TOLO News

Analysts Criticize Karzai Appointments, Call for New Start

4 hours 37 min ago

Economic experts have heaped criticisms on government officials appointed under the Hamid Karzai administration for what they see as negligent management of the country's economy. They called on the national unity government to select more qualified and professional individuals for office.

Despite billions of dollars in financial aid from the international community, according to Afghan analysts, no comprehensive, cohesive development program was ever formulated to ensure sustainable economic progress in Afghanistan.

With the NATO coalition set to withdraw in December and a continued decrease in foreign aid expected, major public and private industry development projects such as hydroelectric dams, mining, housing construction and the ring road highway remain stalled.

The troubled election process that saw the new unity government formed is often cited as having been a major force behind the rapid deterioration of Afghanistan's economic climate this year. And despite its ending, and the promising early signs from the new administration, analysts say the Afghani currency is also facing consistent depreciation.

Nevertheless, analysts focused their commentary on the qualifications of those being put in charge of managing aid and development programs. "A Mullah was assigned to the job in one of the key ministries rather than the designation of a professional minister," economic analyst Taj Mohammad Akbar said. "The lack of professional groups has been a major cause of our backwardness in recent years."

In many case over the past few years certain ministries have failed to even spend the full amount of money allocated to them for economic development efforts. "The lack of professionals has been one of the key issues in recent years, and development budgets weren't spent effectively because of the lack of qualified individuals and appointments on the basis of political ties," Kabul University lecturer Hasibullah Mawhid told TOLOnews.

The analysts agree that the top priority for the new government should be attracting major foreign investments in the mining, trade, transit, housing, power generation and industrial sectors. But first due care in appointments will be the biggest mountain to climb.

"We call on the president to assign qualified and technical individuals to jobs in the ministries as we need our problems to be solved," Kabul resident Habibullah said.

President Ashraf Ghani has promised to institute a meritocratic system of appointment and promotion, rather than the nepotism and patronage culture that the previous government became known for. He said he would form his cabinet within 45 days of his inauguration.

Kabul Residents Criticize Gov't Over Rockets Attacks

4 hours 52 min ago

A number of Kabul residents have criticized the national unity government ‎over the rising insecurity and rocket attacks.

The overall security situation of Kabul has improved compared to last month, but on Thursday night a missile landed in Kabul City, which fortunately ‎did not have casualties, changing the situation of the security.

‎Kabul resident Shahpoor said that "since the start of the new national unity government, no one is at peace."

"We are hearing rockets landing in Wazir Akbar Khan and Shah Shaheed area of Kabul," he added.

In the past month alone, six suicide attacks, two blasts and three missile attacks have ‎happened in Kabul City.

"By intensifying attacks, insurgents want to put pressure on the newly established government and score points," former Deputy Minister of Interior, Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, said.

Based on reports, at least 27 people were killed in the capital over the past month.

After taking oath into office, President Ashraf Ghani discussed undertaking necessary measures to enhance security ‎in the capital, but according to the Kabul residents and their complaints security forces have failed to secure the capital.

Demands for Action After Ghani Makes Commitments in China

5 hours 2 min ago

Many commentators and members of the broader Afghan public have set high expectations for the new government in Kabul, especially when it comes to the economy. President Ashraf Ghani has courted these expectations through the many promises and commitments he has made regarding reform and economic development since taking office.

Recently returned from China, his first official trip abroad as president, Ghani was welcomed with calls for him to follow through on talk of reform in the election commissions and judiciary. His verbal commitments to constitutional reform and the appointing of a female judge to the Afghan Supreme Court, which he made publicly while in China, were also received with encouragement.

During his China tour, President Ghani signed a number of agreements including a major expansion of bilateral trade and commerce, a mutual cooperation in the economic sector deal, humanitarian assistance pledges and diplomatic travel privileges. With the Afghan economy suffering, and the NATO coalition set to withdraw in December, many are hopeful stronger economic ties with China could mean a revitalization of the Afghan economy.

The most highly publicized commitment made by Ghani while on his trip came during a meeting with students in Beijing. The newly elected president reaffirmed his commitment to reform in the legal and judicial institutions of Afghanistan, but also said that he planned to appoint a female judge to the Supreme Court.

"After women's right is protected in the country, we can easily expand women role and contribution in politics and other social affairs," women's right activist Fatana Gellani told TOLOnews. "Over the past thirteen years, we heard a lot of slogans for upgrading women's capabilities, but the present government must honor all the commitments it has made."

Having seen the ups and downs of the past thirteen years, and experienced the letdown that came with the failings of the last government, the Afghan public is understandably hesitant in trusting that the rhetoric of the new government will be followed by action.

"The president must honor all commitments he has made to the people," said Sabaoon, a resident from eastern Nangarhar province.

On Friday, President Ghani met with the foreign ministers of Iran and Turkmenistan and the U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan. During the meeting, the president reportedly stressed on bilateral cooperation between Afghanistan and the central Asian states in regard to energy, transport, electricity and border security.

Haqqani Leader Killed in US Drone Airstrike in Pakistan

5 hours 42 min ago

Abdullah, a top Haqqani leader who was involved in the transfer of suicide bombers in Afghanistan, and six other insurgents were killed in a U.S. drone airstrike in a tribal area of Pakistan, according to the Pakistani Intelligence officials.

Pakistani officials said the attack took place early Thursday in a village known as Nargas of the Birmil area, west of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan near the Afghan border.

The death of Abdullah is a blow for the Haqqani network, according to Afghan political analysts.

"This is a major loss for the Haqqani network," Ahmad Saeedi, a political analyst said. "Their attacks on Afghanistan will decrease, but the main mastermind is the ISI; if they were not here the war would have ended."

This come while, two top leaders of the Haqqani Network-- Anas Haqqani, the step-brother of Sarajudin Haqqani, was responsible for high-level decision making in the network and Hafiz Rashid was said to have overseen the preparation of suicide bombers for attacks inside Afghanistan-- were captured by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) a month ago.

The Haqqani network is one of the most dangerous groups that frequently target foreign and Afghan troops in Afghanistan.

43 Percent of Schools in Helmand Remain Closed

6 hours 10 min ago

Local officials on Friday said that 43 percent of schools are still closed in southern Helmand province.

According to provincial officials nearly 100,000 children are deprived of receiving education adding that insecurity is at fault. Local officials also stressed that schools in northern Helmand are being forcefully closed at a rapid rate.

Deputy Governor of Helmand, Masood Ahmad Bakhtawar‎, said that over the years progress was made, but was not sufficient enough to prevent schools from closing.

"Children are deprived of education," Bakhtawar stressed. "I ask religious scholars and tribal elders to put in efforts to reopen schools in the province."

‎Helmand's Education Chief, Abdul Matin Jafar, said that although schools are being closed because of insecurity, a number of other schools are open but are not operating efficiently. ‎

‎"Efforts are underway to maintain the open schools as insecurities rise," Jafar said.

‎Meanwhile, on Teacher's Day, President Ashraf Ghani called on the oppositions to not stop children from education.

"I call on the political oppositions to not prevent children from school," Ghani said. "You (oppositions) are not educated, so do not prevent your children to be educated."

According to Helmand's Department of Education, currently 183,000 boys and girls are studying in schools in Helmand of which 20,000 have enrolled this year leaving tens of thousands of children deprived of education as schools close and insecurity increases.

Israel Reopens Al-Aqsa Mosque Ahead of Muslim Prayers

9 hours 54 min ago

Israel reopened Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound Friday ahead of the weekly Muslim prayers, after a rare closure following clashes sparked by the killing of a Palestinian by police.

The streets of east Jerusalem were calm ahead of the prayers at midday, following an Israeli clampdown on the shrine, which is holy for Muslims and Jews alike.

Clashes erupted when Israeli police on Wednesday night shot dead a Palestinian accused of trying to kill a Jewish hardliner.

The closure was the first for decades and prompted a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to condemn the move as an Israeli "declaration of war".

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that because of fears of unrest at the midday prayers, entry for Muslim men would be restricted to those over 50.

Additional police were deployed around the Al-Aqsa compound in the heart of the Old City, with local media reporting the presence of some 3,000 officers, three times more than usual.

The Al-Aqsa mosque compound -- known to Jews as the Temple Mount -- is the third holiest site in Islam and Judaism's holiest.

The clashes subsided late Thursday with a few sporadic confrontations between stone-throwing Palestinians and police firing rubber bullets and tear gas. Three Palestinians were arrested, Samri said.

The funeral of the Palestinian passed off without incident, she added.

Jerusalem has been shaken by months of unrest sparked by the murder of a Palestinian teenager in July in revenge for the killings of three Jewish teenagers in the West Bank.

A 50-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza in July and August intensified protests and clashes in the Holy City.

First 100 Days: Heart of Asia Conference

10 hours 16 min ago

What was the main reason behind President Ghani's trip to China, and why was the Heart of Asia Conference held in China? What is the motive behind the Heart of Asia Conference and why was it created? What is Afghanistan's role in this process and what will Afghanistan take from it?

Host Omid Farooq discusses the questions with the following guests:

Roya Rahmani Head of Regional Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Fardi Hashemi University Professor

Mujtaba Patang Former Minister of Interior Affairs

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}FPrdU5FfdJg{/youtube}

TAWDE KHABARE: Fighting Against Drugs in Afghanistan

13 hours 45 min ago



Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has said that the Counter Narcotics Police was created with heavy expense in Afghanistan, but the provincial units lack financial resources and security for their operations and continuation of their operations.

Host Zabi Sadat, discusses the issue with the following guests:

Ibrahim Azhar Minister of Counter Narcotics

Hashem Wahdat Yar UNODC

Jabar Qahraman House of Representatives Member

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}8HTjDri5A80{/youtube}

TOLOnews 6pm News 30 October 2014

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 17:42



Afghanistan is the worst country for investments in Asia, and the seventh worst in the entire world, according to a report recently published by the World Bank.

{youtube}Dzm5OukjKAg{/youtube}

The report comes just as the new, more inclusive government in Kabul has made promises for reform and economic growth, but also in the wake of a tumultuous political transition and an intense summer fighting season, and just a couple months ahead of the NATO coalition withdraw.

Afghan Forces Clash With Militants in Nine Provinces

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 16:28



Across nine provinces, Afghan security forces clashed with militants, and according to the Ministry of Interior (MoI), in the past 24 hours alone, 42 insurgents been killed and 51 wounded.

Officials confirmed the arrests of 10 other fighters, as well as the deaths of eight members of the Afghan National Police (ANP).

Insurgent violence has increased in many parts of the country, just as the new national unity government heads into its third month in office and then not long after the withdraw of foreign troops.

On Thursday, serious clashes occurred between Afghan forces and insurgents in Badakhshan, Kunduz, Kandahar, Ghazni, Paktia, Ghoar and Faryab provinces.

In northern Badakhshan, the Afghan military was forced to abandon an attempt to rescue soldiers that had been captured by anti-government fighters.

"Due to the bad climate in Badakhshan province, we stopped the military operation, but we strive to release the captured soldiers from the insurgents," said Lal Muhammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for the Badakhshan Police Chief.

The Interior Ministry maintains that the uptick in militant activity around the country is related to foreign terrorist networks and intelligence services.

"Networks from abroad support the insurgents and send them to Afghanistan," Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said.

Since the election crisis came to an end and the national unity government presided over by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah took power, many have voiced renewed hope for the future of the country. However, the recent wave of insurgent violence across the country has posed a major threat to that sense of optimism.

"It is very important that the government of Afghanistan renew the security strategy of Afghanistan and hire fresh people in the security departments of the Ministry of Interior and make clear their plans against the insurgents and Taliban, if these things are not carried out, we will achieve nothing," military analyst Jawid Kohistani told TOLOnews.

Many analysts say the key to peace is not in fact the Afghan government, but rather the authorities across the border in Pakistan. During his term, former President Karzai took more than 20 official visits to Islamabad in hopes of improving relations between the nations and forging a path to peace, but all fell short.

Still, there is hope that with a fresh start may be exactly what is needed to jumpstart peace talks, and with the NATO coalition drawing down, it couldn't come at a better time.

Government Doesn't Have Exact Trade Figures

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 16:12

Reports indicate that trade figures provided by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MoEC) and the Office of Central Statistics indicate a difference of about one billion dollars.

TOLOnews was not successful in attaining proper details of the Afghanistan-Pakistan trade relations.

The Ministry of Trade refrained from giving any information and the the Office of Central Statistics and the Chamber of Commerce and Industries provided statistics with a one billion dollar disparity.

The former gave a figure of two billion two hundred fifty four million dollars, while the latter gave a figure of one billion two hundred seven million dollars.

Custom offices are responsible for recording figures of annual exports and imports; however, the officials of customs in Nangarhar province [through which most transactions with Pakistan take place] have said that they do not know the exact figures, claiming that collecting the figures is not their responsibility.

"Providing information about trade value and import from Pakistan is not our duty," deputy of provincial customs office, Gardiwal, said.

Officials of Spin Boldak customs, did not provide exact information about the figures either.

They stated, however, that incomes have increased.

"Goods that spoil fast are exported to Afghanistan through this way [Spin Boldak].

That's why our income has increased," one of the officials, Abdul Wasay Roady, said.

It is said that many of the exported goods are not recorded in customs offices.

"The problem is that some of the export goods are not recorded in some areas like Paktia province," an official at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mir Zaman Popal, said.

Lack of exact information regarding trade with neighboring countries, especially Pakistan, is said to indicate high-scale corruption in customs departments.

While the new government has pledged commitment to fighting against corruption, doubts remain about its ability to do so any time soon.

World Bank Labels Afghanistan Worst Country for Investment in Asia

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 15:46



Afghanistan is the worst country for investments in Asia, and the seventh worst in the entire world, according to a report recently published by the World Bank.

The report comes just as the new, more inclusive government in Kabul has made promises for reform and economic growth, but also in the wake of a tumultuous political transition and an intense summer fighting season, and just a couple months ahead of the NATO coalition withdraw.

It is no surprise then that the report cites security threats, corruption, lack of reform and declining international aid as some of the most fundamental factors behind Afghanistan's fragile investment climate.

Last year, Afghanistan was ranked 182 out of 185 countries evaluated by the World Bank for investment potential.

But this year’s report saw the country drop to 183 as the number of countries evaluated expanded to 189.

Meanwhile, Singapore was labeled the top investment-friendly country in the world for the ninth consecutive year.

This year’s report applauds the international community for its contributions and support to Afghanistan over the past decade when it comes to attracting investments.

But it states that, despite the extensive cooperation, Afghanistan’s investment environment remains relatively inhospitable.

The Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA) has responded to the report, and did not dispute its findings.

“I think the reason was political instability, security problems and the Afghan elections, which were beyond the capabilities of the government offices,” AISA Chairman Wafiullah Iftikhari said.
 
The World Bank report evaluates a number of key indicators in each country, including, construction licensing, access to energy and bank loans, property registration, small business support, international trade ties and contract law.

According to the report, Afghanistan is inadequate in most of these areas.
 
“Yes, Afghanistan is a tough environment for investment, in addition to insecurity, there is a lack of access to loans and other problems, there is corruption in the municipality and other administrations,” Harakat Director Sadaf Dashti told TOLOnews.

"AISA license, that was an achievement, but its extension has turned into an obstacle, and is very expensive.”

Economic experts have said that World Bank report makes it clear Afghanistan will not be able to attract international investment anytime in the near future unless the government take initiative and implements the necessary reforms in accordance to international standards.

Nevertheless, many are optimistic about the new national unity government’s plans for the economy, after all, President Ashraf Ghani was once a top economist for the World Bank. 

Afghanistan is the worst country for investments in Asia, and the seventh worst in the entire world, according to a report recently published by the World Bank.

The report comes just as the new, more inclusive government in Kabul has made promises for reform and economic growth, but also in the wake of a tumultuous political transition and an intense summer fighting season, and just a couple months ahead of the NATO coalition withdraw.

It is no surprise then that the report cites security threats, corruption, lack of reform and declining international aid as some of the most fundamental factors behind Afghanistan's fragile investment climate.

Last year, Afghanistan was ranked 182 out of 185 countries evaluated by the World Bank for investment potential.

But this year's report saw the country drop to 183 as the number of countries evaluated expanded to 189.

Meanwhile, Singapore was labeled the top investment-friendly country in the world for the ninth consecutive year.

This year's report applauds the international community for its contributions and support to Afghanistan over the past decade when it comes to attracting investments.

But it states that, despite the extensive cooperation, Afghanistan's investment environment remains relatively inhospitable.

The Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA) has responded to the report, and did not dispute its findings.

"I think the reason was political instability, security problems and the Afghan elections, which were beyond the capabilities of the government offices," AISA Chairman Wafiullah Iftikhari said.

The World Bank report evaluates a number of key indicators in each country, including, construction licensing, access to energy and bank loans, property registration, small business support, international trade ties and contract law.

According to the report, Afghanistan is inadequate in most of these areas.

"Yes, Afghanistan is a tough environment for investment, in addition to insecurity, there is a lack of access to loans and other problems, there is corruption in the municipality and other administrations," Harakat Director Sadaf Dashti told TOLOnews.

"AISA license, that was an achievement, but its extension has turned into an obstacle, and is very expensive."

Economic experts have said that World Bank report makes it clear Afghanistan will not be able to attract international investment anytime in the near future unless the government take initiative and implements the necessary reforms in accordance to international standards.

Nevertheless, many are optimistic about the new national unity government's plans for the economy, after all, President Ashraf Ghani was once a top economist for the World Bank.

Trial Committee Faces Time Crunch on Kabul Bank Case

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 15:12



With just 14 days remaining before the expiration of President Ashraf Ghani's deadline for the Kabul Bank case to be resolved, the Supreme Court has only just assigned a five person trial committee to review the case.

Officials at the Supreme Court have indicated they will likely need more time than has been allotted by President Ghani, who ordered the Kabul Bank case be reopened within the first two weeks of his presidency back in September.

According to the court, there are up to 40 different individual cases wrapped up in the larger prosecution that the president has called for.

While some have praised Ghani for his early initiative against corruption, as well as his strict deadlines, some have warned that putting so much pressure on the judiciary could undermine the integrity of the justice served.

"Setting a deadline is not good because it increases the pressures to assess the Kabul Bank cases fast, but it is better to preserve justice," said MP Mohammad Abda, the head of Parliament's Judicial Affairs Committee.

Another factor that is likely to cause a delay in the proceedings around the Kabul Bank cases is the fact that some of the prime suspects remain on the run, even outside the country.

On Thursday, MPs stressed the importance of bringing the fugitives to justice and arresting those who were involved in the bank scandal but remain employed by the government.

"You know that some who are involved in the Kabul bank crisis presently work with the Chief Executive and President; if the government intends to fight against corruption, it should inspect the people currently working in the government," MP Muhammad Raza Khushak Watan dost said.

The Kabul Bank faced a depositor panic back in 2010 when it was revealed that over 900 million USD had been embezzled by top executives at the bank. According to the Attorney General's office, only 226 million USD has been recovered.

FARAKHABAR: 29 October 2014

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 03:09

A number of legislators have called on banning the officials of election management bodies from leaving the country as the final results of provincial councils elections face further criticism.

The MPs have called some of the commission members "opportunists," claiming that many of the provincial council candidates became victorious on the basis of political ties.

How can the government resolve the tensions pertaining the electoral bodies?

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siawish discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Raifullah Gul Afghan: One of the protesting candidates
• Assadullah Saadati: MP

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}0KFmMIVg900{/youtube}

First 100 Days: The New Government's 31st Working Day

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 03:08

First Part:

In this episode of the program, host Omid Farooq discusses the recent works of the chief and chief executive of the National Unity Government, as well as President Ashraf Ghani's recent speech at Xinhua University in Beijing on Wednesday about the importance of regional cooperation and his plans to build a thriving Afghan economy.

Syed Ismail Jahangir: Journalist

Second Part:

Agreements between Afghan and Chinese Officials

The economic and technical cooperation agreement was signed between the Afghan acting Minister of Finance Omar Zakhelwal and his Chinese counterpart.

Syed Massoud: University Lecturer

Muzammil Shinwari: Deputy Minister of Finance for Trade and industry

Third Part:

Government's Commitment to Fight Against Corruption

The one month timeframe President Ashraf Ghani gave during his inauguration to the Supreme Court to enact reforms and curtail corruption has already passed. According to the newly appointed Chief Justice Abdul Rashed Rashid, the process of change is well underway.

Fawzia Kofi: MP

To watch the program, Click here:

{youtube}ODwNVDPIGDs{/youtube}

TAWDE KHABARE: Role of Regional Countries in the Peace Process

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 02:54

What is the determining factor in the peace process between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban? What are the roles of regional countries such as Arabic states and China in the peace talks? Does Pakistan use Taliban as a tool to reach its objectives in Afghanistan?

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shahpor Bakhtiyar discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Moeen Marasyal: Political Analyst

• Ghrzai Khawkhogi: Military Analyst

• Jawed Kohistani: Military Analyst

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}mWK7RCYajeQ{/youtube}

Iran Wants Sanctions Lifted Before Nuclear Deal

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 02:43

Iran wants all Western sanctions to be lifted before striking a deal on its contested nuclear programme by a November deadline, a top official said Wednesday.

The announcement came amid intensifying efforts to conclude a definitive pact. The six powers in the talks with Iran -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, known as the P5+1 -- have set November 24 as the deadline.

The chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the US proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions was "unacceptable."

"If we want a definitive accord on November 24, there must be an immediate lifting of sanctions," he told a news conference in Paris.

A Western diplomat close to the negotiations with Iran on Monday said a firm deal by the deadline was highly unlikely, saying Tehran would have to make "significant gestures."

The aim is to close avenues towards Tehran ever developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its enrichment programme, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections.

In return, the global community would suspend and then gradually lift crippling economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.

But the two sides, despite long-running talks, remain far apart on how to reconcile their objectives.

Supreme Court Announces Special Kabul Bank Trial

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 15:18

The Afghan Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it will hold a special trial for the Kabul Bank case in the coming weeks, overriding a previous decision by an appeals court in Kabul to reject the case.

The Attorney General's office, which has spearheaded the reopening of the infamous corruption case by order of President Ashraf Ghani, turned to the highest court in the country after the appellate court said there were problems with the case.

The decision by the Supreme Court to hold a special trial was welcomed by Basir Azizi, the Attorney General's spokesman. "The special trial will speed up the case and the court has the legal authority to take action to evaluate the case," Aziz said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Supreme Court said that the Kabul Bank case, which involves a number of prominent Afghan bankers and officials along with the embezzlement of over 900 million USD, is a top priority for the Court.

"The decision we made was the result of the meetings and we have the details and I will present the details of the meetings to the president when appropriate," Chief Justice Abdul Rashid Rashid said.

President Ashraf Ghani, setting the tone for his new administration early on, gave the Attorney General's office a month and a half to get the case prosecuted. But already over three weeks have passed and a number of the men accused of involvement in the corruption scandal have not yet been arrested and no court hearing has been held.

"We hope that something will be done in the coming fifteen days, the court meetings will be held, the escapers will be arrested and the men that the ministries vouched for will be presented to the court," Basir Azizi said.

The head of the Milli Bank and the New Kabul Bank were both able to flee the country under the pretense of official leave immediately following President Ghani's decree reopening the case against them. The two men were allowed to leave the country based on guarantees provided by the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank.

The Attorney General's office has called on the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank to get the accused back to Afghanistan, but to no avail. The men have been warned that if they do not show in court, then a ruling will be issued in their absence.

TOLOnews 6pm News 29 October 2014

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 15:10

Top news in this bulletin:

The Afghan Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it will hold a special trial for the Kabul Bank case in the coming weeks, overriding a previous decision by an appeals court in Kabul to reject the case.

To watch the whole news bulletin, Click Here:

{youtube}JPgBMQSrM1E{/youtube}

A number of MPs have expressed apprehensions about the recent security situation, saying that the number of suicide attacks, explosions and rockets has increased--even in the capital--during the first month of the National Unity Government (NUG).

Afghanistan Ready to Construct Wakhan-China Road: MoPW

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 15:06

In response to President Ashraf Ghani's call for a direct land link from Afghanistan to the Republic of China, the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) has said Afghanistan is ready to coordinate with China on the construction of the road, which will follow the ancient Silk Road trading route. 

The highway will link the Xinjiang state of China with Badkhshan's Wakhan district, passing through the mountains of Guzar Wakhan through to the Anjuman Pass of Panjshir province and then on to centeral Afghanistan.

According to the MoPW, the construction will be expensive, but will be possible with China's contribution. "We are ready to construct the highway in joint effort with China," MoPW spokesman Sohail Kakar said.

Officials of Chamber of Commerce and Industries, too, stress that the road's construction will take less time considering China's technological developments.

Economists believe that the construction of Wakhan-China route will increase trade between the two countries and decrease the expenses of import and export transportation, as well as improving Afghanistan's trade relations with Europe and the rest of Asia.

The area's mountainous nature and harsh winters as well as the need to dig many tunnels are said to be some of the challenges on the way of the road's construction.