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UK names two men in Pakistan leader’s murder

British detectives investigating the 2010 murder of Pakistani politician Imran Farooq in London have named two men they want to trace in connection with the killing. Farooq, 50, a founding member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was stabbed and beaten to death in Edgware, northwest London, as he returned home from work on September 16, 2010. The two men are both Pakistani nationals who left Britain in ...

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Iraq Shia worshippers killed in suicide blast

A suicide bomber has killed at least 19 people at a Shia mosque in central Baghdad, officials have said, while violence elsewhere in Iraq left four dead, the latest in a protracted surge in bloodshed. The bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the mosque in Baghdad's Shorja district on Tuesday as worshippers were preparing for midday prayers. Another 26 people were wounded in the blast, security and medi ...

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Voter turnout low in Egypt elections

Low voter turnout has been reported on the second and final day of Egyptian presidential elections, as former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is expected to emerge as the country's next president. While the Egyptian government declared a national holiday for Tuesday in an effort to get voters to cast their ballots, an official with international monitoring group Global Network for Rights and Development rep ...

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A Third Option for US Engagement in Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama is deliberating over a third option for American military presence in Afghanistan: to leave about 10,000 troops for two years and withdrawing completely after 2016. This is while the day before Obama told American forces at Bagram airfield that the United States will continue supporting the people of Afghanistan. This is completely in contrast to the recommendations of American mil ...

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The Last-ditch Electoral Groupings

With the ongoing electoral campaigns and coalition-buildings, President Karzai's brother Mahmood Karzai endorsed presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah in the second round of the elections. Karzai said that they have agreed on national issues and he backed Abdullah for his economic plans for Afghanistan. Mahmood Karzai’s endorsement of Abdullah is coming as the latest of a series of political coalition-ma ...

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Russia Reaches Out To Ukraine’s New Leader

  Russia's foreign minister has said the Kremlin is "ready for pragmatic dialogue" with Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's would-be president, without any Western mediation. Sergey Lavrov's comments on Monday came as Poroshenko - leading with about 54 percent in Ukraine's presidential elections according to figures from 75 percent of the precincts - said he hoped to meet Russia's leaders in the first half of ...

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Sadly, Rights on Paper for the Disabled

By Zarghona Salehi KABUL (Pajhwok): Even government offices have flouted the law on jobs for the disabled, according to an Independent Media Consortium (IMC) investigation. Article 22 of the Law on Rights and Privileges of Persons with Disabilities says 3 percent of jobs in all offices -- whether private or government -- have to go to the disabled. But estimates by the Ministry of Labour, Social affairs, Ma ...

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Balkh gets 150 more polling sites

MAZAR-I-SHARIF: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on Monday an additional 150 polling sites would open on the voting day in northern Balkh province, where 13 polling stations are under high security threat. A gathering was arranged by Nihad Radio in the provincial capital to ensure greater participation of locals in the election. Residents and provincial IEC officials attended the meeting. IEC ...

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Security Lapses Challenge To Runoff: IDLG

KABUL: The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) on Monday called the runoff presidential vote challenging, warning militants might foment trouble in case of major security lapses. Addressing a meeting of ministries’ spokespersons, provincial governors and police chiefs, IDLG deputy head Abdul Mateen Baig said the militants were preparing to avenge their defeat during the first round of electio ...

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2 Dead In Attack on Defense Ministry Bus

KABUL: Two people were killed and nine others wounded on Monday when a bus of the Defence Ministry came under suicide bomb attack in the heavily-fortified central capital Kabul. The bomber ploughed his explosives-rigged motorbike into the vehicle in the Cement Khana locality of the 16th police district, said Gen. Zahir Azimi, the ministry spokesman. His deputy, Dawlat Waziri, said all the dead and wounded w ...

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Karzai in Delhi for Modi’s Swearing-In Ceremony

KABUL: President Hamid Karzai arrived in New Delhi on Monday to attend the swearing-in ceremony for India's prime minister-elect Narendra Modi, his office said. Karzai is scheduled to meet high-ranking Indian officials, including outgoing premier Manmohan Singh, to discuss issues of mutual interest. The president is accompanied by Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani and National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin ...

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Philippines Call For Restoration Of Democracy In Thailand

MANILA, The Philippine government joined Sunday other countries in calling for the immediate restoration of democracy in now military-run Thailand. In a statement, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Charles Jose said that as a friend and fellow member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines hopes the Thai people will be able to resolve the latest political challe ...

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Pakistan Releases Scores of Indian Fishermen

Pakistan has ordered the release of Indian fishermen in their custody, a day before India swears in right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party's Narendra Modi as its new prime minister, according to reports. Authorities released 59 Indian fishermen from the Malir jail in Karachi and another 92 from Nara jail in Hyderabad in Sindh province, India's PTI news agency reported on Sunday.   Syed Nazir Hussain, the su ...

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8 Troops Shot Dead In Balochistan Attack

KABUL: Eight paramilitary troops were killed and a ninth wounded in a gun attack in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Sunday. Unidentified gunmen fired at a checkpoint of the Levies personnel in the Jauhar area of Wadh sub-district on the Quetta-Karachi Highway, a media report said. Police and rescue teams reached the site and evacuated the injured to Khuzdar Civil Hospital. Balochistan Home S ...

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Obama’s Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

As the presidential elections in Afghanistan have overshadowed the US-Afghanistan relations, US president Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday. According to the reports he visited US troops stationed in Afghanistan as the country is declining its military presence and ending the long-lasting Afghan war. On Sunday, there were mixed reports whether Obama would meet Afghanistan’s outgoin ...

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Senators seek tit-for-tat response to Pak attacks

KABUL: Some senators on Sunday suggested a tit-for-tat response to Pakistan’s rocket strikes, warning the cross-border attacks threatened security for the runoff presidential elections. An upper house member from central Parwan province, Mir Hussain Sadiqi, accused Pakistan of trying to keep the pot boiling in Afghanistan to achieve its nefarious designs. Pakistan had resumed cross-border incursions in rece ...

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Taliban release 23 policemen in Badakhshan

FAIZABAD: Of the 36 captives they had kidnapped during the siege of Yamgan district in northeastern Badakhshan province, Taliban have released 23 policemen, an official said on Sunday. The captives had sought refuge in a cave in the district when it was captured by the militants, Badakhshan police chief Lt. Gen. Fazluddin Ayar told Pajhwok Afghan News. Mediation by tribal elders helped secure the release of ...

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President of US in a Secret Visit to Afghanistan

President Barack Obama secretly enters into Afghanistan under the cover of darkness Sunday for a weekend visit with U.S. troops serving in the closing months of America's longest war Obama is expected to spend a few hours at the main US base in Afghanistan – Bagram air field. It is yet not clear if President Obama will have a meeting with President Hamid Karzai during his visit to Afghanistan. This happens ...

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Militants’ surrender to bolster poll security

BAMYAN CITY: With the surrender of 20 militants, polling sites that previously faced threats would become secure in central Bamyan province, an official hoped on Saturday. Mohammad Sadiq Ali Yar, head of the peace committee, lauded the group for shunning violence and joining the peace process. He said the ongoing insurgency was legalising the presence of foreign troops in the country. During the April 5 ele ...

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Afghanistan’s Hidden Gems

It's reckoned that as much as 60 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product has been generated from the presence of foreign troops over the past decade - either directly through military spending in the country, or because of the billions of dollars of aid and investment that followed in its wake. As recently as 2011, around 45 percent of the government's core budget - money for wages and running costs ...

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