TOLO News

ELECTION 2014: Audit Deadlock

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 11:34

The audit process stopped on Saturday for a while, considering the past incidents, there are concerns that the stoppage might occur again. If the audit process stops again, what will be the consequences?

In this episode of Election 2014, host Omid Farooq discusses the topic with the following guests:

Naeem Asghari, Program Manager FEFA
Gulab Mangal, member of Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai's campaign team
Qasem Wafayezada, electoral analyst

To watch the program, click here:

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FARAKHABAR: 27 July 2014

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 06:10



Killers of 16 civilians in Ghor province were Taliban released by Government from prisons.

Officials in Ghor province have said that the Taliban commanders were in custody for terrorist activities, but after their release, these commanders have formed a group of 2,000 people.

To watch the whole program, click here:

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Killing of civilians by Taliban has raised strong criticisms from a number of provinces.
Protestors in Kabul were holding signs against the policy of government towards Taliban, asking Taliban to end its pro-Taliban policies.

First Vice President and Minister of Defense showed their disagreement with the release of Taliban earlier as well.

But why is government releasing murderers of people?

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

Jawed Kohistani - Military Affairs Analyst
Ahmad Saeedi – Political Affairs Analyst

TAKANI: Impact of Deadlock During Audit

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 05:35



These deadlocks which are becoming tiring for people are sometime merely excuses, which have been dragging the process. What are the problems in the process, campaigns or institutions, and what is the solution to it?

- Abdul Jabar Shulgari Abdullah Abdullah campaign team
- Asadullah Saadati, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai campaign team
- Najla Ayoubi, Civil Society activist

To watch the whole program, click here:
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TOLOnews 6 pm News 27 July 2014

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 16:58



As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, Kabul residents take to the streets and shop in preparation for Eid in spite of security concerns.

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The locals have asked security forces that during the celebration of Eid that security be on high alert, specifically examining the movements of vehicles meticulously.

Families of Taliban's Victims in Ghor Search for Answers

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:50

With the Eid holiday being celebrated across Afghanistan, family members of the 16 Afghans who were massacred by Taliban gunmen alongside a rural road in Ghor province last Friday have been left with unanswered questions and frustration regarding the government policies many believe led to the killings.

Muhammad Akbar, one of the men martyred on Friday, left behind a wife, five children and two elderly parents. Nek Bakht, his wife, said that her husband was not in the government or associated with any political group; he was simply a labor worker who worked from day to night to support his kids. "What can I say now, why did the Taliban kill them?" she asked.

"I want my dad, now I want the government to kill the killers of my father," said Sakina, Muhammad Akbar's seven year old daughter.

Muhammad Akbar's parents have made pleas for help now that their son - the only breadwinner in their family - is gone. "To the President, Ministry of Interior and Defense, National Directorate of Security and international community: help us, we cannot be tortured anymore," said Haji Muhammad, the father of Muhammad Akbar.

Akbar was one of 16 people who were traveling in two vans through Ghor's rural Lal and Sarjungal districts when they were stopped by Taliban militants, separated from the larger group of passengers and then mercilessly executed one-by-one. Women and children were among those killed, and all of the victims were ethnic Hazaras, a minority group long persecuted by the Taliban.

Muhammad Ibrahim lost his daughter, son-in-law, sister and two nephews. He told TOLOnews his daughter, Latifa, and her husband, Nawruz, were planning to spend the first days of their marriage at Band-Amir Lake in Bamyan province.

"It was 5:30 in the morning when I found out that the Taliban killed passengers from three vehicles in Lal and Sarjangal districts," Muhammad Ibrahim said. "When I went to the hospital, I saw the bodies of five family members - how would you feel to see the bodies of five of your own family members at once?"

For many of the family members of the victims, but also members of the general public and civil society, despair over the senseless death of those killed in the Ghor massacre has been accompanied by anger toward the government policies that many believe allowed the incident to occur. Security officials have confirmed that at least two of the men who led the slaughter were Taliban militants that had recently been released from custody by the Afghan government.

Groups of local residents and activists gathered in different parts of the country such as Kabul, Herat, Ghor and Balkh over the weekend to demonstrate in solidarity with the victims and in opposition to the Taliban and the policies they believe have empowered the insurgent group.

"Our message to the government is that if the government pays the slightest value to the rights of citizens of this country and their blood, then it must stop supporting the Taliban," civil society activist Barry Salam said.

The Ghor Governor on Saturday suggested the releasing of the two men identified as having been in the killing was a result of pressure from members of Parliament and others in the government. The Afghan government has come under a lot of fire from Afghans and foreign governments alike over the past couple years for freeing large numbers of suspected insurgents.

"They are not human, I see them as inhuman, not as an enemy," another activist named Najeeb Paikan said about the Taliban.

"If you want to do Jihad, then go to Gaza for Jihad, why turn Ghor or Paktika into Gaza?" asked Sakina Hussaini, a member of the Herat Provincial Council.

President Hamid Karzai has been one of the biggest proponents of the releases over the past year, arguing that many Afghans were arrested by foreign forces without due cause. The matter has contributed to the souring of relations between Kabul and Washington.

The Presidential Palace has reportedly assigned a committee of seven members to review and investigate the Ghor incident. And President Karzai has supposedly ordered the families of the victims to be given 100,000 AFN.

The past couple months have seen a number of devastating attacks on Afghan civilians by the Taliban. Earlier in July, a suicide bombing in Urgoon district of Paktika province left scores of dead and wounded in one of the bloodiest attacks so far in 2014. A similar attack was carried in Khuwaja Ghar district of Takhar province earlier last week even, killing six and wounding over 30 civilians.

UN Says Candidates Support Proposal

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:32

The United Nations (UN) reported that both presidential candidates signaled their support on Saturday for the UN's proposed invalidation criteria for the vote auditing process.

The UN office in Kabul said that the organization was notified by both candidates and now expects the audit process to move forward without further delay. The UN had previously submitted the proposal to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) without approval from the candidates and the commission said the auditing process would need to be put on hold until they could reach agreement.

"Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai have both told the UN that they support the UN proposal regarding the recounting and invalidation of votes," said Neelab Mubarez, a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Abdullah Abdullah's campaign team has said that they do not think the UN's proposal is sufficient and sent recommendations on how to improve the proposal. "This proposal is not a comprehensive proposal, and does not cover all angles, we have some suggestions and will send them to the UN," said Fazel Rahman Oyra, a member of Abdullah's camp.

Meanwhile, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's campaign team has said that while they continue to have some concerns regarding the UN proposal, they have accepted it in order to avoid prolonging the election process any further, which they believe would be against Afghanistan's best interests.

"One of our observations was that IEC employees were trained so that if elderly, uneducated people could not choose their favorite candidate, IEC employees could tick mark their favorite candidate," Ashraf Ghani campaign representative Daud Sultanzoy said. "Won't there be similarities between those tick marks?"

The UN proposal suggests that the invalidation of votes take place in public hearings held by the IEC and in the presence of UN representatives, the candidates' observers, international observers and the media. Abdullah has asked the UN to play a central role in the public hearings out of mistrust for the IEC's neutrality.

Afghans Prepare for Eid Despite Security Concerns

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 14:15

As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, Kabul residents take to the streets and shop in preparation for Eid in spite of security concerns.

The locals have asked security forces that during the celebration of Eid that security be on high alert, specifically examining the movements of vehicles meticulously.

Head of Kabul Security Rings pledges to the public that there will be no shortage of police working during the merriment of Eid adding that the security forces have taken necessary precautions to sustain the safety of Kabul City. Security forces have said that vehicles, in all parts of Kabul, will be thoroughly checked to prevent any sort of security threat.

"Kabul police have started searching vehicles since Saturday evening," said Commander of Kabul City Security Rings, Farhad Safi. "Since Saturday the inspections have continued and luckily, we have not faced any challenges yet."

While praising the performance of the police, Kabul residents stress that the security forces must work more to preserve the improved security.

"The police search is intensively moving forward, but all vehicles, including government vehicles must be searched as well," Muhammad Azad, a resident of Kabul, said.

Despite the security threats, with Eid right around the corner residents are concerned of the spike in prices of food and goods as per Afghan culture the homes are filled with food and gifts to share with friends and family who visit one another on a joyous occasion.

Though Eid brings happiness to the lives of people, the high prices of goods, such as food and clothes, along with security challenges have left many residents apprehensive.

The public has strongly criticized the responsible institutions and lack of government attention behind the increasing prices.

"We came to the bazaar today to buy some things, but when we saw the prices of the items we could not afford to buy what we needed," Kabul resident Fahim said.

"Prices in the market have reached its limit," another Kabul resident Wais Ahmad said. "Wherever we go there is no overseeing of the market prices, not even by the government employees. Shopkeepers are selling items at whatever prices they wish."

As news of Eid spreads, the feeling of uneasiness fills the atmosphere in concerns to security and the spike in the markets.

Afghan Cricket Team Returns Home from ODI Matches

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 12:50

The Afghan National Cricket Team returned home early Sunday after two wins and two losses in the international matches they played in the southern African nation.

The Afghan cricket team defeated Zimbabwe in their last of four one day international (ODI) matches. Afghanistan won the match with 100 runs.

The ODI was played in the Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo. Of the four games played between the two countries, Afghanistan lost the first two, but won the last two.

"We sent the cricket team to play two friendly matches in Zimbabwe to understand the talent they will face and invite them to the team," Chief Executive of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Noor Mohammad Murad said. "Those who played well would be invited to play for the team in the 2015 World Cup in Australia."

A member of the Afghan cricket team, Asghar Stanikzai, who returned from the ODI matches, said that "Zimbabwe has a permanent membership in the International Cricket Council and we beat them twice, which shows that Afghanistan's cricket has improved."

The ACB officials said the Afghan cricket team will have other friendly matches with the UEA and training in Australia in preparation for the 2015 World Cup.

Although success in cricket is relatively new for Afghanistan, the national team has received widespread support, especially since it qualified for the World Cup last fall.

Fourteen nations will take part in the 2015 World Cup. Afghanistan is expected to face teams from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Britain, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia.

ELECTION 2014: Problems in the Audit Process

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:34

In this episode of Entekhabat 93, host Omid Farooq discusses issues in the audit process with the following the guests:

• Engineer Asim, a member of Abdullah Abdullah's team
• Sediq Patman, member of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's team
• Shah Hussian Murtazawi, journalist

To watch the whole program, click here:

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Teenager Injured by Pakistan Shelling on Kunar

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 09:17

The Pakistani military have started shelling into eastern Kunar province on Saturday injuring a 13-year-old boy, local officials said on Sunday.

Kunar Police Chief, Abdul Habib Sayedkhili, said more than 10 missiles were launched in Dangam district of the province from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., one of which hit a civilian home injuring the teenager.

The missile damaged the home and left the teenager in critical condition.

Dangam district borders Pakistan and has previously been targeted by the Pakistani military.

Sayedkhili asks the Pakistani government to stop the shelling into Afghan soil.

The cross-border shelling from Pakistan and reported occasional Afghan retaliation in the past few years have dramatically increased diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Afghan Police Kills Suicide Bombers in Kandahar

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 06:45

At least six suicide bombers, one border policeman and a child were killed after suicide bombers started clashing with police near the guesthouse of southern Kandahar Police Chief in Spin Boldak district of the province early Sunday, local officials said.

Three border policemen were injured in the clash.

The clash took place at about 7:30 a.m. local time after six suicide bombers wanted to target Police Chief Gen. Abdul Razaq's guesthouse, but faced a heavily response from the police, said Ahmad Zia Durani, provincial police chief spokesman.

"One of bombers detonated his explosive near the area while the five others started the clash," Durani said. "The bombers were equipped with heavy and small weapons."

Gen. Razaq was not at his guesthouse when the insurgents attacked.

The officials said the child who is among the death was less than 10 years old.

A Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Spin Boldak district borders Pakistan and is known to be insecure and a frequently targeted area by insurgents.

Israel Extends Ceasefire, Hamas Refuses

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 06:39

Israel is extending a lull in its devastating Gaza offensive for another 24 hours but Hamas has resumed rocket fire and says no ceasefire is valid without the withdrawal of Israeli tanks.

Israel's cabinet "approved the UN request regarding a humanitarian ceasefire to run until midnight Sunday" (0700 Monday AEST), an Israeli government official told AFP on condition of anonymity late on Saturday.

However, Hamas responded in a statement that "no humanitarian ceasefire is valid without Israeli tanks withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and without residents being able to return to their homes, and ambulances carrying bodies being able to freely move around in Gaza".

Late on Saturday the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for rocket attacks on southern Israel and Tel Aviv immediately after the expiry of a 12-hour ceasefire both sides had abided by.

The attacks, which set air-raid sirens wailing throughout the country, were confirmed by the Israeli army.

The Iron Dome missile interception defences knocked some rockets out of the sky, and no casualties were reported.

Israeli artillery responded by opening fire in the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip, on positions from where the rockets were launched, an army spokeswoman told AFP.

Israel's unilateral decision to continue the ceasefire signalled a pause in its assault on Gaza, which since July 8 has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians.

Over the same period, 42 Israeli soldiers deployed into Gaza have been killed, according to the latest military toll. Three civilians in Israel also died.

The deadly confrontation spurred calls from around the world for both sides to extend the ceasefire to enable negotiations for a longer-term truce.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met European and Middle Eastern foreign ministers in Paris on Saturday to push both sides to extend the temporary cessation of hostilities.

Israel agreed to extend its ceasefire for four hours, and then announced the 24-hour prolongation to late on Sunday.

"We all call on parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire," France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in Paris after the meeting with Kerry and counterparts from Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar, as well as an EU representative.

A spokesman for the UN chief said in a statement Ban Ki-moon "urgently appeals once again to all parties to declare a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza".

During Saturday's 12-hour ceasefire, medics digging through the remains of hundreds of Gaza homes uncovered at least 147 bodies.

On the ground, Palestinian ambulances sped into Gaza neighbourhoods that have been too dangerous to enter for days.

Palestinians ventured onto Gaza's streets after the truce began, some eager to check homes they had fled, others to stock up on supplies.

In many places they found devastation: buildings levelled, and entire blocks of homes wiped out by Israeli bombardment.

In northern Beit Hanun, the hospital was badly damaged by shelling, and AFP correspondents saw the charred body of a paramedic.

There were similar scenes in Shejaiya, where stiff bodies lay on the floor of a room in one building, one caked in dried blood, all of them covered in dust.

East of southern Khan Yunis, residents hesitated to enter the Khuzaa neighbourhood, saying Israeli forces remained inside the border area.

And in nearby Bani Suheila, where 20 people were killed in a single Israeli air strike shortly before the truce began, women and children wept as they discovered their homes destroyed.

Hamas and Israel agreed to Saturday's 12-hour "humanitarian window", after Israel's security cabinet on Friday night rejected a US proposal for a seven-day truce during which the two sides would negotiate a longer-term deal.

Speaking at a news conference in Cairo with UN chief Ban after the rejection, Kerry said Israel and Hamas "still had some terminology" to agree to on a ceasefire, but added they had a "fundamental framework" on a truce.

Rights groups say about 80 percent of the casualties have been civilians. UNICEF, the UN agency for children, has said 192 children have been killed during the latest conflict so far.

TAKANI: Postponement of Audit Process

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 06:25

In this episode of Takani 93, host Zabi Sadaat talks about the postponed audit process with the following the guests:

• Tofaan Waziri, a member of Abdullah Abdullah's team
• Rahmatullah Bejhanpoor, a member of Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai's team
• Faizullah Jalal, professor at the Kabul University

To watch the whole program, click here:

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FARAKHABAR: 26 July 2014

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 05:44

Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani announced on Saturday that the audit process would be suspended until the fourth day of Eid because an agreement has not been reached between the two candidates regarding the criteria to be used for recounting and invalidating votes.

To watch the whole program, click here:

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Nuristani said that the United Nations (UN) is responsible for resolving the candidates' disputes over the audit criteria proposal and then send it to the IEC.

The UN went ahead and submitted its proposal for criteria to be used during the audit earlier this week after the candidates failed to agree on a mutually acceptable version.

The camps of both Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah have talked about submitting their own suggestions for the UN's proposal separately.

Earlier on Saturday, before the Eid delay was announced, Abdullah's team ordered a halt to the auditing process over what they claimed was the negligence of the IEC in selecting its audit staff, excluding foreign observers and failing to clarify articles 12 and 16 of the invalidation criteria.

Will these election problems end?

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

• Sardar Mohammad Rahimi, member of Abdullah Abdullah's team
• Ahmad Shah Afghanzai, member of Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai's team

TOLOnews 6 pm News 26 July 2014

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 16:35

Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani announced on Saturday that the audit process would be suspended until the fourth day of Eid because an agreement has not been reached between the two candidates regarding the criteria to be used for recounting and invalidating votes.

To watch the bulletin, click here:

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Nuristani said that the United Nations (UN) is responsible for resolving the candidates' disputes over the audit criteria proposal and then send it to the IEC. The UN went ahead and submitted its proposal for criteria to be used during the audit earlier this week after the candidates failed to agree on a mutually acceptable version.

Ghor Victims Killed by Freed Taliban Militants

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 16:22

Residents and activists from around Ghor province gathered in the capital of Ferozkhoh on Saturday to voice criticism of the government for releasing Taliban militants who they claim were involved in the mass killing of 16 civilians in Ghor earlier this week.

The Ghor Police Chief has said that the group of militants that brutally shot down the civilians was led by Qari Rahmatullah and Mullah Farooq, who were both previously released from the prison of Ghor province. Since they were freed, Ghor police claim the two men have formed a band of over 2,000 militants that are disrupting security in the province.

"Those who have killed our sisters, our brothers and our people, they were released from the Ghor prison, and now they are doing these acts, killing our people," said Police Chief General Fahim Qayem.

The demonstration on Saturday attracted people from all walks of life, but all of them were united in their despair for the victims of the massacre and frustration at the policies they believe allowed it to happen.

"Every dead body had over 100, 70 or sixty bullets, they were torn to pieces," said Muhammad Nader Ehsani, a religious scholar participating in the Ghor demonstration on Saturday. "Are they killing in the name of religion, Taliban, or Quran? Down with them."

"They are trying to disrupt national unity," civil society activist Hassan Hakimi said. "We warn them that we aware, and their violent acts cannot separate us."

The Governor of Ghor, Said Anwar Rahmati, has recognized that members of the Taliban who were previously in custody participated in the attack. He said the militants were released as a result of pressure from a number of Parliament members and the carelessness of the judiciary.

"Yes, unfortunately, these acts are carried out by Qari Rahmatullah, someone who was in prison in Ghor and released due to pressure from some members of Parliament, and poor judgment by judges," Governor Rahmati said.

A number of Taliban commanders who have been released from prison have returned to the battlefield, and outrage over their being freed has fired up with growing frequency over the past year.

President Hamid Karzai himself has been a major proponent of releasing suspected militants from custody, especially those who were arrested with the help of NATO forces. This policy has further aggravated tensions between him and the Western countries that support the Afghan government, and caused major backlash among top Afghan leaders as well.

White House Urges Pakistan to Keep Haqqani on Heels

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 15:13

The U.S. government has urged Pakistani leaders to protect gains made during counter-insturgent operations along the border region with Afghanistan over the past month and prevent the infamous Haqqani Network from entrenching itself there once again.

The report on communications between Washington and Islamabad acme from White House National Security Council member Jeffrey Eggers on Friday.

In June, the Pakistani military launched a series of operations throughout the Norther Waziristan tribal belt region that borders Afghanistan. The region is known to be a hotbed of insurgents and terrorist groups that have targeted Afghan and NATO forces across the border.

Afghan officials have been skeptical about the operations launched by Islamabad, with some suggesting they are just putting on a show to convince the international community that Pakistan does not harbor groups like the Haqqani Network, which is considered one of the largest and most sophisticated terrorist groups in the world.

"Pakistan cooperates with the Haqqani Network a lot, and Haqqani mostly targets Afghanistan; the Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF being their priorities," Kabul Police Chief Zaher Zaher said on Saturday.

In Afghanistan, the idea of insurgents and terrorists basing themselves out of Pakistan is accepted more or less as fact, which is one of the key reasons for frayed relations between the two neighbors over the years.

"The Haqqani Network is a very dangerous network, who have implemented many operations in Afghanistan over past years, but Pakistan has never done anything to destroy them," said military analyst Jawed Kohistani.

The Afghan government remains highly suspicious of Pakistani intelligence and military leaders, for the most part believing they are still in cahoots with Taliban and Haqqani leaders calling the shots for the war in Afghanistan from safe havens across the border.

Although Pakistan has maintained the operations it has carried out in Northern Waziristan effectively eliminated much of the terrorist threat in the region, experts in Kabul have argued otherwise.

Audit Process Postponed Until Fourth Day of Eid

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 15:06

Independent Election Commission (IEC) Chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani announced on Saturday that the audit process would be suspended until the fourth day of Eid because an agreement has not been reached between the two candidates regarding the criteria to be used for recounting and invalidating votes.

Nuristani said that the United Nations (UN) is responsible for resolving the candidates' disputes over the audit criteria proposal and then send it to the IEC. The UN went ahead and submitted its proposal for criteria to be used during the audit earlier this week after the candidates failed to agree on a mutually acceptable version.

The camps of both Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah have talked about submitting their own suggestions for the UN's proposal separately.

Earlier on Saturday, before the Eid delay was announced, Abdullah's team ordered a halt to the auditing process over what they claimed was the negligence of the IEC in selecting its audit staff, excluding foreign observers and failing to clarify articles 12 and 16 of the invalidation criteria.

"The 12th article talks about the similar markings, but we don't know how many similar markings we will find in a bundle of 50, to make us question the ballot box," explained Aman, a member of Abdullah's campaign. "The 16th article states that the ballots of each candidate should be compared to the first round of the elections, which means it is the responsibility of the IEC to provide the ballots from the first round of elections," he added.

For Abdullah, who caused a stir in the election process originally back in June when he accused election officials and President Hamid Karzai of engineering fraud in favor of his opponent, the importance of foreign oversight of the auditing process could not be overstated. However, for Ashraf Ghani's team, moving the process forward quickly seems to be the top priority.

"Whether foreign observers are there or not, we want the process to continue," said Said Sadat Naderi, an audit observer representing Ashraf Ghani.

Nuristani appeared in a press conference right afterward to announce the delay in the auditing process in light of the campaigns disagreements. "The IEC Commissioners decided to stop the process until both candidates have reached an agreement," Nuristani said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) claims that both candidates have agreed to the UN proposal despite their having some concerns. UNAMA submitted the proposal to the IEC and urged the commission to approve it and implement it right away.

"The proposal is acceptable to us, but first both candidates need to accept it, we don't have any problem," Nuristani said.

The current runoff process has seen one delay after another, having dragged out for over a month now and still far from over. Yet many experts see the auditing criteria as a tool for future elections as well, so the painstaking process of approving is possibly a longterm investment.

Mother Raped After Son Runs Away with Girl

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 14:49

Last week, an Afghan boy and girl ran away from their homes in the ninth district of Kabul resulting in the girl's father and relatives attacking the boy's home and raping his mother.

Relatives of the rape victim said the incident took place when Wahab, the boy, fled with a girl who resided with her family in Qala-e-Ali Mardan in Kabul.

Kabul Police Chief Gen. Zahir Zahir confirmed the unpleasant incident and said that the police have begun investigating the case to bring the criminals to justice.

"According to what the victim said, the rape resulted in the escape of the boy and girl," Gen. Zahir said. "The perpetrator has escaped, but we are working diligently to bring justice to the case."

But according to the police commander of Kabul's ninth district, he told TOLOnews that nothing occurred in the area.

The mother of Wahab is now in the province of Laghman after the attack.
The Independent Human Rights Commission said they have not officially received any complaints in regards to the case, but have asked that justice be served.

"This is a serious case," said Head of the Media Office for the Independent Human Rights Commission, Rafiullah Bedar. "The girl's family beat and raped the boy's mother, this is a crime."

Domestic violence and forced marriages are some of the main factors that young Afghan boys and girls run away from home.

Presidential Candidates Support UN Proposal

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 11:11

Both presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani-Ahmadzai have showed to the United Nations (UN) that they support the Independent Election Commission (IEC) implementing UN's proposition on the recount and invalidation of ballots, according to a statement released on Saturday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The UN proposed the criteria to the IEC on Thursday July 24 upon an agreement by both candidates.

The statement read, "both candidates indicated to the UN that they had their own respective concerns with the proposal, but were prepared to process with it as a good faith effort based on international best practice to bridge their positions."

According to the UN, both Abdullah and Ghani-Ahmadzai conveyed that the monitoring structure should be finalized in the interest of the nation.

The UN welcomes, as stated, "the statesmanship shown by the candidates in coming to this difficult decision as well as the sincere engagement by their technical teams in preparation of the UN proposal."

The UN now asks the IEC board to recognize this legal step and to push the momentum of the audit process forward so that the next steps of the election process can begin.