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Hamid Karzai calls for regional cooperation

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for joint regional cooperation to fight the menace of terrorism after a deadly attack on military parade in Iran left scores of people dead or wounded.

The Office of the Former President in a statement said the former President Hamid Karzai strongly condemns the attack on military parade in Ahvaz city. Karzai said foreign hands are attempting to spread war and chaos in Afghanistan and the region and spark divisions among the people.

Insisting that the regional peace and stability has links with the peace in Afghanistan, Karzai said the regional countries, including Iran should not turn a blind eye to the ongoing violence in Afghanistan. He said Iran and the regional countries should seriously support and cooperate in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.

A group of armed men on Saturday attacked a military parade in Ahvaz city of Iran leaving scores of people dead or wounded.

According to the latest reports, at least 29 people were killed and nearly 70 others were wounded in the attack, including women and children. No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the deadly attack.


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Jaghato raid: MoD probe civilian casualties

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Investigation into the alleged killing of 10 civilians was underway and the results would be soon shared with the media, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Monday.

As a result of operations conducted by Special Forces in Jaghato district of Maidan Wardak province, eight Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) were released from a Taliban prison, MoD Spokesman Ghafoor Jawid said. Eleven Taliban also have been killed in this operation, he said.

Further he said that as result of operations in other areas of the mentioned district, Qari Said Rahman Taliban’s shadow district governor for Jaghato along with their commander Mullah Abdul Rahman and a local leader known as Muslim were killed.

Referring to the security of election he said: “We assure the Afghan people that ANDSF will ensure the security of elections so that they can participate in the elections in a safe environment.”

When asked about the security situation in Ghazni he said: “In Ghazni province, we have launched extensive clearance and offensive operations, the people should not be concerned, we have enough forces and we had great achievements there. ANDSF inflicted heavy causality to the enemies.”



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Five police killed, four injured in Zabul shootout

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: A Taliban detainee killed a police guard and wounded eight others in southern Zabul province, officials said Monday.

The Taliban detainee snatched Kalashnikov rifle from his police guard after he was freed from the lockup in police headquarters of Shahr-e-Safa district for prayers, said Gul Islam Sayal, spokesman of Zabul governor.

He told AIP the detainee opened fire on police, injuring a cop and wounding two others. The detainee disappeared after entering the dining room of the district police headquarters, he added.

The gubernatorial spokesman said efforts were underway to find and arrest the escapee. However, a press release issued by Zabul police headquarters stated that five police personnel were killed and four more injured in the incident.

Quoting Zabul police chief Muhammad Mustafa Mayar, the press release said. “A person, whose identity could not be ascertained immediately, opened fire on police in Shahr-e-Safa district headquarters. Later, he entered a weapon cache and engaged the police in gunfight. Resultantly, five police personnel were killed and four more sustained injuries.”

According to Muhammad Mustafa Mayar, the weapon cache caught fire, leaving the attacker dead.

Earlier, Zabul governor’s spokesman said the incident occurred in the police headquarters. He said that the Taliban prisoner entered the kitchen of the police headquarters after the attack. The kitchen caught fire as a result of gunfight between the attack and police, he added.

In a separate incident, the police chief said three police personnel were killed when their vehicle struck an IED in Jaldak area in the provincial capital Kalat city.

The incident was under investigation, he added.


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Bomb-making factory destroyed

Monitoring Desk

GARDEZ/KUNDUZ CITY: Security forces have destroyed Taliban’s bombing-making factory in the Zurmat district of southeastern Paktia province, an official said on Monday.

Police spokesman Sardar Wali Tabasum told media that the Afghan Air Force struck the factory late Sunday night. Two militants named Hikmatullah Nizai and Hamas were also killed. In Kunduz, a five-member group of Taliban joined the peace process. Governor Abdul Jabbar Naeemi, addressing a ceremony, hoped the positive development would save lives.

He urged other insurgents to join the peace process and thereby contribute to Afghanistan’s stability and reconstruction. He hoped the militants would live in peace.


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Pashtuns express love, affection for history, tradition

Rafiullah Mandokhail

ZHOB: International Pashtun Culture Day celebrated here in Zhob and other Pashtun dominated districts of Balochistan province. Nationalist parties, literary and culture organizations and social activists arranged musical programs and cultural shows to mark the day and highlight the centuries old Pashtuns’ history and their rich culture.

Children were wearing brightly colored and embroidered dresses. The youngsters clad in traditional dresses and wearing turbans performed traditional dance ‘Attan’ to the tune of Pashto folk songs and drumbeat in every nook and corner of the province including provincial capital. Functions were also held in Loralai, Pishin, Ziarat, Chaman, Musakhail, Harnai, Killa Saifullah, Muslim Bagh, Duki, Khanozai and other parts of the province. University of Balochistan Pashto department held a seminar to mark the day.

President Pashtana Mutaraqee Leekwal (Progressive writers) Muhammad Sharif Sherani, who presided over a function at district assembly hall says, celebrating the day is aimed at highlight the rich culture and to show unity, solidarity and promote peace, brotherhood and tolerance in the society. “Pashtuns having rich history and culture, are hospitable, peace-loving people and believe in non-violence,” adding those who forget their culture and history are vanished.

In order to keep our culture alive, we must hold cultural events regularly to link the new generation with the history and culture. He emphasizes. It is to be mentioned that the Ex-minister Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal had announced to observe Pashtun Culture Day on September 23rd every year. He made this announcement soon after the decision made in the International Pashto Literary Conference held in Quetta in Sep 2015. The day has now become an annual feature since it was first celebrated two years back.



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Ninth grade student electrocuted to death in Lakki Marwat

Ghulam Mursalin Marwat

LAKKI MARWAT: Muhammad Nasir, a tenth grade student of Government High School No. 2 Lakki died of electric shock in Sherukhel (Khoidadkhel) locality of Lakki city. The student was electrocuted to death as soon as he tried to operate iron to press clothes. The sudden death of the student saddened the entire area and people rushed to Sherukhel locality to offer condolences.

The deceased was an active member of school’s scout unit and would take enthusiastic part in scouting activities. Deprived of his father’s affection since childhood he was the lone support of his mother. Late Muhammad Nasir was among the brilliant students of the school located in the heart of urban locality. Along with showing outstanding performance in academic side he always excelled in co-curriculum activities.

He also shined the name of his institution in annual sports gala and earned a good name for school in scouting activities at local and provincial level. Last year the deceased scout had clinched top position in Hamd, Naat and patriotic song categories during zonal level inter district schools tournament festival. He was laid rest in Bukhari Shah graveyard amidst moving scenes. A large number of people from all walks of life attended the funeral prayer of Muhammad Nasir.

“With the death of Nasir the entire urban locality wore a blanket of sadness as being orphan he was loved by elders as their son and young ones as their brother”, said a scout leader Haji Naimatullah Khan Meenakhel. Meenakhel, who is director physical education at Government Higher Secondary School Wanda Ameer, said that the deceased Muhammad Nasir had participated with great enthusiasm in number of scouting activities under his supervision. “He was the role model for his classmates and members of scout unit in real sense”, he added.

The principal of Government High School No. 2 Lakki, Muhammad Bashir declared the demise of student a great loss for the school’s scout unit and literary body, saying that the services of Muhammad Nasir in the field of scouting and co curriculum activities will be remembered for a long time. District Scout Commission Aqal Badshah and district scout secretary Nisar Muhammad also expressed deep grief and sadness over the death of scout Muhammad Nasir and prayed to Allah Almighty to give courage to the members of bereaved family to bear the loss with patience.

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Ban on sale of junk foods near schools demanded

F.P. Report

TIMERGARA:  Members of the Lower Dir district council on Monday demanded of the government and administration to ban sale of sub standard crackers, chips and other junk food in all parts of the district. The demand was made during a session of the council chaired by its convener Abdul Rashid Khan. District nazim Muhammad Rasool Khan, council members and government officials were present on the occasion.

The members took part in discussion on law and order situation, public health and performance of food department. The council member Nazir Khan, Maulana Imranullah and others said that law and order situation in some areas was not satisfactory. Other members including Rafiullah Jan expressed grave concerns on the sale of substandard crackers (known as Papar), chips and other junk food. He said these things were openly sold mainly in front of schools without any check. He said a year ago the district administration had banned the import of these items but its sale had started again in the district. Some of the councilors said that people had attached great expectations with the new government but it had disappointed the masses by raising prices of gas, electricity and food items. District councilors Saiful Islam, Malik Barkat Khan, Aziz Sarhindi and Inayatullah also spoke on the occasion.

Talking to local journalists, district nazim Muhammad Rasool Khan said that initiatives were being taken for ending the sale of contrabands, sub standard crackers and food items. He said that half of the funds allocated for development in 2017-18 had been spent. The nazim said that ongoing projects were not completed due to some procedural complications of the provincial government.

Meanwhile the assistant commissioner Samarbagh Muhammad Ayaz and tehsil municipal officer Pervez Akhtar along with police and Dir Levis officials conducted anti-encroachment drive at Samarbagh. Illegal temporary and permanent structures were removed on the occasion. The officials directed the local traders to avoid encroachments on the roadside in the area. They said the administration was committed to keep the area clean and neat.

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Dengue fever strikes back in Hazara

F.P. Report

ABBOTTABAD: Dengue Fever strikes back in Hazara division and dozens of dengue fever victims have been admitted at different hospitals of Abbottabad, Haripur, and Manshera. According to the details, more than a dozen patients have been admitted in District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Abbottabad and Ayub Medical Complex (AMC) during a couple of days.

Most of dengue fever patients admitted in DHQ Abbottabad and AMC belonged to other districts of Hazara or the guests and their treatment was started in isolation wards. While talking to media District Health Officer (DHO) Abbottabad Dr. Shah Faisal Khanzada said that no dengue fever case in the district has been reported yet as we had started the anti-mosquito spray in all over the district well before time.

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500,000 children face ‘immediate danger’: UN

TRIPOLI (AFP) Half a million children are in “immediate danger” in Libya’s capital Tripoli due to fighting, the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF said on Monday. Clashes that broke out between rival militias in late August had killed at least 115 people and wounded nearly 400 by Saturday night, according to Libya’s health ministry.

UNICEF said Monday that “over 1,200 families have been displaced in the past 48 hours alone as clashes intensified in southern Tripoli”. That brings the total number of people displaced by the recent fighting to over 25,000, half of whom are children, UNICEF said. “More children are reportedly being recruited to fight, putting them in immediate danger. At least one child was killed as a result,” said Geert Cappelaere, the UN agency’s Middle East and North Africa director.

UNICEF also said schools are increasingly being used to shelter displaced families, which is likely to delay the start of the academic year beyond October 3. It said residents are facing food, power and water shortages, adding that the clashes have exacerbated the plight of migrants. “Hundreds of detained refugees and migrants, including children, were forced to move because of violence. Others are stranded in centres in dire conditions”, Cappelaere said. Despite a UN-brokered ceasefire on September 4, fighting broke out again last week in southern districts of the capital.

The clashes have pitted armed groups from Tarhuna and Misrata against Tripoli militias nominally controlled by Libya’s UN-backed unity government. The Libyan capital has been at the centre of a battle for influence between armed groups since dictator Moamer Kadhafi was ousted in a NATO-backed 2011 uprising. The country’s unity government has struggled to exert its control in the face of a multitude of militias and a rival administration based in eastern Libya.


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Calm opposition leader wins Maldives presidency

COLOMBO (AP): Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president-elect of the Maldives, spent his youth marching in the streets for democracy. He was elected to Parliament at age 32 as an independent candidate, helping to draw up a new constitution. But unlike other reformers of his generation, Solih was never sidelined by a prison sentence or political exile, a fact that propelled him into the role of the opposition party’s standard-bearer.

Political observers say Solih, 56, known by his nickname, Ibu, has been a quiet force behind the tropical South Asian archipelago’s transition to democracy and a rallying point for the opposition in crisis under outgoing strongman Yameen Abdul Gayoom. “He was never in a hurry,” Mohamed Aflath, a businessman who voted for Solih in Sunday’s election, said Monday. “Some guys who were more eager to become the leader had to say goodbye to politics, some ended in jail while some in exile. But Ibu was very patient and calm.”

Solih’s supporters flooded the streets of the capital, Male, after his victory speech early Monday, waving the yellow flags of his Maldivian Democratic Party and singing campaign songs. Supporters cited his 25-year career as a parliamentarian as evidence of his commitment and self-restraint in contrast to some of the country’s more power-hungry political leaders. Amid the celebrations, Solih called on Yameen to immediately begin a smooth transition of power and urged his supporters to remain calm. Solih and his running mate, Faisal Naseem, are to be sworn in on Nov. 17.

An elections-eve police raid of Solih’s main campaign office cast a pall over the vote. But Solih assured Maldivians that he had spoken to police and security forces, and that “they expressed their support of the decision of the people.” Solih and his wife, Fazna Ahmed, studied in Australia before returning to join the Maldives’ nascent democracy movement, working to establish a multiparty parliamentary system in a nation whose modern history was riddled with conflicts between an ancient monarchy and a string of aristocrats running constitutional autocracies. He dabbled in journalism working for a state broadcaster and later an opposition magazine before becoming a member of Parliament in 1995 as an independent. When Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, an autocrat who ruled Maldives for 30 years, introduced democratic reforms, Solih joined an assembly to draw up a constitution, introducing the country to the concepts of separation of powers and fundamental human rights.

He helped cofound the Maldivian Democratic Party in 2003 along with his wife’s cousin, Mohamed Nasheed, who in 2008 became the first president elected in multiparty polls. Solih served as Parliament majority leader during Nasheed’s presidency. Nasheed was forced to resign in 2012 after losing military and police support over the arrest of a prominent judge. He ran for the presidency again in 2013 the country’s second multiparty election and lost to Gayoom’s half-brother, current President Yameen. With Yameen cracking down on the opposition jailing or forcing into exile almost all his potential rivals, including Nasheed, who was exiled first in the United Kingdom and then in Sri Lanka the responsibility of rallying the opposition fell to Solih.