Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani terms Pakistan an enemy state

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said optional routes are available for Afghanistan if the enemies of the country think to block the trade route to the country.

Speaking during a gathering in Mazar-e-Sharif city, the provincial capital of Balkh, President Ghani said Afghanistan has become an inseparable part of the Central Asia.

President Ghani further added that the northern Kunduz, Mazar and Herat provinces will be connected via railway network that will eventually connect Iran and China via Afghanistan.

Read more >> The Times of Islamabad
https://timesofislamabad.com/78991-2/2017/03/25/

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Pak army destroys militant hideouts in Afghanistan in cross border attacks

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan army on Friday targeted militant hideouts across the Afghan border, killing several militants including a top commander of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, an offshoot of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

Read more >> The News
See more >> https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/186995-Pak-army-destroys-militant-hideouts-near-Pak-Afghan-border

Afghanistan, Pakistan Move Heavy Weapons and Troops to Khyber Pass

One Afghan soldier and one Pakistani officer have been killed and 22 wounded in clashes at Torkham Border crossing.

By Franz-Stefan Gady

Both Afghanistan and Pakistan have stepped up their military presence in and around the border town of Torkham at the end of the Khyber Pass, after repeated clashes that so far have killed two and wounded 22 at the main crossing point between the two countries,Reuters reports.

Both sides have moved an unknown number of reinforcements including heavy weapons to Torkham. The town is located along the porous Durand Line, and the busiest border crossing point between Afghanistan and Pakistan connecting the Afghan province of Nangarhar with Pakistan’s Khyber Agency.

As The Diplomat reported, a fierce firefight erupted late Sunday between Afghan Border Police and Pakistan’s Frontier Corps purportedly after a Pakistani attempt to erect a gate on the border. The fighting stopped Monday morning. “This gate [is] considered essential to check&verify documentation of all border crossers. Will check move of terrorists,” General Asim Bajwa, chief spokesman for the Pakistani military, said on June 13 via Twitter.

Read more » The Diplomat
See more » http://thediplomat.com/2016/06/afghanistan-pakistan-move-heavy-weapons-and-troops-to-khyber-pass/

Musharraf: Pakistan and India’s backing for ‘proxies’ in Afghanistan must stop

In interview with the Guardian, former Pakistan president voices his support for Ashraf Ghani and hints that he cultivated the Taliban

By  in Karachi

Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani military ruler accused of sheltering and supporting the Taliban after 2001, has called for an end to the backing of militant “proxies” in Afghanistan.

In an interview with the Guardian, Musharraf admitted that when he was in power, Pakistan sought to undermine the government of former Afghan president Hamid Karzai because Karzai had “helped India stab Pakistan in the back”. But now the time had come to “totally cooperate” with Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president since September, who Musharraf believes is “the last hope for peace in the region”.

“In President Karzai’s times, yes, indeed, he was damaging Pakistan and therefore we were working against his interest. Obviously we had to protect our own interest,” Musharraf said. “But now President Ashraf Ghani has come and he is trying to restore balance in Afghanistan. We must totally cooperate with him.”

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/13/pervez-musharraf-pakistan-india-proxies-afghanistan-ghani-taliban

 

Pashtun clue to lost tribes of Israel

Genetic study sets out to uncover if there is a 2,700-year-old link to Afghanistan and Pakistan

By , Jerusalem

Israel is to fund a rare genetic study to determine whether there is a link between the lost tribes of Israel and the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.

Historical and anecdotal evidence strongly suggests a connection, but definitive scientific proof has never been found. Some leading Israeli anthropologists believe that, of all the many groups in the world who claim a connection to the 10 lost tribes, the Pashtuns, or Pathans, have the most compelling case. Paradoxically it is from the Pashtuns that the ultra-conservative Islamic Taliban movement in Afghanistan emerged. Pashtuns themselves sometimes talk of their Israelite connection, but show few signs of sympathy with, or any wish to migrate to, the modern Israeli state.

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jan/17/israel-lost-tribes-pashtun?CMP=share_btn_fb

The news from Afghanistan is bad for West

BY ROBERT FISK

THE news from Afghanistan is very bad. No one says that, of course. President Ashraf Ghani has a “national unity government” that “supports a strong partnership with the United States”, according to President Barack Obama.

Sure, Kunduz was captured by the Taliban – but then the Afghans got it back (though minus one American-bombed hospital, along with most of its patients and doctors). Sure, Sangin was captured by the Taliban – but now the Afghan army is fighting to get it back.

But didn’t more than a hundred British soldiers die to hold Sangin? Sure, but American troops in Iraq died to hold and keep Mosul – and Mosul is now the home of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who heads the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

And US troops in Iraq died to capture Fallujah, then lost it, and died all over again to recapture it – and Fallujah is now in the hands of IS.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1229328

Six U.S. troops killed by suicide bomber in Afghanistan

BY MIRWAIS HAROONI AND PHIL STEWART

KABUL/WASHINGTON – Six American troops were killed in Afghanistan on Monday when a suicide bomber on a motorbike struck their patrol near Bagram air base, a U.S. official said, in the latest high-profile attack claimed by Taliban insurgents.

Just days ago, the Pentagon warned of deteriorating security in Afghanistan in the second half of 2015 and a rise in the number of effective strikes by Taliban insurgents.

NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Kabul said that the attack killed six Resolute Support troops and wounded three others but declined to provide the nationalities of casualties.

A U.S. official said all six killed were Americans. More than 2,300 U.S. troops have died in the Afghan war since the 2001 invasion.

The police chief of Parwan province said three Afghan police had been wounded in the bombing, which was carried out just days after other suicide attacks on Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan and on a Spanish embassy guesthouse in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Bagram, around 40 km (25 miles) to the north of Kabul, is one of the main bases for the 9,800 U.S. troops left in Afghanistan after international troops ended combat operations last year.

District Governor Abdul Shukur Qudusi said the suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol.

The attack underlined the Taliban’s ability to hit high-profile targets linked to the U.S.-backed government, which wants to reopen the peace process aimed at ending the 14-year-long insurgency.

On Monday, Taliban forces in Helmand closed in on the district of Sangin as they tightened their grip on the volatile southern province.

Read more » Reuters
See more » http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-attack-idUKKBN0U418520151221

Asia’s Bleeding Heart – That’s what Pakistan’s broken pledges have reduced Afghanistan to.

Written by Mohammad Taqi

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.

Read more » The Indian Express
See more » http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/heart-of-asia-conference-asias-bleeding-heart/

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour has been seriously wounded in shooting at a meeting of militants in Pakistan

Afghan Taliban leader Mansour ‘wounded in gunfight’

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour has been seriously wounded in shooting at a meeting of militants in Pakistan, Taliban sources say.

Four Taliban gunmen were killed in the gunfight after an argument on the outskirts of Quetta, a source said.

Another report said Mullah Mansour died but this is unconfirmed.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34983477

Turkmenistan starts work on $10bn pipeline bringing gas to Pakistan

By AFP

ASHGABAT: Energy-rich Turkmenistan’s leader has ordered the start of construction on a pipeline carrying gas from the former Soviet state to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, their government said on Saturday.

Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov ordered state companies Turkmengaz and Turkmengazneftstroi to begin building the isolated republic’s section of the pipeline, state media said.

Overall, the pipeline will stretch 1,800 kilometres and is likely to cost more than $10 billion.

The Turkmenistan official newspaper also said the government expects the gas link, with an annual capacity of 33 billion cubic metres, to be fully operational by the end of 2018.

The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) project could help ease growing energy deficits in Asian giants India and Pakistan.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1218124/

Pakistan donates planeload of wheat to Afghanistan

BY IRFAN HAIDER

ISLAMABAD: On special instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and as a gesture of goodwill and solidarity with brotherly people and the Government of Afghanistan, the Government of Pakistan donated a planeload of wheat to Afghanistan on 30 October 2015 to help mitigate the food shortage in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kabul handed over the donation to Afghan Deputy Minister/Deputy Chairman of the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), Mr. Aslam Sayas, at Kabul Airport in the presence of other Afghan officials.

The Afghan officials thanked the Government of Pakistan for the generous donation.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1217218/

Afghan leader begs Putin to send gunships to fight Taliban insurgents in clear signal of worsening security in the war-torn country

By Larisa Brown Defence Correspondent For The Daily Mail

Putin asked by Afghan government to help country fight the Taliban
President Ghani appealed to the Kremlin for help after recent violence
Afghan President asked for artillery, small arms and helicopters
Russian officials have said they are ‘willing to help’

Read more » Daily Mail
See more » http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3290914/Afghan-leader-begs-Putin-send-gunships-fight-Taliban-insurgents-clear-signal-worsening-security-war-torn-country.html

The U.S. cannot afford to forget Afghanistan and Pakistan

Opinion writer

Last weekend’s deadly attack on an international hospital in Afghanistan was a reminder of the terrible war that grinds on there, with Afghan civilians caught in the crossfire.

Doctors Without Borders, a globally respected group, has charged that the deaths of 22 patients and staff members at its hospital in Kunduz was a “war crime.” The United States has promised to investigate what Gen. John Campbell, the NATO commander in Kabul, says was a mistake.

The hospital bombing comes as the United States is quietly exploring some diplomatic options that could reduce the violence in Afghanistan — and perhaps even curb the danger of a nuclear Pakistan next door. As with most diplomacy in South Asia, these prospects are “iffy,” at best. But they open a window on what’s happening in a part of the world that, except for disasters such as the Kunduz incident, gets little attention these days.

The United States recognized more than four years ago that the best way out of the Afghanistan conflict would be a diplomatic settlement that involved the Taliban and its sometime sponsors in Pakistan. State Department officials have been conducting secret peace talks, on and off, since 2011. That effort hasn’t borne fruit yet, as the Taliban’s recent offensive in Kunduz shows.

Read more » THE WASHINGTON POST
See more » https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-dangers-that-still-lurk-in-south-asia/2015/10/06/e3adf016-6c73-11e5-b31c-d80d62b53e28_story.html

Taliban claims to recapture large parts of Kunduz city

Armed group says it controls most parts of city after it was briefly taken by government forces backed by US strikes.

The Taliban has reportedly regained control of large parts of the northern city of Kunduz, after days of intense fighting against Afghan troops backed by US air strikes, Al Jazeera has learnt.

Earlier on Sunday, government forces, which have been trying to take control of the city, said they had made gains, but those appear to have been shortlived.

Al Jazeera’s Qais Azimy, reporting from Puli Khumri just south of Kunduz, said that at around 1200 GMT, Taliban fighters launched counter-attacks, driving back government forces from the areas, where they had earlier made gains.

Read more » Aljazeera
See more » http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/10/taliban-claims-recapture-afghan-city-kunduz-151004132211450.html

Afghanistan Hercules crash: At least 11 dead

At least 11 people have died after a US Hercules aircraft crashed at an airport in Afghanistan, the US military says.

The C-130 plane crashed at around midnight local time (19:30 GMT Thursday) at Jalalabad airport.

US Army Colonel Brian Tribus told AFP that six of those killed worked for the US military, while the others were civilian contractors.

The C-130 is a military aircraft primarily used to carry troops and heavy cargo.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter that the group shot down the plane, but agencies reported there was no indication of any such attack.

The US military says it is now investigating the cause of the accident.

The crash comes as US planes worked alongside Afghan forces to try and recapture the northern city of Kunduz from the Taliban.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34420512

Pakistan, Afghanistan are not brothers: Ashraf Ghani

Pak-Afghan ties are not like a relationship between two young brothers, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said. According to Waqt News’ report Ghani said that the bilateral ties are those strictly between two states.

In a statement he said: “Terrorism is equally destructive for Pakistan and Afghanistan.” He further said that Pakistan should adopt the same policy for all kinds of terrorism.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have been re-experiencing hostility over the last few months. Terrorism in both states and the ensuing blame game is the major factor behind this enmity.

Read more » The Nation
See more » http://nation.com.pk/national/28-Sep-2015/pakistan-afghanistan-are-not-brothers-ashraf-ghani

Four Pakistani soldiers killed in Afghan rocket attack: ISPR

KARACHI: At least four soldiers of the Pakistan Army were killed and four others were injured on Sunday as militant groups fired rockets from across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Khyber Agency.

“Four Pakistan Army soldiers were killed and four others were injured due to rocket fire,” an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/943312/four-pakistani-soldiers-killed-in-cross-border-shelling-ispr/

Clash reported between Afghan and Pakistan forces along Durand Line

By KHAAMA PRESS

A member of the Afghan Border Police was martyred following heavy clashes have been reported between the Afghan and Pakistani security forces along the Durand Line on Sunday afternoon.

The incident took place around 2:00 pm local time after the Pakistani security forces launched an attack on the Afghan Border Police and Afghan National Police outposts in Nari district of eastern Kunar province.

Provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel confirmed that a member of the Afghan Border Police lost his life during the gun battle.

A local official earlier said the Pakistani forces used heavy and lights weapons to target the Afghan security forces.

This comes as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul last month to protest against border violation and cross-border shelling.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the Pakistani soldiers were trying to establish military installations inside the Afghan territory in Angor Ada area in Barmal District of Paktika province when the skirmish took place.

News courtesy: Khaama Press
Read more » http://www.khaama.com/clash-reported-between-afghan-and-pakistan-forces-along-durand-line-1399

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani slams Pakistan over recent Kabul attacks

By AFP

KABUL: Afghan president Ashraf Ghani lambasted neighbouring Pakistan today over a recent wave of insurgent attacks in the capital Kabul that killed at least 56 people.

“The last few days have shown that suicide bomber training camps and bomb-producing factories which are killing our people are as active as before in Pakistan,” Ghani told a news conference.

“We hoped for peace but we are receiving messages of war from Pakistan.”

Pakistan has historically supported the Taliban insurgents and many Afghans accuse it of nurturing militant sanctuaries on its soil in the hope of maintaining influence in Afghanistan.

Read more » The Times of India
See more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-president-Ashraf-Ghani-slams-Pakistan-over-recent-Kabul-attacks/articleshow/48424463.cms
– – – –
More details » BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/regional/2015/08/150810_kabul_blast_fz

Afghan forces on alert amid reports Pakistani helicopters helping Taliban

By MIRWAIS ADEEL

The Afghan national security forces were put on alert amid reports Pakistani helicopters are helping the Taliban militants by supplying weapons in eastern Paktika province.

Deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, Dawlat Waziri, told reporters on Monday that the Afghan forces have been instructed to use all force to react and stop Pakistani helicopters to assist the Taliban militants.

The remarks by Waziri were followed after reports emerged that the Pakistani helicopters are dropping weapons to Taliban in Barmal district.

This comes as tensions have intensified across the Durand Line following a brief clash between the Afghan security forces with the Pakistani troops in Paktika province last week.

At least eight Pakistani security personnel were reportedly killed after the Afghan forces responded to their provocative action of building military installations within the Afghan soil.

A member of the Afghan national security forces also lost his life during the gun battle with the Pakistani troops.

The Afghan government officials have long been criticizing Pakistan, specifically the country’s military intelligence – Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for supporting the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency said last month that the attack on Parliament building in Kabul was orchestrated in Peshawar city, provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

NDS officials said the attack was carried out by Haqqani terrorist network with the support of ISI which left five people killed and 30 others wounded.

Follow Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook. Stay updated viaRSS

News courtesy: KHAAMA PRESS
Read more » http://www.khaama.com/afghan-forces-on-alert-amid-reports-pakistani-helicopters-helping-taliban-1251

ISIS terrorists ambush and behead 10 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan as the bloody rivalry between the terror groups intensifies

ISIS jihadis intercepted and killed Taliban fighters as they fled a firefight
Taliban were trying to escape government troops at the time of the ambush
The attack took place in a remote area in eastern Nangarhar province
ISIS fighters killed at least 10 of the Taliban fighters in brutal beheadings

By JOHN HALL FOR MAILONLINE

Extremists fighting for the Islamic State’s fledgling outpost in Afghanistan have brutally beheaded at least 10 Taliban members, as the bloody rivalry between the two Islamic terror groups intensifies.

The attack took place in a remote area in the eastern province of Nangarhar after ISIS jihadis intercepted at least a dozen Taliban fighters who were fleeing a gun battle with government troops.

The rival terror groups declared war on one another in April after the Afghan Taliban branded ISIS’ self-declared caliphate illegitimate and refused to declare allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

ISIS responded by launching recruitment drives deep into Taliban territory, allowing them to expand rapidly – even reportedly replacing the Taliban as the dominant controlling force in one district.

Details of the mass beheadings were revealed by India.com, who said it came as Taliban fighters fled a remote outpost following a fierce firefight with Afghan security forces nearby.

The report suggested that as many as 12 Taliban fighters may have been beheaded by ISIS, although the official figure remains at 10.

Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan, is a key target for ISIS as it looks to expand the territory under its control on its mission to build a worldwide caliphate.

Over the past year members of the Pakistani Taliban have displayed for more support for ISIS than their Afghan counterparts have done, with a number of prominent Pakistani jihadi groups going as far as declaring allegiance to ISIS leader al-Baghdadi while insisting they remain part of the Taliban.

The divide between the Afghan and Pakistani branches of the Taliban stems from the former’s desire to keep all non-Afghan influence out of the country, which the latter’s priority is to create a global caliphate, or Islamic state, under which harsh Sharia law would be enforced.

See more » DailyMail
More » http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3114979/ISIS-terrorists-ambush-behead-10-Taliban-fighters-Afghanistan-bloody-rivalry-terror-groups-intensifies.html
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3114979/ISIS-terrorists-ambush-behead-10-Taliban-fighters-Afghanistan-bloody-rivalry-terror-groups-intensifies.html#ixzz3cyr7X9nz
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Taliban to the rescue: Iran reportedly arms Afghan militants against US, ISIS

Tehran is reportedly betting on the Taliban’s rise and is providing the militant movement with arms and training to secure leverage over it. Iran wants influence to counter the US and have fighters ready for a possible offensive by Islamic State.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Iran has been providing the Taliban not only with money, but also hosted training camps in its territory since at least the fall of 2013. The US newspaper cites Western and Afghan officials and also a Taliban commander, who, the report says, was recruited by Iranian intelligence and is currently on Iran’s payroll.

“Iran is betting on the re-emergence of the Taliban,” a Western diplomat told WSJ. “They are uncertain about where Afghanistan is heading right now, so they are hedging their bets.”

Iran’s support of the Taliban is an alliance of convenience, according to the report. Iran is a Shiite country while the Taliban is Sunni, a difference that is difficult to bridge. In 2001, Tehran didn’t object to the ousting of the Taliban from power by a US-led invasion.

However, things have evolved, and with Taliban influence in Afghanistan growing, having a hand in it is becoming a useful asset. In 2013, the Iranians officially invited a Taliban delegation to an Islam conference.

WSJ interviewed Abdullah, a Taliban commander, who said he was an Afghan illegal immigrant in Iran, who was recruited by Iranian intelligence. He currently receives $580-a-month salary as well as necessary supplies from his sponsors, he said. Among the weapons he can order are 82mm mortars, light machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and rifles, he added.

Abdullah and Afghan official said Iran operates four training camps for the Taliban in the Iranian cities of Tehran, Mashhad and Zahedan and in the province of Kerman.

The report points to Tayeb Agha, the head of the Taliban’s office in Qatar, as the main connection between the movement and Iran.

Read more » RT
See more » http://rt.com/news/266812-iran-arms-taliban-isis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani slams Pakistan for waging ‘undeclared war’ 

The Taliban have also declined to participate in any electoral process, calling instead for a new Constitution to be put in place.

by Praveen Swami | Doha

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani launched a sharply-worded attack on Pakistan at an international conference on Monday, saying the country had been waging “an undeclared state of war with us for the past 14 years”. President Ghani’s comments were made in a videotaped address delivered to a meeting of scholars and diplomats organised in Doha — home to negotiators seeking a peace deal with the Taliban.

The Afghan President’s words came just days after he wrote a letter to the Pakistan government, demanding harsh action against the Taliban leadership based in that country. Facing intense criticism at home for signing intelligence and military cooperation pacts with Islamabad in hopes of securing a peace deal with the Taliban, pressure has further intensified on Ghani as the Islamist terror group’s most intense spring offensive in years has claimed scores of lives.

“Regardless of his firm commitment to peace, President Ghani has no choice but to become a war president to ensure the survival of his country and the safety of Afghan women and children,” the letter, released to the media, states. In the letter, the Afghan government asks Pakistan to prove its commitment to peace by taking eight steps, including placing the Taliban leadership in Peshawar and Quetta under house arrest, and an offensive against the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network,

“The Taliban have declared their spring offensive, massive terrorist attacks have been carried out,” the letter states. “The public is asking whether there has been any return from President Ghani’s efforts to secure enduring peace and cooperation with Pakistan?”

In his address to the conference, President Ghani made no reference to the dialogue process with Pakistan or the Taliban, arguing instead for action to address what he called the “ecological system” of terrorism.

Ghani pointed to the breaking apart of sovereign states, the use of non-state actors as proxies by states, the use of force without regional consensus, failures of governance, and the lack of consensus on “the rules of game” inside Afghanistan. Little progress has been made in talks with the Taliban, in the form of a recent dialogue conducted in Doha.

Sources here said, Ghani’s speech was unlikely to bring an end to efforts to reach out to the Taliban’s leadership — represented in Doha by a group of negotiators led by Tayyab Agha, a close associate of Mullah Muhammad Omar. The negotiators also include Sher Abbas Stanekzai, a graduate of the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, who defected from Afghan forces in the mid-1970s to fight the Soviet Union.

Read more » Indian Express
Learn more » http://indianexpress.com/article/world/asia/ashraf-ghani-slams-pakistan-for-waging-undeclared-war/

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Afghanistan’s Karzai Blasts Pakistan

By Rahim Sarwan

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai sat down Thursday with VOA Afghan service reporter Rahim Gul Sarwan in Kabul to talk about incursions of the Islamic State, as well as relations with the U.S., China and, most vociferously, Pakistan.

The current Afghan government and Pakistan are trying to move past the animosity that characterized Karzai’s time in office, and have signed a controversial memorandum of understanding between their intelligence services.

The move comes as the U.S. winds down its military mission in the country and China has shown increasing interest in boosting trade and other relations in the region, despite small but apparently growing support for the Islamic State there.

Rahim Gul Sarwan: How big a security concern does Daesh [the Islamic State group] present to Afghanistan? Are you concerned that Daesh is taking root in Afghanistan? Is Afghanistan prepared for the challenge.

Hamid Karzai: Daesh is not an Afghan-born body … it is not indigenous to Afghanistan. It was created out of the circumstances and because of foreign interference on a very massive scale in Iraq and Syria.

If there is any Daesh element or elements in Afghanistan, if they are making progress in Afghanistan, it means they have clear foreign backing behind them. It means it’s a foreign intelligence agency providing support to Daesh for purposes beyond Afghanistan.

If Daesh ever grows in Afghanistan this means somebody from outside of Afghanistan is trying to create these forces in order to harm China, Russia and Central Asia.

RGS: Both Pakistan and India say they don’t want to engage in a proxy war in Afghanistan. Who is to be believed?

HK: We should not believe anybody as a nation, as a people. We should take matters into our own hands on this and not allow a proxy war in Afghanistan. And not allow it.

And we must not give an excuse to any of these countries to point the finger at the other country in Afghanistan. Pakistan has been doing this. We must tell Pakistan that they cannot blame India’s work in Afghanistan or India’s work against Pakistan from Afghanistan.

That Pakistan has created enough mischief! And when I say Pakistan, I mean the Pakistani military and intelligence, not the people. They ‘re as much victims as we are — the Pakistani people — in the hands of the same agencies in Pakistan. So not the Pakistani people. The Pakistani military and intelligence must stop creating excuses for the promotion of terrorism.

You must have heard  Admiral [Mike] Mullen of the United States, the retired admiral [and former Joint Chiefs Chairman], who a few years ago said that the Haqqani network is a veritable arm of the ISI [Pakistan’s intelligence service]. It’s proven.

ISI’s work in creating radicalism, in promoting radicalism, in using radicalism as a tool of terrorism, as a tool of foreign policy vis-a-vis Afghanistan and also vis-a-vis India and other countries. It should stop it. It should engage in a civilized relationship with Afghanistan. Then we will respond.

Continue reading Afghanistan’s Karzai Blasts Pakistan

Ghani’s Leaked Letter to Nawaz Exposes Af-Pak Strains

By Rana Banerji

President Ashraf Ghani’s May 29 missive to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, deliberately leaked to international media, warned that Afghan patience was wearing thin.

This, even as the Afghan Taliban spring offensive intensified and Pakistan was seemingly unable to exert adequate pressure on them to hold off.

The ultimatum to otherwise reverse Afghanistan’s diplomatic outreach to Pakistan within three weeks is a sequel to the furore which broke out in sections of Afghan civil society.

Read more » TheQuint
See more » http://www.thequint.com/2015/jun/02/ghanis-leaked-letter-to-nawaz-exposes-pak-afghan-strains

Russia Just Closed NATO’s Land Corridor to Afghanistan

By RI Staff

“The graveyard of empires” just got a little bit more graveyardy: Medvedev has‬ canceled the decree that allows ‪NATO‬ forces to use Russian territory as a transit corridor to Afghanistan. The decision comes just as it was revealed that the U.S. plans on extending its already over-extended “stay” in Afghanistan

Read more » Russia Insider
See more » http://russia-insider.com/en/russia-just-closed-natos-land-corridor-afghanistan/ri7078

Pakistan’s paradigm shift: too good to be true?

TaqiBy Dr Mohammad Taqi

The Pakistan-Haqqani ties date back to the mid-1970s, long before any Soviets, the US, mujahideen, Taliban or al Qaeda popped onto the scene, and are unlikely to be severed so abruptly

“Een keh mi-beenam ba baidaareest ya Rabb, ya ba khwab?/ Khaishtan raa dar chuneen nai’mat pas az chundeen azaab!”//

Pakistan’s national security paradigm has changed, or so they say. Perhaps my Afghan readers, who would be the major beneficiaries of such a tectonic shift, may be able to appreciate the above quoted Persian verse, in which the classic poet Anvari says: “O my Lord, am I seeing this all while I am awake or is it a dream? Such bounties for this poor soul after such prolonged misery!” After the decades of the death and destruction it unleashed, the Jalaluddin Haqqani terrorist network, run currently by his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, has reportedly been banned by Pakistan. Additionally, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed’s Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which effectively is the political front for the proscribed terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), has ostensibly been banned too. Amen to that! There, however, is a slight problem before one goes to town on the news: it is not official and might actually not become official for several weeks or, perhaps, ever.

Continue reading Pakistan’s paradigm shift: too good to be true?