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President Karzai’s Realistic Approach

President Hamid Karzai discussed a wide variety of national issues on Wednesday in a major address in a joint session of the Parliament. Generally, we witnessed a more realistic approach from the president in his speech regarding to most critical issues such as the 2014 election, peace negotiations and Pakistan’s role and rights of the people. In his speech, the president tried to respond to the main concer ...

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Afghans clinch T20 series against Scots

KABUL - Afghanistan mauled Scotland by seven wickets in the second T20 match to clinch the series at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates on Monday night, a board official said on Tuesday. Scotland won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 139 runs, Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) spokesman Farid Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News. Calum MacLeod, Matthew Machan and Moneeb Iqbal contribut ...

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ACB, PCB to sign MoU on cooperation

KABUL - Pakistan would technically support Afghan players and arrange trial camps for them under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would be signed soon, officials said on Tuesday. "The MoU between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) is under process and will be formally signed soon," PCB Media General Manager Nadeem Sarwar told Pajhwok Afghan News. The two sides agree ...

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Issues of Returnees in Limbo

More than three-decades of bloodshed in the country has destroyed public properties and damaged the whole infrastructure which has to be rebuilt but would take several years. In the years of violence the big loss was definitely the departure of Afghans from homeland in order to save their skins as well as their dear ones. The conflicts had compelled millions of Afghans to leave their ancestral lands and liv ...

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Afghan Peace Process and Minorities’ Concerns

By Mohammad Rasouli Afghanistan, a country with a weak central government, rampant corruption, deep ethnic divisions within its society, has been trying to break the peace stalemate since the start of the second term presidency of president Karzai in 2009. Since its beginning, it has been a challenging process and all parties involved are getting more and more concerned about the future, especially minoriti ...

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100 million sharks killed each year, say scientists

Protect sharks or they face possible extinction in a generation, scientists warn as they gather in Bangkok for Cites meeting Almost 100 million sharks are being killed each year, with fishing rates outstripping the ability of populations to recover, scientists have estimated. Sharks need better protection to prevent possible extinction of many species within coming decades, the researchers warned ahead of l ...

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Syria Crisis: Raqqa Governor Held by Rebels ‘As City Falls’

Damascus - Syrian rebels have captured the governor of the northern province of Raqqa after over-running most its capital city, activists say. Amateur video said to be from Raqqa appeared to show Hassan Jalili and another senior ruling party official seated among jubilant armed fighters. The takeover of Raqqa would mark a major gain for the rebels in their two-year fight against the regime. Reports say clas ...

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Kabul Bank’s Ex-Bosses Jailed, Fined

KABUL - A special tribunal on Tuesday handed down prison sentences to Kabul Bank’s former executives and ordered them to return hundreds of millions of dollars they had stolen. Ex-chairman of Kabul bank Sher Khan Farnoud and former chief executive officer Khalilullah Ferozi were found guilty of stealing $278 million and $530 million respectively. While announcing the long-awaited verdict on the big-time ban ...

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German Defense Minister Arrives in Afghanistan on Surprise Visit

Kabul - German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere following an unannounced visit on Tuesday arrived to Afghanistan to visit German troops. During his visit to Afghanistan defense minister Thomas de Maiziere headed to the International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command North base at Mazar-i-Sharif, since February commanded by German Brigadier General Jörg Vollmer. De Maiziere has visited Afghanis ...

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Pakistan Distances Itself from Controversial Cleric’s Comments

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the head of the country’s Ulema Council Allama Tahir Ashrafi denied he had made any justification on suicide bombings in Afghanistan. In response to a question regarding the statement attributed to Tahir Ashrafi justifying suicide bombings in Afghanistan, the office of spokesman of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said that that Maulana Ashrafi had denied making an ...

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Peace Talks Surest Way to End Violence: US

WASHINGTON - Peace and reconciliation is the surest way to end violence in Afghanistan, the US said on Monday, throwing its weight behind the Afghan-led process. “So we continue to have the objective of Afghans sitting down with Afghans to determine the future of their country,” State Department spokesman told reporters at his daily news conference. Patrick Ventrell said: “Obviously we want those who are co ...

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Afghanistan pip Mongolia for 2nd win

KABUL -  Maintaining their triumphant run, Afghanistan overcame Mongolia 1-0 in their second match of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Laos on Monday. Divided into five groups, 20 countries are participating in the annual competition, whose winners be qualify for the Asian Football Confederation Cup. In the first half, neither side could score any goal, but Bilal Arezu found the ...

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Mind Your Business!

  Suppose that you have been advised by your doctor to do exercise on daily basis for the sake of your health. You checked your tight schedule and with all the difficulties, spared an hour in the evening for exercise. In order to assure the punctuality, you informed everyone at home not to disturb you in the given time and also arranged the rest of your responsibilities accordingly. Two days passed by and y ...

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Pakistan Bomb: Karachi Standstill after Shias Attacked

The Pakistani city of Karachi is in mourning after a powerful bomb ripped through a mainly Shia Muslim area, killing at least 45 people. Schools and businesses are closed after a strike was called to protest against the attack in Abbas Town. No group has yet said it planted the bomb, which went off near a mosque as worshippers left evening prayers. Pakistan's Shia minority are the target of frequent sectari ...

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NATO to Stand by Afghanistan: Rasmussen

KABUL: The NATO secretary-general on Monday reaffirmed the alliance’s commitment to Afghanistan well beyond the withdrawal of foreign combat troops from the country. “Let there be no doubt; our commitment is certain to the end of transition and beyond it. NATO will stand by you," Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a joint news conference with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. Following talks with Karzai, the former ...

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Taliban Mull Political Movement: Mutasim

KABUL - As NATO-led troops prepare to exit Afghanistan by the end of next year, the Taliban are weighing the option of a political settlement of the conflict in the war-weary country, a senior leader of the movement has said. Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, former head of the Taliban Political Commission, told a Pakistani newspaper on Monday: “We must launch a political movement to achieve the goals for which we h ...

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Kabul Bank Special Court Urges Gov. to Heed Verdict

The head of the Kabul Bank special court has urged the Afghan government to take its findings seriously a day before it is due to deliver its verdict. Special court chief Shamsurrahman Shams said Monday the court will hand down its decision tomorrow on the 22 defendants charged with being involved in Kabul Bank's collapse. "The court which is a preliminary hearing will specify the fate of 22 defendants of t ...

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Pakistan, Qatar Support Afghan Peace Drive

KABUL - Pakistan has renewed its commitment to stabilising Afghanistan, calling an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue central to lasting peace in the conflict-devastated country. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, currently on a visit to Qatar, voiced stout support for the ongoing Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation campaign, the Pakistan embassy in Kabul said. At a meeting with her Qatari counterpart ...

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A Taliban Split in the Making

As the efforts are continuing to reconcile the Taliban and other insurgent groups, a prominent Taliban leader, Mullah Agha Jan Motasim hints at turning the insurgents’ leaders to law-abiding politicians through establishing a legitimate political party. Perhaps it was surprising for all, as no one expected a Taliban leader to openly talk about founding political party and showing readiness for denouncing vi ...

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Obama Signs Sweeping US Budget Cuts Into Effect

Washington - US President Barack Obama has signed into effect a wave of steep spending cuts which he has warned could damage the US economy.The cuts - known as the sequester and drawn up two years ago - will take $85bn (£56bn) from the US federal budget this year.Last-ditch talks at the White House to avert the reductions before Friday's deadline broke up without agreement. The IMF has warned the cuts could ...

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