Hekmat Karzai meets Taliban in Islamabad to discuss peace


Hekmat Karzai meets Taliban in Islamabad to discuss peace
Eye on the News
Ghani to
attend SCO
Summit in
President Mohammad Ashraf
Ghani is scheduled to attend the
summit of Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation (SCO) in Ufa city of
Russia that is going to be organized
on Thursday and Friday.
The summit is expected to be
attended by Pakistani MP Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Indian MP
Narendra Modi, Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The leaders are expected to
discuss the growth of the Islamic
State or Daesh in Afghanistan, its
threat and ways to combat with it.
According to China s Foreign
Ministry the menace of Daesh is
on the agenda of Chinese Presidnet Xi with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
SCO which is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation was founded in Shanghai in 2001 . It has six members
countries, People s Republic of
China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyz
Pakistan and India were approved to become members of
SCO last year.
The procedures of including
the two nuclear-armed rivals will
begin in this summit and by completing these procedures, number
of the countries in SCO will rise
from six to eight which will help
the organization become better and
be more productive. KP
Taliban captures
60 villages in
AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: The Taliban militants
have captured tens of villages in
Faryab province recently, TOLOnews reported.
Sayed Abdul Baqi Hashemi,
the chairman of Faryab provincial
council, said that around 60 villages in the province have fallen to
the Taliban s hands over the past
two days.
He added that conflicts in the
province have forced more than
3,000 families in the province to
leave their homes.
He said that the Taliban along
with foreign militants have captured the villages in Qaisar, Almar
and Pashtunkot districts of the
Hashemi urged the incumbent
government to provide support to
displaced families in the province.
Abdul Satar Barez, the acting
governor of the province, confirmed that the Taliban militants
have captured several villages in
the province, but termed this a tactical retreat.
The Taliban militants have increased their activities across the
In a tragic the Taliban militant
group recently captured several
checkpoints in Jalrez district of
central Maidan Wardak province
and killed more than 30 policemen.
However, Afghan security forces
managed to retake the checkpoints
from the militants.
[email protected]
2015 -Saratan 17, 1394 HS
Truthful, Factual and Unbiased
IS emergence: US will continue
working with Afghanistan to
quell terrorism, says Obama
AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: US President Barack
Obama in a rare visit to the Pentagon for delivering remarks on his
strategy to fight Islamic State of
Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said that United States would partner with nations like Afghanistan to support
security forces to defeat terrorist
Obama while briefing newsmen at Pentagon said that US
would continue to work with Afghanistan and Nigeria to build up
their security forces to thwart terrorist attacks.
He added that US and its allies
working day and night to disrupt
terrorist networks and thwart attack and to smother nascent ISIS
cells that may be trying to develop in other parts of the world.
ISIS has been making root to
reach out and recruit vulnerable
people around the world including
here in the United States Obama
said. He further said that ISIS targeting Muslim communities across
the world. And also a number of
people in the United State were
put behind bars for plotting attacks
or attempting to join ISIS in Syria
and Iraq.
Indeed we are intensifying our
efforts against ISIS s base in Syria , Obama said. However he added that airstrikes would continue
to target the oil and gas facilities
that fund so much of their operations.
Obama pledge to go after the
ISIS leadership and infrastructure
in Syria, and also to those who
funds and spread propaganda
among the people around the
Partnering with other countries, sharing more information,
strengthening laws and border security allows us to work to stem
the flow of foreign fighters to Syria as well as Iraq and to stem, obviously, the flow of those fighters
back into our own countries,
Obama said.
Vol:IX Issue No:332 Price: Afs.15
www.face book.com/ afghanistantime s www.twitter.com/ afghanistantimes
HIA decision
to back IS
activists in
MAZAR-I-SHARIF: Civil society activists in northern Balkh
province on Tuesday said they
were deeply concerned about the
Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-iIslami Afghanistan (HIA) s decision to join forces with the selfstyled Islamic State or IS group.
Hekmatyar, a former prime
minister, on Sunday asked his followers to support the Taliban if
they fought against the communists and the Nazar council, but
support the IS if the Taliban fought
against them.
Civil society activists associated with various groups on Tuesday held a gathering in Mazar-iSharif, the provincial capital, and
asked the HIA to clearly declare
its stance against the Afghans.
Activist Manochhar Ibrahimi
told Pajhwok Afghan News he believed the HIA had announced its
support to the Daesh group due
to its weak representation in the
unity government.
He said Hekmatyar and particularly the HIA had many supporters in Afghanistan and their
support for the IS group could pose
a serious threat.
Ibrahimi said the government
should prevent other militant and
political groups from joining
Abdullah in Kunduz to
assess security situation
KUNDUZ CITY: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah on
Tuesday arrived in northern Kunduz to assess for himself security
situation of the troubled province. Abdul Malik Sediqi, deputy chairman Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), Lawmaker
Mirwais Yasini and Fazel Ahmad Manawi, former head of Independent
Election Commission (IEC) were accompanied the CEO. Kunduz Governor Mohammad Omar Safi told a meeting: Kunduz has lack of security amid shortage of security forces. Currently, the province has only
one brigade of Afghan National Army (ANA) that operated in and around
the province. Mohammad Yusuf Ayubi, provincial council head, regretted that civilians and military personnel had suffered casualties because
of deteriorated security in the province. He urged CEO to approve more
troops for the province. The CEO is scheduled to speak later about the
security of Kunduz. For over two weeks, Dasht-i-Archi district has
fallen to insurgents but the government forces have retaken Chardara
In recent clashes, more than 220 civilians have been injured amid
mass displacement due to insecurity.
Protesters want interior, Hekmat Karzai meets
defense ministers fired Taliban in Islamabad Samkani district on verge
to discuss peace
of falling to Taliban: PC
BAMYAN CITY: Over a thousand
enraged protesters in central Bamyan province on Tuesday termed
Jalrez carnage a war crime and demanded immediate sacking of interior and acting defense ministers.
At least 30 militants and 24
Afghan Local Police (ALP) men
were killed and 18 other rebels
wounded in Kabul-Bamyan Highway clashes in central Maidan
Wardak province on Friday.
The ALP force also lost control of 12 security posts. However, security officials had said Afghan forces regained control of all
12 posts in Jalrez district.
Over 3,000 protesters started
march from Jami Masjid and chanted anti Taliban slogans and condemned the president and interior
minister. Members of the provincial Ulama Council, civil society
activists and Bamyan citizens
took part in the rally.
A couple of days back, hundreds of residents of central Bamyan province took to the street
against the killing of 24 ALP members by rebels and criticised the
government for demonstrating
what they called negligence.
Hundreds of Bamyan residents including civil society activists and members of provincial
council held a protest in Bamyan
City, accusing security officials,
particularly ministers of defense
and interior of negligence.
Taiba Khawari, chief of Bamyan provincial council, had said
that people of the province warned
the illegally-formed government
and its leaders to defend other Afghans.
The security forces suffering
from hunger and facing acute shortage of weapons while the government was watching them as silent
spectator, she alleged. (Pajhwok)
The Deputy Afghan Foreign Minister on Political Affairs Hekmat
Khalil Karzai met with the Taliban representatives in Islamabad
the capital city of Pakistan to
discuss reconciliation process.
According to the local media
reports in Pakistan, Taliban s
former Deputy Foreign Minister
Mullah Jalil and senior leader Qari
Din Muhammad are representing
Taliban group.
Quoting informed sources the
reports added that the meeting is a
follow-up of he recently held talks
in Urumqi, China.
The two-day meeting between
the Afghan officials and Taliban
representatives was held in the
month of May this year. The meeting was reportedly facilitated by
Pakistan s military intelligence
Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in
an apparent show of goodwill
aimed at a negotiated solution to
the insurgency. Negotiations between the Afghan officials and Taliban representatives in Islamabad
comes as the Taliban-led insurgency have been rampant across the
country during the recent months.
The Taliban group claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing in capital Kabul today which
targeted the vehicles convoy of the
NATO troops. KP
Taliban attack NDS s
sub-office in Kabul
AT News Report
KABUL: The Taliban had attacked
the National Directorate of Security s (NDS) regional sub-office in
the 8th police jurisdiction of Kabul
City on Tuesday.
Three suicide bombers had
stormed the NDS s sub-office at
around 1:00pm. The first attacker
detonated his motorbike, full of
explosives, near the entrance of the
security facility. The two others
tried to find access to the building,
the spy agency s press office said
on Twitter.
After 30 minutes of gunfire
exchange, the remaining two attackers, wearing the suicide vests
packed with explosives, were shot
dead by the security forces.
Initial reports indicate that one
NDS staffer was killed and another injured in the attack.
GARDEZ: A month long fierce
fight between Afghan security forces and Taliban might lead to fall of
Samakni district in southeastern
Paktia province to militants, province council member warned on
Taj Mohammad Mangal, provincial council member, told Pajhwok Afghan News hundreds of
Taliban had influx into Samkani
district which could fall to Taliban.
A fierce gun battle has been
underway in Lawarra area, he said,
adding that civilians, security forces and Taliban militants suffered
scores of casualties but he has no
exact figure into casualties.
The month-long clashes forced
hundreds of families to migrate to
safer places, Mangal informed.
Haji Sardar, a local edler, said
the warring parties were using
heavy and small weapons against
each other positions, which created a sense of insecurity among residents.
Maj. Gen. Zalmai Orykhail,
provincial police chief, confirmed
the firefight between Taliban and
security forces and said: Taliban
have suffered heavy casualties in
the battle and we would fight according to our strategy. He rejected the notion that the district could
fall to Taliban and said that militants had been pushed back. Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed inflicting heavy casualties on security forces in the
Samakani district fight. (Pajhwok)
66 insurgents killed, 53
injured in operations
AT News Report
KABUL: As many as 66 armed
Taliban fighters were killed and 53
others were wounded in different
crackdowns within past 24 hours.
In a press release issued here,
Ministry of Interior (MoI) said
that Afghan National Police (ANP)
in collaboration with Afghan National Army (ANA) and National
Directorate of Security (NDS) has
conducted clearance operations
against insurgents in different areas of Kandahar, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Nangarhar, Baghlan and
Paktiya provinces. In these operations 32 rebels were eliminated
and 20 others injured.
Meanwhile, MoD in a state-
ment said that 34 Taliban fighters
were killed and 33 others wounded in joint operation in various districts of Laghman, Parwan, Nangarhar, Logar, Ghazni, Herat,
Farah, Takhar, Ghor and Baghlan
provinces. Five insurgents were
also arrested in the crackdowns and
were handed over to the relevant
authorities for interrogation, added the statement. ANA and ANP
recovered huge cache of weapons
in the operations as well, claimed
the two ministries.
Two ANA soldiers were killed
in landmine blasts and rocket shelling by the Taliban in different provinces.
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Project Coordination Unit
Rehabilitation Works for Zakhil Irrigation Scheme- (J-205)
Irrigation Restoration and Development Project
No:MEW/IRDP/HQ/IFB/MIS/ J-205 Date: 8 July, 2015
Invitation for Bids (IFB)
1. This Invitation for Bids follows the General Procurement Notice for this Project that appeared in Development Business, issue of 11 January, 2011.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ministry of Energy & Water has received a grant from theInternational Development Associationtoward the cost of Irrigation Restoration and Development
Project and it intends to apply part of the proceeds of this grant to payments under the Contract for Rehabilitation Works for Zakhil Irrigation Scheme .
The Ministryof Energy & Water, Project Coordination Unit now invites sealed bids from eligible and qualified bidders for the Rehabilitation Works for Zakhil Irrigation Scheme (J-205) in Kama
District of Jalalabad Province consisting of:
(Canal Bank Protection walls, Intake, Canal Lining, and Social structure).
The Completion Period is 360 days (including slack period of about 90 days).
The bids must be submitted along with the bid security in the amount of Afs 400,000 in the shape of Bank Guarantee as per Bank Guarantee Form attached to the Bidding Documents.
Bidding will be conducted through the National Competitive Bidding (NCB) a procedure specified in the World Bank s Guidelines: Procurement under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits dated January,
2012 and is open to all bidders from Eligible Source Countries as defined in the Bidding Documents
Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from Eng. Mirwais Wali (email:[email protected] No: +93(0)799301867), Deputy Director, Project
Coordination Unit, Jalalabad Region and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from 8:00 to 16:30 Hrs from Saturday to Wednesdayand up to 13:00 hours on Thursday.
Qualifications requirements include:
(a) The minimum
required annual volume
of construction work for
the successful bidder in
any of the last five years
(b) Experience as prime
contractor in the construction
of at least one work of nature
and complexity equivalent to
this work during the last five
(5) years (Afs).
(c) Liquid assets and/or credit
facilities, net of other
contractual commitments and
exclusive of any advance
payments which may be made
under the Contract (Afs).
Afg 5,400,000
For detailed post qualification verification please refer to Section I. - Instructions to Bidders and Section II- Bid Data Sheet of the bidding documents.
A margin of preference for eligible national contractors/joint ventures shall not be applied.
A complete set of Bidding Documents in English may be purchased by interested bidders on the submission of a written Application to the address below and upon payment of a non-refundable fee of
Afs. 2500. The method of payment will be Cash/Direct Payment. The Bidding Documents shall be collected by the bidders from the address below.
The bidders or their authorized representatives are invited to attend a pre-bid meeting which will take place on25 July, 2015 at 10:00Hrs at the address given belowto explain the procedure of
proper preparation and submission of bid, clarify issues and to answer questions on any matter that may be raised at that stage. The minutes of pre-bid meeting will be prepared and sent across to all
the prospective bidders who have brought the bid documents up to date of pre-bid meeting and also immediately after the pre-bid meeting.
Bids must be delivered to the address below at or before 10 AM on 10 August, 2015 the Deadline Date for bid Submission (if the submission date is announced an official holiday, then
bids must be submitted next working day at the same time and venue). Electronic bidding shall not be permitted. Late bids will be rejected. Bids will be opened physically in the presence of the bidders
representatives who choose to attend in person at the address given below at 10 AM on the Deadline Date for bid Submission given above.
The address referred to above is:
1) Deputy Director PCU-Jalalabad
Ministry of Energy & Water, PCU Regional office
Street No. 5, RoshanMeena, WMD office
Jalalabad City, Afghanistan
2) Mr. Nasir Ahadi, Procurement Officer PCU, Ministry of Energy and War, Darul-Aman Road, Kabul
Project Coordination Unit
Rehabilitation Works for Jabar Khan Irrigation Scheme- (H-153)
Irrigation Restoration and Development Project
No:MEW/IRDP/HQ/IFB/MIS/204/ H-153 Date: 08- July 2015
Invitation for Bids (IFB)
1. This Invitation for Bids follows the General Procurement Notice for this Project that appeared in Development Business, issue dated 11th January, 2011.
2. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ministry of Energy & Water has received a grant from theInternational Development Associationtoward the cost of Irrigation Restoration and Development
Project and it intends to apply part of the proceeds of this grant to payments under the Contract for Rehabilitation Works for Jabar Khan Irrigation Scheme .
The Ministryof Energy & Water, Project Coordination Unit now invites sealed bids from eligible and qualified bidders for the Rehabilitation Works for Jabar Khan Irrigation Scheme (H-153) in
Center of Ghor Province consisting of:
Structure: (Gate Intake, Aqueduct, Escape, and Box Super Passage Structures).
The Completion Period is 420 days (including slack period of about 150 days).
The bids must be submitted along with the bid security in the amount of Afs 160,000 in the shape of Bank Guarantee as per Bank Guarantee Form attached to the Bidding Documents.
Bidding will be conducted through the National Competitive Bidding (NCB) a procedure specified in the World Bank s Guidelines: Procurement under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits dated January, 2011
and is open to all bidders from Eligible Source Countries as defined in the Bidding Documents
Interested eligible bidders may obtain further information from Eng. Ahmad Rateb Nasimi (E-mail::[email protected]
Mobile No: +93(0)799 15 60 78), Deputy Director, Project Coordination Unit, Herat Region and inspect the Bidding Documents at the address given below from 8:00 to 16:30 Hrs from Saturday
to Wednesdayand up to 13:00 hours on Thursday.
Qualifications requirements include:
(a) The minimum
required annual volume
of construction work for
the successful bidder in
any of the last five years
8.0 Mill
(b) Experience as prime
contractor in the construction
of at least one work of nature
and complexity equivalent to
this work during the last five
(5) years (Afs).
4.8 Mill
(c) Liquid assets and/or credit
facilities, net of other
contractual commitments and
exclusive of any advance
payments which may be made
under the Contract (Afs).
2 Mill
For detailed post qualification verification please refer to Section I. - Instructions to Bidders and Section II- Bid Data Sheet of the bidding documents.
A margin of preference for eligible national contractors/joint ventures shall not be applied.
A complete set of Bidding Documents in English may be purchased by interested bidders on the submission of a written Application to the address below and upon payment of a non refundable fee of
Afs. 2500. The method of payment will be Cash/Direct Payment. The Bidding Documents shall be collected by the bidders from the address below.
The bidders or their authorized representatives are invited to attend a pre-bid meeting which will take place on 25 July, 2015 at 13:00 Hrs at the address given belowto explain the procedure
of proper preparation and submission of bid, clarify issues and to answer questions on any matter that may be raised at that stage. The minutes of pre-bid meeting will be prepared and sent across to
all the prospective bidders who have brought the bid documents up to date of pre-bid meeting and also immediately after the pre-bid meeting.
Bids must be delivered to the address below at or before 10 AM on 10 August, 2015 ,the Deadline Date for bid Submission (if the submission date is announced an official holiday,
then bids must be submitted next working day at the same time and venue). Electronic bidding shall not be permitted. Late bids will be rejected. Bids will be opened physically in the presence of the
bidders representatives who choose to attend in person at the address given below at 10 AM on the Deadline Date for bid Submission given above.
The address referred to above is:
Deputy Director PCU-Herat
Ministry of Energy & Water, PCU Regional office
Qul Ourdo Street, Herat City, Herat, Afghanistan
2) Mr. Nasir Ahadi, Procurement Officer PCU, Ministry
of Energy and War, Darul-Aman Road, Kabu
Email Address :[email protected]
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Saving Mes Aynak
Thin budget forces MoHE to cancel
evening shifts in public universities
Ministry of Higher Education got more budget than last year, says
Ministry of Finance
A 5,000-year-old archaeological site in Afghanistan is under
threat of demolition as a Chinese
mining company, eager to access
the world's largest untapped copper deposits, closes in.
China Metallurgical Group
Corp (MCC) wants to extract the
$100bn worth of copper lying beneath the ruins of the ancient Buddhist city of Mes Aynak.
Only 10 percent of Mes Aynak
has been excavated, though, and
some believe future discoveries at
the site have the potential to redefine the history of Afghanistan and
the history of Buddhism itself.
Saving Mes Aynak follows
Afghan archaeologist Qadir Temori
as he races against time to stop the
crumbling monasteries and ruins
from being destroyed.
Temori and his fellow Afghan
archaeologists face what seems an
impossible battle against the Chinese, the Taliban and local politics
to save their cultural heritage from
likely erasure.
This is a film that is optimistic for a better future for Afghanistan, a country plagued by over
30 years of perpetual war, yet containing one of the richest cultural
histories in the world. This documentary is dedicated to Afghan
archaeologists, like Qadir Temori,
who face constant threats from the
Taliban, private industry, and their
own government to save the ancient archaeological site Mes
Saving Mes Aynak stands not
only as a reflection of these courageous efforts to protect and preserve invaluable cultural heritage,
but also represents a voice for the
voiceless - a vehicle where Afghans
can speak out on camera against
these injustices happening all
around them. Now these passionate, courageous voices will finally
be heard.
I created Saving Mes Aynak
to be a catalyst for change. My
hope is that the documentary can
actually save Mes Aynak by rallying international support to stop
the destruction of this site scheduled for next year.
Mes Aynak, a 5,000 year-old
treasure trove over 500,000 square
meters in size, is truly one of the
unseen wonders of the world.
Comparable to Pompeii and Machu Picchu, these sprawling ruins
feature hundreds of life-size or
larger Buddha statues, dozens of
temples, hidden caverns and thousands of priceless artifacts like
birch-bark manuscripts, gold and
copper coins, jewelry and intricate
hand painted murals.
Mes Aynak is grand and aweinspiring and has the magical ability to lure people (like me) from
all over the world to fall in love
with its mysterious beauty. Archaeologists estimate that only 10
percent of Mes Aynak has been
discovered - only the tip of an enormous iceberg.
Who knows what still lays
hidden, buried under a mountain
of sand and earth? At the heart of
the Silk Road, Mes Aynak was a
melting pot of Asian and Middle
Eastern cultures where travellers
and Buddhists on pilgrimages
could trade their wares, exchange
cultural perspectives and even
worship together at the same location.
Ironically, Mes Aynak was
also one of the earliest known copper mining centres in the world where the precious material was
mined and smelted using ancient
technology used in coin production and in the creation of ancient
Buddhist artifacts. If Mes Aynak
were to be tragically destroyed,
Saving Mes Aynak would be the
only visual record that this wondrous city ever existed.
As a civilised society, we cannot let that happen.
When the towering Buddhas
of Bamiyan were destroyed by the
Taliban in 2001, the world gasped
in horror. People shouted, "Why
did this happen?" and, "Why didn't
we stop it?"
The same tragic fate will soon
happen to Mes Aynak unless we
take immediate action. We have the
power to stop this senseless destruction. It is my duty both as a
filmmaker and as a global citizen
to get this film seen by a massive
global audience that can put pressure on the Afghan government to
stop mining and save this incredible site for future generations.
Al Jazeera
By Akhtar M. Nikzad
KABUL: The Ministry of Higher
Education (MoHE) has cancelled
evening shifts in all public universities this year while presenting
inadequate budget as an excuse.
Spokesman for MoHE, Mohammad Azim Noorbakhsh, said
that this year the Ministry of Finance (MoF) hasn t provided adequate budget for evening shifts.
Hence, the higher education ministry decided to cancel the entrance
tests for evening shifts in public
universities of the country.
He claimed that the MoHE
asked the Ministry of Finance to
provide adequate budget for universities lecturers to continue
teaching at evening, but the finance
ministry has not processed the required budget.
He added that officials of the
ministry discussed the issue several times with MoF to allocate
sufficient budget for the evening
classes, but failed to receive positive answer.
Therefore, the high-ranking
officials recently decided to cancel
the exams of evening shift. If the
funds were provided we will take
the examination. The dates will be
announced through mass media or
on our website, he said.
He said that 18,000 students
are attending evening classes in the
public universities and annually
10,000 students find way to different faculties in the country. Every student pays Afs200 to 5000
for one semester.
However, spokesman to the
finance ministry, Ajmal Hamid,
rejected the MoHE s statement
100 - 119
FMIC Hospital
Behind Kabul Medical
Rabia-i-Balkhi Hospital
Pule Bagh-e- Umomi
By Elizaveta Vereykina
Alexei Nikolayev, a Moscow photographer specializing in photo
stories about Russia and the
former Soviet republics, went
to Afghanistan to document
the lives of six former Soviet soldiers who had been imprisoned
by mujahedin during the SovietAfghan war in 1980s and never
returned home.
Overall, 620,000 Soviet
troops took part in the war, which
lasted from December 1979
to February 1989, with official
Soviet military losses of over
15,000. When the Soviet army
withdrew, hundreds were left behind. Officially, 417 people were
declared missing and/or prisoner or
While some former prisoners
of war began to come back
to Russia in the 1990s, many decided to stay. Some didn t want
to come back since they were deserters or had already converted
to Islam. After the collapse of the
Soviet Union, in the chaos
of political and social changes
these people seemed to be forgotten.
In the summer of 2013, Alexei
Nikolayev visited ex-Soviet soldiers in the wildest parts
of Afghanistan and saw their successful integration into Afghan
The Moscow Times sat down
recently with Alexei Nikolayev
to discuss his photo project Eternally Imprisoned ( Navsegda v
plenu ) about former Soviet soldiers still in Afghanistan.
Alexei, why did you decide
to take on this project about
the Soviet-Afghan war?
First of all, for personal reasons. My stepfather served
in Afghanistan, and I remember as
a child listening to him tell stories
with his army buddies.
Later in 2012 when I was interviewing Afghan veterans
in Moscow, I realized that
the Soviet-Afghan war was a very
big, significant part of the history
of the U.S.S.R. The country may
not exist anymore, but I grew up
Khairkhana Hospital
Indira Gandhi Children
Hospital, Wazir Akbar
Khan, Kabul 2301372
Ibn-e- Seena
Pul-e-Artan, Kabul
Wazir Akbar Khan
2301741, 2301743
in it and still belong to it. I wanted
to know much more.
How did you find the men
for your book?
First I found Nikolai Bistrov,
who now lives in in the Krasnodar
region [southern Russia]
used to be the personal bodyguard
of Ahmad Shah Massoud [military
commander, minister of defense
of Afghanistan 1992-96].
He told me about many Russians who were still in Afghanistan
or who had come home. These soldiers had come back recently
and didn t want to meet for an interview. So I decided to fly
to Afghanistan to meet others personally.
Was it easy to travel
to Afghanistan?
In Russia I had no problem
obtaining a journalist visa. But
from the moment we landed
in Kabul, my fixer and I were under constant surveillance. Once I
was imprisoned in Kabul for 11
hours because I d taken a picture
of a wall of a building that is forbidden to photograph.
In small cities like Kunduz or
Chaghcharan, it was even more
Fatema bint Mohammed bin Zayed Initiative employs about 4,000
Afghans drawn from both rural and urban areas of the country.
with a job and an opportunity for
advancement that might otherwise
be difficult in Afghanistan s patriarchal society.
It s a cottage-based industry.
The ladies don t have to go outside their homes. They don t have
to be accompanied by a male to
leave their homes, and they can
work in the comfort of their own
homes. We can set a loom up anywhere, he said. But we also give
them capacity development. Some
start off as wool spinners or wool
cleaners, but go on to weaving and
designing. Our success is measured
most on the employment side. We
want to employ as many people
as possible and keep them employed.
Since the initiative s inception,
over 10,000 carpets have been produced, 60 per cent of which are
sold in the UAE, but also as far
afield as the US, UK, Australia and
South Africa. Additionally, an
FBMI-produced carpet now
adorns the interior of the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
Sheep to shop
FBMI s carpets are produced
from the sheep to the shop entirely in Afghanistan using locally
procured materials. To begin, wool
is purchased from Afghanistan s
nomadic tribes, which is then made
into thin, clean yarn and coloured
using natural dyes. The designs are
entirely hand-drawn. Once the
dyed wool is ready, weavers using
last year he failed in the university
entrance test and now he was preparing himself for the test of
evening shift. He said that thousands of young people are waiting
to take admission in the evening
shifts, but the recent decision of
the higher education ministry
would waste one precious year of
the young people who want to
pursue higher studies in the stateowned universities. He said that
those who want to study at
evening also pay fee to the MoHE
to support the lecturers. Annually, more than 200,000 students
graduate from public and private
schools. A great number of these
students cannot find way to university through the entrance exam.
Therefore, they prefer to study at
evening at self-finance basis.
Afghan women weave magic into carpets
Visitors to The Dubai Mall during
Ramadan can now watch the intricate weaving process that goes into
the production of Afghan carpets.
The move is part of an initiative to
employ and empower women in
the war-torn country.
Founded in 2010, the Fatema
bint Mohammed bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI)
in partnership
with Afghanistan s Tanweer Investments
employs about
4,000 Afghans drawn from both
rural and urban areas of the country, offering them skills and an
opportunity for meaningful employment and income. Of the employees, 70 per cent are women
and 35 per cent are widows.
It s a business model, said
FBMI managing director Maywand Jabarkhyl. That way it is
sustainable. It s not a charity. It s
not a handout.
All the profits go back into
the project, into expansion, into
development, into researching new
designs for example. What we do
is we give them jobs, we give them
access to healthcare and education
for the children and we pay them
fair market wages, which is very
Handmade carpets currently Afghanistan s biggest export
are vitally important to a country
where 42 per cent of the population lives on less than $1 a day.
Jabarkhyl noted that carpet weaving provides the Afghan women
about insufficient budget.
He said that this year the Ministry of Finance allocated Afs600
million extra to the MoHE.
Regarding the difference in the
current and last year s ordinary
budgets of the MoHE, he said that
last year the ordinary budget of
the higher education ministry was
Afs4 billion while this year the
ordinary budget is Afs4.6 billion.
Hence, there has been increase of Afs600 million in the
budget. There is no increase in
structure of the higher education
ministry to require such huge budget. They cannot provide a good
justification because the finance
ministry is giving much than what
is required, he said.
Ahmad Shakib, a 22 years old
resident of Kabul City, said that
a loom carefully make the carpet,
which is then washed, sheared, tidied and sun-dried. On average,
each weaver is able to produce
about one-square metre of carpet
a month.
There is a big story behind
every carpet. The village it was
woven in, who wove it, the story
behind the design, the colour, the
patterns, everything, Jabarkhyl
In the future, FBMI hopes to
set up weaving centres in each of
Afghanistan s 34 provinces, benefitting local economies as the country shifts away from an economy
revolving around the presence of
American and other coalition
From 2001 to 2014, it was a
war-related economy. The troops
have left now, so all the jobs have
gone as well, Jabarkhyl explained.
There weren t any manufacturing jobs, or weaving jobs, or anything like that. The international
community did not pay much attention, nor did the Afghan government, so there is huge unemployment in Afghanistan at the
moment. In the meantime, Jabarkhyl hopes that UAE residents
will go to The Dubai Mall and see
the process in action. Our aim
being here is so people get to know
more about the initiative. [email protected]
Khaleej Times
extreme. People from the local
committee of security or police
department were constantly trying to accompany us, explaining
they wanted to protect us.
It s no wonder
there is
constant military conflict in the
Yes, it was terribly dangerous.
When we went to Ghor Province
in central Afghanistan for an interview, we went up to a roof at night
and saw fighting only three or four
kilometers away.
There is constant fighting between different tribes and gangs
The authorities can only keep
the situation under control within
a guarded perimeter. Outside
the city, it s basically a no-man s
The situation is so dangerous
that when I asked a former Soviet
soldier I interviewed if I could come
back to his aul (village), he told me:
No! Don t come back! Everyone
here already knows that you are
a journalist and not an Afghan.
Someone might come in the night
and abduct you.
Was it easy to talk with
the men?
Yes, they were willing
to speak. The most easygoing
and interesting person was Sergei
Kransnoperov, whose local name
is Noormomad. He lives
in Chaghcharan, a town in central
Afghanistan. I was the first Russian journalist who visited him.
We spoke in Russian, he formulated grammatically simple sentences and sometimes confused
the endings.
When I looked at him, I saw
a typical Russian man. His six children are all blond and blue-eyed.
But despite their Russian appearance, they are totally immersed
in the local culture. When I visited
him, his son obediently served us
food. The way they received
guests was very ritualistic
and patriarchal. It s not common
in Russia anymore.
in Afghanistan?
Yes, they all are married
and have happy families. Sergei
Kransnoperov is the most successful person I met. When he was
a soldier during the Soviet-Afghan
war, he had a conflict with someone at a military base and left
to try to make his way home. But
he was captured by mujahedin
and spent a year in captivity, until he converted to Islam and was
Now he has two jobs as a road
constructor and an electro-mechanical technician at the local hydroelectric power station. He earns
more than $1,000 a month, a very
good salary for the region, and built
a house. He is in great demand
in Afghanistan and wants to stay
there. He is afraid he wouldn t find
any work back in Russia.
Another person Alexander
Levenets, whose local name is
Ahmad has also adapted really
well. He converted to Islam
and went on the Hajj, the annual
Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, last
year. He works as a taxi driver
and is happy with his job.
But others aren t so happy.
Gennady Tsevma, whose local
name is Nekmuhammad, lives
in Kunduz. He was disabled by a
leg injury in the war and can t
work. He has no pension and gets
no proper medical care. I even had
to pay him for the interview it s
one of few ways for him to earn
In the introduction to the
book, you mention that some
of the men are now so far
from Russian culture that they
even think in Dari.
Yes, some don t remember
Russian at all. For example, a man
from Samarkand, Uzbekistan now
living in Herat. During the SovietAfghan war, he had a serious head
I could see a deep dent
in his skull. The wound caused
memory loss. All he remembers are
the words spasiboand pozhaluista [ please
and thank you in Russian], so we
spoke through a translator.
Did anyone ask for help getting back to Russia?
No one. They don t need my
help at any time they can come
back very easily just by calling
the Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee in Moscow.
They don t do it because they
have found their home
in Afghanistan. Many of the men
who attempted to come back
to Russia in 1990s and 2000s
faced difficulties. Afghanistan became their home, as Russia could
not give them anything.
The country itself was in trouble.
For example, I heard about
a man named Yury Stepanov, who
came back in 1996, lived
in Bashkortostan for a half a year,
couldn t get a job and returned
to Afghanistan, where he got far
more work offers. He built
a hydropower station and set up
a television satellite for the residents.
Why did so many POWs stay
in Afghanistan?
Because the Soviet Union collapsed. If the country hadn t disappeared, they would have returned much earlier and would
have been able to adapt much more
easily. And then, most of the men
in the book were just afraid
to come back they were deserters and were not hailed as war
heroes, despite the amnesty
for them announced in 1989.
But they are living good lives
and Afghans like them. In general,
the Afghan people respect Russians. When my translator and I
were drinking tea in a
local chaikhona ( tea house )
in Chaghcharan, some local people
told us: We had a war with you,
but the roads and hospitals that
we still use were built by you.
Amazing that they still remember
To help Alexei Nikolayev finish the book, see planeta.ru/campaigns/foreverincaptivity.
The Moscow Times
Ali Abad
Shahrara, Kabul
Malalai Maternity
2201377/ 2301743
Da Afghanistan Bank
2100302, 2100303
Kabul Bank
222666, 070285285
Azizi Bank
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Internet Services
UA Telecom
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Exchange Rate
One US$ =
One Pound Sterling=
One Euro =
1000 Pak Rs =
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60.62 Afs
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1000 Pak Rs= 589Afs
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Pak’s NAB submits list
of 150 mega corruption cases to apex court
Nations like India, Vietnam desperate
for US leadership: Bobby Jindal
ISLAMABAD: Officials of the
National Accountability Bureau
(NAB) on Tuesday submitted a
report containing details of 150
mega corruption cases before the
Supreme Court of Pakistan.
A three-member bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja,
was hearing a case filed by Manzoor Ahmed Ghauri against chairman NAB and other officials. The
case, initiated earlier this year, pertains to scrutiny of the anti-corruption body.
The list include cases against
high profile figures, including incumbent Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif, his brother and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, former
premiers, ministers and top bureaucrats.
The document also lists 50
cases each of monitory irregularities, misuse of powers and land
Know more: NAB affairs come
under scrutiny at Supreme CourtThe report shows that among the
monitory irregularities, inquiries
are being conducted in 22 cases,
with investigations launched into
13 cases and references in 15 cases. Similarly, in land scams, 29 cases are under inquiry, investigations
are underway in 13 cases while
references have been filed in eight
cases. Inquiries are underway in
20 cases of abuse of power, while
investigations into 15 cases have
kicked off and references have been
filed in 15 cases.
The report reveals that an inquiry is being carrying out against
the incumbent prime minister and
his brother in a case, pertaining to
construction of a road from Raiwind to Sharif family House worth
Rs126 million.
According to the report, a
scam worth Rs700m against Ghazi
Akhtar of Tandiyanwala Sugar
WASHINGTON: Thrashing the
foreign policy of the Obama Administration, Republican presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal has
sought steps by the US to take the
mantel of global leadership, saying even non-aligned nations like
India and Vietnam are desperate
and hungry for American leadership.
"We would work not only
with our allies, like Japan and
South Korea and Taiwan. We'd
work with non-aligned countries
like India and Vietnam that are desperate and hungry for American
leadership," 44-year-old Jindal told
the Fox News.
Jindal, who last month announced his bid for the 2016 presidential elections, was responding
to questions on addressing the challenges being posed by the Islamic
State militant group in the Middle
"You got a president
who...won't even name the enemy.
You've got leaders in the Middle
East that understand the threat of
radical Islamic terrorism. We've got
a president won't even say those
words!...He would rather criticize
America. He would rather declare
war on trans fats and junk food.
He would rather declare war on the
Crusades and medieval Christians...," Jindal alleged.
Obama, he said, needs to tell
clerics and Islamic leaders that they
need to explicitly recognise the religious rights of others with different beliefs. "Going back to foreign
policy. We stand with Israel. I
would make it clear to Iran, I don't
care what deal this president signs,
I'm not abiding by any deal unless
it truly gets rid of their enrichment
capacity, their enriched uranium,
anytime, anywhere inspections,"
he said. "This president leads from
behind, when he criticises America, he doesn't embrace American
Mills is being inquired by NAB.
Inquiries are also underway
against former chairman of National Insurance Company Limited
(NICL) Ayaz Khan Niazi over
embezzlement charges worth Rs2
billion and another ex-chairman of
NICL Abid Jawed over a potential
scam worth Rs2 billion, besides
some other figures.
Investigations have already
been launched against Schon group
for alleged embezzlement of
Rs1,245 billion, Younus Habib for
allegedly ill-intentioned default of
three billion rupees, former
Balochistan chief minister Nawab
Aslam Raisani for possessing Rs
100 million in an assets beyond
resources case.
A similar enquiry is under process against ex-premier Chaudhary
Shujaat Hussain in an assets beyond resources case, worth Rs
2,428 billion. A case of the same
nature was also filed against the
sitting treasury minister Ishaq Dar.
He is under inquiry for three cases
of 23 million pound, 3,488 million
dollars and 1,250 million dollars.
Hussain Haqqani, former information secretary and ambassador to US, is accused of embezzling funds, but NAB has so far
failed to calculate the amount in
this regard. He was also accused
of issuing licenses of FM stations
to three private companies.
Former interior minister Aftab Sher Pao is also facing an inquiry for having assets beyond resources. Ex-premier Raja Pervaiz
Ashraf is also being probed for the
rental power plants (RPP) case.
A case was also being heard
against former president Asif ali
Zardari for having assets beyond
resources. Investigations are also
in process against Mr. Zardari for
corruption of US$22 billion and
US$1.5 billion.
exceptionalism the way that you
and I do. We understand that
America is different, America is
special. We are unique, and we're
unabashed to say so. It's not arrogance to say that we are a special
country and that we are going to
protect our interests and our al-
Reformed foreign exchange
law will extend to foreigners
living in Bangladesh
Finance Minister AMA Muhith
placed the Foreign Exchange Regulation (Amendment) Bill-2015 in
Now the Standing Committee
on the Ministry of Finance will
examine it and give its views within a month.
The Foreign Exchange and Securities Regulation Act of 1947
was amended in 1976 and 2003.
Although the changes made the
law precise in respect of Bangladeshi citizens, ambiguities persisted when it came to foreigners
residing in the country.
The new Bill says the fresh
amendments will make the law
applicable to Bangladesh nationals and foreigners alike.
If needed, they will enable the
“government and the Bangladesh
Bank to seek information from foreign nationals living in the country
about the foreign exchange and foreign securities held by them as well
as about their immovable and other property”.
Amendment has defined such
terms as ‘currency’. ‘securities’,
‘exchange’, ‘account’, transaction’,
‘services’, ‘capital account transaction’, and ‘goods’.
Muhith said the amendment
aimed at making the law suitable
to the needs of the times.
He said an increase in foreign
investments and expansion of international trade had necessitated
the changes.
Without the amendments,
Bangladesh would run into difficulties in matters of foreign investments and international trade, he
said. The proposed Bill has done
away with the provision of Bangladesh Bank clearance for seeking
licence to serve as an ‘agent’ in
business transactions.
Foreign establishments wishing to open their branches or liaison offices in the country would
not have to give prior information
to the Bangladesh Bank any more.
The Bill says they can start
work with the sanction of the
board but would have to inform
the central bank within a month.
lies. And we're going to back that
up," he said. Responding to a question, Jindal acknowledged that a
recent story on him by a leading
US daily was racial. "I was offended by 'The Washington Post'
saying as an Indian-American that
you had abandoned the Indian-
American community, and something to that effect. I felt that was
a racial comment," the interviewer
asked. "Absolutely. Look, they
can't fathom the fact that you can
be conservative and smart or that
you can look a different way and
still be a Christian," Jindal said.
"We don't judge people by their
backgrounds. We just people based
on ideas, accomplishments. Look,
the Democrats are about to crown
Hillary Clinton right in an open
contest. Let's compare our records.
Let's compare our policies," he
China, India played a central
role in global poverty
reduction: UN report
a billion people have been lifted
out of extreme poverty since 1990
with China and India playing a central role in global poverty reduction, a major UN report has said.
The UN Millennium Development Goals galvanised the world
to produce the most successful
anti-poverty movement in history, helped lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, made inroads against hunger
and enabled more girls to attend
school than ever before.
However, despite remarkable
gains, it will take more to ensure
the poorest and most vulnerable
people are not left behind, according to the final assessment report
of the MDGs, which range from
halving extreme poverty rates to
halting the spread of HIV/AIDS
and providing universal primary
education, all by the target date of
The MDG target of reducing
by half the proportion of people
living in extreme poverty was
achieved five years ago, ahead of
the 2015 deadline.
The latest estimates show that
the proportion of people living on
less than $1.25 a day globally fell
from 36 per cent in 1990 to 15 per
cent in 2011.
Projections indicate that the
global extreme poverty rate has
fallen further, to 12 per cent, as of
The poverty rate in the developing regions has plummeted, from
47 per cent in 1990 to 14 per cent
in 2015, a drop of more than two
By 2011, all developing regions except sub-Saharan Africa
had met the target of halving the
proportion of people who live in
extreme poverty.
"The world's most populous
countries, China and India, played
a central role in the global reduction of poverty. As a result of
progress in China, the extreme
poverty rate in Eastern Asia has
dropped from 61 per cent in 1990
to only 4 per cent in 2015," the
report said.
"Southern Asia's progress is
almost as impressive -- a decline
from 52 per cent to 17 per cent for
the same period -- and its rate of
reduction has accelerated since
2008," it said.
Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, speaking at the launch of
the report in Oslo yesterday, said,
"The report confirms that the global efforts to achieve the goals have
saved millions of lives and improved conditions for millions
more around the world."
"These successes should be
celebrated throughout our global
community. At the same time, we
are keenly aware of where we have
come up short," he said.
Will not be undermined,
Imran Khan tells Wajihuddin
Missing Dornier: Coast Guard
in touch with Sri Lanka
CHENNAI: Coast Guard authorities are in touch with Sri Lanka as
part of their search efforts to locate the Dornier plane which went
missing nearly a month ago, the
mother of a missing crew member
said here today.
"Coast Guard chief Vice Admiral H C S Bisht has informed me
that Sri Lankan authorities have
been requested to alert India if they
sight the aircraft or its crew," Padma Shankari, mother of Deputy
Commandant Suresh Subash told
Suresh Subash was one of the
three crew members who went
missing after going on board a Dornier plane for a routine maritime
surveillance sortie in coastal Tamil
Nadu on June 8.
Since then, multiple agencies,
including the Coast Guard, Navy
and Coastal Security Group of
state police have done extensive
search operations in Tamil Nadu,
including the Karaikkal-Cuddalore
Expressing deep distress over
the pace of search which she was
told was "still on," she said, "had
this happened on foreign soil, the
response would have been much
"The Defence and Coast
Guard authorities could have done
much better and much earlier and
they should have got international
support in their efforts," she said.
The top CG official wrote to
Padma in response to her letter to
the Defence Ministry over the is-
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sue of locating the aircraft.
"The letter indicates that the
Coast Guard authorities are also
looking at the possibility of the
crew being stranded in Sri Lankan
waters. Indian High Commission
in Colombo has been apprised on
the issue," she added.
Sounding apprehensive, she
said since a month would pass in
the next two days, "what will happen now? there might not be signals any more, the earlier ones were
themselves weak."
"I am proud of my son, he
chose to serve the nation, but I
want to see his face. I want to
know what happened, uncertainty is very, very painful, this is the
pain of a mother," she said.
She said it was distressing that
there was no response to either her
tweets to Prime Minister Narendra Modi or her letter to Tamil
Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
She had written to the Chief
Minister's cell on June 13, a few
days after the disappearance of the
aircraft, seeking the state's help in
locating the aircraft.
Thirty-year-old Suresh Subash joined Coast Guard in 2010.
He was a B Tech graduate from
Regional Engineering College in
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreeki-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran
Khan in a July 4 letter addressing
retd Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed
blamed the retired judge for "damaging the PTI".
"All your pronouncements are
unwarranted and devoid of underlying authority besides damaging
the PTI," he said, accusing Wajihuddin of 'overstepping his mandate'.
The PTI chief said Wajihuddin's "pronouncements since dissolution of the election tribunal ...
encouraged opportunists within
the party and those who were expelled for valid reasons to exploit
the situation and settle personalised vendettas against party leaders", which he said may "lead to
undermining the party's public
standing and provide pretext to our
political opponents causing growing concern among a vast swathe
of party workers."
He also spoke of a "man with
question marks over his conduct
including on financial matters"
who he had warned the tribunal
about, saying he had targeted "senior and respectable party members in what has evidently become
a personalised vendetta."
Imran Khan said Wajihuddin
no longer had the authority to issue edicts on behalf of the "defunct
election tribunal", which was "established for a specific purpose
and with time-bound existence".
He said the tribunals job was to
probe petitions relating to intraparty elections.
The PTI chairman said the tribunal had been dissolved as its recommendations had been imple-
mented. "The tribunal had no authority to order shortening the
terms of office bearers of the party as these were contained in the
PTI constitution. Nor did the tribunal have the authority to assert
that a caretaker set up be appointed immediately, members of which
would not be able to participate in
the next intra-party elections," he
said. The PTI chairman concluded
by saying that, although he respected the elder, he could not allow him or anyone else to "damage" the party by trangressing the
limits of their mandate. He 'formally requested' Wajihuddin to "refrain from making any more pronouncements on behalf of the defunct election tribunal." "I will continue to take all steps necessary to
ensure that my work and struggle
for the party is not undermined."
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U.S. President Barack Obama said
on Monday that recent territory
losses by ISIS militants in Iraq and
Syria show the extremist group will
be defeated.
Speaking during a visit to the
Pentagon, Obama said the United
States would continue to crack
down on the group’s illicit finance
operations around the world and
do more to train and equip moderate opposition groups in Syria.
“We’re going after the ISIS
leadership and infrastructure in
Syria, the heart of ISIS that pumps
funds and propaganda to people
around the world.”
He said recent losses by the
ISIS proved the militant “can and
will be defeated.”
But he said defeating ISIS militants had to be the job of local
“forces on the ground.”
Obama said there were no cur-
rent plans to send additional U.S.
troops overseas and repeated that
the fight against the militant group
also known as ISIS would not be
quick. He said U.S. training of Iraqi forces had been ramped up after
being too slow.
The U.S. military has lamented that Iraq had not provided
enough recruits to meet U.S. training targets. It has also acknowledged that recruiting and training
Syrians to fight ISIS was moving
more slowly than expected, partly because of problems with vetting volunteers.
“We continue to accelerate the
delivery of critical equipment, including anti-tank weapons, to Iraqi security forces,” Obama said.
“And I have made it clear to my
team that we will do more to train
and equip the moderate opposition in Syria.”
The U.S. president added that
the only way the civil war in Syria
would end was in a united force
against the Islamic militants
“through a government without
Obama did not give details on
what more the United States would
do in that regard.
Obama also noted the difficulty of preventing small-scale attacks by “lone wolves” within the
U.S. homeland despite success at
preventing large attacks since the
Sept. 11, 2001 assaults on New
York and Washington.
“We’re going to have to pick
up our game to prevent these attacks,” he said.
He said needed to be done to
prevent ISIS from gaining recruits
within the United States. U.S. efforts to counter extremism must
not single out Muslim Americans
or any faith group, but the militant group was targeting its recruitment efforts at that community,
Obama said.
“We also have to acknowledge
that ISIL [ISIS] has been particularly effective at reaching out to
and recruiting vulnerable people
around the world, including here
in the United States,” he said.
Republicans criticized the
president for not having a successful strategy.
“His rhetoric doesn’t match
reality. Over the last year, ISIS has
expanded its reach exponentially and the group’s influence continues to grow,” said Senator Tom
Cotton, an Obama critic. “We’re
not going to defeat a radical jihadist army with more bureaucrats in
DC and no funding for our military on the front lines.”
Obama’s remarks came after
U.S. July 4 Independence Day festivities passed without a major attack.
Iran and U.N. nuclear monitors
took a “major step” toward resolving remaining issues regarding the
Islamic republic’s disputed atomic program, an Iranian spokesman
said. The 24-hour visit to Iran by
experts from the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on
Monday followed a similar trip last
week by its chief executive Yukiya
Amano, but no clear outcome was
Quoted by the official IRNA
news agency, the spokesman for
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said
progress was made but he gave no
details on the latest discussions.
“Iran and the IAEA took a
major step in resolving the outstanding issues to reaching a fundamental understanding on the
topics and the timing of cooperation,” he said.
Kamalvandi described Monday’s meetings as “constructive
and forward-looking” and said the
second IAEA visit “shows the serious determination of both sides
to enhance cooperation.”
However, the statement came
as the latest deadline for a final
nuclear deal between Iran and the
P5+1 powers (Britain, China,
France, Russia, the United States
and Germany) seemed likely to be
missed at talks in Vienna.
The IAEA suspects Iran carried out research at least until 2003
on developing nuclear weapons.
Syrian Kurds
retake northern
villages from IS:
BEIRUT: Syrian Kurdish fighters
have recaptured more than 10 villages seized by Islamic State north
of its de facto capital of Raqqa city,
aided by U.S.-led coalition air
strikes, the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights reported on Tuesday. Fighters from the ultra-hardline Islamist group were, however, still in control of the town of
Ain Issa, 50 km (30 miles), north
of Raqqa city, which the jihadists
seized from the YPG militia in an
attack on Monday, the Observatory reported. That attack on YPGheld areas followed an intensification of air strikes on Raqqa city
over the weekend, which U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on
Monday were aimed at disrupting
the militants' ability to respond to
YPG advances north of Raqqa.
The YPG, a militia operating most-
ly in predominantly Kurdish areas of northern Syria towards the
Turkish border, has emerged as the
only significant partner in Syria for
U.S.-led alliance fighting to tackle
Islamic State both there and in Iraq.
The Observatory, a British-based
organization reporting on Syria's
four-year-old civil war, said the
coalition had played an "effective
role" in helping YPG forces recover 11 villages northeast of Ain Issa.
The YPG, backed by small Syrian
rebel groups, has made significant
gains against Islamic State in Raqqa
province in recent weeks, seizing
Tel Abyad at the Turkish border
on June 15 before advancing south
to Ain Issa. The YPG captured Ain
Issa on June 23. While the YPG
has shown itself to be a potent
force in the fight against Islamic
State, its effectiveness is seen to
diminish beyond the predominantly Kurdish areas it was set up to
defend in northern and northeastern Syria.
It is seeking access to scientists who might have been involved, as well as documents and
the sites at which any such activities took place.
Iran denies the allegations and
its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei in a speech on June 23
ruled out granting access to military sites or nuclear scientists.
Brothers arrested over links
to ISIS bombing in Kuwait
Three brothers have been arrested
by Saudi and Kuwaiti authorities
for involvement in a suicide bombing by a Saudi man on a Shiite
Muslim mosque in neighboring
Kuwait last month, Saudi state
news agency SPA reported on
The ultra-radical Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
group said it carried out the attack,
which killed 27 people and appeared aimed at stoking sectarian
hatred in the energy-rich Gulf.
The three Saudi brothers, who
were not identified, were “parties
to the crime of the sinful terrorist
bombing that targeted the Imam alSadeq mosque in Kuwait”, SPA
quoted a security spokesman for
the interior ministry as saying.
One was arrested in Kuwait
and will be extradited to the kingdom, another was arrested in the
western Saudi city of Taif and a
third was taken into custody after
a shootout at a house near the
Kuwaiti border that wounded two
A fourth brother lives in Syria
and is a member of ISIS, the security spokesman added.
The bombing was Kuwait’s
deadliest militant attack, and the
most lethal in any of the six hereditary-ruled Gulf Arab states since
a campaign of al-Qaeda bombings
was stamped out in Saudi Arabia a
decade ago. The attack has raised
concerns about the number of
young Saudi men willing to travel
to attack Shiites in smaller Gulf
Arab states and so make good on a
threat by ISIS to step up violence
in the holy fasting month of Ramadan. The group claimed two suicide bombings carried out on May
22 and May 29 on Shiite mosques
in eastern Saudi Arabia, where the
bulk of Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority lives.
The Saudi branch of the militant group has said it wants to clear
the Arabian Peninsula of Shiites
and urged young men in the kingdom to join its cause.
Nusra suicide
blast kills 25
soldiers in Aleppo
Rights group says migrants risk death or violence making journey across the Balkans and are forced to pay bribes.
Rights group Amnesty International has accused the European
Union of abandoning migrants trying to access member countries
through the Balkans, where it says
they face abuse and exploitation.
Hungary: Building fences, deterring migrants?
In a report published on Tuesday, Amnesty said criminal gangs
and officials were taking advantage
of people trying to claim asylum
in, or migrate to the 28-member
bloc, because of the EU's "failing"
system for handling their cases.
"Refugees fleeing war and persecution make this journey across
the Balkans in the hope of finding
safety in Europe only to find themselves victims of abuse and exploitation," said Gauri van Gulik,
Amnesty International’s deputy
director for Europe and Central
The rights group's study focused on Serbia, Hungary, Greece,
and Macedonia, with researchers
interviewing more than 100 refugees and migrants, who were making the journey across the Balkans.
Though considered less deadly than the Mediterranean, crossing from Turkey to the Balkans
and Greece still poses risks, with
123 refugees drowning during the
attempt since the start of 2014,
according to Amnesty. A further
24 were killed on railways.
READ MORE: Afghan refu-
gees stranded in freezing Serbian
Refugees Amnesty spoke to
said that while in Serbia and Macedonia they routinely had to pay
bribes to police officers at border
crossings to get through.
One refugee said he saw Macedonian police beating men and children, including his 13-year-old son.
Hungary, an EU member, has
detained more than 60,000 people
trying to cross in to its territory.
An increase of 2,500 percent since
2010. The country's Prime Minister has mulled deporting refugees
immediately back to where they
arrived from, and building a fence
along its border with Serbia to
keep others out.
RELATED: Serbia angered by
Hungary's proposed anti-migrant
"Serbia and Macedonia have to
do much more to respect migrants
and refugees’ rights. But it is impossible to separate the human
rights violations there, from the
broader pressures of the flow of
migrants...and a failed EU migra-
tion system," said van Gulik.
"Serbia and Macedonia have
become a sink for the overflow of
refugees and migrants that nobody
in the EU seems willing to receive."
More than 21,000 refugees
made the journey across the Balkans in 2014, more than half from
A suicide bomber from al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Al-Nusra Front, killed
25 soldiers and fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in
an attack on an army base in government-held western Aleppo on Monday, a Britain-based monitoring group said.
The attacker blew himself up inside a vehicle “in front of an orphanage used by the regime as a base in al-Zahra neighborhood,” the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The monitoring group said the suicide bombing was followed by
fierce battles between opposition and regime forces.
Once a powerhouse of industry, Syria’s second city of Aleppo has
been devastated by years of fighting between regime forces and a succession of rebel groups.
The regime largely controls the west of the city, with rebels from
different factions present in the east.
Rebel groups last week launched an offensive to capture government-held districts of Aleppo, prompting some of the heaviest fighting
since the Syrian conflict arrived in the northern city in mid-2012.
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We a r e a n a t io n a l in st it u t io n a n d n o t t h e v o ice o f a go v t o r a p r iv a t e o r ga n iza t io n
Editor: Abdul Saboor Sarir
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Printed at Afghanistan Times Printing Press
The constitution says
Article 11:
Matters related to domestic as well as foreign trade shall be regulated
by law in accordance with the economic requirements of the country
and public interests.
AfPak ties and
soaring violence
A suicide car bomb ripped through the capital Kabul on Tuesday that hit a
convoy of foreign troops. On the same day, an office of the National Directorate of Security was attacked in eighth police jurisdiction of the capital city. Three suicide bombers stormed the office. In the attack one NDS
staffer was killed and another injured. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
There is Hizb-e-Islami, Haqqani Network, the Taliban and now Daesh
has also joined in the race. Therefore, whenever there is some terror incident one or the other group claims the responsibility. This is not important who accepts the responsibility, what really matters is who will quit
violence and make history. Violence is violence where it doesn’t reduce
the degree of pain when someone learns who was behind it. Yes, it becomes very much painful when looks at it that a country that calls itself,
the fortress of Islam, has been supporting all these groups without any
sense of fear from the international community let alone from a weaker
state like Afghanistan. The serious problem that mothers all other problems is that Pakistan and Afghanistan don’t know what they want from
each other. Pakistan always looks at Afghanistan with suspicion that its
soil will be used by India and Pakistan’s other enemies including Israel.
Likewise, Afghanistan has always blamed Pakistan for supporting terrorism against the former. For the first time, an Afghan President, attempted
to break the barriers when it comes to Kabul’s relations with Islamabad
and thought out of the box, but what did he achieve at the end of the day?
Did he reach where he wanted to be? He kept all the eggs just in one
basket, which for he had to face severe criticism from those people who
don’t have any trust in the constructive role of Pakistan, including Hamid
Karzai, the ex-Afghan president, former NDS chief Amrullah Saleh and a
number of other key individuals. Intellectuals looked with disdain at Ghani’s
development with Pakistan. After realizing, his honest but naïve approach
didn’t yield the desired the results, months later, Ghani sent a letter to the
Pakistani authorities where he had put some tough demands. Though the
officials in Pakistan denied to have received any such letter, but what people were told in Kabul is that Ghani demanded of Pakistan to bring the
Taliban to the table of negotiations or eliminate the Taliban safe hideouts
on the soil of Pakistan. Ghani gave Pakistan a 3-week deadline to prove its
commitments, however, instead of reining in the Taliban, they have gone
gory and more bloodthirsty as since the start of the sacred of month of
Ramadan, the violence of the Taliban has gone many notches higher. After
Afghanistan and Pakistan premier intelligence agencies signed an intelligence sharing MoU, there has been a shocking spike in terror attacks inside Afghanistan. Even the parliament came under attack at the very heart
of the country. Even the spy agency’s offices in the capital city are not
safe as evident from today’s attack on the NDS sub-office. Interior Minister, Noor-ul-Haq Ulomi, cancelled his visit to Pakistan because of the
suicide attack on the parliament. Pakistan’s ISI was blamed to be behind
the parliament attack. When the relations of the two neighboring countries have reached to a new low, what should be done? Before any renewed
efforts, policymakers in Kabul and Islamabad should think over the matter what Afghanistan and Pakistan want from each other. Until this issue is
understood, any rapprochement efforts wouldn’t yield the desired results.
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By M. Nadeem Alizai
In pursuit of its ambitious global designs, the Islamic State
(IS) has made significant inroads into war-devastated Afghanistan. The terrorist organization is growing at a phenomenal rate in the country. IS
has been quite successful in
winning the allegiance of many
renegade Taliban leaders and
some militant outfits in the Central and South Asia region. With
a crumbling security situation
and weak government, Afghanistan has been the first
and prime target of the self-declared caliphate as it pursues
its expansionist designs outside the Arab world.
Since December 2014, Afghan military and political elites
said that the presence of IS was
simply a rumor. Now these
elites, including the former and
current presidents, agree that
the IS poses a real threat, not
only to Afghanistan but to China and the Central Asian Republics as well.
In an interview with RT, a
Russian news channel, former
Afghan president Hamid
Karzai confirmed the presence
of IS in Afghanistan and
warned that the multinational
terrorist organization has been
preparing to sneak into China
and Russia. According to
Karzai, a “foreign-backed
force” is hell-bent on destabilizing the region, “particularly
Central Asia, China and Russia.”
For the first time, National
Directorate of Security (NDS)
dubbed IS a serious threat in
March, when the deputy director of the NDS, Hesamuddin
Hesam, was summoned by parliament for a briefing over the
deteriorating law and order situation in the country’s border
areas. Hesam told the legislators that IS fighters are on a
mission to spread insecurity in
the country’s northern parts
and find access to the Central
Asian Republics. In May, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior’s Spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi
made a similar statement. He
also confirmed that the dreaded terrorist organization would
accelerate its activities in certain parts of the country. On
June 27, Afghan spymaster
Rahmatullah Nabil warned of
perilous developments within
six months. Looking at the
statements of the Afghan officials and situation on the
ground, it is not hard to predict
that IS is building its ability. The
terror group is no longer in hibernation and is ready to widen its war against the Afghan
security forces in the first
phase. In the second phase it
will infiltrate neighboring China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
and Uzbekistan. The first
phase has already begun, because IS has been busy fighting the Afghan Taliban to gain
control over strategic border
areas such as Badakhshan,
which borders China. IS’s strategy is both short-term and
long-term. It will first try to capture areas from which it can
operate and send its fighters to
China and Central Asian countries. The recruitment of new
fighters; the establishment of
contacts with Islamist militant
movements in these countries
to win acceptance; and the
search for new financial sources such as the multibillion narcotics trade and natural resources are key components of
the short-term strategy. There
is a distinct possibility that if
this strategy is executed successfully, IS fighters will launch
small- and large-scale attacks
in the targeted neighboring
countries. Therefore, Beijing
and Moscow should work hand
in hand to urgently deal with
the IS threat, because any delay will prove catastrophic. For
the sake of regional security,
cooperation between the two
regional powers is need of the
hour. A cold-shoulder response
to the serious problem of IS
might drown the two countries
in a sea of troubles. There are
some rational ways to deal with
the IS threat. First, the two
powers should conduct joint
operations with Afghan security forces to nip the notorious
terrorist group in the bud. Secondly, intelligence-sharing
deals should be signed with the
Afghan spy agency in order to
keep an eye on IS. Moreover,
the capacity of the Afghan security agencies should be built
up, so they could resist IS before it spreads like a virus to
China and Russia. Last but far
from least, anti-terrorists militias should be supported in
Afghanistan because their performance has been impressive
against the Taliban insurgents.
Surely, these steps will pay
off.—(Global Times) The author writes on security, terrorism
[email protected] Follow him at Twitter at @nadeemalizai.
Afghanistan: Once democracy’s
champions are mere bystanders
By Anuradha Rai
The Taliban on June 22, 2015
launched an attack on the Afghan
Parliament, with a suicide car
bomber striking at the entrance and
gunmen battling police as lawmakers were meeting inside to confirm
the appointment of the defence
minister. Not only this, the Taliban has made substantial gains recently in Helmand in the southwest and has also been advancing
across the country’s north, capturing two districts of the Kunduz
province. Taliban insurgents had
launched attacks on government
targets in the capital in the past
too, but the situation worsened
with the withdrawal of US and
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces in December
2014. Though, Afghan forces have
struggled to fend off Taliban advances since the drawdown of the
US and NATO combat mission no
significant success has been
achieved by them. In the year 2015,
after the withdrawal of US and its
allied forces, more that 150 terrorist attacks have been made in Afghanistan on both, civilians and the
government agencies. On May 31,
2015, the Taliban attacked a government school in Logar. On May
25 the Taliban in uniform killed
three policemen in Shaheedan. On
the same day itself, in a massive
attack over two dozen defenders
lost their lives to a brutal suicide
b W
assault by armed fundamentalists
on a police compound in Naw Zad,
a day after Taliban killed 13 policemen at a checkpoint in Sangin. On
May 18, a series of attacks on police checkpoints left around a dozen policemen dead and many
wounded. On April 24, Taliban insurgents shot rockets onto a US
base outside Kabul and targeted
Afghan government buildings in a
provincial capital, as they officially launched their spring offensive.
A close analysis of the nature of
attacks by the Taliban shows that
they are targeting everyone who,
in their opinion, are against their
ideals of establishment of an Islamic state. Attacks have been carried
out on foreign forces, on Afghan
security forces, the opponent’s
mosques, Sufi mosques, hospitals,
wedding parties (to oppose music),
against women politicians and aid
workers. Who is responsible for the
failure to prevent Taliban? Many,
like Afghan lawmaker Farhad Sediqi, have criticized security agencies
for not preventing the attacks, and
believe that it is a big failure for the
intelligence and security department of the government. Though
the responsibility to protect Afghanistan lies on the shoulders of
Afghan government and more on
the people of Afghanistan, the US
government and the NATO forces,
who stayed for 13 long years in the
name of reconstructing Afghanistan,
are no less responsible for this fail-
ure. Over the past decade, the US
has spent $104 billion on reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.
However, if we look at the spending made by USA, we find that a
great deal of funding went toward
salaries for security forces and other public workers, which has left
the private sector in trouble. The
economic growth of the country
has worsened helping further the
Taliban to grow their stronghold
after US and NATO forces left.
According to the World Bank,
from 2003 to 2012, Afghanistan’s
annual GDP grew about 9 percent
on average, hitting a peak of 14.4
percent in 2012. But it shrank to
3.7 percent in 2013, and to just
1.5 percent last year. Meanwhile,
the country’s opium industry,
which fuels the Taliban, is expanding, and increased from $2 billion
to $3 billion in 2013. According to
a report of January 20, 2015 by
Gallup, “With growth slowing in
every sector of Afghanistan’s economy, from services and industries
to agriculture, there are fewer jobs
available for Afghans who were already grappling with high unemployment.” Thus, the higher unemployment and rising poverty
provides a fertile ground for Taliban to grow stronger in coming
future. Other than this, the biggest
achievement of the international
coalition has been proclaimed to
help build a 350,000-strong security force in Afghanistan from
scratch. But they are still illequipped, particularly when it
comes to air support and intelligence gathering. Although, US
troops have promised that they
will continue to provide air support in what they call “extreme
situations”. In the year 2013, Afghan troops asked for aerial assistance approximately 400 times,
but received it in 30 cases. As reported by Reuters on March 20,
2015, the United States’ use of air
power in Afghanistan in the first
two months of 2015 was its lowest in five years, as the reduced
international military coalition
sharply cut battlefield aid to Afghan security forces. None of the
503 air support sorties by American air assets this year have been
flown to support Afghan security
forces in battle. The reduced US
air support puts pressure on the
fledging Afghan Air Force, which
has just a fraction of NATO’s
former air power, to support Afghan ground troops. The lack of
air support by US and its allies
has led to heavy casualties to the
Afghan security forces who are not
so well trained and are fighting
alone for the first time after the
withdrawal of NATO forces.
Anuradha Rai teaches Political
Science at Rani Durgawati University, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
at [email protected]
(South Asia Monitor)
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By Mohan Guruswamy
In 1886 a Russian army fresh from
its conquest of the Oasis of Merv,
in today’s Turkmenistan, occupied
the Panjdeh Oasis near Herat. It
was also the time of The Great
Game. Britain immediately warned
Russia that any further advance
towards Herat would be considered as inimical to British interests. As a consequence of the May
1879 Treaty of Gandamak after
the Second Afghan War, Britain
took control of Afghanistan’s foreign affairs. This treaty also gave
Britain control over traditional
Pashtun territory west of the Indus including Peshawar and the
Khyber Pass. After the Panjdeh
incident a joint Anglo-Russian
boundary commission, without
any Afghan participation, fixed the
Afghan border with Turkestan,
which was the whole of Russian
Central Asia, now Kirghizistan,
Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Thus as a consequence
of the competition between Britain and Russia, a new country, the
Afghanistan we know today, was
created to serve as the buffer.
In 1893, Sir Mortimer Durand,
began work on delineating Afghanistan’s eastern border with India.
The poetess Marya Mannes
wrote: “Borders are scratched
across the hearts of men/ by strangers with a calm, judicious pen/ And
when the borders bleed we watch
with dread/ the lines of ink across
the map turn red.” The cartographer’s pen moved nonchalantly
across the Pashtun homeland,
drawing a new border disregarding
past history, tradition and tribal
affinities. The line ran remorselessly through homes, villages, fields,
common lands and grazing
grounds, and dividing tribes and
even families. Thus those whom
God hath joined together were put
asunder by man.
Sir Olaf Caroe who served in
British India’s North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) from 1916
to 1934, and who was the last British governor of the NWFP in 194647, is also the author of The
Pathans, described as the locus
classicus of Pathan history. Caroe
emphatically states that historically Pashtuns/Pathans and Afghans
refer to the same people. The Pashtuns, who live east of the Durand line live in the mountainous
areas and are made up of tribes
such as the Afridis, Orakzais, Shinwaris, Bangash and Turis. West of
the Khyber, in today’s Afghanistan, live the Pashtuns consisting
mainly of two great tribes – the
Durranis also known as Abdalis
and the Ghilzais.
In 1901 the British created the
NWFP de-linking Pathan lands
from Punjab. They further divided NWFP into the settled districts
that were directly administered by
the British and five autonomous
Tribal Agency areas ruled by local
chieftains but with British Agents
keeping an eye on them, as in the
Indian princely states. From the
very beginning the Durand Line
was not an International Border but
a Line of Control. The Simon
Commission Report of 1930 stated quite explicitly: “British India
stopped at the boundary of the administered area.”
Despite this candid assertion
in 1947 the British handed over
the five autonomous Tribal Agencies to Pakistan after sponsoring
an acquiescing tribal jirga. The Afghan government immediately objected to this stating that the five
Tribal Agencies belonged to the
same category as the 562 Indian
princely states which were each
given three options of joining India, Pakistan or remaining independent. But to no avail. Pakistan continued the tradition of allowing the
Tribal Agencies to administer
By Halimullah Kousary
themselves and did not send any
administrators or police or military
into the area till it began sending
its military in conjunction with US
forces in pursuit of Taliban and Al
Qaeda fighters.
Centralized rule over all the
peoples living in this area, which
was first established by Ahmad
Shah Abdali later Durrani, devolved
upon Amir Abdur Rahman (18801901) when it was created as a
buffer state between the Russian
and British empires. Abdur Rahman was Bismarckian in his methods and used the most ruthless
methods to forge a new nation. In
the course of his twenty-year rule
of almost continuous warfare he
managed to create an Afghan nation bound by one law and one rule.
He ruled with the help of an annual subsidy of Rs.1.2 million from
the British was later raised to
Rs.1.8 million in 1893. Lord Curzon who visited Amir Abdur Rahman in 1894 in his winter palace in
Peshawar wrote: “No previous
Sovereign had ridden the wild Afghan steed with so cruel a bit, none
had given so large a measure of
unity to the kingdom; there was
not in Asia or in the whole world a
more fierce or uncompromising
In 1901, Abdur Rahman’s
son, Habibullah, succeeded him.
When he informed Curzon of
his accession, the Viceroy coolly informed him that the treaty
with his father was a “personal” one and that a new treaty
had to be considered. Habibullah
responded to this effrontery by
insisting that a new treaty should
also acknowledge his status as the
sovereign ruler of Afghanistan and
its “dependencies” quite clearly
suggesting that he did not consider
the Durand Line as an international frontier and that it was merely,
in today’s parlance, a line of control (LOC). The British quickly
agreed to resume the subsidy and
also pay the arrears. Soon after the
First World War broke out a joint
Turkish and German mission visited Kabul and promised the Amir
a huge quantity of arms and 20
million sterling in gold in return for
stirring up trouble among the Muslims in Central Asia and India.
Armed with this Habibullah tried
to bargain with the British for his
neutrality for return of control over
Afghan foreign policy and “dependencies”. He was assassinated in
February 1919 and not surprisingly the identity of his assailants was
never established.
His son Amanullah succeeded
Habibullah. In May 1919 Amanullah began what the Afghans
called their “War of Independence”,
now generally called the Third
Anglo-Afghan War. Afghan forces
crossed the Durand Line into the
NWFP. Tribesmen on both sides
of the Durand Line rallied to the
Afghan cause. But the Afghans ran
into a new weapon
Fighter aircraft, dropped
bombs on Kabul and Jalalabad and
soon the Afghan appetite for war
was somewhat squelched. The
Treaty of Rawalpindi that followed gave the Afghans control
over their foreign affairs but the
NWFP remained in British India.
In the Civil War that resulted
as a result of Amanullah’s attempt
to hurriedly modernize Afghanistan, the British supported Gen.
Nadir Khan who quickly seized
Kabul and proclaimed himself the
ruler in 1929. But Nadir Khan did
not live long and was assassinated
in 1933 by a former student of the
Amania School, which was the
hotbed of the nationalist movement in Afghanistan.
The main objective of this
movement was the recovery of territory across the Durand Line.
Zahir Shah took over next and ruled
till 1973 when his cousin and
brother-in-law, the former Prime
Minister Sardar Daoud Khan, ousted him.
Nadir Khan’s son, Zahir Shah,
was only 19 when he became King.
Though he reigned, it was his father’s brothers who governed.
Some historians call this the avuncular period. This period ended in
1953 when Daoud Khan, the
King’s cousin and brother-in-law
took over as Prime Minister.
Daoud Khan was a nationalist
committed as much to the recovery of lost territory as he was to
modernizing Afghanistan. The advent of Daoud also coincided with
the advent of John Foster Dulles
who was no less committed to the
single-minded pursuit of the “containment” of the Soviet Union, as
Daoud was to the Pashtunistan
In 1954 Pakistan joined the
SEATO and CENTO (Baghdad
Pact) military alliances, more to
gain military and political meant
support against India rather than
any commitment to US policy of
containment. Daoud too had
sought military and economic assistance from the USA. But with
Pakistan as its chosen ally, the
USA turned its back on Afghanistan. Daoud then turned to Russia
for assistance. The Cold War in this
remote part of the world now became a confrontation for the recovery of lost Afghan territories
as a result of unequal treaties imposed by Britain.
In September 1960 the irritations manifested into a crisis when
Afghanistan and Pakistan went to
war and a year later the Afghan
government snapped diplomatic
ties with Pakistan and closed the
border to it. It pushed Afghanistan
closer to the Soviet Union and dependent upon it for essentials like
food and energy. It fostered closeness to Russia that would sow the
seeds for the future Communist
takeover of Afghanistan as thousands of civil and military officials
went to the USSR for training and
many were converted to the communist ideology. The disastrous
effects of the closed border cost
Daoud his job in 1963. It was ten
years for Daoud to come to power
again deposing Zahir Shah. Once
again Daoud revived the Pashtunistan issue. The 1971 breakup of
Pakistan created stirrings for separation in Baluchistan as well and
a training camp for Baluchi fighters was set up in Kandahar. Bhutto retaliated with bomb blasts in
Kabul and Jalalabad. But Daoud
fell out with Russia’s Leonid
Brezhnev in 1977 and the Communists toppled him the following year.
In 1979 the new Afghan government formally repudiated the
Durand Line. But the Cold War
lines were drawn and modern history’s longest period of continuous war ensued. For the next 23
years Afghanistan was beset by a
cruel and callous war, the like the
modern age has not seen. Afghans
are now seeking to determine their
own future.
But the Pashtuns still remain
a divided people by an arbitrary
Line of Control scratched across
the heart of their nation. In the
past few weeks Afghan and Pakistani forces now in the Tribal Agencies ostensibly in pursuit of Al
Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban,
have clashed at various points
along the Durand Line.
It is now only a question of
times before the demand for the
reunification all their people become a rallying call for the Pashtun nation. Even the internal dynamics within Afghanistan now
demand it. There is much unfinished business here.
Mohan Guruswamy
With the formation of the National Unity Government headed by President Ashraf Ghani
in September 2014, relations
with Pakistan saw an unprecedented improvement, raising
hopes of peace talks with the
Afghan Taliban. Months later,
in mid June 2015, Ghani’s
strongly worded letter to the
Pakistani authorities was an
apparent sign that his patience
had worn thin. In his letter, the
Afghan president demanded
that Pakistan bring Taliban to
the negotiating table or crack
down on Taliban sanctuaries in
Pakistan. Ghani gave Pakistan
a three-week ultimatum to
prove its commitment to a unified stance with the Afghan
government against the Taliban. As yet, though, there appears no evidence of any meaningful action from Pakistan.
Ghani initially showed extraordinary confidence that
Pakistan’s “undeclared war”
with Afghanistan had locked
the Taliban into a fight against
Afghanistan, and that if the
two governments could work
towards convergent interests,
the conflict would inevitably
be addressed. While this line
of thinking triggered criticism
from Afghan political elites,
who called it naive, it earned
Ghani plaudits from Pakistan
and promises to help his peace
efforts. On June 22, Sartaj Aziz,
an advisor to Pakistan’s Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif, announced that a major advance
in the Afghan peace process is
likely within months. Aziz
claimed to have facilitated a
meeting of three known Taliban
members – Mullah Abdul Jalil,
Mullah Mohammad Hassan
Rahmani, and Mullah Abdul
Razaq – in Urumqi, China, with
the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) in May 2015, and stated that a similar meeting between the two sides would take
place in the near future.
However, when Aziz’s claim
of an advance in the Afghan
peace process faced an outright rebuttal from the Afghan
Taliban, Pakistan’s commitment/ability to facilitate negotiations between the Taliban
and Kabul was thrown into
doubt. The Taliban’s Qatar delegation rejected the Urumqi
meeting and demanded during
informal talks with Afghan officials in Oslo, Qatar, and the
United Arab Emirates that they
be approached directly, and not
through any third party – an
apparent reference to the Afghan government’s efforts to
pursue peace talks though Pakistan.
The rejection of the Urumqi meeting by the Qatar delegation suggests that it is likely
other groups from the Taliban
side that have been engaged
in the recent meetings with the
Afghan officials – one endorsed by Pakistan and another that acts independently. It
also points to Pakistan’s quest
to manipulate the group meeting in China and facilitate
peace talks with the Afghan
government exclusive of the
Qatar delegation. If true, that
would be a new effort by Pakistan to try to bring certain elements within the Taliban to the
mainstream and sideline others.
And that is not the commitment
that Ghani was seeking in his
pivot to Pakistan.
The splintered participation of the Taliban in the political system and renunciation of
violence may be beneficial for
the Afghan government to a
degree, given that it could have
an effect on the Taliban’s battlefield capabilities. But it may
not ensure stability in the country as the dominant force within the Taliban group is opposed
to any peace talks in the presence of U.S. and NATO forces.
The Qatar delegation made this
clear in its recent informal meetings with the Afghan officials.
For the Afghan government it is imperative that Pakistan bring the whole Taliban to
the negotiating table or else
espouse hard measures to dismantle their safe sanctuaries on
its soil. But Pakistan maintains
that it only has limited leverage with the Taliban, allowing
for only a marginal role on its
part. Special Assistant to the
Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi on
June 15 openly admitted that
Pakistan “can’t pick people [the
Taliban] and take them to the
table and make them sign on
the dotted line.”
Ghani has brought China
into the peace process to encourage Pakistan to consider
all hues of Taliban as a threat
to the region. While it is clear
that China opposes the Taliban’s return to power, it does
favor a peace deal that could
see the Taliban participate in
the political system, with a renunciation of violence and acceptance of the Afghan constitution. For China, the negotiations are a deterrence against
the potential threat of Uyghur
militants from Afghanistan. But
China’s purported willingness
to mediate between the Taliban
group put forward by Pakistan
and the Afghan government,
ignoring the Qatar delegation,
seems more an extension of its
ties with the two countries.
Pakistan has refuted
Ghani’s claim of an “undeclared
war” between the neighbors
and argues that the Taliban
fight is between Afghans and
is thus for the Afghans to resolve. The Taliban may have
shown willingness to compromise in some respects in negotiations with Ghani’s government. Nevertheless, they still
demand zero foreign military
presence in Afghanistan and
constitutional amendments.
Given this, Ghani is now realizing that banking wholeheartedly on Pakistan may not be the
way forward for Afghanistan
stability. Last week, Afghanistan’s interior minister cancelled a planned visit to Pakistan due to the suicide attack
on the Afghan parliament, in
which Afghan intelligence implicated Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). (Courtesy: The Diplomat)
Halimullah Kousary (@hkousary) serves as head of research with the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS)
based in Kabul. His practice
areas cover socio-political, security and terrorism issues in
Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Syriza’s lies and empty promises
By C J Polychroniou
In his televised address to the nation just a few days before yesterday's so-called bailout referendum,
Greek Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras appealed to voters' emotions and their national pride and
urged them to say "No". In turn,
he assured them that he will personally find a solution with
Greece's creditors, even though he
failed to do so after five months of
non-stop negotiations.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis
Varoufakis continued in the same
vein, promising a better deal within 48 hours if the country votes
against the bailout package proposed by the eurozone officials on
June 25, although he resigned (or
was asked to resign) the day after
the referendum in an obvious attempt on the part of the Tsipras'
government to send a conciliatory
message to Brussels and Berlin.
Counting the Cost - 'Austerity has
practically destroyed Greece' Apparently, political rhetoric worked
its magic again with Greek voters
as the "no" vote prevailed by a
very wide margin in a ridiculous
referendum over a proposal that
was no longer on the table and
while the bailout programme had
Local products
Despite of being deprived of many facilities and opportunities, Afghanistan products different kinds of products including carpet, agricultural
products, handicrafts and a number of food items which are special according to the Afghan culture. Media outlets said late Sunday that
Afghanistan is the topper according to producing different kinds of grapes which are world class and can compete with any kind of fruit in
international market. Another famous product of Afghanistan is carpet and handicrafts. These two products are odd in the world but have not
been supported during past decade. These products are sent to Pakistan and this country sells the Afghan products under the name of Pakistanmade with high price. I have some suggestions from the government. Processing, packaging and other facilities should be provided for Afghan
industrialists to improve Afghan products export to other countries under the name of Afghan-made.
We will have well improved and developed economy if the government supports our products to be popular in international market. Though
several attempts have been made by government and some non-government organizations but these efforts are not sufficient; we need more
struggles to step up towards producing standard and high quality products inside the country and as well as towards having
the highest rate of exports of local products.
Laala Ahmadi, Taimani, Kabul
Letter to editor will be edited for policy, content and clarity. All letters must have the writer’s
name and address. You may send your letters to: [email protected]
The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author(s)
and do not reflect the views or opinions of the Afghanistan Times.
already expired. Master of lies Indeed, in so doing, Greek voters
seem to have forgotten that the
Syriza government has evolved
into a master of lies and deception.
At the June 22 euro summit,
the leftist Greek government submitted a proposal that was very
much in line with the logic of the
infamous troika's bailout programme, although both Germany
and the IMF still found it "insufficient" and placed demands for more
blood and tears.
In addition, a few days after
the decision for a referendum had
been made, the Syriza government
sought to get approval for a new
two-year bailout programme, in
exchange for 29 billion euros
($32bn), only to be turned again
by the eurozone's hegemon, with
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stating rather laconically that
there can be no further talks before the referendum.
The latest gimmick of the
Tsipras' government ... was made
so the government would not collapse as many of its own MPs had
stated that they would not support an agreement with the creditors...
But this is typical of how the
Syriza-led government has been
approaching negotiations with
Greece's creditors for the past five
months: defiance one moment and
capitulation the next.
The latest gimmick of the
Tsipras' government, ie, to call a
referendum, was made so the government would not collapse as
many of its own MPs had stated
that they would not support an
agreement with the creditors that
reinforced austerity and anti-social
policies that have shrunk Greece's
GDP by more than 20 percent in
the last five years, raised unemployment rates to stratospheric
levels (over 25 percent), lowered
standards of living significantly,
and brought the public healthcare
system to its knees.
So what happens next? Will
the Greek government be able to
reach an agreement with its creditors as quickly as Tsipras and Varoufakis believe, or have the odds
of a systemic risk default (Greece
has already failed to make a 1.5
billion euro - $1.7bn - payment to
the IMF) and a Grexit increase dramatically because of the "No"
Uncharted waters
Indeed, while Varoufakis was
telling Greeks that an agreement
with the creditors could be clinched
in a day or two following a "No"
vote, a few hours before the referendum he was hinting that the government is getting ready to face
war-like situations.
But as already noted, lies and
deception are Syriza's main tactics
since it came to power in late January.
The truth of the matter is that
the outcome of the referendum has
put Greece and the eurozone in
uncharted waters.
The ECB, which convenes today to take note of the latest developments in Greece, is highly
unlikely to increase Emergency
Liquidity Allowance (ELA) limits
for Greek banks, which are already
on the verge of collapse, but it is
also most unlikely that it will make
a decision to pull the plug on the
Greek banking system so quickly.
Greece's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis [AP]
Either way, Greek banks are
expected to remain closed this
week, thereby intensifying the agony for millions of depositors and
bringing the economy under greater pressure.
The "No" vote will also
strengthen the hand of those who
prefer to see Greece out of the euro
- and that includes primarily German Finance Minister Wolfgang
The Greek government's belief
that a "No" vote will force Europe's leaders to become "softer"
towards Greece reflects a journey
into self-delusion, thus making the
Syriza government not only thoroughly incompetent but also dangerous.
If the pseudo-leftist government in Athens was serious in its
desire to put an end to the fiveyear-old ordeal of the Greek nation caused by the austerity-driven dogma behind the bailout programmes, it would have called a
referendum on whether or not
Greece should remain in the eurozone.
As things stand, if the creditors continue to play hardball with
the Tsipras government after the
referendum, and Greek banks collapse, the transition to a national
currency is simply inevitable.
The process of setting up a
new currency could take months,
and the Syriza government has no
such plans in place, which means
the Greek people will experience
unspeakable pain...
However, the process of setting up a new currency could take
months, and the Syriza government has no such plans in place,
which means the Greek people will
experience unspeakable pain and
suffering, particularly the poor, the
working class and the most vulnerable segments of the population.
Referendum as experiment
Indeed, indicative of how dangerous this government really is,
one of its own MPs assessed the
banking situation in Greece, where
capital controls are in place, limiting withdrawals to 60 euros ($66)
a day, as one which is in the process of being "stabilised", and then
went on to say that it will become
even more stable as Greeks "get
used" to the current situation.
In turn, the Greek minister of
productive reconstruction, environment, and energy did not hesitate to describe the referendum that
just took place as an "experiment".
Yet, an uglier truth is that
Greece is in a real a mess and even
debt restructuring will not be
enough to get its economy going
again. Aside from facing a severe
competitiveness problem and
mass unemployment, its pension
system is on the brink of collapse.
In addition, Greece is a country with a uniquely rapidly ageing
population while many of its best
and brightest young people are
The country also needs to undertake deep reforms in its public
sector institutions whether it stays
in the euro or returns to a national
These are issues and problems
which any government would have
to face regardless of its ideological
orientation, and surely will not be
solved on account of Sunday's referendum. C J Polychroniou is a
political economist/political scientist who has taught and worked
for many years in universities and
research centres in Europe and the
United States.
The views expressed in this
article are the author's own and do
not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's
editorial policy.
This document was created with Win2PDF available at http://www.win2pdf.com.
The unregistered version of Win2PDF is for evaluation or non-commercial use only.
This page will not be added after purchasing Win2PDF.
Female foeticide, India’s ‘ticking bomb’ The legacy of
the 7/ 7 London
London's tough response to 7/7
bombings thwarts attacks, but may
not prevent radicalisation.
BIBIPUR: The jubilant young
man's arrival brought an abrupt halt
to the card game contested by the
turbaned group sitting under the
tree. He thought he had good news
for them: "I've been blessed with a
baby girl!" he announced proudly.
The response was not what he
expected - the group's shock quickly turned to ridicule."Why didn't
you get her killed in the womb?"
came the collective cry. "Did you
not get a gender determination test
done on the foetus?"
Such a test is illegal in India,
but this reaction - discovered during an undercover investigation by
Al Jazeera in the village of Bibipur
- is a reflection of prevailing malechauvinistic attitudes in the country. Cycle of imbalance The deepseated cultural preference for sons
has skewed India's 1.2 billion population's gender demographic, particularly in the western states of
Haryana, Rajasthan, and Punjab.
Witness - Mitu's Story In Haryana's Jind district, where Bibipur is
located, the sex ratio is 871 females
per 1,000 males, compared with
the national average of 940, according to the 2011 census. It has
prompted men from these areas to
hunt for brides in impoverished
regions such as West Bengal and
Bihar, and even as far away as
Kerala in the south.
But it hasn't changed their attitudes: Even the brides brought in
are forced to abort their baby girls,
thus perpetuating the cycle of imbalance - as in Bibipur.
One of the cardplayers - whose
own conservative family had broken strict social norms and bought
him a teenage bride from West Bengal due to the scarcity of girls in
Haryana - was quick to boast
about his experience with female
"My wife was already three
months pregnant when we got to
know about it," said the 40-yearold, who asked not to be named
for fear of reprisals.
"We immediately got an ultrasonography test done on her. Reports suggested that it was a baby
girl, but the doctor refused to abort
the baby, saying that it could endanger the life of both the mother
and the baby," the cardplayer said.
Undeterred, the man's family
and friends gave him "a list of doctors and clinics in Haryana and
Rajasthan where hassle-free abortions are done".
The next stage involved fooling the 19-year-old wife into thinking she was going to a distant relative's wedding in Jaipur.
People start planning their
family in a rather regressive way instead of counting their numbers,
they start counting the children's
sex. Minister Maneka Gandhi,
Women and Child Welfare "We
took her to a predesignated clinic
in the city," explained the husband.
"Since it was not possible to abort
the baby, the doctors put a pill in
her genitals. In the morning, the
game was over as my visibly shaken wife confirmed the news that
the 'bits of the baby's body parts
came out while passing urine'," the
man said. 'Wives are like slaves' In
a 2011 study, British medical journal Lancet found that up to 12
million Indian female foetuses had
been aborted in the previous three
decades. Last year, the United
Nations said the dwindling number of Indian girls had reached
"emergency proportions" and was
contributing to crimes against
The imported brides, known
as "paros", are treated like domestic slaves who have little or no inheritance rights on the family
property, according to Smita
Khanijow of anti-poverty agency
ActionAid India.
"Women are not a commodity
which can be traded as 'brides' on
demand of the market," she told
Al Jazeera.
"We need to treat women as
equal human beings to men, and
give them dignity and rights."
But in many parts of India, the
list of unmarried males older than
40 is growing longer - and more
desperate for a wife.
During last year's general elections, Bibipur - which means "Village of Brides" - hit the headlines
when a local organisation called
Kunwara Union - or "Bachelors'
Union" - told candidates: "Give
us brides and win our votes!"
India's Minister of Women and
Child Welfare Maneka Gandhi
says sex-selective abortion is a
"problem of affluence".
"Every day around 2,000 girls
are killed in the womb or immediately after birth in India," she told
Al Jazeera - though a UN report
says the daily number is around
"People start planning their
family in a rather regressive way instead of counting their numbers,
they start counting the children's
sex. What they want, they want.
Anything else becomes collateral
'Shame the families'
It is not just poor women who
are forced to fight to save their
baby girls. Doctor Mitu Khurana,
a Delhi-based paediatrician, is hoping to set a legal precedent after
taking her husband and in-laws to
court for "conspiring to kill her
twin daughters in the womb".
RELATED: Can the world be
fair to women?
Khurana said her in-laws sedated her and illegally procured a
gender test during her pregnancy,
and then pressured her to abort the
She defied them, and returned
to her family's home to give birth
in 2005.
"When I returned at my inlaws' house with the babies, my
mother-in-law pushed one of the
infants down the stairs. Fortunate-
ly, I arrived in time and rescued
my baby," Khurana told Al
As well as being an issue of
cultural preference, female foeticide is also an economic issue for
Although the long-standing
tradition of dowry - a payment to
the groom's family - has been illegal since 1961, it is still practised
in many communities.
"We are poor people, somehow making ends meet," said a
three-wheel rickshaw driver in
Jaipur, Rajasthan - another state
where the sex ratio is under the
national average, according to the
2011 census.
"I got my second daughter
aborted for fear of paying dowry
for her marriage when she grows
up," the 30-year-old told Al
Jazeera, under the condition of
anonymity. "As it is, I am finding
it difficult to save enough money
for the dowry of my first daughter."
Khurana said India needs to
change its attitude towards dowry
in order to save the lives of female
children. Prime Minister Narendra
Modi's Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
campaign addresses the issue of
declining Child Sex Ratio through
a mass campaign across the country targeted at changing societal
mindsets and creating awareness
[Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times via
Getty Images]
"Dowry is already illegal, but
it has to be made shameful," she
said. "You have to shame the families giving and taking dowry."
State intervention
Gandhi said the government is
making progress, through Prime
Minister Narendra Modi's Beti
Bacho, Beti Padho - the "Save
daughters, educate daughters" programme.
It has targeted 100 gender-critical districts, where those who give
and accept dowries have been pub-
On June 1, three young Egyptians
- a female and two males - went
out for dinner together and never
came back. For more than two
weeks, their families failed to obtain information about their whereabouts despite contacting all relevant security bodies, including the
Ministry of Interior and Military
Prosecution. The issue went viral
on social networking websites as
concern over their safety heightened with each passing day.
On June 18, news of the female, photojournalist Israa al-Tawil, appeared for the first time when
a judiciary source told the press
that her arrest warrant was issued
by the National Security Prosecution, and that she was detained
pending interrogation.
“She is charged with spreading false news about Egypt,” said
the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “She accused
the Egyptian judiciary of inaccuracy, and sent photos to foreign
organizations to be used as proof
of violent suppression of protests
by security forces.”
Shortly after, the Facebook
page Freedom for the Brave, which
focuses on political prisoners, announced that the other two, political science student Sohaib Saad
and engineer Omar Mohamed,
were seen in detention together. No
official announcement has been
made about them yet, so the exact
charges leveled against them remain unknown.
Despite relative happiness
that the three turned out to be alive,
their initial disappearance has become a source of major concern,
especially after other names, re-
portedly disappearing in the same
manner, started emerging.
Following Tawil’s disappearance, the National Council of Human Rights (NCHR) said it received dozens of complaints about
disappearing citizens. “We received complaints about 50 cases,
while other independent organizations such as Freedom for the
Brave documented 163 cases since
April,” said activist and NCHR
member George Ishak.
Nasser Amin, head of the
NCHR complaints committee, said
the council will officially address
the prosecutor general and the
Ministry of Interior to inquire
about those cases. “The authorities should inform the families of
the detainees’ whereabouts as
soon as they are arrested,” he said.
“They also have to clarify the
charges they are facing and the
dates of their trials.” Amin added
that the committee is going to sort
out the cases to decide which of
them can be categorized as “forced
disappearance” according to international criteria.
A different number appeared
in the info graph issued by the
Egyptian Coordination of Rights
and Freedoms (ECRF), which said
786 people disappeared between
March and May. “The estimate
provided by Freedom for the
Brave is much lower than the actual figures,” said ECRF director
Ezzat Ghoneim. “Organizations
working on this issue will never
get the same numbers, since it mainly depends on the number of people working for each organization
on the ground.” Legality
In a report entitled “Forced
disappearances: Egypt in the footsteps of totalitarian regimes,” the
Human Rights Documentary Organization (HRDO) said the detainees lose all their legal rights
when their whereabouts are unknown, which is against all international agreements and charters.
According to the report, forced
disappearances mirror the state’s
inability to deal with its problems
in accordance with regular procedures.
“Making people disappear
betrays a great deal of inefficiency
on the part of the state since it
prioritizes stability and security
over its citizens’ rights and the rule
of law,” said the report. “This is
exactly what is done in Iran and
North Korea.” The report noted
that arbitrary arrests were against
the constitution, particularly Article 54 on personal freedom.
According to the article, “citizens may only be apprehended,
searched, arrested, or have their
freedoms restricted by a causal judicial warrant necessitated by an
investigation.” The article also says
all detainees must be allowed to
contact their families and lawyers.
Lawyer Hoda Abdel Moneim,
spokesperson of the Egyptian
Women’s Revolutionary Union,
said disappearances raise concerns
about the health of detainees, especially those requiring special
medical care such as Tawil, who
has a leg injury and needs regular
physiotherapy. “I am holding the
Interior Ministry accountable for
any deterioration in her condition,”
Abdel Moneim said.
Mona Seif, activist and founder
of No to Military Trials for Civil-
ians, said forced disappearances
usually involve arbitrary arrests by
people who do not present themselves as policemen. “Usually
people are taken from the street
by men in civilian clothes without
being told what their charges are.
Then security bodies would deny
knowing anything about them.”
This, she said, was the case with
the three disappeared youths.
While human rights organizations almost unanimously agree
that the frequency of forced disappearances has become quite
alarming, political parties disagree
over the gravity of the situation.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party issued a statement calling on the president to intervene.
“The president is responsible for
ensuring that the law and the constitution are respected, and this is
not the case with forced disappearances, where the detainees are not
informed of their offenses and are
detained without trial,” said the
Abdel Aziz al-Husseini, secretary general of the Karama party, said since the constitution was
voted on by most Egyptians, violating it implies disrespect for
them. “This is an attack against all
Egyptians,” he said, also calling on
the president to intervene. ScepticsOther parties say the matter
has been blown out of proportion.
Ahmed Ezz al-Arab, deputy chairman of the Wafd Party, said reports about forced disappearances are issued by domestic and foreign bodies that aim to destabilize
Egypt and tarnishing its image.
“Human rights organizations
are not to be trusted, since they
licly shamed, and informants have
been rewarded.
The programme also focuses
on influencing the mother-in-law
of a family, who usually decides
whether the baby lives or not.
"Women in the house will have
to be trained as much as the men,"
said Gandhi.
Government reports show
that in these 100 districts the number of female children in Palnas,
state-run orphanages - has gone up
by hundreds.
"In Amritsar alone, there were
89 girls given to Palnas in a month.
Then we found the same thing in
Mohali and Tamil Nadu," said
"These are the girls who would
otherwise be killed in the womb or
immediately after birth," Gandhi
There is evidence of change
even in Biwipur, where this month
the village held a "selfie with your
daughter" photo contest in order
to raise awareness of the issue. The
winner, out of 800 submissions,
received a prize of 2,100 rupees
But the bigger battle is yet to
be won, said Khurana, who has
filed a suit against her inlaws and
the clinic involved for carrying out
a gender-selective test, which is a
crime, on her foetus without her
consent. Khurana claims the presiding judge, a woman, called her
"a prostitute in the open court"
for standing up against her husband.
Her case, which was filed in
2008, is still ongoing. If found
guilty all the accused parties will
face jail time and a significant monetary fine.
"Forget about the common
people - when the judges try to
convince us that there is nothing
wrong in seeking a male child and
eliminating a female one, only God
can help us! We are sitting on a
ticking bomb!" (AL JAZEERA)
always focus on the rights of detainees and overlook the offenses
they might be involved in or the
people they might have harmed,”
he said. “How can they be sure
that those so-called ‘disappeared’
are not criminals?”
Nagi al-Shehabi, head of AlGeel Party, said he did not believe
the numbers announced by the
NCHR. “These are exaggerated
figures that only aim at making a
fuss about nothing,” he said, calling for the restructuring of the
council so it can be purged of “members with ulterior motives.”
Shehabi said the term “forced
disappearance” was inaccurate.
“Disappearances are quite common. People can just leave, and
their families would not know anything about them for years and
maybe for life. How can we know
that they were taken against their
will and did not leave voluntarily?
And we never heard about security forces being held accountable
for the disappearance of people
except now.”
LONDON: A loud bang and bodies toss around as the train shattered by the explosion jerks to a
halt deep underground. Black
smoke, darkness and the sound of
screaming fill the air.
"I was preparing myself for
death. I was thinking, 'This is it.
Today is the day that I die,'" recalled Sajda Mughal of the morning commute to her London office
10 years ago on July 7, 2005.
"My immediate thought was
that we'd hit something and derailed. And then I thought the next
train will be coming and it will hit
us and there will be a massive explosion and we will all burn to
death," Mughal, then a 22-yearold office worker, told Al Jazeera.
Mughal had escaped with her
life, but in an adjacent carriage 26
people were already dead or dying. Many more were seriously
injured. The same number were
dead elsewhere in the city in bombings aboard two more trains and a
bus, as well as the four young
Muslim men, all British-born or
raised, who carried out the suicide
attacks. Being watched in Britain
For Mughal, the relief of survival
was soon followed by the shock
of realisation that those responsible had claimed to act in the name
of her own religion. One decade
on, she said that Muslim communities in the UK were still dealing
with the consequences of those
murderous actions. The rise of Islamophobia "I've seen the rise of
Islamophobia first-hand. My organisation and I have been subjected to death threats and abuse," said
Mughal, who subsequently left her
job to launch an anti-radicalisation
awareness programme aimed at
Muslim mothers through JAN
Trust, a women's charity.
"We have seen a rise year on
year in the number of women contacting us regarding incidents such
as hijabs being pulled off, being
spat at or institutional Islamophobia. The youngest victim we dealt
with was a seven-year-old girl suffering Islamophobic bullying.
Things like this are detrimental to
community cohesion. More and
more young Muslims are telling us
they feel disconnected from society," Mughal said.
Mughal's concerns and fears
for the future echo those of many
other British Muslims. A survey
commissioned by the British Future think-tank earlier this month
found that 56 percent of Muslims
feel that community relations have
deteriorated in the decade since the
7/7 attacks.
Meanwhile, another poll in the
Huffington Post found that 56
percent of Britons believed that
Islam posed a threat to Western
democracies, while a survey last
month of words most associated
by Britons with Muslims was
topped by "terrorism", mentioned
by 12 percent of respondents.
Imran Awan, a researcher in
Islamophobia at Birmingham City
University, told Al Jazeera that a
sharp increase in anti-Muslim prejudice, ranging from arson attacks
on mosques, violence, and verbal
and online abuse, could be traced
back to the 2005 bombings, but
added that government policies
since then had also fuelled alienation and suspicion. "What we saw
was this whole notion that Muslims were the new folk devil," Awan
said. "But what is interesting back
then and even more so today is
that as well as these sort of incidents it is the reaction of the government that has a really big impact," said Awan. Tough measures
Within weeks of the bombings,
Tony Blair, then prime minister,
announced a flurry of tough measures including banning extremist
groups and creating a new crime of
"glorifying" terrorism. There is a
real perception at grassroots level
that Muslims feel under siege.
Imran Awan, Birmingham City
University "The rules of the game
have changed," said Blair. "We're
angry about these extremists. We're
angry about what they're doing to
our country." But Blair's draconian
posturing also stirred up resentment among Muslims already feeling scrutinised, Awan said. Most
controversially, the government's
Prevent counter-extremism strategy, initially launched with the cautious backing of many Muslim organisations, was quickly rejected
as a police-run surveillance programme that targeted Muslims as
a "suspect community". ith Muslims once again in the spotlight
amid fears about the threat posed
by fighters returning from Syria
and the absconding of families and
schoolgirls to territory held by the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Awan said he was concerned that the mistakes and hardline rhetoric of the past decade
were being repeated.
Speaking at a security conference last month following the
death in Iraq of 17-year-old Talha
Asmal, dubbed the "UK's young-
est ever suicide bomber", Prime
Minister David Cameron accused
some Muslims of "quietly condoning" extremism.
Days later, in the aftermath of
an attack on a Tunisian beach resort in which 30 British tourists
died, Cameron said that groups
such as ISIL posed an "existential
threat" to the UK and promised a
"full-spectrum response at home
and abroad".
Cameron has already vowed to
introduce tougher powers even
than those established in the recent Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, rushed into law earlier this
year following the Charlie Hebdo
killings in Paris, which included
measures obliging public sector
employees including teachers and
even nursery staff to be alert for
extremism in their day-to-day
Pliable 'radicals'
"There is a real perception at
grassroots level that Muslims feel
under siege," said Awan.
"I spoke to a family recently.
The father said, 'I have a really big
beard. My wife wears a full niqab
and when I take my kids to school
now I'm really worried that the
teachers will think I am radicalising my own children.' Because the
CTS Act says nurseries should be
mindful of two-year-olds being
Yet, many security analysts
accept that the focus of counterterrorism efforts in the UK on
Muslim communities remains necessary because of the potential
threat posed by the involvement
of hundreds of British Muslims in
the war in Syria.
In a new book, "We Love
Death as You Love Life," on the
history of Islamic extremism in the
UK, Raffaello Pantucci of the
Royal United Services Institute
think-tank concludes ominously
that "the undercurrents of a new
storm surge are building".
"If you look at it from the side
of the security services, they've got
a much better understanding of the
problem and they're much better
at the technical side of counterterrorism," Pantucci told Al Jazeera.
"But on the preventive side it
is a mixed picture. Radicalisation
continues to happen. There are
people in this country who still
want to try to launch attacks to
kill other citizens."
Four UK men plead guilty in
London bomb plot
Pantucci accepted that many
Britons in Syria had no intention
of mounting attacks in the UK.
But Pantucci said that fighters
posed a proven risk at home, citing the case of Mohammad Sidique
Khan, the ringleader of the London bombings who made several
trips to Kashmir that brought him
into contact with senior al-Qaeda
"These guys go out there in
some cases with good intentions,"
he said.
"But the problem is that history has taught us that some of
these people are pliable if a senior
figure says, 'Do you really want
to have an impact? Maybe you
should go back home,'" explained
Reversed progress
Ten years on from the 2005
attacks, Talha Ahmad, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of
Britain, accepts that Muslim organisations and individuals must
once again take the lead in engaging with those at risk of radicalisation within their communities.
"The Muslim community now
is better equipped, better prepared
and better connected with wider
society," Ahmad told Al Jazeera.
"After 7/7 there was a sense
of urgency to open up and build
interfaith alliances, to be more relevant and inclusive and responsive," Ahmad said.
But he said worsening discrimination, heavy-handed law enforcement, and negative media stereotyping of Muslims was making the
job harder, and warned that attempts by the government to legislate an acceptable version of Islam would only backfire.
RELATED: Guns do not have
a religion
"We have gone backwards in
terms of civil liberties and the rule
of law. 7/7 also reversed a lot of
progress in the name of racial equality," said Ahmad.
"If we are talking about challenging extremism then the government cannot dictate which Muslim group or which version of Islam is more acceptable than others," Ahmad said. "The new legislation effectively expects the state
to act as a thought police."
Youth factor
Muhbeen Hussain was an 11year-old schoolboy in northern
England at the time, but he says
that for his generation the day of
the London bombings changed everything. (AL JAZEERA)
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LONDON: European stock and
bond markets steadied on Tuesday before a euro zone leaders summit to discuss the Greek debt crisis while a further fall in Chinese
shares reminded investors of other dark clouds on the horizon.
Oil recovered some ground after Monday's stomach-churning
selloff prompted by Greeks' overwhelming rejection of the terms of
a bailout deal and the Chinese stock
markets turmoil.
Euro zone leaders meet in Brussels, awaiting proposals from
Greek Prime Minister Alexis
Tsipras as his country's banks rapidly run out of cash and the European Central Bank tightened the
noose on funding. Failure to reach
a deal would increase the likelihood
of Greece leaving the single currency.
The Euro STOXX 50 index of
euro zone blue-chip shares rose 0.2
percent after falling 2.2 percent on
Monday. Germany's DAX index
rose 0.3 percent while Italy's FTSE
MIB was up 1.4 percent.
"The rest of Europe is ring
fenced from what's going on in
Greece. We would see further volatility with a Grexit, but not as
severe as we saw in the past," said
James Butterfill, global equity
strategist at Coutts.
Yields on German debt, which
fell on Monday as investors sought
the low-risk asset, dropped further. Ten-year yields fell 4.8 basis
points to 0.73 percent.
However, yields on government bonds from Italy, Spain and
Portugal, the countries seen as
most vulnerable to contagion from
Greece, also fell.
Italian 10-year yields, which
rose on Monday, were down 3.3
bps at 2.34 percent.
German Bund futures opened
up sharply after the ECB on Monday raised the discount it charges
on collateral that Greek banks must
present in exchange for funds.
Sources said the move was largely
symbolic as the amount Greek
banks can borrow is capped.
"It is difficult to say whether
this soft reaction is because the
market is not too concerned about
Grexit now or whether the headlines over the course of the day
have led the market to believe that
a deal will be forthcoming eventually," said RBC strategist Peter
The euro fell 0.3 percent to
$1.1005 but held well above Monday's low of $1.0967. The dollar
rose 0.4 percent against a basket
of currencies. Many asset managers believe a Greek exit from the
euro can still be avoided while others say the ECB would step in to
limit contagion.
"It is a drift lower for the euro
with things likely to get interesting if it drops below $1.0970," said
Jeremy Stretch, head of currency
strategy at CIBC World Markets.
"The markets are reasonably relaxed at this stage because they
believe the ECB will step in to take
action to contain any contagion,
should Greece step out of the
Earlier, Asian shares drooped
after further losses in China despite the authorities there unveiling a series of measures at the weekend intended to halt a slide of almost 30 percent since mid-June.
China's CSI 300 index of the
biggest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen closed down 1.8
percent, having fallen more than 5
percent earlier in the day.
MSCI's broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5
percent, though Japan's Nikkei
rose 1.3 percent after a sharp fall
on Monday.
Oil prices rose. Brent crude,
which fell more than 6 percent on
Monday, rose 53 cents a barrel to
$57.07, though analysts said the
outlook remained weak.
"Macroeconomic headwinds
are rising - be it in the form of the
collapse in the Chinese stock market, Greece's potential exit from
the euro zone or a stronger dollar.
So downside risk to Brent flat price
persists," Energy Aspects said on
Tuesday. Gold, which has failed
to attract much of a safe-haven bid
in the latest flare-up over Greece,
dipped to $1,168.15 and ounce.
Oil crashes 8
Traders in Pak up in arms
percent as Greek over tax on bank transactions
vote, Iran talks
set off exodus
NEW YORK : Oil prices suffered
their biggest selloff in five months
on Monday, falling as much as 8
percent as Greece's rejection of
debt bailout terms and China's
stock market woes set off a deepening spiral of losses.
Adding to the pressure on oil,
Iran and global powers were trying to meet a July 7 deadline on a
nuclear deal, which could bring
more supply to the market if sanctions on Tehran are eased. The selfimposed deadline could be extended again, officials at the negotiations said.
A slump that began last week
gathered pace through the session,
taking four-day losses to more than
10 percent, the largest rout since
early January, as weeks of rangebound trading abruptly ended.
Global Brent prices collapsed below the $60 a barrel mark for the
first time since mid-April.
"With the number of bearish
elements weighing on the market
now, the only support has been
the seasonal demand in gasoline,
and even that will be going away
soon," said John Kilduff, partner
at New York energy hedge fund
Again Capital.
U.S. crude settled at $52.53 a
barrel, down $4.40 or 7.7 percent,
from its settlement on Thursday
and below the 100-day moving
average. It was the biggest percentage drop in a day for U.S. crude
since early February, and more
downside momentum could push
it to test the six-year low of $42.03
set in mid-March, technical analysts said.
Brent settled down $3.78, or
6.3 percent, at $56.54, also below
the 100-day average.
Greeks voted a resounding no
to a referendum on an international bailout that also put in doubt its
membership in the euro. The euro
fell against the dollar, weighing on
demand for dollar-denominated
commodities from holders of the
single currency. [FRX/]
Commodities were also
sucked into market turmoil that has
seen Chinese shares fall as much
as 30 percent since June due in part
to the economy growing at its
slowest pace in a generation.
In Vienna, a dispute over U.N.
sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile programme and a broader arms
embargo were among issues holding up a nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.
Iran is seeking to restore oil
exports that have dropped from
2.5 million barrels per day in 2011
to about 1 million bpd in 2014.
Morgan Stanley analysts said up
to 700,000 bpd in new Iranian exports were likely to arrive between
late 2015 or early 2016, delaying
the recovery in oil prices and U.S.
output by 6 to 12 months.
Oil prices were also weighed
down by signs that U.S. shale drillers were returning to the field, as
the rig count for oil rose last week
for the first time since December.
[RIG/U] It is unclear whether the
latest price decline will give drillers pause, though, as many oil producers had been counting on $60
or $65 prices to support new
KARACHI: Traders decided on
Monday to gradually withdraw
their savings from banks as a mark
of protest against the recently imposed 0.6 per cent adjustable advance income tax on bank transactions, calling it exorbitant and an
unjustified move by the government to bring non-filers into the
tax net.
A key organisation of Karachi
traders took the decision after a
series of different moves in recent
weeks which saw closure of different markets and commercial
centres for a day one after another
in protest against the tax.
“This is not acceptable in any
way,” said Ateeq Mir of Karachi
Tajir Ittehad — a platform for nearly 300 markets and traders’ associations.
“We held a lengthy meeting
today [Monday] and finally decided to ask our members to withdraw their savings from banks gradually in instalments of Rs50,000
which is not taxable. It’s a kind of
protest we lodge against a 0.6pc
tax.” He claimed that over the past
couple of weeks traders had lost
millions of rupees only on that
account. He said banks charged
each truncation of over Rs50,000
at the rate of 0.6pc and many traders were unaware of this new tax.
Meanwhile, the Gujrat Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Pakistan Electric Fan Manufacturers Association, All Pakistan Pottery Manufacturers Association
and other trade and industry organisations in Punjab as well as the
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry and other
trade bodies in KP have also rejected the 0.6pc tax on bank transactions. At their meetings, the traders and businessmen criticised the
tax and asked the government to
immediately withdraw it.
The government’s decision to
tax non-filers at the rate of 0.6pc
for their every banking transaction
is also seen as a move in a haste
which can be introduced with better planning and attractive offer to
those who are willing to join tax
net. They find a few flaws which
can be addressed for better return
and acceptability among the people.
“It’s basically a turnover tax
with no distinction,” said senior
analyst Muzammil Aslam of
Emerging Economic Research in
Karachi. “I think the government
should have announced some amnesty for a few months and then
asked non-filers to join the tax net
before that period, otherwise they
would be charged for their banking
transaction. Secondly, 0.6pc is
quite high ratio which should also
be addressed.”
In his budget speech, Finance
Minister Ishaq Dar called the “existence of a parallel informal economy” as a major policy challenge
in reforming the informal sector
which, according to him, took the
benefit of all services of state but
did not contribute to the revenue
required to provide these services.
“Accordingly, it is proposed
that adjustable advance income tax
at the rate of 0.6pc of the amount
of transaction may be collected on
all banking instruments and other
modes of transfer of funds through
banks, in the case of persons who
do not file income tax returns,” said
the budget document.
The hue and cry by the business community also forced the
opposition parties to raise their
voice against the tax, with the PPP
accusing the PML-N government
of toeing policies of the IMF.
“The protest by traders’ associations across the country, especially in Karachi, is a plain message to the PML-N government
that the masses and the traders are
fed up with it and its policies of
crushing the masses and economy,” the PPP leaders said in a statement. They assured the traders that
the PPP would stand by their side
in this case.
Jamaat-i-Islami termed the tax
a ‘cruel move’ and said it would
badly affect business activities.
“Any delay in removal of the tax
will further damage business sentiments across the country,” it said
in a statement.
Saud i’s Sadara
signs 3.77bdollar
pow er deal
Saudi Arabia's Sadara Basic Services said on Tuesday that its parent
firm signed a $3.77 billion (14.13 billion riyal) deal with Saudi Electricity Company to supply electric power to its chemicals complex in
Jubail Industrial City.
The agreement signed by Sadara Chemical Company, the parent
company of Sadara Basic Services, has a 20 year renewable term, a
statement from Sadara said.
Sadara Chemical Company is a $20 billion joint venture between
state-oil giant Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical Company.
Greece faces
last chance to
stay in euro as
cash runs out
BRUSSELS: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to
present new proposals to an emergency euro zone summit on Tuesday, under pressure from European leaders to come up with credible ideas as his country's banks
face potential meltdown.
With Greek lenders down to
their last few days of cash and the
European Central Bank tightening
the noose on their funding, Tsipras
must persuade the bloc's other 18
leaders, many of whom are exasperated with five years of crisis,
to open negotiations fast on a new
loan to rescue Greece.
The leaders of Germany and
France, the currency area's two
main powers, said after conferring
on Monday that the door was still
open to a deal to save Greece from
plunging into economic turmoil and
ditching the euro.
But Chancellor Angela Merkel, under pressure in Germany to
cut Greece loose, made clear it was
up to Tsipras to come up with
convincing proposals after Athens
spurned the tax rises, spending
cuts and pension and labor reforms
that were on the table before its
240 billion euro bailout expired last
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, under
suspicion from both sides for trying to broker a last-minute deal,
told the European Parliament:
"There are some in the European
Union who openly or secretly are
working to exclude Greece from the
euro zone."
He did not name names but
may have been referring to German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble, who has made no secret of his scepticism about
Greece's fitness to stay in the euro.
From the Greek side, the key
to making any deal politically acceptable will be to win a stronger
commitment from Merkel and other lenders to reschedule Greece's
giant debt burden, which the International Monetary Fund says
is unsustainable.
Without some firmer pledge of
debt relief, neither Greece nor the
IMF is likely to accept a deal. But
that may be more than Germany
and its northern allies can swallow. "The door is open to negotiations, but there isn't much time left
and the situation is urgent both for
Greece and for Europe," French
President Francois Hollande said
in a joint media appearance with
Merkel in Paris.
At stake at the emergency
summit beginning at 6 p.m. (2.00
p.m. EDT) in Brussels is more than
just the future of Greece, a nation
of 11 million that makes up just 2
percent of the euro zone's economic output and population.
If Greek banks run out of money and the country has to print its
own currency, it could mean a
state leaving the euro for the first
time since it was launched in 1999,
creating a precedent and fuelling
doubts about the long-term viability of an incomplete European
monetary union.
"Even if it did not trigger a
short-term domino effect, the integrity of the euro zone would come
under fresh threat with each episode of political uncertainty within member countries," said Thibault Mercier, an analyst at BNP
Paribas. Strengthened by the overwhelming 61.3 percent 'No' vote
in Sunday's referendum, the leftist
Tsipras won the unprecedented
support of all other Greek party
leaders on Monday and replaced
his abrasive Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis with the soft-spoken negotiator Euclid Tsakalotos.
"They (creditors) wanted a
'Yes' to prevail so they could humiliate the Greek prime minister,
to go weakened, under these conditions of funding asphyxiation,
and be a pushover. That didn't happen," Labour Minister Panos Skourletis told Antenna TV.
In an intensive round of telephone diplomacy, Tsipras spoke
to the heads of the ECB, the IMF
and the European Commission, as
well as Merkel, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and U.S. Treasury
Secretary Jack Lew.
But he gave little clue of what
reform concessions he would make
to try to convince deeply sceptical European leaders to lend Athens more money after five months
of acrimonious and fruitless negotiations with his leftist administration. His proposals were not expected to go much beyond a letter
he sent to euro zone partners last
week, accepting most of the terms
of a creditors' offer that was no
longer on the table, but still seeking some loopholes for social or
coalition reasons.
The United States, China and
Japan all called for a solution in
which Greece stays in the euro
zone. Juncker told EU lawmakers
in Strasbourg he was working night
and day to get negotiations reopened but he chided the Greeks
for their confrontational approach,
saying it was unacceptable to accuse the EU of behaving like "terrorists", as Varoufakis did last
week. "Throwing Greece out of the
monetary union or indeed the European Union is not something we
want or indeed should want
Oil prices stabilise after massive sell-off
SINGAPORE : Crude oil prices
stabilized on Tuesday morning after posting one of their biggest selloffs this year the previous day
over Greece's rejection of debt bailout terms and China's stock market woes.
Front-month U.S. crude futures (CLc1) were trading at $52.91
per barrel at 0011 GMT, up 38
cents from their last settlement.
The slight gain followed an almost
8 percent fall on Monday that
pulled the contract down to levels
last seen in April.
Front-month Brent crude
(LCOc1) was stronger, rising over
half a dollar to $57.07 a barrel following a more than 6 percent fall
the previous session.
"Crude oil prices hit a two
month low amid mounting concerns over economic stability in
Europe and Asia. On the supply
side, an increase in Iranian supply
is expected to compete with Russian sales when the new supply
hits the market," ANZ bank said
on Tuesday.
Major global powers and Iran
are negotiating a nuclear compromise that could end sanctions
against Tehran and open up oil exports into an already oversupplied
market, although diplomatic sources told Reuters on Monday that
important issues remain unresolved.
And not all analysts are bearish in their oil price outlook.
U.S. PIRA Energy Group said
in a note published on Tuesday
that "the worst of oil market imbalance is over with inventory overhang being much less than generally expected" and that "longer-term
supply/demand fundamentals are
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Street-style craze Supermodels
Some of the most sought-after
models in the world surely know
how to give lax styles a lift. On
Sunday, they gave us a fresh dose
of fashion envy as they stepped
out in laidback ensembles, looking
absolutely divine. Talk about making a statement.
Kendall Jenner
The 19-year-old looked effortlessly chic in skin-tight leather
trousers teamed with a plain white
no-fuss T-shirt. The trendy reality star added a pair of heeled suede
ankle boots by Jimmy Choo and
carried a black leather handbag. She
wore her hair in a neat, middle-parted ponytail, rocking a make-upfree look.
Karlie Kloss
The long-limbed star donned a
simple navy dress with a chunky
silver zip running down the front.
The Victoria’s Secret angel looked
bright and ready for action carrying her backpack, and travelling
cappuccino in one hand. She rounded off her look with classic black
Ray-Ban aviators, white-washed
sneakers and, of course, a megawatt smile.
Doutzen Kroes
Doutzen donned a loose grey
maxi dress to keep cool in the July
heat. The Victoria’s Secret angel
paired the dress with a faded denim shirt that boasted a white star
pattern, which was knotted at the
waist. She upped her style quotient with a pair of round sunglasses
and crossbody bag. The motherof-two went sans make-up and
wore her long blonde locks loose.
LOS ANGELES: Actor Amanda
Seyfried believes Hollywood is
chock-full of bullies and has
warned those interested in joining
the film industry to “watch their
back”. She shares, “Hollywood is
just like every other industry. It’s
full of petty, spoiled bullies; as
much as it is full of wonderful,
passionate, honest people… you
just have to watch your back.”
The 29-year-old star offered
her advice to aspiring actors and
directors. “You just have to be
headstrong and believe in yourself,
and know that there are people
who will stab you in the back —
just like high school.”
Seyfried suffers from anxiety
and regularly goes to therapy to
help her cope.
“It’s coping with life. I’ve been
told to not talk about it, but anxiety is so very common. I just
think, you go to your doctor about
heart problems, or an eye doctor if
you have an infection, you have to
take care of yourself,” she said
“Mental health is so segregated, it
sucks. You don’t necessarily have
to have something chemically
wrong with your brain to have
mental health issues.”
Seyfried also proved that she
doesn’t take the negative things
people say to her to heart even
though she regularly reads abuse
written about her on Twitter.
“You can’t take yourself too
vacation pictures
would make you
want to pack your
Bollywood’s leggy beauty Malaika Arora Khan was recently spotted on European lands vacationing
with her husband and kids. Her
Instagram is flooded with pictures
of her trip in France showing that
the stunner is in high spirits and
having lots of fun.
One look at the photo series
and you’ll be on your heels packing a bag and booking a ticket to
Europe. And you can’t miss her
awesome collection of sun glasses
in each photo!
Malika boarded on the Oasisclass cruise, Allure of The Seas.
Cruising across the Mediterranean
is a promise that pampers your
summer holiday mood.
Cruising around the Spanish
Island Palma de Mallorca she looks
casual yet smashing in a blue top
and red flipflops.
The Asian head-tuner has her
own style that she carries flawlessly. Posing in the port city,
Marseilles she is dressed in white
hakoba, a red beaded necklace
around her neck and a palm beach
bag. South of France must be on
Sporting green holographic
aviators and teasing us with her
tongue sticking out she appears to
be having a lot of fun, from the
caption we assume she is heading
to Florence, capital city of Italy.
seriously if you don’t want to die.
I was scrolling Twitter one day,
and there was something really
sweet, like, ‘Amanda heart heart’
and a picture of me. And then there
was, ‘All movies starring Amanda
Seyfried are definitely going to be
awful’,” she said.
The Gone star says that she
“rarely” gives her best in films. She
is currently starring in off-Broadway show The Way We Get By
and admits she works much harder on stage than on screen. “I don’t
want to give anything but my best,
and in films I rarely give my best,”
she said.
Seyfried also admits that working in theatre is “tough” and requires a lot of sacrifices. “The theatre world is tough and you have
to be willing to sacrifice a lot. It’s
making me re-evaluate my ideas
about where I thought I wanted
my career to go,” she said.
“When I do movies, I usually
knit. I also paint, but between
these shows I’m either napping or
meditating,” added the Lovelace
Seyfried wants to have children “badly” but feels like she is
running out of time to start a family. The actor who is set to celebrate her 30th birthday in December and is dating 37-year-old actor
Justin Long, has been broody for
two years. “ I want to be a mother, badly.
All set for
Shahid ki shaadi
This year’s big fat Bollywood
wedding is almost upon us. Actor
Shahid Kapoor, 34, will marry
Delhi girl Mira Rajput, 21, today
and here’s everything we know
about the shaadi so far.
According to Deccan Chronicle, the wedding ceremony will take
place at a farmhouse in Chattrapur, and will be followed by a grand
party at the Trident, which will be
attended by the couple’s close
friends and family. The couple will
also have a grand reception in
Mumbai for all their friends and
The couple met through the
religious group Radha Soami Satsang Beas. Rumour has it that couple got engaged on January 14.
Talking about the guest list, it’s
going to be an intimate affair. About
500 guests have been invited, reported NDTV. These are believed
to include just close family, very
few friends and Mira, who is be-
lieved to have told several friends
not on the list since they were
asked to keep the wedding small.
A mehndi and a sangeet will
reportedly be held at the Trident
today. According to a report, the
sangeet playlist includes several of
Shahid’s hits - Mauja Hi Mauja,
Sari Ke Fall Sa and Tu Mere Agal
Bagal Hain. A reception will be
held in Mumbai on July 12, for
which there will be a separate invite sent out. The wedding feast is
going to consist of a vegetarian fare.
Guests at the reception, however,
will be able to pack their plates
with non-vegetarian delicacies.
Among other goodies, personalised
chocolate bars have been created
for the shaadi by Delhi-based bakery Smitten. Actor Kareena
Kapoor Khan, who dated Shahid
some years ago, famously told the
press she would be happy to attend the wedding if invited. There
is no word if she has been.
I don’t do fashion, I am
fashion: Rizwanullah
Dressed in crisp white pants, a
cream jacket and a black waistcoat,
paired with lace-up boots and
spiky hair, Rizwanullah stood out
a mile when seen at the Swarovski
store launch earlier this year.
Having been made creative
head at Fifth Element, official distributors of Swarovski in Pakistan,
he seemed like he’s willing to take
up this new undertaking at full
throttle, despite a distressful past
few years. After battling with
drugs and marital life, he has now
reemerged with a passion fierier
than ever. “I don’t do fashion, I
am fashion,” he said, giving his own
spin on Dali’s words, “I don’t do
drugs, I am drugs.”
From fierce to fairytale-like,
Rizwanullah feels his design aesthetics have evolved with time. “I
was mostly [about the] black or
white, dark or grunge with hair and
make-up, but now it’s more
fairytale-like,” he explained. As he
takes up his designated role at Fifth
Element, he acknowledges the need
to take into account how people
perceive his work. “I’ll always
have an experimental, risk-taking
side to me but since I’m associated with a brand like Fifth Element,
I need to focus more on the market, the people and how they feel
about my work,” he stated.
At the organisation, he has
found what he calls his new fashion family. “Initially I was a bit
apprehensive to join the [team]
because I wanted to push my professional life aside to recover [from
dug abuse], but we soon became
very close,” he stated. The designer now vies to put his best foot
forward in fashion. “Previously, I
was immature and enjoyed the attention … Everything was about
having a good laugh, but now, I’m
more serious about designing for
those who place their orders to me
and give me the leverage to continue with my business,” he noted.
“I feel like I’m born again with
Speaking of rebirth, Rizwanullah is not only focused on re-
vamping life on the professional
front but also in terms of philanthropic efforts. “Fashion will always be a part of my life but now,
I’m getting involved in other ventures to help people like they
helped in my dark times,” he said.
He is involved with a string of
NGOs that work for the welfare
of women, children and the elderly. “I don’t want people to fall prey
to the darkness I fell into.”
Rizwanullah feels that the designer in him has little to do with
the person he is. “A lot of times,
people don’t realize that what
they’re seeing on the runway or
photo shoot is not real. I’m showing the public what they want to
see.” Each collection Rizwanullah
has put forward so far has been
about a stage in his life. In 2009,
he showed his first collection, titled ‘Hereafter’ at Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW), featuring henna
inscriptions, and with a focus on
being unique more than commercially viable. His close friends
Mahira Khan and Feeha Jamshed
and his siblings walked the ramp
for him. “When I started out, my
clothes were more art-based, which
I knew were things the masses may
not accept,” he noted.
In 2010, he showcased the
‘Depression Chic’ collection.
That’s when his substance abuse
began for three long and tumultu-
ous years. When he started recovering, he created ‘Love, Devotion
and Separation’ for FPW in 2013,
which was evidently a cathartic
experience for him. His last collection, put forth at FPW this year,
was the ‘Age of Elegance’. The line
was minimalist and clean and featured in solid colours, such as
white and cream.
Rizwanullah set foot in the
fashion industry at age 13 when
he did a shoot for Deepak Perwani.
Growing up, he was always surrounded by big names in fashion,
making pursuing a profession in
the industry a natural choice for
him. “I’ve been the fashion industry’s spoilt brat. I got so much attention as a child that it made me
fearless,” he said, accounting this
as a reason for his downward spiral. From 13 to 30, the years past
have seen him grow both as an individual and a designer. “The
clothes I make now are more real
and for real people. It’s more about
how people perceive my work
rather than how I feel.”
The designer is also set to go
back to college to study medicine
and psychiatry, which form the
basis for therapy, something that
has been an integral part of his own
recovery process. He’s also working for his eponymous brand, taking orders from his bedroom studio in Karachi.
now on
the racks
Misha Lakhani, among Pakistan’s
most coveted designers, has
launched her label’s Eid collection
titled ‘Izmir’. The line will be available at the brand’s flagship store
in Karachi and on the brand’s Facebook page, according to a press
‘Izmir’ is a holiday-inspired
collection of works with an eclectic and modern take on Ottoman
art and antique textiles, and features a number of separates. The
line features fractural formations,
stripes, tiles, calligraphy and quintessential motifs of the era.
Speaking about the Eid collection, creative head Misha Lakhani
said, “Our Eid collection is a modern interpretation of Ottoman art,
culture and textiles. True to our
aesthetic and ethos, expect oldworld charm through an eclectic
mix of old crafts and modern ideas
with a grown-up bohemian vibe.”
The colour palette boasts diversity, including hues, such as
scuba blue, jade, ivory, terracotta,
rust, aquamarine, olive, red, emerald green and honey. Izmir is complemented by a diverse range of
accessories, comprising layered
jewelled and tasselled belts, jhumka necklaces, wrap-around leather
belts and clutches – all designed
Misha Lakhani is a haute couture label, which began in Karachi
in 2012. Driven by a festivity of
craftsmanship and heritage, the
brand aims at reinterpreting the
traditions of handwork and couture techniques. The brand is now
expanding into a second standalone store in Lahore, and will soon
be available online through an independent e-commerce store.
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Wimbledon: Sharapova, Serena
seal quarter-final spots
Pakistan edge closer to
record run-chase
Pakistan's Shan Masood struck his
maiden Test century and Younis
Khan his 30th to fuel their spirited chase for a daunting 377-run
victory target in the series-deciding third and final Test against Sri
Lanka at Pallekele.
The unbeaten pair added 217
runs to help the visitors overcome
a wobbly start and reach 230 for
two at stumps on the penultimate
day of the contest.
Pakistan's highest fourth-innings partnership leaves them needing 147 runs on Tuesday to clinch
the match and the series, a remarkable comeback after being reduced
Maria Sharapova came through a
spirited test from Zarina Diyas to
reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, eventually subduing the tenacious scrambler from Kazakhstan 6-4 6-4 after a brief scare in
the second set.
The Russian, who had not
been past the fourth round since
2011 at the tournament she won
for the only time as a teenager 11
years ago, will now face American
Coco Vandeweghe in the last-eight.
Her victory over Diyas was
far from comprehensive, but further evidence nonetheless that
things are looking good for the
fourth seed as she maintained her
unblemished record of not dropping a set up so far.
She found her range early under hazy skies on Court One, peppering the baseline with her usual
array of missiles and breaking for
a 3-1 lead with a rasping crosscourt winner.
Diyas, who surged 129 places
up the rankings in 2014 to 34th,
showed she was no soft touch by
breaking back in the ninth game,
having saved two set points, but
Sharapova's extra power told and
she clinched the first set on her
opponent's serve.
There was a clear shift in momentum, however, at the start of
the second as Sharapova's concentration slipped and the Kazakh
broke and held for a 3-1 lead.
Ultimately, however, Diyas
lacked the weapons to maintain
that advantage and the five-times
grand slam champion broke back
for 3-3 and then closed out the
match on the Diyas serve when
the Kazakh sent a backhand long.
Serena Williams stood three
wins away from hoisting her
fourth successive grand slam title
by trumping elder sister Venus 64 6-3.
A contest featuring two women who between them have hoisted the Rosewater Dish 10 times
should have been a blockbuster but
turned out to be yet another awkward anti-climax - as has been the
case in their previous 25 meetings.
Mayweather stripped of
WBO welterweight belt
Floyd Mayweather was stripped
by the World Boxing Organization
of the welterweight world title he
won by beating Manny Pacquiao
two months ago.
Mayweather had failed to meet
the deadline last Friday for paying
the $200,000 sanctioning fee required by the WBO after he took
the belt from Pacquiao on May 2
in Las Vegas in the richest fight of
all time, earning a reported $220
million in the process.
WBO rules require boxers to
pay 3 percent of their purse to
fight for a world title up to a maximum of $200,000.
The rules also prohibit WBO
champions to hold any belts in any
other weight divisions. Mayweather is currently also the WBC
and WBA champion at junior middleweight (154lb), as well as at
welterweight (147lb).
A statement on the Puerto
Rico-based sanctioning body's
website confirmed that Mayweather, regarded as the best
pound-for-pound boxer in the
world, was no longer the WBO
"Mr. Mayweather, Jr. failed to
pay the $200,000.000 fee required
of him as a participant of a WBO
World Championship Contest,"
said the statement.
Floyd Mayweather exchange
punches with Manny Pacquiao
during their welterweight unification champion …
"Despite affording Mr. Mayweather Jr. the courtesy of an extension to advise us of his position within the WBO Welterweight
Division and to vacate the two 154pound world titles he holds, the
WBO World Championship Committee received no response from
him or his legal representatives on
this matter.
"The WBO World Championship Committee is allowed no other
alternative but to cease to recognize Mr. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
as the WBO Welterweight Champion of the World and vacate his
After Mayweather (48-0, 26
KOs) defeated Pacquiao to unify
three of the four major welterweight world titles, he had declared
that would vacate all his titles in
order to give younger fighters the
chance to win belts.
"I don't know if it will be
Monday or maybe a couple
weeks," Mayweather said at the
post-fight news conference.
"I'll talk to my team and see
what we need to do. Other fighters need a chance."
American Timothy Bradley,
who defeated countryman Jessie
Vargas for the WBO interim welterweight belt on June 27, is now
expected to be formally elevated
to full champion status by the
Rory McIlroy tears
ankle ligament;
Championship in
Rory McIlroy is almost certain to
miss next week’s Open Championship after announcing Monday
that he has a “total rupture” of a
ligament in his left ankle.
McIlroy, who was scheduled
to play in this week’s Scottish
Open, said on Instagram that he
injured his ankle while playing soccer with friends on Saturday. McIlroy is set for further testing on his
ankle in the next 48 hours, and he
did not offer a timetable for his
return. “Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment play
day by day,” he wrote. “Rehab already started.....Working hard to
get back as soon as I can.” A McIlroy spokesperson has told media
outlets that McIlroy will definitely miss the Scottish Open. There
is "10 percent chance" he will attempt to defend his title at St.
Andrews, according to a CNN report. Dr. James Gladstone, co-director of sports medicine at Mt.
Sinai Hospital, explained on
“Morning Drive” that the typical
rehabilitation process is ice to minimize swelling, followed by electrical stimulation, a gentle rangeof-motion program, and then
strengthening of the tendons on the
side of the leg to help compensate
for the strained ligament while it
heals. The recovery time depends
on the severity of the sprain, Gladstone said, but the general timetable is between 10 days and six
weeks. The Open begins in 10
days. The world No. 1 was scheduled to play four events in a sixweek span, a run that included two
majors and a World Golf Championships event.
to 13-2.
Playing only his fifth Test,
left-handed Masood brought up
his maiden century by hitting offspinner Tharindu Kaushal for a six
and remained not out on 114,
which included 11 boundaries.
Inforgraphic: Who rules the
world of sport?
Veteran Younis again underlined his importance to the team,
hitting nine boundaries in his unbeaten 101 and becoming the first
Test batsman to score five fourthinnings centuries.
Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews
(122) had earlier notched up his
fifth Test century and was the last
of their batsmen to fall at the stroke
of lunch as the hosts were all out
for 313 in their second innings.
Pakistan wobbled early in their
chase when Ahmed Shehzad was
clean bowled by Suranga Lakmal
in the second over of the innings
with the visitors yet to open their
account. Azhar Ali, Pakistan's most
prolific batsman in the series, did
not last long either, edging Dhammika Prasad behind as the visitors
slumped to 13-2.
Masood and Younus then took
over, frustrating the hosts with
resolute batting.
Cancellara out of Tour
with broken back
Fabian Cancellara quit the Tour de
France on Monday night after Xrays revealed he'd broken two vertebrae in his back.
It was the same injury that
ruined his Spring Classics season
earlier in the year and took the total number of abandonments from
the crash-marred third stage of the
Tour to six.
Cancellara started the day in
the race leader's yellow jersey but
was part of a pile-up 100km into
the 159.5km stage in Belgium from
Antwerp to the Mur de Huy.
The Swiss finished the stage,
although he was visibly hurt and
lost almost 12 minutes by the end.
"Just left the hospital with a
huge disappointment #TDF2015
is over broke some bones on my
back again as in spring," said Cancellara on his Twitter account,
while his Trek team published a
photo of his X-rays.
Australian Simon Gerrans,
South Africa's Daryl Impey,
Frenchman William Bonnet, Tom
Dumoulin of the Netherlands and
Russian Dmitry Kozontchuk were
also forced out of the race from
the injuries they suffered in the
same crash.
Several other riders soldiered
on, such as Australia's Michael
Matthews, who finished the stage
21 minutes behind the winner
Joaquim Rodriguez.
fellow Swiss Roger Federer and
become only the fifth man in the
professional era to win the French
Open and Wimbledon back-toback, turned on the style on a sunswept Court One.
American Pharoah completes half-mile
workout at Santa Anita
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah completed a half-mile workout Monday at Santa Anita in preparation for his start in the Haskell Invitational next month.
The 3-year-old colt was timed in 47.60 seconds under jockey Martin Garcia, who works him in the
mornings while Victor Espinoza rides him in his races. It was American Pharoah's second workout since
becoming racing's first Triple Crown winner in 37 years last month. He ran three furlongs on June 29.
Trainer Bob Baffert says the colt will have one more workout at Santa Anita this week before heading to
Del Mar with the rest of Baffert's horses. The track north of San Diego opens its summer meet on July 16.
American Pharoah is set to run in the $1 million Haskell at New Jersey's Monmouth Park on Aug. 2.
Roger Federer's pursuit of an 18th
grand slam title gathered momentum at Wimbledon as the Swiss
reached his 45th major quarter-final with a serene 6-2 6-2 6-3 victory over Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
Breaking Federer's serve at this
year's championships is turning
into mission impossible as Bautista Agut became the fourth man
to try and fail.
The world number two has
now held strong for eight straight
matches, stretching over 106 successive service games - with Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber the
last man to get a look in during last
month's first round match at the
Halle Open.
Feature: The diet that is changing tennis
A netted backhand by Bautista Agut on his own serve completed the most straightforward of
wins and earned Federer a quarterfinal date with French 12th seed
Gilles Simon.
Meanwhile, local hero Andy
Murray also moved into the quarter-finals after beating Ivo Karlovic.
Karlovic's serve, which arrows
out of the ether from his giant 2.11
metre frame, is one of tennis's most
terrifying weapons, but it was not
enough to stop the third seed moving on comfortably with a 7-6(7)
6-4 5-7 6-4 victory.
Stanislas Wawrinka continued
his pursuit of a rare double with
an air of calm authority, beating
dangerous Belgian David Goffin 76(3) 7-6(6) 6-4. The barrel-chested fourth seed, bidding to emulate
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2015-Saratan 17, 1394 H.S
Vol:IX Issue No:332 Price: Afs.15
Daesh kidnaps more than 100
school children for terrorist
training in Iraq s Mosul
Drone strikes
kill 60
militants in
AT News Report
The terrorist group of Islamic State
or Daesh has kidnapped more than
100 school children from Mosul
city of Iraq for training them to
become terrorists.
Local media reports suggest
that the school kids aging between
10-15 years were recently collected from different schools of Mosul city.
Sayed Mamuzini, spokesman
for Iraq s Kurdistan Democrat Party says that the 111 school chil-
dren have been transferred to the
Daesh educational and military
training centers for brainwashing
and giving them the training of terrorist activities.
According to the Kurdish official, Daesh has abducted 1,420
children since the capture of the
country s second city over a year
ago and forcefully trained them for
terrorist operations.
Mamuzini also said that
Daesh recently had militarily-
trained children execute 15 of the
group s fighters who were allegedly the reason of a defeat in Bashiqa town northeast of Mosul
The group had earlier abducted up to 500 school children from
Al-Anbar and Diyala province.
According to reports and photos released by Daesh, the terrorist group has setup several military training centers in Iraq and
Syria for training children to become terrorists.
KABUL: At least 60 militants
have been killed in separate drone
strikes in eastern Nangarhar province, said an official source.
A statement issued by Nangarhar police headquarters said that
NATO troops conducted drone
strikes against Taliban militants in
Mamand Dara, Asad Khel and
Mamand Lagad areas of Achin district.
An official source told Afghanistan Times on condition of anonymity that the killed people belong to both the Taliban and Islamic State (IS). However, some
media outlets reported that all the
killed militants were IS fighters.
It is worth mentioning that
officials in the province recently
reported heavy clashes between
the Taliban and IS, also known as
Daesh, in different parts of the
Foreign forces have intensified
their drone campaign against militants in eastern provinces of Afghanistan. Sources in Afghanistan s
east termed the drone strikes as
effective in war against militants.
They said that the strikes prevent
militants from roaming in large
Three foreigners injured in Kabul attack
By Farhad Naibkhel
KABUL: At least three foreigners
were wounded, after a suicide attacker targeted foreign troops convoy in Shah Shaheed area in Kabul
on Tuesday morning.
According to initial report a
suicide attacker driving a Corolla
model car has targeted the convoy
of foreign forces in Shah Shaheed
area of the capital city at around
11:30am, said spokesman to the
capital police, Ebadullah Karimi.
He said that three foreigners
were injured in the attack on
NATO s Resolute Support mission s convoy.
However, no civilian casualty
was reported.
Nationality of the injured
could not be ascertained. It is also
unclear that whether the wounded
foreigners were civilians or soldiers, he added.
According to eyewitnesses,
the explosion was so heavy that it
shook the nearby buildings and
shattered windows.
Meanwhile, the Resolute Support in a media statement has confirmed the attack on coalition forces
in Kabul at approximately
11:30am. No coalition forces
were killed as a result of this attack. We are gathering further information on this incident, the
mission said.
The Taliban s spokesman
Zabihullah Mujahid has claimed
responsibility for the attack on
This was the second attack in
the past one week, targeting foreigners convoy in Kabul City. Last
week, a Taliban car bomber targeted a convoy of NATO troops in
3rd Macroryan area of the Afghan
capital killing one civilian and
wounding over 20 others.
AGO freezes assets of 155 Kabul Bank
defaulters, puts their names on ECL
AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: In a bid to recover the
lost money of Kabul Bank, the
Attorney General Office (AGO)
issued travel ban against 155 defaulters of the bank and frozen their
Their names were put on exit
control list (ECL) after the President Ashraf Ghani s deadline for
defaulters of the bank expired. The
president had said that the defaulters will be introduced to the AGO
and will face travel ban, if failed to
pay the loans.
Basir Azizi, spokesman for the
AGO, said they have issued travel
ban against 155 defaulters of Kab-
ul Bank. We have assigned municipalities of all cities to put their
properties into auction, he added. Azizi said that Gul Bahar Habibi, Mohammad Ismail Ghazanfar,
Hasin Fahim and Mahmoud
Karzai have pledged to pay their
loans in several installments.
Ruqya Nayel, a member of the
financial and budget committee of
Wolesi Jirga, told Azadi Radio that
the president has failed the resolve
Kabul Bank issue, for some power lords and government officials
are involved in looting money of
the bank and the judicial system
of the country is corrupt.
MoE signs contracts with foreign
publishers to print school textbooks
AT News Report
KABUL: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has signed contracts
with three foreign publishing companies to print 16 million textbooks for school students within
next four months.
The contracts were awarded to
two Indian companies and one Vietnamese publication center. The
minister for education, Assadullah
Hanif Balkhi, signed the contracts
with the companies here on Tuesday.
Balkhi said the funds for printing the books had been provided
by the Danish government. The
printing will cost $5.5 million.
He said that procurement procedure was initiated before he became the minister, but the contracts
were signed now. The minister said
that the textbooks would be published based on international standards and the publication centers
would be fined if they used lowquality material. He termed the
number of books insufficient and
said that $25 million has been allocated for printing of more textbooks in September this year.
The MoE is mulling to print
more textbooks in the country for
better monitoring and to support
the private sector.
Herat scholars
lend support
to security
AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: A number of religious
leaders and scholars in western
Herat province the other day
showed their support for the Afghan National Security Forces
(ANSF) and called them loyal son
of the soil. Their support had come
at a time when the ANSF combating militants across the country.
Prayer leader at Hazrat Bilal
Masjid, Maulvi Mohammad Mohammadi, said that mosques across
the country were the best place to
motivate people to stand firmly
behind their security forces.
He added that spy agencies of
the neighboring state were hellbent on killing innocent Afghan
masses and uses the name of religion in negative way to destabilize Afghanistan.
Pajhwok Afghan News quoted Maulvi Mustaghani, another
religious scholar as saying that it
is the duty of Afghan scholars to
extend complete cooperation and
support to the Afghan forces. He
added that Ulema s support to the
ANSF were a sign of loyalty and
sincerity to the motherland.
He added that Afghan forces
were rendering great sacrifices to
ensure peace and stability in the
country where a number of Afghan forces had lost their lives at
the line of duty. He added that
Afghan masses should come to the
fore and appreciate the Afghan
security forces efforts which
would raise their morale in fight
against insurgents nationwide.
Abdul Wahid Aasami, director Hajj and religious affairs in
Herat, called upon to the all terror
groups to shun violence and reintegrate into civil society as the war
result in nothing but cause devastations only.
The Afghan masses have the
responsibility to cooperate with
the security forces and support
and encourage them to gain more
success in defending militants and
bringing peace and stability in the
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