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No Security Vacuum after Pullout: NATO Chief

BRUSSELS - The NATO secretary-general on Wednesday billed the alliance’s ongoing mission in Afghanistan as a success, ruling out a security vacuum in the country after the withdrawal of foreign troops. “We will not leave behind a security vacuum. We have carefully planned and prepared how to leave in a way that gives the Afghan people responsibility for their own security and future…” Anders Fogh Rasmussen ...

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Pakistan’s Hazara Shias bury their dead

Tensions high at graveyard after 84 burials, after community leaders calling off protest following government action. Mass burials for the 84 victims of a bomb attack targeting Pakistan's Hazara Shia community have taken place in Quetta, after three days of nationwide protests at the government's failure to tackle sectarian violence. Several families remained at the site of the sit-in and continued to refus ...

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Zakhilwal in UK to co-host workshop on uplift aid

KABUL - Minister of Finance Dr. Omar Zakhilwal is leading a high-level delegation to the United Kingdom to co-host a workshop in Sussex, his office said on Wednesday. He co-hosted with Director-General of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank Caroline Heider the three-day Workshop on Evaluation Lessons from Development Assistance to Afghanistan. The closed-door event in Wilton Park on Feb. 19-2 ...

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  Everton star Marouane Fellaini believes English Premier League referees are 'frightened' of him because of his hairstyle. Fellaini is six foot four and has an extremely thick affrow, which marks the Belgian as a focal point on the pitch for his team-mates. The 25-year-old has been in superb form this season for Everton and is the clubs-leading scorer with 11 goals. However, standing out in the crowd ...

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Pakistan Failed in Protecting Its Citizens

In recent days, the Pakistani city of Quetta was boiling with anger, protests, sentiments and political uproar after a bombing killed as many as 90 people and injured more than 200 others in central Quetta city. The powerful bomb that went off in a densely populated residential area in Quetta killed at least 90 people including many women and children. The bombing brought widespread protests across the coun ...

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Does Quetta Mark the Shaping of Genocide Discourse?

It’s time Pakistan’s political leadership reads the writing on the wall before it is too late. By Faryal Leghari The ruthless targeting of the Shiite Hazara in the provincial capital of Quetta in Balochistan on February 16 marks another sad chapter for Pakistan. Though sectarian conflict is not a new phenomenon, the nature of the attacks and the wider encompassing of victims, including women and children, i ...

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Family sugar remedy tested for healing people’s wounds

A nurse is researching whether an old family remedy using sugar to heal wounds does actually work. Moses Murandu, from Zimbabwe, grew up watching his father use granulated sugar to treat wounds. Sugar is thought to draw water away from wounds and prevent bacteria from multiplying. Early results from a trial on 35 hospital patients in Birmingham are encouraging, but more research is needed. One of the patien ...

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Russia, Arab League see chance for start to Syria dialogue

Moscow - Russia and the Arab League see signs of hope that the rival sides in the Syrian civil war are willing to start talks to end nearly two years of conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and visiting Arab League head Nabil Elaraby said on Wednesday they were encouraged that both the Syrian government and the opposition had voiced readiness for dialogue. "There have been signs of a positive te ...

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Civilian Deaths Drop 12% in Afghanistan: UN

The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan has dropped for the first time in six years, but the number of injured has increased, according to a United Nations report on civilian casualties. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) documented 2,754 civilian deaths in 2012, a 12 percent drop, and 4,805 injuries, a slight rise. "Unama documented a 12 per cent drop in civilian deaths and a marginal i ...

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India, UK Pledge to Aid Afghanistan after 2014

NEW DELHI - Indian and Britain on Tuesday assured Afghanistan of all-out support for its reconstruction even after the withdrawal of foreign troops by the end of 2014. After a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters in New Delhi: "We discussed the situation in Afghanistan and let me make it clear that Britain is not abandoning Afghanist ...

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Protestors Want UN o Blacklist LeJ

KABUL - As a hunger strike by civil society activists in western Herat province entered a third day on Tuesday, dozens protested in Kabul against continued attacks on Shiites in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nearly 50 Hazara tribesmen gathered in front of the UNAMA office in Kabul, calling on the Security Council to declare Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), a terrorist outfit. The group has been declared terrorist by Pak ...

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Senior Pakistani Insurgent Arrested in Afghan East: Officials

Kabul - Afghan security forces captured a top Pakistani Taliban commander during an operation in eastern Afghanistan, security officials said on Tuesday, in a move that could help improve trust between the two countries. The arrest on Monday of Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, a regional commander for Pakistan's Taliban movement, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was hailed as a "big blow" to the movement by an Afghan ...

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Security, Investment in Afghanistan Dominate Delhi Talks

NEW DELHI - Afghanistan, India and the US and on Tuesday discussed the political situation, security, trade and investment in the war-ravaged country, in addition to other issues of common interest. New Delhi hosted the second round of the India-Afghanistan-US trilateral dialogue. The Afghan delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin, with Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affai ...

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The Promising Report on Decreasing Civilian Deaths

The number of civilian casualties in the country has dropped for the first time in six years. According to a United Nations report on civilian casualties, during the year 2012, the deaths of civilians dropped 12 percent as the report by UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that 2,754 civilians had been killed and nearly 5,000 people injured in the last year. In the midst of war and violence, in ...

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ISAF Ministers to Be Briefed On Afghanistan

KABUL - NATO and ISAF defence ministers, who are scheduled to meet in Brussels this week, will be briefed on the current situation in Afghanistan, an alliance official said on Monday. At the two-day meeting, scheduled for Feb. 21-22, the ministers would receive briefings on transition, redeployment, sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces and plans for the new NATO mission after 2014. Dominic Medley, ...

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Quetta: Hazaras refuse to bury Pakistan bomb dead

Ethnic Hazara women in the Pakistani city of Quetta are refusing to bury the bodies of scores of people killed by a huge bomb in a Shia commercial area. Shia Muslim Hazaras are furious at what they see as a lack of protection from local and national forces, in the face of repeated attacks. Saturday's bomb ripped through a busy market district, killing at least 84 and injuring some 169 people. The huge attac ...

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On The Greatness of Service!

By Mahmood Hassan Quraishi According to historians, spread of Islam in the Indian subcontinent (including of present areas of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh etc.) began with the business activities of Muslim traders who used to do trade with the coastal cities of this region. At that time, Hindu religion was in absolute majority in the area followed by the followers of Buddhism but annals of history confir ...

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Future Elections and Lessons from the Past

As Afghanistan is getting closer to the election date in 2014, the election agencies are running out of time in preparations for running a fraud-free election. There are many challenges ahead of the national election agencies which threaten the process of a sound and fair presidential election. Among them, continuation of war and insecurity across the country is a profound challenge to the elections. Accord ...

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Harvesting and Reaping!

The father of the child was sitting in front of me. As expected he first shouted advocating his son and tried all his efforts to make him prove as innocent and having characters similar to that of angels. But when he felt that his approach was going to make the things worse for him and his son and realized the weightlessness of his words, he bent down his head and sat thinking. Silence in the room became ve ...

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ISAF Backs Karzai’s Ban on Air Support for Afghan Raids

Kabul - ISAF 's new commander in Afghanistan said the coalition supports President Hamid Karzai's ban on the Afghan army calling for ISAF  air support during military operations, giving an assurance that the operations can still be effective. Gen Joseph Dunford told a group of senior reporters Sunday morning that the US-led foreign troops will continue to support the missions within the new framework declar ...

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