RSS Feed Wed, 25 May 2016 22:27:41 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev ( TOLOnews 6pm News 25 May 2016 shuja-25-may-16Top news in this Bulletin:

Taliban selected Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada first deputy to former leader Mullah Mansour as his successor.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:


Dozens of journalists came together on Wednesday to approve a code of ethics for journalists in Afghanistan.

Wed, 25 May 2016 17:13:11 GMT
Enlightening Movement Rejects 500kV Power Project Commission Decision power-25-may-16

Enlightening Movement has rejected the decision of the national commission tasked with assessing the 500kV power line project.

The commission on Tuesday suggested that the controversial line should go through Salang. The Enlightening Movement said that no other alternative except for the cancellation of the council of ministers' decision is acceptable for them.

"This decision that is based on the Presidential Palace's perception legalizes the council of ministers' decision, is not acceptable for us. We strongly rejected this decision," said Assadullah Saadati, a member of the movement.

"Distributing electricity to Bamiyan I think is a decision that is taken to divert minds of followers of the enlightening movement. The decision that they have taken is much more expensive and time-consuming compared to moving the line through Bamiyan," said Jafar Mehdawi, another member of the movement.

A number of lawmakers meanwhile urged the Enlightening Movement to accept the commission's decision.

"It is not about electricity, but it is about implementing Iran's project. If they don't accept decisions of the former government, then Daikundi, which was promoted to a province during the former government, should be demoted back to district," said Mohammad Naeem Lalai Hamidzai, an MP.

The government meanwhile has pledged to provide 300 megawatt electricity to Bamiyan and central parts of Afghanistan.

The commission has suggested that a power network should be built in Doshi area and from there 300 megawatt electricity should be supplied to Bamiyan and central parts of Afghanistan.

The government has accepted the commission's findings and suggestions.

"Taking into consideration that all the technical and procurement related processes of the 500kV electricity line from north of the country to south has been implemented over the past two and half years and based on findings of the national commission from assessment of related papers the projects is being resumed," said Sayed Zafar Hashemi, the deputy spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.

To sort out controversies over the route of the 500kV electricity line from Turkmenistan, the government assigned a commission to technically assess both routes of Salang and Bamiyan.

To watch the report, click here:


Wed, 25 May 2016 16:16:31 GMT
Haibatullah Named Taliban's New Leader mullah-Haibatullah-taliban-new-leader-25-may-16

Taliban selected Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada first deputy to former leader Mullah Mansour as his successor.

In a statement issued by the Taliban on Wednesday, the group confirmed the death of Mullah Mansour and added that Taliban's Shura has selected Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new leader.

Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mullah Omar's eldest son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob were selected as Taliban's new deputies, the Taliban's statement added.

"Death of Mullah Omar was a blow to the Taliban and now the death of Akhtar Mansour is a second blow the Taliban. After this any person can come as the Taliban leader but will not be a Mullah Omar," said Mohammad Abda a MP.

Meanwhile Haibatullah is 56 years old and a resident of Kandahar province. He reportedly now lives in Ghous Abad of Quetta city in Pakistan and was administrative deputy to Mullah Omar.

"Taliban sought Fatwas from him and he is a really active and charismatic person in Taliban ranks," said former deputy interior minister Mirza Mohammad Yarmand.

Haibatullah is also a religious scholar and is known for releasing Taliban statements to justify their presence in their war against the Afghan government and foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile a number of people refer to him as the most serious supporter to continue the Taliban battle.

"I think a vacuum came among them and Mullah Omar's son Mullah Yaqoob also did not agree to him even Yaqoob appointed as deputy but he wanted to be the Taliban leader," said Abdulhai Akhundzada another MP.

However it is said that the selection of Haibatullah as the Taliban leader was done without consultation with Mullah Rassoul, and experts said that conflict still remains among the Taliban.

Although the main reason for the killing of Mullah Mansour is said to have been because he was opposed to the peace process, it is not known what stance his successor will take in this regard.

To watch the report, click here:


Wed, 25 May 2016 16:05:51 GMT
Taliban Under Military Pressure: Security Officials afghan-forces-25-may-16

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) and the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that several Taliban commanders have also been killed in Afghanistan following their leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour's death in a drone strike in Pakistan.

They said that the Taliban have come under enormous military pressure.

The ministries said that the Taliban's attacks have reduced following their leader's death. They said that the Taliban launched 65 attacks over the past four days and security forces have conducted 260 attacks against the Taliban in the same amount of time.

"Taliban had movements, but they cannot create challenges for security forces. The Taliban have been suppressed, wherever they have risen up," said Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the MoD.

Based on figures provided by the MoI, "Mullah Manan, Qari Aref and several other Taliban commanders who were fighting in Helmand have been killed in security forces' operations," said Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the MoI.

The Taliban militants, after the death of their leader, still continue fighting in different parts of the country, including Baghlan.

"Fighting is still underway in Baghlan-e-Markazi district [of Baghlan province]. The government has also launched an operation, but it was not effective," said Azim Mohseni, a lawmaker from Baghlan province.

Wed, 25 May 2016 16:01:49 GMT
Code Of Ethics For Journalists Discussed reporters-25-may-16

Dozens of journalists came together on Wednesday to approve a code of ethics for journalists in Afghanistan.

Journalists' support organizations - after months of discussion - have finally decided to approve the code anonymously.

Viewpoints of journalists from 34 provinces have been taken into consideration in drawing up the code - which is in five sections - accountability, impartiality, balanced, reduction of risk and accuracy.

"We invited you journalists to discuss an important issue, which is the code of ethics for journalists and to approve it so that all you journalists can act more professional in your work," said Safiullah Zeer, from Afghanistan's National Journalists' Union.

Meanwhile, journalists voiced their concerns over the lack of access to information in government organizations and mounting security threats against journalists.

"Most days we cannot find access to information from local officials, we are facing lots of problems in this area," said Ghairatmal, a representative of journalists in southern Afghanistan.

According to the code in the area of accountability journalists while making a news story should consider the following points: the source should be mentioned, the accused criminals should be given time to express their views, national interests should be taken into consideration, insult to individuals should be avoided.

In the area of independence, journalists should avoid any kind of partiality, should avoid the activities that undermine credibility of journalists such as special offers, gifts and bribes should be rejected by journalists. Journalists should avoid self-censorship should prefer national interest over personal interests.

Based on the code, journalists should not bow down to direct and indirect pressure from government officials, individuals and groups and should also practice caution for their own safety. The code also stresses the need for balanced reporting.

The code urges journalists not to distort information and not differentiate between spokesmen of government and armed militant groups.

"We are against this that viewpoints of spokesmen of militant groups should not be taken and should be given less importance to it. Because, if we do this, we are putting ourselves at risk," said Zaman Ahmadi, a representative of journalists in central Afghanistan.

The government meanwhile reiterated its commitment to supporting media.

"We are a country in the region that has no journalist in its prisons. The government always considers media as a need to give information," said Shahussain Murtazawi, the deputy spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani.

"We have 1,500 media outlets across the country and despite this we should also pay attention to quality in the area of journalism," said Syed Muzhgan Mustafawi, the Deputy Minister of Information and Culture.

The code also prevents journalists from invading someone's privacy and interviewing underage children without permission of their family.

Freedom of the media is one of Afghanistan's biggest achievements in the past 15 years , however little attention is paid to quality and standards in this area.

To watch the report, click here:


Wed, 25 May 2016 15:54:52 GMT
Artists Call On People Not To Leave The Country paintings-25-may-16

A number of civil society activists and artists on Wednesday banded together in Kabul and showcased the consequences of illegal migration.

The artists and activists sent out their messages to fellow Afghans through mural art and theater productions.

One gathering took place at the Telecommunication and Information Technology Ministry where artists painted hard-hitting murals on the ministry's security walls.

Artists, depicting the dangers of a migrant's trip to Europe, painted scenes of ships, drownings and bleak futures for illegal migrants.

"We want to make people think not only about migration but about other issues as well," said one artist organizer Kabir Mukamal.

Meanwhile, a group of performing artists put on a show in front of the Kabul University's faculty of fine arts where they mapped out the consequences of illegal migration.

They performed the roles of migrants and human traffickers and concluded their performance with a disturbing mock drowning of a refugee.

"Whenever the people leave the country, poverty becomes a problem, insolvable," said Hussain Sajadi, one audience member.

"People of Afghanistan are really concerned about the phenomenon (the fleeing of residents) and they really suffer when they leave," said Burhanuddin Khaliq, a journalism graduate.

To watch the video report, click here:


Wed, 25 May 2016 15:14:49 GMT
UNAMA Condemns Kabul Suicide Attack Nicholas Haysom UNAMA

The United Nation's Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned Wednesday's suicide attack on the western fringes Kabul which killed eleven civilians and injured ten others.

"The suicide bomber detonated against a shuttle bus transporting employees of the Maidan Wardak provincial court. The blast, that occurred in the Pul-e-Bagh Daud Area of the Paghman District of Kabul Province, killed and injured civilian passengers of the bus and bystanders in the area, including six children," according to a statement issued by UNAMA.

The incident took place at about 9am local time Paghman district when the court employees of central Wardak province while they were on their way to the province.

No group has as yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

The statement said that since 1 January 2016, UNAMA has verified 14 separate attacks targeting judges, prosecutors and judicial staff, which have resulted in nine civilian deaths (excluding Wednesday's attack) and 19 civilians injured, as well as four incidents of abduction of judicial staff.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for seven of these incidents.

"Attacks against judicial authorities are cowardly and contrary to international humanitarian law," said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.

"I unreservedly condemn today's attack, demand accountability for the perpetrators and urge authorities to do everything in their power to ensure adequate protection of judicial officials."

The UN Mission reiterates that international humanitarian law, to which all parties to the armed conflict are bound, prohibits attacks directed against civilians and the use of indiscriminate tactics, particularly suicide attacks using improvised explosive devices.

UNAMA expresses its heartfelt condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in these attacks and wishes a speedy recovery to those who have been injured.

Wed, 25 May 2016 11:27:39 GMT
U.S Senate Bill Looks To Block $300m Aid To Pakistan whitehouse

Following the U.S drone strike that killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour in Baluchistan, the top Senate members on Tuesday introduced a new bill to block $300 million USD aid to Pakistan.

The resolution requires the secretary of defense to certify that Islamabad is taking demonstrative actions against the Haqqani Network.

The house amendment wants the secretary of defense to certify to Congress that Pakistan is not using its military or any funds or equipment provided by the U.S to persecute minority groups seeking political or religious freedom.

Earlier, the White House expressed objection to the bill saying, "the administration objects to section 1212 of HR 4919, which would make $450 million USD of CSF to Pakistan ineligible for the Secretary of Defense's waiver authority unless the secretary provides a certification to the Congressional defense committees."

The Senate version of the NDAA 2016, that covers $300 million USD out of the Coalition Support Fund, already requires a certification that Pakistan was taking action against the Haqqani Network.

The renewed bill binds the Secretary of Defense to appear before the Congress and convince the lawmakers that Pakistan military has been taking demonstrated action against the Haqqani Network for them to release funds. The NDAA 2016 ends on September 30 this year.

The Pentagon spokesperson has reportedly commented that the defense secretary has not taken the decision regarding the certification yet.

Meanwhile Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Tuesday that authorities will perform DNA tests on the body of a man who was killed in the drone strike to determine whether the slain man is actually Mansour.

At a televised news conference in Islamabad, Khan said Pakistan is still unable to officially confirm Mansour's death, although Washington, Kabul and some senior Taliban commanders have confirmed it.

The Taliban has yet to formally announce his death.

According to AP, Khan condemned the drone strike, calling it a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and international laws.

He said Washington officially notified Pakistan seven hours after carrying out the strike, saying they had targeted Mansour inside Pakistan.

He said Pakistani officials later found two "charred bodies" in a badly burned car and one of them was a driver whose body was handed over to his relatives. The second person's body could not be identified as he was not a Pakistani, Khan said.

One of Mansour's relatives had contacted Pakistan in order to retrieve the body, Khan said, but Pakistan would only do so when the DNA testing was complete.

Khan was quoted by AP as saying: "His (Mansour) family member who is a blood relation has requested us to hand over the body to him. The Pakistan government asked him to provide his DNA to establish the relationship "

Khan also reportedly rejected the notion that Mansour was a threat to peace in Afghanistan, insisting that Mansour had backed the first round of face-to-face talks between the Taliban and Kabul, which was hosted by Pakistan in July 2015.

That process, Khan said, was sabotaged when Kabul decided to reveal that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had in fact been dead for nearly two years, reported AP.

"The second round of talks (between the Afghan Taliban and Kabul ) was sabotage by announcing the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar (Taliban former leader), so the conflict of the leadership surfaced, and I want to tell you that high on the agenda for the second round was that a loud message should be given by declaring Kabul a conflict free zone and Taliban had agreed to this."

The Afghan peace talks with the Taliban have consistently resulted in a deadlock despite five rounds of Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meetings over the past few months.

Wed, 25 May 2016 10:28:30 GMT
TOLOnews 10pm News 24 May 2016 10pm-news-24-May-2016Top news in this Bulletin:

The death of the Taliban's leader in a U.S drone strike has scrambled discussions between the U.S military and the White House over whether to let American troops once again conduct offensive operations against the insurgent group in Afghanistan, reports the Wall Street Journal.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:


A number of prominent Jihadi leaders on Tuesday said they foresee further rifts developing among the Taliban, following the death of their leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour.

Wed, 25 May 2016 09:20:41 GMT
Kabul Blast Toll Rises To 11 kabul-blast-25-may-16

Eleven people were killed early Wednesday morning on the outskirts of Kabul city when a suicide bomber targeted a vehicle carrying Wardak province appeals ‎court employees.

Kabul Police said that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at about 9am local time in PD5 of Kabul city when the officials were on their way to Wardak province.

According to officials, at least four people were injured.

"Unfortunately 11 civilian employees of court were killed, martyred, and four others were wounded." said Fridoon Abadi Kabul ‎head of criminal investigations.

While Kabul police said 11 people were killed and four others wounded in the attack, the area residents said that the number of victims was more than what police said.

"I am living here and I saw three ice cream sellers and one vendor and they were bleeding," said Shawokat a resident.

"We saw lots of wounded and they were in really bad condition, one with no leg and another with no hand," said Rahimullah another resident.

The incident has been widely condemned.‎

UNAMA called the incident a cowardly attack and urged the National Unity Government (NUG) to provide security to judicial institution employees.

National Unity Government (NUG) called the perpetrators the enemy of religion and country and said that enemies of Afghanistan once again committed another humanitarian catastrophe.

The attack comes just days after after Mullah Akhtar Mansour's death in a U.S drone strike.

To watch the report, click here:


Wed, 25 May 2016 05:30:26 GMT
Taliban Confirms Mansour's Death, Announces New Leader Taliban-24-May 2016

In a statement on Wednesday morning the Taliban confirmed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour's death and also announced Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new leader.

"Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Islamic Emirate after a unanimous agreement in the Shura (supreme council), and all the members of Shura pledged allegiance to him," according to the statement.

Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mullah Omar's son Mullah Yaqoob have been appointed as deputies of Akhundzada.

‎Mansour was killed on Saturday in a U.S drone strike that targeted the car he was traveling in, in Baluchistan in Pakistan.

After Mansour's death, the U.S and Afghan governments said he had been an obstacle to the thorny peace process between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities. Under Mansour's stewardship insurgent attacks escalated and became more daring.

But in 2015, when Mansour was appointed as the group's leader the Taliban was deeply divided over his selection. 

Mawlawi Haibatullah, however is more of a religious leader than a military commander, and has been responsible for issuing most of the Taliban's fatwas and according to reports he is between 45 and 50 years old. He is believed to have lived most of his life inside Afghanistan.

Reportedly Haibatullah is from southern Kandahar province.

On Monday, U.S President Barack Obama also said that the death Mansour marked an "important milestone" in the longstanding effort to bring peace to Afghanistan.

In a statement issued by the Whitehouse, Obama said: "Mansour's death removes the leader of an organization that has continued to plot and unleash attacks on U.S and coalition forces and that has waged war against the Afghan people."

He said the U.S will continue to take action against extremist networks that target the United States.

"Mansour rejected efforts by the Afghan government to seriously engage in peace talks and end the violence that has taken the lives of countless innocent Afghan men, women and children. The Taliban should seize the opportunity to pursue the only real path for ending this long conflict - joining the Afghan government in a reconciliation process that leads to lasting peace and stability," Obama said.

Haibatullah will be watched closely by the Afghan government and its international partners, who hope he will be amenable to joining the peace process.

Wed, 25 May 2016 04:58:41 GMT
TAWDE KHABARE: Death of Mullah Mansour Tawde-Khabare-24-May-2016

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shapoor Bakhtiyar discusses the death of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, Taliban's leader and it's impact on the war.


• Obaiullah Barakzai, MP
• Mohammad Sediq Patman, political analyst
• Daoud Asas, an advisor to CEO

To watch the whole program, click here:


Wed, 25 May 2016 04:34:17 GMT
MEHWAR: Surrounded Soldiers Complains About Govt Mehwar-24-May-2016

In this episode of Mehwar, host Massoud Malik discusses the complaints of a number of soldiers against government after they were surrounded by the Taliban and rescued days later by reinforcement troops.


Juma Gul Mubariz, commander of the soldiers

Click here to watch the whole program:


Wed, 25 May 2016 03:42:13 GMT
FARAKHABAR: Mansour Reportedly A Frequent Visitor To Dubai FaraKhabar-24-May-2016

If you were a frequent flyer traveling between Karachi and Dubai between 2006 and 2012 it is possible you may have rubbed shoulders with or sat next to Mullah Akhtar Mansour, reports

To watch the whole program, click here:


Mansour, also known at this stage as Wali Muhammad, traveled from Jinnah International to Dubai nine times in that period and once to Bahrain.

According to the Pakistani passport in Wali Muhammad's name - Mansour traveled between the two cities on commercial flights and according to passport stamps spent weeks in Dubai on some occasions.

According to the news site, Mansour's last trip to Dubai appears to have been in January 2012.

In this episode of FaraKhabar, host Fawad Aman discusses the topic with the following guests:

• Naeem Lalai Hamidzai, MP
• Massoud Toristhwal, a spokesman for Council of Protection and Stability in Afghanistan


Wed, 25 May 2016 03:34:49 GMT
500kV Power Project Commission Proposes Salang Route zaki-24-may-16

The commission tasked by President Ashraf Ghani to review the controversial 500kV power line project on Tuesday evening delivered its findings and recommended the line run through Salang as originally planned.

According to the commission, after reviewing all documents pertaining to the project they found that due to the progress already made and the need to avoid funding of the project from being stopped, the line should be routed through Salang to Kabul.

However, the commission also proposed that a 220kV double circuit station with a capacity of 300 megawatts of power should be routed to Bamiyan province and to central parts of Afghanistan through Doshe district of Baghlan this year.

In addition they said an electricity distribution network for 20,000 families in Bamiyan must be created.

On the basis of the commission's findings the Salang route is 100km shorter than the Bamiyan route and there is a lack of budget for the 500kV power line to be taken through Bamiyan.

They also stated that the Salang route is safer compared to the Bamiyan route.

"DABS supported the change in the route of the 500 kilovolt electricity line due to lack of funds ... and due to the immediate need for electricity in the capital and it was proved that DABS had a political motive," said Fizullah Zaki a commission member.

After the commission announced its finds Ghani announced government's decree regarding the implementation findings.

"In order to maintain the country's national interests, secure national unity and stability of Afghanistan, 220 kV double-circuit transmission line project with a capacity of 300 MW (will go) through Doshe in Baghlan to central parts, which has the ability to supply power to all the central province, must be implemented as follows: Construction of 220 kV double-circuit transmission network with a capacity of 300 MW from the Doshe area to the center of Bamiyan," said Ghani's deputy spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi.

The National Unity Government (NUG) also announced that due to the progress in the implementation of this project and in order to avoid funding being stopped the suspension of the project has been lifted.

"Based on findings of the national commission regarding the procurement process related papers, to prevent financial aid being cut to the project, procurement process of the project is being resumed," Hashemi added.

The presidential decree tasked the commission with the job of presenting a plan to cabinet within six months on the implementation of the project to the center and then to the south of the country.

To watch the full report click below.


Tue, 24 May 2016 17:52:52 GMT
TOLOnews 6pm News 24 May 2016 shuja-24-may-16Top news in this Bulletin:

The death of the Taliban's leader in a U.S drone strike has scrambled discussions between the U.S military and the White House over whether to let American troops once again conduct offensive operations against the insurgent group in Afghanistan, reports the Wall Street Journal.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:


A number of prominent Jihadi leaders on Tuesday said they foresee further rifts developing among the Taliban, following the death of their leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour.

Tue, 24 May 2016 16:45:22 GMT
SPECIAL INTERVIEW: Khalilzad Discusses Afghanistan Post-Bonn Conference khalilzad-24-may-16

In this special interview, host Lotfullah Najafizada discusses Afghanistan's journey after the 2001 Bonn Conference, among other issues, with former U.S ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Khalilzad also discusses his latest book "The Envoy" and the role he played in helping to build up Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban.

Click below to watch full video:


Tue, 24 May 2016 16:35:21 GMT
Soldiers Rescued From Siege Speak Of Their Ordeal baghlan-solider-24-may-16

Commander Juma Gul Mobarez, who along with his 50 soldiers resisted a siege by the Taliban in Baghlan province for ten days, said that they killed several Taliban commanders in this time and also ended the siege.

"We were in a lower (part of a) hill, when we come out they fired on from the top of the hill and we attacked the Taliban to save ourselves. We don't know why they (security forces) didn't come to us and why they didn't help us," said Mobarez, a commander of the local police.

Moberz's comrades said that after the Taliban captured their villages and bases they torched the houses of all local policemen.

They also lashed out at the government for not paying them any attention.

"We were under attack but we brought our soldiers out in time but five of our people were injured. No one has helped us so far. We urge the government to help us, we haven't received any assistance so far," said Baqer Mohammadi, a commander of public uprising groups in Sorkh Kotal area of Pul-e-Khumri, the capital city of Baghlan. Mohammadi was also under siege by the Taliban.

"We were surrounded in Surkh Kotal area for ten days, the government didn't help use. Lots of troops had come to the area, but they couldn't reach us. We had run out of weapons and hadn't eaten for ten days, finely we ourselves took action and rescued ourselves," said Lutfullah, a local policeman.

Gholam Sakhi, who along with his father and brother fought against the Taliban for ten days, said that he lost his father in the fighting.

"My father died at 10:00 am the government didn't help us and we were compelled to bury his dead body on the hill. When the Taliban captured our village, they took the dead body of my father out of the grave and opened fire on it. They also set our houses on fire," he said.

Although they have been through extreme hardships these past ten days, they still have high morale to defend the country and countrymen.

To watch the report, click here:


Tue, 24 May 2016 16:09:39 GMT
India To Deliver More Planes To Afghanistan halicopters-24-may-16

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani in Tehran that New Delhi is ready to hand over more helicopters to the Afghan Air Force, said the president's deputy spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi.

"India's Prime Minister has tasked his security delegation to talk with an Afghan delegation about this matter in order to finalize the details and number of helicopters which would be handed over to Afghanistan," he said as he addressed a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, analysts said the Afghan Air Force needs powerful and high capacity airplanes in order to conduct their missions effectively.

"Some countries have not given useful equipment to Afghanistan. They have given us F16 airplanes, while we need F18 aircrafts, as we had in the past," said military affairs analyst Atiqullah Amarkhel.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) meanwhile said that other assistance by other countries to Afghanistan's security agencies is crucial.

"Other countries' help to Afghanistan is important, because Afghanistan's economy is not at the level to strengthen and empower the air force with its own money," said MoD spokesman Dawlat Waziri.

"Our districts and provinces would have never fallen to militants, if the international community besieged our troops in time and if we had transport and military aircrafts," said Senator Gul Ahmad Azami.

According to officials, Afghan Air Force currently conducts nearly 180 operations on a daily basis.

To watch the report, click here:


Tue, 24 May 2016 15:40:53 GMT
Afghan Drama Wins Cannes Film Festival Award film-24-may-16

An Afghan film, Wolf and Sheep, which is about poverty and the poor living conditions in a remote village in Afghanistan, has won an award at this year's Cannes Festival.

Director of the film, Shahrbano Sadat, said the movie also talks about stories involving war, violence and drugs.

"This is a great achievement for Afghan cinema, particularly in the current situation where a number of our filmmakers have left the country," she said.

"I had an international team and I was not able to guarantee their lives; therefore, I chose to film the movie in Tajikistan," she said.

According to Sadat she will start work on the second part of the drama which will focus on similar content.

Meanwhile, a number of Afghan filmmakers said that the award is a great achievement for the country.

The movie included at least 35 actors from Bamiyan and its location was in Tajikistan villages.

The International Cannes Film Festival is one of the world's most prestigious cinematic events which takes place annually in Cannes city in southern France.

To watch the video report, click here:


Tue, 24 May 2016 15:14:52 GMT
Jihadi Leaders Predict A Further Rift Among Taliban atta-24-may-16

A number of prominent Jihadi leaders on Tuesday said they foresee further rifts developing among the Taliban, following the death of their leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour.

The analysts said they believe that a number of Mansour's followers will likely mount terrorist attacks in a bid to give the impression that their leader's death has not affected their activities.

Acting Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor said that according to his assessment, Taliban, after the death of their leader, would increase their activities in parts of the country, but further ruptures will appear among the group in the near future.

"Attacks will be likely launched in parts of the country to bring the issue of Mansour's death under shadow... A number of Taliban fighters may join Mullah [Mohammad] Rassoul, some may join Daesh, others may go with Uzbekistan Islamic Movement or the East Turkistan Islamic Movement," Noor said as he commented on Taliban's future after the death of their leader.

He added: "A number of Taliban fighters may remain with the new leadership which would be appointed by them. Some of them [Taliban fighters] may decide to surrender to the Afghan government."

Political figures meanwhile said they doubt Mansour died Saturday in a U.S drone strike and said they believe the leader was killed six months ago, but that his death was announced on this day in order to cancel a possible meeting between President Ashraf Ghani and the political commission of the Taliban in Qatar.

Ghani left Kabul for Qatar on Saturday, the same day as the U.S drone strike targeting Mansour took place.

"When President Ghani left for Qatar, he most probably was going to talk to the political commission of the Taliban, but news of Mansour's death was spread to disrupt the meeting and it is a crime against the people of Afghanistan," said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.

"Now government should not care about the foreigners and should directly contact the Taliban," he added.

He said he believes that former Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar's son, Mullah Yaqub might step into Mansour's shoes to lead the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) Fazl Hadi Muslimyar called Taliban slaves of Pakistan and said they should renounce violence and join the peace process.

"As an Afghan, I want to say that Taliban are the slaves of Pakistan. Pakistan has tied them up, set them on fire, kills them and takes money from foreigners on them. I seriously call on them [Taliban] to come and join peace," he said.

Political analysts said they believe that the United States should not stop at only killing Mansour; instead, it should continue its combat against Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan.

To watch the report, click here:


Tue, 24 May 2016 15:03:43 GMT
Mansour Reportedly A Frequent Visitor To Dubai

If you were a frequent flyer traveling between Karachi and Dubai between 2006 and 2012 it is possible you may have rubbed shoulders with or sat next to Mullah Akhtar Mansour, reports

Mansour, also known at this stage as Wali Muhammad, traveled from Jinnah International to Dubai nine times in that period and once to Bahrain.

According to the Pakistani passport in Wali Muhammad's name - Mansour traveled between the two cities on commercial flights and according to passport stamps spent weeks in Dubai on some occasions.

According to the news site, Mansour's last trip to Dubai appears to have been in January 2012. states that "records available, show pictures of Mullah Mansour aka Wali Muhammad taken at the immigration counter, as well as in the airport premises."

While Mansour went off the so-called flight radar, he continued to travel over land until the U.S drone strike took him out when he re-entered Pakistan on Saturday, reported

According to documents in news outlet's possession, Mansour had been issued visas for Iran on two occasions. Once in March of 2015 when he was given a single entry visa with leave to stay in Iran for seven days and a second, multiple entry, visa in September.

He apparently travelled to Iran at least twice. His passport had been stamped exiting Pakistan on 18 February 2016 and upon return on 10 March 2016.

His final entry stamp to Pakistan bears the date 21 May 2016 when he entered the country via a bus from Taftan, reports

Mansour, it appears, had been using the alias Wali Muhammad for some time and in September 2011 applied to renew his passport on an 'urgent' basis after his earlier passport (AB6794621) expired.

The passport bearing the number AB6794622 and booklet number B5167111 was issued on 11 October 2011 with an expiry date of 10 October 2016 to Wali Muhammad, son of Shah Muhammad. reported that according to the database, Mansour was issued a passport despite an incomplete address - where no house number was mentioned. The records only state the name of the road as 'Alkozai Haji Ghaibi Road, Quetta'.

Tue, 24 May 2016 14:52:46 GMT
U.S Military Wants More Power To Strike Taliban taliban-24-may-16

The death of the Taliban's leader in a U.S drone strike has scrambled discussions between the U.S military and the White House over whether to let American troops once again conduct offensive operations against the insurgent group in Afghanistan, reports the Wall Street Journal.

According to the newspaper, the American military wants presidential permission to use airpower against the insurgent group.

The report stated that several U.S officials said the White House first wants to see what effect the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Pakistan will have on the Taliban.

U.S troops carried out a drone strike in Baluchistan, Pakistan, on Saturday targeting a vehicle Mansour was believed to be traveling in.

On Monday, U.S President Barack Obama confirmed Mansour had been killed in the attack.

According to the WSJ report, his death came amid indications of an impending Taliban offensive.

U.S intelligence agencies reportedly warned the White House that the insurgent group could siege more Afghan territory, including cities, during this summer's fighting season.

In line with this, the newspaper report indicates that U.S military officials want to use American planes to counter the Taliban this summer. But in doing so, the so-called rules of engagement would have to be revised.

However, the WSJ reports that Obama is not inclined to restart combat operations against the Taliban.

While global players reacted to the news of Mansour's death on Monday, foreign media reports indicated that senior Afghan Taliban members met on Monday to discuss a successor to Mansour.

So far however, the Taliban has not issued a formal statement confirming his death.

But senior Taliban members were reported to have met Monday to discuss Mansour's successor.

According to Reuters, Taliban members confirmed the Quetta Shura held a meeting to discuss who the group's new leader would be.

No details have yet emerged as to what the outcome was.

Pakistan meanwhile slammed the drone attack and said it was a violation of the country's sovereignty.

But Pakistani media reported that speculation grew across the country about the identity of the person killed in the attack – to whom a passport and ID card belonged. Pakistani officials said both bodies, reportedly of Mansour and the driver, were burnt beyond recognition.

The passport and ID card found at the wreckage were in the name of Mohammad Wali.

Although the photographs on both documents closely resemble photographs of Mansour, it could not be ascertained whether the documents were counterfeit or genuine, reported Reuters.

Tue, 24 May 2016 13:12:43 GMT
Indian PM To Inaugurate Salma Dam salma-dam-24-may-16

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate Salma Dam, a massive dam built and funded by India in Herat province.

Located in the Chesth-e-Sharif district, the hydro-electric project, which is on the Hari Rud river, is expected to benefit almost 100,000 families in four districts of the province, by providing them with electricity and irrigation water.

Experts meanwhile stand firm that if government undertakes such big hydro-electric dam construction projects, they will not only benefit the country economically but will also help create jobs for the people.

The dam, which is 20 km in length and three kilometers in width, has a water storage capacity of 640 million cubic meters. This will be utilized to generate 43 megawatts of electricity for 40,000 families and will irrigate 80,000 hectares of farmland, belonging to 50,000 families.

"It (Salma Dam) is needed and will provide facilities to our people in Herat province," said Ahmad Farhad Khademi, Chesht-e-Sharif district chief.

However, it's not only Herat residents who will benefit from the dam but people in other areas will also in time feel the results.

"If we manage to extend the power line till Ghor province, we will be able to provide electricity (generated by Salma Dam) to a number of districts there as well," said Abdul Basir Azimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Energy and Water.

"The implementation of development projects is a solution; it is a way that can support security and can bring welfare to the people," said Abdul Rauf Enami, secretary of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament).

$300 million USD, funded by India, was spent on the construction of Salma Dam over the past one decade.

The dam was originally constructed in 1976 on the Hari river basin, but was badly damaged during the civil war in Afghanistan.

The reconstruction of the dam was first initiated by an Indian company in 1988, but the project was left incomplete for a significant period of time due to the ongoing instability caused by the civil war.

In 2006, India committed to funding the completion of the Salma Dam.

To watch the report, click here:


Tue, 24 May 2016 12:59:06 GMT
Gains For Afghanistan Through Strategic Competition Chabahar-Gwadar-map

The Indian quest for a trade route to Iran and Afghanistan extending to Central Asia is about to be achieved after the Chabahar port agreement was signed on Monday in the presence of the Iranian and Afghan presidents and the Indian prime minister.

Chabahar is a seaport, located in the southernmost Sistan and Baluchistan province of Iran. The government of Iran has designated Chabahar as a free trade and industrial zone, which is 950 km from Milak, near the Afghan border.

In 2003, India and Iran signed an agreement under which India committed the bulk of the investment to develop the infrastructure of the port.

However, progress was very slow due to the United States' (US) sanctions against Iran. Despite this embargo, India invested $135 million USD to build the Zaranj- Dilaram highway in 2009 that connects the Kabul- Herat highway to Chabahar port.

Sanctions were lifted in January this year, paving the way for Monday's signing ceremony.

The importance of Chabahar can be partly explained through the theory of strategic encirclement.

This theory, based on containment, contends that geographic encirclement of a neighbor will suppress its expansion, economic and otherwise. The surrounding country has ample points from which to attack the encircled state, either through military bases or opportunities to impede economic growth by controlling transit routes.

As such, India fears strategic encirclement by China while China fears encirclement by the USA. China interprets the US presence in Afghanistan and its alliances with South Korea, Japan, India and Taiwan as attempts towards its strategic encirclement.

On the other hand, India reads Chinese built ports in Sri Lanka, Burma, and Bangladesh as attempts to encircle it. Therefore, when China revealed its plans to develop Gawadar port, India moved ahead with Chabahar Port Project (around 72 km away from Gwadar) despite international pressure.

The Central Asian region has remained a focus of China and India to establish their respective regional influence. The region, also popularly known as the Heart of Eurasia, is blessed with abundant natural resources and has significant geo- political and geo- economic strategic importance.

India made many attempts to reach Afghanistan and Central Asian markets through Pakistan. It formally requested to join Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), but Pakistan has always been reluctant.

Therefore, Chabahar port would serve as a gateway for India to reach Afghanistan and Central Asian markets, bypassing Pakistan.

China, on the other hand, is relying on Gwadar port to establish its Central Asian trade.

It started to provide funds and technical expertise on the development of Gawadar port in 2002.

It contributed to the bulk development cost of 80 percent of $248 million USD of Gwadar port on Pakistan's Arabian Gulf coast.

The competing Gwadar and Chabahar ports would provide the two countries access to import natural resources from Central Asia and export their products to these as well as European Union markets.

This strategic competition between powerful countries in the region has offered significant economic opportunities for Afghanistan.

As a landlocked country, historically it has relied on Pakistan for trade.

However, the intensification of degraded political relations between the two countries has affected trade over the years that has caused heavy losses to Afghan trade and businesses.

In the same way, the Afghan- India trade through Pakistan has remained low due to restrictions set by Pakistan.

In this context, Chabahar will provide a getaway from a trade stalemate situation that can be used as an alternative route for Afghanistan to establish trade relationships with India and other countries.

Moreover, the multilateral trade through Afghanistan would fill its coffers with transit fees and duties. In the same way, the project will provide investment opportunities to Afghan investors in the Free Trade Zone.

Afghanistan is blessed with abundant natural resources.

The port project will open the gates for Afghanistan to extract and export its mineral wealth as well as develop transport infrastructure.

Hajigak mines of Bamiyan province house iron and other minerals worth an estimated $1 trillion USD.

An Indian consortium has bagged the rights of these mines led by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).

Further, India plans to construct a 900 km railway which will connect Hajigak region with Chabahar. The connectivity will operationalize the iron and steel project of around $1.8 billion USD.

The successful implementation and operationalization of Chabahar port project would be a major step for Afghanistan towards economic development and regional integration. The mega infrastructure project has great potential to become a game changer in the region.

However, the political and security situation of Afghanistan and the region may hinder the progress of work. Therefore, a collective effort at a regional and international level would be needed to ensure that the planned gains are materialized.

Tue, 24 May 2016 09:48:41 GMT
TOLOnews 10pm News 23 May 2016 10pm-news-23-May-2016Top news in this Bulletin:

A number of political analysts said on Monday that the Taliban has started consultations on the successor of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour who was killed in a U.S drone strike in Pakistan on Saturday.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:


General John Nicholson, the commander of NATO resolute support mission in Afghanistan said Monday that with the death of Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, the Afghan peace process will gather fresh momentum as Mansour was an obstacle to the process.

Tue, 24 May 2016 08:48:23 GMT
Four Civilians Killed in Kandahar Roadside Mine Blast Kandahar-Map-24-May-2016

At least four civilians were killed in a roadside mine blast in southern Kandahar province early Tuesday, local officials said.

In addition, five other civilians were injured in the blast.

The blast took place about 7:00am local time between Daman and Shah Walikot districts of the province when the vehicle they were traveling in hit a roadside mine, a spokesman for the provincial governor Samim Ikhpelwok said.

The injured people were transferred to the hospital for treatment.

No group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the blast as yet.

Insurgents frequently place roadside mines to target local security forces but most of the victims are civilians.

Tue, 24 May 2016 07:02:06 GMT
Greece Starts Evacuating Squalid Idomeni Camp Migrants-24-May-2016

At least 200 police started clearing Greece's squalid Idomeni camp Tuesday on the border with Macedonia, where over 8,400 migrants are living, according to AFP.

A helicopter hovered over the camp, where some 20 police vans and dozens of plainclothes police officers were on site as the operation got under way after a harsh winter prompted many to try to force their way across the border.

No force was used as officers, who started to arrive at the camp Monday, urged migrants to leave their tents and board buses to take them to shelters.

Officials have said 6,000 spots are available at reception centers, and that most of the migrants are to be moved to camps at former industrial facilities near Greece's second city Thessaloniki over 10 days.

The migrants have spent a brutal winter in the freezing rain and mud, with aid groups struggling to keep them fed and healthy.

Many of the camp's residents are women and children keen to be reunited with male relatives who have pushed ahead on their own -- with the aid of smugglers -- hoping to find a place of refuge in EU states more financially viable than debt-hit Greece.

The leftist government of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has for months been trying to persuade many of the migrants to move away from makeshift tent cities at Idomeni and the port of Piraeus for their own comfort and safety.

Through persuasion, the number of migrants at Piraeus was brought down from around 5,000 people in March to 1,500.

But many are wary of relocating to organized camps away from the border or the city of Athens, because it could be harder to find people-smuggling contacts.

Tue, 24 May 2016 06:16:20 GMT
U.S Envoy To Pakistan Summoned Over Drone Strike Mullah Mansour 24 May 2016

The U.S ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale, was summoned to the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad on Monday over the drone strike in Baluchistan on Saturday.

The U.S drone strike targeted the Taliban's leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour and was carried out on Pakistan soil without Islamabad knowing.

In a statement issued by Pakistan's foreign ministry, the government said Hale was called to the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, where he expressed concern over the strike.

According to the statement, Fatemi "pointed out that the drone strike was a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and a breach of the United Nation's Charter that guarantees the inviolability of the territorial integrity of its member states."

"He also emphasized that such actions could adversely impact the ongoing efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) for facilitating peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban," read the statement.

Fatemi also underlined that Pakistan and the United States had been closely coordinating in the fight against the menace of terrorism and that this cooperation needed to be maintained.

Pakistan claimed earlier this week that it had not been informed prior to the attack of the U.S's plans.

In an earlier statement issued by Pakistan, it stated that information on the drone strike was shared with the Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the chief of army staff Raheel Sharif after the drone strike.

U.S President Barack Obama said on Tuesday however that the death of Mansour marks an "important milestone" in the longstanding effort to bring peace to Afghanistan.

He said Mansour's death removes the leader of an organization that has continued to plot and unleash attacks on U.S and coalition forces and that has waged war against the Afghan people.

"We will continue taking action against extremist networks that target the United States. We will work on shared objectives with Pakistan, where terrorists that threaten all our nations must be denied safe haven. After so many years of conflict, today gives the people of Afghanistan and the region a chance at a different, better future," he said.

Tue, 24 May 2016 05:55:22 GMT
MEHWAR: Afghanistan, India And Iran Sign Chabahar Port Agreement Mehwar-23-May-2016

Senior officials from Afghanistan, India and Iran signed a trilateral agreement in Tehran on Monday, which will see the three countries develop the Chabahar port.

Click here to watch the whole program:


In this episode of Mehwar, host Muslim Shirzad discusses the topic with the following guests:

Sayed Massoud, lecturer at the Kabul University
Khanjan Alokozai, Deputy Chairman of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI)
Jawid Zeyaratjaye, TOLOnews reporter


Tue, 24 May 2016 05:31:45 GMT