TOLO News

Experts Tally NUG'S Broken Promises, Say No Progress in Peace, Security

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 16:31

Political commentators and members of the Afghan parliament have blasted President Ashraf Ghani's administration for failing to deliver on campaign promises, arguing that the government has achieved nothing to broker peace with the militants and restore sustainable security in the country.

The statement comes at a time that the country is facing challenges on multiple fronts such as economy, security and good governance.

However, on the basis of TOLOnews' govmeter website, that tracks the progress of Ghani's pre-election commitments and the NUG's post-election commitments, it appears that there is a six percent success rate by government in terms of improving security and the peace efforts.

Establishment of sustainable peace and security had been an important priority of the NUG, however analysts argue that the government has achieved nothing in this respect over the past one and half a years.

"The government of Afghanistan has proved its commitments to the world. The presence of Afghan government in the four-nation talks proves its commitments for restoration of sustainable peace in the country and also the government of Afghanistan has utilized all its resources to improve the security situation and has called for a wider action against those that commit acts of terrorism," a deputy presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi said on Monday.

NUG had also committed to secure Afghanistan's highways, but failed to deliver on the promise.

"The council (High Peace Council) which was formed to leverage the peace process is not supposed to be a body for bringing peace, but it is a project. The HPC members who are paid salaries in dollars, why have they even failed to take a single step for peace?

The government has the responsibility to defend the territorial integrity and the citizens while it keeps one of the windows open for peace. Peace is not supposed to be achieved by pleading and supplication. The government must defeat the rebels (insurgents) to force them to endorse peace," MP Saleh Mohammad Saleh said.

"The government failed to gain visible achievement in peace and security. We saw the results after bloodshed increased in Afghanistan and war expanded. The peace plan completely failed. The four-nation talks also collapsed while people were hoping for a positive outcome from it," MP Ghulam Farooq Majroh said.

U.S Blasted Over 'Reckless' Support Of Terror Donors

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 16:21

On the fifth anniversary of the attack on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan, which resulted in the al-Qaeda leader's death, a number of MPs on Monday criticized western countries, especially the U.S of recklessly supporting terror donors.

MPs said the U.S knows that terrorists are being funded in Pakistan but that Washington continues to assist Pakistan instead of putting pressure on it to stop the practise.

"Leadership of all terrorist movements in Afghanistan takes place in Quetta, Peshawar, and other parts of Pakistan. And they [terrorist] live freely there and all facilities are provided to them. If the international community and America wants to fight terrorism then they must put pressure on Pakistan," said an MP Abdul Hai Akhondzada.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has also accused Pakistan of backing terrorism.

"It is completely clear where terrorism nests are located and we hope that Pakistan truly fights against terrorism as Afghans are fighting it," said MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

"World powers not trying a lot as they don't want to lose some allies such as Pakistan because Pakistan is important for them from every aspect," said House Secretary Abdul Rauf Enami said.

Al-Qaeda's late founder Osama bin Laden, was killed five years ago on Monday during an attack by U.S troops in Abbottabad city in Pakistan - where he was living.

Pakistan had however continued to deny bin Laden was living in their country.

Analysts believe that as long as the international community and the U.S does not eliminate the roots of terrorism and does not bring necessary pressure on Pakistan, terrorism will not be eliminated.

Passport Directorate Criticizes MoF Over Remarks

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 16:03

Officials from the Directorate of Passport at the Ministry of Interior on Monday criticized the recent remarks by Foreign Affairs Minister Salahuddin Rabbani on reportedly issuing Afghan passports to foreign nationals.

The Passport Director Sayed Omar Saboor argued that the problem is not in the passport issuance process; it is a problem in Afghanistan's embassies abroad.

"The issue that which country issues visa to an eligible Afghan national carrying Afghanistan's passport is relevant to diplomatic and political relations between countries. This is an issue between two countries," said Sayed Omar Saboor.

This comes after Rabbani in an address in the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliement) on Sunday raised concerns over reports of Afghanistan issuing passports to people from other countries, and said because of this India has moved to tighten visa controls for Afghans.

"Unfortunately, Afghan passports have been seen with citizens of other countries, which is a matter of concern for the Indian embassy in Kabul," he added.

According to passport officials, they start work at 6:30am in morning and that at least 3,000 people visit the directorate on a daily basis.

Some residents meanwhile said they are happy with the passport directorate's activities.

"We used to wait at least 50 days to get a passport in the past, but now the process is done quickly for everyone," said Lotfullah, a resident of Kabul.

MoD Warns Islamabad Against Border Attacks As NATO Urges Diplomacy

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:51

The Ministry of Defense Monday slammed Pakistan's cross border rocket attacks on the nation's eastern regions and said it was a violation of territorial integrity.

The MoD called on Islamabad to put an immediate end to what it called a provocative act.

The attack will have negative consequences for Pakistan, the MoD said in a statement.

"Army and border forces have been directed to retaliate against anyone who fires toward us - and to defend the nation against threats. The Afghan people have proved that no invader will survive if they pick up arms against those who cast evil toward their country," a Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.

He added: "The attacks will not be in the interests of Pakistan."‎

As concerns deepen over Pakistan's cross border shelling, NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan called for restraint to be demonstrated by the two sides, asking Kabul and Islamabad to deescalate and resolve border disputes through diplomatic channels.

On Monday, Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, spokesman for NATO, said that both sides must solve their issues by giving diplomacy the chance as continued disputes are not serving any purpose.

"In terms of who is conducting the firing you know we have seen in the press, both on the Pakistani side of the border as well as the Afghan side of the border, that it is Pakistan military and it is Afghan military having these engagements back and forth. And so again it continues to be a concern for everybody involved and I think if it is not contained it does have the potential to become negative for everybody," he said.

While the NATO alliance reaffirms its continued military support to Afghan security forces, cross border shelling has sparked criticism with many questioning the silence of foreign forces in the country over the attacks.

In addition, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) called Pakistani attacks as unjustifiable.

"Pakistan has been firing artillery on Afghanistan's border regions for days. The firing has led to the martyrdom of several security personnel and local people. We hope that these attacks are ended swiftly as there is no logical reason to attack Afghanistan's border regions," MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the insurgents have diverted their war during 2016 to Kunduz, Helmand and Nangarhar provinces. However, the Afghan troops in recent days have been able to pose major casualty tolls to the insurgents with a number of top Taliban commanders having been eliminated in Kunduz, Logar and Ghazni provinces.

Abaseen's Parents Call For Execution Of Son's Murderers

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 15:47

Abaseen's family members and a number of tribal elders on Monday called on the National Unity Government (NUG) to hang Abaseen's kidnappers and killers.

Speaking at a gathering in Kabul, Abaseen's father, Abdul Ghafoor, said President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah had promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.

However, he called on government to ensure those already arrested in connection with his son's murder be brought to court as soon as possible.

Ghafoor, who lost his only son, said the NUG's priority was first to ensure security of its citizens and then to bring justice for his son.

"First I call on the president and security officials to bring security to the country and second I want a public execution of Abaseen's murderers so to be a lesson for other abductors," said Abaseen's father.

Meanwhile tribal elders said they will continue to call for justice. Salim Surobi, a people's council head said: "This is our last word to the president - until justice is served for Abaseen and while we are not satisfied, we will continue our peaceful protest," said Surobi.

Thirteen-year-old Abaseen was abducted a few months ago in Kabul. His kidnappers tortured him and then killed him.

However, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) has detained 12 people in connection with Abaseen's murder.

Almost 400 Teachers in Badakhshan Are Drug Addicts: Officials

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 13:50

Education officials in north-eastern Badakhshan province on Monday said that nearly 400 teachers, in four districts, are drug addicts and continue to teach students.

Abdul Hai Entezami, head of the provincial education department, said they plan however to start discussions with these teachers soon.

"A survey which we conducted at Badakhshan border schools found there are 380 teachers who are addicts, including male and female teachers at schools, and they are currently teaching. In-fact this will create problems, because psychologically they are ill," Entezami said.

A member of the provincial council warned government that if these teachers are not dismissed "most of the students will become drug addicts," adding that most of the teachers, who are drug addicts, are in Zebak, Shaghnan, Ishkashem and Wakhan districts of the province.

Officials indicate the most common drug used among teachers is hashish.

"The addicts are not doing anything positive for the students, in real sense this exploits the future of the students. So government must recruit professional and healthy teachers," a member of the provincial council, Abdullah Naji Nazari said.

A number of provincial civil society activists have also expressed their concerns over the issues and said there will be negative consequences if the education department does not dismiss the teachers.

"Addicted teachers have been teaching the students for several years, during this period, they have contributed nothing positive to benefit the students. If government does not take action and dismiss them, students will remain illitetate and will become addicts too,"said Basir Wasiq, a member of civil society.

Students in the remote parts of the province frequently complain about the low quality of education materials available – many of whom have said in the past this has contributed to them not being able to qualifying for higher education.

TOLOnews 10pm News 01 May 2016

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 10:02

Top news in this bulletin:

Concerned about reports of Afghanistan issuing passports to people from other countries, India has moved to tighten visa controls for Afghans, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salahuddin Rabbani.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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Rabbani was summoned by the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) on Sunday to explain the issue of visa restrictions by India and the United Arab Emirates for Afghans.

A number of media experts believe the print media in the country has done almost nothing for children and teenagers over the past 15 years.

Sardar Kabuli, 57, has been selling newspapers and magazines for about 35 years and has over the years collected newspapers.

Five Years on, Bin Laden's Doctor Languishes In Pakistan Jail

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 07:29

Five years after his fake vaccination programme helped the CIA track and kill Osama bin Laden, Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi languishes in jail, abandoned by the US, say supporters, in its bid to smooth troubled relations with Islamabad.

Afridi, believed to be in his mid-50s, has no access to a lawyer, and his appeal against a 23-year prison sentence has stalled.

"I have no hope of meeting him, no expectation for justice," his elder brother Jamil told AFP.

The former senior surgeon lives in solitary confinement in a small room, according to his lawyer, able to see his immediate family no more than six times a year.

Afridi's role in one of the most famous assassinations of recent decades is murky.

Details of how he was sought out by the Central Intelligence Agency are unclear -- Pakistani reports suggest officials at Save the Children acted as go-betweens, though the charity denies involvement.

What is known is that Afridi's job was to run a fake Hepatitis C vaccination program with the aim of obtaining genetic samples from Abbottabad, a garrison city and home to the Pakistan Military Academy, the country's answer to Westpoint.

It was there that Al-Qaeda chief bin Laden and his family had set up home in the mid-2000s, under the noses -- and some say protection -- of senior Pakistani military officers.

In the darkness of May 2, 2011, two helicopters full of elite Navy Seals touched down inside the compound.

In a dramatic raid just one kilometre from the military academy, they fought their way in and surprised the terror mastermind.

They shot him in the head and fled with his body, abandoning a damaged Black Hawk helicopter.

The killing was a huge success for US President Barack Obama, whose country was profoundly scarred by the attacks on New York and Washington of September 2001.

It decapitated Al Qaeda, badly hampering the organisation's ability to carry out further atrocities.

But it drove a wedge between Islamabad and Washington, with lingering suspicions that the Pakistanis had for years been covering up the whereabouts of one the world's most wanted men.

Weeks after the raid, Afridi was arrested and thrown in jail, accused of having ties to militants, a charge he has always denied.

Commentators believe Pakistan opted to punish Afridi in this way, rather than try him for treason -- aiding a foreign power -- because that would have entailed a public trial that would thrown a spotlight on Islamabad's role in harbouring bin Laden.

A furious US senate committee voted to cut aid to Islamabad by $33 million -- $1 million for each year of his original sentence.

The sentence was later cut by 10 years.

But since then, US pressure for Afridi's release has tapered off, and analysts say Washington has dropped the issue, preferring to concentrate on what its sees as more pressing matters -- such as negotiating with Islamist extremists in Afghanistan.

"The Taliban talks have taken priority over everything. The Americans don't want to muddy the water by raising other issues that are contentious," says Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani author and security expert.

Qamar Nadeem, Afridi's lawyer who has been denied access to him for the past two years, believes his client's best hope for early release is US pressure, "But so far they have not shown their support," he says.

He is allowed to see his wife and children every two months or so, according to Nadeem. But an appeal against his sentence that began in 2014 is bogged down in adjournments and an uncooperative government.

Though elder brother Jamil and his siblings won a Peshawar High Court decision granting them visiting rights, that verdict has not been implemented, and he has been told by his lawyer that pursuing the matter could result in harm to the doctor.

"They are not admitting the High Court decision. What can I say? I am pessimistic," he said.

Author Rashid says justice for Afridi has gone by the wayside for the US, which would rather Pakistan use its influence with the Afghan Taliban to encourage them to restart peace talks with Kabul.

"The Americans have ceased to criticise Pakistan on many fronts," he said.

But Michael Kugelman, an analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington said all hope is not lost for Afridi.

He said, rather than having abandoned him, the Americans may have decided that shouting about it is not going to work.

"In Washington the issue has likely moved off the front burner because it's clear that Pakistan isn't willing to play ball and negotiate an arrangement that could set him free," he said.

"(But) the Afridi issue has never really gone away, and my sense is that US officials quietly press Pakistan about it from time to time."

MEHWAR: International Workers' Day

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 06:51

In this episode of Mehwar, host Haris Jamalzada discusses International Workers' Day and the situation of workers in Afghanistan with Sayed Massoud, a lecturer at the Kabul University.

Click here to watch the whole program:

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NUG Urged To Fulfill Promises On Supporting Job Market

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 06:32

International Workers Day was marked at a gathering in Kabul on Sunday, where people called on the National Unity Government (NUG) to fulfill its promises on boosting the job market in Afghanistan.

"We voted for [President] Ashraf Ghani in the hope he would provide us with jobs and improve our lives," said Pahlawan, an employee at the Kabul Municipality.

According to government information, at least nine million eligible people are jobless, nearly three million children are working, in contravention of the labor law, and professionals are leaving the country in droves.

Meanwhile, a number of senior officials who attended the Labor Day celebration in Kabul vowed they will work to overcome the problem.

"There are lots of problems and we are aware of them. We have a number of plans on hand to overcome the job market problem and we will try to address the challenge," Labor and Social Affairs Minister Nasrin Oryakhail.

Reports say that at least 50,000 posts are empty in government organizations alone but they are not being filled in an fair recruitment process procedure.

Ghani's Special Representative on Reforms and Good Governance, Ahmad Zia Massoud, meanwhile said at the ceremony that overcoming labor problems is connected to boosting agriculture in Afghanistan.

"We hope that we give laborers their rights so their problems are addressed, but I want to say that this target needs extensive plans in agriculture," he said.

Ghani recently announced the beginning of a job creation program but it is believed this program has only impacted a few people in some villages.

MEHWAR: Print Media Doing Nothing For Children, Teens: Experts

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 06:25

A number of media experts believe the print media in the country has done almost nothing for children and teenagers over the past 15 years.

Click here to watch the whole program:

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In this episode of Mehwar, host Haris Jamalzada discusses the topic with Khalil Roman, writer and researcher.

 

MEHWAR: Pakistan Rocket Attacks Against Afghanistan Discussed

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 06:14

In this episode of Mehwar, host Haris Jamalzada discusses the ongoing rocket attacks against Afghanistan. With him in the studio is Ahmad Saeedi, a political analyst.

Click here to watch the whole program:

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FARAKHABAR: Unemployment Rises‎ Amid Insecurity‎, Corruption

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 04:44

A number of labor unions on Sunday marked International Workers Day and called on President Ashraf Ghani to take steps to deliver on his campaign promises made during elections.

To watch the whole program, click here:

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One of Ghani's special advisor's said increased security threats has been an important factor that has increased the level of inflation, resulting in further unemployment. ‎

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

• Ali Eftekhari, media advisor of the ministry of labor‎
• Maroof Qaderi, head of Afghanistan Labor Union

 

TAWDE KHABARE: NUG Tackles Islamabad Over Cross Border Rocket Attacks

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 04:32

The National Unity Government (NUG) has held direct talks with Pakistan over its recent cross-border rocket attacks along the eastern parts of the country.

Click here to watch the whole program:

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"The NUG has directly discussed the issue of [cross Durand Line] rocket attacks with Pakistan's leaders. Continuation of the attacks is a clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations," said Shahussain Murtazawi, the deputy spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shahpoor Bakhtyar discusses the topic with the following guests,

Nabi Misdaq, journalist
Dawoud Kalakani, MP
Fazlullah Wahidi, former governor of Herat

 

Print Media Doing Nothing For Children, Teens: Experts

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 16:40

A number of media experts believe the print media in the country has done almost nothing for children and teenagers over the past 15 years.

Sardar Kabuli, 57, has been selling newspapers and magazines for about 35 years and has over the years collected newspapers.

Kabuli said that in his opinion, the print media was far more professional 30 years ago compared to what it is today.

"The development of a society belongs to these children and teenagers. Today, our media offers nothing to the children and teenagers," he added.

Some experts agreed and said 30 years ago, the print media played an important role in encouraging literacy among children in the country.

"Media was effective in improving the literacy rate back then. Many of those who worked in the print media then are now great writers," said Ghulam Mostafa Dost, a writer and teacher.

The experts believe that the print media mostly focuses on security and politics, and pays no attention to social issues.

"All the print media outlets that you currently see in Afghanistan are biased and focus on special content and don't pay attention to social issues," said Kawa Jebran, a writer.

It is estimated that there is over 1,000 print media outlets in the country. Experts believe the media should move towards professionalism and government should also get involved in this sector.

TOLOnews 6pm News 01 May 2016

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 15:37

Top news in this Bulletin:

Afghan legislators and members of the public are up in arms over persistent delays in ratifying the long-awaited census law.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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 Members of a commission responsible for amending the country's laws on Sunday handed over a revised version of Afghanistan's Penal Code to the Ministry of Justice.

MPs Call For Census Law Efforts To Be Stepped Up

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 15:27

Afghan legislators and members of the public are up in arms over persistent delays in ratifying the long-awaited census law.

MPs slammed government on Sunday over its continued reluctancy to dispatch the law to parliament for debate.

In reference to speculation over government's lack of commitment to finalize the law, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said Sunday that the amended draft law is now with the law commission of the MoJ and that it will be soon be referred to parliament for ratification.

The statement comes just weeks after government finally decided to include ethnicity in the transcript of the population registration law and electronic National identity cards (e-NIC).

"The law was amended a month ago. However the law so far has not reached parliament, they should have transferred the law to the House of Representatives already. It looks like government is not committed to conducting parliamentary and district council elections," MP Fakoor Behishti said.

Article 6 of the population registration law was one of the controversial items of the law, which restricted ethnicity being mentioned in e-NIC, an issue which has delayed the distribution of e-NIC for years. However government now says that ethnicity has been included but there are other issues that are slowing down the distribution process.

"The population registration law is now being processed by the law commission and soon it will be referred to the cabinet, we hope that the law is soon referred to parliament," Justice Minister Basir Anwari said.

Continued delays in the past over the distribution of e-NIC finally resulted in international aid being terminated by donors.

"The European Union as one of the key donors, over different sessions, announced that if the process is started again, they will continue their cooperation in all fields including financial, technical and operation assistance," head of e-NIC department Humayoun Muhtat said.

Meanwhile, residents have also asked government to take steps to launch the process to end peoples' concerns.

"A year has passed since e-NIC came under discussion, huge money was spent, but no results," Kabul resident Naibi said.

"A single person is holding ten ID cards, the government is aware of this, foreigners have obtained Afghan ID cards in Kabul, Kandahar, Paktia, Parwan provinces," another resident Ahmad Fahim said.

Senate Summons Rabbani Over India's Visa Clampdown

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 15:00

Concerned about reports of Afghanistan issuing passports to people from other countries, India has moved to tighten visa controls for Afghans, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salahuddin Rabbani.

Rabbani was summoned by the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) on Sunday to explain the issue of visa restrictions by India and the United Arab Emirates for Afghans.

He said that India is concerned over the easy access to Afghan passports by nationals of neighboring countries and has urged government to resolve the issue.

"Unfortunately, Afghan passports have been seen with citizens of other countries, which is a matter of concern for the Indian embassy in Kabul," Rabbani said.

Rabbani said that based on new rules, visa applicants should provide a bank statement and those who are going for medical treatment should present a report from a doctor stating that the patient could not be treated in Afghanistan.

He did not however say which country's nationals have been getting Afghan passports. But senators believe India has taken this step to prevent the entry of militants into their country.

"The Minister of Foreign Affairs was directly hinting at Pakistan," said Asef Sediqi, a senator.

"Regional countries are concerned that suspected militants of Daesh, Taliban and other terrorist groups might enter into their countries from Afghanistan," said Gulalai Akbari, a senator.

The passport department at the Ministry of Interior refused to comment on the issue. However, a few months ago it was found that an Iranian woman had received an Afghanistan passport.

Helmand Court Convicts 25 Officials Of Corruption, Land Grabbing

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 13:56

In a ruling announced on Sunday, an appeals court in the southern province of Helmand found at least 25 individuals guilty of corruption and land-grabbing – a ruling that sparked widespread public support.

Among those who welcomed the move included residents along with some government officials and provincial council members.

The ruling comes amid growing calls by the public for government to step up its efforts to tackle such crime which has severely overshadowed transparency and rule of law in the country.

Those convicted by the court include the head of the local irrigation department, the head of the local public works affairs department, head of labor and social affairs department and some other officials in the province.

"The majority of the defendants convicted today are Helmand local officials who have been found guilty either of corruption or land grabbing. We will no longer keep silent against land usurpers and corruption," Fazel Sultan Safai, head of Helmand appeals court said,

Meanwhile, Hayatollah Hayat, the governor of Helmand province promised justice will be served in these cases.

"I appreciate the verdict of Helmand appeal court and promise to refer these cases to legal and judicial institutions," he said.

In addition, Helmand provincial council has also welcomed the verdict, calling the move an important step in fighting corruption and implementing the law.

"We strongly support the action taken by the appeal court and hope that the law will be implemented on the land grabbers and corrupt elements," member of Helmand's provincial council Bashir Shakir said.

According to the Helmand appeal court, there are certain individuals in the education and health departments who are also being investigated on charges of corruption.

Provincial Health Budget Plan Approved

Sun, 05/01/2016 - 13:51

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Sunday reported that cabinet has approved the much-awaited provincial health budget plan.

Health directors from all provinces will discuss the plan at a three-day seminar in Kabul in the near future, the MoPH said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Jawad Osmani, head of the admin and finance department at MoPH said the budget plan has been finalized after a delay of two years. He said that persistent delays for approving the plan have delayed the spending of $17 million USD which had been allocated for capacity building at the health directorates in the provinces across the country.

"Health services are provided in various provinces through provincial health directorates and health institutions in cooperation with the ministry of health. But the budget is aimed to boost the capacities of health directorates in 34 provinces of Afghanistan," Osmani said.

Health officials from 34 provinces are expected to attend a three-day seminar in which they will discuss the professional utilization of the budget. According to the plan, $500,000 USD will be allocated to each province.

"It will boost the capacity of health directors in the provinces. This enables them to come up with more energy and better management while providing health services and to develop the health system in the provinces," said Faraidoon, head of Jawzjan health department.

"Satisfactory health services are being provide in at least 28 districts of Badakhshan province, we face challenges only in a few districts," said Noor Khawari head of Balkh health department.

In addition, a number of health officials have said that nepotism and exploitation of the recruitment process has created major problems within the health management system at the ministry of public health.

"Powerful people try to recruit their own relatives to a post. But our demand is that recruitment should be on the basis of qualifications and professional people must be appointed for the jobs, otherwise the country will not develop," Noor Ahmad Sherzad, head of Nimroz health department said.