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Shipment of Indian wheat arrives

Monitoring Desk

KANDAHAR: Another shipment of 4,200 tonnes of wheat has arrived in southern Kandahar province through Chabahar Port as part of donation from India.

Governor Maj. Gen. Zalmai Weesa, accompanied by Indian Consul General Madan Singh Bhandari and the provincial council head, oversaw the storing process of the Indian-granted wheat.

A statement from Weesa’s office said on Tuesday the governor hailed India’s assistances to Afghanistan as beneficial. He expressed gratitude to India for consistent support and assistance.

Weesa also lauded India’s continued assistance in the education sector and asked Bhandari to provide more scholarships for Afghan students.

The Governor called the Chabahar Port very valuable for the development of Afghanistan’s economy. With the launch of the two other phases of the port, Afghanistan’s trade relations would be further expanded with different countries, he hoped.

Meanwhile, Consul General Bhandari assured of more assistance by his country to Afghanistan and said India would always stand by Afghanistan. He said India was in favour of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.

The governor said the remaining wheat would soon reach Kandahar via Chabahar. Last month, foreign ministers of Afghanistan, India and Iran flagged off the maiden vessel carrying wheat from New Delhi to Kabul through the Chabahar port.

The first shipment of 15,000 metric tonnes of wheat from India arrived in Afghanistan via the Chabahar Port in Iran, formally operationalising the sea route in November.

The Indian government promised 1.1 million tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on a grant basis.


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Pine nuts direct export to China can earn $650m: Meshrano Jirga

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Afghanistan can earn up to $650 million from direct export of its pine nuts to China, but most of the dried fruit is currently smuggled to foreign and from there it is exported to China, the Meshrano Jirga was told on Tuesday.

Juma Din Giyanwal, a member of the Mesharano Jirga or Senate, told Tuesday’s session that pine nuts produced in southeastern Paktia, Paktika, Khost and eastern Nuristan, Laghman and Nangarhar provinces were smuggled to foreign and then exported to China after processing and packaging.

He said Afghanistan currently earned $70 million from pine nuts exports which if directly exported to China would increase the earning to hundreds of millions of dollars because the Afghan pin nut was sold at a very low price in foreign.

According to the agriculture and commerce ministries, foreign earns $1.2 million from the export of Afghan-grown pine nuts. Finance Minister Eklil Hakemi attended Tuesday session of the Mesharano Jirga, said Afghanistan could make $650 million from direct export of pine nuts if the dried fruit’s smuggling was prevented.

He added the government was committed to issuing loans to individuals who wanted to invest in pine nut business.

He added the Afghan diplomatic mission in Beijing had collected all necessary documents required for export of Afghanistan pine nuts to China and had dispatched those documents to the Agriculture Ministry.

The Agriculture Ministry also shared those documents with the government. Hakemi added the government strived to increase revenues in order to accumulate resources for the country’s budget.

“For this purpose, the government has started work on some revenue generating sources,” said the finance minister whose ministry allocated 267 billion afghanis as general and over 90 billion as development budget for the ongoing fiscal year.

According to the ministry, over 47 percent of the total budget was supported by local revenues and the remaining by foreign aid.


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Four districts of Nangarhar without prosecutors

Monitoring Desk

JALALABAD: Nangarhar’s Appellate Prosecutor Ahmad Khalid Orya says 1,131 cases have been registered with his office by various organizations over the past nine months.

At a joint news conference with local officials in Jalalabad, Orya shared with media representatives achievements of his office during the current solar year.

The conference was also attended by justice and women’s affairs directors, as well as provincial heads of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the military prosecutor.

The Nangarhar Appellate Attorney said about 195 cases from the primary prosecution offices in districts were sent to his office during the past nine months. Of them, 39 cases have been finalised.

Another 99 cases are currently being processed by courts and 31 by his office. Some 26 cases have been referred to relevant organisations, according to the official.

There were no prosecutors in four districts of the province, he said, adding that no case had been recorded in several districts. Orya said they had also received 413 cases from detective organs.

The cases include land-grab, forgery, drugs, misuse of authority, weapons smuggling, graft, murder, moral corruption, traffic accidents and violence against women.

During the same period, he said, 195 cases from districts, 413 from intelligence organs, 81 of violence against women, 106 involving children and 336 of public security were registered.

Orya said he was working in cooperation and coordination with relevant organisations, including the governor’s house and judicial organs. He claimed putting in place a system of punishment and reward.

He said practical training opportunities were also created for 75 law and political science students, including 19 women.

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At least six border policemen killed in Helmand

Monitoring Desk

HELMAND: As many as six Afghan border police were killed in roadside mine explosion in Helmand province of Afghanistan.

The Helmand officials told Afghan media that the incident took place in Marja district of Helmand province when a forces convoy hit a roadside mine and in a result six border policemen were killed.

No more details were provided about the explosion.


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11 Daesh fighters killed in AAF airstrike

Monitoring Desk

NANGARHAR: Afghanistan Interior Ministry claimed that at least eleven Daesh militants were killed in airstrike conducted by Afghan Air Force in Nangarhar province on Tuesday.

the Interior Ministry issued a statement in this regard and informed that the airstrike was conducted in Achin district of Nangarhar province in which eleven militants affiliated with Daesh were killed and cache of weapons was also destroyed in it.

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Police being evaluated in all provinces

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Interior Minister Wais Barmak on Monday said some politicians violated government recruitment rules, preventing reforms in the ministry.

Barmak, who appeared before the Wolesi Jirga or the lower house of parliament, told the lawmakers: “Let us recruit based on the need. Let us do our job. You have granted me the trust vote, if we appoint someone against the law or on ethnic lines you have the authority to ask me.”

He informed the MPs about creation of three committees tasked with evaluating police forces in all 34 provinces to provide basis for a new assignment.

The minister said: “We would announce soon that police personnel have no right to use a high ranking official in transfer and posting.”

“Reforms not possible under pressure from politicians,” he said, without naming anyone.

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Jamiat agreed to approval of Noor’s resignation: CEO

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Chief Executive Officer Abdullah has claimed the Jamiat-i-Islami (JI) party agreed to the ouster of Atta Mohammad Noor as the governor of northern Balkh province but latter changed its stance.

Abdullah, addressing the Council of Ministers here, in his reaction to Noor’s allegations of the CEO’s involvement in his removal, said: “Fifteen days back, I agreed that the Balkh governor should be removed and the JI leadership also agreed with that.”

“The sky would not drop on the earth, another person should be appointed. The JI assured that all issues would be resolved within a week, but the story turned different,” the CEO said.

Abdullah said he still believed all issues should be resolved without causing any harm to the people and the government’s dignity.

“As it was heard I was accused of 80 percent behind the approval of the resignation, I think I was 100 percent responsible. Besides all other engagements I have right now, I have to be also careful about my teeth,” the CEO said, as he referred to Noor remarks of breaking his teeth.

Abdullah said the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) was a historic move which best suited the situation of Afghanistan and the only applicable option.

“Unfortunately, the agreement of NUG was not implemented in the past three years. Had it been implemented, there would have been fewer problems today”, he believed.

He said efforts had been made to undermine the executive branch of the government and some individuals even tried to introduce themselves as the best option, but they failed and, “We patiently witnessed their failure.”

Abdullah recalled he had been in touch with the president regarding the formation of NUG and introduction of Cabinet ministers and had held consultations with him.

Earlier, Atta Mohammad Noor, the JI secretary, and former governor of Balkh province had said Abdullah lost support of JI.

Last week, President Ashraf Ghani accepted Noor’s resignation and introduced Eng. Dawood his replacement as Balkh Governor.

However, Noor he had said he submitted his resignation last year based on some conditions.

On Saturday, Noor told a gathering in Mazar-i-Sharif that his party Jamiat-i-Islami gave legitimacy to the last presidential election which had otherwise no legitimacy.

Noor accused CEO Abdullah of 80 percent contributing to the making of conspiracies against him.

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Samangan coalmines revenue exceeded

Monitoring Desk

AIBAK: The revenue of two coalmines in the Dara-i-Suf Bala district of northern Samangan province reached more than 2.8 billion afghanis in the ongoing year.

Eng. Mahmood, deputy head of the Samangan coalmine enterprise, told Pajhwok Afghan News that last year the revenue generated from Shabashak and Dahna Toar coalmines was 2.3 billion afghanis.

He said more extraction and rising demand were the main factors in increasing the income of these mines, saying that 90 precent of the coal were exporting to foreign, and the rest consumed internally.

It excludes income from Garmak-i-Gharbi, Garmak-i-Sharqi and Rashk coalmines, the three mines have been leased out to the private sector by the Minister of Mines and Petroleum, he added.

Mohammad Siddique, the governor’s spokesman, said the government obtaining hundreds of million afghanis from these three mines annually.

Ahmad Ali Hussaini, the district’s administrative chief, said 10,000 individuals from different provinces of the country were extracting coal from the mine.

According to the officials, coalmine reserves lie in the form of a belt along the Hindu Kush Mountain stretching from Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Samangan, and Bamyan to Sar-i-Pul.

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Accord of Machalgho dam construction signed

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Afghan ministry of water and energy signed the agreement for the construction of Machalgho dam with a Russian firm.

The accord was signed in the presence of Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Russian ambassador to Kabul Alexander Mantytskiy.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister for Water and Energy Ali Ahmad Usmani termed the Machalgho dam of vital importance said it would provide irrigation water for about 300,000 hectares of land in the southeastern provinces.

He said funds of $ 22.9 million were required for the construction of the dam. The project would be completed in three years, he added.

A portion of the 47-meter deep Machalgho dam would also be able to generate power, he maintained.

The construction of the dam had been given to two companies in 2010, he said. However, they could not complete the project in time. The standard of their work was also low. Due to these reasons, he said the agreement was taken back from those firms.

The Machalgho dam is located in Ahmadabad district of Paktiya province. People have been hoping for the construction of the dam since long.

Chief Executive Officer Dr Abdullah Abdullah said they hoped the Russian firm would complete construction of the dam on standard basis as per the accord. Felicitating the people of Paktiya on the project, Dr Abdullah urged them not to allow enemies of the country to create hurdles in the path of basic development projects.

On the occasion, Russian ambassador to Kabul Alexander Mantytskiy said the project was an example of cooperation between the two countries. He hoped other Russian investors and firms would also be given chances of investment in Afghanistan.

Addressing the gathering, head of project design agency and representative of this firm in Afghanistan, Hamid Noori pledged that the project would be executed on standard basis as per the agreement.

It is pertinent to mention here that the water and power ministry signed three agreements of power generation and utilization of water on December 06, this year. The accord of Machalgho dam was also expected to be signed on the same day. However, it could not be signed as the representatives of the Russian firm could not reach in time.

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Drugs openly sold under police nose in Farah

Monitoring Desk

FARAH CITY: Drugs are openly sold in some areas and even close to the police headquarters in the capital of western Farah province.

In Farah City, the provincial capital, Qala-i-Faraidon, Bagh-i-Kafi, and Chahar Bagh are areas where drugs are apparently sold and have most drug addicts.

A Pajhowk Pajhwok Afghan News reporter visited these areas and discovered a house in Lab-Gora area used for selling drugs near the police compound. The gates of the house having some rooms are always found closed but addicts obtain drugs from it.

Khwaja Mohammad, 35, a resident of Kunsak area, was taking heroin and was in a bad condition in Qala-i-Faraidon area. He said: “There are houses around Shahr-i-Kohna named Saqiha and people buy drugs from them.”

Abdul Bari, 28, another addict, confirmed Khwaja Mohammad’s account and said “Drugs are sold in specific areas, if you don’t believe me, so give me money to bring it.”

“Drug sellers have built new houses, they drive in latest cars. But the government can tell them something because they put money in pockets of officials, the government only beats and harasses addicts,” he continued. Abdul Ghani, 30, another addicted in the area, said he used to buy drugs from a house in Chahar Bagh area.

Yet another addict, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said many drugs addicts obtained drugs from houses in Bagh-i-Kafi and Lab-i-Gorak areas.