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TOLOnews 6pm News 28 June 2016

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 15:22

 Top news in this Bulletin:

A number of critics on Tuesday criticized Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of Hizb-e-Islami, for rejecting the peace deal with the National Unity Government (NUG).

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Claims by First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum that he and his supporters have been side-lined from power by his partners in government, have raised serious concerns by observers about the stability of Afghanistan.

Over 50 Districts Face Severe Security Threats, MoI admits

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 14:50

More than 50 districts in the country are facing serious security threats, nine of them are currently out of government's control, says the Mol.

The districts out of government's control include Nawzad, Disho, Baghran and Musa Qala districts in Helmand, Wardooj and Yumgan districts in Badakhshan, Kohistanat district in Sar-e-Pul, Nawa district in Ghazni and Khak Afghan district in Zabul province.

"The districts are in the northeastern, southern and also other parts of Afghanistan. The enemy has increased its activities in those areas," said MoI spokesman Sediq Seddiqi.

Meanwhile, a number of police chiefs have said they are trying to retake control of a number of areas that are currently out of the government's control.

"We have established outposts, particularly in Khan Abad district and as well as in Angor Bagh, Shena Tapa and other areas. Security is to some extent ensured in those areas, but despite that, we need the people's cooperation. It is very important that they cooperate with security forces," said Sher Aziz Kamawal, a police commander at Spinzar 808 zone.

"They use our people, they use their houses, but we try to avoid civilians from being military targets," said Helmand police chief Aqa Noor Kentoz.

This comes after the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum said government's control is confined to main roads and that other parts are under the control of insurgents from Pakistan.

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State Warns Political Parties Against Armed Activities

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 14:34

The Afghan government has warned political parties engaging in military activities or being involved with armed groups, that their status as such will be terminated.

This warning form the Afghan Ministry of Justice on Tuesday added that no political party was above the law.

This follows in the wake of armed groups linking themselves to Jamaat-e-Islami and Junbish-e-Melli and who have clashed with each other in north of the country.

Both parties have denied links with of any armed groups.

According to the law political parties may not be created on a tribal basis nor zones. In addition, they may not engage in language, party aims or formations that are of a military or paramilitary nature.

"Any party that has military relations with or links to foreign sources, will have to contend with the Afghanistan government and judicial institutions that have the authority to disqualify parties that have military branches," the Head of the secretariat of lawyers' union, Ainuddin Bahaduri, said.

Armed clashes between Jamaat-e-Islami and Junbish-e-Melli party supporters in the North have shown that those two parties do have some armed supporters. Both parties have however said that armed groups who disturbed the public order in the city, did not belong to them. The Junbish-e-Melli party called for disarmament of the armed groups.

"Those who are threatening the security situation, have never belonged to us. We ask the government that if armed groups were to threaten the security of the state, members of such groups should be detained and legal action taken against them in accordance with the law. We believe in our party's democratic values, not the values of bullies," said Bashir Ahmad Tayang spokesman for Junbish-e-Melli party.

"The Jamaat-e-Islami party operates on the basis of Afghanistan constitution and we do not believe in military activities," said Waqif Hakimi spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami.

Jamaat-e-Islami and Junbish-e-Melli parties are led by First Vice-President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani.

Recent armed clashes between supporters of the two parties in the Faryab province, have caused the death and wounding of some of their supporters. Dozens of civilians have also been killed and wounded.

"If we found that any party has armed groups, there should be no doubt that such a party will face legal action," said President Ashraf Ghani's deputy spokesman, Dawa Khan Menapal.

Afghan law states that if a party's supporters engaged in armed activities, such a political party will be declared to be an armed party. Declarations of that nature will be detrimental to those parties. Their political activities and their participation in the democratic process will be banned. Both national and international restrictions will be imposed on their party's leaders.

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Dostum's Remarks Cause Concern Over Afghan Stability

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 14:29

Claims by First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum that he and his supporters have been side-lined from power by his partners in government, have raised serious concerns by observers about the stability of Afghanistan.

A number of critics have said recent remarks by Dostum about power sharing in the National Unity Government (NUG) as well as about a lack of coordination between government leaders over governance, will affect the country's political system.

They said this will play into the hands of political opposition parties as well as the militants.

"Lack of trust and even mistrust in the political system have already created a kind of crisis in the country," said Aziz Rafee, head of a civil society organization.

The head of the political and international committee of the Council of Protection and Stability in Afghanistan, Mohammad Umer Daudzai, said they are concerned about the fragile situation in the state.

"An agreement-based government can last for one or two years, not forever. The duration of the agreement has been completed. Now you [government leaders] should find a solution. If they don't and do not have the ability to do so, they should seek help from us," said Daudzai.

"No rifts should emerge from within the system. This will favor armed anti-government militants," said Mohammad Abduh, head of the judicial commission at the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of parliament).

Talking to journalists during a military operation in Dawlat Abad district in Faryab on Monday, Dostum said President Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have shared the power among themselves. His role in the administration is now unclear.

Dostum said considering his efforts in bringing President Ghani to power, at least 10 embassies should be allocated to his supporters.

To watch the report, click here:

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Hekmatyar Criticized For Rejecting NUG's Peace Deal

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 14:22

A number of critics on Tuesday criticized Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of Hizb-e-Islami, for rejecting the peace deal with the National Unity Government (NUG).

Hekmatyar said in a message that he wanted peace with Islamic government of Afghanistan, not with the NUG.

He argued that the NUG is not acceptable to most Afghans. As a result, the peace efforts with current government are now deadlocked.

"As far as I am aware, the peace talks are ongoing and there is optimism on both the sides. I am not convinced that the remarks, attributed to him, are from Hekmatyar," said Iqbal Safi, member of Hizb-e-Islami.

Other conditions in the peace deal, from the NUG's point of view, were that the Hizb-e-Islami should accept the bilateral security agreement signed between Kabul and Washington.

"If the Afghan government is ignored, the concept of government will not have any meaning and no negotiation will be possible. At present, it appears, there is no environment of trust between the two sides," said university lecturer Tahir Hashemi.

"The recommendations made by Hizb-e-Islami are similar to recommendations made by Taliban during Hamid Karzai's government," he added.

"There were a number of improvements in talks between government and Hizb-e-Islami, but there are a number of interest groups that see war in Afghanistan swinging in their favor," said Gul Ahmad Azami, member of Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament).

The peace efforts between Afghan government and Hizb-e-Islami started three months ago. During that period, the two sides prepared a 25-article draft agreement.

Analysts said they believe that the battlefields will be tougher if the Hizb-e-Islami rejected the peace deal with the state.

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16 Taliban Killed In Kunduz Drone Strike

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 09:47

Nearly 16 Taliban rebels were killed in a foreign troops' drone strike in northern Kunduz, officials said on Tuesday.

The air raid was conducted in Chaharsada district on Monday, targeting two vehicles related to Taliban insurgents, local officials confirmed.

According to officials, no casualty was incurred to civilians in this airstrike.

This comes after international troops decided to surged their drone operations that have so far targeted Taliban and Daesh rebels in parts of the country.

TOLOnews 10pm News 27 June 2016

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 08:49

Top news in this Bulletin:

The First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum has accused the National Unity Government (NUG) leaders of excluding him from power and side-lining his supporters.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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The Administrative Board of the House of Representatives on Monday raised concerns over illegal compromises and dealings between a number of members of parliament and Ministers.

Meshrano Jirga Approves President's Decree on Electoral Reforms

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 08:28

The Meshrano Jirga (the Upper House of Parliament) on Tuesday approved President Ashraf Ghani's legislative decree on electoral reforms.

After this, a joint commission of Meshrano Jirga and Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) will pave the way for brining reforms into electoral bodies and the electoral system.

This comes after the Wolesi Jirga rejected the decree two weeks ago.

A number of MPs said the reason behind rejecting the decree by the Wolesi Jirga was the interference from a number of circles inside government and from a number of lawmakers as they do it for their own benefit.

On Monday, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said the National Unity Government is committed to bringing reforms into the country's electoral bodies in order to ensure transparent and free elections in the future.

MEHWAR: Importance of Warsaw Summit to Afghanistan Discussed

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 08:04

In this episode of Mehwar, host Haris Jamalzada discusses the importance of Warsaw Summit to Afghanistan with Fardin Hashemi, a university lecturer.

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MEHWAR: Justice Sought For Soldier Killed in Baghlan

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 07:50

Father of a soldier who was allegedly killed by Qari Zahir, Taliban's designated spy chief in Baghlan, said he wants justice for his son and that Zahir should be given severe punishment by government.

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FARAKHABAR: Dostum's Remarks on 'Division of Power' Between NUG Leaders Discussed

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 07:37

The First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum has accused the National Unity Government (NUG) leaders of excluding him from power and side-lining his supporters.

Click here to watch the full episode:

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Talking to journalists during a military operation in Dawlat Abad district in Faryab on Monday, Dostum said President Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have shared the power among themselves. His role in the administration is now unclear.

In this episode of FaraKhabar, host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with Babur Farahmand, head of Gen. Dostum's Office and Gulalai Noor Safi, MP.

 

Argentine President Asks Messi to Stay in National Team: Spokesman

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 06:20

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona and the country's President Mauricio Macri urged Lionel Messi not to leave the national team despite his vow to quit after a humiliating defeat.

The Barcelona superstar left the field in tears after missing a spot-kick in the Copa America Centenario final shootout against Chile on Sunday.

He promptly told reporters he was quitting, throwing Argentine football into turmoil ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"He has to stay because he still has playing days ahead of him," Maradona was quoted as saying by La Nacion newspaper online.

"He will go to Russia in form to be world champion."

Messi, 29, is widely rated as the best player in the world, but Sunday's loss was his fourth defeat in an international final for Argentina.

After an outpouring of disappointment by fans online, Macri joined the calls for the Barcelona superstar to stay with Argentina.

"He called him and told him how proud he feels of the national team's performance and asked him not to listen to the criticism," a spokesman for Macri told AFP by telephone.

- Argentine football 'disaster' –

The 1986 World Cup winner Maradona, 55, blamed Argentina's recent lack of trophies on the country's football association (AFA).

He accused it of not supporting Messi and letting him take the blame for Sunday's defeat.

"Those who are saying he should quit are doing it so that we won't see what a disaster Argentine football has become," La Nacion quoted Maradona as saying.

Messi and the squad landed back in Buenos Aires on Monday evening after the tournament in the United States.

Television cameras followed their coach but the players had yet to make any comment to the media.

- 'Saturated with criticism' –

Messi is loved in Barcelona but his friends complained of how harshly he has been judged in his homeland.

"This lad is just saturated with criticism and being so badly treated," said Ernesto Vecchio, who was Messi's first coach in his native city of Rosario.

"I don't want him to quit but when I put myself in his shoes it seems unfair that they should look to him as the savior when there are 11 players on the team."

Messi's cool head on the pitch makes him an efficient goalscorer, but his reserved manner has drawn criticism.

Ahead of this month's Copa, Maradona himself accused Messi of having "no personality" for a captain.

Messi has been named FIFA World Player of the Year five times. But he has been haunted by comparisons with Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup triumph in 1986.


- Players 'devastated' -

Lionel Messi's cool head on the pitch makes him an efficient goalscorer, but his reserved manner ...

The star's departure could herald a broader change in the Argentina line-up.

Manchester City star Sergio Aguero warned other players could also quit the national side.

"We were all devastated in the dressing room, particularly Leo, I'd never seen him in such a state," he said.

"Several players are wondering whether to continue."

Aguero did not say whether he would follow Messi in quitting but he, Javier Mascherano and Gonzalo Higuain were mentioned in media reports.

- String of defeats –

Argentina were beaten 1-0 by Germany in the final of the 2014 World Cup and lost on penalties, also to Chile, in the 2015 Copa America final.

Messi also tasted defeat with Argentina in the final of the 2007 Copa America.

In this month's Copa semi-final win over the United States, he became Argentina's top international scorer of all time with his 55th goal.

But after Sunday's final, his typical composure gave way to tears of frustration.

"I've done all I can, I've been in four finals and it hurts not to be a champion," Messi told reporters.

"It's a hard moment for me and the team, and it's difficult to say, but it's over with the Argentina team."

His departure left many fans no longer thinking about the Copa.

"Losing a final is something that happens in sport," wrote one fan, Fede Ruiz, on Twitter.

NDS Foils Suicide Attack in Kunar

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 05:43

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives arrested a suicide bomber on Monday, thwarting his plan to carry out an attack in Assadabad, the capital city of Kunar province, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the suicide bomber named Hafizurrahman and has confessed that he was trained in Peshawar of Pakistan and the was sent back to Afghanistan to conduct subversive activities.

The statement added that the NDS also seized a vehicle loaded with explosives in Sokai district in Kunar.

The statement did not provided further details.

Nangarhar Clash Leaves Hundreds Of Families Displaced

TOLO News - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 05:24

More than 400 families were displaced after a five-day clash between security forces and Daesh rebels in Kot district in Nangarhar province, local officials said Tuesday.

The battle started after a group of Daesh fighters attacked security forces' outposts in Kot district on Friday night.

Following the attack, the security forces launched a military operation in the area where the rebels were pushed back and over 160 of the fighters were killed.

Nangarhar governor Salim Kunduzi said the insurgents torched 90 houses in the attack, but he added that they will provide the displaced families with facilities and assistance.

According to reports, nearly 161 Daesh militants, seven security force members and five civilians were killed and 31 others including 13 civilians were wounded in Nangarhar clash.

Most of the insurgents were killed in foreign troops' air strikes, according to officials.

Daesh fighters are reportedly active in parts of Nangarhar, particularly in Kot and Achin districts.

TOLOnews 6pm News 27 June 2016

TOLO News - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 17:31

Top news in this Bulletin:

The First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum has accused the National Unity Government (NUG) leaders of excluding him from power and side-lining his supporters.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}I_uS0ooJZOE{/youtube}

The Administrative Board of the House of Representatives on Monday raised concerns over illegal compromises and dealings between a number of members of parliament and Ministers.

Hekmatyar Stops Peace Talks with NUG

TOLO News - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 17:15

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami, on Monday withdrew from peace talks with the National Unity Government (NUG).

Hekmatyar said the peace agreement with the Afghan government, which was about to be finalized, has been terminated.

In a message published in a Shadat publication linked to Hizb-e-Islami, Hekmatyar demanded the termination of the national unity government.

Hekmatyar claimed that the national unity government was not acceptable to majority of the Afghanistan people.

Therefor the efforts towards peace with Kabul has been terminated.

Dostum Accuses Government of Excluding Him From Power

TOLO News - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 17:10

The First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum has accused the National Unity Government (NUG) leaders of excluding him from power and side-lining his supporters.

Talking to journalists during a military operation in Dawlat Abad district in Faryab on Monday, Dostum said President Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have shared the power among themselves. His role in the administration is now unclear.

Dostum said considering his efforts in bringing President Ghani to power, at least 10 embassies should be allocated to his supporters.

He claimed that when the NUG was formed, he was against the division of power between government leaders. He added there also a lack of coordination between the Afghan National Defense and the Security Forces (ANDSF).

"In the beginning, I was against the sharing of power on a 50-50 basis. Why then is there is a lack of coordination between the Defense and Interior ministries? As the first vice-president, I say this is our fault...," he said.

Dostum added: "They [government leaders] are sharing black money while captives, displaced people and others need help. With whom should these people share their problems?"

He warned the state over these issues, adding that "they [government leaders] should seriously consider the matter as we all love our country and our people."

He said government's control has been confined only to main roads. "Only the asphalted roads have remained for us, but even those areas we are not fully safe," he added.

The President's deputy spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi denied Dostum was being side-lined.

"The first vice-president Mr. Dostum is in senior management in government, according to the constitution. He exercises his legal authority and he is now fighting on the front lines for the country's sovereignty. The first vice-president attends the National Security Council meeting, the high economic council meeting and other important national decision making events," said Murtazawi.

A number of analysts said Dostum's accusations need to be discussed.

"This government has been established based on the influence of tribal figures. At first it was divided on a 50-50 basis between Abdullah and Ghani. However, there are other figures in every 50 percent part of the government," said university lecturer Tahir Hashemi.

"Mr. Dostum is the first vice-president. His areas of authority and his responsibilities are clear. There is no need for him to go to the frontline. He should manage the three pillars of government," said military affairs analyst Atiqullah Amarkhail.

To watch the report, click here:

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Concerns Over MPs Unlawful Dealings with Ministers

TOLO News - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 17:07

The Administrative Board of the House of Representatives on Monday raised concerns over illegal compromises and dealings between a number of members of parliament and Ministers.

Board members said that unlawful dealings between MPs and ministers do not serve the people. The practice rather causes between the people and parliament.

"It is a bitter fact that we, as administrative board, are getting tired of this issue. Dealings are taking place based on petition sheets. It is bitter for the house and leads to enmity between itself and the nation of Afghanistan," said Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament), Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi.

Meanwhile a number of other MPs have said that some of their colleagues are involved in such unlawful dealings.

"Petition forms sometimes have thirty to fifty collected signatures. Those forms just disappear," said Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, a parliament member.

"Those who have relationships with MPs ask them to appointing their relatives as police chiefs, district governors and commanders. Even the issuing of licenses for Taxis are now compromised, but we investigate none of them. I am not saying all the MPs are corrupt, but only a minority of MPs are honest in their work and duties," said Ramaza Bashardost anther MP.

In order to prevent MPs from unlawfully dealing with the Ministers, it has been suggested that the process of petitioning must be cleared within three days.

"I will assign the legislative commission to prepare the plan. That plan will then be approved by commission in order to solve the problem," Ibrahimi added.

In the past MPs were also criticized over dealings and compromises. A number of MPs even warned that they will disclose names of those corrupt colleagues, but those names have as yet been not disclosed.

To watch the report, click here:

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Long Queues at Passport Department after Torkham Closure

TOLO News - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 17:04

The number of applicants at the Kabul Passport Department has increased sharply following Pakistan's decision to close the Torkham crossing for travelers without passports and visas.

The head the Passport Department, Sayed Omar Saboor, said that more than 1,500 people were applying for passports daily.

"Those wanting to go to Pakistan, either for treatment or other purposes, must have valid passports, otherwise they cannot travel to that country. This is a legal requirement and it is good for both countries," he stated.

Previously ordinary Afghans were free to travel to Pakistan without passports, particularly when they wanted to go to that country for medical treatment.

"Now we are not allowed to cross the Durand Line without a passport. If the Pakistani border force does allow us to cross, they demand money from the travelers," said Ezatullah, a resident of Nangarhar.

"Our homes are in Pakistan. Our residential card in Pakistan has recently expired, now we are not allowed to travel to Pakistan without a passport," said Parwan resident Mohammad Omran.

A number of patients who want to go to Pakistan for treatment, said they are faced with the same problem.

"I tried frequently to get medical care in Kabul, but doctors told me to go abroad for treatment. Now I have to have a passport to travel to Pakistan for treatment of my eye," said Ahmad Samir, a resident of Kabul.

This follows increased rifts between Kabul and Islamabad after Pakistani border force tried to erect a number of installations near the Torkham Gate on the Durand Line, connecting the two countries.

According to officials, the issue of Torkham is still under discussion between Afghan and Pakistani negotiators.

To watch the report, click here:

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MoFA Concerned Over Afghans In Syrian War

TOLO News - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 16:59

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has expressed its serious concern over reports that thousands of Afgan refugees are fighting in Syria after having been lured there by foreign government organizations.

"The Afghan government is addressing the matter through diplomatic channels and has informed the UN High Commission for Refugees accordingly. We are working closely with the Commission in this regard," said MoFA spokesman Shekib Mustaghni said.

The MoFA is treating the issue with caution, particularly claims of Iran's alleged involvement. The ministry has warned the misuse of Afghan refugees was against human rights laws.

"The mixture of migration, poverty, addiction to drugs, violence, an unresponsive government and weak interventions of the MoFA and have led to chaos," said political analyst Jawed Kohistani.

Iranian media have reported that tens of thousands of Afghan citizens are fighting against Bashar Assad opponents in Syria.

According to a report published in Tehran's Marz-e-Oboor Weekly, the number of the Afghan citizens fighting in Syria ranges between 12,000 and 14,000.

The report quotes Mohammad Mohsen Hussaini, a commander of Afghan fighters in Syria who was killed in a recent clash in that country, and says that every one of the fighters receive $50 USD daily and their families $400 USD per month.

The families of the refugees involved in the fighting are also provided with housing and other facilities, the report stated.

A mother of an Afghan citizen whose son was sent from Iran to Syria and then killed in a fight against Assad's opponents, said: "My dear Mahdi Jan did not go to a bad place. He was martyred. A martyr is always alive."

Unconfirmed reports state that if Iranian, Iraqi or Lebanese fighters are arrested in Syria war they were swapped by the warring sides. This however did not apply to Afghan fighters if they are apprehended.

To watch the report, click here:

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