TOLOnews.com RSS Feed http://tolonews.com/ Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:41:29 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) Mawjhai Amu Knocks Out De Abasin Sape http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16426-mawjhai-amu-knocks-out-de-abasin-sape

Mawjhai Amu defeated De Abasin Sape 2-0 on Thursday, knocking the southeastern team out of this year's Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) tournament.

The game started with intense attacks by both teams. In just the 5th minute of the game, the referee called for penalty shot in the De Abasin Sape box. Mawjhai Amu captain Masood Qarizada took the shot away and placed it to the left side of the goal, but it was stopped by opposing goalkeeper Naseem Iman.

In the 10th minute of the game, De Abasin Sape had a good chance against their northeaster opponents, but Muhammad Aref Nowrozi's shot was kept out.

The first goal of the game came in the 27th minute, Mawjhai Amu's Masood Qarizada scored. The first half then ended with a 1-0 scoreline.

Mawjhai Amu started the second half of the game even stronger than they did the first and controlled the ball for most of the rest of the game.

In the 58th minute, a pass was delivered to Masood Qarizada, who was then able to slot away him and his team's second goal of the day. He was then named Man of the Match after the final whistle blew.

After the game, TOLOnews spoke with some fans who attended the match, which was played in the Afghan Football Federation (AFF) stadium in Kabul.

"The RAPL is very good for entertainment of the youth and people," a fan named Muhammad Jawad said. "People come to see the games live and this is very good."

Another attendee, named Nehmatullah, emphasized that the football games were helping bring different groups in Afghan society together. "No one thinks about who is Pashtun, Tajik or Uzbek, everyone plays like a brother," he said.

In the next game of this year's RAPL tournament, the league's third season, De Spinghar Bazan and De Maiwand Atalan will face off on Friday.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:07:34 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16426-mawjhai-amu-knocks-out-de-abasin-sape
TOLOnews 6 pm News 18 September 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16425-tolonews-6-pm-news-18-september-2014

The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) on Thursday announced that it has addressed all the complaints filed by the two electoral teams and that their final decision will be sent to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) at the end of the day.

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ECC said that out of the 1,124 invalidated polling sites, only 28 were found credible.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:51:08 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16425-tolonews-6-pm-news-18-september-2014
Protests Against Pakistani Missile Attacks http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16424-protests-against-pakistani-missile-attacks

In Kabul on Thursday, hundreds of residents from eastern Afghan provinces staged demonstrations in protest to Pakistan's military missile attacks on the border regions of Afghanistan.

"We condemn Pakistani attacks. The Pakistani embassy in Kabul should be closed," the protestors chanted, stressing that if Pakistan continues the attacks, their embassy in Kabul should have no legitimacy.

The protestors, old and young and from all walks of life, stated that the government should take serious action against the attacks that have been ongoing for the past four years.

They added that Pakistan has been a major supporter of terrorism in Afghanistan for the past 13 years.

"We have gathered here to ask Pakistan to stop their oppression of the people of Afghanistan. We call on all the people to stand against Pakistan," one of the protestors. Hajji Hamid said.

"I call on Pakistan to not kill the Afghan children," Ajmal an adolescent student, who was among the protesters said.

At the end of the demonstration, the protestors handed over a declaration to the Pakistani embassy, asking the Pakistani government to immediately halt the attacks.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:40:27 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16424-protests-against-pakistani-missile-attacks
TOLOnews Reporter Mujahid Kakar Hospitalized http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16423-tolonews-reporter-mujahid-kakar-hospitalized

Many are familiar with the voice and face of TOLOnews reporter Mujahid Kakar. Kakar was recently diagnosed with blood cancer and is currently in Germany for treatment. He currently is in a medically induced coma due to lung failure--as a result of chemotherapy--the past two weeks.

According to Kakar's doctors, his condition has slightly improved in the past two days and are hoping for a gradual recovery.

"Our good colleague Mujahid Kakar is still under intensive care in one of the hospitals in Aachen, Germany," Head of TOLOnews Lotfullah Najafizada said.

"Yesterday, German doctors were able to extract some of the water that had accumulated in his lungs, this process will continue until his lungs recover. He is still breathing through a ventilator, but doctors have assured that it is a normal process. Kakar should be able to breathe normally in the next few days."

Meanwhile, government officials, the public, organizations that support journalism and journalists and media have expressed their sympathies to Kakar's family and friends.

National Security Advisor, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, praised Kakar's work, adding that he was one of the leading supporters of freedom of speech in Afghanistan.

"Mujahid Kakar's humble character and critical journalism are important for stability and democracy in our country," Spanta said. "We hope he recovers soon."

The Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) expressed similar sentiments.

"He [Kakar] had a very professional and kind character. We are saddened by the news of his illness and pray that he recovers soon," the Minister of Information and Culture, Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, said.

Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan-NAI has called Kakar a rare personality in the Afghan media.

"He is a man who believed in humanity. We ask people to pray for his recovery," Head of NAI, Mujeeb Khelwatgar, said.

Some Kabul residents as well as some journalist institutions in Herat have held prayers for Kakar's recovery in local mosques.

"We have a started a campaign and coordinated with the provinces of Ghor, Herat and Badghis to pray for Kakar's recovery after their Friday prayers," member of Center for Protection of Journalists in Herat, Wali Muhammad, said.

A renowned Afghan journalist, Mujahid Kakar has put a lot of effort in securing freedom of speech in Afghanistan in the past 10 years. Kakar is one of the prominent reporters for TOLOnews and TOLO TV.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:17:56 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16423-tolonews-reporter-mujahid-kakar-hospitalized
Job Recessions on Rise After Elections http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16422-job-recessions-on-rise-after-elections

The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs & Disabled (MoLSAMD) on Thursday reported that the ongoing electoral stalemate and unemployment have led to a recession in the job market, making many businessmen flee the country.

According to the Deputy Minister Hisamuddin Hamrah, poverty and joblessness were around 16 percent in the beginning of the year, but has doubled following the electoral deadlock and political tensions.

"The electoral impasse has further increased unemployment," Hamrah explained. "In recent months, many jobless people have consulted our ministry. As you are aware, we are a policy making institution, but we are aware that unemployment has increased in the past six months."

Meanwhile, Afghanistan Industrialists Association (AIA) has said that corruption in the government institutions has recently witnessed a dramatic increase.
Industrialists have complained that the MoLSAMD and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) are delaying the processing of their documents, making them regret their decision to invest in the country.

"We are tired of all these issues," head of AIA Sherbaz Kaminzada said. "Many businessmen flee the country. Many factories have terminated their operations in the past six months; our trainees have left too. We have invested money and don't know what to do now."

MoLSAMD has admitted that there are many problems in the government institutions.

"You are aware that the visa issue and the issue of laborers are not just our responsibility. Many institutions, mainly MoFA, Ministry of Interior Affairs, and Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency are involved," Deputy Minister Hamrah added. "But we have always made our utmost efforts to settle the issues."

Based on the AIA statistics, 300 factories—out of the total 1,800 factories—have halted their productions in the past six months.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:16:01 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16422-job-recessions-on-rise-after-elections
Obama Discusses Combat Mission End http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16421-obama-discusses-combat-mission-end

U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed that he plans to end his country's combat mission in Afghanistan in three months, keeping with the transition timeline that Afghan forces have been following for well over a year.

Obama made his speech to troops after meeting with General Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command, America's command hub for South and Central Asia and the Middle East.

"Because of you, Osama Bin Laden is no more; because of you, the core al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been decimated; because of you, Afghans are reclaiming their communities," Obama said.

Despite concerns about the security situation in Afghanistan after this fighting season saw a wave of Taliban offensives put Afghan security forces to the test, Obama appeared confident about the timing of the drawdown. "Afghan forces have taken lead for the country's security, and in three months, because of you, our combat mission will be over in Afghanistan and our war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end," he said.

The Afghan security forces have been preparing for the withdraw of the NATO coalition for well over a year. 2013 saw the Afghan military and police forces take over primary operational responsibilities around the country for the first time since the 2001 invasion. Their performance last year received widespread praise among Afghanistan's international partners.

On Tuesday, however, the Afghan Minister of Defense Bismillah Mohammadi told the Afghan Senate that the security forces are now more challenged in their efforts to combat the militancy than ever before, in part because of NATO cutbacks.

"Your security forces in terms of quantity have reached a level to defend the country, although, despite the achievements, our police and army still face serious shortcomings," Mohammadi said.

The Afghan forces have had to pushback militant advances on a number of fronts this year. Sangeen district of southern Helmand province has been, in particular, a focal point of fighting in recent months.

Security officials have reported that the Taliban has launched a new offensive in Sangeen over the past three days. Local Helmand officials have said that so far five civilians have lost their lives in the fighting.

As the U.S. and its allies prepare to leave in December, a crucial long-term security deal between Kabul and Washington remains un-finalized. The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) would ensure a contingent of foreign troops stay in Afghanistan post-2014 in order to help train and advise the Afghan forces. The security pact would also ensure continued financial support for the Afghan military and police.

Military experts have argued that the Afghan forces are still in serious need of more weapons and ammunition as well as air support from their western allies. "Our security forces still have no adequate military equipment and we do no have an air force, they need international cooperation economically, socially and politically," military commentator Mia Gul Waseeq said.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:08:53 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16421-obama-discusses-combat-mission-end
ECC Refers Final Decisions to IEC Today http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16420-ecc-refers-final-decisions-to-iec-today

The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) on Thursday announced that it has addressed all the complaints filed by the two electoral teams and that their final decision will be sent to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) at the end of the day.

ECC said that out of the 1,124 invalidated polling sites, only 28 were found credible.

During the announcement live in Kabul, ECC Chief Abdul Sattar Saadat stated that many temporary IEC staff was involved in the electoral frauds during the runoff election.

"Our findings indicate that a majority of the frauds was committed by the IEC temporary staff. Some permanent staff members were also involved, directly and indirectly," Saadat said.

The acting secretariat chief of the IEC, Ahmad Jawed Habibi, has confirmed the involvement of IEC staff in riggings, adding that the IEC will comment on ECC's decisions soon.

"When we receive the final decision of the ECC, we have 24 hours to appeal," IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said. "If we do not have any complaints, we will proceed to announce the final election results."

This is while some election monitoring institutions have called on the IEC to hold off on revealing the final results until the candidates reach an agreement.

"Our demand from the IEC is to announce the final results after the two electoral teams reach a political agreement," head of the Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA), Mohammad Naeem Ayoubzada, stressed.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:55:40 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16420-ecc-refers-final-decisions-to-iec-today
Candidates Meet With Stakeholders as Talks Stall http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16419-candidates-meet-with-stakeholders-as-talks-stall

As negotiations between the two presidential candidates continue to stall, Afghan and foreign stakeholders alike have looked to meet with the campaigns and urge them toward an agreement.

This Friday, a group of Jihadi leaders and the heads of the three branches of the Afghan government are expected to meet with the candidates.

The Jihadi leaders are said to be Sibghatullah Mojaddedi and Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf. The three top government officials are President Hamid Karzai, the head of the executive branch, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, the Chairman of Parliament, and Abdul Salam Azimi, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta said on Thursday that the Jihadi leaders and the government officials already met with President Hamid Karzai to express their concerns about the election stalemate. "President Hamid Karzai chaired a meeting this morning with Jihadi leaders and the heads of the three branches of the state to discuss the election issue and the negotiations between the two candidates," Dr. Spanta said.

Both presidential candidates met with U.S. diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Thursday, but to no avail. The candidates remain at odds over the final results of the election and the authorities that will be granted to the Chief Executive position in their national unity government.

"Both respected candidates met with each other today and talks were held in a positive environment," Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai spokesman Faizullah Zaki said.

Yet the Abdullah Abdullah campaign team has not appeared as optimistic about the various meetings and consultations that have and continue to take place as the election drags into its sixth month. For them, the only way forward seems to be mutual concessions, which they would argue their side have already made.

"We have shown a lot of flexibility, and there is no problem from our end, we met with negotiators last night and shared our views for the creation of a national government with them," Abdullah spokesman Fazel Rahman Orya said.

Pressure on both camps to reach an agreement has mounted over the past month as the country faces worsening economic and security conditions that many blame on the political uncertainty brought on by the election dispute.

In a meeting with Dan Feldman, the United States Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Karzai reportedly said that the U.S. had been involved in the election process since the beginning and would now be essential to bringing it to a close.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:40:23 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16419-candidates-meet-with-stakeholders-as-talks-stall
NDS Capture Organizers Behind Nangarhar Suicide Attack http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16418-nds-capture-organizers-behind-nangarhar-suicide-attack

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Thursday released a statement that three men—two were behind the Nangarhar suicide attack end of August—are in custody. The three insurgents were organizing another attack when NDS forces detained them.

The statement detailed that the two men, named Turab and Sherwali, involved in the August 30 suicide attack, which targeted the provincial NDS office in Jalalabad, Nangarhar, accommodated and filmed the suicide attackers prior to the attack.

Six lives were taken, including four security soldiers and 33 others were wounded and among the injured were seven Afghan soldiers.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:47:09 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16418-nds-capture-organizers-behind-nangarhar-suicide-attack
Taliban Insurgents Killed In Kunar Clash http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16417-taliban-insurgents-killed-in-kunar-clash

At least 21 Taliban insurgents were killed on Wednesday in Kunar province in a clash with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), local security officials said on Thursday.

Local officials said the clash took place Wednesday at about 5 p.m. local time when a number of Taliban insurgents attacked two Afghan National Army (ANA) outposts in Ghazi Abad district of Kunar province.

Provincial Police Chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhili, while confirming the incident, says that during the four hour long clash 21 Taliban insurgents were killed and two ANA soldiers were wounded.

According to Sayedkhili, two Taliban commanders were among the killed insurgents known as Din Mohammad and Hakimullah.

There are no reports of civilian casualties.

Taliban have not commented on the attack yet.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:23:17 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16417-taliban-insurgents-killed-in-kunar-clash
8pm Program: Budget Crisis in Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16416-8pm-program-budget-crisis-in-afghanistan

The Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Wednesday called into question claims made in a recent article in The Washington Post, which suggested that the Afghan government was desperately seeking an emergency aid package from its western allies in order to pay its employees' salaries next month.

To watch the program, click here:

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The article, which was published on Tuesday in the U.S. based newspaper, quoted the head of the Treasury Department of the Afghan Ministry of Finance, Alhaj Mohammad Aqa, as saying that Kabul has requested a $537 million "bailout" from the U.S. and other international donors.
In this episode, host Muslim Sherzad discusses the issue with the following guests:

Hossai Wardak, responsible for transparency and accountability of the Afghan coalition institution

Khowaja Siddiq Ahmad Usmani, MP

Abdul Qadir Jailani, spokesman of Ministry of Finance

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:19:47 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16416-8pm-program-budget-crisis-in-afghanistan
FARAKHABAR: 17 September 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16415-farakhabar-17-september-2014

Parliament summoned the Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior on Wednesday in order to question them about the current national security situation, which has appeared increasingly unstable in recent months, as well as about reoccurring issues along the border with Pakistan.

To watch the program, click here:

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This year's fighting season has seen more aggressive and large-scale ground offensives by the Taliban in various parts of the country than in past years.

Moreover, Kabul has been hit by a series of high-profile attacks that have fueled anxieties already peaked by the tumultuous presidential election process that has dragged on for over five months.

During the parliamentary session on Wednesday, the Ministers were subjected to an intense cross-examination by representatives. Many of the MPs seemed to have already formed opinions regarding the causes of the recent surge in insecurity.The frustration of the MPs was obvious during the questioning session. At one point, MP Ramazan Bashardost interrupted the Minister of Defense and accused him of working for the Taliban.

"You are a spokesman of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar," Bashardost yelled down from the top of the assembly room.

Minister Mohammadi responded in kind, accusing Bashardost of being a spy. "We are standing against the invasion of the enemy, but Bashardost, you are a spy...a spy...a spy of the foreigners," he said.

Bashardost was escorted out of Parliament, but other MPs did not hide their distress about the exchange. "We all know Bashardost, he always insults others, but we also say approach of the minister was unacceptable, to call a representative of the people a spy," MP Sadeqi Nelizada said.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siawish discusses the topic with the following guests:

Fawzia Kofi, MP

Helai Arshad, MP

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:00:46 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16415-farakhabar-17-september-2014
Female University Student Commits Suicide http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16414-female-university-student-commits-suicide

Massoma, an 18-year old first year law student at Faryab University, hung herself on Monday after failing in six major classes, officials said on Thursday.

"The girl hung herself in Sabz area of Pashtun Kot district," spokesman for the provincial police chief, Sayed Massoud Yaqubi added.

According to Yaqubi, on the basis of primary investigations and the statements of the girl's family, the reason for the suicide was failure as a first year.

Faryab University Deputy Faizullah Qadiri has confirmed the incident, stressing that the faculty did their job and are not to blame for the incident.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 03:47:21 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16414-female-university-student-commits-suicide
Obama: US Troops Will Have No Combat Mission In Iraq http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16413-obama-us-troops-will-have-no-combat-mission-in-iraq

President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that US troops have no combat mission in Iraq, after his top general suggested some US advisors could join Iraqi forces to fight the Islamic State group.

"The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission," Obama told American troops at the headquarters of US Central Command in Florida.

Obama has repeatedly stressed that, despite ordering air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq, he will not send US troops back to fight another land war in the region.

Indeed, he has based much of the rationale of his presidency on getting American forces out of foreign entanglements.

But his remarks here on Wednesday were lent added relevance by comments by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday.

Dempsey said that it may at some point prove necessary to send US advisors into action with the Iraqi troops battling IS, in what he called "close-combat advising". But the White House insisted the idea of US troops in battle was a "purely hypothetical scenario."

It was not immediately clear whether Obama's comments in Florida precluded such an approach, but there appeared to be plenty of rhetorical space for Dempsey's scenario to play out while allowing the president to insist that American troops have no dedicated combat mission.

The president did not repeat the frequent US characterization of the evolving mission in Iraq and Syria that there will be no US "boots on the ground" -- a term usually seen to refer to combat troops.

Obama's short remarks at the rain drenched MacDill air force base also included a defense of his own foreign policy -- which Republicans argue is collapsing around him.

He noted that he had brought US combat troops home from Iraq, refocused the US war in Afghanistan and would "responsibly" end combat operations in the country before the end of the year. He also recalled the US operation to kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his policy of taking out the "core" leadership of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But, in a nod to the new conflict and to critics who argue Obama has turned his back on a chaotic world too soon, he said: "We have always known the end of the war in Afghanistan did not mean the end to challenges of threats to America."

The president however stressed that in the new conflict to "degrade" and "destroy" America would not go it alone and talked up the international coalition he is building.

Obama said France and Britain were already flying with the United States over Iraq, added that Australia and Canada would send military advisors to the country.

He noted Saudi Arabia's willingness to base a US mission to train moderate Syrian rebels on its soil and said German paratroopers were also going to take part in a training mission which he did not specify.

Obama made his speech after meeting General Lloyd Austin, who runs US Central Command, which stretches across the troubled belt of South and Central Asia and the Middle East.

He also sat down in closed door talks with military representatives of 40 nations which are expected to take part in the anti-IS mission.

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Thu, 18 Sep 2014 03:09:19 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16413-obama-us-troops-will-have-no-combat-mission-in-iraq
Daily Lives Affected by Prolonged Elections http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16412-daily-lives-affected-by-prolonged-elections

Many people express concerns over the deteriorating living conditions in the past six months, adding that the prolongation of the election process has caused an increase in poverty and unemployment.

The electoral tensions and prolonged disagreements between the candidates have provoked the people's anger.

"They [the politicians] have armored vehicles, money and cement wall houses. They don't care about us. We had some day-to-day work and the election crisis took even that away from us," a laborer named Lajmir said.

Shah Hussain, another manual worker, expressed similar sentiments.

"I don't know what to do. We don't even have money for food. We wait for work from the morning to evening, but find none."

Ghulam Mohammad was a contract laborer who has lost his job and is currently a shoemaker to make ends meet being the only breadwinner of his family.

"Before the election, there was work at companies, but in the past six months, many factories have closed. We cannot even make 100 AFS a day."

Six months into the election process and the final results still remain unclear. The uncertainty has immensely affected businesses and the lives of people all around the country.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:07:55 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16412-daily-lives-affected-by-prolonged-elections
MoF Rejects Washington Post's Budget Crisis Claims http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16411-mof-rejects-washington-posts-budget-crisis-claims

The Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Wednesday called into question claims made in a recent article in The Washington Post, which suggested that the Afghan government was desperately seeking an emergency aid package from its western allies in order to pay its employees salaries next month.

The article, which was published on Tuesday in the U.S. based newspaper, quoted the head of the Treasury Department of the Afghan Ministry of Finance, Alhaj Mohammad Aqa, as saying that Kabul has requested a $537 million "bailout" from the U.S. and other international donors.

According to the story, the Afghan government was barely able to pay the September salary payments for its roughly 500,000 employees nationwide, and it could be unable to cover October's payments if the emergency aid package is not delivered.

However, officials from the MoF on Wednesday maintained that the aid package request is not out of emergency, but rather just to meet the full budget deficit for this year.

Yet the MoF did acknowledge that if the current election stalemate between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai continues, the country could in fact face a real financial crisis. "We are facing many financial issues, but we fear that if the electoral stalemate is prolonged further, the situation could become move severe," MoF spokesman Abdul Qadir Jailani said.

Many experts, politicians as well as everyday citizens have begun to raise concerns about the economic and financial toll the now six month long election process has taken on the country.

On the other hand, some are less inclined to blame the election. MP Hamida Akbari on Wednesday said the MoF was to blame for the budgetary issues, arguing officials at the Ministry had overreached in their budget for this year and that it had been clear there was not enough money to meet the allocations all along.

"The elections are only a pretence, even in the beginning of the year the Ministry was lacking enough money to finance a number of projects that were included in the budget," Akbari said. "We raised the issue several times and questioned the minister about where the money allocated for funding these projects in the budget is."

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:50:57 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16411-mof-rejects-washington-posts-budget-crisis-claims
ANSF Casualties on the Rise http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16410-ansf-casualties-on-the-rise

Military analysts name the electoral stalemate, the increase in militant offensives and the lack of sufficient arms and ammunitions as the main reasons for the high rates of casualties among the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

"The main reason is lack of military equipments, change of war tactics and offensives and increasing numbers of foreign militants," military commentator Jawed Kohistani said.

The Minister of Interior Mohammad Umer Daudzai said that over the past six months 1,523 police officers have been killed in blasts and clashes with insurgents. The attacks have also claimed the lives of 800 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers.

Afghan National Police (ANP) officer, Mustafa, lost his life after he stopped a truck loaded with explosives, saving hundreds of other innocent lives during the elections.

"My son was a champion. He saved the lives of hundreds of people. He was my elder son, my strength. And I lost him," Mustafa's father Colonel Abdul Fatah said.

Mustafa's son Zubair was only 40 days old when he lost his father. His two daughters, Nadia and Wahida, still do not understand why their father has disappeared.

"My father was martyred; they say he will never return," Wahida said innocently.

Over the past six months, at least 2,000 families have experienced tragedies similar to Mustafa's family.

ANSF Families hope that the political tensions will soon come to an end so that more soldiers do not have to bear the consequences of the rising instability.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:14:00 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16410-ansf-casualties-on-the-rise
TOLOnews 6 pm News 17 September 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16409-tolonews-6-pm-news-17-september-2014 Top news in this bulletin

Winless Simorgh Alborz was knocked out of contention for this year's Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) championship on Wednesday when it suffered a 3-1 loss to Toofan Harirod.

To watch the bulletin, click here:

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Military analysts name the electoral stalemate, the increase in militant offensives and the lack of sufficient arms and ammunitions as the main reasons for the high rates of casualties among the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

"The main reason is lack of military equipments, change of war tactics and offensives and increasing numbers of foreign militants," military commentator Jawed Kohistani said.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:05:19 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16409-tolonews-6-pm-news-17-september-2014
Simorgh Alborz Falls to Toofan Harirod 3-1 http://www.tolonews.com/en/sports/16408-simorgh-alborz-falls-to-toofan-harirod-3-1

Winless Simorgh Alborz was knocked out of contention for this year's Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) championship on Wednesday when it suffered a 3-1 loss to Toofan Harirod.

The first goal of the game came early in the first half when number 10 for Toofan Harirod, Abdul Rauf Qaderi, received a beautiful pass from Maroof Mohammadi and slotted one away.

Toofan Harirod kept up the pressure on their opponents through the rest of the half. In the 33rd minute, Bashir Ahmad Azdani scored the second goal for the team from the West, ending the first half two goals up on Simorgh Alborz.

After the second half began, in the 58th minutes, Simorgh Alborz's number 15, Farhad Sawgan, was able to notch one for the northern side and bring them within one goal of their opponents.

However, Toofan Harirod did not let up the pressure and eventually Ahmad Fawad Kakar scored the third and final goal for his side to give them the victory.
Abdul Rauf Qaderi was named Man of the Match after the game.

Toofan Harirod will now move into the seminal finals against the winner of Da Spinghar Bazan versus Da Maiwand Atalan scheduled for Friday.
Following Wednesday's game, players and coaches from both sides spoke with TOLOnews.

"I had promised that this year my team would be the champion, but the reason that we were defeated is because several goals were missed," Simorgh Alborz coach Hamidullah Masoodi said.

"This year, Toofan Harirod drew the first game and lost the second match, we played well, but missed several goal opportunities, but our forwards failed to use the opportunities," Toofan Harirod coach Tahir Munawari said.

"We failed to win our matches, the main reason is that there was no technical harmony in Simorgh Alborz, the coach didn't understand the players well and didn't use key players in the match," Simorgh Alborz team captain Munirulhaq Nadeem said.

"I think the only problem for our team was that we were unlucky during the match, however we everything we could to get the victory," Toofan Harirod player Hamidullah Karimi said.

The next RAPL match is scheduled for Thursday between Da Abasin Sape and Mawjhai Amu.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:50:02 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/sports/16408-simorgh-alborz-falls-to-toofan-harirod-3-1
Parliament Summons Security Ministers http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16407-parliament-summons-security-ministers

Parliament summoned the Minister of Defense and Minister of Interior on Wednesday in order to question them about the current national security situation, which has appeared increasingly unstable in recent months, as well as about reoccurring issues along the border with Pakistan.

This year's fighting season has seen more aggressive and large-scale ground offensives by the Taliban in various parts of the country than in past years.

Moreover, Kabul has been hit by a series of high-profile attacks that have fueled anxieties already peaked by the tumultuous presidential election process that has dragged on for over five months.

During the parliamentary session on Wednesday, the Ministers were subjected to an intense cross-examination by representatives. Many of the MPs seemed to have already formed opinions regarding the causes of the recent surge in insecurity.

Mir Dad Khan Nejrabi, the head of Parliament's Commission for Internal Security, asked the Ministers, "aren't the stoppage of nighttime military operations, prisoner releases and the lack of ISAF air support the main reason that casualties have increased among our security forces?"

Over the past two months, government initiated prisoner releases have been a hot-button issue, particularly among critics of President Hamid Karzai, who has released thousands of suspected militants over the past couple years. There have been reports around the country of former prisoners rejoining the Taliban and continuing to fight against security forces.

However, the Ministers on Wednesday suggested the involvement of Pakistani intelligence in supporting insurgent activities was a more pressing concern.

"Pakistan's military, intelligence services and other groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyeba support the Taliban and help them in war against our forces," Minister of Interior Mohammad Umer Daudzai said.

Nevertheless, the Ministers were quick to assure the MPs that such designs would not be allowed to get the better of the Afghan government. "Those who exist behind the war and support the instability of Afghanistan have imagined that the servile Taliban and criminals will get control of Afghanistan, but the Taliban have failed to occupy even a small piece of this land," said Minister of Defense Bismillah Mohammadi.

The top security officials also claimed that decreased support from NATO forces, which are drawing down ahead of the end of their combat mission in December, has emboldened the Taliban and made it more difficult for the security forces to hold them back.

Although coalition forces have taken an increasingly hands-off approach to counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan over the past two years, that shift was accelerated this year in part due to worsening relations between President Karzai and Washington. In the spring, Karzai ordered Afghan forces to stop requesting foreign air support and to refrain from using heavy weaponry against the Taliban, a move that garnered heavy criticism.

But Minister Daudzai defended the order on Wednesday, saying that Karzai's order was made in order to try and protect innocent civilians and prevent collateral damage from clashes with militants. He also said that nighttime operations would be conducted by Afghan forces, despite rumors to the contrary.

The frustration of the MPs was obvious during the questioning session. At one point, MP Ramazan Bashardost interrupted the Minister of Defense and accused him of working for the Taliban.

"You are a spokesman of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar," Bashardost yelled down from the top of the assembly room.

Minister Mohammadi responded in kind, accusing Bashardost of being a spy. "We are standing against the invasion of the enemy, but Bashardost, you are a spy...a spy...a spy of the foreigners," he said.

Bashardost was escorted out of Parliament, but other MPs did not hide their distress about the exchange. "We all know Bashardost, he always insults others, but we also say approach of the minister was unacceptable, to call a representative of the people a spy," MP Sadeqi Nelizada said.

Once the assembly room was calmed, Minister Daudzai spoke to the MPs concerns about released prisoners rejoining the Taliban. Daudzai downplayed the threat posed by the prisoners, but acknowledged that some of them rejoin militants after being freed.

"It is certain that some of these crazy cowards who were released from jail reenter the battlefield and have started fighting against our security forces," Daudzai said.

Regarding recent revelations of a Pakistani effort to dig a massive ditch along the border with Afghanistan prompted MPs to question the Ministers specifically about their planned response.

"In response to the question about why we don't attack directly is that the ditch has been excavated away from the border, if we attack on that place, it means that we are involved in a war with another country, then it is the job of the government to conduct high level talks," Daudzai said. He went on to say that they should go to the United Nations with their complaints about Pakistan's activity along the disputed Durand Line.

But MP Shukria Barakzai said the time for negotiations through the UN had past. "It is too late now to complain about the issue of the Durand Line to the UN."

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:24:39 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16407-parliament-summons-security-ministers
If a Crisis Emerges IEC is Responsible: Bakhtiyari http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16406-if-a-crisis-emerges-iec-is-responsible-bakhtiyari

Mohammad Aziz Bakhtiyari, a member of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), is concerned that if the commission announces final results the chance of a crisis may emerge for the nation.

Bakhtiyari warned that if final results are announced and the country does go into a crisis, the IEC and the people behind the fraud will be held responsible.

"Those who create problems for the nation will be held responsible," he said pointing toward the election commission. "The IEC and institutions involved in the fraudulent acts will be held accountable."

The works of the IEC have ended and are now awaiting the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) to finalize their decision on the registered complaints and invalidation of ballots passed on by the IEC. Once concluded the electoral commissions have announced that the final results will be publicized.

"The commission's technical work is completed and details of the outcome have been sent to the ECC," Ahmad Jawid Habibi, acting IEC secretariat, said. "As of now, we are waiting for ECC's final decision."

When the audit process was concluded, IEC announced that votes from 1,124 polling stations were invalidated.

IEC has not mentioned the exact number of votes that were invalidated, but according to reports more than 800,000 votes have been voided, which according to the IEC will not bring significant changes to the final results.

ECC is said to finalize their decision by the end of this week.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:02:54 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16406-if-a-crisis-emerges-iec-is-responsible-bakhtiyari
Female Journalist Killed in Balkh Province http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16405-female-journalist-killed-in-balkh-province

Female journalist Palwasha Tokhi, who worked for Bayan, a local radio in northern Balkh province, was killed inside her home on Tuesday evening.

Tokhi had just returned to Afghanistan after completing her master's degree in Thailand two months ago.

According to Palwasha's father, Mohammad Khalil Tokhi, she was stabbed by unknown men who broke into their house when he was not home. She lost her life at a hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif.

"I don't know the reason behind this incident. We don't have any personal enmity with anyone," he added.

The Northern Journalist Association in Mazar-e-Sharif has strongly condemned the incident.

"We are deeply saddened by the murder of Palwasha Tokhi who worked for Bayan radio for five years," Gulab Shah Bawar, head of Northern Journalists Association in Mazar-e-Sharif, said.

Palwasha is the second journalist killed in Mazar-e-Sharif in the past two months. No one has been arrested in relation to either case yet.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:51:30 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16405-female-journalist-killed-in-balkh-province
FARAKHABAR: 16 September 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16404-farakhabar-16-september-2014

A suicide attack on a foreign troops convoy in Kabul early Tuesday morning killed three foreign soldiers and injured 21 Afghan civilians.

The attack came just after the National Directorate of Security (NDS) deputy, minister of interior, and minister of defense were summoned in the Senate over the increasing insurgent attacks in the recent months.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siawish discusses the topic with the following guests:

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, Journalist

Nazari Paryani, Journalist

To watch the program, click here:

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:04:45 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16404-farakhabar-16-september-2014
8pm Program: Review of the Afghan Foreign Policy Toward Pakistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16403-8pm-program-review-of-the-afghan-foreign-policy-toward-pakistan

Has Afghanistan had a clear strategy and policy towards Pakistan in the past thirteen years?

In this episode, host Omid Farooq discusses the issue with the following guests:

Jawed Ludin, Deputy Foreign Minister

Haroon Mir, Political analyst

Dr. Amin Habibi, International relations analyst

To watch the program, click here:

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:01:33 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16403-8pm-program-review-of-the-afghan-foreign-policy-toward-pakistan
TAWDE KHABARE: Democracy in Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/16402-tawde-khabare-democracy-in-afghanistan

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Zabiullah Sadaat discuses why the main concepts of democracy are not defined in Afghanistan, with the following guests:

Lal Gul Lal, Head of Human Rights Organization

Helai Arshad, Head of the Religious and Cultural
Committee of the Parliament

Ghulam Hussan Gran, Civic issues analyst

Baqi Samandar, Civil society activist

To watch the program, click here:

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 07:46:38 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/16402-tawde-khabare-democracy-in-afghanistan
Obama: Ebola Crisis 'Spiraling out of Control' http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16401-obama-ebola-crisis-spiraling-out-of-control

President Barack Obama issued a global call to action to fight West Africa's Ebola epidemic, warning the deadly outbreak was unprecedented and "spiraling out of control," threatening hundreds of thousands of people.

Speaking as he unveiled a major new US initiative which will see 3,000 US military personnel deployed to West Africa to combat the growing health crisis, Obama said the outbreak was spreading "exponentially."

"Here's the hard truth. In West Africa, Ebola is now an epidemic of the likes that we have not seen before," Obama said.

"It's spiraling out of control. It is getting worse. It's spreading faster and exponentially. Today, thousands of people in West Africa are infected. That number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands.

"And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us."

As well as the military deployment, the US will also set up a command and control center in the capital of Liberia, the hardest-hit country, build new treatment centers and train health workers.

Precise timing on deployment was still unclear.

"No deployment in the coming days. The troops have to be properly trained and equipped," a Pentagon official said privately. Among the US soldiers sent to West Africa will be doctors and also engineers to set up the field hospitals, the official said.

Meanwhile, the United States moved to fund these plans.

Specifically, the Department of Defense plans to ask Wednesday to have reprogrammed "an additional $500 million in Fiscal Year 2014 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to fight Ebola," an administration official said.

This is separate from the funds already put toward the effort, including the $175 million already dedicated, and the $88 million requested through a continuing resolution.

The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 2,400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone this year.

The virus can fell its victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhea -- in some cases shutting down organs and causing unstoppable bleeding.

No licenced vaccine or treatment exists.

- Security Council action -

The United Nations Security Council is poised to adopt a resolution on Thursday exhorting countries to provide more field hospitals and urgent aid to the crisis-stricken region.

Likely passage of the resolution marks only the third time that the Security Council will vote on a public health crisis after resolutions on AIDS in 2000 and 2011.

"This has gone beyond health issues," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

"It has gone to areas affecting social and economic situations. It may even affect political stability if not properly contained and treated."

The United Nations said nearly one billion dollars would be needed to beat back the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, which is on track to infect 20,000 people by the end of the year.

The world body has set a goal of stopping the spread of Ebola within six to nine months but aid agencies are complaining that help has been too slow.

Ban is planning a "high-level event" on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week to draw attention to the crisis.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told reporters in Geneva the Ebola crisis faced a "huge funding challenge."

The capacity of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to provide even the most basic necessities is "on the brink of collapse," she warned.

The United Nations said the response to the crisis would require $987.8 million (763 million euros), with about half needed for Liberia.

- World 'needs to do more' -

The World Bank meanwhile approved a $105 million grant, part of a $200 million pledge made in early August aimed at helping people cope with the economic impact of the crisis and strengthening public health systems.

"The world needs to do much, much more to respond to the Ebola crisis in these three countries," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

The UN said if the international community and affected countries respond swiftly and energetically, transmission should begin to slow by the end of the year and halt by mid-2015.

"The level of surge we need to do is unprecedented. It is massive," the United Nations' Ebola coordinator David Nabarro told reporters.

China will send a 59-person mobile laboratory team from its Centre for Disease Control to Sierra Leone, including epidemiologists, clinicians and nurses -- bringing the number of Chinese medics in the country to 174, the WHO said.

The EU, Britain, France and Cuba have also pledged to send medical teams and other aid to the region.

But this is far from enough, warned Joanne Liu, head of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity.

Noting that the known Ebola toll "represents only a fraction of the real number," she stressed that "the ground response remains totally and lethally inadequate."
"The window of opportunity to contain this outbreak is closing," she warned.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:58:45 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16401-obama-ebola-crisis-spiraling-out-of-control
Roadside Blast Kills Two Civilians in Helmand http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16400-roadside-blast-kills-two-civilians-in-helmand

At least two civilians were killed and three others were wounded in a roadside blast in Helmand province on Tuesday, local officials said on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in Musa Qala district when a roadside mine hit a civilian vehicle, District Governor Mohammad Sharif said.

"Among the injured civilians were two women and a child; they were all from the same family," Sharif added.

The victims have been taken to a nearby hospital.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:41:18 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16400-roadside-blast-kills-two-civilians-in-helmand
Taliban Burn Down Civilian Homes in Kunar http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16399-taliban-burn-down-civilian-homes-in-kunar

Taliban insurgents burned downed six civilian houses in Kunar province on Tuesday night, local officials said on Wednesday.

According to the provincial Police Chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhili, the Taliban ambushed local police outposts in Marwara district of the province two days ago, starting a clash with the local police in which seven insurgents were killed.

The Taliban retaliated with torching civilian houses on fire in the district.

The Taliban have threatened to burn other houses too and because of these threats 154 families have fled their homes.

The insurgent group has not yet commented about the attack.

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Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:04:31 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16399-taliban-burn-down-civilian-homes-in-kunar
TOLOnews 6 pm News 16 September 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16398-tolonews-6-pm-news-16-september-2014

After weeks of negotiations, the camps of the presidential candidates remain in disagreement on two central issues to resolving their dispute over this year's election. Nevertheless, on Tuesday, both teams met and appeared relatively optimistic about the possibility of their reaching a satisfying conclusion soon.

To watch the bulletin, click here:

{youtube}0DA6oDKR9bM{/youtube}

With the vote auditing and invalidation processes all wrapped up, pressure on the two presidential candidates to come to an agreement and end the election stalemate has mounted over the past week. Although they have restarted negotiations, including meets with President Hamid Karzai as well as U.S. officials, no progress has been made on two key points of contention between the sides.

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Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:12:45 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16398-tolonews-6-pm-news-16-september-2014
Afghan Energy Watchdog Reports Steep Drop in Extraction Revenues http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16397-afghan-energy-watchdog-reports-steep-drop-in-extraction-revenues

The Afghan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) has released a report arguing that the revenues from Afghanistan's resource extraction industries over the past five years have plummeted from 286 million AFS to three million AFS.

The AEITI report also suggests there have been major differences between the facts and figures regarding revenues reported by the Afghan government and those documented by independent organizations over the years.

"One of the main problems that we found and failed to settle is that one of Afghan companies in 2008 deposited seven million AFS into a government account as customs duty for importing equipments for mines extraction in Afghanistan, but there is no record in the company, the company has lost its record, but it is kept by the government," AEITI head Mirwais Sarah said, providing an example of the kind unstandardized systems and documentation that trouble the resource extraction industry in Afghanistan.

Officials at the Ministry of Finance (MoF), from which AEITI was created in 2009, have said that the lack of clear policy and protocol when it comes to mining, in particular, has caused major problems. "We still have no special or clear policy for mining; major companies invest, but we don't have a clear policy," Deputy Minister of Finance for Customs and Revenues Gul Maqsood Sabet said.

However, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) has defended the transparency of the government's contracts system. "So far, all contracts - whether small or large - have been published and they have been available for all," Deputy Minister of Mines and Petroleum for Policy and Programs Mir Ahmad Jawed Sadat said.

AEITI officials have said the primary issues facing the Afghan resource extraction sector is the lack of standardized policy and protocol, accountability and transparency. They have argued these are the major causes for the differences in government-reported revenues and real revenues.

AEITI was originally established to ensure the transparency and monitoring of revenues collected from the mining sectors. They have published three reports, and the most recent one was put together in coordination with an Azerbaijani company known as Moor Stephens.

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Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:11:32 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16397-afghan-energy-watchdog-reports-steep-drop-in-extraction-revenues