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Summoned Ministers Warned of No-Confidence Vote

KABUL - The deputy speaker of the lower house on Saturday warned that lawmakers could bring no-confidence motions against nearly a dozen ministers if they failed to appear before the assembly on Monday. The Wolesi Jirga on Thursday voted to summon the 11 Cabinet members for failing to use less than half of the development funds released to their ministries as part of the 2011 budget. Deputy Speaker Haji Abd ...

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Opposition Alliance Calls for Interim Govt.

Kabul - The main opposition alliance on Saturday called for installing an interim government before the 2014 presidential election. Ahmad Zia Massoud, the Afghanistan National Front (ANF) leader, told reporters in Kabul a government -- seeking to perpetuate itself in power by employing all possible means -- could not promote democracy in the country. Also a former vice-president, Massoud said his concern wa ...

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President Karzai Plays Down ‘Zero Option’ Talks

Washington - American forces would remain in Afghanistan after 2014, when security transition is to be completed, but would be stationed only at certain facilities in limited numbers to continue fighting against al Qaeda and its affiliates, President Hamid Karzai said on Friday. Addressing students of the Georgetown University, he categorically ruled out the possibility of a “zero option” -- meaning the US ...

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Karzai, Obama Agree on Early Combat Handover to Afghan Forces

US troops in Afghanistan will end "most" combat operations this spring, US President Barack Obama and Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai have said. They said US troops were expected to switch to a support role, slightly earlier than originally scheduled, as Afghan forces take the security lead. The two leaders also backed the holding of talks in Doha, Qatar, between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Most ...

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Karzai, Clinton Discuss Reconciliation Drive

Washington - Ahead of a crucial summit at the White House, visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a wide range of issues, including the presence of US forces in his country after 2014. Clinton hosted a working dinner for Karzai and his delegation, which was preceded by a one-on-one meeting between the two. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also attended the dinner. ...

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US May Pull out All Troops from Afghanistan after 2014

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration does not rule out a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 2014, the White House said on Tuesday, just days before President Barack Obama is due to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The comments by U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes were the clearest signal yet that, despite initial recommendations by the top military commander in Afgh ...

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Ministers to Appear Before Wolesi Jirga on Monday

Kabul - Wolesi Jirga (lower house) members were finally able on Wednesday to settle their differences over summoning nearly a dozen ministers who failed to effectively utilise their last fiscal year's budgetary allocations. With a majority vote last month, the assembly agreed to summon the 11 Cabinet members for spending less than 50 percent of their development budgets in 2011, but later differences surfac ...

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US Links Afghan Aid to Good Governance

Washington - The United States on Tuesday asserted an increase in the percentage of its aid routed through the Afghan government would depend on the progress in anti-corruption measures, transparency and governance. “We have continued to evaluate what the appropriate percentage is. We've made a pledge that about 50 percent ought to go through the Afghan government, but this has been tied to our expectation ...

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Vehicles, Guns Missing From Nuristan Police HQs

Kabul - A fact-finding commission on Tuesday informed Meshrano Jirga, the Upper House of the Parliament that 66 police pick-ups and 2,700 weapons had disappeared from the police headquarters in eastern Nuristan province over the past few years. Hafiz Abdul Qayyum, who led the delegation, confirmed that Nuristan police had been delivered 90 of the 127 pick-ups sanctioned. The police currently received 24 veh ...

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Karzai, Obama to Discuss Future Partnership

Kabul - President Hamid Karzai is due to enter crucial talks with the Americans on issues including Washington's stance on the Taliban political bureau in Qatar and the US military presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat soldiers, a senior official said. At the head of a high-level delegation, including his foreign minister, the security transition commission chief and top Afghan ...

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NATO Backs Political Settlement in Afghanistan

Kabul - NATO on Tuesday reiterated its stout support for the Afghan-led reconciliation process and a political settlement in the country. “A wide, broad and inclusive dialogue is the best way forward,” Dominic Medley, spokesman for NATO’s senior civilian representative to Afghanistan, told a news conference in Kabul. Asked if the alliance was ready to negotiate with the Taliban’s Quetta Shura, the spokesman ...

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Karzai Leaves for US on a Three-Day Visit

KABUL - President Hamid Karzai, at the head of a high-level delegation, left for Washington on Monday on a three-day official visit, an official said. Karzai will discuss with his US counterpart Barack Obama wide-ranging issues, including security, economic cooperation and political transition. Equipping and strengthening Afghan security forces, the peace process and a bilateral security agreement are also ...

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1,400 Held over Violence against Women

Kabul - More than 1,400 perpetrators of violence against women have been arrested across the country during the ongoing Afghan calendar year, officials said on Monday. Addressing a meeting at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Kabul, Deputy Director of Gender and Human Rights Department at Ministry of Interior Syed Umar Saboor expressed concerns over the growing violence against females. He said cases again ...

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Abdullah Slams Govt. for Violating Constitution

Kabul - National Coalition of Afghanistan Chairman Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Monday praised efforts of the Independent Commission for monitoring the implementation of the constitution. Speaking at an event in commemoration of the adoption of Afghanistan’s constitution nine years ago, Abdullah hit out at the government for what he called consistent violations of constitutional provisions. He stressed the role ...

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MPs Clash over Summoning Ministers

Kabul - Two Wolesi Jirga members on Monday nearly came to blows on the issue of summoning a dozen ministers who spent less than half of their development funds in 2011. The lower house had earlier voted overwhelmingly for summoning 11 ministers, but later started sparing over their decision during the past three weeks. Ministries of defence, interior, commerce, economy, counter-narcotics, water and energy, ...

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$450,000 Stolen from Afghan Millie Bank

  KABUL - Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been stolen from three branches of the Afghan Millie Bank, a senior official said on Sunday. Several people have been detained on suspicion of complicity in the theft. Mohibullah Safi, the bank’s chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News that a moneychanger had filched $200,000 from the bank’s branch in Kabul. But security forces had arrested the individuals who st ...

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Pakistan to Release 3,000 Afghan Trucks Stranded At Borders

Kabul - Pakistani officials will release 3,000 Afghan trucks on Monday after a bilateral meeting with Afghan traders and officials, officials said. A delegation from the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries travelled to Pakistan to attend the fourth Joint Afghan-Pak Chamber of Commerce and Industries Summit aimed at easing the transit and trade issues between the two countries. As many as 3,000 Afghan ...

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