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Computerized ID Cards Unlikely Before Polls

KABUL - Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Amirzai Sangin said on Tuesday that technical problems continued to block the issuance of computerised identity cards ahead of elections. Addressing the first-ever Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Conference in Kabul, Sangin said officials and representatives of telecom firms from 20 countries participated in the event. The part ...

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Afghan Writers Profile Afghanistan’s Business Women

Kabul- While recent headlines focus on the injustices suffered by women in Afghanistan, the Afghan  Women’s Writing Project launched a new interview series that focuses on victories gained in women’s rights. “Women in Business,” is a collection of powerful stories about successful Afghan business women who, with little or no education, learned a skill they could transform into a small business. The intervie ...

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Mohaqiq Quits as MP to Contest Presidential Vote

KABUL - Wahdat-i-Islami Party chief Mohammad Mohaqiq on Tuesday announced his resignation as a member of the Wolesi Jirga, lower house of the parliament, to contest next year’s presidential vote. The Hazara community leader told Pajhwok Afghan News he had tendered his resignation to the Wolesi Jirga’s Administrative Board. He said it would become clear on Sunday whether he would run for the presidency or vi ...

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The Horrifying Situation of Pakistan’s Christians

On Sunday, two bomb blasts near a church in Peshawar city of Pakistan killed as many as 80 people from the Christian minority of Pakistan and wounded many dozens others. The attack brought wide condemnation from the country’s within and from across the world. Pakistan’s Christian minority group has long been facing persecutions and harassment because of the controversial blasphemy law and by the hard-line m ...

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Iran Says 80 Prisoners Freed Ahead of Rouhani’s U.N. Visit

Tehran - Iranian authorities have pardoned 80 prisoners ahead of President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the United Nations in New York this week, Iranian media reported on Monday. In a tentative sign that hardline policies are starting to soften following moderate conservative Rouhani's inauguration last month, authorities freed prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and at least 10 other prisoners last ...

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Ban Ki-Moon Condemns Peshawar Church Attack

New York - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned Sunday’s “atrocious” terrorist attack on a church in Peshawar and called on the government to bring the perpetrators to justice.  A statement issued by UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the secretary general was “appalled” by the attack, which had reportedly killed more than 75 people and wounded over 100 others as they were attending Sunday ...

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Kazakh PM: Strengthening of Border with Afghanistan is Vital for CSTO

Baku - Strengthening of the Tajik-Afghan border is vital for the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov believes, Novosti-Kazakhstan reported. "The growing instability in Afghanistan and intensification of Taliban activity forces us to think and seriously prepare for the possible negative situations in Central Asia after 2014," Akhmetov said at the CSTO meeting in Soch ...

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MoMP Starts Bidding For Constructing Three Cement Plants across Afghanistan

  Kabul - The Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on Sunday announced that the bidding process for constructing three cement plants in Jabal-ul-Siraj district of Parwan province, Ghori in Baghlan province and Hear province began on September 22nd. The bidding will continue until November 5th and the final list of the tender winners would be announced in February, 2014. Wahidullah Shahrani, th ...

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Australia Clamps Down on Information About Asylum Seekers

Canberra - Australia's government said on Monday it would no longer provide regular information on asylum boats turned away or on emergencies at sea involving asylum seekers under a new military operation to curb people trafficking. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, accused by rights groups of imposing a gag on an issue which split voters in a September 7 election, said the government would no longer pro ...

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Egypt Court Bans All Muslim Brotherhood Activities

Cairo - An Egyptian court on Monday banned the Muslim Brotherhood from carrying out any activities in the country and ordered the seizure of the group's funds, widening a campaign to debilitate the Islamist movement of deposed President Mohamed Mursi. "The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its non-governmental organization and all the activities that it participates in and ...

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France Cleared the Use of Frozen Funds to Export Food to Syria

Paris - France has cleared the use of frozen Syrian bank assets to fund the export of food to the country as part of a European Union system that allows such funds to be used for humanitarian ends, a spokeswoman at the French trade ministry said. The European Union, United States and other Western countries have imposed sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's government over his crackdown on the revolt in ...

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North Korea Rocket Engine Test ‘Probable’ – Report

Pyongyang - New satellite images of North Korea indicate that it probably tested a long-range rocket engine in August, a US think tank says. Imagery showed fresh activity at North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launching Station, including what looked like a rocket stage, the report said. The report also described blackened vegetation that was probably caused by flames and exhaust from the engine.Last December, Py ...

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Triumphant Merkel Starts Tough Task of Seeking Coalition

Berlin - Germany's Angela Merkel began trying to persuade her centre-left rivals to keep her in power on Monday, after her conservatives notched up their best election result in more than two decades but fell short of an absolute majority. Even the chancellor's political foes acknowledged she was the big winner of the first German vote since the start of the euro crisis in 2010 thrust the pastor's daughter ...

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Russia’s Putin Says Syria Violence Could Hit Ex-Soviet Bloc

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin warned ex-Soviet allies on Monday that Islamist militancy fuelling the war in Syria could reach their countries, some of which have Muslim majorities. Russia, which has a large Muslim minority of its own and is fighting an Islamist insurgency, has accused the West of helping militants by seeking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's removal without paying enough attent ...

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Social Media Can Bring Government and Citizens Closer: Amarkhil

Kabul - On the second-day of the social media summit titled- "Paiwand," Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhil, the head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Secretariat, on Monday said that the social media platforms can play a key role in bridging the gap between the citizens and government. Mr. Amarkhil emphasized on the power of social media and talked about the ways by means of which people can speak out their gr ...

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IEC Demands Guaranteed Security for Its Employees Ahead of Elections

Kabul - Noor Muhammad Noor, the spokesman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), on Monday warned the Afghan government saying that if it failed to ensure security of the Commission's employees, then the IEC would be unable to hold the elections in an efficient and transparent manner. The warning from Mr. Noor came in after five employees of the IEC, including two women were kidnapped by a group of u ...

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Up To 800,000 Afghan Refugees Face Deportation from Iran

Tehran - Some 840,000 registered Afghan refugees in Iran are reportedly going to face mandatory deportation, Mehr news agency reported citing Iran's Director General of the Bureau of Aliens and Foreign Immigrants, Aziz Kazemi. The validity of about 840,000 Afghan citizens' legal documents expired on September 6, Kazemi said, adding that they should leave the country. He went on to note that Afghani Official ...

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Memorial not Enough, Implement Justice

The Afghan government has announced it is planning a special ceremony to honor the "known and unknown" victims of the past wars through a funeral services and half-mast flags across the country next Monday. The event is planned for the memorial of the 5000 victims, killed in 1970s, whose names were recently released by local 8Sobh Daily in Kabul. A statement issued by the office of President Hamid Karzai sa ...

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Taliban Leader Awaits Fate in Karachi Safe House: Sources

  Islamabad - Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a former Taliban second-in-command released in Pakistan this weekend, is being kept in a safe house in Karachi as regional powers debate his role in the Afghan peace process, sources in Pakistan said on Sunday. Afghanistan sees Baradar as a respected figure who could use his influence among the Taliban to help coax moderate commanders to the negotiating table a ...

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70 Registration Centres Closed in Paktia

GARDEZ -Around 70 voter registration centres have been closed due to insecurity in several of districts of southern Paktia province, an official said on Sunday. Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief for the province, Amir Hamza Ahmadzai, told Pajhwok Afghan News the registration centres had been closed in Zadran, Garda Serai, Shawak, Janikhel, Samkani and Zurmat. He claimed the provincial IEC had shar ...

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