TOLOnews.com RSS Feed http://tolonews.com/ Sat, 13 Feb 2016 16:54:02 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) TOLOnews 6pm News 13 February 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/23766-tolonews-6pm-news-13-february-2016- zaki-13-16Top news in this Bulletin:

General John Campbell, the outgoing commander of Resolute Support Mission and U.S forces in Afghanistan, has said that poor leadership within the ranks of the Afghan security forces is their biggest hurdle and called on the country's leaders to bring reforms.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}K0EXPSMK2z4{/youtube}

 The Ministry of Defense (MoD) is trying to find the person or people responsible for leaking surveillance footage from the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital that showed how a woman in labor was refused admission and instead gave birth in the hospital's courtyard earlier this week.

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 15:50:20 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/23766-tolonews-6pm-news-13-february-2016-
Poor Leadership A Major Issue For Afghan Troops: Campbell http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23765-poor-leadership-a-major-issue-for-afghan-troops-campbell campbell-13-16

General John Campbell, the outgoing commander of Resolute Support Mission and U.S forces in Afghanistan, has said that poor leadership within the ranks of the Afghan security forces is their biggest hurdle and called on the country's leaders to bring reforms.

He said that almost 70 percent of the problems troops are facing are due to bad leadership.

He went on to say that despite government's reshuffling of 92 officials, the issues still exist. He suggested more inclusive reforms to be introduced to overcome the challenges, referring to a number of recommendations he made to Afghan officials.

Campbell also talked on the Taliban insurgency, and dismissed the group's capabilities of reaching its objectives through war saying the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will maintain its military presence for an undetermined time.

On Saturday, Campbell held his last press conference as commander of the U.S and RS forces in Afghanistan. He expressed hope over the war capabilities of the Afghan forces on the battlefields, but reiterated calls for implementing necessary reforms in the security sphere.

"My estimation is that they [the problems] can be fixed with good leadership and holding the people accountable. In the last two months, there has been 92 general officers changed in the MoD ... and every one of those cases I think made a difference. For me leadership is what really drives everything.
Leadership is about discipline. Why in some places you have a unit that may not have a train, advise and assist, they have a very big threat there, but that unit continues to do very well, or you have another unit, maybe the same threat level, but they are not doing so well " he said.

According to Campbell, the Afghan forces are set to face a tough time next summer, but said that the Taliban has not been able to seize cities or towns for a long period.

"The Taliban has no vision for the future of Afghanistan, they don't believe in anything they do with education. They don't believe in education, they don't believe in women's rights. They don't believe in the Afghan Constitution. All they believe in is violence and killing women and children," Campbell said.
Campbell's comments come on the heels of a decision by foreign forces in Afghanistan in recent weeks to intensify their military campaign against Daesh.

He said that the Taliban was more dangerous than Daesh, but said that attacks against Daesh increased as the group poses direct threats against the U.S and the West.

He said their intent is to takeover Jalalabad and move on Kunar. "They want to attack Europe, they want to attack the United States, do they have the capability today, I don't think so, but a lot of that is because of the pressure that is put on them by the Afghan security forces," Campbell said.

Campbell took over as commander of the U.S and RS forces in Afghanistan eighteen months ago and has served in the U.S military for 36 years.

{youtube}syy3046Cnr4{/youtube}

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 15:02:47 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23765-poor-leadership-a-major-issue-for-afghan-troops-campbell
100 Years Of Radio In Afghanistan http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23764-100-years-of-radio-in-afghanistan radio-13-16

Radio is considered one of the most cost effective means of disseminating information and entertainment and it officially came to Afghanistan 100 years ago.

Invented in the 19th century, radio has managed to survive the emergence of modern technology - including television and the internet.

Today - it is still one of the preferred means of information technology in Afghanistan.

At present 177 radio stations operate in the country - radio stations that broadcast programs on various topics that suit their audience.

To watch the full report click below.

{youtube}TdAC_ZE6BXM{/youtube}

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 14:51:00 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23764-100-years-of-radio-in-afghanistan
MoD To 'Punish' Those Who Leaked Footage Of Woman Giving Birth Outside Hospital http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23763-mod-to-punish-those-who-leaked-footage-of-woman-giving-birth-outside-hospital hospital-13-16

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) is trying to find the person or people responsible for leaking surveillance footage from the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital that showed how a woman in labor was refused admission and instead gave birth in the hospital's courtyard earlier this week.

The ministry, however, rejected claims of negligence after staff at the military hospital allegedly refused to admit the woman.

"Those responsible [for leaking the footage] will be introduced to the Attorney General's Office (AGO) and will be punished," said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the MoD. He said that such events could happen. "The footage should note have been leaked," he stressed.

Meanwhile, a number of experts said the incident was a disgrace.

They believe that arresting those who leaked the footage instead of those who were negligent was an embarrassment.

The video footage shows the pregnant woman being forced to wait for more than an hour and a half outside the hospital, in cold and rainy conditions, before eventually giving birth to her child in the open.

To watch the full report click this link:

{youtube}0PNHQzsejqw{/youtube}

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 14:45:38 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23763-mod-to-punish-those-who-leaked-footage-of-woman-giving-birth-outside-hospital
Former NDS Chief Accuses Govt Of Secretly Issuing Passports To Taliban Members‎ http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23762-former-nds-chief-accuses-govt-of-secretly-issuing-passports-to-taliban-members passport-13-16

The former chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and a number of lawmakers have accused the government of secretly issuing hundreds of passports to Taliban insurgents' family members and commanders.

The former NDS Chief, Amrullah Saleh, wrote on his facebook page that Afghanistan's consulate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued the passports after being pressurized by Kabul to do so.

He said passports are issued to family members of Taliban members, who are currently engaged in a war against government.

He said scores of passports have been issued to the Taliban commanders without them being present in Dubai. He alleged that issuing the passports was part of a secret deal.

The International Affairs Committee of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) also confirmed the move.

"Issuing passports to the Taliban commanders is a matter of concern. This move by government is giving privileges to the Taliban and will lead to further lobbying for the group," said Nahid Farid, a member of the committee.

Meanwhile, a number of political analysts said that in addition to Dubai, a number of Taliban commanders had previously received passports in Qatar.

"Taliban commanders have been getting passports this way for years, however, it triggered outrage only when the passports were computerized," said Jawed Kohistani, a political analyst.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) rejected the allegations as baseless.

Ahmad Shekib Mustaghni, spokesman for the MoFA, declined to comment on the allegations, but said that claims of the distribution of passports to Taliban commanders in the UAE does not hold any weight.

"The allegations of the distribution of passports to commanders of the Taliban are baseless, because based on laws and rules of passport distribution, no one can receive a passport without being present," he added.

Experts deem the issuing of passports to the Taliban in Gulf States as dangerous, because this will enable the Taliban to roam freely in these countries and easily fund raise for the group.

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 14:28:34 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23762-former-nds-chief-accuses-govt-of-secretly-issuing-passports-to-taliban-members
Soft Policy of Previous Govt Main Reason for Taliban's Surge: Massoud http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23761-soft-policy-of-previous-govt-main-reason-for-talibans-surge-massoud masoud-13-16

The president's special representative for reforms and good governance, Ahmad Zia Massoud, has said the soft policy of the previous government towards the Taliban is the main reason behind the group's recent surge in activity.

Massoud at a meeting with religious leaders and former mujahideen in Badakhshan province on Saturday said that insurgents should be eliminated. He said that taking a soft stance towards the Taliban is like paving the ground for Pakistan to implement its designs in Afghanistan.

"The only reason behind the expansion of the Taliban was the soft policy of the previous government and the lack of a strong resolve in the fight against the Taliban, as a terrorist group," he added.

Meanwhile, people and elders from Badakhshan said that they will no longer trust in the promises of government officials. They called on the government to differentiate its friends from foes.

Sadullah Abu Aman, the chairman of Badakhshan provincial council, said that the incumbent government doesn't have plans and programs for war.

"We are facing a destructive war that is destroying everything that we have," said Hamdullah Daneshi, a former mujahideen.

Local officials in the province said that government should increase the number of troops in the province to defeat the Taliban militants.

They said that government should also support public uprisings in the province.

"Our police chief has called for around 2,000 troops to be deployed to districts in the province," said Ahmad Faisal Begzad, the governor of Badakhshan. He added that local police should be deployed to areas where they are needed.

The meetings in Badakhshan are expected to take place with people for several days. The Taliban, last year, launched a massive attack in the province and inflicted heavy casualties on Afghan security troops.

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 13:46:42 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23761-soft-policy-of-previous-govt-main-reason-for-talibans-surge-massoud
Europe Should Initiate Projects, If They Do Not Want Refugees: Ghani http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23760-europe-should-initiate-projects-if-they-do-not-want-refugees-ghani ghani-13-16

President Ashraf Ghani said that root causes of immigration should be assessed and that if European countries do not want migrants, they should initiate good economic projects.

Addressing the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Ghani said that the current economic programs of world institutions for fragile states are not effective.

"We must analyze the root causes and create the conditions for stability. The current economic recipes of global institutions for fragile states are not working. If Europe does not want refugees, it has to create the conditions for getting commodities in value chains and linkages. Our people don't want to move, but we need to create opportunities," he added.

This comes at a time that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said that during the first six weeks of this year more than 80,000 immigrants reached Europe and some 400 people have lost their lives on the way. The organization said that most of these refugees are from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The organization is concerned about the security of these immigrants in Europe and said that violence against refugees has increased.

Most of those who entered Europe in 2016 are women and children. Poverty, unemployment and insecurity are considered as the main reasons behind the immigration of people to European countries.

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 13:41:08 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23760-europe-should-initiate-projects-if-they-do-not-want-refugees-ghani
Nangarhar Residents Want Historical Sites Revived http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23759-nangarhar-residents-want-historical-sites-revived culture

A number of residents and provincial council members from Nangarhar on Saturday blamed government for doing nothing to save and revive historical sites in the province.

They called on relevant organizations to revive the historical sites in the eastern province which are on the verge of destruction.

According to them, one of the historical sites is Siraj al-Amara which has been under reconstruction for the past six years.

"We want historical sites to be rehabilitated by government. Relevant organizations should keep an open eye on saving such areas otherwise we will lose them gradually," said Nangarhar provincial council member Nasir Kamawal.

"The Siraj al-Amara Garden is in a bad situation. We want its rehabilitation and also we want a big library to be established in Nangarhar," said Daud Shah Jalalzai, a poet and writer in the province.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Information and Culture [MoIC) confirmed that a number of historical sites are on the verge of disappearing in Nangarhar and said some of the areas have been grabbed by powerful figures.

"We are concerned about the ancient sites that will vanish soon. Some land related to such sites have been grabbed by [some] powerful men," said deputy minister of MoIC, Zardusht Shams.

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:34:43 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23759-nangarhar-residents-want-historical-sites-revived
Assad Vows To Retake Syria, Amid New Ceasefire Push http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23758-assad-vows-to-retake-syria-amid-new-ceasefire-push world-13-feb-2016

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to retake the entire country but warned it could take a "long time," in an exclusive interview with AFP as international pressure grows for a ceasefire.

Speaking at his office in Damascus, hours before a new ceasefire plan was announced early Friday by world powers in Munich, Assad said he backed peace talks but that negotiations do "not mean that we stop fighting terrorism".

Regime forces backed by Russian air strikes have registered major advances in recent days, particularly in northern Aleppo province, where Assad said the army was seeking to sever the opposition's supply route from Turkey.

The push is one of the most significant regime advances since the conflict began in March 2011 with protests against Assad's government, before spiralling into a bloody war that has killed more than 260,000 people.

The advances have prompted consternation from opposition backers including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and Assad said he saw a risk that the two countries would intervene militarily in Syria, pledging that his forces would "certainly confront" them.

He also addressed the massive flow of refugees from his country, saying it was up to Europe to stop "giving cover to terrorists" so Syrians could return home.

Over the past week, Syrian regime forces backed by pro-government fighters and Russian air strikes have encircled Aleppo, Syria's second city.

The advance is one of several for the government since Russia began an aerial campaign on September 30 after a string of regime losses to rebel forces and the Islamic State group.

Dressed in a dark blue suit, Assad appeared bolstered by his recent military gains, and said his eventual goal was to retake all of Syria.

"Regardless of whether we can do that or not, this is a goal we are seeking to achieve without any hesitation," he said.

"It makes no sense for us to say that we will give up any part."

Assad said it would be possible to "put an end to this problem in less than a year" if opposition supply routes from Turkey, Jordan and Iraq were cut.

But if not, he said, "the solution will take a long time and will incur a heavy price".

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 07:58:32 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23758-assad-vows-to-retake-syria-amid-new-ceasefire-push
TOLOnews 10pm News 12 February 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/23757-tolonews-10pm-news-12-february-2016 10pnnews-12-feb-2016Top news in this Bulletin:

The President's Special on Reform and Good Governance Ahmad Zia Massoud on Friday visited northern Kunduz province where he spoke out about the leadership of Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) and said the forces lack proper management and leadership – in the war against terrorism.

Click below to watch full bulletin:

{youtube}BAWGBxomkSI{/youtube}

A senior European Union (EU) diplomat has said that an international conference on peace and stability in Afghanistan will be convened in the Belgian capital Brussels later this year.

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 07:10:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/23757-tolonews-10pm-news-12-february-2016
MEHWAR: Effects Of Electricity Shortage In Kabul Reviewed http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/23756-mehwar-effects-of-electricity-shortage-in-kabul-reviewed mehwar-feb-12-2016

In this episode of Mehwar, host Haris Jamalzada discusses the effects of electricity shortage on the lives and economy of Kabul residents.

With him in the studio are:

• Abdul Hasib Rahimi, CEO of Kabul Chamber of Commerce and Industries

• Najibullah Mujaddidi, university lecturer

Click below to watch full episode:

{youtube}EtuGohVbl2Q{/youtube}

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 06:28:30 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/23756-mehwar-effects-of-electricity-shortage-in-kabul-reviewed
FARAKHABAR: Delay In Electoral Reforms Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/23755-farakhabar-delay-in-electoral-reforms-discussed farkhabar-12-feb-2016

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Fawad Aman discusses the delay in the process of bringing reforms in election commissions.

His guests in this episode are:

• Saber Insan Dost, member of Afghanistan Lawyers Union

• Zikriya Osuli, university lecturer

Click below to watch full episode:

{youtube}UtFHTTCunDw{/youtube}

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 06:17:45 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/23755-farakhabar-delay-in-electoral-reforms-discussed
Former Herat Governor Kidnapped In Islamabad http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23754-former-herat-governor-kidnapped-in-islamabad wahidi

Former governor of Afghanistan's Herat province Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi has been kidnaped by unknown armed men in Islamabad city in Pakistan, officials said Saturday.

According to Pakistan's the Express Tribune, Wahidi had been in Islamabad along with his family to get visas to travel to the UK.

Pakistani officials have said that Wahidi had gone to a restaurant with his 12-year-old grandson when unidentified persons arrived in two vehicles and kidnapped him, leaving the child behind.

Pakistani media quoted official sources from Pakistan as saying that the former governor was staying at a guesthouse in Islamabad's F-7 sector and was near Rana Market when he was abducted.

The officials added that the reason behind the former governor's kidnapping is not known so far.

Officials at the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad said they have registered a case with the police about the abduction of the former governor.

]]>
Sat, 13 Feb 2016 05:41:45 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23754-former-herat-governor-kidnapped-in-islamabad
TOLOnews 6pm News 12 February 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/23753-tolonews-6pm-news-12-february-2016 shuja-12-feb-16Top news in this Bulletin:

The President's Special on Reform and Good Governance Ahmad Zia Massoud on Friday visited northern Kunduz province where he spoke out about the leadership of Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) and said the forces lack proper management and leadership – in the war against terrorism.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}mM3PbqpBtC4{/youtube}

A senior European Union (EU) diplomat has said that an international conference on peace and stability in Afghanistan will be convened in the Belgian capital Brussels later this year.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:38:20 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/23753-tolonews-6pm-news-12-february-2016
NATO Terms Support To Afghanistan As Part Of Global War Against Terrorism http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23752-nato-terms-support-to-afghanistan-as-part-of-global-war-against-terrorism nato-12-feb-16

NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, reiterated the organization's continued support to Afghanistan. He said that NATO is trying to turn Afghanistan into a stable country.

He termed NATO's support as essential for stability in Afghanistan.

"My view is that the Afghan national defense and security forces are facing challenging security environment in Afghanistan. NATO has ended its combat mission, but we continue to support them with training, assistance and advising and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have taken over the full responsibility for security in Afghanistan," said Stoltenberg.

He added that security forces have made a lot of progress and they have proven that they are capable, professional and that they are able to respond.

Stoltenberg said that NATO ministers on Thursday agreed to continue train, assist and advise mission in Afghanistan.

"NATO ministers assessed the work of the Resolute Support mission. They agreed that our training, advice and assistance for Afghan forces remain essential for stability in Afghanistan and they confirmed that the mission should continue to be kept under review to ensure its effectiveness," he added.

During the recent meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, the Defense Secretary of the US also reaffirmed Washington's economic and political support to Afghanistan.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 14:33:15 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23752-nato-terms-support-to-afghanistan-as-part-of-global-war-against-terrorism
EU Set To Host International Conference On Afghan Peace http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23751-eu-set-to-host-international-conference-on-afghan-peace eu-12-feb-16

A senior European Union (EU) diplomat has said that an international conference on peace and stability in Afghanistan will be convened in the Belgian capital Brussels later this year.

He said Iran will be asked to cooperate in light of Tehran's influential role in the region.

The European Union's Deputy Secretary-General for the External Action Service Helga Maria Schmid called on Iran to consider participating in the Brussels conference on Afghanistan.

The Brussels meeting is aimed at discussing restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan and to assess ways of cooperation among the nations in their struggles against terrorism.

The EU will host the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan on October 4-5, 2016. The conference will discuss the issue of ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan and help reaffirm international support to Afghanistan until the end of 2020.

"The move indicates that the (EU) officials realize the security issues, dangers and threats coming out of the terrorists in the region and this is a positive sign for Afghanistan. The second point is that Afghanistan must be active in its foreign policy to get benefits of the opportunities and situations available," political analyst Mohammad Natiqi said.

Iran has welcomed the EU invitation for participating in the conference, calling on the EU to increase financial assistance to Afghanistan.

"With consideration of Iran's location to Afghanistan's western part and one of the countries which maintains crucial impacts on Afghanistan's political equations - Iran can play a realistic role in the process if willing to do so. I think inviting Iran to the conference has its own impacts if Afghanistan comes with its own fresh plans," political commentator Mohammad Haidari said.

Political analysts believe that alongside Iran, the role of Russia should also be considered in the war against terrorism.‎

They say that Tehran and Moscow maintain significant roles in the Afghan peace process and they can play a decisive role in this respect.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 14:28:11 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23751-eu-set-to-host-international-conference-on-afghan-peace
Tajikistan Electricity To Kabul Reconnected http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23750-tajikistan-electricity-to-kabul-reconnected

Ghulam Hussain, the head of Baghlan electricity department said on Friday that the authorities have managed to reconnect two circuits on the main transmission lines transferring electricity from Tajikistan to the Afghan capital Kabul.

The two circuit lines had been destroyed by militants in the area two nights ago.

He said that currently more than a 100 megawatts of electricity is mow being provided to Kabul.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 14:14:34 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23750-tajikistan-electricity-to-kabul-reconnected
US Pushes Afghan Government For Significant Security Reforms http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23749-us-pushes-afghan-government-for-significant-security-reforms afghan-forces-12-feb-16

Army Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, deputy chief of staff for communications for NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, briefed reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday and said the Afghan security institutions need to develop four capabilities to be successful in their mission against the militants on the battlefields.

Afghan forces need to develop a readiness cycle, reduce the number of checkpoints, make leadership changes, and fill their ranks, the general said.

"Some of their forces are worn down," the general said. "Some of them [have been involved] in continuous security operations since the beginning of 2015."

Referring to the issue of Daesh in Afghanistan, general Shoffner said that nearly 4,000 militants associated to Daesh exist in Afghanistan, pledging that the U.S forces in Afghanistan will increase attacks on them including the deployment of hundreds of troops in volatile regions in southern Afghanistan with particular attention paid to Helmand province.

Shoffner said Daesh is operating in four or five remote districts of Nangarhar province. "We're seeing [ISIL] attempting to establish a base of operations there," he said. "Afghan security forces have had quite a bit of success against them."

Daesh has not had a lot of luck recruiting Afghans, Shoffner said, adding that he estimates there may be between 1,000 to 3,000 Afghan adherents to the group.

It seems that Washington was not satisfied with the efforts of the Afghan government to mobilize the Afghan security forces properly.

He said that the Afghan ministry of defense needs to train at least 6,000 new soldiers every month. But currently the concerned ministry trains only three to four thousand soldiers.

Operations break down not only regarding soldiers, but also with equipment, he said. Units need time to be trained and equipped for deployment. Then there needs to be a set time for that deployment. Units then need time to rest and recuperate and, finally, to reconstitute with all ranks filled and all equipment repaired and maintained.

"Once they are done with that, they are ready for that training cycle to begin again," Shoffner said. "That cyclic system ... is going to be key for them being able to sustain security operations here in Afghanistan."

The general said that Afghan forces also need to reduce the number of checkpoints they man. "The Afghan security forces -- particularly in the army -- are short about 25,000 [personnel]," he said. "They've got too many of their soldiers on checkpoints, and they've got to reduce some of those checkpoints."

He also suggested that the Afghan officials also need to bring change in their leadership in the army.

Afghan security forces need to make some difficult leadership changes, the general said. The Afghan government has already started this, he noted, by changing out 92 general officers across the services.

Meanwhile, some Afghan military analysts have said that 25,000 vacancies within the ranks of the Afghan National Army (ANA) is a tragedy, calling on government particularly the ministry of defense to fill these vacancies in view of the ongoing turmoil.

"Defense minister must task his commanders to certify the posts and make plans for filling 25,000 vacancies ... Because we are at war. 25,000 vacancies at war time is a tragedy," former deputy minister of interior Mirza Mohammad Yarmand said.

The Afghan security forces have been leading the overall security responsibilities of the country since 2014 when the US-led coalition announced the end of their combat mission in the war-torn country. But the dramatic fall of the strategic town of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan to Taliban and the prolonged war in Sangin district of Helmand province has raised concerns among analysts.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:44:18 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23749-us-pushes-afghan-government-for-significant-security-reforms
NUG Leaders Not Able To Lead The Country: Civil Society http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23748-nug-leaders-not-able-to-lead-the-country-civil-society civil-society-12-feb-16

A number of civil society members on Friday accused the National Unity Government's leaders of not being able to lead the country effectively - in light of the recent power cuts to Kabul.

The civil society members warn that if government does not restore electricity to the capital they will conduct massive protest action in Kabul.

The civil society members said that the welfare of citizens is one of the main‎ responsibilities of government and the government should not keep silent regarding people's demands.

"Providing public welfare is the duty of government and the government must provide better living opportunities," said civil society member Najibullah Mujadadi.

"This darkness may have bad consequences in every aspect such as security, trade and economy," said Mujtaba Paikan, a civil society member.

Meanwhile a number of Kabul residents raised concerns over the shortage of electricity in the capital.

"Nowadays there is a huge electricity shortage and we are facing lots of problems," said Mohammad Jan one of the residents.

"My shop needs electricity to function but since the electricity has been out my work has suffered and is close to collapsing," said Sulaiman, another resident.

The civil society members said that the Baghlan war is affecting the capital and the government is not taking any serious action to clear the province of insurgents.

"I do not know why such large numbers of security forces in Baghlan province are not able to eliminate a number of terrorists, in my opinion the government is again thinking of a disgraceful deal such as Dand-e-Ghori deal," said Nasrullah Falak, a civil society member.

"The government wants to follow another issue so it can be another headache in next year spring," said Faiz Azimi, another civil society member.

Nearly fifteen days ago armed militants cut off the Uzbekistan electricity to Kabul in Baghlan province and more recently they disrupted Tajikistan electricity to Kabul in Kunduz province.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:40:11 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23748-nug-leaders-not-able-to-lead-the-country-civil-society
Afghan Economy Trembles Amid Foreign Investment Decline: ACCI http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23747-afghan-economy-trembles-amid-foreign-investment-decline-acci investment-12-feb-16

Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said Friday that foreign investment in the country sharply dropped - to its lowest level since the start of new solar year, warning of an economic recession if government does not take firm steps to tackle the decline.

According to ACCI, a surge in violence across the country and government's failure for providing fresh incentives to foreign investors have also affected domestic investments.

"There has not been any foreign investment in the country this year, no one is prepared to invest amid the fragile security situation, even our domestic investors are faced with numerous problems right now and they are not willing to continue," deputy head of ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozai said.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA) has said that investments dropped by 26 percent this year.

The lack of safety and proper security arrangements for investments and investors, absence of investment supporting strategies, a lack of incentives for investors to encourage investors for investment and a lack of clear economic and investment vision for attracting medium and major investments have been the main aspects of decline in investments in country.

The ACCI and AISA have warned that if the government doesn't come up with strategic economic reforms to boost the economy and attract foreign investments, the country may collapse into a financial recession.

"Problems exist and we are all aware of that, but right now it is difficult to say that foreign investment has been zero, but I can confirm that investments dropped by 26 percent overall and this is a matter of concen," deputy head of AISA Ibrahim Shams said.

Economic experts have said that uncertainty on the political and economic climate of the country and the fragile security situation have discouraged foreign investors.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:25:06 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23747-afghan-economy-trembles-amid-foreign-investment-decline-acci
Security Forces Need Proper Management: Massoud http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23746-security-forces-need-proper-management-massoud zia-masoud-12-feb-16

The President's Special on Reform and Good Governance Ahmad Zia Massoud on Friday visited northern Kunduz province where he spoke out about the leadership of Afghan National and Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) and said the forces lack proper management and leadership – in the war against terrorism.

He praised the forces for their bravery and resistance against terrorists on the battlegrounds and said they are capable of defeating insurgents on condition that there is good leadership for forces.

Massoud said softening towards insurgents will be a type of cruelty towards the people and that Afghan security forces should not be flexible towards terrorists.

He also said the security forces should act against terrorists from a strong and powerful stance.

"War against terrorism is our national duty. Those who act against Afghanistan's national interests should be eliminated," he told a gathering attended by Kunduz high ranking officials.

Massoud said the Afghan security forces need successful and proper leadership to fight terrorism and ensure the country's security.

Referring to his recent comments on the formation of a 'Resistance Council', he said that he will bring former mujahideen leaders together in Kunduz and other northern provinces in order to boost the country's security.

Massoud said terrorist groups have no political future in Afghanistan. "They are here to kill the people and destabilize the country," he added.

In conclusion he said their biggest responsibility in the near future is to bring the people and former mujahideen leaders together in a bid to help the security forces in the war on terror and to ensure countrywide security.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:45:11 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23746-security-forces-need-proper-management-massoud
Areas Cleared Of Militants In Baghlan-e-Markazi District http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23745-areas-cleared-of-militants-in-baghlan-e-markazi-district baghlan-12-feb-16

Security officials in Baghlan said Friday that two villages in Baghlan-e-Markazi district in the province were cleared of militants in a military operation carried out by security forces on Thursday night.

Acting police chief for Baghlan, Abdul Rashid Bashir, said at least 27 militants were killed and 24 others wounded in the operation.

"The areas of Kokina and Qaisar Khel were cleared of militants in last night's [Thursday night] military operation and now the areas are under full control of security forces," he added.

Meanwhile, local residents said they are happy that their areas came under control of Afghan security forces.

"The security forces came to our area and took full control. Now all the people can roam here freely," said Haji Mir Jan, a resident of Baghlan-e-Markazi district.

The areas were captured by the Taliban after they attacked local police check posts a few days ago.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:37:35 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23745-areas-cleared-of-militants-in-baghlan-e-markazi-district
Russia PM Warns Foreign Offensive In Syria Could Spark 'World War' http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23744-russia-pm-warns-foreign-offensive-in-syria-could-spark-world-war world-12-feb-2016

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned Thursday that if Arab forces entered the Syrian war they could spark a "new world war" and urged ceasefire talks instead.

Asked about proposals by some Arab countries to enter the conflict under a US command, Medvedev said, "that would be bad because ground offensives usually lead to wars becoming permanent".

"The Americans and our Arabic partners must think hard about this: do they want a permanent war?" he was quoted as telling the German Handelsblatt business daily in an interview.

"Do they really think they would win such a war very quickly? That's impossible, especially in the Arabic world. There everyone is fighting against everyone... everything is far more complicated. It could take years or decades."

"Why is that necessary?" he added, according to a pre-released excerpt from the daily's Friday edition. "All sides must be forced to the negotiating table instead of sparking a new world war."

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 06:53:58 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23744-russia-pm-warns-foreign-offensive-in-syria-could-spark-world-war
TOLOnews 10pm News 11 February 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/23743-tolonews-10pm-news-11-february-2016 10omnews-11-feb-2016Top news in this Bulletin:

The U.S State Department has proposed $3.4 billion USD for Afghanistan and Pakistan in its draft budget for 2017 as part of an increase in its financial support to Kabul.

Click below to watch full bulletin:

{youtube}LPQX7r31aPk{/youtube}

An Afghan woman has been flogged in public in Kohistanat district of Sar-e-Pul province after being accused of leaving her house with a strange man.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 06:37:36 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/10pm-news-bulletin/23743-tolonews-10pm-news-11-february-2016
MEHWAR: U.S Decision To Increase Financial Assistance Reviewed http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/23742-mehwar-us-decision-to-increase-financial-assistance-reviewed mehwar2-11-feb-2016

In this episode of Mehwar, host Haris Jamalzada discusses the United States' plan to increase its financial assistance to Afghanistan.

He discusses the issue with Idris Rahmani, a researcher in international affairs.

Click below to watch full episode:

{youtube}G_Mojm707bo{/youtube}

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 06:04:17 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/23742-mehwar-us-decision-to-increase-financial-assistance-reviewed
MEHWAR: Violence Against Women In Afghanistan Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/23741-mehwar-violence-against-women-in-afghanistan-discussed mehwar-simin-11-feb-2016

In this episode of Mehwar, Haris Jamalzada reviews the recent increase in violence against women in Afghanistan.

With him in the studio is MP Simin Barikzai.

Click below to watch full episode:

{youtube}u6UbFM2aWyU{/youtube}

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 05:55:25 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/mehwar/23741-mehwar-violence-against-women-in-afghanistan-discussed
TAWDE KHABARE: Special Rep's Criticism On Govt's Counter Terrorism Policy Discussed http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/23740-tawde-khabare-special-reps-criticism-on-govts-counter-terrorism-policy-discussed Tawdekhabare-11-feb-2016

In a recent visit to Takhar province, President Ashraf Ghani's Special Representative on Reform and Good Governance, Ahmad Ziad Massoud, criticized government's policy against insurgents and said there is no clear plan to suppress terrorists in Afghanistan.

During his speech, he emphasized the need to establish a 'Resistance Council' comprised of former mujahedeen leaders in order to help Afghan security forces in ensuring county wide security.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Zabih Sadat discusses the issue with following guests:

• Shiwa Sharq, analyst in political affairs

• Abdul Qader Zazai Watandost, MP

• Asif Baktash, analyst in political affairs

Click below to watch full episode:

{youtube}p3ADzpGzMWI{/youtube}

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 05:49:05 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/23740-tawde-khabare-special-reps-criticism-on-govts-counter-terrorism-policy-discussed
U.S Forces Ramp Up Efforts On Two Fronts: Pentagon http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23739-us-forces-ramp-up-efforts-on-two-fronts-pentagon http://www.tolonews.com/TOLOnews_photo/nato-23-august.jpg

The United States is ramping up efforts on two fronts in Afghanistan - increasing air strikes against Daesh fighters in the country's east while providing more advisers to Afghan troops fighting the Taliban in the country's south.

Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, a spokesman for U.S forces in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon via videoconference from Kabul on Thursday that the U.S estimates there are now between 1,000 and 3,000 Islamic State-Khorasan (Daesh) fighters in Afghanistan. Daesh has designated Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Iran as its so-called "Khorasan" province.

Most fighters pledging allegiance to Daesh-Khorasan are in four or five districts in the southern part of Nangarhar province, where Shoffner says he's seen them trying to "establish a base."

Nangarhar province borders the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, allowing Daesh-Khorasan to recruit both Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban, or TTP.

"The change in authorities has given us additional flexibility," Shoffner said.

In addition to more strikes in the east, Shoffner said the U.S military is increasing its footprint in Helmand province.

"We are increasing our advising effort in Helmand province," Shoffner said.

"We are also ... positioning soldiers to provide force protection," he added.

The repositioning of U.S forces in Helmand will not affect the overall number of U.S troops on the ground in Afghanistan, which remains at about 9,800.

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 05:46:01 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/23739-us-forces-ramp-up-efforts-on-two-fronts-pentagon
FARAKHABAR: Govt Fails To Reconnect Kabul's Electricity http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/23738-farakhabar-govt-fails-to-reconnect-kabuls-electricity farakhabar-11-feb-2016

Insurgents recently disrupted the electricity supply from Tajikistan to Kabul leaving the capital in the dark.

According to local officials, militants again on Thursday destroyed two circuits of power in Kunduz and a power pylon in Baghlan that both connect the lines that carry electricity from Tajikistan to Kabul.

With this disruption, Kabul lost all the imported electricity both from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan but government has failed to re-install the power pylons in Baghlan and reconnect electricity to the capital city.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Fawad Aman discusses the issue with following guests:

• Sayed Massoud, university lecturer

• Gul Rahman Raihan, a civil society activist in Baghlan

• Abdul Satar Briz, Baghlan governor – via Skype

Click below to watch full episode:

{youtube}ncp-M1wnrq4{/youtube}

]]>
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 05:39:09 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/fara-khabar/23738-farakhabar-govt-fails-to-reconnect-kabuls-electricity
TOLOnews 6pm News 11 February 2016 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/23737-tolonews-6pm-news-11-february-2016 shuja-11-feb-16Top news in this Bulletin:

The U.S State Department has proposed $3.4 billion USD for Afghanistan and Pakistan in its draft budget for 2017 as part of an increase in its financial support to Kabul.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}GCB03ycJfpM{/youtube}

An Afghan woman has been flogged in public in Kohistanat district of Sar-e-Pul province after being accused of leaving her house with a strange man.

]]>
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:54:41 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/23737-tolonews-6pm-news-11-february-2016