قدرت از یک خاندان به ملت افغانستان، در صفحات تاریخ این مرز و بوم با خط جلی نقش گردیده است. اینکه عقده مندی های فامیلی و تکیه به اجانب و به قدرت آوردن فروخته شدگان حزب پرچم، با تخریب پدیده های دیموکراسی جامعۀ افغانی، از آن عصر مترقی، دوزخی ساخت که بدون شک تا امروز ملت مظلوم در خون و آتش آن دست و پا زده و راه نجاتی نمی یابد، حکایتی است بسیار تلخ و استخوان سوز -- تکیه گاه اساسی این عصر فرخنده، همانا موجودیت و تهیۀ اوراق ارزشمندی بود مطابق به اساسات دیموکراسی و با روحیۀ «اعلامیۀ حقوق بشر- ۱۹۴۸» که افغانستان از اولین ممالکی بود که با امضاء آن بر قبول مواد مندرجۀ حمایت از حقوق انسانی، صحه گذاشت، ترتیب گردیده و بعد از موافقت لویه جرگۀ عنعنوی افغانستان، با « توشیح» اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه، ارزش بلند ترین مرجع قانونیت را دریافت نمود. این اوراق قیمت دار، همانا « قانون اساسی » دولت شاهی مشروطۀ افغانستان بود که در رأس متون آن تفکیک قوای ثلاثه، انتخابات آزاد و دیموکراتیک و آزادی های فردی در چوکات قانون، قرار داشت! --- در تدوین و ترتیب «قانون اساسی» ۱۳۴۳-۱۹۶۴ تیم خبرگان افغان و خارجی ایکه از لحاظ حقوقی، اجتماعی و مقایسۀ قوانین منطقه و امکانات عملی آن در اجتماع افغانی، با مساعی شباروزی چنان ودیعۀ گران بهایی را برای حمایه از حقوق و وجائب کافه ملت افغانستان، بوجود آوردند. مواد مندرجۀ آن اوراق گران بها مورد تحسین و تأئید اکثر ممالک دیموکرات جهان قرار گرفت. -- این عصر شکوفان و فرخنده که بخاطر مزایای چشم گیر آن به دورۀ دیموکراسی شهرت یافت، متأسفانه با دسائس گوناگون خارجی و داخلی بیشتر دوام نیاورد و با فعالیت های پشت پردۀ اتحاد شوروی وقت و گماشتگان گمراه آن ابر قدرت، تخدیر و اغوا شاگردان معارف و پوهنتون ها برضد مؤسسات دولتی، شمع فروزان دیموکراسی با طوفان حوادثی که در خفا پی ریزی شده بود، خاموش گردید. -- با کودتای سردار محمد داود و یاری گروپ پرچم، با اینکه پیشرفت هایی در ساحات صنایع و معرف و امثال آن بوجود آمد، ولی سیستم پلیسی و دکتاتوری و منع انتخابات آزاد پارلمانی و آزادی های فردی، مردم و محیط اجتماعی را با نوعی اختناق و سختگیری های جدیدی مواجه ساخت. این کودتا که در زمان مسافرت اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهرشاه به منظور تداوی به خارج صورت گرفت، گویا به منزلۀ کاردی بود که از عقب به دشمنی پرتاب گردد. به شهادت اوراق تاریخ و نظریات شهود عینی نزدیک به فامیل شاهی افغانستان، متأسفانه چنین یک تصفیه حساب فامیلی که دست دشمنان خارجی و داخلی هم در آن دخیل بود، سبب و انگیزۀ آنچه را ملت مظلوم افغانستان تا امروز به حسرت و تلخی تجربه می نماید، گردید. -- بعد از سقوط دوران چهل سالۀ سلطنت اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه که از سالهای۱۳۱۳ تا ۱۳۵۳ هجری شمسی، مطابق به ۱۹۳۳ تا ۱۹۷۳ میلادی دوام نمود و اقامت اجباری وی در ایطالیه، مردم افغانستان حسرت روز هایی را که با صلح و سرفرازی در وطن بسر می بردند، می کشند، بیاد ترانه ای از زمان طفلی در مکتب می افتم که آن وقت معنی و مفهوم آن برایم آشکار نبود، در حالیکه درد جانسوز یاد آوری آن امروز عالمی است تلخ و طاقت فرسا: --- زنده باد شاه، زنده باد قوم، سربلند باد ملت افغان -- متأسفانه همانطور که مشاهده گردید، همان هایی که مرحوم محمد داود را به قدرت رسانیدند، در مرحلۀ انکشافی بعدی، با قساوت او و اعضای بیگناه فامیل ویرا از بین بردند و به امر روسیۀ شوروی، کودتای منحوس ثور را با عواقب خونبار آن براه انداختند. وطن فروشان جهنمی خلق و پرچم كه چون مار های آستین در بین نزدیك ترین كسان و اطرافیان شاه افغان رسوخ و نفوذ نموده بودند بانی و مسبب ویرانی ها و بدبختی های بی پایان ملت و مملكت گردیدند. این نابخردان كه حرص و قدرت طلبی خود و باداران، چشم شان را از حقیقت وطن پرستی بسته بود، هر نوع پلان و نقشۀ بازگشت شاه افغانستان كه پدر واقعی ملت بود، در نطفه خنثی مینمودند. اینان یقین داشتند كه اگر شاه افغان بهر نامی به وطن مراجعت نماید، ملت رنجور، مظلوم وخیانت دیدۀ او از اقصی نقاط وطن برای پذیرش و تابعت به او هجوم می آورند --- بعد از اخراج قوای سرخ و سقوط سوسیال امپریالیزم شوروی و نوكران جیره خوار افغانی آن، صد افسوس كه روسای تنظیم های جهادی برای كسب قدرت، نه تنها صلح و آرامشی برای ملت به ارمغان نیاوردند، بلكه با تقسیم و تركه و ویرانی پایتخت زیبای افغانستان، موجبات كشتار شصت هزار بیگناه دیگرگردیدند.در حالیكه وجود پدر ملت در چنان شرائط رقتبار، حافظ صلح و حدت ملی میگردید. بنابران فعالیت هایی كه برای بازگشت اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه كه ملت افغان در داخل و خارج بی صبرانه انتظار آنرا داشتند، در اثر دسیسه های روئسای جاه طلب تنظیمی كه همه با ممالك همسایه وابسته و فرمان بردار بودند، به ناكامی كشید. در پهلوی بدبختی های گوناگون مردم بی دفاع، پلان با ارزش« صلح ملل متحد» همچنان با دسیسه های آشکارای مسعود و ربانی به تاراج رفت. -- نتیجتاً مملكت در اثر كشمكش های خونین این گروه های تشنۀ قدرت و تلفات سهمگین پایتخت و انهدام آن، بدست طالبان عصر حجر سقوط نمود. --- با باز شدن دروازه های افغانستان جنگ زده ویران وشكست طالبان توسط قوای امریكا و جامعۀ بین المللی، در اثر اشتباهات و فریب كاری هایی كه در« كانفرانس بن» صورت گرفت، شورای نظار، جمیعت ربانی، سیاف و دیگر جنگ سالاران آزموده شده بار دگر « عملا» بقدرت رسیدند و شاه افغانستان صرف بحیث سمبول وحدت ملی به مقام « بابای ملت افغان» به كابل مراجعت نمود. --- اعلیحضرت، علی الرغم کبر سن، روزانه با پذیرفتن عدۀ زیادی از هموطنان شاه پرست و محنت کشیده، روزانه ازعدۀ زیادی ازمردم خود از اقصی نقاط مملكت دیدن مینمود .درین مورد شاعرۀ افغان مهرخ نیاز میفرماید: مژده بـه تو ای ملت، ظاهر افغان رسید - نغمۀ عشرت زنید، در تن ما جان رسید -- بــاد بهاران وزید، دشت و دمن گل دمید - بابای افغان ستان، همچو بـــهاران رسید ---- بنابران، همه دسائسی كه تلاش ملی گرایان افغان و جامعۀ صلح طلب بین المللی را در دهه های متوالی، به ناكامی مواجه ساخت، برای این بود كه مبادا پادشا افغانستان به حیث یك سمبول وحدت ملی در یك سن مناسب، بازگردد وبا در دست گرفتن ادارۀ امور یك افغانستان مستقل وغیر منسلك، پلان ها و نقشه های خلق و پرچم، گروهای تنظیمی و ممالك وابسته به آنان نقش بر آب گردد. -- با وفات اعلیحضرت محمدظاهر شاه با بای ملت افغان، مردم مظلوم و جنگ زدۀ افغانستان امید صلح و آسایش را در سرزمین آبای خویش ، باز هم از دست دادند. -- از بارگاه خداوند بی نیازبرای شان بهشت برین تمنا نموده و بروح پر فتوح شان درود میفرستم. -- زنده و جاوید باد افغانستان، پاینده و سربلند باد ملت افغان - More,مطالبدری&article=16181

Have the Neocons Learned Their Lesson? --- Just over ten years ago, the United States was beginning what would be two lengthy military campaigns in the Middle East. On one hand, in Afghanistan, intelligence suggested that the Taliban had been supporting Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda network, effectively abetting them in their attack on the World Trade Center. On the other hand, in Iraq, less-reliable intelligence suggested the presence of WMDs, and it was decided that while securing these weapons, the U.S. should depose the violent dictator who had ruled the country for decades, Saddam Hussein. -- In both cases, eventually, neocons suggested that these campaigns were, more broadly, necessary evils in order to preserve democratic ideals and promote American interests abroad. There was an outpour of this type of justification as the death tolls and monetary costs continued to grow, and while popular support gradually waned, Americans begrudgingly accepted these justifications as truths. --- Today, America watches as Iraq implodes, with the militant faction ISIS inching ever closer towards Baghdad as the government scrambles to establish a more inclusive parliament that represents the interests of the complex array of sects and ethnicities that make up the constituency. --- And in Afghanistan, what appeared to be a promising democratic election threatened to erupt into chaos when the results were dismissed as illegitimate, and both leading candidates declared themselves the rightful winner. It appears that Secretary of State John Kerry has, for the time being, successfully ameliorated the tension, but a stable, legitimate government still seems a ways off. -- These are just two examples of a broader failure in foreign policy: the popular neoconservative notion that America must project its hegemony on the rest of the world in an effort to promote American interests, even if those values must be projected by military force. Once the dominant thought process in American foreign policy, this paradigm has time and again proven not only to fail but, in its failure, to actually hurt American interests abroad. The Bush Doctrine of 2002, which justified the use of military force to protect America against terrorist threats at home and abroad, is retrospectively one of the most damaging doctrines to define a presidential administration in the last several decades. The overestimation of America's ability to militarily intervene in other states, and the dangerous optimism about the effortlessness of transition from authoritarian regime to democracy, have done substantially more harm than good for the American people -- especially in the past decade. --- When looking at the initial goals of the invasion of Afghanistan, which were to fight the terrorist threat that had been overlooked to the point of producing the 9/11 attacks, the United States ultimately failed. Not only does al-Qaeda still exist, but offshoot terrorist cells have spread as far as Asia and throughout Africa. Admittedly, this is not necessarily the fault of the United States -- by nature, terrorism is pervasive and transcends traditional state boundaries -- but when looking at the specific goals of the Afghanistan invasion, it is easy to see they were not met. -- More, Colin Wolfgang,

Ban urges all parties to rally around efforts to end bloodshed, obtain Israel-Gaza ceasefire --- 21 July 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged all parties to rally around collective international efforts to obtain an end to two weeks of bloodshed in Gaza and Israel and reach a ceasefire, as he continued his visit to the region with a stop in Cairo. -- “Palestinians and Israelis deserve freedom – freedom from siege, rockets, missiles, artillery and airstrikes. They deserve a future of hope, peace and justice,” Mr. Ban said during a press encounter with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shokry Selim. -- Mr. Ban is on the third leg of a regional visit aimed at expressing solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians and to help them end the violence. The trip, which began on Sunday, has already taken the United Nations chief to Qatar and Kuwait and will also include stops in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman as part of efforts to encourage a durable ceasefire. -- “This is a time of profound challenge in the region,” said the Secretary-General. “Yet again, too many civilians, including so many children, are paying the price for the latest escalation. The images we see sear the soul.” -- “This is a time of profound challenge in the region,” said the Secretary-General. “Yet again, too many civilians, including so many children, are paying the price for the latest escalation. The images we see sear the soul.” -- “This is a watershed moment for UNRWA, now that the number of people seeking refuge with us is more than double the figure we saw in the 2009 Gaza conflict. We are seeing a huge wave of accelerated displacement because of the Israeli ground offensive,” said UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness. - More,

هفتمین سال رحلت اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه بابای ملت -- ولی احمد نوری -

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Indonesian president-elect Jokowi calls for unity after bitter election --- The Elections Commission, known as KPU, said the Jakarta governor had won by just over six percentage points, with 53.15 percent of the nearly 130 million votes cast on July 9. -- It was the closest and most bitterly fought election in Indonesia's history, pitting Jokowi against former general Prabowo Subianto, whose promise of strong leadership brought echoes of decades under autocratic rule. -- "This victory is a victory for all the people of Indonesia," the president-elect told hundreds of supporters gathered at a port on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta, chosen to emphasize his commitment to Indonesia's maritime potential. -- He and his vice president-elect, Jusuf Kalla, arrived by speed boat. -- "With humility, we ask the go back to a united Indonesia," he added. - More,

Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts --- (Reuters) - Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, saying no ceasefire was near as top U.S. and United Nations diplomats pursued talks on halting the fighting that has claimed more than 600 lives. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held discussions in neighbouring Egypt, while U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv and later with the Palestinian prime minister in the occupied West Bank. -- However, there was no let-up in the fighting around Gaza, with plumes of black smoke spiralling into the sky, and Israeli shells raining down on the coastal Palestinian enclave. -- Dealing a blow to Israel's economy already reeling from a spate of tourism cancellations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took the rare step of banning U.S. carriers from flying to or from Ben-Gurion International Airport for at least 24 hours after a rocket fired from Gaza struck near the airport's fringes, injuring two people. -- European airlines including Germany's Lufthansa, Air-France, Dutch airline KLM, Norwegian Air SAS and Turkish Airlines, said they were halting flights there too. Israel's flagship carrier El Al continued flights as usual. -- Israel launched its offensive on July 8 to halt missile salvoes out of the Gaza Strip by Hamas, the dominant group in the coastal territory, which was angered by a crackdown on its supporters in the occupied West Bank and suffering economic hardship because of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade. -- "A ceasefire is not near," said Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, viewed as the most dovish member of Netanyahu's inner security cabinet. "I see no light at the end of the tunnel," she told Israel's Army Radio. --- Dispatched by U.S. President Barack Obama to the region to seek a ceasefire, Kerry met on Tuesday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri. "There is a framework ... to end the violence and that framework is the Egyptian initiative," Kerry said at a news conference with Shukri. -- "For the sake of thousands of innocent families whose lives have been shaken and destroyed by this conflict, on all sides, we hope we can get there as soon as possible," he said. - More,

به مناسبت هفتمین سال وفات بابای ملت --- بابای ملت در دل مردمش جا داشت -- به روز 16 عقرب 1312شمسی مطابق 8 نوامبر 1933 بعدازکشته شدن نادر شاه ، با صدای فیر توپ هاآغاز سلطنت محمد ظاهر شاه اعلام شد. این سلطنت تا 26سرطان 1352 ادامه یافت . هنگام اعلام شدن پادشاهی محمد ظاهر او فقط نزده سال داشت . در سالیان آغازین سلطنت ، این شاه جوان فقط در مراسم تشریفاتی ظاهر می شد و در اموراجرایی دولت سهمی نداشت ، زیرا تمام اداره امور کشور را کاکایش محمد هاشم خان و کاکاهای دیگرش به دست خود گرفته بودند -- افغانستان در این وقت تشنهء اصلاحات و ترقی بود و حلقه های روشنفکری به میان آمدند. -- برای مجال دادن روشنفکران و خاتمه بخشیدن به فضای رعب و اختناق محمد ظاهر شاه کاکای سختگیر و مستبد خود راکنار گذاشت و کاکای دیگرش شاه محمود خان را که به عطوفت ، نرم دلی و تحمل نظر دیگران معروف بود به صدارت گماشت . واقعاً درآغاز کار این صدراعظم جنبش های روشنفکری علنی شدند،احزاب وجریده های آزاد به میان آمدند. -- بعداز چندسال سردار محمد داوود پسرکاکا و داماد شاه صدراعظم افغانستان شد. -- محمد داوود آزادی های احزاب و روزنامه های آزاد را اجازه نمي داد و جلو هرگونه فعالیت های سیاسی و روشنفکرانه را گرفت . اما این صدراعظم که به ترقی و پیشرفت افغانستان بسیار علاقه مند بود ، پلان های پنجساله رابرای رشد کشور درعرصه های اقتصاد، زراعت ، تجارت ، معادن و ساختن سرک ها و بندهای برق روی دست گرفت و وضع مکاتب وتحصیلات عالی به مراتب بهتر از سال های قبل شد . -- محمد داوود حقوق زنان را برسمیت شناخت وبرای زنان زمینه های کار را فراهم کرد . -- اما آنچه که درمحیط روشنفکری مورد انتقاد شدید بود، نبود یک فضای بازسیاسی درکشور بوده اختناق را انتقاد می کردند وعلما خواهان یک نظام شاهی مشروطه بودند . --- بابای ملت این خواست وآرزو مندی های مردم را درک می کرد بنابرآن تعدادی از دانشمندان ،حقوق دانان وسیاسیون را موظف ساخت تا مسودهء یک قانون اساسی ودموکراتیک را آماده سازند . --- درسال 1343 این قانون اساسی تصویب شد . -- چون درقانون اساسی تسجیل شده بود که خانواده سلطنتی در ادارهء امور کشورشامل نباشند ،محموداوود که عضو خانواده سلطنتی بود ناچار از پست صدارت کنار رفت وزمینه تشکیل یک حکومت غیر خاندانی ومسوول د ربرابر نمایندگان ملت ، فراهم گردید . -- درطول ده سال که مردم افغانستان در پرتو قانون اساسی در فضای آزاد تر نفس کشیدند، طلایی ترین دوره حیات مردم بود کشور به تدریج ترقی می کرد امنیت عام وتمام درکشور برقرار بود وهزاران دختر که در پوهنتون کابل درس می خواندند برای اداره امور کشور وسهمگیری درزندگی اجتماعی آماده می شدند . -- درپناه امنیت وآرامش درین ده سال که به نام دهه دموکراسی مشهور است به صورت نسبی آزادی بیان وسایر آزادی ها وحقوق مدنی مردم تامین شد . -- محمد ظاهر شاه درمیان ملتش به عنوان یک پادشاه نرم دل وحوصله مند از احترام زیادی برخوردار بود . --- با کودتایی 26 سرطان 1352 که نظام شاهی مشروط به جمهوری مبدل شد محمد ظاهر بابای ملت سالهای درازی رادر ایتالیا به سربرد .-- بابای ملت در دیار غربت هیچ گاهی از اندیشیدن به وطنش فارغ نبود . حوادث هولناکی که طی سی سال در افغانستان اتفاق می افتاد به شدت او را اندوهگین می ساخت . او بار ها به طرف های درگیر درجنگ افغانستان با اصرار توصیه کرده بود تا راه آشتی را در پیش گیرند واز ریخته شدن خون افغانها جلوگیری کنند . -- بعداز کنفرانس بن و رویکار آمدن دولت موقت به رهبری حامد کرزی زمینهء بازگشت بابای ملت به کشورش فراهم شد . او هیچ مقامی رانخواست وصرفا هموطنانی را که در غربت بدیدنش می رفتند ودیگر هموطنان را پذیرفته وبا ایشان ملاقات های پدرانه داشت . -- سرانجام به تاریخ اول اسد 1386 بابای ملت وفات یافته ودرحالیکه هزاران تن از هموطنان جنازه اش را بدرقه می کردند به آرامگاه ابدی خود قرار گرفت . - روانش شادباد . --

U.S. Military Is Scrutinized Over Trash Burning in Afghanistan --- The United States military spent millions of dollars on garbage incinerators in Afghanistan that went unused as tons of trash burned in open piles, wafting toxic smoke over thousands of troops, according to a report released Tuesday by an American watchdog agency. -- The new report focused on Shindand Air Base in western Afghanistan but echoed the findings of three previous reports by the agency, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, since April 2013. All found that the Defense Department wasted millions of dollars on incinerators at major bases that operated at a fraction of capacity — if at all — while the open burning of toxic material continued. -- The reports also concluded that the military in Afghanistan violated regulations put in place by Congress and the Pentagon to end large-scale open-pit trash burning after the health risks of the practice gained national attention during the war in Iraq. -- Despite these regulations, every base in Afghanistan visited by inspectors continued to burn waste, including tires, plastics, batteries and other potentially toxic junk, in open pits, sometimes shunting the smoky job off to Afghan troops. And though a 2010 law requires the military to notify Congress whenever certain toxic materials are burned, the report said no notifications were sent. -- “There was a lack of planning and a lack of holding people accountable and as a result the health of our troops was put at risk,” John F. Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said Tuesday. -- While the science remains inconclusive, there is growing concern among veterans, members of Congress and some medical experts that exposure to the acrid smoke from military burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan could lead to lasting health problems, including lung disease and cancer. -- “When you burn this caustic, dangerous stuff, it can release neurotoxins, carcinogens,” said Dr. Anthony Szema, assistant professor of medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, who has studied lung problems among war veterans. “There are long-term health effects. This is a ticking time bomb here that could last for years.” -- At Shindand, inspectors found that the military spent $5 million on incinerators. The equipment was large enough to handle all trash produced by the 4,000 coalition troops and contractors at the base, but for two years about two-thirds was burned in nearby pits run by Afghan troops. -- The report noted that an “Afghan-run open-air burn pit burned at much lower temperatures and thus smoldered much of the time, creating large volumes of smoke and volatile gases.” - More, DAVE PHILIPPS,

Protect yourself from identity theft --- NEW YORK (AP) — It's an almost weekly occurrence: On Tuesday, Goodwill said its computer systems may have been hacked, leading to the possible theft of customers' credit and debit card information. The nonprofit agency, which operates 2,900 stores in the U.S., said it is working with federal investigators to look into a possible breach. -- That follows news over the weekend that Vendini, an event ticketing service, had settled a class-action suit related to a data breach in 2013. For many people who had ordered tickets through the service, an e-mail about the settlement was their first notification that their information had been compromised. In the last year, major companies like Target, LinkedIn, eBay and Neiman Marcus have also been hacked. -- The incidents are especially troubling to consumers as online and mobile shopping continues to grow. People aren't likely to stop using their credit and debit cards any time soon, and as data breaches become increasingly common, consumers don't often know what to do when a company they've done business with experiences a breach. -- Here are five ways you can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft_even if your data has been compromised. - More, Associated Press,

Prince George pictures mark royal baby's first birthday --- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have thanked well-wishers as Prince George celebrates his first birthday. --- Two new pictures of the third in line to the throne have been released to mark the occasion on Tuesday. -- One shows Prince George transfixed by a butterfly, while a second shows him with his mother and father, staring at an object above their heads. -- In a statement the duke and duchess thanked people for their "warm and generous good wishes". -- The couple said: "We would like to take this opportunity on George's first birthday to thank everyone over the last year, wherever we have met them, both at home and overseas, for their warm and generous good wishes to George and our family." -- The duke and duchess are expected to hold a birthday party for the young prince on Tuesday at their Kensington Palace apartment. --- Just like many of the other 2,200 babies born in the UK on the same day, last year, George Alexander Louis will mark his birthday with a party. -- His though, will be at a palace and his guest of honour will be his great-grandmother, the Queen. -- Prince George offers the institution she has served for decades the prospect of renewal, but not - as things stand - for many years to come, after the reigns of his grandfather and his father. -- For now, the emphasis will be on him leading as normal a life as possible - not easy when you're a prince growing up in a palace - and on shielding the child, destined to be a king, from too much public exposure. - More, BBC,

بمناسبت هفتمین سال وفات اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهرشاه -- داکتر نجیب الله بارکزی --- بمناسبت اول اسد، سالروز وفات باباي ملت اعليحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه ، پادشاه عادل و ترقي پسند مراتب تسليت خويشرا خدمت تك تك شما عزيزان تقديم ميدارم. -- خداوند رهبران را نخواهد بخشيد كه به ريا دستانش را ميبوسيد و امروز چنان غرق در منفعت هاي شخصي بخاطر بقاي خود اند كه حتي نام اين ابر مرد تاريخ را نميگيرند. -- اينست كه كشورم به نا امن ترين و فاسد ترين كشور دنيا مبدل گشته... -- لطفاً به حق آن پادشاۀ عادل که ارمان و آرزویش امن و آسایش ما بود، دعا نموده و چند سطری برایش بنویسید. --- چهل سال میگذرد، وطنفروشان که مدعیان دروغین ترقی و انکشاف و منتقدین کاذب رژیم سلطنت بابای ملت بودند، همه به نوبت خویش خود را آزمایش کردند، رژیم ها را دست بدست کردند، وطن را بار بار به فروش رسانیدند، یک سیستم مکمل و با ثبات حکومتی را که از بابای ملت علیه رحمه تسلیم شده بودند، همه را به باد فنا دادند. --- عدالت، صداقت، نظم و حاکمیت قانون از بین رفت، به ملیون ها انسان بیگناه قربانی شدند، به ملیونهای دیگر آواره گشتند، تا امروز تخریب زیر بنا های زمان بابای ملت ادامه دارد، تا امروز مردم بیچارۀ ما از بقایای آن مستفید میشوند، با سقوط رژیم طالبان دوباره سر افگنده به دهۀ دیموکراسی بابای ملت برگشتند و قانون اساسی اعلیحضرت بابای ملت رادوباره تصویب کردند... و هنوز هم بی شرمانه میگویند " ظاهر شاه در 40 سال حکومتش چه کرد؟" ---- اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه بابای ملت در۴۰ سال حکومتش چه کرد؟ -- افغانستان عزیز در دورۀ چهل سال سلطنت فرخندۀ اعلیحضرت محمد ظاهر شاه "بابای ملت" توانست فاصلۀ بیشتر از یک قرن را در عرصۀ های مختلف انکشاف و ترقی بپیماید. -- More,

Tribute to King Zahir Shah....Baba e Millat....Father of the Nation. --- The King, as the founder of Afghanistan’s democracy and a symbol of national unity, died in July 23, 2007. --- Mohammed Zahir Shah (Pashto: محمد ظاهرشاه October 15, 1914 – July 23, 2007) was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973. Following his return from exile, he was given the title 'Father of the Nation' in 2002, which he held until his death.- wikipedia. -- -- -- - afghaniFilms

IG says $2.8 million Afghanistan produce facility sitting unused, unmaintained --- A $2.8 million facility the United States built in Afghanistan to store produce for local farmers has sat unused and unmaintained for more than a year, with Afghan officials still looking for a business to lease the property, according to a federal watchdog agency. -- The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction issued a report Monday warning that the project, coordinated by the Defense Department’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, is at risk of failing. -- “TFBSO has not achieved what it told us was the key to the project’s success — the operation, maintenance and control of the facility by an Afghan business,” the report said. -- SIGAR criticized the Defense Department task force for not identifying an investor to take ownership of the facility in the Helmand province before beginning construction on the project. -- The task force found an Afghan-based juice and produce company willing to take over the complex by August 2012, but the business backed out after suffering extensive damage to a similar facility it operates in Kabul, the nation’s capital, according to the report. -- The agency said that identifying investors before making building such facilities will “reduce the risk of wasted funds resulting from completed but unused facilities.” The task force agreed with SIGAR’s assessment and said it is continuously incorporating lessons learned. -- SIGAR described the Helmand project, which provides about 10,000 square feet of cold storage and 13,000 square feet of dry storage, as well-constructed. -- “Such a facility would likely improve the ability of local Afghan farmers to preserve fruits and vegetables for sale to national and international markets, which could generate revenues far greater than selling their produce locally,” the report said. - More, Josh Hicks,

Human rights report takes at U.S. terrorism prosecutions, criticizes FBI tactics --- A new human rights report offers a blistering assessment of the Justice Department’s role in the fight against terrorism, taking aim at tactics used to identify and prosecute suspects. --- In a lengthy examination of U.S. terrorism prosecutions, Human Rights Watch, working with Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, said the FBI and the Justice Department have created a climate of fear in some Muslim communities through the use of surveillance and informants. -- The group accused the government of using sting operations, which some critics described as entrapment, to target people with mental or intellectual disabilities and said that such tactics have driven people away from mosques. -- “The report clearly shows, in many respects, the American public is being sold a false bill of goods,” said Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch. “To be sure, the threat of terrorism is real,” she said. “But in many of the cases we documented, there was no threat until the FBI showed up and helped turn people into terrorists.” --- Human Rights Watch, represented by Yale University’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons last year to gather accurate information on the number and conditions of prisoners being held on terrorism charges or post-conviction. -- Prasow, one of the report’s authors, said the group tried to get the information through public-record requests, but the government was reluctant to comply and Human Rights Watch sued for the information. -- Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, more than 500 people, or about 40 cases a year, have been prosecuted in federal courts on terrorism charges. As of October, Human Rights Watch said, U.S. prisons held 475 people indicted in connection with or convicted of terrorism or terrorism-related offenses. -- Of those serving sentences, the report said, 49 people were held in high-security prisons, 137 in administrative facilities and 237 in medium- or low-security prisons. According to the report, 44 terrorists were serving time at a supermax prison in Florence, Colo. - More, Adam Goldman,

Monday, July 21, 2014

Transcript: President Obama’s July 21 statement on Gaza and Ukraine --- President Obama delivered the following remarks on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza at the White House on Monday. Transcript courtesy of Federal News Service. -- More,

Three foreign advisers killed near Kabul airport --- (Reuters) - A Taliban suicide bomber detonated himself on Tuesday outside Kabul International Airport, killing three foreign advisers and an Afghan interpreter, police said. -- The nationalities of the foreign advisers were not immediately clear. -- The explosion comes days after one of the most audacious militant attacks in a year on the airport, which is used by both civilians and the military. -- A Taliban spokesman, Zabihulllah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack. "In this successful attack up to 15 invader soldiers were killed or wounded and many vehicles were damaged," he added. -- Kabul airport is home to a major operational base for NATO-led forces that have been fighting the Taliban for 12 years. Security includes soldiers and police, guard towers and checkpoints. -- Militants often fire rockets into the airport, causing little damage, but frontal attacks on the heavily guarded facility are rare and represent an ambitious target for insurgents. - More,

محور ورځپاڼه: جنرال جان آلن، افغان ولسمشر په حقه دی --- يوه پخواني امريکايي جنرال ويلي، چې امريکا په افغان جګړه کې په غلطۍ سره ښکېل ده، حال دا چې ولسمشر تر موږ، موږ او زموږ کردار ښه درک کړی او پېژندلی دی. دا څلورم نړیوال لوړپوړی مامور دی، چې په افغانستان کې دلوديځ دناکامو پالیسیو غندنه کوي او افغان حکومت د ځان پروړاندې برحقه ګني. لږ وړاندې دامریکا ددفاع پخواني ‌وزیررابرټ ګېټس، دملګرو ملتونو ځانګړي استازي‌ کای ایډه او ترهغه وړاندې دبهرنیو ځواکونو عمومي ‌قوماندان مک کرسټل د خپل ماموریت تر اختتام وروسته امريکا او متحدین یې په افغانستان کې دښکېلتیا او غلطو پالیسو په سبب غندلي ‌دي. -- نړيوال په ځانګړې توګه هغه امريکايي چارواکي چې په افغانستان کې يې ماموريت پايته رسيږي او تقاعد کېږي په نوبت سره عترافونه کوي، چې په افغان جګړه کې په غلطۍ سره ښکېل دي. دچارو شنونکي وايي، کله چې دوی په ماموريت کې وي، نو هغه مهال بيا دوی واقعيتونه نشي په ډاګه کولای. په افغانستان کې دامريکايي او ايساف ځواکونو پخواني قومندان جنرال جان آلن په دې وروستيو کې ويلي، دولسمشر کرزي پېژندګلوي په مراتبو تر موږ، موږ او زموږ کردار ښه درک کړی او پېژندلی دی. دغه امريکايي جنرال دسولې انستيتوت له لوري په واشنګټن کې دولسمشر کرزي ميراث په نوم جوړه شوې غونډه کې ويلي، چې ولسمشر کرزي له افغانانونه پوره شناخت لرلو، خو له بده مرغه چې دغه ټکی موږ نه درک کولو او لرلو: (ولسمشر کرزي به تل موږ ته په ځينو برخو کې مشورې راکولې، خو موږ به هغه ته پام نه کولو، چې په وروستيو کې جوته شوه، ښاغلی کرزی په حقه دی. ولسمشر کرزی يو وطن دوست دی.) -- ښاغلی الن دامريکايي پوځيانو سرغړونو، ملکي تلفاتو، شپنيو عملياتو او دترهګرۍ پر وړاندې د جنګ څرنګوالي ته په اشارې سره وايي، چې ولسمشر کرزی دپاکستان په تړاو دامريکا له سياست نه په اخري کچه ستومانه شوی او نا خوښ و او همدا لامل وو، چې دترهګرۍ پر وړاندې جګړه په خپل ځای پاتې وه او په اصلي ځای کې نه تر سره کېده. دا څلورم نړیوال لوړپوړی مامور دی، چې په افغانستان کې دلوديځ دناکامو پالیسیو غندنه کوي او افغان حکومت دځان پروړاندې برحقه ګني. لږ وړاندې دامریکا ددفاع پخواني ‌وزیر رابرټ ګېټس، دملګرو ملتونو ځانګړي استازي‌ کای ایډه او ترهغه وړاندې دبهرنیو ځواکونو عمومي‌قوماندان مک کرسټل دخپل ماموریت تر اختتام وروسته امريکا او متحدین یې په افغانستان کې دښکېلتیا او غلطو پالیسو په سبب غندلي‌دي. -- شنونکي وايي، امريکا خپل لوړپوړي مامورين په افغانستان کې په استخباراتي لوبه کې بوخت ساتلي وي، نو کله چې هغوی تقاعد شي، اړ وي، چې له ځان نه مسووليتونه لرې کړي او د افغانستان په تړاو واقعيتونه په ډاګه کړي. ددوی هريو چې له دندې ګوښه شوی، نو د افغانستان د ماموريت په تړاو يې عترافونه کړي، چې لوديځ او امريکا په غلطه راوان دي. دچارو شنونکی غلام جيلاني ځواک وايي، تر هغه چې دغه قومندانان او مشران په افغانستان کې په ماموريت بوخت وي، دافغان حکومت په ځانګړې توګه دولسمشر کرزي په اړه يې دسيسې جوړې کړې او دبحران رامنځته کولو هڅې يې کړې دي. ښاغلي ځواک زياتوي، په ولسمشر کرزي باندې له يوه اړخه ډېرې نيوکې کېږي، چې جنګسالاران يې په واک کې ور کډ کړي، خو په دې کې دبهرنيانو رول هم تت نه دی، دهغوی له لوري پرې فشارونه وو، چې لوديځوالو دخپلو ګټو دخونديکولو په هدف پرې منل. شنونکي وايي، همدا جګړه مار دنړيوالو له لوري تغذيه شول او په واک کې وساتل شول. -- شنونکي ددې څه ښه بېلګه په دې وروستي ټاکنيز کړکېچ کې دامريکا دبهرنيو چارو وزير جان کېري مداخلې ته اشاره کوي، چې نه غواړي، جنګسالاران له واک د باندې پاتې شي، ځکه چې په نظام کې دننه ددوی ګټې خوندي کوي. څارونکي وايي، امريکا ډېری وخت دافغانستان په سياسي پروسو کې مداخلې کړې، ګډوډې يې دي. دوی وايي، يوازې دا کار نه دی، دوی په افغانستان کې دسولې پر وړاندې هم خنډونه جوړ کړي او ان له طالبانو سره يې هم پټ اړيکي شته، چې له يوه لوري دجګړې دختمولو خبرې کوي، خو له بل لوري جګړه ددوی په خوښه غځول کېږي. - تاند

How Germans Are Learning to Like Themselves --- Germans discovered a new lightness of being in the run-up to their World Cup victory. It's a shift apparent not only in football. Increasingly confident and content, Germany is emerging from the dark shadows of its past, but its global role remains elusive. --- Christine Meier, 61, sits in a beach chair in her bikini on the German island of Sylt. She's seen all but one of the matches at this year's football World Cup, having watched most of them at her allotment garden in Berlin. "We wear necklaces and hats with the colors of the German flag, some paint the colors on their faces. There is cake, antipasti and sometimes I make a noodle salad in black, red and yellow," she says. Meier is proud of Germany's success in Brazil. "People abroad are watching us," she says. "They want to know how we live and who we are." Germany, she says, has shown itself to be a decent country, adding: "We're an uncommonly good people." -- Her comments came two days after Germany crushed Brazil 7:1 in the semifinal. The old magicians of football had been stripped of their magic, and it left many Germans scratching their heads wondering if they could really be as great as the match suggested. In Christine Meier's eyes: yes they can. -- It was just one game of seven at the World Cup and others didn't go nearly as well. But it's often these individual events, moments in the life of a nation in which people take notice and ask: Is this who we are? -- Germany has football to thank for such moments. Until 2006, Germans saw themselves as a brooding society. But that changed after Germany hosted that year's brilliantly successful World Cup. Until 2010, the country also considered itself to be cumbersome and ponderous, characteristics reflected in the brand of football it played. But then, in the South African World Cup that year, the German team at times played a graceful, attacking style that was beautiful to watch. People abroad were amazed and please. The semifinal in 2014 was the continuation of that spirited lightness. -- But is that what it means to be German? - Der Spiegel

Air India resumes flights to Kabul, SpiceJet to stay away --- But pilots want Air India to immediately stop flights to Kabul after the missile attack on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 added a new dimension. --- India’s communication link with Kabul resumed on Saturday after being suspended for two days following the July 17, 2014 attack on Kabul airport. -- “We are operating the flight today and we will be operating it normally,” said Air India officials even as some of its pilots in Mumbai opposed “political pressure” to resumption of flights without fail-safe measures. -- Indian civil aviation authorities maintained there was no such pressure and have passed on the onus of resumption of flights to Kabul to the two airlines of which SpiceJet has publicly announced suspension of operations. Public carrier Air India did not fly to Kabul on Thursday, the day gunmen attacked the airport with rocket propelled grenades and automatic gunfire, and the next day. -- They also said Afghan authorities had assured them about enhanced security measures at Kabul airport that include surveillance on all high rise buildings overlooking the airport, increased patrolling and more mock exercises. -- Afghan sources in New Delhi maintained that the airport was safe and this had been conveyed to the Indian authorities. “Now it is up to them,” said an Embassy official. -- Civilian flights are the mainstay of India’s links with Kabul especially because Pakistan denies direct access to Afghanistan. The other route into Afghanistan via Iran is still in the making. Flights from India to Kabul, besides bringing businessmen and reconstruction officials, are also a vote of confidence in the Afghan government which is battling the Taliban. -- But pilots, both serving and retired, unanimously want Air India to immediately stop flights to Kabul after the missile attack on a Malaysian Airlines flight added a new dimension. -- “We hear there is political pressure or compulsion to operate flights (to Kabul) which is wrong. DGCA should immediately ban all flights to Kabul which has come under repeated rocket attacks. Air India cannot put the lives of passengers and crew at risk,” Captain (retd.) R.S. Rosha, former director in-flight service and operations, Indian Airlines. - More,

Israel keeps up Gaza assaults, Kerry presses for truce --- (Reuters) - Israel kept up its assaults in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing three Palestinians in as many air strikes, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the region with a mission to seek a ceasefire in the 14-day-old conflict "as soon as possible." -- The deaths in Khan Younis, Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya raised the Palestinian toll to 539 killed, including nearly 100 children and many other civilians, since the offensive was launched on July 8, Gaza health officials said. -- Israel's death toll also rose to 29, with two soldiers killed in the past day of fighting, the Israeli military said. The total includes two civilian killed by rocket fire. -- Violence also spread to the occupied West Bank, where medics said soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man while dispersing protesters throwing stones at a military jeep. -- Israel said a Palestinian shot at a car and seriously wounded an Israeli in the Nablus area on Tuesday. -- Kerry arrived in Cairo on Monday and, during talks with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said the United States would provide $47 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza. -- Washington is "deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel's appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself," Kerry said. "No country can stand by when rockets are attacking it." -- "But always, in any kind of conflict, there is a concern about civilians - about children, women, communities that are caught in it," Kerry said. -- A senior State Department official said on Kerry's flight to Cairo that Washington's goal was to "achieve a cessation of hostilities as soon as possible," but that the process would be difficult with the sides far apart on terms for a truce. --- Israel has signalled it is not in a hurry to achieve a truce before reaching a goal of crippling Hamas's militant infrastructure, including rocket arsenals and networks of tunnels threatening Israelis living along the Gaza frontier. - More,

چین موجودیت پایگاه های امریکایی را در افغانستان مهم می داند --- نماینده تازه تعیین شده حکومت چین برای افغانستان می گوید، از تصمیم امریکا که می خواهد برخی پایگاه هایش را در افغانستان حفظ کند، استقبال می کند. سن یوشی هفته گذشته از سوی حکومت چین به حیث نمایندهء خاص آن کشور برای افغانستان تعیین شد. او موجودیت پایگاه های نظامی امریکا در افغانستان را مهم می داند. سن سوشی به روز دوشنبه به خبرنگاران در پکینگ گفت که کشورش از همکاری ایالات متحده با افغانستان، در راستای مبارزه با تروریزم استقبال می کند. وی اظهار داشت: "با توجه به وضیعت فعلی افغانستان، ایالات متحده بعضی پایگاه های نظامی اش را در آنجا حفظ می کند تا وضیعت را برای مدتی ارزیابی کند و هم چنان با مردم و حکومت افغانستان در مبارزه شان با تروریزم همکاری کند، ما از این اقدام استقبال می کنیم." -- چین روز جمعه اعلان کرد که سن سوشی را به حیث نمایندهء خاص برای افغانستان تعیین کرده است. وزارت خارجه چین این گام را پس از آن به اجرا گذاشت که مقام های آن کشور ابراز نگرانی کردند که شاید افغانستان پس از خروج نیرو های بین المللی به حیث یک مرکز تروریزم باقی بماند. مقام های چینایی می گویند که نماینده نو این کشور با جوانب مختلف در افغانستان روابط نزدیک خواهد داشت. به باور مقام های چینایی، با تعیین شدن این نماینده، تلاش های صلح دایمی، امنیت و انکشاف در افغانستان و منطقه تضمین خواهد شد. -- پیش از این برخی نگرانی های مطرح شده بود که شاید جدایی طلبان اویغور مستقر در ایالت شین جین، با خروج نیرو های ناتو از افغانستان، از خلای امنیتی استفاده کرده و جنگ هایشان را شدت بخشند. سن یوشی نماینده چین برای افغانستان می گوید که در جریان مبارزه بین المللی با تروریزم شماری از این شورشیان دستگیر شده اند و یا هم فرار کرده اند. اما وی گفت، نمی داند که چی تعداد از این افراد به افغانستان رفته اند. سن یوشی نماینده چین برای افغانستان می گوید: "تا جائیکه من می دانم، شماری از شورشیان اویغور در جریان مبارزه بین المللی علیهء تروریزم از بین رفته اند، شماری از آن ها دستگیر و توسط ایالات متحده امریکا به زندان گوانتانامو منتقل شدند. با این هم شماری از آنها فرار کردند. اینکه به چی تعداد از این شورشیان در حال حاضر در افغانستان هستند، واقعاً شمار شان را نمی دانم." -- چین و افغانستان یک مرز کوچک مشترک با هم دارند. تا حالا چین بیشتر روی سرمایه گذاری در افغانستان تمرکز کرده است. این سرمایه گذاری ها عمدتاً در بخش منابع و معادن در افغانستان صورت گرفته است، اما مقام های چینایی در گذشته هم نگرانی داشتند که شاید با خروج نیرو های بین المللی از افغانستان، دامنهء ناامنی ها در منطقه گسترش یابد. - رادیو آزادی

China will not fill U.S. void in Afghanistan: official -- (Reuters) - China does not seek to fill a void left in Afghanistan by the withdrawal of U.S. troops but will play a "huge" commercial role in helping rebuild the country, a newly appointed Chinese special envoy said on Monday. -- China, which is connected to Afghanistan by a narrow, almost impassable mountain corridor, has been quietly preparing for more responsibility there after the bulk of U.S.-led troops pull out by the end of this year. -- Some Western officials have said China is likely to emerge as a strategic player in Afghanistan but Sun Yuxi, who was appointed special representative to the country on Friday, said China's involvement would remain largely commercial. -- "This idea about filling a void after the withdrawal of troops, I think it doesn't exist," Sun told reporters in Beijing before heading to Afghanistan on Tuesday for talks. -- Some Western officials have criticized China for piggy-backing off the U.S.-led security operation that has eliminated an al Qaeda enclave on China's door-step and opened up Afghanistan's resources to international exploitation. -- China's commitment to Afghan reconstruction since the ouster of a hardline Islamist regime in 2001 has been a relatively paltry $250 million and its security support has been mostly limited to counter-narcotics training. -- But a consortium of Chinese investors is involved in a landmark $3 billion deal to produce copper in Afghanistan although work on the deposit, among the world's largest, has been largely halted by insurgent attacks. -- Sun said China looked forward to much more economic involvement which he said was essential for stability. -- "In the long-term, an even greater portion of our cooperation and participation in economic rebuilding will be carried out in a commercial way. This amount will be huge," he said. -- "Preserving Afghanistan's stability is not a matter of adding troops but of helping Afghanistan to quickly rebuild. We hope to see a rapid decrease in weaponry and a rapid increase in wealth." - More,

Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor --- WASHINGTON (AP) — Bleeding from both legs and his arm, Ryan Pitts kept firing at about 200 Taliban fighters, even holding onto his grenades an extra moment to ensure the enemy couldn't heave them back. On Monday, President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck, in a somber White House ceremony that also paid tribute to his nine platoon comrades who died that summer day in Afghanistan. -- Pitts, a 28-year-old former Army staff sergeant from Nashua, New Hampshire, is the ninth living veteran of America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the nation's highest decoration for battlefield valor. Obama praised Pitts for holding the line as his comrades fell in one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghan war. -- "It is remarkable that we have young men and women serving in our military who, day in and day out, perform with so much integrity, so much humility and so much courage," the president said. "Ryan represents the very best of that tradition." - More, Associated Press,

کای آیده: هیچ رهبر افغان بیشتر از رئیس جمهور کرزی شناخت دقیق از جامعه افغانستان و پیچیدگی های آن ندارد --- کای آیده نماینده اسبق سازمان ملل متحد در افغانستان اخیراً در یک نشستی که از سوی انستیتوت صلح امریکا در واشنگتن تحت عنوان "میراث رئیس جمهور کرزی" دایر گردید بود، حامد کرزی را یک افغان واقعی و یک رهبر سیاسی افغان خواند. وی در این نشست افزود: رئیس جمهور کرزی یک شخصیت "ایجاد کننده اجماع" بوده و به قول خود شان، ایشان نیز همواره تلاش داشته اند تا مبتکر ایجاد اجماع در کشور باشند. کای آیده می گوید که در عکس العمل به تعریف من از دموکراسی تحت عنوان "حاکمیت اکثریت" کرزی گفت، "نخیر، چنین امری در این کشور ناممکن است، در افغانستان دموکراسی باید به معنی "حاکمیت اجماع" در نظر گرفته شود. -- نمایندۀ اسبق سازمان ملل متحد در افغانستان می افزاید که اکنون من فکر می کنم ایشان دقیق فرموده اند و باید به صراحت اذعان نمایم که هیچ رهبر افغانی که من تا اکنون ملاقات کرده ام بیشتر از رئیس جمهور کرزی شناخت دقیق از جامعه افغانستان و پیچیدگی های آن ندارد. کای آیده با اشاره بر اینکه رئیس جمهور کرزی تفکر ایجاد اصلاحات دارد، گفت که با این کارش توانسته است عامل پیشرفت های چشمگیر باشد. بطور مثال جامعه رسانه ای در این کشور، با حضور نه تنها ژورنالسیت های ذکور بلکه هم چنان ژورنالیست های اناث، در مقایسه با کشور های منطقه از آزادی بیشتر و بالندگی بیشتر برخوردار می باشد. -- نمایندۀ اسبق سازمان ملل متحد در افغانستان گفت که شایعاتی وجود داشت که گویا کرزی بخاطر ابقای خود در قدرت، قانون اساسی را تغییر میدهد یا می خواهد یک رئیس جمهور ضعیف را برای 4 سال روی صحنه بیاورد تا زمینه بازگشت خود اش مساعد گردد و یا هم با ایجاد یک وضعیت پر هرج و مرج حالت اضطراری را اعلام نموده و تداوم وظیفه خود را تضمین می کند، اما این شایعات همه نادرست ثابت شد. -- کای آیده در مورد اینکه رئیس جمهور کرزی می خواهد تا به حاکمیت ملی افغانستان احترام گذاشته شود، گفت که دوره دوم ریاست جمهوری کرزی توأم با تلاش های مداوم و پیگیر موصوف پیرامون حاکمیت افغانستان بود. به باور من، حق با ایشان بود، چون حاکمیت و احترام به حاکمیت یک کشور یک پیش شرط بازگشت به وضعیت عادی می باشد. نماینده اسبق سازمان ملل متحد در افغانستان، می گوید که وی رئیس جمهور کرزی را منحیث یک رهبر تاریخی ای می شناسد که توانست کشور را متحد و یکپارچه نگهدارد، در یک دوره گذار تاریخی این کشور را اداره کند و بلاخره از یک موقف راستین بر احترام به کشور اش که یک کشور با افتخار و در عین حال فقیر و جنگ زده می باشد، ایستادگی نماید. - کابل باختر 30 سرطان

Westerners misjudged Hamid Karzai: Gen Allen --- KABUL: Former Commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US troops in Afghanistan said the European leaders had misunderstood the Afghan president by assuming that Hamid Karzai is inherently a “Westphalian President”. -- Addressing a public discussion titled “The Legacy of President Hamid Karzai” at the United States Institute of Peace on Friday, Gen. John Allen, said: “He knew us far better than we understood him and the ancient culture of the Pashtons and the other tribes and the ethnicities of Afghanistan and in this we were at a distinct disadvantage, we were put differently, he was at a distinct advantage in his leadership, and I often told people you can make a fundamental error and your relationship with President Karzai by assuming that he is inherently a Westphalian President in the context of a European leader, he is in fact a tribal leader, he is in fact of the elite of the tribes.” --- The discussion was also joined by the former UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, and Afghan journalist and author of “After Karzai”, Mujib Mashal. --- The retired US general further said, “As Kai properly said, many of those hard-wired paradigms were the first lenses through he would view the challenges that we faced and the crises that we ultimately have to solve and none of that wrong, it shouldn’t be alarming and it shouldn’t be surprising, it came from the inherent responsibility that we all had to understand the environment which we were operating as military professionals and to ultimately understand the inherent nature of this leader with whom we deal, he always was happiest when he was relating the details of Afghan history not just as an afghan nationalist but as a patriot in that regard, and sometimes he would seemingly be rumbling from one topic to another and I would sit there wondering where all this is going but invariably he bring it all back to the point and he would tie it altogether very skillfully to address whatever issue or crisis we faced and with that he used the very clear vehicle of afghan history to make the imperative or the point that we needed to solve the problems we are facing today, he very well understands Afghanistan and the ethnicities, he was enormously frustrated with the US over its policy towards Pakistan, he was convinced that we were fighting a war in the wrong place.” -- Regarding his first meeting with the Afghan president, the ex-US military general said: “I had my first meeting with President Karzai, I spent so much time worrying about the meeting…. ….the meeting turned up to be a friendly meeting and an opportunity to make it a friendship, I pledged him my support and my full energy and our partnership for future, but not surprisingly afterwards I was amused and a bit alarmed at the Palace press release of our first meeting, the many things that I had conceded to him in a meeting which I had done, probably took a couple of days for me, but nonetheless we were able to get some work done, I sought to make this relationship something more than casual, productive and a friendship, because he is really a very charming, charismatic individual and is extraordinarily well-read.” - AT Monitoring Desk,

جنرال جان آلن: شناخت رئیس جمهور کرزی از ما، بهتر از شناخت ما از او بود --- جنرال جان آلن، قوماندان پیشین نیرو های امریکائی و آیساف در افغانستان میگوید، شناخت کرزی از ما، به مراتب بهتر از شناخت ما از او بوده است. به گزارش آژانس باختر، این جنرال امریکائی در نشستی که از جانب انستیتوت صلح امریکا در واشنگتن تحت عنوان "میراث رئیس جمهور کرزی" برگزار شده بود، صحبت میکرد. او در مورد شناخت خویش از رئیس جمهور میگوید که کرزی شناخت عمیقی از اقوام افغانستان دارد و ما متاسفانه این نقطه مثبت را نداشتیم. او که بین سالهای 2011 و 2012 قوماندانی عمومی نیروهای خارجی در افغانستان را به عهده داشت در مورد توانائی ها و نقاط قوت رهبری رئیس جمهور کرزی گفت، کرزی به مشکلات خیلی پیچیده از دریچه ای می پرداخت که ما توان آنرا نداشتیم و برای ما راه حل پیشنهاد میکرد، اما ما طور دیگری می اندیشیدیم، در حالیکه در آخر کرزی برحق ثابت میشد.-- جنرال آلن با یادآوری از خاطرات خویش از جلساتی که با رئیس جمهور کرزی داشت میگوید، کرزی همواره به تاریخ افغانستان اشاره میکرد و به مسایل از دید تاریخی می پرداخت. "او نه تنها یک افغان ملت گرا است، بلکه یک وطن دوست واقعی نیز است. او می افزاید که در جلسات، رئیس جمهور کرزی از یک موضوع به موضوع دیگر میرفت و ما حیران میشدیم که چرا از موضوع خارج میشود، اما در آخر خیلی با مهارت مسایل را جمع بندی میکرد و به نکته اصلی برمیگشت و برای مشکل مورد بحث راه حل پیدا میشد. او برای همه موضوعات، از تاریخ افغانستان حکایت میکرد و افغانستان، اقوام و ساختار اجتماعی کشورش را بسیار خوب میداند." - باختر

U.S. Institute of Peace - YouTube -- The Legacy of President Hamid Karzai .--- Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on Friday July 18th for a public discussion with four distinguished panelists as they examine Hamid Karzai's controversial presidency. - More,

After Karzai --- Afghanistan’s outgoing president helped heal a shattered country. He also winked at corruption and ruled like a tribal chief. His successor will inherit a nation that’s in better shape than you might think—and a government with little power to keep it that way. --- Western officials “wanted me weak,” Karzai told me. They “wanted an isolated president, a president they could use.” - More, Mujib Mashal, The Atlantic,

The Legacy of President Hamid Karzai --- Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on Friday July 18th for a public discussion with four distinguished panelists as they examine Hamid Karzai’s controversial presidency. --- Even as the Afghan election remains mired in the messy work of sorting out good votes from fraudulent, President Karzai has set August 2 as the inauguration date of the next president. On this day Karzai will conclude his term as Afghanistan’s chief executive, a position he has held since December 2001. President Karzai’s relationship with the United States has gone from mutual trust and high-hopes to misunderstanding and frustration, ending in antagonism and bitterness. As Karzai prepares to step down from power, what sort of country is he handing over to his successor? What obstacles did he face when he took over Afghanistan in 2001, and how did he overcome them? --- Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace for a public discussion with four distinguished panelists as they explore these questions from various perspectives, offering their own verdicts on what is likely to be a long-debated question. Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #KarzaisLegacy. -- Speakers: - More, U.S. Institute of Peace,

تظاهرکننده گان: نباید زیر نام وحدت ملی، حکومت ایتلافی ایجاد گردد --- تظاهر کننده گان و اعضای نهاد بنام افغان ملی غورځنگ تاکید می کنند که آنان با حکومت وحدت ملی مخالفت ندارند اما می گویند که نباید زیر این نام حکومت ایتلافی ایجاد گردد. تظاهر کننده گان به روز یکشنبه در کابل با صدور قطعنامهء از رئیس جمهور آینده افغانستان خواستند تا مطابق خواست مردم و تعهدات قبلی اش حکومت خدمت گذار را تشکیل کند. در بخشی از این قطعنامه که توسط عبدالستار یک عضو شورای قومی و اجتماعی به خوانده شد چنین آمده است: "نتایج دور دوم انتخابات پس از شمارش همه آرا به اساس شمارش شفاف و دقیق به مردم اعلان شود و به بنیاد آن یک حکومت قوی، حسابده، شفاف و ممثل ارادهء مردم ایجاد گردد." -- این مظاهره از سوی 25 نهاد جامعه مدنی و شورا های قومی به اشتراک ده ها تن از اعضای این نهاد ها راه اندازی گردیده بود. در همین حال نهاد زیر نام افغان ملی غورځنگ با صدور اعلامیه مطبوعاتی از تیم تحول و تداوم خواست تا در مورد توافقات اش با عبدالله عبدالله نامزد دیگر ریاست جمهوری به ملت معلومات بدهد. در بخش از این اعلامیه که توسط فیض محمد ځلاند یکی از اعضای این نهاد به خوانده شد، آمده است: "از توافقات که به میانجیگری وزیر خارجه امریکا میان دو کاندید ریاست جمهوری صورت گرفته، بیشتر از یک هفته می گذرد اما هنوز هم در خلای معلومات قرار داریم و تنها شایعاتی از این توافقات به سمع ما میرسد اما از اشرف غنی احمدزی تقاضا داریم در مورد جزئیات توافقات صورت گرفته به هوادارانش در مجموع به کافه ملت معلومات دقیق دهد." -- اعضای افغان ملی غورځنگ می گویند که در دور دوم انتخابات از برنامه های تیم تحول و تداوم حمایت نموده اند و باید این تیم تعهداتش را عملی کند. در این حال فیض الله ذکی سخنگوی تیم تحول و تداوم می گوید که جامعه مدنی در این قسمت نباید ابراز نگرانی کنند. آقای ذکی در صحبت با رادیو آزادی گفت، اشرف غنی احمدزی همه تعهداتش را که با مردم انجام داده است عملی خواهد کرد. -- در عین حال تظاهر کننده گان از جامعه جهانی نیز خواستند تا به حاکمیت ملی افغانستان احترام بگذارند. به گفته آنان با مداخله اخیر امریکا و جامعه جهانی در روند انتخابات این کشور اعتبار کمیسیون های مستقل انتخاباتی متضرر شده است. این اعتراضات در حال صورت می گیرد که روز گذشته محمد یونس قانونی معاون اول رئیس جمهور افغانستان گفت، طرح که اشرف غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله روی آن توافق کردند توسط معاونین رئیس جمهوری مطرح شده بود. - رادیو آزادی

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gaza conflict: Clashes at Paris Pro-Palestinian protest --- Pro-Palestinian protesters in France have clashed with police at a rally against Israel's action in Gaza. -- Thousands took part in the protest in Paris, despite it being banned. Some threw stones and bottles at riot police, who responded with tear gas. -- The ban was imposed after protesters attempted to storm two synagogues at a similar protest last week. -- Israel launched ground operations in Gaza on Thursday, after air strikes failed to stop Hamas firing rockets. -- Israel says the ground offensive is necessary to target a network of Hamas tunnels. --- More than 330 Palestinians have been killed since 8 July, officials in Gaza report. -- Authorised rallies took place in many French cities on Saturday. -- French President Francois Hollande said the ban on the Paris protest was needed to preserve "public order" after last weekend's clashes. -- The ban, which was considered rare in France, was criticised by some activists and the Greens party. -- In London, thousands of people also took part in a protest, calling for an end to Israel's ground campaign and rocket attacks on Gaza. - More,

آلمان خپلو ۱۶۸ افغان كاركوونكو ته پناه وركړه --- له آلماني ځواكونو سره هغه افغان كاركونكي چې له هغوى سره يې په افغانستان كې د ماموريت په دوارن كې كار كړى، ځينې يې د المان د دولت لخوا په قانوني ډول منل شوي او په المان كې د پنا اخيستو اجازه وركړل شوې. -- له آلماني ځواكونو سره د ۱۶۸ ځايي كاركوونكي له خپلو كورنيو سره چې ۳۷۷ تنه دي، په المان كې منل شوي دي چې اوس يې دغه هېواد ته سفر هم كړى. -- په افغانستان كې له الماني ځواكونو سره د كاركوونكو له ډلې څخه ټولټال ۹۳۷ ځايي افغانانو په المان كې د پنا غوښتنې لپاره عريضې وركړې، چې د الماني چارواكو په وينا پر ۹۰۸ غوښتنليكونو يې كار شوى چې ۳۱۳ عريضې منل شوې دي. -- د آلمان د دفاع وزارت ویاند د شنبې په ورځ د «شتوتگارت ناخ ریشتن» په نامه یوې آلمانۍ ورځپاڼې ته ویلي دي، چې مجموعا ۹۳۷ تنو ځایي افغانانو په آلمان کې د پنا غوښتنې عریضې وړاندې کړې وې. د هغه په وینا تر اوسه پورې پر ۹۰۸ غوښتنلیکونو باندې کار شوی دی، چې اوس ۳۱۳ عریضې منل شوې دي. -- په افغانستان کې د آلمان د ماموریت د پیل راهیسې تر اوسه په سلگونو افغانانو د محلي کارکوونکو لکه د آلمان له اردو سره د ترجمانانو او یا هم له نورو آلماني ادارو سره کار کړی او یا یې اوس هم کوي. دغه کسان انديښنه لري چې د طالبانو له لوري به د آلماني همکارانو په حیثت مجازات شي. له دې کبله هغوی هڅه كوي، چې له افغانستان څخه بهر ژوند وكړي. -- خبریال دات کام

Americans are abandoning their support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants --- A record number of unaccompanied minors have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border so far this year, and that's likely shifting the country's opinion about immigration policy. -- The majority of Americans now want the government to speed up the process by which it decides whether or not to deport undocumented workers in the country—even if it means deporting some people who would otherwise qualify for asylum, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. -- Republicans and Independents are significantly more likely to favor expediting the process—60 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Independents want to speed it up—while Democrats are roughly evenly split—46 percent favor expedition, but 47 percent would prefer to follow current immigration policy. - More, Roberto A. Ferdman,

Six Californias? ‘Absolutely madness,’ says this Democrat. --- There's a proposal to split California into six states. Good idea? -- No. It's not a good idea. It's absolutely madness. But California has this ballot by initiative system. So with signature gathering at a pretty low level, anybody can put anything on the ballot, unfortunately. - More,

Russia says it will bar entry to Moran, 12 others, to retaliate for U.S. punitive actions --- MOSCOW — Russia announced Saturday that it is barring 13 Americans, including Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.), from entering the country, just as Washington has blocked access for 13 Russian and Crimean officials in recent months. -- e Foreign Ministry also reiterated its pledge to counter the most recent round of U.S. economic sanctions with “response measures” of its own. -- The Obama administration on Wednesday announced tough new measures targeting major Russian banks and energy companies, a significant swath of the Russian defense industry and individuals it said were responsible for the continuing support of separatists battling government forces in eastern Ukraine. -- The sanctions came before the downing of a civilian Malaysia Airlines jet over rebel-held Ukrainian airspace Thursday, an act that President Obama called “an outrage of unspeakable proportions” and indirectly linked to Russia. -- “We have repeatedly stated that talking to us in the language of sanctions is useless,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. “Such steps will not remain without consequences.” --- Moran said in a statement that he thinks Russia’s action against him stemmed from his efforts to block U.S. helicopter purchases from Rosoboronexport, a Russian state arms dealer, a principal supplier of arms to the Syrian government. -- “While this does clarify my overseas travel plans, it seems that the Putin regime would be better served by addressing the consequences of encouraging and enabling Donetsk separatists to perform such a heinous act of cold blooded cruelty or utter incompetence that resulted in the mass murder of nearly 300 innocent civilians,” Moran’s statement said. -- More, Karoun Demirjian, Washingtonpost

Afghanistan Begins Audit of Presidential Election --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan election workers on Thursday began auditing the votes cast in last month’s presidential election runoff, monitored by American and United Nations observers. -- The audit of almost eight million ballots cast in the June 14 runoff was part of a deal brokered last weekend by Secretary of State John Kerry to ease a dispute between the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, that had threatened to fracture Afghanistan’s government only months before the NATO-led combat mission here is to formally end. Mr. Abdullah and Mr. Ghani also agreed to enact broad changes to Afghanistan’s system of government in the coming years. -- But first the audit must determine who will actually be Afghanistan’s next president. It is a huge undertaking that is expected to take three to six weeks and, officials cautioned, run into snags along the way. -- Increasing the international presence here to handle the large volume of votes to be audited has proved a challenge. Many of the roughly 30 foreign observers who took part in Thursday’s initial auditing session were United Nations officials and American development experts who had been pulled off other projects. An additional 70 observers are being flown in from Europe and the United States, and they should be in place by next week, officials said. The American-led military coalition is flying ballot boxes from across Afghanistan to Kabul so they can be audited. -- The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast throughout the day, has further complicated the audit. With sunrise coming before 5 a.m., and sunset not taking place until after 7 p.m., many Afghans are eating a single meal at the end of the day. For them, working a full eight hours is becoming an increasing challenge as the month progresses. -- To accommodate Ramadan, Afghan and foreign officials are hoping to use two shifts of workers so that ballot boxes can be audited from early morning until 5 p.m. The officials said they expected the entire operation to be up and running by next week. -- On Thursday, election workers and international observers went through only a tiny fraction of the votes cast at roughly 22,000 polling places across Afghanistan. They began in the early afternoon, after a final round of meetings between the campaigns, American and United Nations officials, and the leadership of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission. -- President Hamid Karzai, who had set Aug. 2 as the inauguration date of his successor, has said that he wants the audit done as quickly as possible. American and European officials agree, and they say a new president will ideally be in office before NATO countries meet in September. - More, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, NYTimes

Saturday, July 19, 2014

America’s top Afghan general admits 'significant' chance of al-Qaeda return --- General Joseph Dunford reveals doubts over withdrawal timetable and says he would have preferred not to be tied to schedule that requires all troops to be out by 2017 --- The general leading Nato’s war in Afghanistan has warned senators that al-Qaeda could return to the country and criticised the way the American withdrawal is based on a rigid timeframe. -- General Joseph Dunford’s doubts underline questions about whether Afghanistan is ready to go it alone when international combat troops end operations this year. -- He took command 18 months ago and has seen the number of American troops drop from 100,000 to 30,000, a figure that will fall to 9,800 by the end of the year as local forces lead the fight against the Taliban. -- Appearing before the Senate’s armed services committee, however, he said he wished Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw all troops by 2017 had been based on conditions on the ground rather than a fixed schedule. -- “All of us in uniform, including the Afghans, would have preferred that had been a bit more ambiguous,” he said. --- Although he paid tribute to growing effectiveness of Afghanistan’s army he also questions their ability to fulfill all the functions of American soldiers. -- “There’s no doubt that the Afghan forces of today are not capable of conducting the operations we’re conducting today,” he said. -- The result could be that Afghanistan reverts to a terrorist safe haven. -- When asked how likely it was that al-Qaeda and affiliated fighters could return, he rated the possibility as “significant”. -- Gen Dunford appeared as part of his confirmation to take charge of the Marine Corps when he leaves his current role. -- But with a political crisis still far from solved and a string of Taliban attacks in recent weeks, it was perhaps inevitable that the hearing would be dominated by questions about Afghanistan. -- Washington is still waiting for a security deal to be signed with Kabul allowing US forces to stay beyond the end of the year. -- Republican senators used the occasion to voice their own concerns. -- John McCain, who recently visited the country, said Afghans told him they felt they were being abandoned. -- “The fact is, we need a conditions-based decision,” he said. “Right now, we are not confident the Afghans can take up the complete burden for their own security.” -- The past week has seen a string of attacks. The Taliban launched an assault on Kabul airport on Thursday. Planes were diverted although gunmen failed to penetrate the facility. -- On Tuesday, a car bomb killed 42 people at a busy market in the east of the country. - More, Rob Crilly, Telegraph

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of letting Haqqani militants escape crackdown --- Afghan officials have accused Pakistan of letting Afghan militants escape a complex crackdown on insurgent hideouts, after a massive truck bomb killed dozens of civilians in a crowded bazaar earlier this week. -- The vehicle was packed with explosives across the border and driven into Afghanistan even as the Pakistani military battled to extend their control of North Waziristan beyond the administrative headquarters of Miran Shah, according to a spokesman for Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security. -- "The Haqqani network was behind this attack," Abdul Haseeb Sadique said of the bombing on Tuesday. "It was planned and designed in Miran Shah. The aim of this attack was to inflict maximum casualties, regardless of whether they were civilians or military." -- The Haqqani network is perhaps the wealthiest and most ruthless of several Taliban-linked groups that operate out of western Pakistan; much of their support comes from their home province, Khost. -- The Afghan government has long accused its neighbour's intelligence service of supporting insurgents with money, arms, advice and safe havens. Islamabad says the accusations are groundless and it has no control over areas that were ceded long ago to groups fighting their own state. -- Operation Zarb-e-Azb, a long-delayed effort to seize back the area from militant groups, began on 15 June. It has effectively emptied the area of civilians, with nearly a million fleeing within Pakistan and tens of thousands across the border into Afghanistan, raising worries that insurgents might be lying low among them. -- The Pakistani army insists that all insurgents will be targeted and says more than 400 have been killed so far, but a senior Afghan intelligence official said he was not aware of any Afghans among the dead or captured. -- "Haqqani network has planned and has managed to organise such a large, spectacular intelligence-led operation inside Waziristan … coordinate the transport to Afghanistan, cross the border, come to the attack area and blow it up," the official said. -- "It tells us a story that something is wrong, either the operation is a failure or there is an intention that the Haqqanis are not going to be the target." The official said he had reports of Haqqani leaders evacuated to safety and small "safe havens" set up for lower-level fighters to escape the crackdown. -- Tuesday's attack was far beyond the capacities of local Taliban, and fits with a pattern of similar assaults and attempted attacks by Haqqani fighters. Authorities have intercepted five truck bombs in the past 16 months, mostly heading for Kabul, and one other reached its target in a province just south of Kabul, killing dozens in an attack on the governor's compound. - More, Guardian,

مجلس افغانستان به اعضای کمیسیون نظارت بر قانون اساسی رای اعتماد نداد --- حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان سه عضو از هفت عضو کمیسیون نظارت بر قانون اساسی این کشور را به منظور گرفتن رای اعتماد به این مجلس نمایندگان این کشور معرفی‌کرد که هر سه عضو این نهاد رای اعتماد نگرفتند. -- در نشست امروز مجلس نمایندگان ۱۴۹ نماینده از کل ۲۴۹ نماینده حضور داشتند که هیچ یک از این سه نفر نتوانستند که ۵۰+۱ رای از نمایندگان حاضر را بگیرند. -- براساس ماده صد و پنجاه وهفتم قانون اساسی افغانستان، "کمیسیون مستقل نظارت بر تطبیق قانون اساسی مطابق به احکام قانون تشکیل می‌گردد." -- "اعضای این کمیسیون از طرف رئیس جمهوری به تایید مجلس نمایندگان تعیین می‌گردند." -- بعد از تصویب قانونی اساسی افغانستان در سال ۱۳۸۲ این کمیسیون هفت سال بعد در سال ۱۳۸۹ بعد به مجلس نمایندگان افغانستان معرفی شد. -- آقای کرزی، گل رحمن قاضی رئیس سابق، محمد امین احمدی و محبوبه حقوق‌مل از اعضای سابق این کمیسیون را مجدداً انتخاب و امروز رسما توسط محمد یونس قانونی معاون اول رئیس جمهوری به مجلس نمایندگان افغانستان معرفی شدند. -- گل رحمان قاضی خطاب به مجلس نمایندگان افغانستان گفت که رئیس جمهور کرزی با دو نامزد انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان نیز درباره معرفی این سه عضو مشورت کرده که آنان نیز با معرفی این سه تن موافق بوده‌اند. -- محبوبه حقوقمل قبل از اینکه به عنوان عضو کمیسیون مستقل نظارت بر قانون اساسی معرفی شود، استاد دانشگاه کابل و عضو سابق مجلس سنا بود. گل رحمان قاضی، استاد دانشگاه کابل و رئیس سابق اتحادیه حقوقدانان، محمد امین احمدی، رئیس دانشگاه خصوصی ابن سینا و عضو سابق کمیسیون قانون اساسی بود. -- ظیفه اصلی این کمیسیون نظارت بر اجرای کامل قانون اساسی و در صورت لازم، تفسیر مواد این قانون است و نبود این کمیسیون در گذشته منجر به بروز جنجال های بسیاری میان حکومت و پارلمان بر سر چگونگی تفسیر قانون اساسی شده بود. - BBC,

Two Israeli soldiers die in Gaza clash; Palestinian toll tops 300 --- (Reuters) - Two Israeli soldiers were killed in a cross-border attack by Hamas militants on Saturday, the army said, as the Palestinian death toll from the conflict rose above 300 with no diplomatic solution in sight. -- The Israeli military said four other soldiers were wounded in the raid by fighters who had used a concealed tunnel to reach Israel. One Hamas gunman was killed, while the rest of the group managed to escape back into the Gaza Strip, the military added. -- Israel sent ground forces into Hamas-controlled Gaza on Thursday after 10 days of air and naval barrages failed to stop rocket fire from the Palestinian territory. -- It has vowed to destroy the tunnel network and hunt down the militants' stockpiles of missiles. -- The land incursion has so far failed to subdue Hamas and its allies, who fired more than 90 rockets into Israel on Saturday, the Israeli army said. One killed a man and wounded two children in a southern Bedouin Arab village in Israel, police said. -- Gaza officials said at least 335 Palestinians, including 70 children, have been killed in the 12-day conflict - about 100 in the last 48 hours alone. On Israel's side, three soldiers and two civilians have died. -- Diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire involving, amongst others, Egypt, Qatar, France and the United Nations, have failed to make headway. Hamas rejected an initial attempt by Cairo last week to end the fighting. -- The sound of explosions rocked Gaza through the day, while sirens repeatedly sounded in towns and cities in southern and central Israel, warning of approaching missiles. -- Eight members of a Palestinian family, including a six-month old baby and two children aged three and 13, died overnight when an Israeli shell hit their house in Beit Hanoun, in northeastern Gaza, officials said. -- "Oh, God. Oh, God," a shocked relative said, repeatedly knocking his head against a wall as rescuers searched for survivors. -- Hostilities between the two sides escalated following the killing last month of three Jewish students that Israel blames on Hamas. Hamas neither confirmed nor denied involvement. The apparent revenge murder of a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem, for which Israel has charged three Jews, further fuelled tensions. - More,

Military did not support fixing Afghan exit date - U.S. commander --- (Reuters) - U.S. military officials would have preferred the United States not announce a date for ending its troop presence in Afghanistan, as the White House did in May, the outgoing commander of U.S. forces there said on Thursday. -- General Joe Dunford, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, was asked at a Senate committee hearing whether President Barack Obama's announcement that almost all U.S. troops would be gone by 2017 had damaged morale among Afghan soldiers. -- "I think all of us in uniform, to include the Afghans, would have preferred that that be a bit more ambiguous," Dunford said. -- He was responding to a question by Republican Senator John McCain Of Arizona, a persistent critic of Obama's Afghanistan policy, during a hearing on Dunford's nomination to become the next head of the U.S. Marine Corps. -- The White House announced in May that if a bilateral troop deal is signed in time, it plans to keep a residual force of 9,800 soldiers in Afghanistan after the current international military mission ends in December. -- That force would gradually be reduced and by the end of 2016 there would be only a small number of soldiers left at the U.S. embassy under the authority of the U.S. ambassador, as the United States had in Baghdad after its 2011 withdrawal from Iraq. -- McCain asked whether any senior military leaders had recommended setting a fixed date for a full pullout of the U.S. military force, and whether Dunford would have preferred that future troops levels be based on evolving security conditions. -- "None that I know of, senator. And - and I think we still plan to have, as you know, some presence after 2017. But no one recommended zero," he said. -- "Every military leader would want to have the conditions on the ground and the assumptions be revalidated as a transition takes place," he said. -- As foreign troops leave, Afghanistan's military is taking charge of the fight against Taliban and other militants, even as the country grapples with uncertainty resulting from a disputed second round of presidential voting last month. -- Early on Thursday, militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked Kabul airport. -- Dunford said Afghan security forces, while greatly improved, may be unable to conduct effective operations against militants when the United States departs. -- "There's no doubt that the Afghan forces today would not be capable of conducting the kind of operations we're conducting to pressure on the network" of militants in Afghanistan, Dunford said. He said he expected that Afghan forces would not have that capability by 2017 if the current militant threat persisted. - More,

Ukraine, rebels argue over wreck, Europeans give Putin "last chance" --- (Reuters) - Ukraine accused Russia and pro-Moscow rebels on Saturday of destroying evidence to cover up their guilt in the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner that has accelerated a showdown between the Kremlin and Western powers. -- As militants kept international monitors away from wreckage and scores of bodies festered for a third day, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the rebels to cooperate and insisted that a U.N.-mandated investigation must not leap to conclusions. Moscow denies involvement and has pointed a finger at Kiev's military. -- The Dutch government, whose citizens made up more than half the 298 aboard MH17 from Amsterdam, said it was "furious" at the manhandling of corpses strewn for miles over open country and asked Ukraine's president for help to bring "our people" home. -- After U.S. President Barack Obama said the loss of the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight showed it was time to end the conflict, Germany called it Moscow's last chance to cooperate. -- European powers seemed to swing behind Washington's belief Russia's separatist allies were to blame. That might speed new trade sanctions on Moscow, without waiting for definitive proof. -- "He has one last chance to show he means to help," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said after a telephone call to Putin. -- Britain, which lost 10 citizens, said Prime Minister David Cameron agreed with Rutte that the European Union, warier than Washington of hurting its own economy by imposing sanctions, should reconsider its approach due to evidence of rebel guilt. On Friday, Cameron had urged caution before an investigation. -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the most powerful figure in the EU, spoke to Putin on Saturday, urging his cooperation. Merkel's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, told Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "Moscow may have a last chance now to show that it really is seriously interested in a solution." -- "Now is the moment for everyone to stop and think to themselves what might happen if we don't stop the escalation." -- Germany, reliant like other EU states on Russian energy and more engaged in Russian trade than the United States, has been reluctant to escalate a confrontation with Moscow that has revived memories of the Cold War. But with military action not seen as an option, economic leverage is a vital instrument. - More,

Afghanistan worried about safety of its airspace after Ukraine crash --- (Reuters) - As flying over conflict zones comes under scrutiny following the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine, Afghanistan, one of the world's most dangerous places, is worried airlines might once again opt to avoid its airspace. -- Afraid of being shot down, some airlines have decided to circumnavigate the area where pro-Russian rebels are fighting Ukrainian force after the crash, raising concern that companies could follow suit in other conflict zones such as Afghanistan. -- The Taliban, equipped mainly with small weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, do not have the military capacity to down aircraft at cruising altitude. -- But the militants frequently fire short-range rockets in attack on airports - the main worry for commercial airlines flying in to the country. -- "The security situation at Kabul airport is bad," said Hikmatullah Qwanch, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation and Aviation. -- "If there are more attacks on the airports and Afghanistan's sky is not safe, then it will soon affect operations." -- The incident prompted India's SpiceJet to cancel flights to Afghanistan, the ministry said, adding however that the suspension was not related to the events in Ukraine. -- The downing of the Malaysian jetliner in an eastern Ukrainian region may have little relevance to the current situation in Afghanistan but it has certainly added to a sense of nervousness among global airlines. -- "Bad security of the Kabul International Airport resulted in SpiceJet cancelling flights to Afghanistan on Friday and there are rumours that Turkish Airlines, FlyDubai and Emirates also want to suspend their flights to Afghanistan until the security situation gets better," said Hikmatullah. -- A Turkish Airlines official said for now there were no such plans. An Emirates official said all flights were operating normally. -- "If the situation gets worse or attacks on Kabul airport become routine then we will stop our flights to Kabul," the Emirates official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. -- No foreign airlines dared flying to or over Afghanistan at the height of the war against Taliban insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion but in recent years business has boomed, with more airlines opening routes to the capital, Kabul, and numerous airliners crossing over the country every day. -- But security is deteriorating. Galvanized by the expected withdrawal of foreign forces this year, insurgents have been particularly active, attacking Kabul airport twice in just over a year and firing rockets at its facilities almost weekly. - More,

اشرف غني احمدزي: له هیچا سره ایتلافي حکومت نه جوړوم --- ډاکټر اشرف غني احمدزى وايې، چې دولس په رايو معامله نه کوي او نه هم ايتلافي حکومت جوړه وي. نوموړي وويل: (له عبدالله سره موافقې ته رسیدل اصولي دي اما اصولي پدې معنا نه چې سهامي شرکت او یا هم ایتلافي حکومت منځته راوړو.) -- دغه څرګندوني دولسمشرۍ دټاکنو مخکښ نوماند ډاکټر اشرف غني احمدزى دپکتيکا ارګون ولسوالۍ ته دسفر پرمهال دغونډې ګډونوالو ته کړې دي. -- احمدزي چې دپیښې ځای یې له نږدې وکوت، پېښه دردونکي و بلله او ټپيانو ته يې دژر روغتيا غوښتنه وکړه. دارګون خلکو له اشرف غني احمزي نه مننه وکړه او له هغه یې وغوښتله چې واک ته ورسیږي نو امنیت دي راولي. - بینوا

Afghan Businesses: Election Season Caused Economic Hardship --- The Afghan presidential election has been a financial disappointment. Businesses say revenue is down, and even companies you'd think would make money off a campaign, say they're in the red. -- Afghanistan is a little closer to having a new president. The country has launched an audit of every VOTE cast in last month's runoff election to ensure the outcome is free fraud. Now, in many countries election season means big money for pollsters and media consultants and restaurants and local TV stations. But as the fight for power in Afghanistan continues, businesses across Kabul have faced hardship. NPR's Sean Carberry reports. -- SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: Abdullah Abdullah's one of the two candidates waiting for the results. He lives in the middle of a busy Kabul neighborhood with everything from furniture stores to fruit stands nearby. There's always been a checkpoint just outside his house, but since the campaign, additional metal gates and concrete blast walls have sprung up. Ahmad Fuad has an ice cream store close to Abdullah's house. Even though officials and tribal elders have been flocking, it's not helping local vendors like Fuad. -- CARBERRY: The 30-year-old says both directions to his shop have been cut off from regular traffic. -- FUAD: (Through translator) When guests arrive, they park their vehicles here in front of my shop and block the view. The bodyguards come in, sit in the shop and leave without paying anything. --- CARBERRY: But economic hardship has hardly been confined to Abdullah's neighbors. The uncertainty over whether the election will be settled peacefully has put spending on hold. Many construction sites have gone silent and shopkeepers here outside Kabul airport say they too are hurting. - More, Sean Carberry, NPR,

Friday, July 18, 2014

Zahir Shah Documentary فلم مستند از مرحوم محمد ظاهر شاه --- کلپ های خبری از دوران مرحوم محمد ظاهر شاه پادشاه اسبق افغانستان More,

مستند: یک روز با حامد کرزی در ارگ --- سیزده سال پیش حامد کرزی یک چهره مخالف خارج از کشور بود که کمتر کسی او را می شاخت. او اکنون به یکی از شناخته شده ترین رهبران جهان تبدیل شده است. او که نخستین رئیس جمهوری افغانستانِ پس از طالبان است، این کشور را در دوره حساس بازسازی رهبری کرده است. او حالا آماده واگذاری قدرت است، در حالی که نیروهای خارجی هم سرانجام آماده ترک افغانستان هستند. آقای کرزی از مینه بکتاش و اِمل پسرلی از بخش افغانستان بی بی سی و همچنین لیز دوسِت گزارشگر ارشد بین المللی بی بی سی دعوت کرد تا یک روز را با او در ارگ یا کاخ ریاست جمهوری بگذرانند و باهم، نگاهی به فراز و نشیب های بیش از یک دهه زمامداری او بیندازند - More, BBC,

Karzai Speaks with VOA on Afghan Political Tensions, Relations with West --- KABUL — These are the last days of Hamid Karzai’s presidency in Afghanistan. The election to replace him is mired in controversy and accusations of vote rigging. As the country awaits a high-stakes U.N.-supervised election audit, Karzai spoke with VOA Afghan service correspondent Shaista Lami about his thoughts on the current political situation, his tumultuous relationship with western countries, and the future of his country and his own political career. --- A transcript of the interview in English follows. - More,

کرزي د ارگون له قربانيانو سره د مرستو ژمنه وکړه --- د افغانستان ولسمشر حامد کرزی د پکتیکا ولایت د ارګون هغې سیمې ته رسېدلی، چې د تېرې سې شنبې پر ورځ یوې لویې کلېکاږل موټربم چاودنې تر ۴۰ ډېر ولسي وګړي ووژل او لسګونه نور یې ټپیان کړل. -- د ولسمشرۍ ویاند ایمل فیضي بي بي سي ته وویل، حامد کرزي د قربانیانو له کورنیو سره د مرستې ژمنه وکړه. -- ښاغلي فیضي دا هم وویل، حامد کرزي په برید کې له هغو هټیوالو او خلکو سره هم د مرستې ژمنه وکړه، چې دوکانونه او بازار یې په برید کې له منځه تللي دي. -- حامد کرزي په سیمه کې د ویجاړ شوي جومات او دوکانونو د رغولو په برخه کې له زیانمنو شویو سره هم د نغدي مرستې او ځمکې د ورکولو ژمنه کړې ده. -- ايمل فيضي بي بي سي ته وويل ولسمشر له هغه سړي سره په غېږ روغبړ وکړ چې پنځه زامن يې په هغه پېښه کې وژل شوي و. -- ایمل فیضي زیاتوي، له کرزي سره په دې سفر کې د کابینې ځینې غړي او یو شمېر لوړپوړي چارواکي هم ملګري دي. -- تېره ورځ (پنجشنبه) د پکتیا په رزمت ولسوالۍ کې د حامد کرزي کلېکاږل پر خاص ګارد وسله والو طالبانو برید وکړ، چې څو ساعته یې دوام وکړ. -- دا برید په هغه سیمه کې شوی و، چې تر ډېره د طالبانو تر نفوذ لاندې ده. -- د کرزي ګارد غوښتل د زرمت له لارې د پکتیکا ارګون ته ولاړ شي او هلته د حامد کرزي د سفر لپاره لاره هواره کړي. - BBC,

Obama says Malaysian plane shot down by missile from rebel-held part of Ukraine --- President Obama said Friday that a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying nearly 300 people, including at least one U.S. citizen, was evidently shot down by an antiaircraft missile fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. -- In a White House news conference a day after the Boeing 777 crashed en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Obama stopped short of saying who fired the missile or directly blaming Russia for the deaths, which he called “an outrage of unspeakable proportions.” -- But he said the separatists “have received a steady flow of support from Russia,” including heavy arms, training and antiaircraft weapons. Pointing to rebel claims to have shot down several Ukrainian aircraft in recent weeks, including a Ukrainian fighter jet, Obama said it was “not possible for these separatists to function the way they’re functioning . . . without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training, and that is coming from Russia.” -- Russian President Vladimir Putin “has the most control over that situation, and so far at least, he has not exercised it,” Obama said. --- He spoke after U.S. officials disclosed a preliminary intelligence assessment indicating that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was likely shot down by pro-Russian separatists with an SA-11 missile. The SA-11 is an early version of the Buk antiaircraft system that was previously identified by Ukrainian authorities as the weapon used to bring down the airliner. --- Separately, military and intelligence officials said Friday that the United States has gathered a significant body of evidence that Ukrainian separatists have been trained on Russian territory in recent weeks to fire antiaircraft missiles. -- The president called for “a credible international investigation” into the tragedy and urged Russia to cooperate with it. - More, Washingtonpost

UN reports serious human rights violations, potential war crimes in Iraq --- 18 July 2014 – The group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its allies are imposing “untold hardship and suffering” on Iraqi civilians, the United Nations said today in a report that also casts doubt as to whether Iraqi security forces (ISF) and associated forces have done enough to protect civilians during hostilities. -- The report, compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN human rights office (OHCHR), is based on direct monitoring activities as well as a variety of sources, including civilian victims and witnesses, of events between 5 June and 5 July -- It documents ISIL and allies carrying out “large-scale killings, injuries and destruction and damage of livelihoods and property,” according to OHCHR, including in “markets, restaurants, shops, cafes, playgrounds, schools, places of worship and other public spaces where civilians gather in large numbers.” -- “ISIL and associated armed groups have carried out many of these attacks in a systematic manner heedless of the impact on civilians, or have systematically targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure with the intention of killing and wounding as many civilians as possible,” the report states. -- At least 1,531 civilians were killed in Iraq last month and 1,763 were wounded, according to UN figures. Some 1.2 million Iraqis have been internally displaced as a result of the violence – including over 600,000 since the beginning of June alone. -- The report also documents violations committed by ISF and associated forces, including summary executions and extrajudicial killings of prisoners and detainees, “which may also amount to war crimes.” -- Report authors also raised concerns about whether ISF and affiliated forces adhered to the principle of distinction and proportionality. -- “International law requires that both the Iraqi State and armed groups take all measures to minimize the impact of violence on civilians,” said Nickolay Mladenov, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq and head of UNAMI. - More,

Afghanistan: UN strongly condemns deadly attacks against civilians in Kabul, Paktika --- The Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations mission in Afghanistan strongly condemned two attacks that took place today, one in Kabul and the other in the eastern province of Paktika, which have killed and injured scores of civilians. -- The suicide attack in the district of Urgun in Paktika, in which a vehicle packed with explosives detonated at a busy market, is said to have killed at least 43 civilians, including eight children, and injured at least 95 others. -- The death toll makes it the worst single attack this year, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement. -- Mr. Ban strongly condemned the “despicable criminal act” and said such attacks, directed against civilians, are serious violations of international humanitarian law, according to his spokesperson. -- His Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, also decried the attack, highlighting its timing: “Today's appalling attack during Ramadan – an occasion that should observed in a spirit of peace and compassion – should be condemned in the strongest possible terms and the perpetrators must be held accountable.” -- The Mission noted that the Taliban denied their involvement in the attack and have stated they intend to investigate it. --- Meanwhile, the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack on a shuttle bus carrying civilian government workers in the capital, Kabul. The insurgent group detonated a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED) against the bus, killing two people and injuring another five. -- “This unlawful attack deliberately targeted civilians on their way to work,” said Mr. Kubiš. “Civilians should be able to go about their daily lives, including going to their place of work, without the risk of such horrific violence.” -- The Mission and Mr. Ban expressed heartfelt condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in these attacks and wished a speedy recovery to those who have been injured. -- UNAMA also reiterated that international humanitarian law, to which all parties to the armed conflict are bound, prohibits the use of indiscriminate and disproportionate tactics, in particular, improvised explosive devices. - More,

China appoints special envoy for Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that it had appointed a special envoy for Afghanistan, underscoring Beijing's concerns that the withdrawal of NATO troops will leave a hotbed of militancy on its doorstep. -- Sun Yuxi, a former ambassador to both Afghanistan and India, has been named to the new position and will have "close communication" with Afghanistan and other relevant parties, the ministry said in a statement. -- "China and Afghanistan are traditional friendly neighbors. China pays great attention to developments in Afghanistan and is committed to deepening both countries' strategic partnership, and so decided to appoint a special envoy," it added. -- The envoy's appointment will also help "ensure lasting peace, stability and development for Afghanistan and the region", the ministry said, without providing further details. -- China and Afghanistan are connected by a narrow mountainous corridor that is almost impassable and Beijing has traditionally focused on mining and mineral deals in Afghanistan as Western forces battled Taliban insurgents. But officials say that China is emerging as a key strategic player. -- One of China's chief worries is that Uighur militants who want a separate state in western China's Xinjiang region will step up their fight by exploiting the security vacuum left after the bulk of NATO forces withdraw by the end of the year. -- Hundreds of Uighur fighters are believed to be holed up in rugged, lawless tribal areas straddling Afghanistan and Pakistan. -- China has appointed special envoys for troubled regions before, to mixed results. - More,

حامد کرزی برای دلجویی از بازماندگان انفجار ارگون به پکتیکا سفر کرد --- حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان با هیئت بلند رتبه دولتی روز جمعه، ٢٧ سرطان/تیر به ولایت پکتیا در جنوب شرق افغانستان سفر کرده است. -- هدف این سفر دیدار و دلجویی از خانواده‌های قربانیان کلیک حمله انتحاری روز سه شنبه ۲۴ سرطان/تیر ولسوالی ارگون ولایت پکتیکا عنوان شده است که در آن دست کم چهل و دو نفر کشته و ده ها نفر دیگر زخمی شدند. -- ایمل فیضی سخنگوی حامد کرزی از ولسوالی ارگون به بی‌بی‌سی گفت که رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در دیدار با خانواده‌های قربانیان این رویداد وعده کرد که بازار ولسوالی از نو ساخته و فروشگاه‌ها، مرکز فروش و مسجدی را که در این رویداد از بین رفته است بازسازی می‌شود. -- او می‌گوید که رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در این سفر با یکی از بازماندگان رویداد ارگون دیدار کرد که پنج فرزند خود را در انفجار روز سه شنبه از دست داده است. -- انفجار یک خودروی بمب‌گذاری شده در ولسوالی ارگون علاوه کشته و زخمی شدن دهها غیرنظامی، تعداد زیادی فروشگاه در یک بازار پر ازدحام با خاک یکسان شدند. -- وزارت دفاع و دفتر ریاست جمهوری افغانستان تعداد کشته شدگان این رویداد را ۴۲ نفر اعلام کرده اما وزارت امور داخله/کشور افغانستان گفته است که تعداد کشته‌ها به ۹۲ نفر می‌رسد. در ساعات اولیه پس از انفجار ارتش افغانستان هم تعداد کشته شدگان این رویداد را نزدیک به ۹۰ نفر اعلام کرده بود. -- مسئولیت این بمب‌گذاری انتحاری را هنوز هیچ گروهی بر عهده نگرفته اما اداره اطلاعات افغانستان آن را کار شبکه حقانی دانسته است. این شبکه در برخی از ولایت‌ها از جمله پکتیا و پکتیا در جنوب شرق افغانستان که با پاکستان مرز مشترک دارند در کنار سایر گروه‌های مسلح با نیروهای دولتی می‌جنگد. -- سخنگوی آقای کرزی گفت که به خانواده‌های قربانیان وعده پرداخت پول نقد و زمین داده شده است. وزیران کابینه و تعدادی از مقام‌های ارشد دولتی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان را در این سفر همراهی می‌کنند. --- روز گذشته پنجشنبه ۲۶ سرطان/تیر نیز گروهی از محافظان ویژه حامد کرزی برای آماده ساختن محل برای سفر حامد کرزی به ارگون می‌رفتند در مسیر ولایت پکتیکا در ولسوالی زرمت پکتیا با کلیک کمین گروه طالبان مواجه شدند که به اثر آن چهار محافظ آقای کرزی زخمی شدند. -- سفر امروز رئیس جمهور کرزی به ولایت پکتیکا از پیش اعلام نشده است. یک خبرنگار محلی در ولایت پکتیا به بی‌بی‌سی گفت که اجازه شرکت در مراسم دیدار رئیس جمهوری افغانستان با خانواده‌های قربانیان این رویداد داده نشده است. - BBC,

Steve Coll -- Dodging a Coup in Kabul, For Now --- “If they keep their commitments,” President Barack Obama said on Wednesday, referring to the two remaining contenders for the Presidency of Afghanistan, then the country “will witness the first democratic transfer of power” in its history. -- Secretary of State John Kerry forged those commitments last weekend, when he flew in to prevent a coup attempt and succeeded, for now. His dealmaking salvaged the possibility that, almost thirteen years after the United States and its allies installed Hamid Karzai in power, there would be a manageable political transition in Kabul. -- What are the odds? Four of the last six rulers of Afghanistan died violently at the hands of successors. Another, Mullah Mohammad Omar, slipped the noose and escaped into exile, where he remains, presumably in Pakistan. The possible “first” President Obama described must be considered against that recent history. The stakes for the United States and Europe are high: if Kerry’s deal collapses, Afghanistan faces the prospect of a sudden and violent civil war, one that would destabilize Pakistan and other neighbors, and renew the country’s attractiveness as a haven for international militants. -- Yet there is reason to think that Kerry’s compromise will stick. For more than a year, up until a few weeks ago, Afghanistan’s factional leaders—the United States military prefers to call them “power brokers” these days, not “warlords”—had acted as if they believed that the trouble of a civil war would be considerably greater than the ignominy of sharing power with one another, no matter who won the Presidential election. -- On Monday, July 7th, that changed suddenly. A network of northern Tajik governors, former intelligence and defense officials, along with an unknown number of army and police commanders, apparently activated a plan for a coup to install their favored Presidential candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister. They believed that Abdullah’s opponents had stolen the vote. Their target would have been the presidential palace in Kabul occupied by Hamid Karzai. -- There is little doubt the coup makers could have succeeded; they have the lion’s share of Kabul’s guns. The wider war they would have triggered would have turned hard and bloody, however. The northern militias would have found themselves in a conflict not only with the Taliban but also with previously pro-government Pashtuns aligned with Karzai and his favored Presidential candidate, Ashraf Ghani. The progress Afghanistan has made in health, education, life expectancy, communication, and urbanization since 2001 would have crumbled quickly. --- At a critical moment, however, apparently late in the night in Washington, President Obama telephoned Abdullah and talked him and his armed backers into standing down. After a shaky few days, during which it was not clear whether Abdullah was in full control of his supporters, Kerry landed in Kabul and opened negotiations. -- To address clear evidence of fraud in the second round of Presidential balloting, every vote cast in that round will now be audited under international monitoring. To prevent a revolt after the recount is completed, the candidates have agreed on a power-sharing formula, under which the eventual loser will have the right to become prime minister—a new, powerful position—or to name one of his supporters to the job. --- The deal shows what an able Secretary of State can do when the parties to a negotiation for the most part want to find equilibrium. That is not the case in Israel and Syria, where Kerry had earlier struggled with herculean diplomacy, and it is probably not the case in Iraq today, either. --- In Afghanistan, however, the incentives for compromise had always looked stronger. Afghanistan is a ward of the international system. It receives billions of dollars in international aid to pay salaries for its security services. Its weak state would not function without outside subsidy. The power brokers behind Abdullah and Ghani all benefit from international support. And the Afghan public around them has a living memory of isolation and perpetual violence, during the civil war of the nineteen-nineties; they would prefer to reclaim the part of their history during the middle of the twentieth century characterized by peaceful independence. -- Still, the pressures over the next several weeks will be great. The loser of the vote audit is sure to doubt the result’s authenticity. That suspicion will create fresh pressure on the part of Kerry’s plan that is designed to empower the second-place finisher—and that part of the deal seems worryingly vague and incomplete. -- The question facing what used to be known as the Shura Nizar, or the Northern Alliance, is whether, if Abdullah loses the final count, the alliance can achieve more by compromise than by coup-making. The objective answer is yes, but there will be those of senior rank who will argue otherwise. - More,

Israel starts Gaza ground offensive --- The Israeli military has begun a ground offensive against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, stepping up its 11-day-old military operation. -- Troops and tanks were sent into Gaza to deal "a significant blow to Hamas", Israel said. -- Troops and tanks were sent into Gaza to deal "a significant blow to Hamas", Israel said. -- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the invasion after days of intensive rocket fire and air strikes between the two sides. -- Gaza's health ministry said 11 Palestinians had been killed since the ground offensive began on Thursday night. -- A five-month-old child was among the dead, Palestinian medics told AFP news agency. Israel said it had killed 14 "terrorists" overnight. -- .Israel meanwhile suffered its first military fatality, with the death of a soldier during the invasion, it said. -- Some 258 Palestinians - three-quarters of them civilians - have died since the start of the wider Israeli operation on 8 July, officials in Gaza say. -- An Israeli civilian was killed from mortar fire, and several Israelis have been seriously injured, Israeli medics say. -- More, BBC,

Thursday, July 17, 2014

محافظان ویژه رئیس جمهوری افغانستان با کمین گروه طالبان مواجه شدند --- کاروان نیروهای محافظ حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان در ولایت جنوب شرقی پکتیای افغانستان با کمین افراد مسلح مخالف دولت مواجه شدند. -- ایمل فیضی سخنگوی حامد کرزی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان به بی‌بی‌سی فارسی گفت که این نیروها به طرف ولسوالی ارگون ولایت پکتیکا در حرکت بودند و می‌خواستند برای سفر حامد کرزی برای دیدن محل انفجار روز سه شنبه، آمادگی بگیرند. -- معمولا گروهی از محافظان ویژه آقای کرزی یک روز قبل از سفر او به ولایات می‌روند، این گروه‌ها متشکل از صد تا صد و بیست محافظ ویژه حامد کرزی می‌باشند. -- آقای فیضی گفت که در درگیری میان کاروان نیروهای محافظتی حامد کرزی و افراد طالبان چهار محافظ رئیس جمهور کرزی زخمی شده‌اند. او گفت که به دنبال درگیری نیروهای پلیس و ارتش به کمک کاروان محافظان ریاست جمهوری شتافتند و درگیری پایان یافت. -- سفر احتمالی حامد کرزی به پکتیکا برای دلجویی از بستگان قربانیان حمله انتحاری روز سه شنبه از پیش اعلام نشده بود. -- ریاست جمهوری می‌گوید که نیروهای امنیت ملی و ارتش محافظان رئیس جمهوری را در سفر به ولایت پکتیا همراهی می‌کردند. --- مسئولیت حمله به کاروان محافظان ویژه حامد کرزی را تا هنوز گروهی به عهده نگرفته است. -- این رویداد در حالی گزارش می‌شود که دو روز پیش نیز کارمندان دفتر حامد کرزی در کابل هدف یک بمب کنترل از راه دور قرار گرفتند. در این رویداد دو کارمند بخش مطبوعاتی ریاست جمهوری کشته و پنج نفر دیگر زخمی شدند. -- افغانستان در روزهای اخیر و پس از برگزاری دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری با افزایش ناامنی روبرو بوده است. - BBC,

U.S. Military Didn't Seek Afghan Pullout In 2017 --- WASHINGTON (AP) — Military commanders did not recommend that the White House announce the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2017 as the president ordered, the top U.S. commander there told senators Thursday. -- Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said U.S. and Afghan military leaders would have preferred to see American officials be "a bit more ambiguous" about the troop numbers for 2017 and not telegraph to the enemy that international forces would leave. -- Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Dunford laid out a sober assessment of the Afghan security forces, saying there will still be critical aviation and intelligence-gathering gaps in their ability to conduct counterterrorism operations in 2016. -- He said the Afghan special forces would not be capable on their own by 2017 of applying adequate pressure on al-0aida. And he said that if Afghanistan and Pakistan don't keep pressure on extremists in both countries, there is a "significant" risk that al-Qaida could repopulate Afghanistan and resume effort to plot attacks against the United States. --- Asked about the potential for changes to the U.S. withdrawal plans, Dunford said under the current schedule U.S. forces would shift from other locations around the country to the Kabul area in 2016, significantly reducing U.S. ability to assist in the counterterror fight. -- He said if the U.S. decides more help is needed in 2016, officials will have to start discussing that a year from now in order to have American special operations forces available beyond Kabul to assist in that fight. --- Dunford has been nominated to be the next commandant of the Marine Corps and was testifying at his nomination hearing. -- President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. to withdraw all but nearly 10,000 troops by the end of 2014, cut that number in half by the end of 2015 and leave only about 1,000 in a security office after the end of 2016. In addition to the U.S. forces, other NATO nations would contribute 4,000 troops, Dunford said, adding that the totals include about 2,000 U.S. special operations forces. Of those, he said about 1,000 would be dedicated solely to counterterror operations. -- Dunford told the panel that he agrees with the pace of the U.S. withdrawal this year and next year. But, under questioning from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., he said he and other military leaders did not recommend "a hard date" for the full withdrawal at the end of 2016. He said military leaders prefer to routinely re-evaluate troop decisions based on conditions on the ground, including the capability of the Afghans, the state of the threat from militants and the progress of the Afghan government. - "Every military leader would want to have the conditions on the ground and the assumptions be revalidated as a transition takes place," Dunford said. -- Other senators expressed similar worries.-- "I remain very troubled by the president's plan to draw down our forces based on arbitrary timelines instead of the advice of our commanders, and the facts on the ground," said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. "The president tried the same policy in Iraq in 2011. We can't afford to repeat that same mistake in Afghanistan." - More,

Terror Group Back on the Offensive in Afghanistan --- URGUN, Afghanistan — With two high-profile attacks in the past three days — first on Tuesday, when a huge truck bomb killed at least 72 at a market in this remote eastern district, then on Thursday, when suicide attackers fired volleys of grenades on the Kabul airport — the feared Haqqani militant network has gone back on the offensive, Afghan intelligence and security officials said Thursday. -- The officials said that after a relative lull in recent months during the Afghan presidential election, both attacks carried all the signatures of the Haqqanis, close allies of the main Afghan Taliban branch. The resource-rich terrorist group is largely based in Pakistan, but has focused on staging dramatic attacks on Afghan cities and against Afghan and international security forces. -- Haqqani fighters may be enjoying more freedom to move within Afghanistan than ever. Local and tribal officials interviewed here on Wednesday, a day after the devastating truck bombing, said that more and more militants began moving in over the past year as American units began leaving border outposts. -- Now, they said, the Taliban and its allies have taken over at least two former United States bases in the border area of Paktika Province, near Urgun. -- “I told the chief of staff and minister of defense to post army units there or the Taliban would take over, and that is what happened,” said Juma Din, a member of Parliament from Paktika, whose own district of Giyan is entirely under Taliban control. “And we told the Americans, ‘If you are going to leave, you are going to open a gate for the Taliban,’ ” he said. -- “They made a free zone for the Taliban,” said an Afghan tribal elder from the region. “Pakistani and Afghan Taliban are coming over to this side.” He spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution from the Taliban. -- For the Taliban, Paktika, which shares a long border with Pakistan’s tribal areas, is a particular prize. With its remote, largely unpoliced areas, the province provides the insurgents with staging areas and access to central Afghanistan with roads running into several adjoining provinces, and also links to a corridor that runs to Kabul. -- Thursday’s attack in Kabul was the sort of thing the Haqqani network has been staging for several years, sending in small groups of suicide bombers to blast their way into government buildings or compounds and fight to the death, creating as much damage and publicity as possible. -- Five fighters exploded a truck at the entrance to a construction site of residential apartment buildings opposite the military part of Kabul airport, according to witnesses and the police. They killed a guard and raced to the top of a building near the military side of the international airport, where they fired rocket-propelled grenades down into the compound, disrupting flights for hours. After a four-hour fight with Afghan special forces, the last attacker was killed. -- In Urgun, the huge bomb blast that rendered a busy bazaar into a pile of rubble and bodies was the second to strike here in two weeks. -- In the first, a suicide bomb attack wounded the local Afghan special forces commander, Azzizullah Karwan, and killed several police officers, including the district’s deputy commander. -- Then came the truck bomb. It exploded near a religious school, but locals believe the bomber may have been heading for the district governor’s office nearby, or to the compound for the National Directorate of Security, the main Afghan intelligence agency. -- “This is the result of the free zone,” the tribal elder said. “In a few days, they will try to take power in Urgun.” -- Urgun has been one of the best-guarded spots in Paktika: It is home to a large Afghan Army base, and to C.I.A.-trained counterterrorism units now run by the directorate. - More, NYTimes,

Sami Yousafzai, Kabul Airport Attack Comes as Pakistani Fighters Join Afghan Taliban --- Bad news for Kabul—and for Washington. According to Afghan Taliban sources, Pakistani Taliban have flooded into Afghanistan and joined the ranks of the jihad there. --- ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Taliban attack on the Kabul airport this morning may be linked to a new and dangerous development on the ground in Afghanistan: a flood of fresh fighters from the ranks of the Pakistani Taliban, known as TTP, on the other side of the frontier. -- I was able to reach a senior Afghan Taliban commander operating in Kabul as the airport attack was still under way, and he told me that “big numbers of the Pakistani Taliban have crossed the border to Afghanistan,” enabling the Afghan Taliban to “deploy rapidly in massive numbers all over Afghanistan.” -- “That is why we have more manpower this year,” commander Qari Talha told The Daily Beast over his mobile phone. “We are using Pakistani Taliban in big numbers for collective attacks.” He said they had deployed on the hotly contested battlefields of Helmand province, in Kabul and in other parts of the country. “We send them for big ground attacks and spectacular attacks in cities,” he said, and current fighting in Helmand is part of that new offensive. -- The strike against the Kabul airport early on Thursday morning involved four fighters armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades firing from the top of a nearby building under construction. According to statements from the Afghan government, after about four hours all of the attackers were killed and there were no government casualties. But as the battle raged near the edge of the runway all flights had to be diverted to other cities. It has not yet been determined if the attackers included Afghans, Pakistanis, or both. -- As The Daily Beast reported in early May, border security was badly weakened by the Central Intelligence Agency’s decision to dismantle its front-line Afghan counterterrorist forces in the southern and eastern parts of the country. The chaotic aftermath of the Afghan presidential elections has complicated the situation, and U.S. military commanders are saying American counterterrorism forces may be needed in Afghanistan long after the supposedly final U.S. troop withdrawal in 2016. -- “Despite the increase in the numbers of Afghan security forces, actually the Taliban are able to penetrate very easily into Kabul and other cities,” Qari Talah boasted. -- The Kabul airport handles both civilian and military flights, with military operations taking precedence, making it “a very appealing and legitimate target,” said Talah. - More, Daily Beast,

د ارګون دپیښې د قربانیانو کورنۍ وایي،که امنیتي ځواکونه مسلکي وای، د دغه خونړۍ پیښې مخه نیول کیدای شوه --- د تیرې ورځې د دغه موټر بم چاودنې یو شمیر ټپيان، چې د کابل ایمرجنسي روغتون ته راوړل شوي،په حکومت نیوکه کوي،چې ګواکې له دوی سره یې پر وخت مرسته ونکړه. -- د پکتیکا د ارګون ولسوالۍ د موټر بم چاودنې ټپیان پر شرنې، ګردیز او غزني سربیره د کابل ایمرجنسي روغتون هم را لیږدول شوي دي. ټپيان او دوی د کورنیو غړي دغه پیښه غندي او دا دول کړنې د اسلام او انسانیت سره په ټکر کې ګڼي. -- دمخابراتو او مالوماتي ټکنالوژي وزیر امیر زی سنګین دکابل ایمرجنسي روغتون د ارګون دپیښې دټپیانو لیدنې پرمهال دقربانیانو سره یو اندازه نغدي مرسته وکړه او دغه کار د اسلام او انسانیت د دښمنانو کار وباله. -- په ولسي جرګه کې د پکتیکا دخلکو استازي افغان دولت د په دوه ګونې چلند تورن کړ او و لسمشر حامد کرزي څخه یي د ارګون دپيښې زیانمنو شویو ته د جدي پام غوښتنه وکړه. -- د کابل دایمرجنسي روغتون چارواکي د ارګون پیښي د ټپيان د روغتیا یي خدمتونو په اړه داسي وایي: -- دغه پیښه دسې شنبې تر مخکي کې د ارګون ولسوالۍ د جامع جومات ترڅنګ په یو سرای کې د سرف موټر په وسیله ترسره شوه،او دمرګ ژوبلې په تړاو یي لاهم ضد او نقیض شمیرې ورکول کیږي. - شمشاد تلویزیون

Obama praises Kerry for role ensuring audit of Afghan Prez poll votes --- Washington, July 17 (ANI): United States President Barack Obama has praised Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan civilian and military leaders for their efforts in putting in place a system of audit to determine the results in the recent Afghan presidential election. --- "I thanked Secretary Kerry and our outstanding military and civilian leaders in Afghanistan for their success in helping to break the impasse over the presidential election there. Thanks to their efforts and of course thanks to the Afghans and the courage of the two candidates, both of whom I spoke to last week, the candidates have agreed to abide to the results of a comprehensive and internationally supervised audit that will review all of the ballots and to form a unity government," President Obama said. -- "If they keep their commitments, Afghanistan will witness the first democratic transfer of power in the history of that country. This progress will honor both candidates who have put the interests of a united Afghanistan first, the millions of Afghans who defied threats in order to vote and the service of our troops and civilians who have sacrificed so much," he added. -- Obama spoke with Afghan presidential contender Abdullah Abdullah on July 7 and rival Ashraf Ghani on July 8 to urge calm and to call for a review of fraud charges in that country's election, the White House said. -- Last week, the Independent Election Commission had announced that Ghani won the June 14 second round with 56.44 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results. The tally might change when the final official numbers come out on July 22. (ANI with inputs) - More,

Afghan buildings pose fire hazard, thanks to substandard parts - Washington Times

Afghan buildings pose fire hazard, thanks to substandard parts - Washington Times

جمال خان بارکزی - امریکا جلو فاجعۀ ” سقاوی سوم” را گرفت: --- هرباری که افغانستان عزیز تازه جان می گیرد، مانند یک مرغکی تازه بال و پر می کشد، امید پرواز در او زنده می شود و می خواهد خود و کاشانه یی خود را دوباره سر و سامان دهد، یک گروه تخریبگری از عمال خارجی به دستور دشمنان قسم خورده یی تاریخ ما مانع اش می شود، و این مرغک را قبل ازینکه پروازنماید هدف گلوله قرار می دهد و بعد پر وبالش را می کنند و امید پرواز را برای ده ها سال دیگر از وی می گیرند… -- یک بار افغانستان در زمان امیر ترقیخوا، علیحضرت امیر “امان الله خان” غازی بعد از استرداد استقلال افغانستان عزیزم در سال ۱۹۱۹م که تازه در جادۀ خوشبختی و ترقی قرار گرفته بود، رهزن مشهورحبیب الله مشهور به”بچۀ سقاء” که مانند یک بلای ویرانگر در نزدیکی کابل خفته بود، به دستور باداران خارجی اش[هند برتانوی] همه چیز را از ریشه کشید و در ظرف فقط نه ماه افغانستان زیبا را به عصر حجر بر گرداند. این دورۀ تاریک را می توانیم بنام سقاوی اول باید نامگذاری کنیم. --- بار دیگر بعد از خروج نیروهای اشغالگر شوروی، بازهم یک فرصت بدست آمد تا افغانستان سرو سامان بگیرد، درحالیکه داکتر “نجیب الله” آماده ای انتقال قدرت به گروه تکنوکرات بی طرف با مشارکت تنظیم های جهادی به اساس طرح پنج فقره یی ملل متحد به رهبری “بیننسوان” نمایندۀ خاص ملل متحد برای افغانستان، شده بود، که درآن قرار بود گروه روم به رهبری اعلیحضرت بابای ملت زعامت افغانستان را بدست بگیرد و با ایجاد وحدت ملی، زمینه یی برگزاری انتخابات را مساعد بسازد. صرف چند روز برای انتقال مسالمت آمیز قدرت باقی مانده بود، برای اجرای این طرح اکثریت رهبران جهادی به شمول و حکومت نجیب الله لبیک گفته بودند ( بیانیه یی احمدشاه مسعود را که اقرار به این توطئه می کند همین اکنون از صفحۀ اول ویبسایت افغان جرمن آنلاین می توانید گوش دهید). ---- به هرحال با وجودی که در اثر ضعف رهبری در کشور، هرگز ادارۀ سالم ایجاد نشد، عدالت هرگز تأمین نشد، فساد اداری به اوج خود رسید، جنایتکارات جنگی بر علاوۀ اینکه مورد مؤاخذه و محاکمه قرار نگرفتند، بلکه در رده های بلند مقامات دولتی تعیین گردیدند، با وجود ضعیف ترین نوع حکومتداری که حاکم بود ولی از نگاه اقتصادی، تعلیم و تربیه، آزادی بیان و دیموکراسی، آزادی مطبوعات و گسترش بی سابقۀ رسانه ها، ایجاد سیستم جدید مخابرات در سکتورخصوصی که در منطقه بی نظیر است، ایجاد مراکز تحصیلی خصوصی، اعمار دوبارۀ شهرها و خانه بشکل عصری وغیره می تواند در یک دهۀ گذشته از جملۀ دستآورد های بینظیر به شمار بیاید، این تغییرات بیشتر در بخش سکتور خصوصی قابل لمس می باشد که کسی از آن انکار کرده نمیتواند. --- حال که برای نخستین بار باید قدرت از یک رئیس جمهور منتخب به یک رئیس جمهور منتخب دیگر بطور مسالمت آمیز از طریق پروسۀ ملی انتخابات صورت بگیرد ویک بار دیگر زمان آن فرا رسیده است که افغانستان می خواهد به پا بی ایستد وتمامی زمینه ها برایش آماده شده است، صرف به یک رهبری دلسوز و قاطع ضرورت دارد که بایک برنامۀ جدی نواقص را که در اداره وجود دارد، اصلاح نماید، با ارائه یک حکومت داری خوب و عاری از فساد اداری همراه با تأمین عدالت اجتماعی و فردی، مناسبات را با جامعۀ جهانی تحکیم بخشد و کمک های جهانی بیشتری را جلب نموده و افغانستان را به صوب شگوفایی سوق دهد و آن را به یک کشور نمونه درسطح منطقه تبدیل نماید. ولی افسوس بازهم همان بلای خفته در چند قدمی پایتخت(کابل) چشم لعنتی اش را بر کشورم سرخ نموده است، باز مانند شکاریان وحشی به چهار اطراف پایتخت زیبای کابل نگاه می کنند و بی صبرانه و دیوانه وار منتظر فرصتی هستند که یک بار دیگر همه چیز را نابود کنند… یعنی یک بار دیگر ما در خطر حمله یی همان بلای قدیمی قرار گرفته ایم که می توانیم آن را بنام سقاوی سوم یاد کنیم. -- درین دوره یعنی دورۀ سقاوی سوم داکتر “عبدالله” یک فرد مطرح باقی مانده از سقاوی دوم، خواست رهبری را به عهده بگیرد، با ایجاد بحران و هرج ومرج خواست پایتخت را به آتش بکشد، و یک بار دیگر دار و ندار افغانستان عزیر را طعمۀ نفس ظالمش نماید. علایم شروع حملۀ سقاوی سوم بسیار وصفی و روشن بود، -- از عدم پذیرفتن نتایج انتخابات در دور دوم و قطع ارتباطات با مراجع قانونی پروسۀ مردمی انتخابات یعی کمیسیونهای انتخابات، تا تهدید به ایجاد اغتشاش، توسل به زور و سلاح به راه انداختن کودتا برای داخل شدن به ارگ، عدم کنترول بالای گروۀ وحشی اش (که برای این گروه اوباش خیلی وصفی ومعمول می باشد) که بدون موجب در گردهمایی چهارراهی پشتونستان، لوحۀ ” پشتونستان وات” را که خار چشم پاکستان بود به زمین زدند و لگدمال نمودند، تهدید به ایجاد حکومت موازی در پنجشیر، و تهدید به اینکه اگر قطعه قطعه شوم حکومت را تصاحب می کنم، تهدید به تجزیۀ افغانستان و جاری نمودن سیلاب خون، بهانه گیری های غیر منطقی، تفتیش ۲۰۰۰ محل، ۵۰۰۰ محل، ۶۰۰۰ محل، ۱۱۰۰۰ محل رأی دهی، منحل نمودن کمیسیونهای انتخاباتی؟؟؟ یعنی به غیر از گرفتن قدرت به چیزی دیگر راضی نمی شد…-- گردهمایی وحشیانه و فاقد نظم و دسپلین در خیمۀ تاریخی لویه جرگه که در آن یک نمونه ای وصفی از گردهمایی اوباشان را به نمایش گذاشتند، که درآن “عبدلله” بحیث یک رهبر نمیتوانست در حدود ۵۰۰ تن از دارۀ لجام گسیختۀ خود را کنترول نماید، با نمک حرامی تمام، بدون کدام دلیلی دوبار عکس آقای کرزی را که تمام دورۀ ۱۳ ساله اش را وقف حمایت این خونخواران نموده بود، و با حمایت این گرگان وحشی، ظلم بزرگی را بر مردم روا داشته بود، به زمین زدند و لگدمال نمودند. -- اقدام به بی ارزش ساختن قوانین نافذۀ کشور با بالا نمودن “بیل بورد” هایش بحیث رئیس جمهور افغانستان در چهارراهی های کابل، برپا نمودن خیمه ها در بین راه ها و چهارراهی های کابل و ایجاد مزاحمت برای مردم و عبور و مرور ترافیک، مسلح ساختن جوانان و قلدران شهر که با استفاده از وسایط پولیس در شهر کابل گشت و گذار می کردند و مردم را مورد تهدید قرار می دادند. ---- خدا را شکر که یک بار دیگر منافع ایالات متحدۀ امریکا و جامعۀ جهانی با حفظ یک افغانستان یک پارچه با صلح و ثبات، همخوانی پیدا کرد. آقای “اوباما” قبل ازحملۀ سقاوی سوم با یک اقدام سریع جلو یورش این سقاویان شرارت پیشه را گرفت ویک بار دیگر برای مردم عزیر ما چانس بدست آماده است تا برای احیای وحدت ملی، ایجاد صلح و ثبات و اقدامات پیشگیرانه برای جلوگیری از حملۀ سقاوی سوم کوشش وجهد نمایند. ازین فرصت باید استفاده اعظمی صورت بگیرد تا پایه های دولت باساس ایجاد عدالت و وحدت، چنان مستحکم شود که دیگر بلای همیشه خفته در دروازهای کابل مجال آن را پیدا نکند تا کابل را ویران و افغانستان را بی ثبات سازد… باید بدانیم که این یک فرصت است که بدست آمده وخطر بلای ویرانگر سقاوی رفع نشده است و همیشه در کمین میباشد که باید از آن غافل نباشیم… -- اقدام مؤثر دیشب “جان کری” وزیر خارجه ایالات متحدۀ امریکا را که توانست جلو اقدامات شوم عبدالله و دارۀ شرارت پیشه اش را بگیرد، اگرچه من به این عقیده نیستم که به هدف نجات افغانستان و مردمش صورت گرفته باشد، هرچه بوده است، افغانهای عزیز باید ازین فرصت برای حفظ منافع خود، تحکیم پایه نظام به اساس وحدمت ملی، حفظ عدالت و حکومت داری خوب استفادۀ اعظمی نمایند، چون خطر سقاوی سوم همیشه موجود است که باید اقدامات پیشگیرانه با استفاده از فرصت ها روی دست گرفته شود… -- زنده باد افغانستان واحد، یک پارچه و نیرومند -- مرگ به بد خواهان کشور عزیزم افغانستان - More,

Dunford: Continued Afghanistan Presence on Track --- The outgoing U.S. commander in Afghanistan predicted Thursday that the Afghan presidential election impasse will be resolved peacefully to allow for a continued presence of coalition forces in Afghanistan next year. -- Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said he had spoken to the candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, and came away confident that they will abide by an audit of the disputed results of the presidential runoff election that showed Ghani in the lead. -- "There will be a winner and a loser, and the loser will accept the results of the election as the will of the Afghan people," said Dunford, the outgoing commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. -- Both candidates have already committed to signing a new Bilateral Security Agreement with the U.S. that would allow for the presence of 9,800 U.S, training and advisory troops to remain in Afghanistan in 2015 after all U.S. combat forces withdraw at the end of this year. Currently, a total of about 30,000 U.S. and 10,000 coalition troops are in Afghanistan, Dunford said. -- Dunford appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for his nomination hearing to succeed Gen. James Amos as commandant of the Marine Corps. Gen. John Campbell, currently the Army's vice chief of staff, has been nominated to succeed Dunford at ISAF. -- Dunford, 58, was expected to get easy confirmation by the full Senate despite questioning by several senators on Dunford's support for President Obama's plan for U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. -- The plan called for 9,800 U.S. and 4,000 coalition troops to remain in Afghanistan in 2015. The number of troops would be halved in 2016 and all troops would be withdrawn at the start of 2017 with the exception of Embassy security and a few hundred troops for an office of security cooperation. -- Dunford said he had reservations about the firm date for withdrawal. -- "I think all of us in uniform, including the Afghans, would have preferred for that to be a bit more ambiguous," Dunford said. -- In his own nomination hearing last week, Campbell said he would not hesitate to recommend changes in the withdrawal plan based on conditions on the ground. -- In questioning Dunford, Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said that Afghan commanders told them on a recent visit to Kabul that they were unprepared to fill the void left by the withdrawing U.S. forces. -- "You are abandoning us, that's what they told me and Senator Graham," McCain said. "The fact is, we need a conditions-based decision. Right now, we are not confident the Afghans can take up the complete burden for their own security." -- On Marine Corps matters, Dunford shared the same fears often expressed by Amos on the long-term effects of the sequester cost-cutting process on Marine readiness. Dunford also backed Amos on slowing the growth of pay and health care costs, and said he supported a 1 percent rather than a 1.8 percent military pay increase. -- The senators did not mention, and neither did Dunford, recent speculation that Dunford's tenure as commandant could be relatively brief. Dunford, considered to be a favorite at the White House, has been mentioned as a possible successor to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when Dempsey retires next year. - More,

US commander in Afghanistan sees 'significant' risk of Al Qaeda returning --- Washington — In America’s longest war, words like “victory” have long faded from the US military’s lexicon. -- But even by these standards, the prospects that the top US commander on the ground offered Thursday for Afghanistan’s future were notably less than robust. -- The current pace of withdrawal of US troops from the country “could result in Afghanistan forces being sustainable,” Gen. Joseph Dunford told lawmakers, a phrase that fell short even of faint praise. -- There is an equally good chance, too, that even after 13 years of war, Afghanistan could revert back to being a safe haven for terrorists, he said. -- When asked to rate the possibility that Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters could migrate back to Afghanistan after US forces draw down and resume training operations in pre-9/11 mode, Dunford called that risk “significant.” -- He told senators, too, that he did not necessarily support President Obama’s decision to announce a withdrawal date for US forces in Afghanistan. -- “I think all of us in uniform, including the Afghans, would have preferred for that to be a bit more ambiguous,” he said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. -- Dunford was called to testify because he is nominated to be the next commandant of the Marine Corps, the service’s top officer. But during his confirmation hearing he faced tough questions about his current job commanding US war efforts. -- During his testimony, Dunford acknowledged that he is “not confident” that Afghan security forces will be able to sustain themselves after US troops leave.-- That’s because the Afghan military is still not particularly skilled at doing things like budgeting, or ordering spare parts for their vehicles, or paying their soldiers, Dunford said. -- The other big problem is that it does not have its own intelligence capabilities or a developed aviation system. Though it is in need of special operations forces to fight insurgent operatives and lingering Al Qaeda elements, the Catch-22 is that it cannot adequately develop these forces without intelligence or aviation assets, Dunford explained. -- Women are also not faring well in Afghanistan, especially when it comes to integrating them into key government jobs, including military positions. “That’s not a particularly good news story,” Dunford told lawmakers. -- The goal has been to have the Afghan national army and police force be comprised of 10 percent women, but the number is currently closer to one percent. “I wouldn’t for a minute understand the cultural challenges,” he said, “that are going to make progress for women very slow.” -- There are some reasons to be hopeful in Afghanistan, however – and reasons why the country is not necessarily destined to follow the path of Iraq, Dunford said. -- These reasons include, most notably, the fact that both of Afghanistan’s presidential candidates actually want US troops to stay. So, too, do regional powers, with the exception of Iran, he added. -- What’s more, Secretary of State John Kerry’s mediating role in Afghanistan may have helped to avert a civil war, Dunford told lawmakers. Instead of creating parallel governments that could have competed with each other – and could have led to a “significant” possibility of civil war – the two leading presidential candidates have agreed to a power-sharing arrangement. -- That is vital, because there will be no progress without political reconciliation, Dunford told lawmakers. -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina, a leading hawk in Congress, seconded this sentiment. “If there’s a failure to get this election closed out, no amount of American troops is going to make Afghanistan successful,” he said. “As a matter of fact, if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be the first one to say, ‘Get the hell out of there.’ " - More, Anna Mulrine,

Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine war zone, 295 dead --- HRABOVE, Ukraine, July 17 (Reuters) - A Malaysian airliner was brought down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard and sharply raising the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides. -- Ukraine accused "terrorists" - militants fighting to unite eastern Ukraine with Russia - of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with a heavy, Soviet-era SA-11 ground-to-air missile as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. -- More, Anton Zverev,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

حامدکرزی: دخالت خارجی ها را در روند انتخابات بنابر ضرورت پذیرفته ام --- رئیس جمهور افغانستان می گوید، دخالت خارجی ها را در پروسهء انتخابات نمی پسندد، اما بنابر ضرورت این اقدام را پذیرفته است. رئیس جمهور افغانستان می گوید، انتخابات تهداب اساسی حاکمیت ملی یک کشور است. رئیس جمهور کرزی در صحبت با تلویزیون آشنا صدای امریکا گفته است مداخلهء خارجی ها در انتخابات به این معنی است که یک کشور حاکمیت ملی ندارد. آقای کرزی افزوده است بخاطر دخالت خارجی ها در پروسهء انتخابات خرسند نیست، اما بنابر ضرورت این اقدام را پذیرفته است: "بخاطری که کشور از این حالت دور و دراز پروسهء انتخابات گذشته باشد، رئیس جمهور کشور زود انتخاب شده باشد و به حوصلهء مردم افغانستان پاسخ خوب داده باشیم خواست داکتر عبدالله را پذیرفتیم و اجازه دادیم تا سازمان ملل متحد در پروسه دخیل شود، اما این به آن معنی نیست که ما از این خوش هستیم، در یک حالت خاص ملی ما یک ضرورت بود و ما آن را پذیرفتیم." -- رئیس جمهور کرزی این سخنان را در حالی می گوید که بن بست انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان به میانجیگری وزیر خارجهء امریکا اخیراً شکست. این بن بست پس از آن بوجود آمد که عبدالله عبدالله یکی از دو نامزد دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری این انتخابات را پُر از تقلب خواند و روابط اش را با کمیسیون های انتخابات قطع کرد. اما پس از تلاش های سازمان ملل متحد و ایالات متحدهء امریکا روی تفتیش تمام آرای ریخته شده در صندوق ها توافق صورت گرفت. رئیس جمهور کرزی در مورد این توافق چنین می گوید: "امیدوار هستیم که آرای مردم افغانستان احترام شوند، آرای حقیقی از آرای نادرست تفکیک شوند و بر اساس رای مردم رئیس جمهور آینده تعیین شود." -- رئیس جمهور کرزی این سخنان را در حالی می گوید که بن بست انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان به میانجیگری وزیر خارجهء امریکا اخیراً شکست. این بن بست پس از آن بوجود آمد که عبدالله عبدالله یکی از دو نامزد دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری این انتخابات را پُر از تقلب خواند و روابط اش را با کمیسیون های انتخابات قطع کرد. اما پس از تلاش های سازمان ملل متحد و ایالات متحدهء امریکا روی تفتیش تمام آرای ریخته شده در صندوق ها توافق صورت گرفت. رئیس جمهور کرزی در مورد این توافق چنین می گوید: "امیدوار هستیم که آرای مردم افغانستان احترام شوند، آرای حقیقی از آرای نادرست تفکیک شوند و بر اساس رای مردم رئیس جمهور آینده تعیین شود." -- اما اعضای تیم اشرف غنی احمدزی می گویند، در جریان گفتگو ها مسالهء ایجاد پُست اجرایی مطرح شده اما توافق روشن در این مورد صورت نگرفته است. نظر رئیس جمهور در مورد ایجاد احتمالی پُست های جدید در حکومت آینده چیست؟ "نظام پارلمانی یک نظام بسیار خوب است، شاید برای شرایط افغانستان خوب و مناسب باشد اما به دو شرط، در هر نظام پارلمانی وجود ادارهء فعال و بدون مداخلهء سیاسیون و نظامی که در آن قوت های امنیتی کشور کاملاً جا افتاده و ملی باشند و زیر اثر تنظیم و سیاسیون نباشند مهم است. اگر این دو شرط بر آورده شوند نظام پارلمانی درست است." -- رئیس جمهور کرزی می گوید، افغانستان با وضعیت دشوار مواجه است. به گفتهء وی از یک سو افغانستان فقیر است و از سوی دیگر هم کشور های همسایه و هم کشور هایی که به عنوان کمک با افغانستان آمده اند به شدت در امور افغانستان مداخله می کنند. آقای کرزی به رئیس جمهور آیندهء افغانستان پیشنهاد می کند که در جهت پیشرفت افغانستان و جلوگیری از مداخله خارجی ها توازن را حفظ کند. - رادیو آزادی

Afghanistan car bomb leaves at least 89 civilians dead --- Suicide attacker detonates car packed with explosives in crowded Urgun bazaar, in bloodiest attack on civilians for years -- A car bomber has killed at least 89 people in an Afghan bazaar in probably the deadliest suicide attack of a war that is getting ever bloodier for civilians. -- Western forces are heading home this year as the US seeks a "responsible end" to more than a decade of fighting, but Taliban fighters are using the summer to test Afghan forces still struggling in areas from logistics to intelligence. -- "Some people pulled me out from the rubble," said shopkeeper Sharifuddin Aurfan, who was wounded. "The car was maybe 200 metres away, but I thought it was next to us because the blast was so loud. Four people from our village including the imam of the mosque have been killed. They are all ordinary people, no officials or commanders. I saw a mother with a toddler among the dead." -- The deadliest previous suicide attack was at a dog fight in southern Kandahar province in 2008, when at least 80 people were killed. Spectators were so closely packed that emergency services had to gather up a macabre jumble of body parts, and the final toll was never confirmed. --- Hours before the attack in Urgun, another bombing in Kabul killed two men who worked in the media office of President Hamid Karzai. A remotely detonated bomb hit the minibus that carried them to work, although they were far from their offices at the time. Five other peoples on board were injured. - More, Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul,

Explosions, gunfire heard near Kabul airport --- (Reuters) - Explosions and bursts of gunfire were heard near Kabul International Airport in the Afghan capital after dawn on Thursday and black smoke rose above the facility, which is used by civilians and the military. -- The attack on the airport comes at a time of great uncertainty for Afghanistan as votes from the second round of a disputed presidential election are to be recounted. The poll is meant to mark Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power. -- Officials said a number of militants had burst into a building just north of the airport but were quickly surrounded by Afghan forces. -- "A number of insurgents have climbed a building (outside) and are shooting at Kabul airport," said Hasmat Stanekzai, a spokesman for Kabul police. "The airport is undamaged and insurgents are surrounded by (Afghan forces). There are no reports of casualties and it is unclear how many insurgents are involved."NATO forces said they were aware of reports of an attack on the airport but could not give more details. -- The airport is home to a major operational base for NATO-led forces that have been fighting Taliban and other insurgents for 12 years, and is bristling with soldiers and police, guard towers and several lines of security checkpoints. -- Militants fire rockets into the airport almost every week, causing little damage, but frontal attacks on the heavily guarded facility are rare and represent an ambitious target for insurgents. -- There was no immediate claim of responsibility. -- A Kabul airport official told Reuters all flights had been diverted to other cities. In such circumstances, passenger planes are immediately diverted to other Afghan cities such as Mazar-i-Sharif in the north or Herat in the west. -- "Due to the closeness of attack to the runway Kabul airport is now closed to all flights," the official said. Planes could be heard circling above Kabul as the attack unfolded. -- A Reuters witness near the scene said he could see black smoke billowing above the airport and heard several explosions from what sounded like rocket-propelled grenades. A car had been set on fire not far from the scene. -- Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said a rapid response force had been sent to the area. -- On Tuesday, a car bomb detonated in a crowded market killed 43 people and wounded at least 74 in the eastern province of Paktika, close to Afghanistan's porous border with Pakistan. - More

Afghanistan unrest: Taliban attack Kabul airport --- Heavily armed militants have attacked Kabul International Airport with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, Afghan police say. -- The Taliban has said it carried out the attack. -- Eyewitnesses said the militants took over an unused building near the heavily guarded airport. -- Airport officials told Reuters news agency that all flights had now been diverted to other Afghan cities. There are no reports yet of any casualties. -- Eyewitness Ramin Anwari told the BBC that neighbours were woken by the sound of fighting. -- "I could hear more than 10 explosions, some really heavy, in a matter of some minutes coming from the area across the airport," he said. -- Afghan police and special forces are currently engaged with the militants in buildings near the airport, and reports suggest they have surrounded them. -- An interior ministry official told the BBC that the airport itself had not been damaged in the attack, claiming "not a single rocket" had landed inside. - More, BBC,

Gene therapy can reprogram heart muscle cells to act as biological pacemaker --- Researchers working with pigs have developed a way to treat heart rhythm disorders by genetically transforming muscle cells in a tiny section of the heart into specialized “pacemaker cells.” -- “We have been able, for the first time, to create a biological pacemaker using minimally invasive methods and to show that the new pacemaker suffices to support the demands of daily life,” said Eduardo Marbán, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and one of the lead authors of the study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. --- In the study, 12 pigs with heart block — a condition where the electrical signal is slowed or disrupted as it moves through the heart — were injected with either the single gene to reprogram cells or a fluorescent green protein acting as a placebo. -- A virus containing a single gene called TBX18 was injected directly into the area — no bigger than a peppercorn — which normally acts as the heart’s metronome, reprogramming cells to fire electrical impulses that determine and regulate the rhythm of an individual heart. -- For two weeks, cardiologists monitored the average heart rate of the pigs at two significant times of the day, during morning feeding and activity and at night when the pigs slept. It was crucial to test whether the reprogrammed cells could regulate the changing rate required to support the pigs’ daily activities. -- The therapy is fast-acting, reprogramming enough muscle cells to effectively regulate heart rate within 24 to 48 hours. By the eighth day of testing, the mean heart rate was significantly higher in the pigs that received the gene therapy than that of the control group. -- However, at the end of two weeks, the effectiveness of the therapy had waned due to the pigs’ immune systems gradually clearing the virus supporting the gene. -- “Long-term experiments are under way to develop a long-term biological pacemaker,” said Eugenio Cingolani, director of the Cardiogenetics-Familial Arrhythmia Clinic at Cedars-Sinai, also an author of the study. -- The researchers predict that clinical trials in people could start within three years. -- The new therapy could eliminate complications that affect at least 2 percent of all electronic pacemakers, such as infections and functional problems that cause them to fail. The treatment is seen initially as a bridge procedure for patients who need to have their pacemakers removed and eventually replaced. - More, Caelainn Hogan, Washingtonpost

Stroke Rates Are Declining --- The incidence of stroke in the United States has declined significantly over the past two decades, a new analysis has found. -- The decreases were apparent in people older than 65, the most common age group for stroke, and were similar in men and women and in blacks and whites. There were decreases in stroke deaths as well, but they were concentrated in younger research participants. The report appeared in JAMA. -- Researchers followed 14,357 people, ages 45 to 64 at the start of the study, from 1987 to 2011. After accounting for coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, statin use and other factors, they found that the incidence of stroke decreased by about 50 percent over the period of the study, and stroke deaths by about 40 percent. -- Smoking cessation and better treatment of hypertension and high cholesterol accounted for part of the decrease, according to the senior author, Dr. Josef Coresh, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and improved medical care and more rigorous control of risk factors probably helped as well. Increased diabetes prevalence, on the other hand, contributed to higher risk. -- “The decrease in stroke also suggests that there’s a decrease in smaller strokes that we may not detect,” he said, “and that would bode well for overall brain health and the potential for decreasing the risk of dementia with aging.” - More, NICHOLAS BAKALAR, NYTimes

Assad Is Sworn In for Third 7-year Term in Syria --- BEIRUT, Lebanon — Feted by supporters, whom he hailed as the victors of his country’s brutal civil war, a triumphant President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in on Wednesday for a third seven-year term after an election that was widely seen as a gesture of calculated defiance toward the United States and others in the West and in the Arab world seeking his ouster. -- With his right hand on the Quran, the holy book of Islam, Mr. Assad took the oath at the so-called People’s Palace overlooking Damascus, the capital. But even as he prepared for a new term, rebels offered a counterpoint, firing five mortar shells into Damascus and killing four people. Two shells landed near the central Umayyad Square, the official news agency SANA said. -- State-run television had earlier broadcast what it said was live video of the Syrian leader arriving in a black sedan as a military band played the national anthem. Smiling and confident, Mr. Assad, 48, strode on a red carpet and inspected an honor guard as he entered a hall crammed with lawmakers and other dignitaries. --- Since March 2011, an initially peaceful uprising against Mr. Assad has turned into a bloody civil war claiming tens of thousands of lives. Mr. Assad has faced an array of armed rebel forces, including secular opponents and Islamic fighters. Millions of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes, either displaced within the country or spilling over its frontiers as refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and elsewhere. -- In his speech on Wednesday, Mr. Assad called his adversaries “terrorists” — his usual label for them — and urged them to “drop their weapons because we won’t stop fighting terrorism and striking it wherever it exists in Syria.” -- There was no longer a place in the country, he said, “for those who are awaiting the end of the war from outside. It is an illusion. The political solution comes from the reconciliation inside.” -- He seemed to warn nations who support the rebels that their actions would rebound on them. “Soon we will see the Arab, regional and Western countries who backed terrorism will pay the price as well,” he said. -- While the rebels at first seemed to be taking over swaths of the country, Mr. Assad’s forces have claimed in recent months to be turning back the tide of insurrection, defying Western and Arab demands that any political settlement should include his departure from office, a demand he has always resisted. -- “They wanted it to be a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries,” Mr. Assad told his supporters on Wednesday, according to news reports. “Congratulations for your victory.” -- The inauguration followed closely choreographed elections in June in which Mr. Assad was said officially to have won almost 90 percent of the votes in what many Western countries called a sham. But Mr. Assad on Wednesday said that “for many Syrians, the presidential elections were like the bullet directed toward the chests of the terrorists.” -- The Syrian leader came to power in 2000 following the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad. -- The latest estimates of the numbers killed in the war stand at about 170,000. In a statement on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain and gathers information from contacts in Syria, said that since the presidential election on June 4, 743 civilians had been killed. - More, NYTimes,

عبدالله: که موافقه نه وای شوې د د ه پلویانو نه یوازې پر ارک بلکې په ټولو ولایتونو یرغل کاوه --- دافغانستان دولسمشرۍ دانتخاباتو کاندید عبدالله عبدالله، چې دوهم پړاو انتخابات یې بایللي و، وايي چې دامریکا په منځګړتوب معاملې افغانستان له کړکېچه وژغوره. -- عبدالله دسې شنبې په ورځ اسوشیتیډ پریس خبري آژانس ته په مرکه کې وویل، مخکې تردې چې دی دکړکېچ دختمولو لپاره دامریکا په منځګړتوب درایو د بیا شمېرلو او تفتیش په اړه له خپل سیال سره موافقې ته ورسېږي افغانستان د«خورا جدي خورا جدي» وضعیت په درشل کې و. -- ده دا څرګندونې ددې پوښتنې په ځواب کې وکړې چې ایا دده ځینو پلویانو غوښتل چې دولسمشرۍ پر ماڼۍ ارګ او ځینو دولتي ودانیو حمله وکړي. - تر دې مخکې نیویارک ټایمز ورځپاڼې په یوه راپور کې دعبدالله عبدالله دپلویانو او استخباراتي معلوماتو پر اساس ویلي و چې دولسمشرۍ دانتخاباتو دابتدايي پایلو له اعلانه وروسته دعبدالله پلویانو غوښتل چې پر ارګ او لږترلږه پر درو ولایتونو یرغل وکړي او په زور واک ترلاسه کړي. --- نیویارک ټایمز پر ارګ او دولتي ودانیو دعبدالله دحملې پلان افشا کړ -- له عبدالله څخه اسوشیتید پریس خبري آژانس ددې موضوع دجزییاتو دڅرګندولو غوښتنه وکړه خو ده ورته وویل:«نه غواړم چې پر جزییاتو او تفصیل وږغېږم- خو دا مسله ډېره جدي وه، ډېر جدي وضعیت و، نه یوازې په کابل کې بلکې په ټول هیواد کې.» -- دا دامریکا دبهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري په منځګړتوب دشنبې دورځې په وروستیو کې له اشرف غني احمدزي سره دموافقې له کولو وروسته دعبدالله عبدالله لومړنۍ څرګندونې دي. ترعبدالله مخکې دسې شنبې په ورځ اشرف غني احمدزي هم له اسوشیتید پریس خبري اژانس سره مفصلې خبرې وکړې. - تاند

INTERVIEW: Afghan Hopeful Credits US Deal --- Somber and reflective, Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah says his country was on the verge of a "very serious, serious situation" before he struck a U.S.-brokered deal with his rival to avert the crisis by holding a fully audited vote count. --- Asked about a published report that some supporters were ready to seize the presidential palace by force before the deal, because they feared the June 14 runoff was being decided fraudulently, he declined to discuss details. -- "But it was a very serious, serious situation, not just in Kabul but throughout the country," said Abdullah, an opposition leader with strong support in northern Afghanistan, especially among the ethnic Tajik community and loyalists of the former Northern Alliance militia. -- There already had been widespread reports that Abdullah was under pressure from angry backers to declare himself the victor in the contest against former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and that he was resisting their pressure. A report by the New York Times on Tuesday suggested the outlook for Afghanistan was even direr than publicly known — that Abdullah's backers were ready to march on the palace. Abdullah did not specifically deny the report. -- The 53-year-old veteran of the movement that resisted the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in the 1990s and swept into Kabul after it allied with U.S. forces following the 9/11 attacks said he decided on the deal with Ahmadzai for an audited ballot return followed by a national unity government because "this was the right decision for the country, and for the future of the country." --- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry swept into Afghanistan Friday to try to engineer a way out of the dispute, and by shortly before midnight on Saturday, the two candidates were at Kerry's side declaring they had found a way out of the deadlock. -- Still, Afghanistan's serious challenges were underscored yet again Tuesday when a suicide car bomb exploded in Paktia province in a busy market near a mosque. Officials reported at least 89 killed, which would make it the largest single suicide attack since 2001, the year the Taliban fled the capital and later resumed a guerrilla campaign against the new Western-backed Afghan government. -- "People were shocked and we are shocked, but this is the sad reality of Afghanistan," said Abdullah. -- Abdullah said the formula for the national unity government still needs to be worked out. - More, Associated Press,

New Afghanistan Deal: Secretary Kerry's Diplomatic Gem --- Secretary of State John Kerry, frustrated by various peace efforts in the Middle East in recent months, may finally have accomplished a major diplomatic breakthrough—saving the Afghanistan project from the jaws of defeat. Had former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah each claimed victory in the June 14 presidential election and formed their own respective governments, the country could have collapsed into civil warfare and thus made possible a return of the Taliban. -- Of course, nightmare outcomes are still possible. But the deal that now requires international oversight for the recounting and review of ALL ballots, with both candidates committed in advance to recognize the results, is far more promising that the previous circumstances (in which suspected Karzai cronies or Pashtun chauvinists were believed to be responsible for certifying the results, and in which planned ballot auditing procedures were much less thorough or transparent). -- In addition, the new plan to create a true parliamentary system of government with a strong prime minister offers a suitable consolation prize to whoever loses the presidential race. It also makes sense for Afghanistan at this stage in its development, since the previous system created a too-powerful president. The United States made a mistake in how it helped devise the Afghan Constitution in 2003-2004, even if it was an understandable mistake at the time. The current proposal for a stronger parliamentary system, as well as can be deduced from preliminary reports, provides a sounder basis for power sharing and for inclusive governance. -- As noted, much could still go wrong. The ultimate loser in the election could decide to challenge the UN-certified results after all. Or the winner might find some excuse to revisit his earlier promise to appoint the runner-up as prime minister. President Karzai might throw a monkey wrench into the process in some way. One of the candidates could be wounded or killed in an assassination attempt. Most likely of all, intense disagreement might occur over how to structure the new prime ministerial position and how much power to afford it. -- In addition, the Obama administration needs to revisit its zero option for 2016—the plan to have all U.S. combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of President Obama’s presidency. There is no compelling reason to go to zero, as opposed to an enduring force of a few thousand for years to come. In addition to the good it could still do for Afghanistan's military, which continues to need improvement and mentoring, such a force could help ensure American influence in addressing any future Afghan political crises. And it would provide us with bases for drones and commandos should al Qaeda pop up its head again in the tribal areas of western Pakistan or eastern Afghanistan. -- But make no mistake, the recent breakthrough is big news at a time when the Obama administration—and the world in general—needed a boost. - More, Michael E. O'Hanlon,

89 Killed in Worst Afghanistan Bombing Since 2001 --- A suicide bomber blew up a car packed with explosives near a busy market and a mosque in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least 89 people in the deadliest insurgent attack on civilians since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. -- The blast destroyed numerous mud-brick shops, flipped cars over and stripped trees of their branches, brutally underscoring the country's instability as U.S. troops prepare to leave by the end of the year and politicians in Kabul struggle for power after a disputed presidential runoff. -- Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said the bomber detonated his explosives as he drove by the crowded market in a remote town in Urgun district, in the Paktika province bordering Pakistan. Azimi gave the death toll and said more than 40 other people were wounded. -- Nearby hospitals were overwhelmed, and dozens of victims were transported over dangerous roads to the capital, Kabul. -- Ahmad Shah, a gas station employee who rushed to the site to help, said he loaded dozens of people who were injured or killed into vehicles. -- "I saw the smoke, and the town was burning. There were dead bodies everywhere," he said outside a hospital in Kabul. -- Associated Press video footage of the aftermath showed mounds of twisted debris and the charred shells of cars flipped over on top of one another. Azimi said more than 20 shops and dozens of vehicles were destroyed. -- Many victims were buried in the rubble, said Mohammad Reza Kharoti, administrative chief of Urgun district. -- "It was a very brutal suicide attack against poor civilians," he said. "There was no military base nearby." -- There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and the Taliban issued a statement denying involvement, saying they "strongly condemn attacks on local people." Several other insurgent groups operate in Afghanistan. -- The U.N. mission in Afghanistan said initial reports "suggest that the attacker prematurely detonated after police detected the explosives in his vehicle." -- Several witnesses said the driver was in a four-wheel-drive vehicle and hit two vehicles parked on the edge of the market, leading police to open fire. Then the explosion happened. -- Abdul Khan, who is from the area, rushed to the hospital in Kabul to donate blood. "Most of the people in the town lost three to four family members," he said, adding his cousin had been killed. -- It was the deadliest insurgent attack against civilians since the U.S. invasion that ousted the Taliban in 2001. It exceeded the toll from twin bombings on Dec. 6, 2011, that targeted Shiite Muslims and killed 80 people in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. -- It was also the first major attack since a weekend deal between the two Afghan presidential contenders, brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, averted a dangerous rift in the country's troubled democracy following last month's disputed runoff. -- "People were shocked, and we are shocked, but this is the sad reality of Afghanistan," one of the candidates, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, told The Associated Press in an interview. -- The U.N. Security Council issued a statement condemning the attack, and said it would not stop the drive for an Afghan-led peace in the country. - More, Associated Press

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

نزدیک به ۴۱ درصد کودکان افغان مبتلا به سوء تغذیه هستند --- ارزیابی تازه وزارت بهداشت/صحت افغانستان نشان می دهد که ۴۰.۹ درصد کودکان افغان مبتلا به سوء تغذیه هستند. -- ثریا دلیل وزیر بهداشت افغانستان امروز در یک نشست خبری گفت که این ارزیابی در سراسر افغانستان پس از ده سال صورت گرفته است. -- ازریابی اول در بخش تغذیه در افغانستان در سال ۲۰۰۴ انجام شده بود. -- او می گوید که این ارزیابی نشان می دهد که از سال ۲۰۰۴ تاکنون، میزان کودکان مبتلا به سوء تغذیه از ۶۰.۵ درصد به ۴۰.۹ درصد کاهش یافته است. -- به گفته مقامات بهداشتی، این رقم، کاهش بیماری سوء تغذیه را در حدود یک میلیون کودک افغان نشان می دهد. -- وزیر بهداشت افغانستان می‌گوید که ۴۵ درصد مرگ و میر کودکان نیز با وضعیت تغذیه آنها ارتباط نزدیک دارد. -- به گفته وی، در صورت بهبود وضعیت تغذیه کودکان در افغانستان، هر ساله ۲۵۰ هزار کودک از مرگ نجات پیدا می کنند. --- او افزود که وضعیت تغذیه کودکان بر میزان یادگیری آنها در کودکی و قدرت کار و بازدهی اقتصادی شان در بزرگسالی تاثیر مستقیم دارد و مطالعات جهانی نشان می دهد که در بزرگسالی، کودکان مبتلا به سوء تغذیه درآمدشان هفده درصد کمتر از بقیه است. به این ترتیب سوء تغذیه کودکان، رشد اقتصادی هر کشوری را هشت درصد کاهش می دهد. -- توفیق مشال، از مقامات وزارت بهداشت می‌گوید که آمار سوء تغذیه در بیست ولایت کشور بالاتر از سایر ولایاتی است که بیشتر در مناطق شمال، شمال‌شرق و مرکز افغانستان موقعیت دارند. -- نتایج ارزیابی صورت گرفته همچنان بهبود در سوء تغذیه زنان میانسال، کم وزنی، کم خونی، کمبود آهن و کمبود آیودین را نشان می دهد. - More, BBC

'Six Californias' plan may make 2016 ballot --- Six Californias plan -- A proposal backed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to divide California into six states has received enough signatures to make the November 2016 ballot, according to the nonprofit Six Californias. Here's how the plan would divide the state: --- SAN FRANCISCO — A plan backed by venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into six states has gained enough signatures to make the November 2016 ballot, the plan's backers say. -- A Twitter account belonging to the nonprofit Six Californias tweeted on Monday that "#SixCalifornias will be submitting signatures in Sacramento tomorrow for placement on the November 2016 ballot. Stay tuned for coverage!" -- On Tuesday, Draper told USA Today the campaign had garnered 1.3 million signatures, well over the approximately 808,000 needed. -- Draper is a founding member of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, known for its investments in successful growth ventures such as Hotmail, Baidu, Tesla Motors and Skype. Recently, Draper won the federal government's auction of bitcoins once owned by online drugs portal Silk Road. He's championed the political break-up of the state for over a year, but it's taken until recently for the plan to gain some momentum. --- The six carved out states would look like this: -- •Jefferson: The northern part of the state, including Humboldt and Mendocino counties. -- •North California: The wine country counties of Sonoma and Napa, as well as the Sierra Nevada region. -- •Silicon Valley: Including San Francisco, San Jose and most of what's considered the San Francisco Bay Area. -- •Central California: The vast central valley farm region, including Tulare and Fresno counties. -- •West California: Including Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. -- •South California: Including what's called the Inland Empire of San Bernadino and Riverside, plus San Diego. -- The plan has met with resistance from California's Democratic majority, and a Field Poll found 59% of Californians surveyed were against the plan, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. - More,

Car bomb attack kills at least 89 in Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - A car packed with explosives exploded on Tuesday as it sped through a crowded market in Afghanistan's eastern province of Paktika, killing at least 89 people, officials said, one of the most violent attacks in the country in a year. -- The huge explosion took place not far from the porous border with Pakistan's North Waziristan region, where the military has been attacking hideouts of the Pakistani Taliban in the past few weeks, prompting militants to retreat toward Afghanistan. -- "The number of victims may increase," said General Zahir Azimi, a defense ministry spokesman. -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack as a "despicable criminal act," which was a serious violation of international law, his spokesman said. -- The attack comes at an uneasy time in Afghanistan as the country recounts votes from a disputed presidential election which the Taliban have vowed to disrupt. -- But the Taliban distanced themselves from Tuesday's attack. The movement's leaders have ordered militants not to target civilians. -- "The truth behind this attack will become clear after an investigation, but we clearly announce that it was not done by the Mujahedeen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement. -- "The Mujahedeen do not conduct such attacks and such attacks do not bring any benefit to them." -- A local deputy police chief, Nissar Ahmad Abdulrahimzai, told Reuters that police had been tipped about the car and were chasing it when it exploded. -- "The explosion was so big it destroyed many shops. Dozens of people are trapped under the roofs," Mohammad Raza Kharoti, the district governor, told Reuters. -- "The number of wounded will rise to more than 100, and the number of those martyred will also increase." -- In Kabul, a remote-control bomb concealed by a roadside killed two employees of President Hamid Karzai's media office and wounded five, police said. The Taliban claimed responsibility. -- The attacks took place as foreign troops are gradually withdrawing from the country. The United Nations said last week that civilian casualties jumped by almost a quarter in the first half of this year as hostilities escalated. - More,

نیویارک ټایمز پر ارګ او دولتي ودانیو د عبدالله د حملې پلان افشا کړ --- نیویارک ټایمز ورځپاڼې افشا کړه چې د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ د دوهم پړاو انتخاباتو د ابتدايي پایلو له اعلانه وروسته د عبدالله عبدالله پلویانو تیاري نیولې وه چې پر ارګ او په څو ولایتونو کې پر دولتي ودانیو یرغل وکړي خو له عبدالله سره د ولسمشر بارک اوباما ټېلفوني خبرو د دې کار مخه ونیوله. -- نیویارک ټایمز د عبدالله عبدالله د اصلاحاتو او همپالنې د ټیم د یوه مشر فضل احمد معنوي له قوله لیکلي چې د تېرې اوونۍ د سې شنبې په ورځ سهار وختي له عبدالله سره د اوباما ټېلفوني خبرو په افغانستان کې د واک پر سر د یوه خطرناک کړکېچ مخه ونیوله. -- د ورځپاڼې له راپور سره سم، په داسي حال کې چې د افغانستان انتخاباتي لانجه ترینګلې کېده او لوېدیځ چارواکي څو اوونۍ له دې مسایلو لېري ول، جرمنیان لومړني کسان ول چې په افغانستان کې یې د قدرت پر سر د یوه لوی جنجال په وړاندې خبرداری ورکړ. -- نیویارک ټایمز لیکلي: پوره یوه اوونۍ مخکې لوېدیځو چارواکو خبرداری ورکړ چې که یو زورور والي د عبدالله په مشرۍ جلا حکومت اعلان کړي، لوېدیځ به له افغانستان سره ټولې مرستې ودروي او د افغان امنیتي ځواکونو د روزنې ماموریت به هم پای ته ورسوي. -- ورځپاڼه وايي، ډېر ژر ثایته شوه چې د جرمنیانو اندېښنه حقیقت لري. د سې شنبې په ورځ د ابتدايي پایلو له اعلانه وروسته دغه افغان والي د یوه موازي حکومت خبره وکړه او ورپسې د عبدالله نورو پلویانو ورته اعلانونه وکړل. -- نیویارک ټایمز لیکي، څه چې ونه ویل شول دا و چې د عبدالله خبرداري یوازې پټکې نه وې بلکې یو عملي پلان و. -- د عبدالله عبدالله د څو مهمو پلویانو او همکارانو په وینا د عبدالله یو شمېر ملاتړ کوونکو لږترلږه په ۳ ولایتونو کې د دولتي ودانیو د محاصره کولو او نیولو پلان جوړ کړی و. دوی دغه راز دې ته تیاري نیولې وه چې د ولسمشرۍ پر ماڼي- ارګ به ورننوځي او یا به محاصره کوي. -- نیویارک ټایمز وايي چې د شمال ټلوالې قومندانانو غوښتل چې پر ارګ دې یرغل وشي. دوی باور درلود چې افغان امنیتي ځواکونه او د ارګ امنیتي ساتونکي به پرې ډزې ونه کړي. -- دغو جهادي قومندانانو باور درلود چې اکثره امنیتي ځواکونه د عبدالله عبدالله پلویان دي او ولسمشر کرزی به ونه کړای شي چې پر هغو کسانو د ډزو امر ورکړي چې پر ارګ برید کوي. -- فضل احمد معنوي نیویارک ټایمز ته ویلي:«زموږ قومندانان وايي، ارګ ته د ننوتو لپاره د انتخاباتو د کمیسیون له خوا د بریالیتوب سند ته اړتیا نه لرو. په خپله ارګ ته تللی او هغه نیولی شو. که عبدالله امر کړی وای د ولسمشرۍ د ماڼۍ په شمول مو څو ولایتونه نیولی شوای.» -- د نیویارک ټایمز د راپور له مخې ولسمشر بارک اوباما عبدالله عبدالله ته خبرداری ورکړی و چې حتي د واک د غصبولو فکر ونه کړي، درې ورځې دې صبر وکړي چې جان کیري کابل ته ورسېږي. -- معنوي نیویارک ټایمز ته ویلي چې اوباما ډېر ښه کار وکړ که ده دا کار نه وای کړی هر څه به بل ډول و. -- تاند

Israel to intensify Gaza air strikes as truce falters --- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel has "no choice" but to step up its air strikes on Gaza, after an Egyptian truce initiative failed to halt militant rocket attacks on Israel. -- "When there is no ceasefire, our answer is fire," Mr Netanyahu said. -- Hamas, which controls Gaza, has not responded officially to the initiative. Its military wing has rejected it. -- Palestinian officials say Israeli raids have killed 194 people. Israel on Tuesday reported its first fatality. -- Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge eight days ago to try to halt the rocket attacks. --- The Egyptian-backed truce was to have started at 09:00 (06:00 GMT). - More, BBC,

MEPs elect Jean-Claude Juncker to head EU Commission --- A majority in the European Parliament has approved former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker to be President of the European Commission. -- He got 422 votes out of the 729 total cast in the secret ballot, despite strong opposition earlier from Britain. -- He told reporters in Strasbourg he was prepared to discuss repatriating some powers from Brussels to member states. -- A firm believer in EU integration, he will succeed incumbent Jose Manuel Barroso of Portugal in November. -- In a speech to MEPs, he pledged the Commission would be a "political body", not just Europe's civil service. -- He got sustained applause when he said the euro "protects Europe". -- Mr Juncker was well over the 376 votes minimum that he needed. There were 250 votes against him, 47 abstentions and 10 spoilt ballots. -- Mr Juncker, a veteran of Brussels deal-making, was lead candidate of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP), which won May's European elections. He played a key role in the eurozone bailouts. -- The presidency is the most powerful job in Brussels. The Commission drafts EU laws, oversees national budgets, enforces EU treaties and negotiates international trade deals. -- On Wednesday EU leaders are expected to nominate a new EU foreign policy chief, to replace Baroness Ashton. --- At his news conference, Mr Juncker reiterated previous comments that any repatriation of powers would be a matter for renegotiation with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other heads of government of EU states. -- But he said he would be prepared to make a "fair deal" with Britain. -- As chair of the eurozone finance ministers, Mr Juncker steered the massive bailouts for Greece, Portugal and other struggling countries at the height of the euro crisis in 2010-2012. -- He likened that role on Tuesday to "trying to keep a burning plane in the air while repairing it - you burn your fingers sometimes". -- Elsewhere in his speech he said: - More, BBC,

نیویارک تایمز: گروهء عبدالله می خواست ارگ و 3 ولایت را تسخیر کند --- روزنامهء نیویارک تایمز مقالهء را درمورد بحران انتخابات افغانستان در چند روز قبل از دیدار جان کری به نشر رسانیده و در آن از واقعیت های پرده برداشته است. -- به نوشته روزنامه حامیان عبدالله عبدالله آماده گی داشتند، بعد از اعلان نتایج ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات، بر ارگ ریاست جمهوری و ساختمان هایی حکومتی در چند ولایت هجوم ببرند، ولی یک تماس تیلفونی رئیس جمهوراوباما با عبدالله عبدالله جلو چنین اقدام را گرفت. -- نیویارک تایمز از قول فضل احمد معنوی یک مقام پیشین کمیسیون انتخابات و از حامیان عبدالله عبدالله نوشته که می گوید، یک تماس تیلفونی رییس جمهور اوباما با عبدالله عبدالله صبح وقت روز سه شنبه گذشته، از یک کشمکش خطرناک قدرت در افغانستان جلوگیری کرد. -- نیویارک تایمز می نویسد، در حالیکه بحران انتخاباتی افغانستان عمیق تر میشد و مقامات غربی چندین هفته در حاشیه قرار داشتند، آلمانی ها اولین کسانی بودند که هشدار یک کشمکش احتمالی قدرت را در افغانستان دادند. -- درست یک هفته پیش مقامات غربی هشدار دادند که اگر یک والی قدرتمند افغان، حکومت جداگانه را به رهبری عبدالله عبدالله اعلان کند، غرب تمام کمک ها را به افغانستان را متوقف نموده و ماموریت آموزش قوای افغان را خاتمه می دهد. -- به نوشته نیویارک تایمز، زمانی زیادی نگذشت که نگرانی آلمانی ها به واقعیت مبدل شد. بعد از اعلان نتایج ابتدایی انتخابات به روز دوشنبه گذشته، این والی افغان از اعلان یک حکومت موازی سخن گفت و به دنبال وی تعدادی دیگر از حامیان عبدالله عبدالله اعلان های مشابه کردند. -- نیویارک تایمز می نویسد، آنچه از آن گفته نشد این بود که تهدیدات عبدالله عبدالله فراتر از الفاظ رفته، به پلانی برای اقدام مبدل شده بود. به گفتهء چندین تن از حامیان عبدالله و مقامات سابق حکومتی، تعدادی از حامیان عبدالله برای محاصره مراکز حکومتی در حد اقل سه ولایت افغانستان آماده گی گرفته بودند و هم آماده گی داشتند به اشارهء عبدالله، به سوی ارگ ریاست جمهوری هجوم برده و آنجا را محاصره کنند. --- شش روز بعد، روزهای مثل هر روز دیگر بعد از آغاز جنگ امریکا در افغانستان معلوم می شدند، ولی نیویارک تایمز می نویسد، ستاد های انتخاباتی دو کاندید در مصاحبه ها با رسانه های غربی جزییاتی را درمورد این هفتهء پرتنش داده اند که جدی تر از بحران های سیاسی قبلی بوده و خطراتی را در بر داشت که می توانست، زخم های جنگ های داخلی را تازه کند. --- نیویارک تایمز می نویسد: -- قوماندانان محلی مجاهدین خواهان اقدام علیهء ارگ شده و با یقین کامل ابراز داشتند که قوای امنیتی افغان به شمول محافظین امنیتی ارگ، بر آن ها فیر نخواهند کرد. این قوماندانان جهادی باور داشتند که اکثر نیروهای امنیتی افغان طرفدارعبدالله عبدالله اند و رییس جمهور کرزی نخواهد توانست به آن ها دستور دهد بالای کسانیکه به ارگ هجوم می برند آتش باری کند. -- فضل احمدی معنوی رییس سابق کمیسیون انتخابات و مشاور امور انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله به نیویارک تایمز گفته است: -- "قوماندانان ما می گویند برای ورود به ارگ به گرفتن کلید از نزد کمسیون انتخابات نیاز نداریم، خود می توانیم برویم و ارگ را بگیریم." --- معنوی گفته است: - "اگر آقای عبدالله دستور می داد چندین ولایت به شمول قصر ریاست جمهوری به دست تیم وی می افتادند." -- ولی به گفتهء معنوی و چندین تن دیگر، یک تماس تیلفونی اوباما به عبدالله عبدالله صبح وقت روز سه شنبه گذشته، از یک کشمکش خطرناک قدرت ممانعت کرد. -- آقای اوباما به عبدالله عبدالله هشدار داده بود که حتی فکر گرفتن قدرت را نکند و سه روز منتظر باشد تا جان کری به کابل برسد. -- فضل احمد معنوی به نیویارک تایمز گفته است، حکومت امریکا واقعاً کار خوب برای مردم افغانستان کرد و اگر همین تیلفون اوباما به عبدالله نمی بود، این جریان متوقف نمی شد. -- جیمز کننگهم سفیر امریکا در افغانستان به طور مستقیم تایید نکرده است که گویا مقامات امریکایی در مورد پلان هجوم بردن حامیان عبدالله به ارگ خبر داشتند. ولی وی بیان داشته است که احساس جدی از حالت اضطرار موجود بود. -- کننگهم در مصاحبهء با یک گروپ کوچک از خبرنگاران گفته است: "دلیل اینکه ما به طور سریع مداخله کردیم این بود که به آن ها بگوییم که از اقدام بیشتر دست بردار شوند، اقدامی که یقین دارم برای افغانستان فاجعه بار می بود". -- کننگهم گفته است: -- "این انکشاف تا اندازهء جدی بود که حتی رییس جمهور و وزیر خارجه امریکا را به اقدام واداشت." - رادیو آزادی - Anxious Moments for an Afghanistan on the Brink --- NYTimes

Car bomb attack kills at least 30 in Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - A car packed with explosives exploded on Tuesday as it was passing by a crowded market in Afghanistan's eastern province of Paktika, killing at least 30 people and wounding 40, police said. -- "Right now, police are taking all the wounded to hospitals," a local deputy police chief, Nissar Ahmad Abdulrahimzai, told Reuters. -- Officials said the death toll was certain to rise. Another source said up to 50 people may have been killed. -- The attack took place not far from the porous border with Pakistan's North Waziristan region, where the military has been attacking hideouts of the Pakistani Taliban in the past few weeks, prompting militants to retreat towards Afghanistan. -- Abdulrahimzai said police had been tipped about the car and were chasing it when it exploded. -- "The explosion was so big it destroyed many shops. Dozens of people are trapped under the roofs," Mohammad Raza Kharoti, the district governor, told Reuters. -- "The number of wounded will rise to more than 100 and the number of those martyred will also increase." -- In Kabul, a remote control bomb concealed by a roadside killed two employees of President Hamid Karzai's media office and wounded five, police said. The Taliban claimed responsibility. -- The attacks took place as foreign troops are gradually withdrawing from the country. The United Nations said last week civilian casualties jumped by almost a quarter in the first half of this year as hostilities escalate. - More,

در انفجاری در کابل دو کارمند دفتر رئیس جمهوری افغانستان کشته شدند --- انفجار در کابل پایتخت افغانستان موتر/خودری حامل کارکنان ریاست جمهوری را هدف قرار داد و دو کشته بر جای مانده است. -- این انفجار روز سه شنبه، ٢٤ سرطان/تیر روی داد و فرماندهی پلیس کابل می‌گوید که در این رویداد پنج نفر دیگر نیز زخمی شده‌اند که همه کارکنان ریاست جمهوری افغانستان بودند. زخمی‌های انفجار به بیمارستان منتقل شده‌اند. -- حشمت ستانکزی سخنگوی فرماندهی پلیس کابل به بی‌بی‌سی گفت که این انفجار حوالی ساعت هفت و نیم به وقت محلی در محله "ارزان-قیمت" مربوط حوزه دوازدهم پلیس کابل روی داد. -- آقای ستانکزی همچنین گفت که انفجار ناشی از یک بمب کنار جاده بود که از راه دور کنترل می‌شد. هنوز هویت قربانیان این رویداد اعلام نشده اما پلیس می‌گوید که قربانیان این رویداد کارمندان بخش مطبوعاتی ریاست جمهوری بود که از خانه به محل کار خود می‌رفتند. -- ساحه ارزان قیمت در مسیر راه کابل-جلال آباد در شرق پایتخت واقع شده و پیش از این نیز مخالفان مسلح دولت افغانستان در این مسیر حملات انتحاری و انفجارهای مشابه سازماندهی کرده‌بودند. -- هنوز فرد یا گروهی مسئولیت این رویداد را به عهده نگرفته اما مقام های امنیتی مخالفان مسلح را عامل این رویداد می‌دانند. -- پایتخت افغانستان در مقایسه با سایر ولایت‌ها از امنیت نسبی برخوردار است اما با این وجود شورشیانی که با دولت می‌جنگند هر از گاهی عملیات‌هایی را در پایتخت نیز راه اندازی می‌کنند. -- کارکنان دولتی همواره یکی از اهداف عمده مخالفان مسلح دولت بوده اند. دو هفته پیش در یک کلیک حمله انتحاری در منطقه کارته-سخی کابل هفت عضو ارتش ملی افغانستان کشته و شانزده نفر دیگر زخمی شدند. قربانیان این رویداد همه کارکنان وزارت دفاع ملی بودند. - BBC

'Many dead' in Afghan market blast --- Many people are feared dead in a car bomb explosion at a busy market in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province. -- The attacker drove a 4x4 vehicle into the market in Orgun district and detonated the explosives, a senior official told the BBC. -- The market was crowded, full of people doing their shopping at the time of the attack, the official added. -- Orgun is one of Paktika's safest areas, though members of the Haqqani militant network are thought to have a presence. - BBC

Editorial - Back From the Brink in Afghanistan --- John Kerry’s Compromise Deal Lays Out a Way Forward for Afghans --- The compromise deal over Afghanistan’s bitterly contested presidential election is a big relief and a credit to all involved, especially Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, the two candidates, and Secretary of State John Kerry, who brokered the agreement in 12 hours of intense negotiations. It pulled the country back from the risk of civil war and offers a chance for a peaceful political transition after 13 years of Hamid Karzai’s leadership. -- Even so, there is no guarantee that the compromise, reached Friday and Saturday after Mr. Kerry made an urgent trip to Kabul, will endure. This is, after all, Afghanistan, a fragile, war-ravaged country with many ethnic, geographic and political divisions. -- Mr. Ghani, a former Afghan finance minister and World Bank official, and Mr. Abdullah, a former foreign minister, are both plausible candidates. But the deal is unlikely to hold up if they cannot resist the destructive influence of some of their allies and their own worst instincts. Mr. Abdullah, for instance, irresponsibly threatened last week to establish a breakaway government. -- First, that means upholding their commitment to a recount, by international monitors, of all 8.1 million votes cast in the June 14 balloting, however challenging that task is. Preliminary results last week showed Mr. Ghani leading Mr. Abdullah with 56.4 percent of the vote. Mr. Abdullah cried foul, and even some neutral observers found Mr. Ghani’s margin of victory less than credible. -- The candidates have also agreed that the results will be binding and that the winner will lead a national unity government. The recount, is expected to begin in the next few days and take several weeks, and could delay the planned Aug. 2 inauguration of the new president. But it is the only way to give legitimacy to the electoral process. -- The compromise anticipates that the loser or his designee would become “chief executive” for the government, with powers to be settled later. This is intended to assure the loser and his supporters that they will have a meaningful role in the political system. The candidates are also said to have agreed to take the threat of violence off the table and to pursue a reform agenda. The deal includes longer-term plans to consider reshaping the Afghanistan government system, which was established in 2001 with substantial American input and includes a president with near-dictatorial powers. But a parliamentary system or other replacement has yet to be agreed on, and altering the existing structure will be very contentious. -- The compromise is a rare success for American foreign policy. But it would not have been possible without President Obama’s threat to withhold aid, the billions of dollars that have propped up Afghanistan’s economy and underwritten its security forces, and without which it could well go the way of Iraq. Mr. Obama must be prepared, if necessary, to use that leverage again to ensure the deal is carried out. - More, THE EDITORIAL BOARD, NYTimes

Anxious Moments for an Afghanistan on the Brink --- KABUL, Afghanistan — It was the Germans who uttered the first alarm that a potentially deadly power struggle might be brewing, after weeks of Western officials’ staying on the sidelines as the Afghan election crisis deepened. Just over a week ago, they threatened to withdraw funding and training troops from Afghanistan if a powerful regional governor declared a breakaway government led by the presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah. -- It was not long before the German concerns proved founded. Enraged by Afghan officials’ sudden announcement of suspicious preliminary results last Monday, the governor declared the breakaway government. And he was followed by similar declarations from other Abdullah supporters. -- But as Western officials scrambled to respond, what was not being said aloud was that the Abdullah camp’s threats had already gone beyond talk to a plan of action. Some of Mr. Abdullah’s backers were preparing to take over the centers of government in at least three provinces, and on his word to march on and occupy the presidential palace, according to several of his supporters and former government officials. -- What followed was as tumultuous a six-day stretch for Afghanistan as any since the American invasion in 2001. Interviews with Western officials, the two presidential campaigns and other Afghan officials detailed a week that went beyond any previous political crisis in carrying the risk of a factional conflict that would tear open the wounds of the devastating civil war. -- Local mujahedeen commanders were urging action against the palace, expressing confidence that the Afghan security forces, including those guarding President Hamid Karzai, would not fire on them. The commanders believed that most of the security forces were sympathetic to Mr. Abdullah, and that Mr. Karzai would be loath to order guards to open fire. -- “Our commanders say we do not need the palace key from the Election Commission, we can go and take it ourselves,” said Fazal Ahmad Manawi, a former supreme court judge and an election adviser to Mr. Abdullah. “If Dr. Abdullah had said yes, several provinces including the palace would have fallen into the hands of his team.” -- According to Mr. Manawi and others, it was a call from President Obama to Mr. Abdullah just after dawn last Tuesday that helped stop a headlong rush into a disastrous power struggle. Mr. Obama warned Mr. Abdullah not to even consider seizing power and to keep calm over the three days until Secretary of State John Kerry could get to Kabul. -- “Really here the U.S. government did a great favor to the Afghan people,” Mr. Manawi said. “If it was not for the telephone call to Dr. Abdullah, this would not have stopped.” -- The American ambassador in Kabul, James B. Cunningham, would not directly confirm that American officials knew of the plan to march on the palace before Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry reached out. But he did acknowledge an acute sense of urgency. -- “The reason we intervened so rapidly was to urge them to stop even thinking about going down that road, which, I agree, would have been a disaster for the country,” Mr. Cunningham said in an interview with a small group of reporters. “It was serious enough that it engaged the president of the United States and the secretary of state, and that’s not an everyday occurrence.” -- At a political rally the day of the call, Mr. Abdullah invoked the American warnings as he struggled to curb supporters who had begun to shout their demands for a march on the palace. Beginning to tear up, he urged patience, saying that Mr. Kerry would soon be in Afghanistan, and that they should wait to see what kind of agreement could be struck with his rival, Ashraf Ghani. -- He was shouted down, and left the stage as the crowd’s yells heightened. --- When the election commission announced a turnout of seven million that day, it was far higher than expected, and than plausible, given witness reports from polling stations around the country. The announcement was immediately suspicious not just to Mr. Abdullah, but to some international officials as well. -- Over the next weeks, Mr. Abdullah pressed accusations of systemic election fraud, in which millions of false ballots had been arranged in a conspiracy that included Mr. Ghani’s campaign, national election officials and President Karzai himself. Mr. Ghani, for the most part, kept a studied silence other than to deny his opponent’s claims and reaffirm that he would abide by the election commission’s process. --- Then, last Monday, the Independent Election Commission announced preliminary results for the runoff, even as the candidates were still negotiating with the United Nations on a broader investigation of fraudulent ballots. They put Mr. Ghani more than a million votes ahead of Mr. Abdullah, and said the turnout was even greater than initially announced, at 8.1 million voters. -- As Mr. Abdullah’s supporters began agitating for action, the Germans sounded their note of alarm, followed by other Western officials. Then Mr. Obama stepped in, and a tense three-day countdown began until Mr. Kerry’s arrival. -- Although Afghan officials were careful to say that they believed Mr. Abdullah did not personally want a call to arms on his behalf, he began publicly walking a very tenuous line. Even as he tried to calm his supporters, he also insisted that he would be found the rightful winner of the election. And he reserved the right to unilaterally declare a government if talks with Mr. Kerry did not satisfactorily address his accusations of fraud. --- The negotiations on Saturday were most drawn out over the details of how to audit the runoff ballots, Mr. Manawi said. Mr. Abdullah was insisting that any box in which over 93 percent of the ballots were for one candidate should be reviewed. Mr. Ghani objected, eventually suggesting that they audit all the votes cast. -- After that deal, officials said, the rest of the agreement was reached relatively easily, despite the fact that it included a sweeping plan to change the shape of the government over the next few years and to agree on a unity government in the shorter term after the results of the audit — and the election — are announced. --- The winner will become president, and the runner-up, or somebody he nominates, will become a chief executive running the government. The security ministries will remain as they were for the first three months, Mr. Manawi said. The chief executive will serve for two years and the constitution will be amended to create an empowered prime minister post. The two election commissions will also be reformed. -- More, NYTimes,®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

Monday, July 14, 2014

کناره گیری هیگ به عنوان وزیر خارجه همزمان با ترمیم کابینه --- همزمان با ترمیم کابینه دولت بریتانیا ویلیام هیگ وزیر خارجه بریتانیا تصمیم گرفته است از مقام خود کناره گیری کند تا رهبری مجلس عوام را به عهده گیرد. -- آقای هیگ قرار است در سال ۲۰۱۵ همزمان با انتخابات عمومی پارلمان را ترک کند که پس از ۲۶ سال نمایندگی ریچموند نورت یورکشر خواهد بود. -- وزرای ارشد دولت دیوید کامرون به بی بی سی گفته اند فیلیپ هاموند وزیر دفاع جایگزین آقای هیگ به عنوان وزیر خارجه خواهد شد. -- آقای کامرون گفت: «ویلیام هیگ برای یک نسل یکی از چراغ های روشن و ممتاز حزب محافظه کار بود، حزب را رهبری کرده و در دو کابینه خدمت کرده است.» -- «او نه تنها یک وزیر خارجه تراز اول بوده بلکه یکی از معتمدان نزدیک من، یک مشاور خردمند و یک دوست درجه یک است.» -- آقای کامرون گفت که ویلیام هیگ در دوره باقی مانده تا انتخابات عملا معاون سیاسی او خواهد بود تا از پیروزی کامل محافظه کاران اطمینان حاصل شود. -- آقای هیگ گفت: «خیلی خوشحالم که بتوانم به عنوان رهبر مجلس عوام خدمت کنم، و در سراسر کشور برای نامزدهای محافظه کار مبارزه کنم.» -- او گفت که بعد از انتخابات به کار نوشتن باز خواهد گشت اما همچنان فعالانه به حمایت از حزب محافظه کار و کمپین در مورد مسائل بین المللی که برایش مهم است ادامه خواهد داد. -- منابع دولتی به رسانه ها گفته اند که آقای هیگ در صورتی که می خواست می توانست در پست خود باقی بماند. -- تصمیم او برای کناره گیری به عنوان وزیر خارجه به فاصله کوتاهی پس از آن که کنت کلارک از اعضای قدیمی حزب محافظه کار تصمیم گرفت کابینه را ترک کند گرفته شد. -- آقای کامرون برای آخرین بار پیش از انتخابات در حال ترمیم کابینه است. -- شماری از دیگر وزرای کابینه هم پست خود را ترک کرده اند. -- رسانه های بریتانیایی گزارش می دهند که آقای کامرون پیش از انتخابات سال آینده خواهان جایگزینی بعضی از اعضای سالخورده کابینه با زنان و مردان جوانتر است. -- ویلیام هیگ که اکنون ۵۳ سال دارد در سال ۲۰۱۰ همزمان با پیروزی محافظه کاران وزیر خارجه شد. - BBC

William Hague quits as foreign secretary in cabinet reshuffle --- William Hague has stood down as foreign secretary and will stay in the cabinet as Leader of the Commons, Downing Street has said. -- Mr Hague is to leave Parliament at the 2015 general election after 26 years as MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire. -- As part of a significant ministerial reshuffle, veteran Conservative MP Ken Clarke has also stepped down. -- Senior ministers have told the BBC that the current defence secretary, Philip Hammond, will replace Mr Hague. -- Labour described the reshuffle as "the massacre of the moderates". -- Prime Minister David Cameron said: "William Hague has been one of the leading lights of the Conservative Party for a generation, leading the party and serving in two cabinets. -- "Not only has he been a first class foreign secretary - he has also been a close confidante, a wise counsellor and a great friend. -- He will remain as First Secretary of State and my de facto political deputy in the run up to the election - and it is great to know that he will be a core part of the team working to ensure an outright Conservative victory." -- BBC,

.آغاز روند بررسی آرای انتخابات افغانستان دو روز به تاخیر افتاد --- آغاز روند بررسی آرای دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان برای یک روز دیگر به تاخیر افتاد. احمد یوسف نورستانی، رئیس کمیسیون انتخابات افغانستان می‌گوید توافق میان اشرف غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله با پا درمیانی وزیر خارجه آمریکا و نماینده سازمان ملل بدون در نظر داشت مشکلات کمیسیون انتخابات صورت گرفته است. -- او گفت که در کنار مشکلات کمیسیون انتخابات، نمایندگی سازمان ملل متحد در کابل نیز درخواست کرده که تا رسیدن ناظران بین‌المللی به کابل این روند آغاز نشود. -- بر اساس توافق صورت گرفته قرار بود روند بررسی تمام آرا امروز آغاز شود، اما تا روز سه شنبه به تاخیر افتاد. -- حالا آقای نورستانی می‌گوید این روند روز چهار شنبه (۱۶ جولای) آغاز خواهد شد. او می‌گوید که هنوز نه مکان برای بررسی آرا مشخص نشده و ناظرین بین‌المللی هم برای نظارت از این پروسه تا کنون به کابل نیامده اند. -- آقای نورستانی در گفت‌وگو با صفی الله امین زاده خبرنگار بی بی سی در کابل گفت که در حال حاضر کمیسیون مشغول آماده ساختن برنامه عملیاتی روند بررسی آرا است. -- نامزدهای انتخاباتی افغانستان توافق کرده اند که تمامی آرای دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان در کابل مورد بررسی دوباره قرار بگیرد تا "آرا پاک از آرا ناپاک" جدا ساخته شود. -- آقای نورستانی گفت که آمادگی برای عملیاتی ساختن روند بررسی تا فردا بعد از ظهر تکمیل می‌شود. -- "این برنامه فردا تکمیل می‌شود. کار فوق‌العاده زیاد است. ما باید گدام‌ها (انبارها) را آماده بسازیم، ما باید برای ۱۰۰ تیم تفتیش جای آماده بسازیم، میز و چوکی (صندلی) کار است، ناظرین را دعوت بکنیم، این افرادی‌که به عنوان ناظر می‌آیند در کجا بودوباش داشته باشند. ما آنقدر جای فراوان نداریم که همه چیز را یک روز آغاز کنیم؛ مجبور هستیم بعضی جاها را خالی کنیم، کارمندان را باید آموزش بدهیم." -- این بررسی‌ها از سوی کمیسیون انتخابات و زیر نظر ناظرانی از ستادهای انتخاباتی هردو نامزد و ناظران بی‌طرف نهادهای بین‌المللی، انجام خواهد شد. -- هنوز مشخص نیست بررسی و بازشماری آراء چقدر طول می‌کشد و به همین دلیل نامزدان انتخابات و وزیر خارجه آمریکا از آقای کرزی خواستند مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهوری جدید را، حدود یکماه دیگر به تاخیر اندازد. - BBC,

Israel's Gaza campaign in seventh day as rocket fire continues --- Israeli air strikes on Gaza and rocket fire on Israel have continued, on the seventh day of Israel's operation against Palestinian militants. --Palestinian officials say at least 175 people in Gaza have been killed since the offensive began last Tuesday. -- Israel says nearly 1,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza in that time. It said it shot down a Palestinian drone near Ashdod on Monday morning. -- Thousands of people have fled homes in northern Gaza after an Israeli warning. -- Israel has massed thousands of troops on the border, amid speculation of a possible a ground invasion. - More, BBC,

Health & Science - Sleep disorders may raise risk of Alzheimer’s, new research shows --- Sleep disturbances such as apnea may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, while moderate exercise in middle age and mentally stimulating games, such as crossword puzzles, may prevent the onset of the dementia-causing disease, according to new research to be presented Monday. -- The findings — which are to be introduced during the six-day Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen — bolster previous studies that suggest sleep plays a critical role in the aging brain’s health, perhaps by allowing the body to cleanse itself of Alzheimer's-related compounds during down time. The studies also add to a growing body of literature that suggests keeping the brain busy keeps it healthy. -- The battle against Alzheimer’s disease has become more urgent for the United States and other developing nations as their populations turn increasingly gray. The disease is the leading cause of dementia in older people and afflicts more than 5 million Americans. At its current pace, the number is expected to soar to 16 million people by 2050. -- In 2012, the United States adopted a national plan to combat the disease and the G-8 nations last year adopted a goal of providing better treatment and prevention by 2025. -- Erin Heintz, a spokeswoman for the Alzheimer’s Association, said U.S. government funding to combat the disease now stands at about $500 million a year. To reach its 2025 goal, the United States should be spending $2 billion a year, she said. --- The sleep study, conducted by University of California at San Francisco researchers on a large sample of veterans, found that those with diagnosed sleep disorders such as apnea or insomnia were 30 percent more likely to suffer dementia than veterans without such problems. Veterans who suffered from sleep problems and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had an 80 percent greater risk. --- “I would say that this another important study showing this link between sleep and subsequent diagnosis of dementia,” Kristine Yaffe, a psychiatry professor at UCSF who heads its Dementia Epidemiology Research Group, said in a telephone interview. She said her study’s findings benefited from having such a large sample of participants: researchers used eight years of records on 200,000 veterans, most of whom were male and 55 or older. -- It is well known that people afflicted with Alzheimer’s suffer from sleep disorders, Yaffe said, but further research is necessary to determine whether sleep disturbance heightens the risk of getting dementia or is a symptom. --- In a separate study, researchers at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center wanted to find out whether middle-aged people who engage in mentally stimulating activities might reduce their risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Forty percent of the subject group carried the gene linked to Alzheimer's and 74 percent had a parent with the illness, two factors known to increase the risk of getting the disease. - More, Fredrick Kunkle,

A score for Germany patriotism --- BERLIN — In the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate, in a city scarred, then divided and reborn, the final moment of the 2014 World Cup brought a sound once rare in this capital: the collective scream of German pride. -- Fireworks erupted across the city, car horns blared and a stoic nation dropped its guard in bear hugs, beer-mug toasts and tears of joy. In Rio de Janeiro, an ecstatic German Chancellor Angela Merkel — a soccer fan extraordinaire — staged an impromptu receiving line to kiss the 11-man team. On the “fan mile” in central Berlin, where tens of thousands braved preternatural summer chill and early rain, Alexander Nolte, 24, captured the sentiments of a nation that views the victory as a harbinger of changing times. -- “I feel amazing, unbelievable, this is pure euphoria. I hope that I won’t wake up tomorrow and find out that it’s a dream,” said Nolte, an electronics engineering student. “This victory will be pure prestige for Germany, and it could also affect other areas beyond sports, like politics and the economy.” -- Sunday’s fourth World Cup title for Germany — its first as a united team following reunification — will be remembered here as a touchstone moment in a nation at a crossroads in its post-World War II history. In the past five years, Germany has emerged as Europe’s reluctant leader, an economic superpower and a model for harnessing the promise of globalization. -- The right to national pride was thought lost after the grim tableau of the war. But Sunday’s joyous sea of black, red and yellow — the colors of the German flag clutched in hands from the Baltic Sea to the Alps — seemed to mark a new leap forward here, moving Germany down a path toward a 21st-century relationship with patriotism and identity. - More,

اشتباه مجدد ایالات متحدۀ امریکا -- احسان الله مایار

World Cup: Will German victory help Angela Merkel? --- Will Germany's triumph at the World Cup help Angela Merkel? -- She's been accused of shamelessly attaching herself to the footballers and their success, and the polls have shown upward blips of support for her as the team has progressed. But will it last? -- There's no doubt the World Cup has played well for her. Within an hour of the final whistle, there seemed to be a million tweets of her pictured in the middle of the sweaty, victorious team holding the trophy, the president of Germany beside her. -- She is, by all accounts, a genuine football fan, going to games way before she was politically important. But nowadays the right picture in the right place doesn't do any harm either. -- She was there when Germany thrashed Portugal 4-0 at the start and she was there at the final triumph when they lifted the World Cup. -- She's been described as the team's lucky charm. As she and the team's supporters sometimes put it: "Our twelfth man is a woman." -- But the political benefits of sporting success are not clear - or rather, they are complex and memory plays tricks. - More, Stephen Evans, BBC,

تفاوت بین حکومت وحدت ملی و حکومت ایتلافی؟ --- پس از شکست بن بست انتخابات افغانستان به میانجیگری وزیر خارجه امریکا و نماینده خاص سازمان ملل متحد، هر دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری افغانستان به هدف حفظ ثبات در کشور به ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی توافق کردند. تیم های انتخاباتی هر دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری می گویند، بخاطر برطرف ساختن نگرانی ها میان دو نامزد مبنی به اینکه پس از اعلام نامزد برنده، نامزد بازنده به حاشیه نرود در قالب یک حکومت وحدت ملی با هم یکجا کار خواهند کرد. سید آقا فاضل سنچارکی سخنگوی تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی به رهبری عبدالله عبدالله می گوید، نامزدان به موافقه رسیدند که برنده نهایی انتخابات با مشارکت تیم بازنده حکومت وحدت ملی را تشکیل خواهد داد: "هدف از حکومت وحدت ملی همین است که به یک شکلی مشارکت صورت بگیرید و ظرفیت های موجود سیاسی افغانستان در قالب یک حکومت واحد جابجا شوند حکومت ایتلافی نیست و حکومتی خواهد بود که مبتنی به برنامه کاندید پیروز است و طبعاً از تجارب نیرو های سیاسی تیم دیگر استفاده صورت می گیرید." -- جان کری وزیر خارجه امریکا پس از جریان دو روز گفتگو با نامزدان ریاست جمهوری افغانستان شنبه شب در نشست مشترک خبری با این نامزدان گفت که اشرف غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله پس از اعلام نتایج نهایی تشکیل حکومت وحدت ملی را پذیرفته اند. اشرف غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله هر دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری هم چنان گفتند که آنان روی ایجاد یک حکومت وحدت ملی در کشور به موافقه رسیدند. تیم تحول و تداوم به رهبری اشرف غنی احمدزی در صحبت با رادیو آزادی گفت که هیچ نامزد نمی تواند قدرت انحصاری داشته باشد، بناءً ساختار یک حکومت وحدت ملی که متشکل از اعضای هر دو تیم باشد، ایجاد خواهد شد. --- حمیدالله فاروقی یک عضو تیم تحول و تداوم در مورد گفت: "حکومت وحدت ملی از یک طرف نگرانی های هر دو تیم را رفع می کند که آنها در صورتیکه برنده نشوند و رای اکثریت مردم را نداشته باشند طبعاً این اندیشه و نگرانی در نزد شان وجود دارد که به حاشیه کشانده می شوند و دیگر اینکه این مساله در واقع زمینه پذیریش نتایج انتخابات را نیز آسان می سازد و از طریق حکومت وحدت ملی این آرزومندی را بر آورده می سازد." -- اما در میان مردم این پرسش مطرح است که حکومت وحدت ملی چگونه حکومت خواهد بود؟ آیا مفهوم اصطلاح وحدت ملی به معنی حکومت ائتلافی است یا خیر؟ آگاهان امور حقوقی و سیاسی به این پرسش پاسخ داده می گویند، از نظر سیاسی تشکیل چنین حکومت به مفهوم ایجاد حکومت ائتلافی است و جای برای استعمال اصطلاح وحدت ملی وجود ندارد. نصرالله ستانکزی یکی از این آگاهان بدین باور است که اصطلاح وحدت ملی به عوض حکومت ائتلافی مورد استفاده قرار گرفته است: "اساساً حکومت وحدت ملی در دولت های به میان می آید که پس از جنگ ها و بحران های قومی این حکومت تشکیل می شود به نظر من استعمال کلمه وحدت ملی در اینجا هیچ جای ندارد می توانیم بگویم که حکومت ایتلافی که منظور آن تامین بیشتر وحدت ملی است که به وجود می آید. نامش را که هر چی می گذارند از نظر علوم سیاسی چنین تشکیل حکومت ایتلافی است." -- پس از بیشتر شدن تشنج های انتخاباتی و مبدل شدن آن به یک بن بست، بخاطر درهم شکستن آن مقامات امریکایی وارد عمل شدند، سر انجام با پیشنهاد طرح تفتیش صد درصد آراء و ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی به این همه نقطه پایان گذاشته شد. تیم های انتخاباتی هر دو نامزد ریاست جمهوری افغانستان در گذشته هم روی کار آمدن حکومت ائتلافی را رد کرده بودند و اکنون هم می گویند هدف از ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی، حکومت ایتلافی نیست. - رادیو آزادی

Kabul Prepares to Start Huge Audit Under Kerry Deal --- KABUL—Afghanistan is set to begin an unprecedented audit of the 8.1 million votes cast in the June 14 presidential election, a process that is expected to take at least three weeks and will delay the inauguration of a new president. -- Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah agreed after marathon talks with Secretary of State John Kerry this weekend to a full audit of the bitterly contested election, which had threatened to split the country along ethnic and territorial lines. -- In a political deal also brokered by Mr. Kerry, the two candidates said that in addition to accepting the results of the audit, they agreed that the winner of the election would form a "national unity government" that would include the losing side. -- "This will be still a difficult road, because there are important obligations of the audit," Mr. Kerry said in a late-night briefing with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace. "But tonight, Afghanistan saw a moment of what unity can mean." -- As part of a deal to break the deadlock over Mr. Abdullah's allegations of widespread fraud on his rival's behalf, Afghans and the international community now face the herculean task of retrieving all of the ballots cast around the country and scrutinizing each one for signs of fraud. -- "The audit will be carried out in Kabul, and it will begin within 24 hours," Mr. Kerry said late Saturday, adding that the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force would handle the transporting of ballot boxes from the country's 34 provinces. --- Election Officials said audit teams would start forming on Monday, with the audit beginning in earnest as early as Tuesday. -- Members of both camps said on Sunday that some of the technical details of the audit still need to be worked out, signaling the potential for new disagreements. --- Negotiations also lie ahead over the composition of a government of national unity. The new president will formally appoint a "government chief executive officer" picked by the runner-up, according to members of both campaign teams. -- Mr. Saikal described the position as an "executive prime minister" who would be appointed by decree. -- "The agreement will be talked about after the winner is announced," said Daud Sultanzoy, a former presidential candidate who is a spokesman for Mr. Ghani, adding: "National unity doesn't mean one side or two sides, but all sides that are able to solidify national unity in Afghanistan. This is the intention that was announced when Mr. Ghani was registered as a candidate." --- According to the country's Independent Election Commission, 22,828 polling stations were open on June 14. Yusuf Nuristani, the chairman of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission, said Sunday the commission's 100 audit teams would scrutinize as many as 1,000 ballot boxes a day for irregularities, with the process taking three weeks. -- The European Union said Sunday that the EU Election Assessment Team "will closely follow the agreed auditing of election results." - More, WSJ,

Isis defector speaks of life inside brutal jihadist group --- An "Islamic caliphate" has been declared in the Middle East and the group behind it, Isis, has now rebranded itself simply "the Islamic State". Panorama has spoken to a defector about life inside the feared jihadist group. -- Isis is not an organisation it is easy to leave. We met a man who had - and he was terrified of the consequences. "The brutality of Isis terrifies everyone," he said. "My family, my cousins, my siblings are all still there. I fear for them. If they can't reach me, they will reach my family." -- He was nervous, agreeing to record an interview only after several hours of discussion, over customary tiny glasses of scalding hot, sweet tea. He would talk to us only if we would not reveal his identity. He wrapped himself in a keffiyeh for our camera and we promised not to use his name. -- He summed up the jihadists' tactics like this: "If you're against me, then you'll be killed. If you're with me, you work with me. You submit to my will and obey me, under my power in all matters." - More, Paul Wood, BBC,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How Saudi Arabia Helped Isis Take Over the North of Iraq --- How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.” -- The fatal moment predicted by Prince Bandar may now have come for many Shia, with Saudi Arabia playing an important role in bringing it about by supporting the anti-Shia jihad in Iraq and Syria. Since the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) on 10 June, Shia women and children have been killed in villages south of Kirkuk, and Shia air force cadets machine-gunned and buried in mass graves near Tikrit. -- In Mosul, Shia shrines and mosques have been blown up, and in the nearby Shia Turkoman city of Tal Afar 4,000 houses have been taken over by Isis fighters as “spoils of war”. Simply to be identified as Shia or a related sect, such as the Alawites, in Sunni rebel-held parts of Iraq and Syria today, has become as dangerous as being a Jew was in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe in 1940. -- There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar’s words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”. -- He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.” This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent. - More, Patrick Cockburn,

Was Iraq's Top Terrorist Radicalized at a US-Run Prison? --- A former US military compound commander at Camp Bucca suspects ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's extremism was fostered (or bolstered) at the facility. -- In early July, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the jihadist terror group now known as the Islamic State—formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS—preached on high in Mosul and declared himself the "Caliph Ibrahim" of a new fundamentalist Sunni state stretching from western and northern Iraq to northern Syria. This announcement came after months of fighting over territory and skirmishes with Iraqi forces, as ISIS invaded and captured dozens of Iraqi cities including Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown. -- In short order, Baghdadi has become Iraq's most prominent extremist leader. But for much of his adult life, Baghdadi did not have a reputations as a fiery, jihadist trailblazer. According to the Telegraph, members of his local mosque in Tobchi (a neighborhood in Baghdad) who knew him from around 1989 until 2004 (when he was between the ages of 18 and 33) considered Baghdadi a quiet, studious fellow and a talented soccer player. When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, Baghdadi was earning a degree in Islamic studies in Baghdad. -- But within a couple years of the US invasion, Baghdadi was a prisoner in Camp Bucca, the US-run detainment facility in Umm Qasr, Iraq. And a US compound commander stationed at that prison—and other military officials—have in recent weeks wondered whether Baghdadi's stint there radicalized him and put him on the path to taking over ISIS in 2010 and guiding the movement to its recent military victories. --- The details of Baghdadi's time in Camp Bucca are murky. Some media reports note that he was held as a "civilian internee" at the prison for 10 months in 2004. Others report that he was captured by US forces in 2005 and spent four years at Camp Bucca. The reason why he was apprehended is not publicly known; he could have been arrested on a specific charge or as part of a large sweep of insurgents or insurgent supporters. (A confidential Red Cross report leaked in May 2004 suggested than around 90 percent of detainees of Iraqi origin were arrested "by mistake.") Army Colonel Kenneth King, the commanding US officer at Camp Bucca in 2009, recently told the Daily Beast that he distinctly remembered a man resembling Baghdadi: "He was a bad dude, but he wasn't the worst of the worst." King noted he was "not surprised" that such a radical figure emerged from the facility. - More, Jenna McLaughlin,

Collapse of the USSR – in pictures --- The last Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev initiated reforms that ultimately led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Here are some of the key moments: --- Mikhail Gorbachev, head of the Communist party from 1985 to 1991, is a reforming politician who introduces policies of perestroika and glasnost (restructuring and openness) at the 27th party congress in 1986. Photograph: --- US president Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev during a historic fireside chat in a Geneva boat house on 19 November 1985. This is followed by the Reykjavik summit in 1986, culminating in a nuclear non-proliferation treaty in December 1987. Photograph: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images -- More, Bridget Coaker, Guardian,

بایلونکي کاندید ته به د هیواد د اجرايي چارو مشري سپارل کېږي --- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري په متځګړتوب د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ د دوو کاندیدانو د موافقې پر اساس به هر کاندید چې زیاتې رایې وګټلې، د هیواد ولسمشر وي او بایلونکی ته به د اجرايي چارو مشري سپارل کېږي. -- اشرف غني احمدزي تر دوهم پړاو انتخاباتو مخکې احمدضیا مسعود ته د اجرايي چارو د مشرۍ ژمنه ورکړې وه او تر لومړي پړاو انتخاباتو مخکې یې ویلي و چې د ملي مشارکت حکومت به جوړوي. -- د دوو کاندیدانو ترمنځ د واک د وېش په اړه نه اشرف غني احمدزی او نه یې ټیم څه وايي مګر د عبدالله دوهم مرستیال محمد محقق ویلي چې د ملي مشارکت معنا دا ده چې که هر کاندید انتخابات وګټل بایلونکي ته به د هیواد د اجرايي چارو مشري سپاري او دوه کاله وروسته به په اساسي قانون کې د بدلون له لارې د صدارت چوکۍ رامنځته کوي. -- ن مخکې تر دې چې د اشرف غني احمدزي او عبدالله عبدالله ترمنځ موافقه اعلان شي راپورونه خپاره شول چې د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري اشرف غني احمدزي ته وړاندیز کړی چې د احمدضیا مسعود پر ځای د اجرايي چارو چوکۍ عبدالله عبدالله ته ورکړي. -- د احمد ضیا مسعود له قوله ویل شوي و چې نوموړی له دې وړاندیز سره موافق نه دی. -- د ښاغلي غني د انتخاباتي ټیم یوه مشر فیض الله ذکي دا مسله رد نه کړه چې د ملي وحدت د حکومت پر اساس به بایلونکي کاندید ته اجرايي چوکۍ ورکول کېږي یا نه ورکول کېږي خو ویې ویل چې د بدلون او دوام ټیم له پیله د ملي وحدت د حکومت پر جوړولو تاکید کاوه او ویل یې چې ټولو مطرح خواوو ته په حکومت کې ونډه ورکوي.’ -- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر پرون وویل چې د نړیوالو څارونکو په وړاندې په کابل کې د ټولو رایو پر بیا شمېرلو موافقه شوې خو د ملي وحدت د حکومت او ځینو نورو مسایلو په اړه موافقې تر دې دمه د خبرو ته حده دي او په دې لاره کې زیاتې ستونزې شته چې کار ته اړتیا لري. -- شنونکي وايي، که دواړو خواوو شفاهي موافقه هم کړې وي چې بایلونکي لوري ته به اجرايي چوکۍ ورکوي ښايي وروسته په دې اختلاف رامنځته شي چې اجرايي مشر څومره واک ولري. -- تاند

An embrace and a handshake: how John Kerry brokered peace between Afghan rivals --- (Reuters) - It was late on Saturday evening in a fourth-floor room of the U.S. ambassador's residence in Kabul that the election crisis in Afghanistan that had threatened to divide the nation was staved off. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in the room with former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, one of the two warring presidential candidates. -- The door was opened to Abdullah's rival and bitter foe Ashraf Ghani. -- Ending months of bitter squabbling, Ghani walked arms wide open toward Abdullah, embracing him warmly and shaking his hand, according to a U.S. official who was present. -- A few hours later the two candidates announced they had agreed to a full recount of the disputed June 14 vote, meaning there would be a delay in the Aug 2 inauguration of a new president to replace Hamid Karzai, who was installed in office by the United States after the ouster of the hardline Islamic Taliban regime in 2002. -- It took Kerry a marathon 44 hours of "intensive" and "emotional" talks to broker a deal between the two candidates, whose rupture had threatened to divide Afghanistan along ethnic lines, said several U.S. and Afghan officials who were involved in the process. -- With the bulk of U.S. forces scheduled to withdraw from the war-torn nation this year, the row over the election and the possibility of violence has rekindled fears of a civil war and the prospect that the Taliban would take control again. -- Preliminary results from the run-off vote in June put Ghani, a former World Bank official, well ahead but Abdullah rejected the result, claiming widespread fraud and calling the outcome a "coup" against the Afghan people. -- Abdullah's support is mainly in the north, among the Tajik minority, while Ghani is supported by Pashtun tribes in the east and south. Tensions had soared earlier in the week when Abdullah's supporters threatened to form a parallel government after preliminary results from the vote were announced. - More,

Afghans to Alter the Government --- KABUL, Afghanistan — The deal that Secretary of State John Kerry brokered to ease the Afghan election crisis with a sweeping audit of the vote was quietly built on an even more profound reshaping of the entire government system, American and Afghan officials confirmed Sunday: The sides have agreed to gradually create an empowered prime minister post after years of an all-encompassing presidency. -- Nearly a decade after American officials pushed a Constitution that enshrined near-dictatorial powers for the president, it is a tacit admission that changing to a more parliamentary system — a fraught undertaking at any time — is now seen as crucial to holding the country together after years of mounting political crises and ethnic and factional hostilities, officials said. -- The change was a central goal for the candidate Abdullah Abdullah, who has brought the entire political system to the brink with accusations of rampant fraud and threats to form a breakaway government, according to officials who were close to the negotiations. -- They, like other American and Afghan officials who confirmed the agreement, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details had not yet been worked out. They stressed that only a “framework” had been accepted in talks with Mr. Kerry, but they all agreed on its outlines. -- The candidate who is declared president after a complete vote audit in the coming weeks would then appoint either the loser, or that candidate’s nominee, to become a “chief executive” for the government, with powers to be agreed on later. Then, in the following two or three years, the Constitution would be amended to create a parliamentary democracy with a prime minister as head of government and a president as the head of state. -- That timeline puts important decisions off into a very indefinite future, and will revive a debate that deeply divided Afghan officials a decade ago, with some arguing then that a parliamentary system risked instability. -- With no assurances even that the auditing for fraud will go smoothly over the next month, or that the result will be widely accepted, the change then would require a successful parliamentary election and the Afghan equivalent of a constitutional convention, all under the continuing threat of Taliban offensives to seize territory. -- More immediately, the two candidates, Mr. Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, despite the recent tensions, are in the coming weeks to divvy up cabinet posts, governorships and other jobs as Afghan and international elections officials review each one of the more than eight million votes cast in the June 14 runoff. -- Both Mr. Abdullah and Mr. Ghani pledged to accept the results and form a national unity government when they announced the deal with Mr. Kerry on Saturday. But the only details they gave were about the audit; all three made vague references to a “political framework” without elaborating. --- Afghan and American officials said they had been asked by their superiors not to discuss the political component of the agreement brokered by Mr. Kerry. One Western official, who was not briefed on its details, was told that it was too sensitive and that officials wanted time to make sure everyone was on board before talking more widely about it. -- But not everyone got the message. Mohammad Mohaqiq, Mr. Abdullah’s vice-presidential running mate, told the BBC Persian service on Sunday that in the national unity government agreed upon with Mr. Kerry, the loser of the election would become the chief executive in the government. The post would become the prime minister in two years, once the Constitution was amended, the report quoted him as saying. Other Afghan and American officials confirmed those claims, and added some details in interviews. --- From the outset of his tenure, Mr. Karzai sought to carefully balance his government. He was a southern Pashtun, and so he put an ethnic Tajik in the No. 2 spot, and ensured that leaders of the Hazara and Uzbek minorities had prominent roles. -- A sense of national responsibility helped drive Mr. Karzai’s decisions, by most accounts. But there was also self-interest: He found over the years that the old Northern Alliance, a mainly Tajik alliance of militias that fought the Taliban, remained too dominant a force in Kabul to ignore. -- Loyalists of the Northern Alliance, including Mr. Abdullah, who once served as Mr. Karzai’s foreign minister, were spread among the army, police and intelligence service. Mr. Karzai could not operate without some kind of alliance with them, though that also meant keeping some of Afghanistan’s most notorious and corrupt former warlords in his government, earning him criticism and scrutiny from the United States and other Western backers. -- Still, Mr. Karzai has expressed deep opposition to the idea of a parliamentary system, fearing it would tear the country apart. In fact, his rivalry with Mr. Abdullah, who challenged him in the 2009 presidential elections, was centered on the issue, and he is widely believed to have backed Mr. Ghani, a former finance minister and World Bank official, in this year’s runoff. -- Asked about the deal brokered by Mr. Kerry, Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Mr. Karzai, refused to confirm the details. “The candidates have not said it publicly yet so no comment from palace,” he said. -- What brought Mr. Ghani around to agreeing to the creation of a parliamentary system was harder to discern. Abdullah Poyan, a spokesman, would say only: “We never refused a national unity government. We know this is very sensitive.” -- More, MATTHEW ROSENBERG, NYTimes,

Germany were crowned world champions for the fourth time as Mario Gotze's extra-time winner beat Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil. --- The Germany substitute controlled Andre Schurrle's cross with his chest before volleying in with seven minutes left. -- Both sides wasted chances in normal time, Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi both dragging wide. -- Benedikt Howedes hit the Argentine post with a header late in the first half, but Gotze sparked German celebrations. -- More to follow. BBC,

Afghan presidential rivals reach deal, brokered by Kerry, to recount all votes --- KABUL — Secretary of State John F. Kerry helped ease a major political crisis in Afghanistan on Saturday, persuading rival presidential candidates to agree to a full recount of votes cast in a runoff election marred by widespread fraud. -- Emerging from at least 20 hours of talks over two days, Kerry said that United Nations and international observers, along with observers from each campaign, will preside over the inspection of all 8 million ballots, which international troops will transfer to Kabul from Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. The winner of the recount, which Kerry said could take “many weeks,” will then form a national consensus government. -- The incumbent president, Hamid Karzai, has been asked to postpone his successor’s inauguration, which had been scheduled for Aug. 2, and has agreed to stay on as president until the new government is formed. -- “Today, we’re here at a pivotal moment for Afghanistan and its democracy as it seeks to complete a historical transition,” Kerry said at a joint news conference Saturday night with the two candidates, ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former World Bank executive Ashraf Ghani. The rivals shook hands and eventually hugged, each praising the other’s commitment to Afghanistan and democracy. -- Kerry sounded a note of caution, however, warning that there is a long way to go before the political crisis is resolved. -- “This job will not be done until Afghanistan’s leaders certify an election and honor the determination of millions of Afghans to make their voices heard,” he said. - More, Erin Cunningham,

Israeli troops raid rocket-launching sites in Gaza as residents are urged to evacuate -- GAZA CITY — Israeli commandos made a first ground incursion into the Gaza Strip early Sunday and knocked out Hamas rocket-launching sites. In a brief fire fight with Hamas militants, four Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in the dawn raid but returned safely to Israel. --- Signaling a potential increase in operations targeting the sites, Israel dropped thousands of leaflets from the sky and issued warnings by recorded telephone message, telling residents of the northern Gaza Strip that they had until noon to leave their homes and head south. -- On Saturday evening, streets in the northern communities of the coastal enclave were empty of foot and vehicle traffic. Locals who remained behind said as many as two-thirds of the population had cleared out. -- Those who stayed behind, such as a group of men at an area mosque, remained defiant. “Let the Israelis come,” they shouted. The Hamas government urged Gaza residents to remain in their homes. -- The Israel Defense Forces’ leaflets told residents of east of Al-Attara to head south quickly: “The IDF operation will be temporary and short. Those who do not adhere to these directives will jeopardize their own lives and the lives of their families. Be careful, stay safe.” -- It was unclear whether the Israelis were signaling an imminent ground assault or heavier bombing. There are three brigades poised along the Gaza frontier, including armor, tanks and combat bulldozers. About 20,000 reservists have been activated. -- In its five-day campaign, Israel has struck more than 1,320 sites in Gaza, including weapons caches, tunnels and launch pads. They have also hit hundreds of homes in strikes that seek to kill a Hamas or Islamic Jihad militant or to destroy what Israelis describe as command and control centers. -- The Gaza death toll has passed 170, with more than 1,000 wounded, including many women and children. On Saturday, Israeli aircraft hit a home for the disabled, killing two wheelchair-bound residents. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner called the result “clearly tragic” and said it would be investigated. -- In another major attack Saturday evening, an Israeli warplane destroyed the home of Gaza Police Chief Tayseer al-Batsh and damaged a nearby mosque. Gaza health officials said at least 18 people were killed, making it the single deadliest strike. -- The Israeli military reports that 802 rockets had been fired at Israel since operations began Tuesday. Air-raid sirens have sounded over Israel’s major cities, including Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Scores of Israelis have been treated for shock and minor injuries. - More, William Booth, Washingtonpost

پارلمان، همه ‌چیز برای خود --- در پارلمان کشور این روزها قوانینی تصویب می‌ شود که صرفا منافع فردی وکلا را تضمین می‌ کند. سال قبل روز ها نمایندگان پارلمان مصروف چانه ‌زنی برای کسب امتیاز بیشتر بودند. هم ‌اکنون معاش یک وکیل پارلمان به ۱۹۵ هزار افغانی همراه با امتیازات، معاون، محافظ و… میرسد. برخی نمایندگان برای ازدیاد درآمد شان کمیشن ‌کاری و دلالی می ‌کنند. داد و ستد در جریان انتخابات و معرفی وزرا از دیگر عواید نمایندگان است. جالب این است که برخی نمایندگان روزانه عرایضی به اداره امور جهت سفریه تقدیم می ‌کنند و بدون آن‌ که به سفر بروند، این مبلغ را به جیب می ‌زنند. -- در هفته‌ های اخیر نمایندگان پارلمان روی دو قانون تمرکز کرده‌اند، تعدیل در قانون انتخابات با این اضافه که شرط نامزد شدن، یک دور وکالت یا داشتن مدرک لیسانس باشد. مجلس نمایندگان با این تعدیل حضور تعداد زیادی از وکلای بی ‌سواد و فاقد مدرک را برای همیشه در پارلمان تضمین می ‌کند. قانون دوم «پس از وکالت» است. این قانون در حالی تصویب می ‌شود که برای سایر کارمندان پس از تقاعد حداقل امکانات در نظر گرفته شده است. -- این رفتار نمایندگان سبب می ‌شود تا همه‌ی مقام‌ های دولتی با تدابیر به تاراج قوانین برای پس از ماموریت خود داشته باشند. نمایندگان بهتر بود در کنار امتیازات برای خود توجه به سربازان، معلمین، کارمندان دولت و خانواده ‌های شهدای پولیس، اردو و امنیت ملی نیز می‌کردند. روحیه امتیازخواهی در مجلس نمایندگان نشان می ‌دهد که این خانه هرگز نمی ‌تواند نمایندگان خوبی برای مردم افغانستان باشد. این امتیازخواهی در حالی صورت می ‌گیرد که چوکی‌ های پارلمان در روز های رسمی خالی و برخی روز ها مجلس نمایندگان بدون آجندا بوده است. - هشت صبح

Following audit announcement, Kubiš congratulates Afghan Presidential candidates on statesmanship --- 13 July 2014 - The top United Nations official in Afghanistan congratulated late Saturday night the two candidates in the country’s Presidential elections for their commitment to their country’s future stability and unity, following the presentation of an audit plan to help resolve concerns over the results of the poll’s run-off. -- “This evening, today, and also [over] the past days they showed real, true statesmanship and commitment to the stability and unity of the country, a commitment to a strong Afghanistan and a prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan for the future – this is a very good signal and this is a good day for Afghanistan,” the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Ján Kubiš, said at a news conference on Saturday evening. -- For weeks, both Presidential candidates have requested a full investigation of serious and credible allegations of fraud and have strongly urged measures that would separate fraudulent ballots from valid votes. UNAMA has noted that it shared these concerns and supported an extensive and thorough investigation and audit. -- The news conference was attended by the two candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, as well as the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry. Earlier in the conference, Mr. Kerry announced a new audit plan for the results of the election run-off starting on Sunday. -- "Both candidates have committed to participate in and stand by the results of the largest possible audit. Every single ballot that was cast will be audited, all eight million," Mr. Kerry said. "The winner will serve as president and will immediately form a government of national unity." -- Other elements of the plan include that the full audit would be carried out in Kabul and begin within 24 hours, and that it would be carried out in “accordance with the highest international standards." In addition, it would take "a number of weeks” and there would be a request for the planned Presidential inauguration date of 2 August to be postponed. -- “I would like to applaud the commitment of the United States, President Obama and Secretary Kerry to a peaceful, united prosperous Afghanistan,” Mr. Kubiš said. “Secretary Kerry, through his facilitation, assisted the two candidates to come to this excellent result today. Thank you for that.” -- The audit plan also includes monitoring by international observers. The Special Representative noted that to make the audit a success, the speedy arrival of international observers would be needed. He appealed to international observer organizations – including the European Union and the National Democratic Institute, among others – to send, as quickly as possible, observers to augment the teams that are already present in Afghanistan. -- “This support of the international community is needed to provide credibility to this process of audit,” Mr. Kubiš said. -- In his remarks, the Special Representative also reaffirmed the world body’s support for the “truly unprecedented, absolutely unique, intrusive audit that will be launched tomorrow.” -- UNAMA has been assisting the candidates and Afghan institutions in efforts to strengthen the credibility of the country’s electoral process and acceptance of the results from the recent Presidential election run-off by both campaigns and all Afghans. At the request of the two Presidential candidates and the Afghan authorities, the UN has, over the past days, held numerous meetings with representatives of both Presidential campaigns to discuss measures to increase the integrity and credibility of the run-off. - More,

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Remarks With Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Head of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan Jan Kubis --- PRESIDENT KARZAI: (Via interpreter) In the name of God, (inaudible) media, welcome to today’s conference. You have been waiting since Iftar. I apologize for that. Today, we have His Excellency John Kerry, Secretary of State to the United States with us, as well as His Exellency Jan Kubis, Special Representative of the United Nations to Afghanistan. As you’re all aware that his visit to Afghanistan – John Kerry’s visit to Afghanistan was about elections, and His Excellency’s Jan Kubis’s effort and hard work about the elections of Afghanistan. He’s been involved in that. -- Dear (inaudible) countrymen, the first round and second round of the election in Afghanistan has been held. Second round of the elections – voices of fraud have been heard, and in order to reach and address the issues and establish some sort of understanding between them has (inaudible) has started. -- This effort’s been undertaken by the (inaudible) presidents as well as the commissions – election commissions, compliance commissions. After as well as (inaudible) the votes were counted, His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah announced that in order to address the problems of election, mainly fraud, ask the United Nations to intervene and find a possible solution. -- and my deputies, in order to speed up these efforts and in order to avoid any kind of misunderstanding, we accepted Dr. Abdullah Abdullah’s request. After that, we had a discussion with Mr. Jan Kubis, who was ready to intervene and find a solution. And following that, I talked to my brother Abdullah Abdullah on the phone, and he agreed. -- After that, I talked to Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on the phone and asked him if he agrees to Dr. Abdullah’s request. He said whatever solution that can address this problem is welcomed by him, and he accepted our requests. As you are all aware that after two – election 2009, I always try to strengthen our Afghan national election institution, and it should – (inaudible) is to run under the leadership of the Afghans. Considering the current situation and to speed up the process, we accepted the intervention of United Nations. Mr. Jan Kubis started his efforts to address this. -- His Excellency John Kerry, Secretary of State to the United States of America, has been in contact with candidates and he eventually traveled to Afghanistan so that he can find a possible solution along with the presidential candidates tonight. As you witnessed on – they had a press conference, both brothers – our candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai along with His Excellency John Kerry and Mr. Jan Kubis at the – they had some announcements which I welcome (inaudible) announcement and supporters’ announcements, and I hope that 100 percent audit of the votes will take place and start as soon as possible so that the nation of Afghanistan finally elect their next president. -- We hope that the commissions – the commission IEC and – both commissions, the election commission and the compliance commission – will accept these suggestions and speed up the process in cooperation with United Nations and international observers. The people of Afghanistan all have been patient so far, and at the meantime, they all (inaudible) and they would like to hear soon about the result of the election and witness their next president of Afghanistan. And the work of the government’s been slowed down these days and their hope is that the audit that’s been announced today, that 100 percent audit will take place, will start as soon as possible, the best way possible, so that as soon as this process completed, the inauguration ceremony will take place for the next president of Afghanistan. -- It was supposed to take place on August 2. We were prepared – all the preparation were made, but now I hope that the commissions will (inaudible) this and agree this – to this suggestion and finish and conclude this as soon as possible so that we can have the next president of Afghanistan – elect the next president of Afghanistan and the inauguration will take place. -- Afghanistan president will be a strong president, the people of Afghanistan will take (inaudible). The Afghan people are committed and united and they stand on each other and this land, this soil is (inaudible) service of the Afghan people, and it’s been always protected. But we (inaudible) by the people of Afghanistan. It will continue. The Afghan people are committed for democracy and they believe, beside all the (inaudible), beside all the instabilities and (inaudible) and uncertainties, all the people were encouraged and convinced to participate and elect the next president of Afghanistan as well as provincial council. The Afghan people votes is to be respected. We will respect and honor their votes, and the next president will take over (inaudible). -- would like to stop now and hand it – allow His Excellency John Kerry and which – His Excellency (inaudible) to deliver (inaudible), a mission that keep its destiny, its own hand, well determined future. --- SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Mr. President Karzai, thank you very, very much, sir. It is a pleasure to be with you again. And I want to thank you for your very generous hospitality, and again, I missed Iftar tonight because we were busy having conversations. But last night, you entertained us with great stories and a great sense of the unbelievable generosity of Afghanistan, and we’re very grateful to you. -- I also am particularly grateful – I had a chance to speak a few minutes ago at the UN Headquarters with both of the candidates, Dr. Ghani and Dr. Abdullah. I think it is fair to say that both of them spoke with great eloquence about their vision for Afghanistan and about the choice that they are making to come together for the unity of the country. I want to thank President Karzai for his role in supporting this effort in these last days, and even before I came here, to make it clear that he knew that it was important that the democracy that is springing up here be given its opportunity to have full bloom. And that is something that he is deeply committed to, and in these next days, we will be able to achieve. -- President Karzai and I have traveled an interesting journey in the last years. We’ve known each other on many different – in many different events and many different times, but none more so than in 2009 when I had the privilege of spending a fair amount of time with him talking about how to help grow this democracy. We took long walks here on the palace grounds, we spent meals together, we talked through a very difficult period. And I witnessed his political skill and his ability to be able to try to put the country first, ahead of any other interests. Again tonight, President Karzai is doing that, and he has done so in the last days by honoring the notion that the international community could play a constructive role, and by inviting us to be helpful in the effort to try to bring the candidates together in a thoughtful way. -- This will be still a difficult road because there are important obligations of audit. There will be difficult choices that will be made. It will still require leadership and statesmanship from both of the candidates. But tonight, Afghanistan saw a moment of what unity can mean. Tonight, Afghanistan saw two opposing candidates with passionate supporters bring their supporters together in the interests of country, in the interests of something bigger than each of them individually. We hope that the promise of the next weeks will deliver the authenticity and credibility that the people of Afghanistan deserve in the presentation of the next president of this country. -- And so I thank President Karzai for his willingness to move the inauguration in response to the request of both candidates and the United Nations. I know he had been planning to leave on the 2nd of August, but he is willing to obviously stay the course because he is invested in this democracy, as are the people of the country. So I thank him for that. I am grateful for, again, the willingness to work with us and the great hospitality that we’ve had. -- And because of that, if this works, if people will stay the course and everybody works together, the people of Afghanistan, for the first time in the history of the country, will have the peaceful transition at the ballot box of one president to another. That’s worth the fight, and I’m proud to be here with America standing behind Afghanistan, and President Obama could not be more pleased and more prepared to help complete this journey. Thank you. - More, Remarks John Kerry, Kabul, Afghanistan,

تاند - د جان کیري په منځګړتوب دواړو کاندیدانو د ټولو رایو پر بیا کتلو موافقه وکړه --- د جان کیري په مشرۍ د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ انتخاباتو کاندیدانو موافقه وکړه چې د جوزا د ۲۴ نېټې ټولې رایې له سره وڅېړل شي او هر کاندید چې ډیرې رایي ګټلې وې بل کاندید دې هغه ومني. -- د رایو د څیړلو وړاندیز هغه و چې د پنجشنبه په ورځ په ارګ کې د غونډې پر مهال ملګرو ملتو وړاندې کړی و، خو په هغه وړاندیز کې د نیمایي راییو د تفتیش خبره شوې وه. -- د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ له کاندیدانو سره د دوه ورځنیو خبرو په پای کې نن په یوه خبري غونډه کې په داسي حال کې حاضر شو چې دواړه کاندیدان ورسره ول. -- جان کیري، چې د پنجشنبې په ورځ ناوخته د افغانستان د انتخاباتي لانجې د حل کولو لپاره کابل ته راغی، د جمعې او شنبې په ورځو یې له اشرف غني احمدزي، عبدالله عبدالله او ولسمشر کرزي سره څو ځلي وکتل. -- جان کیري څو شېبې مخکې په یوه خبري غونډه کې اعلان وکړ چې د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ دواړو کاندیدانو موافقه وکړه چې پاکې رایې دې له ناپاکو جلا شي او د ملګروملتو، د دواړو کاندیدانو د څارونکو له لوري دې رایې تفتیش شي. -- جان کیري وویل:«دا ډېره سخته شېبه ده خو له نېکه مرغه دواړه کاندیدان او ولسمشر کرزی حاضر دي چې مصلحت ومني. دوی دواړه حاضر دي چې قانوني اصول ومني. دواړه ژمن دي چې د افغانستان د خلکو رایې دې ومنل شي. دواړو ژمنه وکړه چې انتخاباتي ستونزو او د درغلیو په تورونو دې غور وشي او هیواد دې له بحرانه وژغورل شي.» -- ښاغلي کیري بیا وویل:«په کومو مسایلو چې موافقه شوې. دواړو ژمنه کړې چې پر شکایتونو غور وشي او رایې تفتیش شي. ټولې ۱۰۰ په سلو کې تفتیش شي.دایو قوي زیګنال دي چې دواړو کاندیدانو د انتخاباتو د شفافیت په اړه ورکړی دی.» -- ښاغلي کیري همداراز وویل:«دوهم د تفتیش پروسه به په کابل کې او په ۲۴ ساعتونو کې پیل کېږي رایبکسونه به د ایساف له لوري کابل ته راوړل کېږي. او د رایو امنیت به ایساف او افغان امنیتي ځواکونه ساتي -- درېم، د دې رایو تفتیش به د نړیوالې ټولنې تر څارنې لاندې، چې یوناما وړاندیز کړی، د دواړو کاندیدانو د استازو په حضور کې کېږي. -- د ښاغلي کیري په وینا په دې کې به هیڅ شک نه وي چې دا تفتیش به د نړیوالو معیارونو مطابق وي. -- ده دا هم وویل چې د رایو تفتیش به څو اوونۍ وغواړي نو د تحلیف وخت دې ولسمشر وځنډوي. --- د تفتیش په نتیجه کې به د زیاتو رایو ګټونکی ولسمشر وي او دواړه کاندیدان موافق شوي چې د ملي وحدت حکومت به جوړوي. خو د ملي وحدت حکومت جزییات څرګند نه شول. تر دې مخکې داسې اوازې خپرې شوې وې چې عبدالله عبدالله د اشرف غني په حکومت کې د ضیا مسعود پر ونډې راضي نه دی او د دوی ډلې د یونس قانوني وړاندیز کړی دی چې د اجارییوي چارو مشري دې وکړي. خو دا خبره رسما د اصلاحاتو او همپالنې د انتخاباتي ټیم له لورې نه ده او نه ده تایید شوې. -- جان کري وویل، دا لومړی ګام دی او موږ له دواړو کاندیدانو او د افغانستان له حکومت سره همکاري کوو چې پرېکړې عملي شي. -- جان کري چې خبرې خلاصې کړې نو په خندا یې دواړو کاندیدانو ته مخ واړاوه چې لومړی څوک خبرې کوي، اشرف غني عبدالله ته لاس ونیو او هغه په انګلیسي ژبه په نسبتا ټیټ غږ خبرې پیل کړې. -- ده په خپلو خبرو کې د جان کري مننه وکړه بیا یې وویل په انتخاباتو کې جدي چلنجونه وو. او موږ تړون وکړ چې تفصیل یې جان کري ورکړ. د اصلاحاتو او همپالنې د ټيم مشر بیا وویل د افغانستان له ولسمشره هیله کوم چې د لوړې د مراسمو وخت وځنډوي. -- More,

Afghan Presidential Rivals Agree to Vote Audit --- KABUL—Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates agreed to a full audit of the June 14 runoff election, breaking a political stalemate over the vote's outcome after two days of intense diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. -- "The audit will be carried out in Kabul, and it will begin within 24 hours," Mr. Kerry said Saturday, standing next to the two candidates, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, in the Afghan capital. -- Mr. Kerry said the audit would cover "every single vote that was cast" in the election and would take place under international supervision. --- Ballot boxes, Mr. Kerry added, will be transported to Kabul from the provinces by the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force. The United Nations, Mr. Kerry said, has asked the Afghan government to postpone a planned Aug. 2 inauguration to accommodate the audit, which is expected to take weeks. -- Afghans went to the polls last month to choose between two contenders to succeed President Hamid Karzai, in an election that was supposed to mark the first democratic transfer of power in the nation's history. -- But rather than paving the way to a political transition, the election led to a crisis. On Monday, the country's Independent Election Commission released preliminary results tipping Mr. Ghani as the likely winner of the runoff vote, with 56.4% of the ballots cast against Mr. Abdullah's 43.6%. -- Mr. Abdullah cried foul, saying that industrial-scale ballot stuffing was carried out on his opponent's behalf. The former foreign minister declared himself victor and threatened to establish a parallel government. Some of his most prominent supporters described the preliminary vote announcement as a "coup" and said they would no longer recognize the authority of Mr. Karzai as president. -- Mr. Kerry acknowledged that allegations of fraud had already battered confidence in the process. -- "Charges of fraud and other irregularities have cast a pall over what should have been a triumphant moment for the Afghan people," he said. --- Mr. Kerry arrived in Kabul early Friday and launched a marathon series of negotiations, meeting with the rival candidates, Mr. Karzai and many of the country's main power players. In addition to talks with Messrs. Ghani and Abdullah, Mr. Kerry met with Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Interior Minister Umar Daudzai and intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil. -- Discussions on Saturday lasted around 14 hours. --- "Our agreement is simple: we have committed to the thoroughest audit in the history of any election in the developed or developing countries," Mr. Ghani said. "100% of all the ballots will be audited, thereby removing any ambiguity of the process or our accountability to the will of the people." -- In addition to promising to abide by the results of the election after the audit, the two candidates said they would agree to a government of national unity regardless of who emerges as president. -- "We have a framework of a national-unity government once the votes are cleaned," Mr. Abdullah said. -- U.S. and international officials, including President Barack Obama, had lobbied Mr. Abdullah to wait for the results of an audit that would separate legitimate from fraudulent ballots. -- On the eve of Mr. Kerry's arrival, Mr. Karzai endorsed a plan forwarded by the United Nations to conduct a comprehensive audit that would separate fraudulent ballots from valid votes. That U.N. proposal would have involved an audit of 8,050 polling stations, covering around 3.5 million ballots, or 44% of all ballots cast. - More, WSJ,

Security Council urges Gaza truce; no sign of lull --- GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Ignoring international appeals for a cease-fire, Israel on Saturday widened its range of Gaza bombing targets to civilian institutions with suspected Hamas ties and announced it would hit northern Gaza "with great force" to prevent rocket attacks from there on Israel. More than 150 Palestinians have been killed in five days of bombardment. -- One of the Israeli strikes hit a center for the disabled where Palestinians said two patients were killed and four people seriously hurt. In a second attack, on Saturday evening, an Israeli warplane flattened the home of Gaza's police chief and damaged a nearby mosque as evening prayers ended, killing at least 18 people, officials said. -- In New York, the U.N. Security Council called unanimously for a cease-fire, while Britain's foreign minister said he will discuss cease-fire efforts with his American, French and German counterparts on Sunday. -- So far, neither Israel nor Gaza's Hamas rulers have signaled willingness to stop. - The Associated Press,[1]

Afghan rivals clinch deal, easing political crisis --- KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's two rival candidates reached a breakthrough agreement Saturday to a complete audit of their contested presidential election and, whoever the victor, a national unity government. -- The deal, brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, offers a path out of what threatened to be a debilitating political crisis for Afghanistan, with both candidates claiming victory and talking of setting up competing governments. -- Such a scenario could have dangerously split the fragile country's government and security forces at a time the U.S. is pulling out most of its troops and the Taliban continues to wage a fierce insurgency. -- Instead, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah consented to abide by a 100 percent, internationally supervised audit of all 8 million ballots in the presidential election and a national unity government once the results are announced. -- But Kerry, who brokered the breakthrough after two days of negotiations, warned early Sunday that much work still remained. "This will be still a difficult road because there are important obligations required and difficult decisions to be made," Kerry said. -- The audit is expected to take a "number of weeks" and would begin with the ballot boxes in Kabul. Ballot boxes from the provinces are to flown to the capital by helicopter by U.S. and international forces and examined on rolling basis. Representatives from each campaign as well as international observers will help oversee the review, and the candidate with the most votes would be declared the winner and become president. -- Both candidates agreed to respect the result, and the winner would immediately form a national unity government. The inauguration, which had been scheduled for Aug. 2, would be postponed. -- Abdullah, who spoke first at the news conference announcing the breakthrough, said the election created "serious challenges." -- But he praised Ghani for ideas on how the audit would be conducted and the framework for a unity government would be established once the victor is determined. -- Ghani returned the compliments to Abdullah, lauding his competitor's patriotism and commitment to a dialogue that promotes national unity. --- "Stability is the desire of everyone," Ghani said. "Our aim is simple: We've committed to the most thorough audit" in history. Such a process would remove any ambiguity about the result, he added. -- Abdullah and Ghani spoke first in English, then in Dari. Ghani also spoke in Pashto. -- Ghani noted Afghan President Hamid Karzai reluctantly agreed to stay on as president until the new government formed for the good of the country. -- The announcement came as a relief to a country on edge and worried about how the election dispute would resolve itself. Both the full audit and the agreement to form a unity government drew praise from television commentators immediately after the speeches. -- The prolonged uncertainty about the outcome of the election has jeopardized a central plank of President Barack Obama's strategy to leave behind a stable state after the withdrawal of most U.S. troops at year's end. -- Preliminary runoff results, released earlier this week against U.S. wishes, suggested a massive turnaround in favor of the onetime World Bank economist Ghani, who lagged significantly behind Abdullah in first-round voting. - More, The Associated Press,

Afghan presidential rivals reach deal, brokered by Kerry, on a unity government --- KABUL — Rival contenders in the Afghan presidential runoff have reached a grand agreement to solve a weeks-long political crisis, including the audit of all of the votes cast the election last month, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in Kabul on Saturday. -- The dispute between the two candidates over widespread fraud had threatened Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power, just months before foreign troops are set to withdraw. -- U.N. and international observers, as well as observers from each campaign, will preside over the inspection of 8 million votes transferred to Kabul, the capital, from all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. The recount, which is to begin within 24 hours, will take “many weeks,” Kerry said. -- The winner will then form a national consensus government, he said. --- Both candidates — ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former World Bank executive Ashraf Ghani — joined Kerry in making the announcement in Kabul on Saturday night following at least 20 hours of meetings over the past two days. -- “This job will not be done until Afghanistan’s leaders certify an election and honor the determination of millions of Afghans to make their voices heard,” Kerry said. -- The incumbent president, Hamid Karzai, has been asked to postpone the presidential inauguration scheduled for Aug. 2. Ghani noted that Karzai has agreed to stay on as president until the new government is formed. - More, Erin Cunningham,

In Election Deal, Afghans to Audit Every Vote Cast --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan will conduct an audit of the entire eight million votes cast in the recent presidential election, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Saturday, a deal he brokered to resolve a tense power struggle between the top two presidential candidates over allegations of widespread vote fraud. -- The audit, which will begin immediately, will be supervised by international monitors and its results will be binding, according to the agreement announced by Mr. Kerry and endorsed by the rival candidates at a news conference in Kabul, the capital. “Every single ballot that was cast will be audited,” he said. The breakthrough came on the second day of a visit that Mr. Kerry hastily arranged to try to prevent Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power from collapsing. Both candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, had said the election was marred by fraud, but both had also claimed victory. -- Tensions rose Tuesday when Mr. Abdullah threatened to form his own government, raising the possibility of an ethnically and regionally divided Afghanistan just as American troops prepare to complete their withdrawal. -- Mr. Kerry made the announcement flanked by Mr. Abdullah, a former foreign minister, and Mr. Ghani, a former finance minister, after intense negotiations involving shuttling between the two sides and meetings with President Hamid Karzai. -- The audit will take several weeks, and Mr. Kerry said he and the candidates would ask Mr. Karzai to postpone the inauguration, now scheduled for Aug. 2. The audit will begin within 24 hours, Mr. Kerry said. Ballot boxes will be flown into the capital by the NATO-led military coalition in Afghanistan, and United Nations and other international observers will watch the entire process. -- “This is unquestionably a tense and difficult moment,” Mr. Kerry said, “but I am very pleased that the two candidates who stand here with me today and President Karzai have stepped up and shown a significant commitment to compromise.” --- Jan Kubis, the United Nations special representative in Afghanistan, called on other nations to send extra observers to assist with the audit as soon as possible. -- The two candidates spent the day inside the United States Embassy building, holding separate meetings with Mr. Kerry, according to campaign officials. Mr. Kerry then traveled to the presidential palace to talk to Mr. Karzai. Talks had continued into the early evening without food or drink because of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast during the day. -- Discussions concerned how to determine how many ballots should be re-examined for fraud and how to ensure that the audit was impartial. Both sides had wrangled over the technical details, in particular the threshold for selecting which ballots should be reviewed. -- By midday, Mahmoud Saikal, an adviser to Mr. Abdullah, said that “preliminary progress” had been made and that the campaign was waiting to see if the proposals would be accepted by the other side. But a spokesman for Mr. Ghani, Abdullah Poyan, said the discussions remained “complicated.” -- Mr. Kerry had to seek not only agreement by the two candidates, but also acceptance by Mr. Karzai, who will step down after 13 years in power and has by all accounts remained a powerful presence behind the scenes. --- In the first round of voting on April 5, Mr. Abdullah emerged the winner against 11 other candidates, with 45 percent of the vote to Mr. Ghani’s 31 percent. Because neither won more than 50 percent of the vote, a required runoff between the two was held on June 14. Preliminary results from the runoff show Mr. Ghani leaping ahead with 56 percent of the vote, and Mr. Abdullah with 44 percent. The turnout also increased by more than a million voters in the runoff, to eight million. -- More, NYTimes,®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

همه آرای دور دوم انتخابات افغانستان تفتیش می‌شود --- جان کری، وزیر خارجه آمریکا در نشست خبری مشترک با عبدالله عبدالله و اشرف غنی احمدزی، نامزدان انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان اعلام کرد که توافق شده که تمام آرا انتخابات افغانستان دوباره تفتیش خواهد شد. -- آقای کری گفت این تفتیش تا ۲۴ ساعت آینده در کابل آغاز خواهد شد و چند هفته را در برخواهد گرفت. او گفت به همین منظور یوناما از رئیس جمهور کرزی خواسته تا مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهوری جدید به تاخیر بیفتد. -- او گفت که این تفتیش زیر نظر متخصصان بین‌المللی صورت خواهد گرفت و تمامی اوراق رای‌دهی از ولایایت افغانستان توسط نیروهای آیساف به کابل منتقل خواهند شد. -- او افزود که پس از پایان تفتیش هرکسی مقام ریاست جمهوری را بدست آورد، بلافاصله دولت وحدت ملی را ایجاد خواهد کرد. -- آقای عبدالله در صحبت‌هایش گفت که بر روی اساسات ایجاد این دولت وحدت ملی توافق صورت گرفته است. -- او گفت که در دو بخش فنی و سیاسی توافق صورت گرفته است. آقای عبدالله از رئیس جمهور کرزی خواست به دلیل اینکه تفتیش همه آرا مدت بیشتری را در بر می‌گیرد، تاریخ مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهوری جدید را به تاخیر بیندازد. -- قرار بود مراسم تحلیف در ۲ آگوست امسال صورت بگیرد. -- قای احمدزی نیز در صحبت‌هایش گفت که همچنین توافق کردیم که هرچه نتیجه تفتیش بود، هر دو نامزد بپذیرند. -- او گفت: "ما بدین باور هستیم که اگر برنده همه قدرت را بگیرد، برای افغانستان خوب نیست. ما باید به تمام افغانها اطمینان بدهیم که هر رای آنها حساب می‌شود. ما بر سر دولت وحدت ملی توافق کرده‌ایم، ما بر سر چارچوب‌های عمومی آن توافق کرده‌ایم. ما بر سر جزییات آن بعدا کار می‌کنیم." --- این توافقات بعد از دو روز مذاکرات فشرده جان کری با عبدالله عبدالله و اشرف غنی احمدزی، نامزدهای دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان بدست آمده‌است. -- جزییات مذاکرات در دو روز گذشته بیرون نشد. - BBC,

Afghan candidates agree vote audit --- Afghanistan's two presidential election candidates have agreed to an audit in an attempt to resolve a dispute over the result of last month's vote, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said. -- Speaking alongside candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, Mr Kerry said both would abide by the result. -- The recount of all 8m ballots would begin within 24 hours, he said. -- Preliminary results suggest Mr Ghani has won, but both candidate accuse the other of electoral fraud. -- Results announced by Afghanistan's election officials give Mr Ghani 56.44% of votes in the 14 June run-off, with Mr Abdullah gaining 43.45% -- The results were markedly different from those achieved in the first round of voting, held in April, when Mr Ghani came a distant second. -- Afghanistan's current President Hamid Karzai, who came to office after the US-led overthrow of the Taliban, is stepping down after more than 10 years. -- US officials had been hopeful of a breakthrough on Saturday after the first day of negotiations remained inconclusive. - More, BBC,

Disputed Afghan election to be recounted --- (Reuters) - The two rival candidates in Afghanistan's presidential election have agreed to abide by the results of a U.N.-supervised recount of the entire poll to settle their dispute over the outcome, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after talks with both men. -- The recount is to begin within 24 hours, and a presidential inauguration scheduled for Aug. 2 will be postponed, Kerry told a joint news conference with the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. -- "Both candidates have committed to participate in and abide by the results of the largest and most comprehensive audit; every single ballot that was cast will be audited," Kerry said. "This is the strongest possible signal by both candidates of the desire to restore legitimacy to the process." - More,

Kerry pushes for a deal in second day of talks on Afghan vote crisis --- (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to produce a deal by the end of Saturday to end Afghanistan's election crisis, meeting for the second day with the country's two presidential candidates and incumbent President Hamid Karzai. -- The deadlock over the June 14 election run-off between the leading contenders, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, has raised concerns in Washington about a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan just as U.S. troops are withdrawing. -- Kerry and his aides met throughout the night, following talks on Friday with both Abdullah and Ghani, as well as with Karzai and U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis. -- He met again with Abdullah and Ghani at the U.S. compound on Saturday and will meet Karzai at the presidential palace later. -- A news conference is scheduled for Saturday afternoon before Kerry flies to Vienna for talks between world powers and Iran on Tehran's nuclear program. - More,

Friday, July 11, 2014

بینوا -- د امریکا بهرنیو چارو وزارت: د راتلونکي افغان حکومت د ترکیب بڼه د نوي ولسمشر خپل کار دی --- د امریکا حکومت د افغانستان او پاکستان لپاره د واشنګټن د ځانګړي استازي جیمز ډابېنزهغه څرګندونې رد کړې چې د افغانستان د راتلونکي حکومت په اړه یې کړي وې. د ډابېنز له وروستیو څرګندونو څخه داسې انګیرنه شوې وه چې ګواکې امریکا په افغانستان کې د یوه ایتلافي حکومت د جوړیدو پلوي کوي. اوس د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو د وزارت ویاند جین ساکي ویلي، چې د افغانستان د راتلونکي حکومت ترکیب د دغه هېواد د راتلونکي ولسمشر کار دی. د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو د وزارت ویاند جین ساکي خبریالانو ته ویلي چې د افغانستان د راتلونکي حکومت جوړول د هغه هېواد په راتلونکي ولسمشر پورې اړه لري. ساکي زیاته کړه چې امریکا غواړي یو موټی افغانستان وویني. دې وویل: « فکرکوم په دې کې د پوښتنې ځای نه شته چې امریکا غواړي یو متحد افغانستان وویني او غواړي د افغانستان د خلکو ترمنځ همغږي رامنځته کړي. د داسې حکومت جوړول چې باید پراخ وي او د ټول افغانستان د یووالي سبب شي، د هغه چا کار دی چې د افغانستان راتلونکې ولسمشر به وي.» جین ساکي په دې خبرو سره غوښتل د افغانستان او پاکستان لپاره د امریکا د ځانګړي استازي جیمز ډابنز هغه وروستۍ څرګندوني واضحې کړي چې ناسمې تعبیر شوي وې. د بلومبرګ خبري سرویس د چهارشنبې په ورځ د ډابېنز له خولې ویلي وو چې وایي په افغانستان کې د یوه بریالي حکومت لپاره اړتیا ده چې یو داسې ملي واحد حکومت جوړشي چې ټول اړخونه په کې شامل وي. د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو د وزارت ویاند ویلي باوري دي چې د دغو څرګندونو څخه هدف دا دی چې متحده ایالات نه غواړي کاندیدان یا نور اړخونه داسې لاره غوره کړي چې افغانستان د تجزیې لوري ته یوسي. جین ساکي زیاته کړه: « هغه څه چې موږ د امریکا د متحده ایالاتو د حکومت په حیث غور ورباندي کوو، دا دي چې کاندیدان او نورې خواوې دې ته وهڅوو، چې د افغانانو ترمنځ د یووالي راوړلو لپاره په ګډه کار وکړي.» په همدې حال کې اروپایې ټولنې هم د یوې اعلاميې په خپرولو د انتخاباتو د دوهم دور رایو د شفافې او بشپړې ارزونې غوښتنه کړې ده. په دې اعلامیه کې د اروپایې ټولنې د څارونکي ډلې د مشر تییس برمن له قوله لیکل شوي چې دغه ټولنه د انتخاباتو د کمیسیون له چارواکو غواړي چې نتایج په بې طرفانه، شفاف او بشپړ ډول وارزوي. تییس برمن غوښتي چې دا ارزونې باید د ټولو ښکېلو خواوو په همکارۍ ترسره شي. هغه وړاندیزکړی چې د رایو پر هغو مرکزونو جدي غور وشي چې ډیرې رایې په کې صندوقونو ته اچول شوي او یا هم ډیرې رایې د یوه کاندید په پلوی اچول شوي دي. د اروپایې ټولنې دغې ډلې ژمنه کړې چې د انتخاباتو تر وروستي پړاوه به په افغانستان کې پاته شي او د دغه بهیر په پای کې به خپل وروستی راپور خپور کړي.

Kerry Pushes For Audit Of Disputed Afghan Presidential Poll --- Calling it a "critical moment" in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a partial recount in the country's presidential elections amid alleged vote fraud. -- "We are in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan," Kerry told reporters. "Legitimacy hangs in the balance. The future potential of the transition hangs in the balance. So we've a lot of work to do." -- As we reported on Monday, former Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani appears to be in the lead, but his opponent, ex-Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, has charged election fraud. -- NPR's Sean Carberry, reporting from Kabul, says Kerry has met with both candidates and with the United Nations in "basically marathon talks all day long." A U.S. official was quoted by Reuters as saying that Kerry had discussed "many ideas" about reviewing votes with the candidates and Karzai. The official said another round of meetings with Kerry and the three was scheduled for Saturday. -- "Kerry said several days ago, before he even arrived, that a substantial [election] audit was necessary," Sean says. "The U.S. position has been that there was clearly extensive fraud in the election and a significant audit needs to take place in order for the outcome to be considered legitimate." --- But the details of the partial recount have been shifting. Abdullah's camp initially agreed to an audit of only 6,000 stations but then demanded 2,000 more. Now, it's asking for 11,000 polling stations to be audited, representing approximately 3 million to 4 million votes out of the estimated 8 million cast in June's runoff. -- The shifting goal posts are "raising concerns that each time [the Abdullah camp gets] what they are asking for, they start pushing for a higher audit," Sean says. -- He said Kerry had also "warned that any attempts to circumvent the process or to take power through illegal means could mean Afghanistan losing its foreign funding." -- That concern follows a rally several days ago in which Abdullah declared himself the winner, saying he had more "legitimate" votes than his opponent. -- "His followers have been urging him to declare his own government unilaterally," Sean says. - More, Scott Neuman,

Kerry Must Let the Afghan Voters Choose Their Next President --- The apparent loser in the Afghan presidential elections refuses to concede, threatening another disastrous denouement for a long American war. Can the U.S. secretary of state save the day? --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Here's what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry needs to remember when he lands in Kabul on Friday to try to fix the mess that the Afghan elections have become: The first priority is not the politicians, it’s the voters. -- Afghans went to the polls in April and again in June, even though the Taliban threatened to kill them for doing so. In the areas where they were supposed to be in the greatest danger—in the south and southeastern parts of the country where the Taliban operate widely and ruthlessly—Afghans rushed to polling centers to choose their leader for a five-year term. -- In the first round no candidate got the 50 percent of the votes plus one needed for a winner, as the Afghan Election Law dictates. In the June 14 runoff election, around 8 million Afghan men and women cast ballots, according to preliminary results announced this month. But amid predictable allegations of fraud, the results, it would seem, have become negotiable. -- Abdullah Abdullah, the former foreign minister and the front runner in the first round, whose strongest support is in the north, northeast and some central parts of the country, was fairly confident he’d win the second round as well. During several media events prior to the elections he suggested that in the largely Pashtun south and southeast, people would be too afraid of Taliban reprisals to vote. He went further, saying the time has come for Pashtuns to acknowledge a non-Pashtun as their leader. Playing all the angles, he noted that he’s half Pashtun himself, but in the end his strong ties to the Tajik-led faction that fought a disastrous civil war with Pashtun factions in the pre-Taliban 1990s did not endear him to the largest ethnic group in the country. --- By contrast, Ashraf Ghani, the current forerunner in the partial second round results, got record support in Pashtun areas. Ghani, an academic and former finance minister, greatly benefited from the polarization at the polls and easily surpassed Abdullah in the second round with over a million-vote lead. The national and international observers who witnessed the elections across Afghanistan noted the obvious increase in participation. There were reports of rigging, fraud and the use of violence to influence voting. But those complaints were on both sides. --- On July 9, Abdullah Abdullah rejected the preliminary results in a massive rally in Kabul and alleged President Hamid Karzai, the Election Commission and the Ghani team had conspired to rig the results and steal his victory. In effect Abdullah called into question the legitimacy of the whole electoral process. He threatened to create a “parallel” government. Then he called on his supporters to refrain from any violent actions and asked for a few days to decide his future course of action. -- That’s where Kerry comes in. Abdullah Abdullah clearly is looking to win through negotiations in a room with the Americans what he didn’t win at the polls. --- To be sure, the fledgling Afghan democracy is at a critical juncture, and international mediation might prove helpful in resolving the crisis, but if that means sidelining the legal electoral institutions like the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Election Complaint Commission (ECC) entirely, it will be a major blow to the democratic process. Afghans will lose faith in it and the credibility of modern political institutions will crumble. -- The international arbitrators should give a chance to the Afghan constitutional election bodies to launch a thoroughly impartial screening of the votes before announcing any final results. In the meantime, both Ghani and Abdullah should engage in a meaningful dialogue to overcome this standoff and salvage the nation's nascent democracy. --- The usual American answer in a situation like this is to press for a national unity government. (Look at Iraq right now, where that’s being held up as the only way out of the crisis that has torn the country apart.) The United States and its allies will advocate representation of all political sides in the coming Afghan government to ensure its sustainability and effectiveness and avoid a resurgence of the Taliban. --- So Ghani and his team should be prepared to discuss such a government as an option. But, sadly, Afghans will have to accept that in countries like theirs, casting a vote is not enough to get a government of their choice. It’s the foreign power brokers and backdoor negotiators that decide their destiny - More, Zardasht Shams, Daily Beast,

PRESS STATEMENT: UNAMA proposes additional audit for preliminary results of election --- KABUL, 11 July 2014 – At a meeting convened by the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, yesterday, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) presented its proposal for an additional audit which aims to strengthen the credibility of the country’s electoral process and acceptance of the results from the recent Presidential election run-off by both campaigns and all Afghans. -- Amongst others, those in attendance at the meeting included the country’s First Vice President Yunus Qanuni; its Second Vice President, Karim Khalili; the Chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Ahmed Yusuf Nuristani; the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC), Abdul Sattar Sadaat; the Chief Justice, Abdul Salam Azimi; and the General Director of the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, Gul Rahman Qazi. -- For weeks, both Presidential candidates have requested a full investigation of serious and credible allegations of fraud and have strongly urged measures that would separate fraudulent ballots from valid votes. UNAMA shares these concerns and supports an extensive and thorough investigation and audit. -- At the request of the two Presidential candidates and the Afghan authorities, the United Nations has over the past days held numerous meetings with representatives of both Presidential campaigns to discuss measures to increase the integrity and credibility of the run-off. -- Based on extensive consultation with the two campaigns, the following set of audit criteria are contained in the proposal put forward by the UN: -- More,

Opinion -- How to Avert Afghanistan's Implosion --- Election-fraud charges must be resolved by July 22. The U.S. should do all it can to make that happen. --- The Afghan electoral commission announced on Monday that preliminary results showed Ashraf Ghani a million votes ahead of Abdullah Abdullah. Both camps immediately claimed victory. -- Mr. Abdullah's supporters have taken to the streets, and he has threatened to form a parallel government if the result is not overturned. The White House has said that the formation of an extra-constitutional body will mean the termination of U.S. aid to Afghanistan, and rightly so. This election must be decided according to Afghan law by the established electoral bodies and without more mobilization of street pressures. Any other outcome will hurt all of the Afghan people and seriously damage U.S. and international interests in South Asia. ----- The Afghan electoral commission was right to announce the preliminary results on July 7 while continuing its fraud investigations. Departures from the constitutionally mandated process and timeline risk tipping Afghanistan into the abyss: If an impatient Mr. Abdullah and his supporters launch a parallel government, it would fracture the country and provoke civil war almost immediately. -- Prolonging the electoral-review process past its legally mandated period—the final results are due on July 22—allowing Mr. Karzai's continued rule, would alienate most Afghans and all of Afghanistan's international supporters. Fears that Mr. Karzai might extend his rule indefinitely would rise. -- The consequences would be dire. Aid would likely be suspended or canceled. Mr. Karzai would continue to refuse to sign the status of forces agreement allowing U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after the end of this year. President Obama would likely order plans drawn up to withdraw all U.S. troops by the end of 2014 and might even set that process in motion. -- Other troop-contributing nations would do the same. Deprived of military and humanitarian aid, Afghanistan would be on track to implode spectacularly. -- The Taliban are no doubt watching the crisis closely, heartened by signs of dysfunction and ready to step up pressure on an Afghan National Security Force already frayed by the ethnic tensions surrounding the election. If international forces begin to move out faster than the current drawdown calls for, significant battlefield failures are likely, heightening the impression that the country is on the verge of collapse. In response to Taliban successes, the Northern Alliance would likely mobilize, further weakening the Afghan National Security Force, because former alliance commanders form much of the military's leadership. -- Pakistan would reinforce the Taliban and the Haqqani network. India would be tempted to reinforce the Northern Alliance. Russia, joined by Iran, might support the alliance as well. The prospects for an all-out civil war are high if the electoral crisis is allowed to fester. --- Mr. Abdullah and his partisans, in taking their defiant stands, seem to have forgotten the risks of the course they are pursuing. For all his flaws, Mr. Ghani is not Mr. Karzai. He is not a Pashtun supremacist and would not pose a threat to Afghanistan's northern minorities. He has already announced his intention to form an inclusive government, and his past behavior provides ample reason to believe him. -- The U.S. and the international community should bring as much pressure to bear as possible on Mr. Abdullah—and on Mr. Ghani if it becomes necessary—to let the constitutional process play out. Otherwise there may be no future for Afghanistan. -- More, Frederick W. Kagan, WSJ,

Afghanistan's Worst Fear Is Being Realized --- When Afghanistan's Independent Election Committee (IEC) announced on Monday the preliminary results of the presidential election runoff, we Afghan people saw our worst fear materialize before our eyes. Since then the situation here in Kabul has only grown worse and sharpened our fear. -- The IEC had held off announcing the preliminary results for five days while it investigated candidate Abdullah Abdullah's charges of widespread, systematic fraud. But that was not good enough for Dr. Abdullah. He had called for a full investigation and a delay in announcing the election results for as long as it might take to separate the clean votes from the dirty ones and produce a fair recount. -- That process of weeding out fraudulent votes is happening. Already, few days ago, the IEC started going over the complaints it had received and announced that it would separate clean from unclean votes and recount them in some 7,000 polling stations across the country, mainly in the areas where Abdullah's group had reported fraud. -- According to the rules of the election, however, that process is supposed to take place only after the announcement of the preliminary results. Or in other words, only before the dirty votes have been thrown out. Why or how the election rules came to be written this way is hard to say; Afghans often have so little say in writing Afghan rules. -- But following those election rules, the IEC announced preliminary results on Monday that reversed the voting trends of the first round election, which Abdullah won, and showed rival candidate Ashraf Ghani now the decisive winner with 56 percent of the votes. Ghani appeared to have overrun Abdullah's first round advantage of almost a million votes and added another million as well, while Abdullah's tally changed very little. Unlike the presidential contest of 2009, when Hamid Karzai apparently defeated Abdullah with the old fashioned technique of stuffing ballot boxes by hand, this surprising reversal suggested more sophisticated systems. -- The morning after the announcement, the bewildered, exhausted, and fed up people of Afghanistan witnessed something new and frightening: a total rejection of the announced preliminary results and an acceptance of only one possible outcome -- the one being shouted at the top of their lungs by the followers of Abdullah, assembled in the Loya Jirga tent to support the claims of the candidate who calls himself the only legitimate president of Afghanistan. From that moment on, control of the situation was out of the hands of the government and the law and the people who had lined up so patiently and bravely to cast their votes for a democratic and peaceful future. -- The situation was in the hands of the mob. That night Kabul University closed down after terrible clashes between the supporters of both candidates. About 30 students were badly injured and hospitalized. At the Loya Jirga tent, the huge gathering of excited supporters pressed Abdullah to declare right there, without delay, his presidency of the country, or of an alternative government. From the provinces came word of other powerful leaders who vowed to follow him. Abdullah himself begged his followers to give him a few days time. Afghanistan has been in this place before. It is the beginning of the country's most feared political scenario. -- What will be next? No one can say anything with any certainty at this time because now the wider world is concerned, and we know very well what happens when the United States gets involved in a situation, especially in this region. It creates chaos and more chaos. Reportedly Abdullah has been talking to President Obama, and an Under Secretary of State is to be dispatched to Kabul in the next few days. There is mention of "political dialogues" and "reconciliation" to head off ethnic separation, conflict, civil war. -- This is the beginning of the realization of the second worst fear of the Afghan people: a presidency achieved not by their votes, though voting has cost some Afghans their fingers or their lives, but by appointment and by the sacrificial death of Afghanistan's very primitive and fragile democracy, stomped on one more time. -- We are way beyond voting now, but the people are still watching. We still hope and pray. - More, Mahbouba Seraj,

مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهور جدید بتاریخ دوهم اگست اجرا می شود: رئیس جمهور کرزی در خطاب به جان کیری --- کابل، ارگ: گزارش ها حاکی از آن است که همین لحظه حامد کرزی مصروف ملاقات با جان کیری وزیر خارجه امریکا است. -- گزارش می افزاید که جناب حامد کرزی به جان کری خاطر نشان ساخته است که مراسم تحلیف رئیس جمهور تغییر ناپذیر است و بتاریخ دوهم برج اگست انجام خواهد شد. -- هکذا جناب حامد کرزی به کری گفته است که هر قدم مطابق بر قوانین افغانستان که توسط هردو کاندید قبول شود، برایش قابل قبول است. -- متن کامل گفتگو ها بعدا آنلاین خواهد شد. با گران افغانستان باشید

Killing of Palestinian Youth Puts an Israeli Focus on Extremism --- JERUSALEM — Even as the Israeli public offers strong support for airstrikes on Hamas fighters and their weapons stocks in Gaza, there is a good deal of reflection over the coldblooded killing of a Palestinian teenager that helped lead to the latest increase in violence. -- Brutality against innocents is not new on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But, despite a court order that bans the disclosure of information in the case, Israelis have been discussing links between the suspects arrested in the killing of the teenager, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and Israeli right-wing extremist groups that have at times operated with impunity. -- Very little about the six suspects has been confirmed, because of the court order. But several Israeli media outlets have linked them to extremist groups, describing them as “shababnikkim,” pejorative Hebrew slang for right-wing extremist youth from ultra-Orthodox homes on the fringes of Orthodox society. -- Lawyers for Honenu, a right-wing legal aid organization that often defends soldiers and civilians in cases involving attacks on Arabs, said they were representing the suspects. While none have yet been charged, the Israeli news media reported that three had confessed and three were scheduled to be released. -- The apparent link to the far right prompted some to bemoan the decay of society’s moral underpinning, with a small group of extremists becoming more brazen. The phenomenon has been traced to the yeshiva student who assassinated Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, to Baruch Goldstein’s massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer in Hebron in 1994, and even to the 1980s, when a “Jewish underground” put explosives in Palestinian buses. -- “The moral blindness has afflicted Israelis in general,” Anshel Pfeffer, a respected chronicler of Jewish extremism, wrote in the newspaper Haaretz. “We are all partners in this, accomplices in complacency, if not in deed.” -- Deborah Weissman, an educator and president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, said the Palestinian teenager’s killing showed that “we are not immune to extremism, that extremist, religious terror can occur in many, maybe in any, religion.” -- She said that though the killers appeared to represent “a very marginal phenomenon,” their very existence demanded that Jewish Israelis reflect on their identity and history. -- “We have to present a different view of Jewish history, one that is not about being the absolute victim, and then discuss what the implications are of becoming a state,” she said. “There were times in Jewish history when Jews were victims and powerless, but when you have power you have to exercise it wisely and morally.” - More, - NYTimes, STEVEN ERLANGER

Kerry, other diplomats focus on audit to resolve disputed Afghan vote --- (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday Afghanistan's transition to a self-reliant state hung in the balance after a contested presidential election and urged Afghan officials to focus on auditing the vote count to underpin its legitimacy. -- Kerry arrived in the Afghan capital in the early hours of Friday in a hastily arranged visit for talks with the two presidential contenders, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, as well as incumbent Hamid Karzai and other senior officials. -- Preliminary results from a June 14 run-off round put Ghani, a former World Bank official, in the lead with 56.4 percent of the vote, almost one million votes ahead of Abdullah. --- "The election legitimacy hangs in the balance, the future potential of the transition hangs in the balance, so we have a lot to do," Kerry said as he began his first meeting of the day with U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis. -- "Our hopes are that there is a road that can be found that will provide that capacity for the questions to be answered, for people’s doubts to be satisfied, and hopefully for a future to be defined. But I can't tell you that that's going to be an automatic at this point." -- U.S. officials Kerry would urge both contenders to agree on a review "of all reasonable allegations of fraud", which would entail additional audits of the vote count. -- Kerry was also due to meet Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Omar Daudzai, a man tipped as head of a possible interim government - a last-resort scenario possible if the current deadlock is not resolved promptly. --- Ghani, speaking later, just before the start of his talks with Kerry, said he favored a comprehensive audit. -- "Our commitment is to ensure that the election process enjoys the integrity and the legitimacy that the people of Afghanistan and the world will believe in," he said. -- "Therefore we believe in the most intensive and extensive audit possible to restore faith." --- Kerry replied: "No one is declaring victory at this time. The results have yet to be finalised and so those questions have to be resolved and I'm very appreciative that Dr Ghani respects that." -- State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told Reuters there an agreement on a broad review of the votes would be an initial step to enable the candidates to talk through their differences. -- "Secretary Kerry's goal is to help the parties find a way forward that ensures that the next president of Afghanistan has a credible mandate to lead a unified Afghanistan," she said. --- The United believes that the results of the final tally in the second round should not be released until the audits have been completed. Washington considers the results thus far to be preliminary. -- Kerry has warned that any effort to resolve the dispute through violence or any "extra-constitutional means," would cause the United States to withdraw assistance to Afghanistan. - More,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kerry arrives in Afghanistan to meet candidates --- KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. and its allies are growing increasingly concerned as Afghanistan shows signs of unraveling in its first democratic transfer of power from President Hamid Karzai. With Iraq wracked by insurgency, Afghanistan’s dispute over election results poses a new challenge to President Barack Obama’s effort to leave behind two secure states while ending America’s long wars. -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a hastily arranged visit to Afghanistan on Friday to help resolve the election crisis, which is sowing chaos in a country that the U.S. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost more than 2,000 lives trying to stabilize. He was to meet with the two candidates claiming victory in last month’s presidential election runoff. -- “I’ve been in touch with both candidates several times as well as President (Hamid) Karzai,” Kerry said before leaving Beijing, where he attended a U.S.-China economic meeting. He called on them to “show critical statesmanship and leadership at a time when Afghanistan obviously needs it.” -- “This is a critical moment for the transition, which is essential to future governance of the country and the capacity of the (U.S. and its allies) to be able to continue to be supportive and be able to carry out the mission which so many have sacrificed so much to achieve.” -- The preliminary results of the presidential election runoff suggested a massive turnaround in favor of former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, a onetime World Bank economist who lagged significantly behind former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah in first-round voting. --- Kerry will seek to persuade both candidates to hold off from rash action while the ballots are examined and political leaders are consulted across Afghanistan’s ethnic spectrum. The U.S. wants to ensure that whoever wins will create a government that welcomes all ethnic factions. -- If neither candidate gains credibility as the rightful leader, the winner could be the Taliban. Many Afghans fear the insurgent forces will only gain strength as the U.S. military presence recedes. Internal instability could aid the insurgency. - More, Associated Press,

پیشنهاد سازمان ملل متحد به افغانستان: نتایج ۸ هزار صندوق رای بررسی شود --- نماینده دبیرکل سازمان ملل متحد در افغانستان خواستار بررسی نتایج ۸ هزار صندوق رای شده است. همزمان وزیر خارجه آمریکا هم برای کمک به حل اختلاف میان نامزدها وارد افغانستان شده است. -- عصر روز پنجشنبه (دهم ژوئیه - ۱۹ تیر) در جلسه ای که با حضور مقام‌های‌دولتی، قضایی و کمیسیون انتخابات در ارگ ریاست جمهوری افغانستان برگزار شد یان کوبیش، فرستاده ویژه سازمان ملل متحد پیشنهاد کرد ۸ هزار صندوق رای مورد بررسی و تحقیق بازرسان واقع شود. -- بدین ترتیب در صورت اجرایی شدن این پیشنهاد بخش مهمی از نتایج آرای دور دوم (حدود سه میلیون و پانصد هزار رای، معادل ۴۳ درصد از آرای کل ماخوذه) مورد بررسی قرار خواهد گرفت. -- آقای کوبیش گفته این طرح فردا (جمعه) به صورت رسمی به هر دو کمیسیون و کاندیدای ریاست جمهوری پیشنهاد می‌شود. -- همزمان ایمل فیضی سخنگوی حامد کرزی، رییس جمهوری افغانستان گفته است نشست امروز از سوی سازمان ملل متحد پیشنهاد شده بود و آقای کرزی نیز با برگزاری چنین نشستی در ارگ توافق کرد. -- آقای فیضی افزوده است:"حامد کرزی همیشه خواسته است روند انتخابات توسط افغانها مدیریت شود. انتخابات یک برنامه ملی است و باید افغانها سرنوشت خود را خود رقم بزنند. حالا وضعیت ایده آل نیست و یک جانب خواهان مداخله خارجی‌ها در انتخابات است. رییس جمهور پدیرفته است که به این خواسته او نیز، توجه شود." -- در همین حال، جان کری، وزیر خارجه آمریکا عصر امروز (پنجشنبه) وارد کابل شده است تا برای حل اختلاف میان اشرف‌غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله، دو نامزد راه یافته به دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان، تلاش کند. --- ساعتی پیش هم، گروه ارزیابی انتخابات اتحادیه اروپا در تازه‌ترین خبرنامه‌‌اش اعلام کرد که نتایج ابتدایی انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان "نیاز به بررسی همه جانبه" دارد. -- More, BBC

Kerry faces uphill battle to defuse Afghan election standoff --- (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive to a sceptical audience in Afghanistan this week to try to resolve a deepening crisis over a disputed presidential election which has stirred ethnic tensions in the fragile country. -- Afghanistan has plunged into political chaos in recent months as a protracted election process to pick a successor to President Hamid Karzai has run into a deadlock between two leading candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. --- Preliminary results from the June 14 second-round run-off put Ghani, a former World Bank official, in the lead with 56.4 percent of the vote, but Abdullah has rejected the count and his aides have threatened to set up an alternative administration. -- Ghani's camp, confident in its victory, is wary of Kerry's mediation efforts, while Abdullah, who has alleged widespread fraud in the vote, welcomes the initiative. -- "I don’t know what he can do," said Abbas Noyan, a spokesman for Ghani’s camp. "Secretary Kerry will come and talk with both candidates and see what he can do. I don’t think he has a road plan for this. Without a road map it is very difficult to solve this problem." -- The United States, Afghanistan's biggest foreign donor, is in the process of withdrawing its forces from the country after 12 years of fighting Taliban insurgents, and it is unclear what leverage Kerry would have in resolving deep-seated rivalries. -- Speaking to reporters at the end of annual high-level U.S.-China talks, Kerry made no mention of the Kabul trip but said he had discussed the situation with all sides. -- "I have been in touch several times with both candidates, as well as President Karzai," he said in Beijing. -- "We would encourage both for them to not raise expectations with their supporters, to publicly demonstrate respect for the accountability process and also to show critical statesmanship and leadership at a time when Afghanistan obviously needs it." - More,

Kerry in Afghanistan to talk over election outcome, fraud claims --- (CNN) -- Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thursday where he plans to encourage a resolution to the presidential election that the United States insists must include a thorough review of "reasonable allegations" of fraud. -- Kerry plans to meet in Kabul with presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani as well as the man one of them will succeed, President Hamid Karzai, to discuss the political transition amid uncertainty over the vote earlier this month. -- "While the United States does not support an individual candidate, we do support a credible, transparent and inclusive process that affirms the Afghan people's commitment to democracy, and that produces a president who can bring Afghanistan together and govern effectively," the State Department said in a statement detailing Kerry's surprise visit. -- About 8 million votes were cast in June 14 balloting and provisional results showed Ghani ahead with roughly 56% support to 43% for Abdullah, according to Afghanistan's Independent Elections Commission. Final results will be announced July 22. -- Abdullah alleged massive fraud in an interview with CNN this week, while Ghani has said the results were "legitimate and credible." --- The Obama administration is looking for a credible outcome involving one candidate or the other, and U.N. officials say sorting out the situation could take a couple of weeks. The inauguration is set for the first week of August. -- The United States is withdrawing most of its troops by year's end, reducing the primary leverage it has had in Afghanistan. But it still supports the country with billions in foreign aid. -- Although once an ally of Karzai, Abdullah has in recent years become an opponent and vocal critic of the Taliban. Ghani, also a former adviser to Karzai and finance minister, was once a U.S. citizen, but gave up his passport to run for president five years ago. - More,

Afghanistan: Ground combat taking ‘devastating’ civilian toll, says UN, reporting sharp rise in casualties --- 9 July 2014 – The nature of the Afghan conflict has added yet another grim dimension as ground combat among the warring parties surpassed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as the leading cause of conflict-related death and injury to Afghan civilians in the first six months of 2014, the United Nations reported today. -- This “disturbing upward spiral” has meant the number of children and other vulnerable Afghans killed and wounded since the beginning of the year rose dramatically and “is proving to be devastating”, according to the sobering new survey released in Kabul by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). -- This “disturbing upward spiral” has meant the number of children and other vulnerable Afghans killed and wounded since the beginning of the year rose dramatically and “is proving to be devastating”, according to the sobering new survey released in Kabul by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). -- Attacks which fail to distinguish between a military and civilian objective and attacks that deliberately target civilians are serious violations of international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes. -- The 2014 Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, prepared in coordination with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), notes that while civilian casualties caused by IEDs also increased to unprecedented levels over the same period in 2013, deaths and injuries caused by mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire in ground engagements jumped dramatically as the frequency and intensity of these incidents increased in 2014, particularly in areas with concentrated civilian populations. -- “The nature of the conflict in Afghanistan is changing in 2014 with an escalation of ground engagements in civilian-populated areas,” said the UN Special Representative for the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš. “The impact on civilians, including the most vulnerable Afghans, is proving to be devastating.” -- From 1 January to 30 June 2014, UNAMA documented 4,853 civilian casualties, up 24 per cent over the same period in 2013. -- More,

Middle East: Appealing for ceasefire, Ban urges Israel, Palestinians to find common ground --- 10 July 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today warned the United Nations Security Council of the “risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza” and made an urgent appeal for maximum restraint, saying his “paramount concern is the safety and well-being of all civilians, no matter where they are.” -- “Today, we face the risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza, with the threat of a ground offensive still palpable – and preventable only if Hamas stops rocket firing,” the Secretary-General told the urgently-called meeting of the Security Council Thursday morning on the Middle East, which he told reporters yesterday that he had requested. -- The Secretary-General said over the past several days, the Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired more than 550 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel, and the Israeli Defence Forces have launched more than 500 airstrikes on Gaza. -- “It is now more urgent than ever to try to find common ground for a return to calm and a cease-fire understanding,” he said. --- “Once again civilians are paying the price for the continuation of conflict,” Mr. Ban said. “My paramount concern is the safety and well-being of all civilians, no matter where they are. It pains me – and it should pain us all – to be reliving circumstances that are all too reminiscent of the two most recent wars in Gaza.” - More,

نامزدان از هرگونه اظهارات و اقدامات شتابزده و بحران زا، پرهیز نمایند --- کابل - حزب ملت افغانستان از اعلام نتایج ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات استقبال نموده، از کمیسیون های انتخاباتی خواست تا آرای پاک را از ناپاک جدا ساخته و نتایج نهایی را به اساس تقویم انتخاباتی اعلام نماید. این حزب، هم چنان می گوید که هرگونه حرکت و اقدام غیرمسوولانه و فراقانونی، باعث تخریش اذهان عامه شده و خاطرات تلخ دهۀ هفتاد را در اذهان مردم زنده می سازد که غیرقابل قبول بوده و ملت با آن همراهی نخواهد کرد. -- کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات، نتایج ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری را بتاریخ ۱۶سرطان اعلام کرد، اما تيم اصلاحات و همگرايى به رهبرى داکتر عبدالله عبدالله اعلام داشت که آن را نمى پذيرد. هواداران داکتر عبدالله عبدالله، در گردهمایی در خیمه لویه جرگه، عبدالله را “رئيس جمهور منتخب مردم افغانستان” خوانده خواهان اعلام حکومت گرديدند، اما عبدالله در اين مورد خواهان چند روز مهلت گرديد. -- داکتر جعفرمهدوی نماینده مردم کابل در ولسی و رئیس دارالانشاى حزب ملت افغانستان، امروز طى نشست خبرى در کابل، ضمن استقبال از اعلام نتايج، از هردو تیم انتخاباتی خواست تا با احترام به چوکات های قانونی، از هرگونه اظهارات و اقدامات شتابزده و بحران زا، جداً پرهیز نمایند. موصوف گفت که تحریک احساسات مردم، بهانه براى افراد سودجو برای برهم زدن نظم عمومی جامعه و باعث کار هاى ناپسندى چون اهانت به تصویر رئیس جمهور کشور می شود. -- هواداران عبدالله در گردهمايى خيمه لويه جرگه، عکس حامد کرزى رئيس جمهور کشور را پاره نموده و بر جاى آن عکس عبدالله را نصب کردند. مهدوى گفت: “هرگونه اقدامات غیرمسولانه و فراقانونی هم چون تشکیل حکومت موازی و یا هر رفتاری که تمامیت ارضی، قانون اساسی و کلیت نظام نوپا و وحدت ملی کشور را با مشکل مواجه ساخته و خاطرات تلخ دهۀ هفتاد را در اذهان مردم تداعی نماید، غیرقابل قبول بوده و یقیناً ملت با آن همراهی نخواهند کرد.” -- حزب ملت افغانستان، از کمیسیون شکایات انتخاباتی خواسته است تا به شکايت هاى انتخاباتى در چوکات معيار هاى قانونى رسيدگى کند و کميسيون مستقل انتخابات، نتايج را در تاريخ معين (٣١ سرطان) اعلام بدارد. حزب ملت با نشر اعلاميه اى، از نامزدان انتخابات ریاست جمهوری و هواداران شان تقاضا کرده تا نتیجۀ مشروع انتخابات را بپذيرند. - گران افغانستان

Californians could be fined for violating emergency water regulations --- California is considering a measure that could lead to $500-a-day fines for residents who waste water as the state faces a devastating and extended drought. -- The State Water Resources Control Board announced a proposal Wednesday that would let local governments fine those who hose surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks and asphalt, use hoses without shut-off nozzles, or run fountains without recirculating water. The proposal will be discussed by the board in a public meeting Tuesday in Sacramento. -- “Is this enough? No,” said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the board on a conference call with reporters Wednesday. Marcus said she hopes Californians go beyond in their water conservation. “Having a dirty car and a brown lawn is a badge of honor.” -- In its current state, the proposal lacks direct guidelines for how local governments should enforce it. Marcus said there is a possibility that the board’s regulations could escalate and become more direct, however. “I think it’s as limited as our creativity and our prudence.” -- Gov. Jerry Brown, who declared a state of emergency in January, has asked residents to reduce water usage by 20 percent, but it has only dropped by 5 percent, according to data through May from the board. - More, Washingtonpost

Israeli Leader Vows to Intensify Gaza Attacks on Hamas --- JERUSALEM — As new volleys of rockets whizzed toward Israel’s major cities on Wednesday and Israel pressed its intensive air bombardment of Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel vowed to increase “the assault on Hamas and the terrorist organizations in Gaza.” -- But even as Israel’s jets and drones battered targets all across the narrow Mediterranean enclave, the rising Palestinian death toll and increased international alarm suggested Israel would not have the leeway for a military operation on the scale of 2008’s Cast Lead, which lasted three weeks and involved extensive infantry combat in Gaza. -- The Israeli government was already facing condemnation and criticism from Jordan, the European Union and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority as the death toll across Gaza hit at least 53 since Saturday. No Israelis have been reported killed. -- The United States’ support for the Israeli operation also appeared conditional, Israeli analysts said, as Washington called for “restraint from both sides.” --- Israel and Hamas began this latest round of fighting after a spike in tensions fueled by the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers hitchhiking in the West Bank and what is suspected to be the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager by Israelis. -- On Wednesday, after Hamas fired nearly 100 rockets into Israel, Mr. Netanyahu met with senior military commanders near Gaza and vowed to press on. He said that with public support “the operation will be expanded and will continue until the firing at our communities stops and quiet is restored.” -- Responding to the increasing number of casualties in Gaza, Mr. Abbas said Israel was waging “a war against the Palestinian people in every sense of the word” and accused it of “genocide.” He said he had been in contact with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, who promised to try to restore the cease-fire of 2012 but who has also pointedly not come to the aid of Hamas, which he sees as an adversary. --- The deadliest single strike of the latest flare-up took place early Wednesday when a missile hit the house in northern Gaza of an Islamic Jihad rocket commander, Abdullah Diyfallah, killing him and five family members. Israeli strikes hit other military figures and their houses, as well as rocket launchers and storage facilities. - More, NYTimes,

Ground Battles in Afghanistan Contribute to Surge in Civilian Casualties, U.N. Says --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Driven by increased ground combat between insurgents and government forces, civilian casualties in Afghanistan surged 24 percent through the first half of the year, reaching their highest levels since 2009, according to the United Nations. The findings were released just as a Taliban attack unfolded in the densely populated center of Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan. -- At least nine people were killed on Wednesday in the Kandahar assault and the ensuing gun battle, including four civilians, Afghan officials said. The battle illustrates how ground fighting, as opposed to improvised explosive devices, has emerged as the deadliest facet of the war. The United Nations report said that the death toll this year was especially high for women and children. - More, NYTimes,®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Asia%20Pacific&pgtype=article

UNAMA report: number of Afghan civilian casualties rises by 24 per cent in first half of 2014 --- 9 July 2014 - Ground combat among parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan surpassed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as the leading cause of conflict-related death and injury to Afghan civilians in the first six months of 2014, according to a major report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), launched today in the Afghan capital of Kabul. -- In its 2014 Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, prepared in coordination with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNAMA also noted that ground engagements and crossfire hit children and women with unprecedented force, with associated child casualties more than doubling in the first six months of 2014 and two-thirds more women killed and injured by ground engagements compared with 2013. -- While civilian casualties caused by IEDs also increased to unprecedented levels over the same period in 2013, deaths and injuries caused by mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire in ground engagements jumped dramatically as the frequency and intensity of these incidents increased in 2014, particularly in areas with concentrated civilian populations. -- “The nature of the conflict in Afghanistan is changing in 2014 with an escalation of ground engagements in civilian-populated areas,” the United Nations Special Representative for the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš, said in a news release. “The impact on civilians, including the most vulnerable Afghans, is proving to be devastating.” -- “More efforts are needed for civilians, to ensure accountability for those who deliberately indiscriminately kill them for the remaining months of 2014. We are urging the parties to attempt to make efforts to reverse this downward spiral to cease firing mortars, rockets and grenades into civilian areas and to stop using IEDs, putting them in places indiscriminately, and to stop using illegal IEDs,” Ms. Gagnon said. “It is very important to highlight every civilian casualty has a life behind it, and the report has many accounts of those who have been killed and injured.” -- The reports notes that from 1 January to 30 June 2014, UNAMA documented 4,853 civilian casualties, up 24 per cent over the same period in 2013. Included in the toll were 1,564 civilian deaths and 3,289 injuries, up 17 and 28 per cent from the same time period last year, respectively. Ground engagements caused two of every five civilian casualties in 2014 accounting for 39 per cent of all civilian casualties: 1,901 in total, up 89 per cent from 2013, with 474 civilians killed and 1,427 injured. -- Total child civilian casualties increased 34 per cent in the first six months of 2014 to 1,071, including 295 killed and 776 injured, while total women civilian casualties increased 24 per cent to 440, including 148 killed and 292 injured. Ground engagements took the lives of 112 children and injured 408, with the total 520 child casualties, an increase of 111 per cent over 2013. Ground engagements killed 64 Afghan women and injured 192, with the total 256 women casualties, up 61 per cent over 2013. -- More,

Readout of the President’s Calls with Afghan Presidential Candidates Dr. Ghani and Dr. Abdullah --- The President spoke with Afghan presidential candidates Dr. Ashraf Ghani this afternoon and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah last night as part of our ongoing efforts to call for calm and emphasize the need for political dialogue as last month’s election results are tabulated. With both, the President stressed that the United States expects a thorough review of all reasonable allegations of fraud to ensure a credible electoral process. He reiterated that all parties should avoid steps that undermine Afghan national unity and should come together to work toward a resolution that represents the will of the Afghan people and produces a government that can bring Afghanistan together. He also noted that there is no justification for resorting to violent or extra-constitutional means, which would result in the end of U.S. assistance to Afghanistan. The President indicated that Secretary Kerry would continue his close consultations with the two candidates and President Karzai in the days to come. -- THE WHITE HOUSE ,

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

باختر -- حمله دیشب به تالار لویه جرگه و بی احترامی به تصویر رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان بی حرمتی به دولت و ملت افغانستان است --- متاسفانه دیروز در جریان گردهمایی هواداران یکی از نامزدان انتخابات ریاست جمهوری در تالار لویه جرگه ، تصویر رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان با بی احترامی پایین آورده شده بود که بعد از ختم جلسه به جایش نصب گردید. اما تعدادی از عناصر آشوبگر که مسلح به سلاح های سبک و سنگین بوده اند با سوء استفاده از اوضاع در تاریکی شب به تالار لویه جرگه هجوم برده، دروازه تالار لوی جرگه را شکستانده و تصویر رئیس جمهور اسلامی افغانستان را یکبار دیگر پایین آورده و پاره نموده اند. -- ریاست عمومی اداراه امور و دارالانشای شورای وزیران ضمن اینکه این قبیل اقدامات سوء را قانون شکنی علنی می داند، این عمل را با شدیدترین الفاظ محکوم می کند. -- کشور عزیز ما در شرایط حساس کنونی بیش از هر زمان دیگری نیازمند به قانون پذیری میباشد. ما ضمن در خواست از وزارت امور داخله و ریاست امنیت ملی برای پیگیری و شناسایی عوامل پشت پرده این قضیه، از دو نامزد انتخابات ریاست جمهوری می خواهیم تا هوادران شان را به آرامش دعوت نموده و جلو هرگونه اقدام تنش زا و پرخاشگرانه شان را بگیرند.

War in Afghanistan: Enough Is Enough --- At the end of George Washington's second term as President, in his 1796 farewell address to a grateful nation, Washington urged America to avoid foreign entanglements. This is what he said: -- "Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. -- "Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality, we may at any time resolve upon, to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel . -- "Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice? -- "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them." -- In Washington's time, our "foreign entanglements' were with Europe; today, they are worldwide. We still are suffering from our "foreign entanglement" in Afghanistan. Now in its twelfth year, that entanglement is the longest since Washington warned us against them. -- Following the 9/11 attacks, we defeated an entrenched hostile military force in Afghanistan, playing defense, with fewer than 1000 U.S. Special Forces troops. We did so in barely a month. The battle was over, and the war was won Then our hubris-ridden military-industrial complex, led by a bellicose President who had gone AWOL himself from May 1972 to October 1973 and spent his entire presidency trying to make up for it, occupied that 12th-century nation with between 10,000 and 35,000 troops. Under President Obama, our occupying army then multiplied, to 100,000 soldiers. -- Recently, President Obama announced a policy to "end the war" in Afghanistan by maintaining something like 9999 American troops there, for a long time to come. That's the same number of American soldiers who occupied Afghanistan in the first place. -- If you think that stationing just under 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan means that the war is over, then Big Brother has a few words for you: "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength." -- President Obama is my President, he is the leader of my party, and I voted for him twice. But on this issue, President Obama is wrong. Dead wrong. As I said recently on Thom Hartmann's national TV show, it's time to put an end to the war in Afghanistan, and bring our troops home: --- Thom Hartmann: The House unanimously passed your Afghanistan election resolution. Can you tell us about that? -- Rep. Alan Grayson: Sure. We are approaching the point now where Afghanistan is starting to function like a normal country. A lot of blood has been shed, and a lot of taxpayer dollars spent, in the interim. In my opinion, the war in Afghanistan should have been over a long time ago. I'm sure many Americans agree with that. If you combine the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, we have a quarter of a million servicemen who now have permanent brain abnormalities as a result of these two efforts on our part. Plus, a Nobel Prize-winning economist puts a price tag of four [tr]illion dollars on these wars, which is roughly five percent of our national net worth. . . . These wars have been very unfortunate. The fact that there was a free election in Afghanistan, which is leading to what appears to be a voluntary transfer of power from one leader to another, is encouraging. But frankly, in my opinion, enough is enough. We should leave Afghanistan and make sure that the Afghan people take control of their own fate, rather than occupy that country for another decade. - More, Rep. Alan Grayson,

اوباما از عبدالله عبدالله خواسته است، دست به خشونت نزند --- قصرسفید میگوید بارک اوباما، به عبدالله عبدالله گفته است، به خاطر ادعاهای مبنی بر تقلب در انتخابات، هیچ توجیهی برای گرایش به خشونت و یا دیگر اقدامات مغایر با قانون اساسی وجود ندارد. جوش ایرنیست سخنگوی قصرسفید دیروز در واشنگتن گفت، اوباما به عبدالله گفته است: "چنین حرکت به قیمت کمک های مالی و امنیتی امریکا با افغانستان تمام خواهد شد." --- در همین حال وزیر خارجهء بریتانیا می گوید، رهبران افغانستان باید از وضعیت موجود در عراق بیاموزند و ببینند که چگونه عراق وارد چنین یک وضعیت شده است. ولیم هیگ دیروز در جریان سفری به هند گفت: "این مهم است که رهبران افغانستان یکجا باهم کار کنند." به گزارش خبرگزاری فرانس پرس ولیم هیگ گفته است: "عراق در چند سال گذشته نتوانست یک حکومت فراگیر ایجاد کند و امید است افغانستان از ناکامی عراق پند بگیرد." --- وزیر خارجهء بریتانیا چند ساعت پس از آن این سخن را گفت که عبدالله عبدالله یکی از نامزدان انتخابات ریاست جمهوری در جمعی از هوادارانش در کابل خود را برندهء انتخابات اعلام کرد. اما به اساس نتیجهء ابتدایی که از سوی کمیسیون انتخابات اعلام شد، اشرف غنی احمدزی نسبت به عبدالله آرای بیشتر دارد. این نتیجه را تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی به رهبری عبدالله عبدالله، نمی پذیرد. آقای عبدالله در گردهم آیی در خیمهء لویه جرگه به هواخواهان خود اطمینان داد که به زودی حکومت خود آنها ایجاد خواهد شد. -- درین حال یوناما یا دفتر نماینده گی سازمان ملل متحد در افغانستان با نشر یک اعلامیه گفته است، هیچ نامزد باید پیش از وقت ادعای پیروزی نکند. از سوی دیگر اشرف غنی احمدزی، نامزد دیگر انتخابات ریاست جمهوری دیروز در یک کنفرانس خبری در کابل گفت، بحران انتخابات منتج به ایجاد یک حکومت موازی با حکومت فعلی، نخواهد شد. -- وزیر خارجهء روسیه هم دیروز با نشر یک اعلامیه از هر دو نامزد انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان خواست، مشکل را به طور صلح آمیز حل کنند. سرگی لاوروف از عبدالله و احمدزی خواست که تا زمان اعلام نتایج نهایی انتظار بکشند. - رادیو آزادی

Afghan Crisis Risks Splitting Country --- Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory in defiance of preliminary vote results showing he lost and considered forming his own government, despite U.S. warnings that the country risked losing financial and security aid. -- "There is no doubt we are the winners of this election," Mr. Abdullah told supporters during a boisterous rally in Kabul. "We will not allow a fraudulent government for a day." --- Before the rally, President Barack Obama called Mr. Abdullah and urged him to await a probe of ballot-stuffing allegations, telling him that "there is no justification for resorting to violent or extra-constitutional measures," said White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. "We've been clear that any such move would cost Afghanistan the financial and security assistance of the United States," she added. --- Mr. Abdullah said he would decide within a few days whether to form his own administration, a statement his supporters jeered because they wanted him to say he was taking power immediately. -- The deepening election dispute over who will replace President Hamid Karzai has already raised the specter of territorial fragmentation. -- One of Mr. Abdullah's closest allies, former warlord and Balkh province Gov. Atta Mohammad Noor, declared he would only recognize an Abdullah-led government in his northern province. -- "From now on I declare a legitimate government under Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and I am obliged to obey him," said Gov. Atta. --- The presidential election was supposed to mark Afghanistan's transition to full-fledged sovereignty as U.S. and international troops depart the country at the end of this year. But so far, it has proved to be dangerously destabilizing, raising fears of a return to civil war. The crisis comes as the Taliban insurgency advances, Afghanistan's economy stalls and international aid shrinks. --- The campaign team of Mr. Abdullah's rival, Ashraf Ghani, rejected allegations that large-scale fraud happened on its behalf. --- Mr. Abdullah's strategy imperiled support from the U.S., which has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in a military and civilian campaign to bring stability to Afghanistan. The Obama administration is stepping up its efforts to broker a compromise by sending Secretary of State John Kerry to Kabul later this week, a U.S. official said. --- Mr. Abdullah said he wouldn't compromise with Mr. Ghani, who edged closer to becoming Afghanistan's next president after election officials on Monday said he had won 56.4% of the vote to Mr. Abdullah's 43.6% in a preliminary count of the June 14 runoff. The authorities stopped short of declaring a winner as millions of votes could still be reviewed for fraud allegations. --- Mr. Karzai, in his first public statement on the election dispute, on Tuesday urged both candidates to respect the authority of the election commissions. -- "The winner will be declared after the complaints have been reviewed, and the clean votes separated from the unclean ones," Mr. Karzai said. "With the best interest of the country in mind, I am sure the respected candidates will take a conciliatory stance." --- "It is a fact that the international community is not going to be able to support an Afghanistan divided against itself," the U.S. official said. "The bottom line is that national unity is in the interest of Afghanistan." -- Mr. Obama also called Mr. Ghani to urge calm and the need for political dialogue, the White House said. --- Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, said a security agreement with Afghanistan must be in place by the start of the alliance's summit in September, or the deployment of international forces to Afghanistan will be in jeopardy. -- "Time is of the essence," Mr. Rasmussen said. "If there is no security agreement, there will be no deployment. At the beginning of September we will have to take first decisions about a complete withdrawal." --- Mr. Ghani, who has repeatedly urged Mr. Abdullah to accept the authority of the country's election bodies, said Tuesday he accepted the results released by the election commission as legitimate, and said he was open to political dialogue with his rival. -- "At this moment in time what is required is a comprehensive political discussion," Mr. Ghani told reporters. "We must engage in finding solutions." -- Mr. Abdullah also seemed keenly aware of the stakes. --- Mr. Ghani played down the possibility of Mr. Abdullah setting up his own government, saying both camps share a common interest in ensuring the stability of the country. -- The Ghani campaign team attributed Mr. Ghani's vote jump in the second round to a more effective mobilization of voters. -- "Talk of parallel government will remain at the level of talk," he said. - More, WSJ,

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

اوباما در تماس تلفنی نامزدهای افغان را دعوت به آرامش و همکاری کرد --- کاخ سفید می گوید باراک اوباما رئیس جمهور آمریکا در تماسی تلفنی با نامزدهای انتخابات جنجالی افغانستان از آنها خواسته است اجازه دهند فرآیند تحقیق درباره تقلب کامل شود و از دست زدن به اقدامات فراقانونی پرهیز کنند. -- عبدالله عبدالله که براساس نتایج رسمی کمیسیون انتخاباتی حدود یک میلیون رای از اشرف غنی احمدزی کمتر دارد ادعا کرده است که در انتخابات تقلب گسترده روی داده و گفته که اعلام پیروزی خواهد کرد. --آقای اوباما دوشنبه شب با آقای عبدالله و سه شنبه هم با آقای احمدزی تلفنی صحبت کرد. -- براساس بیانیه کاخ سفید آقای اوباما خواستار آرامش شده و بر نیاز به حفظ دیالوگ سیاسی تاکید کرده است. -- آقای اوباما در گفتگو با هر دو نامزد تاکید کرد که آمریکا انتظار دارد کلیه ادعاهای معقول تقلب به طور کامل بررسی شود تا اعتبار فرآیند انتخاباتی تامین شود. -- او تاکید کرد که "همه طرف ها باید از گام هایی که وحدت ملی افغانستان را تضعیف می کند بپرهیزند و باید برای یافتن راه حلی که منعکس کننده اراده مردم افغانستان است و به تشکیل دولتی که باعث وحدت میان افغان ها می شود با هم کار کنند." -- او همچنین تاکید کرد که هیچ توجیهی برای خشونت یا توسل به راه های فراقانونی که به قطع کمک آمریکا به افغانستان منجر خواهد شد وجود ندارد. -- آقای اوباما گفت که جان کری وزیر خارجه آمریکا در روزهای آتی به رایزنی نزدیک با دو نامزد و آقای کرزی ادامه خواهد داد. -- پیشتر جاش ارنست سخنگوی کاخ سفید تاکید کرد که نتایج مقدماتی اعلام شده لزوما منعکس کننده نتیجه نهایی نیست. -- آندرس فو راسموسن دبیر کل ناتو هم سه شنبه گفت که ادعاهای تقلب نگران کننده است و از هر دو طرف خواست با مقام های انتخاباتی افغانستان "برای یافتن راه حلی که اعتبار نتایج انتخابات ریاست جمهوری را تضمین می کند کار کنند." --- ویلیام هیگ وزیر خارجه بریتانیا هم در جریان سفری به هند به رهبران افغانستان توصیه کرد از بحران عراق درس بگیرند و از انتقال مشروع و قانونی قدرت اطمینان حاصل کنند. --آقای هیگ گفت: "عراق در سال های اخیر از نداشتن دولتی که به اندازه کافی فراگیر باشد رنج برده. امیدوارم افغانستان از این ناکامی درس بگیرد." -- نتایج مقدماتی دور دوم انتخابات روز دوشنبه اعلام شد. - More, BBC,

Brazil's World Cup dreams ended in humiliating and brutal fashion as Germany inflicted their heaviest defeat in the first semi-final in Belo Horizonte. --- A thunderous occasion that began with Brazil riding a tidal wave of emotion was reduced to a nightmare as Germany were 5-0 up inside 29 remarkable minutes in front of a disbelieving Estadio Mineirao crowd. -- Brazil's players mourned the absence of the injured Neymar before kick-off, but captain Thiago Silva was an even bigger loss. The result was their first competitive home defeat in 39 years, and the end of their hopes of making it to the World Cup final at the iconic Maracana on Sunday. -- Instead, Germany will meet either Argentina or Netherlands, who meet on Wednesday in Sao Paulo. -- Thomas Muller gave the three-time winners an early lead before a period of utter chaos saw Miroslav Klose break the World Cup scoring record, Toni Kroos add two more in the space of 179 seconds and Sami Khedira net a fifth. -- Chelsea striker Andre Schurrle, on as a substitute, added two more after the break before Brazil's followers delivered what must be regarded as the defining insult to their national team - cheering every German pass and applauding their goals. -- Many Brazil supporters, swamped with such anticipation as they gathered in their thousands around the ground hours before kick-off, were reduced to tears after less than 30 minutes, and reduced to such a state of shock that it was only at half-time that they registered their first serious dissent -- This equalled Brazil's heaviest margin of defeat, a 6-0 loss at the hands of Uruguay in the 1920 Copa America, but the impact of this reverse, not just on the world stage but in their homeland, will put this alongside the 1950 World Cup final defeat by the Uruguayans in Rio as their darkest football day. -- Muller's early goal was a big enough setback, but the manner in which Luiz Felipe Scolari's side crumbled in the space of seven minutes is likely to be a matter of national debate in this country for years to come. --- This was Brazil's first defeat at home for 12 years. The loss for a country built on sporting pride, and at their own World Cup, will be bad enough to take. The scale of defeat will take the inquests to a new level. -- The statistics stacked up like pieces of rubble around the feet of Scolari and his players. This was the first time a team had scored seven in a World Cup semi-final, and the biggest defeat in one of these games since West Germany beat Austria 6-1 in 1954. - More, BBC,

سپینه ماڼۍ: اوباما عبدالله ته وویل چې د تاوتریخوالي او غیرقانوني اقداماتو لپاره توجیه نشته --- سپینې ماڼۍ پرون /سې شنبه/ وویل چې ولسمشر بارک اوباما د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ له کاندید عبدالله عبدالله سره تېره شپه ټېلفوني خبرې وکړې او له هغه یې وغوښتل چې ارام واوسي او د انتخاباتي درغلیو د ادعاوو په اړه خبرې وکړي. -- ښاغلي عبدالله نن د لویې جرگې په خیمه کې خپلو پلویانو ته په وینا کې وویل چې تېره شپه ولسمشر اوباما ورسره ټېلفوني خبرې کړي خو ده ونه ویل چې اوباما ورته څه ویلي دي. -- د سپینې ماڼۍ ویندوی جوش ایرنیسټ په یوه خبري غونډه کې وویل:«ولسمشر ورته په زغرده وویل چې موږ د درغلۍ د ټولو منطقي ادعاوو د څېړل کېدو هیله لرو خو د تاوتریخوالي او د اساسي قانون خلاف اقداماتو لپاره هیڅ توجیه نشته» -- د سپینې ماڼۍ ویندوی همداراز وویل:«هر ډول تاوتریخجن اقدام به افغانستان ته د امریکا د امنیتي او مالي مرستو د بندېدو په قیمت تمام شي» -- ښاغلي ایرنیست دا هم وویل چې په انتخاباتو کې د درغلیو یو شمېر تورونه لګول شوي خو تراوسه پوري سم څېړل شوي نه دي. -- دواړه کاندیدان وايي چې د درغلیو ټول تورونه دې وڅېړل شي. دواړو خواوو د یکشنبې په ورځ موافقه وکړه چې د څه باندې ۷ زره محلونو رایې دې له سره تفتیش شي. -- ټاکل شوې ده چې د امریکا د بهرنیو چارو وزیر جان کیري هم پر همدې مسٔلې د خبرو لپاره د جمعې په ورځ کابل ته راشي. ښاغلي کیري له ښاغلي عبدالله سره ټېلفوني خبرې کړي دي. - تاند

White House urges calm in Afghanistan election, says US financial, security assistance at risk --- WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has told leading Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (ahsh-RAHF' gah-NEE' ah-mahd-ZEYE') that the U.S. expects allegations of election fraud in Afghanistan to be thoroughly reviewed. -- The White House says Obama called Ghani on Tuesday. The phone call comes a day after Obama called Ghani's opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, to urge him not to declare victory while the electoral process plays out. -- Preliminary results show Abdullah trailing Ghani by about a million votes. But Ghani says that's because of massive fraud. Ghani says he doesn't accept the results of the fraudulent vote. --- The White House says Obama urged both candidates to stay calm and seek a resolution that doesn't undermine national unity. He's threatening to cut off U.S. aid to Afghanistan if "violent or extra-constitutional" means are used. - Associated Press,

Obama intervenes in Afghan presidential election --- WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has taken the unusual step of intervening in a foreign election, asking both candidates in Afghanistan's disputed presidential race to allow the process for investigating fraud claims to go forward and threatening a cutoff in U.S. aid if "extra-constitutional measures" are taken. -- Obama called the leading candidate, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, on Tuesday, the day after he spoke to Ghani's opponent, Abdullah Abdullah. The White House said Obama told both candidates that the U.S. expects fraud allegations to be thoroughly reviewed, urging the two men to seek a resolution that doesn't undermine Afghanistan's fragile national unity. -- "He also noted that there is no justification for resorting to violent or extra-constitutional means, which would result in the end of U.S. assistance to Afghanistan," the White House said in a statement. -- The firm warning appeared to be directed mostly at Abdullah, who told thousands of supporters on Tuesday that he will declare victory, amid calls from some of his supporters for Abdullah to form a "parallel government." -- Abdullah claims massive electoral fraud is behind the preliminary results from a runoff vote that put him a million votes behind Ghani. He said Tuesday he doesn't accept the results of the fraudulent vote. -- White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the process of judging the fraud allegations must be allowed to conclude. -- "The preliminary results are not final or authoritative and may not predict the final outcome," he said --- It is unusual for a U.S. president to speak to foreign political candidates during an election, but Obama thought it was important to reach out given the seriousness of the situation and the U.S. interest in maintaining stability in Afghanistan, the White House said. -- The Afghan Independent Election Commission released preliminary election results Monday showing Ahmadzai well in the lead but said no winner could be declared because millions of ballots were being audited for fraud. Ahmadzai had about 56 percent of the vote to Abdullah's 44 percent. --- NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday that the fraud allegations were concerning. He urged both sides to work with Afghanistan's electoral authorities "to find a solution that ensures a credible outcome of the presidential election." -- Rasmussen commented after an Oval Office meeting with Obama during which they discussed planning for an upcoming NATO summit in Wales in September, along with Ukraine and Afghanistan, among other topics. It was Rasmussen's final visit to the White House before he steps down later this year as head of the international military alliance. -- More,

Afghanistan Suicide Attack Near Clinic Claims At Least 16 Lives, Including 4 Foreign Troops --- KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah defiantly told thousands of supporters Tuesday that he will declare victory in the country's election, claiming massive fraud was responsible for preliminary results that put his rival in the lead. The United States warned both camps against trying to seize power, saying international financial and security support was at stake. -- The turmoil came as violence escalated around the country. A suicide bomber struck Afghan and foreign forces near a clinic in the eastern province of Parwan, killing at least 16 people, including four Czech soldiers. -- The turmoil came as violence escalated around the country. A suicide bomber struck Afghan and foreign forces near a clinic in the eastern province of Parwan, killing at least 16 people, including four Czech soldiers. -- Abdullah said he received calls from President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and he was told that Kerry would be flying to the Afghan capital on Friday in a bid to help defuse the crisis. State Department officials accompanying Kerry in Beijing declined to comment on his travel plans. --- The Afghan Independent Election Commission on Monday released preliminary results from the June 14 runoff showing former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai well in the lead for the presidency but said no winner could be declared because millions of ballots were being audited for fraud. -- According to the preliminary results, Ahmadzai had about 4.5 million votes, or 56 percent, while Abdullah had 3.5 million votes, or 44 percent. Turnout was more than 50 percent. --- Abdullah has refused to accept any results from the second round until all fraudulent ballots are invalidated. -- Ahmadzai, a U.S.-educated former finance minister and World Bank official, said he also had spoken to Kerry on the telephone. -- "We welcome him (Kerry) coming here, but the real responsibility is up to us and we are hopeful that we will fulfill all our responsibilities," he said at a news conference at his home in Kabul. "We are prepared to engage in political discussion in order to make sure that we move to insure the legitimacy of the process, its fairness and the acceptance of its results." -- He also rejected the idea of parallel governments, which has been raised by some Abdullah supporters. -- "Talk of parallel governments will remain in the level of talk, because the historic responsibility that his excellency Dr. Abdullah and I as people who have submitted ourselves to the will of the people of Afghanistan have is to ensure the stability of this country and the legitimacy of the regime to which we have devoted our lives." -- The election commission acknowledged that vote rigging had occurred and said ballots from about 7,000 more of the nearly 23,000 polling stations would be audited. -- Abdullah charged that outgoing President Hamid Karzai, Ahmadzai and the election commission were colluding against him. "They ignored us and announced the fraudulent results," he said. --- Kerry said during a visit to Tokyo that any action to seize power illegally in Afghanistan would lead to the end of U.S. financial and security support. -- "Any action to take power by extra-legal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community," Kerry said. --- Abdullah said Obama had called him to promise help "in cleaning up votes." -- The European Union and the U.N. urged the IEC and its sister complaints commission to cooperate on the audits. --- The U.N. mission in Afghanistan also called on both candidates "to exercise restraint and take all steps necessary to control their supporters to prevent them from making irresponsible statements and from taking steps that could lead to civil disorder and instability." -- Meanwhile, the Czech Ministry of Defense confirmed that four Czech troops were killed and another was badly wounded by Tuesday's blast. -- At least 10 civilians and two police officers also were killed in the attack near the provincial capital of Charakar, local government spokesman Wahid Sediqqi said. -- The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to the media. - More,

احمدزی: کار به تشکیل حکومت موازی نمی رسد --- اشرف غنی احمدزی، یکی از نامزدان پیشتاز انتخابات ریاست جمهوری شام روز سه شنبه در منزلش به خبرنگاران گفت که وی نتایج اعلان شده از جانب کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات را پذیرفته و امیدوار است از جانب این کمیسیون نتایج نهایی نیز به وقت معین آن اعلان گردد. -- آقای احمدزی گفت " داکتر صاحب عبدالله یک شخصیت ملی و قابل احترام است. من باور دارم که کار به تشکیل یک حکومت موازی نخواهد رسید. ما همه در مقابل ملت افغانستان مسؤلیت داریم، افغانستان یک ملت واحد و یکپارچه است، مردم افغانستان خواستار یک دولت اند." -- وی در مورد سفر وزیر خارجه ایالات متحده به کابل که آقای عبدالله در جلسۀ خود از آن یادآوری نمود، گفت که تیم اش به سفر آقای کری خوش آمدید میگوید. -- آقای احمدزی گفت " محترم وزیر خارجه ایالات متحده با من صحبت نمود، و چند بار با من صحبت نموده است طوریکه با محترم داکتر صاحب عبدالله صحبت نموده است. در پالیسی دولت امریکا توازن وجود دارد، هدف ثبات و خوبی افغانستان است، نه آنکه کدام طرحی مشخصی پیاده گردد. ما ارزومندیم که آنها تشریف بیاورند و میانجیگری کرده بتوانند." -- آقای احمدزی گفت که از همه مهمتر این مسؤلیت خود افغانهاست که با یکدیگر صحبت کنند تا به یک توافق عمومی برسند. -- وی از نامزد ریاست جمهوری آقای عبدالله خواست که به پروسه انتخابات برگردد. -- او گفت که، با پیشنهاد آقای عبدالله مبنی بر شمارش دوباره آرای ۷۱۰۰ محل رایدهی توافق نموده است. -- آقای احمدزی گفت، حال که نتایج ابتدایی اعلان گردیده است، تیم اش منتظر اعلان نتایج نهایی میباشد. --- سخنان آقای احمدزی را در کنفرانس خبری شام روز سه شنبه درینجا شنیده میتوانید:

Abdullah Abdullah Stops Short of Declaring an Afghan Government --- KABUL, Afghanistan — After hours of pitched political drama that sent President Obama and other officials scrambling to calm a surge of Afghan factional hostility, the presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah walked a perilous line on Tuesday, threatening to declare his own government even while urging his frenzied supporters to give him time to negotiate. --- In a somber speech, Mr. Ghani said on Tuesday that he would agree to a thorough audit of 7,100 polling places, which would amount to a review of more than three million ballots. He also urged calm and unity, saying that he regarded Mr. Abdullah as a respected national figure who did not want to hurt the country, but insisting that any talk of a parallel government would remain just that: only talk. “We are all responsible to the people of Afghanistan,” he said. “This country is a unified nation and it is enthusiastic about a single government, not a parallel one.” - More,

U.S. warns Afghans not to form 'parallel government' --- (Reuters) - The United States warned on Tuesday that it would withdraw financial and security support from Afghanistan if anyone tried to take power illegally, as supporters of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah rallied in Kabul for a parallel government. -- Preliminary results announced on Monday gave Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official, 56.44 percent in the run-off on June 14, but Abdullah immediately rejected the outcome, saying the vote had been marred by widespread fraud. -- Thousands of Abdullah's supporters gathered in the capital Kabul, demanding that he form a parallel government, a move likely to plunge a country already beset by deep ethnic divisions into even greater disorder. -- Underscoring the magnitude of the crisis, Abdullah said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is currently in Beijing, would visit Kabul on Friday. -- In a sharp warning, Kerry said there was no justification for violence or "extra-constitutional measures". -- "I have noted reports of protests in Afghanistan and of suggestions of a 'parallel government' with the gravest concern," he said in a statement issued by the U.S. embassy. -- Any action to take power by extra-legal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community." -- Afghanistan depends on foreign donors to fund everything from road building to school teachers' salaries and security. The United States pays the lion's share of all international aid. - More,

عبدالله برای تصمیم‌گیری نهایی از هوادارانش وقت خواست --- پس از اعلام نتایج ابتدایی از سوی کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات که براساس آن اشرف غنی احمدزی جلو است، حامیانش در کابل دیشب به رقص و پاکوبی پرداختند. --- علی قاسمی یک کاربر فیسبوک نوشت که تیم تحول و تداوم خود را پیروز میدان می‌پندارد و تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی با شعارهای تند و خطرناک راه مبارزه را می‌جوید. مردم افغانستان چه در داخل و چه در خارج از کشور چشم، گوش و ذهن شان به فردای است که هیچ چیزی دیده نمی‌شود. همان فردای را که همگی منتظر روشنی‌اش بودند، گرد و غبار مانع دیدنش شده است. شهروندان کابل که دهه هفتاد را با تلخ ترین روزهایش تجربه کرده بودند، بازهم شب و روز روزه‌داری را در سردرگمی و با رنگ‌های پریده سپری می‌کنند. -- می‌خواهند با دادن امیدهای واهی که هنوز نتیجه قطعی نیست مخالفان (یعنی طرفداران عبدالله) را سرد و آرام و خشم‌شان را مهار کنند. --- بخش‌های از سخنرانی عبدالله عبدالله در گردهمایی امروز در کابل: -- شما که به ما رای دادید و انگشت‌های دست تان را از دست دادید و عزیزان تان را در مبارزات انتخاباتی از دست دادید، روی ما حق دارید. اطمینان می‌دهم که جان خود را فدا می‌کنم و حکومت تقلبی را اجازه نمی‌دهم. -- هیچ کسی خوابی این را نبیند که تقلب کرده باشد و فردا به ریاست جمهوری برود. تصمیم ما را در سطح دنیا کسی نادید گرفته نمی تواند. از همین جا اعلام می‌کنم که قطعه قطعه شویم حکومت تقلبی را نمی پذیریم." --- شاه حسین مرتضوی سردبیر روزنامه ۸صبح بامداد امروز در صفحه خود نوشته بود که برای اشرف غنی احمدزی مهم اعلام نتایج بود. او قبلا هر نوع معامله را رد کرده بود، اما حالا برای هر نوع مذاکره انعطاف زیاد نشان خواهد داد. در آنطرف امروز داکتر عبدالله احتمالا به حکومت یک فرصت ۴۸ ساعته خواهد داد. این فرصت راه را برای تعامل سازنده ومثبت باز می‌کند. -- آقای مرتضوی افزود که در عین حال برخی یاران عبدالله مانند محمود کرزی، زلمی رسول، گل آقاشیرزوی، خانم حبیبه سرابی و میرویس یاسینی تا مرز دولت موازی پیش نخواهند رفت. انعطاف هردوطرف و مدیریت صادقانه جامعه جهانی و تعهد کرزی برای بررسی آراء سبب خواهد شد، تا از خلق بحران جلو گیری شود. --- به محض اعلام نتایج ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان، ستاد انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله گفت که این نتایج را نمی پذیرد. --- ستاد انتخاباتی اشرف غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله تا قبل از اعلام نتایج ابتدایی گفت‌وگوهای طولانی داشتند و روی بازشماری آرای هفت هزار محل رای گیری توافق کرده بودند و گفت‌وگوها میان دو طرف روی بازشماری آرای چهار هزار محل رای گیری دیگر نیز ادامه داشت. به رغم این که ستاد تحول و تداوم این تقاضای اصلاحات و همگرایی را رد کرده بود. -- اما همینکه نتایج ابتدایی اعلام شد همانگونه که تعدادی از هواداران اشرف غنی احمدزی پیشتازی آقای غنی در نتیجه ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات را جشن گرفتند، حامیان عبدالله عبدالله هم به خیابان ها ریختند و علیه اعلام نتایج ابتدایی اعتراض کردند. -- این اعتراضات تا نیمه های شب گذشته ادامه داشت و ستاد انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله ساعت 2 صبح به وقت محلی با پخش خبرنامه ای گفت که سرانجام تصمیم گرفته اند که حکومتی به نام "اصلاحات و همگرایی" تاسیس کنند. - More, BBC,

Afghan candidate says Obama, Kerry called him --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah says he received calls from President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after he refused to accept the preliminary result of the vote citing fraud. -- Abdullah told thousands of supporters at a gathering in Kabul Tuesday that Kerry will be flying to the Afghan capital this Friday for meetings to defuse the crisis. -- State Department officials accompanying Kerry in Beijing declined to comment on his travel plans. -- He told his supporters the results of the election were fraudulent but asked them to give him a few more days to negotiate. -- Abdullah says he will never “accept a fraudulent government.” -- Preliminary results announced Monday showed that Ghani had about 4.5 million votes, or 56 percent, while Abdullah had 3.5 million votes, or 44 percent, according to the commission. Turnout was more than 50 percent. --- An Afghan official says that at least 16 people, including four Czech soldiers, were killed Tuesday in a suicide attack near a clinic in eastern Afghanistan. -- The Czech Ministry of Defense said Tuesday four Czech troops were killed and another was badly wounded after the blast. The ministry said it will release more details later in the day. -- Wahid Seddiqi, spokesman for the provincial governor of Parwan province said the soldiers, at least 10 civilians, and two police officers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked Afghan and foreign forces near Charakar, the provincial capital. --- Afghan officials released preliminary election results Monday showing former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai well in the lead for the presidency but said no winner could be declared because millions of ballots were being audited for fraud. - More, Associated Press,

Ghani Leads Afghan Vote, But Fraud Charges Hang Over Results --- Election Panel Declares Leader, but No Winner, Saying Results Could Change After a Review Involving the U.N. -- KABUL— Ashraf Ghani edged closer to becoming Afghanistan's next president after winning a majority of votes in a preliminary count of last month's election, but officials stopped short of declaring a winner as millions of ballots could still be reviewed for fraud allegations. -- The country's election commission said Monday that Mr. Ghani, a former finance minister, had won 56.4% of the vote in a preliminary count, against Mr. Abdullah's 43.6%. -- The country's election commission said Monday that Mr. Ghani, a former finance minister, had won 56.4% of the vote in a preliminary count, against Mr. Abdullah's 43.6%. -- But with his rival Abdullah Abdullah alleging widespread fraud in the June 14 runoff vote, the political crisis over the validity of the election's results remained unresolved. --- One of Mr. Abdullah's most prominent supporters, northern Balkh province's powerful Gov. Atta Mohammad Noor, called late Monday for "widespread civil unrest" and warned of forming a "parallel government." -- That statement drew a swift condemnation from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was speaking at the Yokota Air Base in Japan en route to high-level talks in China. -- "There is no justifiable recourse to violence or threats of violence, or for resort to extra-constitutional measures or threats of the same," Mr. Kerry said. -- "Any action to take power by extralegal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community," he added. -- The official turnout in the Afghan election—8.1 million votes—was significantly higher than experts had predicted. Mr. Abdullah, a former foreign minister, alleged that as many as two million of these ballots were fraudulent. -- Yusuf Nuristani, the chairman of the Independent Election Commission, said the results released on Monday were subject to change after an investigation of fraud complaints by the country's election watchdog, the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission. --"Today's announcement won't be the declaration of the winner of the election," he said. "Changes may come after investigation by the IECC." -- The IECC has several weeks to review complaints of voting irregularities. -- "I am calling on supporters of both candidates to be calm and control their emotions until the announcement of the final result," Mr. Nuristani said. -- Mahmud Saikal, a spokesman for Mr. Abdullah, rejected the preliminary results. "Whatever is released by the IEC has no recognition whatsoever for us," he said. -- The Ghani camp didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the announcement. -- Before the release of Monday's results, observers for both candidates estimated a lead of over a million votes for Mr. Ghani. Mr. Abdullah's campaign team cried foul, claiming widespread ballot-stuffing on behalf of his opponent. --- In a statement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said a full investigation of fraud allegations was needed to ensure confidence in the final outcome. -- "A full and thorough review of all reasonable allegations of irregularities is essential to ensure that the Afghan people have confidence in the integrity of the electoral process and that the new Afghan president is broadly accepted inside and outside Afghanistan," it said. -- The U.S. statement, citing Afghan election authorities, said that those reviews could potentially affect more than 3 million ballots. -- The government has set Aug. 2 as an inauguration date for Mr. Karzai's successor, but it is unclear how the impasse over vote counting will be resolved by then. --- Andrew Wilder, vice president of the Center for South and Central Asia at the United States Institute of Peace, said the release of the results might help foster negotiations between the two parties. -- "It's useful to have the preliminary results out there," he said. "It might give some momentum to the behind-the-scenes political processes that need to happen as well." -- Mr. Wilder said the deteriorating security situation in parts of Afghanistan, as well as a looming economic crisis, meant there was little public patience for a monthslong fight over the outcome of the vote. Both candidates, he added, see an urgent need for Afghanistan to conclude a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. -- "There's a not a lot of appetite among the Afghan public for this to go on and on," Mr. Wilder said. "They want to see a result peacefully and soon." --- In recent days, three top U.S. lawmakers—Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as well as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D., Mich.)—have met with the candidates to urge them to accept the outcome of the election, despite the demands it has placed on Afghanistan's budding democracy. --- Afghans and international officials alike worry that a botched election could lead to a return to civil war, particularly as some voters have mobilized along ethnic lines. - More, WSJ,

قطع کمکها به افغانستان در صورت ایجاد حکومت فراقانونی --- وزیر خارجه ایالات متحده امریکا از ایجاد یک حکومت موازی در افغانستان ابراز نگرانی نموده است. در اعلامیه سفارت امریکا به نقل از جان کری وزیر خارجه امریکا آمده است، "من از گزارش ها در مورد تظاهرات در افغانستان آگاهی دارم و پیشنهاد های ایجاد یک "حکومت موازی" را مایه نگرانی عمیق می بینم." -- تیم اصلاحات و همگرایی بعد از اعلام نتایج ابتدایی که در آن اشرف غنی احمدزی نسبت به عبدالله عبدالله پیشی گرفت، گفت که اعلام نتیجه مملو از تقلب برای آنها مشروعیت ندارند. این تیم گفته اند که در انتخابات تقلب صورت گرفته و آنها برنده هستند. -- وزیر خارجه امریکا در عکس العمل به این اظهارت گفته است که هرگونه عملی که منجر به کسب قدرت با شیوه های فراقانونی گردد باعث قطع حمایت های مالی و امنیتی امریکا و جامعه جهانی به افغانستان خواهد شد. وی از نهاد های انتخاباتی افغانستان خواسته است تا یک تفتیش کامل و دقیق را با در نظرداشت تمام ادعا های موجه در مورد تخلفات انتخاباتی انجام دهند. -- در اعلامیه به نقل از جان کری آمده است که هرگونه توسل به خشونت و تهدید که در مخالفت به قانون اساسی افغانستان باشد، توجیه پذیر نمی باشد. بعد از اعلام نتایج ابتدایی عصر دیروز طرفداران تیم عبدالله عبدالله در بعضی از نقاط شهر کابل به خیابان ها برآمند و آواز سر میدادند که نتیجه تقلبی را قبول ندارند و از هر رای خود دفاع می نمایند. -- صدای امریکا

Supporters of Afghanistan's Abdullah rally after disputed vote --- (Reuters) - Thousands of supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah rallied in central Kabul on Tuesday in a gesture of defiance after his rival, Ashraf Ghani, was declared the winner of last month's run-off vote. -- Preliminary results showed that Ghani, a former World Bank official, won the June 14 second round, but Abdullah rejected the outcome, saying the vote was marred by widespread fraud. -- Observers fear that a standoff between Abdullah and Ghani could plunge Afghanistan into disorder, with no clear leader in a country already beset by deep-rooted ethnic divisions. -- Abdullah has accused President Hamid Karzai, who is stepping down after 12 years in power, of helping rig the vote in favor of Ghani, describing it as a "coup" against the people. -- In a noisy protest, crowds of Abdullah supporters gathered in a giant tent in the center of the capital Kabul, chanting "Death to Karzai", tearing down a large portrait of the outgoing leader and replacing it with an image of Abdullah. --- Some Abdullah supporters have suggested his camp should declare victory and form a parallel government, a dangerous move that would further fracture the fragile country. -- Away from the city's center, dozens of Abdullah supporters tore down another Karzai portrait at Kabul's international airport. --- In a sharp statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Afghanistan that any attempt to take power illegally following the disputed election would cost it U.S. support. -- "I have noted reports of protests in Afghanistan and of suggestions of a 'parallel government' with the gravest concern," he said in a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Kabul. -- "Any action to take power by extra-legal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community." -- The Afghan government is heavily reliant on foreign donors to fund everything from building roads and paying school teachers to security. The United States pays the lion's share of all international aid. -- The deadlock over the vote has quashed hopes for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan, a concern for the West as most U.S.-led forces withdraw from the country this year. --- The Independent Election Commission announced on Monday that Ghani won the second round with 56.44 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results. The tally might change when the final official numbers come out on July 22. - More,

هر تلاش برای تصاحب قدرت از طریق غیر مشروع و زور به معنی قطع کمک های جامعه جهانی و ایالات متحده امریکا خواهد بود: جان کیری --- کابل- جان کیری وزیر خارجهٔ امریکا می گوید تشکیل دولت متوازی به معنی و مفهوم حفر قبر سیاسی افغانستان است. -- جان کری این سخنان را بعد از اظهارات عطا نور والی بلخ گفته است. -- جان کری با ابراز نگرانی شدید در مورد مظاهرات و تشکیل دولت متوازی در افغانستان هشدار داد. -- جان کری می گوید هر تلاش برای تصاحب قدرت از طریق غیر مشروع و زور به معنی قطع کمک های جامعه جهانی و ایالات متحده امریکا خواهد بود. -- عطا نور والی بلخ می گوید که آنها تحت رهبری داکتر عبد الله دولت متوازی را تشکیل خواهند داد. - گران افغانستان

Afghan presidential candidate rejects election 'coup' and 'plans parallel government' --- Country in crisis as Abdullah Abdullah's team declares disputed election result to be a coup against the Afghan people, prompting John Kerry to warn against any illegal power grab --- Supporters of Abdullah Abdullah, the Afghan presidential candidate, have rejected preliminary results of the presidential election as a "coup" and say he will announce plans for his own national government on Tuesday. -- The move came as John Kerry, American Secretary of State, warned against either side trying to seize power. --- The international community is desperate for a peaceful transition at a time when Nato combat troops are leaving the country with an unfinished Taliban insurgency. -- Mr Kerry warned on Tuesday morning that any attempt to take power amid the turmoil would threaten vital international aid. -- "Any action to take power by extra-legal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community," he said, adding that he had noted with "gravest concern" reports of a parallel government. -- Hours earlier one of Dr Abdullah's most powerful backers gave a dark hint of what might follow. - More, Telegraph,

Tentative Results in Afghan Presidential Runoff Spark Protests --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s already tumultuous election grew more perilous on Monday after the announcement of preliminary presidential runoff results that were rejected by the candidate Abdullah Abdullah, leading some of his most powerful supporters to call for protests and even the forming of a breakaway government. -- In releasing the preliminary results, which showed Ashraf Ghani roughly a million votes ahead of Mr. Abdullah, with 8.1 million ballots cast, the Afghan election commission cautioned that there was no winner yet, as millions of votes could be subjected to a special audit for fraud. -- But the caveat seemed to have little effect on many of the candidates’ supporters. After nightfall, Ghani backers went into the streets, unleashing celebratory gunfire in several cities. Some were already hailing Mr. Ghani as the president-elect. -- At the same time, there were reports that Abdullah supporters were demonstrating in Kabul, denouncing a “coup” by the election commission after his campaign tersely rejected the election’s legitimacy. One video posted on social media showed dozens of men, including police officers in uniform, chanting “Long live President Abdullah” and spraying gunfire. -- Both candidates, along with the Afghan government, the United Nations and the United States, have called for calm and restraint. But the question of what the ethnic cores of their political bases might do — largely Pashtun for Mr. Ghani, and largely Tajik for Mr. Abdullah — has loomed over the deepening political deadlock in recent weeks. -- The talks continued into Monday, and it remained unclear throughout much of the day whether the country’s Independent Election Commission would announce the preliminary results, which had already been delayed for days. The American ambassador, James B. Cunningham, and Jan Kubis, the United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan, took part in at least some of the meetings, officials said. --- The ballot total reported by the commission was around a million votes higher than the seven million votes it estimated in June — a figure that itself had immediately led to protests from Mr. Abdullah’s campaign, saying the total had been vastly inflated by ballot box stuffing and highly improbable turnout numbers in areas that had supported Mr. Ghani in the first round. In the weeks since, the process has been fraught with tension over Mr. Abdullah’s boycott and accusations of systemic vote-rigging. -- Though Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, the chairman of the election commission, cautioned on Monday that “there is no winner yet,” the reaction to his announcement was swift and negative from many quarters. -- The Obama administration, which had remained mostly quiet about the election, offered a strongly worded statement emphasizing that the preliminary results were “not final or authoritative.” And it demanded that Afghan election officials “implement a thorough audit whether or not the two campaigns agree.” -- “A full and thorough review of all reasonable allegations of irregularities is essential to ensure that the Afghan people have confidence in the integrity of the electoral process and that the new Afghan president is broadly accepted,” said the statement, released by the State Department. --- In Monday’s announcement, Mr. Nuristani said that the Independent Election Commission, while tallying the preliminary results, had already thrown out more than 11,000 votes from 1,930 polling stations. About 60 percent of the disqualified votes had been cast in favor of Mr. Ghani, with the reminder cast for Mr. Abdullah.-- In addition, the two candidates had agreed that votes from nearly another third of the country’s 22,000 polling stations would be set aside for a special audit to spot fraudulent votes, Mr. Nuristani said. He added that it would be up to the separate Election Complaints Commission to conduct the inquiry. --- “None of the election commissions have any legitimacy for us,” said Fazal Rahman Oria, spokesman for Mr. Abdullah. “The result is informal by all means, and we do not accept the result.” -- His comments were mild in comparison to statements from two of Mr. Abdullah’s most powerful backers, both former warlords with large ethnic constituencies. Muhammad Mohaqiq, who is running as Mr. Abdullah’s first vice president, described the preliminary results as a “coup” against voters, and said it had given Mr. Abdullah’s team the “right to form the government.” -- Muhammad Atta Noor, the other former warlord, who is currently the governor of Balkh Province in northern Afghanistan, said in a separate statement: “Today’s announcement by the commission paves the ground for the next measures, from massive protests to the formation of a parallel government.” --- Secretary of State John Kerry responded to the threats with a stern statement, saying there is “no justifiable recourse to violence or threats of violence, or for resort to extra-constitutional measures or threats of the same.” -- “Any action to take power by extralegal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community,” Mr. Kerry said in a statement released Tuesday morning in Kabul. --- Mr. Abdullah himself has been careful to avoid inflammatory remarks about parallel governments or any other radical measures. His campaign said he would speak on Tuesday. - More, NYTimes,

Monday, July 07, 2014

Barack Obama: A Foreign Policy That Fails by Trying to Do Too Much --- President Barack Obama enjoyed one of the prerogatives of his office when he spoke at West Point in May. There may be no better setting for a speech on foreign policy. But it wasn't easy for him to defend the incoherent mess representing his administration's dealings with the world. His policy looks even worse in the aftermath of Iraq's implosion. -- The problem is not that the president had no successes to defend -- he has resisted persistent neoconservative demands for multiple new wars and interventions. But President Obama almost always rushed to the inconsistent middle ground, entangling the U.S. unnecessarily without committing enough to achieve even his limited ends. Experience demonstrates that Uncle Sam rarely succeeds at being a little bit pregnant. When it comes to military action, chastity more often is the best strategy. -- Despite sharp criticism of his speech on the right, Barak Obama got a lot right. For instance, the constant complaint by uber-hawks that the world is dangerous misses the fact that the world is not that dangerous for the U.S. During the Cold War American school children were trained to get under their desks in response to a Soviet missile launch. Military strategists debated how to stop Soviet armored divisions from pouring through Germany's Fulda Gap. The two superpowers tested and prodded one another in bloody proxy wars in Afghanistan, Angola, Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and elsewhere. Washington and Moscow risked nuclear war over Cuba. -- That world is gone. The U.S. dominates the globe. Noted the president: - More, Doug Bandow,

Ashraf Ghani Wins Afghanistan's Presidential Election: Preliminary Results --- KABUL, July 7 (Reuters) - Afghanistan declared former World Bank official Ashraf Ghani the winner of last month's presidential election run-off on Monday on preliminary results that threaten to split the country along ethnic lines. -- The Independent Election Commission said Ghani won the June 14 second round with 56.44 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results. The tally might still change, however, when the final official numbers come out on July 22. -- There was no immediate reaction from Ghani's rival Abdullah Abdullah, a former anti-Taliban resistance fighter who has claimed widespread fraud in the messy vote and insisted results should be delayed until all fraudulent votes were thrown out. --- "The announcement of preliminary results does not mean that the leading candidate is the winner and there is possibly the outcome might change after we inspect complaints," IEC chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani told reporters. -- The deadlock over the vote has quashed hopes for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan, a concern for the West as most U.S.-led forces withdraw from the country this year. -- Nuristani said the commission had received a request from Abdullah's camp to review ballot papers from more than 7,000 polling stations on suspicion of fraud - a big enough number which, if recounted, could significantly alter the result. -- "We announced preliminary results today and it is now the complaints commission's duty to inspect this case," he said. "We are ready to provide any assistance until the end of the process." - More,

سعادت: په انتخاباتو کې مشورې په مداخلې بدلېږي --- د انتخاباتي شکایتونو کمېسیون وايي چې د ولسمشر د مرستیالانو، ملګرو ملتونو او د ځینو هېوادونو د سفیرانو سلا مشورې د هرې ورځې په تېرېدوسره په لاس وهنو بدلیږي، چې باید په جدي توګه یې مخه ونیول شي. -- عبدالستار سعادت د یکشنبې په ورځ د شمال زون د پنځو ولایتونو بلخ، فاریاب، سرپل، جوزجان او سمنګان ولایتونو د شکایتونو څیړنې د استیناف غوښتنې په علني غونډه کې وویل؛ د انتخاباتو کمېسیون باید د خپل هغه واک له مخې چې لري یې؛ په جدي او قاطع ډول پریکړې وکړي: -- "د انتخاباتو خپلواک کمېسیون باید خپل کار د ولسمشر د مرستیالانو د میزونو له سره د بهرنیو هېوادونو د سفیرانو او د ملګروملتونو له دفتر چې همکاري او مشورې په مداخلې بدل شوي خپل کارونه راټول کړي." -- د ښاغلي سعادت په خبره که چېرې د انتخاباتو کمېسیون په خپلو کارونو کې د بیلا بیلو ارګانونو او اشخاصو لاسوهنې بندې نه کړي؛ نو د دې کمېسیون غړي به په کې ملامت وي. -- همدارنګه عبدالستار سعادت وايي؛ د انتخاباتو خپلواک کمیسیون په خپل وخت د لومړنیو نتیجو له نه اعلانولو سره دانتخاباتو قانون نقض کړی. --- "له بدمرغه د انتخاباتو کېمسیون د قسمي پایلو د اعلان په ځنډولو سره قانون نقض کړی او هم په ځانګړې توګه په پروسه کې د د خیلو خواوو له لوري؛ یاده خوا همدا اوس د افغانستان نافذو قوانینوته درناوی نه کوي؛ پرځای د دې چې قانوني ادرسو ته مراجعه شوې وای؛ هغه ونه شوه البته پروسه زموږ له نظره مکمله ده." -- د انتخاباتي شکایتونو کمېسیون وايي، د جمهوري ریاست د دوهم دور انتخاباتو پروسه بشپړه ده اوځینې کړۍ او اشخاص دې سیاسي اړخ نه ورکوي؛ ځکه چې دا یوه تخنیکي اوحقوقي موضوع ده. -- د دې کمېسیون رییس د جمهوري ریاست له دواړو کاندیدانو نه وغوښتل چې؛ د انتخاباتي کمېسیونونو پریکړوته انتظار وباسي. -- د انتخاباتو خپلواک کمېسیون وايي، ټاکل شوې چې د جمهوري ریاست د دوهم دور انتخاباتو لومړني نتایج سبا د دوشنبې په ورځ او وروستۍ نتایج یې د همدې میاشتې په یودیرشمه اعلان کړي. - azadiradio

Afghanistan's Ashraf Ghani leads in early vote count --- Former Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani is leading the race to replace Hamid Karzai as president, according to preliminary results. --- Mr Ghani won 56.44% of votes in the 14 June run-off, election officials said. His rival Abdullah Abdullah had 43.56%. -- Mr Abdullah, who fell just short of an outright majority in the first round, rejected the result. -- Both men have alleged fraud in the election. Votes are being re-checked at more than 7,000 polling stations. -- They represent nearly a third of centres where votes were cast and correspondents say recounts could significantly alter the result. --- Chief election commissioner Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani stressed that the results were not final and acknowledged that there had been "some mistakes in the overall process". -- "It is only initial results," he told a news conference in Kabul. "There is a chance of change in the overall figure. -- "The announcement of preliminary results does not mean that the leading candidate is the winner. -- "We announced preliminary results today and it is now the complaints commission's duty to inspect this case." --- The election commission said it would now audit an estimated four million votes. -- Final results are due on 22 July. - More, BBC,

Kerry: Afghanistan power grab would mean US aid cutoff, urges calm after dispute election --- TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says any action to seize power illegally in Afghanistan would lead to the end of U.S. financial and security support. -- Kerry says suggestions of a "parallel government" in Afghanistan are a grave concern. -- Afghan official released preliminary election results Monday showing former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the lead for the presidency. -- But millions of ballots are being checked for fraud and a spokesman for Ahmadzai's opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, has rejected the results and called releasing them a "coup." -- Kerry says he expects Afghan electoral institutions to conduct a full review of all reasonable allegations of irregularities. -- But he says there is no justification for violence or threats of extralegal action. -- He called on leaders to maintain calm. -- More, Associated Press,

Afghanistan's presidential election results are in and the trouble may be about to start (+video) --- Preliminary results for Afghanistan's presidential election appear to show Ashraf Ghani won in a landslide. But his defeated opponent is unlikely to accept the result. -- Provisional results of Afghanistan's presidential runoff election have finally been released. But while the numbers show former World Bank official and finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai a winner in a landslide, his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, has been positioning himself for weeks to reject the outcome, complaining that he suspects electoral fraud and tampering by members of the independent election commission could have skewed the outcome. -- Election results were delayed to allow for more auditing – something Mr. Abdullah welcomed – but in an interview on July 2 he also said that if fraudulent votes were winnowed out, the result would be "very different from what is perceived at this stage.” At that time, Mr. Ghani was felt by many to be in the lead. --The results released today give Ghani just under 4.5 million votes, 56.4 percent of the total, with Abdullah's share 3.46 million, or about 43.6 percent. -- Afghanistan's election commission cautioned that the results aren't final. "The announcement of preliminary results does not mean that the leading candidate is the winner and [it is possible] the outcome might change after we inspect complaints," commission chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani said, according to Reuters. - More, Dan Murphy,

Eduard Shevardnadze, Foreign Minister Under Gorbachev, Dies at 86 --- Eduard A. Shevardnadze, who as Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s foreign minister helped hone the “new thinking,” foreign and domestic, that transformed and ultimately rent the Soviet Union, then led his native Georgia through its turbulent start as an independent state, died on Monday. He was 86. -- His spokeswoman, Marina Davitashvili, confirmed the death but gave no other details. -- Mr. Shevardnadze was forced from office in 2003 by the Rose Revolution, in which Georgians vented their frustration with the corrupt post-Soviet system that he had presided over. His ouster set in motion a period of government reform that saw Georgia become a darling of the West under his successor, Mikheil Saakashvili. -- Mr. Shevardnadze had spent his working life as a Communist official when Mr. Gorbachev called him on June 30, 1985, with a proposition that startled him: Would he manage the foreign policy of one of the two most powerful countries in the world? -- As he recounted the call in his memoirs, “The Future Belongs to Freedom” (1991), Mr. Shevardnadze stammered that he had no experience in diplomacy, other than hosting foreign delegations as the top Communist official in the Soviet republic of Georgia. He had visited just nine countries and spoke no foreign languages. And, he asked Mr. Gorbachev, shouldn’t the foreign minister be Russian? --- “The issue is already decided,” Mr. Gorbachev answered. Mr. Shevardnadze was to report to work the next day. -- “The decision to make Shevardnadze foreign minister was the first obvious display of Gorbachev’s remarkable political creativity,” Robert G. Kaiser wrote in “Why Gorbachev Happened: His Triumphs, His Failure, and His Fall” (1991). -- In his memoirs, Mr. Gorbachev, whose title was general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, said that “experienced people” had understood his thinking: He had assured himself “a free hand in foreign policy by bringing in a close friend and associate.” --- Together, the two men revolutionized Soviet foreign policy. They withdrew troops from Afghanistan, where the Soviet Union had waged a fruitless war; negotiated treaties on medium-range and strategic nuclear arms; took military forces out of Europe and away from the China border; allowed the reunification of Germany; and accepted human rights as part of policy discussions. -- Mr. Shevardnadze was architect, spokesman and negotiator for the new policy, and the white-haired visage that earned him the nickname Silver Fox was nearly ubiquitous on the world stage from 1985 to 1991. The magazine The New Leader said in 2004 that his diplomatic accomplishments had been equal to those of Mr. Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan. -- Part of his success was forging relationships with Secretaries of State George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III, who became proponents of reconciliation in administrations that were intensely anti-Soviet. Just as difficult, he helped convince Soviet hard-liners that it was time for rapprochement with the United States. -- Mr. Shevardnadze was actually in the process of renouncing his Communist past. He had come to believe that the ideology was both wrong and doomed. In 1988, he was the first Soviet official to say that the clash with capitalism no longer mattered — an act of “true ‘sedition’ in the eyes of the official ideologues,” Mr. Gorbachev said in his “Memoirs” (1995). -- Mr. Shevardnadze’s revisionist thinking outpaced that of Mr. Gorbachev. “He thought he was refining socialism while I was no longer a socialist,” Mr. Shevardnadze told The New York Times Magazine in 1993. -- Mr. Shevardnadze became worried that Mr. Gorbachev was falling under the influence of the hard-liners. He ultimately shocked his boss by resigning on Dec. 20, 1990, warning, “Dictatorship is coming.” After a botched coup attempt by hard-liners in August 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved itself on Dec. 26, 1991. It was the victim of economic chaos, political opposition from many of the constituent republics and chaos in the Kremlin. - More, DOUGLAS MARTIN, NYTimes

Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan -- Runoff Presidential Election Preliminary Results --- More,

اشرف غني د دويم پړاو ټاکنو لومړنیو پایلو کې مخکښ اعلان شو --- د افغانستان د ټاکنو خپلواک کمېسيون وايي د ولسمشرۍ په دويم پړاو ټاکنو کې چې له جنجالونو سره ملې وې اشرف غني احمدزي د ټولو اچول شويو ۸۱۰۹۴۹۳ رايو ۵۶.۴۴ سلنه او سيال يې عبدالله عبدالله ۴۳.۵۶ سلنه رايې خپلې کړې دي. -- د دغه کمېسيون مشر احمد يوسف نورستاني وويل، اشرف غني احمدزي ۴۴۸۵۸۸۸ رايې وړي او سيال يې ډاکټر عبدالله عبدالله۳۴۶۱۶۳۹ رايې خپلې کړي، خو ښايي په ټاکنو کې د شويو درغليو له څېړلو وروسته په دغو پايلو کې ادلون بدلون راشي. --- ټاکل شوې وه د دويم پړاو ټاکنو ابتدايي پايلې له نن څخه پنځه ورځې وړاندې اعلان شوې وای، خو د ټاکنو کمېسيون يې د ځنډ لامل د نژدې ۲۰۰۰ محلونو د رايو بيا شمېرنه وښوده. -- د بدلون او دوام ټاکنيزې ډلې په خپلو څرګندونو کې وويل په ټاکنو کې د لا شفافيت رامنځته کېدو په موخه د دغه ځنډ هرکلی کوي. -- خو دا يې هم ورغبرګه کړه، چې کمېسيون دې ابتدايي پايلې نن (دوشنبه) اعلان کړي، ځکه په خبره يې نور ځنډول يې قانوني بنسټ نه لري. --- د معترض نوماند عبدالله عبدالله او د اشرف غني احمدزي ټاکنيزو ډلو د دويم پړاو ټاکنو د ۷۰۰۰ محلونو رايو بيا شمېرلو پر سر موافقه کړې ده. -- دغه موافقه د دواړو ټاکنيزو ډلو د تخنيکي ټيمونو ترمنځ له اوږدو خبرو وروسته شوې ده. -- د عبدالله عبدالله د ټاکنيزې ډلې غړي سيد حسين فاضل سانچارکي او د اشرف غني احمدزي د ټاکنيزې ډلې غړې ازيتا رفعت وايي چې د دواړو غاړو تخنيکي ډلو د ۷۰۰۰ محلونو رايو له سره شمېرل تاييد کړي دي. -- په دغو محلونو کې هغه صندقونه شامل دي چې ويل کېږي رايې له ۵۹۵ رايو زياتې دي او يا هم په دغو محلونو کې له نارينه و د ښځو ونډه زياته ده. - More,

Ashraf Ghani leads in Afghan presidential runoff, preliminary results show --- KABUL — Former World Bank official Ashraf Ghani is leading his rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, in a presidential runoff election held last month that would mark Afghanistan’s first peaceful transfer of power through the ballot, according to preliminary results released Monday by Afghan election authorities. -- The announcement by the country’s Independent Electoral Commission was not final, however, pending an official probe into nearly 2,000 polling stations suspected of registering fraudulent ballots. -- Abdullah has accused election officials and the Ghani campaign of widespread vote-rigging, and he announced shortly after the June 14 runoff that he did not recognize the ballot-counting process as legitimate. -- The two sides have been engaged in heated negotiations over the possibility of a more comprehensive recount of votes at polling centers where the voting patterns appear suspicious, but they have so far failed to agree on the criteria. -- The Abdullah campaign had vehemently opposed the release of preliminary results without the separation of fraudulent votes from the tally, and many observers are worried that the announcement will set off a round of election-related violence. -- “The threat of violence from Abdullah’s camp is for political bargaining,” said Khalil Roman, a Kabul-based political analyst and former deputy chief of staff for the current president, Hamid Karzai. -- “It’s not a good option,” he said. “But they want to enter into political negotiations [with the Ghani campaign] from a stronger position.” -- Ghani, a former Afghan finance minister, finished second to Abdullah in the first round of presidential voting in April, but Abdullah did not attain a majority, necessitating the runoff. - More, Erin Cunningham,

Afghanistan's Ghani wins presidential election: prelim results --- Reuters) - Afghanistan declared former World Bank official Ashraf Ghani the winner of last month's presidential election on Monday on the basis of preliminary results from a messy vote that has threatened to split the country along ethnic lines. --- Abdullah, a former anti-Taliban fighter, was not immediately available for comment on Monday. A bloody standoff between ethnic groups or even secession of parts of the country is possible if he refuses to accept the outcome. -- Ghani's rival, Abdullah Abdullah, claimed widespread fraud in the election and insisted the announcement of results should be delayed until all fraudulent votes were thrown out. --- The Independent Election Commission said Ghani won the June 14 second-round run-off with 56.44 percent of the vote, according to preliminary results. --- The numbers and outcome still might change, however, when final, official numbers come out on July 22. -- The deadlock over the vote has quashed hopes for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan, a concern for the West as most U.S.-led forces continue to withdraw from the country this year. - More,

نتایج ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان اعلام شد --- کمیسیون مستقل کلیک انتخابات افغانستان در اوج جنجال های انتخاباتی نتیجه ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری را اعلام کرد. -- یوسف نورستانی، رئیس کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات افغانستان هنگام اعلام نتایج ابتدایی انتخابات بیست و چهارم جوزا/خرداد گفت: "از مجموع حدود ۸ میلیون رای، اشرف غنی احمدزی، ۴۴۸۵۸۸۸ رای یا ۵۶.۴۴ درصد و عبدالله عبدالله ۳۴۶۱۶۳۹ رای یا ۴۳.۵۶ درصد آرا را بدست آوردند." -- رئیس کمیسیون انتخابات افغانستان گفت در دور دوم انتخابات ۲۳۱۳۶ محل رای‌دهی وجود داشت که در روز انتخابات در ۲۲۷۷۸ محل رای‌دهی انتخابات صورت گرفت. -- آقای نورستانی گفت مشارکت مجموعی در دور دوم انتخابات ۸۱۰۹۴۰۳ بود که در نتیجه بررسی و بازشماری ۲۹۹ محل رای‌دهی حدود ۱۱۷۸۹ رای باطل شد. -- او گفت که مشارکت مردان ۶۲ درصد و از زنان ۳۸ درصد بوده است. -- نتایج ابتدایی دور دوم انتخابات در وضعیتی اعلام می‌شود که عبدالله عبدالله یکی از دو نامزد این دور گفته تا "آرای پاک از ناپاک جدا نشود"، نتیجه دور دوم انتخابات را نخواهد پذیرفت. --- آقای عبدالله می‌گوید در این دور انتخابات رئیس دبیرخانه کمیسیون انتخابات افغانستان تقلب گسترده و سازمان یافته را به سود تیم رقیبش سازماندهی کرده و خواسته که آرای مراکز مشکوک (محلات با بیش از ۵۹۵ رای و محلاتی که آرای زنان نسبت به مردان در آن زیاد است) که شامل بیش از دو میلیون رای است، تفتیش و بازشماری شود تا نتایج انتخابات را قبول کند. -- آقای عبدالله سطح مشارکت ۸ میلیون را زیر سوال برده و گفته که مشارکت در این دور انتخابات کمتر از دور اول بوده‌است. -- گروه انتخاباتی اشرف‌غنی احمدزی اما گفته که آرای آنها پاک است و برای اعلام نتایج دور دوم انتخابات ریاست جمهوری لحظه شماری می‌کنند. - BBC,

The Afghan Elections: Is Abdullah Right That He Was Wronged (Twice)? – Analysis --- In the final weeks before the second round of the Afghan presidential elections, my company undertook two polls of likely voters to determine which of the two candidates was in the lead – Dr. Abdullah Abdullah or Dr. Ashraf Ghani. Our primary motive for doing this was to provide transparency in the election process and to try and deter fraud at the polling stations and in the counting process. -- Many in the Western media and policy community assumed that Abdullah was a “shoo-in” for the second round because the official results from the first ballot had Abdullah at 45 percent and Ghani at 31.5 percent and because many of the candidates eliminated in the first round had endorsed Abdullah, the assumption being that voters would follow their chosen candidates’ advice. I had seen no evidence, however, that Pashtun and Uzbek voters would follow such endorsements and vote for Abdullah. In a straight two-way contest, I believed that the demographic numbers still favored Ghani over Abdullah. -- The two polls we undertook – one by telephone and the other face-to-face – had Ghani gaining significant momentum since the first round with a lead amongst likely voters of 48-49 percent to Abdullah’s 42-45 percent. These results showed that Ghani had secured the support of most Pashtun and Uzbeks voters and that he had retained the limited support he had secured with the other ethnic groups. Given that Abdullah was still around the 45 percent level, this indicated that he had just about maxed out his support base and could only increase his share of the vote if he could secure additional Pashtun support, which I considered unlikely --- My team then carried out two exit polls – again one face-to-face conducted at polling stations, and the other a telephone survey. We asked Afghan voters, who confirmed that they had just voted, whom they had voted for, and a majority (53/54 percent) said they had chosen Ghani over Abdullah (47/46 percent). These results were entirely consistent with the polling since March, showing Abdullah stuck at around 45 percent and with Ghani winning by 4-6 points in a reasonably free and transparent election. -- More, Andrew Garfield, EURO ASIA REVIEW؛

Sunday, July 06, 2014

سناتور لیون: که ابتدایي پایلي اعلان نه شوې په دوشنبه به قسمي پایلي اعلان شي --- امریکایي سناتور کار لیون د جولای په ۶ یعنی د یکشنبې په ورځ په کابل کې د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ له دواړو کاندیدانو سره وکتل او بیا یې د امریکا په سفارت کې مازدیګر مهال خبریالانو ته وویل چې د دوشنبه په ورځ به یا ابتدایي رایي د انتخاباتو خپلواک کمیسیون اعلان کړي او یا به هم قسمي پایلي اعلان شي. -- د انتخاباتو خپلواک کمیسیون د تیرې چهارشنبه په ورځ د ابتدایي نتیجو اعلان وځنډاوه او اعلان یې وکړ چې د ۱۹۳۰ محلونو رایي بیا له سره شمیرې چې له دې کبله به ابتدایي نتیجې د جولای په اوومه اعلان کړي. همدغه کمیسیون تر دې مخکې قسمي پایلي ځنډولې وې چې بیا اعلان نه شوې. -- د یکشنبه په ورځ د اصلاحاتو او همپالني د انتخاباتي ټیم مشرانو خبرداری ورکړ چې د دوي په وینا د پاکو او ناپاکو راییو تر بیلتون مخکې د نتیجو اعلان به خطرناکه عواقب ولری. عبدالله عبدالله چې په خبرې غونډې کې خبرې کولې ولسمشر کرزی او د هغه والیان تورن کړل چې په انتخاباتو کې یې درغلیو ته لاره هواره کړې ده. عبدالله خبرداری ورکړ که نتیجې اعلان شي مسوولیت به یې بیا د دوی پر غاړه نه وي. د عبدالله د ټیم بل غړي امرالله صالح هم په خپل فیسبوک پاڼه کې ورته خبرداری ورکړی او د بلخ د والي عطا محمد نور په وینا هم د ګواښونو خبرونه خپاره شوې دي. د ولسمشر کرزي لومړي مرستیال یونس قانوني هم اندیښنه ښوولې ده. -- امریکایي سناتور لیون بیا په کابل کې وویل چې دواړو کاندیدانو ده ته ډاډ ورکړی دی چې د انتخاباتو نتیجې به ومني. سناتور لیون وویل، که چیرته د انتخاباتو خپلواک کمیسیون ابتدایي نتیجې اعلان نه کړي او قسمي نتیجې اعلان کړي، علت به یې دقت او بیا تفتیش وي. -- سناتور لیون بیا وویل چې امریکا د افغانستان په انتخاباتو کې هیڅ ډول لاسوهنه نه ده کړې او نه یې هم کوي. -- دا په څو ورځو کې دوهم ځل دی چې امریکایي سناتوران له کاندیدانو اشرف غني احمدزي او عبدالله عبدالله سره ګوري. تر سناتور لیون مخکې سناتور جان مککین او سناتور ګراهام په کابل کې له دواړو کاندیدانو سره کتلي وو او په هغه کتنه کې هم افغان کاندیدانو دا خبره کړې وه چې پاکي رایي دې له ناپاکو بیلې شي. - تاند

Afghan Election Dispute Forcing Western Officials to Take a Stand --- KABUL, Afghanistan — A growing number of Western officials are calling for an audit of the ballots cast in the Afghan presidential election, increasing the likelihood that the nation’s electoral commission will have to formally reassess the June 14 runoff vote even as it prepares to announce preliminary results. -- Ever since Afghans voted in the runoff, the system has been deadlocked by allegations of widespread fraud. The presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has consistently complained that his opponent, Ashraf Ghani, with the help of the commission and other Afghan officials, rigged the vote. -- Mr. Abdullah spent weeks threatening to walk away from the process, and his brinkmanship now appears to be paying off. The continued political crisis has forced some international figures off the bench, despite earlier efforts to avoid the appearance of involvement in the Afghan elections. --- Now, seemingly recognizing the potential that the political crisis has to turn violent and threaten long-term Western interests in Afghanistan, more international officials are starting to get involved. The most recent voice was that of Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, who spoke to reporters in Kabul on Sunday. -- Joined by the American ambassador, James B. Cunningham, Mr. Levin raised the prospect of a dual announcement on Monday, in which Afghan officials would both release preliminary results and announce an audit that would be satisfactory to both candidates. --- Just hours later, however, Mr. Abdullah pressed the commission to delay the release until fraudulent ballots have been identified and discarded. While there have been no official results, leaked reports suggested that Mr. Ghani had reversed Mr. Abdullah’s lead from the first round and was ahead in the vote count. --- Officials from Mr. Abdullah’s campaign also indicated that the two sides had not reached an agreement on the extent of the audit. -- It was unclear whether the election commission would go through with the release, as promised. The commission has so far delayed results on more than one occasion to help ease the political crisis. --- Senator Levin, who warned of dire consequences if the election did not proceed, was only the latest American official to visit Kabul in the past few weeks. Ambassador James Dobbins, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan who announced last week that he is stepping down, was recently in town to urge the candidates to stick with the process. -- After Mr. Dobbins came two Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who encouraged a thorough audit and also made clear that American aid for Afghanistan would almost certainly dry up if the political crisis was not resolved. - More, NYTimes,

Afghan election: US Senator Carl Levin makes audit call --- A senior US senator says he expects the Afghan Election Commission to conduct a "comprehensive audit" of polls cast in the presidential run-off. -- The appeal was made by the visiting Senator Carl Levin ahead of preliminary results being announced on Monday. --- The BBC's Karen Allen in Kabul says that Mr Levin's intervention appears to appease both sides in the contested presidential race. -- He called for the promises made by the election authorities behind closed doors to be translated into action. The senator said that both candidates had agreed to an audit. --- Afghanistan is under pressure to deliver a credible election in order to continue receiving foreign aid and avert a political crisis in a country where historically disputes have been fought along ethnic lines, our correspondent says. -- The election is the first time that power in Afghanistan has been democratically transferred. - More, BBC,

John McCain, Lindsey Graham: Rethink Afghanistan in light of Iraq unrest --- Fresh back from a trip to the Middle East, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-Ariz., discuss what lessons the U.S. can learn from the violence in Iraq as it prepares to leave Afghanistan. - More, CBS News,

Senators McCain and Graham slam Obama’s decisions on Iraq, Afghanistan --- Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-AZ) appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday to raise awareness about the situation in Iraq and explain that Afghanistan will meet the same fate because of the president’s decision to withdraw troops from the region. -- “We could have left a residual force behind which would have stabilized the situation [in Iraq],” explained McCain. “This is not like a hurricane or an earthquake; this didn’t have to happen. This is a failure of United States policy. And by the way, there still is none that I can discern — either a policy or a strategy — to handle this situation.” -- He said that the eruption of terrorism in the region not only speaks to the condition of Iraq, but also foreshadows the future of Afghanistan, thanks to President Obama’s foreign policy. -- “The president is going to make the same mistake in Afghanistan unless he reverses that decision that he made,” McCain alleged. “You’re going to see the same result in Afghanistan. We just came back from there; they feel abandoned.” -- Senator Graham agreed, citing his “big fear” of losing the capability to keep track of terrorists in Afghanistan by withdrawing from the country. -- “If we get down to 1,000 troops by 2017 and dismantle our eyes and ears in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will haunt us far worse than Iraq,” Graham said. “The counterterrorist mission in Afghanistan is a frontline defense for the homeland and it is being destroyed by this idea of leaving completely in 2017.” --- The senator then begged the president to “reverse [his] course” in order to protect the American people. -- More,

More Money Please: A New Plan to Boost Europe's Straggling Investments --- The euro crisis may have eased recently, but companies and countries in the common currency zone still aren't investing enough to fuel growth. The best solution, a Berlin economics institute argues, is to establish an EU-wide investment fund. - More, Der Spiegel,

Afghanistan rejects Facebook ban as election tensions rise --- The Afghan government has rejected a proposal to ban Facebook during an ongoing deadlock over the presidential election, despite fears that social media postings have fanned ethnic hatred. -- The dispute between candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah over alleged fraud in the 14 June election has triggered bitter online exchanges between rival supporters that have threatened to spill over into violence. -- Ghani attracts much of his support from the Pashtun tribes of the south and east, while Abdullah's loyalists are Tajiks and other northern Afghan groups – echoing the ethnic divisions of the bloody 1992-96 civil war. -- "The national security council discussed banning of Facebook in their meeting today," Fayeq Wahedi, the deputy presidential spokesman, told AFP on Sunday. -- "There are people on Facebook who spread hatred and cause damage to national unity, but after talks the council decided not to ban Facebook." -- Internet use has soared in Afghanistan in recent years, and supporters of both sides have been posting hostile messages and photographs since the fraud allegations erupted. -- Two weeks ago, the United Nations issued a warning that the internet activity could spark civil unrest. -- "There has been a disturbing tone in some social media platforms, and we urge supporters … to refrain from inflammatory statements, hate speech or statements which promote divisive ethnic mobilisation," the UN mission chief, Jan Kubis, said. -- He added that some postings were "rhetoric that brings back memories of tragic, fratricidal, factional conflicts in the 1990s that cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians". -- Abdullah has vowed to reject the result of the election, which is due on Monday, alleging he is the victim of "industrial-scale" fraud and calling for a thorough audit of ballot papers. -- But Ghani claims he won fairly by at least 1m votes and said the result must be released on schedule after previous delays. -- The dispute has thrown Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power into turmoil as US-led troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting the Taliban insurgents and with aid money to the country set to fall in coming years. - More, Guardian,

فرويد، جنگ و فرهنگ --- زيگموند فرويد در ماه‌های مارس و آوریل سال ١٩١٥ میلادی، درست شش ماه پس از آغاز جنگ جهانی اول، در دو مقاله با عناوین "سرخوردگی از جنگ" و "رابطۀ ما با مرگ"، به تبيين نظر خود دربارۀ پدیده جنگ و مرگ پرداخت. -- فرويد نظريه روان‌شناختی خود پیرامون جنگ را در اين دو مقالۀ نسبتاً طولانی طرح کرده است. بعدها اين مقاله‌ها در مجموعه آثار او زیر عنوان "مباحثی روزآمد دربارۀ جنگ و مرگ" انتشار يافتند. اما اغلب کسانی که در پی آشنايی از نظر فرويد دربارۀ جنگ‌اند، نه به مقاله‌ها و کتاب مورد اشاره، بلکه به نامه‌هايی مراجعه می‌کنند که فرويد چند سال پيش از آغاز جنگ جهانی دوم در پاسخ به آلبرت آينشتين نوشت. --- مسئلۀ ممانعت از جنگ -- آلبرت آينشتين در سال ١٩٣٢ ميلادی به توصيه آنری بونه، رئيس "انستيتوی بين‌المللی همکاری‌های معنوی" در پاريس که به او پيشنهاد تبادل نظر با دانشمندی سرشناس را داده بود، نامه‌ای به فرويد می‌نويسد. آينشتين به‌رغم آن‌که اعتقاد چندانی به روانشناسی نداشت، در نامه‌اش به فرويد از او می‌خواهد تا مسئله ممانعت از جنگ را از منظر روانشناسی بررسی کند. -- آينشتين در جايگاه دانشمند علوم طبيعی در جست‌وجوی راه حل عملی پيشگيری از وقوع جنگ است. او که به استدلال قياسی دقيق عادت کرده، اميدوار است با نظريه‌پردازی و طرح استدلال‌‌های محکم علمی، شوق انسان‌ها به شرکت در جنگ را نه تنها تضعيف که به‌کل بتوان از ميان برداشت. آينشتين نامه خود به فرويد که تاريخ ٣٠ ژوييه سال ١٩٣٢ ميلادی را بر پيشانی دارد، با اين پرسش آغاز می‌کند: "آيا در مقابل فاجعۀ شوم جنگ راه نجاتی برای بشريت وجود دارد؟" -- فروید اما به کارگیری خِرَد و استدلال منطقی را راه مناسبی برای هدایت رشد روان انسان‌ها در جهت مقابله با جنگ نمی‌داند. او بر اين باور است که معقول‌ترین، تیزبین‌ترین و زیرک‌ترین انسان‌ها، تحت شرایطی، بَرده و مقهور احساسات و غرایز خود می‌شوند. او سهولت بسیج مشتاقانه انسان‌ها برای شرکت در جنگ را در وجود غریزۀ تخریب می‌داند و نه تنها امیدی به محو کامل تمایلات پرخاشگرانۀ انسان‌ها ندارد، بلکه وجود آنرا لازمۀ ادامه حیات می‌داند. --- فرويد در نامه‌اش از بررسی نسبت "حقوق" با "زور" آغاز می‌کند. او بر اين باور است که تضاد منافع میان انسان‌ها در اساس با توسل به زور خاتمه پیدا می‌‌کند. این اصل در دنیای حیوانات نیز که انسان نباید خود را از آن جدا بداند، مصداق دارد. -- در آغاز و در زمانی که انسان‌ها به صورت گَله زندگی می‌کردند، زور بازو تعیین می‌کرد چه چیزی به چه کسی تعلق دارد و در پیشبرد کارها از اراده و خواست چه کسی باید پیروی کرد. قدرت بازو به زودی جای خود را به استفاده از ابزار تولید داد. پیروزی از آنِ کسی بود که بهترین اسلحه‌ها را در اختیار داشت و یا به بهترین وجه از آنها می‌توانست استفاده کند. با پیدایش اسلحه، برتری فکری جای زور بازو را گرفت. -- هدف اصلی جنگ این بود که طرف مقابل با خساراتی که به او وارد می‌شود و با از بین بردن نیروی او، مجبور به چشم پوشی از خواست‌ها و دعوی‌های خود شود. این امر زمانی کاملاً به نتیجه می‌رسید که پیروزی نهايی بر رقيب و به عبارتی، نابودی و کشتن دشمن امکان پذیر می‌بود. --- فروید معتقد است که منشاء پیدایش حاکمیتِ قدرت‌های بزرگ، زور صرف یا نیروی متکی به دانش آنهاست و امروز هم به‌رغم تغییر و تکامل شیوه‌های حکومتی، باز تنها راه رسیدن به حق، زور است. البته این بار نیز زور با همان هدف و ابزار عمل می‌کند و خود را در مقابل کسانی که به مقاومت برخاسته‌اند، باز می‌یابد؛ تنها با این تفاوت که این بار زور شکل فردی ندارد، بلکه قدرتی اجتماعی است. -- چنين به‌نظر می‌رسد که بررسی موجز فروید از نسبت زور و حقوق و استدلال‌های او در این زمینه، هنوز هم به قوت خود باقیست. به‌ویژه وقتی می‌بينيم که در هفتاد سال گذشته، به‌رغم دو جنگ جهانی، هنوز جنگ‌های کوچک و بزرگ در گوشه و کنار جهان در جریان است و ما شاهد ناتوانی سازمان ملل و حتی واماندگی اکثریت اعضای آن در مقابله با اعمال قدرت و ترکتازی اعضای زورمند و رفتارهای مستبدانه کشورهای کوچک و بزرگيم و هر بار "زور" بر "حقوق بین‌الملل" فائق آمده است. --- صلح پايدار" -- با نگاهی گذرا به تاریخ بشر، می‌بینیم که همواره اختلافاتی میان یک یا چند موجودیت اجتماعی، اختلافاتی میان واحدهای کوچک و بزرگ شهری، منطقه‌ای، میان قبایل، اقوام، ملت‌ها، امپراتوری‌ها وجود داشته است که اغلب با زورآزمایی و جنگ خاتمه یافته است. چنین جنگ‌هایی یا با غارت و یا با انقیاد کامل و استیصال یکی از طرفین پایان گرفته است. -- البته فرويد درباره فتوحات جنگی داوری یکسانی ندارد؛ برخی مانند مغول‌ها فقط بدبختی و سیه روزی به بارآوردند و در مقابل برخی با ایجاد واحدهای اجتماعی بزرگ‌تر، به انتقال و تبدیل زور به حقوق یاری رساندند و امکان توسل دوباره به زور را از میان برداشتند و با برپایی نظام حقوقی جدیدی، سبب کاهش يا حتی رفع اختلافات شدند. -- او بر اين باور است که جنگ وسیله‌ای نامناسب برای برقراری "صلح پايدار" نيست؛ چرا که قادر است واحدهای بزرگی را پدید آورد که در محدودۀ آنها قدرت مرکزی مقتدری، وقوع جنگ‌های تازه را غیر ممکن سازد. با اين همه نتیجه فتوحات دوام نمی‌یابد و واحدهای جدید اغلب در اثر وحدت اجباری بخش‌های مختلف، به زودی از هم می‌گسلند. -- فروید طرحی را که از جامعۀ جهانی ایدآل خود می‌ريزد، پنداری بیش نمی‌داند و معتقد است که چنین آرامشی تنها در عالم نظر متصور است و در عمل وضعِ پیچیده‌ای پیدا می‌کند؛ زيرا اجتماع در آغاز دربرگیرنده افرادی و گروه‌هايی با قدرت و امکانات نابرابر است که پس از جنگ و انقیاد و انقلاب، به فاتح و مغلوب و ارباب و بنده و رهبر و پيرو تبدیل می‌شوند. --- غريزه معطوف به جنگ -- فرويد معتقد به وجود غرايز گوناگون در انسان‌هاست و آنها را کلاً به دو گونه تقسيم می‌کند: یکی غریزۀ عشق که خواهان صیانت و وحدت است و فرويد آن را "غریزه شهوانی" می‌خواند. اين غريزه را، با آگاهی گسترده از مفهوم عام پسند جنسیت، می‌توان غريزه عشق يا "غریزه جنسی" ناميد. از سوی ديگر، در درون هر انسانی "غریزه پرخاشگری" یا "غریزه تخریب" نيز فعال است که خواهان انهدام و کشتار است و به‌درستی نام "غريزه مرگ" به آن داده‌اند. -- بنابراين رفتار انسان‌ها دارای پیچیدگی مختص به خود است؛ زيرا به ندرت رفتاری را می‌توان یافت که تنها از یک غریزه متأثر شده باشد. به باور فرويد هر کنش و رفتار به گونه‌ای خودانگیخته، آمیزه‌ای از غریزه عشق و تخریب است. انگیزه‌های بسیاری باید همزمان با هم تلاقی کنند و بر هم تأثیر گذارند تا کنش و رفتار انسان امکان پذیر گردد. -- از اين‌رو، زمانی که انسان‌ها به جنگ فراخوانده می‌شوند، انگیزه‌های درونی مختلفی پاسخگوی توافق آنها با جنگ است، انگیزه‌های نیک و بد، انگیزه‌هایی که با صدای بلند بازگو می‌شوند و انگیزه‌هایی که با سکوت برگزار می‌شوند. ولی بی‌تردید میل به تعرض و تخریب جزو آنهاست. -- وحشیگری‌های بی‌شمار در تاریخ، مؤید وجود چنین تمایلاتی است و توانایی آنها را اثبات می‌کند. گاهی که سفاکی‌های تاریخ را می‌نگریم، این تصور در ما قوّت می‌گیرد که انگیزه‌های اصیل فقط بهانۀ ارضای امیال تخریبی بوده‌اند. برای مثال به هنگام وقوع وحشیگری‌های دادگاه‌های تفتیش عقاید مذهبی، انگیزه‌های معنوی در ضمیر خودآگاه جای گرفتند و انگیزه‌های تخریبی به گونه‌ای ناخودآگاه آنها را تقویت کردند. - More,

John McCain, Lindsey Graham: Audit disputed Afghanistan election --- Less than a week after allegations of fraud prompted election officials in Afghanistan to delay the results of that country's presidential runoff election, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Friday for the two remaining Afghan candidates to allow the results to be audited. -- "There's ample evidence of fraud," said Graham, according to the Wall Street Journal. "There needs to be an audit that is recognized by the Afghan people as legitimate and by the international community as legitimate." -- A failure to end the standoff, McCain warned, "could put not only the political environment in Afghanistan into a crisis, but also weaken American support for the continued process" of helping Afghanistan as the country recovers from more than a decade of war. -- The two senators visited Afghanistan over the July 4 holiday weekend to survey America's changing role there ahead of a planned withdrawal of nearly all U.S. troops by the end of this year. -- On Tuesday, Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission delayed the results of the June 14 runoff election after accusations of election tampering from former Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, who won 45 percent in an eight-person field during the first round of voting in April but failed to avert a runoff by securing a majority. --- Abdullah accused his opponent, former World Bank official Ashraf Ghani, of conspiring with current President Hamid Karzai and the election commission to stuff ballot boxes across the country. Ghani won only 31.6 percent of the vote in April, but according to the Journal, both campaign teams believe he's ahead by more than a million votes in the runoff. -- Ghani has not objected to an audit of the runoff results, but his team expressed concern that the proceedings could delay the planned Aug. 2 inauguration. -- "We support any kind of audit, but on the calendar time frame" currently in place, Abbas Noyan, a spokesman for Ghani, told the Journal. "The government of Afghanistan has already sent invitations to more than 40 leaders of different countries to attend an inauguration ceremony of a new president that is going to take place on August 2." -- On Friday, McCain suggested both candidates were seeking common ground to resolve the impasse. "Their team was meeting last night and again today, and there is some hope that by Monday they may come to some agreement on the audit," he said. --- A delay in the inauguration of the next Afghan president could further complicate American efforts to negotiate a continued role for some American forces in Afghanistan after most of troops leave this year. Karzai has declined to sign a status-of-forces agreement that would sanction an official U.S. presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, saying it's a matter best left to his successor. Both Abdullah and Ghani have said they will sign such an agreement, but they can't do that until they take office. -- More, CBS News,

Markel Heads to China to Keep Alive ‘Golden Decade’ of Deals --- BERLIN — With some experts warning that the “golden decade” of rapid growth in German-Chinese trade and dealings may be ending, Chancellor Angela Merkel embarks this weekend on her seventh visit to China, accompanied by top people from German business who, surveys indicate, are still markedly more optimistic about China than are their European counterparts. -- Like many people raised in Communist East Germany, where travel abroad was tightly restricted, Ms. Merkel is an avid traveler. As a trained scientist, she is also keenly interested in innovation, and in China she always travels to Beijing and at least one other province for a firsthand look at joint ventures and new Chinese research and enterprises. -- This trip takes her first to Chengdu, capital of western Sichuan Province, which, government officials noted, has a population almost as big as Germany’s 82 million. In Chengdu, she will meet the province’s leadership and visit a joint venture operated by the German automaker Volkswagen and a social center designed to help the children of migrant workers. From there, Ms. Merkel flies to Beijing, where she will be received with military honors by Prime Minister Li Keqiang and attend a dinner hosted by President Xi Jinping, but also meet film directors and address students at Tsinghua University. -- Both government officials and experts who discussed the trip said that human rights matters, such as any eventual request from Ms. Merkel for China to permit the artist Ai Weiwei to attend his current big show in Berlin, would be dealt with quietly, if raised at all. -- Ms. Merkel has been in power since 2005, making her one of the longer-serving heads of government in Europe. She and the German business community have forged strong business and political ties with China — this year alone, President Xi was in Germany in March; Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited China in mid-April and Sigmar Gabriel, the vice chancellor and economics minister, in late April. While in China on Sunday through Tuesday, Ms. Merkel will oversee the creation of a new economic committee to prepare the ground for high-level talks in Berlin in October designed to map cooperation for the next several years. -- Just before Ms. Merkel arrives in Chengdu, senior German and Chinese business people, academics and politicians are meeting on education and innovation. Among the Chinese attendees are Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group; Ge Honglin, the mayor of Chengdu; and several academics. The German team is headed by Martin Brudermüller, a member of the board of BASF. -- German officials and experts discussing the trip with reporters said recent years have shown that an agenda of social reform can be pursued most effectively in such meetings, enabling China’s leaders to keep matters they deem sensitive behind closed doors. - More, NYTimes

Saturday, July 05, 2014

امرخیل: قربانی توطئه شدم، دادخواهی می کنم --- ضیاءلحق امرخیل، رئیس پیشین دارالانشاء کمیسیون انتخابات می گوید که او قربانی توطئه بعضی حلقات شده و برای رسیدگی به این موضوع دادخواهی می کند. --- آقای امرخیل که دیروز در کابل با خبرنگاران صحبت می کرد گفت: ̎دسیسه ها را افشا خواهم کرد، تمامی مدارک که علیه من منتشر شده جعلی است، از کمیسیون شکایات انتخابات می خواهم که قضیه را بی طرفانه بررسی کند.̎ او می گوید که برای تداوی به کشور امارات متحده عربی سفر کرده بود و قصد فرار از افغانستان را ندارد. پیشتر، رئیس کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات گفته بود که امرخیل از کشور فرار کرده است و ممکن به کشور بریتانیا پناهنده شده باشد. یوسف نورستانی می گوید که فرار امرخیل از کشور نشان داد که او در تقلب دست دارد. بدنبال نشر فایل های صوتی منسوب به ضیاء الحق امرخیل از سوی تیم انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله، آقای امرخیل از وظیفه خود کنار رفت. تیم عبدالله می گوید که کنار رفتن از وظیفه کافی نیست، کسی که در تقلب سازماندهی شده دست دارد، باید محاکمه شود. --- محاکمه؟ - ضیاء الحق امرخیل دیروز یک بار تاکید کرد که صدای نشرشده از او نیست و هرگونه ادعایی مطرح شده علیه خود را رد کرد. او گفت: "من در هیچ محکمهٔ دوسیه ندارم، نه ممنوع الخروج هستم این ها دسیسه هستند علیه من و بعضی ها به این موضوعات دامن می زنند." رئیس پیشین دارالانشاء کمیسیون انتخابات افزود که برخی چهره ها و حلقات خاصی علیه او دسیسه کرده اند تا او را بدنام کند. امرخیل می گوید که او تا آخر عمرش در افغانستان باقی خواهد ماند و قصد ترک کشور را هم ندارد. -- به گفته امرخیل شماری از مقامات محلی و مسوولان پولیس در تقلب روز انتخابات دست داشتند و او تلاش کرده است که جلو تقلب را بگیرد. او گفت که در فرصت مناسب این افراد را به مردم معرفی خواهد کرد. شماری از ناظران انتخاباتی می گویند که تقلب های گسترده ای در انتخابات ۲۴ جوزا صورت گرفته است. تیم انتخاباتی عبدالله عبدالله نیز می گوید که شبکه های در کمیسیون های انتخاباتی و حتی ریاست جمهوری به نفع رقیب او تقلب کرده اند. -- خبرگزاری بخدی

Fuel tanker trucks burn outside Afghan capital --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Attackers set fire to hundreds of fuel tanker trucks in a parking lot on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, witnesses said Saturday, prompting angry drivers to block a major highway to demand reimbursement for their losses. -- Hundreds of other drivers stood by helplessly on Saturday morning, unable to salvage any property as flames and smoke rose from the area and several fire engines rushed to the site. -- The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the militants were targeting fuel tankers belonging to NATO forces. -- “We couldn’t tell if the attackers were Taliban or other people,” one of the drivers, 35-year-old Juma Gul said. “They were dressed in uniforms we couldn’t understand what was happening. They were shooting toward the drivers and they were setting the tankers on fire. The gunmen were targeting any of the drivers who wanted to return to their trucks.” -- Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said about 400 trucks caught fire late Friday and continued to burn through Saturday morning, but he did not confirm the cause or provide other details. The Interior Ministry said it has set up a team to investigate the incident. -- Truck drivers later blocked the main highway between Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar to protest what they said was a slow response by the government and to demand reimbursement for their losses. - The Associated Press

Afghan presidential candidate rules out coalition deal --- (Reuters) - Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani ruled out a coalition government with his rival Abdullah Abdullah on Saturday, quashing hopes for a power-sharing deal to defuse tensions that have threatened to split Afghanistan along ethnic lines. -- Ghani and Abdullah have locked horns since the June 14 second round run-off, accusing each other of trying to manipulate the vote and declaring victory in the contest to succeed Hamid Karzai as president. -- Prompting speculation that a back-room power-sharing deal was in the making, officials have delayed the announcement of preliminary election results until Monday, potentially giving both candidates more time to find ways to end the impasse. -- But speaking to reporters on Saturday, Ghani explicitly denied he sought a coalition government. -- "People are concerned and the question they have been asking is if we have made any deal. Our answer is clear: we have not made any deal. We assure the people that we will not betray their votes," Ghani said. -- "Our commitment is to defend national interests, not personal interests." -- The protracted dispute over the election has all but destroyed Western hopes for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan, where the atmosphere is already nervous as most U.S.-led troops prepare to pull out this year. --- As their standoff intensified, Afghanistan has become awash with speculation about a broader rift along ethnic lines or more violence unless they agree to accept the outcome of the vote or agree on a compromise power-sharing arrangement. - More,

Friday, July 04, 2014

داکترسیدخلیل الله هاشمیان -- زبان ژورنالست طلوع با عقلش تماس نداشت ! --- دیروز مصاحبۀ ژورنالست جوان (طلوع) را باجناب داکتر یوسف نورستانی مشاهده کردم . این جوان که واضحا یک عضو شورای نظاربود، مانند سایر اعضای این سازمان، زبانش باعقلش تماس نداشت. این جوان که بااصول و اخلاق ژورنالستی آشنایی نداشت، فقط از زبانبازی کار میگرفت و تصور میکرد از ینطریق لقب قهرمانی را از شورای نظار حاصل خواهد کرد. اما تکتیکهای بازاری مصاحبۀ او حیثیت (طلوع) راهم پایان آورد، بدلایل ذیل : -- 1) ازابتدای صحبت معلوم میشد که او یک صحنۀ مصاحبه را برقرارنساخته، بلکه یک صحنۀ محاکمه را رویکار آورده است. داکتر یوسف نورستانی که در رشته (بشرشناسی) دکتورا دارد، ودرسابق استادپوهنتون کابل بود، درمقابل این جوان بی حیا که شاید در زبان بازی لیسانه باشد، از حیای علمی کار میگرفت وگستاخیها، بی ادبی ها وزبانبازیهای اورا نادیده می پنداشت. --- 2 ) این جوان زبانباز با "تئوریهای مخابره" (**) هیچ آشنایی نداشت ، بلکه از طریق زبانبازی میخواست جوابیکه خود اومیخواست از نورستانی حاصل کند، در حالیکه یک ژورنالست حق دارد سوال کند، اما بایدبطرف مقابل مهلت بدهد تا او آزادانه جواب بدهد، در حالیکه همه میدیدند همینکه نورستانی زبان خودرا میگشودتاجوابی بدهد، این جوان زبانباز گپ اورا خشک میساخت و دوباره همان سوال خودرا تکرار میکرد و اصرارمیورزید تا نورستانی مطابق میل و خواست او جواب بدهد. --- 3) به نورستانی تهمت بست که "شما امرخیل را قهرمان گفته اید!" او دو بار رد کرد و جوان زبانباز دوبار اصرار ورزید که "شما قهرمان گفته اید!" در حالیکه یک مرجع دیگر بارتباط استعفی امرخیل اورا "قهرمان" خوانده بود، ولی نورستانی ابدا اورا "قهرمان" نخوانده بود. درینصورت چنل طلوع جرم زبان و جرم اتهام جوانک زبانباز خودرا چطور می پردازد ؟؟؟ --- 4) جوان زبانباز ازنورستانی پرسید : "امرخیل کجاست؟" این جوان ناآگاه از قوانین کشور نمیدانست که او رئیس کمیسیون مستقل انتخابات را در مقابل خود دارد که باید در مورد مسایل انتخابات از او سوال کند- بودن یا نبودن امرخیل در کابل، بعد از انکه او از وظیفۀ خود استعفی داد، به نورستانی تعلق ندارد. این جوان زبانباز بایست این سوال را از قوماندان امنیه کابل، از وزارت داخله، از ریاست امنیت ملی یا ازمیدان هوایی کابل میکرد که "امرخیل کجاست؟" --- قرار آوازۀ سرچوک کابل که تلفونی بامریکا رسیده ، امرالله ناصالح (معروف به امرالله قیچ) پلان قتل و ترور امرخیل را ترتیب داده بود، ازین موضوع امنیت ملی خبرشده و حکومت بمنظور حفظ جان امرخیل و خانواده اش برای امرخیل و خانواده اش پاسپورت داده و او باداشتن پاسپورت رسمی بطور قانونی بخارج مسافرت کرده – کسیکه با پاسپورت رسمی از کشورخود برون میشود، اورا نمیتوان "فراری" خواند – فراری کسیست که بدون پاسپورت و بدون اطلاع حکومت از طریق بیراهه از کشورخود برون شود- هاشمیان وده ها استاد دیگرپوهنتون که دردورۀ کمونستی بدون پاسپورت و ازطریق بیراهه از وطن فرار کردند، ما "فراری" هستیم، اما امرخیل "فراری" نیست، ولی این جوان زبانباز فرق بین "مسافرت رسمی" و "فراری" را نمیدانست و چند بار از فراری بودن امرخیل بشیوۀ زبانبازی یادآوری کرد. --- 5) جوان زبانباز داکتر نورستانی را ملامت میکرد که "چرا امرخیل را وطنپرست خوانده اید؟ " اگر نورستانی قبلا امرخیل را"وطنپرست" خوانده باشد، گناهی رامرتکب نشده، زیرا تا زمانیکه محکمه امرخیل رامحکوم بخیانت نکرده، او وظایف خودرا بارضائیت آمرخود اجرا کرده و مستحق صفت "وطنپرستی" شده میتواند. از جانب دیگر برای صفت "وطنپرستی" تعریف معیاری در افغانستان وجود ندارد- داکترعبدالله در حالیکه نام پدر خودرا بملت دروغ گفته، پدرش پنجشیری بوده اما او پدراندرخودرا که پشتون بوده بنام پدر خود معرفی کرده، معهذا داکتر عبدالله رابا وجود این دروغ میتوان "وطنپرست" خواند. داکترعبدالله بحیث اولین وزیرخارجه در اولین قرارداد خود با امریکا امتیاز دخول وخروج بدون ویزه را درفضا وزمین افغانستان بامریکا داد، که تا امروز قلمرو فضایی وزمینی افغانستان بدسترس امریکا قراردارد، معهذا اورا نمیتوان از صفت "وطنپرستی" محروم ساخت ! یونس قانونی که پیسۀ پیزارو چپن خودرا نداشت، وحالا بیشتر از یک ملیارد دالرجایداد و سرمایه دارد، معهذا او در مقام معاونی اول ریاست جمهوری یکشخص "وطنپرست" است. محمود کرزی که در امریکا روزانه 16 ساعت کار و دو صد دالر مزد داشت، اما کابل بانک را سقوط داد و فابریکات سمت سازی را غصب کرد، معهذا یک شخص "وطنپرست" است. معنوی و حسین فهیم نیز "وطنپرست" میباشند و... --- 6) من ضیا الحق امرخیل را نمیشناسم و درپی دفاع از او نمیباشم که اگر یک محکمه در افغانستان اورا در برابر اتهاماتی که بالای او صورت گرفته مجرم بشناسد، باید بشدیدترین جزا محکوم گردد، و احضار دوبارۀ او بوطن، بهرکشوری که رفته باشد، کار مشکلی هم نیست، زیرا تبعۀ افغان است و پاسپورت رسمی افغانستان رابدست دارد. --- اما امرخیل ادعای تیم داکترعبدالله را بارتباط تیپها وصداها ردکرده و آنراجعلی خوانده، وداکترعبدالله هم تاکنون بالای این تیپهاو صداها ازتبلیغات رسانه ای کار گرفته وجرات ارجاع آنرا بیک مرجع قانونی نشان نداده- من بحیث یک متخصص زبانشناسی (دارای دپلوم پی اچ دی از پوهنتون نامدارامریکا درایالت اندیانا) باطلاع عامه میرسانم که تثبیت اصالت این صداها ازطریق میتودهای علم زبانشناسی کاملا ممکن بوده وبسهولت میسرشده میتواند، بشرطیکه این تیپهاوصداها دریک لابراتوار تحت تدقیق و معاینه قرارگیرد. چرا داکترعبدالله عوض تبلیغات رسانه ای ، برای ثبوت مدعای خودازیک مرجع قانونی ویک لابراتوارعلمی کار نمیگیرد ؟؟؟ اینجاست که تعلل داکترعبدالله ازقانونی ساختن ادعایش ، مرا مشکوک ساخته که شاید این تیپها وصداها ساختگی باشند، واینکه درپی قتل امرخیل برآمده بودند، تاثبوت صدای اصلی اوبدست نیاید، واینها همین صدای جعلی را بعدارقتل امرخیل بکرسی بشانند ؟؟ !! --- بازهم بحیث متخصص زبانشناسی علاوه میکنم که درحالیکه ثبوت اصالت این تیپها وصداها با مقایسه بصدای اصلی امرخیل یک کارسهل وساده است، بهمان اندازه جعل کردن یک صدا یک کارساده وآسان است. اگرمیگوئید که نی ، اینک من یک شرط می بندم: داکترعبدالله ازطریق یک بانک برایمن 50 هزاردالرروان کند، ودرحالیکه من درتمام عمرداکترعبدالله راندیده ام، حاضرم دربرابراجرت 50 هزاردالرو بااستفاده ازمصاحبات شفاهی داکترعبدالله که تیپهای ثبت شدۀآن بسیاراست، یک کاست صحبت پنج دقیقه ای اورا بسازم (که گویا بزبان خودبه تقلبات انتخاباتی خود اعتراف کرده) و آنرابرایش بفرستم، که اگردرحضوریک هیات منصفه تصدیق نکردند که صدای خوداوست ، آنگاه 50 هزار دالراورا باپنجاه هزارجریمه برایش ازطریق همان بانک مسترد میکنم. مقصداز ذکراین مثال واین شرط اینست که بابکار بستن میتودهای علمی هم میتوان اصالت یک صداراباصدی اصلی آن تثبیت کرد وهم میتوان ازروی صدا های یک شخص یک صدای جعلی ساخت!!! ازینجاست که من بمردم افغانستان وبهمه اعضای کمیسیون محترم انتخابات میرسانم که شما خوش باورنباشید، ساختن صدای جعلی ناممکن نیست وداکترعبدالله که ده هاباربامریکا آمده ومانند اقای معنوی یک مشاورمعنوی دارد، ساختن صداهای جعلی کارمشکل نیست !!! --- به تصورمن آقای امرخیل بخارج رفته تاخانوادۀ خودرا مطمئن بسازد، خودش دوباره بوطن برمیگردد وتقاضای ثبوت اصالت صدای خودرامیکند. آنگاه اگرحکومت افغانستان مصارف سفریه واجرت دونفرزبانشناس( یکی من ویکی یکنفرامریکایی دارای دکتورادرعلم زبانشناسی) راقبول کند، ما بکابل می آئیم واین مشکل را باتطبیق میتودهای علمی وباقبول مسئولیت حل وفصل میکنیم. --- این جوانک زبانباز وبی خبرازبسامسایل وامکانات قانونی وعلمی، یک مردعالم وموسپیدراکه رتبۀ قانونی برابریک وزیردارد وتمام عمرخودراباپاکی وصداقت درافغانستان کارکرده، معاون وزیرووالی بوده، امارشوت نخورده وثروت نه اندوخته، کسی رانکشته ومال وجایدادکسی راغصب نکرده، امااین جوانک زبانبازکارتون یک شخص دوپیسه ای راازفیس بوک اوگرفته بابی حیایی خاصۀ تفنگداران شورای نظاربرخ این موسپیدخدمتگارمیکشد! اینست سویۀاخلاقی جوانک زبانباز دراستخدام چنل طلوع ! آیا متصدیان طلوع برای ارزیابی سویۀ اخلاقی مصاحبه کنندگان خود کدام معیاری دارد؟ ایا هدف مصاحبه درطلوع محقر ساختن رجال مملکت (به نفع فروخته شده ها) است ??? -- توخواه ازسخنم پند گیر وخواه ملال ! خدمتگارافغانستان – سیدخلیل الله هاشمیان ---- (**) من درسال 1980 ازکابل فرارکردم ودرسالهای تعلیمی 1978 - 1979 مضمونی بنام "تئوریهای مخابره" به صنف چهارم دپارتمانت ژورنالیزم تدریس میکردم. "تئوریهای مخابره" موضوعیست مربوط برشتۀ زبانشناسی اجتماعی که دانستن میتودهای آن برای ژورنالستان بسیارضروری میباشد، ولی این جوانک زبانباز اصلا نام "تئوریهای مخابره" را تاحال نشنیده ، که اگر شمه ای از آنرا میدانست، اینقدر فول نمیکرد. علم زبانشناسی 13 شعبه دارد و درشعبۀ فونولوجی آن شناخت و تثبیت اصوات( صداها) مطالعه میشود. --مطالبدری&article

ArticleComments (3)Phones, shoes to face scrutiny as airport security tightened: U.S. --- (Reuters) - Airlines with direct flights to the United States have been told to tighten screening of mobile phones and shoes in response to intelligence reports of increased threats from al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups, U.S. officials said on Thursday. -- The officials singled out smartphones including iPhones made by Apple Inc and Galaxy phones made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for extra security checks on U.S.-bound direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. -- U.S. security officials said they fear bombmakers from the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have figured out how to turn the phones into explosive devices that can avoid detection. -- They also are concerned that hard-to-detect bombs could be built into shoes, said the officials, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. -- A U.S. official said that other electronic devices carried by passengers also are likely to receive more intense scrutiny. -- Airlines or airport operators that fail to strengthen security could face bans on flights entering the United States, the officials said. -- The U.S. Homeland Security Department announced on Wednesday plans to step up security checks, but they offered few details on how airlines and airports will implement them. -- An official familiar with the matter said the United States believes that while it is possible there may be some additional delays at security checkpoints, at most major airports passengers will not be seriously inconvenienced. -- The official said most passengers taking long-distance flights arrive well in advance of scheduled departures, leaving time for extra screening. But he said the United States could not rule out disruptions in countries where airport infrastructure and security procedures are less sophisticated. - More,

د طلوع تلويزيون د امرخېل له شخصي سفر نه هم هنګامه جوړوي. --- د طلوع تلويزیون، چې په ټاکنو کې د عبدالله د ټيم د پلويانو مدافع وکيل او کلک سنګر دی، د ټاکنو د کميسيون د دارالانشاء پخواني رئيس ضياء الحق امرخېل پسې راخيستې ده او پراخ پروپاګنډ ورپسې کوي. -- ضياء الحق امرخېل، چې ممنوع الخروج نه دی او نه پر ده باندې د لګول شوو تورنو لپاره کوم رښتينی ثبوت شته، عربي اماراتو ته په يو شخصي سفر تللی. له دې مسألې نه په خبريدو سره طلوع تلويزيون هڅه وکړه، چې دې سفر ته د يوه ناقانونه کړنې رنګ ورکړي. دا غوښتنې يې مطرح کړې، چې سرحدي ځواکونو بايد نيولی وای؛ څنګه د دولت لخوا د سفر اجازه ورکړل شوه، د کابل د هوايي ډګر د رئيس سره يې مرکه درلوده، د هغه هوکې ېې هم تر لاسه کړه. --- د ټاکنو د خپلواک کميسيون د رئيس یوسف نورستاني سره په مرکه کې يې دا خبره تکراروله، چې امرخيل فرار کرد(!). نورستاني هم سهوه وکړه او ويل يې، چې شايد کدام مشکل داشت که فرار کرد. -- نورستاني، چې تر اوسه کوم ثبوت نلري، دا ډول څرګندونې يې د ځينو ګوندونو او بنسټونو له منفي غبرګون سره مخ شوې. --- د يادونې ده، چې د ضياء الحق امرخيل ژوند په افغانستان کې تر ګواښ لاندې و او د عبدالله عبدالله د ډلې لخوا ورته سخت ګواښونه کيدل. مخکې له دې، د ډاکتر اشرف غني احمدزي پر ځينو پلويانو او دولتي چارواکو باندې هم ترهګريز بريدونه تر سره شول، چې په ډير احتمال سره د عبدالله عبدالله د ډلې پلان بلل کيږي؛ په خيرخانه مينه کې مولوي شين ګل د ډاکتر اشرف غني احمدزي کمپاينر ووژل شو، په مزار شريف کې پر جمعه خان همدرد باندې بريد وشو، چې ۴ تنه ساتونکي يې ووژل شول او همداراز پر معصوم ستانکزي باندې هم ځانمرګی بريد وشو، چې دی روغ ترې ووت. -- روهی ویب -

Independence Day (United States) --- Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States --- During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.[4][5] After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail: - More,

Fourth of July Is Independence Day --- The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. - More,

Reading The Declaration Of Independence: A Tradition Continues --- It was 238 years ago today that church bells rang out over Philadelphia, as the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. That revolutionary document not only formalized the American colonies' united front in the Revolutionary War, it articulated the ideals of human equality and self-determination that still serve as the guiding principles of American government. - More, NPR,