TOLOnews.com RSS Feed http://tolonews.com/ Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:49:44 GMT FeedCreator 1.8.0-dev (info@mypapit.net) Three Men Arrested in Kabul Rape Case http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16204-three-men-arrested-in-kabul-rape-case

Three men have been arrested in relation to the recent rape and robbery case that took place in Paghman district of Kabul province, the Kabul police said on Sunday.

The men had stopped the vehicles of the eight women and two men who were traveling home from Paghman to Kabul city after a wedding party about a week ago. They had taken four of the eight women to a nearby garden, beating and raping them.

It is said that the women's families took them to the Rabia Balkhi Hospital of Kabul without informing the police. Hospital officials did not inform the police either. The victims' families requested that the women's identities remain undisclosed.

According to Kabul Police Chief, Gen. Zahir Zahir, those who were involved in the crime had criminal backgrounds.

"At around 10 p.m. a number of criminals—who have previously been to prison and have criminal backgrounds—stopped two cars and took the women to a nearby garden," he said. "By the time we were informed and reached the scene, they had already fled."

Kabul police has expressed frustration over the irresponsible release of criminals, claiming that many of the criminals have contacts in the legal and judicial organs enabling them to get away with their crimes.

"My demand from the legal organs and the attorney general's office is to execute these individuals after showing their faces to people," Gen. Zahir asserted.
Meanwhile, last week a woman's body was found hidden in a ditch in western Kabul and another body was found around Kabul's 3rd security zone. Both cases are under police investigation.

These recent incidents have added to the concerns already existing about the increase in insecurity around the county.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:24:11 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16204-three-men-arrested-in-kabul-rape-case
TOLOnews 6 pm News 01 September 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16203-tolonews-6-pm-news-01-september-2014 Top news in this bulletin

On Monday, a number of Afghan military experts stated that the Afghan National Security Forces' (ANSF) lack of heavy weaponry and air support could put the country's future at jeopardy.

"The lack of equipments and logistic support could undermine the abilities of the ANSF," political analyst Jawed Kohistani said. "It is difficult to win the war against insurgency without access to heavy weaponry."

To watch the bulletin, click here:

{youtube}fIxA5QHsIEU{/youtube}

 At a joint press conference on Monday, the Oil and Gas Directorate, the Association of Oil and Gas and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) announced that set prices for liquid gas would be established around the country. According to the officials, 60 Afs will be charged for 1kg of gas in Kabul, and 54 Afs for the same amount in provinces bordering the countries from where gas is imported.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:57:02 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16203-tolonews-6-pm-news-01-september-2014
Abdullah Camp Sets Tuesday Deadline for Negotiations http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16202-abdullah-camp-sets-tuesday-deadline-for-negotiations

Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah's campaign team on Monday threatened to boycott political negotiations with their opponents if their demands are not addressed by Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's camp has expressed a resilient hope for a positive outcome from the negotiations, despite their impasse over the powers and authorities of the Chief Executive position, namely, whether or not the Chief Executive should be the head of the Council of Ministers.

Ashraf Ghani's team has maintained that the candidates are largely in agreement on the issue, and that elements within Abdullah's camp have tried to undermine potential compromise.

But Abdullah's side has criticized the vote auditing process as well, and warned that if the international community, which is overseeing the audit, does not address their concerns by Tuesday, then they will boycott that too.

"We will give one day to the international community to review and assure that the vote auditing and the political negotiations are moving forward properly," Abdullah spokesman Syed Aqa Fazel Sancharaki said on Monday. "If our demands are not met and the auditing not conducted legitimately and the political talks without honesty, then we will withdraw from both processes."

Negotiations over the past week included meetings between the candidates, United Nations officials and diplomats from the United States.

Ashraf Ghani's side has kept an optimistic stance toward the negotiations, which began after the National Unity Committee - appointed jointly by the candidates - was unable to reach a comprehensive agreement on the power-sharing arrangement. The national unity government was initially agreed to, as a framework, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Kabul to mediate negotiations between the two candidates in early August.

"Last night's meeting was conducted in an environment of trust and consensus, the disputed points were again discussed, it is expected that soon there will be an outcome," Ghani spokesman Tahir Zuhair said. "Last night's meeting showed that the gap between the views of the candidates has closed."

Nevertheless, Sancharaki went so far as to suggest members of Ghani's camp were in agreement with Abdullah, and not their own leader, when it came to the political negotiations.

"The sitting government minister who is a part of your delegation, he came and talked with us; he is the serving cabinet minister, and he came and said 'I don't accept it,'" Sancharaki said.

The Ghani team has said the final result of the election is expected on September 10, and will then be followed shortly by the inauguration ceremony.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:13:19 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16202-abdullah-camp-sets-tuesday-deadline-for-negotiations
Price of 1 Kilogram of Gas Set to 60 AFS http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16200-price-of-1-kilogram-of-gas-set-to-60-afs

At a joint press conference on Monday, the Oil and Gas Directorate, the Association of Oil and Gas and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) announced that set prices for liquid gas would be established around the country.

According to the officials, 60 AFS will be charged for 1kg of gas in Kabul, and 54 AFS for the same amount in provinces bordering the countries from where gas is imported.

The move comes in response to an investigation launched by the Attorney General's office into alleged improper business practices by a number of Afghan gas companies, involving price hikes and market manipulation.

At the press conference on Monday, it was announced that a commission would be established to oversee the gas market and punish companies who disobeyed regulations.

"The commission will not allow anyone to undertake illegal business competition, if they did so, their business license will be cancelled and their name deleted from the list of traders, they will be banned from importing oil or gas and blacklisted in foreign countries," said Faridullah Sherzai, the head of the Oil and Gas Directorate.

Residents in Kabul for weeks have been complaining of fluctuating, but especially exorbitantly high, gas prices. On Monday, however, gas importing companies from western and northern parts of Afghanistan were said to have met with the Minister of Commerce and Industries and agreed to set a standard price for liquid gas at 60 AFS.

"From this moment onward, the price of 1kg of gas is set to 60 AFS," Oil and Gas Association Chairman Azarakhsh Hafizi said that the press conference. "The Oil and Gas Directorate, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, in joint cooperation with ACCI and Oil and Gas Importers Association in west and north Afghanistan will jointly monitor the issue and violators will be referred to legal authorities."

ACCI officials added that the agreement to sell gas at the set price of 60 AFS is good for only a month. They stressed that for the price to become permanent the government must undertake certain measures such as having a customs office work around the clock and ensure competition from the source countries like Turkmenistan is law-abiding.

The main companies importing gas to Afghanistan include Sun Gas, Kamal Nabizada, Ghazanfar Group, Gas Group, Baradaran-e-Sahrayee, Sarhadi Group, Younas Shekib, Yama Petrol, Walid Haseeb, Rameen Said, Afghan National Petroleum, Farahi Group, Kefayat Group, Anar Darah, Khurasan Gas, Rahmanian, Nabizada, Ekhlas Group, Haji Bismillah, Haidari and several other companies.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:53:28 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16200-price-of-1-kilogram-of-gas-set-to-60-afs
Lack of Weapons Could Jeopardize Country: ANSF http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16201-lack-of-weapons-could-jeopardize-country-ansf

On Monday, a number of Afghan military experts stated that the Afghan National Security Forces' (ANSF) lack of heavy weaponry and air support could put the country's future at jeopardy.

"The lack of equipments and logistic support could undermine the abilities of the ANSF," political analyst Jawed Kohistani said. "It is difficult to win the war against insurgency without access to heavy weaponry."

Adding to the expert concerns, some of the police chiefs in the country have asserted that the lack of air support and artillery has led to many challenges for the battle against terrorism.

"We don't have the necessary weapons for war," Faryab Police Chief Mohammad Nabi Alham said. "Our weapons consist of only Kalashnikovs and machine-guns."

Moreover, Kunduz Police Chief Ghulam Mustafa Mohseni stated that in some cases the ANSF has access to similar weapons as the insurgent groups, but "in most cases insurgents have far superior weaponry."

In the recent month, Kunduz, Faryab and Helmand provinces have witnessed severe enemy attacks leading to week long battles.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that the ANSF need to strengthen their self-reliance in certain parts of the country.

"After the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the national army must independently take care of internal security as well as the external security," MoD spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi said. "The air forces should be completely prepared, the artillery should be reconsidered, and there should be access to tanks and arms. There should also be training sessions in the investigation and intelligence fields."

Experts believe that the NATO Summit in Wales, Britain is Afghanistan's last hope for gaining support from the NATO members and attracting international aid.

The conference will be held on Thursday of this week and will be attended by the Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi. It is expected that the topic of mobilization of the ANSF would be among the priorities of the summit's discussions.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:50:58 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16201-lack-of-weapons-could-jeopardize-country-ansf
Fake Result Sheets Accessed: Abdullah's Camp http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16199--fake-result-sheets-accessed-abdullahs-camp

At a press conference on Monday, presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah's camp displayed a number of documents claiming that the signature of observers had been copied in a large number of result sheets and asserting that 1.5 million votes could be invalidated upon re-investigation.

According to Abdullah's camp, the result sheets are said to have put 600 votes in favor of the rival candidate, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, by forging signatures of the observers.

The camp explained that the result sheets belonged to 2,200 polling sites, 190 of which belonged to the polling sites that were supposed to be closed on Election Day.

"We rejoined the vote audit process to honor the demands of the people and the United Nations," Abdullah's spokesman, Syed Fazl Sancharaki, said. "But with each passing day, we see more of what is going wrong in the election process."

Responding to the allegations, the rival team called the accusations "laughable."

"What our friends displayed today as fraud is very amusing and laughable," Ghani's spokesman Tahir Zuhair said. "We wonder how they were not embarrassed to display fake documents as proof for fraud."

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the UN announced that Abdullah's team has referred some documents pertaining to 2,200 polling sites to the organization, adding that the documents have been referred to the election commission.

Previously, Abdullah's camp had revealed a number of audio tapes in relation to fraud in the election. The camp had claimed that the tapes were conversations of high-ranking government officials including a number of governors, Karzai's second Vice President and IEC officials.

At the end of the press conference, Abdullah's camp issued an ultimatum, stating that they will not merge with the process unless their concerns are addressed.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:48:35 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16199--fake-result-sheets-accessed-abdullahs-camp
86 Percent of Votes Audited: IEC http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16198-86-percent-of-votes-audited-iec

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor on Monday announced that exactly 86.2 percent of votes have been audited, which makes up 19,751 ballot boxes out of the total 22,828.

Noor said that after the audit process is completed it will be clear where fraud took place and who was involved, adding that everything will be revealed when the final result is announced, which he had announced would be in the next few days.

Even though an end to the procedure is in sight, reports indicate that a number of observers have been and continue to be negligent in their work of monitoring the process.

IEC employee, Shah Jahan confirms the report, but explained that majority of the time they are "waiting for the foreigners to arrive so the process can begin."

"What else should we do?" asked Jahan pointing the blame toward the international observers.

Noor also verified the account and said that responsible measures have been taken to ensure a smooth and transparent end to the overall audit process.

As the process comes to an end, the technical teams of both presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, have not been present during the last moments of the 2014 election process.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:20:51 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16198-86-percent-of-votes-audited-iec
National Cricket Team Coach Resigns http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16197-national-cricket-team-coach-resigns

Kabir Khan, the Pakistani coach of the Afghan National Cricket Team, announced his resignation in a press conference on Monday in which he said he hoped the decision would allow him to spend more time with his family.

Khan led the Afghan National Team to its greatest achievement to date: the qualification of Afghanistan into the T20 and 2015 ICC World Cup, what will be the team's first World Cup birth in history.

Khan said he made his choice when he did because he wanted to leave the new coach enough time to prepare the National Team ahead of the 2015 World Cup, which will take place in Australia.

"The team has been trained well and it has achieved results," Khan said at the press conference on Monday. "Now that I am leaving and a new coach comes, he should have enough time to prepare the team for the 2015 ICC World Cup; if I had remained until December, then the new coach would not have enough time to do something and this would be an injustice to the team and also to him."

Following his announcement, the Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) officials praised the Pakistani coach for his contributions to the national program.

"Haji Kabir took over responsibility at a time that cricket was very weak on the international level, his coming helped the team to grow to the level where they could make it to the world cup," ACB Chairman Shahzada Masoud said.

Meanwhile, Noor Mohammad Murad, the Chief Executive of the Cricket Board, discussed the search process for a new coach to lead the team. "We have Peter Anderson from Australia, hopefully, as the World Cup will be held in Australia, but we have also talked to Andy Muri, who is from New Zealand,"

Murad said. "It is good that the World Cup is held in Australia and New Zealand, everything is going well and will move forward properly."

The 2015 World Cup is expected to be the toughest competitive level the Afghan side has ever played at. The tournament includes the top 14 nation from around the world, and Afghanistan will face-off against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Britain, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:05:41 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16197-national-cricket-team-coach-resigns
Blast in Mazar Kills 2 NDS Personnel http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16196-blast-in-mazar-kills-2-nds-personnel

At least two National Directorate of Security (NDS) personnel were killed and one other wounded near the Balkh Gate in Mazar-e-Sharif City, capital of Balkh province on Monday, an eyewitness said.

Eyewitnesses say that the incident occurred at around 4 p.m. when residents saw what they believed was a suspicious abandoned bicycle near the Balkh Gate. Those wary of the bike contacted security forces to inspect the bicycle and when the NDS personnel arrived to the scene, explosives detonated.

As the result of blast two NDS personnel killed and another wounded.

The victims have been taken to a nearby hospital.

Security officials have not yet commented about the blast.

No insurgent group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:17:43 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16196-blast-in-mazar-kills-2-nds-personnel
Taliban Attack Helmand's Musa Qala http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16195-taliban-attack-helmands-musa-qala

More than 80 Taliban insurgents were killed or injured after a group of them attacked Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Sunday night, local officials said, adding that the attack claimed the life of an Afghan policeman and injured eight others.

According to a security official in Helmand, Mohammad Wais Samim, the attack led to an intense clash between the insurgents and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

"The ANSF operations are still continuing and additional troops have been deployed to the district," he said.

The attack has led to the displacement of a number of families in the area. After Sangeen, Musa Qala is the second district of the province recently attacked by the Taliban. The clashes in Sangeen have continued for more than a week, with no details about insurgent causalities.

The Helmand Police Chief Juma Gul Hemat traveled to Sangeen last week to lead the anti-insurgent operation.

Hemat had previously asked the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Ministry of Defense (MoD) to deploy more troops to Sangeen, asserting that not doing so could lead to the Taliban's success in taking over the district.

The ministries have not responded to the issue yet.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:05:08 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16195-taliban-attack-helmands-musa-qala
Imran Khan Vows to Fight on Despite Deadly Pakistan Clashes http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16194-imran-khan-vows-to-fight-on-despite-deadly-pakistan-clashes

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan vowed Sunday to protest "until the last breath" as ongoing clashes between his supporters and police outside the prime minister's residence left three dead and hundreds injured.

The violence began Saturday night after thousands of supporters of Khan and firebrand cleric Tahir ul Qadri tried to storm Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's house using cranes to remove barricades.

By Sunday afternoon clashes were continuing between police in riot gear and a few hundred protesters. Many protesters had come armed with batons and slingshots.

Shipping containers were set ablaze, several vehicles stood torched, and hundreds of tear gas canisters lay strewn on the ground on Islamabad's normally pristine Constitution Avenue following more than 15 hours of battle.

Nearby, a group of up to 15 teenage protesters armed with bamboo clubs and rocks attacked a vehicle carrying three United Nations staff members.

"Their vehicle was damaged but they escaped unhurt," a UN source told AFP.

The opposition groups marched to the capital on August 15 demanding the resignation of Sharif, triggering a crisis that has raised the spectre of military intervention.

The military said that army chief Raheel Sharif has called a meeting on Sunday of top commanders at the army's headquarters in the adjoining garrison city of Rawalpindi.

The prime minister also convened an extra-ordinary joint sitting of the parliament on Tuesday after presiding over a high-level meeting, a cabinet minister told AFP.

"The meeting strongly condemned the desecration of state institutions and declared it undemocratic and unconstitutional act," the minister said.

Opposition leaders claim the 2013 election which swept Sharif to power was rigged, though local and foreign observers rated the polls as relatively fair credible.

Speaking from on top of a container, Khan said: "Now I ask all Pakistanis: rise up against this government. This is not a constitutional government -- they are killers.

"We will continue until our last breath. I urge all Pakistanis to come out," adding he would file murder charges against Sharif for the violence.

Earlier, information minister Pervaiz Rashid had said the government remained open to restarting negotiations.

"They wanted their demands to be met at gunpoint but still, our doors are open for talks."

Military intervention?

The Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) reported three deaths -- two men from injuries sustained in the fighting and another who died of a heart attack.

At least 481 injured, including at least 118 women and 10 children, were rushed to the city's two major hospitals, according to officials. At least 92 police were among the wounded.

The crisis took on a new dimension on Thursday after it was announced General Sharif would mediate.

Observers believe that if PM Sharif survives the crisis it will be at the cost of significant concessions to the army -- including allowing ex-army chief Pervez Musharraf, currently on trial for treason, to leave the country.

But political analyst Mosharraf Zaidi said the protests had become difficult to contain and the opposition could be trying to get the military more directly involved.

"The single objective is to force Sharif to resign and possibly force the military to intervene," he said.

Zaidi also dismissed claims by the protest groups that they had not initiated the violence, saying "you cannot be in attack formation and then claim you had no role in fomenting this violence".

Javed Hashmi, a senior member of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party broke ranks Sunday, saying the protest had gone too far.

"How can I side with you when you march on the parliament? There is hardly any distance left between us and martial law," he said, addressing a press conference.

The protest leaders have drawn thousands to the streets of Islamabad, but their call has not mobilised mass support in a country of 180 million people.

But many of the protesters are now openly calling for the military -- which has ruled Pakistan for half its existence -- to return to power.

"Last night, the police used tear gas and rubber bullet against us. Now we are waiting for the help of the army. We are hopeful. Insh'allah (God willing) the army will save us, they will do something for us," said a female protester in her twenties called Ammara.

Sharif, whose previous term as prime minister ended in a bloodless coup by ex-ruler Musharraf, has vowed to stay on.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 09:33:48 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16194-imran-khan-vows-to-fight-on-despite-deadly-pakistan-clashes
8pm Program: Afghanistan's Security Priorities at NATO Summit http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16193-8pm-program-afghanistans-security-priorities-at-nato-summit

In this episode, host Muslim Shirzad discusses about Afghanistan's security priorities at the NATO summit with the following guests:

• Nahid Farid, MP
• Idrees Rahmani, Researcher in International Relations
• Fahim Dashti, Journalist

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}WKQETA40FRY{/youtube}

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 08:48:47 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16193-8pm-program-afghanistans-security-priorities-at-nato-summit
41 Taliban Insurgents Killed in ANSF Operations http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16192-41-taliban-insurgents-killed-in-ansf-operations

At least 41 Taliban militants including their leaders were killed in the past 24 hours during a nationwide operation led by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said in a statement on Monday.

Six insurgents were injured and 24 others arrested during the raids.

"Within the past 24 hours, the Afghan army, police and intelligence agency carried out several operations in Helmand, Zabul, Kandahar, Laghman, Uruzgan, Ghazni, Nangarhar, Takhar and Paktika provinces to rid them of insurgents," the statement read.

The ANSF seized several weapons during the raids and defused two improvised explosive devices (IED) in Nangarhar and Helmand provinces.

The statement did not provide details about the number of ANSF casualties.

The Taliban have not yet commented about the operations.

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:17:04 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16192-41-taliban-insurgents-killed-in-ansf-operations
TAWDE KHABARE: Three Challenges Established by Karzai's Government http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/16191-tawde-khabare-three-challenges-established-by-karzais-government

In this episode, host Zabi Sadaat discusses about three big challenges that were established by President Hamid Karzai's government with the following guests:

• Fatema Aziz, MP
• Kamal Nasir Osuli, MP

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}RuIL6kWIAF4{/youtube}

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 06:05:24 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/tawde-khabare/16191-tawde-khabare-three-challenges-established-by-karzais-government
FARAKHABAR: 31 August 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16190-farakhabar-31-august-2014

Despite millions of dollars spent on the war against drugs the wound still exists for the country with no positive or effective outcome.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}H-pxL7na4Zk{/youtube}

During a press conference on Saturday, the Afghan Minister of Counter Narcotics Mobarez Rashidi said the money that was set aside to fight the war against drugs was proven ineffective and new strategies must be found to tackle the infectious battle.

What will be the future of the fight against drugs?

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

• Mobarez Rashidi, Minister of Counter Narcotics

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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 05:43:31 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16190-farakhabar-31-august-2014
TOLOnews 6 pm News 31 August 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16189-tolonews-6-pm-news-31-august-2014 Top news in this bulliten

In the fourth round of the vote invalidation process, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the cancellation of 236 polling sites, making up roughly 48,000 votes, out of the 5,000 stations that were being processed on Sunday.

In the first round of the vote invalidation process, the IEC invalidated votes from 72 polling sites out of 3,864 sites, referring 697 boxes to the recount process.

In the second round, the commission invalidated votes from 75 sites out of 3,000 sites, sending 498 boxes for recount and announcing that votes from 1,853 sites were proven genuine.

To watch the bulletin, click here:

{youtube}HVkWd3blyqA{/youtube}

With still no end in sight for negotiations between the two presidential candidates, who are said to remain at odds over the powers that will be ascribed to the Chief Executive, the sides traded accusations over the weekend, each suggesting the other had elements from within trying to prevent them from coming to an agreement.

The exchanges come after a week of intensive negotiations between the candidates, some of which were done in the presence of President Hamid Karzai, officials from the United Nations as well as U.S. and European Union diplomats.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:19:39 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16189-tolonews-6-pm-news-31-august-2014
IEC Invalidates 236 Polling Sites http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16188-iec-invalidates-236-polling-sites-

In the fourth round of the vote invalidation process, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the cancellation of 236 polling sites, making up roughly 48,000 votes, out of the 5,000 stations that were being processed on Sunday.  

In the first round of the vote invalidation process, the IEC invalidated votes from 72 polling sites out of 3,864 sites, referring 697 boxes to the recount process.

In the second round, the commission invalidated votes from 75 sites out of 3,000 sites, sending 498 boxes for recount and announcing that votes from 1,853 sites were proven genuine.

In the third round, 69 sites out of 3,000 sites were invalidated and the votes from 496 other boxes were referred for recount.

In the fourth round, the commission invalidated 236 sites out of 5,000 sites and referred 2,213 to recount, announcing that another 1,837 were proven as genuine.

As the fourth round came to an end, the IEC announced that the vote audit process will come be finalized within three days, emphasizing that more than 80 percent of the votes have been audited.

“The audit process has moved forward in a good manner," IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said. "We hope that there is an increase in the number of the United Nations' (UN) technical staff so that the process can be finalized soon."

The vote audit is moving forward under the supervision of international observers, despite the absence of the representatives of the two electoral teams. The two teams pulled their observers out of the process after disagreements emerged over the methods of invalidation as well as the details of the national unity government.

Of the 6,000 ballot boxes that are currently under special auditing, 2,545 have passed through the process while 3,781 remain to be audited.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:05:52 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16188-iec-invalidates-236-polling-sites-
Taliban Strive to Sabotage Security in Faryab http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16187-taliban-strive-to-sabotage-security-in-faryab

The districts of northern Faryab province, particularly Ghormach and Qaisar, are under severe and active Taliban insurgency, according to Gen. Shereen Shah Kohbandi, commander of 209 Shaheen Army Corps.

The presence of 2,000 Taliban fighters and drug smugglers, insufficient arms and ammunitions for police and the interference of Pakistan have been noted as the main factors contributing to the insecurity of the districts.

"There are around 600 local Taliban fighters in Ghormach and 450 fighters in Qaisar; a total of a thousand," Gen. Kohbandi told TOLOnews. "However, additional fighters join when the group launches offensives."

The Taliban fighters had blocked Qaisar-Ghormach highway for a week, but fled the area after a tense battle with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). However, the ANSF managed to pass the area in armored vehicles to avoid Taliban missile attacks. Moreover, many shops and bazaars along the area were closed.

It is said that almost 95 percent of Ghormach is under Taliban threat as there is a visible presence of Taliban fighters on both sides of the highway that passes through the district. Reports indicate that in some areas Taliban fighters are present within 300-400 meters of the center of the district, gravely threatening the overall security.

"Those posing threats to the security of Faryab are seeking guidelines from their Pakistani masterminds," Gen. Kohbandi added. "They come like guests here; they create insecurity and flee back to Pakistan when they face any pressure."

Taliban's notorious war tactics after losing an area is planting it with roadside mines with the alleged help of Pakistani experts.

"The material used to make these mines is imported from Pakistan and those who design them are trained in Pakistan," the commander of mine clearance regiment of 209 Shaheen Army Corps, Gul Mohammad, said.

Local reports indicate that the recent insecurities have majorly impacted Ghormach, disrupting people's daily lives.

Mullah Adam Khayat, a resident of Ghormach, has lost his property as a result of the recent clashes in the area and has now resorted to selling tomatoes to make ends meet.

"The clash between Taliban and the security forces devastated my entire property and I'm now seen selling tomatoes here from morning till dawn to provide for my family."

The local police forces have been accused of failing to effectively confront the insurgents in the area. In response, Faryab Police Chief Mohammad Nabi Elham highlighted that the lack of sufficient weaponries and military equipments are a reason for the untamed problems.

"Truth is that our police force lacks sufficient weapons to fight the insurgents with full force."

A local police officer, Mohammad Qul, who has had first hand encounters in the fight, confirmed Elham's statements.

"How can we fight the Taliban when we don't have artillery and tanks or proper weapons and our salaries have not been paid over the last five months?" he asked.

Ghormach is considered one of the most insecure districts of Faryab.

The country continues to experience a dramatic rise in the rate of insecurities as the election process drags on.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:04:57 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16187-taliban-strive-to-sabotage-security-in-faryab
Gas Companies Criticized for Price Hikes, Attorney General to Investigate http://www.tolonews.com/en/business/16186-gas-companies-criticized-for-price-hikes-attorney-general-to-investigate

The Afghan Attorney General's office on Sunday said that the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) has referred a case involving potentially illegal price manipulation practices by two liquid gas importing companies and plans to send a delegation to Hairatan Port to launch an investigation.

The MoCI has said the two companies in question are Mahmoud Khalil and MG. Officials from the Ministry have claimed the firms have been purchasing liquid gas from Turkmenistan $200 over the set price, which has in turn distorted prices in the Afghan gas market.

"The ministry of commerce and industries have referred a recommendation to the Attorney General's office, and the attorney general has dispatched three delegations to three ports of the country, mainly Herat, Hairatan and Aqina in Torghondi, in order to investigate those committing hoarding or price hiking and take legal action," said Hafizullah Hafiz, the head of the Complaints Department in the office of the Attorney General.

Meanwhile, the Oil and Gas Association of Afghanistan has suggested the two companies may have been engaged in unethical practices, but maintained that there was nothing illegal about what they did.

"According to the business and bidding laws, these two companies haven't committed a crime, however, it is an unethical business practice for someone to resort to a price hike to defeat his rivals," said Azarakhsh Hafizi, the head of the Oil and Gas Association.

The Oil and Gas Association has called on the government to seek a sustainable settlement to the issue.

But for everyday Afghans, who have suffered from the sudden spike in gas prices, the difference between illegal an unethical does not count for much.

"Poor people do not have the capability to buy gas, so down with the poor and long live the government, I don't know what else to say," Kabul resident Raz Mohammad said, visibly upset by the idea that those responsible may get away unscathed after causing so much harm.

"We work as laborers all day and get 200 Afs, but purchase gas at 150 Afs, it is too difficult to meet our family expenses," another resident named Ghulam Ali said.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:46:01 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/business/16186-gas-companies-criticized-for-price-hikes-attorney-general-to-investigate
Campaigns Trade Accusations as Stalemate Stands http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16185-campaigns-trade-accusations-as-stalemate-stands

With still no end in sight for negotiations between the two presidential candidates, who are said to remain at odds over the powers that will be ascribed to the chief executive, the sides traded accusations over the weekend, each suggesting the other had elements from within trying to prevent them from coming to an agreement.

The exchanges come after a week of intensive negotiations between the candidates, some of which were done in the presence of President Hamid Karzai, officials from the United Nations as well as U.S. and European Union diplomats.

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai team has suggested the possibility that there are individuals in his opponent’s camp that do not want the political negotiations to be successful and for a national unity government to be formed.
 
“The honorable Dr. Abdullah, as the leader of the Reform and Partnership team, pursues a moderate approach during the negotiations; his stance on the formation of the national unity government is also justified and on the basis of the realities of the country,” Ashraf Ghani representative Mohammad Tahir Zuhair said. “Perhaps, there are some extremist and fundamentalist groups who put obstacles in the way of his decision to reach an agreement.”
 
Meanwhile, the Abdullah Abdullah camp has rejected those allegations and even made accusations of their own. Syed Fazel Aqa Hussain Sancharaki, a spokesman for Abdullah, on Saturday claimed that agents of President Karzai embedded in Ashraf Ghani’s team were trying to prolong the stalemate.
 
“The issue is the opposite, we know that there are profiteers in the team of Mr. Ahmadzai from the team of President Karzai who want the negotiations to not bear an outcome,” Sancharaki said. Abdullah’s side has long maintained that Karzai favors Ghani and has orchestrated events throughout the election process in order to have him win. However, at times, Abdullah’s team has also tried to suggest that Karzai would seek to stay in office.

But the Presidential Palace has publicly advocated for a swift end to the election, which has now dragged on for five tumultuous months. Karzai said last week that he wanted to see the next president inaugurated by September 2; a deadline that election officials have said is unrealistic.
 
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) met with the candidates on Saturday. According to UN officials, the candidates were updated on the progress of the vote auditing process, which is expected to end on September 10, and implored them to honor the commitments they have made.
 
“Previously the candidates committed twice in the presence of the UN special representative to Afghanistan to endorse the outcomes of the auditing, so we hope that the candidates honor their commitments,” UNAMA spokesman Nazifullah Salarzai said on Sunday.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:34:46 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16185-campaigns-trade-accusations-as-stalemate-stands
Third Annual Premier League Sees Improvements From Past Years http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16184-third-annual-premier-league-sees-improvements-from-past-years

The third season of the Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) kicked off last Thursday to a warm reception from new and old fans alike. This year, however, many who have been with the league since its start in 2012 have noted marked improvements in the quality of play, coaching and officiating.

The biggest structural change this season is that the league now abides by the criteria of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The other main difference, which is likely to impact the style of play more than anything, is the introduction of FIFA-certified coaches from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), who come from neighboring Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"second rank Asian football confederation coaches are undertaking guidance of the teams which are playing in the premier league and all teams try to seek advantage of their expertise, previous matches indicate that Football in Afghanistan getting strength and strong teams have emerged," national football team coach Yousaf Kargar said.

Players have also noticed changes from past years. "I have played in the three seasons of the RAPL, but this time is different, the teams are losing by only one or two goals and the presence of the Tajik coaches is another difference of the third season of the league," Toofan Harirod striker Marouf Mohammad told TOLOnews.

Overall, the general sentiment appears to be that not only has the Premier League helped raised the level of football in Afghanistan, being the country's first professional league, but that in just three years the quality of play inside the league itself has dramatically improved.

"Really, the football has improved in the country, and this year the RAPL teams are very strong and the quality of the football improving day-by-day," another Toofan Hariror striker, Hamidullah Karimi, said.

Officials from the Afghan Football Federation (AFF), whose stadium in Kabul provides the staging ground for all the RAPL matches, said that, "If investors and the government invest in football, the next season will be held with a first tier and second between the teams." Such an arrangement would resemble the system in Europe, in which countries often have multiple leagues with graduating levels of competition.

The President of the Afghan National Olympic Committee, Fahim Hashimi, has also commended the RAPL and called it "a major sporting event" in Afghanistan.

The league's eight teams are organized into two separate groups - Group A and Group B. Group A includes Oqaban Hindukosh, Mawjhai Amu, Shaheen Asmayee and De Abaseen Sapi. Group B includes Simorgh Alborz, Toofan Harirod, De Maiwand Atalan and De Spinghar Bazan.

The first season of the RAPL was held in 2012 and Toofan Harirod won the championship game against Simorgh Alborz. In the second year, Shaheen Asmayee defeated Simorgh Alborz for the championship.

All RAPL matches are broadcasted live on TOLO TV, Lemar TV, Arman FM and Arakozai FM.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 15:27:19 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16184-third-annual-premier-league-sees-improvements-from-past-years
Increase in the Number of Girls in Khost Schools http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16183-increase-in-the-number-of-girls-in-khost-schools

Local officials have reported that the number of girls attending school in eastern Khost province has increased to 115,000 as education awareness rises within families since the fall of the Taliban regime.

In the past years, the girls in Khost were not allowed to go to school beyond the sixth grade because families believed it would taint the honor of the family. However, in recent reports many girls have surpassed the sixth grade and some have even graduated from high school.

"I am currently in the eighth grade," Mujhghan, one of the many girls attending school, said. "My family encourages me to go to school."

Gul Pekai, another student, said that attitudes toward education have changed in society, showing appreciation toward her family and friends who have encouraged her to further her education.

Deputy Head of the Education Department of Khost, Bakht Noor Bakhtyar, said that the number of girls attending school increases every day.

Khost Governor Abdul Jabar Naeemi has expressed optimism over the recent developments in the education sector, especially for girls.

"Families are encouraged to let their daughter graduate from high school," Naeemi said. "We encourage families to allow their daughters to continue after the sixth grade."

The province of Khost has witnessed a positive change in the education sector and attendance of aspiring young girls, but the rest of the country has recently seen a decrease in the attendance of girls because of the deteriorating security issues.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:08:47 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16183-increase-in-the-number-of-girls-in-khost-schools
EMERGENCY! Code Red, White flag! http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan-fashionista/16182-emergency-code-red-white-flag

I have to share something important and I must share it now.

After my first blog, I was 99 percent sure that I would never be able to provide advise because of zero response. But then, as if directly from a mythological Greek deity who warns mortals to not be so sure of anything, that one percent shined upon me. How? Females started to contact me through work or catch me at a local setting. And so, through a little encouragement for the last two weeks I have been consistently rotating outfits I've come across.

Though I'd like to think that I am fluent in wearing afghan/professional/stylish outfits and have heretofore cracked most codes in ethic/western design, I should always be open to opinions and designs.

Just last week, I walked into the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel for International Youth Day – theme 'Mental Health Matters' hosted by World Health Organization and Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs, wearing a long Barbie doll attire with Afghan embroiders and a thin, but large scarf covering my upper body making my presence known through the vibrant mustard color.

During the full day event, I came to ponder how you are perceived by your appearance affects the 'mental health' – it does matter. Men and women are both affected by judgment.

During the event, there were all ethnicities of the youth present with all sorts of style. Some styles elegant, subtle, simple and others too tight, see through, too many colors, he or she is liable to experience a hugely dangerous site that may or may not impair ones vision but let's cut the chase: Silver suit, blue shirt, red tie, brown sock and black shoes--- What?...the orange top, tight green jeans, multi-color scarf and red heels...flashy or trashy?

In the event you're unfamiliar with the terms of either word (flashy or trashy) I invite you to a style vocabulary lesson.

Here is a simple sample guide:

Trashy: not good. Flashy: ranging from decent to awesome. During my time at the event, there was a fashion show, first to my experience within Afghanistan, had the whole hall excited. So, tell me world, what is it that you really wish to know about? Casual, professional, evening or traditional attire within Afghanistan.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 07:34:33 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan-fashionista/16182-emergency-code-red-white-flag
8pm Program: What Does Afghanistan Want from the NATO Summit? http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16181-8pm-program-what-does-afghanistan-want-from-the-nato-summit

In this episode, host Muslim Shirzad discusses what Afghanistan expects from the NATO summit with the following guests:

• Dr. Zakar Hussian Ershad, University professor
• Hamid Saboory, University professor
• Malik Setiz, researcher in international relations

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}jWdNO24raUk{/youtube}

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 07:26:31 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/miscellaneous-category/16181-8pm-program-what-does-afghanistan-want-from-the-nato-summit
19 People Killed in Herat Traffic Accident http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16180-19-people-killed-in-herat-traffic-accident

A traffic accident in western Herat province claimed the lives of 19 people and injured seven others on Sunday, local officials said.

According to Abdul Raof Ahmadi, the spokesman for Heart police chief, the incident took place on Islam-Qala road after a car hit a truck while traveling from Ingil district of the province to Herat City.

"The accident claimed the lives of four women and six children," Ahmadi said. "The injured victims have been taken to the hospital."

Meanwhile, another recent accident in southern Zabul province killed five people and injured 26 others.

Officials have blamed reckless driving as a reason for the increase in the number of accidents in the recent months.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 05:39:00 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/16180-19-people-killed-in-herat-traffic-accident
FARAKHABAR: 30 August 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16179-farakhabar-30-august-2014

The Afghan President Hamid Karzai last year had said the Afghan government will not face to any problem in 2014, but in the past the government has not paid the salary of the public employees.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}CIkes_vhEtY{/youtube}

The Afghan Minister of Finance, Omar Zakhilwal has warned that if the current situation of the election continues we will decrease the salary of the employees and will dismiss most of them.

Does the government know the situation of the people?

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

• Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, Economic Minister

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 05:24:53 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/farah-khabare/16179-farakhabar-30-august-2014
230 Injured As Police Clash With Protesters in Islamabad http://www.tolonews.com/en/world/16178-230-injured-as-police-clash-with-protesters-in-islamabad

At least 230 people were wounded in clashes between police and protesters in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, hospital officials said Sunday, as a fortnight-long political impasse took a violent turn.

The violence, which began late Saturday and continued early Sunday, broke out after around 25,000 people marched from parliament to the prime minister's house, where some attempted to remove barricades around it with cranes, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.

The protesters, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and Canadian cleric Tahir ul Qadri, had been camped outside parliament house since August 15 demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif quit amid allegations of vote rigging.

The crisis took on a new dimension earlier in the week after the government asked the powerful army to mediate, raising fears the military would use the situation to enact a "soft coup" and increase its dominance over civilian authorities.

"There are 1,600 to 2,000 trained terrorists. They have 200 women who are trained in the use of firearms and they have come with the intention of occupying state buildings," defence minister Khawaja Asif told AFP as the fighting broke out late Saturday.

"These are buildings that are symbols of the state," he said. "Their attempts are being resisted. And we will resist these with full force."

AFP's correspondent at the scene said protesters were carrying batons and sling-shots.

The injured were rushed to Islamabad's two main hospitals, and the number of casualties is expected to rise as clashes continue.

- Protests spread -

Wasim Khawaja, spokesman for the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Islamabad, told AFP that 164 injured people have been taken to his hospital, while the Poly Clinic hospital said it had received 70 wounded so far.

"Condition of two of them was critical. There were more than 20 policemen among the injured," Khawaja said, with a second doctor confirming that figure.

Khawaja also said most of the victims had been injured by rubber bullets, and that that 17 of them were women. Khurram Ghuman, a spokesman at Islamabad's Poly Clinic hospital, told AFP: "There are 20 women among them and most have been affected by tear gas, but they all are in stable condition."

Demonstrations have also erupted in parts of the eastern city of Lahore and the port city of Karachi.

Protesters with batons have burned tyres and blocked roads in Lahore, an AFP reporter said. Police used batons and fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators there.

The protests remained peaceful in Karachi, however.

Khan and Qadri both claim that the 2013 elections which saw Prime Sharif sweep to power were massively rigged.

Local and and foreign observers said the polls were credible, and analysts believe the protests have been coordinated by the powerful army as a means of re-asserting its dominance over civilian authorities.

Paramilitary troops and soldiers standing guard to protect the PM's house as well as other sensitive installations have not yet been called into action, despite the violence Sunday.

- Women and children -

Women and children have been prominent among both protest groups, and the rising number of casualties is set to further polarise the already embittered political atmosphere.

But government officials defended the use of force. "The demonstrators attacked first. They wanted to occupy the prime minister's house and stage a sit-in there," said Asif Kirmani, an aide of Sharif.

Qadri, however, said the government began the violence.

"The march is heading to its destination, we were peaceful but government began the bloodshed," he said.

Khan told Express News during the violence that he was inside a shipping container in front of the prime minister's house.

"We will continue our struggle against the government, till our last breath," Khan said, calling for demonstrations across Pakistan.

Qadri was in a bullet-proof car close to the scene, according television images.

The government earlier struck a defiant note, issuing a statement saying that Sharif would not be stepping down.

"There is no question of resignation or proceeding on leave by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, nor any member from the government side has made such suggestion," the statement said.

Sharif had earlier dismissed the two-week old impasse as a "tiny storm" that would end soon.

Khan alleges the 2013 general election that swept Sharif to power in a landslide was rigged as part of a conspiracy involving the former chief justice and thousands of election commission workers.

Qadri has demanded wholesale changes to Pakistan's political system, and called for an interim "unity government" while they are implemented.
The leaders have drawn thousands to the streets of Islamabad, but their call has not mobilised mass support in a country of 180 million people.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2014 04:33:20 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/world/16178-230-injured-as-police-clash-with-protesters-in-islamabad
Oqaban Hindukosh Defeats Mawjhai Amu 5-2 http://www.tolonews.com/en/sports/16177-oqaban-hindukosh-defeats-mawjhai-amu-5-2

On the third day of the Roshan Afghan Premiere League (APL), Oqaban Hindukosh, representing central Afghanistan, defeated Mawjhai Amu, which plays for the northeastern region, with a 5-2 score line in their first match of the season.

Before the game began, Mawjhai player Atiqullah Shirzad expressed confidence about his team's chances. "This time, our team came for victory and the boys also have high spirits and hope to win the match," he said.

But Oqaban Hindukosh started the game with a series of rapid attacks on the Mawjhai Amu goal, and, in only the third minute of the game, were awarded a corner that brought them close to netting the first goal.

It was Mawjahi Amu that got the scoring off to a start, though. Massoud Qari Zada, wearing number 10, notched a goal eight minutes into the first half giving Mawjahi Amo a 1-0 lead.

However it wasn't long until Oqaban Hindukosh leveled. Saber Aser, also wearing number 10, scored in the '33 minute off a pass from Zamarai Salangi. The halftime whistle blew shortly after.

In the second half of the match, Oqaban Hindukosh's Anwar Akbari scored the second goal from the penalty spot to give his team the lead.

In the '58 minute of the match, Lal Padshah, wearing shirt number 11, scored the second goal in favor of Mawjahi Amo and brought the game back to an even split, 2-2. When the two teams met in the first season of the APL, they finished with a 2-2 draw.

But we're not destined for the same fate this season. The familiar stalemate was to be broken by three consecutive goals scored by Anwar Akbari, Zamarai Salangi and Mohammad Reza for Oqaban Hindukosh, bringing the game to a dramatic end with a 5-2 score line.

Moen Hamedi, the coach of Oqaban Hindukosh, said the reason for the victory was their superior attacking line.

Oqaban Hindukosh player Zamarai Salang was chosen as the Man of the Match.

Mawjahi Amo is composed of players from Badakhshan, Kunduz, Baghlan and Takhar provinces. Oqaban Hindukosh has players from Parwan, Kapisa, Daikundi, Bamyan and Panjshir.

The day before, Simorgh Alborz, representing northern Afghanistan, was defeated by De Maiwand Atalan, the team of the southwest, by three goals to one.

The first goal was scored by Khaled Irfan, wearing number six for De Maiwand Atalan, 27 minutes into the game.

Then, during the second half, Atalan spread their attack and scored another goal 71 minutes into the game.

But in the '86 minute, Semorgh Alborz notched one of its own with a strike from Farhad Sowgand.

But Atalan put the game away with a goal from Ghulan Rasool Fazli at the tail end of the match.

Having scored two out of three of the goals for the winning side, Khaled Irfan was named the Man of the Match.

Semorgh Alborz and Da Maiwand Atalan played against each other in the first season of the APL, where Semorgh Alborz won 2-1.

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Sat, 30 Aug 2014 16:05:37 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/sports/16177-oqaban-hindukosh-defeats-mawjhai-amu-5-2
TOLOnews 6 pm News 30 August 2014 http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16176-tolonews-6-pm-news-30-august-2014

Despite the progress that has been seen in negotiations between the two presidential candidates, their representatives have said the key disagreement that has made a final resolution elusive is over the powers of the Chief Executive.

To watch the bulletin, click here:

{youtube}XQkyaYErlrk{/youtube}

According to individuals close to the negotiations that have been taking place this week, Abdullah Abdullah has demanded that the chief executive position serve as the head of the cabinet. However, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's team has rejected that demand and maintained that to do so would be in violation of the Afghan Constitution and the original agreement made between the candidates with the help of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the beginning of August.

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Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:37:47 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/video/16176-tolonews-6-pm-news-30-august-2014
Candidates Stuck On Chief Executive Debate http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16175-candidates-stuck-on-chief-executive-debate

Despite the progress that has been seen in negotiations between the two presidential candidates, their representatives have said the key disagreement that has made a final resolution elusive is over the powers of the Chief Executive.

According to individuals close to the negotiations that have been taking place this week, Abdullah Abdullah has demanded that the chief executive position serve as the head of the cabinet.

However, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's team has rejected that demand and maintained that to do so would be in violation of the Afghan Constitution and the original agreement made between the candidates with the help of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the beginning of August.

"The Abdullah Abdullah campaign team wants CEO to be head of the cabinet as well and this demand is against the constitution and also against the agreement of both candidates in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry," said Tahir Zahir, a spokesman for Ashraf Ghani.

But Abdullah's side has argued the move, which was one facet of the national unity government deal the committee appointed by the candidates could not resolve earlier this month, would in fact be constitutional. With the candidates scheduled to meet on Saturday, Abdullah's team seemed optimistic that the dispute would soon be to rest.

"Our demands are not illegal, as Dr. Abdullah has said, the CEO must be given further authorities," Abdullah spokesman Said Fazel Agha Sancharaki said on Saturday.

Abdullah's people have also derided the continuation of the audit and ballot invalidation process while the negotiations are taking place. Both candidates withdrew their representatives from the audit center at the beginning of the week.

Officials from the United Nations, U.S. and European Union have met with the candidates to try to resolve their differences. President Hamid Karzai as well has sat down with them to try and end their stalemate.

The Presidential Palace has been vocal about its desire to hold the inauguration for the new president by September 2. But with the candidates still far apart over the issue of the Chief Executive, it seems unlikely the election will reach its conclusion by then.

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Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:17:22 GMT http://www.tolonews.com/en/election-2014/16175-candidates-stuck-on-chief-executive-debate