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Today's Afghan News headlines
Wednesday, 10.10.2012, 08:51pm (GMT+1)


10 October 2012 - UN envoy vows international community support for election process, dismisses concerns raised in new ICG report; IEC head insists on holding timely election, vows to avoid Government, international community and UN's interference in the process; Af-Pak-NATO trilateral commission to end cross-border shelling soon - NATO chief; Members of Taliban's Quetta Shura order Kandahar farmers to grow poppies - district governors.


Tolo TV Headlines

The chairperson of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Fazel Ahmad Manawi, said that in one month's time his commission would announce the exact date for the upcoming presidential election, adding that right now discussions are ongoing between the Government and civil society institutions to set a date. Manawi pointed out that the international community is committed to supporting the election but the IEC would not allow any national and foreign institution to interfere in the IEC’s affairs. The deputy chairperson of the Right and Justice Party believes that the upcoming election will not be transparent unless Government institutions issue electronic ID cards.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, the United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, said that the international community supports an independent and democratic Afghanistan, and the upcoming presidential election in the country. The UN, which speaks on behalf of the international community, has no other aim but to help an independent Afghanistan, Kubiš added. He further added that the UN supports a fair and free election financially and politically, and based on demands it (UN) follows up the preparations being made for holding the election. Kubiš said that the IEC’s Authority and Structure Law could guarantee the independence of electoral institutions in the country. Referring to the recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) that predicted that the Kabul Government might collapse after NATO troops withdraw in 2014, Kubiš said that the international community would never allow Afghanistan to face a crisis or its government to collapse. Kubiš called the report “unrealistic”, and added that the message he brought form the United Nations Security Council was a strong support for Afghanistan, and that the international community would support Afghanistan after 2014.

The Upper House of the Parliament criticized the report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) and asked the Government to take a serious stand towards the report. Senators also said that the ICG should apologize from Afghans for its “unrealistic” report.

The Council of Ministers called a report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) “baseless” and added that the ICG did not share its report either with the Government or with the IEC.

The Appeals Court of Kunar has handed down a death sentence to a man who raped an 18-year-old girl and then beheaded her. In connection to the incident, the court also sentenced two male accomplices to six years imprisonment.

The Interiors Affairs Ministry announced that police are ready to ensure the security of the upcoming presidential elections and to take over security responsibilities for the country in the fourth and fifth phases of the security transition process.

Ariana TV Headlines

NATO’s Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said that they were working on a plan to foil insider attacks on foreign forces in Afghanistan. Rasmussen announced that a trilateral commission, with representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan and John Allen (for ISAF), would soon end cross-border shelling. Rasmussen emphasized the importance of Pakistan’s role in restoring peace and security in Afghanistan. Rasmussen added that NATO’s post-2014 strategy in Afghanistan would not change and that he was hopeful that Afghan forces would be able to maintain security.

The head of Independent Election Commission (IEC), Fazil Ahmad Manawi, said that the 2014 presidential election would certainly take place and no other options were being considered as an alternative for the election. Manawi, who was attending a consultation meeting with the representatives of the political parties insisted that the Government, the international community and also the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan could not interfere in the election. Manawi said he will announce a timetable of the commission’s activities and election date in one month time. Manawi added that there was no concern about election funding, adding that international donors have pledged to provide funds. Manawi also said that he would discuss the issue of election security with the relevant security institutions.

The Office of Administrative Affairs dismissed the International Crisis Group (ICG)’s latest report, adding that the US was waging a propaganda war against Afghanistan to get the security pact signed

Senators on Sunday criticized the ICG’s report, warning that such reports would strengthen terrorists and weaken Afghan security forces. The senators urged the Government to clarify its strategy for ending anxieties of the international community and Afghans regarding the country's post-2014 status.

A number of district governors of southern Kandahar province met senators and said that members of the Taliban’s Quetta Shura have visited rural villages in Kandahar and ordered farmers to grow poppies.

Shamshad TV Headlines

At a press conference in Kabul, the United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan Ján Kubiš called the recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) “unrealistic”, adding that he has been monitoring the situation in Afghanistan closely and he had already shared the problems that Afghans face with the United Nations Security Council. Kubiš said that the main message he brought from the United Nations Security Country was the international community’s comprehensive and long-term support for Afghanistan. Regarding the ICG’s report, Kubiš said that at the beginning there had been some negative views about the security transition process, but later on it was shown that Afghan security forces are able to ensure their country’s security. Regarding the upcoming presidential election, Kubiš said the United Nations is ready to provide support for the election when the Afghan Government demand it. He also said that the country’s stability depends on a credible and transparent election, and that security, legal and technical problems of the upcoming election should be solved in a sequence. About the ongoing peace talks, Kubiš said that the UN continues its peace-seeking efforts in Afghanistan, and it has been working to pave the ground for peace talks between all involved sides including armed militants.

The Upper House of Parliament condemned the report by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

Referring to the recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG), Rafi Ferdaws, said that there might be some countries, especially the US, involved in releasing the ICG’s report. He added that the US by negatively reflecting the security situation in Afghanistan after 2014, wants to impose its conditions on Afghanistan when it signs the US-Afghanistan security cooperation agreement.

The chairperson of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Fazel Ahmad Manawi, said he would announce the exact time for holding the upcoming presidential election in one one month.

A delegation sent by the Upper House of Parliament to Kandahar to assess the security situation there said that some Iranian and Pakistani Mullahs are busy preaching against the Government.

Speaking in Brussels, NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO is committed to its mission in Afghanistan despite facing serious challenges.

While inaugurating a new school in the Kart-e-Naw area of Kabul, Education Minister Farooq Wardak said that his ministry is overcoming the issue of unprofessional teachers and promised that in the coming two years new buildings for students now learning under tents would be completed in Kabul.

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