Yesterday's Afghan News

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Afghanistan Deputy Public
Works Minister Kidnapped in Kabul

VOA News
April 15, 2014

Afghanistan's deputy public works minister was kidnapped by gunmen Tuesday, in the country's latest high-profile abduction.

Police say Ahmad Shah Wahid was pulled from his car as he was traveling to work in the Khir Khana district of northern Kabul.

The motive for the kidnapping is not clear. There have been no claims of responsibility.

Many Afghan government officials have been kidnapped for ransom or assassinated in recent years.

The abduction comes ten days after Afghanistan's presidential election, which took place amid relative peace.

Ex-finance minister Ashraf Ghani and opposition politician Abdullah Abdullah have emerged as frontrunners in the early vote count. Final results are expected next month.

Afghan villagers rise up against
Taliban in Nangarhar province

By Ghanizada - Tue Apr 15 2014, 3:22 pm

Khaama Press

Dozens of local residents in Hesarak district of Nangarhar province have started armed campaign against the Taliban militants.

According to local government officials, heavy clashes were reported between the two sides since early Tuesday morning.

Hesarak district Chief Abdul Khaliq Maruf said the uprising started around 3:00 am local time in various parts of Hesarak district and dozens of local residents have participated in the campaign.

Mr. Maruf further added that residents of Mamand Kala, Nasir Khel, Mardan and Gala Khel villages have launched the campaign against the Taliban militants.

He said there are no reports regarding the casualties so far and the local residents are supported by Afghan police forces.

Nangarhar is among the relatively volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where Taliban militants are active in a number of its remote districts and frequently carry out insurgency activities.

Afghan presidential candidates
dispute partial election result

KABUL, April 15 (Xinhua)-- Afghanistan's election commission has announced the partial result of April 5 presidential elections on Sunday under which Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was in lead followed by former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and ex-foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul.

However, the results have been disputed by the remaining politicians who contended the race to assume the presidential office.

Mohammad Shafiq Gul Agha Shirzai has doubted the fairness of the partial results, saying the finding of his observer team has shown widespread fraud in the polls. "The election was full of fraud and his supporters in some places including Nimroz and Herat provinces confronted with lack of ballot papers to vote on the voting day," Shirzai told local media.

Shirzai also alleged that his ballots had been withdrawn from the ballot boxes in some places.

Another presidential hopeful Daud Sultanzoi also doubted the transparency of the partial results of the elections, saying the results announced by the election commission is unacceptable.

On April 5, more than 7 million Afghans, out of 12 million eligible voters, cast their vote to elect the country's president, and the election commission announced the result of 10 percent of the votes from 26 out of the country's 34 provinces on Sunday.

"Dr. Abdullah Abdullah secured 41.9 percent of partial results followed by Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai who received 37.6 and Dr. Zulmai Rassoul 9.9 percent of the results," chairman of election commission Ahmad Yusuf Nouristani said Sunday.

Meantime, the remaining six hopefuls Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayaf, Zalmai Rassoul, Qutbudin Hilal, Mohammad Shafiq Gul Agha Shirzai, Daud Sultanzoi and Hadayat Amin Arsalah who have questioned the transparency of the early results of April 5 elections in a joint statement carried by some newspapers on Tuesday warned of dire consequences if their complaints overlooked by the election body.

Afghanistan's Abdullah
Pledges 'Meritocracy' If Elected

By Frud Bezhan

April 14, 2014
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

KABUL -- In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL, Afghan presidential front-runner Abdullah Abdullah says he will not exclude anyone, including his rivals, from government if he is elected.

Abdullah, a former foreign minister, said his new government would be based on merit and could include rival candidates and his old adversary, President Hamid Karzai.

"We are making no those who share our vision," he said.

Abdullah is among the front-runners to win the April 5 presidential election. Preliminary results are not expected until April 24, but partial results released on April 13 give him the lead.

Abdullah rejected rumors he was brokering a behind-the-scenes deal with rival candidates to avoid a second round, which is likely because no candidate is expected to win an outright majority in the first.

Abdullah said he had met with Karzai last week -- not to cut any deals but to discuss the role the president and other cabinet ministers could play after a new leader is sworn in.

Abdullah pledged to contest a second round "in order for the people to give their final verdict."

Abdullah also rejected speculation that if elected his government would be dominated by Islamists and former warlords. His two vice-presidential running mates are both from hard-line Islamist political parties who fought in the devastating civil war. Abdullah is part of a rival Islamist group, the Jamiat-e Islami.

But Abdullah said his government would not be dominated by one group or ideology and he would seek to build an "inclusive and national government."

Afghan minister seeks
more support from China in education

KABUL, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Afghan Minister for Education Dr. Farooq Wardak on Tuesday called for more support of China in the field of education. "I am hopeful that China would further contribute in the field of education to Afghanistan,"Warkdak said while inaugurating the Center of Science and Technology constructed with China's financial support in the vicinity of Kabul University.

According to the minister, the Center of Science and Technology was constructed in 19 months at a cost of 81 million Yuan (about 13 million U.S. dollars).

The newly constructed educational center would be used as a teacher training center, and laboratory, he added.

Addressing the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Deng Xijun expressed hope that the construction of the center would further enhance Sino-Afghan relations.

Deng said China has contributed in the irrigation system, higher education and health sectors to Afghanistan over the past 12 years.

Abuzar discharged from hospital in Kabul

By Ghanizada - Tue Apr 15 2014, 11:21 am

Khaama Press

The two-year-old Abuzar, son of deceased Afghan journalist Sardar Ahmad was discharged from hospital on Tuesday morning.

Abuzare was critically injured in militants attack on Serena hotel last month where he lost his father Sardar Ahmad along with his mother, brother and sister.

He was shot five times by militants who attacked the hotel on 20 March, and emerged from coma on 23rd March and his condition has improved.

Kabul Pressistan which was founded by late Sardar Ahmad, in a Twitter message said Abuzar is in a good health condition and was discharged from hospital this morning.

The 40-year-old Sardar Ahmad was a journalist who was working for Agence France-Presse (AFP) since 2003. In 2009 he founded Pressistan, a media production firm that supported visiting foreign correspondents.

AFP has also set a permanent fund in a bid to help Abuzar build a new life, who will need emotional and financial assistance if he is to have a chance of leading a normal life in a safe, nurturing environment.

The contribution to Abuzar can be made via PayPal (to open a free PayPal acccount, click here) in US dollars to the adress:

Brad Pitt to star as Gen. Stanley
McChrystal in Afghanistan war movie

By Ghanizada - Tue Apr 15 2014, 1:03 pm

Khaama Press

The American film star and producer Brad Pitt is scheduled to play Gen. Stanley McChrystal in yet another war film which will be based on journalist Michael Hastings’ 2012 book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal is a former commanding general of NATO-led international coalition and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

According to a report by Los Angeles Times, Michael Hastings’ incendiary 2010 Rolling Stone profile of McChrystal exposed the general and his staff’s disdain for their superiors, including National Security Advisor James L. Jones, Vice President Biden and President Obama, and ultimately prompted McChrystal to resign.

The Australian filmmaker David Michod will write and direct the upcoming film ‘The Operators’. The film chronicles the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal, who was the commanding officer in charge of all US and international troops in Afghanistan.

The film will be produced by Brad Pitt’s company Plan B together with the New Regency and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment.

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