19 January 2020

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Saturday, January 18, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a telephone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau, discussed the issue of Ukrainian plane crash in Iran, BNA reported the other day.
During the telephonic conversation, the Canadian premier extended his deep condolence on the death of scores of passengers who lost their lives in the crash happened in Iran and called it a tragic and shocking incident that caused great grief for his people, the agency said.
“We should focus on the next steps; this was a positive step by the Iranian to take responsibility of the air crash, but there is a need for taking next steps,” the agency quoted Trudeau as saying.
He said the international community was waiting for the next measures in the devilment of valid researches in order to clarify where the problem, the agency quoted was.
He said Iran, besides taking responsibility of the incident, should clearly provide the way for the international researches and go ahead with the right path.
According to him, the first working group would meet on this occasion in London as he said: “We want justice implemented for the victims and the truth behind the incident be made clear. “The International community, if needed, should to revise the air aviation ruling laws and principles so that such incidents were prevented,” the agency said as quoting him. The prime minister also assured President Ghani for staying alongside Afghanistan, making effort for restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan and reduce tension in the region. During the telephonic talks, the country’s president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also expressed his condolence to the Canadian people, government and the families of the victims of the air incident and thanked the leadership, management and condolence of the Canadian prime minister in this field. “Afghanistan share its grief with you and our government and people are deeply saddened by the incident and the death of 13 Afghan national in the crash,” said the agency quoting the President. He said the international community for playing its effective role so that the rights of the victims were secured, the agency added. Expressing his support to working group, the president said: “We are part the working group, we emphasize that Iran should take on hand necessary measures, as our compatriots are demanding clearance in this field.”
He said Afghan acting minister of foreign affairs would work in coordination with Canadian delegation on the issue and added: “We want tension reduced in the region and the role of Canada is very important for peace and stability of Afghanistan.”
Pointing to the recent tension between US and Iran and Afghanistan’s clear stance on the issue, the country’s president hoped the regional efforts with the support of Canada remain effective for the stability of the region and expansion of government to government relation.

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a telephone conversation with families of Afghan victims of Ukraine plane crash in Iran offers condolence and sympathy to the families.
In the telephone conversation, Afghanistan ambassador to Iran Abdul Ghafoor Liwal first briefed about identification of Afghans martyred in the incident.
He said that a committee has been created for addressing the martyred families, saying that Afghan martyrs have been identified and a number of them have been buried.
Afghanistan ambassador to Iran added that he’s passed condolence message of the President and his instructions for as- assistance to the martyred and to the victim families.
Afterwards, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani spoke and while offering his condolence and sympathy to the victim families said the government was ready to provide any kind of cooperation if a family wanted to transfer the body of their martyr to Kabul.
The country’s President added that acting minister of foreign affairs has left for Britain to attend a working group created by countries suffered most of victims in the incident so that rights of the victims of the incident were clarified based on international regulations.
“It is a common pain and today each Afghan considers it as his pain,” President Ghani said, adding that as a President, he was ready for any kind of cooperation in this regard.
At the end of the telephonic conversation, Mohammad Mehdi Sadat, representing the victim families praised the country’s President and Afghanistan embassy to Iran for cooperation in this regard.

Saturday, 18 January 2020 06:46

Taliban Terrorist Killed in Jawzjan

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Sheberghan (BNA) Ten Taliban associated group were killed in joined clearing operation of security troops in Khaneqa and Faizabad districts, Jawzjan province.
Abdul Marod Azer spokesman for Jawzjan governor told BNA, clearing operation was launched by security troops in the two mentioned districts, in which ten Taliban associated group were killed and 16 others have been injured.
During the operations, strongholds of Taliban with numerous of war equipment have been demolished and seven regions of the province were cleared from insurgents.
T. Yarzada

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Mahmoodraqi (BNA) Thirteen people have been detained on suspicion of different criminal crimes in Kapisa.
The people were arrested in clearing operations of security troops from various parts of the province.
Abdul Shayeq Shorish police spokesman of Kapisa told BNA, the people were involved in killing, theft, smuggling of illegal weapons, abduction and selling drugs.
During the past nine month, more than 500 suspects of criminal crimes have been detained in Kapisa province.
T. Yarzada

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Jalalabad (BNA) Seven insurgents associated to Taliban and ISIS terrorist groups were detained in east of the country.
The insurgents were arrested in a clash by security troops.
Senior commander in east of the country told BNA, four insurgents affiliated to Taliban group and three others ISIS associated group have been detained by security troops in Jalalabad.
Seven heavy and light weapons were also seized by the detainees.
The arrested insurgents in first investigation acknowledged to membership of ISIS and Taliban terrorist groups and participate in dozens of deadly events in that province.
T. Yarzada

Saturday, 18 January 2020 06:39

ISIS Loyalists Surrenders to Government

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Asadabad (BNA) Eight ISIS loyalists were given up violence and joined peace process in Kunar.
The ISIS led by Qader Jan known Abdul Bashir had activity against government in parts of Manogi district.
Selab army corps in east of the country with releasing a statement told BNA, eight ISIS fighters were joined to government with their hand weapons.
T. Yarzada

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Qalat (BNA) Five employees of Breshna Company were lost their lives in explosion of a mine in Zabul late yesterday.
The employees of the company went to work for renew of imported electricity to the area, their vehicle hit a mine blast in Shar-e-Safa District.
Police media office with releasing a statement told BNA, five engineers and technical official of the company lost their lives.
Police of Zabul blamed Taliban for the mine planting.
Taliban group have not said anything so far
T. Yarzada

Saturday, 18 January 2020 06:36

Suicide Assailants Killed in Kandahar

Saturday, January 18, 2020
Kandahar (BNA) Four succeed assailants were killed in an air strike in Kandahar.
A car packed explosives were also destroyed in the raid.
According to reports, the four assailants riding a car wanted to targeted security checkpoint in Maiwand District, was targeted by air strike of security forces and killed.
Atal army corps in south of the country with releasing a statement said, four assailants were killed and their car packed explosive has been destroyed.
T. Yarzada

Friday January 17, 2020
Kabul (BNA) An Afghan group will publish a picture book about slain Japanese Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, who dedicated his life to improving lives in the war-torn country.
Gahwara, a nongovernmental organization based in the country, plans to issue in June a total of 2,500 copies in Dari and Pashto, both of which are official languages in Afghanistan. The book, which will be about Nakamura’s work in Afghanistan over the past three decades, may also be translated into Japanese.
Nakamura, who was a representative in Afghanistan of Japanese aid group Peshawar-kai, would be leading a safe and comfortable life if he had stayed in Japan, said the NGO’s founder, Zabih Mahdi, expressing his gratitude for his contributions.
The doctor, who was killed last month at age 73, sacrificed himself and changed Afghanistan, he said, stressing that he wants to spread the message that Afghans must sacrifice something in order to improve living conditions in the country.
Mahdi, a 31-year-old Afghan government official who was close to Nakamura, established Gahwara in 2016. The group’s name means cradle.
The organization translates foreign picture books and publishes them in Afghanistan, where it is difficult to obtain high quality picture books, to teach children the importance of peace, gender equality, tolerance and forgiveness.
Mahdi believes it is important to teach such ideas to children, as it is difficult to change one’s way of thinking after becoming an adult.
The group receives translations and artistic contributions online from 47 people around the world.
The NGO has translated 27 books, including a Russian story about a king who defeats an evil wizard by acting in good faith, publishing a total of 225,000 copies.
The works are also posted online so that children who left Afghanistan as refugees or those in remote areas of the country can read them.
For the publication of the picture book about Nakamura, Japanese mail-order company Felissimo Corp. will supply financial assistance so that copies of the book can be distributed to schools and kindergartens in Afghanistan for free.
The company, based in Kobe, teaches people in developing countries how to produce food and other products in developing countries and imports the items to Japan.
Felissimo has already given Gahwara financial assistance via the Japan International Cooperation Agency from money set aside from a portion of the company’s sales.
If sales grow for products listed on a special website, Felissimo may be able to provide more financial support so that the NGO can publish more copies of the book. The website can be found at www.haco.jp/landp/index.html.
Mahdi was drawn to picture books while he and his family lived in Japan, where they arrived in 2015 through a JICA program.
He and his son were introduced to Japanese picture books at the time and discovered that just looking at the artwork was enough to make the books enjoyable. There are “huge messages in small books,” Mahdi said.
He hopes to bring Japanese picture books that impressed him to Afghanistan, which lacks good books for children. Mahdi cited an example of an Afghan textbook that uses the word “gun” to teach the letter G.
With the help of JICA, Gahwara is negotiating to gain permission to translate and publish children’s books from Japanese authors, but the group hasn’t had any luck so far. “I hope authors and publishers will allow us to publish (their books),” he said.
Japantimes.co

Friday January 17, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Growing Chinese commitment to Afghanistan’s pine-nut industry is a small but illuminating example of Beijing’s interest in the region bordering Xinjiang, says Barbara Kelemen.
A burgeoning pine-nut trade between Afghanistan and China shines a light on Beijing’s growing interest in the region on its western border. Last year, the two countries boosted Afghanistan’s pine-nut industry when they opened an air-freight corridor, and this November, Chinese companies contracted to buy 2.2 billion dollars of Afghan pine nuts over the next five years. Given Afghanistan’s exports to China were 28 million dollars in 2018 and overall exports reached roughly 884 million dollars, China’s importance looks set to rise.
The air-corridor to Shanghai was hailed as a great improvement and expected to raise revenues from pine nut exports to 1 million dollars – and it seems to be living up to expectations. The Afghan government in October said the pine nut harvest would rise 10 percent to around 24,000 tons in 2019. With the dried fruit selling at around 36 dollars per kilo, farmers can expect additional revenues of around 800,000 dollars, mainly thanks to Chinese demand.
Before the opening of the air corridor, Afghanistan struggled with rampant smuggling – and some legal exports ¬– to Pakistan. Across the border the pine nuts were packaged and re-exported, often to China. As Afghanistan still lacks facilities and certification needed for processing pine nuts, the refining stages have merely shifted from Pakistan to China. The profits from value added processes now go to China – and Afghan traders still export only raw product.
China-Afghan economic cooperation still faces challenges
So there is light and dark when it comes to this instance of economic cooperation – it clearly still faces challenges. Yousef Dawran, a local pine-nut trader and entrepreneur, worries that “air corridors are too expensive and mainly a short-term solution” and calls the project “mainly a great PR story”. According to Yousef, real economic change requires longer term and more sustainable solutions. Perhaps Afghanistan needs to focus more on pine-nut processing capacity.
Yousef’s disappointment is fed by the feeling that the cooperation has not delivered “as much as expected” – that China could and should be doing more. Alice Wells, the US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, has on a number of occasions criticized China for its lack of economic assistance to Afghanistan. She has described Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Afghanistan as a “slogan” rather than reality, pointing to stalled projects such as the Kabul-Jalalabad Road. 
China sees economic cooperation as a way to stabilize Afghanistan
China’s government has sharply rejected such complaints, in turn pointing to projects like the 2016 cargo train between Nantong and Hairatan, the 2018 air corridor and a number of infrastructure projects as proof of its genuine commitment. Yao Jing, the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, has said that the main challenge for larger Chinese projects – such as the Mes Aynak copper mine – remains Afghanistan’s ongoing lack of domestic security and stability.
But that is also exactly why China has to continue with economic cooperation projects, however small or fraught. Beijing sees economic cooperation as a way to stabilize a country that is in turn vital for stability of China’s western provinces, especially Xinjiang. Beijing worries that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) or its successor organization, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), consider Afghanistan a conduit into China to radicalize Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Afghanistan’s regional significance for China’s security is one reason for China’s greater military presence on its western periphery. The People’s Armed Police force has for some time operated from bases in Tajikistan only 10 miles from the Afghan border. There have also been reports of Chinese activities in Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor in Badakhshan province. And Chinese officials have maintained a pragmatic relationship with the Taliban since the late 90s.
Beijing has emerged as a new facilitator of talks between Afghan conflict parties
Given all this, Beijing has emerged as a new facilitator of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Without the historical legacy of Russia or the US, with economic clout in Kabul and considerable influence in Islamabad, it could become a more trusted go-between for Afghanistan’s long warring factions than other parties. Pakistan’s support has been crucial to the Taliban and has complicated Islamabad’s bilateral relations with the United States.
A clear sign of China’s increasing influence is its push to start an Afghan peace process. A meeting between the Taliban and the Afghan government is now set to take place in Beijing. Although it is hard to say how much of it is the Taliban showing the US that it has alternatives, China is now seen as one of the potential brokers and facilitators of the intra-Afghan dialogue. It has relations with Kabul, contacts with the Taliban, and potentially holds sway over Pakistan.
US President Donald Trump has pledged to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan and about half of the US soldiers in the country are expected to start going home soon. As complete US-withdrawal from Afghanistan has become possible, the question is whether China would step up to fill the void as a stabilizing power. Its commitment to the Afghan pine-nut industry suggests that there are ways for China to do so although its intentions in that regard remain unclear. For all his criticism, pine-nut trader Yousef firmly believes economics and stability come hand in hand.
Merics

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