Saturday, 30 September 2017

Железнодорожный коридор между Афганистаном и Китаем бездействует

Представители Торгово-промышленной палаты Афганистана (ТППА) выступили с заявлением о том, что железнодорожное сообщение с Китаем прекратилось три месяца тому назад.
Прекращение грузового сообщения было связано с прекращением деятельности в этом направлении китайской уполномоченной компании. "Когда мы связались с представителями компании, нам сообщили, что главными препятствиями являются сложности с транзитными пропускными пунктами и недостаточная инфраструктура", заявил глава ТППА.

Continuation of the disagreements in the Independent Election Commission (IEC) would face Afghanistan with another political predicament

Disagreements in the Independent Election Commission (IEC) have reportedly reached an all-time high, with some commissioners acknowledging the issue, and claiming that the government was meddling in electoral affairs. Political observers describe the rifts between election commissioners as the start of yet another political crisis designed by foreigners similar to that caused by the 2014 controversial presidential election.
A political analyst, Ghulam Jelani Zwak, said when the government appointed inexperienced individuals as election commissioners, there began the process to discredit electoral institutions, and there were foreign hands behind it. Saying that carrying out elections through the current commission riddled with massive disharmonies was a mistake, Zwak told The Heart of Asia: “How will people trust the results of elections conducted by a commission that is plagued by corruption and internal differences.” In lieu of rectifying the damage caused to the democratic process due to fraud in 2014 presidential election, the National Unity Government (NUG), according to Zwak, made the people to lose trust in elections, warning that the continuation of the disagreements in IEC would face Afghanistan with another political predicament. Complaining about internal discords in the Independent Election Commission, Maliha Hassan, a female electoral commissioner, revealed a few days ago that all decisions in IEC were being made by a certain circle. Meanwhile, a well-placed source from the election commission disclosed to The Heart of Asia that commissioners had traded barbs at a meeting about a month and a half ago, and accused each other of theft and corruption. The source also added that Maliha Hassan had accused a number of commissioners of making decisions at the behest of a particular circle, and not giving time to other commissioners to speak. Abdul Wahab Wali, a political analyst, said lack of experience besides poor management has contributed to the emergence of disagreements in IEC. He told The Heart of Asia the government could not comment on the fissures and corruption in IEC so that the commissioners did not become unhappy with the president and his chief executive officer. He believed both the president and the CEO were trying to win them over at any cost, expressing the concern that if national and international organizations did not speak up against the current situation of electoral commissions, and call for their reforms, the upcoming election would not be expected to be held transparently.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE on Heart of Asia 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has become a statistical organization only promoting US interests

The United Nations is under strong criticism for its failure to play a vital role in resolving the Afghan conflict, with ordinary Afghans and some analysts say the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has become a statistical organization than an impartial conflict resolution intermediary, as it has limited its mission to only releasing conflict-related statistics, and doesn’t fulfill its responsibility as necessary. The reason why the United Nations came into existence was to pave the way for unity among nations, and for humans to have a prosperous life, put an end to disputes between nations, and prevent the third world war. Intizar Khadem, an international relations expert, accused UNAMA of protecting the interests of one side only, and limiting all its activities to releasing reports and statistics like a news agency. "UNAMA regularly announces that civilian causalities are increasing from year to year, violence against women is on an upward trajectory, opium production has increased by several folds; it all denotes UN’s mission is symbolic and unsuccessful," Khadem told The Heart of Asia. Also, the UN is always blasted mainly for its failure to maintain impartiality as Khadem believes UNAMA in Afghanistan and the UN in the world are working to protect American interests, which has severely undermined the role of UN as a global, multi-national organization. According to him, UNAMA had a role in the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG), so it was had the responsibility to put pressure on the government to prevent human rights violations, including civilian casualties, adding that only the release of statistical data could not heal the wounds of Afghans. UNAMA should incorporate specific proposals for protection of civilians in the war strategies of Afghan government and foreign troops, and press all sides of the conflict to pay keen attention to civilian lives, he concluded. UNAMA is lambasted for not showing initiative to find a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem. Stressing that UNAMA should have taken the initiative of Afghan peace, and played a role in ending the Afghan quandary, Hussain Sajadi, a political analyst, said. "Unfortunately, the situation of human rights has aggravated more than ever in Afghanistan in the presence of these international organizations, but their reaction to the issue is either very weak, or there is no reaction at all.” As an example, Sajadi said government officials and warlords committed human rights violations during NUG’s rule which were unprecedented in the history of Afghanistan; yet neither the UN nor any other international organizations raised their voice against them. He thought UNAMA’s current role in Afghanistan was part of America’s mission, which could not do anything without US agreement.
We tried to reach out to UNAMA's media office for a comment on the matter, but to no avail.
>>>  READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE on Heart of Asia

In the Afghan capital there is a high demand for imported dairy products

The Afghan government will invest USD 12 million in the establishment of a milk processing complex in Ben Hesar Farm in capital Kabul. Jahangir Miakhail, general director at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), said the complex would have a capacity to process over 35,000 liters of milk on a daily basis and would meet international standards.
He added that the complex would have a center for producing animal feed, standard cold storage facilities and would also provide dairy products in standard packaging. Dairy product firms have welcomed this investment and urged the government to invest more in the center as there is a high demand for imported dairy products. Most provinces of Afghanistan have the capacity to run major dairy processing plants; however, 75% of dairy products are imported into the country.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Russians to assess investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Monday said a high-ranking delegation of Russian officials will visit Kabul in October to discuss investment opportunities in the country. According to ACCI, Russia is interested in investing in Afghanistan’s infrastructure, construction and power generation. At a recent meeting between ACCI officials and Russian embassy staff in Kabul, Russian officials said they are keen to invest in different sectors in Afghanistan and that a delegation will come from Russia to discuss the issue. “We will hold face to face discussions with Russian and Afghan investors and it will be helpful in expanding trade ties,” said Atiqullah Nusrat, deputy head of ACCI. According to ACCI, Russian embassy officials said Moscow is ready to give Afghanistan custom privileges in a bid to increase Afghanistan’s exports to Russia. Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) meanwhile said they are trying to attract Russian investment in Afghanistan. “Russia's investments in Afghanistan would be very effective in creating job opportunities, improving the economic situation and is a good use of the resources,” MoCI spokesman said. Russia is one of the countries that invested a lot in Afghanistan before the civil war and already statistics show that the trade volume between Afghanistan and Russia totals about USD 150,000,000 annually. Commerce and industries ministry officials said if Russia considers custom privileges for Afghan goods, it will pave the way for the expansion of trade between the two countries.
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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Whistleblowers and investigative journalists the only way to let the world know who are the corrupt officials in Afghanistan

Encouraging whistleblowers in Afghanistan to securely submit all forms of content that might be of public concern >

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) encourages whistle-blowers everywhere to securely submit all forms of content that might be of public concern - documents, photos, video clips as well as story tips.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists accepts all information that relates to potential wrongdoing by corporate, government or public service entities in any country, anywhere in the world. We do our utmost to guarantee the confidentiality of our sources.

ICIJ’s motives are squarely aimed at uncovering important government and corporate activities that might otherwise go unreported, from corruption involving public officials to systemic failure to protect the rights of individuals. Journalists from the relevant countries will evaluate and pursue all leads and content submitted and, if merited, report on these issues.

ICIJ’s SecureDrop server: ICIJ currently uses version 0.3.5 of the secure whistleblower submission system supported by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Contacting ICIJ through its encrypted SecureDrop server is a way to share documents and messages with ICIJ that allows you to protect your identity, even from ICIJ.

There are a number of precautions you can and should take to protect yourself before using our SecureDrop system. For example, you should not use it directly after viewing this page. Instead, you should write down the instructions and onion URL below, then move to a different network to the ones you usually use (a public WiFi network with no password is best) to begin the process.

The below instructions represent the minimum requirements in order to access #ICIJ’s SecureDrop service:

Download and install the Tor browser (or, for additional protection, use the Tails operating system, which includes Tor by default)

Navigate to the following onion URL: dcdoialeklnkb6fg.onion.

Follow the instructions to connect and communicate with us. You will be provided with a secret, unique code name that you should memorize or store securely in order to access our replies.

ICIJ takes source protection very seriously. When you use our SecureDrop service, we will not collect any identifying information from you (like your IP address, location, or browser details), nor will we deliver persistent cookies to your browser or embed any third-party services on our SecureDrop pages. All information you provide will be stored encrypted, and will only be decrypted on an air-gapped machine that never connects to any networks.

Despite these security measures, no online system is perfect, and use of the service is at your own risk.

ICIJ also uses PGP encryption: its public key can be found on the MIT Public Key Server (fingerprint: 986A 572D 3B95 BD42 331E 839A B532 F18C 2A17 696B).

There are a number of basic safety measures you can take to protect yourself when providing sensitive or confidential information. For instance, details of phone calls made from a large building are often recorded on the building's electronic systems; details of mobile phone calls are routinely collected by providers and government authorities; and details of network access and internet use can be recorded and stored at a number of junctions along the way. It is safer to use a public phone when contacting a reporter, just as it is safer to use an internet cafe when sending files.


NOTE: No electronic form of communication is entirely secure - sometimes the safest ways are the old-fashioned ways.
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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Исламский банк развития (ИБР) предоставил Афганистану ссуду на строительство Кабульской кольцевой дороги

Соглашение о перечислении 74,000,000 долларов США на проект было подписано вице-президентом ИБР Саидом Ака и министром финансов Афганистана.

Строительство Кабульской кольцевой автодороги является высокоприоритетным проектом для развития столицы, поскольку позволит соединить Кабул со всеми проходящими рядом автотрассами. Общая стоимость проекта составляет около 108,000,000 долларов США, а протяжённость, около 97 км. Более 30 млн. долларов США оплатит афганское правительство.

Friday, 15 September 2017

An Afghan farmer said the lucrative ostrich farming industry has resulted in his initial USD 50,000 investment doubling

An Afghan farmer, with his brothers, has started farming with ostriches in the western Afghan province of Herat. Mr. Ahmad Sharifi, said he will soon start selling ostrich meat on the open market. According to him, they started the farm with only a few breeding ostriches but their numbers have grown very quickly. “We can breed 40 to 50 chicks from every female ostrich annually. In addition to this, we can sell other products such ostrich eggs, meat, oil and skin to the market,” said the Herat farmer. He eplained they had brought in special incubators for the eggs in order to hatch chicks. These incubators can hold about 450 eggs at a time. “We bought two incubators and each one has the capacity to hold about 450 eggs. We want to expand our farm in Herat and in other provinces,” a shareholder of the ostrich farm said. The farmers invested USD 50,000 in the farm, but they say their investment has now doubled. Meanwhile, Herat’s agriculture, irrigation and livestock department said a number of these ostriches will be moved to other provinces in order to start up ostrich farming around the country. “We will do our best and will use all our equipment to support the ostrich farm and expand it in Herat,” the head of the agriculture expansion department of Herat’s agriculture directorate said.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Департамент гражданской авиации Афганистана продлил лицензию афганской авиакомпании 'Kam Air' и удовлетворил запрос руководства на организацию полётов в Европу

Афганская авиакомпания 'Kam Air' объявила о готовности начать перелёты в Европу, как только ЕС снимет запрет на деятельность афганских авиакомпаний на своей территории. 

После девятимесячного разбирательства лицензия компании была продлена. В настоящее время руководство ждёт, когда ЕС удалит афганские авиакомпании из чёрного списка, чтобы начать организацию авиарейсов в страны Европы. Замдиректора Kam Air настроен оптимистично и планирует начать авиасообщение с ЕС в ближайшем будущем. В распоряжении компании имеется закупленный в прошлом месяце самолёт AirbusA340  с максимальной дальностью перелёта до 16 тыс. километров. Он может перевозить до трёхсот пассажиров единовременно. Афганские авиакомпании попали в чёрный список ЕС шесть лет назад, из-за многочисленных нарушений в управлении и обслуживании.
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Saturday, 9 September 2017

Afghanistan revenue for 2017 from the mining sector should have been USD 1 billion but in the first half of the year has been earned only USD 15 million

The Natural Resources Monitoring Network (NRMN) criticized government for not reaching its revenue collection target from the mining sector for 2017. According to the watchdog, the projected income should have been about USD 1 billion but only USD 15 million has so far been earned. 
The monitoring network said this was extremely low for a country that was potentially so wealthy in terms of minerals. The network said based on the National Development Strategy, the revenue from the mining sector should have been USD 1 billion. The officials accused mines of embezzling money and said bad management was to blame. “For the past three years, mines are being managed very badly – in fact we can say that mines are not being managed,” said Ibrahim Jafari, a member of NRMN. Meanwhile, the ministry of mines acknowledged that revenue generation had dropped over the past few years. The ministry’s spokesman, Abdul Qadeer Mutfi, said they are reviewing contracts and are working on a strategy for mines and once the strategy has been finalized, measures will be implemented to grow the sector and increase revenue. “Our annual revenue has decreased because big contracts have not been signed and small contracts have been suspended,” said Mutfi.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran to meet soon in Teheran to discuss Railway Plan

Representatives from regional countries are expected to meet within the next three months in Iran to discuss plans for a new railway line that runs through five countries: 
China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

According to studies prepared by the Afghanistan Railway Authority, about 50% of the total railway line will pass through the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Railway Authority says that construction works will kick off very soon. The 2,200 km long railway line will cross through Afghanistan from the northern province of Kunduz to Herat province at the Iran-Afghan border.
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Sunday, 3 September 2017

The new U.S. strategy makes the situation in Afghanistan and throughout the region much more complicated: The next premeditated U.S. 'Fiasco'

Colonel Lawrence B. Larry Wilkerson, a retired military officer and head of the Colin L. Powell office, the former US State Secretary has warned over the possible fight between the world and region super-power countries in Afghanistan.

In an interview with The Real News, Wilkerson said the United States might stay for over 50 years in Afghanistan, because according to its strategic location, Afghanistan is the only place from where the US can take action against Russia and China. He said the new US strategy on Afghanistan has designed the presence of US in Afghanistan in a way that the United States army will remain in Afghanistan for an unknown period of time. The same plane was designed before this for Germany, South Korea and Japan, he said. “What we have seen right now is a begging of the new great game that it involves China, it involves Russia, it involve the United States and it involves all those people who get in the way in Central Asia. The United States will probably be in Afghanistan, I have said repeatedly, for the next fifty plus years. Because it is the only place geographically speaking in that region from which the United State with high military power can affect China’s …One Belt One Road…,” said Wilkerson. In reaction Washington’s remarks on India for taking more role in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s National Security Council has conditioned its anti-terror fight and has said its cooperation with the US depends on decrease of India’s role in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s conditions include removing insurgents’ safe havens from Afghanistan, border management, refugees return and rehabilitation of the peace process to resolve Afghanistan’s crisis through political channels. Pakistan’s National Security Council says that India can never bring peace in South Asia. In reaction to the remarks by Pakistan’s Security Council, the White House said India has done a lot in Afghanistan and that the continuation of its cooperation is vital. “We think it is important that there is a regional approach and part of that is developing and strengthening that relationship in partnership with India. They have been making important contributions towards Afghanistan’s democracy and their stability and we think it is important to continue that efforts,” a White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. China however supported Pakistan’s efforts in resolving Afghanistan’s crisis. “We should value Pakistan’s considerable role in Afghanistan’s issue and should respect its legitimate security concerns,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Military analysts meanwhile said as much as more powerful countries of the world and region get engaged in Afghanistan’s war, the situation and the current crisis will get more complicated.
>>> READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE on Heart of Asia