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Is Karzai With or Against the U.S.?

By Wali Shaaker The U.S. media and political elite have reacted with disappointment and confusion concerning the Afghan President’s recent accusation during his meeting with the American Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. He accused the U.S. o negotiating behind his back with the Taliban on a daily basis. This is not surprising at all. For more than a decade, the U.S. has borne enormous human and economic l ...

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Colleagues Recall Steady Rise of a Young Diplomat Killed in Afghanistan

By Graham Bowley and Monica Davey She was an unassuming young diplomat, only 25, who greeted journalists at the heavily fortified American Embassy gates in Kabul, escorting them to interviews and impressing them with her organization and her studied wish to build bridges between Afghan and American cultures. Anne Smedinghoff arrived in Afghanistan in the middle of the summer heat last July. Tentative, even ...

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The Creeping Corruption in the Parliament

The lower house of the parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, is increasingly getting embroiled in blame games of corruption in the house. The unpleasant fact is that corruption has not remained limited in the executive branch, but is increasingly pervading among the lawmakers. The Wolesi Jirga is going to debate on the allegations that some lawmakers had accepted bribes from the summoned cabinet ministers to vote i ...

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UK To Urge More Help for Syrian Opposition at G8 Talks

London - Britain will call for more help for the Syrian opposition in its civil war against President Bashar al-Assad when G8 foreign ministers meet on Wednesday, but there are no signs of a major shift in policy. North Korean threats of war will also be high on the agenda of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia - me ...

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Failure in Peace Talks, Threat of Civil War: UK MPs

KABUL - A group of the United Kingdom MPs on Tuesday said that the start of an Afghan-led peace deal with the Taliban is needed to secure the future of Afghanistan after British troops leave the country. According to a BCC report, the Defense Select Committee warned that failure to do so could lead to civil war in Afghanistan. In their statement, the MPs said that the UK had a responsibility to use its infl ...

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Karzai Promises Obama to Keep Dangerous Detainees in Prison

President Hamid Karzai spoke by telephone with his US counterpart Barack Obama on Tuesday, whereby Karzai pledged to not release dangerous detainees from Afghan prisons, the White House said in a statement. More than a year after signing an agreement to transfer Bagram prison from US to Afghan control - and two weeks after the final handover took place - US concerns about the release of some detainees remai ...

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New Faculty Building Opens at Balkh University

MAZAR-I-SHARIF - A new building for the engineering faculty at Balkh University was opened on Wednesday when the foundation stones for a girls’ hostel and three faculties were laid in the Northern Province, officials said. Higher Education Minister Dr. Obaidullah Obaid, Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor, Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Sadiq Khan, the university chancellor, lectures and students attende ...

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HIA Team in Talks with Politicians on Polls

KABUL - A delegation of the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), the second largest militant group after the Taliban, has been in Kabul to discuss with political parties the upcoming elections, sources said on Wednesday. The five-member HIA team, led by Mohammad Rasoul, arrived in Kabul a few days ago and had so far held meetings with members of the breakaway faction led by Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, parliamentari ...

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UN Official Inspects Uplift Activities in Logar

PUL-I-ALAM - UN Secretary General's deputy special representative for Afghanistan, Mark Bowden, on Wednesday arrived in central Logar province by road to inspect ongoing development programmes and efforts at good governance. Bowden told a press conference in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital, that the ongoing reconstruction activities reflected that life has become somehow peaceful in Logar. He said people ...

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The Drifting Factors!

One of my close acquaintances travelled to Pakistan for the treatment of his teeth. He was a successful businessman and thus decided to get his teeth treated from a very good hospital in Lahore. He went there with all the legal documents and got his teeth treated. When he was on his way back to home, he was stopped near Pak-Afghan border by police of Pakistan. He was very much confident as he had all the ne ...

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Manchester City Urged to Beat Rivals to Star Names this Summer

Roberto Mancini this week lamented Manchester City's inability to land their top transfer targets last summer, with the Premier League leadings missing out on Robin van Persie and Eden Hazard, and the Italian has been urged not to allow the same thing to happen again. Manchester City were very much in the running to sign both Van Persie and Hazard, but failed to land either of the pair as the former joined ...

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Great Scientist / Good at Math

For many young people who aspire to be scientists, the great bugbear is mathematics. Without advanced math, how can you do serious work in the sciences? Well, I have a professional secret to share: Many of the most successful scientists in the world today are mathematically no more than semiliterate. During my decades of teaching biology at Harvard, I watched sadly as bright undergraduates turned away from ...

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IMF cites three areas for Asia’s dream

AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) higher official had cited three key areas to fulfill Asia’s dream—the path to achieving lasting growth and shared prosperity. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde recently pointed out the three areas to Asia’s recipe for growth, adding that like a field that has been farmed year after year, it may need to be rejuvenated. “First and foremost, investing in physical capi ...

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In Afghanistan, an Unlikely Quest for Asylum

By Kevin Sieff While millions of Afghans seek asylum outside their native country, the world’s unluckiest refugees might be the ones moving in the opposite direction — with no choice but to flee their homes for war-torn Afghanistan. One of them is Abdul Humid, who escaped Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion there, with no idea he would eventually land in another American war zone, part of a small community of ...

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Karzai’s Commitment Crucial for Future Election

With the 2014 presidential election in sight, Afghan government and the political parties are rushing for preparations for the key election which would determine the future course of Afghanistan. On Tuesday, President Karzai invited political figures, jihadi leaders and key government and non-government officials to a consultative meeting at the Presidential Palace. But, the 'Cooperation Council of Politica ...

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North Korea Warns Foreigners to Leave South

Pyongyang - North Korea intensified threats of an imminent conflict against the United States and the South on Tuesday, warning foreigners to evacuate South Korea to avoid being dragged into a "merciless, sacred, retaliatory war". The North's latest antagonistic message belied an atmosphere free of anxiety in the South Korean capital, where the city center was bustling with traffic and offices operated norm ...

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Opposition Alliance Warns Against Poll Fraud

KABUL - A key opposition alliance on Tuesday warned any irregularities in next year’s presidential elections would lead the country to a deep crisis. With the presidential and provincial council polls less than a year away, the government had taken no concrete measures to ensure transparency and inclusiveness, it alleged. Free and fair elections, holding the key to Afghanistan’s democratic future, would lea ...

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India Says Can’t Stay a Bystander in Afghanistan

KABUL - India says that it cannot remain a “bystander” in Afghanistan, cautioning against calls for direct intervention on regional issues. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Monday: “Whatever is happening (in Afghanistan) is happening to us -- physically, spiritually and psychologically.” Speaking at the launch of a report on Afghanistan by the Delhi Policy Group, the minister said events in ...

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IEC Chief Appointment after Draft Law Approval

KABUL - A new Independent Election Commission (IEC) chairman would be appointed after the approval of a draft electoral law by the parliament, a high-level meeting agreed on Tuesday. The agreement came at a meeting, chaired by President Hamid Karzai, on the replacement of the present election chief, Fazal Ahmad Manawi, whose three-year tenure expires at the end of April. National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin ...

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IFAD Pledges $58m in Aid to Afghanistan

KABUL - The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) would provide $58 million in aid to Afghanistan over the next six years for an agriculture project to improve food security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Tuesday. A grant agreement was signed on Tuesday at the IFAD headquarters between Zia Nezam, the Afghanistan ambassador to Italy, and Kanayo F. Nwanze, the IFAD president, ...

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