TOLO News

Shaheen Asmayee Beat Toofan Harirod 3-0

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 16:46

Shaheen Asmayee on Thursday beat Toofan Harirod 3-0 in their second match in the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) tournament.

The first goal was scored by Hashmatullah Barikzai of Shaheen Asmayee in the 12th minute of the match.

Toofan Harirod tried hard to compensate but was not able to succeed.

The first half of the match ended 1-0 in favor of Shaheen Asmayee although numerous strikes for the net were made by both sides.

In the 68th minute, Reza Allahyari scored the second goal for Shaheen Asmyaee. The third goal came soon after the second, and hit the net in the 70th minute. It was scored by Naimi.

Mueen Hamidi the Toofan Harirod coach said: "The teams are highly prepared for the matches. We have witnessed interesting play by the teams. It cannot be predicted that who will win the title because all the teams are playing very well."

Shaheen Asmayee's coach, Sayed Bashir Sadat said: "The eight teams are the best teams this year and it is visible. The level of the matches have highly improved."

Shaheen's Hashmatullah Barekzai said: "We came out on top because we played as a united team with good coordination."

Mawj Hai Amu will play Oqaban Hindukush in the next match of the premier league.

TOLOnews 6pm News 03 September 2015

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 16:42

Top news in this Bulletin:

Former President Hamid Karzai played open cards in an interview with TOLOnews and spoke of his support of the National Unity Government, the war in Afghanistan, the Bilateral Security Agreement and what he called the US's duel policy towards Pakistan and terrorists. He also said however that he was sure the country could pull together and achieve peace and stability by 2020.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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 Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially inaugurated the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) on Thursday in Kabul with the participation of delegates from 30 countries and representatives from almost 40 organizations.

Karzai Hopeful For A Better Future

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 16:29

Former President Hamid Karzai played open cards in an interview with TOLOnews and spoke of his support of the National Unity Government, the war in Afghanistan, the Bilateral Security Agreement and what he called the US's duel policy towards Pakistan and terrorists. He also said however that he was sure the country could pull together and achieve peace and stability by 2020.

Asked by Black and White host Sami Mahdi, about whether he had ever been offered a bribe – Karzai said he had. However, the bribe had been made by foreigners, he said adding that he had not accepted it.

Speaking frankly on the challenges he faced while in office, on mistakes made and on his achievements, he said the most difficult decision of all had been on whether to sign the BSA with the United States.

But on the subject of the National Unity Government (NUG) Karzai said President Ashraf Ghani had been his choice for president in the run up to the 2014 elections.

"As the former president of Afghanistan I should be cautious in commenting about the current president. My words should be in support of the government. I deem it my responsibility to support the government of Afghanistan and I should be with them. I will do anything to bring a positive environment to the country," he added.

Asked pointedly about whether he is looking to bring down the current government, he said that he has no such intention.

"We left the government. We could continue if we wanted. Foreigners told me several times to continue. The condition was part of the BSA. I rejected the suggestion. I considered both the BSA and the continuation of my government against the interests of Afghanistan. They are not in favor of the country."

But, he said peace will never come to Afghanistan if the politics of the country do not change.

On whether he planned to form an opposition party, he said that was not on the cards. "I don't have talent in this regard, but I do have talent in uniting people and supporting unity among them."

On the subject of intelligence sharing between Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), he said that he was against the ideal. He said he felt it was not in the national interests of the country.

"We told them that it was against the interests of Afghanistan and it should be canceled and such a thing should not be repeated in future," he said.

According to reports, Karzai traveled to Pakistan more than 20 times during his presidency, but none of these trips proved fruitful.

When asked what Afghanistan should do with Pakistan, he said: "We want friendship with the nation of Pakistan - which is a brother and dear nation for us. We have a friendship with Pakistan's politicians and they hope for improvement in Afghanistan. But as much as the Pakistan nation is a friend, their intelligence agency is in the service of big powers and it is them that have oppressed Afghanistan to pursue their own goals. We hope that they have changed. We don't have enmity with them. We want them to change. We want improvements."

"They wanted us to recognize the Durand Line as an international border. We told them it is not possible. They wanted us to cut down on our relations with India. But we will never accept it," he added.

"Afghanistan should talk with Pakistan from an independent and dignified position; not from a weak stance," he said.

When asked about relations between the U.S and Pakistan he pointed out that the two countries had a long-standing friendship – one that has spanned 60 years.

According to him, he does not understand the U.S's interest in Afghanistan and said he has not been able to figure it out.

"I hoped we could find out what it is. But we couldn't. We have a number of doubts. We shared these with the U.S nine years ago. Our message to the US was and is that the US has stepped into this region for chasing its super power aims. Afghanistan as a vulnerable and weak country doesn't have the ability to fight it. The U.S should not undermine the interests of this nation while chasing its goals."

He said: "The war in Afghanistan is a war for strangers' interests ... The war on terror is going on for the past 13 years but terrorism has increased not only in Afghanistan but also in other countries."

When asked whether he considers the US a friend or foe he said: "America is a big country in the world. We want friendship with American people and we thank them for their help. But our view differs about the acts of the U.S government. We criticize their duel policy and we want a clear policy – a policy which guarantees the interests of Afghanistan and our interests are improvement and security in this country."

He said the first time the U.S suggested he sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) was in 2012. However, it was only later that the Afghan government started looking at the accord in detail.

He said a lot of political dealings went on during his 13 years at the helm. "What I heard from them was that they told me in 2013 to bring our foreign policy – particularly towards India – under the control of Pakistan. Another thing that I asked them was that if a bomb hits Kabul or any other provinces of Afghanistan and kills children and women; is it terrorism? They told me that it is not terrorism. They said terrorism is considered when the US's interests are under threat. Again I asked them what if Pakistan sends 3,000 forces to attack Paktia province in Afghanistan? They told me that it is an issue between you and Pakistan."

He said such comments resulted in him not signing the BSA, on the grounds that he hoped the U.S would first guarantee peace in Afghanistan and make its policy clear on Pakistan and terrorism.

On the issue of Daesh in Afghanistan, Karzai said the group was a complete foreign phenomenon in the country and that without the support of foreigners it will not grow. "This group has been established by foreigners but it is too soon to say which foreigners are behind it," he maintained.

Again the issue of the BSA was raised when he was asked what was the most difficult decision he had to make during his time in office. He said it was that of whether to sign the BSA or not.

"We took lots of decisions. Some of them were very difficult for us to decide. One of the most difficult decisions for us was that of signing of the BSA with the U.S. After two years of assessment of this agreement, we reached a point that the agreement should not be signed until the U.S committed to bringing peace to Afghanistan. It was a difficult decision."

"The U.S side tried a lot and warned us that it will cut its aid to the country and so on. But on the other hand, the primary interest for the people of Afghanistan was peace and security. Balancing the two was very difficult."

About his biggest mistake in office, he said he felt the decision to have a free market economy was one of the biggest mistakes made during his presidency. "I think we went towards a free market economy in too much of a hurry as it was what the West wanted. It was our biggest mistake."

He said there are three things he did during his presidency that he is proud of. "There are three things. It is that Afghanistan once again was changed into the home for all of its people, education returned for Afghanistan, and freedom of media was initiated. These are my successes and I am very happy about them."

On the issue of infrastructural projects, he said during his term of office he appealed to the international community for three things – roads, dams and locally produced electricity. "They accepted the first one – roads construction – which they needed to travel on but rejected the others. The only country that helped us in infrastructural projects was India. Work on some other power dams like Machalgho and others were started from Afghanistan's budget."

He touched on the electoral process and said a transparent election is only possible when there is no interference by foreigners. "The only thing that affects Afghanistan is the interference from abroad. We should try to hold elections using our own budget in order to witness a transparent and free poll," he said.

However, Karzai has been blamed for leaving in his wake a corrupt administration. He however rejected such claims. "There was no administration, no facilities and no organization in place [when he came to power]. Creating an administration is not an easy task. We put the foundation stones for all these," he added.

He said that the U.S had confessed to him that they lied to Afghanistan. He said a lot that was promised in the form of aid was never forthcoming. In addition, they had wanted him to form a temporary government, he said adding that he had rejected this.

He did however, say he hoped the new government stayed in power and completed its four years. "We should try to help them complete the term. Afghanistan should not be a laboratory – neither for Afghans' nor for foreigners' goals."

"I will urge them to come to the country and build it even if they are bad."

On a more positive note he said he believed that if the nation comes together, by 2020 Afghanistan could be free from war.

"The day when we held the oath taking ceremony for the new president was the happiest day for me. I felt very calm and felt that I was successful. And I felt that Afghanistan was moving towards fundamental democracy."

RECCA Summit An Opportunity for Regional Cooperation

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 16:01

Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially inaugurated the 6th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) on Thursday in Kabul with the participation of delegates from 30 countries and representatives from almost 40 organizations.

According to the MoFA officials, the summit's agenda focusses on discussions around Afghanistan's economic projects, transit and trade cooperation, customs systems, employing of Afghan workers in Gulf countries, connecting Afghanistan with regional countries and ways to find alternate transit routes.

Afghan officials say RECCA is critical in bolstering regional cooperation and will help attract investment for Afghanistan's economic infrastructural development such as that of energy production, rail networks and transportation sectors.

Referring to RECCA's impact on Afghanistan's economic situation, officials from Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA) said that such meetings play a key role in strengthening Afghanistan's reputation among its partners, adding that discussions were also conducted on the establishment of a permanent monitoring office for regional economic cooperation.

"Along with the government, it is quite significant to have the role of the private sector contributing in different economic projects on a regional level, this could lead to the enhancement of investment in various countries," AISA chief Qurban Haqjo said.

"The future of Afghanistan and our regional partners in terms of economic prosperity have direct links to transit, trade and extended economic cooperation. Inclusive economic strategies are supposed to ensure sustainable growth in Afghanistan and the region," Minister of Economy Abdul Sattar Murad said.

Rehabilitation of the ancient Silk Road, the implementation of the TAPI project, the establishment of five rail corridors between five regional countries, the implementation of several gas pipeline projects between central Asian and south Asian countries, the establishment of Lahjaward Road and the further expansion of investment by the private sector among regional countries was among the key topics upon which the RECCA attendees focused on in the first day of the meeting.

Representatives of the private sector emphasized that a greater role by the private sector in regional economic activities was needed.

"Besides implementing the proejcts for imported energy, we are also trying to work on other opportunities that exist in the country for energy production," head of Da Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (DABS) Abdul Razaq Samadi said.

RECCA Deemed Highly Important For Afghanistan

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 15:51

A number of analysts discussed details of Afghanistan's economic plans and projects at a gathering in Kabul on Thursday on the sidelines of the 6th Regional Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA).

"The gathering was aimed at practicing the decisions made by ministers in RECCA," head of Strategic Studies Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Faramarz Tamana told TOLOnews.

"Researchers and scholars, who are attending RECCA from different countries, will share their ideas about economic cooperation, economic projects in Afghanistan and the economic plans for the country. The results of the studies will be handed over to the Afghan government," he added.

The Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Daud Shah Sabah said all important economic issues will be discussed at the summit.

"From trade to energy – power and fuel – to multilateral economic agreements and the Silk Road are the main issues that will be talked about at the RECCA summit," he said.

Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan, Mahmoud Saiqal termed the RECCA summit as highly important for Afghanistan, and said: "The process will help strengthen coordination among different players in the region – particularly about Afghanistan."

He added: "Afghanistan's big projects need coordination. For instance the TAPI pipeline project."

It is believed that Afghanistan is in need of regional economic cooperation more than at any other time, and the summit seems to be a good opportunity in this regard, analysts said.

Europe's NATO Commander Promises Military Hardware

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 15:43

NATO's Allied Commander for Europe General Philip Breedlove said on Thursday that Afghan security forces, both ground and air, will be provided with more military hardware to fight the Taliban and Daesh.

Speaking during a two-day visit to Afghanistan, Breedlove said that NATO will never forget Afghanistan and that the Taliban has to end its campaign of violence.

Breedlove meanwhile considers Daesh a serious threat and expressed his concern over the spread of the group in parts of Afghanistan and stated that the Afghan forces will receive more equipment in order to help secure Afghanistan.

According to Breedlove, NATO assessments show that Taliban attacks have decreased by up to 20 per cent in the past few months. He said that about eight percent of land mine explosions had been foiled but that a large sector of society, both military and civilian, were victims of landmines blasts.

Breedlove believes that the Taliban is no longer able to continue the violence against the Afghan people and it is possible that the death of Mullah Omar will create further differences among group members.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Breedlove said that "we all see the loss of the Taliban leader as an opportunity and as you all see as well as I, there have been struggles inside the Taliban and again that opens up opportunities, clearly also sometimes when an organization loses a leader, the new leadership comes in with a lot of energy to try to show that they are in charge and they are moving out and that they are making a difference and this may also affect what happens on the battle field," Breedlove said.

The general spoke about his time with Afghan and U.S officials and he said that during his trip he visited southern and northern parts of the country. He praised the Afghan security forces' performance and stated that Afghan troops, especially in the air sector, were performing well.

According to Breedlove the Taliban are still a serious threat to Afghanistan and efforts should be continued to eliminate Daesh.

"Clearly we are concerned about ISIL (Daesh), I think the leadership of this nation is concerned about ISIL, it is an emerging capability, it is not the powerful capability that it is in other parts of the world, but we are concerned about it and its presence - what it means," said Breedlove.

However he did not comment on his country's recent criticism over Pakistan in what they see as their failure to combat terrorism. He said that the only way to succeed in the fight against terrorists and achieve positive results in peace talks are if Kabul and Islamabad cooperate with each other.

Breedlove said that NATO officials in Afghanistan and Belgium will reassess the situation at the end of the fighting season – which will coincide with the onset of winter.

"We completely support both the president and CEO's path forward here, we applaud the effort to try to bring the sides together [with peace talks] so that they can approach this in a single way, because again that is the way this has to be resolved," Breedlove added.

Breedlove said that during his visit to Afghanistan he witnessed good progress and while visiting Maiwand 215 corps and the German military base in Mazar-e-Sharif he witnessed positive changes that had taken place recently.

SOM Conference to Review Donor Commitment

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 14:38

Afghan Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi on Thursday announced that delegates from 60 countries and donor groups are expected to attend a key meeting on Afghanistan - known as the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) - to discuss commitments made by the international community toward Afghanistan at previous conferences.

The delegates will attend the meeting in Kabul on Saturday, Hakimi told TOLOnews on Thursday.

He said that SOM will also focus on promises made by the Afghan government to donors and international community.

According to Hakimi, the Afghan officials will brief SOM delegates on a number of key achievements the country has made to date such as the fight against corruption, good governance and strengthening of human rights.

Referring to the performance of the National Unity Government (NUG) over the past year, Hakimi expressed satisfaction over the attainments made by the current administration and said that the NUG has managed to make some gains in various spheres such as that of corruption, considering reforms in various fields, economic development and promoting human rights.

"I acknowledge that some work has been done, but we have not been able to inform the people about this. But several initiatives have been done and the international community is fully aware of it and we do not have a problem to tell the world about it. Because the international community is aware, but we didn't get the opportunity to inform the people," he said.

Hakimi has however defended the NUG's performance - at a time when civil society activists and economic analysts have criticized the NUG over its poor performance since it was formed a year ago.

"There are some achievements in the political sphere, reforms and strengthening civic institutions and women's contributions, however there has been a roll-back in the economic development process and at curbing the scale of corruption," civil society activist Bari Salam said.

Hakimi also touched on speculation that Afghanistan will continue to face economic and political downturns after the drawdown of foreign forces from the country at the end of last year and that Afghanistan, by adopting a positive stance has managed to prove otherwise.

"Afghanistan's economy is on the move toward self-reliance despite predictions by some countries of a possible economic recession and lapse in security. But we came out of this exam successful and now we are on the right track toward economic stability by keeping in mind our economic standards," Hakimi added.

But some analysts rejected these upbeat claims and said some sectors were deteriorating.

"The security situation is fragile and corruption has not been fought effectively and there has not been enough reforms while the human right situation is also deteriorating. This indicates government's failure in fulfilling its promises," economic analyst Sardar Ahmad Rahimi said.

Fighting corruption and economic development was two of the NUG leaders promises at the London summit. Experts believe that the government has failed to fulfill both these obligations.‎

At the Tokyo summit on Afghanistan in 2012, donors and Afghanistan's key partners pledged to provide a financial package worth $16 billion USD to ensure political stability and development programs. However, the international community attached a number of conditions to the aid in a bid to get the Afghan government to effect comprehensive reforms, good governance practices and to combat corruption.

The Tokyo summit was then followed up by one in London last year in which the global community reaffirmed their long term economic and political commitments to the war-ravaged nation. However world leaders again urged the Afghan government to go through the process of reforms, fight corruption and implement good governance.

Afghanistan's U-19s Win Asian Premier League Title

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 14:27

The Afghanistan under-19 cricket squad won the Asian Premier League U-19 championship title after defeating Malaysia in their last match on Thursday.

The match started off with Malaysia batting first to set the target of 106 runs in 50 overs. The Afghan side reached the target in only the 23rd over and clinched the championship league title.

The Asian Premiere League, which kicked off on August 28 in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, ended on Thursday. Afghanistan won the title after a clean run of no losses in the tournament.

"We have planned two international trips for U-19 squad. The first trip will be to Sri Lanka and the second to India where they will play the U-19 cricket teams of India, England and South Africa," said Shafiqullah Stanikzai, Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).

Afghanistan beat Kuwait, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Malaysia U-19 cricket teams during this tournament.

Afghanistan U-19 cricket team is ranked seventh among 120 world countries.

BLACK AND WHITE: Ex-President Karzai On His Presidential Journey

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 11:07

In this episode of Black and White, former president Hamid Karzai talks about his presidential journey, the relations with Pakistan and other world countries, the achievements, the mistakes and many more.

To watch the whole program, click here:

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RECCA Summit Launches In Kabul

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 06:46

Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) officially launched the sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) on Thursday in Kabul with deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai formerly welcoming delegates.

Ministers from 30 countries and representatives from at least 40 international organizations are attending the two-day summit.

MoFA officials said the main topics of discussion over the two days will include economic projects, transit and trade cooperation, customs systems, employing of Afghan workers in Gulf countries, connecting Afghanistan with regional countries and an alternate transit route.

Karzai said on Thursday that in addition to mapping out the way forward, delegates will also revisit commitments made at the previous RECCA Summit, that was held in Dushanbe, in Tajikistan, in 2012.

The deputy minister went on to say that delegates will in the next two days also look at finding solutions for challenges that lie ahead.

He said the summit was critical for the region in terms of economic growth and development, adding that he hopes the work done during the next two days will be followed through and implemented.

He assured delegates that Afghanistan was committed to working with the countries in the region.

In turn, Sattar Murad, the Minister of Economy, also welcomed the delegates and in his speech said that Afghanistan currently needs assistance from foreign countries.

He said that although Afghanistan was working hard at increasing government's revenue, the economy is struggling. He said one of government's main areas of concern is that of the weak Afghan currency.

He said the country needs sound economic policies – policies that can also help generate revenue through production and industrialization.

Murad said that among the main goals of RECCA will be to draw up strategies for the near future and to see that they are implemented

Murad also raised the issue of customs and said that this sector needs to be addressed.

Another focal area of the summit will be that of railway links, says Murad adding that the issue of the Chabahar port, between Iran and Afghanistan, will also come under the spotlight.

Since 2005, RECCA has provided a forum for regional engagement on economic cooperation. Critical to its success has been keeping pace with global, regional, and domestic economic shifts, and providing a platform for regional and donor
governments for a more coordinated investment framework, while also availing itself of emerging investment opportunities, including for the private sector.

Since its establishment, over the past decade RECCA has worked to:

• Facilitate implementation of a select number of high impact regional economic cooperation investment projects;
• Maximize inter-regional trade, including with and through Afghanistan;
• Identify a series of economic policy priorities;
• Create a regional energy market;
• Facilitate trade and transit routes;
• Harmonize customs and borders routines; and,
• Expand markets and market access for public and private investors.

Three Police Join Taliban in Baghlan

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 06:35

At least three policemen joined Taliban insurgents in Baghlan province on Wednesday night, a source told TOLOnews.

According to the source the policemen took their weapons with them and crossed over to the Taliban in Alaoddin area of central Baghlan district of Baghlan province.

The identity of the policemen is not yet known.

Taliban has yet to comment on the incident.

TOLOnews 10pm News 02 August 2015

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 06:22

Top news in this Bulletin:

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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Pakistan's national security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, is expected to visit Afghanistan amid strained relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

Migrant Child's Body On Beach Shocks Europe

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 04:28

A photograph of a toddler's lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach after a migrant boat sank swept across Europe on Wednesday, in a poignant image of the refugee crisis.

The images showed the little boy lying face down in the sand near Bodrum, one of Turkey's prime tourist resorts, before he was picked up by a police officer in photographs taken by the Dogan news agency.

The hashtag "#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik" ("Humanity washed ashore") made it to Twitter's top world trending topics after the image was widely shared.

The bleak image made the front page of almost all of Britain's major newspapers, including some that had previously taken a hard line on the migrant crisis.

"Tiny victim of a human catastrophe" was the Daily Mail's headline, along with a photo covering almost all of its front page.

"Unbearable" said The Mirror.

"If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?" asked The Independent in an editorial which was headlined: "Somebody's child."

The paper immediately launched a petition demanding Britain accept "its fair share of refugees" which gained 10,000 signatures in hours.

London has come in for criticism over the number of refugees it has accepted which is lower than other EU countries in proportion to its population.

The Sun, which caused outcry earlier this year when it published a column comparing migrants to "cockroaches", used its front page to urged Prime Minister David Cameron to act.

"It's life and death," read the front page.

"Today The Sun urges David Cameron to help those in a life-and-death struggle not of their own making."

- 'The drowning of Europe' -

The image, which spread like wildfire on social media, also appeared on the websites of Spain's El Pais, El Mundo and El Periodico, which dubbed the image: "The drowning of Europe".

In Italy, La Repubblica tweeted the picture with the words: "One photo to silence the world."

The image also dominated the front pages of Sweden's main newspapers, with the headline in the Dagens Nyheter reading: "The refugee picture which shook the world."

Speaking to AFP, a Turkish rescue worker identified the boy as Aylan Kurdi. Media reports said he was three-years-old.

He was believed to be one of at least 12 Syrian migrants who died trying to reach Greece when their boats sank in Turkish waters.

The Turkish coastguard said two boats had sunk after separately setting off from Turkey's Bodrum peninsula for the Greek Aegean island of Kos early Wednesday. Among the dead were five children and a woman.

Another 15 people were rescued and the coastguard, backed by helicopters, was continuing its search for three more who were still missing, a statement said.

The rescue worker said the toddler from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane. Residents there had last year fled to Turkey year to escape violence by Islamic State (IS) extremists.

Over the last week, there has been a dramatic spike in the numbers of migrants -- mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa -- seeking to leave Turkey by sea for Greece in the hope of finding new lives in the European Union.

This week, the Turkish government said the coastguard had rescued over 42,000 migrants in the Aegean Sea in the first five months of 2015 and more than 2,160 in the last week alone.

A coastguard official told AFP around 100 people had been rescued by Turkish rescue teams overnight as they tried to reach Kos.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR says more than 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year.

Migrants, many of whom have paid over $1,000 to smugglers for the risky passage, are taking advantage of the calm summer weather which makes this the best time for the crossing.

MHEWAR: Head Of Airfield Handover Gives Insight Into Project

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 19:22

In this episode of Mehwar, ex-lawmaker Daoud Sultanzoy, who has been appointed as head of the commission overseeing the project for government, speaks about matters relating to the handover of eight military airfields to the Afghan government.

To watch the program, click here:

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MEHWAR: Eight Military Airfields Being Handed Over To Govt

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 19:22

In this episode of Mehwar Daoud Sultanzoy Senior Advisor to the President speaks about hand over of eight military Airfields to Afghan government.

To watch the program, click here:

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GOFTMAN: Reviewing the Economy Since Formation of NUG

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 19:16

In this episode of Goftman host Haris Jamalzad discusses the economic status of the average Afghan since the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) with the following guests:

Amin Farhang, former commerce minister
Sayed Massoud, university lecturer
Dr. Noor Agha Roen, economic expert
Ahmad Zia Rafat, university lecturer

To watch the program, click here:

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FARAKHABAR: Sartaj Aziz to Visit Kabul, Ease Tensions

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 19:04

Pakistan's national security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, is expected to visit Afghanistan amid strained relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

Besides attending the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) summit which will start on Thursday, the Pakistani diplomat is said to help improve the relations between the two neighboring countries, Pakistani media outlets said Wednesday.

The relations were soured following a spate of attacks in Kabul which the Afghan intelligence sources blamed on Pakistan.

Meanwhile, officials at the Afghan Presidential Palace said Afghanistan has delivered solid evidence to the Pakistani government that clearly proved bases of insurgent networks in that country.

Recently, the U.S National Security Advisor, Susan Elizabeth Rice, in her visit to Islamabad called on Pakistan to stop terrorist networks from carrying out attacks on Afghanistan from within their borders.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siavash discusses the topic with the following guest,

Ghulam Hussain Nasiri, MP

Bismillah Sher, leader of the Wefaq Millie Party (WMP)

To watch the program, click here:

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TOLOnews 6pm News 02 September 2015

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 17:08

Top news in this Bulletin:

Religious scholars on Wednesday urged President Ashraf Ghani to start the anti-corruption fight from within the Presidential Palace.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

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The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

Afghan Women Call For Action

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 17:07

Afghan women on Wednesday gathering in Kabul and called for government to provide them with a secure living environment.

Under the theme of "Legal strategies to prevent sexual harassment of women" the women urged the National Unity Government (NUG) to take a stand against sexual harassment in government and non-government organizations.
They also called on government to create national strategies against the harassment of women and girls.

Among their concerns is that they are not only vulnerable in society but also do not have a safe working environment.

Zarqa Yaftali, Executive Manager of Women and Children Legal Foundation said that the investigation they have conducted in this regard shows that most women and children have said that due to a lack of a legal reference they have no recourse in this respect.

"These women said that there is no legal reference and nowhere to register our complaints in this regard," said Yaftali.

Fawzia Kofi, an Afghan lawmaker said that harassment of women and ignoring women has become a culture and as such women demand a commitment to improve their situation.

"If a problem is ‎known in the community as a real problem, this requires that we should find a solution to the problem and that solution must be comprehensive," said Kofi.

"According to our investigations on the basis of our daily experiences that so far have taken place ... the issue of harassment and ignoring women and gender insulting under the name of women has been changed in to a culture," Kofi added.

"The measures that the NUG has regarding women and youth are very serious measures but the implementation of the measures but are time consuming. We must be sure that the works regarding this issue will be done," said Habiba Wahaj Second Vice President Advisor on Women and Children.‎

Women said that if the government does not take action on the issue, the future for women in the country will be bleak.

Kabul To Host SOM Conference Next Week

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 17:06

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

The Afghan National Unity Government (NUG) is expected to present reports regarding commitments made during the Tokyo and London summits.

At the London summit the NUG leaders presented a reform plan to the international community regarding areas of good governance, fighting corruption, security, supporting women and children rights and the growth of the economy.

Bringing reforms and supporting human rights - especially that of women and children rights - were the commitments of the NUG leaders but whether the government has ‎recording many achievements in this field will be revealed at Saturday's SOM meeting.

"The promises that were given are not addressed, no attention paid to ensure human rights. The human rights commission itself needs reforms and has lots of problems. Regarding fighting corruption no action has been taken, appointment of non-professionals in the professional posts has prepared more grounds for corruption," said Shahla Farid a university lecturer.

"The President promised to fight corruption but he couldn't and Kabul Bank case is still not finished and not solved, land mafia still exists and administrative system is not reformed," Farid added.

Fighting corruption and economic development was two of the NUG leaders promises at the London summit, experts believe that the government has failed to fulfill these obligations.‎

"There is no doubt that the security forces have honestly defended the independence and territory of the country but corruption and mismanagement in the institutions and lack of attention to the security forces has been problematic and has led to increased problems in Afghanistan, The government failed to make good use of the capacity of the armed forces and bring good cooperation among the forces," said Jawed Kohistani military analyst.

After the Tokyo summit which was held in 2012 the international community committed aid worth $16 billion dollars for stability and development of Afghanistan. Conditions were that if the Afghan government brings reforms aid will be increased.

After the Tokyo summit came the London summit which was held last year and the international community repeated its pledge of aid for Afghanistan. However the international community once again emphasized that good governance, fighting corruption, providing security and also government support of women and children rights in Afghanistan was imperative.