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Afghanistan Timeline: News, Updates & Discussions

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by @speaks, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  2. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Why India aids Afghanistan, and why it matters
    Afghanistan is important for India not just from the strategic viewpoint but also because it holds business potential for Indian companies.
    Abheet Singh Sethi, IndiaSpend.com · Jul 31, 2015 · 07:30 pm
    [​IMG]

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the inauguration of Afghanistan’s new Rs 710-crore Parliament building, financed and constructed by India.

    The parliament building – part of a $2 billion (Rs 12,800 crore) aid package – is symbolic of India’s support for strife-torn Afghanistan, as it struggles to transition into a stable democracy.

    The construction of the parliament building, started in 2009 by India’s Central Public Works Department, has missed its deadline by three years.

    Once completed, the building – attacked by terrorists on June 22, 2015 – will be able to withstand terror attacks and earthquakes up to 8 on the Richter scale.

    India has given nearly Rs 2,000 crore ($300 million) in aid to Afghanistan over the past four years, after signing a Strategic Partnership Agreement in 2011.

    The amount of aid has increased nearly 80% from Rs 327 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 585 crore in 2013-14, according to data tabled in the Lok Sabha.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Lok Sabha; *till January 2015


    India’s aid to Afghanistan is diverse, helps reach out to Iran as well

    India has also funded the construction of other projects, including a Rs 1,500-crore dam in the Herat province in western Afghanistan. The dam will generate 42 mega watts (MW) for Afghanistan, a country that has one of the lowest electricity produced-per-capita’s in the world. Power cuts in the capital Kabul last up to 15 hours, as this recent analysis noted.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Lok Sabha


    The Indian government has spent Rs 476 crore between 2011-12 and 2014-15 as part of a pledge by Manmohan Singh’s government in 2009 to provide 250,000 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan to overcome food shortages.

    India’s Border Roads Organisation is building a 218-km, Rs-600-crore road from Zaranj to Delaram in south-western Afghanistan. This is a key link to Iran’s Chahbahar Port via Afghanistan’s garland highway, linking the Afghan cities of Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif. It will also allow access to the landlocked Central Asian countries that border Afghanistan.

    India signed an agreement with Iran to develop Chahbahar Port in May 2015.

    Afghanistan is crucial to India’s energy security, as a pipeline from Turkmenistan to India, the TAPI project, will pass through the country (and Pakistan). Afghanistan also represents investment potential for Indian companies in several sectors.

    The country is home to resource deposits worth one trillion dollars, according to the US Geological Survey. A consortium of six Indian companies led by public-sector Steel Authority of India won a 2011 bid to mine steel in the province of Bamiyan; it will invest around $10.8 billion (Rs 69,120 crore).

    Afghan investments come at a price

    India’s engagement with Afghanistan has made it a terrorist target. India’s embassy in Kabul was been attacked in 2008 and 2009, as were the consulates in Herat (2014) and Jalalabad (2013). India has accused Pakistan of being behind these attacks.

    But India will press ahead because Afghanistan, apart from its strategic importance, holds business potential for Indian companies.

    “India’s interest lies in an economically-sustainable, politically-stable and socially-inclusive Afghanistan, protected by a strengthened national security apparatus,” said Monish Tourangbam, assistant professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal University.

    Afghanistan’s security situation has deteriorated. The number of conflict-related civilian casualties (deaths + injuries) has almost doubled from 5,968 in 2009 to 10,548 in 2014, according to data compiled by United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). This comes as a 13-year US-led intervention ends.

    [​IMG]
    Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan


    “The implementation of India’s development assistance of $2 billion has taken place under the umbrella of the security provided by the International Security Assistance Force forces led by the United States,” said Tourangbam.

    After the withdrawal, the onus for ensuring Afghanistan’s security will lie entirely on Afghanistan’s National Security Forces (ANSF).

    The security forces are currently struggling to maintain a stalemate with insurgents after enduring a lethal Talibani spring offensive. This year has already seen an increase of more than 50% in deaths of Afghan security forces as compared to the first six months of 2014, according to data accessed by The New York Times.

    India has trained personnel of the Afghan National Army in Indian military institutions such as the Indian Military Academy. While India has provided military hardware such as trucks, jeeps and helicopters, it remains reluctant to provide “lethal” weapons such as tanks and artillery guns, fearing they could fall into the hands of the Taliban.

    This article was originally published on IndiaSpend.com, a data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit.

    Why India aids Afghanistan, and why it matters
     
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  3. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    India and Afghanistan: A Growing Partnership
    Historically close, ties today are being driven forward by many shared interests.
    [​IMG]
    By M. Ashraf Haidari
    September 16, 2015

    India remains an integral part of Afghanistan’s steady progress in institutionalizing peace, pluralism, and prosperity. Ties between Afghanistan and India go beyond the traditionally strong relations at the government level. Since time immemorial, the peoples of Afghanistan and India have interacted with each other through trade and commerce, peacefully coexisting on the basis of their shared cultural values and commonalities. This history has become the foundation of deep mutual trust. Public opinion polls in Afghanistan confirm this, as well as the sentiment Afghans share about feeling at home whenever they visit India.

    Against this background of real friendship, it’s appropriate to take stock and see how far Afghanistan has gone in its journey to become a full-fledged, contributing member of the international community. It is a journey being undertaken with continued support of India, which itself is striving to become an anchor of regional stability and prosperity.

    Post-Taliban Gains

    Although it’s true that conflict continues in Afghanistan, a great deal of progress has been made in just over a decade. Let’s start with the gains made by Afghan women and girls, who were denied, under the Taliban, their most basic human rights, such as access to education and healthcare, let alone the opportunity to serve as vocal representatives of their constituencies in the Afghan parliament. Yet today female MPs now occupy 28 percent of the seats, a higher percentage than can be found in the legislative bodies of India, Britain, or even the United States.

    And in the 1990s when factional infighting and the tyranny of the Taliban systematically devastated the country, Afghanistan had barely any diplomatic representation abroad. Today, it has more than 50 diplomatic missions around the world, including a well-resourced embassy in Delhi, which serves thousands of Afghan students and medical tourists, while working with its Indian counterparts in the public, private, and civil society sectors to deepen the multi-faceted relations that have always underpinned Afghanistan’s partnership and friendship with India.

    Indian Development Aid

    Afghanistan’s monumental gains in its polity, economy, and society would have been impossible without the continued support of the international community, and particularly the assistance of the country’s trusted friends and strategic partners like India, the United States, and NATO. Despite its own many domestic needs, India is Afghanistan’s sixth largest donor, providing the country with some $2 billion in effective aid since 2001.

    India’s well-targeted aid programs include infrastructure development, institutional capacity building, small development projects, as well as food security assistance in the form of ongoing deliveries of wheat to Afghanistan. Since 2001, more than 10,000 Afghan students have studied in India on ICCR scholarships, with some 7,000 returning home armed with an education and technical skills, which they are using to drive Afghanistan’s stabilization and development. Meanwhile, many mid-career officers in the Afghan government have benefited from the technical capacity building programs of ITEC and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, while some 8,000 Afghan students are pursuing self-financed degrees in different fields across India.

    And India’s signature infrastructure projects – the building of the Afghan parliament in Kabul and the Salma Dam in Herat – are nearing completion. The former will soon give Afghan MPs the secure space they need to further institutionalize democracy in Afghanistan, while the latter will generate 42 MW of much-needed power for the electrification of rural and urban Herat, as well as helping irrigate 80,000 hectares of agricultural land.

    In spite of many transit obstacles, the volume of Indo-Afghan trade stood at $680 million during 2013-2014, a figure that should exponentially rise, following the full implementation of the Afghanistan and Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA). Moreover, air connectivity between the two countries has grown steadily. There are now four to five flights operating daily between Kabul and Delhi, bringing to India nearly 1,000 Afghans, many of them medical tourists, seeking treatment in Delhi hospitals.

    Attracting Indian Investment

    To deepen economic ties between the two countries, the Afghan Embassy in Delhi has frequently engaged with the national and local chambers of commerce and industries of India. The embassy has so far signed five memorandums of understanding (MOUs) covering commercial and medical cooperation between Afghanistan’s respective chambers of commerce and hospitals, while it has initiated another 20 MOUs with state chambers and hospitals across India, in the coming months.

    Indian investors remain deeply interested in the many “virgin markets” of Afghanistan, including mining, agriculture and agribusiness, information and technology, telecommunications, and others. Although more than 100 largely midsize Indian businesses have already invested in Afghanistan, the Afghan government is strongly encouraging capital intensive investment in the natural resources and infrastructure sectors. There is no doubt that this investment will gradually be made, as the key regional players address the existing interstate tensions and hostilities that impede investment in Afghanistan and the rest of the region.

    Building Sister-City Relations

    Moreover, in an effort to further solidify ties between Afghans and Indians, the Afghan Embassy in Delhi has initiated the creation of sister-city relations between major Indian cities and states and their Afghan counterparts. To date, the embassy has proposed the creation of relations between Delhi and Kabul, Mumbai and Kandahar, Ajmer Sharif (Rajasthan) and Herat, Hyderabad and Jalalabad, Ahmadabad (Gujrat) and Asadabad (Kunar), as well as the State of Assam and the Province of Helmand.

    As soon as these proposals are procedurally processed by both sides, the major cities of Afghanistan and India will be connected through tourism, student and faculty exchange programs, as well as private sector investment, which the embassy has been promoting through its vigorous economic and cultural diplomacy outreach throughout India.

    Continued...
     
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  4. Gessler

    Gessler Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Afghanistan highlights a history of chaotic Western intervention

    The latest reverses and the past 14 years tell the story of how the US and it's NATO allies have struggled to create the peace envisaged in 2001.




    With Britain and its allies increasingly engaged militarily in Syria, Iraq and, prospectively, in Libya too, the latest reverses in Afghanistan have harshly illuminated the stark dangers and unforeseen consequences of precipitate western intervention in foreign lands – and how easily such adventures can go disastrously awry.

    Afghanistan was the first intervention of the post-9/11 era, hurriedly launched after the attacks on New York and Washington. The primary US aim was to destroy al-Qaida’s bases. But the mission quickly morphed into regime change. Once the Taliban were toppled, the objective changed again, into nation-building.

    The succeeding 14 years in Afghanistan is the story of how the US and its Nato allies have struggled and, so far, failed to create the peaceful, stable, prosperous, pro-western democracy they optimistically envisaged in 2001. As this week’s emergency deployment of US and British special forces and advisers in Helmand suggests, grand policy designs have been overtaken by gut panic.

    Barack Obama disowned George W Bush’s Iraq occupation and withdrew as fast as he could, but he took a different line on Afghanistan. In 2009 he ordered a 30,000 troop surge in a high-risk attempt to end the war. Yet improvements in security were short-lived. The Taliban could not be beaten; nor could they be induced to make peace.

    Nato nevertheless pulled out last year, fingers crossed behind its back. But Obama’s decision in October to halt the withdrawal of the remaining 9,500 US troops showed he no longer believed his own rhetoric about the ability of the Afghan army and police to maintain security. Dismayingly, the elected government of the president, Ashraf Ghani, like that of Hamid Karzai before it, has proved incompetent, divided, and mired in corruption.

    Now the US is stuck. It cannot leave entirely and it cannot escalate. Behind the bland White House press statements, it seems plain Obama has not the foggiest idea what to do next.

    For all their apparent battlefield successes, the Taliban are not in much better shape. The leadership crisis that followed July’s admission that Mullah Omar had been dead for two years has riven the movement. His successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, faces strong opposition. The Taliban were recently forced to deny reports Mansour had been badly wounded or even killed in a factional shootout.

    This discord has two major implications. One is that Pakistan’s effort to relaunch national peace talks next month, announced this week, may be fatally undermined by the fact that no one agrees who speaks for the Taliban. The other is the opportunity these divisions offer the new guy on the Afghan block – the black-flagged hoodlums of Islamic State.

    Isis has established itself in north-eastern Kunar and Nangarhar provinces, where clashes with local Taliban are reported. In June, the Taliban asked the Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, to avoid actions that could lead to “division of the mujahideen’s command”. Their plea was ignored. Isis is now actively recruiting in eastern Afghanistan, using a daily Pashto language radio broadcast called “Voice of the Caliphate” to air interviews, appeals and songs.

    Last week US Gen John Campbell, commander of international forces in Afghanistan, said Isis controlled up to 3,000 fighters. He warned its influence was spreading. And this takes no account of the residual al-Qaida presence, and the continuing depredations of feudal chieftains such as Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the powerful Haqqani network.

    Thus if all western forces finally upped and left, the Taliban would not necessarily “win”. At this point there would be little to prevent Afghanistan swiftly falling prey to a multi-faction, nationwide fight between Kabul government forces, jihadi groups, indigenous Pashtuns (the Taliban), freelance Sunni mafiosi, and even Tajik militias from the old Northern Alliance. This could take the country back to the disastrous civil war era of the 1990s, destroying the painful societal, educational and humanitarian advances of the past decade and threatening a renewed refugee emergency.

    As ever in Afghanistan, regional actors continue to pursue their narrow interests. China is worried about spillover radicalisation of its Muslim population in western Xinjiang province. Russia has expressed similar concerns about the destabilisation of former Soviet central Asian states and the inexorable northwards flow of Afghan opium. Moscow has discussed supplying heavy weapons to favoured warlords such as Abdul Rashid Dostum. Beyond the western border, Iran, as always, looks for advantage.

    Like the US and Britain, none of these countries has a credible plan, or even half a half-baked idea, about how to solve the Afghan conundrum. But the principal Afghan lesson is clear, and it is one that applies elsewhere in the world: generally speaking, military intervention just makes matters worse.

    Afghanistan highlights a history of chaotic western intervention | World news | The Guardian
     
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  5. Gessler

    Gessler Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    I haven't seen those links as yet (will do so tomorrow & update my views if necessary) but I will say this :

    Pakistan's views & goals in Afghanistan are completely India-centric, or to be more precise, Indophobic.

    While the general India-hating public of Pakistan would orgasm at the news of Afghanistan falling to the Taliban (not that this will support Pak's interests in any way : if Afg falls, it means Pak will fall next), this is mostly a result of :

    > Not being able to wrap their head around the fact that the general Afghan public holds an immensely
    favourable view of India, at the same time while holding an utterly negative view (often, an outright grudge) of Pakistan.

    > The blind belief that Islamic extremism is still a friend of the Pak establishment. It wasn't for a long time, but since such extremism has the potential to limit India's outreach to Afg (and the rest of M-E), a significant portion of Pak society holds the hope of Taliban taking over Afg close to their hearts. Wherever you see a Pakistani commenting on India-Afghanistan developments, his first words will be "Afghanistan will collapse as soon as NATO leaves. Inshallah."

    We must understand that there is very little strategic game in such views, it is but a result of sheer desperation in the face of growing Indo-Afghan cooperation. Since the Pakistani establishment in itself is in no shape to be a useful friend of Afghanistan as no-one is ready to support Pakistan in such a venture anymore. They can no longer convince or hold the Afghans hostage in order to contain Indian influence....hence the only way they see that can hold us off is if the Taliban were to seize control of Afghanistan. Simple.

    It is a matter of time before the world singles out Pakistan's double-standard views & actions, and when that happens not even China will be there to support them (for a long time China even considered Pakistan as it's gateway to the ME, but that hope is already fading away).

    --

    Situation in Afghanistan changes faster than the mood of a woman in her period. But regardless, I am still hopeful of seeing the first true Indian military action in support of ANA within the next 24 months. It could be in the form of air support or ground forces, maybe even both.

    It serves to know that if Afghan Govt. wants foreign military support to combat Taliban in the future, then India would be a huge contributor. I am confident that the NDA government will shape the necessary policies - however I won't say that it will be easy.
     
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  6. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    very true, they want to be a leader but they lack the rudimentary qualities of leadership..And the blasphamy is they themselves as a military ruled democracy with no future of their own claim to make a peaceful afghanistan with Taliban...Insects are of no use they are born to destroy and every one kills them but pakistan breeds them in its backyard and soon they coming to infest them with more blood in the streets of pakistan....
     
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  7. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  8. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Asia’s Bleeding Heart
    That’s what Pakistan’s broken pledges have reduced Afghanistan to
    Written by Mohammad Taqi | Published December 15, 2015 12:45 am

    [​IMG]
    Afghan security forces stand guard near a terrorist attack site, close to the Spanish embassy, in the center of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. An Afghan official says a car bombing near a foreign guesthouse in central Kabul has wounded one person. (AP Photos/Massoud Hossain)

    The Heart of Asia Conference (HOAC) in Islamabad last week was bookended by two devastating attacks in Kandahar and Kabul. As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was being honoured with a 21-gun salute in Islamabad, the Taliban were in the midst of a 20-hour-long assault on Kandahar airport that killed at least 54. And before the ink dried on the HOAC pledges, the Taliban penetrated the relatively secure diplomatic enclave in Kabul in a brazen attack on the Spanish embassy in which eight people died. The Afghan High Peace Council called it a slap in the face of the peace process. The Taliban is clearly sticking to the fight-talk-fight strategy even in winter. That the Taliban chose a key peace conference to shed blood is the jihadist group’s way of painting the Afghan government as weak and it’s the harbinger of yet another bloody spring and summer.

    The HOAC has been underway since 2011, but has not been able to evolve into a tangible mechanism to deliver peace. Ghani’s speech alluded to this shortcoming and called for verifiable mechanisms to counter the jihadist threat. He was careful in choosing his words in Islamabad, but not when giving interviews to the German and French media earlier, when he clearly said, “Pakistan was in a state of undeclared war against Afghanistan” and “a major trust deficit” exists between the two. Whether one conference can bridge that mistrust seems unlikely, Ghani’s optimism notwithstanding.


    Afghan officials attribute the HOAC’s “success” to several factors: One, Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif acknowledging Afghanistan’s sovereignty, its central government and constitution; two, the US and China acting as guarantors for the peace negotiations with the “reconcilable” Taliban and opposing the irreconcilable ones; three, the commitment to a high-level meeting in early 2016 to draw a region-wide counter-terrorism and security strategy.

    To Afghan officials, the litmus test of Pakistan’s seriousness and sincerity would be whether it’s willing to restrain the Taliban from conducting largescale attacks. Kandahar and Kabul appear to have already betrayed the newfound Afghan trust in the capacity, if not the will, of the Pakistani security establishment. The chief of the Afghan National Security Directorate (NDS), General Rahmatullah Nabil, took to Facebook to post a scathing critique of not just Pakistan but also Ghani, chiding the latter for letting “the 5,000-year-old Afghan history kneel before a 60-year-old Pakistan”. Nabil followed this with a resignation. Needless to say, Ghani accepted it promptly. This led to the media asking if he was fired at Pakistan’s behest. A visibly upset Ghani formally denied the charge but the die has been cast.

    The Afghan media then reported Ghani conceded way too much in Islamabad. A leaked report was cited that Pakistan has apparently demanded that Ghani act against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, restrain “anti-Pakistan rhetoric and individuals”, accept the Durand Line as the formal border, limit Indian influence, and deny support to Baloch separatists and Pashtun nationalists. This litany of Pakistani demands means we are back at square one in the bilateral relationship. Islamabad’s demands have put the onus of securing peace wholly on Kabul.

    That fits well with the pattern of Pakistan’s peace pledges to Afghanistan, which start before the first snow and melt away with the first thaw, making way for the Taliban’s attacks. Pakistan has never been keen on a political solution. The closest it came to a political partner was the fundamentalist warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. What’s at stake isn’t just military gains but also the future of Ghani’s government. He is bound to face a backlash when Pakistan reneges on its pledges. The opposition is wary of Ghani putting all his eggs in Pakistan’s basket again. His attempt in May to have the NDS surreptitiously sign an MoU with the ISI had backfired badly.

    The difference now is that Ghani has almost no political capital to squander. The November protests in Kabul, after the Islamic State’s massacre of Hazaras, showed Ghani is on thin ice. This is not lost on Pakistan and the Pakistan-backed Taliban, who would love to plunge Kabul into political chaos at a time of their choosing. International guarantors can certainly play a major role. But they and the principles of non-interference were hallmarks of the May 1988 Pak-Afghan Geneva Accords. Yet, Afghanistan has been the bleeding heart of Asia since.

    - See more at: Asia’s Bleeding Heart | The Indian Express
     
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  9. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference ends
    December 15, 2015, Tuesday/ 15:02:30/ SALİH DOĞAN

    [​IMG]

    The fifth "Heart of Asia" Ministerial Conference in the framework of the Istanbul Process was held in Pakistani capital Islamabad on Dec. 8 and 9, 2015.


    Turkey was the host country for the first "Heart of Asia" Ministerial Conference back in 2011. The main goal of the Istanbul Process is to promote enduring peace and stability in Afghanistan. The "Heart of Asia" process has 14 member countries, including China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and India. The process has also been supported by 17 other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, and 11 regional and international organizations such as the United Nations, NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

    The latest conference was co-chaired by Sartaj Aziz, the adviser to the prime minister of foreign affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and Salahuddin Rabbani, the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Both Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gave speeches at the opening ceremony of the fifth conference. Foreign ministers and high-level representatives from more than 30 participating and supporting countries and high-level representatives from regional and international organizations took part in the “Heart of Asia” conference.

    The Islamabad Declaration once again emphasizes that member states are committed to support peace and security in the region. The declaration notes: “…we reaffirm our [member states'] commitment to the principles, objectives, and outcomes of these Conferences that have defined the parameters for the working of HOA-IP [Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process] aimed at promoting regional peace and prosperity.”

    One of the main topics of the "Heart of Asia" conference was the Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan. The hospitality of Pakistan and Iran is highly appreciated since they have been hosting millions of Afghan refugees for the last three decades, despite their own challenges and limitations. Therefore, a call to the international community is made to provide the necessary support and assistance to both host countries in order to be able to help the Afghan refugees in these countries. There is a huge burden on the Afghan government to enable a safe return and resettlement of Afghan refugees in Afghanistan and it cannot manage this without the help of the international community.

    The end of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission by the end of 2014 and the beginning of the Transformation Decade (2015-2024) were mentioned at the conference as well. It is emphasized that the self-reliance of Afghanistan is aimed for at the end of the “Transformation Decade”; however, achieving this goal requires more interest and contribution from the international community. Therefore, the continuation of financial assistance to Afghanistan's National Unity Government through 2017, as was pledged during the London Conference in 2014, is of vital importance. In terms of security, the end of the ISAF mission is considered an important step towards Afghan self-reliance, which could contribute to the early realization of peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the wider region. Nevertheless, the developments in the region since the end of the ISAF mission, especially in terms of security, do not support any evidence on the realization of this hopeful situation.

    As expected, one of the most important topics of the conference was fighting terrorism to safeguard the region. Afghan President Ghani stated during his keynote speech that regional cooperation is needed to end terrorism. A regional approach is essential since the securities of the regional countries are intertwined and therefore Afghanistan's efforts to fight terrorist groups in the country are vital and should be supported. The security challenges in the region are not threatening just one country but the entire region and timely measures should be taken. As an important step, the topic of peace talks with the Taliban was at the top of the agenda of the member countries. It is acknowledged by all that a new channel of dialogue should be built between the Afghan National Unity Government and the Taliban leadership, and the regional countries have to support this process if not contribute to these talks. The importance of the peace negotiations to be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led is fully supported by the member states as well.

    In his keynote speech, President Ghani called attention to the growing presence of international militant groups in Afghanistan such as ISIL, al-Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and other terrorist groups from China, Russia and the Middle East. Due to the high importance of the security-related topics, it has been decided that the relevant senior officials will hold a meeting in the first half of 2016 specifically on security and counter terrorism issues.

    Pakistan inviting India to the conference was a positive step and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the Islamabad gathering. It was the first visit of one of India's top diplomats to Pakistan in three years. There were friendly statements made by both countries' officials during the conference as well. It was also decided that India, which showed great willingness, will host the next ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process as co-chair in 2016.

    Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference ends
     
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  10. The Drdo Guy

    The Drdo Guy Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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  12. Gessler

    Gessler Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Afghanistan receives first Indian-donated Mi-25 helo
    Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

    Afghanistan has received the first of four Mil Mi-25 'Hind' assault helicopters being gifted by India, it was disclosed on 22 December.

    [IMG=[url]http://www.janes.com/images/assets/847/56847/p1425269.jpg[/IMG][/url]

    Once deliveries are complete, the former Indian Air Force platforms will be operated by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) in place of five Mi-35 'Hind' helicopters (of which only one is still serviceable) being withdrawn from service in January 2016. The Afghan government has also requested from Russia the sale of a further undisclosed number (described by Russian state media as 'a few') Mi-35 platforms.

    As of October, the AAF has a total of 109 aircraft: six Cessna T-182 trainers; four Lockheed Martin C-130 airlifters; 25 Cessna C-208 Grand Caravans (one of which crashed on 12 October); 56 Mil Mi-17 transport and assault helicopters; five Mi-35s (one serviceable); 10 MDHI MD 530F training and light attack helicopters; and three Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Cheetal (Alouette) light utility helicopters (also gifted by India).

    Afghanistan receives first Indian-donated Mi-25 helo | IHS Jane's 360

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  13. Zeus_@21

    Zeus_@21 Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Afghan spy,Amrullah Saleh on who the real terrorist is?
     
  14. The Drdo Guy

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    Afghanistan: Sangin almost entirely in Taliban hands
    • 23 December 2015
    • From the sectionAsia

    Latest reports from southern Afghanistan suggest that Sangin district in Helmand province is now almost entirely under Taliban control after days of fierce fighting.

    The police headquarters and the main government building fell to the Taliban on Wednesday, a local senator said.

    The Taliban say their fighters have seized the entire district.

    However, the Afghan defence ministry said fighting was continuing and that reinforcements had been sent.

    Sangin saw almost a quarter of British military fatalities during the UK's combat mission in Afghanistan.

    District governor Haji Suliman Shah told the BBC he had been airlifted from the district HQ to Shorabak base - formerly Camp Bastion - in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah early on Wednesday, along with 15 wounded security force members.

    A few hundred police and soldiers have taken refuge at an army barracks about 7km (four miles) from Sangin, and are besieged there.

    Why Sangin matters
    [​IMG]Image copyrightEPA
    Image captionAfghan forces across Helmand - here a policeman patrols Marjah district - have come under pressure from insurgents
    • Sangin is a rich production centre for opium in Helmand province
    • Helmand is a major centre of the Taliban insurgency and borders Pakistan
    • Of the 456 UK military deaths in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2015, almost a quarter were killed in and around Sangin
    • US and British troops have been sent to Helmand in the last few days, but in an advisory role only
    Read more about Sangin

    Harsh lessons from Sangin

    Who are the Taliban?

    Ashuqullah, a police officer at the barracks, told the BBC the "entire" town was controlled by militants. "We have not seen any help," he said.

    "Support troops have been airdropped at a distance... but all roads are blocked and in the militants' control," he added.

    There were many wounded at the barracks needing urgent evacuation, he said.

    Speaking in Kabul, Afghanistan's acting Defence Minister Masoum Stanikzai described the situation in Helmand as "manageable" and said fresh support troops had been sent in.

    Afghan government forces had been "thinly spread" over the whole country, he said, and had been trying their best to hold all areas.

    A small contingent of British troops has been sent to Helmand "in an advisory role,"the British government said on Tuesday.

    [​IMG]
    A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed on Wednesday:

    "The Sangin district centres, its police HQ, and other establishments were under continued attacks of the mujahideen and today... with God's grace the district was fully captured by the mujahideen.

    "The white flag of the Islamic emirate is at full mast at the district now.''

    Haji Daud, the head of the Sangin district people's council, told the BBC that Sangin residents had fled the district to neighbouring areas.

    Responding to the defence minister's claims, he said: "Those whose family - brothers and siblings and parents - are not fighting on the front, they always say the situation is not dangerous in the area..."

    "Those who make such comments do not care to defend Helmand."

    [​IMG]Image copyrightAP
    Image captionThese Afghan soldiers man a checkpoint on the way to Sangin
    [​IMG]Image copyrightEPA
    Image captionPeople from Sangin have fled to neighbouring districts, a local leader has told the BBC
    Pharmacy owner Sarwah Shah, who fled to Lashkar Gah, told the BBC that all of the families living on his street in Sangin - around 20 to 30 houses - had fled.

    Another resident Agha Wali said he had fled Sangin with his children two days ago. He had had to leave all his possessions behind, he said.

    The Taliban have already seized control of all but two districts in Helmand.

    On Monday the deputy governor of Helmand complained of a lack of government support in an open letter on Facebook to President Ashraf Ghani.

    "Helmand will collapse to the enemies and it's not like Kunduz, where we could launch an operation from the airport to retake it. That is just impossible and a dream," he wrote.

    In September, the Taliban briefly overran the northern Afghan city of Kunduzin one of their biggest victories since 2001.

    Afghanistan: Sangin almost entirely in Taliban hands - BBC News
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2016
  15. Gessler

    Gessler Lt. Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Hundreds of Anti-ISIS Militiamen placed under ANSF control

    [​IMG]

    Hundreds of militiamen fighting the emergent loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan were placed under the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) control on Saturday.

    The militiamen were led by Deputy House Speaker Zahir Qadir to suppress the ISIS loyalists as they were rapidly gaining foothold in different parts of Nangarhar province.

    The provincial security officials said Saturday nearly one thousand militiamen were placed under the ANSF control in a bid to re-organized them.

    Deputy Provincial Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Baz Mohammad Hanifi told reporters the militiamen have agreed to jointly fight the ISIS terrorist along with the Afghan security forces and within the framework of the security institutions of the Afghan government.

    He said the militiamen are equipped with weapons and the government will consider wages and other facilities for them after completing it’s formalities.

    The step to include the militiamen under the government control came days after reports emerged regarding the brutal execution of detained ISIS fighters in an apparent revenge attack that sent shockwaves across Afghanistan and globally.

    The brutal execution and display of the decapitated heads of the ISIS loyalists on a roadside sparked furor among the Afghans and government officials.

    Qadir had earlier said the militiamen started fight in the form of public uprising forces after the government failed to curb the growing insurgency activities of the terror group in Nangarhar.

    The loyalists of the terror recently stepped up insurgency activities in different parts of Nangarhar province despite the counter-insurgency activities by the Afghan forces have been rampant to suppress the activities of the terror group.

    The terror group has been described to be in an emergent stage in Afghanistan with the coalition forces officials saying the loyalists of the terror group are attempting to establish a regional base in Jalalabad, the capital city of eastern Nangarhar province.

    The commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan Gen. John Campbell said last year that foreign militants from Syria and Iraq had joined the loyalists of the terror group in eastern Nangarhar province and are trying to consolidate links with the leadership of the terror group based in Syria and Iraq.

    Hundreds of anti-ISIS militiamen led by MP Qadir placed under ANSF control - Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency
     

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