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MEHWAR: Assessing Ghani and Abdullah's Meeting

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 18:42

According to reports, President Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have held a face-to-face meeting and agreed to implement parts of their agreement, but Abdullah's office on Tuesday called for the swift and full implementation of the political agreement – based on which the National Unity Government was formed in 2014.

In this episode of Mehwar, host Jamalnasir Farahmand has discussed the issue with former member of parliament Rahman Oghli.

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TAWDE KHABARE: Drop In Investments In Afghanistan Discussed

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 18:15

Investments have visibly dropped in Afghanistan compared to recent years. The business community and investors say that the main reasons for the downfall is insecurity, lack of infrastructure and corruption in the commercial system.

In this episode of TAWDE KHABARE, host Zabi Sadat discusses the topic with the following guests

Khan Jan Alokozai, deputy head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries ACCI

Masih Fakhri, member of Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA)

Sherbaz Kaminzada, head of Afghanistan Industrialists Union

Ajmal Hamid Abdul Rahimzai, spokesman to ministry of finance.

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FARAKHABAR: Implications of Disputes Between NUG Leaders Discussed

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 18:04

The Council of Protection and Stability of Afghanistan on Tuesday said it was concerned about the tension between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, saying that if it continues it will endanger the national interests of the country.

In this episode of FARAKHABAR, host Fawad Aman discuses the topic with the following guests

Mohammad Nabi Misdaq, political analyst

Masoud Tarashtwal, spokesman to The Council of Protection and Stability of Afghanistan

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TOLOnews 06pm News 30 August 2016

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 17:25

Top news in this Bulletin:

According to reports, President Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have held a face-to-face meeting and agreed to implement parts of their agreement, but Abdullah's office on Tuesday called for the swift and full implementation of the political agreement – based on which the National Unity Government was formed in 2014.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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 Afghanistan's Ministry of Finance (MoF) Tuesday announced that government plans to step up efforts to collect taxes in the country in order to boost the national coffers.

Govt Plans to Review Tax System

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 16:51

Afghanistan's Ministry of Finance (MoF) Tuesday announced that government plans to step up efforts to collect taxes in the country in order to boost the national coffers.

To reach their target of becoming more self-sufficient, government needs to implement systematic reforms in the financial sector and combat corruption, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

In reference to the finance ministry's plan, a number of taxpayers have urged government to ensure transparency in the tax collection process in order to increase national revenue generation.

Statistics revealed by the finance ministry indicate that more than 30 percent of the national budget has already been covered through the collection of taxes.

"Afghanistan's financial resources have the capacity that can increase the graph of our revenue. But when it comes to fighting corruption, regarding increase in revenue and reforms we still need to do a lot of work," said MoF spokesman Ajmal Umid Abdul Rahimzai.

In addition, economic commentators have said that reviewing the tax collection system is key to enhancing national income generation

"Taxes are supposed to be applied to all products and there should not be a discriminatory approach about it, this will help increase government revenue," said Siam Pesarlai, spokesman for the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

"When some companies do not pay their taxes, there will a reduction in the prices of their products in the markets. When such companies sell products at cheaper prices, the other companies remain weak as they try to compete with them in the market," investor Zabiullah Nasiri said.

Residents have also called for transparency in the tax collection system.

"A year has passed since government imposed taxes on cell phone cards, but we don't know what these taxes are spent on," said Kabul resident Mohammad.

"If the money is spent on national projects, this would be the best option," said another resident Assad.

According to analysts, it would look good for Afghanistan at Brussels Summit if this year's revenue exceeds that of last year.

Last year the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set a target of 114 billion Afs for the Afghan government to collect. However the finance ministry has said it has surpassed the IMF target by collecting more than 120 billion Afs.

Pakistan Bans Entry To Afghans Holding Visas For India

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 16:41

In a recent policy shift, India's traditional rival Pakistan has slapped new sanctions on Afghan nationals who have an Indian visa in their passports.

On Tuesday, director of Hamid Karzai International Airport, Jabbarkhail said that over the past few days Pakistan has deported or banned entry to at least ten Afghans after finding Indian visas in their passports.

In response to the move by Pakistan, Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has said the decision is unacceptable and that Afghanistan has resumed negotiations with Islamabad to resolve the issue.

"It is a disputed issue, the ministry of foreign affairs conducts discussions with Pakistan officials to resolve the problems of our citizens," said MoFA spokesman Ahmad Shekib Mustaghni.

TOLOnews has however received a number of documents which indicate that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has put embargoes on Afghan citizens who have travelled to India.

"Airline companies are still informing the passengers that they can not take them to Pakistan if there is an Indian visa in their passport," said Mohammad Asif Jabbarkhail.

The new move by Pakistan has had an impact on airlines and travel companies.

"The Pakistan banning of Afghan nationals is a concerning issue, the government must tackle the problem swiftly," said Massoud Bina, deputy of Tourism Union.

Muzghan Sulaimankhail is one Afghan who was denied entry into Pakistan because of an Indian visa in her passport.

"I went for medical treatment to Pakistan; when I arrived at the airport officials told me that they can not allow me to enter Pakistan because of the existence of an Indian visa in my passport," said Muzghan.

But, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has pledged to raise the issue with the Pakistani government.

Amid speculation over Pakistan's move, a number of Afghan citizens have accused government of not raising the issue with Pakistan.

"Government should defend its citizens and should not allow Pakistan to create problems for Afghan citizens because of their issues with India," said Abdullah Ahmadi, a resident of Kabul.

"Government must take steps and resolve the problems," said another resident Mohammad Fayaz.

Despite a dramatic thaw in relations between Islamabad and New Delhi last year, the two countries are once again embroiled in a war of words over the recent wave of violence in Indian controlled Kashmir region.

CEO's Office Calls For Swift Implementation Of Accord

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 16:31

According to reports, President Ashraf Ghani and the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have held a face-to-face meeting and agreed to implement parts of their agreement, but Abdullah's office on Tuesday called for the swift and full implementation of the political agreement – based on which the National Unity Government was formed in 2014.

The CEO's office noted that the Afghan public are fed up with conferences and meetings and that it is the right time for government to take practical steps and deliver on the promises it has made to the nation.

Reports indicate that at the third meeting, Abdullah and Ghani agreed on a number of important issues – including bringing reforms to the electoral system, rollout of electronic national identity cards, appointment of members of the constitution amendment committee and the appointment of the remaining members of the political agreement oversight committee.

"Discussions to implement the four issues were finalized at the recent meeting [between government leaders]. People were assigned to work on implementation of the issues," said Abdullah's spokesman Mujib Rahman Rahimi.

He added: "The view of the Chief Executive [Abdullah Abdullah] was to leave the single-seat constituency issue and work on it in proper time in order to overcome the problem and prevent another crisis. Teams from the two sides are working on this issue. We hope to finalize technical discussions in order to move the electoral reforms issue to the next stage."

Meanwhile, election observers said that the recent amended draft for the election law approved by the cabinet was not practical.

"There is a huge gap in the views of the two leaders. It is difficult for them to reach a consensus until the end of National Unity Government," head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan, Mohammad Naeem Ayubzada, said.

The political agreement oversight committee also raised questions over the NUG's intention to take practical steps in order to implement the accord.

"We evaluate the agreement in three dimensions; we assessed it, outlined more items on it, and offered it to the people, media and the leaders. We also highlighted their problems; however, recent developments in this respect nourished our hopes," said Mohammad Natiqi, head of the committee.

Balkh Photo Exhibition Boosts Afghan-Uzbek Ties

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 16:06

A photo exhibition was launched in Mazar-e-Sharif city in Balkh on Tuesday – aimed at improving Afghanistan-Uzbekistan relations.

Under the theme of "Afghan-Uzbekistan Friendship" the three-day exhibition displays images from 28 photographers from both countries.

"The exhibition will be open at the Balkh University for three days," said Saleh Mohammad Khaleeq, information and culture director in Balkh.

"It is aimed at exploring the friendship of the two countries through pictures," he added.

Meanwhile, Mir Adel Abdul Razakov, Uzbekistan's Consul General in Balkh said: "We have tried to display the pictures from different sides of life in Uzbekistan."

Visitors to the exhibition – which were mostly students – said the initiative will benefit cultural ties between the two countries.

"We can get more information about the culture of Uzbekistan through this initiative," said Rukhsar, a law student at Balkh University.

"It is a good opportunity to enhance friendship and cultural relations with Uzbekistan," said Sayed Sajad, another student from the university.

Event organizers said they believe that boosting cultural ties between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan will bring the citizens of the two countries closer together.

Council Concerned Over Discord Between NUG Leaders

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 15:43

The Council of Protection and Stability of Afghanistan on Tuesday said it was concerned over the tension between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, saying that if it continues it will endanger the national interests of the country.

Members of the council said at a gathering on Tuesday that the rift between National Unity Government (NUG) leaders will encourage insurgents and it will affect the morale of the security forces.

They said they have met with the leaders and have urged them to end the tension.

"The rift between the two leaders has created frustration among the people and it has encouraged the country's enemies. We are concerned that it will affect the morale of the security forces as well. Our stance is that we support none of the leaders," said Massoud Trishtwal, spokesman of the council.

According to the council, the issues that have resulted in tension between Abdullah and Ghani are not important and that government should focus on holding parliamentary elections as well as the Constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly).

"Tension is not in favor of the national interests. A further delay in elections is also not in favor of the country. The government is established based on a political agreement and holding election is one of its main commitments; therefore we must have a transparent election," Trishtwal added.

Meanwhile, a number of students said the discord between the two leaders will affect the morale of the people.

Asadullah, a student said that the rift between the NUG leaders is a personal issue and one that can benefit them but this "has imposed a negative impact on the public's mind."

"The tension between NUG leaders has frustrated the younger generation in the country," said Ahmad Shahim, another student.

These remarks come after Ghani and Abdullah have reportedly met three times to discuss the issues that have created tension between them.

Nangarhar Activists Launch Campaign Against Use Of Forex

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 15:14

A number of civil society activists in Nangarhar on Tuesday launched a campaign in protest over the use of Pakistani rupees in domestic transactions, saying that government has failed to deal with this problem in the eastern parts of the country.

According to reports, Pakistani rupees are mostly used instead of Afghanis in Jalalabad city markets.

"Now, it is the time to put an end to the use of foreign currency. We must support the Afghani currency," said Taj Mohammad Tamkin, an activist in Nangarhar.

Another activist, Sebghatullah, said: "More than 90 percent of Nangarhar residents have Pakistani rupees in their pockets."

Meanwhile, a number of Nangarhar residents accused local officials of failing to introduce the Afghani currency instead of Pakistani rupees in markets in the province.

"The governor and other officials in Nangarhar have not done anything so far to stop the use of foreign currencies. We ask them to take this issue seriously," said Miakhail, a Nangarhar resident.

However, the Nangarhar governor's office said that through their campaign they will soon boost the use of Afghani currency in local markets.

"I hope all the people are encouraged to use Afghani currency," said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, head of Nangarhar governor's office.

This comes after Kandahar police chief general Abdul Raziq recently called for the use of Pakistani rupees in Kandahar transactions to be banned.

Earlier this months he said that law enforcement agencies had been directed to take steps against the use of Pakistani rupees in local markets and by local businesses.

Marjah-Lashkargah Road Reopens

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 08:45

Security officials said Tuesday the road connecting Marjah district with Lashkargah city in Helmand has been reopened to traffic – 20 days after their clearing operation started.

Until Tuesday the Taliban had essentially formed a ring around the provincial capital cutting off the city.

Now however, that ring has been broken after the 35km stretch of road was cleared of insurgents, said officials.

Officials said however there had been sacrifices made by the security forces in their efforts to clear the road but no details were given.

"Our operation is ongoing and we are trying to clear the area. The reason for our operation being slow is so as not to harm civilians," said Ghulam Reza, the commander of the 4th Battalion of Public Order Police.

"The route is opened for traffic and people can now use it," said Rahmuddin, a public order policeman.

According to security forces a military operation has been launched to clear side roads in the area but due to the number of mines planted by insurgents, troops are moving forward slowly.

"We are developing our plan which is in the implementation phase," said Gen. Khalilurahman Jawad, commander of the 5th Brigade of Public Order Police.

To watch the report, click here:

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TOLOnews 10pm News 29 August 2016

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 07:10

 Top news in this Bulletin:

Mia Gul Wasiq, director of the public relations and communication department in the Presidential Palace Monday defended government's anti-graft strategy, saying major corruption cases have been investigated under the present government.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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Reports from Kunduz indicate that the Taliban has inched its way forward and are closer to security force outposts, but that military operations have not yet started to clear the area of insurgents.

Four Haqqani Commanders Killed In Janikhail Airstrike

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 06:34

Four Haqqani commanders were killed in an Afghan Air Force airstrike in Janikhail in Paktia province on Monday night, provincial officials said.

According to the governor's spokesman Naqib Attal said the commanders killed were Abdul Wali, Kakai, Khaibar and Matiullah.

Meanwhile provincial council members have blasted government for not taking adequate security measures to retake Janikhail which fell to the Taliban late last week.

Attal said that about 70 families have fled the area and are taking refuge in Tsamkani district which borders Janikhail.

He said they are living out in the open and are appealing to government for assistance.

However, security forces said that insurgents have planted dozens of landmines in the area – especially along the road into the district. They said this is slowing down their progress.

No further details were given and no reports were provided on any civilian casualties.

US Meets Goal Of Admitting 10,000 Syria Refugees

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 05:31

The United States said it would welcome its 10,000th Syrian refugee of this fiscal year on Monday, meeting a controversial target more than a month ahead of schedule.

The United States has traditionally been by far the world's most generous host for refugees but has been criticized by activists for moving too slowly to respond to the Syrian crisis, which has dragged on for more than five years.

President Barack Obama's opponents, including Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, meanwhile warn that Daesh extremists could infiltrate the refugee ranks to gain entry to the United States.

"Our 10,000th Syrian refugee will arrive this afternoon," National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement, adding that the administration had met the goal "more than a month ahead of schedule."

Rice said the number represented a "six-fold increase from the prior year," and called it "a meaningful step that we hope to build upon."

She noted that refugee admissions represented only "a small part of our broader humanitarian efforts in Syria and the region."

"On behalf of the president and his administration, I extend the warmest of welcomes to each and every one of our Syrian arrivals, as well as the many other refugees resettled this year from all over the world."

Frontline states like Lebanon and Jordan have been all but overwhelmed by Syrian refugees, with each home to hundreds of thousands of them, and the arrival of streams of unvetted migrants on Europe's shores provoked a crisis.

The Syrian refugees admitted to the United States are chosen from United Nations camps and then vetted by US security and intelligence agencies. They are classified as "vulnerable," such as widows, the elderly and disabled.

Overall, the United States will admit at least 85,000 refugees over the year, Rice said, mentioning that others would come from countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Myanmar and Somalia.

MEHWAR: Government Under Fire Over Not Sharing Information with Media

TOLO News - Tue, 08/30/2016 - 04:50

In this episode of Mehwar, host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with the following guests

Parwiz Kawah, journalist

Reza Moeeni, Reporters Without Borders

To watch the report, click here:

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FARAKHABAR: President Ghani’s Bamiyan Tour Discussed

TOLO News - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 17:48

Although the national unity government describes the establishment of airport and highways in Bamiyan as part of its own efforts, a number of lawmakers in parliament have hit back at the claims arguing that these projects had been sketched out before the formation of the present government and it has no claim to these assets.

In this episode of FARAKHABAR, host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with the following guests,

Shahhussain Murtazawi, deputy presidential spokesman

Sayed Mohammad Jamal Fakoor Behishti, MP

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TAWDE KHABARE: Afghan Govt's Commitments Ahead of Brussels Summit Discussed

TOLO News - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 17:31

It is expected that the president will report back to Afghanistan's international partners on a number of commitments his administration has pledged to the world - including reforms in the election system, security, economic development, war on corruption and good governance - at the upcoming Brussels Summit in October.

But, just how much of a priority have these commitments been?

In this episode of TAWDE KHABARE, host Zabi Sadat discusses the topic with the following guests:

Mia Gul Wasiq, political analyst

Sediq Patman, political analyst

Farooq Farda, researcher

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TOLOnews 6pm News 29 August 2016

TOLO News - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 16:10

Top news in this Bulletin:

Mia Gul Wasiq, director of the public relations and communication department in the Presidential Palace Monday defended government's anti-graft strategy, saying major corruption cases have been investigated under the present government.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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 Amid a surge in international pressure, Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) is planning to move Taliban's Quetta Shura to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, said Hayatollah Hayat, the governor of Helmand province.

More Efforts Sought To Secure Kunduz

TOLO News - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 16:02

Reports from Kunduz indicate that the Taliban has inched its way forward and are closer to security force outposts, but that military operations have not yet started to clear the area of insurgents.

TOLOnews reporter Wali Aryan said he has talked with Afghan soldiers and that they have said further delays in conducting military operations on the outskirts of Kunduz city will create greater threats to that part of the province.

This comes come after security forces kicked off a large-scale military operation to secure and reopen the Takhar-Kunduz highway.

Click below to watch full report.

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Prayer Ceremony Held for Slain AUAF Student

TOLO News - Mon, 08/29/2016 - 15:56

Jamil Ismailzada was one of the students who lost her life in last week's insurgent attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. Jamila was on the final year of her education and was studying management.

After completing a degree in Computer Science, Jamila joined AUAF to study management and had only one year to go – but insurgents cut her dreams short.

"My sister was very hardworking and intelligent, I ask the government to identify those who plotted the attack," said Murtaza Ismailzada, the victim's brother.

"Government must take steps to provide better security to universities," said Ghula Sakhi Ismailzada, Jamila's uncle.

Students at the American University still recount their night of horror at the campus

"We still remember the happy moments spent with our friends even in our dreams," an AUAF student said.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) has said that the campus will soon resume all classes.

"The more our enemies try to harm our institutions, the more our youths will be stronger and they will continue their education and learning," said Faisal Amin, spokesman to MoHE.

The victims' families have once again called on government to provide security to the people.

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