No time today to write something up, so for now just links to three 'atmosphere' items on Afghanistan.
With all the blind shooting going on it seems that the soldiers have no idea at all who or what they are fighting.
And grow they will.
Surgar Weekly Afghanistan English Edition
[Ed. - With recent Allied and Taliban assassinations of Afghan political figures, reporting critically about Afghan government or National Army is a risk in itself as a journalist, of getting assassinated by Allied, Taliban or National black ops, so MoA's might find the subsequent Surgar editions somewhat pithy and colloquial, however its production isn't. Final digital comping and e-publication is now taking place expatriate, with the printing and in-country distribution carried out from an undisclosed AF location, for those interested in details of Neolithic multimedia. Surgar is diligently working on a blog or wiki, that will allow two-way comments, which should open some interesting opportunities, however, as e-communications are monitored by US military, the risk of disappearance for 'truth-to-power' speakers in-country and out-, lingers like blue smoke from a spent match.]
China assists Kabul reconstruction
The Chinese government has said they will assist the Kabul municipality in their efforts to rebuild roads and homes.
According to officials, Mr. Bong Holan, Chinese ambassador to Afghanistan, met with Kabul mayor Amer Abdul Ahad Sahaji, and pledged to help the Kabul municipality in building new roads, homes and other reconstruction efforts.
The press agency also added that the Chinese ambassador pledged to support the municipality in many other areas, and said that he will urge Chinese traders to invest in Afghanistan.
Taliban: Karzai doesn't want peace
One of the most active militant groups in the Taliban have accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai of not being a peace supporter.
Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, in speaking to Surgar Weekly by phone, concluded that Karzia doesn't want peace, when he announced a continuous fight against terrorism on September 21st, the second international peace day.
International forces redeploying around Kandahar and Karzia's pledge of a continuous fight against terrorism made on peace day have created the impression. International forces have made the counterclaim, blaming the Taliban for breaking their vow of a ceasefire on peace day.
The Taliban are accused of killing a police officer in Baghlan, killing a soldier of the Afghan national army in Sangin district of Helmand, and kidnapping tens of civilians in Fara province on this year's peace day, clearly showing their militant intent, the ISAF press agency said in a report sent to Surgar Weekly.
According to the ISAF, the international coalition forces welcomed United Nations call for cease fire, and did not carry out any military operations in honor of the international peace day celebration.
This was the second annual celebration of peace day in Afghanistan, hoping for an end to violence in the country so that civilian life could return to normal.
Kandahar governor: No peace without self-improvement
Kandahar governor Rahamatullah Raofi said that it would be impossible to maintain peace if governmental officials don't improve themselves and the ways in which they carry out their work.
While talking on the international peace day on September 21st in Kandahar, the new governor stated that peace was the main need, and stressed joint cooperation between the Afghan people and their government.
As the governor of Kandahar, Rahmatullah Raofi, has pledged to prosecute those who fail to carry out their duties according to the law. While insisting on new security improvement as well, he said he won't tolerate any deeds that are against either Islamic Sharia or governmental laws.
General Gul Agha Nayebi, the 205th corps commander, also called for an end to war especially in the southern region of the country. He called on International troops, Afghan government and insurgents to cease fighting and choose the path of peace.
Mr. Nayabi urged people to support the Afghan National army and help them bring peace to this country.
Kandahar provincial assembly members and independent peace committee head, Hajji Aghalalai Dastgeri, claimed eighty per cent of Afghans want to live in peace.
However, although the Independent Peace Commission was formed under the supervision of Mr. Mujadadi, it hasn't played its expected role. The commission claimed that seven thousand militants opposed to the Afghan government have joined the commission, including high-level insurgent leaders.
Malalai Joya wants to rejoin National Assembly
Malalai Joya, the expelled Fara province representative for the National Assembly, wishes to take back her position in the assembly.
Three months ago, the National Assembly was requested to provide the records to decide on what basis Joya was expelled from the Assembly, but has failed to respond, according to Ms. Joya's defending attorney Mohammad Zaman Azhar Zada.
Ms. Joya was dismissed during the main session by National Assembly members, allegedly due to her insulting certain assembly members.
Defending attorney, Mohammad Zaman, said the decision was not within the law and that a court should resolve the solution, pointing out that delaying Joya's case and not presenting it to the court is illegal.
Until the court has first made a decision, the National Assembly has no rights dismissing any member of the popular assembly, chosen by the people to represent them, Azhar Zada claimed. However according to the Assembly, Malalai Joya is not legally authorized to participate in the assembly until the ongoing parliamentary period.
Malalai Joya insulted not only the National Assembly but the whole nation, the assembly secretary Abdul Satar said, while claiming that the assembly still hasn't taken away her rights of being the people's representative.
While strongly urging Ms. Joya to convey her apologies first, in order to be accepted back, National Assembly officials have declined her attorney's request for the basis of her expulsion.
One hundred thousand Afghan children at risk for polio
Due to the extreme level of national insecurity, more than a hundred thousand Afghan children remain unvaccinated against polio in the national campaign to eliminate the dread disease.
On September 18th, in a press conference in the capital Kabul, Doctor Meer, the head of vaccination against polio claimed that most of these children are from the south and southeastern provinces. On a specific note, he added Musa Qala, Maiwand, Nawzad, and Nad Ali districts to the unsecured and unvaccinated locales.
Due to the continued armed conflict and insecurity, southern Afghanistan suffers from polio more than other parts of the country. According to Dr. Meer, there have been eighteen polio cases recorded, sixteen in the southern region, and two occurred in the east of the country.
It's estimated that 1.8 million children will be vaccinated against polio in the ongoing year.
NATO copters exchange fire, fly back
US general says Pakistan’s existence under threat
RAWALPINDI: Two helicopters from the Afghanistan side crossed into Pakistan territory Thursday in SaidGai, Ghulam Khan sector, North Waziristan Agency, an ISPR spokesman said.
"When the helicopters passed over the border post and were well within Pakistani territory, Pakistan security forces fired anticipatory warning shots. The helicopters returned fire and flew back," the spokesman added. The matter was reported to ISAF headquarters and the issue is being resolved through existing communication channels between Pakistan Army and ISAF.
Afp adds from Paris: Extremist forces threaten the very existence of Pakistan, the incoming US commander in the region warned Thursday, as tension mounted between NATO and Pakistani forces on the Afghan frontier. General David Petraeus, who will take charge of US forces in southwest Asia and the Middle East next month, told reporters that Pakistani and US-led troops would have to work together to defeat the Taliban and al -Qaeda.
The US embassy in Pakistan has suspended its visa service and directed its employees to avoid staying in all major hotels in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.
Posted by: Shah Loam | Sep 26, 2008 1:22:44 AM | 4