Friday, October 31, 2014

Who will stop the tide of these desperate people? --- As migrants make ever-more dangerous attempts to flee their stricken countries for a safer haven, we investigate a European-wide problem --- Imagine carrying your baby into a windowless metal box, your elderly mother at your side. Imagine the door closing behind you, leaving you and your family in total darkness, not knowing when – if – you will see daylight again. Some 35 Afghans went through this experience, though only 34 lived to tell the tale. They were found in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks in August after the boat carrying them arrived from Belgium and dockworkers heard their screams. -- It is natural to focus on the Afghans’ dreadful crossing from Zeebrugge to Tilbury. But at least as important is the journey that brought those lost souls to a port in Belgium. To get there, they had to make another significant crossing, over the border of the European Union. -- Quite which route they took into the EU remains unclear, not least because there are so many possibilities. Most EU countries have scrapped frontiers with each other via the Schengen Agreement, but Europe still has a lot of borders: its external frontiers, where the EU meets non-EU nations, are 8,400 miles long. Its coastline is longer still: 41,000 miles in all, equivalent to one-and-a-half times the circumference of the earth. -- The EU’s Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines are around 18,600 miles long – 8,400 miles of which are Greece and its 3,000 islands. The United Nations estimates that so far this year, 110,000 illegal immigrants have come into the EU via the Med. Frontex, the EU border agency, says that the number of illegal crossings detected on the “Central Mediterranean” route from North Africa to Italy rose by 288 per cent last year. --- The Romans called the Mediterranean Mare Nostrum, meaning “Our Sea”. But “Our Sea” is not hospitable to outsiders. At least 800 would-be immigrants are known to have died in the Mediterranean this year. The toll for the whole of 2012 was 500. So who are these people, who are increasingly willing to gamble with their lives trying to reach Europe in overcrowded boats, rafts and even inflatable dinghies? -- Frontex says that Eritreans and Somalis are the most numerous, with most saying they left home “due to security and economic concerns”. It is estimated that 20 boats a day leave Libya heading for Italy, another unforeseen consequence of the removal of Muammar Gaddafi, whose security forces would ruthlessly suppress such travellers. Next across the Med come Syrians fleeing their civil war, mostly sailing from Egypt. Around a third of all illegal immigrants to the EU are Syrians. --- What should a civilised country do when people from war-torn foreign countries drift towards its shores? The debate is sharpest in Italy, which has seen hundreds die in its waters. Last autumn, a ship carrying more than 300 people sank off the island of Lampedusa, leaving Italians to confront their drowned bodies – including a young couple who died embracing below decks. The resulting national trauma prompted Italy to launch a dedicated military mission – Operation Mare Nostrum – to rescue illegal immigrants. -- The operation is, unsurprisingly, controversial. Italy says almost 117,000 migrants arrived by sea in the 12 months to July 31. More than half of those came ashore not from jerry-rigged rafts, but Italian naval vessels. Critics say reducing the risk of death in this way only encourages more migrants to attempt the crossing. Angelino Alfano, the Italian interior minister, has described his country as the “world champion” of welcoming illegal immigrants. Operation Mare Nostrum cannot continue into next year, he says. -- After Italy, Greece and the eastern Mediterranean are the next most popular entry points, “a hot spot of irregular migration”, according to Frontex. In 2012 the EU effectively sealed Greece’s land border with Turkey, placing a barbed wire fence 13ft high and 7 miles long along the Evros river. The fence did not end the problem of illegal migration, however. Before the fence, around 7,000 illegals crossed into Greece each month overland. That has dropped to almost nothing, but the number of illegal crossings from the sea has risen from a few hundred to around 5,000 a month. Most unlawful entrants from Afghanistan – who account for 20 per cent of all illegals – enter the EU via Greece. --- Once on EU soil, where do migrants go? Italy estimates that two-thirds of its new arrivals move on to other, richer EU countries; politicians in Germany and elsewhere suspect the Italians of encouraging that movement, in contravention of EU agreements. Many migrants attempt to claim asylum, arguing that being sent home would put them in danger. Last year, there were 76,000 claims lodged in Germany and 62,000 in France, compared with 23,500 in Italy. -- But if illegal immigration is an EU problem, surely the answer lies at EU level? Italy certainly thinks so, appealing for other member states to fund the £88 million annual cost of Operation Mare Nostrum, a call supported by the European Commission. --- The British Government, currently thinking hard about loosening its ties with the EU, especially over issues relating to immigration, has not leapt at the opportunity to send British money and warships to patrol the Italian coast. Yet neither have other countries who proclaim their commitment to “ever closer union” moved to help support the Italian operation: French and German politicians see few votes in using taxpayers’ money to bring illegal immigrants safely into the EU. Even if all EU countries did agree to cooperate, no one has a realistic plan for what to do with the poor and bedraggled hordes, once they are on dry land. -- So Europe falls between two stools. It has effectively internationalised its borders – to enter Italy is to enter the EU – but remains reluctant to internationalise the management of those borders. And if Europe’s response remains faltering and uncertain, the same cannot be said of the other actors in this drama. The urgent, desperate imperative that drives people, with babies in their arms, into shipping containers, is clear, and shows no sign of waning. The Afghans at Tilbury Docks suffered horribly, but that will not stop others from attempting to follow them. -- Read More, James Kirkup, Telegraph,

The Fruits Of A $60 Billion U.S. Expenditure In Afghanistan Are Now Secret --- A month before U.S. Marines and British military forces began their current withdrawal from Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan abruptly classified its assessment of the fighting abilities of the Afghan army and police forces, which the U.S. has spent an estimated $61.5 billion to build up. -- Portions of these assessments have been released to the public the past nine years. But on Oct. 3, ISAF’s Joint Command told independent federal auditors of the reconstruction effort that the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction by email that the latest ratings now are classified in their entirety. -- ISAF’s Joint Command decided that sections of the reports that discuss the capabilities of the Afghan army or police force should be classified at the “Restricted” level, while an overall tally of the number of units deemed capable of meeting leadership, combat, training, and other requirements was given the higher classification of “SECRET,” according to an email from the command, obtained by CPI. -- ISAF’s press office in Kabul did not respond to requests for an explanation. -- The change was flagged by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko in his Oct. 2014 quarterly report released today. The classification “deprives the American people of an essential tool to measure the success or failure of the single most costly feature of the Afghanistan reconstruction effort,” Sopko wrote, adding that the decision was — to him — “inexplicable.” -- ISAF’s assessments of the Afghan security forces already had become less detailed during this year, grading entire brigades at once rather than each composite unit. -- Those monthly assessments, published on a quarterly basis in SIGAR’s reports, found improvements in the readiness of the Afghan army brigades but growing gaps in Afghan police units’ proficiency. -- Most Afghan army brigades reviewed were rated as meeting requirements in five out of the six categories of assessment — leadership, sustainment, training, command and control, and joint operations. Many were plagued by high rates of attrition, but improved over the year. In the beginning of 2014, three-quarters of all army brigades had monthly attrition rates of 3 percent or more, but by July 2014 less than half of them did. -- The specific attrition rates per brigade and the number of personnel in each brigade were not in the rating information published by SIGAR. A November 2013 Congressional report by the Defense Department noted that attrition in the Afghan National Army had been 34.4 percent over the preceding twelve months. -- While attrition rates were rated as steadily improving in units of the Afghan national police, those units were rated as sliding in training, leadership, sustainment, and law enforcement operations capability, according to the ISAF data reported by SIGAR before the data was classified. Drastic jumps in the data — five of 18 regional components of the Afghan National Police were “fully capable” of training in April, for example, but only two were in July — raise a possibility that ISAF’s assessment methods themselves may have changed from report to report. - More, The Center for Public Integrity, Julia Harte,

BEIJING: India and China today shared their converging views on terrorism while highlighting mutual concerns over resurgence of terror groups in the backdrop of the US' troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. -- The two countries with shared concerns over cross border terrorism took an active role at a key conference on the future of Afghanistan here. -- Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh, who took part in the fourth -- ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan attended by new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaz Aziz, and officials of several other countries, had a separate meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines. -- Wang was highly appreciative of India taking the lead role in implementing confidence building measures in Afghanistan as well as New Delhi's contribution for the reconstruction of the war-torn country, Singh, the former army chief told Indian media here. -- "They do feel concerned about terrorism which India also feels concerned about. To that extent there is a convergence of views on this particular issue," he said. -- Read More, Economic Times,

بازسازی زندان پلچرخی در افغانستان 'نیمه‌کاره رها شده است' --- بنا به یک گزارش تازه منتشر شده در دولت آمریکا، عملیات بازسازی یکی از مهمترین زندان‌های افغانستان به نام پلچرخی که پنج سال پیش آغاز شد نیمه کاره رها شده است. -- ن گزارش که از سوی دفتر "بازرس ویژه بازسازی افغانستان" تهیه شده می‌گوید با وجود آنکه ۱۸.۵ میلیون دلار برای بازسازی زندان پلچرخی در کابل خرج شده، وزارت خارجه آمریکا ادامه عملیات را متوقف کرده است. -- دفتر "بازرس ویژه بازسازی افغانستان" که به اختصار "سیگار" نامیده می‌شود می‌گوید زندان پلچرخی که در سال ۱۹۷۳ ساخته شده تا حدود ۵۰۰۰ زندانی را در خود جای دهد حالا وضعیتی نامناسب دارد زیرا حدود ۷۴۰۰ زندانی در آن هستند که برخی از آنها در راهروهای زندان می‌خوابند. -- بنا به این گزارش، دفتر مبارزه با مواد مخدر در وزارت خارجه آمریکا در سال ۲۰۰۹ کار بازسازی زندان پلچرخی را با قراردادی به ارزش بیش از ۲۰ میلیون دلار به یک شرکت ساختمانی افغان به نام الوطن واگذار کرد و تا به حال ۹۱ درصد مبلغ قرارداد پرداخت شده، اما هنوز نیمی از کار باقی مانده است. -- همچنین در بخش‌هایی که بازسازی پلچرخی صورت گرفته، به گزارش سیگار، پیمانکار از مواد ساختمانی نامناسب و به شیوه ای برخلاف متن قرارداد عمل کرده است مانند جایی که قرار بوده سقف چوبی کاملا با سقفی تازه و فلزی عوض شود اما این اتفاق نیفتاده است. -- گزارش سیگار تصریح می کند که مشکلات قرارداد بازسازی زندان پلچرخی تنها منحصر به شرکت پیمانکار نیست بلکه بازرس وزارت خارجه آمریکا هم که قرار بوده بر این پروژه نظارت کند در انجام وظایفش کوتاهی کرده و اخیرا برای دریافت پاداش از یک پیمانکار دیگر در آمریکا محکوم شده است. -- گزارش سیگار که در یک بازرسی ۶ ماهه، از آوریل تا سپتامبر، در محل زندان تهیه شده است از جان کری، وزیر خارجه آمریکا، می خواهد هیاتی را مامور بررسی موارد نقض قرارداد از سوی پیمانکار افغان کند و امکان از سرگیری عملیات بازسازی به قصد پایان کار مطالعه شود. -- پلچرخی بزرگترین زندان افغانستان است و سه هفته قبل اشرف غنی احمدزی، رییس جمهوری افغانستان، در دیداری بی سابقه از این محل وعده داد به وضعیت زندانیان "بلاتکلیف" در آن رسیدگی می‌شود. -- سیزده سال پس از شروع جنگ علیه طالبان و همزمان با کاهش شمار نیروهای ائتلاف در افغانستان، نهادهای بازرسی و حسابرسی آمریکایی در حال بررسی پروژه‌های امنیتی و عمرانی هستند که در سال‌های اخیر در این کشور انجام شده است. -- هنوز واکنشی از سوی مقامات دولتی افغانستان نسبت به این گزارش منتشر نشده است. -- More,

SIGAR | Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction -- Pol-i-Charkhi Prison: After 5 Years and $18.5 Million, Renovation Project Remains Incomplete --- Read More,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

China pledges assistance to Afghanistan

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai On First China Visit

پسوند احمدزی از نام رئیس جمهور افغانستان حذف شد --- دفتر ریاست جمهوری با ارسال نامه ای رسمی به ادارات دولتی افغانستان از آنها خواسته است تا پس از این در نامه های رسمی و دیپلماتیک رئیس جمهور کشور را فقط "محمد اشرف غنی" خطاب نمایند. بر اساس این نامه که در آن امضای عبدالسلام رحیمی رئیس عمومی اداره امور کشور دیده میشود آمده است که نام و هویت رئیس جمهور افغانستان در اسناد معتبر و رسمی "محمد اشرف غنی" است و نهاد های دولتی پس از این باید از این نام استفاده کنند. -- رئیس جمهور غنی به تمام اداره های دولتی دستور داده است که پس از این در مراسلات خود از پیشوند های جلالتماب و دکتر و پسوند ها و تخلص قومی احمدزی خودداری کنند. خبر برداشته شدن پسوند احمدزی از نام محمد اشرف غنی رئیس جمهور کشور با عکس العمل و استقبال بسیاری از استفاده کننده گان شبکه های اجتماعی روبرو شده است. شماری از استفاده کننده گان اجتماعی گفته اند کم رنگ شدن حضور قوم و قبیله وتبار در پسوند نام ها در افغانستان میتواند بروحدت و همبستگی ملی کمک کند. -- برخی دیگر از استفاده کننده گان اجتماعی گفته اند که ریاست جمهوری با صدور این فرمان تازه می خواهد نشان بدهد که اشرف غنی رئیس جمهور تمام افغانستان است و تنها وابسته به یک قوم نیست. باید گفت قوم احمدزی یکی از اقوام بزرگ پشتون در افغانستان میباشد و رئیس جمهور کشور متعلق به این قوم میباشد و از همین سبب آن را پیش از این بنام اشرف غنی احمدزی خطاب میکردند. -- افغانستان از جمله کشور های است که اقوام، زبان و فرهنگ های مختلف را در بطن خود جای داده است. به باور جامعه شناسان با توجه به تنوع قومی و نژادی در کشور اگر به تامین حقوق برابر در عرصه های مختلف توجه شود هیچ مشکل سیاسی و ملی به وجود نخواهد آمد. برخی ها به این باوراند که تساوی کامل حقوق تمام اقوام و مناطق کشور تامین کننده وحدت ملی است. -- شعار محمد اشرف غنی رئیس جمهور کشور"هیچ افغان از افغان دیگر کمتر نیست و هیچ افغان از یک افغان دیگر برتر نیست" به باور بسیاری ها یک گام مهمی در راستای تامین وحدت ملی و اتحاد میان اقوام و هر فرد افغانستان پنداشته میشود. آگاهان معتقدند اگر واقعا هر فرد افغانستان برتری جویی های سمتی، زبانی و قومی را کنار بگذارد زیر یک چتر به نام افغانستان و قوم افغان بیایند که این کار میتواند به همبستگی در کشور کمک نماید. -- افغان زریزه

White House moves to 'kill off the password' --- The White House says it is making progress in its effort to kill the online password. -- Security alternatives to the password funded by the administration will start rolling out in six to 12 months, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel said Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce. -- “We simply have to kill off the password,” he said. “It's a terrible form of security.” -- The White House has been trying to push people away from passwords since early 2011, when it launched the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). The initiative funded public-private pilot programs working on secure password replacements. -- “There are plenty of technical solutions,” Daniel said. But what hasn’t been “cracked” are the “non-technical humps” to adoption, such as liability and networking issues, he said. -- Home | Policy | Cybersecurity -- “I'm excited to report very soon we will have many of these pilots starting to come to fruition. -- Daniel did not give specifics on exactly which of the pilot programs — ranging from using a mobile device for identification to using a wearable ring or bracelet — will be rolled out. But they will be “widely available" once they are ready, he said. -- More,

As Afghanistan looks for investment, China eyes stability --- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrived in China on Tuesday for four days of meetings aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries. The visit emphasizes Afghanistan’s need to shore up dwindling foreign investment and China’s interest in leveraging expanded economic cooperation with Kabul to ensure regional stability as NATO forces depart. -- On the first day of his first state visit since becoming Afghanistan’s new leader last month, Ghani met with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, in a ceremony announcing closer economic and security cooperation. “We feel that our vision of Afghanistan as a hub of regional trade, transit and peace would be an illustration of your vision of East Asia and South Asia cooperation,” Ghani said. Xi, meanwhile, called for “a new era of cooperation in China-Afghanistan relations” to “take development to a new depth and breadth.” -- For Afghanistan, the visit highlights the nation’s stark economic picture and uncertain future. As the 13-year war de-escalates, Afghanistan’s economic growth is stalling at 1.5 percent, according to World Bank figures. With his China visit, Ghani, a former World Bank economist who made a career creating state-building institutions in poor countries, hopes to change that. At the heart of a stronger economic relationship is one of the world’s most valuable untapped mineral deposits, which include large quantities of copper, iron and ore. -- A recent U.S. geological survey estimated that Afghanistan’s untapped mineral wealth could exceed $1 trillion thanks to a massive deposit said to include copper, iron, cobalt, ore and other rare earth metals. An assessment by the Afghan government has put the number of estimated mineral wealth as high as $3 trillion. -- In 2007, two of China’s state-owned enterprises initiated a $3 billion deal to develop one of Afghanistan’s untapped mineral sites, a 5 million-ton copper deposit at Mes Aynak, about 20 miles outside Kabul. The project, undertaken by Metallurgical Company of China and the Jiangxi Copper Corporation, has been plagued delays. Last year, China removed its workers after attacks by the Taliban – a force Beijing does not want to see encouraging Muslim separatist groups its western Xinjiang region. -- But the deal remains the cornerstone of China’s investment in Afghanistan, and it is expected to play a major role in the expanded economic link between the two countries. Beijing and Kabul already have an energy partnership. In 2012, the China National Petroleum Company secured rights to develop oil fields in the Amu Darya basin, in Afghanistan’s north. -- Afghanistan, in turn, hopes to secure a transportation link between the two countries, which are separated by a 47-mile strip of sparsely populated land known as the Wakhan Corridor. -- Read More,

رئیس جمهور احمدزی: قرن 21 زمانی است که چین و هند به مرکز اقتصادی جهان مبدل خواهند شد --- رئیس جمهور افغانستان چین را همکار ستراتیژیک افغانستان خوانده، خواهان گسترش و تعمیق مناسبات میان دو کشور شده است. اشرف غنی احمدزی که در دومین روز سفر چهاروزه اش از چین در یکی از پوهنتون های شهر پیکنگ پایتخت این کشور صحبت می کرد گفت: "چین در منطقه به ورکشاپی می ماند که نیاز به مواد خام دارد و افغانستان سرشار از منابع طبیعی خام می باشد." -- رئیس جمهور افغانستان دیروز با صدراعظم و رئیس حزب کمونیست چین نیز ملاقات کرد. اشرف غنی احمدزی این مطلب را در سخنرانی اش در پوهنتون سینهوای شهر پیکنگ تحت عنوان، یک پارچه گی آیندهء قارهء آسیا و نقش راه ابریشم در آن بیان کرد. وی می گوید، قرن 21 زمانی خواهد بود که چین و هند یک بار دیگر به مرکز اقتصادی جهان مبدل شوند. اشرف غنی احمدزی گفت، این دو کشور در20 سال آینده 40 درصد اقتصاد جهان را بدست خواهند داشت. رئیس جمهور افغانستان گفته است: "باید مشترکاً کار کنیم تا شاهد باشیم که رشد چین نه تنها باعث پایداری آن کشور می شود، بلکه رشد تمام منطقه را به دنبال خواهد داشت." -- اشرف غنی احمدزی در این سخنرانی اش در پوهنتون سینهوای چین در اشاره به منابع آبی افغانستان گفت: "در نظر است که افغانستان به مرکز تجارت انرژی برق در منطقه مبدل شود." رئیس جمهور افغانستان تاکید کرده است که یک پارچی آسیا بر علیهء جهانی شدن نه، بلکه تبدیل کردن آسیا به مرکز همکاری ها می باشد. -- رئیس جمهور احمدزی با اشاره به موقعیت مهم افغانستان در ارتباط کشور های منطقه و جهان گفت: "افغانستان در قلب آسیا موقعیت دارد و نقطهء اتصال چهار منطقه مهم آسیا را تشکیل می دهد." او خاطر نشان کرد که افغانستان ظرفیت این را دارد که در 10 سال آینده به بزرگترین کشور صادر کنندهء مس و آهن تبدل شود. -- رئیس جمهور افغانستان دیروز با صدراعظم و رئیس حزب کمونیست چین ملاقات کرد، روز سوم و چهارم سفرش با تاجران، سرمایه گزاران چینی ملاقات خواهد کرد و روز جمعه همراه با نماینده های سایر کشور های عضو گروهء قلب آسیا یا "پروسهء استانبول" در یک کنفرانس اشتراک می کند. پیکنگ دیروز اعلام کرد که تا سال 2017 حدود 330 میلیون دالر با افغانستان کمک خواهد کرد. چهار تفاهمنامه نیز دیروز در جریان سفر رئیس جمهور غنی با چین امضا شد. -- رادیو آزادی

Int'l conference conducive to building consensus on Afghanistan: Chinese envoy --- Liu Jieyi, Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations briefed reporters at the UN on the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan held in Beijing on Thursday. -- Liu said that as the first large-scale international conference on Afghanistan China has ever hosted, and the first international conference on Afghanistan since the formation of the new Afghan government, the conference would have an importance that can never be overemphasized. -- The ambassador told the reporters that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai would attend and address the opening ceremony, that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Afghan Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani would co-chair the conference and meet with the press, and that Foreign ministers and high-level representatives of the member states and supporting parties of the Istanbul Process would attend the conference. According to Ambassador Liu, the theme of the Conference is "Deepening Cooperation for Sustainable Security and Prosperity of the 'Heart of Asia' Region". -- Liu further stated that the Istanbul Process is so far the only regional cooperation mechanism on Afghanistan which is led by countries in the "Heart of Asia" region. It follows the principles of regional leadership, regional ownership and consensus. It focuses on political consultation and cooperation on confidence-building measures. It plays an increasingly important role in building consensus among countries in the region, promoting regional cooperation on Afghanistan and advancing peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. Compared with other international conferences and processes on Afghanistan, the Istanbul Process gives more emphasis on helping Afghanistan with capacity building and training. -- "As Afghanistan is undergoing multiple transitions in its political, security and economic affairs and about to embark on a decade-long transformation period," Liu noted. -- Liu said China hopes that the new Afghan government will lead the Afghan people to peace, stability and development. -- "While continuing with the assistance and support to Afghanistan through bilateral channels, China hopes to use this multilateral conference and mechanism to build consensus among the 'Heart of Asia' countries to strengthen cooperation on Afghanistan, and jointly safeguard security and stability in Afghanistan and the region," said Liu. -- China also hopes that the Conference will help mobilize the entire international community to support Afghanistan, he added. -- On President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's visit to China, Liu said that the Presidential election in Afghanistan was completed smoothly not long before and a national unity government was formed. He said President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's state visit to China from Oct 28-31 was his first official overseas visit as Afghan President and the first high-level visit in China-Afghanistan relations since the formation of the new Afghan government. Liu said that China attaches great importance to his visit. -- Chinese President Xi Jinping had an in-depth exchange of views with President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on bilateral relations and issues of shared interest, Liu said. China hopes that this visit will help deepen China-Afghanistan practical cooperation in all fields, showcase Chinese government's support for the smooth transition as well as peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan and push forward the strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Afghanistan. -- The Istanbul Process on Afghanistan was jointly initiated by Turkey and Afghanistan in 2011. Now it has 14 "Heart of Asia" countries as its members. Sixteen countries outside the region and 12 regional and international organizations participate in the Process as supporting parties. It holds an annual meeting and the previous three meetings were held in Turkey's Istanbul, Afghanistan's Kabul and Kazakhstan's Almaty, respectively. -- Read More,

U.S. Economy Grew at 3.5% Annual Pace in Third Quarter --- The government reported on Thursday that the nation’s economic output rose at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, offering a strong sign that the economy’s plodding growth may be picking up speed. -- The higher-than-expected bump in gross domestic product — a measure of all the goods and services produced — was driven in part by an unusual spurt of federal spending, concentrated in defense, combined with robust exports and investment in business equipment. -- “This is the strongest six-month interval we’ve had in 10 years,” said Carl R. Tannenbaum, chief economist at the Northern Trust Company. “The pace of the expansion has clearly increased.” -- “I don’t think it’s going to be hard to maintain a growth of 3 percent for the fourth quarter,” he added, echoing several other forecasters. -- The performance of the economy during the summer months of July, August and September followed the second quarter’s even more impressive 4.6 percent annualized growth rate. This sustained expansion was welcomed after a bitter winter that contributed to a disappointing 2.1 percent decrease for the first three months of the year. -- But the enthusiasm was tempered. John Canally, chief economic strategist for LPL Financial, called the latest gross domestic product figures confirmation that “we’re doing O.K. here.” -- That was also the conclusion voiced on Wednesday by the Federal Reserve, which cited a strengthening labor market and decreasing concerns about the slow pace of inflation as reasons to close the books on its six-year, multitrillion-dollar bond-buying spree. -- More,®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

Norway Faces New Economic Realities With Oil’s Price Decline --- Most of the Revenues from the Nation’s Oil Industry Have Been Invested in Its Sovereign-wealth Fund --- OSLO—As global oil prices slide, there are signs Norway’s luck is running thin. -- On Wednesday, Statoil AS A, the oil and gas major 67%-owned by the Norwegian government, posted its first quarterly net loss since it floated on the stock market in 2001. The company blamed heavy write-downs on investments that look less profitable after the near-25% fall in oil prices since June. -- Separately, Norway’s $838 billion sovereign-wealth fund—the largest of its kind in the world that long has been fueled by oil revenues—said it achieved a slim 0.1% return on investments in the third quarter, thanks to a loss on its substantial holdings of European equities. -- The twin set of bad news was compounded by weaker-than-expected economic data that showed Norway’s retail sales declined in September while its unemployment rate rose in August. That pushed Norway’s currency to an eight-month low against the euro at 8.48 kroner for each euro. --- For a country used to strong growth and high standards of living, the reversal in fortunes is a shock. -- With a population of around 5 million, Norway has the second-highest gross domestic product per head in Europe after tiny Luxembourg. As the eurozone contracted in both 2012 and 2013, Norway’s mainland economy grew by 3.4% and 2% in both those years. -- “When we lose the boost from the oil sector, we may become more similar to other countries,” said DNB Markets analyst Kyrre Aamdal in an interview. --- Last year, Norway’s oil and gas sector invested a record 212 billion kroner ($31.88 billion), equivalent to about 10% of the country’s mainland GDP. But the fall in oil prices means the industry likely will cut its spending in each of the next three years, DNB said Wednesday. The bank previously had expected only a short-term decline next year. - Read More, WSJ,

Sweden recognizes Palestinian state, hopes will revive peace process --- (Reuters) - The Swedish government officially recognized the state of Palestine on Thursday and said there were signs other European Union states would follow its lead. -- Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told reporters her government hoped it would bring a new dynamic to efforts to end decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -- "Our decision comes at a critical time because over the last year we have seen how the peace talks have stalled, how decisions over new settlements on occupied Palestinian land have complicated a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza," she said. -- Israel recalled its ambassador for consultations, saying the move was counterproductive and would hurt prospects for future negotiations. -- But Sweden's decision drew praise from Palestinians who called on other countries to match it - a hope which Wallstrom said was likely to be fulfilled in time. -- "There is an ongoing debate in many other EU member states and hopefully also a move in this direction," she said. "There are clearly signs that this might happen in other member states as well". -- Read More,

United States praises China's growing role in Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - The United States welcomed China's growing role in trying to ensure Afghanistan's stability on Thursday, saying a Beijing conference of foreign ministers on Afghan reconstruction this week shows its commitment to the region as Western troops pull out. -- The comments, made by a senior State Department official, are rare U.S. praise for Beijing, which this week hosts Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on his first visit abroad since assuming office in September. -- Washington and Beijing, which have typically contentious relations on geopolitical issues from Iran to the South China Sea, have both said they see Afghanistan as a point where their security interests converge. -- On Tuesday, China pledged to give Afghanistan $327 million in aid through 2017, more than the $250 million contribution it has so far offered since the fall of the hardline Islamist Taliban regime in 2001. -- "China's view of engaging in Afghanistan over the course of these past few years has really changed significantly, and in our view, in a very positive direction," the official told reporters during a telephone briefing. -- On Friday, foreign ministers from Asian and Central Asian countries will gather in Beijing for a fourth round "Istanbul Process" conference on Afghanistan, which China hopes will help boost development and security there. White House counsellor John Podesta will attend the meeting. -- "It's a real demonstration of China's commitment to Afghanistan, to its role in the region and one that we greatly welcome," the official said. -- Additional support on counter-terrorism "would be very valuable", the official said, noting that improving coordination on "terror-finance" issues at the United Nations would be an area of U.S.-China discussion in the future. -- China, connected to Afghanistan by a narrow, almost impassable mountain corridor, has been preparing for more responsibility in Afghanistan after the bulk of U.S.-led troops pull out this year. -- It says it does not seek to fill a void left by the U.S. withdrawal but has promised to play a big commercial role in reconstruction. -- Read More,

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Afghanistan President Dr Ashraf Ghani Speech at the Stanford University -- سخنرانی جلالتمعاب داکتر اشرف غنی احمد زی رئیس جمهور افغانستان در دانشگاه ستنفورد ایالت کلفورنیا در مورد اقتصاد افغانستان وجهان وراه حل آن

China no substitute for U.S. involvement over Afghanistan --- The decision by freshly minted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to make his first overseas trip to China is symbolic. Ghani arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, in a visit that underscores both the extent to which Beijing has the resources to be one of Afghanistan’s critical post-2014 players, and also China’s desire to bring stability to its neighbor. But it’s a relationship that the United States should keep a close eye on moving forward. -- Afghanistan’s geopolitical landscape is, of course, being shaped by the U.S. drawdown of combat troops, a move that will place a heavy burden on Afghanistan’s already stretched national security forces. After all, these forces have already faced numerous operational difficulties, and the withdrawal of most U.S. troops is widely seen as opening a door to a resurgent Taliban. -- Pakistan, whose meddling has done more to damage Afghanistan than any other single factor, is well positioned to remain the most influential player in Afghanistan. But with China likely to end up as Afghanistan’s second most consequential neighbor, it is worth pausing to think about what is shaping Beijing’s calculations. -- First, a fast-growing China undoubtedly wants to exploit the country’s vast and largely untapped supply of raw minerals and natural resources – Afghanistan holds around $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, including significant quantities of copper, iron, and lithium. -- First, a fast-growing China undoubtedly wants to exploit the country’s vast and largely untapped supply of raw minerals and natural resources – Afghanistan holds around $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, including significant quantities of copper, iron, and lithium. -- The Aynak project is a somewhat questionable investment. Not only does Afghanistan present a poor environment for mining operations, suffering as it does from a dearth of water, electricity, and roads, but the project has met with opposition over an ancient Buddhist archeological site in the mining area. China’s foray into developing Afghanistan’s oil and gas reserves, in contrast, has been more promising, and Beijing appears to expect that the investment will be a point of entry that will give it access to other nearby natural gas deposits. -- But additional resources only tell part of the story of China’s interest in Afghanistan. Another key consideration is Beijing’s desire to prevent Uighur militant groups from finding a safe haven in eastern Afghanistan. After all, Uighur militants carved out a noteworthy presence in Afghanistan during the 1990s, when the Taliban was the dominant force in the country. And while several Uighur groups now operate in Pakistan’s tribal areas, Islamabad is currently applying pressure to them and their sponsors. Beijing is therefore concerned that these groups could relocate to Afghanistan if Pakistani pressure is successful, and indeed is concerned that they may have a heavy presence in Afghanistan even now. -- On the surface, the desire by both Washington and Beijing to crack down on militants might appear to bring their interests into alignment. The trouble is that the two countries have taken quite different approaches to tackling militants in the past, and it would therefore be a mistake for the U.S. to believe that China can simply be left to step in and stabilize the country. -- For example, while the United States has fought Afghan militants for over a decade, China has preferred to protect its interests through negotiation, expending far less blood and treasure in the process. -- And sometimes this approach has worked: After militias affiliated with General Abdul Rashid Dostum disrupted surveyors and engineers at Amu Darya in June 2012, Beijing reportedly struck a deal with Dostum to ensure his men didn’t interfere with the project again. But negotiating with armed groups doesn’t always succeed, and Beijing’s past efforts to convince the Taliban to distance itself from Uighur militants have been largely unsuccessful. -- Of course, Beijing’s divergent interests and approach does not mean that China’s growing presence in Afghanistan is necessarily a bad thing for the United States. But Washington must be careful to safeguard its own interests even as new actors move to the fore. --- How? -- The best way of the United States protecting its interests would be for Washington to cooperate more closely with other neighboring states, such as India, who share similar concerns. And the United States must also ensure that it is in a position to monitor the situation on the ground, and be prepared to act quickly to secure its interests in Afghanistan should the need arise, including through support for proxies and, if necessary, through military force. -- After all, one need not look very far away – to the unfolding crisis in Iraq – to see what happens when the U.S. abandons its influence too quickly. -- More, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Special to CNN,

Remembering Ben Bradlee: Legendary Post editor celebrated at funeral as inspiring, irreverent, brave --- Family, friends and colleagues gather to pay final tribute to Benjamin C. Bradlee --- Following a small choir’s soft alto affirmation of America’s beauty, the organ swelled, and the people joined in, and the national hymn that Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee chose for his own funeral filled the cathedral, its pews lined with the powerful and the ordinary. -- Then a prayer, and two sailors delivering a taut flag to the editor’s widow, and a bugler sounding taps from high in the Gothic rafters, and then, because this was Mr. Bradlee who was being celebrated, a sharp break from the stately and solemn: The band struck up Sousa’s jaunty “The Washington Post” march and Ben Bradlee left the building as he had departed his newspaper on so many nights through the 26 years he led it: electrifying the room just by sweeping through it. -- Mr. Bradlee’s funeral Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral was an exercise in high Episcopal ritual, but also a statement of the man’s irreverence and verve, a joyful cataloguing of the ingredients he used to transform his paper into one of the best: a zest for the great story, a certain swagger and above all, a belief that if ain’t fun, it ain’t worth doing. -- Since Mr. Bradlee died last week at 93, he has been recalled as the architect of an aggressive reporting force with a literary bent, as a man who admired spunk, relished smarts and loathed phonies. At his farewell, colleagues, friends and family remembered him as a symbol of what journalism might achieve, a character with an almost mystically motivating role in the lives of those who worked with him, and a man with the courage to support those who make mistakes and unbridled love for those around him. -- Read More, Marc Fisher,

باختر -- نکات مهم سخنرانی رئیس جمهور احمدزی در پوهنتون شینهوای شهر بیجینگ --- دکتور محمد اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان صبح روز ۴شنبه به وقت محلی در پوهنتون شینهوای شهر بیجینگ سخنرانی کرد. -- به اساس معلومات دفتر مطبوعاتی ریاست جمهوری به آژانس باختر، در این سخنرانی که تحت عنوان "یکپارچگی آیندۀ قارۀ آسیا و نقش راه ابریشم در آن" انجام شد، رئیس جمهور احمدزی در مورد اهمیت روابط افغانستان و چین، احیای راه ابریشم و نقش افغانستان در آن، تهدیدات مشترک امنیتی و همکاری چین در پلان ملی زیربنایی افغانستان، صحبت کرد. -- رئیس جمهور گفت: چین همکار استراتیژیک افغانستان است و ما خواستار گسترش و تعمیق مناسبات میان افغانستان و چین هستیم. -- رئیس جمهور افزود: قرن ۲۱ زمانی خواهد بود که آسیا در مجموع و بصورت مشخص چین و هند دو قدرت جهانی بین قرن ۱۶ و ۱۸ دوباره به مرکز اقتصاد جهان مبدل گردند و این خیلی امکان دارد که در ۲۰ سال آینده ۴۰ در صد اقتصاد جهان توسط چین و هند تولید شود. -- وی گفت: جنوب آسیا یکی از کمترین منطقه منسجم جهان است اما انسجام داخلی آسیای شرقی با پیوند ها و تجارت میان کشور ها گسترش یافته است. -- رئیس جمهور چین را به یک ورکشاپ بین المللی تشبیه نمود که نیازمند مواد خام مانند مس، آهن، زغال وغیره می باشد که بدون داشتن این مواد خام، کار ورکشاپ و رشد منطقه هر دو به تأخیر مواجه خواهد شد. بناً ما باید بصورت مشترک کار کنیم تا شاهد آن باشیم که رشد چین نه تنها باعث رشد پایدار آن کشور گردد، بلکه رشد تمام منطقه را نیز سبب شود. -- دکتور محمد اشرف غنی احمدزی گفت که تعداد زیادی از نفوس آسیا در فقر زنده گی می کنند. -- وی همچنان گفت: منابع آبی افغانستان نه تنها برای ما از ارزش حیاتی برخوردار اند بلکه این منابع برای منطقه نیز حایز اهمیت زیاد می باشد، ما در نظر داریم که افغانستان به مرکز تجارت انرژی برق مبدل گردد، و این برق وسیله ای خواهد بود برای تغییر و نقطۀ اتصال منطقه ما نیز خواهد شد. -- رئیس جمهور تاکید کرد که یکپارچگی آسیا بر علیه جهانی شدن نیست بلکه تبدیل کردن آسیا به یک مرکز همکاری ها می باشد. -- رئیس جمهور با اشاره بر موقعیت مهم افغانستان در پیوند کشور های منطقه و جهان گفت: افغانستان در قلب آسیا موقعیت دارد و نقطه اتصال چهار منطقه مهم آسیا را تشکیل میدهد. -- دکتور اشرف غنی احمدزی خاطر نشان کرد که افغانستان ظرفیت این را دارد که در ۱۰ سال آینده به بزرگترین کشور صادر کننده مس و آهن مبدل شود.

Afghanistan: Out with NATO, in with China? --- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani arrives in Beijing today to talk minerals and stability. China is not ready to fight the Taliban but wants a regime that doesn't foment jihadi trouble in Xinjiang. -- Beijing — The last British soldier left Afghanistan over the weekend. The last American combat troops will be gone by Christmas. Afghanistan’s beleaguered government is looking in new directions for help, and new President Ashraf Ghani arrived Tuesday in Beijing, where Chinese authorities are anxious to oblige. -- If 2014 marks an endpoint for Western policy in Afghanistan, it is more of a starting point for China. -- China will not send any troops to replace the departing NATO forces, local and foreign analysts agree. But Beijing, which offered Mr. Ghani hundreds of millions in aid Tuesday, is gearing up to play a leading role in Afghanistan’s future – fearful that if its neighbor descends into chaos, more trouble will spread into China’s restless, predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang. -- As terror attacks there grow more common, “the Chinese government cannot avoid facing this problem,” says Zhang Li, a South Asia expert at Sichuan University in the southwestern city of Chengdu. “Whether Afghanistan and Pakistan are stable is very important in this respect.” -- Read More, The Christian Science,

Premier says China to join Afghanistan's infrastructure construction --- BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to participate in Afghanistan's infrastructure construction, Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday. -- Li made the remarks while meeting visiting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. -- Any country that wants to realize national prosperity and improve people's livelihood needs a safe, stable and harmonious neighboring environment, the premier said. -- China is vigorously opening up westward, Li said. The country supports Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction process and is willing to take part in building Afghanistan's infrastructure including railway, road, water conservation, and electricity. -- China is ready to work with Afghanistan and the international community to promote Afghanistan's economic development and stability, and to maintain regional peace and stability, which is conducive to bilateral ties and cooperation, he said. -- Ghani welcomed more Chinese companies to join in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction and vowed to provide security assurance and facility to this end. -- On Friday, Li and Ghani will address the Fourth Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan. - More, Xinhua News Agency,

Kurdish convoy heads to Syria to take on Islamic State --- (Reuters) - A convoy of Iraqi peshmerga fighters and weaponry made its way across southeastern Turkey on Wednesday en route for the Syrian town of Kobani to try to help fellow Kurds break an Islamic State siege which has defied U.S.-led air strikes. -- Kobani, on the border with Turkey, has been under assault from Islamic State militants for more than a month and its fate has become a test of the U.S.-led coalition's ability to combat the Sunni insurgents. -- Weeks of air strikes on Islamic State positions around Kobani and the deaths of hundreds of their fighters have failed to break the siege. The Kurds and their international allies hope the arrival of the peshmerga, along with heavier weapons, can turn the tide. -- Thousands of people took to the streets of the Turkish border town of Suruc, descending on its tree-lined main square and spilling into side streets, some with faces painted in the colors of the Kurdish flag, waiting to cheer on the convoy. -- "All the Kurds are together. We want them to go and fight in Kobani and liberate it," said Issa Ahamd, an 18-year-old high school student among the almost 200,000 Syrian Kurds who have fled to Turkey since the assault on Kobani began. -- An initial group of between 90 and 100 peshmerga fighters arrived by plane amid tight security in the southeastern Turkish city of Sanliurfa overnight, according to Adham Basho, a member of the Syrian Kurdish National Council from Kobani. -- A Kurdish television channel meanwhile showed footage of what it said was the convoy of peshmerga vehicles laden with weapons. The trucks have been snaking their way through southern Turkey towards Kobani after crossing from northern Iraq. -- Saleh Moslem, co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said the peshmerga were expected to bring heavy arms to Kobani -- known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic. -- "It's mainly artillery, or anti-armor, anti-tank weapons," he said. The lightly armed Syrian Kurds have said such weaponry is crucial to driving back Islamic State insurgents, who have used armored vehicles and tanks in their assault. - Read More,

China Pledges $327 Million in Aid to Afghanistan --- China has pledged two billion yuan ($327 million) in aid to Afghanistan, which is seeking new sources of foreign help amid a U.S. drawdown and increasing worries about regional instability. -- The offer of aid through 2017 followed a meeting on Tuesday between China’s President Xi Jinping and newly elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, a joint declaration published by China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said. Beijing and Kabul also agreed to step up intelligence sharing to fight drug trafficking and other cross-border issues. -- Afghanistan’s president wants to build ties to regional powers such as China as the U.S. and its allies draw down forces. Their combat mission ends on Dec. 31. The U.S. Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction says Washington has committed more than $100 billion to state-building and development projects in Afghanistan since the collapse of the Taliban regime in late 2001. -- China has interests in Afghan peace, as it fears instability there could spread more broadly across the region. China and Afghanistan share a narrow, mountainous border. -- The Foreign Ministry quoted Mr. Xi as saying that China was willing to support Afghanistan’s new government, and would help with personnel training as well as developing agriculture, hydroelectricity and infrastructure. The ministry didn’t provide specifics. Chinese development work in Afghanistan has previously been limited by security concerns. -- Mr. Ghani’s visit to China is his first working trip abroad since taking office at the end of September. The Afghan president recently visited Saudi Arabia to perform umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, as part of a campaign promise. -- Until recently, Beijing’s relationship with Afghanistan has focused largely on minerals projects such as the Mes Aynak copper mine, a site outside Kabul that Chinese companies have pledged to develop. But Chinese officials in recent discussions have raised concerns about terrorism, particularly in preventing militant Islamist groups that operate in China from finding safe haven in Afghanistan, a statement from the Afghan presidential palace said. -- China faces ethnic and religious strife in its far western Xinjiang region. Ethnic Uighurs, a Turkish-speaking Chinese minority, have carried out increasingly deadly attacks on civilian and government targets in Xinjiang and elsewhere in the country. Beijing often describes assailants as religious extremists with ties to international terror groups, a claim disputed by overseas Uighur activists. -- On Friday, Mr. Ghani is expected to take part in a ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, a regional forum for countries to discuss Afghanistan-related issues. Said Reza Kazemi, a Ph.D. student who has studied the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, said China was presenting itself as a stronger regional player. -- Read More, WSJ,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

صدای آلمان -- رئیس جمهور در تلاش جلب همکاری اقتصادی چین است --- اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان اولین سفر رسمی خود را به پیکنگ پایتخت چین انجام داد. آخرین روز دیدار او از چین با کنفرانس وزیران خارجه کشورهای عضو "پروسه استانبول" در پیکنگ همزمان است که در آن نیز شرکت می‌کند. -- در این کنفرانس وزیران 14 کشور اطراف افغانستان به شمول روسیه، ترکیه و هندوستان اشتراک می‌کنند. هدف این ابتکار حمایت از توسعه و ثبات افغانستان است. به گزارش خبرگزاری رسمی چین، شینهوا، این کنفرانس به این دلیل اهمیت ویژه دارد که «نخستین کنفرانس بین المللی افغانستان در چین و نخستین کنفرانس بعد از تغییر قدرت در افغانستان است». -- چین از سال 2012 که خروج نیروهای بین المللی از افغانستان شروع شد، فعالیت‌های خود را در افغانستان تقویت کرده است. آن زمان ژو یانگ کانگ، رئیس پیشین امنیت داخلی چین به کابل سفر کرد و در جریان این سفر برعلاوه سایر مسایل، روی آموزش 300 پولیس افغانستان در چین توافق صورت گرفت. در دیگر ماموریت های آموزشی از آن زمان به بعد چین با ایالات متحده امریکا مشترکاً کار می‌کند. --- علایق چین به امنیت در امتداد مرز -- با خروج نیروهای بین المللی از افغانستان چین نباید از نظر دور داشته باشد که وضعیت دشوار امنیتی کشور هسمایه غربی‌اش می‌تواند بدتر گردد. پان ژیپینگ، کارشناس آسیای مرکزی در اکادمی علوم اجتماعی شین جیانگ چین می‌گوید: «عامل جیوپولیتیک برای چین نقش پراهمیتی دارد. چین پیش از همه می‌خواهد مانع دسترسی افراط‌گرایان اویغوری به حمایت‌های لوژستیکی، تبلیغاتی و پرسونل از طریق همفکران شان در افغانستان شود». -- کارشناسان چین در این رابطه اختلاف نظر دارند که آیا گروه‌های جدایی طلب اویغور در مناطقی در نزدیکی مرز افغانستان و پاکستان می‌توانند تهدیدی برای حاکمیت چین باشند. اما این نکته واضح است که چین از این ناحیه نگران است. در زمان حاکمیت طالبان چین با این گروه تماس برقرار کرده بود تا اطمینان یابد که هیچ حمله‌ای از سوی اویغورها در خارج از افغانستان صورت نمی‌گیرد. -- Read More,رئیس-جمهور-در-تلاش-جلب-همکاری-اقتصادی-چین-است/a-18025395

New Afghan president on first China visit as withdrawal looms --- Afghanistan and China pledged a long-term partnership Tuesday as new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani began a four-day visit while NATO combat troops prepare to withdraw from his country. -- Ghani, once a US-based academic, was sworn in as Afghanistan's new head of state last month in the war-torn Asian nation's first democratic transfer of power. -- His first state visit as president is to resource-hungry China, which is seeking greater investment opportunities in Afghanistan. -- "We look at China as a strategic partner, in the short term, medium term, long term and very long term," he told President Xi Jinping at Beijing's Great Hall of the People. -- Xi's "vision" for the continent had opened "not just a new chapter for Asia, but an entirely new book", he said. -- Hailing Ghani as "an old friend of the Chinese people", Xi said he was prepared to work towards "a new era of cooperation in China-Afghanistan relations" to "take development to a new depth and breadth". -- China shares only a 76 kilometre (47 mile) border with Afghanistan's remote far northeast, but has a keen interest in its neighbour's mineral resources. -- It has already secured major oil and copper-mining concessions in Afghanistan, which is believed to have more than $1 trillion worth of mineral resources, according to studies by the US Geological Survey. ---- China will provide 1.5 billion yuan ($245 million) in "free assistance" to Afghanistan over the next three years, foreign ministry official Kong Xuanyou told reporters after Tuesday's ceremony. -- Kong said Ghani expressed "readiness and staunch support" in the struggle against "terrorist forces" -- which Beijing blames for a string of attacks in its far-western Xinjiang region, the homeland of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority. -- China and Afghanistan signed four agreements Tuesday, including documents on expanding technical and commercial cooperation. -- Ghani is also expected on Friday to attend the Istanbul Process, a key conference on his country which is being hosted by Beijing this year. -- More,

China says Afghan president vows to help China fight extremists --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has pledged to help China fight Islamist extremists, a senior Chinese official said on Tuesday, after Ghani met President Xi Jinping in Beijing on his first visit abroad since his September inauguration. -- China, which is connected to Afghanistan by the narrow, almost impassable Wakhan Corridor, says militants seeking to set up a separate state called East Turkistan in its western Xinjiang region are holed up along the ungoverned Afghan-Pakistani border. -- Leaders in Beijing, who have been bracing for more responsibility in Afghanistan as the bulk of U.S.-led troops pull out, worry that ethnic Uighur separatists from Xinjiang will take advantage if the country again descends into chaos. -- "In the area of security, President Ghani expressed the readiness and staunch support from the Afghan side in China's fight against East Turkistan Islamic Movement terrorist forces," Kong Xuanyou, Director General of the Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Department, told journalists after Ghani and Xi met. -- Kong said China would give 1.5 billion yuan ($245 million) in aid to Afghanistan over the next three years and would help train 3,000 Afghan professionals over the next five years. -- China says it does not seek to replace the departed Western troops in Afghanistan but has promised to play a "huge" commercial role in helping rebuild the country. -- So far, China's commitment to Afghan reconstruction since the fall of the hardline Islamist Taliban regime in 2001 has been around $250 million and its security support has been mostly limited to counter-narcotics training. -- Xi has repeatedly urged Central Asian countries to step up the fight against religious militants, which the Chinese government says were behind a spate of attacks in Xinjiang and across China that have left hundreds dead in the past two years. -- Experts, however, dispute the influence of foreign militant groups within China, and argue that economic marginalization of Muslim Uighurs, who call Xinjiang home, is one of the main causes of ethnic violence there. -- Read More,

میرمن رولا«بی بی گل»غنی احمدزی -- گوشه هایی از حیات اجتماعی خانم رئیس جمهور افغانستان --- در اولین مصاحبۀ تلویزیونی ایکه خانم «رولا غنی» با ظاهری آرام، خنده روی و با لباس ساده مقابل کمرۀ بی بی سی ظاهر گردیدد چنین اظهار داشت: تصمیمی برای تغیر ساختمان اجتماعی ندارم، بلکه می خواهم نقش تسهیل کننده ای برای تشویق زنان افغان به منظور اقدام آنان برای امیال و آرزوهای سازندۀ شان، داشته باشم. در حقیقت هدف من این نیست که تحولات زیاد در حیاب زنان کشور وارد نمایم، بلکه در همان حلقۀ خانواده، کوشش شود که آنها به امتیازات قانونی خود نایل گردند. --- در مورد مؤفقیت شوهرش در انتخابات که خود عملاً حامی و کمک گر مسائل کمپاین وی بوده و در کابل حضور داشت، میگوید که مؤفقیت داکتر«اشرف غنی احمد زی» اسباب خوشنودی او را فراهم نموده است، چونکه نامبرده زحمات زیادی را تا رسیدن به این مقام متحمل گردیده است و پلان های سازنده ای برای رفاه و بهبود مردم افغانستان پیشرو دارد. مـــیرمـــن « رولا غنی» به اتکاه به تجاربی که در سال های اخیر اقامت در افغانستان دارد، معتقد است که توجه و وظیفۀ اصلی اش منحیث خانم رئیس دولت، روی فعالیت های اجتماعی و کمک های اساسی برای بهبود حیات مردم بی بضاعت افغانستان، مخصوصاً طبقۀ زنان و اطفال استوار خواهد بود. همسر رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان ازینکه شوهرش ویرا در حضور مردم کشور تقدیر نمود، از وی ممنون بوده و معتقد است که این اقدام سبب تشویق شوهران افغان برای قدردانی و احترام به همسران شان و شناخت حقوقی میگردد که قانون برای طبقۀ اناث کشور تعین نموده است. --- میرمن «رولا غنی» که لقب وی در فامیل به اساس رسوم افغانی «بی بی گل» میباشد، با داکتر «اشرف غنی» یکجا در پوهنتون امریکایی بیروت محصل بود که این آشنایی۴۰ سال قبل به ازدواج منجر گردید و بعد از ختم تحصیلات زن و شوهر جوان در سال ۱۹۷۰راهی افغانستان گردیده و مدت سه سال با فامیل احمدزی در کابل، در یک منزل اقامت گزیدند. -- میرمن «رولا غنی- بی بی گل» پابپای شوهرش « اشرف غنی احمد زی» چه در امور زندگی فامیلی و داشتن دو فرزند وچه در راه کار و تحصیلات بلند پایۀ او در بهترین پوهنتون های ایالات متحدۀ امریکا مانند« جان هاپکنز و کولمبیا» که افتخارات دریافت ماستری و داکتری را نصیب رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان نمود و بالاخره چه در عرصۀ سالهای کار قابل اعتماد در «بانک جهانی»، همواره با وی همکار و معاون بود. از یکی از دوستان صمیمی خانواده که در جریان حیات این زوج شاهد بوده، شنیدم که خانم رئیس جمهور فعلی واقعاً در پیشبرد و یاری دادن به شوهر شخص نمونه ای بوده است، حتی در تیپ و تهیۀ اسناد تعلیمی و « تیز» دکتورای شوهر، کتاب و رساله ها، همکار فعال و دست یار وی بوده است. -- بدون شک تجارب جریان حیات۴۰ سالۀ داکتر «اشرف غنی احمدزی» با همسر مدبر و لائقش به وی ثابت نمود که پیشرفت های مردان در طول زندگی با همسران شان که تقریباً نصفی از نفوس هر ملت را تشکیل میدهند، علت و انگیزۀ اصلی پیشرفت و همکاری های مثبت در فامیل و اجتماع می باشد. به همین اساس در روز حلف وفاداری که یقیناً درخشان ترین لحظۀ کاری یک رئیس جمهور میتواند محسوب گردد، دولت مشر افغانستان قبل از تقبل مسئولیت و امور محوله کشورش، خانم خود را با ذکر لقب خانگی افغانی وی« بی بی گل»، به افتخار و رسماً، به مدوعین معرفی نموده و از وی به نیکی یاد کرده او را در پلان های بهبود شرائط وحالت زار اجتماعی زنان مظلوم افغان در آیندۀ مملکت، همراه، همگام و فعال شمرد. اخبار خارجی تبصره کردند که این حرکت رئیس جمهور جدید کوتاه، ولی اساسی بود و درسی برای مردان افغان که از ارزش و همکاری زنان شان در اجتماع غافل نباشند. --- در آغاز شکست طالبان، همینکه بعد از جلسۀ غیر ملی« بن» تعدادی از افغانان مقیم خارج به وطن برگشتند، در معیت شوهر، میرمن« رولا غنی احمدزی» اولین زنی بود که به منظور اقامت به کابل آمد. در نخستین دیار وی از پایتخت، البته در پهلوی تخریب بنیادی کابل زیبا که دل هر افغان نو واردی را تخریش و خاطر ویرا مکدر و ملول مینمود، توجه میرمن اول افغانستان به گروپ های پراگندۀ اطفالی جلب گردید که با البسۀ محقر و سر و روی ژولیده در کوچه و بازار سرگردان بودند. این جمیعت گدایان خردسال که اکثراً پدران نان آور خویش را در جنگ های خانمانسوز و در شهر کابل، در جنگ های کابل ویران از دست داده اند، برای تهیۀ لقمه نانی برای سفرۀ شب، به عوض رفتن به مکتب، در کوچه و بازر با فروش چند عدد سگرت، قلم پنسل، پاکی و بوتل آب، با وجود سرازیر شدن سیل کمک ها و سرمایه های باد آورده، هنوز هم بصورت روز افزون، ویلان و سرگردان هستند. -- زمانی که داکتر «اشرف غنی احمدزی» وزیر مالیه بود، اولین قدمی که میرمن« رولا غنی» در سال ۲۰۰۲ بعد از اقامت در شهر کابل برداشت، همانا اقدام به کمک و همکاری های منفعت بار و انسانی با مؤسسۀ خیریۀ « اطفال کوچۀ آشیانه» بود، چنانچه خودش تعریف نمود که علت این همکاری او در پهلوی مطالعۀ طرز کار و دروس مکاتب آشیانه و نحوۀ نگهداری و جلب اطفال آواره، یکی هم این بود که آن مؤسسه کاملاً به همت و توجه سالهای پرمشقت یک نفر افغان به اسم انجنیر« محمد یوسف» در شرائط دشوار عصر طالبان تشکیل گردیده بود. -- خانم « رولا غنی» بعد از مطالعاتی بزودی برای ترویج سیستم تهیۀ نان چاشت، البسه و سامان مکتب و ایجاد کلینیک صحی برای شاگردان محتاج مکاتب آشیانه، با مراجعه به دوستان امریکایی، اقدامات جدی ای به عمل آورد واین روش تهیۀ غذای گرم و بقیه ضروریاتی که ذکر شد، تا بحال در آن تشکیل ارزشمند خیریه، کاملاً معمول و مروج است. -- میرمن غنی برای کمک متداوم به مؤسسۀ «اطفال آشیانه» به دوستانی که در داخل امریکا داشت و مخصوصاً آنانیرا که در «بانک جهانی» واشگتن میشناخت، مراجعه نموده کوشش کرد که موقف رقتبار آن اطفال مظلوم را برای بیشتر خانم هایی که با وی به تماس بودند، تشریح نموده و کار مفیدی برای حمایه و پیشرفت مؤسسه انجام دهد. همان بود که بعد از دعوت عده ای از زنان رضا کار به کابل و دیدار آنان از مؤسسۀ «اطفال آشیانه» با همراهی تعداد محدودی از خانم های امریکایی و افغان مقیم واشنگتن، مؤسسۀ کوچک رضاکاران«آشیانه فوندیشن» تشکیل گردید که تلاش های انسانی و خیرخواهانۀ شان میتواند حد اقل یک قسمتی از مصارف این بنیاد خیریۀ معارف کاملاً افغانی را تلافی نماید. --- بهر حال، از سال ۲۰۰۲در زمان کار وزارت مالیۀ داکتر«اشرف غنی» که وکلا، وزرا و کارداران مهم و البته فامیل های شان، لشکر گارد های محافظتی را بر ناحق و با مصارف گزاف و داشتن موتر های قیمتی متعدد برای حشمت و جلال خویش، از کیسۀ خلیفه استخدام میکردند، میرمن «رولا غنی» به لباس و چادر سیاه بسیار ساده در شهر کابل، بدون محافظ در یک موتر تویوتای دست دوم که اصلاً کسی نمیدانست که وی خانم یک وزیر است، برای رضاکاری به مؤسسۀ « اطفال آشیانه» میرفت و به یتیم خانۀ دیگری هم که در کارته سه و سرای غزنی بود هر نوع معاونت در حد امکان را انجام میداد و کوشش می نمود که از معلمین آشیانه برای تدریس آن بینوایان هم کمک بگیرد. --- از سال۲۰۰۲ به اینطرف داکتر «اشرف غنی احمدزی» بیشترین اوقاتش را در کشور سپری نموده است، در حقیقت برعکس مأمورین و کارداران عالی رتبۀ افغان، اعضای پارلمان و امثال آنان که همسران شان در خارج بسر میبرند، میرمن « رولا غنی احمدزی» پابپای شوهر، اینهمه سالهای متمادی را در افغانستان عزیز زندگی نموده است. این حقیقت در مورد درک و شناسایی با اوضاع نابسامان طبقۀ اناث افغان و خشونتها و مظالمی که بر زنان مظلوم هر روز وارد میگردد، ارزش به سزایی دارد. باشد که روزی با اقدامات و پشتیبانی این میرمن خدمت گزار جامعه، مظلوم ترین قشر اجتماع یعنی زن افغان، در پناه قانون و عدالت به حقوق انسانی و افغانی خود نایل آیند. به امید آنروز! -- نویسنده و ناشر: ملالی موسی نظام -- Read More,مطالبدری&article=17057

Monday, October 27, 2014

Last international forces airlifted from key base in Afghanistan --- (Reuters) - A fleet of planes and helicopters airlifted the last U.S. and British forces from a key base in southern Afghanistan on Monday, a day after the international coalition closed the massive facility and handed it over to the Afghan military. -- The troops' withdrawal and base closure in the province of Helmand is one of the largest operations in the winding down of the international combat mission in Afghanistan, 13 years after the toppling of the radical, Islamist Taliban regime. -- Monday's withdrawal operation passed off peacefully as part of a planned drawdown, though there was a sense of deja vu among some soldiers. -- "It was surreal," said Marine communications officer Captain -- Anthony Nguyen, 33, of Houston, Texas. -- "We're not refugees or anything, but it kind of reminding me of scenes of Vietnam, of people running to the helicopters ... just this mad dash to the aircraft," added Nguyen, who is Vietnamese-American. -- The NATO-led international force is now shifting to a reduced role of support as Afghanistan's newly trained army and police take over the fight against a resurgent Taliban. -- Casualties among both civilians and Afghan security forces are near all-time highs this year, with hundreds killed and wounded each month in the conflict. -- The withdrawal of the remaining U.S. and British troops from the combined base of Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion was carried out over 24 hours of near-continuous flights back and forth between Helmand and Kandahar Air Field, the aviation hub for southern Afghanistan. -- For the Marines' HMH 366 Hammerheads helicopter squadron, which flew on the final wave of the airlift Monday, there was a sense of pride in that the same unit also participated in the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq. -- "It's definitely a sense of history," said Staff Sergeant Ryan Hoover, of Vicksburg, Mississippi. --

What have British troops achieved in Afghanistan? --- As British troops end combat operations in Afghanistan, BBC Kabul correspondent David Loyn asks if the war was worth it. -- There is no single score card that can rate the US-led mission in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. -- Four hundred and fifty-three British troops died in the war, and thousands were injured, almost all since the decision was made to go into southern Helmand province in 2006, five years after the war began. -- There is no doubt that Helmand has been improved. Roads are far better, schools have opened and security has improved, at least in the most densely populated areas - the "green zone" - either side of the Helmand river. -- But two key aims of the operation - to defeat the Taliban and cut poppy growing - have been a failure. As British troops leave, the Taliban are stronger than ever and mounting their most determined attempt to retake the province, and poppy growing is at record levels. -- And the mixed picture in Helmand is reflected nationally. On the war's original limited aims - to punish al-Qaeda for 9/11, and dislodge the Taliban from power - it can be measured as a success. But it quickly turned into a full-scale military intervention, and effort to reconstruct a nation. --- 'Bankrupt nation' -- Already Afghanistan has sucked in more than $100bn (£62bn), mostly from the US, and mostly spent on security - more than what was spent to stabilise Europe under the Marshall Plan after World War Two, adjusted for inflation. So what did that money buy? -- On the one hand, the economy has grown, millions more children are in school, universities and technical colleges are turning out high-quality graduates, there is a free media, and far better roads. -- But better roads are no good if they are unsafe to drive on; women are a long way from equality; criminality and warlordism have returned to much of the countryside, particularly in the north; the country is corrupt and, in the blunt description of new President Ashraf Ghani, "bankrupt". -- And this last year of the international combat mission is turning out to be the worst year for civilian casualties since 2001. -- In the first six months of 2014 1,564 civilians died and 3,289 were injured - a rise of 17% on the year before. --- The stability of the force has been guaranteed by the recent commitment of Nato countries to increase funding to $5.1bn a year. --- The country's already frail economy stagnated as capital flowed outwards, and foreign investment collapsed. Trade faltered, and government revenues, such as they were, dwindled still further. --- President Ghani has far more economic ability than his predecessor President Hamid Karzai, and is determined that Afghanistan should pay its way in the world. -- But still, at the end of November, he will be in London, cap in hand to international donors, to see if he can secure similar pledges to increase development aid as he did for his armed forces. -- He will need to persuade sceptical governments that the money will be better spent than in the past. He has sent all the right signals, reopening a fraud inquiry into the collapsed Kabul Bank in his first week in office. -- By then he will have restructured his government, with a new council of ministers sitting above the cabinet to determine policy. -- The models in his mind for countries that have recovered from conflict and poverty are Singapore and South Korea. But the leaders in both countries had a freer hand than President Ghani, as he balances the interests of an ambitious new generation, with the fractious ex-warlords who surround the presidential palace. --- Averting chaos? -- The US Congress has already voted to halve aid to Afghanistan next year. -- European donor countries, with competing demands on their sluggish economies, will want more guarantees that women's rights can be better protected, the country's flourishing opium economy can be checked, and corruption finally brought under control. -- The world well remembers what happens when Afghanistan is forgotten - the chaos and bloodshed of the civil war that provoked the rise of the Taliban in the mid-1990s is only the most recent example. --- But 13 years after the fall of the Taliban, international troops are not handing over a nation at peace, and for the money spent and lives lost, it could have been so much better. -- More,

سعودي عربستان ته د جمهور رئیس احمدزي سفر

جمهور رئیس د عمرې حج مراسم پرځای کړل

Sunday, October 26, 2014

صدای آلمان -- گروه هماهنگی عدالت انتقالی: ناقضان حقوق بشر به کابینه راه نیابند --- گروه هماهنگی عدالت انتقالی از رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان خواست تا افرادی که به نحوی در تخطی های حقوق بشری دست دارند رادرپست های مهم دولتی به خصوص وزارت خانه ها نگمارد. -- نهادهای مدافع حقوق بشر که شامل گروه هماهنگی عدالت انتقالی هستند از حکومت جدید خواستند تا عدالت انتقالی را تطبیق کند و به این ترتیب به درد و رنج هزاران قربانی سه دهه جنگ در افغانستان مرهم بگذارد. -- نهادهای مدافع حقوق بشر تاکید کردند که فرهنگ معافیت ازمجازات، باید به پایان برسد و تمام کسانی که به صورت مستقیم یا غیر مستقیم زمینه قتل وکشتارغیرنظامیان را فراهم می کنند، مورد پیگرد قانونی قرار گیرند.رفیع الله بیدار سخنگوی کمیسیون مستقل حقوق بشرافغانستان در کنفرانس گروه هماهنگی عدالت انتقالی که روز یک شنبه 4 عقرب 1393 در کابل برگزار شد گفت: «از اقداماتی که در دوازده سال اخیردر ارتباط به پیشرفت وتوسعه حقوق بشرصورت گرفته و فهرست طویل قرضداری هایی که موجود است و اینکه چه کارهایی باید انجام شود؟ یکی عدالت انتقالی است که باید جنبه عملی پیدا کند.» --- ضعف اراده در حکومت پیشین -- به باور مسوولان کمیسیون مستقل حقوق بشرحکومت رئیس جمهورپیشین افغانستان حامد کرزی از ضعف اراده در موردتطبیق عدالت انتقالی رنج می برد. آن ها می گویند درنخستین سال های پس ازسقوط طالبان اگر حکومت در عرصه های سیاسی عدالت انتقالی را مدنظرمی گرفت، اکنون افغانستان دست آوردهای بیشتری درعرصه حقوق بشرمی داشت. -- ویدا احمد رئیس انجمن اجتماعی دادخواهان افغانستان دراین کنفرانس گفت: حضور ناقضان حقوق بشر در پست های مهم دولتی زمانی محدود می شود که عدالت انتقالی تطبیق گردد؛ او افزود: «بارها ما کنفرانس می گیریم و این راتاکید می کنیم تازمانی که عدالت انتقالی پیاده نشود، بودن این ناقضین در دولت حتمی است. باید ما ذهنیت مردم را روشن بسازیم. کسانی هستند که دست شان به خون مردم آلوده نیست آن ها باید بیایند اما متاسفانه هنوزهم برناقضان حقوق بشرسرمایه گذاری می شود.» --- ادامه نقض حقوق بشر -- افغان ها امیدوار بودند که با پایان حکومت احزاب کمونیستی و پیروزی مجاهدین، صلح در افغانستان تامین می شود و مردم نفس راحت می کشند اما با ورود این نیروها به کابل، جنگ های داخلی آغازشد و مردم افغانستان فصل جدیدی از نقض گسترده حقوق بشررا تجربه کردند. -- فعالان مدنی گفتند که طالبان نیز به نوبه خود به نقض حقوق بشرپرداختند و درسیزده سال اخیرجنگ این گروه با نیروهای دولتی و خارجی، زمینه نقض گسترده حقوق بشررا فراهم کرده است زیرا این گروه کودکان را از تعلیم محروم می کنند، به زنان اجازه فعالیت نمی دهد و گاهی دست به محاکمه های صحرایی می زند. -- یونس اختر عضو گروه هماهنگی عدالت انتقالی گفت: «در حکومت جدید باید افرادی باشند که دید وسیع در مورد مردم داشته باشند، نه اینکه تنها ازبین دو تیم انتخاب شوند. مامطمین هستیم که دراین دوگروه ناقضان حقوق بشر بی حد زیاد است و به متخصصینی که شایسته است به آن ها توجه نمی کنند.» -- گروه هماهنگی عدالت انتقالی همچنین خواستار تطبیق برنامه عمل برای صلح و آشتی شد. این برنامه به صورت کتبی به حکومت پیشین افغانستان سپرده شده و نظر مردم افغانستان درمورد برخورد با ناقضان حقوق بشر در آن گنجانده شده است. -- حامیان عدالت انتقالی تاکید کردند که قربانیان جنایات ضد بشری درافغانستان وعاملان آن شناسایی شوند، کمیسیونی برای جبران خساره تشکیل شود و به خانواده های قربانیان غرامت پرداخته شود. --گروه-هماهنگی-عدالت-انتقالی-ناقضان-حقوق-بشر-به-کابینه-راه-نیابند/a-18022084

The Reckoning: Kohl Tapes Reveal a Man Full of Anger --- Helmut Kohl spent over 600 hours speaking with the journalist Heribert Schwan about his life's work. The secret tapes reveal a chancellor resentful of his public image and disdainful of many of those around him, including Angela Merkel. -- Once, at the end of a long hike in the Bavarian Alps, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had to carry his heavy hiking companion on his back. Franz Josef Strauss, the head of Bavaria's conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) at the time, wasn't in the best of shape. As Strauss and Kohl were preparing for the hike, his wife Marianne made sure he had a decent lunch and a package of tissues in his backpack. Strauss perspired a lot. -- When the two men encountered a thunderstorm during their hike, the path became slippery and narrow. In the end, Strauss no longer felt secure on his feet. -- "So I carried him on my back for the last 50 meters (165 feet). It wasn't until later that I thought about what would have happened if he had fallen off. No one would have believed me. Everyone would have written that I had thrown him down on purpose." -- There are many stories about Kohl and Strauss, whose rivalry has been examined by historians of recent German history. An unforgettable moment is Strauss' speech at the Munich conference center owned by the Wienerwald roast chicken chain in November 1976, when he declared that the young Kohl, who was about to become his party's parliamentary leader, lacked all aptitude to become chancellor. "He is completely incapable. He lacks the character, and he lacks the intellectual and political qualifications. He lacks everything." -- Later, in the 1980s, when Kohl was chancellor, he gloated over the CSU leader's waning influence in faraway Munich. "When the Bavarian lion roars, the only thing he spreads nowadays is bad breath," Kohl said. Neither man saw a need to back down. -- But Kohl also told Heribert Schwan, a journalist with the West German Broadcasting Corporation (WDR), that there was a different and almost tender side to the political friendship between the two men. Strauss and Kohl shared a common bond, in that they both came from humble beginnings. Kohl was the son of a tax official and Strauss was from a family of butchers. Kohl admired the Bavarian politician for his eloquence and his courage in political combat. "He was an original thinker, and he wasn't a copycat. He stood on his own two feet and had his own stature," the former chancellor said during an interview with Schwan in the basement recreation room of his house in Oggersheim, near Frankfurt. --- A Valuable Treasure -- Schwan recorded more than 600 hours of interviews with Kohl in a total of 105 conversations between March 12, 2001 and October 27, 2002. Even during his tenure in office, Kohl had ruminated over his place in history. He sees himself on a level with former German Chancellors Otto von Bismarck, Konrad Adenauer and Willy Brandt. He is probably justified in doing so. -- In the Schwan conversations, Kohl's objective was to document his own view of the Kohl era -- they are an extremely valuable treasure for historians. And the tapes served as the basis for Kohl's three-volume memoirs, which were ghost-written by Schwan. The relationship between the two, however, has soured of late, with Kohl having sued Schwan for possession of the tapes, a spat which is likely to worsen with the release this week of Schwan's book about the interviews. -- The interviews contain, at least in part, Kohl's "historic legacy," according to the December 2013 ruling of a Cologne court on the ownership of the tapes. And they add new facets to Kohl's image. They reveal him to be a man who views both his rivals and the world at large through the lens of a calculating machtpolitiker (power politician). -- Read More, René Pfister, Der Spirgel,

Marines end mission in Afghanistan after 13 years --- Marines in Afghanistan handed over the Corps’ last remaining base there to Afghan National Army troops Sunday, marking the official end of the service’s primary work in support of the war. -- Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand province and the adjacent British airfield, Camp Bastion, were both transferred from International Security Assistance Force control to Afghan authority in a ceremony attended by Marine, U.K., and Afghan military leaders. -- The transferr marks the close of the NATO and allied war mission in Regional Command Southwest, overseeing Helmand and Nimroz provinces. It also represent the start of a more rapid withdrawal for the Marines remaining in Afghanistan. According to the Washington Post, Marines and British troops remaining in Helmand are tasked with maintaining security for Leatherneck and Bastion until they return to their home stations. -- Marine officials with Regional Command Southwest said in September that fewer than 4,000 Marines remained in Helmand. All U.S. troops will redeploy from the province by the end of the year. -- Officials also said in September that the Afghan Ministry of Defense was still determining how to best use the massive 1,600-acre Leatherneck. Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, commander of Regional Command Southwest, said the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps planned to use the airfield at Bastion to connect with Kabul and to support its aviation operations in the meantime. -- The base was used by Marines and other U.S. and coalition service members since the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan. According to Reuters, the U.S. troops in Helmand will leave behind about $230 million worth of equipment, buildings and infrastructure for use by the Afghan troops as they depart. -- Helmand province has been the location of some of the most costly battlegrounds of the war in Afghanistan, including Marjah and Sangin district. The latter region alone saw the deaths of 50 Marines and 100 British troops as they fought to weaken an insurgency fueled by a thriving drug trade from Sangin’s opium-producing poppy plants. -- Over the course of the 13-year war, 458 Marines died supporting combat operations in Afghanistan, according to data from the Defense Casualty Analysis System. -- More, Army Times

An enduring legacy after 13 years in Afghanistan --- In the ghostly expanse of the once-bustling Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, the Army’s 13-year combat mission to that benighted land was formally brought to a close -- When the end came it was almost apologetic. There were no triumphalist parades, no trooping of regimental colours, just a simple and poignant ceremony to signify the conclusion to one of the British military’s most protracted overseas engagements. In the ghostly expanse of the once-bustling Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, the Army’s 13-year combat mission to that benighted land was formally brought to a close. -- British forces were first sent to Afghanistan after the al-Qaeda attacks on America in 2001. But it was the deployment to Helmand province in 2006 that would make this the bloodiest conflict since Korea, with 453 servicemen and women killed and hundreds more badly injured. The cost in blood and treasure has been immense. The question that everyone will ask, not least the bereaved families, is whether the sacrifice was worth it. -- Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said Afghanistan had been given “the best possible chance of a stable future”, though that in itself indicated how our role had shifted over the years. What began as part of a concerted US-led effort to deny a safe haven for terrorism developed into an exercise in nation-building. Although we did not send troops to Afghanistan to improve its schools and rebuild its infrastructure, we have come to measure our success by such achievements. The Islamist threat we had hoped to confront and defeat has moved elsewhere and has become even more potent. On the other hand, at least a stable and secure Afghanistan will not contribute to the jihadist advance in the region, provided either of those two qualities endure. As Mr Fallon said, neither can be guaranteed; and holding back the Taliban will be a tough task for the Afghan forces who now assume complete control for law and order in their own country. -- But whatever the future holds, the British servicemen and women can be justifiably proud of the way they have conducted themselves in the most difficult of circumstances, demonstrating great courage and commitment in the finest tradition of the British Armed Forces. They were sent into Helmand ostensibly to oversee its reconstruction by politicians who had no real notion of the dangers they faced. There had even been an expectation, voiced by John Reid when he was defence secretary, that this could be fulfilled with few casualties. In the event, troops were involved in some of the fiercest fighting since the Second World War, including hand-to-hand combat. -- This under-estimation of the insurgents led to mistakes. There were too few soldiers and their equipment was inadequate. In 2006, the government allocated £700 million to spend in Afghanistan. Within three years the budget had risen to £4 billion in order to supply better kit and reinforce the mission. At its height, some 10,000 British troops were in Afghanistan, and Camp Bastion’s runway was the fifth busiest UK-operated airstrip. The removal of the equipment has been one of the Army’s biggest logistical exercises. -- More, Telegraph View,

ولسمشر غني دسعودي عربستان له چارواکو سره ګوري --- ولسمشر اشرف غني احمدزی پرون له یو لوړ پوړي دولتي پلاوي سره سعودي عربستان ته ورسیده. نوموړې ته دمدینې منورې دامیر شهزاده فیصل بن سلمان بن عبدالعزیز او په سعودي عربستان کې دافغانستان دسفیر سید احمد عمرخیل له خوا هرکلی وویل شو. دولسمشر احمدزي مطبوعاتي دفتر تیره شپه ناوخته په یوې خپرې کړې خبر پاڼې کې وویل چې ولسمشر او ورسره ملګري پلاوي یې دشنبې په ورځ په بیت الله شریف کې دعمرې حج مراسم پرځای کړل. -- خپر پاڼه وايي، اشرف غني احمدزی به نن دسعودي عربستان دشاهي هېواد له چارواکو سره وګوري او ددوه اړخیزو مناسباتو او د یو شمېر نورو سیمه ییزو مسالو په باب به ورسره خبرې وکړي. له سعودي چارواکو سره دولسمشر احمدزي دخبرو اترو دموضوعاتو په اړه دولسمشر دویاند مرستیال فایق واحدي آزادي راډیو ته وویل: ”ددې لیدنې هدف دافغانستان او سعودي عربستان ترمنځ داړیکو پراختیا، ددوه اړخیزو همکاریو پیاوړتیا او پر هغو ستونزو خبرې دي چې له بده مرغه اسلامي نړۍ ورسره مخ ده. پر دې سربیره به پر نورو موضوعاتو هم خبرې وشوي.“ -- څارونکي وايي، ولسمشر احمدزی به دافغانستان دسولې په بهیر کې هم دسعودي عربستان دهمکارۍ غوښتنه وکړي. دسولې دعالي شورا یو غړي قاضي محمد امین وقاد له آزادي راډیو سره په خبرو کې وویل، که چیرې دسعودي عربستان حکومت وغواړي، کولای شي، دافغانستان دسولې په بهیر کې مثبت رول ولوبوي. دا دولسمشر په توګه دکار له پیل وروسته بهر ته دولسمشر اشرف غني احمدزي لومړنی سفر دی. -- ټاکل شوې چې په دویم بهرني سفر کې به ولسمشر اشرف غني داکټوبر دمیاشتې په اته ویشتمه نیټه چین ته سفر وکړي. په چین کې به اشرف غني احمدزی له خپل چینايي سیال "شي جین بینګ"، دچین له صدراعظم او ددې هیواد دپارلمان له رئیس سره وګوري. - دآزادی رادیو

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Report: Millions spent on unused TV trucks in Afghanistan --- A new government report reveals millions of dollars was spent on expensive TV production trucks sent to broadcast sporting events in Afghanistan out of the U.S. embassy in Kabul. -- The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released a letter it sent to Secretary of State John Kerry. -- The letter, obtained by the Cox Washington Bureau, details the original contract agreed to by the State Department to send six production trucks to Afghanistan totaling about $6 million. -- “Very few media companies have mobile television trucks,” said Tom Schatz, the President of Citizens Against Government Waste. “Sending mobile trucks to Afghanistan is an incredible waste of taxpayer money.” -- That was in August 2011. --- In September 2013, the contract was amended to three trucks adding up to $3.6 million. -- Those trucks did not arrive in Kabul until July 18, 2014, nearly three years after they were originally requested. -- One satellite and microwave truck and two Ford ES350 trucks ultimately arrived in Kabul and are now sitting unused. -- The cost of the trucks increased dramatically because of the changes in the original contract. --- According to SIGAR, the price of the Ford trucks went up from $157,300 to $568,062 each. -- The TV production truck was reduced by $200,000. --- “This is another example of bad contracting decisions by a federal agency, in this case the State Department,” said Schatz. “They did not hold the contractor to the original price. They simply paid more. They should have canceled the contract the minute it went a penny over the original cost.” -- SIGAR is now asking the State Department to answer questions to understand why it spent what it did on the vehicles and why it took so long to get them to Afghanistan. -- “It’s not essential to anything related to what we need to do to protect our country which is most of what we should be concerned about with anything related to Afghanistan,” said Schatz. -- The State Department spokesperson responded and said they will send the requested information in a timely manner. -- More, Dorey Scheimer - Cox Washington,

Putin attacks U.S. electoral college system: ‘There is no democracy there’ --- Speaking at the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin went out of his way to dismiss a very American political system: The U.S. electoral college. -- Toward the end of a lengthy question and answer session, Putin contrasted Russia's direct voting system with America's indirect electoral college system. His assessment was harsh. "There is no true democracy there," Putin said, referring to America, "and you are trying to convince us that we are not [democratic]?" -- The electoral college has been a target of criticism both in America and overseas. But for Putin, America's electoral college system — whereby the president and vice president of the United States are elected by "electors" from each state who are chosen by voters — has proved a particularly beguiling subject of fascination over the years. His view of it appears to have sunk lower and lower. --- Back in February 2005, for instance, during a joint news conference with President George W. Bush, Putin positively linked the electoral college with Russia's own system. -- "I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that the leaders of the regions of the Russian Federation will not be appointed by the president. The candidates will be presented — will be submitted to regional parliaments that are elected through secret ballot by all the citizens," Putin explained, responding to a reporter's question about democracy in Russia."This is, in essence, a system of the electoral college which is used on the national level in the United States. And it's not considered undemocratic, is it?" -- It wasn't a particularly critical assessment. Behind the scenes, however, Putin's view of it may have been more conspiratorial. According to an account relayed to Peter Baker, while talking privately to Bush in 2005, Putin used the college to contrast with his country's own foibles. "You talk about [Mikhail] Khodorkovsky, and I talk about Enron," Putin said. "You appoint the Electoral College and I appoint governors. What's the difference?" --- By 2010, Putin's view of the electoral college seemed to have hardened. While appearing on the CNN's Larry King show, he took the opportunity to criticize the electoral college at length while speaking directly to an American audience. -- "Now, as regards to democracy, this has been a long-term dispute with our American colleagues," Putin said. "I'd like to recall the fact that twice, twice, in the history of the United States of America, there were cases, the candidate to the presidency who subsequently became president of the United States, who was voted by majority of electorate, with the delegates presenting the lesser number of electorate as a whole. Is that democracy?" -- Putin went on to criticize American attempts to influence Russian politics. "This is our tradition and it's going to continue like that," he said, later adding, the "Russian people have unilaterally made their choice in direction of democracy in the early '90s. They will not be led astray." -- Speaking in Sochi almost four years later, Putin returned to that theme, using the electoral college to make the point that the U.S. should not be so critical, and that Russia's democratic system was still evolving. "We are trying to fine-tune our system, we have no intention to go back to our totalitarian past, not because we're afraid of something," Putin told the audience. "I am convinced, but more importantly the Russian public is convinced, that totalitarianism is a dead end." -- More, Adam Taylor, Washingtonpost

Russia’s Putin blames U.S. for destabilizing world order --- MOSCOW — Making clear that the Kremlin has no intention of backing down from the worst Russia-Western crisis since the Cold War, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Friday of trying to “reshape the whole world” for its benefit, in a fiery speech that was one of the most anti-American of his 15 years as Russia’s paramount leader. -- Seven months into a conflict over Ukraine that has seen at least 3,400 people killed, Putin predicted that the clash would not be the last to pit Russia and the United States against each other, excoriating the White House for imposing sanctions against his nation that he said were simply aimed at forcing Russia into submission. -- In nationally broadcast remarks that lasted nearly three hours, Putin gave no hint of concessions to Western consternation over Russia’s role in Ukraine, where Putin first pressured former president Viktor Yanukovych over his plans to sign a European-friendly trade deal, annexed the Crimean Peninsula after pro-European protesters forced Yanukovych’s ouster and then helped fuel a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine. -- Russia “is not asking anyone for permission” in its conduct of world affairs, Putin said. -- Although there was little new substance in the angry address, it was a bitter distillation of Putin’s anti-American rhetoric at an annual forum originally intended to put a Western-friendly spin on Russia’s image. Putin speaks every year before the Valdai Club, a gathering of Western and Russian analysts, journalists and officials, some of whom are critical of the Kremlin. This year’s meeting was held in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. -- In the past, Putin has used the forum to offer olive branches to those critics. Last year, he took questions from opposition lawmakers a day after his aides had offered them political concessions. Sometimes he has also made jokes. -- This year’s speech and question-and-answer session contained none of that image-polishing. Instead, Putin delivered an unsmiling, straightforward worldview that blasted the United States as taking advantage of its powerful post-Cold War position to dictate misguided terms to the rest of the world. Putin faulted the United States for a rise in global terrorism, a resumption of a global arms race and a general worsening of global security. -- “It never ceases to amaze me how our partners have been guilty of making the same mistakes time and again,” Putin said, accusing the United States of breeding terrorists by upsetting the established order in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. ---- In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday that “the United States does not seek confrontation with Russia, but we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which security in Europe and North America rest.” -- “Our focus is on continuing to engage with Russia on areas of mutual concern,” she said. - Read More, Washingtonpost

پروسه استانبول و منفعت آن برای افغانستان --- قرار است چهارمین نشست پروسه استانبول به تاریخ های ۳۰ و ۳۱ اکتوبر سال جاری در چین برگزار شود. همکاری های منطقه یی به شمول مبارزه با دهشت افگنی، جلوگیری از تولید و قاچاق مواد مخدر، رشد تجارت منطقه یی، تقویت روند صلح در افغانستان، و مبارزه با فقر و افراطگرایی از اهداف عمدۀ پروسه استانبول به شمار می رود. -- قرار است اشرف غنی احمدزی، رئیس جمهور افغانستان به دعوت همتای چینی اش برای اشتراک در این نشست در اواخر ماه جاری وارد بیجنگ شود. --- شماری از مقامات افغان و تحلیلگران به این باورند که پروسه استانبول می تواند به نفع ثبات سیاسی، اقتصادی و امنیتی افغانستان باشد، مشروط بر اینکه همسایه های افغانستان—به ویژه پاکستان—در این روند صادقانه عمل کند. -- اشرف حیدری، معاون سفیر افغانستان در دهلی، به رادیو آشنا صدای امریکا گفت که پروسه استانبول زمانی می تواند موثر واقع شود که دول عضو به تعهدات شان، عمل کنند. آقای حیدری می گوید، اعتماد سازی میان دول عضو، یکی از مسایل عمده پروسه استانبول بوده است. -- به باور حیدری، شماری از کشور ها مانند هند در این پروسه، همکاری های موثر داشته اند، ولی بعضی کشور های دیگر مثل پاکستان به تعهدات اش شان، آن گونۀ که انتظار می رفت عمل نکرده اند. به گفته آقای حیدری از هند میشود به عنوان یک الگو برای تطبیق میکانیزم های اعتماد سازی نام برد. پاکستان نیز میتوانست در چند سال اخیر، خصوصاً در قسمت بازسازی افغانستان همکاری های صادقانه بکند، که متاسفانه، نکرد. -- آقای حیدری به صورت مشخص از عدم همکاری لازم پاکستان در روند مبارزه با دهشت افگنی و روند صلح افغانستان نام برد، ولی ابراز امیدواری کرد که در چهارمین نشست پروسه استانبول که در بیجینگ برگزار می شود، اشتراک کننده گان، پاکستان را ترغیب کنند تا بر تعهدات اش عمل کند. --

Egypt Enforces Emergency Rule After Sinai Blasts --- CAIRO— Egypt has declared a state of emergency in the northern Sinai after a terrorist attack Friday that killed at least 30 army soldiers. President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi declared in a broadcast speech that Egypt is fighting a mortal battle against terrorists, and that the war will be long. -- A group of Egyptians carried placards and chanted against the violence in Cairo Saturday, a day after a deadly suicide bombing in the Sinai and a separate gun attack, both against security checkpooints. -- The deaths of at least 30 troops struck a raw nerve among many Egyptians, who want an end to the violence and terrorism that has plagued parts of the country for months. -- A mother of one of the soldiers who died Friday shook her hands in despair and demanded retribution. An older man lamented that the victims were innocent and did not deserve to die. Another man said, “Egyptians are tired of violence, and it's time to put a stop to it.” -- The government declared a three-month state of emergency in the northern and central Sinai peninsula and closed the Rafah border crossing to Gaza until further notice. A nghtlong curfew - from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. - also was imposed in towns and villages across the Sinai. -- A presidential decree affirmed that “the army and police will take all necessary measures to tackle the dangers of terrorism and its financing, to preserve the security of the region... and to protect the lives of Egyptians.” -- Sissi gave an emotional address Saturday. Flanked by top army officers, he said Egypt is facing an “external enemy” trying to wreak havoc. -- He says a foreign party was behind Friday's terror attack against the Egyptian Army, and that the bombing was intended to break the will of the Egyptian people and the Egyptian Army. "Beware," the president insisted, "of what they are trying to do to us." -- Sissi said Egypt is waging an “existential battle” against terrorism, one that will last a long time. But he predicted the country will “persevere and triumph in the end.” - More,

Afghan President Visits Saudi Arabia --- Afghanistan's new president, Ashraf Ghani, is making his first foreign trip since taking office, fulfilling a promise to undertake a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. -- Ghani's office said in a statement Saturday that he will perform Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year. -- The president will also meet with Saudi King Abdullah and other officials during his visit to Saudi Arabia. -- Ghani promised during his inauguration that his first presidential foreign trip would be to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. -- Umrah is sometimes known as the "lesser pilgrimage," in comparison to the annual Hajj pilgrimage of Islam. -- It is a visit one makes to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, outside of the designated Hajj pilgrimage dates. -- The word "Umrah" means to visit an important place. - More, voanews

U.S., allies stage 22 air strikes in Iraq: U.S. Central Command --- U.S. warplanes also destroyed an Islamic State artillery piece near Kobani, Syria, officials said Saturday. -- The 22 strikes in Iraq included attacks in the frequently targeted areas near the vital Mosul dam, the city of Fallujah and the northern city of Bayji, home of an oil refinery. -- The Iraq strikes hit large and small Islamic State units, buildings, vehicles and fighting positions, Central Command said. -- The bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft used in the air strikes all returned safely, U.S. officials said. -- More,

داوسنيو او پخوانيو ولسمشرانو دمېرمنو سياسي فعاليتونه --- دلوړې له مراسمو څو ورځې وروسته، کله چې په ارګ کې يو شمېر مخکښو ښځو له ولسمشر اشرف غني سره وليدل، دوی ولسمشر ته وويل چې دلوړې په مراسمو کې دده له خپلې مېرمنې څخه مننه په دې مانا ده چې جمهور رئيس په هيواد کې دښځو دحقونو ملاتړی دی. -- دجمهور رئيس تر څنګ به ايا لومړۍ مېرمن هم له خپل مقام او زدکړې څخه په استفاده کولو سره دافغانستان په بيارغونه کې مثبته ونډه واخلي؟ --- دروان کال دمارچ په مياشت کې دښځو په نړيواله ورځ مېرمن غني افغانو ښځو ته دلومړي ځل لپاره وينا وکړه. دا دافغانستان په تاريخ کې لومړۍ مېرمن ده چې دخپل خاوند په ولسمشريز کمپاين کې يې فعاله ونډه واخيسته. مېرمن غني د مارچ په اتمه ښځو ته په خپله وينا کې زياته کړه: -- "دافغانستان تر نيمې زيات نفوس ښځې دي. دا څرګنده ده دا اکثريت بايد زموږ دګران هيواد په پرمختګ کې ونډه واخلي. ښخې ډېر کفايت لري. دوی ډېر لوړ مسووليتونه پر خپلو اږو لري او ددوی فعاليتونه دستاينې وړ دي." --- ولسمشر اشرف غني دلوړې له مراسمو وروسته دخپلې مېرمنې په يادولو سره وويل: -- "زه غواړم له دې موقع څخه په ګټه اخيستلو سره دخپل ژوند له ملګرې څخه زما او دافغانستان دملاتړ لپاره مننه وکړم. دې تل دهیواد دننه دبې ځايه شويو خلکو سره مرسته کړې ده او زه ډاډه يم چې په راتلونکي کې به هم خپل دې کار ته ادامه ورکړي." -- مېرمن غني په ۱۹۶۹ م کال کې په فرانسه کې دسياسي علومو له يوه انسټيټوټ څخه ډیپلومه واخيسته. په ۱۹۷۴م کال کې يې په بېروت کې له امريکايي پوهنتون څخه په سياسي علومو کې ماسټري ترلاسه کړه او په ۱۹۸۳م کال کې يې په نيويارک کې له کولمبيا پوهنتون څخه په ژورناليزم کې دوهمه ماسټري تر لاسه کړه. --- دمېرمن غني دزده کړو کچې، کاري تجربې او صلاحيت ته په پام سره دپخواني ولسمشر ډاکټر نجيب الله لور هيله نجيب الله وايي چې لومړۍ مېرمن دافغانانو لپاره ډېر کار کولی شي: -- "زه شخصاً فکر کوم چې لومړۍ مېرمن کولی شي؛ دافغانستان دټولينې په رغونه کې دپوهنې، هنرونو، سپورټ او موسيقي دملاتړ له لارې ډېر لوی رول لوبولی شي. -- زه فکر کوم افغانان په دې برخو کې ملاتړ ته اړتيا لري او دښځو دځانګړو ستونزو دحل لپاره باید دځوانانو سړو سره کار وشي. زه په دې باور يم چې اوس هم داسې ادارې شته؛ لکه دسرې مياشتې اداره او نورې داسي چې دزېږون پر مهال دمور او کوچني دمړينې دمخنيوي لپاره کار کوي. خو بايد د ښځو لپاره روغتيايي اسانتياوو ته لاس رسی اسانه شي." -- په هيواد کې دفعالانو په وينا، دافغانستان خلک په ځانګړې توګه افغانې ښځې دنوي لومړۍ مېرمنې څخه ډېر توقعات لري. --- داصلاحاتو او ښه حکومتدارۍ په برخه کې دهیواد دولسمشر ځانګړی استازی، احمد ضيا مسعود لور، آمينه مسعود چې مور يې دپخواني ولسمشر برهان الدين رباني لور ده، وايي چې دافغانستان نوې لومړۍ مېرمن دافغان ښځو، په ځانګړې توګه دځوانانو ښځو لپاره چې غواړي دټولنې لپاره کار وکړي؛ يوه ډېره ښه او مهمه بېلګه ثابتېدای شي. آمنه مسعود زياتوي: -- "ښځې ويني چې دافغانستان خلک دلومړې مېرمنې رول او شخصيت مني، دا موږ ټولو ته ښه روحيه راکولی شي." --- دافغانستان ملکې مېرمن ثريا لور شهزادګۍ "هنديه دافغانستان" وايي، مور يې په ډېر سخت وخت کې ډېر ښه کار کاوه او هغه دډېرو کارونو پيلوونکې وه، ځکه چې هغه وخت په افغانستان کې ځيني شيان دلومړي ځل لپاره کېدل. -- "زما مور دپوهنې وزيره وه خو معاش يې نه اخيست او په کابل بيا وروسته کندهار کې دنجونو لپاره لومړی ښوونځی زما مور پرانيست. هغې په افغانستان کې دښځو لپاره ځانګړی لومړی روغتون پرانيست." --- دپخواني ولسمشر حامد کرزي دمېرمنې، زينت کرزۍ په هکله ويل کيږي چې پر دې سربېره چې دطب ډاکټره وه، په خپل مسلک او يا بله برخه کې يې دافغانستان دټولنې دپرمختګ لپاره هيڅ کار ونه کړ. --- په دې هکله چې آيا دپخواني ولسمشر نجيب الله مېرمنې ډاکټر فتانه دهيواد په سياسي او ټولنيز ډګر کې څه ځانګړي فعاليتونه درلودل؛ هيله نجيب الله وايي، که څه هم دلومړۍ مېرمنو دکار او ملاتړ په اړه ډېر څه نه ويل کيږي، په ټوله نړۍ کې لومړۍ مېرمنې د =خپلو مېړونو ملاتړ کوي: -- "دمثال په توګه، کله چې زما پلار ولسمشر و؛ زما مور دهغه لپاره دتوان او قوت سرچينه وه. دا يوه روزونکې وه او کله چې افغانستان له ډېر سخت وخت سره مخا مخ شو او جګړه روانه وه؛ زموږ زړور جنګيالي پوځيان ډېر ټپي کېدل او زما پياد دي زما مور به دهغوی دکورنيو پوښتنې ته تله. خو دا ډېره مهمه ده چې دلومړۍ مېرمنې کار او ملاتړ ومنل شي." --- آمنه ضيا مسعود هم دخپلې انا دکار يادونه کوي او وايي: -- "زما انا ډيرې بشري مرستې کولې. هغې په بدخشان ولايت کې ديتيمانو لپاره يو روزنتون پرانيستی وو. زما له نيکه سره يې دهغه په ډېرو ماموريتونو کې ملګريتوب کاوه او ورته يې سلا مشوره ورکوله. تر يوه بريده چې کولی يې شو فعاليت وکړي؛هغې فعاليت کاوه." --- دافغانستان لومړۍ مېرمنو تل دعادي خلکو مخې ته لږ ځان ښکاره کړی دی، خو دهيلې نجيب الله په وينا، ددې وجه زموږ دوديزه ټولنه ده. خو دا وايي، اوس وخت بدل شوی دی: --- "زما په ياد دي، کله چې زه په هندوستان کې په ښوونځي کې وم او پلار مې دپناه پر مهال دملګرو ملتونو په دفتر کې و؛ هغه ما ته يو ليک رالېږلی و. په ليک کې ده ماته لیکلي وو چې دښځې او نر تر منځ هيڅ توپير نشته او ښځو ته خدای هغومره قابليت ورکړی دی لکه څومره چې يې سړو ته ورکړی دی." -- دا وايي، که څه هم موږ دټولنيز جوړښت احترام کوو، خو په عين حال کې موږ بايد د =نوي نسل لپاره له هيلو ډک راتلونکي ته لاره پرانيزو. -- More, دآزادی رادیو

Friday, October 24, 2014

Putin Accuses U.S. of Backing ‘Neo-Fascists’ and ‘Islamic Radicals’ --- MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Friday unleashed perhaps his strongest diatribe against the United States yet, using an international meeting of Russia experts to sell Moscow’s view that American meddling has sparked most of the world’s recent crises, including those in Ukraine and the Middle East. -- Instead of supporting democracy and sovereign states, Mr. Putin said during a three-hour appearance at the conference, the United States supports “dubious” groups ranging from “open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.” -- “Why do they support such people,” he asked the annual gathering known as the Valdai Club, which met this year in the southern resort town of Sochi. “They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals, but then burn their fingers and recoil.” -- The goal of the United States, he said, was to try to create a unipolar world in which American interests went unchallenged. -- Since Russia granted asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the American intelligence contractor, and the crisis in Ukraine, President Obama has increased pressure on the Kremlin, lumping Russia together with Ebola and terrorism as key threats to world stability. Washington has pushed its Western allies for a series of economic sanctions against Russia, resulting in cuts to financing from Western banks and halted oil exploration projects. -- “We are at a dangerous point where on both sides, unilateral grievances have thoroughly spilled over into very, very emotional policies toward each other,” said Cliff Kupchan, the chairman of the Eurasia Group, a Washington-based risk analysis organization, who was at the meeting. -- “I think it is on a new level of acrimony,” Mr. Kupchan said of Mr. Putin’s speech. “I think this is a genuine message that ‘Enough is enough, and I don’t like being grouped with Ebola and I don’t like these sanctions.’ ” -- Russia is often accused of provoking the crisis in Ukraine by annexing Crimea, and of prolonging the agony in Syria by helping to crush a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s last major Arab ally. Some analysts have suggested that Mr. Putin seeks to restore the lost power and influence of the Soviet Union, or even the Russian Empire, in a bid to prolong his own rule. -- Mr. Putin, however, specifically denied trying to restore the Russian Empire. He argued Russia was compelled to intervene in Ukraine because that country was in the midst of a “civilized dialogue” over its political future when the West staged a coup to oust the president last February, pushing the country into chaos and civil war. -- “We did not start this,” he said. “Statements that Russia is trying to reinstate some sort of empire, that it is encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbors, are groundless.” -- Mr. Putin also disagreed with remarks by a senior Kremlin aide that Russia could not exist without the president, comments that provoked a mocking reaction on social media and elsewhere. -- Vyacheslav V. Volodin, a deputy chief of staff, had told the conference that any attack on Mr. Putin was an attack on Russia. “There is Putin, there is Russia,” Mr. Volodin was quoted as saying in the Russian news media during a closed session at Sochi. “No Putin, no Russia.” -- The president himself rejected the formula, saying in response to a question about it, “Russia will, of course, do without the likes of me.” -- More, NEIL MacFARQUHAR, NYTimes

Egypt declares state of emergency in Sinai after checkpoint bombing --- Emergency measures to last three months after 30 soldiers killed when suicide car bomber struck checkpoint, according to officials --- Egypt declared a three-month state of emergency would begin on Saturday in the north and centre of the Sinai peninsula after a suicide car bombing killed 30 soldiers. -- The bombing on Friday was carried out by a suspected jihadist who rammed a checkpoint with his explosives-packed vehicle, security officials said. -- The emergency measures would begin on Saturday at 0300 GMT “for a duration of three months”, the presidency said in a statement in the wake of the deadliest attack on the security forces since the army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year. -- The decision was also taken to close the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip, the only route into the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel. -- “The army and the police will take all necessary measures to tackle the dangers of terrorism and its financing, to preserve the security of the region ... and protect the lives of citizens,” the presidential decree said. -- The attack, in an agricultural area north-west of El-Arish, the main town in north Sinai, killed at least 30 soldiers and left 29 others injured, medics said. -- A senior army official and five officers were said to be among those wounded. -- Gunmen also shot dead an officer and wounded two soldiers on Friday at another checkpoint south of El-Arish, security officials said. -- Jihadists in the peninsula have killed scores of police officers and soldiers since Morsi’s overthrow to avenge a bloody police crackdown on his supporters. -- President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who toppled Morsi and later won elections, has pledged to eradicate the militants. - Read More, Agence France-Presse in Cairo, Guardian

جنجال امریکا و افغانستان بر سر محاکمهٔ یک عضو روس گروه طالبان --- مقامات امریکایی در نظر دارند تا یک تبعهٔ روسی را که در افغانستان بازداشت شده و زندانی است، برای محاکمه به امریکا منتقل کند. -- این زندانی اریک حمیدلالن نام دارد. او سرباز پیشین ارتش سرخ بوده که با اشغال افغانستان توسط نیروهای شوروی سابق به افغانستان آمد اما در افغانستان ماند و به شوروی سابق بازنگشت. -- این سرباز سابق ارتش روسیه در سال ۲۰۰۹ وقتی که با شماری از جنگجویان گروه طالبان به یک پوستهٔ مشترک نیروهای افغان و امریکا در ولایت شرقی خوست حمله کرده بود، بازداشت شد. -- در اعلامیه که توسط شورای امنیت امریکا روز گذشته منشر شده، آمده است که این تبعهٔ روسیه در حال حاضر در زندان بگرام در شمال کابل زندانی است و قرار است که برای محاکمه به امریکا منتقل شود. -- مقامات امریکایی اعلام کرده اند که این کار براساس موافقنامه امنیتی میان افغانستان و امریکا انجام می‌شود. -- بر اساس این موافقتنامه امریکا پس از سال ۲۰۱۵ نمی تواند هیج بندیخانه در خاک افغانستان داشته باشد و بنا بر این زندانیان غیر افغان را به امریکا منتقل خواهند کرد. -- غلام فاروق بارکزی، رئیس بازداشتگاه بگرام به بی‌بی‌سی گفت که دولت افغانستان تنها مسؤولیت زندانیان افغان را در این بازداشتگاه دارند و زندانیان خارجی در کنترل امریکایی‌ها است. او گفت:"ما از این زندانی آگاهی نداریم. کار خود امریکایی‌ها است که با او چی می‌کنند." -- اما عبدالشکور دادرس، عضو کمیته بررسی دوسیه‌های زندانیان بگرام می‌گوید امریکا حق ندارد کسانی را که در افغانستان مرتکب جرم شده اند، برای محاکمه به بیرون از این کشور منتقل کند. -- او گفت:" هرکسی که در افغانستان مرتکب جرمی می‌شود تنها ادارات عدلی و قضایی افغانستان مسئولیت و صلاحیت رسیدگی به دوسیه او را دارد." -- بر اساس توافقنامه امنیتی میان افغانستان و امریکا که چند روز قبل امضا شد، نظامیان و غیر نظامیان امریکا از مصئونیت قضایی در افغانستان برخوردار هستند. -- در ماده سیزدهم این موافقت نامه درباره جایگاه حقوقی اعضای نظامی و غیر نظامی امریکایی در افغانستان آمده است: "افغانستان، با حفظ حق حاکمیت خویش می‌پذیرد که کنترل انضباطی به شمول اتخاذ تدابیر جزائی و غیر جزائی از جانب مقامات نیروهای امریکا بر اعضای نظامی و بخش ملکی(غیر نظامی) آن اهمیت به سزا دارد. بنابراین افغانستان توافق می‌کند که ایالات متحده تعمیل صلاحیت قضایی در رسیدگی به تخطی‌های جنایی و مدنی چنین افراد را در قلمرو افغانستان حق اختصاصی خود می‌داند. افغانستان به آمریکا اجازه می‌دهد تا محاکمات قضایی و سایر اقدامات مربوط به این قضایا را، عندالضرورت در قلمرو افغانستان انجام دهد." -- حامدکرزی، رئیس جمهور سابق افغانستان بارها اعلام کرده بود که نیروهای خارجی دیگر نباید حق بازداشت و نگهداری افراد در زندان را در خاک این کشور داشته باشد. -- در بهار سال ۱۳۹۲ مسئولیت زندان بگرام از نیروهای امریکایی به افغانستان منتقل شد. بعد از انتقال مسئولیت این زندان، آمریکا ۳۸ زندانی خارجی را به دولت افغانستان تحویل نداد. -- رئیس جمهوری امریکا، باراک اوباما قبلا در نامه‌ای به کنگره این کشور گفته بود که ۳۸ زندانی غیر افغان شامل پاکستانی‌ها، تونسی‌ها، روس‌ها و یمنی‌ها در زندان بگرام نگهداری می‌شوند. -- چند ماه قبل مقامات آمریکایی اعلام کردند که ۱۲ زندانی خارجی را که در بازداشتگاه بگرام در شمال کابل، نگهداری می‌شدند، آزاد کردند. -- یکی از این زندانیان فرانسوی، دیگری تبعهٔ کویت و ده تن دیگر پاکستانی بودند. -- بی بی سی

Russian captured in Afghanistan to face terrorism charges in U.S. --- (Reuters) - A Russian captured while fighting with militants in Afghanistan and held by the U.S. military there, will be flown to the United States to face terrorism charges, U.S. officials said on Thursday. -- The detainee was identified by the officials as the prisoner known as Irek Hamidullan. He was captured in 2009 and has been held at a detention facility at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. -- The officials said Hamidullan would be transferred to the United States for trial on unspecified terrorism charges. It would mark the first time a foreign combatant captured in Afghanistan would be brought to the United States for trial. -- Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, confirmed that a detainee at the Parwan detention facility at Bagram will be brought to the United States to stand trial. She would not disclose the identity. -- Meehan said the decision was based on a bilateral security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that takes effect on Jan. 1. Under the agreement, the United States will not maintain or operate detention facilities in Afghanistan. -- "The president's national security team examined this matter and unanimously agreed that prosecution of this detainee in federal court was the best disposition option in this case," she said. -- President Barack Obama would like some detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be brought to the United States for trial, but that option has been blocked by Congress. -- Hamidullan is suspected of involvement in attacks in which Americans were wounded or killed in 2009. He is believed to be among 13 foreign nationals at the Parwan facility. -- Meehan defended the decision to transfer the detainee to the United States, saying the U.S. criminal justice system "has repeatedly proven that it has the flexibility to successfully handle all variations of the threat that we continue to face." -

Thursday, October 23, 2014

U.S. drug war in Afghanistan is failing, new report says --- (CNN) -- America's drug war in Afghanistan is failing badly, a U.S. government watchdog says in a new report. -- Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops of opium poppies -- an unprecedented 209,000 hectares in 2013 -- even though U.S. agencies spent $7.6 billion to stop narcotics production in the nation. -- Afghanistan is the source of 80% of the world's illegal opium, the U.S. government says, yielding $3 billion in sales in 2013, up from $2 billion from the previous year. -- U.S. authorities say a big chunk of that money funds Afghanistan's insurgency and terrorism. -- As NATO winds down its war effort in the nation, the trend would appear to bode ill. Since 2002, the chief factors that appear to have caused temporary drops in poppy production were crop disease and high prices for wheat, an alternative crop for farmers, according to the report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. -- "The recent record-high level of poppy cultivation calls into question the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of those prior efforts," the report says. "Given the severity of the opium problem and its potential to undermine U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, I strongly suggest that your departments consider the trends in opium cultivation and the effectiveness of past counternarcotics efforts when planning future initiatives." -- The report says last year's 209,000-hectare record surpasses the previous high of 193,000 hectares of opium poppies grown in 2007. The report relies on figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs on Crime. -- The report says that areas that were once models for successful counterinsurgency and counternarcotics efforts are now booming poppy producers. -- The report cites Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, which the United Nations declared "poppy-free" in 2008 but saw a fourfold increase in opium poppy production between 2012 and 2013. -- The inspector general sent the report to the State, Defense and Justice departments, which fund anti-drug efforts in Afghanistan. -- The State Department called the findings "disappointing" and blamed the increase in opium poppy production on shifts in the Afghan government's own security efforts. -- The Pentagon asked the inspector general to remove Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel from receiving the report because the military plays a secondary role to other U.S. government agencies in thwarting drug production in Afghanistan. -- "In our opinion, the failure to reduce poppy cultivation and increase eradication is due to the lack of Afghan government support for the effort," Michael Lumpkin, assistant secretary of defense, wrote to the inspector general. -- "Poverty, corruption, the terrorism nexus to the narcotics trade, and access to alternative livelihood opportunities that provide an equal or greater profit than poppy cultivation are all contributors to the Afghan drug problem." -- Evan Perez, CNN

د نورستان بزګر د کوکنارو په بدیل کې رغنیزې پروژې غواړي --- د نورستان ولایت بزګر، په مرکزي اداره نیوکه کوي چې د کوکنارو د نه کر په مقابل کې یې دوی ته اړینې پروژې ندي پلي کړي.چارواکي وايي، چې په تېرو څو کلونو کې د نورستان بزګرو کوکنار ندي کرلي او او سږ کال دیو میلیون امریکايي ډالرو په ارزښت ورته هغه پروژې پلي کوي، چې ګټه یې په مستقیمه توگه کروندګرو ته رسیږي. نورستان چې د کر کیلې لپاره ډېره ځمکه نه لري، د کوکنارو کښت هم پکې د یخنۍ له امله ښه فصل نه کوي. د دغه ولایت بزګر دنشه يي توکو سره دمبارزې او کرنې پر وزارتونو نیوکه کوي، چې لا یې هم په دغه ولایت کې کومه ټولګټه پروژه نده پلي کړې. -- صاحب داد، چې نورګرام ولسوالۍ اوسیدونکی دی وايي: "زمونږ په ولایت کې کوکنار نه کرل کیږي، ځکه دیني عالمانو کمپاین کړی او څوک یې نه کري، خو حکومت مونږ ته یوه پروژه هم نده پلې کړې." دوی وايي که څه هم دغلته په ډېره کمه ځمکه کې دکوکنارو کښت هم کیږي، خو دوی ته دکرنیزو پروژو نه پلي کېدل به دوی اړ باسي چې دغه کښت ته بیا مخه کړي. خو په نورستان کې دنشه یي توکو سره دمبارزې ریاست وايي، دوزارت له خوا ددغه ولایت بزګرو ته هغه یو میلیون امریکايي ډالر منظور شوي، چې دکوکنارو دنه کر په بدل کې ورکول کیږي. -- ددغه ادارې مشر هارون واحد، امریکا غږ ته وویل، ددغه پیسو دلګونې لپاره یې دولسوالیو له بزګرو څخه د هغه پروژو لیست غوښتی چې کروندګر ورته اړتیا لري. نوموړی په سږنیو پلي کېدونکو پروژو کې دوایګل ولسوالۍ پر سیند دهغه پله جوړېدل هم اړین ګڼي، چې شاو خوا شپږ سوه کورنۍ د اوبو د ډېرښت پر وخت له ستونزو سره مخامخ وي. -- د نورستان والي حافظ عبد القیوم بیا وايي، دوی ته په منظور شويو یو میلیون ډالرو به په هره ولسوالۍ کې پنځه هغه پروژې پلي شي، چې بزګرو ته یې په مستقیمه توګه ګټه رسیږي. نوموړی وايي په دغه ولایت کې دکوکنارو کر صفر شوی او که هر بزګر یې دکرلو هڅه وکړي د قانون پنجو ته به یې وسپاري. -- کارپوهان وایي دنورستاني بزګرو لپاره دکوکنارو دنه کرلو په بدل کې دیو میلیون ډالرو پروژې په داسې حال کې پلي کیږي، چې لاهم دغه لرې پروت ولایت ته دچارواکو له لورې کمه پاملرنه شوې ده. -- دامریکا غږ

Ariana News 20 October 2014 Dari

اوباما، رئیس جمهور و رئیس اجرایی افغانستان را به امریکا دعوت کرد --- بارک اوباما، رئیس جمهور امریکا، با اشرف غنی احمدزی، رئیس جمهور، و عبدالله عبدالله رئیس اجرایی دولت وحدت ملی افغانستان صحبت کرده است. -- قصر سفید با انتشار اطلاعیه‌ٔ گفته است که در کنفرانس ویدیوی بین این سه نفر، آقای اوباما بار دیگر از توافق بین آقایان احمدزی و عبدالله برای حل و فصل اختلاف انتخاباتی ستایش کرد و بر تعهد امریکا برای پشتیبانی از دولت وحدت ملی افغانستان تأکید ورزید. آقای اوباما همچنین عملکرد ماه اول حکومت وحدت ملی را "سازنده" توصیف کرد و به همین مناسبت به آقایان احمدزی و عبدالله تبریک گفت. -- رئیس جمهوری امریکا از اشرف غنی احمدزی و عبدالله عبدالله دعوت کرد اوایل سال ۲۰۱۵ میلادی به امریکا سفر کنند -- دفتر ریاست جمهوری افغانستان هم در خبرنامه‌ٔ کوتاه گفته است که این گفتگوی ویدیویی شام روز گذشته انجام شد اما جزئیاتی در مورد موضوعات بحث شده، ارائه نکرده است. در خبرنامه کاخ سفید آمده که رئیس جمهور امریکا به وضعیت امنیتی افغانستان اشاره کرده و گفته که برای بهبود شرایط امنیتی در افغانستان باید نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان نیرومندتر شوند. -- چند روز پیش سخنگوی وزارت دفاع افغانستان اعلام کرد که از سال ۱۳۸۲ تا اواسط سال ۱۳۹۳ خورشیدی ۶ هزار و ۸۵۳ سرباز و افسر ارتش ملی افغانستان در نبرد با نیروهای شورشی در این کشور کشته شده‌ اند. بر اساس ارقام اعلام شده، در این دوره، تلفات نیروهای ارتش هر ساله افزایش داشته است. -- در کنفرانس ویدیویی باراک اوباما با دو مقام ارشد دولت افغانستان، در مورد تلاش‌های منطقه‌ٔ برای پیشبرد روند صلح به رهبری افغان‌ها و انجام اصلاحات در نظام بودجه و ثبات مالی افغانستان هم گفتگو شد. - BBC

Obama invites Afghan leaders to White House --- President Obama invited the leaders of Afghanistan's new unity government to the White House early next year to discuss the way forward as the U.S. winds down combat operations in their country. -- Obama extended the operation during a video conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah. -- The leaders "discussed strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, American and regional support for an Afghan-led peace process, and near-term Afghan budgetary reform and longer-term fiscal sustainability," said a White House statement. -- Obama also congratulated Ghani and Abdullah -- rivals in the recent election to replace Hamid Karzai -- for forming a unity government. -- The White House said that Obama "commended the President and Dr. Abdullah on their political agreement, reaffirmed U.S. commitment to support the unity government, and congratulated the two leaders for a productive first month for the new government." -- While the U.S. draws down combat troops in Afghanistan, it plans to maintain a residual force of about 10,000 troops to fight Taliban insurgents. - More, USATODAY

Obama invites new Afghan President to visit White House --- US President Barack Obama has invited the newly elected President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and his Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah to visit the White House early in 2015. -- "The President also reiterated his offer for President Ghani and CEO Abdullah to visit the White House early in the new year," a White House press release issued Wednesday following a video conference between the two presidents said. -- During the talk, Obama congratulated the two leaders for a productive first month for the new government and reaffirmed the United States' commitment to support the Afghan government. -- "The Presidents discussed strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces to improve the security situation in Afghanistan, American and regional support for an Afghan-led peace process, and near-term Afghan budgetary reform and longer-term fiscal sustainability," the press release added. -- The new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was sworn into office on September 29. The following day, Afghanistan, the United States and NATO signed a deal to formally justify the presence of a limited military contingent in the Central Asian state after the formal withdrawal of international forces. A follow-up force of about 12,000 troops is likely to stay throughout 2015 on training and support duties. - More,

نظر جوانان افغان در استراتژی جدید یوناما گنجانده می‌شود --- ملل متحد می گوید در دهه تحول در کنار مردم افغانستان باقی خواهد ماند و به تلاش هایش برای تامین صلح و جذب کمک های بشری ادامه خواهد داد. مقام های این سازمان می گویند در دهه تحول از صلح و حقوق بشر در افغانستان حمایت می کنند. نمایندگی سازمان ملل متحد در افغانملستان (یوناما) روز چهارشنبه (30 میزان/ 22 اکتوبر) روز جهانی این سازمان را در تالار حقوق پوهنتون کابل تجلیل کرد. ملل متحد می خواهد نظر صد ها جوانی را بشنود که در رشته های حقوق و علوم سیاسی تحصیل می کنند. نظر ها و خواسته های جوانان تحصیل کرده افغانستان در تدوین استراتژی جدید ملل متحد برای افغانستان، در نظر گرفته خواهد شد. -- همکاری ملل متحد با افغانستان از سال 1946 آغاز شد و این سازمان در دشوارترین روز ها به حمایت از افغان ها شتافته است. نیلاب مبارز سخنگوی یوناما در گفتگو با خبرنگاران گفت: حمایت از افغانستان در دهه تحول یعنی از سال 2014 تا 2024 ادامه خواهد یافت. خانم مبارز گفت: «ما فکر می کنیم که باید از طریق اولویت های دولت برای افغانستان کمک کنیم. در دهه تغییر و بعد از آن تا زمانی افغانستان خواسته باشد ما با این کشور همکار خواهیم بود.» - More,نظر-جوانان-افغان-در-استراتژی-جدید-یوناما-گنجانده-میشود/a-18012054

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Afghanistan Analyst -- Research Centers --- Institutes, Research Groups, Think Tanks and Academic Centers focusing on Afghanistan - More,

در دورۀ حکومتم از مشوره هاى محمد ظاهرشاه استفاده ميکردم --- کابل (پژواک،٣٠ميزان٩٣): حامد کرزى رييس جمهور پيشين، در مراسم گراميداشت از صدمين سالگرد تولد محمدظاهرشاه، وى را شخص صلحخواه خوانده گفت که شاه سابق، در بهبود زندگى مردم و آزادى کشور طرفدار ماجراجويى نبود. -- محمد ظاهرشاه، بعد ازايجاد اداره موقت تحت رياست حامد کرزى، به وطن برگشت و لقب باباى ملت را کسب نمود. وى در سال ١٣٨٦ به عمر ٩٢ سالگی وفات نمود و درتپۀ موسوم به نام پدرش (نادرخان) در کابل به خاک سپرده شد. -- حامد کرزى رييس جمهور سابق، در مراسم صدمين سالگرد تولد باباى ملت که امروز در کابل با شرکت اعضاى خانواده و تعدادى از مقامات دولتى برگزار شد، گفت: "هيچ زمانى من مايوسيت را در محمدظاهرشاه نسبت به آيندۀ کشور نديدم، وى مطمئن بود که افغانستان يک روزى جور ميشود." -- کرزى افزود که باباى ملت، هيچ زمانى در راه صلح و بهبود زندگى مردم و آزادى کشور، طرفدارى ماجراجويى نبود و طرفدار يک حرکت آرام، سنجيده و حرکتى بود که از درون مردم افغانستان برخاسته باشد. -- وى علاوه کرد که در دوره حکومت خود، همواره از مشوره هاى (باباى ملت) به نفع کشور استفاده مينمود -- کرزى گفت که محمدظاهرشاه، هنگاميکه دربيرون از افغانستان بود، آرزو داشت که در خاک خود منحيث يک تبعه و يک شهروند کشور زندگى کند و در سالهاى اخير عمرش، به اين آرزويش که درخاک خود باشد و درخاک خود به خاک سپرده شود، رسيد. -- در اين مراسم، زندگينامۀ شاه سابق نيز قرائت گرديد که در بخشى از آن؛ دوره سلطنت وى، دوره صلح و آرامش و يگانه دوره يى گفته شده که قانون تطبيق ميگرديد و امنيت تامين بود. -- در آن دوره معارف، فرهنگ، زراعت، صنعت و سيستم عدلى و قضايى، پيشرفت زياد کرد و افغانستان درميدان سياست، وارد اصل ديموکراسى شد و در سال ١٣٤٣ با تصويب قانون اساسى در رده کشورهاى ديموکراتيک و مدرن قرار گرفت. -- محمدظاهرشاه در ماه ميزان ١٢٩٣، در کابل به دنيا آمد و در سال ١٣١٢ بعد از کشته شدن پدرش محمدنادرشاه، در ١٩ سالگی به سلطنت رسيد و چهل سال پادشاهی کرد. -- وى در سال ١٣٥٢،بعد از کودتای پسر کاکايش سردار محمد داوود تا زمان سقوط حکومت طالبان در ايتاليا به سر مى بُرد و تمام مدتی که در ايتاليا بود، وضعيت سياسی افغانستان را دنبال می کرد. --

Karzai: I always acted on Zahir Shah advice --- KABUL (Pajhwok): Former president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said he acted on advice from the late king of Afghanistan, Mohammad Zahir Shah, during his 11-year rule. -- Karzai was addressing a gathering marking the 100th birthday of Zahir Shah, who reigned for four decades from 1933 before being ousted in a coup in 1973. -- After Taliban’s ouster from power, Shah returned to Afghanistan to open a Loya Jirga, which met in June 2002. He was given the title of Father of the Nation. -- “I never found Mohammad Zahir Shah disappointed about Afghanistan’s future. He was sure the country would eventually prosper and stabilise,” said Karzai. -- He added the Father of the Nation had never resorted to violence and was supportive of peace. Karzai said he had always followed Zahir Shah’s policies in developing the country. -- The former president said when Zahir Shah was in exile, he had always desired living in his country with his nation, a wish that came true in 2002. --- Biography of the former king was presented to the audience. After the assassination of his father, Zahir Shah was proclaimed the king of Afghanistan on November 8, 1933 at the age of 19. -- He ruled the country for 40 years. Zahir Shah was undergoing an eye surgery in Italy in 1972, when his cousin Mohammad Daud staged a coup and established a republican government. - mds/ma/mud,

Congress won't pass a law letting the FBI access your encrypted data --- Just because FBI director James Comey believes his agency has a right to see your phone's encrypted data doesn't mean he'll get his way. Members of Congress from both major parties, including House Representatives Darrell Issa and Zoe Lofgren as well as Senator Ron Wyden, are saying that there's "zero chance" they'll pass a bill requiring that device encryption includes backdoor access for federal investigators. They argue that law enforcement has blown whatever chance it had at public support -- accountability problems at multiple agencies (especially the NSA) have led many to distrust the government's data requests. As it stands, the FBI is battling some fierce legal headwinds. The House recently passed a bill banning the NSA from using backdoor searches, and it's doubtful that these politicians will heed Comey's calls for more access. -- The director's requests haven't passed technical muster so far, either. While he casts the encryption access as a "front door" that would have transparency, it would still amount to a mandatory security hole. Anyone who figured out how to exploit that access, whether it's a thief or a government surveillance agent, would have access to your content. Also, encryption doesn't lock everything away -- the feds can still intercept phone calls and many other forms of unprotected (or loosely protected) content that they want when pursuing cases. Your phone may not be completely secure, then, but there are enough privacy concerns that the FBI isn't likely to get the keys to your kingdom any time in the near future. -- Source: Darrell Issa (Twitter), The Hill,

The Afghanistan Express -- معذرت خواهی مسوولان روزنامه افغانستان ایکسپریس در باره مطلب نشر شده در شماره ( ۴۵۱) این نشریه --- بنام خداوندی که غفاراست وبخشنده -- هموطنان عزیز: چنانچه درشماره (۴۵۱ ) روزنامه افغانستان اکسپرس مطلبی بگونه سهوی و درنتیجه شدت کار و کم بودن وقت به زبان انگلیسی چاپ رسید و باعث رنجش خاطر شماری از هموطنان وخواننده گان این روزنامه گردید میخواهم نخست با عذر تمام ازبارگاه رب المنان مغفرت خواسته و دعای نیایش نمایم تا به برکت صفت های بزرگش که همانا غفور ورحیم است ما را ببخشد و ازاین سهو که صورت گرفته است ما را عفو نماید. سپس میخواهم در باره تبلیغات وواکنش های منفی که پس ازاین مسئله به میان آمده است بگویم که الحمدلله و ثم الحمدلله من و همه همکارانم مسلمانان ومومنانی استیم که به ذات یکتا واقدس خداوند (ج) و کلام مجیدش ایمان کامل داشته و همواره سرسپرده این کلمه مقدس استیم که( لااله الا الله محمد رسول الله) . تبلیغاتی سوء و منفی که پس از نشرسهوی مطلب در نشریه ما به میان آمده است کاملاً مردود است. برای روشن سازی این موضوع باید بگویم که مطلب نشرشده در شماره (۴۵۱) روزنامه افغانستان ایکسپریس ازسوی یکی از همکاران قلمی ما که در خارج کشور زنده گی میکند و همواره با ما همکاری داشت و نیز مطالبی خیلی خوب ،جالب و ارزنده برای ما میفرستاد که این کارباعث اعتبار کامل همکاران ما بالای وی شود و اتفاقاً نوشته های وی آنقدر خوب وقوی می بودند که همکاران ما آن را بگونه مرور سطحی نموده و چاپ می نمودند. این بار شاید این نوشته بگونه عمدی این کار را کرده و یاهم سهوی که مطلبی خیلی شرم اوری در باره اسلام وعقاید مقدس ما نوشته وفرستاده و این را می پذیرم که همکاران ما یا از روی سهوه یا هم غفلت و یا عدم مهارت کافی به زبان انگلیسی آنرا بگونه درست مرور نکرده و چاپ نموده اند که متاسفانه باعث خدشه دار شدن خاطر شماری ازخواننده گان روزنامه ونیز شماری از هموطنان ما گردیده است و نیزشماری از افراد آنرا رنگ وبوی سیاسی ومذهبی داده و درتلاش تخریب ما گردیده اند. اکیداً عرض میدارم که این مطلب بگونه سهوی در روزنامه چاپ گردیده است و هیچگونه هدفی سیاسی یا مذهبی را باخود نداشته است. -- باطلب مغفرت از خداوند(ج) و نیز معذرت ازشما هموطنان عزیز --

To our Respected viewers, --- Please accept our deepest apologize for our technical mistake in regard to article (Islam of Taliban and ISIS), which was published mistakenly instead of another article. -- This Article does not reflect our idea on our holy religion Islam, our prophet Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) and about our creator Allah (Subhanahoo Ta Alla), but it was published as a result of a technical mistake. -- We (The Afghanistan Express Management Team) deeply apologize for this mistake and want to say that this is against our policy of statement. -- We strongly condemn ideas and comments that were published to use this mistake for their political and individual purposes, we are not related to any political, religious or any other armed groups, -- We kindly request our viewers; please don’t judge us without understanding the truth. -- The Writer of the Articles web adress is : Website: The True Pen -- Please fell free to contact us for your thoughts and concerns over this matter, you can reach us at: - More,

خلیلزاد: چین میتواند در تامین امنیت افغانستان نقش مهم بازی کند --- رئیس جمهور افغانستان اشرف غنی احمدزی قرار است هفته آینده به چین سفر کند. تحلیلگران به این باور اند که این سفر بسیار مهم می باشد چون چین کشور همسرحد با افغانستان می باشد و از سوی دیگر برای سرمایه گذاری در افغانستان هم شوق و امکانات زیاد دارد. زلمی خلیلزاد سابق سفیر امریکا در افغانستان، عراق و سازمان ملل متحد که در آغاز حکومت رئیس جمهور کرزی نماینده خاص رئیس جمهور امریکا برای افغانستان هم بود به این باور است که چین می تواند در ساحات مختلفبه افغانستان کمک. -- این کشور از نگاه فاصله با افغانستان نزدیک بوده و سرحد مشترک دارد و می تواند بر پروژه های خود به آسانی نظارت کند. دوم چین به سرمایه گذاری در شبکه معادن افغانستان علاقمند می باشد و قرارداد استخراج مس عینک را با حکومت افغانستان امضا کرده است. اگرچه کار این پروژه طبق دلخواه پیش نمی رود، ولی اگر این پروژه تکمیل شود صد ها میلیون دالر به درآمد داخلی افغانستان اضافه می شود. از سوی دیگر چین می تواند در همدستی با امریکا و عربستان سعودی بر پاکستان فشار وارد کند که از نفوذ خود بر طالبان استفاده نموده آنها را به میز مذاکره بکشاند. -- به گفته آقای خلیلزاد، دلیل نبود صلح در افغانستان سیاست بعضی از ارگان های امنیتی پاکستان می باشد: "چین یک کشوری است که بالای پاکستان نفوذ دارد، یک دوست سوق الجیشی پاکستان برای ده ها سال بود. اگر چین طرفداری بکند که رابطه افغانستان و پاکستان بهتر شود و در به وجود آمدن صلح و فشار بر طالبان که در مذاکرات صلح شامل شوند و از جنگ دست بکشند می تواند یک رول مثبت بازی کند چون می تواند از نفوذ خود بر پاکستان، بر علاوه نفوذ امریکا استفاده کند تا پاکستان را قانع بسازند که مانع صحبت های صلح افغانستان نشود و طالبان را تشویق بکند و قانع بسازد و بر آنها فشار وارد کنند که در چنین پروسه شامل شوند." -- آقای خلیلزاد افزود، موفقیت در این کار به پلان و استراتیژی حکومت افغانستان تعلق دارد و به هر اندازه که پلان و استراتیژی افغانستان خوب باشد به همان اندازه امکان و موفقیت آن بیشتر خواهد بود: "نقطه ضعیف در افغانستان به فکر من کمی افکار نبوده، نقطه ضعیف نداشتن یک استراتیژی و پلان و تعقیب چنین استراتیژی و پلان بوده است. امید من این است که حکومت جدید نسبت به حکومت قبلی در این ساحه بهتر کار کرده بتواند." -- More, رادیو آزادی

Canadian parliament locked down, one suspect reported dead --- (Reuters) - A gunman shot and wounded a soldier in Ottawa on Wednesday and then entered the country's parliament buildings chased by police, with at least 30 shots fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital. -- A suspected gunman was shot dead inside the parliament building, a government minister said. -- It was not clear whether the suspect had acted alone. Ottawa police said they were actively looking for one or more suspects. -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in a caucus meeting in parliament when gunfire erupted in the building, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, a former policeman, told the Toronto Sun. -- Harper was later safely removed from the building, and parliament was locked down. -- Fantino said parliament's head of security, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), had shot a suspect dead. -- "All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this," Fantino said. "He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased." -- Dramatic video footage posted by the Globe and Mail newspaper showed police with guns drawn inside the main parliament building. At least a dozen loud bangs can be heard on the clip, echoing through the hallway. -- More,

Kissinger the constructivist --- Henry Kissinger would rank in anyone’s top 10 list of the most important realists in the history of international relations theory and practice. As national security adviser and secretary of state, and as a prolific author, he became synonymous with dexterous, amoral diplomacy and a cold-blooded pragmatism attuned only to the balance of power and the pursuit of national interest. Robert Kaplan calls his “classical realism — as expressed in both his books and his statecraft — emotionally unsatisfying but analytically timeless.” Kissinger’s new book “World Order” reminds Walter Isaacson “why Realism matters.” -- In fact, the most wondrous thing about “World Order” is that Kissinger, the uber-realist, has outed himself as a constructivist to the core. Forget about Kenneth Waltz’s spare realism of states jockeying for power and advantage under the relentless demands of anarchy. Enough with hard-boiled notions about the irrelevance of history, culture and identity or the scientific measurement of an objective balance of power. Nope. Kissinger’s reading of world order is that of Alexander Wendt, not Kenneth Waltz. We really are all constructivists now. -- There has always been an unacknowledged strand of constructivism running through Kissinger’s academic writing, if not his statesmanship. Kissinger’s account of Europe in “World Order” recalls his outstanding early book “A World Restored,” which celebrated the efforts of early 19th century European statesmen to reconstruct international order around shared principles of legitimacy following the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. Insights about legitimacy and order ran through his magisterial book “Diplomacy.” But “World Order” offers by far Kissinger’s most explicit and unabashed embrace of constructivism. A decade ago, the George Washington University’s Henry Nau could uncontroversially juxtapose constructivists against Kissinger as “a foremost practitioner of Realist theory” interpreting world politics “in terms of the positioning and balancing of rival powers.” Not anymore. -- Read More, Marc Lynch, Washingtonpost,

This map shows all the areas in Afghanistan where poppy production rose --- The U.S. military is closing in on the end of its long war in Afghanistan, and Washington has spent $7.6 billion trying to reduce the production of poppy, the brilliantly blooming plant whose resin is made into heroin and other opioids. -- The legacy thus far? Poppy cultivation was at an all-time high of 209,000 hectares last year, it grows in numerous parts of the country where it once did not, and U.S. officials blame Afghanistan’s government for failing to stop it. -- Those are the key findings of a new report released Tuesday by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said in comments included that the bump is disappointing, but that it is making progress in building Afghan institutions to the point that they can effectively tackle all aspects of the drug trade. -- “There is no silver bullet to eliminate drug cultivation or production in Afghanistan or to address the epidemic of substance abuse disorders that plagues too many Afghans,” Charles Randolph, a program coordinator at the embassy, said in a statement. “We are, however, building capacity to implement and lead counternarcotics efforts.” -- The map above, included in the report, shows areas where poppy production increased between 2012 and 2013. The yellow signifies an increase, and is common throughout the Helmand River Valley in southern Afghanistan and in the northwest part of the country. About half of all poppy production in Afghanistan occurred in Helmand, where thousands of additional U.S. Marines deployed as part of President Obama’s surge of troops ordered in late 2009. --- This chart shows how production has climbed: - Read More, Washingtonpost,

Ashraf Ghani Races to Make His Mark on Presidency in Afghanistan --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, is a man in a hurry to break from his predecessor’s governing style. Best not make him late. -- He drove the point home this month when he started a meeting without the prominent and widely respected interior minister, Umar Daudzai. Mr. Daudzai showed up a few minutes later and was promptly barred from entry, according to three officials who were familiar with the incident. (Through a spokesman, Mr. Daudzai denied the account.) -- Mr. Ghani will also be running a leaner palace. The lavish dinners that were a hallmark of President Hamid Karzai’s meetings — and are a cherished tradition among many Afghan officials, for that matter — have been slashed. Mr. Ghani wants to impart the message that palace meetings are for business, not pleasure. -- Just a few weeks into his tenure, Mr. Ghani has already delivered on some big issues, including signing a long-term troop deal with the United States. But he is also signaling the direction of his presidency with a host of smaller stylistic changes, most of them unpublicized but detailed in interviews with Afghan and American officials. --- In a country known for perilous divisions, building broad coalitions is often a precondition for progress. Mr. Ghani’s predecessor, Mr. Karzai, was a master at using a courtly style to keep rivals working together, keenly aware that in Afghanistan, guests expect to be fed and tradition trumps expedience. He made time for the politics. -- Mr. Ghani, on the other hand, is all about efficiency and building institutions. And his desire to move fast is coupled with a quick temper. There is a concern among some here that his temperament, Western style and didactic approach, sharpened in a career at the World Bank and in academia, could rub the Afghan official class the wrong way. -- Consider this: Forgoing the huge convoys favored by Mr. Karzai, Mr. Ghani takes only a few cars when he travels in Kabul. That will probably be a public-relations success with residents, as Mr. Karzai’s convoys snarled traffic for hours. -- It also allows Mr. Ghani to make surprise inspections, as he did when he dropped by a police station on a recent day to check attendance, or on another stop when he chastised a group of police officers goofing off at their checkpoint. -- Similarly, after visiting the Kabul military hospital to meet wounded soldiers, Mr. Ghani was told there were doctors on duty around the clock. When he went back later that night to check and found no one around, people were promptly fired. -- The political class of Kabul favors car analogies when describing Mr. Ghani’s style. Just about everyone agrees that he is pushing the pedal to the floor, but no one is sure what is around the bend. -- “This guy is speeding ahead on a very bumpy road,” said a senior Afghan ministry official, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of angering the president. “Only the car is not ready for that speed, especially when you don’t have anyone sitting next to you to tell you to be careful.” -- “Right now, he is focusing 95 percent of his time on institutions and 5 percent of his time on politics,” said a former Afghan official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid appearing to criticize the president. “There needs to be more of a balance.” -- Mr. Ghani’s supporters say that such fears are misguided and that his efforts to signal a change in approach on women’s rights, for instance, exemplified by his wife’s higher-profile role in public life, are meant to be an example of forward-thinking leadership. -- “He is very cognizant of past failures in Afghanistan — of presidents, kings and other leaders,” said Daoud Sultanzoy, an adviser to Mr. Ghani. “He will not do anything that the public is not ready for, but he will also lead and will not allow dark forces to derail progress in this country.” -- Read More, NYTimes,

حامد کرزی محمد ظاهرشاه را یک شخص وطن دوست و صلح خواه خواند --- حامد کرزی رییس جمهور سابق افغانستان محمد ظاهر، شاه اسبق افغانستان را یک شخص وطن دوست و صلح خواه خواند. -- وی این مطلب را در جریان سخنرانی اش در محفل گرامی داشت از صدمین سالگرد تولد محمد ظاهرشاه در کابل بیان کرد. -- وی همچنان گفت که در جریان دوره کاری اش به عنوان رییس جمهور افغانستان از مشوره های محمد ظاهرشاه استفاده موثر به نفع کشور کرده است --

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breathing Hope into Kabul --- A city built for 500,000 is home to 5 million today. Environmental management in Afghanistan -- Uploaded on Aug 12, 2010

Despite costly U.S. effort, Afghan poppy cultivation hits new high --- (Reuters) - Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2013 despite years of counter-narcotics efforts that have cost the United States $7.6 billion, the U.S. government watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction spending said on Tuesday. -- The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported that Afghan farmers grew an "unprecedented" 209,000 hectares (516,000 acres) of opium poppy in 2013, surpassing the previous high of 193,000 hectares (477,000 acres) in 2007, said John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction. -- "In past years, surges in opium poppy cultivation have been met by a coordinated response from the U.S. government and coalition partners, which has led to a temporary decline in levels of opium production," Sopko said in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other top U.S. officials. -- "The recent record-high level of poppy cultivation calls into question the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of those prior efforts," he said. -- Afghanistan produces more than 80 percent of the world's illicit opium, and profits from the illegal trade help fund the Taliban insurgency. U.S. government officials blame poppy production for fueling corruption and instability, undermining good government and subverting the legal economy. -- The United States has spent $7.6 billion on counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan since launching the programs following the start of the 2001 war, it said. -- Sopko said the U.N. drug office estimated the value of poppy cultivation and opium products produced in Afghanistan in 2013 at about $3 billion, a 50 percent increase over the $2 billion estimated in 2012. -- "With deteriorating security in many parts of Afghanistan and low levels of eradication of poppy fields, further increases in cultivation are likely in 2014," Sopko said in the letter. -- He said affordable deep-well technology brought to Afghanistan over the past decade had enabled Afghans to turn 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres) of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land, much of it devoted to poppy production. -- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, in a letter responding to the findings, said the rise in poppy cultivation and decline in eradication efforts by provincial authorities was "disappointing news." It said U.S. officials were helping Afghans develop the ability to lead and manage a long-term counter-narcotics effort. -- Read More,

جنرال دوستم، قانوني، مخدوم رهین، احمد مشاهد او ضرار احمد ... دشېرپور قسطونه نه دي ورکړي --- دحکومت یو شمېر لوړپوړي چارواکي چې په شیرپور کې دخپلو کورونو لپاره ځمکې رانیولي دي تراوسه ښاروالۍ ته دخپلو نومرو قسطونه نه دي تحویل کړي. دولسمشر دلومړي مرستیال عبدالرشید دوستم، دشمال ټلوالې مهم غړی یونس قانوني، اطلاعاتو کلتور سرپرست وزیر مخدوم رهین، دبهرنیو چارو سرپرست وزیر ضرار احمد عثماني، دسوداګرۍ سرپرست وزیر محمد شاکر کارګر، دولسي جرګې غړی حاجي الماس، پخوانی جهادي جنګسالار حضرت علي او یو شمېر نورو دولتي چارواکو دڅو کلونو په تیریدو حکومت ته دخپلو ځمکو قسطونه نه دي ورکړي. -- دشیرپور ځمکې 289 نومرې لري او دیارلس کاله پخوا دکابینې ټولو وزیرانو، جهادي قومندانانو او دولسي جرګې ځینو غړو ته ویشل شوې دي له دې جملې نږدې 190 تنو دخپلو ځمکو پیسې نه دي تحویل کړي. په دې کسانو کې داطلاعاتو وکلتور مرستیال وزیر غلام نبي فراهي، داصلاحات اداري مشر ډاکتر احمد مشاهد، دهرات پخوانی امنیه قومندان سمیع الله قطره، قومندان حضرت علي او دکورنیو چارو دښوونې روزنې پخوانی مشر ګل نبي احمدزی شامل دي. -- په کابل ښاروالۍ کې دملکیتونو رئیس فریدون رشیدي وايي: دشیرپور دځمکو قرض نږدې پنځه میلیون ډالرو ته رسیږي. ولسمشر اشرف غني تېره اونۍ کابل ښاروال ته سپارښتنه وکړه، چې دشیرپور دځمکو پاتې قسطونه تر لاسه کړي اوس وګورو، چې خپله ولسمشر غني او ښاروالۍ دا زور لري،چې دا دولتي چارواکي دیته رامات کړي، چې قسطونه ورکړي. -- روهی ویب

China, US partner to train Afghan diplomats --- A group of young Afghan diplomats began a two-week training session Monday as part of a joint program co-organized by the United States and China. -- This is the third year the United States and China have partnered to train early-career Kabul diplomats, who visit the two countries in order to develop their diplomatic, communications and management skills. -- The group, which participated in a two-week training program in Beijing in May, will learn more about US policy regarding Afghanistan, US-China relations, and the way foreign policy is made in the United States while in Washington. -- "I'm happy that the US and China have come to see support for Afghanistan's sovereignty and economic development as an area of common interest and action," US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dan Feldman said at the opening ceremony of the training program in the United States. -- The joint program is a "good example of how the new model of major-country relationship between China and the United States can contribute to the region," said Wu Xi, minister of Chinese Embassy in the United States, referring to the consensus reached by the leaders of China and the United States on bilateral relations. -- Describing the training as being "useful and productive," Ahmad Nawid Ariayl, a participant of past programs, said he had benefited from past sessions especially on communications and negotiation skills. -- During their two-week stay, the Afghan diplomats are also scheduled to visit the Chinese and Afghan embassies, tour Washington, D.C., meet with diplomats and scholars from various think tanks, practice diplomatic simulations at the University of Maryland, and visit the United Nations and the Afghan consulate in New York City. - Read More,

Afghan Diplomat Training Begins Third Year in United States --- A group of 15 young Afghan diplomats kicked off their training visit to the United States at a welcome reception hosted at the State Department this morning by Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel F. Feldman. The Special Representative was joined at the reception by Chinese Embassy Minister Wu Xi and Afghan Charge d’Affaires Mirwais Samadi. -- This is the third year the United States and China have partnered to train the Afghan diplomatic corps on diplomatic, communications, and management skills. This year’s group includes fifteen early-career Afghan diplomats, who were selected jointly by representatives from the U.S. and Chinese Embassies in Kabul. In May, the participants participated in a two-week training program in Beijing sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While in Washington, the group will learn more about U.S. policies regarding both Afghanistan and China, as well as the process of formulating and implementing foreign policy in the United States. -- During their two-week stay, the group will visit the Chinese and Afghan Embassies, tour Washington, D.C., meet with diplomats and scholars from various think tanks, practice diplomatic simulations at the University of Maryland, and visit the United Nations and Afghan consulate in New York City. -- Read More,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Oscar de la Renta dies aged 82 --- The Dominican fashion designer known for his glamorous eveningwear has died, his family have confirmed. --- Known for his sumptuous evening gowns and red carpet fashion, de la Renta found fame dressing Jackie Kennedy in the 1960s and his designs have since been worn by Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, Hilary Clinton and generations of Hollywood actors. -- Born in 1932 to a wealthy family in the Dominican Republic, Óscar Arístides de la Renta Fiallo learned his trade as an apprentice of Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga before working under Lanvin and Balmain in Paris. In 1965, he launched his own ready-to-wear label in New York. -- De la Renta’s final catwalk collection, which was to be his last before British designer Peter Copping took the helm of the fashion house, drew inspiration from florals and the joys of spring. --- The collection showed at New York fashion week in September. He also designed Amal Alamuddin’s wedding dress for her recent marriage to George Clooney. -- If his style wasn’t considered groundbreaking, de la Renta had a knack of dressing the most influential women of every decade, from royals and politicians to socialites and pop stars. --- “I want to make clothes that people will wear, not styles that will make a big splash on the runway,” the designer said. “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.” -- De la Renta was married to Francois Langlade, editor of French Vogue, from 1967 to her death in 1983. His second wife, philanthropist Annette Reed, survives him. -- Read More,

Designer Oscar de la Renta dies aged 82 --- US fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who dressed former first ladies Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, has died aged 82, US media report. -- De La Renta, who most recently designed Amal Clooney's wedding dress, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. -- Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, he left home at 18 to study painting in Madrid, Spain. -- He soon developed a love of fashion design and began an apprenticeship with Spain's designer Cristobal Balenciaga. -- De la Renta passed away at his home in Connecticut, reports say. The cause of his death was not immediately clear, although he had been diagnosed with cancer. -- De la Renta made his name in the early 1960s when the then first lady, Jackie Kennedy, frequently wore his designs. He launched his own label several years later. -- The designer had been awarded the lifetime achievement award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. -- He was also involved in the fragrance and accessories business. -- Read More,

Humaira Wali, the granddaughter of Afghanistan's former King, Mohammad Zahir Shah & daughter of General Abdul Wali Khan died in Rome, Italy. --

تلاش بانوی نخست افغانستان برای کاهش مرگ مادران --- بانوی نخست افغانستان می گوید که تدابیر برای جلوگیری، بلندبردن سطح آگاهی مردم و تداوی بیماری سرطان پستان در افغانستان می تواند میزان مرگ و میر زنان را کاهش دهد. رولا غنی، همسر اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهور افغانستان می گوید که برای جلوگیری از موارد سرطان پستان، به بلندبردن سطح آگاهی زنان درباره این بیماری، فراهم آوری زمینه دسترسی به مراکز تشخیص و نیز درمان به موقع این بیماری نیاز است. خانم غنی با تاکید بر بلندبردن سطح آگاهی مردم در مورد سرطان پستان می گوید که از این طریق می شود میزان مرگ و میر مادران را کاهش داد. -- بر اساس احصائیه سازمان ملل متحد افغانستان در سال های ۲۰۱۰ و ۲۰۱۱ بدترین کشور جهان برای مادران قلمداد شده بود. اگرچه در تازه ترین گزارش ها افغانستان از رهگذر صحت طفل و مادر بهبود را نشان می دهد، با آن هم به گفتۀ مقام های صحی افغان، در هر دو ساعت یک مادر در افغانستان به دلیل زایمان و مشکلات مرتبط با بارداری جان خود را از دست می دهد. -- More,

Many Views Of Muhammad, As A Man And As A Prophet --- The Lives of Muhammad -- The Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was one of the most influential men in human history — but there's little we can say about his life with historical certainty. The details of his life have been debated and manipulated ever since he walked the earth in the seventh century AD. -- Boston University professor Kecia Ali's new book The Lives of Muhammad examines those divergent narratives. In it, she explores the different ways the prophet's life story has been told and retold, by both Muslims and non-Muslims, from the earliest days of Islam to the present. -- As Ali tells NPR's Arun Rath, "There are a lot of ways in which Muhammad's life has been understood and experienced and celebrated in the past 1400 years" — including, but not limited to, a wealth of different versions of his life story. -- Ali tells Rath how changing political and theological concerns have shaped how European Christians described Muhammad's biography, and why the realities of life before the printing press led Muslims to use Muhammad's life story as a lens through which to approach the Quran. - More,

Sunday, October 19, 2014

'۶۲ میلیارد دلار'؛ جزئیات کمکهای آمریکا به ارتش و پلیس افغانستان - دفتر بازرس ویژه آمریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان (SIGAR) در گزارشی نوشته که آمریکا از سال ۲۰۰۲ نزدیک به ۶۲ میلیارد دلار به نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان کمک کرده است. -- براساس این گزارش، این مبلغ بخشی از هزینه ۱۰۴ میلیارد دلاری آمریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان در این مدت است که آمارش پیشتر بدون جزئیات منتشر شده بود. -- حالا سیگار گزارش داده که این ۶۱.۷۷ میلیارد دلار برای تجهیز، تدارکات، خدمات، آموزش و همچنین تسهیلات و تعمیر، نوسازی و ساخت و ساز زیرساختهای امنیتی افغانستان هزینه شده است. -- براساس این گزارش که به کنگره آمریکا ارائه شده، ۳۰.۵۹ میلیارد دلار دیگر به حکومتداری و توسعه، ۸.۹۱ میلیارد دلار به امور غیرنظامی و ۲.۸۴ میلیارد دلار دیگر به امور بشردوستانه اختصاص داده شده است. -- دفتر بازرس ویژه آمریکا برای افغانستان نوشته که از ۴۸.۲۳ میلیارد دلاری که به نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان پرداخت شده، ۳۱.۹۳ میلیارد آن به ارتش و ۱۵.۹۴ میلیارد دیگر به پلیس این کشور پرداخته شده است. -- جان ساپکو سربازرس ویژه امریکا برای بازسازی افغانستان در این گزارش نوشته از مبلغی که به ارتش افغانستان پرداخت شده، حدود ۱۲.۲۶ میلیارد آن به امور مراقبت و نگهداری و بیش از یازده میلیارد دیگر به تجهیزات و حمل و نقل ۱۹۵ هزار نفر عضو ارتش هزینه شده است. -- همچنین براساس این گزارش، ۱۸۷ هزار پرسنل پلیس افغانستان نزدیک شش میلیارد دلار را در این مدت به مراقبت و نگهداری و بیش از سه و نیم میلیارد را در بخش تجهیزات و حمل و نقل و نزدیک به سه و نیم میلیارد دیگر را در بخش آموزش هزینه کرده‌اند. -- در گزارش سیگار همچنین آمده که سالانه دهها میلیون دلار در نهادهای امنیتی افغانستان صرف خرید تجهیزات غیراستاندارد شده است. -- پیشتر دفتر آقای ساپکو گزارش کرده بود که ۱۶ هواپیمای حمل و نقل کمک شده به ارتش افغانستان به ارزش ۴۸۶ میلیون دلار، اوراق شده و به مبلغ ۳۲ هزار دلار فروخته شده است. -- این در حالی است که سایر قدرتهای بزرگ جهان هم کمک‌های زیادی را در اختیار ارتش و پلیس افغانستان قرار داده که آمار دقیق آنها در دست نیست. -- این در حالی است که سایر قدرتهای بزرگ جهان هم کمک‌های زیادی را در اختیار ارتش و پلیس افغانستان قرار داده که آمار دقیق آنها در دست نیست. --- اخیراً یک روزنامه چاپ کابل نظرسنجی انجام داد که ۴۶ درصد مصاحبه‌شوندگان از رئیس جمهوری کشور خواستند که تامین امنیت را در صدر اولویت‌های برنامه‌های خود قرار دهد. - BBC,

Bhutto’s Son Tries to Revive the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Fortunes --- ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Seven years ago, Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan after a decade in exile to a boisterous welcome from hundreds of thousands of her followers. Over the weekend, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 26, tried to reclaim the legacy of his mother with a huge rally in the southern port city of Karachi. -- Thousands of party loyalists dressed in party colors of red, black and green gathered on the vast lawns in front of the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the country’s founding leader, dancing to party anthems and chanting slogans of support for the young party leader. -- The rally was an attempt by the Oxford-educated Mr. Bhutto Zardari to capture the popular imagination and revive the sagging fortunes of his political party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, which was battered in the 2013 general elections after completing a five-year term in power, tainted by allegations of corruption and ineptitude. The party has been swept from the national stage and now wields power only on the provincial level, and in just one province, Sindh, where the party has had its power base for decades. -- Mr. Bhutto Zardari has a tough task in rebuilding his party. Highlighting the challenge was a poor showing in a by-election in the central city of Multan last week in which the P.P.P.’s candidate came in third, drawing only a few thousand votes. The winner of the election was an independent candidate supported by the opposition politician Imran Khan, a charismatic former cricket player. -- Mr. Khan, who has since mid-August been one of the leaders of a protest in the capital, Islamabad, against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is fast gaining momentum as a challenger to Mr. Sharif. He has been drawing huge crowds in rallies across the country, especially in Punjab, the most populous and prosperous province, which determines the political future of any political party here. -- Mr. Khan is calling for fresh elections, claiming that Mr. Sharif came to power after a rigged electoral process, and tapping into a widespread feeling of discontent with the government. - Read More, NYTimes,

President Ahmadzai’s and President Tayyip Edogan's Joint Press Conferenc. Presidential Palace - ARG, Kabul Afghanistan – Oct 18, 2014

آرمان ملی -- وزیرانی که در هر رهبری کشور رنگ عوض می کنند --- بعد از ایجاد حکومت وحدت ملی تحت ریاست دوکتور اشرف غنی احمدزی و ریاست اجرائیه دوکتور عبدالله عبدالله، آنچه که طی سیزده سال گذشته از جنس نابسامانی ها، کمی و کاستی ها، همه كاسه و كوزه‌ ها بر سر آقای حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور قبلی مي ‌شكند. همه مشکلات امنیتی، اقتصادي و سياسي بر گردن او است. پول شویی، مشکل کابل بانک، غصب زمین ها و بيكاري و فقر همه و همه را از عملكرد های او می دانند. مشكلات روابط بين‌المللی را هم از دست پخت ‌هاي جناب آقای کرزی قلمداد می کنند. بعضی ها می گویند، کرزی طالبان را برادر گفت، تروریستان را آزاد ساخت، امریکا را با افغانستان دشمن گردانید. -- طرفداران حکومت جدید می گویند او بود كه باعث ازدیاد جنگ در افغانستان شد و مفسدین را تشویق و ترغیب کرد. مشكلات ازدیاد قیمت مواد و اجناس مورد ضرورت مردم به گردن اوست. خیلی بی انصافانه است و خیلی ناعادلانه است که بگوییم طی سیزده سال هر چه كه اتفاق افتاده در این کشور به خاطر عملكرد نادرست آقای کرزی بوده است. بعضی ها ناانصافانه می گویند که اصلاً کرزی نبايد رئيس جمهور مي ‌شد. مردم اشتباه كردند او را دو مرتبه انتخاب كردند. تعدادی می گویند در انتخابات دور دوم و سوم ریاست جمهوری تقلباتي که صورت گرفته او مقصر بوده است. عملکرد های نامطلوب و دور از صداقتی را که کمیسيون انتخابات انجام داده همه را به گردن آقای کرزی می اندازند. در افغانستان معمول است تا زمانی که در اریکه قدرت باشید همه احترام تان می کنند و در وجود شما کمی و کاستیی نیست، اما با کنار رفتن از قدرت گناهکار عام و خاص شمرده می شوید. برایم دلچسپ است که بعضی ها می گویند جناب کرزی حتی قانون اساسی و نظام جمهوريت را هم زير پا کرد. می گویند او مقصر است كه طی 13 سال چرا افغانستان به اوج تمدن و رفاه نرسید. -- در حال حاضر جناب حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور قبلی مردي است كه برخي وزيران مرتجع و فرصت طلب اش طی سیزده سال گذشته زیر سایه او صاحب ثروت و اعتبار شدند، به شهرت رسیدند در بانک ها پول های فراوان دارند و در زمان ریاست آقای کرزی او را فرزند صدیق و قهرمان کار و پیکار می دانستند. آن ها حالا بیشرمانه می گویند باعث همه مشكلات كشور شخص آقای کرزی بوده و است. بعضی از همین وزیران که پول ‌هاي اختلاس شان در حساب بانك های خارجي بخصوص در دبی و بانك ‌هاي سويس است، خود را صادق و وطندوست می دانند. چقدر جای شرم و خجالت است برای هم چو وزيراني که در هر رهبریی در این کشور رنگ عوض می کنند و برس موزه پاکی را در بغل زده اند. من طی چند سال اخیر از جمله منتقدین سر سخت آقای کرزی بودم، اما انصاف در مورد یک شخص هم عدالت پسندی است و هم انسانی و اسلامی. -- وزيراني که با کرزی سالیان درازی هم کاسه بودند به حکم وجدان بگویند که جناب کرزی براي اين كشور که نام آن افغانستان است در اين 13سال هيچكاري نكرده است جز خرابكاري. یکی از وزيران چاپلوس و متملق که در زمان حکومت کرزی تقریباً اضافه از یک دهه وزیر بوده و حالا برس موزه پاکی حکومت وحدت ملی را بدست دارد، برایم گفت که آقای کرزی قانون را هم اجرا نمي ‌كرد، از اجراي قانون فرار مي ‌كرد. فقط مي ‌خواست كار خود را انجام دهد. حرف، حرف خودش بود. به حرف هيچكس گوش نمي ‌داد و باور به هیچ کس نداشت، خودکامه بود. -- من برایش گفتم برای این گفتار خود چی دلیل دارید؟ او برایم گفتکه انتخابات دور دوم رياست جمهوري كه برگزار شد رقيبان قدرتمندي را با نیرنگ و مداخله كنار زد و در دور دوم زمینه سازی کرد تا داکتر عبدالله عبدالله بدون رقابت قدرت را به آقای کرزی تسلیم نماید. در انتخابات دور سوم ریاست جمهوری نیز آقای کرزی مهره چینی کرده است کی با کی باشد و کدام شخص در پهلوی کدام شخصیت قرار گیرد. برای آن وزیر گفتم که برادر در زمانی که آقای کرزی کاندیداي ریاست جمهوری بود، خودت عمده ‌ترین مسؤولیت پولی و رهبری کمپاین آقای کرزی را به عهده داشتی، مجبورم نساز که نام ترا افشا کنم. رنگش پرید صحبت را بسوی دیگر برد. -- من برای این وزیر که حالا سرپرست است گفتم جناب وزیر اگر انصاف کنیم جناب آقای کرزی هم ضعف هایی داشت و هم قوت. كار هاي خوب هم داشت و كار هاي بد هم. كفه ترازوي كدام شان به نظر شما سنگين ‌تر است؟ جناب وزیر سرپرست، يك طرفه نمي ‌توان به قاضي رفت و بر اساس ظن و گمان و اميال، رأي داد و حكم صادر كرد. من می دانم خوب و بد را همه با هم دارند. اگر جناب آقای کرزی كمي تدبير به خرج مي ‌داد و مانند شما اشخاص را مورد اعتماد قرار نمی داد و یک دهه وزیر نگه نمی داشت، مي ‌توانست به شكل بهتري رياست جمهوري را انجام دهد و تو وزیر قبلی جرأت نمی کردی که بعد از ختم وظیفه، اين همه حرف ها را پشت سرش بگویی. -- بعضی از مردم از دوران 13 سال رياست جمهوري فردي كه خود مردم انتخاب اش كرده بودند و پس از گذشت نزديك به سه هفته از پايان رياست جمهوري‌اش هم چنان سكوت اختيار كرده و نمي ‌خواهد لب به سخن بگشايد، شايد بتوانند قضاوت خوبي داشته باشند. من روز دوم عید قربان امسال بعد از چندین سال به عید مبارکی خدمت آقای کرزی رفتم که رئیس جمهور بر حال نبود. اما دوستان زیادی در دور و برش حلقه زده بودند و به احترامش آمده بودند. بعد از عید مبارکی به جناب کرزی گفتم انتقادات من طی چند سال اخیر فقط بخاطر منافع ملی بوده و بس. جناب کرزی نیز قناعت داشت. از جناب کرزی در روز دوم عید پرسیدم نظرت از انتقاداتي كه از دولت ‌سیزده ساله ای شما می شود چيست؟ -- در قدم اول تنها سكوت ‌كرد، اما غیرمستقیم برایم چند پاسخ داد كه بوي روی گرداندن از اشخاص داخلی و کشور های خارجی در آن نهفته بود. حالا جناب کرزی رئیس جمهور نیست اما تعداد زیادی از يارانش آنچه که من در روز دوم عید دیدم هم چنان او را رها نكرده‌‌اند و براي او مخلصانه بدون هدف تحفه مي‌ دهند و احترام می کردند. حتی بعضی از دوستان آقای کرزی، ادعا دارند كه اگر وضع چنين باشد بازگشت او در دور بعد انتخابات رياست جمهوري به قدرت حتمی است. یکی از ياران او برایم گفت که اگر ادامه وضع دولت فعلی همین ‌گونه باشد و تدابیر اصلاح نشود، امنیت حکمفرما نگردد، موادمخدره کاهش پیدا نکند، جلو رشوت و اختلاس گرفته نشود، جهت رشد تعلیم و تربیه گام های مؤثر برداشته نشود، بیکاری مهار نگردد و در سیاست خارجی تجدید نظر نشود، ‌تردید نکنید که اگر آقای کرزی در انتخابات دور چهارم ریاست جمهوری کاندیدا شود پیروزی قاطعی به ‌دست خواهد آورد. -- با همه بگو مگو ها تا کنون جناب کرزی بعد از ختم ریاست جمهوری خود هم چنان در سكوت به سر مي‌ برد. خودش به یکی از نزدیکان خود گفته است كه اين سكوت از سر انفعال نيست. عليرغم اين كه ياران ديرينه‌ام مي گويند که در سیاست های آینده باید فعال باشم در حال حاضر برای مدتی قصد ندارم وارد سياست شوم. شايد در انديشه و تعمق است. سبك، سنگين مي ‌كند دوران 13 سال رياست جمهوري‌اش را كه چه كرد و چه بايد مي ‌كرد و چه نكرد و چه نبايد مي‌ كرد. باور دارم رئیس جمهور قبلی اكنون به گذشته مي ‌انديشد و دوراني كه قدرت داشت و رئيس جمهور بود. شاید جناب کرزی در دوران بیکاری خود بينديشد كه چقدر براي خدا و وطن و مردم خود كار كرده ‌است و در اين كار چقدر نيت خير داشته ‌است و چقدر انسان های فرصت طلب از پهلوی آن استفاده نادرست کرده اند. آقای کرزی در حال حاضر اگر سکوت را بشکند یا نشکند باید باور داشته باشد که بدون این و آن مردم افغانستان مي ‌توانندبه راه خود ادامه دهند. -- اگر جناب کرزی دستآورد دارد یا ندارد یک چیز در تاریخ افغانستان بنام جناب حامد کرزی پیوند ناگسستنی دارد- حوصله مندی در مقابل انتقادات و رشد آزادی بیان که نظیرش در کشور های منطقه وجود ندارد. امیدواریم حکومت وحدت ملی مانند آقای کرزی با آزادی بیان و رشد مطبوعات باور داشته و در این راه گام های استواری بردارد. - احمد سعیدی

New Afghan leaders face culture clash as they form Cabinet --- KABUL — Mohammad Mohaqiq thinks he’s owed a lot for throwing his support behind Afghanistan’s U.S.-brokered coalition government. The influential former warlord-turned-politician expects nothing less than a fifth of all Cabinet ministries and governorships for his ethnic group. -- “Twenty to 22 percent,” declared Mohaqiq in an interview at his opulent, heavily guarded house, “should go to those from the Hazara community,” -- But President Ashraf Ghani and his close aides have vowed to fill government positions based on skills and competence — not ethnic or regional quotas. -- The divide speaks to a clash of cultures and perspectives emerging within the two-week-old government as it embarks on the difficult task of forging a new bureaucracy in the weeks ahead. At stake is the future of this fragile nation, beset by economic woes and insecurity, as most foreign troops leave its soil by year’s end and the Taliban Islamist insurgency remains a potent threat. -- Ghani, an American-educated technocrat who cites Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson as his influences, wants to enact reforms and create a modern government run by experienced civil servants accountable to the people. But he has to contend with the high expectations of dozens of powerful individuals under him, some with nefarious pasts, who helped him attain the presidency. They are steeped in the traditional ways of Afghan politics, driven by ethnicity, patronage and enormous egos. -- Many Afghans question whether Ghani can effectively work with Abdullah Abdullah, his political rival who is now his partner in the power-sharing government. -- “This is the honeymoon period. The hard part will be when Ghani starts replacing ministers,” said a senior Western official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of diplomatic protocol. “He’s going to have to overlay Abdullah’s patronage network into a reform-minded agenda, and there’s going to be a natural rub. Ghani wants competent and qualified ministers and officials. Abdullah is more about the old school Afghan network.” -- The pair, diplomats and analysts said, will need to rein in the demands and ambitions of the outsized personalities in their respective camps in order to prevent the sort of divisiveness and corruption that have plagued the country in the past. -- “The problem in our system is not the leaders themselves, it’s their entourages,” said Haroon Mir, a political analyst. “There will be potential for conflict.” -- The unity government was sworn in Sept. 29 after months of political acrimony that threatened ethnic rifts and violence. Both Ghani and Abdullah claimed they won the elections to succeed President Hamid Karzai, who came to power after the U.S.-led intervention following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, which ousted the Taliban. The two men were eventually persuaded by Washington to form a partnership, with Abdullah holding the title of chief executive in the Ghani administration, equivalent to prime minister. -- Abdullah nearly boycotted the inauguration ceremony after a squabble over office space and whether he would speak at the event; he eventually did, after U.S. Ambassador James B. Cunningham helped settle the dispute. -- Since taking office in the country’s first democratic transfer of power, Ghani has sent a clear message of reforming the old order. He’s been working long hours, said Western diplomats. He signed two security pacts allowing roughly 12,000 U.S. and NATO troops to remain after 2014 to train and advise Afghan forces and stage counterterrorism operations. He also reopened an investigation into a fraud scandal at Kabul Bank, which collapsed in 2010 after nearly $1 billion disappeared, mostly deposits by foreign donors. -- But while they support both these actions, members of Abdullah’s circle in interviews expressed unhappiness with some of Ghani’s political appointments, underscoring the mistrust and lingering bitterness over the elections. They said that they weren’t consulted and that several positions, including national security adviser and a deputy minister of foreign affairs, were given to Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, and the one to which Ghani belongs. --- “The real test will come when Ghani has to fire one of these officials and who he wants to replace him with,” said the senior Western official. “Attah is a great example of where Ghani has to be careful in his reformist agenda. He wants to replace that guy for a host of reasons. But how much do you push before the whole thing is in danger of coming off the rails?” -- Read More, Washingtonpost,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Afghanistan Needs an Economic Czar --- China had its Deng Xiaopeng; India, Manmohan Singh; the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Rashid; Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew; and dozens of others statesmen have unlocked the economic potential of their countries and paved the way for phenomenal economic growth and development in their countries. It is time to reset the economic development agenda for Afghanistan. Afghans can find a sustainable source of economic growth based on natural resources and geographic location in Asia under an economic czar with a vision for the Afghan economy and a program for economic reform in a short time span. -- In the past 13 years, the Afghan economy has had double digit economic growth with an average growth rate of 9.5 percent per year along with a single digit inflation rate. However, since 2013, the GDP growth rate has plummeted from 13.5 percent to 3.2 percent, based on World Bank and IMF estimates. This drastic fall in GDP growth is due to the withdrawal of foreign forces, a prolonged election, fading business confidence, and pervasive corruption within the Afghan government. -- The recipes for building a sustainable Afghan economy ranged from reviving the Silk Road to building a resource-based economy given Afghanistan's vast underground mineral resources. Under President Hamid Karzai, either these models did not work or security priorities overtook the economic development agenda. Furthermore, as Karzai was never interested in an economic development agenda and vision for Afghanistan, economic issues never made it high in his agenda. His assumption was that the international community would continue pouring in millions of dollars in foreign aid, keeping his country afloat and bringing much needed foreign exchange to the economy -- not realizing that, like any form of foreign aid, it won't last long. -- Too many recipes: an inflation of strategies and policies --- With the establishment of the interim administration, led by Hamid Karzai in 2002 -- the then-coordinator of aid for Afghanistan and current president, Ashraf Ghani, formulated the first ever post-Taliban economic development strategy, called the National Development Framework (NDF). The NDF categorized the economic development and poverty reduction priorities of Afghanistan into four pillars and was later presented to donor countries at a Berlin conference as a seven-year plan, called Securing Afghanistan's Future. -- After Ghani's departure as finance minister and with the arrival of a pool of ministers that followed, a plethora of new development strategies were devised for Afghanistan from Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) to Kabul Conference National Priority Programs (NPPs) to the document presented at the Tokyo Conference II referred to as "Towards a Self-Reliant Afghanistan." Unfortunately, none of these plans were completely implemented. Policy priorities depended on the personal taste and choice of each finance minister officeholder who drew up their own economic development plan for Afghanistan and presented it as Afghanistan's set of economic development priorities at new international donors' conferences. -- The tyranny of experts: too many cooks in the kitchen --- Since 2001, each year, millions of dollars in foreign aid is poured into Afghanistan for technical advisors, consultancy projects, and capacity development programs -- all without much achievement. This has created a revolving door of domestic and foreign consultancy industry where consultants, often highly incompetent, come for short-term consultancies, most of which is highly ineffective. These consultants have produced dozens of documents that do nothing more than lay on shelves in Afghan ministries, gathering dust, with little feasibility to implement and relevance to realities on the ground. -- A framework for the inflow and outflow of consultants should be put in place with clear productivity and competency benchmarks for this shadowy industry in Afghanistan. --- Fiscal policy failure: budget deficit and the Dutch disease -- Afghanistan still lacks a basic fiscal policy framework outlining its short, medium, and long-term expenditure and revenue targets to help adjust the aggregate demand and GDP fluctuations in the economy. -- Fiscal policy is constricted by the Afghan National Budget, estimated to be around $7 billion annually. Afghanistan's operating budget is 40 percent funded by the international community and includes the Development Budget, which is completely dependent on foreign aid. -- But the heavy reliance of the Afghan economy on foreign aid has created some major problems. Dutch disease, where the increase in the development of natural resources brings a decline in the manufacturing sector, and aid addiction, has resulted in few Afghan policymakers bothering to invest time and energy in finding domestic, sustainable sources of revenue and economic of growth. --- Monetary policy, central banking and financial markets: strengthening banking and financial sectors -- The Afghan Central Bank, also known as Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), is the main regulatory body responsible for the banking and financial sectors of the Afghan economy. It is an efficient institution but lacks the sophistication, capacity, skills, and independence of a modern central bank. Like many central banks, DAB was part of the Ministry of Finance until recently when the new constitution changed its status, transforming it into an independent institution. -- DAB's independence is a new phenomenon and the institution lacked the basic skills and capacity to develop and implement an independent monetary policy, even to this day. -- Furthermore, the collapse of Kabul Bank in 2010 and the spread of contagious and risky assets across the financial and banking system of Afghanistan have destroyed the international credibility and reputation of the Afghan financial and banking institutions. -- The Afghan banking and financial sector was on the verge of being blacklisted because Afghan government failed to pass the international banking association's money laundering and anti-terrorism financing regulations. Fortunately, it was approved at the last minute by the Afghan parliament under intense national and international pressure. -- Building a vibrant financial and banking sector requires a capable, competent, and independent central bank that follows a credible and predictable monetary policy. The governor of DAB has a responsibility to draft, approve, and implement a fresh monetary policy for Afghanistan consistent with the economic realities of the country. --- The blessing of geography: Afghanistan, the land bridge of Asia -- For a long time, Afghanistan's geographic location was a liability, making Afghanistan prey to empires from the east and west or a buffer zone between the former USSR and the United States. Today, this calculus can change with smart and visionary leadership. The three major rising economies of the world are Afghanistan's neighbors: China, India, and Russia. None of these countries will want an insecure and unstable Afghanistan which could potentially hamper their own rate of economic growth. -- Despite the decline of the Silk Road trading routes, even today Afghanistan's ability to act as a cross-regional conduit has never entirely faded from collective perception. --- Upstream water and lithium: Afghanistan's oil -- Afghanistan is a high riparian state in the Central and South Asia region. Except for a water-sharing agreement signed between Afghanistan and Iran in the late 1950s, no treaties exist between Afghanistan and its neighbors on water-sharing rights. Because of the lack of water-sharing agreements, many World Bank and Asia Development Bank small and medium hydropower and irrigation projects are on hold. Afghanistan can seize this opportunity and negotiate water-sharing treaties with its neighbors and either sell its water or ask for other incentives in return. -- There are also four geological belts of high quality Lithium deposits, 60 to 70 percent pure, spread across the country. Geologists and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have termed Afghanistan the Saudi Arabia of Lithium. -- Read More, Tamim Asey,

Mariam Ghani -- Can Afghanistan weather the storms after the U.S. withdrawal? --- My parents have a house in Dar ul-Aman, a neighborhood on the western outskirts of Kabul that was once a separate city, when Kabul was much smaller than it is today. To build their house, they bought a plot of land whose parameters were drawn up by King Amanullah's city planners in the 1920s, during Afghanistan's first grand rush to modernization. Then, to settle a dispute over property rights, they bought the land again. This disagreement was one among thousands that have clogged and corrupted the Afghan courts since the early 2000s, when an influx of returned refugees brought landowners who abandoned their properties during the war years into conflict with those who squatted, developed and cultivated abandoned houses and land. -- Once the dispute was settled, a wall was built, then a house and then a garden, which grew from roses and spindly shade trees to a profusion of flowers, an orchard, a kitchen garden, a greenhouse, a grape arbor and a raised takht -- a platform covered with the cushions known as taushak and screened with bamboo -- for sitting outdoors even in the heat of summer. On first visiting this walled garden, most say it is like "a piece of old Kabul," suggesting that, to those who remember, it seems like a remnant of the prewar city rather than something constructed in the civil war's wake. -- Every time we turn over the soil in the garden, however, we find reminders of other times and other inhabitants of this patch of land. In the first few years, it seemed that the new trees we planted would never succeed in putting down roots, until we finally dug deep enough to remove the last of the stones from the old walls and foundations, most of which dated back to the Amanullah era, when a civil servant or royal cousin was allotted this land and built a family house upon it. Once the trees' roots were settled, we had to turn to the problem of their leaves, which were choking in the dust that blows in from the plains. This problem has only grown more acute over the years, even as more and more gardens are planted across the city, because the dust storms passing through the city now pick up oily particulates from air pollution (mostly vehicle emissions, exacerbated by the poor quality of available fuel) and coat leaves with sticky dirt that must be washed off regularly to allow photosynthesis. The wartime deforestation that caused the dust storms has also stripped the ground of its mineral-rich topsoil, so we bury iron around the fir trees to keep them evergreen. --- During my latest visit, this past June, my mother was absorbed in tracking down the source of a persistent drainage problem in one corner of the garden. All hands pitched in to dig a hole, so she could see what might be diverting the water away from the plants that needed it. Barely three feet down, however, the soil started to fall away from the spades. A long, deep trench already ran under fully 10 feet of the garden, just by the west wall, and it was filled with hundreds of spent shells. -- Shells the artist's family found in their garden in Dar ul-Aman. -- The soldiers who guard our gate looked over the trench and pronounced that a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher must have been sited there, sometime during the 1991-1996 period when the territory of Dar ul-Aman was contested, first by rival mujahidin groups and later by the mujahidin and the Taliban. It's likely a member of one of the rival groups had fired the RPGs at the Dar ul-Aman palace, where several different groups had camped out during that time. Of course, back then, there was no wall between the plot of land where our house now stands and the Dar ul-Aman palace, to our west; almost every structure for a mile around had been reduced to rubble. -- We unearthed the shells and piled them against the wall. We filled in the trench and built a new joi, a small irrigation canal, to carry water to all the plants and trees in that corner of the garden. We couldn't decide what to do with the shells. I think they may still be piled there in the garden, awaiting an outcome. -- In Afghanistan, history is very close at hand, buried in shallow trenches all across the landscape. The slightest excavation may uncover another unknown story, or another trace of a story already known. Is it better to walk lightly toward the future, so as not to disturb the dead, or is it better to dig deeper, and settle past accounts before accounting for present needs? Is it possible to plant a new project of modernization in the ruins of old failures without first examining the ruins to discover or remember why and how those past projects failed? -- Read More, Foreign Policy,

Afghanistan–Turkey relations --- Afghanistan–Turkey relations refers to bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Turkey. --- Afghan and Turkish relations spans several centuries, as many Turkic and Afghan peoples ruled vast areas of Central Asia and the Middle East particularly the Ghaznavids, Khilji, Timurid, Lodhi, Mughal, Afsharid, and Durrani empires. Throughout its long history, many Ottoman officials were in close contact with Afghan leaders even up until the early 20th century when the Ottoman administrator Ahmad Jamal Pasha went to Afghanistan where he worked on modernizing the Afghan armed forces. Ertuğrul Osman, the current head of the Imperial Ottoman Dynasty, is married to Zeynep Tarzi Hanım Efendi, the daughter of Abdulfettah Tarzi, niece of the former King of Afghanistan, Amanullah Khan. - Read More, From Wikipedia,

احمدزی: ماسترپلان شهر کابل را به مزایده بین المللی می‌گذارم --- اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهور افغانستان می گوید که شهر کابل قابل زندگی نیست و باید برنامه پلانی این شهر تطبیق شود. شهرداری کابل گفته که حدود 70 درصد شهر کابل غیرپلانی است و از امتیازات شهری برخوردار نیست. -- نقاط غیرپلانی شهر کابل که بیشتر در دامنه کوه ها و تپه ها ساخته شده، مکتب، تفریحگاه، شفاخانه و سایر خدمات دولتی ندارند. در این مناطق خدمات ترانسپورتی نیز ناممکن است. شهر کابل برای زندگی یک میلیون نفر ساخته شده در حالی حالا حدود 6 میلیون نفر در آن زندگی می کنند. ترافیک در این شهر گاهی به حدی مشکل زا است که مردم ساعت ها در راه گیر می مانند. -- شامگاه روز جمعه حدود 300 تن از نمایندگان جامعه مدنی، مسئولان شاروالی کابل و وکلای گذر به ارگ ریاست جمهوری دعوت شدند و رئیس جمهور احمدزی برنامه هایش را برای پلانی شدن شهر کابل تشریح کرد. نزده کمیته ای که از این 300 نفر تشکیل شده بود، پیشنهادات شان را به رئیس جمهور سپردند. رئیس جمهور گفت: «کابل در حال انفجار است. من از وضعیت فعلی کابل مطلقاً ناراض هستم. مثلی که هر شهروند کابل ناراض است. شهر کثیف است. سرک هایی که ساخته می شود در یک سال یا دوسال از بین می رود. سهم گیری و همکاری وجود ندارد و ساختمان هایی که ساخته شده مقررات ابتدایی زلزله سنجی را ندارند.» -- به باور رئیس جمهور افغانستان، شهر کابل از پایتخت یک کشور «معظم» نمایندگی نمی کند. زیرا به گفته او شهر کابل «قابل زندگی نیست.» رئیس جمهور غنی گفت کمیته ای تشکیل شود و با تفاهم شهروندان کابل پنج تا ده مشکل اساسی این شهر به صورت اساسی بررسی شود. او مثال هایی از تطبیق نقشه و ماسترپلان دارالامان کابل، کارته سه و کارته چهار را ارایه کرد و گفت که امکان تطبیق پلان در این شهر وجود دارد. -- آقای احمدزی گفت که ماسترپلان شهر کابل را به مزایده بین المللی می گذارد. او از شاروالی کابل و نهاد ها و افرادی که در پلان شهری تخصص دارند خواست تا طرح های شان را برای اصلاح و بهبود شهر کابل به ریاست جمهوری بسپارند. بر اساس طرحی که رئیس جمهور غنی دارد، ساکنان ناحیه های مختلف شهر کابل باید نظرات شان را در مورد بهبود این نواحی با شاروالی شریک کنند. -- رئیس جمهور افغانستان گفت: «بدون سهم گیری وسیع مردمی ما به راه حل نمی رسیم. ما باید از مردم بشنویم که مشکلات شان چیست و کارکرد شاروالی را چگونه بررسی می کنند.» آقای احمدزی از رسانه ها و نهاد های مدنی نیز خواست تا در رساندن صدا و پیشنهادات مردم به نهاد های دولتی همکاری کنند. -

Istanbul, Kabul ink strategic cooperation pact --- KABUL (Pajhwok): Turkey and Afghanistan on Saturday signed a strategic cooperation agreement, paving the ground for more robust trade and investment links between the two countries. -- Presidents Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced signing the pact at a joint news conference after formal talks at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. -- Both leaders told reporters the accord envisaged greater Turkish investment in Afghanistan’s vast mining sector. The two sides will also cooperate in areas of defence, agriculture, health, reconstruction and culture. -- Erdogan promised his country would focus on long-term fundamental development projects in Afghanistan in the fields of mining, transportation and training of government personnel. -- He added Turkish soldiers, operating within the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) framework in, had been maintaining security around the capital and training their Afghan partners. -- For his part, Ahmadzai said his administration had asked Turkey for the supply of weapons to Afghan forces. He believed Istanbul being a major actor could use its enormous influence for dispute resolution in the region. -- “Today, we signed a long-term strategic cooperation pact, under which the two nations will set up ministerial-level commissions… Presidents of the two countries will meet once a year,” he said, lauding Turkish military assistance. -- In response to a query, the visiting dignitary said that trilateral consultations among Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey had been a success. Pakistan’s cooperation played a key role in facilitating the recent presidential election, he insisted. -- "The Afghans voted enthusiastically to form an administration of their choice for the first time. The people's free will is manifested," he said, praising Ghani's contribution to the growth democracy in the war-torn country. -- At the bilateral talks, Ahmadzai said, they discussed counter-terrorism measures. He added terrorism was a shared problem whose resolution needed a comprehensive regional strategy. -- Ghani said his country would follow the template of reforms introduced in Turkey under Erdogan’s leadership. They also conferred on the resumption of trilateral talks, the Istanbul Process and linking Afghanistan with Turkey through Turkmenistan. -- In the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) framework, Turkey will support the construction of a rail link and expand aviation ties. It will also equip the Aliabad Hospital besides establishing the Jalaluddin Balkhi University in Kabul. -- “We will continue with the Istanbul Process, sponsored by Turkey,” he observed, saying that Pakistan could play a vital role in preventing terrorists’ infiltration into Afghanistan. -- Erdogan, the first Turkish president to visit Afghanistan in 56 years, arrived in Kabul earlier in the day for talks with Ahmadzai and other high-ranking officials. He inaugurated a road constructed in Kabul with the financial support of Turkey.-- He met Ghani, his first vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum, and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah. He was accorded a warm welcome at the Presidential Palace with a military ceremony. He also visited Turkish troops based in Wardak. - More,

Turkish President Erdoğan pays historic visit to Afghanistan --- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has arrived in Afghanistan, as the latest world leader to visit the war-ravaged country since President Ashraf Ghani took power after a prolonged political standoff. -- Erdoğan met Ghani, his first vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum, and his former poll rival Abdullah Abdullah, who took the new role of "chief executive," on Oct. 18. -- Ghani welcomed Erdoğan in the presidential palace with a military ceremony. During the press conference after the talks, two leaders stressed the importance of bilateral relations between their countries and vowed go further cement historic bonds. -- Ghani was sworn in as the new Afghan president in late September after a fraud-tainted election that had plunged Afghanistan into months of political deadlock and threatened to take it on the brink of civil war. -- "The Afghan people voted to form an administration for the first time. The people's free will is manifested," President Erdoğan said, praising Ghani's contribution to the Afghan democracy. -- During his one-day tour Erdoğan also visited Turkish troops based in Afghanistan. -- During his one-day tour Erdoğan also visited Turkish troops based in Afghanistan. -- Turkey has refused to take on any combat missions in Afghanistan, fearing a Muslim backlash, with its troops primarily involved in providing security, reconstruction and training. -- Turkey has been cited as a potential mediator for negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban insurgents. -- British Prime minister David Cameron visited Afghanistan early this month to hold talks with Ghani as NATO-led international troops end their long war against the Taliban. -- About 40,000 NATO troops are serving in Afghanistan, but their combat mission is scheduled to finish at the end of this year. -- NATO’s follow-up mission, which will take over on January 1, will be made up of 9,800 US troops and about 3,000 soldiers from Germany, Italy and other member nations, among them Turkey. -- The new mission -- named "Resolute Support" -- will focus on supporting Afghan forces as they take on the militants, in parallel with US counter-terrorism operations. -- İbrahim Kalın, Erdoğan's deputy chief of staff, told Al Jazeera that this is the first official visit to Afghanistan by a Turkish president. -- Kalın also said that Turkey will contribute to the Resolute Support by sending 700 Turkish soldiers. -- The Turkey-Afghanistan-Pakistan trio will possibly meet in 2015 again, Kalın added. "Our President will bring the offer to the table [in Afghanistan]." -- Erdoğan chose Afghanistan as the sixth country to visit as Turkey's President. - Read More,

Friday, October 17, 2014

لومړۍ مېرمن له ښځو سره د مرستو په لټه کې --- د افغانستان لومړۍ مېرمن په ساده افغاني کالیو کې د ولسمشرۍ ماڼۍ ته تر خوځېدو وروسته له بي بي سي سره په مرکه کې راڅرګنده شوه، ظاهراً ارامه او پر خوله موسکا لري. -- رولا غني څلوېښت کاله مخکې له اشرف غني احمدزي سره واده کړی. مېړه او نږدې ملګري یې "بي بي ګل" بولي، چې اوس یې عمر شپېتو کلونو ته رسېدلی. -- رولا غني وايي، خوشحاله ده، چې مېړه یې د ولسمشرۍ د څوکۍ په مقام کې ویني، ځکه چې د دغې ورځې لپاره یې اوږد انتظار ایستلی دی. -- دا وايي: "ښاغلي احمدزي د دې لپاره چې د دغه هېواد مشر شي، ډېرې لوړې او ژورې طی کړې دي، او په هېواد کې د سوکالۍ او ازادۍ راتلو لپاره ډېر پروګرامونه لري". --- د افغانستان لومړۍ مېرمن وايي "ښاغلي کرزي هڅه وکړه چې سوله راولي" او اوس یې مېړه ته د اصلاحاتو راوستلو لپاره زمینه برابره شوې ده. -- رولا غني به د ارګ په ماڼۍ کې تر ټینګو امنیتي تدابیرو لاندې لږ تر لږه پنځه کاله پاتې کېږي، چې وايي، اصلي کار به یې پر ټولنیزو فعالیتونو او د بې وزله خلکو پر لاسنیوي ورټول وي. -- رولا غني په ارګ کې له ځینو سلاکارانو سره په همغږۍ کې خپلو مخکنیو فعالیتونو ته دوام ورکوي، چې وايي، تر درو میاشتو پورې نه غواړي کوم ځانګړی کار وکړي، بلکې یوازې له خلکو به اوري. -- اشرف غني د ولسمشرۍ د لوړې په مراسمو کې وویل، مېرمن یې بي بي ګل نومېږي، چې دې یې منندوی دی. رولا غني هم د لوړې مراسمو کې موجوده وه. -- دا وايي، کله چې ښاغلي غني په ښکاره د هغې نوم واخیست، "ډېره خوشحاله شوه". د هغې په نظر ښاغلي غني په دې کار سره ټولو ته وښوده، چې د خپلې مېرمنې درناوی کوي، چې دا کار ښځو ته د هغه د درناوي لرلو په مانا دی. -- له آغلې غني مو وپوښتل چې ولې یې مېړه بي بي ګل ورته وايي؟ موسکۍ شوه او ویې ویل، افغانستان ته تر ستنېدا درې کاله وروسته یې مېړه ورته وویل چې نور به یې لقب (بي بي ګل) وي. -- رولا غني څه موده خپلې خواښې ته (ضیا ګل) نوم اخیست، خو وروسته یې پام شو چې د ښاغلي احمدزي مور (کوکبه) نومېږي. --- اشرف غني احمدزی او رولا غني د بېروت امریکايي پوهنتون کې له یو بل سره تر پېژندلو وروسته واده وکړ. -- د رولا کورنۍ غوره بلله چې لور یې له یوه خپلوان یا د ګاونډیانو له یوه زلمي سره واده وکړي ځکه نه یې غوښتل چې لور یې لیرې ترې واده شي. -- خو کله چې د آغلې رولا مور او پلار له احمدزي سره وپېژندل او بیا یې افغانستان ته سفر وکړ، له ښاغلي احمدزي سره د خپلې لور پر واده راضي شول. -- رولا پلار له خپلې لور سره افغانستان ته سفر وکړ او ښاغلي احمدزي او رولا تر کوژدې درې میاشتې وروسته واده وکړ. -- رولا غني او اشرف غني د مریم په نوم یوه لور او د طارق په نامه یو زوی لري، چې په امریکا کې زېږېدلي او لوی شوي او همالته پر خپلو کارونو او زده کړو بوخت دي. --- آغلې رولا غني وايي له یوه هېواده بل هېواد ته سفر کول چې بېلا بېل کلتورونه او دودیز توپیرونه لري، د دې لپاره چندان د ستونزې موضوع ګانې نه وې، ځکه چې هغې څلور کاله فرانسه کې درس ویلی او ډېر کلونه په امریکا کې پاتې شوې ده، همدا لامل دی چې آغلې رولا غني د اشرف غني احمدزي د کورنۍ د غړو ترمنځ د ارامۍ احساس کوي. -- که څه هم بي بي ګل خپلو موخو ته د رسېدو لپاره پر ستونزو خبره ده، خو وايي خبرې او نظر یې پوره ازاد دي، او غواړي کله چې د ولسمشرۍ له ماڼۍ وځي، داسې یو میراث پرېږدي، چې د افغانستان مېرمنې لکه د نورې نړۍ، هرځای کې له درناوي برخمنې او ازادې وي. --- ددې راپور په چمتو کولو کې ثنا ساپۍ، کرین توربي او کاوون خموش برخه اخیستې، چې پښتو ته هدایت الله همیم ژباړلی دی. - More,

USAID Awards Afghan Women’s Empowerment Program --- Kabul - Afghanistan: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday announced the award of a major women’s empowerment program for Afghanistan. -- Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs (“Promote”) seeks to advance opportunities for thousands of Afghan women to help them become leaders in the political, private, and civil society sectors. -- Promote programs will help 75,000 young Afghan women become leaders in their fields over the course of the five-year program. USAID is providing $216 million to Promote, with other donors possibly contributing an additional $200 million. -- The Promote program’s main goal is to strengthen Afghanistan’s development by boosting female participation in the economy, helping women gain business and management skills, supporting women’s rights groups and increasing the number of women in decision making positions within the Afghan government. -- “Young Afghans are the future of their country, and our aim is for the young women who participate in this program to be the future leaders of all sectors of Afghan society,” said Mission Director Bill Hammink. -- The Promote program was designed in consultation with the Afghan Government, civil society, and the private sector. Promote will be implemented in partnership with the Afghan Government and a consortium of Afghan organizations. - Read More,

پشتون مظلوم ترین قوم در افغانستان

Thursday, October 16, 2014

UN: Ebola death toll rising to 4,500 this week --- Associated Press= GENEVA (AP) The death toll from Ebola will rise this week to more than 4,500 people from the 9,000 infected and the outbreak is still out of control in three West African nations, a top official with the U.N. health agency said Thursday. -- Dr. Isabelle Nuttall, director of the World Health Organization's global capacities, alert and response, said new numbers show the outbreak is still hitting health workers hard despite precautions with 427 medical workers infected and 236 dead — mainly because Ebola victims are most contagious around the time they die. -- Nuttall said the focus of the world's efforts should remain on the countries where the outbreak has been spreading out of control: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. -- "Our data shows that cases are doubling every four weeks. The disease is still widespread in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and there is persistent transmission of the virus," she told a news conference in Geneva. -- Although the effects of the crisis are increasingly being felt beyond its epicenter in West Africa, until now two nurses in Dallas and a Madrid nursing assistant are the only ones known to have contracted Ebola outside the hot zone. -- Nuttall said Ebola cases were growing in Guinea's capital of Conakry but problems with data-gathering in Liberia, which has a significant under-reporting of Ebola cases in Monrovia, the capital, make it hard to draw any conclusions there. -- It will take months before the outbreak is stopped, she said, adding that WHO has identified 14 African countries where being prepared and containing Ebola is a top priority. Those countries are Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan and Togo. -- "They've been chosen because either they have land borders with the affected countries ... or they have high travel or trade routes," Nuttall said. -- More, AP foreign,

How to use air power in Iraq for a good cause – bring a tent city from Afghanistan --- The tents left over from our invasion of Afghanistan could easily be brought in to save Iraqi refugees’ lives – but it requires David Cameron to act now -- n the country around Irbil there are about 120,000 refugees who have fled Islamic State (Isis). Winter is coming and large numbers may die. The British army is clearly not going to be deployed to save them, but in an extraordinarily ironic twist there is a tent city left over from our invasion of Afghanistan that might save lives in Iraq, if only we could get it there. -- Thirty sea containers outside Kandahar hold the tents, the generators and the plumbing for a winter-proof army camp, suitable for 1,000 people. The British army has given it all away to a company named Agility because it does not want to fly the equipment to England; it includes armoured vehicles among other items. -- Agility has a contract that binds it to sell the equipment to the highest bidder. About $450,000 (£281,000) will secure the tents – if paid before the end of the week. At least one Christian aid organisation is prepared to pay this. But the tents are in Kandahar and the refugees who need them are in the mountains of northern Iraq. To ship them overland would take three months. The only way to get them to Irbil before the winter would be to fly them in but air freight to Kurdistan is prohibitively expensive: what could have been done for half a million dollars three weeks ago would now cost well over a million. -- That is prohibitive for a charity. But it is absurd that the material left over from one of the great follies of British foreign policy cannot be used to make the consequences of the criminal folly of our invasion of Iraq slightly less awful. -- It would be a simple matter for the government to order the RAF to fly the tents from Afghanistan to Iraq. It would involve no military force, no threat to British lives and no weakening of our credibility. On the contrary it would show that sometimes there is substance to our rhetoric about helping the victims of the terrible war in Iraq. -- For this to happen David Cameron needs to decide it should: left to its own devices the bureaucracy of the Department for International Development could grind for months. By that time refugees would be dead and we would have done nothing to help them. -- It is absurd to suppose that we can now do very much to improve the situation in Iraq and Syria. We’re not going to fight and none of our favoured proxies seem able to do so either. Bombing is largely symbolic and even if it has helped to slow some of the advance of Isis, it clearly won’t drive them back or destroy them. Here is a chance to use air power in Iraq for an entirely good cause. -- It is only a drop in the ocean of need to rescue 1,000 refugees of all the tens of thousands who need and deserve our help – and the hundreds of thousands across the wider war zone that encompasses Syria and much of Iraq. But the magnitude of the catastrophe should not paralyse us. It only makes it more urgent that we should do what we can. If we can’t put boots on the ground to protect refugees from Isis is it too much to ask that we put tents on the ground to shelter them from the winter? -- More, Andrew Brown, Guardian

استقبال از جدیت رئیس جمهور احمدزی در مبارزه با فساد --- جدیت رئیس جمهور جدید در مبارزه با فساد امیدواری هایی را برای تشکیل حکومتی کارآ و قانومند به وجود آورده است. برخی نهاد های جامعه مدنی حمایت شان را از این اقداماتی ابراز داشته اند که اشرف غنی جدید روی دست گرفته است. -- رئیس جمهور احمدزی به غاصبان زمین هشدار داده است که دست از این کار بردارند. او گفته است که غاصبان زمین در افغانستان جایی ندارند. آقای احمدزی به تاجران نیز هشدار داده است که از گران فروشی بپرهیزند. -- اقداماتی که آقای احمدزی روی دست گرفته است، در سیزده سال گذشته پیشینه ای نداشته است. حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور پیشین افغانستان با غاصبان زمین، مافیای مواد مخدر و فسادپیشه ها در داخل و خارج از دولت با مدارا و مصلحت برخورد می کرد و هیچ گاهی در عمل در برابر زورمندان اقدام نکرد. -- برخی از نهادهای مدنی از این اقدامات رئیس جمهور احمدزی استقبال کرده اند. جنبش مدنی تامین عدالت اجتماعی روز پنجشنبه 24 میزان 1393 از برنامه اصلاحات حکومت وحدت ملی استقبال کرد و از رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان خواست تا افراد فاسد را در وزارت خانه ها نگمارد. احمد ذکی یکی از اعضای این نهاد گفت: «تقرری ها از عالی ترین پست های دولتی تا پایین ترین پست ها باید براساس تعهد، تخصص و بر مبنای اصل شایسته سالاری صورت گیرد که متاسفانه در گذشته شایسته سالاری مطرح نبود». --- هشدار به غاصبان زمین -- کابینه جدید افغانستان هنوز تعیین نشده است. رئیس جمهور گفته است که 45 روز پس از مراسم تحلیف کابینه جدید را معرفی می کند. نهادهای مدنی از رئیس جمهور جدید خواستند که حکومت وحدت ملی نباید توسط افرادی انحصار شود که در تیم های تحول و اصلاحات نقش داشته اند. به باور این نهاد ها، افغانستان در 13 سال گذشته فرصت طلایی را از دست داد، زیرا پول هنگفتی که جهان برای بازسازی افغانستان کمک کرد، در نتیجه فساد حیف و میل شد و تفاوت چندانی در زندگی افغان های عادی وارد نشد. -- عملکرد های رئیس جمهور احمدزی افغان ها را امیدوار کرده است که بتواند حکومتی کارآ تشکیل دهد. زیرا رئیس جمهور احمدزی قاطعانه تصمیم می گیرد و آشکارا به فساد پیشه ها هشدار می دهد. آقای احمدزی در آخرین مورد روز چهارشنبه به غاصبانی هشدار داد که ملکیت های معارف را غصب کرده اند: «هر غاصبی که در مقابل جایداد وزارت معارف قرار بگیرد در این مملکت جایی ندارد.» -- رفتار رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان در برابر ماموران دولتی نیز جدی است. او از تمام مسئولان وزارت خانه ها خواسته است تا گزارش های شان را بر اساس واقعیت بنویسند و پنهان کاری نکنند. آقای غنی در این مورد گفته است: «من گزارش ها را می خوانم و اگر کسی گزارشش غلط بود، لطفا آماده باشد که طرد خواهد شد. وعده مقام ریاست جمهوری باید اجرا شود.» -- More, دویچه ویلی -استقبال-از-جدیت-رئیس-جمهور-احمدزی-در-مبارزه-با-فساد/a-17999794

Merkel urges EU to keep up reforms as crisis not over --- (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament on Thursday that Europe must push ahead with efforts to cut public deficits and improve competitiveness because the euro zone debt crisis has not yet been overcome and its causes have not been eliminated. -- Speaking to the background of nervousness in financial markets about signs of a global slowdown, Merkel said European Union leaders must bear in mind, as they debate ways to boost growth, that painful fiscal reforms have begun to pay off. -- "Early successes prove that we chose the right path from the start," she said, citing improved productivity and finances in some euro zone states and what she termed the "successful" exit of Ireland, Portugal and Spain from their bailout programs. -- "But - and I will say this again and again - we are still far from our goal," Merkel said. -- "The crisis has not yet been permanently and sustainably overcome because the causes, regarding the set-up of the European economic and currency union and the situation of individual member states, haven't been eliminated." -- "We have to press ahead determinedly with our efforts for sustainable growth and solid public finances and the creation of jobs," said Merkel, who is under pressure to allow member states such as France and Italy greater flexibility under EU deficit rules so that they can focus on measures to create employment. -- But, like Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who has faced repeated criticisms of Berlin's stance at International Monetary Fund talks in Washington and from other EU finance ministers, the chancellor showed little sign of being swayed. -- "All - and I stress here once again - all member states must fully respect the reinforced rules of the stability and growth pact," she said, adding that the incoming European Commission would have to uphold these rules to defend the EU's credibility. -- Speaking ahead of an EU-Asia summit in Milan where she and other EU leaders will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time in months, with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, Merkel called the situation there "very difficult". -- Read More,

Ramped up air strikes stall Islamic State advance on Syrian town --- (Reuters) - Two days of heavy air strikes by U.S. warplanes have slowed an advance by Islamic State militants against Kurdish forces defending the Syrian border town of Kobani. -- Last week Turkish and U.S. officials said Islamic State were on the verge of taking Kobani from its heavily outgunned Kurdish defenders, after seizing strategic points deep inside the town. -- The tempo of coalition air strikes has increased dramatically, with U.S. fighter and bomber planes carrying out 14 raids against Islamic State targets near Kobani on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. military's Central Command said. -- The strikes had seen the militants' advance slow, but "the security situation on the ground in Kobani remains tenuous," the U.S. statement added. -- The four-week Islamic State assault has been seen as a test of U.S. President Barack Obama's air strike strategy, and Kurdish leaders say the town cannot survive without arms and ammunition reaching the defenders, something neighbouring Turkey has so far refused to allow. -- Islamic State has been keen to take the town to consolidate its position in northern Syria after seizing large amounts of territory in that country and in Iraq. A defeat in Kobani would be a major setback for the Islamists and a boost for Obama. -- Heavy and light weapons fire were audible from across the border in Turkey on Thursday afternoon, with one stray mortar hitting Turkish soil close to abandoned tents, a Reuters correspondent said. -- Turkish security forces moved civilians and media away from hills overlooking Kobani as the fighting raged. -- Six air strikes hit eastern Kobani and there was fierce fighting between Kurdish and Islamist fighters overnight on Wednesday, but neither side made significant gains, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. --- "Officials here say the air strikes are sufficient but ground action is needed to wipe out IS. YPG is perfectly capable of doing that but more weapons are needed." -- U.S. officials have ruled out sending troops to tackle the group, but Kurdish forces have been identified as viable partners for the coalition, and Kurds in Iraq have received western arms shipments to bolster their cause. No weapons or ammunition have reached Kobani however, fighters there say. -- Read More,

احمدزی: کمیسیونی برای رفع مشکلات معلمین ایجاد شد --- اشرف غنی احمدزی، رئیس جمهور افغانستان در محفل بزرگداشت از روز معلم گفت که در چند روز گذشته روی مشکلات معلمین بحث نموده اند و برای رفع آن کمیسیون را موظف نموده است تا روی آن کار نماید. -- آقای احمدزی گفت برای اینکه دوگانگی در قانون مامورین ملکی رفع شود یک کمیسیون خاص را به اشتراک وزرای معارف، عدلیه، کار و امور اجتماعی و کمیسیون اصلاحات اداری موظف نموده است که روی قانون کار کنند تا تعبیض میان معلمین و سایر مامورین از بین برود. -- آقای احمدزی، گفت "ما این را دفعتا در یک هفته فیصله کرده نمیتوانستیم برای اینکه این مساله نتایج زیادی مالی را در بردارد و باید دقت شود که باز مورد تعبیض دوگانه قرار نگیرد". -- او افزود که امتیازات منطقوی معلمین در بودجه سال ١٣٩۴ گنجانیده میشود تا عملی گردد و مصرف آن در حدود ٨٠٠ میلیون افغانی است . -- آقای احمدزی گفت که شورای امنیت ملی و ارگانهای ثلاثه امنیتی را موظف نموده است تا در مدت چهار ماه همه املاک غصب شده معارف را به این وزارت باز گردانند. -- او هشدار داد هر غاصب که در برابر جایداد این وزارت قرار بگیرد در این مملکت جا ندارد. -- توزیع زمین به معلمین در مدت شش ماه -- رئیس جمهور به معلمین وعده نموده که در مدت شش ماه به آنها زمین توزیع میگردد. -- او گفت که به همه والیان و مسوولین محلی هدایت داده است تا در توزیع شهرکها و نمرات رهایشی معلمین اقدامات عاجل نمایند و درمدت شش ماه از توزیع یک یک نمره زمین برای هر معلم به ریاست جمهوری اطمنیان دهد. -- آقای احمدزی گفت که کمیسیون ایجاد شده وظیفه دارد تا در تفاهم با بانکها، ادارات مالی و سکتور خصوصی طرح جامع را به منظور پیدا نمودن وجوه مالی و قرضه های طویل المدت برای ساختن خانه های استادان تهیه نماید. -- به گفته او، کمیسیون وظیفه دارد تا کار توزیع شهرک ها و نمرات رهایشی تمام معلمین باقی مانده را نظارت نماید و به مقام ریاست جمهوری در هر ١٥ روز گزارش ارایه کند. -- رئیس جمهور گفت "من گزارشها را میخوانم و اگر کسی گزارش اش غلط باشد آماده به این باشد که برکنار خواهد شد و در هر امور با من شوخی کنید در امور معلم با من شوخی نکنید معارف جای شوخی نیست وعده مقام ریاست جمهوری باید اجرا شود". -- او به معلمین اطمینان داد که برای آنها بر مبنای اصل شایسته سالاری و مستحق بودن به مناسبت روز معلم امتیازات تشویقی و تقدیر نامه ها توزیع میگردد و کمیسیون وظیفه دارد تا در هماهنگی با کمیسیون اصلاحات اداری در جریان سال آینده تعلیمی همه کارمندان معارف را تحت ریفورم و اصلاح اداره قرار بدهد. --- رئیس جمهور گفت که هدف عمده حکومت تغییر در کیفیت معارف در پنج سال آینده است. -- او افزود که در کمیت افزایش آمده است و در کیفیت معارف مشکلات بنیادی عمده وجود دارد. - More,

Senator Levin Says U.S.-Afghan Ties Require Better-Informed American Public --- Congressional support to continue aiding Afghanistan over the long term will require a better understanding by the American public of the progress made despite well-publicized setbacks, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin told an audience at the U.S. Institute of Peace today. --- Levin said he was hopeful about the development of a “free, peaceful and unified” Afghanistan. But he lamented relentless American media coverage of Taliban attacks and corruption while outlets downplay genuinely positive developments such as the 3 million girls now going to school and the resilience of the 350,000-strong Afghan security forces. He said the Afghan army and police have exceeded NATO commanders’ expectations, successfully responding to Taliban attacks and safeguarding two rounds of presidential elections this year. -- “What our publics believe, in a democracy such as ours, is important,” said Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is retiring after 36 years in the Senate. “The relentless negative focus of the press could have a serious negative effect on Afghanistan’s future.” The skepticism could dampen the willingness of Congress to continue supporting Afghanistan’s development despite the progress registered so far and the sacrifices of Afghan troops and civilians, he said. -- “If the American people think we’ve failed, that we’ve wasted our resources, it’s less likely that Congress would do what we should do, which is to be steady and constant in our support, economically and otherwise, for Afghanistan,” he said. And, “while Afghanistan’s gains have been impressive, they remain reversible. Afghans continue to fear the United States will abandon them, as they believe that we did after the Soviets left in the early 1990s.” -- Rad More, Viola Gienger, USIP,

What’s Next for Afghanistan and Why It Matters --- A week of public events at USIP will explore some of the economic, social, political and security issues for Afghanistan’s new leadership. On October 14, in an event co-hosted with the East-West Institute, a panel of experts examines Afghanistan’s impending economic crisis and how the country can increase its potential for investment and growth by engaging more with the wider region. On Wednesday October 15, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin will discuss the future of U.S.-Afghanistan relations in a conversation moderated by USIP Board Chairman and former National Security Advisor Steve Hadley. The week concludes with a conference on the evolving role of media and technology in Afghanistan, with prominent Afghan journalists reflecting on how new and old media shaped the 2014 elections and how these tools will affect the country’s democratic future. -- Read More, USIP,

Car Bomb Kills 8 Afghans From Unit Linked to C.I.A. --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Eight Afghan paramilitary soldiers were killed during an assault on a Taliban hide-out in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Wednesday. It was the latest of several clashes to take a heavy toll on the security forces as American combat forces leave the country. -- The deaths, caused by a car bomb, occurred during a raid by the Khost Protection Force, a C.I.A.-trained paramilitary unit that has carried out operations along the border with Pakistan for more than a decade. -- Fighters with the force, who operate in Khost Province, swooped on a remote compound believed to house suicide bombers, killing three people including one woman, the Khost governor’s office said in a statement. But once they had secured the compound, a car bomb exploded, killing eight of the militiamen and wounding five. -- The governor’s spokesman, Mohammad Mubarez Zadran, confirmed in a phone interview that the troops belonged to the Khost militia force, established by the C.I.A. and American Special Operations forces after 2001, and which The Associated Press reported in May had up to 3,500 fighters. -- The future of the Khost Protection Force, and others like it in various Afghan provinces, has been unclear as the C.I.A. withdraws from remote Afghan bases in concert with the broader drawdown of American combat troops from Afghanistan. Some of the units were earmarked to be handed over to the Afghan intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, after this year. -- The Khost force operates on the border with North Waziristan, the Pakistani tribal belt that is a major hub for the Taliban and the allied Haqqani Network, which has leveraged its ability to straddle the border to carry out numerous attacks on high-profile Western and Afghan targets in Afghanistan. -- The Khost Protection Force, which generally maintains a low profile, has until recently been one of the largest of several C.I.A.-sponsored paramilitary forces along the border. During the Obama administration’s troop surge in 2010 and 2011, some American news reports said it had carried out illegal cross-border raids, with support from armed American drones, to attack Qaeda and Taliban fighters in North Waziristan. -- Those attacks came at a time of high tension between the United States and Pakistan over the situation in North Waziristan. American officials were angered by close ties between the Haqqani Network and Pakistani military intelligence, while Pakistanis privately complained of cross-border interference from American forces and spies based in southern Afghanistan. -- Drawn from local tribes, the Khost Protection Force initially enticed recruits with the promise of higher pay and better conditions than the regular Afghan Army. “The food, the training, everything is better,” Mohammed Yousuf, a medic with the force, told Newsday in 2004. - Read More,

Stocks Swoon in Frenzied Trading -- Dow Slides More Than 450 Points Before Climbing; Treasury Yields Touch 16-Month Low --- Frenzied trading swept global financial markets Wednesday, with the Dow industrials tumbling as much as 460 points before partially recovering and investors scrambling to buy safe-haven government bonds. -- Wednesday’s session briefly saw U.S. Treasury yields plunge to their lowest level in 16 months, in what traders said was the sharpest move in years, and the S&P 500 stock index wipe out its gains for 2014. Then both markets made U-turns. Oil prices continued this month’s deep slide, with Nymex crude falling six cents to $81.78 a barrel, off 24% since June. -- While disappointing economic news in Europe and the U.S. provided the backdrop for Wall Street’s most turbulent day since 2011, traders said the outsize moves were magnified by hedge funds and other short-term players bailing out of money-losing investments. Traders expressed amazement at the wild ride, which came on enormous trading volume for both stocks and bonds -- “A lot of people, even the most experienced guys, are dazed by this,” said Michael Purves, head of equity-derivatives research at Weeden & Co. -- The heavy waves of selling in stocks Wednesday and the mad dash to buy bonds marked an intensification of tumultuous trading that has enveloped financial markets in recent weeks. While some traders said the early collapse and late recovery could suggest the worst of the selling is over, the intensity of the market’s recent moves has many investors remaining wary. -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 173.45 points, or 1.1%, at 16141.74. During afternoon trading, the 30-stock index was off as much as 2.8%. -- The selloff continued early Thursday in Asia, with Japan’s Nikkei down 2.1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 both down 1% and South Korea’s Kospi down 0.7%. -- The Dow has lost 852.48 points, or 5%, over the past five trading days. Reflecting the heightened volatility in the stock market, the Dow has closed up or down by more than 1% seven times in October. -- In the background, fears of a global economic slowdown, dangerously low inflation in Europe and ripples from a steep drop in oil prices have contributed to end a long period of relative calm for global markets. As recently as mid-September, stocks were grinding out new highs despite growing geopolitical turmoil and expectations the Federal Reserve was getting ready to scale back its efforts to support the U.S. economy. -- Read More, WSJ,

The Afghanistan Withdrawal: A Potential Disaster in the Making --- Disputes over Iraq have distracted Americans from a more important debate. -- For weeks now, the media has been gleefully recounting what former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thinks about the decision by his old boss, President Obama, to withdraw American troops from Iraq. “Panetta unloads on White House for pulling US forces out of Iraq,” read a recent Fox News headline. “Leon Panetta blows whistle on lies about Iraq,” announced Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. -- Fine. Panetta has every right to bash Obama for ignoring his advice and withdrawing too many U.S. troops too fast. And given the disaster that Iraq is today, it’s only natural that the press would cover the comments. -- But what the reporters interviewing Panetta generally don’t ask is what he thinks about Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. That’s a shame, because if the Iraq-troop debate is about assigning blame for tragic decisions in the past, the Afghanistan-troop debate is about deciding whether to implement potentially tragic decisions in the future. Afghanistan, in other words, is the troop-withdrawal debate that really matters right now. Yet it gets almost no play in the media. --- If it did, Americans might realize that we may be headed for disaster yet again. In his new book, Panetta says that in 2013, during his final days at the Pentagon, he “was pressing” the White House to “consider endorsing the maintenance of a residual force of 8,000 to 10,000 soldiers” in Afghanistan after U.S. combat operations ended in 2014. He then notes with satisfaction that, after he left, “President Obama the following year [2014] announced that he, too, favored leaving 9,800 American troops in the country after the end of combat operations.” -- This makes it sound as if Obama promised to leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan in perpetuity. What Obama actually said was that U.S. troop levels would drop to “approximately 9,800” by the end of 2014 and “roughly half” that by the end of 2015, and that “by the end of 2016, our military will draw down to a normal embassy presence in Kabul, with a security assistance component, just as we’ve done in Iraq.” This month, a White House spokesperson confirmed that this is still the plan. -- It’s a plan that many of the people paying closest attention to Afghanistan fear could end in tears. That includes Obama’s generals, who according to The New York Times “had recommended leaving at least 10,000 troops in Afghanistan for several years (my italics) after the formal end of the combat mission in 2014.” (It’s unclear from Panetta’s book whether he backed the generals.) It includes commanders of the Afghan military, one of whom told The Washington Post, “Leaving in 2016 is not responsible.” It includes regional leaders like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who during his recent trip to the United States explained that he “requested to America, regarding the defense withdrawal subject—please do not repeat the mistake that you did in Iraq. … [T]he withdrawal process from Afghanistan should be very slow, and only then can we stop the Taliban from emerging its head.” And it includes regional experts like renowned Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, who recently called the U.S. withdrawal plan “catastrophically wrong” and predicted it “will almost certainly mean the relapse of Afghanistan into civil war and the emergence of groups even more extreme than the Taliban, as has happened in Iraq and Syria.” - Read More, Peter Beinart,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

د ښوونکي ورځې د لمانځلو په مراسمو کی د جمهوررئیس احمدزی وینا

Afghan-Juden قلب آسیا -- بیش از شش هزار یهودی های افغانی الاصل در اسراییل زندگی میکنند و به افغان بودنشان افتخار میکنند

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Afghans Sound Alarm Over Islamic State Recruitment -- Western Officials Skeptical of ‘Rumors’ Regarding Extremist Group’s Presence --- KABUL—Afghan security officials said Islamic State is beginning to seek a foothold here in an apparent effort to extend its reach at a time when foreign combat troops are leaving. -- Islamic State’s operations have been limited so far to parts of Iraq and Syria, although its recruitment efforts, including slick online videos and social media, have spread far and wide. -- Afghan officials said the extremist group now is testing the waters here, pointing to leaflets in the local Dari and Pashto languages emblazoned with the Islamic State logo that appeared in small numbers last month in Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad. -- In addition, local officials have expressed alarm over what they see as signs of an Islamic State presence or influence on Afghan soil. -- A security official in the central province of Ghazni who fought insurgents a week ago said he had seen an Islamic State flag raised in the village of Mohammad Khil. -- The bodies of two militants recovered at the scene were dressed in black uniforms with face masks “like Daesh,” the official said, referring to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym. -- U.S. and coalition officials have been skeptical. Afghan officials, they say, routinely play up threats in the provinces to ensure that international resources and funding keep flowing to the army and police. -- There are definitely al Qaeda and al Qaeda affiliates in Afghanistan, there’s no question about that,” James Cunningham, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said this month. But as for an Islamic State “label or presence,” he said, “as far as I know, those are rumors. I haven’t seen any firm reports or evidence of that.” -- Islamic State has been focused on establishing a caliphate in the Middle East, which doesn’t include Afghanistan, and isn’t known to be engaged in fighting outside Iraq and Syria. -- The pamphlets, seen by The Wall Street Journal, call for Afghans to join Islamic State as a broader front against the U.S. and its allies, including the Afghan government. -- “We are witnessing the final crusades between the Islamic world and the world of infidels, which includes the U.S., its allied forces and its apostate governments,” a leaflet states, referring to Muslim-majority countries aligned with Washington. -- “Islamic State isn’t in Afghanistan yet, but they are trying to establish links with terrorist groups in Afghanistan,” said Lt. Gen. Murad Ali Murad, commander of ground forces for the Afghan army. -- The Afghan government already faces a robust threat from the Taliban, who recognize Mullah Mohammad Omar as their spiritual leader rather than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of Islamic State. The Taliban haven’t positioned themselves as a global movement, though they did provide a haven to al Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. -- The alleged overtures by Islamic State in Afghanistan come at a time of sharp divisions in the Sunni jihadist movement, highlighted by Mr. Baghdadi’s rise, which pits battle-hardened troops in Iraq and Syria against al Qaeda veterans. -- A senior Afghan security official said he believed the Islamic State pamphlets were authentic, and had been translated from Arabic and printed in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. -- Read More, WSJ,

UN agency cuts Afghanistan food rations as donations dry up --- World Food Programme says cuts will affect up to one million of the 3.7 million Afghans it helps to feed --- Funding shortfalls have forced the World Food Programme to cut rations for up to a million people in Afghanistan, an early sign that aid money may dwindle as the international combat mission winds down. -- The UN food assistance agency, which runs on donations from member countries, faces a gap of about $30m (£19m) for its programme in Afghanistan, said country director Claude Jibidar. --“We have had to cut down the rations of the people we are assisting, just so that we can buy some time so we don’t stop altogether,” he said. -- Jibidar said the cuts, to 1,500 calories a day from 2,100, would affect up to one million people, many of whom had to flee their homes because of the escalating war between the Taliban insurgency and the western-backed Afghan government. -- For those displaced by the war, the prospect that food aid could stop is grim. “If the food rations get stopped, we will die of hunger,” said Bibi Fatima, who lives with eight family members in a mud hut on Kabul’s eastern outskirts. -- The family was forced to flee their home in Helmand, a southern province where fighting has been fierce, and they have no income except what Fatima’s grandchildren bring in from begging on the streets. She said she had received food from a UN agency in past winters and was counting on help this coming season. “We don’t have firewood and food to eat. If our children get sick, we have no money to treat them.” -- With Afghanistan’s harsh winter looming, Jibidar said the WFP had only about six weeks left to deposit advance stores of food meant to supply mountainous areas that usually get cut off for months at a time. -- Afghanistan has been the recipient of tens of billions of dollars in aid since 2001, when the Taliban regime was toppled by a US-led invasion. The WFP helps to feed a total of 3.7 million Afghans, or about 10% of the population. -- With most foreign combat troops due to withdraw at the end of this year, many humanitarian groups fear that aid flows will dry up as donors focus on other crises, including combating the Ebola virus and helping refugees from the wars in Syria and Iraq. -- Already there are signs of Afghanistan fatigue among donors. This year’s UN humanitarian appeal for the country is $158m short of the $400m target. - Read More,

New Afghan Government Can Change the Fate of Country's Most Vulnerable --- Jamila sold gum to strangers. Nabila collected pieces of paper and sold shopping bags. Aziza rummaged for wood for her mother to build a fire and cook. These three girls were under the age of 16 when they had to work on the streets and become breadwinners for their families. Rather than going to school, which offers some glimmer of hope and future opportunity in war torn Afghanistan, these girls and hundreds of thousands of other young children, find themselves on the streets day-after-day, vulnerable and in constant danger of exploitation. -- On the outskirts of Kabul, children huddle in makeshift tents. Growing violence and little opportunity in the surrounding areas have pushed more and more families to flee from the countryside to seek refuge in an already overpopulated capital. However, the situation they are greeted with offers little consolation given the housing shortage and lack of jobs. These families have no choice but to live in a state of limbo in refugee camps -- an infrastructural no-man's land where access to food and water, sanitation and health services is scarce. -- With temperatures starting to drop this time of year, immediate action is needed for Afghanistan's children. Families with young children living on the streets or in refugee camps are not equipped to withstand harsh winter conditions. Temperatures in Afghanistan can fall to -15 degrees F in the winter. -- But with future foreign aid to the region uncertain, we need home-grown organizations to change the fate of these children. Decades of conflict and instability have led to a perpetual cycle of poverty within the country. A future generation of strong leaders can ensure Afghanistan's security and prosperity. -- More than 20 years ago, on his way to work, a child offered to shine the shoes of Yousef Mohammed, an engineer by training. He had noticed the growing numbers of these street children -- feet bare, even in snowy conditions, hustling for money for their families. I recently met with Yousef, who made it his mission to educate and empower these children the day he talked with the young shoe-shiner. He has worked since 1995 through his organization, Aschiana, to provide street children with basic services including education, vocational training, free and nutritious meals, healthcare, psycho-social recovery support and recreational activities. The goal of Aschiana's programs is to give these children the skills needed to integrate into government-run schools. With the organization's assistance, Jamila, Nabila and Aziza were able to go to school. Perhaps even more importantly, their families are part of a network of support focused on bringing up a new wave of responsible citizens who can contribute to the well-being of their families and of a new Afghanistan. -- Read More, Sultana Hakimi,

WHO says Ebola epidemic still spreading in West Africa --- GENEVA/LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The Ebola epidemic is still spreading in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and projections show there could be between 5,000 and 10,000 new cases a week in early December, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. -- The death toll so far in the outbreak, first reported in Guinea in March, has reached 4,447 from a total of 8,914 cases, WHO Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward said. WHO said the number of cases in West Africa will exceed 9,000 this week. -- While there are signs that rates of infection are slowing in some of the worst-hit areas, Aylward said the disease has now reached "more districts, counties and prefectures" than it had a month ago, and case numbers would continue to rise. -- He stressed it would be "really, really premature" to read success into the apparent slowing numbers in some areas. Aylward told reporters at WHO's Geneva headquarters that the projections for December "could be higher, it could lower but it's going to be in that ball park." -- The published data could also be misleading because the number of known deaths is less than half the number of cases, but that gave a false impression, Aylward said. The actual mortality rate is about 70 percent, a figure that was consistent across the three worst-hit countries, he said. -- Senior U.N. officials briefed the United Nations Security Council on the Ebola crisis on Tuesday. -- Anthony Banbury, head of the U.N. Ebola mission in West Africa, said the WHO had advised that by Dec. 1 at least 70 percent of infected people must be at a care facility and 70 percent of burials done without causing further infection. -- "If we reach these targets then we can turn this epidemic around," he told the 15-member council via video link. "I'm grateful for the commitments by member states of civilian and military personnel, of material and of money, but I am deeply, deeply worried that all of this combined is not nearly enough." -- Banbury said a projection of some 10,000 cases a week by Dec. 1 meant 7,000 beds would be needed for treatment, but under current planning only 4,300 beds would be available by then and many of those would not have staff to operate them. -- "To make up for the gap in beds, we must build about 2,700 beds in community care centers, or about 300 such centers. We will also need staff to manage the facilities," Banbury said. "We need to go from about 50 burial teams to about 500 and we need to equip those teams with about 1,000 vehicles." -- The WHO has repeatedly said Ebola cases are under-reported in the three hardest-hit countries, and that understanding the scale and pace of the outbreak is crucial. Aylward said the WHO multiplies numbers from Guinea by 1.5, from Sierra Leone by 2 and from Liberia by 2.5 to get a more accurate picture. - Read More,

Why Norwegians love coffee --- Many consider Italy to be the home of the espresso, but Norwegians are taking aim at teaching the world how to brew the best coffees in the world - putting them in the globe's top three coffee consuming nations. -- If you have ever visited a Norwegian home, chances are the first thing you have been offered is a coffee. -- "That's what we do, that's the Norwegian way of saying "welcome," says Brage Ronningen, a senior communication advisor at a company servicing Norway's oil industry. -- "I always start the day with a cup of coffee. I cannot leave home without having at least one cup, preferably a strong one. At work there are coffee machines everywhere, no more than 20 meters to the nearest one. And of course it's for free," he tells DW, while topping up our own cups. -- International statistics consistently put Norway among the world's top three coffee consuming nations. Every year, Norwegians get through nearly 10 kilos of coffee beans each. The world average is 1.3 kilos per person. --- Coffee, not alcohol -- Coffee, usually taken black and made in a stove-top kettle or percolated, has been the national drink for as long as any living Norwegian can remember. No-one seems sure exactly why this came about, but one theory with more than a hint of truth is that coffee became a substitute for alcohol during Norway's prohibition years between 1916 and 1927. -- "We had an alcohol problem," explains Alf Kramer, the founder and first President of The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe. -- "So it was decided on a governmental level to ban moonshining. And the government had to come up with an alternative, so they chose coffee. The most persuasive kind of people in Norway at that time were in the church. So the preachers said simply: 'stop drinking alcohol, start drinking coffee. Coffee; you go up, alcohol; you go down.' So it became our national beverage, and it still is," says Kramer. ---- "I think you can divide Norwegian coffee drinkers into two groups," explains Marius Graff, one of the baristas competing at the Oslo championships - "The necessity drinkers who drink coffee to get to work and get up in the morning, and the craft drinkers - the drinkers who drink coffee to enjoy the coffee." -- The last group seems to be growing, but the traditionalists who instinctively reach for their percolator or stove-top kettle when the doorbell rings are still in the majority. - More,

مرکل تمدید ماموریت آموزشی نیروهای افغانستان را در نظر دارد --- مجلهٔ خبری "شپیگل" آلمان گزارش داده است که انگلا مرکل صدر اعظم این کشور در نظر دارد ماموریت آموزشی نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان تمدید گردد. شپیگل این مطلب را به نقل از اعضای کمیته امور خارجی پارلمان آلمان گزارش داده است. -- سایت خبری شپیگل روز یک شنبه گزارش داد که ماموریت آموزشی نیروهای آلمانی در افغانستان که در آن سربازان اردوی آلمان نیروهای اردو و پولیس افغانستان را تا آخر سال 2015 آموزش می‌دهند، می‌تواند تمدید گردد. -- منابعی در کمیته امور خارجی پارلمان فدرال آلمان (بوندستاگ) در آخرین جلسه شان گفته اند که خصوصاً با توجه به وضعیت عراق بعد از خروج نیروهای امریکایی، انگلا مرکل در مورد وضعیت نیروهای اردو و پولیس افغانستان ابراز نگرانی کرده است. به گزارش شپیگل، مرکل در نشستی پشت درهای بسته گفته است: «نیروهای امنیتی عراق علیه شورشیانی که برای "دولت اسلامی" می‌جنگند، هیچ شانسی ندارند». -- فعلا 1599 سرباز آلمانی در چهارچوب ماموریت نیروهای بین المللی کمک به امنیت (آیساف) در افغانستان مستقر اند. شمار نیروهای آلمانی در افغانستان تا آخر امسال میلادی به نصف کاهش می‌یابد و 800 سرباز آلمانی که در ماموریت بعدی ناتو سهم می‌گیرند، تا آخر سال 2015 در افغانستان حضور خواهند داشت. -- به گزارش شپیگل، میرمن انگلا مرکل راجع به این که آیا واشنگتن نیز ماموریت نیروهای خود را بعد از سال 2016 تمدید خواهد کرد، گفته است: «ما می‌باید یک بار دیگر با ایالات متحده امریکا مشورت کنیم». فعلا ناتو آمادگی عملیاتی نیروهای امنیتی افغانستان را "متوسط" ارزیابی کرده است. --- انتظارات بالا از افغانستان یک اشتباه بود -- همزمان با نشر این گزارش، فرانک والتر شتاینمایر وزیر خارجه آلمان در یک مقاله گفته است که بالا بردن انتظارها در ماموریت افغانستان یک اشتباه بود. او در مقاله‌ٔ زیر عنوان "درس‌های من از افغانستان" در روزنامه "فرانکفورتر الگماینه" نوشته است: «بزرگ‌ترین اشتباه ما این بود که انتظاراتی را ایجاد کردیم که بالاتر از آن بود که با این تلاش‌ها برآورده می‌شد». -- اشتاینمایر هرچند گفته است که وضعیت افغانستان حالا بهتر از 12 سال پیش است، اما در این مقاله برخورد واضحاً انتقادی با خواست‌های آلمان برای "کشاندن افغانستان به آینده‌ای بر اساس دیدگاه‌های خود" دارد. او چون در نیمی از این مدت مسئول سیاست خارجی آلمان بوده است، این مقاله را با لحن خودانتقادی نوشته است. -- وزیر خارجه آلمان با بیان این جملات، از خروج شتاب‌زده نیروهای بین المللی از افغانستان "مانند آنچه امریکا در سال 1975 در ویتنام انجام داد" هشدار داده است. اشتاینمایر در این مقاله اشاره‌ای نکرده است که چه مدت زمانی نیروهای آلمانی در افغانستان باقی خواهند ماند، اما افزوده است که برلین به عنوان "دوست مردم افغانستان" برای تامین یک آینده صلح آمیز با افغانستان کار می‌کند. -- صدای آلمان

Sharing Burdens: Germany to Urge Shift in EU Refugee Policy --- The number of asylum-seekers in Germany is growing rapidly and many towns and cities are struggling to house them. The country's interior minister is pushing for changes to the EU's refugee policies in an effort to share the burden across the continent. -- Recently, German Interior Minister Thomas de Mazière spent the better part of an hour patiently answering questions from high school and college students. Most of them were about development and asylum policy, with the students voicing extreme criticism of the policy whereby economic refugees are treated differently from those trying to escape political persecution. --- No matter how the problem is approached, though, it is clear is that the global refugee drama has arrived in Germany. In 2013, 130,000 people applied for asylum in Germany, close to one-third of all asylum applications in the European Union. This year, the number is expected to surpass the 200,000 mark, a surge reminiscent of a major wave of refugees that hit Europe in the early 1990s. Some cities don't know how to handle the influx, providing an opportunity for right-wing populists and their xenophobic sentiment. --- People are fleeing their home countries for a number of different reasons these days. It might be the civil war in Syria or the Islamic State terror in Iraq. They could also be fleeing the dictatorship in Eritrea or the threats and chaos in a failed state like Somalia. They flee poverty and discrimination in Serbia despite the fact that the country is already negotiating to become an EU member state. Thousands of people who would have a credible chance of being given the right to stay in Germany are being compelled to enter the country illegally. They entrust criminal smugglers, dare to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean or they find other ways to penetrate Europe's highly fortified borders. -- Once in Germany they are confronted with Article 16 A, which stipulates that people faced with political persecution at home be granted the right to asylum. It includes no provisions for other factors that might drive people to flee their homes: hunger, droughts, crime, poverty or the lack of any prospects in a broken country. But that doesn't stop the refugees from coming and now the interior minister is being forced to come up with answers. --- Shortly after Germany's 1990 reunification, the number of asylum-seekers suddenly skyrocketed, largely the product of the wars in former Yugoslavia. In 1992, some 440,000 people applied for asylum in Germany, more than twice as many as have applied this year. The development contributed to an environment of fear that enabled the right-wing extremist Republican Party to gain seats in parliament in the state of Baden-Württemberg, with more than 10 percent of the votes and for the far-right German People's Union (DVU) party to win seats in Schleswig-Holstein. In Hoyerswerda and other towns in Germany, refugees were even attacked by rabid mobs, shocking the world and bringing shame on the entire country. -- The federal government at the time responded by drastically curbing the right to asylum. Refugees who had arrived from a "safe third country" were stripped of the right to asylum in Germany. Given that every single country that shares a border with Germany is considered to have that status, it means that "the only way a refugee could still apply for asylum in Germany would be to land here by parachute," criticized the refugee advocacy organization Pro Asyl. -- But it is no longer possible for Germany to seal itself off as it did then. Refugees are now illegally crossing the German border in busses or on trains. They are then picked up, sometimes hundreds at a time, and taken to first admission facilities where the asylum process begins. In 2013, 130,000 people submitted asylum applications in Germany. In Italy, which is regularly in the international headlines for refugee catastrophes near Lampedusa, only 30,000 people applied during the same period. --- Few Granted Asylum -- Very few of those who apply are ultimately granted the right to asylum in Germany. This year, it was a paltry 1.6 percent. A further 20 percent, such as those from Iraq, are recognized as refugees under the rules of the Geneva Convention. A further 7 percent are permitted to remain temporarily for other reasons. In total, only about one-quarter of all asylum-seekers are allowed to stay in the country. So far in 2014, that has meant that a total of around 22,000 of the 79,000 cases processed have been allowed to remain. The rest have had to leave. -- Read More, SPIEGEL Staff,

The Extremist Trap: Don't Sacrifice Civil Rights in Battle against Islamists --- After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the US sacrificed its values and betrayed its civil rights. With a new Islamist threat brewing, Germany must avoid avoid making the same mistakes. Its democracy is strong enough to withstand the threat. --- The world of Islamism has long since reached Germany. Salafists are battling Kurds in our city centers; they walk with their Niqab-draped wives in Berlin's Humboldthain park; they collect money for their fellow believers fighting in Syria. They badmouth the country that provides for them but which doesn't make them happy. They dream of a better world: Islamic paradise. Now they know where it is, too. Paradise lies just across the Turkish border. It calls itself Islamic State. -- There, these men will allegedly find everything they can't get here in Germany: adventure, regard, a bit of power, maybe women and a reason to live -- even if they have to die for it. Around 500 German Islamists, both immigrants and converts, have thus far traveled to Syria or Iraq to join the jihad. Almost 10 percent of them have been killed. The situation looks similar in other Western countries: Around 900 French, 500 Britons and 100 Americans are now fighting for paradise. Those who survive may one day return home, as brutalized fighting machines. -- Experts warn that Islamic State will seek to carry out attacks in Europe, if possible big ones such as those carried out in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. In such an event, the self-proclaimed Islamic State Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, could take over leadership of the global jihad movement from al-Qaida. To achieve that aim, systematic recruiting efforts are underway in Germany -- in mosques, on social networks and among friends. German Islamists would no doubt be particularly pleased about an attack here in Germany. -- That prospect provides no grounds for fear. Germany can defend itself, as quietly as possible and with all of the measures it has at its disposal. -- Read More, A DER SPIEGEL Editorial,

Monday, October 13, 2014

رئیس جمهور احمدزی در جستجوی افراد ماهر و متخصص برای کابینه میباشد --- رئیس جمهوراحمدزی در جستجوی افراد ماهر و متخصص برای کابینه و ریاست های مختلف میباشد. این موضوع را دفتر ریاست جمهوری به روز جمعه بیان نمود. منبع افزوده است که داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان شام دیروز با شماری از مسئولین و نماینده گان رسانه ها دیدار کرد. در این دیدار مسئولین و نماینده گان رسانه ها اقدامات انجام شده در ده روز گذشته توسط رئیس جمهور داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی را از نگاه تاریخی بی مثال دانسته و از آن حمایت شانرا اعلام کردند. منبع علاوه کرد، آنان به رئیس جمهور اطمینان دادند که در قسمت انعکاس مشکلات مردم و ایجاد رابطه میان مردم و دولت مانند یک پل ارتباطی نقش ایفا خواهند کرد و از هیچگونه همکاری با حکومت جدید دریغ نخواهند ورزید. -- در این دیدار داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی با اشاره به کار های انجام شده توسط حکومت جدید گفت که بالای تشکیل کابینه جدید کار می کند تا در راس وزارت خانه ها و ادارات مستقل اشخاص قوی و کار آزموده را بگمارد. وی تاکید کرد که نمی خواهد اشخاص ضعیف را در وزارت ها و ادارات تعیین نماید. رئیس جمهور با اشاره بر مشکلات کشور، رسالت رسانه ها را در زمینه رسانیدن صدای مردم به حکومت مهم و ارزشمند خوانده، اطمینان داد که برای نهادینه کردن آزادی بیان در کشور و حمایت از خبرنگاران، گام های اساسی خواهد برداشت. -- داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی ایجاد و گسترش ژورنالیزم تحقیقی را در راستای فشار بالای حکومت جهت بهتر شدن امور و بررسی واقعیت ها، یک نیاز مهم دانست و از مسئولین رسانه ها و خبرنگاران خواست که در زمینهء بهتر شدن امور با حکومت خویش همکاری نمایند. در این دیدار رئیس جمهور در مورد اوضاع جاری کشور با نماینده گان رسانه های خارجی نیز صحبت کرد. -- صدای آزادی

Turkey denies reaching accord with U.S. on use of air base against Islamic State --- SANLIURFA, TURKEY — Turkey denied Monday that it has reached any “new agreement” with the United States to allow the use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for attacks on the Islamic State militant group, despite suggestions from the Obama administration that a deal had been reached. -- A statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said talks are continuing between Ankara and Washington over whether to permit U.S. forces to use Incirlik in the fight against the Islamic State, a radical al-Qaeda offshoot that has captured parts of Syria and Iraq. However, “there is no new agreement on the Incirlik issue,” the statement said. -- “There are requests and expectations and the negotiations continue,” it added. -- The Obama administration has been pressing Turkey to allow warplanes to use Incirlik — where the United States bases aircraft under existing NATO agreements — as part of an effort by a U.S.-led coalition to roll back Islamic State gains. -- U.S. officials said Sunday that Turkey had agreed to allow the coalition to use Turkish military bases for the fight against the Islamic State and to use Turkish territory as part of a training program for moderate Syrian ­opposition fighters. -- “That’s a new commitment and one that we very much welcome,” Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “They have said that their facilities inside of Turkey can be used by the coalition forces — American and otherwise — to engage in activities inside of Iraq and Syria.” -- Rice did not specify what kind of military activities the United States would be allowed to conduct from Turkish bases to support operations in Syria. A Defense Department planning team is scheduled to travel to Turkey this week to finalize the plans, U.S. officials said. --- In a reflection of the sensitivity of the matter, U.S. officials on Monday were reluctant to further address or clarify the issue for fear of irritating the Turks. “We are grateful for steps Turkey is taking to support the coalition, to include training and the use of some facilities,” said a U.S. defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. -- Read More, Washingtonpost

رئیس جمهور خانه تکانی کرد شش مقام اداره امور برطرف و به جای آنها شمار دیگری مقرر گردیدند ---- رئیس جمهور داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی خانه تکانی را از ادارۀ خود آغاز کرد. به گزارش رسیده به آرمان ملی، داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهور دیروز در یک اقدام عاجل، شش تن از رؤسا و معاونین ادارات اداره امور را برکنار و به جای آنها افراد دیگر را تعین ساخت. گفته می شود اسدالله صالحی به جای غمگسار رئیس مالی قبلی، عبدالله صدیقی به جای جنرال حمید رئیس حقوق اداره امور، اسرار محمد کلیم زی به عوض موسی حسینی رئیسIT این اداره، کامله صدیقی به جای فریدالله حکمت، عتیق الله نوشیر به جای سیدولی سلطان و سید نعمت ساحل به جای نجیب الله امین در پست های معاونیت شماری از ریاست های اداره امور مقرر شده اند. -- پیش از این عبدالعلی محمدی مشاور حقوقی رئیس جمهور احمدزی گفته بود که بعضی ادارات موازی و وزارت خانه های بی هدف وجود دارد که هزینۀ سنگینی را بر بودجه مردم افغانستان تحمیل می کنند. اگرچه مشاور حقوقی رئیس جمهور نامی از این ادارات موازی نبرد، اما گفته می شود که وزارت امور شهرسازی با وزارت فواید عامه و وزارت امور مهاجرین و عودت کننده گان با وزارت کار و امور اجتماعی مدغم و بیشتر از چهل و هشت ادارۀ که کار های موازی دارند حذف خواهند شد. -- به گفتۀ آقای محمدی، این کار به هدف جلوگیری از هزینۀ هنگفتی صورت گرفته که در این ادارات به مصرف می رسند. به گفته آقای محمدی رئیس جمهور احمدزی یک و نیم ماه را مدت انتقالی خوانده و در این زمان بر علاوه اینکه روی بررسی وزارت ها و ادارات کار می کند مطابق معیار های که در نظر است وزرا و مقامات بلندرتبه را بکار توظیف خواهد کرد. آقای محمدی هم چنان گفت، هیچ تضمینی وجود ندارد که وزیران کابینه حکومت قبلی هم در کابینه جدید حضور داشته باشند. اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهور کشور گفته است که در مدت چهل و پنج روز، کابینۀ جدید را اعلان خواهد کرد و تمام اعضای کابینه را بر اساس فهم، تعهد و تخصص تعیین خواهد کرد. - آرمان ملی

Columbus Day -- Origins of Columbus Day --- A U.S. national holiday since 1937, Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. The Italian-born explorer had set sail two months earlier, backed by the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia; instead, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century. --- Columbus Day in the United States -- The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order–better known as Tammany Hall–held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. Taking pride in Columbus’ birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.” -- More,

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Striking Mosaic Found In Greek Tomb Dates From 4th Century B.C. --- Archaeologists have uncovered an intricate and beautiful floor mosaic in a large tomb in northern Greece. Dating from the last quarter of the 4th century B.C., the mosaic covers a space of nearly 15 feet by 10 feet. It features two horses, a man and the god Hermes; it was found in a tomb that was discovered in August. -- "The detail of the work is amazing, in the depiction of the horses, the persons, and the chariots and also the harmony of the colors," Greece's Times of Change site says. -- The mosaic is made of small pebbles whose colors range from white, black and grey to blue, red and yellow. They're arranged to create a scene in which two horses draw a chariot carrying a bearded man with a laurel wreath on his head. -- "The Greek God Hermes is shown leading, for he is the traditional guide to the spirits of the dead, into the underworld of Hades," according to the website The Amphipolis Tomb. Hermes is depicted wearing a hat and cloak, and carrying a caduceus. -- Photos posted online by Greece's Culture Ministry show that the mosaic has been damaged in its center, but the accompanying notice says many of the pieces from the damaged area were found nearby. --- We've reported on the tomb before — and on its ties to the era of Alexander the Great. Last month, NPR's Joanna Kakissis asked the question "Who's Buried In The 'Magnificent' Tomb From Ancient Greece?" --- From Athens, Joanna reports for our Newscast unit: -- "The tomb near the ancient Macedonian city of Amphipolis likely doesn't contain the remains of the young conqueror who died in Babylon at age 32. But it could contain someone very significant from the era, says Robin Lane Fox, a British historian and a specialist on Alexander the Great. -- " 'My suspicion would be that this is a very high-ranking companion in Alexander's former army,' Fox says, 'who has returned back, or been returned as a body, to his home in Amphipolis.' -- "Archaeologists working on the site have so far refused interviews and have only released photos of their discoveries through the Greek government." - NPR,

International Day of the Girl: Afghanistan Through the Eyes of the Girl. --- This year's theme for International Day of the Girl is Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence. Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a girl. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, steady recognition of their human rights, such as in education and reproductive care, has been made. Yet, these gains have been slow, fragile and are easily reversible: poverty, continuing insecurity, regressive social norms, and detrimental cultural practices are all amongst the many constraints facing girls on a daily basis, and prevent their full empowerment and emancipation. Once violence against girls is confronted and momentum for their rights is achieved, society and the nation can start to move forward. -- In Afghan society, violence against girls is pervasive. The practice of child marriage epitomises the emotional and physical violence that girls endure at such a young age. Child marriage does not take place in a vacuum; rather it reflects a continuum of abuse they experience in their daily struggle to survive. It assumes their lesser worth and justification of violence through social consent. The long tradition of child brides has resulted in a normalisation of domestic violence, rape and early pregnancy, all which has serious psychological impact on girls well into adulthood. -- The practice of 'bride price' is one of the main causes of violence. In eastern Khost province, women are concerned that the increase in bride price to one million Afs (almost $18,000) is leaving women and girls open to violence by her in laws' who resent paying. Some girls are now escaping their father's homes. Despite tribal elders' pushing to limit bride price to 250,000 Afs (almost $2,000), the extortionate practice continues unimpeded. This is all in spite of the Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 2009 that criminalizes child marriage. -- Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the devastating impact of child marriage can be found in the burn unit of Herat hospital, which has seen a rapid increase in burn victims, a direct result of being attacked by her husband's family or self-immolation to escape horrendous abuse. The entrapment of child marriage has left women and girls fearing for their lives as a result of social unwillingness to confront a culture of impunity to such violence and lack of official reporting. -- Given that 40% of girls are married before they reach 18 (UNICEF), their disempowerment is most starkly seen by their absence in the educational system. According to Government figures, only 12% of women are literate. A core problem is that 38%, mostly girls, do not have access to education, which directly impacts enrollment: on average, there are 55 girls for every 100 boys enrolled in secondary school. Of those whose families can afford an education, they risk their lives every day just to go to school. As a result of insecurity and strong Taliban presence in many areas, girls are frequently attacked, and threats against parents and teachers are common. Many teachers have lost their lives because of their courage, faith and passion for teaching girls. -- Education has a powerful transformative impact on the lives of girls: their families are healthier; they marry later; have fewer children and have greater opportunities for income generation. For example, the World Bank reports that for each additional year a girl remains in education, child mortality reduces by 18 per thousand births. Her future income can increase by 10-20% for each additional year in primary school and by 15-25% in secondary school. This clearly shows the critical importance of education for tapping into girls' potential and their contribution towards peace, prosperity and economic empowerment. --- Afghanistan's new President, Ashraf Ahmedzai, must continue to consolidate the gains made for girls and facilitate their engagement within civic, economic and political life. More resources, capacity, and political leadership must be shown to combat violence against women and girls. For child marriage in particular, a country-wide awareness campaign about its negative effects should be overseen by the new Government. It is only then that Afghanistan will start to shed its image of oppression and suppression inflicted on girls. -- In this crucial period of political transition and troop withdrawal at the end of the year, it is imperative that young Afghan girls are empowered with the skills, knowledge and courage to stand up to violence perpetrated against them. Greater investment in gender-sensitive educational systems will provide the building blocks to a more inclusive, sustainable and peaceful society. The future of Afghanistan depends on trailblazers like Shabana BasII-Rasikh to fulfil their human rights and their country's expectations. Girls should not have to fight alone. -- Read More,

If great architecture belongs to humanity, do we have a responsibility to save it in wartimes? --- Ancient sites exemplify the persistence of our collective culture, our sole consolation for the inescapability of our death. What should be done when such treasures are destroyed? --- The lands of Syria and Iraq gave rise to some the oldest societies we know: the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Parthians, the Romans and many others. Traces of all of these peoples remain in archeological sites of the utmost significance. -- And now they’re being destroyed. -- fortnight ago, satellite imagery revealed the cultural effects of Syria’s civil war. “The buildings of Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, has suffered extensive damage,” explained Archaeology magazine. “The ancient city of Bosra, the ancient site of Palmyra, the ancient villages of Northern Syria, and the castles Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din have all been damaged by mortar impacts and military activity.” -- So too in Iraq. -- Sometimes, the destruction is accidental (if that term means anything in wartime). Sometimes it’s deliberate, with the Islamic State systematically leveling ancient religious sites. -- After looters rampaged through Baghdad’s National Museum in 2003, Francis Deblauwe established the (now defunct) Iraq and Archaeology site, which eloquently expresses what’s now once again happening. He wrote: -- War in this cradle of civilization beyond the horrendous, almost invisible casualties – always somebody’s husband, always somebody’s son – and downplayed ‘collateral damage’ – always somebody’s wife, always somebody’s child – inevitably takes its toll on the archaeological heritage as well. After all, this fertile flood plain and surrounding mountains gave birth to agriculture, to writing, to cities, to laws, to the 24 hours in a day, and many more things we take for granted. *** Iraq takes its name from Uruk, the ancient city said to have been ruled by Gilgamesh, sometime between 2,500 and 2,700 BC. -- In the epic poem that bears his name, Gilgamesh leaves Uruk, a place he constructed, stricken with grief after the death of his friend. After many adventures, he accepts that only the gods endure forever, and returns with a new appreciation of the city – a human achievement that offers the only immortality humans can expect. --- Great architecture, Ruskin says, belongs to humanity as a whole, and not to “those mobs who do violence to it”. It’s an argument that surely applies to the relics of ancient Mesopotamia, caught between Islamic State fighters and US strike bombers. -- But can we – or, rather, should we – proclaim the rights of the dead when patently we cannot guarantee the rights of the living? --- *** Nearly 200,000 people have already perished in Syria’s civil war. Estimates of deaths from the 2003 Iraq invasion vary from several hundred thousand to over a million, depending on which source you cite. In the midst of almost unimaginable blood and suffering, is it wrong to care about the walls of Uruk? -- Read More, Comment is free - Guardian,

محمدی: ادارات و وزارت های موازی مدغم یا منحل می شود --- در کنار معیار های مشخصی که برای تعیین وزرا و مقامات بلندپایه حکومتی در نظر گرفته شده کار روی مدغم و انحلال وزارت ها و ادارات موازی نیز به شدت ادامه دارد. مقامات افغان با ابراز این مطلب می گویند که شماری از وزارت ها و ادارات در چوکات حکومت اضافی بوده و توسط رئیس جمهور اشرف غنی احمدزی ازمیان برداشته می شود. -- عبدالعلی محمدی مشاور حقوقی رئیس جمهور احمدزی در مصاحبه اختصاصی با رادیو آزادی اگرچه از این وزارت ها و ادارات نام نگرفت اما افزود که پول هنگفتی را به مصرف می رساند: "بعضی ادارات موازی و و وزارت های بی هدفی وجود دارد که هزینه سنگینی را بر بودجه مردم افغانستان تحمیل می کند. -- ادارات که کار های تکراری را انجام میدهند دقیقاً در همین مدت چهل و پنج روز مورد تجدیدنظر قرار می گیرند. -- ادارات که نیاز آن دیده نمی شود منحل شده و تنها آن ادارات که کار عملی انجام میدهند باقی خواهند ماند." -- بگفته آقای محمدی رئیس جمهور احمدزی یک و نیم ماه را مدت انتقالی خوانده و در این زمان بر علاوه اینکه روی بررسی وزارت ها و ادارات کار می کند مطابق معیار های که در نظر است وزرا و مقامات بلندرتبه را بکار توظیف خواهد کرد. -- این در حالی است که مردم عام و برخی از نهاد ها در روز های گذشته با راه اندازی نشست ها از رئیس جمهور اشرف غنی احمدزی خواسته اند تا در گماشتن مقامات بلندپایه تخصص، تجربه و تعهد را در نظر بگیرد. آقای احمدزی هم از قبل گفته است که در حکومت او ضوابط بر روابط حاکم خواهد بود و کار را به اهل آن خواهد سپرد. -- در این حال عبدالعلی محمدی مشار حقوقی رئیس جمهور احمدزی می گوید هیچ تضمین وجود ندارد که وزرای کابینه حکومت قبلی هم در کابینه جدید حضور داشته باشند: "معیارهای مشخص بر اساس تخصص، شایستگی و توان مدیریتی افراد تعیین خواهد شد. -- از چهره های موجود اگر کسانی باشد که شامل این معیار باشند ممکن رئیس جمهور با آنان موافقه کند که بکار خود ادامه دهند اما هیچ تضمین وجود ندارد که این افراد هم در کابینه جدید هستند. برای آقای رئیس جمهور مهم فقط معیار ها و شایستگی است." -- اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهور افغانستان گفته است که در مدت چهل و پنج روز کابینه جدید را اعلان خواهد کرد و تمام اعضای کابینه را بر اساس فهم، تعهد و تخصص تعیین خواهد کرد. او هم چنان گفته است که برضد فساداداری با جدیت مبارزه می کند و نهاد های موازی را از بین خواهد برد. -- مردم عام و نهاد های مدنی نیز از اقدامات آقای احمدزی در چند روز گذشته در قسمت مبارزه با فساد اداری و حکومتداری خوب استقبال کرده اند و گفته اند که باید گلیم فساداداری، خودسری ها و فرار از قانون در افغانستان برچیده شود. - رادیو آزادی

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Afghan Leader, Putting Focus on Graft, Revives Bank Fraud Inquiry --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Signaling his intent to improve the Afghan government’s poor reputation on corruption, President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday ordered a new examination of the stagnant Kabul Bank fraud prosecutions. -- The bank, likened to a roughly $800 million Ponzi scheme after powerful insiders pillaged it through fraudulent loans, has come to symbolize the legal impunity enjoyed by Afghanistan’s elite. And the case has become a major sticking point for donor nations and the International Monetary Fund, which at one point made prosecution of those responsible for the bank’s collapse a condition of any new loans to the government. -- Just three days into Mr. Ghani’s presidency, his decree about the bank was clearly meant to reassure Western partners that aid to the country would not be a bad investment. The day before, as Afghanistan signed long-term security deals with the United States and NATO, Mr. Ghani had emphasized the importance of international aid in tackling “shared challenges.” -- In the Kabul Bank case, although 21 defendants were convicted on various charges in March 2013, the case has languished on appeal for more than a year as the court deliberated whether to uphold sentences that many argued were light to begin with. Only a few flagrant offenders have seen jail time. -- In his aggressively worded decree, Mr. Ghani ordered the detention of the convicted and a review of the case by the Afghan Supreme Court with the possibility of expanding charges. It was unclear, however, whether the judiciary could expand the list of defendants beyond the scope of the original prosecution. -- The order issued tight timelines for action, including three days to detain those whose appeals are pending, a month and a half for the Supreme Court to produce its findings and 10 days to work out cooperation agreements with countries where the stolen money may have been sent. It also explicitly directed the Attorney General’s office, which some Afghan and Western officials have accused of shielding people who benefited from the fraud, to cooperate with the investigation. -- But even as numerous Western and Afghan officials applauded Mr. Ghani’s move, some noted that for now it was only a gesture. - Read More, NYTimes,

ګران افغانستان -- افغانستان، کشور «جنرال» های مکتب نخوانده --- همه جا جنرال، در بازار منده ای، در صف نانوایی، در میدان تره بار، از هرسو ، جنرال به مقابلت ، سبز میشود!ساعت های چهار بعد از ظهرکه چارراه صدارت از نظر تراکم ترافیکی،شلوغ میشود، می بینی، یک یا دونفر پرسنل ترافیک به رتبهء عسکری جنرال، سعی می کنند، راه بندان را کنترل کنند! -- اخیرا که فاجعهء مفقود شدن ۲۰۰ میلیون دالر در وزارت داخله ، از ده سال به این سو، توسط سازمان« سیگار»، افشا شده است، مشخص شده است که تنها در وزارت داخله ۱۲۱ جنرال در حالت تعلیق و انتظار قرار داشته اند؛ یعنی معاش می گرفته اند، بدون کار و وظیفه! -- مدیران محابس در افغانستان، به رتبهء جنرال اند،آمر مسلخ به رتبهء جنرال است، آمران کندک های تشریفات ، به رتبهء جنرال اند، افسران محافظ میدان هوایی، به رتبهء جنرال اند؛ در دوران شاهی و جمهوری داوودخان،این مقامات ، توسط تورن ها و جکتورن ها و جکرن ها ، اداره می شد! -- این « جنرال» ها اغلب ، مدرسه و فاکولتهء نظامی را نخوانده اند، یعنی جنرال ماشینی و تنظیمی اند؛جلالتماب کرزی که میدان هوایی به نام او مسما شده، هرگز از مسلک عسکری و فوت و فن آن، آگاه نبوده و به خود زحمت حصول معلومات ابتدایی درین زمینه را نداده است؛ به هر مناسبت، بدون بررسی، لیست ترفیعات افسران را چشم بسته، امضاء میکرده است! -- Read More,

Fareed Zakaria: Let’s be honest, Islam has a problem right now --- When television host Bill Maher declares on his weekly show that “the Muslim world . . . has too much in common with ISIS ” and guest Sam Harris says that Islam is “the mother lode of bad ideas,” I understand why people are upset. Maher and Harris, an author, made crude simplifications and exaggerations. And yet, they were also talking about something real. -- I know the arguments against speaking of Islam as violent and reactionary. It has a following of 1.6 billion people. Places such as Indonesia and India have hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t fit these caricatures. That’s why Maher and Harris are guilty of gross generalizations. But let’s be honest. Islam has a problem today. The places that have trouble accommodating themselves to the modern world are disproportionately Muslim. -- In 2013, of the top 10 groups that perpetrated terrorist attacks, seven were Muslim. Of the top 10 countries where terrorist attacks took place, seven were Muslim-majority. The Pew Research Center rates countries on the level of restrictions that governments impose on the free exercise of religion. Of the 24 most restrictive countries, 19 are Muslim-majority. Of the 21 countries that have laws against apostasy, all have Muslim majorities. -- There is a cancer of extremism within Islam today. A small minority of Muslims celebrates violence and intolerance and harbors deeply reactionary attitudes toward women and minorities. While some confront these extremists, not enough do so, and the protests are not loud enough. How many mass rallies have been held against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in the Arab world today? -- The caveat, “Islam today,” is important. The central problem with Maher’s and Harris’s analyses are that they take a reality — extremism in Islam — and describe it in ways that suggest it is inherent in Islam. Maher says Islam is “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will [expletive] kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” He’s right about the viciousness but wrong to link it to “Islam” — instead of “some Muslims.” -- Harris prides himself on being highly analytical — with a PhD, no less. I learned in graduate school that you can never explain a variable phenomenon with a fixed cause. So, if you are asserting that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant — “the mother lode of bad ideas” — then, since Islam has been around for 14 centuries, we should have seen 14 centuries of this behavior. -- Harris should read Zachary Karabell’s book “Peace Be Upon You: Fourteen Centuries of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Conflict and Cooperation.” What he would discover is that there have been wars but also many centuries of peace. Islam has at times been at the cutting edge of modernity, but like today, it has also been the great laggard. As Karabell explained to me, “If you exclude the last 70 years or so, in general the Islamic world was more tolerant of minorities than the Christian world. That’s why there were more than a million Jews living in the Arab world until the early 1950s — nearly 200,000 in Iraq alone.” -- If there were periods when the Islamic world was open, modern, tolerant and peaceful, this suggests that the problem is not in the religion’s essence and that things can change once more. So why is Maher making these comments? I understand that as a public intellectual he feels the need to speak what he sees as the unvarnished truth (though his “truth” is simplified and exaggerated). But surely there is another task for public intellectuals as well — to try to change the world for good. -- Does he really think that comparing Islam to the Mafia will do this? Harris says that he wants to encourage “nominal Muslims who don’t take the faith seriously” to reform the religion. So, the strategy to reform Islam is to tell 1.6 billion Muslims, most of whom are pious and devout, that their religion is evil and they should stop taking it seriously? --- That is not how Christianity moved from its centuries-long embrace of violence, crusades, inquisitions, witch-burning and intolerance to its modern state. On the contrary, intellectuals and theologians celebrated the elements of the religion that were tolerant, liberal and modern, and emphasized them, while giving devout Christians reasons to take pride in their faith. A similar approach — reform coupled with respect — will work with Islam over time. -- The stakes are high in this debate. You can try to make news or you can make a difference. I hope Maher starts doing the latter. - More, Fareed Zakaria, Washingtonpost,

The small steps to save our gains in Afghanistan --- The shared interests of Afghanistan and the United States have taken dramatic steps forward in recent weeks, and a success that Americans can be proud of is within reach. But there is also a real danger that we will throw away the gains we have made unless we capitalize with small investments that can enable significant payoffs. -- After a drawn-out electoral squabble, Afghan political leaders peacefully reached an innovative compromise — a radical departure from decades of coups, revolutions and warfare. More important than any fraud during the election is that the joint administration of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah represents a mandate of more than 70 percent of the electorate for the political reforms Afghanistan desperately needs. As both leaders said in meetings last week, they are off to a strong start. -- The day after the inauguration, the new government signed a long-awaited security agreement with the United States and a companion agreement permitting NATO forces to remain after 2014. A significant bank fraud case has been reopened. And Afghan security forces, which successfully protected two rounds of the election, continue to acquit themselves well in combat — quite unlike the Iraqi army — even as they face problems and require continued international support. -- The new government still has to prove it can improve governance and boost the economy. Failure is possible. But much has already been accomplished, including improvements in health programs, the status of women and the Afghan army. None is a complete success. But after 13 years of war, death and expenditure, the United States has built a foundation for success. Now it is important to carefully weigh comparatively marginal investments and minor policy changes that can sharply improve our chances of success. We cannot let ourselves be prisoners of old timelines as conditions change. --- The Afghan security forces have held most of their ground even while taking high casualties. Again, the difference with Iraq is significant. But the savage war in Afghanistan will continue as long as insurgents have sanctuaries in Pakistan and governance is not improved. The Afghans will be doing the fighting, but we should be prepared to assist with critical air support, intelligence and institutional development until they possess the needed capabilities. Under current rules, as of Jan. 1, the NATO commander can use airpower to protect the troops of the 26 countries engaged in Afghanistan — but not the Afghans themselves. This should change. -- We are building an Afghan air force, but the effort was started late, and major U.S. contractual mistakes have left the Afghans without adequate air support. Never in the planning process did anyone expect that Afghans would be ready to provide their own air support by 2015. We should not wait for things to fall apart — as they have in Iraq — before we move to address this problem. -- And then there is money. There has been waste. There has also been meaningful aid delivery and capacity-building, as the three of us just witnessed in our most recent trip to Afghanistan. The U.S. development budget for Afghanistan has been reduced from more than $2 billion to about $850 million. The lower figure is manageable, but with a new government promising serious action against corruption, now is not the time to put it under more strain with deeper reductions. -- These are small steps: taking a flexible approach to pulling out forces, engaging our allies to secure additional troops, allowing the air support that will be in country anyway to aid the Afghan forces, giving the necessary help in intelligence, as well as maintaining our assistance for two or three years. Such adjustments could pay large dividends for years to come. And the decisions need to be made now, before changes that are moving forward on autopilot squander the opportunity that’s before us. -- Read More, Vanda Felbab-Brown, Ronald Neumann, David Sedney, Washingtonpost,

The Road to Bamiyan: A Public Works Debacle that Defines Afghanistan --- It was to be a symbol of reconstructed Afghanistan: a paved highway from Kabul to the beautiful valley of Bamiyan. Construction has long been underway, but the project may never be completed -- a victim of the realities in present-day Afghanistan. --- Three times a week, weather permitting, an old Antonov operated by the East Horizon Airlines struggles into the air above Kabul. With a little luck, the aircraft lands 30 minutes later on the dirt runway in the provincial capital Bamiyan. The Russian-made plane is slightly rusty on the outside, well-worn inside and, at 50 years old, is not allowed to fly fully loaded. Otherwise, it is unable to clear the Hindu Kush range, which almost surrounds Kabul like a gigantic wall. -- Those who chose not to fly to Bamiyan can drive there. North of Kabul begins a road leading through the Ghorband district, a region that became infamous in 2012 after a video showing a mob stoning a young woman went viral. In many places, the road is in terrible shape, full of deep potholes and unpaved. Recent years have seen several Taliban assaults along the arterial, in addition to attacks by thieves and kidnappers. -- The third route to Bamiyan is a road that begins in Maidan Shahr, a town located 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Kabul. The new project, paid for with money from the West, is still under construction. But one day, the plan foresees cars zooming across a smooth asphalt surface at 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour) or more, past traders and daytrip destinations. Once the road is completed, the entire trip from Kabul to Bamiyan by car would take a mere three hours. -- The street doesn't have an opulent name and, if it is ever finished, will be a mere 136 kilometers long -- just a small strip of asphalt in the enormous country of Afghanistan. It leads through Wardak Province, a sparsely settled, dusty region, before crossing the Koh-i-Baba Mountains over 3,700 meter (12,140 foot) Hajigak Pass. From there, the two-lane road descends into Bamiyan Valley, one of the poorest regions in poverty-stricken Afghanistan. For all its modesty, however, the project tells the tale of Afghanistan's recent history: its hopes, its hardships, its madness and its failures. From its shoulders, one has a view of the last few years and the immense attempt to rebuild the country. -- In December, after 13 years, the international intervention in Afghanistan -- once comprised of 40 countries and as many as 140,000 troops -- is coming to an end. For a time, fully 26 United Nations organizations were operating in the country with foreign governments and private agencies pumping in billions of dollars. And millions were earmarked for the road to Bamiyan. -- Read More, Der Spiegel,

US Turns $486 Million Afghan Air Fleet into $32,000 of Scrap Metal --- The U.S. has destroyed 16 cargo planes it purchased for almost half a billion dollars for the Afghan Air Force and sold the scrap metal for $32,000. -- The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is asking the Air Force why the fleet of G222 aircraft were turned into scrap metal this past August. They had sat idle for years on the tarmac at Kabul International Airport. -- The remaining four G-222 aircraft are now in storage at the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany. No final decision has been made on their future. -- In 2008, NATO purchased 20 of the Italian-made aircraft for $486 million in hopes that they could serve cargo and transit needs for Afghanistan’s new air force. But it quickly became apparent that the aircraft were not suited for the dusty conditions found in Afghanistan and required constant maintenance and spare parts. -- According to a letter sent by SIGAR to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the G222 program was terminated in March 2013 “after sustained, serious performance, maintenance, and spare parts problems and the planes were grounded.” -- John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, wrote to Hagel that his office had been reviewing the purchase of the planes, but said he had recently been made aware that the aircraft “were turned over to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and have since been scrapped.” - Read More, ABCNews,

Friday, October 10, 2014

U.S.-Funded Planes for Afghanistan Sold for Scrap --- A U.S.-funded, half-billion-dollar program designed to add cargo planes built in Italy to the Afghan air force has been reduced to $32,000 in scrap metal at Kabul International Airport, and a U.S. government watchdog wants to know why. -- John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, sent letters to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Air Force Secretary Deborah James last week inquiring about an ill-fated program that purchased 20 G222 aircraft for the Afghan military at a cost of $486 million. The program was terminated in March 2013 over concerns that the cargo planes were not being used or properly maintained and repaired. -- Of those 20 planes, 16 fell into disrepair at Kabul International Airport and were turned over to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, which shredded them into scrap metal. The resulting material then was sold to an Afghan construction company at 6 cents per pound, totaling $32,000. The remaining four planes are being stored at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. -- Sopko traveled to Kabul in November and saw the planes firsthand. A picture dated in August of this year and included with his correspondence shows aircraft remnants. -- “I am concerned that the officials responsible for planning and executing the scrapping of the planes may not have considered other possible alternatives in order to salvage taxpayer dollars,” he wrote to James. -- Sopko has asked James to provide more information on whether officials pursued a more lucrative solution than to scrap and sell the metal. He also asked Hagel for notice before anything happens to the four remaining planes at Ramstein. -- Marine Corps Maj. Brad Avots, a Defense Department spokesman, says the G222 program was only meant to serve as an interim solution to the Afghan air force's need for cargo planes. The fleet was unable to fulfill its mission, he says, so the program was discontinued. -- "The Department of Defense recently completed disposal of aircraft located in Kabul, Afghanistan, to minimize impact on drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan," Avots tells U.S. News in an email. -- The Pentagon is looking for new ways to dispose of the remaining four planes in Germany. -- "Working in a wartime environment such as Afghanistan brings with it many challenges, and we continually seek to improve our processes," Avots says. "We also are focused on building the capability and capacity of our Afghan partners to improve accountability and help instill sound financial management practices in daily operations while reducing the risk of fraud, waste and abuse." -- The episode represents a daunting challenge facing President Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. service members from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. The Afghan security forces are trained, equipped and paid for almost exclusively through U.S. support, and still rely on American partners for key capabilities such as logistics, intelligence, air support and – perhaps most critically – equipment maintenance. - Read More, USNEWS,

UN marks World Day against Death Penalty with strong calls to end ‘cruel practice’ --- 10 October 2014 – The continuing application of the death penalty is a “cruel practice” that undermines human dignity, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he urged Member States to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights” and impose moratoriums on executions. -- In a video message issued to an event that took place yesterday at the UN Office in Geneva to mark the annual observance of the World Day against the Death Penalty, the Secretary-General noted that an increasing number of States from all regions of the world had acknowledged the failure of capital punishment as a means to exact justice. -- The death penalty, Mr. Ban said, does not deter crimes more than any other punishment and its abolition or moratorium can contribute “to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights.” -- “The taking of life is too irreversible for one human being to inflict it on another,” he continued. “We must continue to argue strongly that the death penalty is unjust and incompatible with fundamental human rights.” -- The event in Geneva also marked the European release of a new publication produced by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), entitled Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Arguments, Trends and Perspectives, which places particular focus on the political leadership required to move away from capital punishment. -- Recently, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan, and the states of Washington, Maryland and Connecticut in the United States decided to establish a moratorium or suspend executions while last April, El Salvador, Gabon and Poland acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – an international agreement aimed at abolition. These countries join more than 160 other Members States who have already either eliminated capital punishment or do not practice it. -- Also to mark the occasion, 13 UN member States signed an appeal to “jointly call for a world which respects human dignity.” In the joint appeal, the first ever launched by Foreign Ministers of both abolitionist and non-abolitionist States, the countries stress that while they respect the views of those who still support the use of the death penalty, they “consider that State executions should not be taking place in the 21st century. Modern justice systems must aspire to more than retribution.” -- In a separate message delivered yesterday, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, celebrated the overall trend towards abolition, adding that support for abolition resonated across regions, legal systems, traditions, customs and religious backgrounds. -- But, he noted, amid all the successes there have also been setbacks with some States resuming executions after decades and others reintroducing it for certain offences. “In 2013, after many years of slow, but consistent moving away from the death penalty, we have had a 12 per cent increase in the number of executions when compared to 2012, and the number of executing states increased by one,” Mr. Šimonović told those gathered. -- “Exactly for this reason, we need to continue our advocacy for the universal abolition of the death penalty.” -- Read More,

UN celebrates awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to children’s rights activists --- 10 October 2014 – The United Nations lauded today’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to two human rights activists, saying the winners had received well-deserved recognition for championing children’s rights around the world. -- Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, an ardent campaigner for a girl’s right to an education, and India’s Kailash Satyarthi, an activist fighting child labour, are the joint recipients of this year’s prize. -- Announcing the decision in Oslo, Norway, the Nobel judges cited the winners’ “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” -- In a statement released today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Ms. Yousafzai’s resilience in confronting extremists who sought to keep young girls out of school with “courage and determination,” adding that “Malala” had shown what terrorists fear most – “a girl with a book.” -- “Malala is a brave and gentle advocate of peace who through the simple act of going to school became a global teacher,” the Secretary-General said. -- “The United Nations will continue to stand with her against extremism and for the right of girls everywhere to be free of violence, to go to school and to enjoy their right to an education.” -- Ms. Yousafzai has become a regular presence at the United Nations since she was nearly killed in a targeted attack for lobbying for a girl’s right to an education. In 2013, the Secretary-General dubbed 12 July – Ms. Yousafzai’s birthday – as “Malala Day.” -- Mr. Ban reserved similar accolades for Mr. Satyarthi, whose “heroic work” had pushed the world away from denial about abusive child labour to “acknowledgement, awareness and action,” raising public awareness, mobilizing opinion leaders, and galvanizing society. -- “Kailash Satyarthi has been at the forefront of a worldwide movement for justice, global education and a better life for millions of children trapped in exploitative child labour,” he stated, citing Mr. Satyarthi’s tireless “leadership, commitment and personal sacrifice over many decades.” -- “He has successfully brought together the key elements for success in the fight against the worst forms of child labour – moral outrage, personal commitment, and societal engagement,” concluded Mr. Ban. -- In a separate statement, the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) applauded the “well-deserved honour” for the two activists and observed that the timing could not be more appropriate as 2014 also marked the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. -- “This award will be an inspiration to all the millions of unnamed and unknown children around the world who battle silently in their own lives for the right to an education and the right to be heard and protected,” the agency added. -- Also today, among the other UN officials applauding the winners, Ambassador Martin Sajdik, President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) congratulated Mr. Satyarthi and Ms. Yousafzai on their win, saying: "They are the true fighters for children's rights". -- Read More,

TOLOnews 29 September 2014 | President Ghani's Speech at Inauguration

Ariana News 10 October 2014 PASHTO

Worst week for S&P 500, Nasdaq since May 2012 --- U.S. stocks fell sharply on Friday, with benchmark indexes falling for a third week in a row, as computer-chip manufacturers led the losses after Microchip Technology lowered its sales outlook. -- "With the Fed going away, and the slowdown in Europe, the market is trying to figure out are these valuations fair, that's what this whole week has been about," said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.. -- Equities fell further after Standard & Poor's downgraded its outlook for France to negative from stable. -- The CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, rose above 20 for the first time since early February, and spiked 13 percent to 21.24. -- "Adding insult to injury after the bell on Thursday was a revenue warning from the CEO at Microchip Technology," noted Andrew Wilkinson, chief market strategist at Interactive Brokers. -- "Investors may have to worry beyond Friday about the consequences of the Microchip warning," he added. --- After rising as much as 98 points in the early going, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 115.15 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,544.10, with Intel fronting blue-chip losses that extended to 21 of 30 components. Coca-Cola led gains. The Dow fell 2.7 percent from the week-ago close, and slipped into negative terrain for the year, down 0.2 percent from the end of 2013. -- Down 3.1 percent on the week, and up 3.1 percent for the year, the S&P 500 dropped 22.08 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,906.13, with technology hardest hit and utilities faring best among its 10 major sectors. -- The Nasdaq declined 102.10 points, or 2.3 percent, to 4,276.24, leaving it off 2.3 percent on the week and up 2.4 percent on the year. -- For every share rising, nearly four fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where nearly 949 million shares traded. Composite volume cleared 4.5 billion. - Read More, CNBC,

Thursday, October 09, 2014

A New Muslim Identity for Afghans? --- Protecting Islam was his first pledge when Ashraf Ghani took leadership in Kabul Monday. Given that Afghanistan has had an uninterrupted history of jihad for four decades, one would be right to assume that protecting Islam is hardly a neglected matter in this deeply religious yet profoundly corrupted society. After all, while the new Islamic government was taking charge, the Taliban continued with their own version of violent Islam, killing four in a suicide attack. Still, there was no end to public displays of piety, as prayers in Arabic marked the beginning and the end of the ceremony's speeches. The pitiful state of Islam in Afghanistan was embodied in the spiritual leader Mujadedi's blessing of the new government when the frail Sufi master offered a heartfelt plea to god to have mercy on this long suffering Muslim nation. After all, yesterday was not the first time that Afghan leaders had sworn by the Quran to work for peace and unity. Only in the past, such swearing by the Quran had resulted in another vicious war. --- Still, it would be misguided to assume that under Ghani's leadership religion is to stay the same. In his speech, Ghani made a point that the true heirs of jihad were the country's widows and orphans. In doing so, he challenged the claim to authority of many Afghan politicians whose sole justification for legitimacy is their jihadi history. In doing so, Ghani reinterpreted the idea of jihad, presenting it in a radically new light, an outlook that was summed up when he said it was time for Afghans to turn to jihad-e akbar, the greater jihad of internal, spiritual struggle. -- It is too early to assess the impact of this new vision of Islam but at a theoretical level, it is clear that Ghani has ushered in a new era of compassionate Islam, one that focuses on the vulnerable, widows and orphans, the country's neglected young men who make up the majority of war deaths. It would be interesting if Afghanistan, which made jihad globally famous as an anarchic military threat against local states and international forces, becomes the country that marks the end to this trend. -- Ghani, who has a solid command of Afghan history, is aware of the prominent role religious leaders have historically played in backing, if not inciting, anti-state rebellions. In theory at least, he has plans to co-opt religious institutions into the fabric of the state. For example, mosques are to become part of local administrations, acting as census and education centers. As government employees paid regular wages, such financial stability is hoped to reduce incentive for religious scholars to support anti-state activities. If conducted successfully, women will especially feel the impact of such reforms. If Islam grants women the right to inheritance, the current chaos of unregistered deaths means Afghan widows are often left without documented evidence of their widowhood, having no legal ground to claim inheritance. -- In this example, we see an attempt at using Islam as a practical tool for women's empowerment. That Ghani is sincere about this commitment to women's rights became evident in his public display of affection for his wife. Thanking her was the only time in the speech when he became emotional. Many Afghans on social media joked that Ghani was in love. The point they missed was that with this audacity, Ghani led by example. After all, how can a leader expect ordinary Afghan men to respect women's rights when he himself opts for the safer option of hiding her from the public? The fact that Ghani's wife is a Lebanese Christian reminds us of a time in Afghan history when the masculinity of a Muslim Afghan male was not measured against blind traditionalism. In fact, quite a few Afghan men of Ghani's generation met their wives while studying abroad on scholarships. Today, Afghan students abroad often keep marriages to non-Afghan women a secret from their families. They are made to feel ashamed of their tolerance. This, too, is the legacy of the 1980s jihad when the socially oppressive village Islam that was the Islam of jihad started to be forced on the country from the 1990s onwards. -- In Afghan history, the Islam of the state has normally been more progressive than the Islam of the rural majority. In this manner, the last two decades represented an anomaly rather than the norm. With Ghani, a survivor of this otherwise forgotten generation of progressive Muslim Afghan men, there is a chance for a return to this other Afghan tradition where the state leads the people towards an enlightened Islam rather than kowtowing to the oppressive traditional Islam of the illiterate majority. At home, this reform means cultivating a new mindset of progressive, democratic Islamic identity. But given Afghanistan's geographic location, the success of the plan also requires cooperation by neighboring and regional Muslim states. Once again, the future of Afghanistan is connected to both, its own internal struggles and its predicament of geography as destiny. - Read More, Nushin Arbabzadah,

رئیس جمهور افغانستان از زندان مرکزی کابل دیدار کرد --- عبدالعلی محمدی مشاور حقوقی رئیس جمهوری افغانستان به بی‌بی‌سی گفت که اصلاحات در سیستم عدلی و قضایی هدف اصلی این دیدار بود. -- او در صفحه فیسبوکش نوشته که این دیدار ساعت ۹ تا ۱۱ شب گذشته انجام شده است. -- آقای محمدی می گوید که در این دیدار، زندانیان رو در رو با رئیس جمهور افغانستان صحبت کردند و مشکلات شان را در میان گذاشتند. -- به گفته آقای محمدی، شماری از زندانیان ادعا داشتند که سالهاست بدون اینکه محکمه در مورد دوسیۀ آنها برگزار شود و یا تحقیق کاملی صورت بگیرد، در زندان به سر می برند و "بی سرنوشت" هستند. -- فهرستی که از سوی زندانیان به رئیس جمهوری داده شده، نشان می دهد که دست ‌کم ده نفر از زندانیان از ۹ تا سیزده سال بدون حکم محکمه در پلچرخی زندانی بودند. --- آقای محمدی در صفحه فیسبوک خود نوشته "رئیس جمهوری به څارنوالی ‌ها اخطار داد تا ظرف یک هفته، وضعیت افراد بی سرنوشت را روشن کند و گزارش دقیق و مستند آن را به او ارائه کنند، در غیر آن خودشان به جای افراد بی سرنوشت خواهند نشست." -- رئیس جمهوری افغانستان همچنان تاکید کرده کسانی که به جرم کشتن کودکان، زنان و نیروهای امنیتی زندانی هستند، بدون هیچ ملایمتی باید دوره زندان شان را بگذرانند. -- دیدار رئیس جمهوری از یک زندان در افغانستان بی ‌سابقه است. -- پلچرخی بزرگترین زندان افغانستان است. اکنون ۷۳۳۹ نفر در زندان پل چرخی زندانی هستند. - بی بی سی

3 Afghan soldiers who fled say they can’t go home | News Tribune

3 Afghan soldiers who fled say they can’t go home | News Tribune

3 Afghan soldiers who fled say they can't go home --- BATAVIA, N.Y. — Three Afghan military officers who sought refuge in Canada after taking off from a military training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod said Wednesday they were trying to escape Taliban violence at home but now face the wrath of their own government as well. -- "Now that we've decided to seek asylum, the danger has multiplied," said Maj. Jan Mohammad Arash, who along with Capt. Noorullah Aminyar and Capt. Mohammed Nasir Askarzada traveled more than 500 miles by taxi from the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis to Niagara Falls. -- The three walked across the Rainbow Bridge connecting New York to Ontario, Canada, to claim refugee status on Sept. 22 and were turned over to U.S. authorities, who charged them with immigration violations and began removal proceedings. --- "Our pictures are in the newspapers in Afghanistan, Pakistan and all around the world. Now our government has turned against us," Arash, 49, said inside the federal detention facility outside Buffalo, where they are being held. -- All said they feared they would be killed or imprisoned and tortured if returned to Afghanistan. --- In interviews with The Associated Press, the three described feeling elated as they took their $1,600 cab ride toward the U.S.-Canadian border, never expecting they would be turned away and handed over to the United States under a U.S.-Canada agreement that requires asylum seekers to apply in the first country they land in. -- "I felt like I was reborn again and I had become free and alive," Askarzada, 28, said of the trip through Massachusetts and into New York. He and Arash answered questions in Farsi, which was translated by their attorney, Matthew Borowski. Aminyar spoke in English. -- Askarzada said he has an uncle in Canada and that the three planned to seek him out for help in eventually bringing their families there as well. All are married and have children. Askarzada said his wife is pregnant. --- Aminyar said he had been targeted by the Taliban in his village of Khowgni because of his work with U.S. soldiers in killing and capturing Taliban fighters. A platoon leader and company commander, the 30-year-old said he was marked for death after taking part in military training in the United States in 2012 and again in September. -- While he was participating last month in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, Aminyar said, Taliban fighters went to his Afghanistan home intending to kill him, leading to a frantic phone conversation with his father. -- "He told me: 'Your life is in danger. There is no chance for you to live in Afghanistan,'" Aminyar said, sitting at a stainless steel table inside a cinder-block interview room. "I talked with my wife. She told me I should not return. I have to go to Canada." -- He and Askarzada decided to use the Cape Cod Mall excursion to make their way to the border, joined by Arash, who also had gone to the mall. -- "We never thought that we would be brought here to a prison," Arash said, motioning to his bright blue detention center jumpsuit, "because we didn't do anything harmful." -- At an initial court appearance Wednesday, Borowski was given until Oct. 8 to review the government's case and prepare a bail request. -- "My goal is to secure the release from immigration custody of these Afghani service members as soon as possible," Borowski said. "They pose no threat. These guys are just seeking somewhere where they won't be threatened and persecuted." --- The exercises in which they were participating have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation and interoperability among forces, build functional capacity, practice peacekeeping operations and enhance readiness. -- U.S. authorities have said they do not believe the men posed any danger to the public. -- CAROLYN THOMPSON, The Associated Press,

Afghan military officers who fled Cape Cod granted bail. -- They said they fear death if forced to return to Afghanistan; -- The Boston Globe, Read More,

Afghanistan says soldiers will not be harmed if they return - Read More, Boston Globe,

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Execution of 5 Afghans in gang rape stirs questions --- The Afghan government on Wednesday executed five men accused of the gang rape of four women traveling home from a wedding in August, a case that generated national outrage. - Read More,

Afghanistan: Execution of five men an affront to justice --- The execution of five men in Afghanistan who had been convicted over a gang rape following a series of flawed trials is an affront to justice, Amnesty International said. -- Five men convicted of armed robbery and zina (sex outside marriage) in relation to the gang rape of four women in Paghman district outside of Kabul on 22 August were executed today in Pul-e-Charkhi jail. They were first sentenced to death on 7 September, a sentence later upheld in an appeals court (15 September) and by the Supreme Court (24 September), and confirmed by then-President Hamid Karzai. -- “There is no question that this was an appalling crime and the outcry and anger this case has caused is of course understandable. Amnesty International continues to campaign against rape and other sexual attacks globally and in Afghanistan. But the death penalty is not justice – it only amounts to short-term revenge,” said David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director. -- “The death penalty is an abhorrent form of punishment and should never be used under any circumstances. The many fair trial concerns in this case only make these executions more unjust. It’s deeply disappointing that new President Ashraf Ghani has allowed the executions to go ahead.” -- Amnesty International further urges the Afghan government to ensure that all rape is prohibited in law, policy and practice and perpetrators are punished, and to work towards purging any social stigma which attaches to rape victim – all fault for rape lies solely with the perpetrators and it is them alone who should carry the stigma. -- “This case has highlighted some deep flaws in the Afghan justice system and laws – flaws that the new President Ashraf Ghani himself has vowed to tackle. The trials have been marred by inconsistencies, uninvestigated torture claims and political interference. In charging these men with zina the Afghan authorities have continued a pattern of treating rape in a flawed way,” said David Griffiths. -- “President Ghani was placed in an unenviable position by the actions of his predecessor in this case, but regrettably failed his first test on upholding human rights and the rule of law. These deaths cannot be undone now, but President Ghani must order an immediate moratorium on all executions as a first step towards total abolition or the death penalty.” --- Background - Today’s executions marked the first executions in Afghanistan in 2014. Under the administration of former President Karzai (December 2001-September 2014), Amnesty International has reported at least 51 executions. There are currently approximately 300 prisoners on death row in the country. -- Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. - More, Amnesty International,

US watchdog: UN misspent more than $200 million in Afghanistan --- UNITED NATIONS — The congressionally created watchdog responsible for monitoring U.S. reconstruction funds in Afghanistan blasted the United Nations' chief development agency for exercising a "baffling" lack of oversight of a fraud-tainted, multibillion-dollar program that funds the payroll of the Afghan police. -- The Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, on Monday disclosed a series of letter exchanges with Helen Clark, the administrator of the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), detailing the allegations. -- The accusations could prove particularly awkward for Clark, a former prime minister of New Zealand who is believed to be a likely candidate to succeed Ban Ki-moon as U.N. secretary-general when the former South Korean foreign minister steps down in December 2016. -- Clark has sought to cultivate a reputation in recent months as a reformer, with a series of budget-cutting measures that threatened layoffs at the U.N.'s chief development agency. In July, UNDP announced a plan to eliminate 10 percent of its 1,700 staffers at its New York headquarters and regional hubs in order to "produce a leaner organization, eliminating areas of duplication and relocating more staff" to the field. The charges leveled by the American watchdog, however, could tarnish that record. -- John Sopko, the special inspector general, is investigating whether the UNDP-administered Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan may have misspent hundreds of millions of dollars. The fund, also known as LOTFA, has received about $3.17 billion in donations from foreign donors, including $1.2 billion from the United States, since its establishment in 2002. The money pays the salaries and pensions of Afghan national police and other officials. -- n a Sept. 12 letter to Clark, Sopko said he is looking into allegations that the Afghan interior ministry may have pocketed more than $200 million in so-called "deductions" over the past decade. He also voiced concern about the Afghan government's payment of inflated salaries, and payments to "ghost employees" who never worked. Sopko said international concern about the possible misuse of funds was running particularly high among European donors, who told him during a recent visit to Afghanistan that the European Union intends to condition more than 30 percent of its future financial contributions to LOTFA to a commitment by Afghan authorities to step up "cooperation and transparency." That could potentially hold up tens of millions of dollars in funding. -- A separate audit by the Pentagon's inspector general also uncovered irregularities in the program, including allegations that Afghanistan's interior ministry could not account for $17.4 million in pension withholdings and nearly $10 million in additional payroll deductions during 2013. -- Read More, Foreign Policy,

I.M.F. Asks Rich Nations for Support --- WASHINGTON — The International Monetary Fund, showing heightened concern over a slowing world economy, said on Tuesday that cash-rich countries like Germany needed to step up large public investments to help keep the flagging global recovery on track. -- The comments — from the fund’s managing director and its lead economist — reflect growing concerns within the I.M.F. that Germany, which recently passed China as the country with the largest trade surplus in the world, is not doing enough to spur growth in Europe. -- At a news conference at the start of its semiannual meeting, an event that attracts financiers, policy makers and central bankers from around the globe, the fund’s top economists highlighted a shift in the global economy in which many major nations are failing to keep up with what is still a relatively modest recovery in the United States. -- In an interview on Friday, Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the fund, said global growth risked being stuck in a rut for a long time. “If nothing gets done in a bold way, there is a risk of a new mediocre” level of growth for the global economy, she said. -- And she took note that Germany could do more to stoke growth in Europe. “Given Germany’s current position, it could certainly spend more on infrastructure,” she said. -- The fund’s growth worries were underscored on Tuesday when Germany said that orders for industrial goods in August shrank by the largest amount since 2009, plunging 4 percent on a month-over-month basis. -- For investors, the warnings in the I.M.F. forecast and the report from Germany helped send the broad stock market down sharply on Tuesday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index falling 1.5 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq each fell about 1.6 percent. -- The I.M.F. brought its estimate for global growth this year down to 3.3 percent from 3.7 percent and reduced its forecast for 2015 to 3.8 percent. The fund pointed to weaker growth in China, Europe, Japan and Latin America — Brazil in particular — as the main culprits behind the broad retrenchment. -- Germany’s growth forecast for 2014 was cut sharply to 1.4 percent from 1.9 percent. -- Its estimate for United States growth in 2015, 3.1 percent, outpaces all major industrialized countries and exceeds as well a number of emerging markets, which in theory are supposed to grow at a substantially more rapid clip. -- The assessment reflected a broad acceptance by global investors that, at least for the near future, the United States economy was set to advance ahead of many large economies, not just in terms of growth but also in corporate profitability and international competitiveness. -- As a result, large investors and central banks have become aggressive purchasers of the dollar, betting that the currency will keep rising in value against the euro, the yen and the wobbly currencies of countries like Russia, Brazil and Turkey. -- Economists have been warning for some time now that a situation in which the American economy becomes the prime engine for the global recovery brings with it significant risks by creating financial uncertainty in emerging markets as currencies weaken and capital flows reverse. - Read More, NYTimes,

Health Officials Promise Extra Airport Screening for Ebola --- Faced with growing concern over the spread of the Ebola virus, public health officials on Tuesday promised extra measures to screen airline passengers arriving into the United States. But they remained opposed to more draconian travel restrictions that they say would cause more problems than they would solve. -- Among the measures under consideration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, temperatures of at-risk passengers would be checked, or they might be subject to detailed questioning upon their arrival in the United States. Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the agency’s director, provided no specific details, a reminder of how easily the disease can travel and how difficult it is to detect. -- So far, only one case of Ebola has been diagnosed in the United States, but pressure is coming from some members of Congress and from elsewhere for the administration to adopt a more forceful posture. -- Dr. Frieden said new measures would be announced in coming days but cautioned against measures that could backfire or prove ineffective in the long run. -- “We recognize that whatever we do, until the disease is controlled in Africa, we can’t get the risk to zero here,” Dr. Frieden said. “We may be able to reduce it and we’ll look at every opportunity to do that.” -- He added: “In medicine, one of our cardinal rules is above all do no harm. If we do something that impedes our ability to stop the outbreak in West Africa, it could spread further there, we could have more countries like Liberia, and the challenge would be much greater and go on for a longer time.” --- The last time that health officials tried to screen passengers, they met with mixed results, Dr. Bloom said. Confronted with the SARS epidemic in 2003, some countries sought to screen passengers, but in the experience of Australia, Canada and Singapore, these screenings failed to turn up a single SARS case. -- At least 14 Ebola cases have been treated outside West Africa in the current outbreak. Most of those involve health and aid workers who contracted the disease in West Africa and were flown back to their home countries for medical treatment. -- The virus has started to raise concerns among those who work on airlines. On Tuesday, union representatives of flight attendants and airport ground workers called for tougher screening. In addition, the United States Coast Guard says it is planning to increase screening procedures for passengers aboard cargo ships coming into American ports from West Africa. -- Two people outside West Africa have been found to have the virus. One is a Liberian man who began showing symptoms four days after arriving in Dallas and the other a Spanish nurse who became ill after treating a missionary in a hospital in Madrid. -- But screening passengers at their point of departure has flaws since it relies on them to tell the truth. In the one known Ebola case in the United States, the man infected with the virus had lied about not having any contact with an Ebola patient, the authorities said. -- European countries face the same dilemma. The health authorities in Spain have quarantined three people and are monitoring dozens of others who came into contact with the nurse, the first known case of the disease in Europe. In Britain, the health authorities have said there is a real risk that the virus will be imported but have acknowledged that they have no plan to screen visitors entering the country for Ebola. -- More than 7,400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone have contracted Ebola since March, according to the World Health Organization, making this the biggest outbreak on record. More than 3,400 have died so far. -- While public officials try to contain the outbreak, they also must deal with a public confidence crisis. Increasing controls at the border may not be entirely effective in preventing Ebola from spreading, but it might calm public fears about the disease. -- “Putting another screening filter on our soil makes a certain amount of sense in building public confidence — and public fear and confidence is the major driver of this,” said J. Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Still, he added: “There is no foolproof solution. They are not going to eliminate the risk.” -- Mr. Morrison said the administration could tighten visa requirements from some countries, something that has not been addressed publicly yet. -- “We have to assume that in the next several months there will be a mushrooming of cases and that will increase pressure on Europe and the United States since the exportation of cases will be linked to the mushrooming of the epidemic itself,” Mr. Morrison said. “We are only at the front end of dealing with this.” - Read More, JAD MOUAWAD, NYTimes,

UN expert urges European nations to rethink policies as migration-related deaths rise --- 29 September 2014 – In attempting to seal their borders, European nations are facing an “impossible” task, the United Nations independent expert on the human rights of migrants said today, as he encouraged the European Union (EU) to identify new legal channels of migration in an effort to save lives. -- “Sealing international borders is impossible, and migrants will continue arriving despite all efforts to stop them, at a terrible cost in lives and suffering,” Special Rapporteur François Crépeau wrote today in an Open Letter to the EU’s Committee on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. -- “If Europe is to witness a significant reduction of human suffering at borders, it must bank not on strict closure, but on regulated openness and mobility,” Mr. Crépeau added. -- His letter comes ahead of a key hearing of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, scheduled for 30 September, in which a new European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs is expected to be appointed. -- According to UN estimates, 2014 has seen more than 130,000 migrants and asylum-seekers land on Europe’s shores compared with 80,000 last year, while an estimated 800 people have already died in their attempts to cross the Mediterranean. -- The Special Rapporteur noted that although EU Member States had increased search and rescue operations, their focus continued to remain on restricting the entry of migrants. He warned that without regulated open migration channels, the EU would see illegal migration continue to plunge deeper underground where smuggling mafias and exploitative employers operate while also contributing to an uptick in the number of deaths at sea. -- “While it needs to continue attempting to bring unscrupulous smugglers to trial for the suffering they inflict on migrants and asylum-seekers, Europe will find it difficult to defeat resourceful and adaptable mafias unless one destroys their business model, which was created when barriers were erected and which thrives at evading restrictive migration policies of many EU Member States,” Mr. Crépeau affirmed. -- In addition, he urged EU Member States to assist Europe’s beleaguered frontline countries, such as Italy, Malta, Greece and Spain, in managing the search and rescue missions. Italy’s Mare Nostrum operations have been credited with the lion’s share of responsibility in saving stranded migrants and has, according to media reports, saved around 100,000 people since the beginning of the year. -- “The search and rescue programmes cannot be the sole responsibility of the frontline countries,” Mr. Crépeau said. - More,

ملل متحد به احمدزی: جزای اعدام را متوقف کنید --- ملل متحد می گوید که بر اساس منابع معتبر دست داشتۀ آن نهاد بین المللی، محاکمۀ هفت مظنون پروندۀ پغمان به گونۀ درست صورت نگرفته است و با محکومین در جریان بازداشت و پیش از محاکمه، بدرفتاری صورت گرفته و به آنان منابع کافی حقوقی فراهم نشده است. کمیشنری حقوق بشر سازمان ملل متحد با نشر خبرنامه یی گفته است که افغانستان به حیث امضأ کنندۀ میثاق بین المللی حقوق مدنی و سیاسی باید حکم اعدام را از سیستم قضایی خود محو کند و تنها در صورتی از آن کار گیرد که شدت جرایم بسیار زیاد باشد. -- در همین حال وزارت داخلۀ افغانستان خبر داده است که پنج نفر از جملۀ هفت محکوم پرونده دزدی مسلحانه و تجاوز گروهی جنسی در پغمان، ممکن روز چهارشنبه (امروز) اعدام شود. اما در مورد زمان و مکان مشخص تطبیق این حکم جزئیاتی ارایه نشده است. نهاد های مدافع حقوق بشری یک صدا، طرفدار کاهش بخشیدن و در نهایت از بین بردن حکم اعدام در نظام های قضایی کشور های جهان می باشند. --- سازمان عفو بین المللی با نشر خبرنامه یی از محمد اشرف غنی احمدزی، رئیس جمهور افغانستان خواسته است که حکم اعدام عاملین قضیۀ پغمان را لغو کند. در خبرنامۀ این سازمان نیز جریان محاکمۀ عاملین این قضیه "غیرمنصفانه" خوانده شده است. سازمان عفو بین المللی گفته است که در جریان محاکمه حقوق مجرمین در نظر گرفته نشده است. این سازمان از قول یکی از محکومین اعدام نگاشته است که وی تحت فشار پولیس به جرم زنا اعتراف کرده است. -- سازمان عفو بین المللی هم چنان خواستار لغو حکم اعدام تمام افرادی شده است که قرار است حکم اعدام بالای شان تطبیق شود. این سازمان از رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان خواسته است که به عنوان نخستین گام در راستای لغو جزای مرگ اقدام کند. پولیس به تاریخ ۲۲ ماه اگست۷ نفر را در ولسوالی پغمان بازداشت کرد که پس از غارت اموال سرنشینان چندین موتر بر چهار زن نیز تجاوز گروهی کردند. فعالان در سرتاسر افغانستان با راه اندازی مظاهرات گسترده از حکومت به خصوص حامد کرزی، رئیس جمهور پیشین افغانستان خواستند تا این افراد را در محضر عام اعدام کند. -- محکمۀ ابتدائیه همۀ آنان را به اعدام محکوم کرد اما محکمۀ استیناف دو نفر آنان را به ۲۰ سال زندان و پنج نفر دیگر - عزیز الله، نظرمحمد، قیس الله، سمیع الله و حبیب الله مشهور به قاری- را به مرگ محکوم کرد. سپس محکمۀ تمیز نیز فیصلۀ محکمۀ استیناف را تایید کرد. حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور افغانستان به تاریخ ۲۷ ماه سپتمبر که آخرین روز های ریاست جمهوری اش بود، حکم اعدام این پنج نفر را امضا کرد. - صدای امریکا

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Afghanistan: UN rights chief reiterates call for stay in gang-rape case --- 7 October 2014 – The scheduled executions set for tomorrow of five Afghans accused of armed robbery and gang rape is being criticized by the United Nations human rights chief, who today reiterated his calls for a stay to allow a judicial review and ensure that the right to a fair trial is upheld. -- Speaking to journalists in Geneva, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, today stressed that there was “no question this was an appalling crime, and we appreciate the fact that State authorities acted quickly to arrest individuals suspected of committing it.” -- However, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein wrote on 29 September to President Ashraf Ghani requesting to stay the executions, which had been signed by Mr. Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai. -- “The High Commissioner informed President Ghani, and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, that he has grave concerns that the legal process which led to these convictions failed to comply with national and international fair trial standards,” Mr. Colville said. -- He added that OHCHR has credible allegations that the convicted men were ill-treated while in pre-trial detention, denied adequate legal representation, and during the legal proceedings, which lasted only two “short trial hearings,” the legal basis for the prosecution was unclear. -- “The High Commissioner stated his firm view that the proceedings of these cases not only risk denying adequate justice to both the victims of this terrible crime and the accused, but will also undermine efforts to strengthen the rule of law and administration of justice in Afghanistan,” his spokesperson said. -- The High Commissioner called on Mr. Ghani to refer the cases back to the courts “given the very serious due process concerns,” and also urged him to consider exercising his constitutional power to commute the death sentences to a suitable term of imprisonment. -- In his letter, the High Commissioner highlighted that Afghanistan is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Deviations from the due process standards under article 14 of that treaty constitute a violation of the right to life. -- In addition, subjecting detainees to ill-treatment and forcing them to make or sign a commission under duress violates both article 7 of the ICCPR prohibiting torture and inhuman, cruel or degrading treatment and article 14, paragraph 3 (g) prohibiting compulsion to testify against oneself or confess guilt. - More,

Afghanistan: Delay Executions in Rape Case -- Gravely Flawed Trial Adds to Injustice of Heinous Crime --- (New York) – President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan should delay the execution of five men convicted in a badly flawed trial following the gang rape of four women in Paghman district, near Kabul, Human Rights Watch said today. The men, who were convicted of robbery and extramarital sex (zina), are scheduled to be executed on October 8, 2014. -- President Ghani should order an independent review of the handling of the case by the government, including the police and the prosecutor’s office. -- “President Ghani has called for a review of Afghan’s justice system, but he has an immediate opportunity to stop a grave miscarriage of justice,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “The horrendous due process violations in the Paghman trial have only worsened the injustices of this terrible crime.” --- On August 23, a group of men in police uniforms, armed with assault rifles, stopped two cars in Paghman district outside Kabul, took money and jewelry from the passengers, and then raped four of the women passengers, one of whom was pregnant. -- The case against the accused has been riddled with serious problems from the start, beginning with public statements from then-President Hamid Karzai’s office urging speedy death sentences before the trial had taken place. Numerous due process violations – including a manipulated lineup for identification, allegations of coerced confessions, the provision of mere days for the defense to prepare its case, and a cursory trial that included no real presentation of evidence – severely undermined the suspects’ rights to a fair trial and a hearing by an independent court. --- The court seemed determined to hand down the death penalty in the case, applying a law allowing a death sentence even though the penalty does not appear to apply in the case. Very few crimes are eligible for capital punishment under Afghan law. -- International human rights treaties to which Afghanistan is a party only allow the death penalty for the most serious crimes when there is scrupulous adherence to fair trial standards. This case fell far short of those international standards. -- Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as an inherently cruel and irreversible punishment. A majority of countries have abolished the practice. On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution by a wide margin calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions. -- The case also highlights the dangers for female victims of sexual violence, who already face severe social stigma in Afghanistan. In one example, police investigators allowed journalists to watch the four victims identify the alleged attackers in a lineup on September 3, putting the victims at risk in a manner that may deter future victims of sexual assault from coming forward. -- “The Paghman case demonstrates how far Afghanistan is from providing criminal suspects a fair trial,” Kine said. “The mishandling of this case should spur President Ghani to impose an immediate moratorium on executions, at least until Afghanistan conducts trials that meet international standards.” - More, Human Rights Watch,

6.2-magnitude quake strikes near Mexican coast --- MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Geological Survey says a 6.2-magnitude earthquake has hit the Sea of Cortez between the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula and mainland Mexico. There were no immediate reports of damage. -- The USGS says the quake had a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and its epicenter was 75 miles (121 kilometers) west-southwest of El Dorado, Mexico. -- It struck at 7:40 p.m. local time on Tuesday. - More, Associated Press, Washingtonpost

U.S. Stocks Are Sunk by Europe Fears -- Germany Pushes Back on Stimulus Efforts --- Stocks tumbled on escalating concerns about global growth prospects, especially in Europe, as new data showed deepening stresses in the continent’s economy and remarks from a leading policy maker highlighted the lack of consensus in dealing with the slowdown. -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid nearly 273 points, or 1.6%, its worst daily decline since July and fourth-biggest point drop of the year. The slump in U.S. share prices followed big losses in German, French and U.K. stock markets. -- Nervous investors headed to safe-haven government bonds and drove up the value of the yen, which often rises in times of market turmoil. The dollar, which has been on a three-month tear, fell. -- The yen continued to strengthen early Wednesday in Asia, with stocks plunging in response to overseas markets. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 1.5% in early trading. -- Although investors say they remain broadly confident that the U.S. economy is on a relatively healthy growth path, many have expressed worries about the renewed slowdown in Europe at a time when Japan’s economy remains troubled and China’s is also showing slower growth. -- Europe’s biggest economies appear to be sliding into a new phase of stagnation, and disagreements among policy makers about how to stop the slide seem to be proliferating. --- France, Italy and other countries in recent months have urged the European Central Bank to do more to stimulate growth. But in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann stressed the Bundesbank’s opposition to the ECB’s latest decision to buy private-sector bonds. He also offered a host of reasons why he would oppose purchases of government bonds to increase the money supply. Those reasons included ECB rules prohibiting the central bank from financing governments and his skepticism that such a program would help the economy given that borrowing costs are already low. - Read More, WSJ,

Angry mob throws Ukraine MP in rubbish bin -- "Trash Talk: Angry Ukrainians Throw an MP in a Dumpster " - foreignpolicy

IMF - Global Growth Disappoints, Pace of Recovery Uneven and Country-Specific --- A weak and uneven global economic recovery continues, but reflecting different evolutions across various countries and regions, says the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO). -- The IMF forecasts global growth to average 3.3 percent in 2014―unchanged from 2013―and to rise to 3.8 percent in 2015. The weaker than expected growth outlook for 2014 reflects setbacks to economic activity in the advanced economies during the first half of 2014, and a less optimistic outlook for several emerging market economies, says the report. -- Potential growth rates—that is, the pace at which annual output can expand without pushing up inflation—are also being revised down. “These worse prospects are in turn affecting confidence, demand, and growth today,” says Olivier Blanchard, Economic Counsellor and head of the IMF’s Research Department. -- Two underlying forces weigh on global recovery, according to Blanchard. “In advanced economies, the legacies of the precrisis boom and the subsequent recession, notably high debt burdens and unemployment, still cast a shadow on the recovery, and low potential growth ahead is a concern.” Several emerging markets are also adjusting to lower potential growth. -- Across the globe, investment has been weaker than expected for some time. As a result, “global growth is still mediocre,” says Blanchard. -- At the same time, Blanchard notes, economic evolution is becoming more differentiated in major countries and regions, with the pace of recovery reflecting various country-specific conditions. --- Growth prospects vary in advanced economies -- In advanced economies, growth is forecast to rise to 1.8 percent in 2014 and 2.3 percent in 2015. -- Read More,

Foreign Policy - The Misunderstanding of Hamid Karzai --- Afghanistan's president of 13 years exits the stage, and leaves behind him a slew of missed opportunities. --- Karzai wasn't always a pleasure to deal with. He called the Americans "demons" after U.S. soldiers burned the Quran in 2012, sparking riots and attacks in Kabul. And he stubbornly refused to sign the strategic partnership agreement about the future of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Karzai infuriated his partners by referring to the Taliban as his "brothers." -- Yes, Karzai has been an infuriating partner. But he has also been deeply misunderstood -- and mishandled. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Karzai -- as an ambitious former diplomat -- had the potential to build a political structure for the country. He was a shrewd political operator and the ideal choice for a post-Taliban leader. At that time, he had a plan that could have fundamentally changed the course of Afghanistan's war and avoided the long-running U.S. military campaign: striking a peace deal with the Taliban. It was rejected. -- The Taliban were our Afghan friends, Karzai told me several times in interviews. It was Karzai who made a clear distinction between "the Arabs" -- foreign jihadists using Afghanistan as a base -- and the Taliban. The Arabs had to be fought in Afghanistan, and yes, the Taliban must be punished for sheltering Osama bin Laden. But after their regime was toppled, Karzai believed it was time to stop fighting the Afghan group. --- While most people have focused on his failures and inadequacies over the past 13 years, a little-reported trip in the earliest days of his coming to power in Afghanistan sheds light on what sort of leader he might have been -- if only the United States would have let him. --- A few days after the United States and Britain launched their attack on Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, Karzai organized his mission to enter the country to place himself as the alternative for the Taliban. He set up the trip with the backing of other tribesmen inside Afghanistan, a good friend in the CIA, and his contacts in the Taliban. Karzai was continuing his habit of simultaneously playing every side of the political puzzle. --- "Times will change," Karzai told every Afghan he came across on his clandestine trip. "The Taliban will go and the Americans will support us." Not everyone was on board. After arriving in Urozgan, Karzai encountered a group of men who didn't believe that he came in peace. A group of Taliban attacked Karzai, and he had to be rescued by the CIA and was flown to Pakistan. That wasn't enough to deter him from his mission to make peace, though. Two weeks later Karzai continued his trip, now with the assistance of U.S. Special Forces and the CIA. --- Even more so when Karzai's name was mentioned in relation to the future presidency of Afghanistan, he became the person to go to for the Taliban. Though Karzai might have offered amnesty for opportunistic reasons, hoping to gain more power among his Pashtun community, eyewitnesses describe the Taliban's positive response to these initiatives. --- While Karzai was hammering out a future for southern Afghanistan as the new interim president, the Americans intervened and tried to stop him. Even when high-level Taliban members, such as the minister of defense and top commanders, surrendered to Karzai in the first week of December, Karzai was forced to stop accepting the surrendered Taliban by the Americans. --- If only the Americans had listened to Karzai in 2001, the situation in Afghanistan could have turned out differently. Though Karzai was Washington's preferred candidate, the Bush administration's lack of knowledge about Karzai's political deal-making in the complex Afghan political and tribal dynamics prevented it from appreciating his early efforts to win the war by negotiation. Soon, it would be too late. By the time Karzai became the official president in 2004, the Taliban had regrouped, having realized that under U.S.-controlled Afghanistan they would find no place back into the political process. Their insurgency continues to this day. --- Would Karzai have been a different leader if he had brought the Taliban on board in 2001? It's hard to know. But with the Taliban as part of the peace process in the early years of the war, the Americans might have achieved a more diplomatic solution to Afghanistan's crisis, creating an inclusive government, heading off the insurgency, and thus avoiding the full-scale involvement that followed -- which has caused the deaths of more than 2,300 Americans. -- As a consequence of this bitter start, Afghanistan has become a familiar story of political corruption and dysfunction: The power brokers once supported by U.S. Special Forces and billions of dollars became the enemy of the United States and the Afghan people -- acting like the mafia, pursuing their own interests over the country's, and ruining Afghan's faith in post-Taliban governance. -- With the support of the United States, many in Karzai's government marginalized opposing groups and rival tribes, often convincing their ignorant U.S. counterparts their enemies were Taliban in order to discredit them. The war began as a fight between the extremist Taliban and the people who opposed their radical worldview -- both Americans and their Afghan allies. But those lines dissolved as Karzai's government made more enemies from within what had previously been its camp. Political rivals -- some Taliban, some not -- were allowed to live in peace in Kabul; others were forced out, only to join the insurgency. -- Thirteen years after 9/11, power in Afghanistan has little to do with democracy. The bitter political wrangling between the new president, Ashraf Ghani, and his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, has demonstrated that, even as the world witnesses a peaceful transfer of power. But peace talks with the Taliban are off at the moment, and many fear the insurgency will bloom as soon as the Americans leave. Can Ghani win the peace now? Perhaps. But also, too, could have Karzai 13 years ago -- if only the Americans had given him a chance? -- Read More, Bette Dam,

Labor Dept. says 168 million children worldwide are laborers, 85 million in hazardous jobs --- WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department reported Tuesday that about 168 million children, aged 5 to 7, worked last year as laborers around the world, about half of them in hazardous jobs. -- The report on child labor in 140 countries called this an improvement from previous years. But while the decline is a move in the right direction, 10 percent of the world's children still are being forced to work rather than go to school, the department said. -- Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says the world needs to do more to address the issue. The report doesn't include the United States or countries in Western Europe. -- "This report shines a light on the estimated 168 million children around the world who toil in the shadows - crawling underground in mine shafts, sewing in textile factories or serving in households as domestic workers," Perez said. "We are seeing more countries take action to address the issue, but the world can and must do more to accelerate these efforts. When children are learning rather than working, families flourish, economies grow and nations prosper." -- Of the 168 million child laborers, 85 million of them work at hazardous jobs, the agency said. -- "We are seeing more countries take actions to address the issue, but the world can and must do more to accelerate these efforts," Perez told reporters in releasing the 958-page report. -- The report is done annually under terms of a trade law passed in 2000 that requires the agency to determine which countries are eligible for trade benefits from the United States. These benefits are denied to countries with the worst child-labor practices. -- The countries topping the list for "significant advancement" from previous years included: Albania, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda. -- The countries at the bottom of the list with "no advancement" in child-labor practices included: British Virgin Islands, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Eritrea, the Falkland Islands, Montserrat and Norfolk Island. -- "This is not a 'gotcha' exercise. We hope we can make progress," Perez said. Childhood is supposed to be a time of "wonder, adventure and possibility," he said. - More, Associated Press

فارن پالیسی: درک نادرست از حامد کرزی --- "درک نادرست از حامد کرزی" عنوان یک مطلب نشریهء فارن پالیسی است. در بخشی از این مطلب آمده که شماری از اعضای حکومت حامد کرزی رئیس جمهور سابق افغانستان که از حمایت امریکا برخوردار بودند، گروه های مخالف و رقیب های قومی خود را به حاشیه راندند. به نوشتهء نشریه، این مقام ها بخاطر بی اعتبار ساختن رقیب های شان چندین بار مخالفان خود را به شرکای امریکایی شان طالب معرفی کردند. -- فارن پالیسی می نویسد، سپس جنگ میان طالبان تندرو و مخالفان عقاید تندروانهء آنها آغاز شد. اما به نوشتهء نشریه این خطوط زمانی از بین رفتند که حکومت کرزی از داخل نظام شمار دشمنان خود را زیاد ساخت. نویسندهء مطلب نوشته است که حکومت حامد کرزی برای شماری از رقیب های سیاسی و تعدادی از طالبان زمینهء زنده گی مسالمت آمیز را در کابل فراهم ساخت. اما به باور نویسنده، شمار دیگر مجبور ساخته شدند تا به صفوف شورشیان بپیوندند. -- فارن پالیسی می نویسد که از سقوط رژیم طالبان در افغانستان 13 سال می گذرد، اما هنوز افغانستان با دیموکراسی کم آشناست. در ادامه گفته شده است، اگرچه جامعهء جهانی شاهد انتقال مسالمت آمیز قدرت در افغانستان بود، اما در حال حاضر پروسهء مذاکرات صلح با طالبان متوقف است. -- به نوشتهء نشریه، برخی ها نگران هستند که مبادا با خروج نیرو های امریکایی از افغانستان دامنهء شورش در این کشور گسترش یابد. آیا رئیس جمهور اشرف غنی احمدزی با طالبان صلح کرده می تواند؟ سوالیست که در همین مطلب مطرح شده است. نویسندهء مطلب در پاسخ نوشته که شاید. - رادیو آزادی

Here's What Happened On The First Day Of America's Longest War, Which Began 13 Years Ago Today --- On October 7, 2001, 13 years ago today, the US launched its opening attacks against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The still-ongoing Operation .. -- Read More, Jeremy Bender, Business Insider,

From the Archives: The war in Afghanistan begins - Video on ...-- Oct. 7, 2001 The war in Afghanistan began. It was triggered by the terrorist attacks on the United States September 11, 2001. The goal, to dismantle al-Qaeda. NBC’s Tom Brokaw, Jim Miklaszewski, Tom Aspell, Dana Lewis, David Gregory, Jim Maceda report. - More,

The Observer, Sunday 7 October 2001 14.13 EDT -- It's time for war, Bush and Blair tell Taliban --- President George Bush and Tony Blair yesterday warned the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the starkest terms that preparations for the war against them were complete and attacks could be launched at any time. -- He added: 'We're offering help and friendship to the Afghan people. It is their Taliban rulers, and the terrorists they harbour, who have much to fear.' -- Bush's comments were echoed by Tony Blair, who was even more outspoken in suggesting that an outbreak of hostilities was imminent. He told journalists accompanying him as he returned from three days of whirlwind diplomacy in Russia, Pakistan and India: 'We are ready to go. Everything is in place.' - Read More, Guardian,

Why Ben Affleck Is Right, Bill Maher Is Wrong, And Sam Harris Is Jaded About Islam --- Dear Reader, Some people have read this article and wrongfully assumed that it "condones" the horrible aspects of Islamic extremism. It does not do so and I agree with Bill Maher and Sam Harris that Islam, like all religions, have extreme elements that foster intolerance, terror, and death. Yes, these issues should be condemned. However, we give billions in weapons to governments that promote intolerance, extremism, and regional instability. Values are promoted infinitely more by giving money and sending billions in weapons than by pontificating about the evils of Islam. The point of this article is that harping on the negative aspects of Islam, while ignoring the fact we actively bolster these negative elements through billions in aid and weapons, is a far bigger conundrum than religious text or religious interpretation. We've heard about the evils of Islamic fundamentalism every day for over a decade and it has not made us any safer. Another point of this article is to ask why we fund governments who actively promote intolerance and why we, as a nation, never seem to ask what we're doing in the region that might even be more detrimental to national security than the evils of religious interpretation. -- I have never, and will never, condone terror or religious extremism, within Islam or any other religion. I firmly believe ISIS is evil. That being said, I am against us sending troops back to this chaotic region to fight terror groups that simply re-brand themselves into different entities and feed off sectarian conflict. -- Making the argument against blaming hundreds of millions of people for the sins of terrorist groups in their region is not the same as condoning wicked acts. - Have a wonderful day, H. A. Goodman -- Read More,

Oct. 7, 2001: U.S. Attacks Afghanistan, -- U.S. and British forces bomb terrorist command centers in Afghanistan. -- More, ABC News Video,

Sunday, October 7, 2001 -- Text: Bush Announces Strikes Against Taliban --- Following is the transcript of President Bush's address following strikes against military installations and communication centers in Afghanistan. --- BUSH: On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. -- These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. -- We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend, Great Britain. Other close friends, including Canada, Australia, Germany and France, have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. -- More than 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and across Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more have shared intelligence. We are supported by the collective will of the world. -- More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: Close terrorist training camps. Hand over leaders of the Al Qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals, including American citizens unjustly detained in our country. -- None of these demands were met. And now, the Taliban will pay a price. -- By destroying camps and disrupting communications, we will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans. -- Initially the terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and other entrenched hiding places. Our military action is also designed to clear the way for sustained, comprehensive and relentless operations to drive them out and bring them to justice. -- At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we will also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan. -- The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people, and we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. -- The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists and of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion by committing murder in its name. -- This military action is a part of our campaign against terrorism, another front in a war that has already been joined through diplomacy, intelligence, the freezing of financial assets and the arrests of known terrorists by law enforcement agents in 38 countries. -- Given the nature and reach of our enemies, we will win this conflict by the patient accumulation of successes, by meeting a series of challenges with determination and will and purpose. -- Today we focus on Afghanistan, but the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground. If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocence, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril. -- I'm speaking to you today from the Treaty Room of the White House, a place where American presidents have worked for peace. -- We're a peaceful nation. Yet, as we have learned, so suddenly and so tragically, there can be no peace in a world of sudden terror. In the face of today's new threat, the only way to pursue peace is to pursue those who threaten it. -- We did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it. -- The name of today's military operation is Enduring Freedom. We defend not only our precious freedoms, but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear. -- Read More, Washingtonpost,

Monday, October 06, 2014

Profile of President Ghani --- د جمهور رئیس اشرف غني احمدزي پر تیر ژوند لنډ نظر

ولسمشر کرزي څه ډول افغانستان په میراث پرېښود؟ --- ولسشمر اشرف غني احمدزی د افغانستان د ولسمشرۍ مسولیت د ولسمشر کرزي د ۱۳ کاله حکومت وروسته په غاړه واخیست. د افغانستان په تاریخ کې د لومړي ځل دپاره واک د یوه منتخب جمهور رئیس څخه بل منتخب جمهور رئیس ته انتقالېږي چې د افغانستان په تاریخ کې یې ساری نشته. -- حامد کرزی ۱۳ کاله مخکي د ۲۰۰۱ کال د بن د موافقې پر اساس د افغانستان د موقت حکومت او بیا د انتقالي حکومت د مشر په توګه وټاکل شو. -- هغه په ۲۰۰۴ کال کې د افغانستان په لومړنیوو تاریخي انتخاباتو کې د خلګو په رایه د افغانستان د جمهور رئیس په توګه انتخاب شو. په ۲۰۰۹ کال کې یې د جمهوري ریاست دویمه دوره انتخابات وروسته له هغه نه وګټل چې مهم سیال یې عبدالله عبدالله د دویم ځلي انتخاباتو څخه تیر شو او د انتخاباتو کمیسون ښاغلی کرزی د هېواد د جمهور رئیس په توګه معرفي کړ. -- د افغانستان اساسي قانون چې د ولسمشر کرزي په دوره کې تصویب شو، حکم کوي چې یو کس د دوه دورو نه زیات نشي کولای چې د افغانستان جمهور رئیس وي او په همدغه دلیل پخواني ولسمشر کرزي په انتخاباتو کې ګډون ونشو کړای. -- د تیرو ۱۳ کلونو د ستونزو برسیره یوه مسله روښانه ده هغه دا چې د کرزي مخکي افغانستان د اوسني افغانستان سره ډیر توپیر لري--- هغه افغانستان چې د لسیزو جګړو او دربدریوو ځپلی و. -- ښاغلي کرزي نن یو داسي افغانستان په میراث پرېښود چې د ۲۰۰۱ کال د افغانستان سره ډير تفاوت لري او په کې د ژوند پر هر ډګر کې د پام وړ پرمختګونه رامنځ ته شوي دي. --- مبصرین د پخواني ولسمشر کرزي د ۱۳ کلنې دورې په هکله بیلابیل نظریات لري. خو پر یوې مسلې باندې ټول سره سلا دي، هغه دا چي افغانستان به پرمختګونه کړي وي خو چارې نورې هم کیدای شوای چې ښې شوي وای او که د فرصتونو څخه په سمه توګه ګټه اخیستل شوې وای، نو نتایج به یې د افغانستان د خلګو دپاره مثبت او متفاوت وای. -- په خپله ښاغلي کرزي هم د امریکا غږ سره په یوې وروستۍ مرکې کې دا وویل چې که داسې کیدای چې هر څه د سره پيل شوي وای نو هغه به ډیر تغییرات راوستلي وای. -- هغه وویل "زه به په دې هکله تاسو ته ځواب درنکړم ځکه زه اوس هم د افغانستان ولسمشر یم او باید د خپلو خبرو او احساساتو سره محتاطه اوسم خو که چیري داسي کیدای چې ټول څه د سره پيل شوي وای نو ما به ډير تغییرات راوستي وای. زه به په دې هکله جزیات هغه مهال ورکړم کله چې د هېواد ولسمشر نه یم." -- ښاغلي کرزي زیاته کړه چې د حکومت د دورې تر ټولو غټ درس او تجربه یې دا وه چې د افغانستان خلګ ډیر زیات باوري خلګ دي او اکثرا پر چا چې باور کوي خیانت ورسره کېږي او د اعتبیار څخه یې ناوړه ګټه اخیستله کېږي. - Read More,

In Focus -- Afghanistan in the 1950s and 60s --- Fractured by internal conflict and foreign intervention for centuries, Afghanistan made several tentative steps toward modernization in the mid-20th century. In the 1950s and 1960s, some of the biggest strides were made toward a more liberal and westernized lifestyle, while trying to maintain a respect for more conservative factions. Though officially a neutral nation, Afghanistan was courted and influenced by the U.S. and Soviet Union during the Cold War, accepting Soviet machinery and weapons, and U.S. financial aid. This time was a brief, relatively peaceful era, when modern buildings were constructed in Kabul alongside older traditional mud structures, when burqas became optional for a time, and the country appeared to be on a path toward a more open, prosperous society. Progress was halted in the 1970s, as a series of bloody coups, invasions, and civil wars began, continuing to this day, reversing almost all of the steps toward modernization taken in the 50s and 60s. Keep in mind, when looking at these images, that the average life expectancy for Afghans born in 1960 was 31, so the vast majority of those pictured have likely passed on since. [35 photos] - Read More, Alan Taylor, The Atlantic,

TOLOnews 22 Sep 2014 President elect Ashraf Ghani Speech

Afghanistan to allow return of expelled NYT reporter --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan's new government will allow a New York Times journalist who was expelled in August to return and resume work in the country, the newspaper said Sunday. -- The expulsion of Matthew Rosenberg, a veteran Kabul correspondent, was reversed in an order by the Afghan attorney general's office and confirmed by a spokesman for new President Ashraf Ghani, a New York Times article said. -- The reversal represented another sign that Ghani wants to move swiftly to repair relations with the United States that were damaged by his predecessor, longtime leader Hamid Karzai. --- Karzai's government ordered Rosenberg, a U.S. citizen, expelled over an article he wrote quoting unnamed sources that insiders in his government were making plans for an interim government if the election standoff between Ghani and Abdullah were not resolved. - More,

Sunday, October 05, 2014

رئیس جمهور احمدزی: هر تاجری که خلاف قوانین عمل کند مجازات خواهد شد -- رئیس جمهور به تجار هشدار داد که در صورت احتکار، انحصار یا گران فروشی فورا مجازات خواهند شد. --- رئیس جمهور در نشستی که با مسئولان بخش‌ های اقتصادی و تجارتی داشت به مسئولان مربوطه در رابطه با حل مشکلات فوری تجار و تجدیدنظر در قوانین، حل مشکلات زمین برای کارخانه داران، مبارزه با فساد، حل مشکلات ترانزیتی با همسایه‌ ها، برداشتن مالیات اضافی و تأمین امینت جان و مال تجار و سرمایه‌ گذاران دستور داد. مسئولان وزارت تجارت و صنایع می ‌گویند که رئیس جمهور در این نشست بر حل فوری مشکلات تجار در اداره‌ های دولتی دستور داد. --- اشرف غنی احمدزی در ادامه به وزارت عدلیه وظیفه سپرد که تمام قوانین تجاری و اقتصادی را به صورت فوری تجدیدنظر کند. رئیس جمهور هشدار داد، هر تاجری که پس از این خلاف قوانین دست به احتکار، انحصار و اضافه ستانی بزند، گذشته از بی ‌اعتبار شدن، جواز تجارتی و سرمایه‌ اش ضبط می ‌شود. مسافر قوقندی سخنگوی وزارت تجارت و صنایع در این باره گفت: "رئیس جمهور بر حل مشکلات تجار دستور داد و خواستار بررسی نو قوانین اقتصادی، حل مشکلات ترانزیتی با همسایه ‌ها و تکمیل جاده‌ی حلقه‌ای تأکید کرد. -- تجار حاضر در این نشست از رئیس جمهور خواستند تا برای حل فوری مشکلات اساسی سرمایه ‌گذاری و تجارتی اقدام کنند. رئیس جمهور به وزارت فواید عامه دستور داد که در نه ماه آینده کار جاده‌ی حلقه‌ای کشور را تمام کند. -- شماری از تجار که در این مجلس حضور داشتند از اقدامات جدی رئیس جمهور استقبال ‌کردند و می ‌گویند که به حل مشکلات ‌شان امیدوار هستند. محمدمحسن امیری یکی از این تجار در این باره گفت: "رئیس جمهور در رابطه با مشکلات ما با ما مشورت می ‌کند و ما امیدوار هستیم که این وعده‌ ها عملی شود." وی در ادامه گفت: "این نشست برای ما بسیار با اهمیت است، چون دانستیم که حکومت در حل مشکلات ما تلاش خواهد کرد." -- در همین حال شماری از آگاهان اقتصادی از این اقدامات رئیس جمهور استقبال می ‌کنند و می‌ گویند که این کار سبب رُشد سرمایه‌ گذاری در کشور خواهد شد. محمد قربان حقجو متخصص اقتصادی در این باره گفت: "این اقدامات تأثیرات خوبی بر سرمایه‌ گذاری در کشور خواهد داشت و ما می ‌دانیم که اکنون حکومت جدید با برنامه‌ های خوبی که دارد، اقدامات لازم را انجام خواهد داد و این کار به سود بخش خصوصی و شهروندان کشور است." -- از سوی دیگر گفته می ‌شود که رئیس جمهور برای حل مشکلات در بخش زیر بناهای اقتصادی شورای عالی اقتصادی، شورای تدارکات ملکی و نظامی و شورای زیربنا ها را به ریاست خود تشکیل داد و هر پانزده روز یک بار جلسه خواهد داشت. -- طلوع نیوز

Afghan interpreters demand promised US visas --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Distinguishing which coalition force the 30 or so Afghan interpreters protesting outside the U.S. embassy in Kabul had worked for was not difficult. -- Sayeed Razawi had an American accent, laced with a southern twang, while Fridoon Abrahamkhil spoke perfect British English. -- The young men, who had gathered to protest against not receiving visas they had been promised, acquired their signature accents from the troops they served under in the country's most volatile regions such as the southern Helmand or Kandahar provinces. -- Besides learning to speak English well, the interpreters had been well-paid and had learned other skills during their stints working for the troops, including weapons training, emergency medical skills, and how to negotiate successfully. -- Above all, though, they were promised visas to the U.S. under the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, designed for those who have supported the U.S. war effort. -- However, for those who gathered recently to protest, and thousands of others, the visas never came. And they are growing anxious as insecurity continues to plague the country and as allied troops hand over to the Afghan army and police. -- "They have trusted us with their weapons and their missions. We have worked with them on their bases," said Razawi, who worked with U.S. troops for almost nine years and has been waiting to obtain his visa for four. -- "And now – after they have decided to leave us – they find out that we are bad guys." --- Blacklisted -- In 2009, the Afghan Allies Protection Act allocated 7,500 visas for Afghans employed by the U.S. government, the majority as military interpreters. But, by 2011, the U.S. embassy in Kabul had not processed a single visa. -- After a slow start, the U.S. gradually speeded up the process – only last year did the interpreters start seeing a significant increase in cases processed. -- However, new cases tended to process faster than the old, backlogged ones, leaving behind many of those waiting the longest. -- "Yeah," another chimed in, this one wearing a mask to conceal his identity for fear of reprisals. "These guys couldn't have done anything in this country without us." -- Razawi and others say they were placed on a blacklist after failing an intelligence screening that Afghans must undergo every six months in the course of their jobs. -- "If you miss one question, you fail. Then they put you on a blacklist or watch list and you lose your job with them and the visa, making it very difficult to find work anywhere in Afghanistan," said Ehsanullah, another interpreter. "I think they make excuses because they can't take everyone to the U.S." -- Read More, Bethany Matta,

Saturday, October 04, 2014

په اسلام کې ځان وژل حرام دي --- د سعودي عربستان مفتي اعظم عبدالعزيز بن عبدالله ال شيخ يوځل په عرفات کې وويل چې ځان مرګي او د نفس قتل په اسلام کې حرام دى له عرفات څخه د باختر آژانس داستول شوې خبريال د خبرله مخې : دسعودي عربستان مفتي اعظم چې د دغه هيواد دعالمانو د شورا رياست هم په غاړه لري پرون به عرفاتو کې په يوه خطبه کې وويل : هغه کسان چې مسلمان وژني خوارج دي او د اسلام له دين څخه وتلي دي . -- ده دغه راز وويل : په اسلام کې ډير خطرناک قتل د نفس وژل دي او هر څوک چې يو مسلمان وژني داسې ويل شوي دي چې د ځمکې پرمخ يې ټول انسانان وژلي دي. -- ده دغه راز وويل : په اسلام کې ډير خطرناک قتل د نفس وژل دي او هر څوک چې يو مسلمان وژني داسې ويل شوي دي چې د ځمکې پرمخ يې ټول انسانان وژلي دي. -- دا يواځې د سعودي عربستان مفتي اعظم نه دي چې ځان مرګې بريد او دنفس وژل حرام اعلام کړ، بلکې پخوا شيخ الازهر،د ديوبند عالمانو، دافغانستان دعالمانو سراسري شورا په يوه نوى پرمختيا کې دهيواد جهادي شخصيت ،عالم او پوه پروفيسر عبدالرب الرسول سياف په صراحت سره اعلام وکړ چې د اسلام په دين کې د نفس وژل حرام دي او هغه کسان چې مسلمانان وژني ځاى په جهنم کې دي . -- په همدې دليل و چې د افغانستان د اسلامي جمهوريت جمهور رئيس ډاکتر محمد اشرف غني احمدزى پرون له درنو عالمانو څخه وغوښتل چې د سولې غږ د جوماتونو له منبرونو څخه پورته کړي يعنې ديني عالمان خلک پوه کړى چې ځان مرګي بريد ،چاودنه او دنفس وژل داسلام په دين کې نشته. -- باختر

Sweden to recognise state of Palestine --- Sweden’s new centre-left government has indicated that it intends to formally recognise the state of Palestine – making it the first major European country to do so. -- The move is significant because it comes amid a diplomatic push by Palestinians at the UN to secure a security council resolution setting a two-year deadline for Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem by November 2016. -- Separately on 13 October British MPs will be asked to vote on a motion – put forward by the Labour MP Grahame Morris – calling on the UK to recognise Palestine. -- The announcement by the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, will be seen as a significant boost to the recent Palestinian campaign to push forward and seek unilateral recognition following the collapse of the US-sponsored peace process earlier this year. -- Recognition by Sweden would be seen as a significant diplomatic blow to Israel, which was warned by the White House last week that it risked alienating “even its closest allies” if it continued with settlement building. -- The Swedish announcement came as the EU joined Washington in harshly criticising last week’s announcement by Israel of planning approval for 2,600 new housing units in a settlement across the green line. -- Calling the decision “highly detrimental” to efforts for Israeli-Palestinian peace, the EU’s diplomatic service said: “This represents a further highly detrimental step that undermines prospects for a two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” -- European diplomats have long warned the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that it risks a climate of increasing international isolation in the absence of meaningful peace negotiations and while settlement building continues on land seized by Israel in 1967. -- The UN general assembly approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in 2012 but the European Union and most EU countries have yet to give official recognition. -- With Sweden’s reputation as an honest broker in international affairs and with an influential voice in EU foreign policy, the decision may well make other countries sit up and pay attention at a time when the Palestinians are threatening unilateral moves towards statehood. -- However, there is likely to be strong criticism of Sweden from Israel, as well as from the United States and the EU, which maintain that an independent Palestinian state should only emerge through a negotiated process. -- More, Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem, Guardian,

At haj, Saudi Arabia clerics step up anti-Islamic State drive --- (Reuters) - Taking aim at Islamic State, Saudi Arabia has mounted a battle for hearts and minds at this year's haj, warning pilgrims that the hardline group is "evil" and seeking to recruit their children to fight in Iraq and Syria. -- As millions of pilgrims visited the holiest sites in Islam on the second day of the annual pilgrimage on Saturday, global leaders condemned the fourth beheading of a Westerner by Islamic State insurgents. -- Saudi Arabia declared Islamic State a terrorist organization in March and sharply stepped up denunciations of the group after its fighters made rapid territorial gains in Iraq in June. -- U.S.-led air strikes on the group has allowed some of the lost territory to be recaptured, but the well-armed militants continue to make gains in Iraq and Syria. Last week, Saudi air force planes pounded militant targets in Syria. -- Saudi Arabia follows the ultra conservative Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, which disdains Shi'ites as heretics and demands a strict literal interpretation of Sharia Muslim law. -- Although Islamic State, like al Qaeda, draws some of its ideology from the Wahhabi school, it rejects the legitimacy of the Saudi government and has vowed to topple the ruling Al Saud dynasty. -- Riyadh also fears that thousands of Saudis who have gone to fight with Islamic State will return to target their own country. -- "Your religion is targeted. Your security, ideology, strength and intellect are all targeted," the kingdom's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh preached to the vast crowds of pilgrims in Mecca on Friday. -- About three million Muslims, among them 1.4 million from abroad, are expected to perform haj this year. -- More,

د لوی اختر په مناسبت د جمهوررئیس اشرف غنی د مبارکې پیغام

د لوی اختر په مناسبت د جمهوررئیس اشرف غنی د مبارکې پیغام -

Dr. Edward Liebow -- Congratulations to Anthropologist Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan's New President --- The American Anthropological Association extends its warm congratulations to Dr. Ashraf Ghani, the newly elected president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Dr. Ghani, who has formed a unity government with his electoral opponent, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, is trained as an anthropologist, receiving his MA and PhD from Columbia University. Upon earning his doctorate, he taught anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley (1983) and then at Johns Hopkins University (1983-1991). In 1991, Dr. Ghani joined the World Bank as lead anthropologist, advising on the human dimension to economic programs. Following the ouster of the Taliban regime in late 2001, Ghani served as Special Advisor to Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Secretary General's special envoy to Afghanistan. In that capacity, he worked on the design, negotiation and implementation of the Bonn Agreement, which set out the roadmap for transition to a new government. During the Interim Administration, Dr Ghani served, on a pro bono basis, as Chief Adviser to Interim President Karzai. In this capacity, he worked on the preparation of the Loya Jirgas (grand assemblies) that elected President Karzai and approved the Constitution. As Finance Minister during the Transitional Administration, Ghani issued a new currency, computerized operations of treasury, introduced the budget as the central instrument of policy, centralized revenue and instituted regular reporting to the cabinet, the people of Afghanistan and international stakeholders as a tool of transparency. --- Formidable challenges face the new government, from deep social divisions to operating budget shortfalls and significant deficits to overcome in public facilities and services. We wish the Dr. Ghani and the new government every success, and hope that historians will look back on this as an important case study in governance fully informed by both formal social science training and a lifetime of practical experience. - Read More, American Anthropological Association,

Human Rights Watch Letter on Protecting and Promoting Human Rights in Afghanistan --- Dr. Ashraf Ghani -- Congratulations on your recent election. You and your new national unity government now have an opportunity—and the responsibility—to address continuing human rights concerns in Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to use your offices to bring new resolve to specific reforms urgently needed to protect and promote the human rights of all Afghans. -- Human Rights Watch has monitored human rights in Afghanistan since the early 1980s, documenting abuses by Soviet as well as Afghan forces at that time, and by all parties to the conflicts in the decades since. We have been grateful for the effective working relationship we have established with the Afghan government in recent years. We look forward to working with your government as you undertake crucial measures to improve the human rights situation in Afghanistan. -- We are aware that 2014 is a year of major change for Afghanistan—its first democratic transfer of power and the withdrawal of most international forces by year’s end, against the backdrop of the continuing threat posed by insurgent forces. We are encouraged that both of you noted the importance of human rights for Afghanistan in your election campaigns. As Dr. Ghani observed, the protection of human rights values “is the most important obligation of our state and government.” Since Afghanistan is a party to the major human rights treaties, we encourage you to ensure that Afghanistan lives up to its international legal obligations. We are also mindful of the specific human rights commitments both of you made during the campaign and election processes, and we look forward to seeing those pledges fulfilled and to similar action on other key human rights concerns. -- We write to you with recommendations in a number of key areas important to the protection of the human rights of Afghans, specifically regarding accountability for abuses by security forces, women’s rights, freedom of expression, human rights institutions, and transitional justice. We urge you and your government to make these actions a priority. We offer recommendations in each area that can have near-immediate impact on the human rights situation of large numbers of Afghans, as well as some that require longer-term commitments of political will and capital. -- Read More, Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch,

New Afghanistan pact means America's longest war will last until at least 2024 --- Bilateral security deal ensures that President Obama will pass off the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor --- The longest war in American history will last at least another decade, according to the terms of a garrisoning deal for US forces signed by the new Afghanistan government on Tuesday. -- Long awaited and much desired by an anxious US military, the deal guarantees that US and Nato troops will not have to withdraw by year’s end, and permits their stay “until the end of 2024 and beyond.” --- The entry into force of the deal ensures that Barack Obama, elected president in 2008 on a wave of anti-war sentiment, will pass off both the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor. In 2010, his vice-president, Joe Biden, publicly vowed the US would be “totally out” of Afghanistan “come hell or high water, by 2014.” -- Obama called Tuesday “a historic day” for the US and Afghanistan, as the security pact, which puts US troops beyond the reach of Afghan law, “will help advance our shared interests and the long-term security of Afghanistan.” -- The primary explicit purpose of the deal, known as the Bilateral Security Agreement, is to permit the US to continue training Afghanistan’s roughly 350,000 security forces, which the US and Nato have built from scratch. -- But with domestic US political acrimony swirling over the rise of the Islamic State (Isis) after the 2011 US withdrawal from Iraq, the accord is also a hedge against the resurgence of the Taliban and a recognition that 13 years of bloody, expensive war have failed to vanquish the insurgency. -- Any earlier termination of the deal must occur by mutual consent, ensuring a US veto in the event of an about-face by newly inaugurated President Ghani or his successor. Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai, incensed the Obama administration by refusing to sign the basing deal, rebuking the country that installed him as Afghanistan’s leader after the US drove the Taliban from Kabul in 2001. -- Ghani also agreed to a garrisoning accord with Nato forces, known as a Status of Forces Agreement. Nato has agreed to fund Afghanistan’s soldiers and police through 2017. -- Under the Bilateral Security Agreement’s annexes, the US military will have access to nine major land and airbases, to include the massive airfields at Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar, staging areas not only for air operations in Afghanistan but the US drone strikes that continue across the border in tribal Pakistan. -- The additional bases – in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Helmand, Gardez and Shindand – ensure the reach of the US military throughout Afghanistan. -- US defense leaders greeted the signing of the accord with enthusiasm. -- “These agreements will enable American and coalition troops to continue to help strengthen Afghan forces, counter terrorist threats, and advance regional security,” said Defense secretary Chuck Hagel. -- “Our partnership is an important one, and as we prepare to transition to a traditional security cooperation mission in the coming years, we remain committed to providing the necessary support to our Afghan partners and, in particular, to their national security forces,” said General Lloyd Austin, commander of US forces in the Middle East and South Asia. - Read More, Guardian,

Friday, October 03, 2014

President Dr.Ashraf Ghani & PM David Cameron Joint Press Conference- 03 Oct, 2014 . -- More,

رئیس جمهور از علمای کشور خواست تا آواز صلح را از منبر هر مسجد بلند کنند --- کابل:-- داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهور اسلامی افغانستان بعد از ظهر دیروز با رئیس و اعضای شورای سرتاسری علمای افغانستان، دیدار کرد. -- در این دیدار که در ارگ انجام شد، رئیس جمهور کشور ضمن تبریکی حج اکبر به تمام حجاج افغان و علمای افغانستان، گفت: یک امانت بزرگ از طرف خداوند ج و مردم افغانستان به من سپرده شد. این مقام صبر، عجز و در عین حال مقام اراده است. -- رئیس جمهور گفت: امیدوارم خداوند به ما این همت را بدهد که خطبه حضرت ابوبکر صدیق را که در روز اول خلافت اش آنرا ایراد نمود، تطبیق کنیم یعنی از علت ظلم بالای ضعیف بپرسیم و علت ضعف را که فقر، بیچاره گی و ظلم است، دور بسازیم و از حقوق ضعیف در مقابل کسیکه از قوت خود سؤ استفاده می کند با اراده محکم و نیت پاک، دفاع کنیم. -- داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی از علمای کرام که وارثین انبیا هستند بخاطر اشتراک شان در انتخابات تشکری کرده گفت: به برکت و اشتراک شما انتخابات بخیر به اتمام رسید. شما مردم را متوجه کردید که اول امانت خداوند ج و بعداً خیر و ثبات وطن را در نظر بگیرند. -- رئیس جمهور با توجه به اینکه در آینده نزدیک بخاطر ایجاد فضای صلح در کشور با علمای کرام نشست های خواهد داشت، از علمای کشور خواست تا آواز صلح را که تقاضای ملت افغانستان از منبر هر مسجد بلند کنند -- داکتر اشرف غنی احمدزی با ابراز رضایت از وضعیت حجاج افغان در عربستان سعودی، به مولوی قیام الدین کشاف رئیس شورای سرتاسری علمای افغانستان هدایت داد تا به نماینده گی از وی حجاج افغان را هنگام برگشت از حج بیت الله شریف مورد استقبال قرار دهد. - گران افغانستان

Job Growth Rebounds, but Wages Lag --- Unemployment Rate Falls Below 6% for First Time Since Recession, Fueling Hopes for Faster Recovery --- WASHINGTON—The nation’s unemployment rate slipped below 6% for the first time since the recession as hiring returned to a strong pace, lifting hopes for an economy that continues to show sluggish wage growth and persistent underemployment. -- Employers added 248,000 jobs in September, rebounding from a weak August, the Labor Department said Friday. Payrolls have expanded an average 227,000 a month this year, putting 2014 on track to be the strongest year of job growth since the late 1990s. -- The jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.9%, the lowest level since July 2008, continuing a slide that partly reflects a shrunken labor force. Unemployment, nearly five years after surging to 10% in the wake of the recession, is moving closer to the 5.2%-5.5% range the Federal Reserve expects to see in the long run. -- “I think we’ve finally reached that promised land of a self-sustaining, self-reinforcing economic recovery,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group. PNC +0.95% PNC Financial Services Group Inc. U.S.: NYSE $85.01 +0.80 +0.95% Oct. 3, 2014 4:00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 2.45M AFTER HOURS $85.01 0.00 % Oct. 3, 2014 4:31 pm Volume (Delayed 15m) : 9,208 P/E Ratio 11.44 Market Cap $45.52 Billion Dividend Yield 2.26% Rev. per Employee $299,028 10/03/14 Job Growth Rebounds, but Wages... 09/30/14 Target's Lack of CISO Was 'Roo... 09/26/14 In Bill Gross's Wake, Some Fin... More quote details and news » PNC in Your Value Your Change Short position -- The robust jobs number, along with news of the unemployment rate falling below 6%, propelled stocks higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 208.64 points, or 1.2%, to 17009.69, ending four days of declines. The dollar soared against major currencies. -- The upbeat report was tempered by weak earnings growth and continued high underemployment, reflecting workers stuck in part-time jobs. -- But it still heightened prospects the Fed would move sooner than expected—perhaps in early 2015—to raise short-term interest rates. Central-bank policy makers, set to meet again in late October, have kept the Fed’s rate target near zero since the recession to fuel the recovery. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has said the bank could move up its timetable for raising rates if growth continues to exceed expectations. --- The labor-force participation rate—reflecting the share of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one—fell last month to a three-decade low of 62.7%. Before the recession it stood at 66%. Only part of the decline is due to aging baby boomers; even among Americans in the prime working ages of 25 to 54, participation is historically low. --- And workers’ wages still have yet to climb significantly. Among private-sector workers, average hourly earnings actually fell a penny last month, to $24.53. They have risen 2% over the past year. This is the second expansion in a row including the recovery after the 2001 recession, where economic growth hasn’t translated into rising incomes for most Americans. --- Despite the latest progress, 9.3 million workers are still searching for work, almost a third of them unemployed for six months or more. A broader unemployment measure including part-time workers who can’t find full-time jobs and those too discouraged to apply for work stood at 11.8% in September. - Read More, WSJ,

Cameron Is First Leader to Visit New Afghan President Ghani --- KABUL, Afghanistan — Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain became the first world leader to visit Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, on Friday, in an unannounced trip to mark the impending departure of British troops from the country while assuring the new government of continued financial and political support. -- KABUL, Afghanistan — Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain became the first world leader to visit Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, on Friday, in an unannounced trip to mark the impending departure of British troops from the country while assuring the new government of continued financial and political support. -- He also offered his blessing to the fledgling government led by Mr. Ghani, a former technocrat who came to power through a contentious political deal, but who has promised a sweeping agenda of overhauls and turned a friendlier face to Western allies than his predecessor, Hamid Karzai. -- “We are not leaving this country alone,” Mr. Cameron said. “In Britain you will always have a strong partner and a friend.” --- As the military operation winds down, Afghanistan’s immediate needs are financial. In November, Mr. Ghani and Mr. Cameron will host an international donor conference in London that will determine the extent of international aid to Afghanistan in the coming years. Britain has already committed to give 178 million pounds, or about $288 million, a year until 2017, Mr. Cameron said. -- Mr. Ghani has taken steps to assure Western donors that any further money will not be squandered. On Wednesday, he ordered the courts to take new action on the collapse of Kabul Bank in 2010, a $900 million scandal that to many Western donors embodied the impunity of the rich and powerful. -- A large part of the Afghan budget is absorbed by the wages of its 340,000-member security forces, which Mr. Cameron described in glowing terms in Kabul. “These are capable, determined forces,” he said. But those forces have been sorely tested this year as Taliban insurgents mount attacks on vulnerable districts across the country, including in Helmand. -- Mr. Ghani is seeking to move away from the belligerent attitude of Mr. Karzai, who frequently criticized foreign troops for civilian casualties, toward a friendly yet firm approach to Western allies that he needs to bankroll his government. --- On Friday, he acknowledged the sacrifices of British and other international troops who were killed or wounded in Afghanistan. Some had “left pieces of their body here,” he said, while others returned home with “haunting” memories. But he also reminded his Western allies that they had come to Afghanistan to secure their own interests. -- “Remember what brought us together was tragedy,” he said. “9/11 was followed by attacks on London. Your presence here has meant that London has been safe, as well as the rest of the world.” -- Afghanistan had suffered from “the ugly side of globalization,” Mr. Ghani said. “There cannot be fortress Europe or fortress America. We live, whether we like it or dislike it, in an integrated world where global forces, both for good and for evil, coexist.” - Read More, DECLAN WALSH, NYTimes,

British PM Cameron arrives in Afghanistan to meet unity government --- (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Friday to meet with the new unity government, the first major Western leader to visit since an election stalemate was resolved, easing threats of armed conflict. -- Cameron's motorcade arrived at the presidential palace in Kabul early on Friday and he was seen entering the compound for meetings. -- His visit comes four days after new President Ashraf Ghani was sworn into office after months of political turmoil following disputed elections. --- Behind the United States, Britain has been the second-largest contributor to the international military coalition that has been in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led intervention to topple the Taliban's radical Islamist regime in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. - More,

رئیس جمهور جدید افغانستان تمام والیان را سرپرست ساخت --- محمد اشرف غنی احمدزی، رئیس جمهور افغانستان با صدور فرمانی اعلام‌کرد که تمام والیان ۳۴ ولایت این کشور بعد از این به عنوان سرپرست به کار خود ادامه دهند. -- در این فرمان آمده است که بعد از صدور این فرمان، آنان حق گماشتن افراد و برکناری آنان را از پستهای دولتی ندارند. -- این فرمان به تاسی از حکم فقره ۲۳، ماده ۶۴ قانون اساسی افغانستان و به منظور جلوگیری از اختلال در اجرای امور ولایت‌ها صادر شده است. --- عطا محمدنور، والی بلخ و از رقیبان سرسخت آقای احمدزی در دوران مبارزات انتخابات ریاست جمهوری افغانستان قبلا در مصاحبه با صدای آمریکا اعلام کرده بود "اشرف غنی احمدزی، رئیس جمهور منتخب افغانستان نیست بلکه بر اساس یک توافق سیاسی به این سمت رسیده است." -- او دیروز در دیدار با آقای احمدزی گفت که "کشور ما در یک مرحلهء نوین تاریخ خویش قرار دارد و حکومت وحدت ملی هر تصمیمی را که در جهت تعین و یا تبدیل والی‌ها برای بهبود حکومتداری در افغانستان اتخاذ نماید، از آن حمایت خواهم کرد." ---- اولین جلسه کابینه -- دیروز اولین جلسه کابینه افغانستان بعد از مراسم سوگند رئیس جمهور جدید برگزار شد. در این جلسه تصمیم گرفته شد تا فرودگاه کابل به نام حامدکرزی رئیس جمهوری سابق این کشور نامگذاری شود. -- علاوه بر آن تصمیم گرفته شد که خانه‌ای که اکنون آقای کرزی در آن سکونت دارد به دلیل اینکه او در شهر کابل مسکنی ندارد، از طرف حکومت به آقای کرزی هدیه شود. --- براساس تصمیم کابینه، فهرست تمام قراردادهایی که وزارت خانه‌ها با شرکتها ونهادهای خصوصی تاکنون منعقد کرده باید برای بررسی رئیس جمهور به دفتر وی سپرده شود. --- به وزارت خانه‌ها در این نشست وظیفه سپرده شد که تا ۱۵ روز آینده، گزارش وضعیت استخدام کارمندان غیر نظامی، پست‌های سیاسی و کارکنان قرادادی‌شان را به تفکیک جنسیت، درجه تحصیل، مدت خدمت و سن آماده نموده به دفتر ریاست جمهوری ارائه نمایند. --- چند روز قبل آقای احمدزی تمام وزیران کابینه را نیز سرپرست ساخت و به این ترتیب، آنان حق ندارند که اقدام به نصب و عزل کارمندانش نمایند. - BBC,;postID=1283677890812170516

David Cameron in Kabul for talks with Afghan president --- UK Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived in Kabul for talks with new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. -- Mr Cameron said British armed forces had paid a "very high price" for their involvement in Afghanistan. -- As he arrived, the prime minister said Britain had gone "a long way" towards achieving its objectives there. -- Mr Cameron is the first world leader to meet Afghanistan's new leaders. --- Holding a joint press conference with Mr Ghani, Mr Cameron said: "We all share a common goal - which is a more secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan." -- He spoke of the progress made in Afghanistan in recent years, adding: "The people of Afghanistan deserve an effective and legitimate government that will build a better future for them and their families." -- Britain would always be a "strong partner and good friend" to the country, he promised Mr Ghani. -- The new president told Mr Cameron he was "delighted" to welcome him to the country. --- He said Afghanistan had been transformed since international military involvement began following the 9/11 attacks, with the creation of an Afghan army and police force that could defend its own country. - Read More, BBC,

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Cameron in Kabul for Afghan talks --- UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrives in Kabul for talks with new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani -- More, BBC,

باختر - بحران مالی کابل بانک مجدداً بررسی می شود --- دکتور اشرف غنی احمدزی رئیس جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان در مورد حل بحران مالی کابل بانک و استرداد دارایی‌ های سرقت شده، حکمی را صادر کرد. ریاست اطلاعات و ارتباط عامه اداره امور و دارالانشای شورای وزیران به آژانس باختر خبر داد، به منظور حل و فصل سریع قضیه بحران کابل بانک و استرداد دارایی‌ های سرقت شده آن بانک، به تاسی از حکم ماده شصتم و با در نظرداشت حکم فقره 16 ماده شصت و چهارم قانون اساسی، مراتب آتی را مقام عالی ریاست جمهوری منظور نمود. ستره محکمه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان قضیه بحران کابل بانک را که از مدت یک سال در محکمه استیناف ولایت کابل ملتوی مانده، تعقیب و در ظرف یک و نیم ماه از تاریخ صدور حکم هذا اتهامات وارده از سوی څارنوال موظف به شمول اتهام جرم پولشویی را دقیقاً بررسی و در پرتو سایر اسناد و شواهد، دلایل و مدارک دست داشته فیصله نماید. -- لوی څارنوالی و سایر نهاد های ذیربط بدون تعلل مکلف‌اند تا در قسمت دریافت شواهد و اسناد مرتبط به قضیه با محاکم همکاری نمایند. به اداره لوی څارنوالی هدایت داده میشود تا سایر شرکا، افراد و اشخاص که در بحران مالی کابل بانک شریک و از جانب آن اداره متهم شناخته شده‌اند، مورد تعقیب عدلی قرار داده و طی مدت پانزده یوم از تاریخ صدور حکم هذا علیه‌ شان در محکمه اقامه دعوی نماید. اداره لوی څارنوالی موظف است تا از تنفیذ حکم محکمه ابتدائیه در مورد قضیه کابل بانک نظارت نموده در ظرف سه یوم بعد از صدور این حکم متهمین متذکره را توقیف و الی فیصله نهایی محاکم ثلاثه نگهداری نمایند. -- مدیریت تصفیه کابل بانک موظف است تا پلان زمانی مشخص را به منظور ختم پروسه تصفیه دارایی ‌های کابل بانک الی مدت ده یوم از تاریخ صدور این حکم ترتیب نماید. مدیریت تصفیه کابل بانک آن عده مقروضین خویش را که تا هنوز قروض تعهد شده ‌شان را تأدیه ننموده‌اند طی مدت پنج یوم با در نظرداشت قوانین نافذه جهت تحصیل پول احضار نماید. لوی څارنوالی، وزارت امور داخله و سایر مراجع ذیربط جهت تحصیل قروض و دارایی‌ های کابل بانک با مدیریت تصفیه کابل بانک همکاری همه ‌جانبه نمایند. -- لوی څارنوالی، وزارت مالیه، وزارت امور خارجه و دافغانستان بانک وظیفه سپرده میشود تا به منظور منجمد سازی و استرداد پول‌ های سرقت شده کابل بانک که به خارج از کشور انتقال گردیده است در ظرف ده یوم از طریق مراجع دپلوماتیک با نماینده‌ گان کشور های ذیربط جهت پیگیری متداوم، درخواست همکاری ‌های دو جانبه حقوقی جهت شمولیت وجوه تمامی مقروضین کابل بانک ارسال نماید. -- وزارت مالیه موظف است تا در ظرف ده یوم اسناد پروسه خصوصی سازی نوی کابل بانک را طی مراحل نموده جهت منظوری به ریاست جمهوری پیشنهاد نماید. ادارات ذیربط از پیشرفت کار خویش در ختم هر هفته الی ختم معیاد معینه به ریاست جمهوری گزارش دهند. ریاست عمومی اداره امور دارالانشای شورای وزیران از تطبیق حکم نظارت نماید.

Ebola outbreak: 5 things you need to know now --- The first case of Ebola in a patient diagnosed in a U.S. hospital was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday. -- The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20. --- 1.What are the chances that the Ebola virus will spread in the United States? Am I at risk? -- Close to zero, according to medical experts. --- The quality of medical care and facilities in the USA and Africa are completely different, said Thomas Geisbert, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. -- The areas where the outbreak has spread are "some of the poorest places on planet Earth," Geisbert said. --- In Africa, medical professionals sometimes don't have the proper protective gear and over-run facilities are having to turn away patients, he said. -- The virus is transmittedfrom wild animals to humans. Humans spread the virus through contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person, as well as exposure to objects like contaminated needles, according to the CDC. --- 2. Is there a vaccine? -- No, there is currently no vaccine, although two are being tested right now. --- Although there are no proven therapies, several experimental ones are being developed. A handful of Ebola patients have received these experimental drugs, although supplies of one have been exhausted and supplies of another are very low. -- Some patients also have gotten blood transfusions from Ebola survivors, with the hope that a survivor's antibodies will help a sick person's immune system fight off the virus. --- Good supportive care also can save lives. This consists of the sort of routine care provided in American hospitals and intensive care units, such as monitoring patient's blood pressure, keeping them hydrated or helping them breathe – with machines, if needed. This help can keep patients alive until their immune system fights off the virus. --- 3. Should the people who came in contact with the latest victim of Ebola on the plane or at the airport be concerned? -- The CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights ​undergo monitoring. Ebola is contagious only if the person is experiencing active symptoms. But anyone concerned may call 800-CDC-INFO. -- Read More, USA TODAY Network,

Afghan politicians are exaggerating Taliban wins, U.S. general says --- The new top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that the Afghan military continues to hold its own against the Taliban insurgency, but Afghan military officials are afraid to describe their own successes and have to deal with Afghan politicians who exaggerate Taliban battlefield wins. -- The comments by Army Gen. John Campbell came amid a wave of violence by insurgents in recent days, and after the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, agreed to a bilateral security agreement that will keep a U.S. military force of about 9,800 in Afghanistan after 2014. -- Campbell, speaking in a video conference call with reporters at the Pentagon, said the Taliban recently increased activity in Ghazi province’s Ajristan district, in Afghanistan’s east, that drew Afghan media attention. Campbell said that all of the operational reports he has received said that about six Afghan troops and 12 civilians killed — which was “nothing… like what the local media has provided here.” -- The criticism came two days after Campbell’s International Security Assistance Force released a statement disputing reporting out of Ghazi. Media there reported that the Taliban had launched a large-scale assault with hundreds of fighters. -- “There’s no terrain down there … the Afghans do not control,” Campbell said. “And there are some very exaggerated reports. I… feel very confident that Ajristan [and that] western part of Ghazni is not an issue.” - Read More, Dan Lamothe, Washingtonpost

The middle class is poorer today than it was in 1989 --- The fundamentals of the economy are, well, okay. -- It's been slow and steady, but the recovery has chugged along enough to get us back to something close to normal. The economy has surpassed its pre-crisis peak, unemployment is at a six-year low, and stocks have more than tripled from their 2009 low. It's not the best of times, but it's certainly not the worst -- which was a very real possibility after Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy threatened to send us into a second Great Depression. -- President Obama and his fellow Democrats, naturally, would like to claim some of the credit for that. If voters credited them with this economic turnaround, Obama and his party might have a better chance of holding the Senate this fall, an outcome that looks precarious. Indeed, Obama will give a high-profile speech Thursday at Northwestern University, trying to remind voters of all the economic success he's had. -- Unfortunately for Obama, though, voters have rewarded him for the upbeat economic news by starting to trust Republicans more on the economy. What in the name of Phil Gramm is going on? -- Part of this mystery isn't one at all: the economy simply isn't as healthy as the headline numbers suggest. Unemployment has fallen, in part, because so many people have given up looking for work rather than finding it, and there are still millions of part-timers who want full-time jobs. -- But then there are deeper factors at work. The economy has gotten bigger, but much of that growth hasn't reached the middle class. Indeed, the top 1 percent grabbed 95 percent of all the gains during the recovery's first three years. And that's not even the most depressing part. Even adjusted for household size, real median incomes haven't increased at all since 1999. That's right: the middle class hasn't gotten a raise in 15 years. -- But one of the biggest, and least appreciated reasons Democrats might be struggling, is that the middle class is poorer, too. Median net worth is actually lower, adjusted for inflation, than it was in 1989. Even worse, it's kept falling during the recovery. -- Yes, even after the economy started to grow again, and the stock market started to boom, and housing prices began to bounce back, the median net worth of the average American household continued to decline. -- This is a story about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn't have much of the former, which has rebounded sharply, but has lots of the latter, which hasn't. Indeed, only 9.2 percent of the middle 20 percent of households owns stocks, versus almost half of the top 20 percent. So the middle class has not only missed out on getting a raise, but also on the big bull market the past five years. -- The only thing they haven't missed out on was the housing bust: 63 percent of that middle quintile own their homes, which are more likely to be a financial albatross than asset. And it doesn't help that, with student loans hitting $1.2 trillion, people have to take out more and more debt just to try to stay in, or join, the middle class. -- It's no surprise, then, that people are still so gloomy about the economy. The recovery just hasn't been much of one, if at all, for most of them. Middle class wages are flat, and their wealth is still falling. At least during the bubble years, rising home prices gave people access to credit that helped mask their stagnant wages. But no more. Home equity lines of credit are down almost 25 percent from their peak, and are still declining. The middle class, in other words, can't borrow from the future to pretend that the economy is working for them today. - More, Matt O'Brien, Washingtonpost,

In Assembly speech, Israel’s Netanyahu warns against ‘militant Islam’; denounces UN rights council --- 29 September 2014 – From the podium of the General Assembly today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world of the grave threat he said it faced from militant Islam’s desire to dominate the planet, be they Sunni extremists or Iran, defended Israel’s Gaza campaign as moral, and dubbed the United Nations Human Rights Council the “terrorist rights council.” -- At the same time he held out hope for peace in the Middle East from a “historic opportunity” as leading Arab States, after decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, increasingly recognize that both together face many of the same dangers, principally a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world. -- “Militant Islam’s ambition to dominate the world seems mad,” he told the Assembly as it entered the second week of its 69th annual high-level meeting. “But so too did the global ambitions of another fanatic ideology that swept to power eight decades ago. -- “The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith. They just disagree about who among them will be the master ... of the master faith. Therefore, the question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions. There is one place where that could soon happen: The Islamic State of Iran.” -- Mr. Netanyahu quoted amply from statements by Iran’s leaders, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Hamas which he said showed their global aims, and he accused Iran of doubletalk and “manipulative charm offensive” in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. -- “Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and all the smiles will suddenly disappear,” he said. “They’ll just vanish. It’s then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world. There is only one responsible course of action to address this threat: Iran’s nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled.” -- Turning to Israel’s summer campaign against Hamas in Gaza in which some 2,300 people were reported killed, the majority civilians, Mr. Netanyahu stressed that Israel regretted every single civilian casualty, which it took pains to minimize with prior warnings, denounced Hamas for firing rockets from civilian areas and using civilians as human shields and decried the UN Human Rights Council for investigating Israel rather than Hamas for war crimes. -- “The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: -- Use civilians as human shields,” he declared. “Use them again and again and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works. By granting international legitimacy to the use of human shields, the UN’s Human Rights Council has thus become a Terrorist Rights Council, and it will have repercussions. It probably already has, about the use of civilians as human shields.” -- More,

Kyrgyz official warns UN Assembly of international dangers from unstable Afghanistan --- 29 September 2014 – Afghanistan poses the most serious external challenge to Central Asia, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev told the United Nations General Assembly, calling for a more proactive international contribution to strengthen regional law enforcement and to promote regional cooperation. -- “The illegal drug trafficking appears as one of the key problems of the entire region as a direct consequence of the situation in Afghanistan,” the Foreign Minister said, today noting also the threats of terrorism and extremism emanating from the country. -- These strong links undermine the achievements of Afghanistan’s security and its ability to ensure law and order in the country, he added, noting that the country today inaugurated Ashraf Ghani as its new President with Abdullah Abdullah as Chief Executive Officer. -- Addressing the theme of this year’s 69th high-level debate, which this year focuses on the preparation and implementation of a transformative development agenda, Mr. Abdyldaev spoke about the challenges to ending poverty in Kyrgyzstan. These include a mountainous territory, lack of access to sea, severe geo-climatic conditions, informational isolation, and high cost life maintenance. -- He urged the international community to establish an international development fund for developing landlocked countries that would contribute to their sustainable development. -- The Foreign Minister also requested international assistance with removing radioactive and toxic waste, within a framework already approved by the General Assembly. -- More,

افغانستان دبوډاګانو لپاره دنړۍ تر ټولو ناوړه ځای --- افغانستان پخوا دښځو او میندو لپاره دنړۍ تر ټولو بد هیواد بلل شوی و، اوس په یوه نوې سروې کې دبوډاګانو او زړو لپاره هم تر ټولو نامناسب ځای ګڼل شوی دی. -- درویټرز خبري آژانس دراپور له مخې په یوه فهرست کې، چې هر کال دنړۍ دانسانانو دعمر دیوې ادارې له لوري دزړو کسانو دژوند دشرایطو په اړه خپرېږي، دچهارشنبې په ورځ / داکتوبر لومړۍ/ وښودله چې افغانستان دزړو لپاره تر ټولو خراب ځای دی. -- د(HelpAge International’s Global AgeWatch Index) پر اساس اسیايي هیوادونه دپر له پسې دوهم ځل لپاره دبوډاګانو دژوند دشرایطو او روغتیايي وضعیت له نظره دفهرست په پای کې راغلي دي. دفهرست په سر کې ناروې یاده شوې، ورپسې سویډن، سویس، کاناډا او جرمني دي. له جاپانه پرته د لیست دسر لومړي لس هیوادونه دلوېدیځې اروپا او شمالي امریکا هیوادونه او دغه راز استرالیا ده. -- دملګروملتو دراپور له مخې تر ۲۰۵۰ پوري به دهغو کسانو، چې عمرونه یې تر شپېتو کلونو زیات دي، دوه برابره شي. ددې معنا دا ده چې د نړۍ په سلو کې ۲۱ وګړي به تر شپېتو کلونو زیات عمر ولري. - تاند

U.S. commander in Afghanistan says recent Taliban gains fleeting --- (Reuters) - Afghan military casualties have spiked in recent weeks amid an increase in Taliban attacks, but the top U.S. commander in the country said on Thursday that rebel gains were fleeting and he was confident Afghan forces could stop them from holding ground. -- "The last couple of weeks, there has been an uptick (in casualties), with the Taliban trying to make a statement as they close out the fighting season," U.S. Army General John Campbell, the commander of international forces, told a Pentagon briefing. -- Campbell, the head of the International Security Assistance Force, did not have an exact tally of Afghan casualties for this year, but said it was in the range of 7,000 to 9,000 killed or wounded. He said the number was slightly higher than in 2013 because of the recent spike in combat in Helmand and elsewhere. -- The ISAF chief downplayed the significance of the surge in attacks. -- "There's nowhere that we have Afghan security forces that the Taliban can get the terrain and hold the terrain," he told -- "The Taliban may take over a district center or something, but only temporarily. Once the ANSF (Afghan National Security Force) understands that piece of it ... they get the terrain back." -- Campbell's remarks via teleconference from Afghanistan came just two days after Afghan and U.S. officials signed a bilateral security agreement that would keep up to 9,800 U.S. troops in the country after the end of the year to advise and support Afghan security forces and carry out counter-terror operations - More,

New Afghan president re-opens inquiry into Kabul Bank scandal --- (Reuters) - Afghanistan's new president on Wednesday re-opened an inquiry into a 2010 bank scandal involving a Ponzi scheme that collapsed triggering a financial crisis and dealing a heavy blow to confidence in the banking sector. -- President Ashraf Ghani re-opened an inquiry into the theft of almost $1 billion from Kabul Bank with a decree, fulfilling a campaign promise to make fighting corruption a priority. -- Afghanistan's corruption watchdog called the scandal "one of the largest banking failures in the world". Few of those involved were ever punished or returned the money. -- "As a first step, based on our promise to take action against administrative corruption, today the Kabul Bank case will be re-opened and an investigation will be launched," Ghani told reporters in Kabul. -- "We promised to combat corruption comprehensively, on a full scale and in a principled manner." -- The two former heads of the bank, founder Sher Khan Fernod and former Chief Executive Haji Khalil Ferozi, convicted of taking $810 million of the $935 million stolen, were both sent to jail for five years. --- "It's a smart move for the new government to announce further investigations because there is little else that would demonstrate their commitment to fighting corruption," said Grant McLeod, former adviser to the corruption watchdog and author of its upcoming report on the Kabul Bank, due out later this month. -- "That being said, there have been many promises and feigned proceedings in the past so it really comes down to how credibly the investigations are done." - More,

Global rankings table | Data | Global AgeWatch Index 2014

Global rankings table | Data | Global AgeWatch Index 2014

First ever Index to measure the wellbeing of older people | Global AgeWatch Index 2014

First ever Index to measure the wellbeing of older people | Global AgeWatch Index 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Women of Afghanistan Must Not Be Forgotten --- The onslaught of radical Islamist militias such as Islamic State (IS, ISIS or ISIL) and Boko Haram highlights the failure of the UN and international community to recognize and prevent their proliferation. Preoccupation with the threat of IS also diverts attention from Afghanistan, where women fear a Taliban offensive after foreign troops leave at the end of the year. -- A Human Rights Council report (HRC) in 2013 drew attention to the uncertain future for Afghan women and the danger of losing their hard-won gains of the past thirteen years. -- There are certain UN mechanisms in place to further the process of support and engagement for all Afghan nationals and women, in particular. -- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has been extended and is likely to remain on the Security Council's agenda. Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan is also Head of UNAMA. -- A new HRC mechanism, the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), evaluates the human rights situation of all UN Member States every four and a half years and makes recommendations. Their report on Afghanistan earlier this year referred to progress made by women, who were employed in twenty-five per cent of government jobs, nine per cent at decision-making levels. Girls also represent about forty per cent of approximately nine million children attending school. The Penal Code was reportedly under review, as were laws pertaining to honour killing. However, considerable concern was expressed regarding ongoing violence against women and failure to effectively implement the Elimination of Violence against Women Law. -- Afghanistan is a party to the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and therefore subject to review of adherence to the protocol. Any technical assistance recommended by the Committee can be instigated with the support of the Afghan government. -- Another mechanism, Justice Rapid Response can deploy international experts to investigate serious human rights violations and offer special assistance if requested by governments. -- Between 1984 and 2005, there was a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan. This position could be revived if the UN Security Council referred the security issue for Afghan women and girls to the UNHRC, with a request for the appointment of a Special Rapporteur dedicated to Afghanistan. - Read More, Ida Lichter, M.D.

JIMMY CARTER: 'I Could Have Wiped Iran Off The Map' --- Former President Jimmy Carter marked his 90th birthday Wednesday with a lengthy interview on CNBC Meets where he discussed his one term in office and the one thing he would have handled differently — the Iran Hostage Crisis. -- Carter suggested Operation Eagle Claw, a failed 1980 attempt to rescue the hostages taken by Iranian revolutionaries at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, could have been successful if he committed one more helicopter to the mission. -- "I think I would have been re-elected easily if I had been able to rescue our hostages from the Iranians," said Carter. "And everybody asks me what would do more, I would say I would send one more helicopter because if I had one more helicopter we could have brought out not only the 52 hostages, but also brought out the rescue team, and when that failed, then I think that was the main factor that brought about my failure to be re-elected. So that's one thing I would change." -- Operation Eagle Claw was aborted after three of the helicopters taking part in the mission experienced mechanical problems. -- Carter also said he believed he would have been re-elected if he took military action against Iran due to the taking of the hostages. Though he argued he "could have wiped Iran off the map," Carter said he thinks avoiding war was the "right decision." -- "I could've been re-elected if I'd taken military action against Iran, shown that I was strong and resolute and, um, manly and so forth," said Carter, adding, "I could have wiped Iran off the map with the weapons that we had, but in the process a lot of innocent people would have been killed, probably including the hostages and so I stood up against all that, er, all that advice, and then eventually my prayers were answered and every hostage came home safe and free. And so I think I made the right decision in retrospect, but it was not easy at the time." - More,

TRANSCRIPTS & REMARKS | Embassy of the United States Kabul, Afghanistan

TRANSCRIPTS & REMARKS | Embassy of the United States Kabul, Afghanistan

U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement, Fact Sheet --- On May 2, 2012, the United States and Afghanistan signed the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America, a 10-year strategic partnership agreement that demonstrates the United States’ enduring commitment to strengthen Afghanistan’s sovereignty, stability, and prosperity and continue cooperation to defeat al-Qaida and its affiliates. --- On September 30, 2014, the United States and Afghanistan signed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). This is another important step in solidifying our strong bilateral relationship and an essential component for supporting Afghanistan’s long-term security. The BSA will enter into force on January 1, 2015. --- SECURITY -- The best guarantee of Afghanistan’s security is a capable and confident Afghan National Security Force (ANSF). Afghan forces are already providing for Afghanistan’s security and will be fully responsible by the end of this year. The BSA is the clearest possible expression of a U.S. commitment to a security partnership with Afghanistan. It provides a legal framework that allows the United States to continue to train, advise and assist the ANSF and further develop its capabilities. The BSA will also help the U.S. and international partners to continue providing necessary financial support to sustain the ANSF. --- By setting forth the privileges, exemptions, and authorizations for United States forces, the BSA enables the continued presence of U.S. forces in support of Afghanistan. This legal framework applies to all members of the United States Armed Forces and all persons employed by the Department of Defense at all times and places in Afghanistan. --- POLITICAL -- The BSA signals that the political and military partnership between the United States and Afghanistan remains strong now and in the future. -- The entry into force of the BSA will give the United States and other nations the confidence to continue to provide security and development assistance to Afghanistan. It will allow the United States to continue its work with the ANSF to preserve the gains of the past and to build on them for the future. The BSA will also give investors more confidence in Afghanistan’s future. - More,

غني: امیني تړون مفاهمه ده او هر وخت تغیر ورکولای شو --- افغان ولسمشر وايي، له امريکا سره امنيتي تړون مفاهمه ده، اصلي قرارداد ستراتيژيک هغه دی، ځکه چې مفاهمه د تغير وړ ده، که شرايط بدلون وکړي، تغير پکې راوړلای شو. -- په کابل کې د امريکا سفير ويلي، له امريکا سره د افغانستان له لوري امنيتي تړون لاسليک پر افغان خاوره د پاکستاني راکېټي بريدونو مخه نه نيسي. -- شنونکي وايي، دغه تړونونه هغه بهانې ختمولای شي، چې نړيوالو ورسره خپلې مرستې ځنډولې وې او دا يو فرصت دی، چې نوی حکومت يې بايد ښه مديريت کړي. -- پرون د امنیت شورا د سلاکار حنيف اتمر له خوا له امریکا محتده ایالتونو او ناټو سره امنیتي دفاعي تړونونه لاسلیک شول. -- افغان ولسمشر اشرف غني احمدزي د تړون د لاسليک لپاره جوړې شوې غونډې ته وويل، تر نن پورې له قوې څخه ګټه اخیستل د نړیوالو له خوا د امنیت شورا د هغې پرېکړې پر بنسټ و، چې د سپتمبر د ۱۱ له پېښو وروسته رامنځ ته شوې وه. -- ښاغلي غني زياته کړه، نن موږ د افغان دولت او نړیوالو همکارو حکومتوو ترمنځ د برابرۍ شاهدان یو، چې خپلې ملي ګټې پکې خوندي شي. په دې قرارداد کې به زموږ د خلکو، سیمې او نړۍ د خلکو لپاره ثبات وي: ((ددې سند له مخې به نړیوالې مرستې د افغان حکومت د بودجې له مخې لګول کیږي.)) -- نوي ولسمشر وویل، هرڅوک چې افغانستان ته راځي، باید د یوه نظام له خوا د وېزې پربنسټ دې خاورې ته ننوځي، نړیوال قرارداديان باید د مشخصو قوانینو پربنسټ کار وکړي. -- ډاکتر اشرف غني زياته کړه، له دې تړون نه د افغانستان ګاونډیانو ته هېڅ خطر ندی متوجې، باید دوی د هېڅ خطر احساس ونکړي، ځکه دا تړون یوازې د افغانستان د ثبات او ښېګڼې لپاره دی، نړیوال به د هغه څه په دفاع کې له موږ سره همکاري کوي، چې موږ او نړۍ ته ګواښ وي. -- اشرف غني وویل، اصلي تړون مخکې شوی، چې نوم یې ستراتیژیک تړون و او مشورتي لویې جرګې او ملي شورا هم تصویب کړی و، دا يوه مفاهمه ده. -- نوي ولسمشر وویل، په تړون کې بدلون راوستل ممکن دي، تړونونه د بدلون وړ دي،زموږ ملي ګټې چې وغواړي، د تغییر شرایط پکې واضح شوي، هغه بدلونونه که واړه وي یا لوی. -- غني وویل، ولس ته دا ډاډ ورکوو، چې دا تړون د هېواد په ګټه او خیر دی. ده وویل، دا تړون د سولې زمینه برابروي، نه دا چې د سولې لاره بنده کړي، خو په وینا یې د تړون دواړه غاړې باید پر خپلو ژمنو ودرېږي. -- ولسمشر غني وویل، که چېرې زموږ خاوره له جدي خطر سره مخ شوه، موږ خاصه غوښتنه کولی شو، چې باید د دوو دولتونو او ناټو له لوري ډېره توجه ورته وشي --- بل پلو په کابل کې د امريکا سفير ويلي، له امريکا او ناټو سره د افغانستان له لوري د امنيتي تړون لاسليک پر افغان خاوره د پاکستاني راکېټي بريدونو مخه نه نيسي. -- له امريکا او ناټو سره د افغانستان له لوري د امنيتي او دفاعي تړون تر لاسليک د مخه په کابل کې د امريکا سفير ويلي، چې د کابل او واشنګټن ترمنځ د امنيتي تړون لاسليک د پاکستان له لوري پر افغان خاوره د راکيټي بريدونو سره هېڅ اړيکه نلري. -- جیمز کنهګم د دوشنبې په ورځ ويلي، واشنګټن به هڅه وکړي، چې دغه مشکل د سياسي خبرو اترو له لارې حل کړي -- د ده په وينا،د امنيتي ترړون لاسليک به د همکاريو په ځانګړې توګه د افغان ځواکونو د روزنې، سلامشورې او د ځواکونو ملاتړ وي، خو له دې نه به د سرحدي مسايلو په برخه کې د مداخلې استفاده ونشي. -- د چارو شنونکي وايي، د افغانستان د خلکو انتظار دا نه دی، چې امريکا او يا نړيوال دې په جګړه کې ونډه واخلي، بلکې دوی غواړي، چې افغان امنيتي ځواکونه تجهيز شي، څو په پښو ودريږي او تر هغه پورې چې دوی په پښو دريږي، د ګاونډيانو د مداخلې مخه بايد ډپ شي. -- د سيمه ييزو مطالعاتو د مرکز مشر عبدالغفور لېوال وايي، تړون هغه بهانې ختمولای شي، چې نړيوالو خپلې مرستې ورسره ځنډولې وې. ښاغلی لېوال زياتوي، دا يو فرصت دی، چې نوی افغان حکومت بايد دغه فرصت ښه مديريت کړي. -- شنونکي وايي، که د افغانستان او امريکا ترمنځ هغه باوري فضا بېرته جوړه شي، چې له منځه تللې وه، نو دا به د دواړو لورو په ګټه وي. - محور ورځپاڼه

Afghanistan is worst country for older people: index --- LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Afghanistan is the worst country to live in as an older person, an annual index on the wellbeing of the elderly showed on Wednesday. -- The Asian country was ranked bottom for the second consecutive year in HelpAge International's Global AgeWatch Index, its health situation in particular the poorest in the world. -- Norway topped the index - up one place from last year - followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Germany, all of which remained in the top 10. Apart from Japan - ranked ninth - the 10 best performers were again in western Europe, North America and Australasia. -- The report, which focused on pensions and warned that half the world’s population faces a bleak future without one, comes at a time when life expectancy continues to rise. -- According to the United Nations the number of people over 60 will more than double to over two billion by 2050, meaning older people would comprise 21 percent of the world’s population. -- Toby Porter, chief executive of HelpAge International, said governments worldwide need to implement specific policies to respond to "this unequovical demographic shift". -- "Only if they act now will they have a chance to meet the needs of their citizens and keep their economies going," Porter told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. -- More,

Can General Rizwan Akhtar clean up Pakistan’s notorious ISI spy agency? --- High hopes for new chief of ISI, which has long been a law unto itself in the murky world of the Taliban, political gangs and mafias --- Pakistan’s new spy chief, who takes up his post this month, comes to the job of running one of the world’s most notorious intelligence agencies after two years trying to bring order to one of Asia’s most troubled cities. Former colleagues have nothing but praise for General Rizwan Akhtar’s stint commanding the paramilitary Rangers during the internal security force’s crackdown on the criminal mafias, armed wings of political parties and religious militants that dominate the teeming port city of Karachi. -- The ISI has faced calls for it to be branded a terrorist organisation because of its habit of drawing a distinction between militants trying to topple Pakistan and those whose interests are confined to Afghanistan and India. --- Sceptics say the ISI is beyond reform. Director generals only serve for a couple of years, hardly enough time to get to grips with a sprawling organisation that includes some officers who, it is feared, share the ideology of the militants that they handle. There has even been speculation that the ISI has slipped from the control of the army itself. -- Read More, Jon Boone in Islamabad, Guardian,

U.S. and Afghanistan sign vital, long-delayed security pact --- KABUL — The United States and Afghanistan on Tuesday signed a vital, long-delayed security deal that will allow nearly 10,000 American troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond the final withdrawal of U.S. and international combat forces this year. -- The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), and a separate pact signed with NATO, permit the continued training and advising of Afghan security forces, as well as counterterrorism operations against remnants of al-Qaeda. The signing of the documents comes as Taliban insurgents are increasing their attacks in an effort to regain control in anticipation of the combat troops’ departure. -- The accord was signed a day after Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as Afghanistan’s new president in a power-sharing government, marking the first democratic hand­over of power in the nation’s history. Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai, who had presided over the country since shortly after the Taliban was driven from power in 2001, had refused to sign the agreement, souring relations with Washington. --- President Obama called it a “historic day” and said in a statement that the signing came after “nearly two years of hard work by negotiating teams on both sides.” Critics, particularly Republican lawmakers, have charged that the failure to negotiate a similar agreement in Iraq that would have allowed U.S. troops to stay in that country contributed to the rise of the threat from Islamic State militants there. -- Although Obama had considered a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan, he announced in May that up to 9,800 U.S. troops would remain, provided that the agreement was signed, until the end of 2015. The accord allows U.S. basing at nine separate locations across Afghanistan. -- The troop number is to be cut in half by 2016, with American forces thereafter based only in Kabul and at Bagram air base. By the end of 2017, the U.S. force is to be further reduced in size to what U.S. officials have called a “normal” military advisory component at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, most likely numbering several hundred. -- The agreement also prevents U.S. military personnel from being prosecuted under Afghan laws for any crimes they may commit; instead, the United States has jurisdiction over any criminal proceedings or disciplinary action involving its troops inside the country. The provision does not apply to civilian contractors. -- The NATO agreement, closely coordinated with the U.S. document, ensures that troops from countries including Germany and Italy will also stay, although in much smaller numbers. -- State Department officials in Washington did not specify the scope and nature of the ongoing counterterrorism operations, which are to be conducted in partnership with Afghan forces. A number of al-Qaeda operatives have been ensconced for some time in the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. - Read MOre, Washingtonpost,