2007-09-08T17:42:37.925+04:30Taliban insurgents finally released the group of 19 South Koreans from their custody recently. This was the first time that the Taliban kidnapped a large number of foreigners in Afghanistan and it's a warning to all other foreigners working in Afghanistan to take more caution when they travel from one province to another., The kidnapping of the South Korean group sparked anger of many Afghan people.Because they were innocent civilians and it's against our religion and culture to kidnap innocent civilians, especially women. But unfortunately the Taliban did not care about Afghan culture and prestige. Our great prophet Mohammed peace be upon him advised his forces to only kill those enemies who fight with you face to face on the battle ground - do not kill their women and children - do not kill the young and old men who work on their fields and those who are civilians. But the Taliban broke all the teachings of Islam and kidnapped civilians who were mostly women and came here to help us.Although some people think they came here to teach Christianity but most Afghan people believe that they came to help us and they condemned Taliban for kidnapping the Koreans. Afghans want to have good relationships with all countries around the world so we hope that the people of South Korea do not think that all Afghans are like the Taliban insurgents. They must know that the Taliban is a rebel group that can do anything for their own benefit and that has nothing to do with the Afghan people. The Afghan people are brave and hospitable and would never do such an action to make a bad name for themselves.I think it would have been better if the Afghan government had made a deal with Taliban instead of the Korean government. The Taliban demanded the release of one Taliban commander from the custody of the Afghan government which could have been better than the Korean government dealing with the Taliban. According to some reports, the Taliban got a ransom from the Korean government to release the Korean citizens. Even though the release of a Taliban commander is a big mistake, it would have been better than the $20 million deal and the withdrawal of the Korean troops from Afghanistan. 20 million dollars is a lot of money and the Taliban can buy weapons to use against the Afghan and coalition forces and they can increase and arrange more suicide attacks around the country which will kill dozens of innocent people. I hope in the future the Afghan government should be the one to deal with the Taliban not the other government.The presence of foreign troops is very important for peace and stability of Afghanistan. Even though the South Koreans have a small number of their troops in our country, and we have already thousands of foreign troops in our country, the terrorists have not been completely defeated and our own army is not strong enough to fight our enemies by themselves. Therefor we will need the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan for a few more years and it will be more useful if we have more troops from different countries.If in the future any kidnap cases happen in our country then our own government is responsible to deal with kidnappers, not the 3rd country. If the other countries make deals with insurgents it will show the weakness and weak authority of our government and our people will lose their trust in their current government.I advise foreign nationals not to travel anywhere, particularly to the south and eastern provinces, without a security escort, otherwise there will be a risk of kidnapping. The best and safest way for foreigners to travel to Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Jalalabad provinces is to travel by plane. It's cheap and safe. There are flights to these provinces 3 times a week. If they don't want to fly then they should talk with Afghan security forces before they travel. The security forces can advise them better about the situation on the motorways.Our foreign friends should also keep in mind that if they came here for missionary activities then the Afghan people will not help them. They should know th[...]
2007-07-15T12:22:03.290+04:30According to the news reports, dozens of civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes recently in the south-eastern and western parts of the country, and it has deepened the concerns of the Afghan people and human rights organizations. Last week during heavy clashes between US-led coalition forces and insurgents in both western Farah and eastern Kunar provinces, coalition forces in both provinces called for air supports which killed a large number of civilians. According to the provincial officials, 108 civilians were killed in the Balabluk district of Farah province and 60 people were killed in eastern Kunar province. The first air strike killed 35 civilians in Kunar on Thursday including 9 family members of a man called Mohammed and 25 more civilians were killed on Friday while they were burying the bodies of those who were killed in Thursday's air raids However the NATO spokesman denies the civilian deaths and says that all those who were killed were insurgents. But the villagers claim that there was no militants in the village. A senior police officer in Kunar also confirmed the civilian casualties in Kunar. According to the Afghan officials and international aid groups, more than 300 civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes in Afghanistan this year. According to military analysts, the shortage of ground forces allows commanders to call for air support. In my opinion, the US-led coalition and the members of the NATO forces should increase the number of their troops in Afghanistan to be able to fight the insurgents in different parts of the country. If they use more ground troops it will prevent civilian casualties. Also there should be better coordination between the US, Afghan and NATO forces. The coalition forces should be 100% sure of insurgents' presence in the villages before they conduct any air strike against any village. I am not a military analyst but I advise that first of all the coalition forces must have coordination with the Afghan forces in every single operation. The Afghan forces can accurately tell the coalition forces about the presence of insurgents in the villages. The coalition forces should concentrate more on ground operations instead of using air raids against the insurgents in the villages. The coalition forces and Afghan army should surround the village and identify the exact location of the bad guys and then start their attacks. If they are not sure where the insurgents are exactly hidden then they should keep the village surrounded even for 2 or 3 days and use their small arms to kill the insurgents. This will be a very useful way to prevent civilian casualties and if the coalition forces face a shortage of ground troops to do such an operation, then the coalition forces should provide an emergency contact number with each ANA or ANP checkpoints in every single district, particularly in the southern and eastern provinces, and the Afghan forces should have 4 checkpoints one mile away from each village and they can easily fight any insurgents that wants to sneak into the village. And if the Afghan forces aren't able to fight insurgents they must have an emergency contact number with the coalition air forces to call for air support and they can tell the exact location of insurgents to the coalition forces and then the coalition forces can target only those locations where terrorists are hidden. This will also prevent civilian casualties. I have seen people in different areas talking between themselves about civilian casualties, saying that if US forces pay attention they can avoid civilian casualties - they have the best weapons and they can easily target bad guys among the civilians and they have those red lasers that they can aim at any bad guy from their aircraft and can easily kill so there should not be any civilian casualties. Dozens of the Afghan National Army and police have been killed in friendly fire by the coalition forces and it shows the lack of coordination between both Afghan and coalition forces. Most educated Afghans living in t[...]
2007-06-11T05:37:11.546+04:30Pakistan and Afghanistan reiterate their commitment to put up a joint front against the terrorists in the region during the Estranged South Asian Neighbors conference in Kabul. Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistani prime minister Shaukat on Tuesday urged working together against the insurgents and terrorists along their common border. Addressing a joint news conference, both leaders expressed confidence towards the Peace Jirga slated to meet in the last week of June or early August in Kabul. Last week the Peace Jirga delegation from the Afghan side met President Musharaf in Islamabad and voiced maximum interest in a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. Both the Afghan and Pakistani delegation have agreed that the joint Afghan/Pakistani Jirga should be held after two months in Kabul and they are now busy with working on the Jirga agenda.
2007-05-05T13:20:31.713+04:30The Taliban insurgents have been kidnapping Afghan and foreign workers and journalists recently. They do this hoping to exchange these civilian journalists with their key commanders. As far as I am concerned, these kidnappings of the foreigners are the best and shameful way for the Taliban group to release their commanders from the Afghan government custody.First they kidnapped the Italian and Afghan journalists and then they kidnapped the French male and female humanitarian aid workers along with 3 Afghan workers. Later on the French lady was released but the future of the French man along with 3 Afghans is still unknown.These civilians had nothing to do with the Afghan government. They are just servants who carry out humanitarian aid and help the poor Afghan people. And the journalists tell us the truth about the situation in the region. These journalists aren't only telling the news on behalf the Afghan and coalition forces. They also tell the news on behalf of the Taliban too.Sometimes we do hear news from these journalists saying the Taliban captured a district in the southern province of Helmand etc. So it means that the journalists aren't only working for a specific organization or group. They work to tell the truth and provide news for the people of the world. So they deserve respect, not death. When the Taliban released the Italian journalist, people were hoping that his fellow Afghan journalist, Ajmal Naqshbandi, would also be released, but it did not happen. The Italian journalist was released and the Afghan journalist was cowardly killed. Most people blame the Afghan government over the killing of the Afghan journalist, Ajmal Naqshbandi, and I agree with them. The Afghan government could tell the Taliban that we will release your top 3 commanders if you release the Afghan journalist along with the Italian journalist. But the government did not really care about its own citizen and said that the Afghan journalist was kidnapped again after he was released. How could he be kidnapped again if he was with the Italian journalist and had security support? Why were the Taliban commanders not arrested by the Afghan forces right after the release?The government had a poor exchange plan and poor security management, causing the killing of the Afghan journalist. We were hoping that the Afghan government would do something to free the Afghan journalist, but they refused to release the Taliban commander. After Ajmal Naqshbadi was killed, every Afghan was really upset. I heard some people were telling each other if the Taliban can kill an innocent Afghan, why can't the government behead their commander? We must give them an answer and show them we can also kill. If we do this they may not kill our people in the future.At the moment the French national along with the three Afghans are detained by the Taliban and the Taliban have warned the Afghan and French governments that they will kill the detainees if the French forces refuse to leave Afghanistan. I think it is a very hard decision for the French government to deal with. Also for the Afghan government. The lives of these 4 men are also very important. We hope both governments find a peaceful solution to this matter so that the bad experience of the Ajmal Naqshbandi killing won't be repeated. But if the Taliban really kill these 4 men then the government should do the same action, just as those Afghans suggested - ie if the Taliban can kill our innocent citizens, why can't our government kill their criminal detainees? Our religion Islam forbids the killing of detainees without a proof of their crimes and without a legal court. Our Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) used to tell his fighters "if you fight the enemies, do not harm their innocent civilians, do not kill the detainee kids and women, do not destroy their farms, feed the detainees the same thing you eat, do not behead or cut their body parts". So I hope the Taliban really call themselves true Muslims and would follow this way and[...]
2007-04-02T02:50:21.504+04:30According to a report by The Herald, less than half of the Afghan National Army soldiers have chosen to re-enlist after three years in uniform. This report concerned the 70,000 strong national army plan which will be completed in 2009. And if less then half of the ANA soldiers choose to re-enlist after three years service then it will be impossible to have a 70,000 strong national army by 2009. So we hope the Afghan government and coalition forces work on a better plan to increase the requirement process and also avoid the failure to re-enlist of the soldiers after three years by seminars which aims to show the importance of their service to their country.
2007-02-27T00:00:28.188+04:30Note that this article was first published in the New York Times and if you reproduce this article you must retain this notice.There have been always a very good relationship between American and Afghan troops and also with other coalition forces. I have worked in the ANA central corps and I have interpreted and communicated between the ANA and the American forces. After the official or off time they play volleyball, soccer or sometimes the ANA invites their American advisors to their chow hall and to their offices for food and tea and their advisors also invite some of the ANA officers to their chow hall. Since I work as a night shift interpreter, I have also been invited in some of these meetings to interpret between both sides and they usually ask about each other's culture, traditions and holidays. A lot of ANA soldiers and officers know about Christmas holidays. There are a few that know about other holidays too. Sometimes American soldiers go to the ANA chow hall because they like Afghan bread and rice with meat sauce. And Afghan soldiers that have eaten in US military chow halls liked the hot wings stick and American sodas.I also know about most holidays in America because during free time I talk with the soldiers and ask lots of questions about US culture and about life in America and they always gives me useful information. During the holiday season they talk about the holidays and they wish to be back home with their families, especially during Christmas. So far I know about these holidays like Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Independence Day. I heard that on Halloween people aren't off and mostly young people celebrate. American soldiers in Afghanistan also celebrate this day. In 2003, one day I went to the chow hall to eat dinner and I saw different kinds of scary-looking and funny-looking heads and 2 coffins with a skeleton on it which said "died in 1979" on it which was very interesting.I have also told many soldiers about our holidays. We have more holidays than the US does. We have two major holidays called Eid and people are off for 6 days during these 2 Eids. We have new year holiday, independance day and we also have another holiday called the victory of Mujaheedin against Soviets and also have 2 other religious holidays. So we have more holidays in Afghanistan. These holidays are very important for me and other Afghans because we get a chance to meet our friends and relatives. During the Eid holidays people have to go to each other's house to congratulate the Eid and everyone, rich and poor, wear new and clean clothes. They decorate their houses and cook good food and have drinks like tea with fruit.During my services for both Afghan and US troops I have been very effective, particularly in 2004 when General Dostum's forces created some problems for the ANA in the northern provinces and his soldiers came into fighting position. It was Friday and all central corps interpreters were off and I was the only interpreter in central corps, so the US base commander, who was a lieutenant colonel, came and picked me up and I interpreted between US commanders and the ANA corps commander. We discussed the situation and the situation was solved after the US Air force came to support ANA and aircraft flew over General Dostum's militia and they moved back and nothing serious happened. So I think it was one of my most effective services for both sides.I have lots of memorable moments from my job that I can never forget. At the end of 2002 I got my job as an interpreter for the special forces and they were all very professional trainers and their mission was to train the presidential protective guard in different fields like physical training, driving, snipers, cat team and scout. I was working with the Driving and Physical Training team where I also learnt driving and a little bit of shooting too. During the 6 months training course we graduated more than 250 presid[...]
2007-02-19T00:26:00.992+04:30Note that this article was first published in the New York Times and if you reproduce this article you must retain this notice.Under the Taliban regime, Afghan civilians couldn't raise their voices through the media. Only one or 2 newspapers were in the whole of Afghanistan with one radio station that belonged to the Taliban. So in this case there was not any private media - radios and TV channels. But after the fall of the Taliban regime, the media have promoted incredibly in our country. People can easily write anything they want and express their opinions. There are some good female writers and reporters that write in the two official Afghan languages - Pashto and Dari - and there are some Afghan female reporters that report in English for the local English newspapers. We have some Afghan bloggers that write in Pashtu and Dari and only a few in English.There are many English learning centers everywhere in Kabul city. Also in other provinces people now realize how important it is to learn English and computer, especially young boys and girls - they spend half of their day in high schools and university and after school time they go to English and computer classes. Young Afghans love watching TV and they use the internet but for some people it's hard because we suffer from lack of power. In the capital, Kabul, we have power after every 2 nights and it comes on only from 6pm to 11pm - only 5 hours. The number of young Afghan singers have increased since the fall of the Taliban. There is a TV program called Afghan Star. This program started in 2005 to find new and young talented singers. The program official goes to different provinces and holds competitions between young Afghans and selects the 12 best singers out of over thousands of singers. Last year they introduced some really good singers and this year this program is in progress and 9 singers have been selected from over 1700 singers. And when they select the 12 best singers they let people SMS each singer. They have a special code so people SMS to their favorite singers and every week those singers who get lower scores have to quit the competition. So from 12 best it goes to one best singer and they call him the Afghan star.When I was very young I wanted to be a writer or reporter, but during the war this was only like a dream because I wouldn't know if one day Afghanistan will be liberated from the Taliban and other warlords. So after the fall of the Taliban when I came back to Afghanistan I went back to school and I was working only on Fridays. I was selling Afghan handicrafts to soldiers from different countries, mostly American, Italian, Germans and French. So with this money I could support myself and my family. It was 2002 and there were only 2 net cafes in the whole capital and it was really expensive for the locals. US$5 per hour. I could only afford to use it once a week. Most users at these 2 cafes were foreigners and you had to wait 1 to 2 hour for your turn because there was a huge crowd. One time I remember I saw over 12 foreigners were waiting for their turn. I was going for a brief time to check my email. In 2003 a few more internet clubs were opened in Kabul city. They were still expensive like US$3 per hour. In 2004 the number of internet clubs increased and the prices went down and now there are dozens of internet clubs in different parts of Kabul city. There are still a few places in Kabul that don't have any net club and I hope the prices go lower than this because many Afghans can not afford it. If you get a satellite connection for your house it costs over US$1500 for the connection, then you have to pay from US$200 to $300 a month depending on speed. There is only one phone company called Afghan Telecom, which is cheaper. I also got my internet connection from this company but it's not cheap for normal Afghans because if you use it over 3 to 4 hours a day it will cost over US$100 [...]
2007-02-01T03:34:17.730+04:30Note that this article was first published in the New York Times and if you reproduce this article you must retain this notice.My name is Waheed. I am 22 years old. I work for the US Army as an interpreter, since 2002. I have mostly spent my life in war and conflict. I was born in 1984. During that time our country was invaded by the Soviet Union and from that time fighting started in our country between Mujahideen and Soviet army. After the Soviet army left we had a civil war and then the hard-line Taliban regime. So during these wars we couldn't live in peace. When the Taliban took control over the capital Kabul, my family went to Pakistan. Life was really hard for us there. I couldn't go to school because I had to work hard and to support my family. I only had a little time to learn English in an Afghan refugee English learning center. I was very disapointed at that time. I thought I would not be able to finish my school and it was making me feel very upset. During the Taliban regime the world community forgot our people, but after the 9/11 terrorist attacks they realized that now is the time to fight the terrorists and American troops ousted the Taliban regime and a new wave of hope came to our people. Like most Afghan refugees, we also came back to Afghanistan and I went back to my school. My father and mother who were jobless in Pakisten got jobs. Before the Taliban regime my father was an officer and my mother was a teacher, so they got their old jobs back and our life started getting better. I was in 10th grade when I got my job with the US Army. At first I thought I would not pass the interpreting exam, but out of 20 guys, 6 of them passed the exam and I was one of those who passed the exams. I started working as a night shift interpreter because I wanted to finish my school. So finaly I graduated high school in 2004. It was a great moment for me because I could work during the night and study during the day. I have enjoyed working with the US Army. I have been on over 800 patrols with the US Army to provide security for the Afghans. During these patrols I have meet many people and interpreted between the locals and US Army. We had Afghan green tea with the locals. They were always asking us for tea or food and one of my best patrols was to a refugee camp. It was between two hills. These refugees had just returned from Pakistan. There were more than 50 families and it was the beginning of winter. We went to talk to them about their problems and we found they didn't have any good tents, blankets, food and health care, so our patrol leader wrote down their problems and took it to the base commander. He was a kind commander and he said we will solve their problem. So after one week we went to this refugee camp with medical team, food, blankets, tents and toys for the kids, and they were really happy. I can not forget that moment. They were really happy and they spent a good winter. We always had a medic with us during patrols, and if the villagers had any basic medical needs, they would come to us and we were ready to help. One day we saw a little girl. Her face was burnt. She belonged to a poor family. Our team immediately acted and treated her face before it got worse, and we were checking up on her twice a week until she healed. These moments are very memorable to me. I would like to tell the American people that the Afghans are very peaceful and hospitable people. They are tired of war and they want to live free. Some American people think that Afghans aren't peaceful people, but that is not true. Now it is clear to the world community that the Taliban regime was created by Pakistani Intelligence Service ISI and this regime sheltered the terrorists and they made life hard for our people. Most of these fighters were Pakistani and from some other countries. We could not fight them on our own because we had a civil war in our[...]
2007-03-20T13:03:05.767+04:30Note that this article was first published in the New York Times and if you reproduce this article you must retain this notice.
2006-12-14T08:34:43.293+04:30Almost three decades of war destroyed Afghanistan. First it started between Mujahideen, communist government and the Soviets. And after the Soviets were defeated, the civil war started. The main reason for the civil war was the interference of the neighboring countries. Pakistan, Iran etc interfered in our country and supported different parties and militias for their own benefit so it caused the civil war. The civil war started in Kabul between different Mujahideen parties over the control of the capital, Kabul and then this war was sparked in some other parts of the country. During this time the Taliban movement started their activities from Kandahar and in few weeks they gained control of the southern provinces and started moving towards the capital Kabul. At first people were thinking that the Taliban may end the civil war, but it didn't happen. They made life hard for our people and banned our people from their personal freedom. Media was forbidden. There was no freedom of speech. TV was banned and there was only one radio station that belonged only to the Taliban, so life was really boring. During this tragic period of time, the Afghan people suffered from basic needs of life like education, health care and other basic needs. We lost everything. Our economy went down and once 950,000 Afghani was equal to a US dollar. Our museum was looted, our tanks and weapons were sold to the neighboring countries, and our strong army was destroyed. Most people sold their houses and other things to get out of Afghanistan and millions of Afghans emigrated around the world. Before the Taliban took control of the capital, Kabul, some of the northern allies were fighting between each other. But after the Taliban took the capital, Kabul, the northern allies became united to open a front against the Taliban, and the fighting continued between the Taliban and northern allies in northern provinces from 1996 till 2001. Sometimes the Taliban made advances and sometimes the northern allies did. Once the Taliban took Mazar-e-Sharif and many other nothern provinces and the nothern allies only had control of 2 provinces. But then the Taliban got defeated in Mazar-e-Sharif and the northern allies moved forward to 25km north of Kabul. People were hoping the northern allies would be able to defeat the Taliban, but the Taliban had a large number of fighters from different countries, mainly from Pakistan, better vehicles and equipment, so it was hard to defeat them. But our brave people were hoping to win. This was the time when the world community left us alone. But the 9/11 tragic incident brought the free world's attention towards Afghanistan and the US government decided to overthrow the Taliban regime. The northern allies took advantage of the US air strikes and ousted the Taliban from the capital and other provinces. Some other small Afghan fighters also fought the Taliban in other parts of Afghanistan. Our current president Hamid Karzai was also fighting the Taliban with a group of his fighters. He was also injured. Another famous jihadi commander Haji Abdul Haq was also fighting with the Taliban but unfortunately he was arrested and killed by the Taliban before the US helicopters could rescue him. So everywhere people started fighting against the Taliban and they got defeated. Afghans are very brave people. We are not scared of fighting. We defeated great powers in the past. We could have defeated the Taliban if we had external support. Some rich countries were behind the Taliban and it was hard to fight them. If the nothern allies had at least the air support they could have defeated the Taliban. The other reason that it was hard for the northern allies to defeat the Taliban was sadness of the people from the northern allies because the northern allies fought against each other in order to get powe[...]
2006-12-05T02:29:18.230+04:30During the two-day summit in Latvia, NATO leaders agreed to provide an extra 2500 troops for combat operations against the Taliban insurgents. This summit meeting was very important towards strengthing peace and progress for the Afghan people, and the Afghan people hope the NATO member countries contribute more troops to Afghanistan in order to defeat the enemies and strengthen security. This is the first dangerous combat mission for NATO troops and they can easily make their mission successful if they do not lose hope. The NATO Afghan mission is possible to succeed if NATO allies continue their commitment to Afghanistan.
2006-12-03T09:44:03.573+04:30Hello Dear Readers,
2006-11-04T06:12:55.203+04:30For the first time the Pakistani Air Force conducted an air strike against suspected Taliban in Bajaur, a tribal area of Pakistan, which killed over 80 Taliban. Bajaur is a tribal region in Pakistan which has a joint border with the eastern province of Afghanistan, Kunar. The Pakistan government does not have full control over Bajaur and Taliban fighters have been crossing the border to carry out their attacks against Afghan and coalition forces. So Kunar province has been one of the most unstable provinces in the eastern provinces. President Hamid Karzai and other high ranking Afghan officials have claimed repeatedly that the terrorists get training, financial and logistical support from outside Afghanistan and we need to destroy their training centers outside Afghanistan. But the Pakistan government has always denied the existence of terrorist camps in their country. During the joint meeting of presidents Hamid Karzai, G.W. Bush and Musharaf, when president Hamid Karzai said that Pakistan should take more action against the terrorists and destroy the terrorist camps in Pakistan, president Musharaf got very emotional and used improper words against our president and called him an ostrich which is far from diplomatic respect and does not deserve a president to use such a words against the other president.
2006-10-08T14:15:06.173+04:30The security situation in Afghanistan has been unstable recenty. Suicide bomb attacks occur almost on a daily basis in Afghanistan, particularly in the capital, Kabul, which causes huge casualties to the civilians. Many people fear that the country is moving towards an uncertain future. Most people believe the permanent peace and stability will not come to Afghanistan until the world community targets and eradicates the main sources of terrorists. Every Afghan knows that the Taliban and Al Qaeda get financial and logistical support from outside Afghanistan. The government of Pakistan hasn't done much to prevent the terrorist activities in tribal areas of Pakistan and the Pakistani Intelligence Service ISI secretly supports the Taliban. Hundreds of Pakistani fighters have been arrested in Afghanistan by Afghan and coalition forces with Pakistani identification and many of them confessed that they are organized and trained by the ISI in different camps and that is a strong document which proves the ISI's hand behind the violence in Afghanistan.Pakistan recently made an agreement with militants active in the tribal areas along the Afghan border, where the Pakistani government has little control. Under this agreement, Pakistani forces and militia forces agreed to end military action against each other and the rebels would not cross the border to launch attacks in Afghanistan. But a few days after this agreement a new wave of attacks and violence increased by the Taliban and pro-Taliban Pakistani rebels in the southern provinces. So in my opinion if Pakistan did not make this agreement, the attacks wouldn't have been increased. This agreement will create more problems for Afghanistan and provide more opportunity for pro-Taliban Pakistani rebels to recruit and train local people for military purposes. This agreement proved that the Pakistani government is not honestly helping the world community in the war against the terrorists and extremists. How come the government of Pakistan guaranteed that these rebels will not carry out attacks in Afghanistan? These tribal militia already support the Al Qaeda and Taliban and since the Pakistan government gave them more freedom now, it's very easy for Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders to hide themselves in these areas and use these areas as a best shelter.The government of Pakistan must start military action against them and control its tribal areas and destroy their camps. But instead the Pakistan government gave them more freedom so now they are more independent to carry out their activities and do whatever they want. Coalition forces will not succeed unless the Pakistan government quits playing games. Pakistan calls itself a close ally in the war against terrorists. It's just because Pakistan doesn't have a choice and it would come under the pressure of the world community. But on the other hand the ISI indirectly supports the Taliban for its own benefit. Before 9/11 the Taliban and ISI had a close relationship. We hope the United States and other free countries put pressure on Pakistan to control its tribal areas and disarm the tribal militia. President Karzai has a strong commitment to make Afghanistan a prosperous and real democratic country. Therefor he is trying to tell the world that the terrorists and extremists are trained and supported outside Afghanistan and we must take action against them outside Afghanistan. So we hope the world community listens to this and asks Pakistan to take serious action against the rebels. If we fight them inside Afghanistan and Pakistan before the year 2007, they will be finished and the year 2007 would be a year of peace and stability for Afghanistan and there will be more opportunities to rebuild our [...]
2006-09-20T18:59:32.260+04:30The daily life of most Afghan people is normal but in some southern and western provinces the daily life of Afghans is not very peaceful, particularly for those people who work for government and foreign organizations. They are not feeling safe and they are under threat of the enemies. Recently the enemies have been intensifying their attacks on the villages and they have also increased their suicide attacks and many civilians and foreign troops have been killed during these attacks. Although the living situation in southern and eastern provinces is not very stable, the dalily life in the capital Kabul and other northern provinces seems normal and people live with peace. Although Kabul has been the scene of suicide attacks recently - three suicide attacks were carried out in Kabul in less than 20 days - but life is still normal because people know the enemies use their last power with carrying suicide attacks because they are not able to fight with Afghan and coalition troops so they are trying to create fear among people and destabilize the situation.In Kabul life is normal - boys and girls go to school, women work in both government offices and non-government organizations. TV channels and radio stations run their programs without fear and freedom of speech has been improving. Many foreign companies have invested in the country and if the security situation gets better, more foreigners will invest and there will be more job opportunities for the Afghans because many Afghans are jobless and they are hoping foreigners, particularly western companies, would come to Afghanistan to open up big businesses, companies and farms where citizens of this country would work day and night to help their country become prosperous. Even though the security situation is satisfactory in the Kabul, northern, western and some central provinces, there is a lack of job opportunities for the people and many people are jobless right now. In Kabul many educated people like doctors and engineers are jobless because there are many doctors in Kabul and all posts are reserved and there is no empty post for these doctors to work. So many doctors work in private health clinics in Kabul, but we still have hundreds of jobless doctors in Kabul while there is a huge lack of doctors in southern and eastern provinces. But due to the unstable situation, these doctors are not ready to work in the southern and eastern provinces. Many doctors and engineers have been killed. The enemies of Afghanistan have been threatening all those people who work for the government and foreign organizations. Three UN workers wer killed on Saturday by a land mine. Last week I met a female teacher from southern Ghazni province and she said that the Taliban have been threating them by letters not to teach girls and they said next time we will come inside the schools with motorcycles and then it will not be good. In southern provinces girls are scared to go to schools - only in some cities they go school, but those girls who live in the villages can not go to school due to situation.Presidents of three countries - United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan will meet in the Whitehouse in coming days. Afghan people hope talks between these leaders will be useful and they should be able to find a solution to defeat the terrorists in the region. Nowadays everyone knows that the terrorists cross the border from Pakistan and carry out attacks on Afghan and foreign troops. Many Pakistani Taliban have been captured by the Afghan and coalition forces with Pakistani identifications which proves that Pakistan hasn't done much to control its border and terrorist camps which are active in the tribal areas of Pakistan. W[...]
2006-09-07T06:30:42.806+04:30The enemies of peace have intensified their attacks since the beginning of this year. Although more than 10,000 NATO international forces have been deployed in the south, the situation is still troubled. Some international media have shown concern that the world community is not fulfilling their commitment to Afghanistan and therefor the situation is not getting better so therefor the US and international troops should target those places where there is training, supplying and sending the terrorists to our country. If Pakistan really calls itself one of the close allies of international anti-terrorism, they should honestly cooperate with the international community and destroy the terrorist camps in the tribal areas of Pakistan and arrest those who persuade and send insurgents and terrorists to our country Afghanistan.If the international community really want to bring peace and stability to our country, they should put more pressure on Pakistan to take serious military action and destroy the nests of the terrorists, otherwise the situation will not get better and terrorists will cross the border and continue their attacks against the foreign and government troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan claims to have seventy thousand troops along its border with Afghanistan to monitor the terrorist activities and these troops have not been very successful and haven't done any specific operation against the terrorists. So it will be very useful if these troops fight the terrorists inside Pakistan where they grow. If the government of Pakistan deploys some of its troops in the tribal areas and these troops start patrolling and searching the houses and other suspected areas, I am sure the terrorists will be eradicated. And if the Pakistani army is not able to defeat them, then they should call for help and let the inernational troops fight them.The president of Pakistan general Pervez Musharraf came to Kabul today for an official visit. The purpose of this visit was to strengthen bilateral reations. This visit occurred while the situation is very troubled in the southern provinces and the Afghan gorvernment believes that the militants cross the border from the Pakistan side and carry out their terrorist activities. President Karzai and President Musharraf had one to one talks today and they were looking very satisfied of their talking and both leaders urged joint terror fight. We hope that President Musharraf honestly fulfills his promises and our people hope that President Musharraf starts a major operation against the terrorist camps in Pakistan. After the ouster of the Taliban, Pakistan could capture many terrorists and could control their activites because the Pakistan intelligence knew everything about the Taliban. They were supporting the Taliban against the Northern Alliance before September 11, 2001. The government of Pakistan didn't honestly cooperate with the world community. Now it is still not too late and we hope Pakistan will do much more to defeat the terrorists. NATO and Afghan National Army are conducting a major operation against the insurgents in the southern provinces and more than 220 insurgents have been killed. This operation was planned a month ago, and the local elders were informed to leave their villages because the enemies try to use civilians as a shelter to save themselves. This was the biggest joint operation of NATO and Afghan forces and therefor it was very successful and no civilian deaths have been reported. We hope this operation will continue and all operations should be conducted with the coordination of the Afghan Army. We witness that every joint operation of the Afghan and foreign troops have be[...]
2006-08-23T11:42:42.920+04:30According to the news reports, more than 70 Taliban have been killed in two different operations in the southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, when Saturday night a group of Taliban attacked the Panjwayi district and clashes started between Taliban and National Police. At the same time the quick reaction forces of the Afghan National Army and NATO forces surrounded the area and pushed the attackers away from the district, which left around 70 Taliban dead. 5 soldiers of Afghan police were also killed during this fighting. NATO aircraft were called in to support Afghan National Police and army troops and NATO soldiers. Even though this was a joint operation of the Afghan National Army and NATO forces, it was the first heavy fighting between the Taliban and NATO since NATO forces took over command of the southern provinces from the US-led coalition on July 31. During an air strike operation in the neighboring Helmand provice, a dozen Taliban were killed and injured. No civilian deaths have been reported from the area.
2006-08-06T10:59:16.033+04:30According to the Centcom press release both coalition, Iraqi army and security forces conducted some successful clean up operations against the terrorists in Baghdad this week. During these operations, a number of suspected enemies, including a high ranking insurgent leader, were captured by the Iraqi security forces. These operations were carried out by coalition force observers. These insurgents have been involved in explosive device attacks against the coalition forces, mortar attacks, kidnapping and killing Iraqi citizens. This operation was a great success for the Iraqi forces where the situation in the capital Baghdad has been unstable and dozens of people have been killed recently in different terrorist attacks.
2006-07-22T17:30:44.003+04:30According to recent reports, two districts of the southern Helmand province were captured by the Taliban with the interference of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e- Tayeba. And after they captured these two districts they burnt the Afghan national flag and the flag of Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e- Tayeba was hoisted in the districts. These acts of enemies sparked the anger of many patriotic Afghans. The enemies are always crossing the borders with the help of foreign rebels and they escape after their guerilla operations. The insurgents have captured some small villages before but it was the first time that the national flag of Afghanistan was burnt by the enemies and it was a big insult to our national interest and dignity.
2006-06-23T14:07:46.726+04:30According to the news reports, Afghanistan's intelligence department has issued a two page document to the local media which restricts their activities. This decision sparked the anger of the Afghan journalists around the country because this two page document stops the local newspapers from doing their important and main activities. The free press has made magnificent progress since the fall of the Taliban. According to the Afghan constitution the free press has the right to carry out their activities with out any pressure from the government or any other organizations. So in my opinion the government should reverse its decision and our media should be free to publish the reality and tell our people what is going on in their country. Every day in our newspapers the top articles are about roadside bombing, suicide attacks, militant activities and also there are articles about the ANA and coalition forces attacks on enemies and their success over the enemies. And if our media and newspapers do not report these important news items then there will not be any important news for them to publish and the newspapers will be almost blank because there are not much reports about reconstruction in our country. In the free world the newspapers have the right to publish good news and bad news.
2006-06-19T21:43:53.656+04:30The Afghan Government has announced that it will recruit tribal militias to boost security in their areas. This decision has not been welcomed by most Afghans. On one hand the government carried out the disarmament program to disarm the militias, but on the other hand the government arms irresponsible people. We know that without security and peace it is impossible to make progress. In every country the security forces are organized under the formation of ministry of defense, ministry of interior, and intelligence forces and our government also has these three organizations and we don't need militia forces to ensure security for us.
2006-06-03T15:57:06.406+04:30Monday's fatal traffic accident was one of the worst traffic accidents in the capital Kabul, which caused casualties unrest and financial damage. The riots started when a US military vehicle smashed into a number of civilian vehicles. A number of angry Afghans gathered at the scene and started to attack the military convoy with stones. According to the eyewitnesses, the US troops and Afghan forces opened fire on the crowd after they gathered around the convoy and it caused more casualties. Thousands of people marched through the streets of Kabul after 25 people were killed in the car accident and subsequent gun battle. The angry protesters attacked police guard posts and set fire to police cars and ransacked buildings. Although it was an accident, it caused the anger of locals who were the witnesses of this bloody accident and led to a riot.Unfortunately some groups of bad guys take part in this protest to take advantage of the protest and to steal and destroy the property of foreign aid organizations and civilians. They looted a few places like restaurants and foreign aid organizations but most foreign aid organizations were safe because Afghan National Army and police did not let the protester to enter those area where most foreigners live and they were pointing their weapons directly towards the protesters to stop them from attacking. Police arrested dozens of people on charges of involvement in agitation and 64 people have been detained over Monday night. In my opinion those people who started the protest couldn't control themselves after they saw this bloody accident and they thought it occurred due to careless driving and therefore they started roiting. And these people did not destroy or burn anything, but some bad elements who wanted to take advantage of this protest committed violence for their own benefit and stimulated the youngsters and students to demonstrate. These groups of bad elements burnt a post office and some other government and civilian properties. Destroying their own country is such a bad action and it was unacceptable to every Afghan.Mostly civilians suffered from this riot because many civilian properties were damaged and destroyed in this protest. Most Afghan people condemned the violent demonstration. I talked to some people, and heard some people talking between themselves, and all of them were against violence. Our constitution states that the people have the right to protest but not to destroy government and civilian property. The Afghan media and newspapers also condemned those protesters who caused destruction and advised people to protest peacefully and to not let the enemies take adantage of such a riot.Most Afghans complain about the aggressive driving of the US military convoys. Coalition military convoys often pass through the crowded areas at high speed and sometimes disregard traffic rules. We know such driving tactics are necessary to protect the convoys from attack but they should also remember that it's also dangerous for people and civilian cars. I hope our police should seek better ways to handle the protesters and instead of killing them with bullets they must use tear gas and other equipment to separate the protesters. It's against human rights anywhere in the world to open fire at civilians. I hope our police learn from the past experience and handle such a protest peacefuly. We hope the US government could donate some of those guns that can be used against the protesters without causing casualties, like tear [...]
2006-05-17T15:54:39.863+04:30An international business conference was held in the capital Kabul last week to find out new ways to invest in Afghanistan. More than 25 foreign companies from different countries participated in an exhibition in order to introduce their goods to the market. After the decades of war and conflict, Afghanistan is finally open for business. Many foreign inverstors have invested in different business fields which gives a good benefit to the government and also opens up job opportunities for the Afghan people. Almost every foreign company that has invested in Afghanistan has taken a great profit so far, especialy those companies providing telecommunication - mobile phone companies, wireless, internet companies and construction companies. A local call from a cell phone to another cell phone is 15 cents per minute which is more expensive than some western countries. Internet prices are also higher than what it is in America and other countries - more than $250 a month. Therefor people rely on internet cafes because they can't afford to get internet in their houses and most internet companies are selling their connections to the foreign organizations and hotels.There is still a huge need for construction companies in Afghanistan, in order to build small towns and roads. Also there is a great need of cement manufacturing in Afghanistan because we import cement from Pakistan and the Pakistani cement companies have raised their prices extremly high. The investment in private universities are a great step towards a new and modern education system in Afghanistan. But due to the high fee it's impossible for almost every Afghan student to afford the new American university which inaugurated this year offering programs in business administration and information technology. But due to the $5000 high fee for a year makes it really hard for the Afghan students, because the economy of most Afghan people is very weak. The Afghanistan budget has developed well this year. Compared to the last 4 years there has been a 30 percent increase. In comparison to the last year, although the central government has been collecting the customs tax and taxes from the merchants, the tax department has not been able to collect the taxes from around the country. The tax department has not been able to collect the taxes from more than half of the sources. According to an official from the finance ministry, the government has not been able collect the taxes systematically from the hotels, shops and other companies. In the capital Kabul there is more than a hundred thousand shops, but the tax department has only collected taxes from 35 thousand of the shops.The administration system is very poor in Afghanistan. The work has not been given to the right people, therefor taxes and customs are not being properly collected. In some parts of the country the incomes are not even collected. The income taxes which have been brought to the government treasury have not been used properly and according to some reports around 400 milion dollars from the general revenue of the country has been wasted due to administration corruption and lack of working capacity. There are some Afghans that are living under tents but our ministries are spending thousands of dollars on buying fancy cars and furnitures. Even though our budget increased 30% this year, living conditions are not developed in the country. Wages are still low - a teacher or doctor makes between 80 to 120 dollars a month which i[...]
2006-04-30T14:54:06.200+04:30Al-Jazeera TV broadcasted a video message from Al Qaeda leader in Iraq, Musa'ab al-Zarqawi, in which he urged his followers to intensify their attacks on American soldiers and other foreign soldiers deployed in Iraq. In my opinion most Iraqi people support their new elected government and parliament. Despite the threats and violence they went to the polling stations and elected their government and parliament and they are making political progress and working for their unity. So in this situation they will not support any insurgency from the rebels. For the past 3 years thousands of innocent Iraqi muslims have been killed during the terrorists attacks. The insurgents are not capable of fighting with the foreign soldiers and Iraqi army so therefor they mostly cowardly target the innocent Iraqi civilians. As we know, it's impossible for insurgents to defeat the elected government of Iraq. So it's for their betterment to lay down their weapons and start their civilian life. I hope the Iraqi government will start an amnesty program. It will strengthen the peace process in Iraq and it will be a great opportunity for those who want to lay down their weapons and join the government.
2006-04-04T16:18:13.706+04:30Abdul Rahman was the first Afghan that converted from Islam to Christianity. Many people think that Abdul Rahman was converted to Christianity during his stay in Germany because there is no church or any school in Afghanistan to teach other religions because except for a couple of thousand Hindus and Sikhs the whole Afghan people are Muslim and they converted to Islam more than 13 hundred years ago and they love and protect their religion and they also respect other religions. That is why these Hindus and Sikhs are living and Afghanistan and they have their religious freedom. Also we have one Jew but I am not sure what part of Afghanistan he lives in.People from different religions think that their religion is the true religion so even though we don't like their religion we should not have the right to insult and I am glad that in Afghanistan we have not insulted any religion and we will not disrespect any religion. As I said, if the Hindus and Sikhs can live here, people from other religions can also live with out any problem. The only problem is for those Muslims who convert from Islam to other religions. Islam is a religion of peace and we can not force people to be Muslim, its up to them. We can only invite not force. So now the world community should respect our law which has been made for the wellbeing of 30 million people. Free people and government should be free and independent to execute their law inside their countries. Every country in the world has different regulations and constitution and they made it for their people and they should be free to implement the law inside their country. If other countries stop us from implementing our law it means our government does not have the freedom to implement its law. In my opinion he wouldn't be executed. There was some ways that could solve the problem. Our government could solve the Abdul Rahman case. The government wouldn't execute him that soon, it would take a while. But the western pressure on our government did not allow the government to take a decision. It's because our country is poor and relies on foreign aid. In Taiwan and china they execute people who smuggle drugs in. That is their law and no western country interfere because they are rich countries. In my opinion its wrong to execute them for drug business but its ok if they go jail for few years.After arriving in Italy, Mr Abdul Rahman said they kill you in Kabul if you are Christian and not Muslim. He just said that to get more attention and credit. Of course no one kill you if you are not Muslim. I have seen many foreigners walking in Kabul and some outside of Kabul and they are visiting historical places. No-one has killed them and no-one will kill them. Instead the locals invite them for tea and Afghan food. Yesterday I was walking along an old palace which is far from the Kabul city and I saw 2 men and one woman inside the palace yard and they were taking pictures. Up to now I am scared to go there but nothing happened to them. According to the BBC news now there is worry for the small group of Afghan Christian community in Afghanistan. I say why there should be worry? First there is no Christian community at all if there was why they were not executed? So it means there is no Christian community in Afghanistan.I mention again people from different religion can live with us like Hindus and Sikhs and there is no problem. In our law and constitution we h[...]