Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:54:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Taliban video shows former US base captured in Farah province http://www.khaama.com/taliban-video-shows-former-us-base-captured-in-farah-province-9958 http://www.khaama.com/taliban-video-shows-former-us-base-captured-in-farah-province-9958#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:17:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47470 Read the full article...]]> Taliban capture base in FarahThe Taliban militants group in Afghanistan has released a video which purportedly shows the group’s militants have captured a military base in western Farah province.

The military base was reportedly captured in Bakwa district and was previously in control of the NATO-led coalition security forces.

The 16-minute video was recently released by the group’s media wing – Al-Emara Jihadi studio which also shows one of the group’s leaders making a lengthy speech in Pashto and the white Taliban flag hoisted inside the base.

According to reports the base was previously operated by the US forces to tackle the local trade in heroin in Farah province.

The group also released a statement along with the video, stating that the base was captured by the Taliban after a prolonged siege.

The statement further added “It is hoped that this release brings joy of our viewers”, with  overexcited Taliban supporters on social media insisting that the radical group of jihadis will retake Kabul soon.”

The local government officials have not commented regarding the propaganda video so far. However, the provincial council chief Farid Bakhtawar had earlier said that the Taliban group was posing threat to the stability of Farah province.

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Police officer among two killed in bomb explosion in Paktika http://www.khaama.com/police-officer-among-two-killed-in-bomb-explosion-in-paktika-3069 http://www.khaama.com/police-officer-among-two-killed-in-bomb-explosion-in-paktika-3069#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 08:55:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47460 Read the full article...]]> MusakhanTwo soldiers from Afghan Local Police including an officer embraced martyrdom in a landmine explosion in Paktika province.

Nisar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai, acting police chief of Paktika province confirming the incident told Khaama Press on Friday that another soldier was wounded in the explosion that took place last night.

He said that Musa Khan Andar, officer of Afghan Local Police (ALP) in Mata Khan District, was traveling in a vehicle that ran over a landmine leaving Andar and another soldier killed and one soldier wounded.

Abdul Rahimzai added that following the explosion a brief gun battle occurred between security forces and Taliban at the explosion site in Faqir Qala area of Mata Khan District in which one Taliban fighter was also killed and his body left on the ground.

Taliban have not yet commented on the report.

This is second explosion in less than two weeks targeting security officers in Paktika province.

On March 16, Quick Reaction Force (QRF) Commander Azizullah Karwan’s vehicle was also targeted in an explosion in Wazi Khwa district leaving Karwan and six other soldiers wounded.

Paktika shares a long border with Pakistan where according to local officials insurgents occasionally cross border into Afghanistan for terrorist activities.

Azizullah Amiree / Paktika

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Ghani aims to turn Asia the largest continental economy with strategic railroad http://www.khaama.com/ghani-aims-to-turn-asia-the-largest-continental-economy-with-strategic-railroad-9957 http://www.khaama.com/ghani-aims-to-turn-asia-the-largest-continental-economy-with-strategic-railroad-9957#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 08:22:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47454 Read the full article...]]> Ashraf Ghani Afghan President

The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani aims to turn Asia as the largest continental economy with the planned multibillion-dollar railroad amid persistent instability in the country.

Outlining the plans regarding the strategic railroad, President Ghani, said the plans are to remake the war-torn Afghanistan’s economy by relying on its traditional geographic advantage as the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

“In 25 years, Asia is going to become the largest continental economy. What happened in the United States in 1869, when the continental railroad integrated, is very likely to happen in Asia in the next 25 years,” said Ghani. “Without Afghanistan, Central Asia, South Central Asia, East Asia and West Asia will not be connected,” President Ghani said.

His remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York think tank, were followed after he secured a commitment from President Barack Obama on Tuesday to keep more U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

He said the planned railroad could allow goods to reach Europe in five days, via the Caspian Sea, while insisting that his goal was turn Afghanistan into a transit country.

The planned railroad will have a length of 2,237 miles and is expected to eventually become linked to China, besides allowing Afghanistan to transport its wealth of mineral deposits, including lithium, copper and gas and oil reserves, which the Pentagon estimated was worth roughly $1 trillion in 2010.

According to President Ghani Afghanistan the potential to supply transport, power transmission, gas pipelines and fiber optics, which would create “massive jobs and opportunity”.

According to President Ghani the railroad could play a vital role as Afghanistan could be the largest producer of copper and iron in the world in 10 years and the bulk of what Afghanistan would produce in the next 10 years would be very heavy and “Without rail, there are no possibilities of creating economies of scale.”

President Ghani also added that the project will be funded by World Bank, the Asian Development and Pakistan, and about 90 percent of the funding is secure.

In the meantime, there are concerns that the planned economic project could leave the United States with diminishing influence, even as US being the costs of the country including the security, being a strategic partner of Afghanistan.

However, President Ghani didn’t mention the US as an economic partner and his main focus floated on India, the Gulf countries, Azerbaijan, even its prickly neighbor Pakistan as potential investors.

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What a Mob Says About the State of Islam in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/what-a-mob-says-about-the-state-of-islam-in-afghanistan-6543 http://www.khaama.com/what-a-mob-says-about-the-state-of-islam-in-afghanistan-6543#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 06:00:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47439 Read the full article...]]>

A brutal lynching of a women highlights the intolerance preached in Afghanistan.

Justice for Farkhunda

By Nushin Arbabzadah

The brutal lynching of Farkhunda, has revealed a number of significant issues regarding the state of Islam in Afghanistan.

The most crucial is that a fanatic strand of Islamic has become normalized, and accepted by a mainstream audience. The imam who incited the violence, the mob who lynched Farkhunda, the bystanders who filmed it — they were not the disenfranchised. They were ordinary Afghans, members of the middle class, including shop keepers. The initial public reaction was approval, expressed by public figures representing the spheres of culture and education.

They included a female deputy culture minister, who said, in reference to the murder, that nothing can stand in the way of the pure faith of the people. Rahel Musavi, a presenter on Tamadon TV, provided another public message of support saying, “She deserved to burn in the fire of the people’s anger.” And then there was the sermon of the imam, Ayaz Niazi, whose message can be summed up as follows: The people who killed Farkhunda were correct and the police have no right to arrest them. If they do, the people have the right to stage an uprising. This imam has a doctorate in Islamic law from the most respected institution in the Muslim world: the Al-Azhar University in Egypt and he teaches at Kabul University in addition to being an imam at a mosque in an affluent area of Kabul. All three figures used the phrase “people’s sentiments and beliefs” to stress the legitimacy of the lynching. Initially, similar messages of support abounded before the voices of opposition made themselves heard.

What do we learn from this? A populist, fanatic strand of Islam appealing to base emotionality has become mainstream, finding an audience in all levels of society.

What Kind of Islam?

Listening to the preacher Niazi’s sermon, it is easy to learn what kind of Islam is disseminated to the wider population through the institutions of mosques, universities, and religious media outlets. A key characteristic of this version of Islam is that is encourages lawlessness. Niazi told the mosque audience, that their religious sensitivity is the supreme source of legitimacy, overriding the legitimacy of the state and law enforcement. But to what extent? According to the sermon, it would seem that the believer is entitled to kill first and ask questions later. Even if it turns out that the believer was wrong, the supremacy of his religious emotions are such that police has no right to arrest him. In other words, religious sentiment, not religion, is the supreme force and the prime source of legitimacy in Afghanistan. This was what Niazi was endorsing.

From this it becomes clear that what the mob did to Farkhunda was putting into action the lessons that they were taught in mosques and schools, in religious media and at universities: that their religious emotions entitle them to murder. Hence, the lynching was not a breach of “religious norms,” it was the practicing of these norms. It is also useful to bear in mind that Niazi is classified as a moderate Muslim.

The Consequence

Why do preachers and similar public figures, encourage, empower and legitimize the emotional aspect of religiosity? I’d argue that public figures like Niazi, the deputy minister, and the TV presenter do not lead by example, do not guide, and do not educate. They tell people what they want to hear. The result of this mutual charming is that everybody who belongs to this collective is kept happy, feeling understood and validated. At the top, public figures are ensured popular support. At the bottom, the mob is appeased that the enemy and the oppressor is outside, not within.

The Enemy Outside

Who is the enemy outside? In the first stage of the encounter, the crowd that gathered around Farkhunda while she was still alive, said the following things about her in her presence, as if she were not there: Americans have sent her. She’s French. She’s German.

This is how Farkhunda was declared a non-Muslim, which automatically turned her into an enemy. This, too, is a result of the interpretation of Islam that has become mainstream in Afghanistan. An outsider is automatically classified as an enemy and an enemy, in turn, is not seen as a fellow human being deserving of a life or a space to share with the Muslims in this world.

Later, the Afghan media rightly explained that Farkhunda was a victim of prejudice and that her protestations were ignored, and deemed insignificant. Farkhunda’s mother asked, “Why did they say she was foreign? Are these people not capable of recognizing their own language when someone speaks it?” Indeed, why did the mob not recognize a fellow Afghan girl, born, raised and educated in their own city?

There are two reasons. First, their perception of reality was not shaped by what they saw and heard with their own eyes and ears but by the words of the shrine’s imam. He said that Farkhunda had burnt the Quran. Caught between their own perception and the imam’s description of reality, the crowd was incapable of thinking for themselves. A Muslim could not possibly burn the Quran. She had to be a foreigner. The mob immediately believed the imam. After all, a man of god does not lie.

This is how brain-washing works. Afghan imams do not practice religious education. What they do is mass manipulation.

The Consequence

Making Farkhunda part of the “other” was the catalyst for the unleashing of an extraordinary high level of aggression. Watching the video, what we see is lustful violence. The release gives the murderers a physical high. Like all forms of intoxication, the feeling of elation need to be fed, so the violence grew  in intensity, kicking led to beating with sticks and metal bars, followed by running the body over with a car, followed by throwing the body into the dry river bank, followed by throwing stones and finally, burning.

Many Afghans continue to believe that the supreme law is their own religious emotions. This belief is not natural, it’s carefully cultivated and sustained through collective effort. Some comply out of fear, others out of populist motivation, others because they are ignorant. Afghan activists are some of the few who have opposed the message. In return, they have received threats. The nature of these threats is summed up by the following statement that a TV personality working for a religious channel said that Farkhunda’s burning will be a lesson to the other whores. Many Muslims around the world share this view. The precedent was set in England with the Salman Rushdie affair, when, in December 1988, 7,000 British Muslims gathered in Bolton and set fire to Rushdie’s book in the name of offended religious sentiment Since then we have had the phenomenon of global terrorism carried out by individual Muslims who believe that their religious emotions are the source of supreme legitimacy, overriding any other law. The result is that we all live in fear of the Muslim next door.

The article was first published in Foreign Policy

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Suspected terrorists using children for transporting bombs arrested http://www.khaama.com/suspected-terrorists-using-children-for-transporting-bombs-arrested-3068 http://www.khaama.com/suspected-terrorists-using-children-for-transporting-bombs-arrested-3068#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:11:40 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47430 Read the full article...]]> NDSNational Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency – has arrested a group of suspected terrorists who were using children to transport bombs and other explosive materials in order to trick security forces.

A statement issued by NDS on Thursday states that Saifullah S/O Hayat Khan, Hikmatullah S/O Shah Malang and Fazal Haq S/O Abdullah Gul were arrested red handed from the jurisdictions of eastern Nangarhar province.

According to the statement, the group was involved in terrorist activities and distributing night letters for Taliban who were arrested with 40 Taliban related night letters, magnetic bomb, pistol, military suit and a motorcycle they were using in destructive actions.

The statement adds that the group was using two children in their terrorist activities.

Statements issued by NDS usually do not contain exact information about the incidents but its statements come after recent activities.

This is not the only time children are being used in terrorist activities. In several other incidents in the past children have become the victims of the terrorism.

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President Ghani receives “Distinguished Leadership Award” http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-receives-distinguished-leadership-award-3067 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-receives-distinguished-leadership-award-3067#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:04:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47424 Read the full article...]]> President GhaniPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani who is on a five days visit in the United States received “Distinguished Leadership Award” from the Atlantic Council and United States Institute of Peace.

President Ghani had a speech at the gathering organized by the Atlantic Council and United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC at the end of which he was presented the award.

During his speech President Ghani went in details about the current situation in Afghanistan. He said that a lot of changes have been made, adding that the national unity government is committed to fundamental changes in Afghanistan.

Talking about peace process, he said that working with Pakistan is first priority for reaching to peace.

He reiterated the importance of consensus among the regional and Islamic countries and said that stability in Afghanistan is key to the stability of the region.

He also said that Islamic State is expanding and to cope with the threat of the group, cooperation is required in the region and world.

He also talked about Farkhunda who was brutally beaten to death and her body was set ablaze in Kabul.

President said that he not only condemns the cruel act but also consider his duty to fully investigate the case and drag those behind the murder to judiciary.

Farkhunda , 27, an Afghan girl was beaten to death by angry mob and her body was burned during daylight in the heart of Kabul after she was falsely accused of burning a copy of the holy Quran on Thursday.

The brutal act prompted vast protests by thousands of people in parts of the country including Kabul asking “Justice for Farkhunda”

More than 20 people have been arrested in connection to the murder and security agencies have been trying to arrest the rest of the people involved in killing and burning the body.

The murder was also strongly condemned by human right organizations, United States and some other countries.

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Kabul suicide attack strongly condemned that left 8 civilians killed, 31 wounded http://www.khaama.com/kabul-suicide-attack-strongly-condemned-that-left-8-civilians-killed-31-wounded-3066 http://www.khaama.com/kabul-suicide-attack-strongly-condemned-that-left-8-civilians-killed-31-wounded-3066#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:06:24 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47418 Read the full article...]]> Kabul attack 2Afghan government has strongly condemned the latest attack in Kabul city that left eight people killed and 31 wounded.

Statements issued by Presidential Palace and office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) state that the attack was carried out by the enemies of Afghanistan who don’t want Afghans live in peace.

NATO’s Resolute Support (RS) has also strongly condemns the suicide bombing in a statement.

RS has expressed its condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in the attack.

Pakistan that is blamed for running a proxy war in Afghanistan has also condemned the attack.

A statement issued by the foreign ministry of Pakistan has termed the attack “a brutal act”

The suicide attack which took place Wednesday afternoon in the second police district of Kabul city which left eight civilians killed and 31 injured.

The suicide attacker who was driving a corolla vehicle carried out explosion during a busy hour in Muradkhane area of Kabul city where government officials were leaving office to go home at around 04:30PM yesterday.

Police headquarters of second police district, Presidential Palace, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance  and other offices are located close to the blast site.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said that all of the victims of the explosion are civilians except one police man among the ones wounded.

No group including Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Rockets hit civilian homes in Khost leaving 5 killed, 2 injured http://www.khaama.com/rockets-hit-civilian-homes-in-khost-leaving-5-killed-2-injured-3064 http://www.khaama.com/rockets-hit-civilian-homes-in-khost-leaving-5-killed-2-injured-3064#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 07:53:50 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47415 Read the full article...]]> Khost-AlisherOver a dozen rockets landed on civilian houses in eastern Khost province leaving five persons killed and two others wounded.

Mobariz Zadran, spokesman for the governor of Khost province says that the rockets landed in Babrak Tana and Chargotai areas of Ali Shir district last night.

He said five persons were killed and two wounded in the incident.

He further said that eight rockets landed in Chargotai area and seven others in Babrak Tana area where few houses were also damaged.

Zadran said the rockets were fired from the other side of the Durand line (Pakistan). Khost province in the east of the country shares a long border with Pakistan.

This is not the first time rockets from the other side of the Durand line kill people in Afghanistan. In the past also dozens of people have lost lives to these rockets with most of them in eastern Kunar province.

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20 civilians kidnapped in Daikundi http://www.khaama.com/20-civilians-kidnapped-in-daikundi-3062 http://www.khaama.com/20-civilians-kidnapped-in-daikundi-3062#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 06:09:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47409 Read the full article...]]> Taliban-fighters20 civilians have been kidnapped in central Daikundi province.

Zamin Poya, district governor of Kajran district says that the gunmen behind the abduction are Taliban but until the filing of this report, Taliban had not talked to media regarding the abduction.

Poya says that Taliban kidnapped these people on Sunday and took them to Charchino district in neighboring Oruzgan province.

All of the people kidnapped are reported to be Shia Muslims from Baloch minority of Afghanistan.

Poya also said that around 500 Taliban fighters who are equipped with light and heavy weapons have been fighting with security forces from the past ten days in Kajran district.

He feared the district could fall to hand of Taliban if additional forces do not arrive for support.

This is at least fourth incident of abduction in less than two months in Afghanistan.

About five weeks before a group of masked gunmen abducted 31 civilians in southern Zabul province whose fate is still unknown.

Another abduction took place on Farah-Herat highway on March 17 where gunmen kidnapped six persons out of whom four are Afghan National Army soldiers.

Also, on March 15 unidentified gunmen abducted nine people in Ghazni province but later released eight of them.

The responsibility of the abduction is no claimed by any group including Taliban.

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President Ghani: ISIS a terrible threat to Afghanistan and region http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-terrible-threat-to-afghanistan-and-region-3061 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-terrible-threat-to-afghanistan-and-region-3061#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 04:44:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47403 Read the full article...]]> Ghani in congressSeeking United States support in fighting the terrorism, President Mohammad Ashraf Gani told lawmakers that the Islamic State terrorist group is sending members to southern and western Afghanistan to “test for vulnerabilities,”

During his speech to Congress in Washington on Wednesday President Ghani assured congress that Afghanistan is standing firm against terrorism and extremism. But warned congress that “Terrorists neither recognize boundaries nor require passports to spread their message of hate and discord,”

He called on other Muslim countries to speak out against extremism and declare “silence is not acceptable.”

In his speech to Congress President Ghani also thanked the people of the United States for their service and sacrifice in Afghanistan.

“We owe a profound debt to the 2,315 servicemen and women killed and the more than 20,000 who have been wounded in service to your country and ours,” Ghani said.

On behalf of Afghan parliament and people, President Ghani thanked the Congress of the United States for its support to Afghanistan.

“The service of American men and women, civilian or military, in our country has been made possible by the bipartisan support of the Congress of the United States,” he said.

He added that “I would like to return that gift of re-born hope by offering the American people a partnership with a nation that is committed to the cause of freedom and that will join the fight against the growing threat of terrorism.”

After the speech a statement was issued by the House Speaker John Boehner in which Ghani was called a “trusted partner.”

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Kabul suicide attack: 8 civilians killed, 31 wounded http://www.khaama.com/explosion-rocks-kabul-city-casualties-feared-9353 http://www.khaama.com/explosion-rocks-kabul-city-casualties-feared-9353#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:21:51 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47391 Read the full article...]]> kabul attack

A suicide bomber riding in a corolla vehicle carried out explosion in Kabul city on Wednesday afternoon leaving heavy casualties behind.

Abdul Rahman Rahimi, Kabul police chief said the blast took place in Muradkhane area in Police District 2 of Kabul city which left eight people killed and 31 others wounded.

He added that 10 vehicles were also damaged in the explosion.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior says that all of the victims of the explosion are civilians except one policeman who is among the ones wounded.

He said that a child and three women are among the ones killed.

Sediqi confirmed that the explosion was carried out through a corolla vehicle but did not know the possible target of the suicide attacker.

The explosion took place around 04:30 PM, a busy time in this part of the city where officials from different government agencies located in the area are going home.

Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance, Presidential Palace and other government agencies are located close to the blast site.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Roshan among Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in “Social Good” http://www.khaama.com/roshan-among-top-10-most-innovative-companies-of-2015-3062 http://www.khaama.com/roshan-among-top-10-most-innovative-companies-of-2015-3062#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:32:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47385 Read the full article...]]> Roshan AfghanistanFast Company, one of the leading business magazines in the world, recently released its annual Top 50 and Top 10 ranking of the Most Innovative Companies worldwide for various business and innovation categories in which Roshan Telecommunication Company from Afghanistan was ranked number 7 at the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in “Social Good”.

Fast Company recognized Roshan for its ethical business practices and work on social and economic development across Afghanistan.

The Top 10 Most Innovative Companies list usually includes very prominent international corporations, including tech giants such as Apple and Google. This is the first time that an Afghan company has been included in Fast Company’s ranking, bringing prestige and honor to Afghanistan and especially to the country’s telecom industry.

Karim Khoja CEO of Roshan says “Being named one of the world’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good is a proud moment for us as a leading Afghan telecom company and for Afghanistan that our innovative work and social contributions has been recognized globally,”

Roshan started its operation in 2003 and its investment is now more than $600 million in telecom infrastructure in Afghanistan.

Roshan has more than 1,100 employees of whom 20 percent are women.

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Gas cylinder explosion claimed 2 lives in Herat http://www.khaama.com/gas-cylinder-explosion-claimed-2-lives-in-herat-3061 http://www.khaama.com/gas-cylinder-explosion-claimed-2-lives-in-herat-3061#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:09:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47382 Read the full article...]]> Herat Regional HospitalTwo persons have been killed in a gas cylinder explosion in Herat city, provincial capital of western Herat province.

Doctor Aziz-u-Rahman from the Herat Regional Hospital says that the explosion took place in a bakery last night and both persons killed are the workers of the same bakery.

He said that bodies of the victims were brought in to the hospital following the explosion last night.

The cause of the explosion is said to be the negligence of the workers.

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Taliban vow severe punishment for Farkhunda’s killers http://www.khaama.com/taliban-vow-severe-punishment-for-farkhundas-killers-3060 http://www.khaama.com/taliban-vow-severe-punishment-for-farkhundas-killers-3060#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:48:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47379 Read the full article...]]> TalibanTaliban have vowed severe punishment for those involved in lynching Farkhunda in Kabul.

The Express Tribune, media outlet from Pakistan, states that Afghan Taliban in a statement have condemned the brutally killing of a woman in Kabul and vowed severe punishment for those responsible.

“It is now proven that it was a conspiracy by few individuals. The Islamic Emirate condemns those who hatched this conspiracy to misuse Quran for killing an innocent human being. We also convey condolences to her family.” The Express Tribune has quoted Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, as saying in the statement.

“We have decided to give severe punishment to those who are behind the killing of the innocent woman, provoked people for their sinister designs, and misused Quran for personal motives to avoid repetition of such incidents in future.” Mujahid is quoted as saying.

Farkhunda, 27, an Afghan girl was beaten to death and her body was burned by angry mob after some people accused her for burning a copy of the holy Quran.

But investigation of the security agencies as well as Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs reveal that the accusation was baseless.

Hundreds of civilians staged protests in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Kundoz and other parts of the country asking severe punishment for those involved in the cruel act.

Security officials have arrested over 20 people in connection to the killing and efforts have been made to arrest the rest of the people involved.

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Afghanistan increases air tax by $100 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-increases-air-tax-by-100-3059 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-increases-air-tax-by-100-3059#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 09:06:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47375 Read the full article...]]> KabulAfghanistan has increased its air tax by $100. Afghanistan was charging $400 every flight passing through the airspace of Afghanistan but starting April 1, 2015 every flight passing through the airspace of Afghanistan will be charged $500.

The decision was made during a cabinet meeting chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghan before leaving for a five days visit to the United States.

The reason behind the decision is to increase government income from the airspace.

Between 200 to 230 flights on daily basis pass through the airspace of Afghanistan which brings millions of dollars from its tax every year to the country.

Also, official data from last year shows an increase of 25 percent in the income of the government from air operations which is also increasing.

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President strongly condemned attacks on civilians in Maidan Wardak and Ghazni http://www.khaama.com/president-strongly-condemned-attacks-on-civilians-in-maidan-wardak-and-ghazni-3059 http://www.khaama.com/president-strongly-condemned-attacks-on-civilians-in-maidan-wardak-and-ghazni-3059#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:38:41 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47372 Read the full article...]]> Ghani talkingPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has strongly condemned the attacks on civilians in Maidan Wardak and Ghazni provinces.

President Ghani who is currently on a 5 days visit to the Unites States says he is deeply saddened over the attacks.

President Ghani has termed these attacks “against Islam and humanity”.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah has also condemned the attacks.

Office of the CEO has advised the security agencies to arrest those behind the attack as soon as possible.

On March 23 a deadly explosion took place in one of the playing grounds in the provincial capital of Ghazni province where five children were killed and ten others wounded.

Officials said that the explosive materials were placed on a bicycle which exploded as children were busy in playing.

The following night a group of unidentified gunmen attacked civilian busses travelling on Kabul-Ghazni highway leaving 13 people killed.

The attack took place in Sayed Abad district of Maidan Wardak province where an insurgent was also killed during a brief gun battle with the security forces.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban have rejected hand and has condemned the attack in a statement sent to media.

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Obama mistakenly refers to President Ghani as ‘President Karzai’ http://www.khaama.com/obama-mistakenly-refers-to-president-ghani-as-president-karzai-8976 http://www.khaama.com/obama-mistakenly-refers-to-president-ghani-as-president-karzai-8976#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:59:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47369 Read the full article...]]> Obama and Ashraf GhaniThe US President Barack Obama on Tuesday referred to his counterpart Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as ‘President Karzai’ in what is said to be a high-profile slip of the tongue.

President Obama was speaking during a press conference with President Ghani to annouce his plan to slow the drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan.

Gesturing towards President Ghani, Obama said the U.S. will maintain 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015 “in part so that President Karzai – who has taken on the mantle of commander-in-chief in a way that we have not seen in the past from an Afghan president – can do a serious review.”

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s term ended in 2014 following a controversial presidential election which led to the formation of the government of national unity.

Karzai became one of the main critics of the US-led war against terrorism and repeatedly slammed the U.S. for its role in Afghan civilian casualties.

Karzai also refused to sign the bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington which was endorsed by majority during a gathering of the tribal elders in late 2013.

He laimed America had attempted to undermine the Afghan government, and even suggested the U.S.-led forces could “leave” the country.

The agreement was signed soon after Ghani took office as the new president of Afghanistan and played a key role to mend the ties between the two nations.

President Ghani has routinely lauded the partnership between Washington and Kabul and thanked American troops and “the American taxpayer” for their role in the reconstruction and stability of the country.

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4 civilians killed in separate explosions in Nangarhar http://www.khaama.com/4-civilians-killed-in-separate-explosions-in-nangarhar-3058 http://www.khaama.com/4-civilians-killed-in-separate-explosions-in-nangarhar-3058#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:34:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47366 Read the full article...]]> ????????????????????Four civilians including three children were killed in two separate explosions in eastern Nangarhar province.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) states that the incidents took place in Hashimkhil area of Shirzad district during 5 days military operation (Operation Shaheen 35) against insurgents which ended yesterday.

According to the statement one landmine exploded at a civilian vehicle killing three children and wounding six others including four children and two women.

MoD statement adds that another landmine exploded in the same area killing a farmer and his cow.

MoD statement further adds that Shirzad district was completely cleared off the insurgents during the five days military operations where 13 insurgents were killed and 21 critically injured.

110 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also defused and a number of heavy and light weapons were seized by the security forces during the Operation Shaheen 35, the statement states.

In the meantime, this morning Afghan National Army in cooperation with other security agencies began fresh clearance operations in Asmar district of eastern Kunar province.

Asmar district shares a border with Pakistan. According to Afghan officials since June 2014 when Pakistan began large-scale military operations against insurgents in the tribal built, insurgents are moving closer to the border or crossing into Afghanistan.

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3 soldiers martyred, 35 insurgents killed in separate military operations http://www.khaama.com/3-soldiers-martyred-35-insurgents-killed-in-separate-military-operations-3057 http://www.khaama.com/3-soldiers-martyred-35-insurgents-killed-in-separate-military-operations-3057#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:41:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47363 Read the full article...]]> ANSF-fightingThree soldiers from Afghan National Army have embraced martyrdom and 35 insurgents killed in fresh military operations in parts of the country in past 24 hours, officials said Wednesday.

A statement issued Wednesday morning by the Ministry of Defense states that three soldiers embraced martyrdom due to enemy actions in past 24 hours.

According to the statement 29 insurgents were killed, 21 injured and another arrested by military during separate operations in the jurisdiction of Ghazni, Daikundi and Parwan province.

The statement adds that 28 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also discovered and defused by the military.

In the meantime, a statement issued Wednesday morning by the Ministry of Interior states that six insurgents were killed, four wounded and three arrested during police operations in past 24 hours.

As per the statement Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS) also took part in the operations separately conducted in Ghazni, Herat, Helmand Farah, Nangarhar, Takhar, Kunduz, Faryab, Sar-e-Pul and Kandahar provinces in past 24 hours.

Ministry of Interior statement further adds that security forces also defused a roadside landmine which was placed by insurgents for destructive activities in eastern Laghman province during the past 24 hours.

Roadside landmines are one of the biggest threats to security forces as well as civilians in Afghanistan.

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US troops withdrawal delayed http://www.khaama.com/us-troops-withdrawal-delayed-3056 http://www.khaama.com/us-troops-withdrawal-delayed-3056#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 04:23:30 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47359 Read the full article...]]> ObamaThe White House announced on Thursday that the current level of US troops will stay until the end of this year in Afghanistan.

The level was planned to be reduced from 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of 2015 and a complete withdrawal by the end of 2016.

The 9,800 United States troops are part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan which also has 3,000 troops from other NATO member countries.

The announcement comes during a 5 days visit of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to the United States aimed at gaining support for the country, keeping US troops in the country longer than planned and repairing ties with the United States.

Yesterday President Ghani and his American counterpart Barack Obama talked to a joint press conference where Barack Obama said that the timeline for withdrawal to a embassy center presence and the normalization of US presence in Afghanistan remains the end of 2016.

“The timeline for a withdrawal down to a embassy center presence, a normalization of our presence in Afghanistan, remains the end of 2016,” Obama told the news conference.

Barack Obama said they will do everything for the success of Afghan security forces. “We’re essentially moving the drawdown pace over to the right by several months in part to compensate for the lengthy … government formation; in part because we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help Afghan security forces succeed; so we don’t have to go back,” he said.

President Ghani told the news conference that his goal is peace that can be achieved through regional cooperation

“Peace is our goal, but peace from strength, an enduring peace that will bring regional cooperation,” he said.

President Ghani further said that Afghanistan and the United States are strategic partners bounded by common interests and will act together for the safety of the United States and Afghanistan.

“What we have emphasized and agreed is that we are strategic partners. We are bound by common interests and will act together to ensure both the safety of United States and the safety of Afghanistan. That is the important consideration. Numbers are a means; they are not an end in themselves,” President Ghani said.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani will also have a speech to the congress today.

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Mahboobullah Mohibi appointed as Acting Governor for Kabul http://www.khaama.com/mahboobullah-mohibi-appointed-as-acting-governor-for-kabul-3055 http://www.khaama.com/mahboobullah-mohibi-appointed-as-acting-governor-for-kabul-3055#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:30:48 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47356 Read the full article...]]> Mohibullah MohibiMahboobullah Mohibi has been appointed as the Acting Governor for Kabul province through a decree from President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

He is replacing Abdul Jabar Taqwa who was the governor for Kabul province for the past three years.

It is yet unknown whether Taqwa has resigned from his post or sacked.

Mahboobullah Mohibi, previous Deputy Governor, will be the acting governor for Kabul until the appointment of governor.

Before working at the governor house, he had worked for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance and Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission.

 He has completed his higher education in economics from the University of Kabul.

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Traffic accident leaves 3 persons killed, 9 injured in Herat http://www.khaama.com/traffic-accident-leaves-3-persons-killed-9-injured-in-herat-3053 http://www.khaama.com/traffic-accident-leaves-3-persons-killed-9-injured-in-herat-3053#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 11:05:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47344 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan-road-accidentA traffic accident has left three people killed and nine others wounded in western Herat province.

Abdul Rawouf Ahmadi, spokesman for the governor of Herat province told Khaama Press that a civilian vehicle was traveling from Korkh district to the capital city of Herat which turned turtle on the way leaving three civilians killed and nine others wounded.

He said that the incident took place Monday afternoon in the jurisdiction of Korkh district.

Victims of the accident were transported to Herat Regional Hospital where the injuries of two persons were announced to be life threatening.

“Injuries of two persons are life threatening.” Ahmadi said.

The three persons killed in the accident are two children and one man.

Bad road conditions and unprofessional driving are considered as the main causes behind the traffic accidents in Afghanistan.

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2 soldiers martyred, 47 insurgents killed in military operations http://www.khaama.com/2-soldiers-martyred-47-insurgents-killed-in-military-operations-3052 http://www.khaama.com/2-soldiers-martyred-47-insurgents-killed-in-military-operations-3052#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:22:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47341 Read the full article...]]> ANA fighting 3Two soldiers from the Afghan National Army have embraced martyrdom while 47 insurgents were killed during military operations across the country, officials said on Tuesday.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defense states that two soldiers embraced martyrdom due to a landmine explosion in past 24 hours.

The statement does not contain information about the exact location of the incident.

The statement adds that 24 insurgents were also killed during the operation conducted in past 24 hours in Ghazni, Logar, Oruzgan, Badghis, Herat and Helmand province.

15 insurgents were also wounded and four arrested and their weapons seized by the army.

248 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also discovered and defused by the military, the statement states.

In the meantime, a statement issued Monday by the Ministry of Interior states that 23 insurgents were killed in police operations conducted in coordination with Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

According to the statement of the Ministry of Interior the operations were conducted during past
24 hours in Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, Herat, Sar-e-Pul, Takhar, Ghazni, Jowzjan, Faryab, Logar and Kunduz provinces.

24 insurgents were also wounded during confrontation with security forces and five IEDs defused, the statement adds.

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Farkhunda Killing Case: Kabul police spokesman sacked http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-kabul-police-spokesman-sacked-3053 http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-kabul-police-spokesman-sacked-3053#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:52:13 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47334 Read the full article...]]> Hashmatullah StanikzaiHashmatullah Stanikzai was sacked from his post as the spokesman for Kabul police over endorsing the brutally killing of Farkhunda.

A reliable source at the police headquarters of Kabul told Khaama Press on condition of anonymity that Hashmatullah Stankikzai is no more the spokesman for Kabul police.

Hashmatullah Stanikzai was among the governmnet officials who had endorsed the cruel killing of Farkhunda.

Simin Ghazal Hassan Zadada the Deputy Minister for broadcasting services and media for the Ministry of Information and Culture, religious scholar Maulwi Ayaz Niazi and Zalmai Zabuli a Member of Parliament were among the other people who had initially endorsed the brutally killing but later apologized for giving the statements before knowing the fact.

Farkhunda, 27, an Afghan girl was anonymously accused of burning the holy Quran which emotionalized people who then beaten Farkhunda to death and burned the body.

Officials confirmed after the investigation that Farkhunda did not burn the holy Quran.

Security agencies have arrested 19 suspects in connection to the killing and setting the body ablaze.

The brutally killing of a helpless girl has prompted vast demonstrations in the country asking government to punish those responsible for the cruelly killing.

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12 suspected terrorists arrested in Kandahar http://www.khaama.com/12-suspected-terrorists-arrested-in-kandahar-3051 http://www.khaama.com/12-suspected-terrorists-arrested-in-kandahar-3051#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 08:44:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47330 Read the full article...]]> NDSNational Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency—has arrested 12 suspected terrorists in southern Kandahar province.

A statement issued NDS on Tuesday states that these terrorists were arrested during separates operations from the jurisdiction of Kandahar province.

NDS statement adds that the arrested terrorists were actively involved in terrorist activities including suicide attacks and planting landmines in Kandahar province.

The names of the arrested suspects are reported as Tooryalai, Abdul Razaq, Wali Mohammad, Ahmad Gul, Shafiullah, Ahmadullah, Atta Mohammad, Mohammad Haroon, Noor Agha, Saifuddin, Shir Agha and Abdul Shakur.

NDS also states that the arrested individuals have confessed to their crimes during interrogation.

Statements from the National Directorate of Security (NDS) usually do not contain information about the exact date of the incident but their statements are issued after recent activities.

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Pakistani media: 9 Pakistani militants killed in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/pakistani-militants-killed-in-afghanistan-pakistani-media-3052 http://www.khaama.com/pakistani-militants-killed-in-afghanistan-pakistani-media-3052#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 07:30:38 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47321 Read the full article...]]> DroneA number of news agencies from Pakistan are reporting that nine Pakistani militants have been killed in a fresh drone strike in eastern Afghanistan.

According to reports, militants killed during this strike belong to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) groups.

Reports state that the strike was carried out at a compound in Nazyan District of eastern Nangarhar province.

Pakistan’s media outlets quoting sources say that drone targeted a compound with two missile which completely destroyed the compound.

Reports suggest that TTP’s training instructor Zarwali and LI chief Mangal Bagh’s driver Shakir Sipah were among the insurgents killed in the strike.

The other insurgents killed in the strike are introduced as Yaseen, Zubair, Abdul Rahman Shinwar (TTP commanders) and Fazal Ameen, Shamat Khan Sipah, Wajid (Lashkar-i-Islam commanders).

Several people were also wounded during the attack, according to sources quoted by these media outlets.

Neither coalition forces nor Afghan government has released information regarding the reports.
Few days before two senior TTP commanders were killed on Pak-Afghan border.

After the launch of military operations in Pakistan, insurgents have been pushed to the borders areas with Afghanistan.

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Farkhunda Killing Case: Vast demonstrations in Kabul http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-vast-demonstrations-in-kabul-3051 http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-vast-demonstrations-in-kabul-3051#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 07:01:36 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47314 Read the full article...]]> Farkhunda demonstrations

Hundreds of Kabul residents have taken to the streets on Tuesday calling “Justice for Frarkhunda”.

Protesters are carrying pictures of Farkhunda and asking government to severely punish those responsible for the brutal killing.

Yesterday also in Kabul, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif people took to the streets asking government to severely punish the culprits.

Demonstrators in Kabul planted a memorial-tree at the site where Farkhunda’s body was burned by angry mob.

Farkhunda, 27, Afghan girl was beaten to death in the heart of Kabul near Shah Do Shamshera mosque in Kabul and her body was set on fire on Thursday.

She was anonymously accused of burning the holy Quran after which angry mob beaten her to death and set the body ablaze.

But investigation conducted shows that Farkhunda had not conducted any disrespect to the religious and she was a religious girl.

So far security agencies have arrested 19 persons in the connection to the killing who are under interrogation.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah have vowed to punish those behind the cruel killing.

This is the first time such an incident is reported in the history of Afghanistan.

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Kabul Hookah Hits $70 Million per Year http://www.khaama.com/kabul-hookah-hits-70-million-per-year-3051 http://www.khaama.com/kabul-hookah-hits-70-million-per-year-3051#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 06:23:43 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47310 Read the full article...]]> A 2014 weekly report shows that youths in Kabul spent a salient amount -3 billion 780 million Afs (nearly $70 million) – on smoking hookah only during recent one year. The report by Afghan freelance journalist Sayid Ahmad Sorosh reveals that boys and girls spend more than 10 million Afs over smoking hookah in the Afghan capital – Kabul. Each hookah smoker spends daily 350Afs, monthly 10500Afs and yearly 126000Afs.

HookahI get into a salon adjoined with small rooms; the rooms are rife of heavy smoke that can barely see the faces of the costumers sitting around. The rooms are occupied with nearly 30 to 40 youths, around 10 young girls, smoking hookah together – this is a hookah bar in west Kabul. It has been more than two months that I visit such places and got familiar with its fuliginous environment as my breath no ceases and the smoke is no more combusting to my eyes. Even hashish smoke in parts of such places no more disturbs me, though I tolerate!

“I visited this place two or three times, in spite of lack of the money, I paid 450Afs for the first time and 670Afs the second time. I told my family to send me money get some tuitions and go home by spring.” – tells Aziz Ahmad 21 a resident of Ghazni’sQarabagh district who dwells in Kabul to continue his education. Explaining about his family, Aziz Ahmad says however his family goes through a worse financial condition, but it is several weeks that he is grappled with smoking hookah and wasted all his money.

Not only Aziz Ahmad, but a huge number of youths who are in Kabul for their studies turned to smoking hookah and even drugs.

Farid, 19, a student and a member of a wealthy family of Balkh province, is spending most of his time in Kabul’s hookah bars.

“If you can’t use it (hookah) now while you are young, you will never be able to use it once you are committed (married) and all your happiness turns into sorrow”.

He adds:

“I was penniless twice; once when I was out for fun I run out of money. I could not buy my chapter notes.as a result I failed to pass the exam. “

I have met and interviewed many youngsters like Farid and Aziz. Some prefer to be anonymous while some other carelessly open their hearts to me.

Around 20 percent of customers in bigger and modern hookah bars of the city are females. Despite many efforts they did not to be interviewed.

Only in a ShahriNaw hookah bar a lady of 20 years age in the condition of anonymity gives me an answer:

“This is my sixth or seventh time here and surely the last. Here they charge too much and I am not that rich.”

There are more than 250 hookah bars in capital Kabul. But among these the 150 hookah bars that I have visited so far are hosting 200 to 250 and sometimes even 300 customers a day. Though this number increases in holidays and festive times.  (There are cases that more than one customer are using same hookah meantime but those who are only paying for it are considered to be counted in this report).

Haji Sirajuddin 57-year-old owner of a hookah bar in Kabul talks about the number of customers at such time: “We host about 400 people, even some days, there are 500 customers. We charge Afs 350 only and we are cheaper than many other places.”

 US $ 70 million in one year

Currently, the price of the hookah is from AFS 350 to AFS 800, but if the lower limit of the money (the 350 AFS) and the least number of people (200) who daily come to hookah bars are to be considered, it shows that the youth in one day, in one place, spend AFS 70 thousand for smoking hookah. Though this amount is calculated only of those 150 hookah bars that are covered in this report.

Overall, the cost of the daily hookah smoking, in only these 150 locations reaches to 10 million and 500 thousand AFS, 315 per month while the total amount is 3 billion and 780 million AFS (nearly US $ 70 million) per annum.

This amount of money is spent in hookah, while a large proportion of young people who smoke in Kabul city live in poverty and unemployment. Even tens of them are carrying financial debts on their shoulders, as well.

Mohsen Sharif a cultural activist, believes ignorance of parents of their children, more than any other factor, has caused young people to use tobacco and even narcotics.

“Unfortunately families have lost control on their sons and daughters and it’s so obvious in our society. If the families do not care about this problem and the government does not take any prohibitory actions, we will witness dozens of youngsters victimized.”

 Nobody can do anything

But does the government really do nothing?

Have not anybody known anything about vast activities of such covered place hookah bars?

what happened to the law on prohibiting use of tobacco in covered locations which was passed by the House of Representatives in June 2014?

According to Dr. NaqeebullahFayeq, Chairman of Commission for Health of the House of Representatives, the law – after approval – was sent to the Senate where it stayed with no action for a year and finally was rejected!

However, ultimately, the law was sent to the president for signature four months ago, it is expected that the bill will be practical after signature of the president from April 2015.

“They will be fined for the first time, they will be fined more for the second time, the third time they will be closed and for the fourth time, they will go to trial. According to the law, the covered place hookah bars should not exist. “

Mr. Fayeq believes that law will have an effective impact in reduction of smoking hookah by young people in capital Kabul and other major cities of Afghanistan.

“In about a year, we worked on the concept of the law and our role was so vast.  In fact, this is one of the achievements and honors of our commission.”

However, the Ministry of Health says they are trying to remove and dismiss these hookah bars though still no progress is achieved in this direction.

“Unfortunately, the law does not specify the duties and responsibilities of the relevant ministries! When the Department of Drug Demand Reduction, wants to investigate such issues, they are provided with the licenses that are issued by relevant government organizations by the hookah bar owners. They are also asked to explain their responsibilities so that the owners let them for inspections.” Says Dr. NazirHemat, senior official of the Ministry of Health Department of Drug Demand Reduction.

Dr. Hemat believes that the fines indicated by the law on smoking in covered places is minimal.

“We are trying to propose amendments in the law on combat against Narcotics and to hold coordination meeting with other relevant organization who are providing such licenses to address the problems based on the law.”

However, Dr. NaqeebullahFayeq does not agree to this statement:

“Based on the law Cigarette Smokers in the closed places would be fined AFS 300, but a separate article of the law indicates that establishment of hookah bars are not allowed by any means!”

Fayeq adds:

“The Ministry of Health talks about amendment, but the house of representatives considers it as a comprehensive law. Those who commented on this from the address of the Ministry of Health may not have gone through this law. The law has been drafted wisely and if someone claims it is not responsive prior to execution, it is thoroughly false! “

The 2014 report shows that most of the hookah bars operating in Kabul have not been inspected by any organization yet and are freely doing their business.

As some of the owners of these places believe that no one can stop their business.

“Government in charges are neither allowed to enter the gate nor to fine us! If this is the case they should stop those hookah bars that belong to relatives of commanders and those have links in the government first then they can come to us. Can they stop them? Never! “

2014 Writer Omar Aryan, contributed to this report.

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US pledges $4bn every year to Afghan forces http://www.khaama.com/us-pledges-4bn-every-year-to-afghan-forces-3050 http://www.khaama.com/us-pledges-4bn-every-year-to-afghan-forces-3050#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 06:16:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47307 Read the full article...]]> AfghanUnited States pledged spending $4 billion on some 320, 000 Afghan security forces every year through 2017.

The pledge was made by US officials during a meeting with Afghan delegation led by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to the United States.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has asked Washington to continue its assistance and funding Afghan forces and also leaving its forces for a longer period in Afghanistan than initially planned.

United States has around 10, 000 troops in Afghanistan but plans to reduce its number to as less as 1, 000 around 2017.

Though, President Ghani is seeking a larger number of US troops in the country amid fresh concerns that ISIS is eyeing on getting a foothold in Afghanistan.

President Ghani has told NBC News that ISIS is mulling Afghanistan strategic for its broader war and creating a caliphate in the Middle East.

Reports indicate that some previous members of Taliban group are regrouping under the flag of DAESH or ISIS in Afghanistan.

So far two Taliban commanders who were recruiting and fighting for DAESH in Afghanistan have been killed.

Mullah Abdul Rawouf and Hafiz Wahidi were the two ISIS commander recently killed in southern Afghanistan.

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Farkhunda did not deserve this, no human being does http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-did-not-deserve-this-no-human-being-does-8905 http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-did-not-deserve-this-no-human-being-does-8905#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 05:23:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47300 Read the full article...]]> woman lynched in Kabul

By: Maryam Baryalay

Afghanistan recently commemorated the 8th of March with celebrations of different kind, so did the international community with it. In the weeks and months before, a lot had been happening at the political level as well as civil society to push through the   UN’s National Action Plan NAP–a framework that ensures women’s participation in security & peace-building process. Meanwhile the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) reported rise in rates of domestic violence.

However the events of Thursday 19th of March, at the heart of Kabul close the Shah-e-Dushamshera mosque, exposed a national tragedy. The collective lynching of Farkhunda, a women who allegedly had burned the Holy Quran–, and the subsequent alighting and dumping of her body in the Kabul River, being filmed and photographed by spectators and horde of men, revealed a disturbing mind-set and psyche of how easily and blindly young men, in the presence of policemen–, are ready to kill and overkill. This comes at a crucial time for the National Unity Government, the international community, as well as the Afghan elite. The Afghan Unity Government is struggling to deliver what is promised, significant this events puts it in a negative spotlight as Afghan policemen stood by as the lynching was taking place. The international disappointed vehemently as it failed to respond and condemn the act too late, whereas usually it has been very quicker. But most importantly the Afghan political establishment and elite also failed to react and condemn the act immediately irrespective of whether the allegations were true of false. By responding to late incumbent politicians jeopardised legitimacy of the government. Lynching of Farkhunda signals a collective lose of civil courage and disrespect for human rights.

 A time to reflect

It is important to understand,– thought there is the debate in muslim countries on whether human rights as manifested in the Declaration of Human Right are universally applicable or not–, Afghanistan and the afghan culture has its own equivalent concepts for the terms. The Pashtunwali or the Afghan code of conduct entails these concepts and is very fundamental to the fabric of Afghan society. Though in practice largely incongruous with modern and post-modern understanding of gender equality, the afghan code of conduct regulates most aspects of Afghan life at every level for men and women.

Farkhunda Brutally Killed and Burnt in Kabul

Nang and Namus are two such terms. The concept of Namus or Namos dates back to the ancient Greek and is a synonym for “law”. In the afghan context Namus means upholding ones own honor, this usually means the protection of female relatives but also property and land. However it is widely practiced as protection of women in general and of their honor. Nang (chivalry) defines honorable action of men in battle, for example never attacking civilians, including women and children or distribution of the spoils. These janus-headed concepts are very crucial insofar as they provided safety and protection to women, while at the same time being the source of denial to basic rights, like education, healthcare, employment opportunities and mobility. Furthermore, these terms are complementary with Sharm and Haya, which define a sense of modesty and respect attached to a man’s or a woman’s behavior. These terms are essential as well, since they regulate interaction between sexes and generations.

Justice for Farkhunda

What the mob surfaced, is a big blow to people who identify themselves as Afghans. Afghan people and afghan culture has always taken pride in their treatment of the weak, the needy, the elderly, women and children. Afghans have taken pride in these qualities at times of war and in battles. Even if the realities of the last four decades have drawn a different picture of Afghanistan, nonetheless cultivation of such images have been beacon of hope for women, men, old and young inside Afghanistan and the diaspora.

And Act

A strong and united condemnation from the political establishment of Afghanistan is of great urgency. Though this has partially happened, it needs to be stressed much more. A collective sense of failure needs to be addressed by public personalities, politicians, and the afghan police. Afghans and the Afghan Governments cannot and should not allow vigilantism and lynch-law to take the upper hand after these decades of war.

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13 civilians killed on Kabul-Ghazni highway http://www.khaama.com/13-civilians-killed-on-kabul-ghazni-highway-3049 http://www.khaama.com/13-civilians-killed-on-kabul-ghazni-highway-3049#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 04:58:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47291 Read the full article...]]> MW13 civilians were killed and two others wounded as unidentified gunmen attacked civilian buses on Kabul-Ghazni highway last night.

Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the acting governor of Maidan Wardak province says that the incident took place in the jurisdiction of Maidan Wardak province at about 01:00 AM.

He said civilian buses were traveling from Kabul to Ghazni province when they came under the attack of unidentified gunmen in Haft Asyab area of Sayed Abad District.

He added that including a woman 13 civilians were killed and two others wounded in the attack.

Khogyani said the ones wounded are announced to be out of danger by doctors.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack but security officials are investigating the incident.

Attacks on highways and roads have been increased in Afghanistan during the past two months.

31 civilians were kidnapped by unidentified masked gunmen on Kabul-Kandahar highway about a month before.

Nine civilians were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen from a road in Jaghori District of Ghazni province on March 15. Kidnappers later released eight of them.

Six people were kidnapped on Farah-Herat highway on March 17. Four of them were Afghan National Army soldiers.

In the wake of increasing incidents of insecurity representatives from the security agencies were called to the House of Representative yesterday.

They promised for increasing their efforts.

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Powerful explosion rocks playing ground in Ghazni, 5 children killed, 10 injured http://www.khaama.com/powerful-explosion-rocks-playing-ground-in-ghazni-5-children-killed-10-injured-3048 http://www.khaama.com/powerful-explosion-rocks-playing-ground-in-ghazni-5-children-killed-10-injured-3048#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 04:10:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47284 Read the full article...]]> Ghazni-Police HQ

A powerful explosion rocked a playing ground in Ghazni province leaving five children killed and ten others wounded.

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, Deputy Governor of Ghazni says that the explosion took place in Qala-i-Qazi area on Monday.

He said the explosive materials were placed in a bicycle which detonated as children were playing.

The victims were transported to the hospital in Ghazni city where six of them were announced being in critical condition.

Following the explosion local residents took to the streets and shouted slogans against those responsible.

They also took the dead bodies in front of the governor’s house in Ghazni city and asked government to investigate and arrest the culprits.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosions but security forces have began an investigation into the incident.

This was first the first explosion taking place in a playing ground in the first quarter of the year.

At the last quarter of last year a powerful explosion rocked a playing ground in southeastern Paktika province leaving at least 50 people killed and more than 60 others wounded.

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Haqani Network weapon depots seized http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-professor-sibghatullah-al-mojaddedis-statement-3045 http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-professor-sibghatullah-al-mojaddedis-statement-3045#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:49:14 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47274 Read the full article...]]> NDSThe National Directorate of Security (NDS)—Afghanistan’s intelligence agency—has seized two depots belonging to the terrorist Haqani Network.

A statement issued by the NDS on Monday states that one depot was seized in Pakhtoon Abad area of the provincial capital while the other one was seized in Chahardiwal area of Andar District.

The statement adds that both depots belong to Mawlawee Ismail, a commander of Haqani terrorist network.

The statement further adds that there were eight different types of heavy and light weapons, 13 anti-vehicle landmines, 75 kilograms of other explosive materials, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and wireless systems in the depots.

According to the statement two binoculars were also recovered from the depots.

NDS statements usually do not contain information about the exact date of the incidents but their statements come after recent achievements.

Haqani terrorist network, which according to Afghan officials is based in Pakistan, is blamed for several deadly attacks in Afghanistan.

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President Ghani: Afghanistan strategic for ISIS http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-afghanistan-strategic-for-isis-3047 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-afghanistan-strategic-for-isis-3047#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 11:55:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47277 Read the full article...]]> Ghani during discussionPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says that DAESH (Islamic State-ISIS) group believes Afghanistan is a strategic foothold for them.

He says DAESH is looking at Afghanistan for its broader war in the Middle East and creating a caliphate (Khalifa).

President Ghani has told NBC News that there is enough evidence to proof that ISIS is considering Afghanistan as a strategic foothold “But we have sufficient evidence that they were targeting us because to their narrative, to their story line, Afghanistan is central.” President Ghani is quoted by NBC News as saying.

President Ghani has also told NBC News that ISIS is organizing in Afghanistan but has been prevented from acting. “Fortunately, we’ve prevented them from acting,” he is quoted as saying.

NBC News further quotes President Ghani as saying that the extremist group believes a final war against them will be waged in Syria by a force from Afghanistan.

So far the names of two commanders of DAESH have popped up in Afghanistan and both have been killed.

Mullah Abdull Rawouf and Hafiz Wahidi are the only two names popped up as ISIS commanders who have been killed in southern Afghanistan.

The topic of DAESH comes on the round tables after reports indicated that Taliban have shown willingness to have a peace deal with the government of Afghanistan.

But in the meantime, some Members of Parliament say it’s only changing the white flag to black.

There are reports that some Taliban members are regrouping under the flag of DAESH in Afghanistan.

Members of the armed insurgent group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in neighboring Pakistan are already seen in a video holding the flag of DAESH.

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Kidnappers give condition for releasing 31 abducted civilians http://www.khaama.com/kidnappers-give-condition-for-releasing-31-abducted-civilians-3046 http://www.khaama.com/kidnappers-give-condition-for-releasing-31-abducted-civilians-3046#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:55:27 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47270 Read the full article...]]> Taliban-fightersThe group of unidentified gunmen who have kidnapped 31 civilians in southern Zabul province has given a condition for the release of the abducted civilians.

The insurgent group has reportedly asked for the release of their people from jails in exchange for the civilians.

Hamidullah Tokhi, a Member of Parliament tells Radio Free Europe (Azadi Radio) that the kidnappers have sought the release of their people from different jails including Kabul.

He says one of the local elders mediating to secure the release of the abducted civilians has told him that kidnappers have sought the release of their people from jails in Kabul, Kundoz and other provinces.

Tokhi says the local elder has also told him that if government releases their people in the exchange kidnappers will let go the same number of abducted civilians.

Hamidullah Tokhi said that the local elder who gave him the information asked not to be named.

Mohammad Arif Rahmani another member of parliament says that he does not have a figure but some of those civilians have been released and arrived in Kabul.

These civilians were traveling in two buses on Kabul-Kandahar highway when unidentified gunmen stopped their buses in the jurisdiction of Shah Joy District of southern Zabul province and kidnapped them on gun point on the afternoon of February 23.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has called the kidnapping case a conspiracy against government.

Military operation was also initiated to secure the release of these civilians but it anonymously winded up without giving a positive result.

Taliban have rejected hand in the abduction but chief of the provincial council of Zabul says he is confident that the kidnappers belong to DAISH (Islamic State).

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7 soldiers wounded in Herat explosions http://www.khaama.com/7-soldiers-wounded-in-herat-explosions-3044 http://www.khaama.com/7-soldiers-wounded-in-herat-explosions-3044#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:58:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47267 Read the full article...]]> Herat (2)Seven soldiers sustained injuries in two separate explosions in western Herat province lat Sunday evening.

Officials say one explosion took place in the Park Stadium area and as security officers arrived at the scene a secondary explosion took place which injured five policemen and two soldiers from teh Afghan National Army.

Abdul Majid Rozi, police chief of western Herat province says that the injuries of soldiers wounded are not life threatening.

He said that the soldiers were taken to Herat Regional Hospital where they were announced out of danger.

Rozi added that security agencies have began their investigation into the incident.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosions but Taliban insurgents are behind most of the attacks on security forces.

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Demonstrations in Kabul and Herat calling “Justice for Farkhunda” http://www.khaama.com/demonstration-in-kabul-against-farkhundas-killing-3043 http://www.khaama.com/demonstration-in-kabul-against-farkhundas-killing-3043#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:45:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47261 Read the full article...]]> Farkhunda DemonstrationDozens of civil society activists have taken to the streets of capital Kabul and the city of western Herat province calling “Justice for Farkhunda”.

They are carrying the photos of Farkhunda, taken during the brutally beating and killing, and ask government to severely punish those responsible for the cruel killing.

In the meantime, Amnesty International has called on the National Unity Government of Afghanistan to drag to judiciary those involved in the killing as well as the security officials who were present at the site of the crime but did not act against it.

Farkhunda a 27 years old Afghan girl was brutally beaten by angry mob and her body was set on fire during daylight in capital Kabul.

Security agencies have arrested 11 suspects so far and the case is under further investigation.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has assigned a 12 member commission to investigate the case and present the finding at the presidential palace.

Also, 13 officials have been suspended for negligence by the Ministry of Interior. But Members of Parliament on their Monday session did not agree with only suspending the officials.

They said those officials need to be dragged to judiciary.

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3 policemen martyred, 14 Taliban killed in fresh conflicts http://www.khaama.com/3-policemen-martyred-14-taliban-killed-in-fresh-conflicts-3042 http://www.khaama.com/3-policemen-martyred-14-taliban-killed-in-fresh-conflicts-3042#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:03:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47257 Read the full article...]]> Police in attackThree policemen have embraced martyrdom while fourteen Taliban insurgents have been killed in fresh conflicts during past 24 hours, officials said on Monday.

Rahmatullah Hashar, governor of Aqcha district in northern Jawzjan province says that three policemen embraced martyrdom during a gun battle with Taliban last night.

Taliban have confirmed the gun battle and the killing of one of their fighters during this gun battle.

He said the gun battle took place in Qamarbandi Posts area where an insurgent was also killed during the exchange of fire with policemen.

In the meantime, a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior on Monday morning states that 13 Taliban insurgents were killed in separate operations of Afghan National Security Forces in past 24 hours.

According to the statement the operations were conducted in Kandahar, Uruzgan, Paktiya, Farah, Logar, Nangarhar, Sar-e-Pul, Helmand and Ghazni provinces where four insurgents were also arrested by the security forces.

11 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were defused during the operations conducted in past 24 hours.

Interior Ministry statement adds that Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS) took part in these separate operations.

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President Ghani meeting high ranking US officials today http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-meeting-high-ranking-us-officials-today-3042 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-meeting-high-ranking-us-officials-today-3042#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 06:25:29 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47251 Read the full article...]]> GhaniPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the delegation accompanying him to the United States are expected to meet high ranking American officials in Camp David today.

In this meeting Afghan delegation will meet high ranking officials from the State Department, Department of Defense and Department of Treasury.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said that the United States and Afghanistan have joint interests and threats and to overcome these threats the efforts needs to be well organized.

Dawoud Sultanzoi, adviser to the President says that this visit will open a new chapter in the relationship between Afghanistan and the United States.

He says the National Unity Government has made efforts in the past few months which are not completed but can make US officials trust the National Unity Government.

President Ghani leading an Afghan delegation arrived in Washington DC yesterday. At the airport, he was given a warm welcome by US officials as well as the representatives from the embassy of Afghanistan in the United States.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and other senior government officials are accompanying him during this visit.

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2 civilians killed in Khost explosion http://www.khaama.com/2-civilians-killed-in-khost-explosion-3041 http://www.khaama.com/2-civilians-killed-in-khost-explosion-3041#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 05:57:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47248 Read the full article...]]> Afghan Police at crime sceneTwo civilians have been killed in an explosion in eastern Khost province.

The explosion took place in the city of Khost, locally known as Matun, late yesterday evening which also injured another civilian.

The explosive materials were placed in front of a shop. An eyewitness has told reporters that he did not know who the target of the explosion might be but all the victims are civilians.

He said that a student of a local Madrasa was among the ones killed.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Security officials say they have launched an investigation into the incident.

Khost province has a joint border with Waziristan tribal built of Pakistan. Haqani network has been blamed for several terrorist activities in Khost province. In the past several senior Haqani Network commanders have been arrested from Khost province.

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Farkhunda killing case: 13 officials suspended http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-jobs-of-officials-delayed-3040 http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-killing-case-jobs-of-officials-delayed-3040#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 04:51:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47242 Read the full article...]]> Farkhunda13 government officials including the officer for the 2nd police district of Kabul have been suspended over the brutal killing of Farkhunda.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Interior states that Noorulhaq Ulomi, the minister, has ordered that these 13 officials be taken under interrogation.

Interior Minister Noorulhaq Olumi has also ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to strictly follow the case.

Ministry of Interior has so far arrested 11 people in connection to the killing of Farkhunda and efforts have been put to arrest the rest of the people involved in the killing.

Farkhunda a 27 years old Afghan girl was brutally beaten and her body was burned near Shah Do Shamshera mosque in Kabul city on Thursday. The incident took place after anonymously a rumor spread that the girl had burned the Holy Quran which emotionalized people and as a result angry mob beaten Farkhunda to death and burned her body. But Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs has not found evidence to proof that she would have burned the Holy Quran.

After the brutal killing, video footages and photos went wire on social media which helped security forces identify some of the culprits.

According to the video footages and pictures published on social media, angry mob are severely beating Farkhunda and then burning her during daylight in capital Kabul.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has ordered a 12 member commission to get to the bottom of the case and present the report to him.

Farkhunda was laid to rest on Sunday. Hundreds of people including civil society activists and representatives from Human Right organizations took part in her funeral.

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Kabul cleric under fire for endorsing murder and burning of woman http://www.khaama.com/kabul-cleric-under-fire-for-endorsing-murder-and-burning-of-woman-9956 http://www.khaama.com/kabul-cleric-under-fire-for-endorsing-murder-and-burning-of-woman-9956#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 09:00:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47229 Read the full article...]]> woman-lynched-in-KabulAn Afghan cleric Maulavi Ayaz Niazi has been under for publicly endorsing the brutal murder and burning of a woman over alleged burning of holy Quran.

Maulavi Niazi endorsed the murder of 27-year-old Farkhunda while speaking among the participants of Friday prayers and a day after she was lynched by Kabul mob.

Government officials including deputy information and culture minister Simin Ghazal Hassanzada and Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai were also harshly criticized for their remarks supporting the brutal murder of Farkhunda.

Niazi had warned of an uprisal and urged the government not to arrest those who lynched and burnt Farkhunda. While, Stanikzai wrote on his Facebook page that Farkhunda “hought, like several other unbelievers, that this kind of action and insult will get them U.S. or European citizenship. But before reaching their target, lost their life.”

Maulavi Niazi and the two government officials came under fire soon after the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs rejected that Farkhunda had torched the holy Quran.

Hajj and Religious Affairs Ministry officials said no proof was found to prove that such incident had taken place and insisted that some books with Persian transcripts were found torched.

Farkhunda was laid to rest in Kabul today with hundreds participating in the funeral ceremony. The coffin of Farkhunda was carried to the burial site by women in what is said to be a historic move by the Afghan women.

The brutal murder of Farkhunda was widely condemned with President Ghani ordering an immediate probe into the incident.

The United Nations condemns also condemned the brutal murder of the woman in the strongest terms. “We are particularly worried by reports that the woman had suffered from mental illness for many years,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, the Country Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan. “We are encouraged by initial reports of the arrest of several suspects, but call on the authorities to investigate this incident fully and bring to justice all persons who actively participated in the killing, or aided and abetted it.”

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President Ghani assigned commission to investigate Farkhunda’s killing http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-assigned-commission-to-investigate-farkhundas-killing-3038 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-assigned-commission-to-investigate-farkhundas-killing-3038#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 07:59:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47224 Read the full article...]]> President Mohammad Ashraf GhaniPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has assigned a commission to investigate the killing of Farkhunda, 27, who was beaten to death and her body set ablaze in Kabul.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has ordered the commission to investigate and send its report to the presidential palace.

The head of the commission is Mawlawee Muhayoudin Balach and other members of the commission are Mawlawee Mohammad Omar Farouq, Sayed Mohammad Hussain Mohaqiqzada, Fawzia Kofi, Shinkay Karokhil, Shahla Farid, Mahbooba Siraj, Najibullah Azizi, Shamsullah Ahmadzai, Khpalwak Sapai and Mujiburahman Khilwatgar.

President Ghani has also instructed all of the related government agencies to cooperate with the commission and provide necessary support in the time of need.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has also asked the Ministry of Interior to specify the role of the security agencies and present report about the pre-arrangements in preventing such incidents.

Farkhunda was brutally beaten by angry mob and her body was set ablaze during daylight in capital Kabul on Thursday.

The incident has been widely condemned by Human Rights Organizations and civil society activists who have asked government to punish those responsible for the brutal act.

Security agencies have so far arrested 11 suspects in connection to the brutal killing and the case is under further investigation.

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Woman lynched over Quran burning allegation laid to rest in Kabul http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-to-be-laid-to-rest-in-kabul-today-9955 http://www.khaama.com/farkhunda-to-be-laid-to-rest-in-kabul-today-9955#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 05:44:24 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47215 Read the full article...]]> Farkhunda laid to restThe Afghan woman who was lynched and burnt by Kabul mob over alleged burning of Holy Quran was laid to rest in Kabul today.

Hundreds of people participated in the the funeral ceremony of Farkhunda in Panjsad family cemetery.

The coffin of Farkhunda was carried by women through the burial site while participants of the funeral stopped Kabul cleric Ayaz Niazi to take part in the ceremony.

Niazi had earlier endorsed the brutal murder of Farkhunda by calling her murder a justified act.

Farkhunda was brutally beaten, run over by a car and was eventually set on fire by a mob after she was accused of burning holy Quran in Shah Do Shamshera shrine on Thursday.

The Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs (MoHRA) officials rejected that the victim had torched holy Quran and said no evidence were found to prove the allegations.

At least nine people including a man who had claimed involvement in murder and burning of Farkhunda were arrested by police following the incident.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said Friday that the Interior Minister has ordered to launch an investigation into the incident and detain all those involved behind the murder of the woman.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also ordered an immediate probe into incident and formation of an independent commission to investigate the brutal murder of the woman.

The United Nations condemns also condemned the brutal murder of the woman in the strongest terms. “We are particularly worried by reports that the woman had suffered from mental illness for many years,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, the Country Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan. “We are encouraged by initial reports of the arrest of several suspects, but call on the authorities to investigate this incident fully and bring to justice all persons who actively participated in the killing, or aided and abetted it.”

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President Ghani and CEO Abdullah leaves for 5-day visit to US http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-and-ceo-abdullah-leaves-for-5-day-visit-to-us-9954 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-and-ceo-abdullah-leaves-for-5-day-visit-to-us-9954#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 20:27:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47212 Read the full article...]]> AL-abdullah-abdullah-0308ePresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday night left for United States on a five day state visit to meet with the US officials, NATO and UN officials.

The Presidential Palace media said President Ghani said is accompanied by a delegation of high level government officials including Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

According to a statement released by ARG President Ghani will meet with the US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, US congress Chairman, Secretary General of the NATO, US Defense Secretary, Secretary of Treasury and World Bank Delegation.

The statement further added President Ghani will leave for New York on Thursday to meet with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

President Ghani is also accompanied by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar, Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi, NDS Chief Rahmatullah Nabil, Head of the Office Of Administrative Affairs Abdul Salam Rahimi, Head of the Independent Human Rights Commission Seema Samar, Economic Advisor Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, High Peace Council Secretary Mohammad Masoom Stanikzai and Presidential spokesman Ajmal Obaid Abidi.

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Afghanistan announces new cabinet nominees http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-announces-new-cabinet-nominees-9953 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-announces-new-cabinet-nominees-9953#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 17:21:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47202 Read the full article...]]> Abdullah and GhaniThe government of national unity on Saturday announced new nominees for the remaining 16 ministries. The new cabinet picks include:

1. Abdul Bari Jahani as Information and Culture Minister

2. Asadullah Zamir as Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock Minister

3. Mohammad Gulab Mangal as Borders and Tribal Affairs Minister

4. Eng. Mahmood Baligh as Public Works Minister

5. Abdul SAtar Murad as Economy Minister

6. Dr. Mohammadullah Batash as Transport and Aviation Minister

7. Sadat Mansoor Naderi as Urban Development Affairs Minister

8. Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar as Justice Minister

9. Abdul Razaq Wahidi as Information and Telecommunication Minister

10. Dilbar Nazari as Women’s Affairs Minister

11. Salat Azimi as Counter-narcotics Minister

12. Farida Momand as Higher Education Minister

13. Nasrin Oryakhel as Labor, Social Affairs, Martys and Disabled Minister

14. Ali Ahmad Osmani as Water and Energy Minister

15. Humayun Rasa as Trade and Commerce Minister

16. Asadullah Hanif Balkhi as Education Minister

The government of national unity introduced 18 cabinet nominees to the Lower House of Parliament in the month of January this year where nine nominees including director general of the Afghan Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) obtained vote confidence and 10 others were rejected.

Eklil Hakimi, Ferozuddin Feroz, Noor-ul-Haq Ulomi, Salahuddin Rabbani, Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Daud Shah Saba, Nasir Durrani and Faiz Mohammad Osmani were among the ministerial nominees who received vote of confidence.

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Ghani acknowledges ISIS (Daesh) gaining influence in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/ghani-acknowledges-isis-daesh-gaining-influence-in-afghanistan-9952 http://www.khaama.com/ghani-acknowledges-isis-daesh-gaining-influence-in-afghanistan-9952#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 16:34:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47199 Read the full article...]]> GhaniPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Saturday acknowledged for the first time that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group was gaining influence in Afghanistan.

Speaking during a press briefing ahead of his visit to United States, President Ghani said “Daesh’s characteristic is that it is man-eating. It swallows its competitors.”

“Here, it is not physical presence of people from Syria or Iraq. It is the network effect,” President Ghani added.

The remarks by President Ghani comes as first Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum warned regarding serious threat of the terrorist group to Afghanistan, saying that the presence of ISIS in Afghanistan poses a serious threat to the country

This comes President Ghani said earlier last month that the global terrorism including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stills threatens Afghanistan.

The Secretary General of the United Natoins, Ban Ki-moon said earlier this week that the former Taliban commanders in Afghanistan have pledged allegiance to the Islamic States and the number of their supporters is on the rise.

Concerns regarding the expansion of ISIS activities in Afghanistan further escalated after after unknown masked men kidnapped 30 passengers in southern Zabul province last month with reports suggesting that the militants belong to ISIS terrorist group.

At least two commanders of the ISIS terrorist group have been killed by the Afghan security forces so far which includes Mulah Abdul Rauf and his successor Hafiz Wahid.

Mullah Abdul Rawouf was the first Islamic State commander and recruiter who was killed along with five of his companions in Helmand province last month.

Following the killing of Mullah Abdul Rawouf, his nephew Hafiz Wahidi took the command for ISIS who was also killed along with nine of his companions in Afghan National Security Forces operations in Helmand province.

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Vigil held for woman killed in Kabul over alleged burning of Quran http://www.khaama.com/vigil-held-for-woman-killed-in-kabul-over-alleged-burning-of-quran-9951 http://www.khaama.com/vigil-held-for-woman-killed-in-kabul-over-alleged-burning-of-quran-9951#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 16:06:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47192 Read the full article...]]> vigil for Kabul woman lynched5

Around one hundred people including civil society and human rights activists along with the members of the parliament participated in a candlelight vigil held to remember an Afghan woman who was lynched and burnt over alleged burning of holy Quran.

The vigil was held in the vicinity of Shah Do Shamshera shrine and mosque where the incident took place on Thursday afternoon.

Afghan lawmaker Farkhunda Zahra Naderi who represents Kabul in the Lower House of Parliament also participated in the event.

The victim identified as 27-year-old Farkhunda was brutally beaten, run over by a car and was eventually set on fire by a mob after she was accused of burning holy Quran in Shah Do Shamshera shrine.

However, the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs (MoHRA) officials rejected that the victim had torched holy Quran and said no evidence were found to prove the allegations.

Sakina, an Afghan nurse serving in Kabul said she was with the victim and talked with her for almost one hour before she was lynched.

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According to Sakina the victim was inside the shrine since morning who described her as a polite and educated girl and said she was there to participate in the cleaning of the shrine.

She added that the woman attacked all of a sudden after one of the keeper of the shrine called and accused her of burning the holy Quran together with a number of other women who were hidden under the Burqa.

At least nine people including a man who had claimed involvement in murder and burning of Farkhunda were arrested by police following the incident.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said Friday that the Interior Minister has ordered to launch an investigation into the incident and detain all those involved behind the murder of the woman.

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President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also ordered an immediate probe into incident and formation of an independent commission to investigate the brutal murder of the woman.

The United Nations condemns also condemned the brutal murder of the woman in the strongest terms. “We are particularly worried by reports that the woman had suffered from mental illness for many years,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, the Country Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan. “We are encouraged by initial reports of the arrest of several suspects, but call on the authorities to investigate this incident fully and bring to justice all persons who actively participated in the killing, or aided and abetted it.”

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Plot to assassinate first Vice-President Gen. Dostum thwarted http://www.khaama.com/plot-to-assassinate-first-vice-president-gen-dostum-thwarted-9950 http://www.khaama.com/plot-to-assassinate-first-vice-president-gen-dostum-thwarted-9950#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 15:12:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47188 Read the full article...]]> Gen. DostumThe Afghan intelligence operatives thwarted another plot to assassinate the first Vice-President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said a suicide bomber was appointed to carry out an attack on Gen. Dostum during a Buz Kashi competition in Jawzjan province.

A statement by NDS said the suicide bomber was looking to target Gen. Dostum by placing the explosives under the horse saddle.

This comes as the Afghan intelligence operatives foiled a plot to assassinate the first Vice-President two months after he took office.

At least four suspected militants including suicide bombers were arrested by the Afghan intelligence operatives during an operation in the 5th police district of Kabul city late in the month of November last year.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the assassination plots.

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District police chief critically injured as blast kills 3 in Kunduz http://www.khaama.com/district-police-chief-critically-injured-as-blast-kills-3-in-kunduz-9949 http://www.khaama.com/district-police-chief-critically-injured-as-blast-kills-3-in-kunduz-9949#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 11:56:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47184 Read the full article...]]> Explosion in KunduzAt least three people were killed following an explosion in northern Kunduz province as Afghanistan celebrates Nowruz – the start of the Persian new year.

According to local government officials, the incident took place in Imam Sahib district due to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion.

Provincial governor spokesman Abdul Wase Basil said at least two others including the district police chief of Imam Sahib were critically injured following the blast.

Basil further added that the IED targeted the vehicle of Imam Sahib police chief, leaving one of his sons dead along with his brother and driver.

He said the district police chief was critically injured along with his other son following the explosion.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Kunduz is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in a number of its districts.

Taliban militants and insurgents from the other militant groups frequently use Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as the weapon of their choice to target Afghan security forces and officials. IEDS are also one of the major contributors of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

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World Consumers Rights Day (WCRD) Celebrated in Kabul http://www.khaama.com/world-consumers-rights-day-wcrd-celebrated-in-kabul-9948 http://www.khaama.com/world-consumers-rights-day-wcrd-celebrated-in-kabul-9948#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 11:14:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47181 Read the full article...]]> World Consumers Rights Day AfghanistanBy: Ahmad Masoud

Consumers Rights and Services Organization (CRSO) celebrated the World Consumers Rights Day (WCRD) by organizing a roundtable, which was attended by representatives of a number of NGO, civil society organizations and government officials, on 19 March 2015.

The WCRD is celebrated by consumer organizations all over the world every year on 15 March. It sees the global consumer movement unite for a day of action around a common campaign theme.

This year’s theme for the WCRD was Consumers’ Rights to Healthy Food. Poor diets contribute to more than 11 million deaths annually and are now the number one global risk factor for death. Premature illness and disability from diet-related diseases impoverishes families, hurts productivity and bankrupts health systems.

The global economic impact from obesity alone is roughly US$2.0 trillion, or 2.8 percent of global GDP, roughly equivalent to the global impact from smoking or armed violence, war, and terrorism.

CRSO like all members of Consumers International (CI), a federation of over 227 consumers’ rights organizations from across the world, highlighted the difficulties consumers face in choosing a healthy diet in Afghanistan and called on the government for introducing measures that will support them.

The roundtable participants discussed the promotion of reducing salt and sugar consumption, introduction of a package of measures to have the most impacts and support the call for a Global Convention to Protect and Promote Healthy Diets.

“We ask the government and all health organizations to make people aware of the risks of excessive salt and sugar consumption in Afghanistan,” said Rahmatullah Zakir of CRSO and added, “We also call on the government of Afghanistan to support the call for a Global Convention to Protect and Promote Healthy Diets.”

Consumer Rights and Services Organization (CRSO), is a non-political, non-for-profit, and an independent national Afghan organization founded in 2011 with a view to bring change about the overall condition of consumers in Afghanistan. CRSO is registered in Kabul with the Ministry of Economy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The chief purpose of the CRSO is to foster a fair and non-deceptive marketplace for consumers to make better choice and to ensure the rights of consumers are protected paving the way for fair trade competition and the free flow of truthful information. With its establishment, CRSO is looking to be a resource to the consumers in Afghanistan who encounter difficulties of all types with businesses.

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Nangarhar acting governor resigned http://www.khaama.com/nangarhar-acting-governor-resigned-3035 http://www.khaama.com/nangarhar-acting-governor-resigned-3035#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 09:21:41 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47178 Read the full article...]]> Ataullah LudinMawlawee Ataullah Ludin, the acting governor of eastern Nangarhar province has resigned from his post.

Ludin announced his resignation today on the first day of the new year in a press conference.

He did not put light on the reason for his resignation but said that the central government had given him limited authorities and was also middling in his duties.

Ludin further said that he tried his best to fight corruption in Nangarhar but failed.

Mawlawee Ataullah Ludin took the office as the governor of Nangarhar province in November 2013 after his predecessor Gul Agha Shirzai resigned to run for the president.

Mawlawee Ataullah Ludin has factional ties with Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan.

Hailing from eastern Nangarhar province, Ludin was the field commander for Hizab-i-Islami Afghanistan in Nangarhar during the Jihad era.

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Tight security at public gathering places http://www.khaama.com/tight-security-during-nawroz-at-public-gathering-places-3033 http://www.khaama.com/tight-security-during-nawroz-at-public-gathering-places-3033#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 06:55:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47173 Read the full article...]]> NawrozThere has been tight security today in capital Kabul and provinces for Nawroz celebration. Ministry of Interior states that there are extra security measures at the public gathering places.

Security forces are seen everywhere in Kabul city checking vehicles and stopping suspicious people to avoid possible terrorist attacks during the celebration of the New Year.

National Directorate of Security (NDS)—Afghanistan’s intelligence agency– last week seized eight rockets which were made ready to disrupt Nawroz celebration in Kabul.

Also extra security measures have been taken in the provinces including Balkh, Herat, Nangarhar and other parts where people in larger numbers take part in the celebration of Nawroz or New Year.

Security officials in eastern Nangarhar say they have taken extra measures especially in public gathering places.

Also, in Mazar-iSharif which is the center of Afghanistan’s Nawroz (New Year) celebration, 5600 additional soldiers have been assigned to tighten the security in nine security builts around the city where thousands of people from parts of the country and neighboring countries go to take part in the celebration and Gul Surkh Mila (Red Flowers Festival).

Red Flowers Festival refers to Tulip flowers which grow over the hills around Mazar-i-Sharif, giving it an attractive view.

Various customs are performed during the Gul Surkh Mila, including Bozkashi games and Janda Bala event.

The Janda Bala event is raising a flag in the Shrine of Hazrat Ali (karam allah wajhu), Islam’s 4th Khalifa (caliphate). The flag is raised at the 1st day of the New Year which also starts the 40 days festival.

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Gen. Dostum says ISIS (Daesh) poses serious threat to Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/gen-dostum-says-isis-daesh-poses-serious-threat-to-afghanistan-9947 http://www.khaama.com/gen-dostum-says-isis-daesh-poses-serious-threat-to-afghanistan-9947#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 06:34:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47170 Read the full article...]]> dostumThe first Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum warned regarding serious threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to Afghanistan.

Speaking during a ceremony to mark the Nowruz – New Year, Gen. Dostum said the presence of the terrorist group in Afghanistan is a serious threat.

The remarks by Gen. Dostum comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said earlier last month that the global terrorism including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stills threatens Afghanistan.

Speaking during the Munic Security Conference in Germany President Ghani warned that there would be consequences if Afghanistan is ignored and the international community shifts focus.

He said the ISIS (Daesh) group is quickly moving to a stage in Afghanistan where it is able to organize, orient, decide and take actions.

In the meantime, the Secretary General of the United Natoins, Ban Ki-moon said earlier this week that the former Taliban commanders in Afghanistan have pledged allegiance to the Islamic States and the number of their supporters is on the rise.

Concerns regarding the expansion of ISIS activities in Afghanistan further escalated after after unknown masked men kidnapped 30 passengers in southern Zabul province last month with reports suggesting that the militants belong to ISIS terrorist group.

At least two commanders of the ISIS terrorist group have been killed by the Afghan security forces so far which includes Mulah Abdul Rauf and his successor Hafiz Wahid.

Mullah Abdul Rawouf was the first Islamic State commander and recruiter who was killed along with five of his companions in Helmand province last month.

Following the killing of Mullah Abdul Rawouf, his nephew Hafiz Wahidi took the command for ISIS who was also killed along with nine of his companions in Afghan National Security Forces operations in Helmand province.

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Afghanistan Celebrates Nowruz (New Year) http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-celebrates-nowruz-new-year-9946 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-celebrates-nowruz-new-year-9946#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 05:49:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47167 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan nawrozSaturday, March 21, marks the first day of the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, year 1394. This event has been celebrated for more than 3000 years and is especially significant for Afghanistan as the country embarks upon a new path of peace and independence.

“On behalf of the 40 countries participating [in the Resolute Support] mission, I would like to wish you and your families a very peaceful and joyful new year,” said General John Campbell, Commander, Resolute Support and US Forces Afghanistan.

“Nowruz is the time to celebrate the coming of spring and the rebirth of the world around us. Rebirth and renewal are fitting sentiments for Afghanistan. Each day I see Afghans making a difference, making their nation stronger. This year, we look forward to seeing this ancient land continue to become a stable, peaceful and prosperous country. Manana Tashakur,” he continued.

In celebration of Nowruz, three days of celebration will occur all across Afghanistan including events at many provincial capitals.

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A fundamental social dilemma or a few bad apples http://www.khaama.com/a-fundamental-societal-dilemma-or-a-few-bad-apples-9945 http://www.khaama.com/a-fundamental-societal-dilemma-or-a-few-bad-apples-9945#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 21:02:48 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47160 Read the full article...]]> FarkhundaThe incident in Kabul which took place, where a woman was beaten and then burned raises a critical question, can the whole population consensually frown upon and denounce the act? The individuals beating, kicking, using tree branches to beat the woman then running her over with a car, did not just pick up this sort of behaviour from thin air. Hundreds proudly participated and admitted to their heroism, proudly undermined the law of the land and basic human morals. However the advocating atmosphere for belligerent behaviour that we have built for ourselves needs immediate attention. The brutality with unfathomable anger has to be examined, where is this anger coming from?

Burning the Holy Scripture is illegal in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, however if the religious scholars do not have belief in the Republic to enforce law. Then we are in the midst of a chaotic and anarchical society, willfully blinding ourselves as subordinates to Mullahs and Religious Scholars who have nobody to answer to. It is a catastrophic imbalance in the society with implications that results into acts such as these. It took over 14 years for religious leader to denounce Taliban suicide bombers, how long it will it take for these religious leaders to denounce the incident yesterday?

Religious leaders have become above the law, better yet they are the law. A society they have constructed composed of angry individuals, reduced to hate and who inhumanely use violence acts to gratify their importance. Poisoning the masses to not define heroism through superseding in intellect, innovation and salvation but through livid viciousness. Therefore it does not surprise me that, not one has spoken against the brutality of yesterday. Mindful of the lethal embracement of violence that has integrated into the society, it is safe to say that the individuals who participated yesterday, are just a product of their environment. Pointing fingers at a few who happen to be there can only bring temporary solution, which will silence the concerned population. However if we truly would like to bring social reform, we must not overlook the critical issues. Assuming we have the honest and motivated intention of solving and not temporarily fixing.

Breaking taboos and cultural beliefs for the sake of humanity, for the sake loving to live and curing and rehabilitating the ill has become foreign to society. Simply ending someone’s life because they were not strong enough to be well has become reality. What happened in Kabul city, was not only disturbing beyond imagination, it also showcased a fundamental issue. So how long will we ignore for the sake of not breaking cultural taboos and traditions?

Peculiarly enough, we have all adopted the notion of hate and are in the midst of an everlasting war against the Taliban. We deprecated them as enemies of the State. Everyday brave soldiers, who have become our blanket of freedom, fight against the Taliban. Weirdly enough we deplore the Taliban because of their interpretation of beliefs, but yesterday I didn’t see the difference between a Taliban and Kabul resident.

A cancerous thought that has integrated into our society deeply, is the lack of value of life. We execute before any attempt to rehabilitate. Is living just not important anymore?

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When Kabul Lost its Honour http://www.khaama.com/when-kabul-lost-its-honour-9944 http://www.khaama.com/when-kabul-lost-its-honour-9944#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:56:29 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47157 Read the full article...]]> woman lynched in Kabul2Op-Ed by Amina Zia Massoud

Two days before Nowroz or the New Years celebration marked by Afghanistan and many other Central Asian countries, Kabul faced an unprecedented horror that left me shattered. There has only been a few times in my life that I have felt completely hopeless at the lack of humanity; March 19 2015 was one of those days. It didn’t help that I was alone for the first time, far away from my family in another country; but my sentiments were no match to that of the woman in my hometown, a woman born and raised in this world with so much hardship and easily taken away in one moment.

No language could possibly manifest my emotions as I saw the bloodied woman being stomped upon, hit with a stick, an iron rod, stoned, run over by a car and finally burnt to death by my own countrymen, at least hundreds of them. My Facebook and Twitter feed did not give me a chance to see the beautiful planted trees or the budding fragrant roses, the pictures of smiling children and white doves flying over the scenic mountains during the first days leading to spring. Instead it was of horror, of bystanders standing by and filming the incident on their phones and even participating in the gruesome attack.

Her name was Farkhunda, she was 27 years old and had allegedly burnt the Holy Quran, a crime punishable by Afghan law. Yet, Farkhunda was mentally ill, according to her doctor and her parents, Farkhunda had been mentally ill since her teenage years.

“We tried everything, got her medication, took her to many mullah’s but with no luck”, said her mother at the 6pm nightly news, completely unaware that her child had been murdered by an angry mob on the accusation of blasphemy.  A mob of hundreds of men who shamelessly beat one woman, no consideration was given to her screaming and her wailing, the blood protruding from her flesh, the sounds of her bones cracking, her young life being taken away. In broad daylight, in the middle of Kabul, under the shadow of the Shah-do-Shamsher mosque, a house of God, one woman was beaten and tortured to death by hundreds of men proclaiming to be honouring their Creator, yet they were the most honourless men. The haunting thought of one woman being beaten to death by hundreds of men replays in my mind.

Farkhunda didn’t commit blasphemy, but wickedness was committed by those who took the place of the Judge in their own human form, foolishly believing that her death was their ticket to paradise. Farkhunda wasn’t ill, sick were those men who believed that beating a helpless woman to death was morally right and the woman who boasted in front of the cameras that she had ‘kicked the girl twice’ before leaving.

News eventually came out that Farkhunda had not burnt the holy book and instead it was an amulet (taawiz) given to her by a religious leader of the mosque itself to ‘ward of evil’ and help with her illness, Farkhunda had reached out to the mosque for help.

Kabul’s incident was disheartening, it was unlawful, it was savagery and while I have faith that the President will take action against the perpetrators I have come to the realization that I must never again fear the growing threat of ISIS in my home country, a threat that has captured the media for the past months, nor the threat of the Taliban and their waning power. My only fear should be of the men and women who claim to hold the sanctity of my religion and culture in my own neighbourhood, who are not funded by foreign governments or born out of an illegal invasion, yet in the blink of an eye they are ready to violently murder another fellow human being.

In many ways I feel sympathy for them, their heedlessness to the value of another life is painful, they are physically well yet they are living life blind.  I wonder if one of those men slept well last night? Did one of them wake up truly believing they served their country or their God on this beautiful yet sorrowful spring day? Or the woman who proudly admitted to abuse, do the thoughts of Farkhunda’s mourning mother make her feel the slightest pain or remorse?

If only one brave man shielded her, if only one man wasn’t afraid, if only one man raised his voice; Kabul needed one man to save its honour.

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US to deliver 5 PC-12 surveillance aircraft to Afghan special forces http://www.khaama.com/us-to-deliver-5-pc-12-surveillance-aircraft-to-afghan-special-forces-9943 http://www.khaama.com/us-to-deliver-5-pc-12-surveillance-aircraft-to-afghan-special-forces-9943#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:14:32 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47154 Read the full article...]]> Afghan commandos PC-12The United States will deliver five more Pilatus PC-12 surveillance aircraft to Afghan National Army (ANA) special forces.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials said the planes will be delivered in the near future and based on a contract concluded in 2012.

Gen. Dawlat Waziri said the Afghan special forces have already receivved 13 Pilatus PC-12 aircraft and are in service with the 777 unit of the Afghan army special forces.

This comes as the US Air Forces Central Command announced Wednesday that the first six Armed MD-530s arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday night.

Afghan Air Force is also expecting to receive 20 A-29 Super Tucano light air support aircraft which will help replace the Mi-35 attack helicopter that reaches the end of its service life in January 2016.

According to reports, the first of 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft 26 are scheduled to arrive early next year, in preparation for the Afghanistan pilot and maintenance training mission.

A-29 pilots and maintainers are currently in the US and have been training since February.

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Woman lynched in Kabul did not burn Quran, officials say http://www.khaama.com/woman-lynched-in-kabul-did-not-burn-quran-officials-say-9942 http://www.khaama.com/woman-lynched-in-kabul-did-not-burn-quran-officials-say-9942#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 18:13:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47147 Read the full article...]]> woman lynched in KabulThe Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs (MoHRA) officials have said that the woman who was lynched by mob in Kabul did not burn the holy Quran.

The officials confirmed that their investigations have revealed the books had Persian transcripts and there was evidence to prove the accusations against the victim.

The woman lynched by mob in Kabul on Thursday was identified as Farkhunda who was a resient of Khair Khana area of Kabul city.

She was reportedly visiting Shah Do Shamsher shrine and mosque every weekend for prayers who was suffering mental illness for many years.

At least seven people including a man who had claimed involvement in murder and burning of Farkhunda were arrested by police following the incident.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said Friday that the Interior Minister has ordered to launch an investigation into the incident and detain all those involved behind the murder of the woman.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also ordered an immediate probe into incident and formation of an independent commission to investigate the brutal murder of the woman.

The United Nations condemns also condemned the brutal murder of the woman in the strongest terms. “We are particularly worried by reports that the woman had suffered from mental illness for many years,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, the Country Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan. “We are encouraged by initial reports of the arrest of several suspects, but call on the authorities to investigate this incident fully and bring to justice all persons who actively participated in the killing, or aided and abetted it.”

The continued increase in the number of cases of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan has become a source of major concern, Ms. Sagynbaeva noted, and must not be tolerated. Afghan women’s rights to safety and security have to be ensured, she said, and the survivors of violence supported and perpetrators brought to justice.

Mark Bowden, the Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and acting head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), also condemned the attack.

“The burning of the Quran contradicts the efforts of the United Nations to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions,” said Mr. Bowden. “However, the brutal murder of this woman is an unspeakably horrendous act that should result in those responsible being prosecuted, to the fullest extent possible, under Afghan law.”

Ms. Sagynbaeva, Mr. Bowden and the UN family in Afghanistan extend their deepest condolences to the family of the victim.

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Gen. Dostum calls the report by New York Times as baseless http://www.khaama.com/gen-dostum-calls-the-report-by-new-york-times-as-baseless-9941 http://www.khaama.com/gen-dostum-calls-the-report-by-new-york-times-as-baseless-9941#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:29:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47142 Read the full article...]]> dostumThe first Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum has rejected a report by New York Times suggesting the prominent political leader has been sidelined by the leaders by the government of national unity.

Calling the report as baseless and bised, Gen. Dostum said the report “was 100% untrue rather it was completely fabricated and based on false information.”

Quoting unnamed officials in Presidential Palace, the Times reported that Gen. Dostum was being ignored by the roomful of powerful people including President Ashraf Ghani and his national security advers Hanif Atmar during a national security council meeting.

The report also added that Gen. Dostum has found himself marginalized since taking office in September and has become deeply frustrated by what he feels is an indifference to his decades of combat experience and leadership as the strongman of the ethnic Uzbek minority.

However, the office of Gen. Dostum has issued a statement saying that the “In this report, First Vice President Dostum has been targeted of character assassination and unfounded, baseless and false accusations were labeled against him, which is in no way acceptable to us.”

The statement further added Gen. Dostum enjoys his constitutional rights as the First Vice President and strongly believes in teamwork with President Ashraf Ghani as President and commander in chief.

“It is unnecessary to prove such claims that the General was on the edge of crying which doesn’t even stick to his personality and nature,” the statement added.

The statement also added that Gen. Dostum is a national figure who enjoys enormous support among all Afghans and his passion to bring stability and peace in the country is well regarded among all sphere of the society.

“He spends much of his time serving his nation particularly women empowerment, democracy, freedom of speech, national unity, implementation of rule of law and youth in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

Gen. Dostum’s office also sought a clarification and full explanation regarding the report saying that “These kinds of reports are too small to damage General Dostum’s well-known character, but it could help in shaping a negative perception on people’s mind about General Dostum.”

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Man arrested for claiming murder and burning of woman in Kabul http://www.khaama.com/man-arrested-for-claiming-murder-and-burning-of-woman-in-kabul-9940 http://www.khaama.com/man-arrested-for-claiming-murder-and-burning-of-woman-in-kabul-9940#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 13:09:40 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47133 Read the full article...]]> Kabul mob attackA man was arrested for being involved in murder of a 27-year-old woman in Kabul accused of burning the Holy Quran.

Security officials said Friday that the man identified as Sharaf Baghlany was arrested following a special military operation in Kabul city.

Baghlany had claimed through a Facebook post that he was involved in murdering a woman together with the mob and eventually setting her body on fire.

The security officials further added that at least seven people including Baghlany have been arrested in connection to the incident so far.

The woman identifid as Farkhunda was killed on Thursday afternoon an angry mob close to Shah Do Shamera shrine and mosque and her body was set on fire.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said Friday that the Interior Minister has ordered to launch an investigation into the incident and detain all those involved behind the murder of the woman.

In regards to the remarks by Hashmatullah Stanikzai, spokesman for the Kabul Police Department, Sediqi said Stanikzai is an employee of public relations office in the Ministry of Interior and it is important that the incident should be investigated thoroughly.

Stanikzai had said Farkhunda was looking to secure asylum by burning Holy Quran, accusing her of apostasy.

In the meantime, Sediqi said the incident is thoroughly being investigated from all angles including the role of the police forces.

Sediqi also added that the video circulated online on social media websites will help the Afghan police to detain those involved in the incident.

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Senior TTP commander killed on Afghanistan-Pakistan border http://www.khaama.com/senior-ttp-commander-killed-on-afghanistan-pakistan-border-3030 http://www.khaama.com/senior-ttp-commander-killed-on-afghanistan-pakistan-border-3030#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:30:14 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47127 Read the full article...]]> DroneKhawry Mehsud, a senior Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander has been killed on Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Coalition forces without naming the commander confirm that a Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander has been killed on the border areas but Mohammad Khurasani, TTP spokesman says that Khawry Mehsud has been killed in a US drone strike in Afghan soil.

“Commander Khawery Mehsud embraced martyrdom in a US drone strike, along with two others, in Afghan territory”, Mohammad Khurasani has written in the statement sent to the media.

According to TTP spokesman, Khawery Mehsud has fought in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistani media adds that Khawery Mehsud had joined TTP when he was a child and was a close aide to Baitullah Mehsud and Hakimullah Mehsud, the killed commanders of TTP.

Baitullah Mehsud was the founder of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who commanded the group for about two years and was killed in a US drone strike in August 2009.

After the death of Baitullah Mehsud, his deputy Hakimullah Mehsud took the command of TTP who commanded the group for about 13 years.

He was the TTP commander from 2000 up until 2013. In the last quarter of 2013, he was also killed in a US drone strike.

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Woman burnt alive in Kabul http://www.khaama.com/woman-burned-alive-in-kabul-3028 http://www.khaama.com/woman-burned-alive-in-kabul-3028#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:14:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47115 Read the full article...]]> 5Angry civilians burnt a woman alive in capital Kabul after she reportedly burned a copy of the Holy Quran, eyewitnesses and officials said.

According to her father, Farkhunda, 27, was mentally sick from the past 16 years who immaturely burnt the Holy Quran in front of people.

Officials say that angry mob first severely beaten Farkhunda and when she fell unconscious she was set ablaze near Shah Do Shamshira mosque in Kabul city on Thursday afternoon.

Kabul Police say they are still investigating to arrest the killers of Farkhunda.

Eyewitnesses report that after Farkhunda burnt a copy of the Holy Quran she came under the attack of angry civilians and fell on the ground after moments.

Eyewitnesses add that she was all covered by blood.

Video footages and pictures published on social media also shows Farkhunda on the ground with a group of people around her kicking her and then setting her on fire.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior confirming the incident said that an investigation was initiated into the incident.

This is the first incident of its kind taking place in Afghanistan.

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Uruzgan police chief killed in Kabul suicide attack http://www.khaama.com/uruzgan-police-chief-killed-in-kabul-suicide-attack-9352 http://www.khaama.com/uruzgan-police-chief-killed-in-kabul-suicide-attack-9352#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 10:39:36 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47112 Read the full article...]]> Gen. Matiullah KhanThe provincial police chief for central Uruzgan province of Afghanistan was killed following the suicide attack in capital Kabul late on Wednesday night.

Gen. Matiullah Khan was one of the prominent security officials who was serving as provincial police chief for Uruzgan since 2011.

A spokesmn for the Taliban group, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed responibility behind the attack.

The incident took place around 8:15 pm local time in Qala-e-Ali Mardan area in the sixth police district of Kabul city.

Earlier reports suggested that the suicide bomber was looking to target a religious place where Shi’ite Muslims are gathering for religious affairs.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Sediq Sediq confirmed the incident said two people were killed following the attack.

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Terrorist plot disrupting Nawroz celebration in Kabul foiled http://www.khaama.com/terrorist-plot-disrupting-nawroz-celebration-in-kabul-foiled-3027 http://www.khaama.com/terrorist-plot-disrupting-nawroz-celebration-in-kabul-foiled-3027#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 07:53:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47108 Read the full article...]]> RocketsThe National Directorate of Security (NDS)—Afghanistan’s intelligence agency—has foiled terrorist plot aimed to disrupt the Nawroz or New Year celebration in Kabul.

As the Nawroz is looming, the security is also tightening in the country, especially in capital Kabul where terrorist usually try to disrupt the celebration.

NDS on Thursday issued a statement – two days before Nawroz—stating that they have recovered eight rockets which were made ready to be fired at Kabul during the celebration of Nawroz.

According to the statement the rockets were recovered from the jurisdiction of Khak-i-Jabar District.

The statement adds that the rockets were later defused.

Nawroz is to be celebrated on 21 March in Kabul and all over the country.

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Sartaj Aziz: TAPI will bring change http://www.khaama.com/sartaj-aziz-tapi-will-bring-change-3026 http://www.khaama.com/sartaj-aziz-tapi-will-bring-change-3026#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 07:00:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47104 Read the full article...]]> ?????????????????????Sartaj Aziz, National Security Adviser and adviser on the foreign policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan says that the transit trade related issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been solved and that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will bring change.

While talking to reporters in Islamabad on Thursday, Sartaj Aziz said that the project will strengthen cooperation among the regional countries.

TAPI is a gas pipeline project that will deliver Turkmenistan’s gas to Afghanistan and then from Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

In the 21st TAPI summit in Kabul, the representatives from the ministries of mine and petroleum of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India will discuss the start date of the project.

Rafi Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan says if representatives reach an agreement on the start date of the project in today’s gathering, the project will be completed in 2018.

He said that Afghanistan will get $300m every year from its transit.

Sartaj Aziz while talking to reporters also said that Pakistan will build a motorway from Peshawar to Kabul and develop railway link with Afghanistan.

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University of Central Asia Celebrates Afghan Graduates of Certificate Programme in Policy Analysis http://www.khaama.com/university-of-central-asia-celebrates-afghan-graduates-of-certificate-programme-in-policy-analysis-9351 http://www.khaama.com/university-of-central-asia-celebrates-afghan-graduates-of-certificate-programme-in-policy-analysis-9351#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 06:06:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47098 Read the full article...]]> UCA

The first group of 15 Afghan civil servants completed the Certificate Programme in Policy Analysis (CPPA) course offered through a partnership between University of Central Asia (UCA) and the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan.

The University of Central Asia’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (UCA IPPA) marked the achievements of the first Afghan graduates of its Certificate Programme in Policy Analysis (CPPA) at a ceremony at the Ministry of Finance in Kabul on 18 March 2015.

UCA was established in 2000 by a treaty between the Governments of Kazakistan, Kyrqyz Republic, Tajikistan and His Highness the Aga Khan to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies.

UCA Director General, Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, said “CPPA offers a rigorous learning experience, bringing together expert instructors and civil servants to study concepts and methods in policy analysis to advance evidence-based policy making.”

The course was offered through a partnership between UCA and the Ministry of Finance fo Afghanistan. “We are pleased to have been able to offer the course to Afghan civil servants in partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Finance,” Dr Krawchenko added.

The ceremony was also attended by Mr Abdul Razak Vahidi, Deputy Minister for Administration and Mr Musa Kamawi, Director of Human Resources of the Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Mrs Nurjehan Mawani, Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN); representatives of embassies and international organizations; government officials; academics; business community; civil society and media.

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Deputy Minister Vahidi congratulated graduates and highlighted this programme as valuable capacity building of government civil servants in policy analysis. He thanked the UCA administration and the Aga Khan Development Network for facilitating this opportunity to Afghanistan.

“The Ministry of Finance is expecting all programme participants to maximize this great academic opportunity, utilize the knowledge they have gained for the improvement of service delivery within Ministry of Finance and transfer this knowledge to their colleagues and counterparts and introduce changes,” he added.

“The strength and success of this partnership will not be measured by quantity, but by quality” stated Mrs. Mawani. “Each one of you who has benefited from the IPPA Programme will have a multiplier effect by passing along your expanded knowledge within your institution and beyond. AKDN and UCA are committed to strengthening the capacity of Afghan civil servants and to building a sustainable partnership through exchange of knowledge in the region”.

CPPA is an executive programme designed, among others, for civil servants. In 2014, UCA offered CPPA concurrently for Kyrgyz, Tajik and Afghan civil servants in Bishkek and Dushanbe. Besides building the participants’ technical capacity, the programme was a great platform for regional dialogue and understanding. This Afghan cohort of 15 graduates attended the programme in Bishkek from October 2014 to February 2015.

“The programme gave me the opportunity to gain comprehensive insight into what policy is all about, how it becomes a reality and how it is evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively,” said graduate Mohammad Karim Karimzadah.

The graduates received the professional development Certificate in Policy Analysis and a certificate supplement detailing the programme of studies and learner’s achievement in accordance with European standards. The course is a 25 credit European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) programme.

CPPA is offered within IPPA’s Research and Public Policy Initiative (RPPI), supported by the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation, Canada. RPPI aims to ground policy-making processes in Central Asia in sound evidence and policy analysis by building the capacity of researchers to conduct independent and critical studies and by expanding the ability of policy professionals to utilize such research in policy development.

CPPA will be offered again in 2015 to Kyrgyz, Tajik and Afghan civil servants.

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Noor: No issues to include Taliban in government http://www.khaama.com/noor-no-issues-to-include-taliban-in-government-3025 http://www.khaama.com/noor-no-issues-to-include-taliban-in-government-3025#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 05:29:19 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47095 Read the full article...]]> NoorAtta Mohammad Noor, the acting governor of northern Balkh province and an ex-Jihadi commander who has also fought against Taliban, says he does not have issues if Taliban are included in the government.

While talking to reporters in Mazar-i-Sharif, provincial capital of Balkh, Atta Mohammad Noor said that if including Taliban in the government can bring peace to the country, he will welcome the deal.

He says he will not have issues if Taliban are given two or three ministries.

Although, the leaders of the National Unity Government have not acted to the reports of Pakistani media that Taliban want 30 percent share in the government but President Mohammad Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah reiterate that they will not take a decision that is not in the best interest of Afghanistan.

The leaders of the national unity government have promised that the first priority in their government is to bring peace to the country.

Last month Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah said that peace talks with Taliban will start soon but according to Reuters news agency differences between two prominent Taliban commanders has delayed the improvements in peace talks.

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U.S. advisers see progress in Afghan police training http://www.khaama.com/u-s-advisers-see-progress-in-afghan-police-training-9350 http://www.khaama.com/u-s-advisers-see-progress-in-afghan-police-training-9350#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 05:23:13 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47090 Read the full article...]]> US advisers progress in Afghan police

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (March 18, 2015) –U.S. military advisers from Train, Advise, Assist Command – East visited the Afghan police Regional Training Center in Nangarhar province March 17.

Col. Nooristani, the RTC commander, met with Brig. Gen. Christopher Bentley, the TAAC-E Commander, Brig. Gen. Pete Jones from Resolute Support Combined Joint Plans, Col. Gregory Stokes, the Police Advisory Team Commander, and advisers from TAAC-E to discuss a range of topics includingimproved training for police officers, facilities maintenance and contracts.

In Nato’s Resolute Support Mission, the job of the American advisers is to provide advice and assistance to leaders from the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. During meetings, the advisers discuss important issues related to business-like functions that will help make the security forces sustainable for the long term. These functions include human resources, training, budget, logistics, contracts, and others.

The Afghan police have made significant progress at the RTC in the last 8 months, according to U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Marcus Cornelius, an American adviser who works regularly with Nooristani and other leaders at the RTC.

“The Afghan police have increased the number of courses they instruct to over 50 Ministry of Interior approved courses,” Cornelius said. “Now they have the capacity to train about 800 students at a time.”

The standard courses taught at the RTC by Afghan instructors include the initial patrolman training course, Afghan Local Police courses, non-commissioned officer courses, counter-improvised explosive device courses, and driving courses. “The driving course was added at the direction from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that all police officers who drive government vehicles have a driver’s license,” Cornelius said.“Approximately 200 police officers graduate the driving course each month.”

Cornelius said the Afghan vision for the training center is to provide basically-trained police officers to the force, and offer courses for continued professional development throughout officers’ careers. The Afghan police plan to increase explosive ordinance disposal training at the center, and also plan to begin training female police recruits in the future.

Nooristani emphasized the importance of improving and increasing professional training for new recruits at the RTC. “The future of Afghanistan belongs to the new recruits,” Nooristani said. “The new recruits are the future-makers of this country.”

During the meeting, Bentley commended Nooristani and police leaders for their efforts at the RTC. “Buildings and facilities don’t make a police force, but great leadership does,” Bentley said. “The hard work you’ve done here has shown tremendous improvement.”

The continued partnership between American and Afghan leaders is demonstrated through projects like improving the police RTC, which supports training for police officers from Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan, and Nangarhar provinces.

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NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (March 18, 2015) – Col. Nooristani (right), the Regional Training Center Commander in Nangarhar province, met with U.S. military advisers from Train, Advise, Assist Command – East on March 17. The Afghan leaders and U.S. advisers discussed a range of topics including improved training for police officers, facilities maintenance and contracts.

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NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (March 18, 2015) – Col. Nooristani (left), the Regional Training Center Commander in Nangarhar province, talks to a new Afghan Local Police recruit during a visit from U.S. military advisers from Train, Advise, Assist Command – East on March 17. The Afghan leaders and U.S. advisers discussed a range of topics including improved training for police officers, facilities maintenance and contracts.

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Afghan, US leaders thank Korea for medical, educational support to Parwan http://www.khaama.com/afghan-us-leaders-thank-korea-for-medical-educational-support-to-parwan-9349 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-us-leaders-thank-korea-for-medical-educational-support-to-parwan-9349#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 04:38:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47085 Read the full article...]]> Korea education and medical support to ParwanBy Vanessa Villarreal, USFOR-A, Public Affairs Office

Bagram Airfield, March 18, 2015 – Leaders from Parwan Province joined leaders at Bagram Air Field for an appreciation ceremony today to thank the Republic of Korea for its tireless medical and educational support to the Parwan community. Notable attendees at the event included Parwan Provincial Governor Abdul Basir Salangi, Bagram District Governor Abdul Shukour Qudusi, and Parwan Director of Health Mohammad Qasim Sayedi.

This June, the Bagram Korean Hospital will close – a facility that’s cared for almost 300,000 patients, along with an educational center that’s trained over 900 students.
“For the past five years, the Republic of Korea Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and its successor, the Korea Bagram Office, achieved remarkable progress moving towards peace and reconstruction in Parwan by providing medical care and educational opportunities for the people of Afghanistan,” Commander Maj. Gen. John Murray, Bagram Airfield, said. “They have established one of the most capable hospitals in the country, providing an exceptionally high level of care for approximately 300,000 patients.”

According to Bagram Korean Hospital (BKH) Deputy Director Chung WonChin, in October 2009, the Korean government, responding to the community’s call for help, decided to actively participate in the international peace and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Korea selected Parwan, a province with a population of more than 642,000, for its PRT because it lacked basic infrastructure and was in great need of development assistance.

“I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Republic of Korea for their kindness and cooperation to all the sectors in Afghanistan, particularly the Parwan Province,” Salangi, who gave the keynote address, said. “This hospital has done a lot for the poor people who haven’t been able to pay for services. I want to thank the Korean friends for their compassion and selfless support.”

At its peak, the hospital touted a staff of eleven doctors – six from Korea and five from Afghanistan – with 200 to 300 patients coming through its doors daily. Now, a staff of eight doctors sees about 100 patients daily.
In addition to the hospital, the PRT established a vocational training center that graduated over 900 students in the following disciplines – automotive work, construction, welding & plumbing, electrical, and computer application.

“This education has enabled these students to start their own businesses, contributing greatly to the growth, stability, and economic viability of Parwan and the surrounding provinces,” Murray said.

“You have each made a profound difference in the lives of people who had no other alternative to the medical care you brought to Afghanistan,” Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, principal officer to U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, said. “You cured the sick, brought hope to the poor, and inspired us to be better persons and to do more to help our fellow man on our shared journey to make our small planet a place where our children and all future generations can realize and cherish their dreams and hopes for a more prosperous tomorrow.”

Jongik Kim, director of BKH, said the mission was a success.

“The Bagram Korean Hospital has provided quality primary and surgical care responding to the needs of the Afghan people,” Kim said. “I think it was a successful mission with Afghanistan, Korea, and the United States.”

Before taking the time to honor hospital personnel with awards, representative Myoung-Joon Kim of the Bagram Office of the Republic of Korea thanked his staff members and partners.

“I want to take this opportunity to compliment each and every one of our staff members,” he said. “And it’s not just us that made all of this possible. The U.S. forces and the coalition forces have provided us exemplary cooperation and coordination.”
The equipment from the hospital will remain in Afghanistan so it can be used by Afghan doctors, nurses, and technicians.

“Today we say farewell and thank you to our Korean partners, job exceptionally well done,” Murray said. “We sincerely hope they leave Afghanistan knowing they have had a very positive impact on countless Afghans throughout Parwan and the surrounding provinces. Although they will be gone, the memory of the good they have done here in Afghanistan will live on.”

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President Ghani: “31 Hazara kidnapping case” conspiracy against government http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-31-hazara-kidnapping-case-conspiracy-against-government-3024 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-31-hazara-kidnapping-case-conspiracy-against-government-3024#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 04:34:43 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47082 Read the full article...]]> GhaniPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has called the abduction of 31 civilians of the Hazara minority in southern Zabul province a conspiracy against government.

President Ghani was talking to the graduation ceremony of Afghan National Army on Wednesday and said that there are a lot of problems in front of the unity of Afghans.

He also praised the efforts being made by national security forces for freeing the 31 civilians.

The abduction of 31 Hazaras took place about three weeks before but their fate is still unknown.

They were kidnapped by masked gunmen on Kabul-Kandahar highway in the jurisdiction of Zabul province.

Local elders tried to mediate the release but their efforts also did not give a positive result.

Residents of Zabul province have said that the 31 civilians are kidnapped by Islamic State fighters.

The abduction of the 31 Hazaras prompted demonstrations in various parts of the country including capital Kabul.

After the abduction in Zabul province, two other cases of the abduction of Hazaras took place in Ghazni and Herat provinces.

The responsibility of the kidnapping is not claimed by any group but the situation has raised fresh concerns over the presence of  Islamic State or DAESH in the country.

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Two killed in Kabul suicide blast http://www.khaama.com/suicide-blast-rocks-capital-kabul-9939 http://www.khaama.com/suicide-blast-rocks-capital-kabul-9939#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 16:44:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47074 Read the full article...]]> Explosion in KabulA relatively heavy explosion was heard in Kabul city after a suicide detonated his explosives in Qala-e-Ali Mardan area.

Kabul police officials confirmed that a blast has taken place in the area and an investigation has been launched.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), confirmed that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in Qala-e-Ali Mardan area around 8:15 pm.

Sediqi further added that the suicide bomber was killed along with another suspected militant who was accompanying him.

Local residents in the area had earlier said the would-be suicide bomber was looking to enter a religious place where Shi’ite Muslims are gathering for religious affairs.

There were also reports that another suicide bomber managed to flee the area following the incident.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

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Shahla Ata “murdered” says family http://www.khaama.com/shahla-ata-murdered-say-family-3024 http://www.khaama.com/shahla-ata-murdered-say-family-3024#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 10:45:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47065 Read the full article...]]> Shahla AttaShahla Ata, a former Member of Parliament and presidential election candidate in the year 2009, that she did not win, did not die of natural reasons, she was murdered, say her family.

Family members of Shahla Ata while talking to a news conference on Wednesday said that they have enough evidence to proof that she did not die of natural reasons at her residence and that she was murdered.

Shahla Ata’s family asked government to arrest the murderers and punish them for the crime.

Shahla Ata was found dead at her residence in the 10th Police District of Kabul city week.

Police confirmed the death of Shahla Ata but said that the cause of her death will be announced after the investigation.

Shahla Ata found way to the parliament in 2005 after which she ran for the country’s presidency in 2009 but did not win.

She also had a welfare organization, Atta Foundation, which provides humanitarian assistance to women whose husbands have died or disabled.

She belonged to the family of late Sardar Mohammad Dawoud Khan.

She was born in 1967 and her dead body found at her residence in Kabul on 12 March 2015.

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UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan extended for another year http://www.khaama.com/un-assistance-mission-in-afghanistan-extended-for-another-year-3023 http://www.khaama.com/un-assistance-mission-in-afghanistan-extended-for-another-year-3023#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:16:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47059 Read the full article...]]> UNAMAThe United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution authorizing its Assistance Mission in Afghanistan for another year.

According to the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2210 (2015) UNAMA mandate in Afghanistan is extended for another year, until 17 March 2016.

Nicholas F. Haysom Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says  “UNAMA will maintain its efforts, in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, to provide good office, promote human rights, as well as to promote coherent support by the international community to the priorities set by the Government of Afghanistan,” said Nicholas Haysom, the UN secretary-general’s special representative and head of Unama.

While briefing the Security Council, Hayson said “significant developments” have been made in Afghanistan after the formation of the National Unity Government.

“These positive developments are testament to the efforts of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah,” Hayson said.

He added that “Their collaborative leadership will remain essential for any peace talks to progress, for comprehensive electoral reforms to take hold, and for the implementation of the changes required to reinvigorate the economy.”

Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan’s permanent Representative to the United Nations has welcome security council’s decision for extending UNAMA mandate in Afghanistan.

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21st TAPI summit in Kabul tomorrow http://www.khaama.com/tapi-summit-in-kabul-tomorrow-3023 http://www.khaama.com/tapi-summit-in-kabul-tomorrow-3023#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 07:06:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47050 Read the full article...]]> TAPIThe 21st summit of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is scheduled to be held in Kabul tomorrow.

Shakib Mostaghni, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) says improvements have been made on the implementation of TAPI project and the implementation of this project will be discussed on its 21st summit in Kabul.

He says that representatives from the mines and petroleum ministries of Pakistan, India and Turkmenistan will be discussing the implementation of TAPI project with their Afghan counterparts in Kabul on Thursday.

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project delivers Turkmenistan’s gas to Afghanistan and then to Pakistan and India.

It is economically a significant project for Afghanistan.

Rafiullah Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan says that this 30 years long project will find job opportunities to Afghans and also Afghanistan will get millions of dollars as the transit from this project.

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India TAPI is an 1800 kilometers long pipe line will initially deliver 27 billion cubic meters of natural gas out of which two billion cubic meters will be allowed to Afghanistan and 12.5 billion cubic meters to each Pakistan and India every year.

But the capacity will be increased to 33 billion cubic meters after the initial stages with Afghanistan also getting more than two billion cubic meters of the gas.

The project is developed by the Asian Development Bank.

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7 people killed, 21 injured in Helmand car bomb explosion http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-explosion-and-gun-shots-in-lashkargah-helmand-3022 http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-explosion-and-gun-shots-in-lashkargah-helmand-3022#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 06:27:43 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47047 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan

A car bomb rocked Laskhkargah, provincial capital of restive Helmand province, on Wednesday.

The explosion took place around 10:30 AM in a key part of Lashkargah city where a number of offices including the provincial governor’s office exist.

Pacha Gul Bakhtyar, Security Officer at the police headquarters in Lashkargah city told Khaama Press that seven people were killed and 21 others wounded in the explosion.

Doctors in the hospital of Lashkargah, where most of the victims were taken, announced some wounded people being in critical condition.

Although, Bakhtyar did not comment if government officials were among the victims but reports indicate that Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor is also wounded in the attack.

The explosion was so powerful that badly damaged the nearby buildings to the site and its sound heard to larger distance even out of the city of Lashkargah.

Soon after the explosion security forces arrived at the site and cordoned off the area.

Taliban insurgents have claimed responsibility for the explosion. The attack of Taliban comes amid the reports of peace talks between the insurgent group and the government of Afghanistan.

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Presidential Palace: Introduction of remaining cabinet nominees today http://www.khaama.com/presidential-palace-introduction-of-remaining-cabinet-nominees-today-3021 http://www.khaama.com/presidential-palace-introduction-of-remaining-cabinet-nominees-today-3021#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 05:45:26 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47044 Read the full article...]]> cabinetSources from the Presidential Palace say that the remaining candidates of the cabinet will be introduced to the House of Representatives for vote of confidence today.

According to the sources, there are three more female candidates among the new ones going to the House of Representatives going to the House of Representatives for the vote of confidence.

The office of the chief executive officer of the government also confirms that the introduction will take place today. But the office adds that if the introduction does not take place today in that case it will be postponed until the return of the President for his America’s visit.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is scheduled to visit United States on March 24.

However, the House of Representatives or Wolesi Jirga stresses the introduction of the remaining candidates before the March 24 scheduled visit of the President to the United States.

The National Unity Government of Afghanistan (NUG) after about six months delay introduced 19 candidates of its cabinet to the House of Representatives for vote of confidence.

Among the 19 candidates only nine of them were able to receive the votes of confidence and the remaining 10 candidates were rejected.

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Afghan Air Force’s first six armed MD-530s arrived last night http://www.khaama.com/afghan-air-forces-first-six-armed-md-530s-arrived-last-night-9348 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-air-forces-first-six-armed-md-530s-arrived-last-night-9348#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 05:30:56 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47042 Read the full article...]]> MD530

The US Air Forces Central Command announced Wednesday that the first six Armed MD-530s arrived in Afghanistan last night.

According to Train, Assist, Advise Command-Air and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, the armed MD-530s will increase the Afghan Air Force aerial fires capability.

Armed Mi-17s and MD-530s give the Afghan Air Force six times the number of armed aircraft for Fighting Season 2015 as compared to last fighting season, which only employed five Mi-35s.

This comes as Pentagon awarded MD Helicopters Inc. a maximum $44.2 million firm-fixed-price contract last year to develop and provide an armament package for the MD-530F helicopters that were already supplied to the Afghan Air Force.

Around 17 of the Afghan Air Force’s MD-530F helicopter will be upgraded under the contract which is expected to be completed early next year.

MD-530F helicopters are designed for high altitude and/or hot weather operations, where thinner air costs helicopters some of their lift.

Afghan Air Force is also expecting to receive 20 A-29 Super Tucano light air support aircraft which will help replace the Mi-35 attack helicopter that reaches the end of its service life in January 2016.

According to reports, the first of 20 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft 26 are scheduled to arrive early next year, in preparation for the Afghanistan pilot and maintenance training mission.

A-29 pilots and maintainers are currently in the US and have been training since February.

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Kankor examination results announced http://www.khaama.com/kankor-examination-results-announced-9939 http://www.khaama.com/kankor-examination-results-announced-9939#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 17:42:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47027 Read the full article...]]> Kankor resultsThe Ministry of Higher Education of Afghanistan (MoHE) on Tuesday announced Kankor report – examination results for higher secondary graduates for enrollment to higher education institutes.

Acting Minister for Higher Education Ministry, Mohammad Osman Babari, said 219,145 students had participated in Kankor examination.

The ministry announced the result at 4:00 pm on Tuesday with Babri saying only 54,737 high school graduates managed to pass the entry test for governmental higher education institutes while 36,750 others will be enrolled in semi-higher education governmental institutes.

Babari further added that 27,000 high school graduates would be enrolled to private higher education institutes.

The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) also named Mohammad Qasim as the highest scorer in 1393 Kankor Examination.

According to MoHE, Mohammad Qasim had participated in the examination from outside the country and obtained 354 points.

The kanor results can be checked through the official website of Ministry of Higher Education www.mohe.gov.af

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Bruce Hazara dreaming to complete Bruce Lee’s unfinished film http://www.khaama.com/bruce-hazara-dreaming-to-complete-bruce-lees-unfinished-film-9938 http://www.khaama.com/bruce-hazara-dreaming-to-complete-bruce-lees-unfinished-film-9938#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:47:42 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47022 Read the full article...]]> bruce-lee-copy1

Martial arts legend and Hollywood icon Bruce Lee’s look-alike in Afghanistan Abas Alizada is dreaming to complete the star’s unfinished film ‘The Game of Death’.

Locally known as Bruce Hazara, Alizada became popular shortly after his stories and photographs went viral on internet late last year.

An athlete of Wushu the “Chinese Kunk Fu”, Alizada is followed by more than 50,000 on Twitter and his Facebook page has been liked by 40,000 users.

In an interview with the AFP, Alizada, said his project is to complete the film Lee left unfinished when he died.

“When I was eight years old I saw the Bruce Lee movies, and I was hooked,” Alizada said.

“I said I will be the Bruce Lee of Afghanistan one day. I know I cannot be Bruce Lee, but I follow in his path,” he added.

Alizada also has dreams to work with the Hong Kong martial arts movie start Jackie Chan besides idolising starts such “Mr Rambo” — Sylvester Stallone — Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Bruce Lee reportedly died at the age of 32 in 1973 while he was filming Game Of Death.

Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee earlier announced that a new biopic about her father is in the works. “There have been projects out there involving my father but they’ve lacked a complete understanding of his philosophies and artistry,” she said in a statement.

She said “They haven’t captured the essence of his beliefs in martial arts or storytelling. The only way to get audiences to understand the depth and uniqueness of my father is to generate our own material.”

Bruce Lee kept an extensive library, was deeply philosophical and was fond of writing poetry as well as acting for the movies.

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Afghanistan, Kazakhstan could become new global rare earth metals centers http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-kazakhstan-could-become-new-global-rare-earth-metals-centers-9347 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-kazakhstan-could-become-new-global-rare-earth-metals-centers-9347#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 10:50:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47019 Read the full article...]]> Afghanistan rare earth elements

Afghanistan and Kazakhstan may become new global centers of rare earth metals’ production during the next several years with Kazakh government recently approving a state plan that involves a significant increase of production and development of the country’s of rare and REM fields during the next four years.

Afghanistan’s Rare Earth Elements have been valued at around $1 trillion despite being one of the poorest nations in the world.

According to a survey report by US scientists, Afghanistan may be sitting on one of the richest troves of minerals in the world, loaded with minerals deposited by the violent collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia.

The report further added that Afghanistan may hold 60 million tons of copper, 2.2 billion tons of iron ore, 1.4 million tons of rare earth elements such as lanthanum, cerium and neodymium, and lodes of aluminum, gold, silver, zinc, mercury and lithium.

In the meantime, Eugene Gerden in his report for Investor Intel, stated that one of the most valuable metal that was discovered in the country’s territory is praseodymium, which a silver metal that is used in the manufacture of specialty glasses and for the improvement of the properties of some alloys.

Among the other discovered rare earth metals are cerium, which is actively used in metallurgy, as well as lanthanum, neodymium, samarium and gadolinium, the report added.

Gerden is an international free-lance writer, based in St. Petersburg, who specializes on writing in the field of mining, metals and rare earth metals and has worked as a senior analyst in the department of mining of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources for three years after graduation of the geology department of the St. Petersburg State University.

Afghanistan’s mineral resources were valued at $908 billion by U.S. Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) in 2010. However, Afghan government’s estimate is $3 trillion.

The resources provide the potential for Afghanistan to develop its economy, to create jobs and build infrastructure, as it goes into the future and lift Afghanistan out of poverty and fight crime and terrorism.

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26 insurgents killed in military operations http://www.khaama.com/26-insurgents-killed-in-military-operations-3019 http://www.khaama.com/26-insurgents-killed-in-military-operations-3019#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 07:11:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47006 Read the full article...]]> Insurgents26 insurgents have been killed in separate military operations across the country in past 24 hours, statements issued on Tuesday morning by the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior state.

According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Interior states that 19 insurgents were killed in the operations conducted by Afghan National Police with the assistance from the Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

The statement issued by the Ministry of Defense states that seven insurgents were killed in Operation Zulfiqar in southern Helmand province.

Operation Zulfiqar was launched by hundreds of Afghan National Security Forces last month to cleare target areas in Helmand province where more than 200 insurgents have been killed so far.

The operation began from Sangin District, one of the restive Districts in Helmand province, but later extended to other Districts within Helmand.

Ministry of Defense statement also states that 62 different types of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also discovered and defused.

After taking the full responsibility of the security from NATO forces at the beginning of this year, Afghan National Security Forces have conducted, with some still ongoing, large scale operations.

Officials of the Ministry of Defense say that Afghan National Security Forces are successfully running these operations.

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Masked gunmen kidnapped 6 people on Farah-Herat Highway http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-masked-gunmen-kidnapped-6-people-on-farah-herat-highway http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-masked-gunmen-kidnapped-6-people-on-farah-herat-highway#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:59:25 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47003 Read the full article...]]> Taliban 2A group of masked gunmen have kidnapped six people on Farah-Heart Highway.

Security officials confirm the abduction.

Four persons abducted are reportedly soldiers of the Afghan National Army.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the abduction.

This is 3rd such incident in less than four weeks. One kidnapping took place in Zabul province in which unknown gunmen who also had their faces covered kidnapped 30 passengers whose fate is still unknown.

Military Operation were also conducted which ended in the killing over 100 insurgents but did not secure the release of the people kidnapped.

The 2nd abduction took place in Ghazni province where ten people were initially kidnapped but later nine were released by the insurgents.

One is still in the captivity of the insurgents.

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Suicide bomber arrested before reaching target in Helmand http://www.khaama.com/suicide-bomber-arrested-before-reaching-target-in-helmand-9346 http://www.khaama.com/suicide-bomber-arrested-before-reaching-target-in-helmand-9346#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:48:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=47000 Read the full article...]]> Afghan security forcesA would-be suicide bomber was apprehended by the Afghan national security forces before he manage to carry out a suicide attack in Helmand province.

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said the would-be bomber was arrested by police forces in Nad-e-Ali district.

He said a vehicle packed with explosives was confiscated by the Afghan security forces.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

Helmand is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in its various districts and frequently carry out insurgency activities.

At least four people were killed and five others were injured following a suicide car bomb attack in Helmand province late on Monday afternoon.

The local government officials said the suicide bomber detonated a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive (VBIED) near a police check post.

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UN concerned over ISIS presence in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/un-concerned-over-isis-presence-in-afghanistan-3019 http://www.khaama.com/un-concerned-over-isis-presence-in-afghanistan-3019#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 06:25:11 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46997 Read the full article...]]> ISIS Al-Qaeda Militants Fighting Syrian Civil WarThe United Nations on Monday expressed concern over the presence of the Islamic State supporters in Afghanistan.

Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations states that a few previous Taliban commanders in Afghanistan have pledged allegiance to the Islamic States and the number of their supporters is increasing.

Concerns raised over an increase in the number Islamic States supporters in Afghanistan after unknown masked men kidnapped 30 passengers in southern Zabul province last month and in Zabul’s neighboring Helmand province security forces killed two of the groups commanders.

Mullah Abdul Rawouf and Hafiz Wahidi are the two Islamic State commanders so far killed in Afghanistan.

Mullah Abdul Rawouf was the first Islamic State commander and recruiter who was killed along with five of his companions in Helmand province last month.

Following the killing of Mullah Abdul Rawouf, his nephew Hafiz Wahidi took the command for ISIS who was also killed along with nine of his companions in Afghan National Security Forces operations in Helmand province yesterday.

Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the government, pointing to the members of Taliban who are now functioning under the name of ISIS, says changing ranks from Taliban to ISIS does not mean they have become more powerful but their threat cannot be underestimated.

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QRF commander among seven injured in Paktika explosion http://www.khaama.com/qrf-commander-among-seven-injured-in-paktika-explosion-3018 http://www.khaama.com/qrf-commander-among-seven-injured-in-paktika-explosion-3018#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 05:25:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46993 Read the full article...]]> Paktika-QRF commander Azizullah KarwanA commander of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and six other soldiers were injured following a landmine explosion in southeastern Paktika province.

Nabiullah Peerkhil, spokesman for the governor of Paktika province told Khaama Press  that the incident took place on Monday in the jurisdiction of Wazi Khwa District.

He said that security forces conducted six days long military operation against Taliban in Wazi Khwa District in which they did not have casualties but when they were returning from the mission, the vehicle of Paktika’s QRF commander Azizullah Karwan struck a landmine.

Governor’s spokesman added that seven people including Azizullah Karwan sustained injuries in the explosion.

 He expressed concern over the health condition of two soldiers. He said “Azizullah Karwan and four other soldiers were out of danger but two soldiers are seriously wounded who have been flown to Kabul for treatment.”

Azizullah Karwan has been wounded in similar Taliban attacks in the past where he sustained light injuries.

But an official source told Khaama Press on condition of anonymity that both legs of Azizullah Karwan were badly injured who was also flown to Kabul for better treatment.

Azizullah Amiree / Paktika

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4 protesters killed by police firing in Jawzjan http://www.khaama.com/4-protesters-killed-by-police-in-jawzjan-3017 http://www.khaama.com/4-protesters-killed-by-police-in-jawzjan-3017#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 04:25:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46988 Read the full article...]]> Jawzjan-Police HeadquartersFour protesters were killed after policemen fired bullets on a demonstration in northern Jawzjan, a source from the site told KHaama Press on condition of anonymity.

Source said that the demonstration which was called over a Jungle Dispute in Qarqeen District which was peaceful but later turn deadly after a brief argument between the protesters and the policemen at around 01:00 PM.

He added that after the argument police started firing to disperse the demonstration but the firing took lives of civilians.

He said initially three persons were killed in the firing and five others were wounded but one injured person breathed last on the way to the hospital.

Security officials refused to comment on the report.

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President Ghani to visit India next month http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-to-visit-india-next-month-9937 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-to-visit-india-next-month-9937#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 15:54:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46983 Read the full article...]]> GhaniThe Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is expected to visit India next month to hold talks with the Indian officials.

Sources quoted by local newspapers said President Ghani will visit India on an invitation by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The officials further added that Modi had invited President Ghani on the sidelines of a regions summit in Kathmandu in November last year.

This will be the first official visit by President Ghani to India since he took office in September last year.

India has played a crucial role in reconstruction of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 and has pledged $2 billion in aid.

This comes as Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah visited India earlier this week and is currently in the country on a largely private visit.

Perceived as less India-leaning than the former President Hamid Karzai, Ghani is believed to have stepped up efforts in a bid to balance ties between India and Pakistan.

The Afghan government cancelled a request by the Karzai government for arms from India in October last year, a move which was seen as a step to persuade Islamabad to help the Afghan government with the peace process.

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4 killed, 5 injured in Helmand suicide car bombing http://www.khaama.com/4-killed-5-injured-in-helmand-suicide-car-bombing-9936 http://www.khaama.com/4-killed-5-injured-in-helmand-suicide-car-bombing-9936#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 15:30:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46981 Read the full article...]]> AfghanistanAt least four people were killed and five others were injured following an explosion in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

According to local government officials, the incident took place late on Monday afternoon in Lashkargah, the capital city of Helmand province.

Provincial governor spokesman, Omar Zwak, said the incident took place after a suicide bomber detonated a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED).

Zwak further added that the suicide bomber detonated the VBIED near a security check post.

In the meantime, another security official said at least five people including two policemen and three were killed following the attack.

The official further added that a woman and a child were among those killed while they were crossing the area.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Helmand is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating and often carry out insurgency activities.

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Housing market collapses as foreigners leave Afghanistan: Reports http://www.khaama.com/housing-market-collapses-as-foreigners-leave-afghanistan-reports-3016 http://www.khaama.com/housing-market-collapses-as-foreigners-leave-afghanistan-reports-3016#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:38:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46972 Read the full article...]]> Kabul Life During Wartime

Reports indicate that the housing market in the country collapses as the number of the foreigners decrease in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of houses have been emptied only in the capital Kabul since the number of the foreign offices started to decrease.

A multi-story house owner in Kabul has told STARS AND STRIPES, an American news paper, that the market of housing was good in 2011 but now it is has been damaged.

“When I started building this place in 2011, the market was still very strong,”, he is quoted by STARS AND STRIPES as saying.

“But as the pullout of foreign forces neared, demand dried up as most foreign civilians also left Kabul.”, another quote of the same person states.

Several people who had mansions in Kabul had chosen to rent them in high prices and live in comparatively cheap houses. But now they have no choice than returning to the expansive houses  following the collapse of the market.

STARS AND STRIPES quotes the house owner who is interviewed as saying if his house is not rented he will move back in. “If I can’t rent it out, my family will move in and live here,”, he is quoted as saying.

In the meantime, Sayed Masood, an economics professor from Kabul University has told the paper that most of these palaces were built with illegal money.

“Most of Kabul’s mansions, palaces and huge buildings are built with illegal money, either from drug business, corruption, human trafficking” or other criminal activities, Sayed Masoud is quoted as saying.

He has also said that money laundering is very easy in Afghanistan.

He says “Money laundering is like drinking water in Afghanistan. It is very easy,”

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Warm welcome for Afghan National Cricket Team http://www.khaama.com/warm-welcome-for-afghan-national-cricket-team-3015 http://www.khaama.com/warm-welcome-for-afghan-national-cricket-team-3015#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 10:56:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46969 Read the full article...]]> CricketAfghan National Cricket Team was given a warm welcome at Hamid Karzai International Airport after they returned from taking part in the Cricket World Cup matches in Australia.

The national cricket team arrived in Kabul on Monday where hundreds of civilians as well as media representatives were waiting for them.

They were the beating drums and dancing in front of the cricket team to express their happiness in wake of their cricket team participated in the Cricket World Cup, for the 1st time in the history of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan played six matches in the Cricket World Cup 2015 where the won one but were defeated in five others.

Players of the national cricket team said that although they wanted to achieve more but beating a strong cricket team who has played in several world cups is also a state of proud.

Afghan National Cricket Team beat Scotland but was defeated by Bangladesh, Australia, Srilanka and New Zeland.

In the meantime, national cricket team players said they learned a lot from playing in the world cup and that they have noted their positive and negative points and will work on their negative points.

]]> http://www.khaama.com/warm-welcome-for-afghan-national-cricket-team-3015/feed 0 ISIS commander killed in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/isis-commander-killed-in-afghanistan-3014 http://www.khaama.com/isis-commander-killed-in-afghanistan-3014#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 10:29:18 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46966 Read the full article...]]> ??????????????????????????????????????????The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan says that Afghan National Security Forces have killed an Islamic State commander in southern Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Defense Hafiz Wahidi was killed along with nine of his companions during an operation conducted in restive Helmand province.

According to the statement Hafiz Wahidi was the replacement for his uncle Mullah Abdul Rawouf, the previous Islamic State commander who was killed last month.

Mullah Abdul Rawouf Khadim was a previous commander of Taliban who had recently joined the ranks of the Islamic State for Afghanistan.

He was also a recruiter of the fighters for the Islamic States. Afghan National Security Forces were in the hunt for Mullah Abdul Rawouf who was finaly killed along with five of his companions in the Kajaki District of Helmand province.

After a group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) senior commanders announced their allegiance with the Islamic State, they named this region as Khurasaan and announced their commanders for parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Their commanders and members in Afghanistan are reportedly the ex-members of the Taliban insurgents.

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Western forces Afghan aide killed by Taliban http://www.khaama.com/western-forces-afghan-aide-killed-by-taliban-3013 http://www.khaama.com/western-forces-afghan-aide-killed-by-taliban-3013#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:03:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46961 Read the full article...]]> Taliban-ee1Mawla Dad, an Afghan aide of western forces has been killed in his residence by Taliban insurgents for his association with western forces.

THE AUSTRALIAN news agency states that Taliban had attached a bomb to the 1st door of his residence which detonated as Mawla Dad was leaving his residence.

THE AUSTRALIAN writes that Mawla Dad lost his life in front of his six months pregnant wife and his toddler son.

According to the news agency Mawla Dad was receiving death threats from Taliban due to his association with western forces and finally Taliban killed him.

Mawla Daud was a contractor of the Australian Defense Forces in Oruzgan Province.

His brother Bari Daud says “Why did they (ADF) not give my brother a chance? They knew fully he was at risk,”

Bari Daud blames Australia for being negligent to its former employees. He says “The Australians said they came to Afghanistan for support and assistance to save Afghan lives but they didn’t save my brother. They just left Oruzgan and never asked what happened to their former employees.”

Bari Daud further said that his brother submitted his paperwork to receive visa to Australia but he was never contacted.

“My brother submitted his passport and other documents and filled out all forms to go to Australia and he was waiting for a call from Australian authorities but the Taliban killed him and Australians never contacted our family.”

A spokesman for the Australian Defense Department says that a recommendation for the visas is made based on  the eligibility of such criteria as duration of employment and level of support provided.

But thousands of other Afghans who even have completed the criteria of the duration of employment and level of support provided to the western forces, plus their documents are completed, are still left to the bless of the insurgents.

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Saudi Arabia second home for Afghans: Saudi King http://www.khaama.com/saudi-arabia-second-home-for-afghans-saudi-king-3012 http://www.khaama.com/saudi-arabia-second-home-for-afghans-saudi-king-3012#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 07:29:32 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46957 Read the full article...]]> Saudi KingPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani during his visit to Saudi Arabia met with Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the two holy mosques in Riyadh where he was given a warm welcome.

During the meeting King Salman called Saudi Arabia “Second Home of Afghans” and welcome President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to Saudi Arabia.

King Salman told President Ghani that the relationship between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia is not only the relationship between two countries but it is a relationship between two brotherly nations.

He said that the engagements of the two nations in various sections will more strengthen this relationship.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani thanked King Salman for his country’s assistance with Afghanistan during the Jihad era and in the last decade.

King Salman assured President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for the continuation of all possible assistance to Afghanistan.

President Ghani also praised Saudi Arabia for organizing the conference in Mecca to coordinate the joint efforts of the Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism.

He said that this conference showed the real face of the terrorism the world.

President Ghani said that Terrorism is acting through a system and the world should 1st know the system and then coordinate their efforts against it.

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Newborn Afghan child injured in explosion, moments after delivery http://www.khaama.com/newborn-afghan-child-injured-in-explosion-3011 http://www.khaama.com/newborn-afghan-child-injured-in-explosion-3011#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 06:19:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46950 Read the full article...]]> Child injuredA newborn Afghan child got injured in a landmine explosion just few moments after he was born.

The shocking incident took place in central Ghazni province where the vehicle in which the new born child was accompanying his family ran over a landmine.

Shafaq Nang, spokesman for the acting governor of Ghazni province said that the family went to the local hospital of Andar District for delivery.

He said after the delivery when the family was returning home their vehicle ran over a landmine in Gandir Area leaving two persons killed and five others including the newborn child wounded.

Shafaq Nang added that the ones killed also included the mother of the child, the mother who probably had seen a lot of dreams with and for her baby.

Nang said that the injured were taken back to the local hospital in Andar District following the explosion where their health condition is stated to be out of danger.

No group has claimed responsibility for last night’s explosion but civilians in Andar District have been fighting against Taliban after their insurgency in their areas raised.

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5 soldier martyred, 11 insurgents killed in separate military operations http://www.khaama.com/5-soldier-martyred-11-insurgents-killed-in-separate-military-operations-3010 http://www.khaama.com/5-soldier-martyred-11-insurgents-killed-in-separate-military-operations-3010#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 05:31:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46939 Read the full article...]]> ANA3Five Afghan National Army soldiers have been martyred while eleven insurgents killed during separate military operations in past 24 hours, a statement issued Monday morning by the Ministry of Defense states.

According to the statement five soldiers embraced martyrdom due to a landmine explosion. The statement does not contain information about the location of the incident.

The statement adds that eleven insurgents were killed in separate military operations in four provinces of the country including Helmand province.

The statement further adds that three insurgents were killed in Operation Zulfiqar in Helmand province while eight others were killed in three other provinces.

Operation Zulfiqar is run by hundreds of Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand province for clearing the target areas from the insurgents.

The operation began last month in Sangin District but later extended to other neighboring districts.

Around 200 insurgents have been killed during Operation Zulfiqar.

Ministry of Defense also states that security posts have been established in the areas they have cleared from the insurgents during Operation Zulfiqar in Helmand province.

14 insurgents were also wounded during the operation and 109 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were also recovered and defused during the operations, the statement states.

Security forces also seized a large number of weapons and ammunition, the statement adds.

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Afghan woman activist Dr. Massouda Jalal wins leadership award http://www.khaama.com/afghan-woman-activist-dr-massouda-jalal-wins-leadership-award-9344 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-woman-activist-dr-massouda-jalal-wins-leadership-award-9344#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 04:41:29 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46933 Read the full article...]]> Massouda Jalal wins leadership awardDr. Massouda Jalal received the Leadership Award for Outstanding Contribution to Women Upliftment from the World CSR Congress last February 18, 2015 at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai/India.  The Leadership Award is conferred to “Outstanding Women Professionals who have the vision, flair, acumen and professionalism to demonstrate excellent leadership and management skills in an organization, making changes and achieving results”.  The award was a joint initiative of world women leaders and is supported by the World Federation of Marketing Professionals, Stars of the Industry Group Asian Confederation of Business, and the World Cultural and Social Rights Day.

Dr. Massouda Jalal is an Afghan woman leader, political activist, pro-democracy campaigner and champion of women’s rights who was a former Minister of Women and the first Afghan woman to run for President. She is founding Chairperson of the Jalal Foundation, a non-profit Afghan NGO working for women’s leadership, political participation, social and cultural rights and the elimination of violence against women. It has around 1,200 women’s councils and NGOs in its network with close to 60,000 members located in various provinces of the country.  The organization has helped many Afghan women through scholarships, literacy courses, employment referrals and trainings on computer operation, leadership, political participation, women’s rights, English language, management, and entrepreneurship.She has been working tirelessly to Afghan women at grass root level for more than two decades.

Dr. Massouda Jalal is a recipient of numerous international awards such as from the UN Watch Human Rights, International Human Rights and Law Group, Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA),  SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs’ Council (SCWEC) and Outstanding Visionary Women Leadership Award from the World Women Leadership Congress last year.  She is currently mobilizing civil society groups to coalesce under the National Association of Afghan Civil Society to promote consolidated and stronger resistance against ignorance, descrimination and oppression in Afghanistan.

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9 abducted civilians freed by kidnappers in Ghazni http://www.khaama.com/9-civilians-freed-by-kidnappers-in-ghazni-3009 http://www.khaama.com/9-civilians-freed-by-kidnappers-in-ghazni-3009#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 11:54:12 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46922 Read the full article...]]> GhazniNine civilians abducted in Ghazni province have been freed by the kidnappers.

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, Deputy Governor of Ghazni province told Khaama Press that the kidnappers released nine civilians out of ten they kidnapped from the jurisdiction of Jaghori District today.

He said one civilian is still in the custody of Taliban together with a Saracha vehicle.

He added that the man with Taliban might be a government official or Taliban had pre-information about his travel.

Explaining the situation, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said that the civilians were traveling to the capital city of Ghazni province from Jaghori District who were stopped on the way by Taliban and kidnapped on gunpoint.

He further said that Taliban occasionally establish check posts on this way and harass people.

Answering the question, have security forces taken any action against it?

He said “Security forces have only established security check points on the way but they are either not available in the check points or not caring.”

“Either they have hands with Taliban or assisting them.” he said.

He further said that the area where the kidnapping took place today is a Taliban area where only today they have searched people in three points.

Deputy Governor also said that this was not the only incident on this way.

He said several incidents of hostages and robberies have taken place on this way and the destructive activities continue.

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President Ghani performed Umrah, prayed for Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-performed-umrah-prayed-for-afghanistan-3008 http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-performed-umrah-prayed-for-afghanistan-3008#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 10:57:39 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46914 Read the full article...]]> Ghani in UAEPresident Mohammad Ashraf Ghani during his official visit to Saudi Arabia performed Umrah and prayed for the peace and stability of Afghanistan as well as the improvement of unity between Afghans.

According to a statement issued by the presidential palace here in Kabul President Ghani arrived in Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport late yesterday afternoon who was given a warm welcome by Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud, the governor of Makkah province.

The statement adds that the delegation which has left to Saudi Arabi with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani also performed Umrah with him.

The statement further adds that during his visit President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani will meet with Iyad bin Amin Madani, the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the two holy mosques, Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina.

The purpose of the visit of President is not announced yet but this visit is taking place amid the ongoing efforts of the peace talks between Taliban and the government in which Saudi Arabia and OIC can play a key role.

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10 civilians kidnapped in Ghazni http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-10-civilians-kidnapped-in-ghani-3007 http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-10-civilians-kidnapped-in-ghani-3007#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 09:23:30 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=46905 Read the full article...]]> Taliban 2Officials say unidentified gunmen have kidnapped 10 civilians in Ghazni province.

According to the local officials these people were traveling from Jaghori District to the capital city of Ghazni when unidentified gunmen stopped them on gunpoint and kidnapped.

The 10 passengers are reportedly from the Hazara community who were taken to unknown location today. This is second incident of the abduction of Hazaras in about three weeks.

The incident before this took place in southern Zabul province on February 23 in which 30 Hazaras were kidnapped, the fate of whom is still unknown.

There is no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping. Taliban have also not immediately commented on the report but have rejected hand in the kidnapping that took place on February 23.

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