AFGHAN TV NEWS
Tolo TV Headlines
In an exclusive interview with Tolo News, the United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, said, “Nearly two weeks ago, I met with political representatives of an armed opposition group in Pakistan, Hezb-e-Islami Party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Pakistani officials in Pakistan, asking them about their expectations from the Government of Afghanistan. Though, they have their own visions and goals, but it seems that at the time being they want to suspend the ongoing peace talks”. Mr Kubiš also expressed concern over widespread corruption in Afghanistan and said that from now on no blank cheque will be given to Afghanistan, since then there will be a mutual accountability between the Government of Afghanistan and donor countries. Donor countries in their assistance to Afghanistan should consider transparency. In case of lack of transparency in international community’s assistance, the Government can officially criticize and report to the UN.
Interior Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Siddiq Siddiqi warned that the country’s security situation would be worsened if serious attention is not paid to the country’s border areas, especially with Pakistan, adding that every day terrorists cross the borders and launch attacks in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, military expert General Abdul Wahid said that the Government hasn’t taken any measure to protect the country’s border areas.
Communication officials of the Education Ministry expressed concern over poisoning of school students, saying that in the past two months, school students of provinces were poisoned and this act would harm the current education system in the country. Meanwhile, Interior Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Siddiq Siddiqi said that serious efforts are underway to arrest the perpetrators of the attacks on schools in Sar-i-Pul, and, so far, police have arrested 20 suspects in Takhar province.
Over 70 students of the Helmand Police Academy were also poisoned on Monday in the province.
The Women’s Affairs Ministry, the Women’s Affairs Commission of the Lower House and civil society institutions jointly asked donor countries, especially Japan to allocate a specific budget for empowerment and economic support of women in Afghanistan at the upcoming Tokyo Conference. They added that women’s rights shouldn’t be ignored in the ongoing peace talks with armed militants, asking the Government to at least give five ministries and a deputy post of each ministry to women.
The Attorney-General’s Office announced that it released former MP Abdul Kabir Ranjbar, who was arrested on rape and kidnap charges.
The International committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has ceased its assistance and withdrawn its employees from Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar after a bomb was placed in the hospital.
Shamshad TV Headlines
Haji Sakhi Moshwani, an MP from Kunar, said that since Monday morning tens of shelling coming from Pakistan’s border areas hit some districts of the province.
In a video footage, a senior commander of the Hezb-e-Islami party, Kashmir Khan, asked his men not to target Afghan National Police and Army and state properties such as schools, clinics, hospitals and bridges in the country.
The Ministry of Mines signed a cooperation contract worth US$ 97 million with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for extraction of gas deposits in Shiberghan, the provincial capital of Jawzjan.
The Higher Education Minister Abidullah Obaid said that despite existing challenges in the education sector, his ministry, in cooperation with some other ministries, decided to bring some new changes to the sector. It was decided that students’ scores percentage shouldn’t be less than 65 per cent for attending university entrance exam.
During his trip to Balkh province, NATO top commander in Afghanistan General John Allen said that NATO tries to attract international community’s more support and assistance for Afghanistan at the upcoming Tokyo Conference. Meanwhile, Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor asked NATO to pay more attention to equipping the Afghan forces and to implement infrastructure projects in the province.
In his meeting with the UN Special Envoy in Afghanistan, First Vice President, Mohammad Qasim Fahim on Monday stressed on further coordination between the UN and the Afghan Government, adding that such coordination was necessary for the development of country. The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General [Nicolas Haysom] and the director of the UNAMA’s public communications department [Massoumeh Torfeh] were also present in the meeting. Fahim expressed the Afghan forces’ preparation for the third phase of transition and added that the Afghan forces needed aerial and ground weaponries and equipment. Fahim stressed that transition was a need for the self-efficiency of the nation. Fahim also expressed hope that with the beginning of the Amu oil project the country would see more development in the economic area. Meanwhile, the UN special envoy, Ján Kubiš, said that the UN was ready to extend its continuous support to the Government and people of Afghanistan. Kubiš expressed hope that all Afghan ethnic groups, political parties and civil society entities would jointly work for the reconstruction and development of the country.
Two participants of a meeting attended by representatives of some Afghan political parties, civil society, Taliban and Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e-Islami in Paris told Hasht-e-Subh Daily that the meeting didn’t have a specific agenda and that the participants openly shared their views about peace process. According to these individuals, the participants of the meeting stressed on continuation of intra-Afghan peace talks and that their next meeting should be held in Kabul. The Taliban representative had said that there were chances for restoration of peace in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Hezb-e-Islami’s delegate had emphasized on its previous stands. The representatives of Jamyat-e-Islami had emphasized that the following meetings should be held in Kabul. The participants had a common view, stressing that continuation of such meetings would contribute to positive changes in Afghanistan. The meeting mainly discussed about restoration of peace in Afghanistan and beginning of intra-Afghan negotiations. It is said that Jilani Popal, a President Karzai advisor, Omar Daudzai, Karm Khuram and Farooq Wardak had been invited to the meeting to represent Afghan Government, but none of them attended in the meeting.
The National Directorate of Security arrested a man on charge of being involved in poisoning at Badakhshan’s Higher Education Institute, said a local official.
A number of residents of Ghor province are rising up against the Taliban influence in the province, said local officials.
A number of MPs and political analysts said that international institutions would have given the title of world’s most “failed state” to Afghanistan had they deeply been aware of what was going on within the Government. They warned that due to existence of current leadership, corruption, injustice and violation of laws will further continue.
Iran’s Mujahidin Organization, which is not supported by Iranians in Iran, uses some of the Afghans in Europe as means prepare for its conference to be held in Paris. In order to attract more financial resources from some European countries, the organization invites the Afghans and pays their commuting fees and accommodation.
Russian Foreign Ministry asked the US for more clarification regarding its military bases in Afghanistan after 2014.
During his visit from Kandahar and Helmand provinces, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš hailed the progress made over the past several years in Afghanistan and expressed hope that Afghanistan would have a prosperous future. “The progresses made over the past several years are of vital importance for the country’s development and reconstruction and these achievements require further attention,” said Kubiš. Kubiš added that in the upcoming Tokyo Conference, the donor countries would renew their long-term pledges and support for Afghanistan and that good governance and strengthening peace process would be at the top of their [donor countries’] programme.
Defence Ministry Spokesperson General Zahir Azimi termed as baseless the recent remarks made by Pakistani officials saying that Pakistani check posts were attacked by armed militants crossing from Afghanistan.
For the third day, residents of some districts of Kunar staged demonstration against Pakistani shelling in the province. According to the Interior Affairs Ministry, so far, nearly, 100 shelling have been fired in to the province that, besides killing and injuring residents of the province, displaced nearly 500 families. The demonstrators said that the Government should ask for people’s support if it is unable to stop the shelling.
One student was killed and two others were injured when an explosive-packed bicycle exploded in Ghazni City.
Two local policemen joined the Taliban with their weapons in Bala Murghab district of Badghis province, said a local official.
Iran Government announced that only the children of registered Afghan refugee families could be enrolled in Iranian schools.
In his meeting with the UN Special Envoy in Afghanistan, First Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim on Monday stressed on further coordination between the UN and the Afghan Government, adding that such coordination was necessary for the development of the country. The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General [Nicolas Haysom] and the director of the UNAMA’s public communications department [Massoumeh Torfeh] were also present in the meeting. Fahim expressed the Afghan forces’ preparation for the third phase of transition and added that the Afghan forces needed aerial and ground weaponries and equipment. Fahim stressed that transition was a need for the self-efficiency of the nation. Fahim also expressed hope that, with the beginning of the Amu oil project, the country will see more development in the economic field. Meanwhile, UN special envoy Ján Kubiš said that the UN was ready to extend its continuous support to the Government and the people of Afghanistan. Kubiš expressed hope that all Afghan ethnic groups, political parties and civil society entities would jointly work for the reconstruction and development of the country. [This news was also published in Hewad, Eslah and Kabul Times dailies and also in Bakhtar News Agency.]
State Media Editorials
The education sector is facing major challenges. First series of closing and burning of schools and also assassination of teachers, students and religious scholars began in the south and now it has expanded in other parts of the country. The Government and the security forces, with the public support, should act against the perpetrators of these incidents. The Government also needs to reconsider the structure of the local governments in order to ensure peace and stability in the country.
Private Media Editorials
There are some reports that President Karzai, besides trying to weaken political role and presence of the country’s political opposition in the upcoming election, wants to strike political deals with some of armed groups currently fighting the Government. This will change the peace process to an individual-based process instead of being a national process. The Presidential Palace hasn’t had a specific mechanism towards peace talks yet, and acted to the issue periodically. The process would be fruitful if positions of all political sides are considered in it. The Taliban and other insurgent groups, who see their existence in killings and destruction, cannot think of extortion and continuation of insurgency as their main strategy after an inclusive national peace process is introduced. Surely, peace process would be fruitful if peace talks in Paris is confirmed, and as it was said, it continues in Switzerland and some of influential and effective figures and circles are also included in the process.
In its eroding relations with the US, Pakistan now puts pressure on the Government and people of Afghanistan and it is expected that such pressures will continue until the US-Pak relations get back to normal. Afghan Government needs to hold talks with the Pakistani officials and adopt such measures to get Pakistan to stop enmity with Afghanistan and instead cooperate with us.
Hezb-e-Wahdat party leader Mohammad Mohaqiq, former speaker of the Lower House Yunus Qanuni, ex first vice-president Ahmad Zia Massoud, former interior minister Ali Ahmad Jalali, Taliban’s former foreign minister mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef participated a meeting in Paris. Apart from them, a number of European politicians and government officials also participated in the talks where they agreed to carry out such meetings in the future. According to them, it is quite likely that they will invite Afghan government officials, yet one thing is worth questioning that whey they didn’t invite Afghan officials at the first phase of the programme because this is not what has been in haste rather the programme seems to be well planned and deliberate. To say something about the fallout and impacts of the meeting, it would be quite premature, however, we will have to wait a bit to see what comes out of the bag. But despite that, the nation is confident and hopes for change because it looks to efforts that can bring the 11-year long war to an end, therefore it has no concern with the matter that who will put a halt to the world’s longest war and how?