Yesterday's Afghan News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

UN Tells Karzai Election
Audit Won't Finish By September 2

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

August 28, 2014

The office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the United Nations envoy has told Karzai it is "not possible" to finish an audit of votes cast in Afghanistan's disputed election by September 2, the day a new president is scheduled to be inaugurated.

A statement on August 28 said Jan Kubis briefed Karzai about the UN-supervised audit, meant to help determine who won a June 14 runoff in which both candidates claimed victory, during a meeting in Kabul.

"The envoy said he is hopeful that the audit process will end by September 10," the statement said.

The complicated recount of the 8 million runoff votes has been under way for weeks after Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani both cliamed victory amid widespread fraud allegations.

Abdullah Abdullah pulled out of the audit process on August 27, and Ghani followed suit after UN officials told him to suspend participation in the interest of fairness.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa

President Karzai packs up to leave ARG presidential palace

Khaama Press / August 28, 2014

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is ready to leave the ARG presidential palace as he has packed up all his personal possessions.

Aimal Faizi, spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, has said that the president has already packed his personal belongings, including his books from shelves in his residence.

“The president has packed up already, days ago,” Karzai`s spokesman Aimal Faizi told AFP.

Faizi further added, “A lot of the furniture is staying as it belongs to the palace, but his personal belongings, everything and especially his books, which are very dear to him, are packed.”

He said, “He has a good collection of books, all kind of new and very old historic books — that is already put in cartons and they are all ready to leave the palace, but they haven`t gone to the next place yet.”

Karzai prepares to leave the palace as the disputed presidential election has failed to elect his successor. The electoral process has been hampered on numerous occasions after presidential contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah claimed that massive fraud have been committed in the election.

The process was once again hampered on Wednesday after Dr. Abdullah’s observers pulled from the audit process. However, the election commission resumed the audit process in the absence of observers from the two camps and in the presence of international observers.

President Hamid Karzai had agreed to extend the inauguration of the next elected leader of the country after the two contenders agreed to full audit of the ballots during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit who had brokered talks to end the election deadlock.

Afghan votes auditing to go ahead
without presidential candidates' observers: UNAMA

KABUL, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The auditing process of the votes cast in Afghan presidential runoff would continue in the absence of observers from both candidates, Nicholas Haysom, deputy special representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Wednesday.

"So the audit will now process to its conclusion without the direct physical engagement of representatives of presidential candidates," the official said at a press conference here.

He made the announcement in the wake of withdrawal of the team of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah out of the ongoing poll auditing on Wednesday morning.

A senior official with Abdullah's election monitoring team Fazal Ahmad Manawi on Tuesday accused the election commission of mismanagement in the votes auditing process, warning his team would not attend the votes auditing process unless his demand for ensuring transparency is given due course.

However, Haysom said at the press conference, "there was a pause this morning but the audit is resumed this afternoon, and we do not anticipate a significant disruption to the process."

Dr. Ghani's team has agreed to withdraw from participation in the audit process, the UN official added.

The Afghan presidential election was held on April 5 this year and since none of the eight candidates had won more than 50 percent of the votes, two leading candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai went for runoff on June 14, but the result has yet to be announced.

21 militants killed in northern Afghan
province as cleanup operations continue

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Units of Afghan security forces have killed 21 Taliban militants in Chardara and Khanabad district in the northern Kunduz province, 250 km north of Kabul, over the past two days, provincial police chief Mustafa Mohseni said Thursday.

"The cleanup operations which launched in Khanabad and Chardara district on Wednesday morning so far have led to the killing of 21 armed rebels," Mohseni told reporters here.

However, he didn't say if there were any casualties on security personnel, adding the ongoing cleanup operations will continue till the sweeping out of all militants from across Kunduz province.

Taliban militants, who had launched massive operations against government facilities in several parts of Kunduz province two weeks ago, have yet to make comment.

27 armed Pakistani citizens arrested in Afghanistan

Khaama Press / August 28, 2014

At least 27 Pakistani citizens armed with assault rifles, were arrested by Afghan security forces from eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI), said the group was arrested on August 26 while they were travelling in a four-vehicle-convoy that included a military vehicle.

A statement released by MoI, said the vehicle convoy was stopped by border police forces after they entered Afghanistan and were transferred to Kabul for further investigation.

The statement further added that AK-47 rifles, handguns and a Motorola transmission radio were also confiscated from the group.

“We must take incidents like this as potential terrorist threats. Unfortunately this cross-border activity is something Afghanistan has endured for years. Our border police in Paktika and the other border provinces are trained to assess these types of threats and make arrests accordingly. Fortunately this time, the police were able to spot suspicious activity and halt any possible action. They are to be commended.” Sediq Sediqqi Ministry of Interior Affairs Spokesman said.

He said, “Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior and its police service must protect our border areas from insurgency. Suspicious activity should not and cannot be tolerated”

“Cross border insurgency activity is, unfortunately, an ongoing problem for Afghanistan. It aims to destabilize our government and terrorizes our citizens,” Sediqi added.

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