23 November 2017

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Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Over 287 armed oppositions have killed, 179 wounded and 31 were arrested during clearing operations led by Afghan security troops within the last one month in north and northeastern zones of the country.
Col. Nasratullah Jamshidi in-charge of press office in 209 Shaheen army corps told BNA local correspondent, Afghan security forces by conducting 7 joint clearing operations within the last month succeeded to annihilate 287 insurgents, injured 179 and detained 31 other militants in north and northeastern zones of the country.
Dozens heavy and light weapons, 9 mines and dozens vehicles belonging the terrorist group have been discovered and seized following the operations, Jamshidi added.

Thursday, 23 November 2017 11:07

Nine Public Utility Projects Executed In Balkh

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) With a cost of AFN 37,000,000 funded by Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/NSP) 9 welfare projects have been implemented in northern Balkh province.
Habib Behzad in-charge of information in rural rehabilitation and development ministry said BNA correspondent, these development projects include the construction of water intakes, water canals and retaining walls that have been completed in different parts of Kashanda district of the province.

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) The UAE has reiterated its commitment to providing humanitarian support and development assistance to the Afghan people.
A statement from Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, emphasized the need to achieve long-term peace and stability through a comprehensive Afghan-led peace process.
She commended the efforts of the Secretary-General as well as his Special Representative in the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan for their efforts in improving international coordination in support of an Afghan-led political process.
Ambassador Nusseibeh highlighted that the Afghan government and people are on the frontlines of the global war against terrorism, and expressed grave concern over the escalating number in terrorist attacks targeting civilians and security forces in Afghanistan. She recalled the tragic act of violence in January 2017 that claimed the life of the late UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan, Juma Al Kaabi, and killed five other Emirati diplomats as well as 11 Afghans, injuring many others.
She applauded efforts of the US, European Union, NATO partners and others in supporting and rebuilding Afghanistan’s institutions and infrastructure, and bringing in peace and stability to the country.
Ambassador Nusseibeh also welcomed the US administration’s bold strategy that brings renewed vigor to addressing the security situation and charts a path of continued US engagement to improve the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan. She cautioned that further progress was necessary, and that the international community must not repeat the mistakes of the past, when disengagement and neglect of Afghanistan permitted extremism to take over the country. She emphasized that the international community must continue its efforts in addressing the security situation in Afghanistan, working to establish a peace process, intensifying efforts to the support the country’s security forces, and promoting economic and human development.
The UAE has been a long-term stakeholder in efforts of the international community to ensure peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. Since 2003, the UAE has been part of the ISAF Mission in Afghanistan, in support of the legitimate government and NATO partners, by providing security assistance and involving in community development activities. The UAE has contributed over $680 million in development assistance for reconstruction and humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan since the 1970s. Some of the development and reconstruction projects include a housing and community development project in Kabul, and rebuilding the airport in Mazar i Sharif in collaboration with Germany and other countries. The UAE also opened Zayed University in Khost province that teaches an array of subjects including medicine, engineering, and law.
The UAE recognizes the integral role of religious leaders in instilling values of peace, tolerance and diversity, and to that end, aims to train religious leaders to promote the values and eliminate causes of discord and division. Further, she recalled the value of integrating women in building a sustainable and inclusive Afghan society. Reflecting this, the UAE has implemented specific projects for women and families in Afghanistan, which enables them to provide for their families through entrepreneurship
Emirates News Agency

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) With a sum of AFN 98,000,000 funded by Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/NSP) 24 public utility projects have been completed in northern Sar-e-Pul province.
Habib Behzad in-charge of information in rural rehabilitation and development ministry told BNA reporter, these development projects comprise the construction of bridges, water intakes, water canals, protection walls, school, retaining walls and cleaning of water canal that have been completed in districts and provincial capital of the province.

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) As the US military opens a new front in its air war in Afghanistan, targeting the Taliban’s poppy-processing factories and dropping thousands more bombs, experts are warning of the risk of alienating the local population.
The quickening tempo comes after President Donald Trump in August approved broad new powers for General John Nicholson, who commands US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Numbers reveal a massive uptick in air strikes already, with the US military on course to triple the number of bombs it has dropped this year.
As of October 31, the US had released 3,554 weapons in Afghanistan, compared to 1,337 for all of 2016, when the war was overseen by then president Barack Obama.
Trump’s new rules mean America can now proactively bomb the Taliban, where before strikes were restricted to backing up Afghan partners on the ground.
Nicholson on Nov. 20 announced a series of strikes on at least 10 labs used to process opium into heroin, dealing a blow to a key source of Taliban funding.
Huge B-52 bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters destroyed the facilities in rural Helmand, marking the first time F-22s had been used in Afghanistan.
The Air Force has a growing stash of high-tech planes and drones at its disposal as operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq wind down.
America often boasts that its bomb-dropping technologies are the most precise in history.
But Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington Director at Human Rights Watch, said an increase in air strikes would likely lead to more civilian deaths and that, in turn, risks alienating the Afghans.
"The Trump administration has been clear it doesn’t want to do so-called ’nation building,’ but if the primary focus is on military engagement then the US will be creating enemies where it should be creating friends," she said.
An increase in civilian harm also could anger the international community, with many NATO nations already weary of Afghanistan commitments after 16 years of war.
In 2009, a German NATO commander called in an air strike in the northern city of Kunduz, with US planes hitting two fuel tankers stolen by the Taliban, killing about 100 people, including many civilians. The fallout from the bombing led to a backlash among German voters.
And in 2015 a US air strike during fighting hit a Kunduz hospital operated by Medicines Sans Frontiers, killing 42 people and sparking international outrage.
Trump’s new rules mean that aside from more air power, Nicholson also has about 3,000 additional American troops, some of whom will be accompanying Afghans close to the front lines, calling in strikes and potentially seeing combat.
"They will be out on more patrols, absolutely," Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews said.
"They are out there in harm’s way alongside the Afghans."
Nicholson thinks 80 percent of the Afghan population can be under government control within about two years, up from less than two-thirds today.
He sees 2018 as a potential turning point, and pointed to a doubling of the number of Afghan commandos and a new cadre of supposedly less-corrupt officers as positive indicators for next year.
Already, casualty rates among Afghan security forces have started to drop, Nicholson said, but it is hard to verify the claim because Washington has agreed to classify data on the casualty numbers.
Time will tell whether Nicholson can succeed, but if history is a guide he has a difficult task ahead.
Obama in late 2009 announced a 30,000-troop "surge" that brought the US contingent in Afghanistan to nearly 100,000 troops along with almost 50,000 allied troops.
Many of the gains, including against the Taliban’s drug industry, were quickly eroded after Western forces drew down.
Nicholson said the withdrawal was "too far and too fast" and showed the Taliban that America had "lost our will." Currently about 14,000 US troops are in Afghanistan.
Like a string of leaders before him, Nicholson said it was time for the Taliban to lay down their arms and enter into a reconciliation process.
"If they don’t, they’re going to be consigned to irrelevance ... or death," he said.
For John Hannah, senior counselor for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former national security advisor to vice president Dick Cheney, going after the Taliban’s narcotics empire is essential.
"Any strategy that hopes to succeed must include a major effort to attack the enemy’s most important revenue streams," he told AFP, noting that US commanders have drawn lessons from the success of striking Islamic State oil facilities and cash warehouses in Syria and Iraq.
Hannah warned that "without question" the uptick in bombing will result in greater civilian casualties.
"But if reinforced by all the other elements of the administration’s new strategy, a sustained escalation of US air support could put the Afghan army back on the offensive and, over time, start to reverse the tide of the war," he said.

Thursday, 23 November 2017 11:03

UN Calls For Expediting Afghan Peace Process

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) AUN envoy has called for increased cooperation among members of the international community to accelerate the peace process in Afghanistan.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the special envoy of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for Afghanistan, made the statement in a meeting with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Tehran on Monday. Araqchi said Tehran expects the world body to play a bigger role in efforts to restore peace to Afghanistan, IRNA reported. In a separate meeting on Monday, Yamamoto sat down for talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Yamamoto stressed the need for rallying greater support for the Afghan peace process, saying stability in Afghanistan will greatly benefit the region.  Zarif voiced Tehran's readiness to boost cooperation with the UN in Afghanistan "in all fields", Anadolu Agency reported. The top Iranian diplomat also called for increased political and economic cooperation between Tehran and Kabul, as well as collaboration in fighting the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group operating in Afghanistan.

Thursday, 23 November 2017 11:02

Safety of Children, Safety of Future

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan has celebrated the international day of children at a time that our children and babies living in a tragic condition and their life is facing many challenges. Abuse and violation of children rights have been changed to a ordinary action with parts of our society.
Available reports narrate that at present over two million children are involved in heavy occupations including kilns, factories and streets.
Despite of all efforts, endeavors and huge investments of the government for access of children to education, unfortunately at present, over three and half million children are deprived of school, and considerable number of children have no access to basic services. Living condition of rural children, reflect worst conditions. Security problems and challenges have affected children living conditions more than everything. Terrorists groups employ children in war against the Afghan government.
On several occasions, children have been used as BBIED suicide attackers and explosions.
Children forced to carry explosives from one to other destination. In terrorists’ areas of domination, children have unfading presence and are employed for different jobs in relevant bases.
Children sustain casualties due to wars and insurgency. In a report recently released by UNAMA in Kabul on war casualties in Afghanistan, serious concern was expressed as remarkable number of casualties included children and children casualties were important portion of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. According to the report children casualties have increased remarkably in current year.
It seems that its essential that the Afghan government, its international partners as well as different bodies involved in human rights should do more to change current situation in favor of children rights improvement, undertake effective programs to safe children situations not only for being human beings who enjoy human rights but because Saving the children living conditions, in fact means saving their future.
Karima Malikzada

Thursday, 23 November 2017 11:01

Sustainable Power Outages Concerning

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Complaining on recent power outages in the capital Kabul, a number of citizens said Breshna Company didn’t really pay attention in the respect. 
A number of Kabul residents told that however, the power is being imported from Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with high price, but they don’t know why they face power outages.
Two Kabul residents Khalil and Marouf said, “Lack of power has faced the people with many problems.” They added we are the university students and have to study our lessons in darkness. They hoped Breshna Company to seriously pay heed and solve the problem.
It is merit to mention that power is free of charge in some countries of the world, but in Afghanistan, however, the people pay their power bills on time, but they cannot properly and comfortably use it.
They called the government relevant administrations responsible in this regard, adding however, the technology has reached its peak in other world countries, but we are still deprived of power
People believe that however, the government high-ranking officials are hugely using the power, but they have never faced its outage. Those who are poor and have innumerable financial problems have always been faced such challenges, an action which is not fair.  The spokesperson to Breshna Co. Wahidullah Towhidi asked the people not to use more power, because, it will negatively affect transformers.
He said to heat their homes, the people have started using electronic heaters.
He assured the Kabul citizens that Breshna Co would normalize the power soon, and they would transfer 15mgw power to other areas.
Head of Breshna Co. Amanullah Ghalib said power outages would continue by the end of 2018. To solve the problem, the ministry of finance is expected to allocate $30mln to the company to increase the power capacity, he further said.  Recently, Breshna Company has signed an agreement to extend 500kv power line from Sheberghan to Dasht-e-Alwan, Pul-e-Khumri
Work on the projects would be started next year with financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank grant worth $74mln.
Head of the company said, the projects would connect Central Asia with South Asia and would take 54 months to be completed.
Shukria Kohistani

Thursday November 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Over 71 anti-government militias were killed and 29 others were wounded during joint clearing operations led by Afghan National Security and Defense Forces within the last 24 hours across the country.
Ministry of National Defense press office reported BNA, the operations were conducted with support of Afghan air and artillery forces to annihilate armed oppositions and protect the lives and properties of people in insecure areas of Nangarhar, Kapisa, Ghazni, Maidan/Wardak, Paktia, Paktika, Kandahar, Zabul, Urozgan, Herat, Farah, Balkh, Jawzjan, Faryab, Kunduz, Baghlan and Helmand provinces.
Some heavy and light weapons, ammunitions and military mobilizations have been seized by Afghan security forces following the operations, the source added.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Based on Khan Mohammad Baz’ head of currency exchangers in Kabul, Shahzada market report the exchange rate of Afghani as a follow:
One Dollar                                            68/85 Afs                           
One Pound Sterling                              90/70 Afs                           
One Euro                                             80/80 Afs                           
One Emirate’s Dirham                         18/70 Afs                           
One Thousand Pakistani Rupees          637 Afs                           
One Thousand Indian Rupees               1060 Afs                                         
One Thousand Iranian Rupees             17 Afs                           
T. Yarzada

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