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Wardak Provincial Council Fears Ban on US Forces

Maidan Wardak's provincial council Saturday said that the central province will not be secure without the US Special Forces, following a presidential decree banning the elite US forces from the region. "This is a fact: there will be more threats and the Afghan forces do not have the capability of providing security in those areas," head of the Wardak council Mohammad Rafi Wardak said. He said the decree of ...

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Russia Makes Afghanistan ‘Priority’ for UN Security Council

Moscow - Russia is making Afghanistan the priority of the UN Security Council for the month of March as it assumes the council's rotating presidency, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The presidency rotates monthly in alphabetical order of the Security Council member nations' names in English. The role involves setting the agenda, presiding at its meetings and overseeing the response to any crisis. "The si ...

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How Washington Sees Afghanistan

At a debate Thursday among analysts and advocates on whether the U.S. should remain in Afghanistan past 2014, when the NATO combat mission there is scheduled to end, the four panelists differed mostly on the degree of U.S. presence that would be required past that date. None advocated for a full withdrawal. Frederick W. Kagan, director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute and ...

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Pakistani Clerics Promote Hate and Extremism

A top Pakistani cleric’s comments on suicide attacks in Afghanistan met with anger and condemnation from The Afghanistan Ulema Council (AUC) and some analysts. Pakistan’s Ulema Council Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi called the suicide attacks in Afghanistan permissible and that the Pakistani Ulema Council would never condemn the Taliban atrocities in Afghanistan. The Pakistani cleric told BBC correspondent i ...

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Russia Says “Friends of Syria” Encourage Extremists

Moscow - Russia said on Friday that decisions made at a "Friends of Syria" meeting in Rome, at which Western and Arab states pledged aid for Syrian rebels, would embolden President Bashar al-Assad's foes seeking his overthrow. Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said rebel attempts to topple Assad would inevitably cause suffering among civilians in Syria, where more than 70,000 people have been ...

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Suicide Attacks in Afghanistan Permissibl: Pakistani Top Cleric

The head of Pakistani Ulema Council called suicide attacks in Afghanistan permissible, saying that Pakistan’s clerics boycotted the planned Kabul Meeting of Afghan and Pakistani Ulema because Afghan religious scholars opposed representatives of the Taliban to attend the Meeting. Allama Tahir Ashrafi, the head of Pakistani Ulema Council told BBC correspondent Abdul Hai Sahar that the reason behind their refu ...

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Hagel Orders Replacement of Units in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday issued his first deployment orders on Afghanistan, his spokesman said. “Secretary Hagel approved his first deployment orders this afternoon, including orders to deploy combat arms and combat support units to Afghanistan to replace existing units,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said. Hagel was sworn in as defense secretary on Wednesday. Today ...

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President Orders 1,000 Prisoners Freed

KABUL - More than 1,000 inmates continue to languish in various prisons, despite completing their jail terms, the presidential office said on Thursday. Minister of Interior Ghulam Mujtaba Patang said this at a meeting chaired by President Hamid Karzai, a statement from his office said. Such meetings are held with security departments for the enforcement of law, according to the statement. Patang told partic ...

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Did U.S. Special Forces Commit Atrocities in a Key Afghan Province?

A cold wind blew through the bomb-shattered windows of the provincial governor’s offices, wetting with snow the woolen shawls and eyelashes of the men packed into the meeting room. Around 200 elders from some of the most embattled districts of Afghanistan‘s strategic Wardak Province had gathered there to show their support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai‘s decree earlier this week that NATO Special Forces ...

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Integrating Local Militias

A newborn commission constituted by President Hamid Karzai to assess the integration of local militias into the Afghan armed forces would face tough challenges. It is perceived that the socio-political structure of the country and economic burden are likely to hamper efforts of the government in this regard. However, success would ultimately address complaints of the public and could decide fate of the loca ...

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