Friday, 30 September 2016

Visit Afghanistan - Tourist Guide | Touristic Places: Getting to Know Afghanistan's Huge New National Pa...: Getting to Know Afghanistan

Доходы Афганистана от туризма составляют около $15 млн. в год

Министерство культуры ИРА заявило, что туризм приносит Афганистану около $15,000,000 в год. Несмотря на то, что приток туристов в текущем году снизился на 5,6%, ежегодно Афганистан посещает порядка 19 тыс. человек. В основном они посещают около 150 туристических достопримечательностей в 9 афганских провинциях.
CREDIT: https://www.facebook.com/beautifyafghanistan
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Procurement Law of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Public Procurement Reform is an integral part of governance reform agenda for National Unity Government under leadership of H.E. the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, mainly in order to bring in a transparent and efficient procurement system enabled to obtain higher value for money in government purchasing. As starting point in procurement reform work, revision and revamping of procurement legal framework was an immediate task to be undertaken in order to formalize reform initiatives and minimize corruption prone areas in procurement proceedings.
Pursuant to the provision of sub clause (4) of Article (75) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Procurement Law was revised, and new amendments were ratified by H.E President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan through legislative decree no. (75) Dated October 7, 2015. The enacted Law aims to achieve the following objectives:
  • Organize procurement of goods, works, and services required by Procuring entities
  • Ensuring transparency in procurement proceedings;
  • [to have] Effective control of financial affairs and public expenditure;
  • Ensuring economy [best value for money] in the procurement of goods, works and services;
  • Providing equal tendering opportunities for participation to all eligible bidders in procurement proceedings.
The Afghanistan Procurement Law includes eight Chapters and 67 Articles, and shall be applied in all procurement proceedings by all budgetary units and in procurement of entities financed by public funds.


NB: The Afghanistan Procurement Law in English language is not yet availble, but it will be available soon on the website of Afghanistan National Procurement Authority (NPA) for downloading.

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Che cosa significa insegnare a Kabul
Hanno situazioni difficili alle spalle, ma gli studenti afghani 
dell'accademia hanno la stessa voglia ed entusiasmo 
dei loro coetanei occidentali
by Selene Biffi

Sempre entusiasti, attenti e intenti ad imparare, i ragazzi di The Qessa Academy non sembrano molto diversi dai loro coetanei di altri Paesi.

Li senti spesso parlare dei loro sogni sogni, di musica e dei film di Bollywood, e per un momento ti scordi di essere a Kabul.

Per un momento soltanto, però.

Nonostante la loro giovane età infatti – sono ragazze e ragazzi tra i 18 e i 25 anni – hanno vissuti difficili ed esperienze dolorose alle spalle. C’è chi è appena arrivata in città e vive in una casa protetta con la madre, per sfuggire alle violenze dei parenti. Alcuni hanno perso un genitore a causa della guerra. Altri si ritrovano con 22 persone in famiglia, e fanno quello che possono per sbarcare il lunario e dare una mano.

Molti di loro vorrebbero studiare per diventare medico o ingegnere, tutti vorrebbero essere utili alle loro famiglie e al loro Paese.

Perché in Afghanistan, come altrove, il futuro poggia sulle spalle di giovani come loro, pieni di speranza e di voglia di fare.
>>> PANORAMA.it

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

The President of Afghanistan inks deal with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in first peace treaty since the war with the Taliban began in 2001

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has formalised a peace treaty with Hezb-i-Islami, an armed group led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a deal the government hopes will lead to more agreements with other fighters.

Hekmatyar also signed the agreement on Thursday via a video link into Kabul's presidential palace. The ceremony was broadcast live on television.
It is the first peace treaty the Afghan government has completed since the war with the Taliban began in 2001.
The accord with the largely dormant Hezb-i-Islami has been welcomed by the international community as a possible template for any future peace deal with the Taliban, who have been fighting to overthrow the Kabul government for 15 years.
Pakistan's foreign ministry issued a statement on Thursday, praising the deal.
"Pakistan has consistently emphasised that there is no military solution of the conflict in Afghanistan. Politically negotiated settlement through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process is the most viable option for bringing lasting peace and stability to Afghanistan," the statement said.
It also said the deal was encouraging and wished achievement of durable peace to Afghanistan.

The president of Afghanistan said earlier:
"This is a chance for the Taliban and other militant groups to show what their decision is: to be with people and join the respected caravan of peace, like Hezb-i-Islami, or confront the people and continue the bloodshed."
Ghani also pledged to lobby the US and the UN for the lifting of international sanctions on Hekmatyar, who was designated a "global terrorist" by the Washington for his suspected ties to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Once international sanctions are lifted, Hekmatyar is expected to return to Afghanistan after 20 years in exile. He is believed to be in Pakistan.
The head of his delegation in Kabul, Amin Karim, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he believes the sanctions could be lifted within weeks.
Once branded the "butcher of Kabul", Hekmatyar was a prominent anti-Soviet commander in the 1980s who stands accused of killing thousands of people when his fighters fired on civilian areas of the capital city during the 1992-1996 civil war.
Human Right Watch, the New York-based watchdog, last week branded Hekmatyar "one of Afghanistan's most notorious war crimes suspects" and said his return would "compound a culture of impunity" that has denied justice to the many victims of warlords' forces.
The 25-point peace agreement gives Hekmatyar and his followers immunity for past actions, and grants them full political rights.


In a speech greeted with chants of "Long Live Hekmatyar" from his supporters, who had gathered in the presidential palace, he called on the Afghan government to start peace talks with the Taliban.
"I call on all sides to support this peace deal and I call on the opposition parties of the government to join the peace process and pursue their goals through peaceful means," Hekmatyar said in his message.
"We hope that the day comes when foreign interference has ended, foreign troops have departed fully from Afghanistan, and peace has been achieved."
Alexey Yusupov, Afghanistan director at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation, a German think-tank, said the deal was highly symbolical but it was unlikely to result in a peace agreement with the Taliban,
“Although you could say Hezb-i-Islami is the second largest insurgent group, their importance for what is going on in the Afghan battlefield this year is fairly non-existent," he told Al Jazeera.
"The peace deal, although ... showing that there is something that the Afghan society and Afghan political actors can actually achieve without foreign mediation and intervention - and this is something very important - that doesn’t mean that we will see a decline in violence, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that a real peace process with the Taliban will happen any time soon."
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE 

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New marble processing plants inaugurated in Herat, Afghanistan

Three factories worth about US$ 2,000,000 were officially inaugurated in the industrial park of Herat by the Governor of Herat Mr Mohammad Asif Rahimi. Funded by the private sector and Herat’s businessmen, the three factories include one carton production plant (with cartons to be produced using recycled paper) and two marble processing plants. The new factories will provide job opportunities to over 400 Afghans.

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Indicative programme - Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, 4-5 Oct 2016

Programme of 5 October 2016 

Place:         Justus Lipsius building, 175 rue de la Loi, Brussels 
All times are approximate and subject to change
+/- 07.30
Arrivals
Live streaming
+/- 08.15 TBC
Doorstep by High Representative Federica Mogherini 
+/- 08.30
Arrival of the Afghan delegation, welcome by High Representative Federica Mogherini 
+/- 09.00       Opening session (roundtable Photo/TV opportunity Group A)
including statements by:
President of the European Council Donald Tusk
President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Live streaming
+/- 10.30
Family photo (Photo/TV opportunity Group B)
 11.00
Presentation by the Afghan government of the National Peace and Development Framework and the revised Self-Reliance Mutual Accountability Framework
Presentation of the World Bank economic outlook
Live streaming
11.30
Bilateral statements by partner countries and international organisations (part I)Chaired by High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani
Live streaming
12.30
Lunch 
14.00
Afghan civil society joint statement
Live streaming
14.15
Bilateral statements by partner countries and international organisations (part II)Live streaming
Chaired by Minister of Finance of Afghanistan Eklil Hakimi and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica
17.30
Closing session
including statements by:
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah
High Representative Federica Mogherini,
European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica
Live streaming                    
+/- 18.00
Press conference
Live streaming

Side Events - Programme of 4 October 2016 

Place:        Charlemagne building of the European Commission, 170 rue de la Loi, Brussels 
All times are approximate and subject to change                  
+/- 13.30
Signing of the State Building Contract

Live streaming   
Empowered Women, Prosperous Afghanistan
Live streaming
+/- 14.00
Opening speeches                    
Session 1 - Promoting Afghan Women's Rights                    
+/- 16.15    
Session 2 - Socio-economic Empowerment of Afghan Women     
+/- 17.30 Closing speeches  
Regional integration and prosperity 
+/- 16.00
Beginning of the event 
Recording of the introductive remarks will be published at +/- 18.00 on EbS
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Afghan women allegedly exploited as slaves, used for sexual purposes in the safe houses

Women used as "slaves" in shelters

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 03:31 Written by  Heart of asia 
In addition to alleged corruption and dictatorship in the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), claims have surfaced recently that women are being exploited as slaves in the safe houses.
Read original article at: 
http://heartofasia.af/index.php/national2/item/2250-women-used-as-slaves-in-shelters
A number of women who have lived in these shelters claimed that most women residing in safe houses were being used as slaves.
Having stayed in a safe house for five months in Kabul, a resident of southern Helmand province, Horia Popalzai, told The Heart of Asia that AIHRC has treated her as a slave.
"I have been subjected to oppression and unfair treatment for five months at the shelter. They were beating me every day because I did not have a care taker, and all women were subjected to hard labor. For example, they forced me to wash over 20 carpets in a day in Ramadan," Horia complained.
Many women in these shelters were also used for “sexual purposes”, and no one would turn a blind eye to it, Popalzai alleged, adding women whose relatives were coming to the shelters to ask after them were subjected to less repression, while those with no one to inquire about them were treated very badly even more than slaves.
According to her, she approached the Commission to complain about the maltreatment, but she was told to find a caretaker because she would not be allowed to live forever in the safe house.
The shelters were only for women who intended to get a divorce from their husband, and want another husband; other women were not assisted, she maintained, explaining that: "After my father died, my brother, Bashir, brought me along with my mother and sister to Kandahar. Since my brother was working as an interpreter in Shurab airport, my uncle who was a Taliban commander killed him, and arrested us. Because of torture, my sister committed suicide, and I fled to Chaman in Pakistan, where I got married to a person who also died. After staying for two years there, the Pakistani police handed me over to Afghan police who transferred me to Nangarhar and then to Kabul, where the Human Rights Commission sent me to a safe house."
The mistreatment in the shelter impelled me to commit suicide by setting herself on fire in the middle of the city, she concluded.
Nooria, another woman who has visited a shelter, disclosed to The Heart of Asia, "Those in charge of the safe houses are taunting and forcing women to do hard physical work inside and outside the shelters. Even there are some rumors that women are being used for sexual purposes.”
Though the AIHRC supervised the shelters, there were brazen violations of human rights, she claimed.
The Heart of Asia contacted Rafiullah Baidar, a spokesman for AIHRC, but he hang up after hearing a question about the issue, and did not pick up the phone after several attempts.
One of the major criticisms about AIHRC is that its officials have been involved in corruption for the past 14 years, but the government is yet to fire them.
Well-placed sources told The Heart of Asia that both the president and the Chief Executive Officer had promised Seema Samar, the head of AIHRC, to remain in her post for three more years.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE  on Heart of Asia

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Afghanistan National Cricket team defeated Bangladesh by 2 wickets during the second match of a three-match One Day International (ODI) series

With this win, the Afghan team leveled the series 1-1 after Afghanistan lost the opening match on Sunday by 7 runs.
The Afghan team won the toss and elected to field first and restricted the Bangladesh batsmen to 208 runs during the 42.5 overs of the game. Rashid Khan took 3 wicketes, Mohammad Nabi and Mirwais Ashraf 2 wickets and Rahmat Shah 1 wicket on the bowling side. Afghanistan lost the opening match of the series by 7 runs during the opening match of the series on 25th Septmber. The final match of the series will be played on 3rd October to ascertain the winner of the series.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

В афганской провинции Кунар ремонтируется ирригационный канал Салар. Средства на ремонт выделит Всемирный Банк

В провинции Кунар подписан контракт на ремонт ирригационного канала Салар, который позволит орошать тысячи гектаров сельхозугодий. Канал Салар является важнейшим источником воды для уездов Асадабад и Наранг, его протяжённость составляет 22 км.

После завершения ремонтных работ канал будет орошать 3 тыс. гектаров сельхозугодий, что улучшит качество жизни 25 тыс. жителей указанных уездов. Помимо ремонта стенок канала, пострадавших от наводнений, министерство планирует продлить его на четыре километра. Стоимость проекта составит около 59-60 млн. долларов США. Средства на ремонт выделит Всемирный Банк. Местные жители выразили надежду, что новый проект позволит им выращивать культуры, нуждающиеся в поливе в течение жарких летних месяцев. Жаркий континентальный климат Афганистана препятствует выращиванию многих культур в отсутствие орошения, а ирригационные каналы, построенные до гражданской войны, постепенно разрушаются и приходят в негодность. Их ремонт, таким образом, является одним из эффективных средств помощи местным крестьянам.

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Afghanistan Ministry of Public Works signs contract for the construction of Herat Ring Road '2nd Phase' with Unique Builders Construction Company

The Legal Representative of Unique Builders, Dr Zabi Mobariz (left),
signs the contract with the Minister of Public Works Eng. Mahmoud Baligh
The Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has signed the contract for the construction of Herat Ring Road '2nd phase' with Unique Builders Construction Company.

The Herat Ring Road (Total length about 25 km), will help to reduce the crick in traffic and it is an alternative route to connect the roads of Herat-Islam Qala to Herat-Qandahar and will be used for heavy vehicles.
In his speech during the signing ceremony, the Italian Ambassador said "I am pleased that this contract has been signed. Monitoring of this project is undertaken by the Embassy of Italy in Afghanistan, we will share all details of the project with the Contractor and will show to Herat’s People that we Italians are faithful to our promises."
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan Government, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, has called on local people to cooperate with Afghan law enforcement agencies in providing the security of the Ring Road.

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016


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Monday, 26 September 2016

Туркменистан настроен на активное экономическое сотрудничество с Афганистаном

Президент Туркменистана Гурбангулы Бердымухамедов огласил ряд инициатив, направленных на активизацию сотрудничества с Афганистаном. Недавно открытый международный аэропорт Туркменистана, который сможет перевозить до 25 млн. тонн груза в год, начинает прямое авиасообщение с Афганистаном. Кроме того, в ближайшее время будет достроена железная дорога регионального значения, которая поможет активизировать торговое сообщение между странами, заявил президент Бердымухамедов. Также в ноябре текущего года в Туркменистане будет организован торгово-транзитный саммит, в котором примет участие Афганистан.

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Chabahar Port to be operative soon in order to get rid of Pakistan

Officials in Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan have stated that Chabahar port would soon be operative and would grow the economy of the countries linked with its route. They have said the regional and neighboring countries investors are willing to invest in Afghanistan but due to no security and complicated laws didn’t dare to do so. Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry AbdulBari Rashid said,” the operations activities are underway, by using that port most of our business problems will be resolved.” Meanwhile Minister of Economy has urged that Afghanistan has huge opportunities for investing, but investors still don’t dare to investing in the war ravaged country. Minister of Economy AbdulSatar Murad said,” there are a lot of opportunities for launching investing in Afghanistan, but there should be some facilities paved to encourage the investors.” However, the Iran President Economy Advisor Akbar Turkan said,” As I saw Afghanistan huge potential for receiving investments in sectors like energy, mines, agricultures and some other trade aspects, both Iran- Afghan businessmen should work together to draw more investments for Afghanistan.” Afghan businessmen have expressed their optimism over the activities of the Chabahar port for boosting the economy and exchanging of commodities between countries in order to get rid of Pakistan pressures.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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In the 15 years since the US began its war on terrorists, Afghanistan gained the pole position among the 10 most corrupt countries in the world; it became the world's largest opium producer; Afghan heroin has killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide, and over a trillion dollars has been invested by terrorists into transnational organized crime from drug sales

Report: ‘Building Democracy’ In Afghanistan Actually Built An Empire Of Corruption

Sunday, 25 September 2016 03:21 Written by  Bonnie Kristian
Every year, Transparency International releases a worldwide ranking of national corruption. The calculation of each country’s score includes measures like press freedom, fiscal transparency, and rule of law.
Out of 168 nations ranked, Afghanistan clocks in just two shy of last place at 166. Six in 10 Afghans reported having to pay bribes to facilitate government transactions, and as many agreed their country became more corrupt from 2007 to 2010—a bad situation made worse.
Now it turns out this isn’t just the expected corruption of an impoverished, undeveloped, war-torn nation. It’s corruption on steroids, and the United States government is supplying the juice.
That’s the conclusion of a new report, “Lessons Learned,” out from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The watchdog agency found the United States underestimated the risk of corruption in Afghanistan for years as it threw huge sums of money at unaccountable contractors and shady local allies. It was nearly a decade after the initial intervention that corruption became a priority for the U.S. in Afghanistan, but since then anticorruption policies have been too little and too late.
“Our report points out that while corruption in Afghanistan pre-dates 2001, it has become far more serious and widespread since then,” SIGAR head John Sopko summarized in a recent speech, adding, “The result [of U.S. nation-building attempts] for Afghanistan was systemic corruption—pervasive and entrenched, affecting the courts, the army and police, banking, and other critical sectors.”
In fact, corruption has become such a pervasive part of Afghan life since 2001 that cultural attitudes about paying bribes have dramatically shifted in just a decade and a half. Where once bribery was shameful, now it is met with tacit acceptance as a necessary evil.
This finding is hardly surprising. If anything, it would be a shock if corruption hadn’t increased under the conditions the SIGAR document describes.
In Afghanistan, the United States “inject[ed] tens of billions of dollars into the Afghan economy, using flawed oversight and contracting practices, and partnering with malign powerbrokers,” the report says. At its height in 2012, spending in Afghanistan by the Obama Administration’s Department of Defense was $19 billion, matching 93 percent of Afghanistan’s entire GDP. Though the “full amount of these contracts was not spent in Afghanistan,” SIGAR notes, much of it was, and “these amounts indicate that huge sums, relative to the Afghan economy, flowed into the country.” Predictably, the local economy couldn’t handle it, and so year after year, that massive influx of money built more corruption than it did democracy.
U.S. Taxpayer Money Funded Cronyism, Not Schools
And that’s not even the worst of it. Washington partnered with brutal and untrustworthy warlords. The CIA dumped literal bags of cash in the Afghan president’s office in the capital city of Kabul. U.S. failure to address corruption early and often alienated local populations and undercut efforts to promote fair and transparent government. At one point $45 billion just went missing. And while U.S. taxpayers were promised our money was building hundreds of schools to teach Afghan children in a safe environment, corruption interfered even with education efforts. The few schools that did get up and running were dangerous, ramshackle buildings with fewer students—especially fewer girls—than official records attest.
The root of the problem here is bigger than any one program. Rather, it lies in the hubristic belief that the United States should entrench itself in a long-term occupation of this small, faraway nation we have failed so miserably—and so expensively—to remake in our own image.
SIGAR offers a list of six lessons and 16 policy recommendations based on its finding, and they’re good so far as they go. But they don’t go far enough. Yes, Washington should better vet its foreign contractors and proxies, but far more necessary is a thoroughgoing reevaluation of the failed, aggressive foreign policy that led to our creating those relationships in the first place. The problem in Afghanistan is not just the systemic corruption our intervention fostered—it’s the intervention itself. If we wish to avoid repeating these mistakes, we must subject Washington to at least as much scrutiny as Kabul.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Sunday, 25 September 2016

ADB to fund studies, design for Salang Corridor upgrade

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $31.37 million grant to prepare the Salang Corridor rehabilitation project to improve the efficiency and safety of movement of goods and people in Afghanistan and across Central Asia. The grant includes $15.92 million contributed by the Government of Japan through the ADB-administered Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund (AITF). AITF is a donor-financed fund established in 2010 that aims to improve livelihoods of the Afghan people through infrastructure development. “The Salang Corridor is a critical part of Afghanistan’s transport infrastructure,” said Ko Sakamoto, Transport Economist with ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “ADB assistance will support efforts to study the feasibility of three alignment options for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Salang Corridor, complete the detailed engineering design, and prepare the project for implementation.” Built in 1964, the existing 2.7-kilometer Salang tunnel and associated connecting roads, collectively known as the Salang Corridor, is in a dilapidated state and dangerous to travelers because of inadequate ventilation, poor lighting, lack of modern safety features, and a failing road surface due to a lack of regular maintenance and rehabilitation. The Salang Corridor is the only route that permits year-round North–South passage of goods and people across the Hindu Kush mountain range, which has peaks over 7,700 meters, making the Salang tunnel the second highest tunnel in the world. As one of the key sections of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridors 5 and 6, the Salang Corridor is also central to providing mobility for Afghanistan’s neighboring countries. Given the lack of alternative routes, the vast majority of goods shipped to Kabul from the north pass through the Salang Corridor. It is estimated that over 5,500 vehicles transit the corridor per day—far exceeding its capacity. According to the United States Agency for International Development, economic losses from the constrained traffic flow are estimated at $60 million per year. The studies will review the three most viable alignment options for the corridor to increase capacity and mitigate the risk of project failure. Various combinations of new tunnels and connecting roads will be studied to identify the best way to significantly improve the capacity of the corridor and the transport network of Afghanistan. Once built, the improved Salang Corridor will cut travel time and cost of passenger and cargo transportation between the southern and northern regions of Afghanistan and ensure the security and reliability of the route. To date, ADB has allocated more than $2.2 billion for roads, railways, and airport projects in Afghanistan. ADB has assisted the country in rehabilitating CAREC Corridors 5 and 6 through completion of the North–South Corridor Project, ongoing construction of the Kabul Seraj–Nijrab and Kabul–Jalalabad roads, and planned construction of the North–South Corridor between Dar-i-Suf and Yakawlang. The improved Salang Corridor will complement these investments and boost connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia, through Afghanistan. This will support the strategic objectives of the CAREC program in expanding trade and improving competitiveness of the region.
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Afghan Government to launch USD 1 billion CITIZENS' CHARTER Program

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, on Sunday 25 September 2016, inaugurated the USD 1 billon CITIZENS' CHARTER Program in a bit to provide substantial services to rural areas and cities of the country. The program was inaugurated by the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during a ceremony attended by top government officials including the National Unity Government CEO Dr Abdullah Abdullah. Addressing the Officials and journalists, Ashraf Ghani said that he will provide services to all parts of the country without differentiation or discrimination. Meanwhile, CEO Abdullah Abdullah said that the launch of the CITIZENS' CHARTER Program was one of the National Unity Government's commitments and in this regard he considered the support of the people as vital for its success. CEO Abdullah Abdullah said that the launch of the program will be within a period of six months. The program will be implemented in three stages and it will take 10 years and it will cost about USD 1 billion. The Minister of Finance of Afghanistan, Mr Eklil Hakimi, while considering the program as one of the priorities of the Afghan government, said that in the first stage, about 1) USD 130,000,000 would be contributed by the Government, 2) USD 400 million from Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund which is financed by the World Bank, and 3) the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will contribute USD 100 million. The program aim to reduce the poverty in Afghanistan and to provide clean water, transport, health care and other services to the people across the 34 provinces of the country.

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Afghan President asks India to expel Afghan students who show laziness and flunk exams

In his recent visit to India, President Ghani urged Indian officials to expel Afghan students, who show indifference towards their studies, or repeatedly flunk exams, from universities, and send them back home. To prevent unqualified individuals from getting scholarships, civil activists and political analysts, however, call on the government to ensure transparency in distributing educational scholarships other than encouraging Indian officials to dismiss Afghan students who have spent thousands of dollars on studying in India. Nasima Niazi, a female lawmaker, said that corruption and misconduct in awarding education scholarships are the long-existing problems which also have not been addressed by the current government so far. "It should not be only the son or daughter of a commander, minister or governor who benefit from foreign scholarships. They should be given to students transparently and justly so that unqualified students, who can hurt the reputation of the entire nation, don’t get the chance of qualified individuals,” Niazi told The Heart of Asia, adding that the scholarships allocated for the insecure provinces were being split among a select group of individuals in capital Kabul, so that was why they were most likely to fail in the exams because they were not qualified. Naveed Delawar, an Afghan student at Pune University of India, said most of the lazy Afghan students in Indian universities were the sons of commanders and officials, who had got the scholarships through nepotism. "Afghan students are defamed by individuals who have got the scholarships through illegal channels, and were currently busy with improper activities other than studies. I can tell you that approximately more than 70 percent of the failed students in Indian universities are sons of officials and strongmen,” Delawar disclosed to The Heart of Asia.
Expelling the lazy students from India by President Ghani was not a solution, Delawar maintained, stressing that justice should be ensured in scholarship distribution. Saifullah, an Afghan student who had gone to India on a private scholarship, and returned back home, told The Heart of Asia that many Afghan students in India left their studies because of no government supervision. Many Afghans who have gone to India to study were busy with activities which even could not be imagined, he said, stressing that if the government constantly tracked the beneficiaries of public scholarships in foreign countries, they would not be able to get involved in illegal acts. The Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), however, claimed that a large number of scholarships were granted through an open competition. Faisal Amin, the MoHE spokesperson, told The Heart of Asia: "May be there were problems in the scholarship distribution in the past, but now all scholarships are given to the qualified individuals with full transparency. For instance, India offers us three types of scholarships: private, government and professional." According to Amin, most of the failing students in India might have gone there on private scholarships because the recipients of government scholarships were being sent abroad after passing different competency tests.
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Five Afghan companies owned by women showcasing their jewelry and gems at the Delhi Jewelry & Gem Fair

Nine leading Afghan businesses, including five women-owned companies, are showcasing their jewelry and gems at the 5th Delhi Jewelry and Gem Fair, northern India’s largest jewelry tradeshow. Expected to draw more than 1,500 traders and buyers, the event will help raise awareness of Afghan jewelry and forge business ties between Afghanistan and India. The Afghan traders are displaying their country’s finest gems and stone jewelry, including modern and traditional earrings, rings, anklets, bracelets, and historic and tribal forehead jewelry, necklaces, and are engaging in business meetings with Indian buyers. Collectors and traders from around the world will also find an array of precious and semi-precious Afghan stones, for centuries prized for their aesthetic qualities and use in jewelry. “For centuries Afghanistan traded jewelry and precious stone with India, and the countries continue to be exceptional trade partners to this day,” said Afghanistan’s Minister of Commerce and Industries Minister Humayoon Rasaw. “Participation of Afghan businesses in such a high-profile global event not only increases awareness of Afghanistan’s quality gem and stone jewelry among Indian buyers; it also helps attract investment in Afghanistan’s gem stone mining industry.” The event, held Sept. 24-26 at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India, is hosted by UBM India, which hosts over 25 large-scale exhibitions and 40 conferences across the country every year. “Exposing Afghan businesses to the large Indian market contributes to the Afghan economy and improves the country’s stability,” said Herbert Smith, USAID Mission Director. “The event demonstrates Afghan women’s increasingly important role in this process.” USAID’s Afghanistan Trade and Revenue (ATAR) Project, worked with the Afghanistan Women’s Business Federation and the Afghan government to support participation of Afghan traders.
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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Taliban criminal organization kills two women and three men on Salang pass

Taliban criminal organization attacked Salang pass, a key tunnel pass that connects Kabul with the northern provinces of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Five people were killed and three others were wounded during the clash between the criminals and the Afghan forces. The target of the criminal organization was an officer serving in Pul-e-Charkhi prison of Kabul, who was travelling with his family members. The officer was killed along with two men and two women in the attack.

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Bidding Opportunities in procuring entities of Afghanistan Government


In this page

https://login.npa.gov.af/Beta/English/ProcuringEntities/BO.aspx 

on the website of NPA (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - Administrative Office of the President - National Procurement Authority - NPA) you can find the information about the Bidding Opportunities in procuring entities of Afghanistan Government.





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Development & construction of the first-ever privately financed Power Plant in Afghanistan

International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is welcoming the signing of a Heads of Terms agreement that will create a framework for the development and construction of the Mazar Independent Power Plant, a landmark project expected to lead the way for private sector participation in addressing Afghanistan’s critical energy needs. IFC played a key role in developing the agreement, signed today in Kabul between the Afghan government and the Ghazanfar Group, a leading private Afghan conglomerate. It sets out the key terms under which the Group will be contracted to build, own and operate a 50-megawatt gas-fired power plant near Mazar-e-Sharif and sell electricity over the next 20 years to Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, the country’s national utility company. When completed, the project will mark the first time a power plant in Afghanistan is fully financed, designed, built and operated by the private sector. The facility aims to provide power to around 1 million Afghans and will boost the country’s power generation by around 30 percent, helping to address a severe power shortfall resulting from years of conflict and under-investment in infrastructure. “Sustainable, long-term energy supplies are critical for the development of Afghanistan’s economy,” said Professor Mohammad Qayoumi, Chief Energy Advisor to the President. “This project will mark an important step in the country’s efforts to build a privately funded power plant capable of serving the ever-growing demand for electricity.” The plant will also be the first private power project to utilize domestically produced natural gas, and is expected to pave the way for greater collaboration between the Afghan government and the private sector to develop key infrastructure needed to boost the country’s economic growth. “We hope this project will set a good example for private investment in the power sector in Afghanistan,” said Ismail Ghazanfar, CEO and Chairman of the Ghazanfar Group. “It will also help build investor confidence to attract greater private capital and expertise for the development of Afghanistan.” “In many conflict-affected states, governments do not have the resources to complete major infrastructure projects themselves,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Regional Director for Middle East and North Africa. “But the private sector can help. With their expertise and financial know-how, private firms can help bolster power supplies, improve sanitation, and build transport networks. Today’s agreement is a milestone for Afghanistan and will pave the way for investments in the country’s infrastructure.” IFC’s efforts are part of a broader push by the World Bank Group to help develop Afghanistan’s energy sector, considered vital given the deficit faced by the country, which imported up to 80 percent of its electricity last year. The average Afghan uses only 176 kilowatt-hours of power annually, a number among the lowest in the world and about 40 percent of that in neighboring countries.
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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
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Friday, 23 September 2016

SIGAR blasts Afghan Watchdog over asset registration



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Alleged cases of corruption at the American University of Afghanistan

Below the opinions (shared publicly on Facebook) of a student at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF):

Although [first name of the foreign professor] was finally fired from AUAF for being the delusional megalomaniac that he was, the fact is that he poisoned the program and all degrees issued to the previous classes.

I have no doubt that many brilliant, hard-working students graduated from the MBA program and deserved that degree, but we will never be able to distinguish those students from the ones that made corrupt deals with [first name of the foreign professor] for special favors, to include grade increases and special privileges re-taking/re-scheduling exams.

For those that really focused on learning the material, this program will serve them well in their careers. For those who made deals with [first name of the foreign professor], their degree is not even worth the paper it is printed on.

>>> SEE ORIGINAL POST ON FACEBOOK
Some comments posted by AUAF students:
- Yeh these things generally happen too late as people are too kind as 
appose identifying that their "kindness" actually is doing so much damage.
- Glad he's gone!
- I do have thoughts to add up but I am still studying at AUAF.
- glad to hear that he is finally fired 
  ▅ ▆ ▅     

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Il Governo afghano firma un accordo di pace con il gruppo militante Hezb-e-Islami guidato da Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

Rappresentanti del governo afghano hanno firmato in diretta televisiva un accordo con il secondo gruppo di ribelli più grande del paese. L’accordo garantisce impunità al leader del gruppo, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, accusato di numerose atrocità e attualmente latitante. In cambio, il capo militare islamista ed ex primo ministro afgano riconosce la nuova costituzione e abbandona la violenza. Perché l’accordo entri in vigore, dovrà avvenire un’ulteriore firma reciproca tra Gulbuddin Hekmatyar e il presidente dell'Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani.





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The Peace deal with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar may be the beginning of a PERMANENT PEACE in Afghanistan

Despite the majority of Afghans welcomed the peace agreement
between Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Afghan government with high optimism,
some America controlled media continue to fuel conflict situations in the Country
Afghanistan has signed a peace agreement with Hezb-i-Islami, paving the way for the armed group's commander, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, to make a political comeback despite allegations of war crimes during the 1990s.
Government officials praised Thursday's agreement in the capital Kabul as a step towards peace, while critics said it opened the door to one of the most infamous figures in Afghanistan's civil war to play a role in the country's already divisive politics. "I hope that this is the beginning of a permanent peace in our country," said Sayed Ahmad Gilani, head of the government's High Peace Council and one of the signatories of the agreement, according to Reuters news agency. The deal with the largely dormant Hezb-i-Islami marks a symbolic victory for President Ashraf Ghani who has struggled to revive peace talks with the more powerful Taliban fighters while, at the same time, attempting to reintegrate other controversial military figures into society by granting immunity for past crimes. Thursday's agreement (22.09.2016) grants Hekmatyar amnesty for his offences and the release of certain Hezb-i-Islami prisoners. The government also agreed to press for the lifting of international sanctions on Hekmatyar, who was designated a "global terrorist" by the US for his suspected ties to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Once branded the "butcher of Kabul", Hekmatyar was a prominent anti-Soviet commander in the 1980s who stands accused of killing thousands of people when his fighters fired on civilian areas of the capital city during the 1992-1996 civil war. Neither Hekmatyar nor Ghani were present at the signing ceremony on Thursday 22 October 2016. Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse, reporting from Kabul, said the government hopes the peace deal "paves the way for future peace with the Taliban". "That it will be a template for future peace with the Taliban. Afghans will be watching very closely in the coming weeks and months how this deal is implemented," Glasse said. "This is not just a peace deal between Hezb-i-Islami and the government of Afghanistan," Mohammad Amin Karim, head of the group's delegation, said at the ceremony. "It is a beginning of a new era of peace all around the country," he said, according to the AFP news agency. The agreement will come into force when it is formally signed by Ghani and Hekmatyar, the government said, though no date has been set. The current security situation in Afghanistan is unlikely to see much change as a result of the deal, said Timor Sharan, a Kabul-based analyst for the International Crisis Group. "The deal will have little impact on the dynamics of conflict," Sharan told Reuters. "The government's rationale is that by luring Hekmatyar on board, other insurgent groups might be encouraged to consider peace too."
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Thursday, 22 September 2016


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Афганистан обвинил Пакистан в содействии террористам

Второй вице-президент Афганистана Мохаммад Сарвар Даниш подверг резкой критике политику Пакистана в отношении террористов, обвинив Исламабад в фактической поддержке последних.

"Мы спрашиваем всех вас – где находились прежние лидеры Талибана и Аль-Каиды, и где они были убиты? –  подчеркнул он в ходе выступления на Генеральной Ассамблее ООН. – Где в настоящее время находятся лидеры Талибана и сети Хаккани? Откуда и каким образом террористов готовят, снабжают оружием и финансируют в ходе полномасштабной войны?"

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Watchdog reports systematic corruption at the Customs of the Afghan province of Herat

The independent committee to monitor corruption in the western zone on Monday raised concerns over what it called systematic corruption at Herat customs. The watchdog organization accused members of Herat customs of corruption, saying these officials embezzle millions of Afghanis on a regular basis. "Tax fraud going on at customs has fuelled large-scale corruption. There is credible evidence that proves the existence of corruption at Islam Qala and Herat customs. The trend is going on daily," said the organization's chief Khalil Parsa. According to statistics, hundreds of trucks come from Islam Qala and Torghundi ports every day and are processed at Herat customs - where they have to pay their tariffs and other duties. But the organization said in many cases, traders deceive customs officials by overloading their vehicles to escape customs duties. However, a number of Herat customs officials have been handed over to legal and judicial institutions on charges of corruption. But the watchdog has said there is speculation that none of the suspects have so far been held accountable. In reference to the allegations, the Herat attorney general's office has reported that it has launched an investigation into the reports in order to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice. "Corruption crime investigation department is presently investigating at least eight cases of corruption regarding Islam Qala and Torghundi customs officials including the investigation of 17 vehicles that allegedly slipped through customs while carrying iron ore," said Mohammad Arif Irfan, head of the crime investigation department of Herat's appeal court. "I know several people were struggling financially but became very rich within six months or a year after working at customs. Now they have purchased very expensive houses in the most expensive parts of Herat," said Abdul Wali Khatibi, a resident of Herat. Meanwhile, Herat governor's office has said that the provincial government is resolute in combatting corruption in the province. "The provincial government in Herat is determined to fight corruption. There has been the issue of corruption, but now reforms have been put in place," said Farhad, spokesman for Herat governor. Herat customs has meanwhile been run by an acting chief over the past year and a half. / Written by Jawid Ziaratjaie
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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The President of Afghanistan praises the efforts of National Procurement Authority/NPC in curbing of corruption in Afghanistan Procurement System


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