Islamic Republic of Afghanistan : News & Discussions

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In a first, 20 women army, air force officers from Afghanistan to be trained in Chennai

NEW DELHI: For the first time, a group of 20 women army and air force officers from Afghanistan will be trained at the Officers' Training Academy in Chennai. The group, who were given a celebratory send-off by the Indian ambassador in Kabul, Manpreet Vohra, will go through a rigorous training module in India. They left Kabul on Tuesday.

This comes on the heels of yet another group of only women entrepreneurs who were sent by the Afghan government to India to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad last week.

The current batch of officers and officials from the Afghan defence ministry will be given a preparatory training program at the OTA. They will go back to pick a fresh batch of women officers who will come in for full training modules from 2018.

"We are expanding our armed forces and women will play a bigger role," said Shaida Abdali, Afghan ambassador to India.

At any given time, there are about 300 Afghan officers being trained in India, the largest number at the IMA in Dehradun.

Afghan media quoted the Indian Embassy in Kabul as saying, "For the first time, a batch of 20 Lady officers from the Afghan Army and Afghan Air Force departed for a training module at Officers Training Academy, Chennai."

This comes a day after Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani hailed India's contribution in various sectors of the country. Emphasising that India is a good partner, President Ghani insisted that the Afghan government is committed to further strengthening bilateral cooperation with India.

The President made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the Lower and Upper Houses of the Parliament to brief the lawmakers regarding his recent foreign trips and interactions, Khaama Press reported.

Dismissing misperceptions regarding the presence and role of India in Afghanistan, President Ghani said the Afghan government has no hidden deal with any country and no foreign state will be allowed to use the Afghan soil against the neighbours of the country. Kabul, he said, has shared interests with New Delhi and the Afghan government will continue to use the economic opportunities provided by India for the development of the country.

Pakistan has long been opposing the presence of India in Afghanistan but Afghan officials have repeatedly rejected these protests and even the United States has endorsed the constructive role of New Delhi in the rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

India has played a vital role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime and has invested over $2 billion in various projects. In 2017, India pledged an extra $1 billion including 116 small development projects as well as a new dam in Afghanistan.
 

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14 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan

Kabul [Afghanistan], Dec 7 (ANI): At least 14 militants, including a senior leader belonging to the Afghanistan's insurgent group Taliban, were killed in an operation in eastern Nangarhar province.

According to the Khaama Press, the senior Taliban leader killed in the operation was their prison's in-charge.

The provincial government media office confirmed the death of the Taliban leader identified as Nabi, in a statement, and said he was among the 14 militants killed during the operation conducted by Afghan forces on Wednesday night.

Taliban shadow district chief for Hesarak Abdul Hasan was also killed during the operation, along with the shadow education director of the group, who was identified as Yar Mohammad, the statement added.

Taliban hasn't commented on the incident so far. (ANI)
 

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In a bid to bolster Afghanistan's air capabilities, India is considering buying several second-hand Russian-made Mi35s for the Afghan National Defence Security Forces (ANDSF) from other countries, a move that signals closer cooperation between New Delhi and Moscow on Afghanistan, Indian and Afghan officials confirmed to The Hindu.

The proposal comes after a request from the Ghani government, including during a visit to Delhi by Afghanistan's National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar in October, and follows several visits to Moscow by Indian officials to discuss the logistics.

An Indian Defence Ministry team is also expected to travel to an East European country, possibly Serbia or Ukraine, that still operate Soviet-era aircraft, and an Afghan defence team is expected in Delhi "shortly" to follow up on the discussions, a diplomat said.

Officials also said that there was heightened urgency for the helicopter transaction, as all seven of the old Mi-25/35 attack helicopters and Cheetal utility helicopters transferred by New Delhi to Kabul in 2015-2016, have been grounded and need repairs.

Asked about the proposal, Afghanistan's Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali said that he was "looking forward" to closer India-Russia cooperation that will benefit Afghanistan.

“The Afghan forces are in a much better situation now and things will happen soon to help with the transition process [from Soviet-era to U.S. hardware]. India has been very helpful to fill the gap that exists for helicopters, as well as in getting the existing aircraft off the ground.”

The helicopters and the promise to repair hardware for the ANDSF is part of a larger strategic tightrope India is walking, given traditional ties with Russia, and increasingly close ties with the United States as a part of U.S. President Donald Trump's South Asia policy.

Effectively the plan will see New Delhi cooperating with Russia on military support for Afghanistan, with the U.S. on development support, and with Iran on trade cooperation for goods to Afghanistan.

India is already training military officers including a batch of women officers at its military academies, and Afghan officials said they are hopeful that India would scale up the training for more "strategic-level" officers, as well as training the Medical corps of the ANDSF.

Afghanistan is in the midst of a full transition from its old hardware, and Soviet–era generals, to U.S. hardware, and a next-generation NATO-model Army by 2022.

By 2019, the ANDSF will begin to receive the first of a total 159 American Black Hawk helicopters, and the Mi-35 (Hind) series India is procuring will be integral to anti-terror operations in the country in the interim period.

Source : India to buy several 2nd-hand Mi-35 Attack Helicopters for Afghanistan
 
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Another shipment of Indian wheat arrives in Kandahar

KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): Another shipment of 4,200 tonnes of wheat has arrived in southern Kandahar province through Chabahar Port as part of donation from India.

Governor Maj. Gen. Zalmai Weesa, accompanied by Indian Consul General Madan Singh Bhandari and the provincial council head, oversaw the storing process of the Indian-granted wheat.

A statement from Weesa’s office said on Tuesday the governor hailed India’s assistances to Afghanistan as beneficial. He expressed gratitude to India for consistent support and assistance.

Weesa also lauded India’s continued assistance in the education sector and asked Bhandari to provide more scholarships for Afghan students.

The Governor called the Chabahar Port very valuable for the development of Afghanistan’s economy. With the launch of the two other phases of the port, Afghanistan’s trade relations would be further expanded with different countries, he hoped.

Meanwhile, Consul General Bhandari assured of more assistance by his country to Afghanistan and said India would always stand by Afghanistan. He said India was in favour of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.

The governor said the remaining wheat would soon reach Kandahar via Chabahar. Last month, foreign ministers of Afghanistan, India and Iran flagged off the maiden vessel carrying wheat from New Delhi to Kabul through the Chabahar port.

The first shipment of 15,000 metric tonnes of wheat from India arrived in Afghanistan via the Chabahar Port in Iran, formally operationalising the sea route in November.

The Indian government promised 1.1 million tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on a grant basis.

Another shipment of Indian wheat arrives in Kandahar
 

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Kabul: 40 killed, 140 injured in car bomb blast near embassies - Times of India ►

KABUL: The toll from a car-bomb blast in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday rose to at least 40 dead and 140 wounded, health ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh said.
The bomb was hidden in an ambulance and went off at a police checkpoint in an area near foreign embassies and government buildings, officials said. Saturday is a working day in Afghanistan and the streets were busy at the time.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, a week after it claimed an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in which more than 20 people were killed.

"It is a massacre," said Dejan Panic coordinator in Afghanistan for the Italian aid group Emergency, which runs a nearby trauma hospital. In a message on Twitter, the group said more than 50 wounded had been brought in to that hospital alone.

A spokesman from the public health ministry said 17 dead and 110 wounded had been brought to city hospitals, and victims were still being brought in.

Mirwais Yasini, a member of parliament who was nearby when the explosion occurred, said the ambulance approached the checkpoint, close to an office of the High Peace Council and several foreign embassies, and blew up.

He said a number of people were lying on the ground. People helped walking wounded away as ambulances with sirens wailing inched their way through the traffic-clogged streets of the city centre.

A plume of grey smoke rose from the blast area in the city centre and buildings hundreds of metres away were shaken by the force of the explosion.
 

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US's National Interests aligns with Pakistan. She'd only act against Pakistan if 09/11 type Terrorists Attack in US point's to Pakistan, until then they'll (EU) Rant against them & nothing else.

China is already buying Pakistan. ;):D
USA should ensure that all China gets is a bankrupt state. ;)
As per Trumps Davos speech he is going to start a trade war with China. Nothing better to start from Pakistan to send the message that either you are with us or against us.
Anyways if USA doesnt tighten screws on pakistans double game in Afghanistan they will loose face everywhere else.
 

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Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb 22 (ANI): At least five workers of the Afghan intelligenceagency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) have been killed in a militant attack in Afghanistan's northern Parwan province.

The incident took place in the vicinity of Bagram district, according to the local government officials.

District administrative chief of Bagram Abdul Shukoor Qudoosi confirmed that the deceased individuals belonged to the Afghan intelligence agency, reported Khaama Press.

No comments have been received from the anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents on the report by far.

According to the report, Parwan is among Afghan's relatively volatile provinces where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in some of its remote districts and often carry out insurgency activities. (ANI)

5 Afghan intelligence agency workers killed
 

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India willing to help US with aviation maintenance in Afghanistan: Pentagon

India is willing to help the US with aviation maintenance in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Thursday. The Pentagon also praised India’s developmental role in the war-torn country.

“India has been very supportive, and they’ve pledged additional developmental aid in Afghanistan. They’ve been willing to help with aviation maintenance,” Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana White told reporters.

“All of that is very helpful in ensuring, again, that this regional approach works. India is an important part of that,” she said. Responding to another question, White said that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis believes that Pakistan has an opportunity to do more with respect to the regional security, and that it’s in its interests to do more with respect to regional security.

“It’s an opportunity, and we would welcome Pakistan’s involvement,” White said.
 

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Explosion in Afghanistan capital Kabul, suicide attack suspected: Report

A police official said a suicide bomber had struck in the Afghan capital, Kabul, after a loud explosion was heard in an area close to foreign embassies on Friday.

Police sirens could be heard in the area but there was no immediate word on any casualties from the blast, which came two days after President Ashraf Ghani offered to start peace talks with the Taliban.

Explosion in Afghanistan capital Kabul, suicide attack suspected: Report | world news | Hindustan Times
 

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US drone targeting Pakistani Taliban kills 21 in Afghanistan

Two missiles fired from a U.S. drone hit a militant facility in neighboring Afghanistan, killing 21 insurgents, including the son of the head of the Pakistani Taliban, two Pakistani intelligence officials and local Taliban commanders said on Thursday.

The strike, which according to the officials took place on Wednesday, targeted a compound frequented by Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

The intelligence officials said that Fazlullah was apparently not there, but his son was killed in the strike in Afghanistan's Kunar province, miles away from Pakistani border.

Three Pakistani Taliban commanders also confirmed the strike and militant casualties. Pakistani officials and the Taliban commanders spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The United States made no comment on the strike. There was also no immediate comment from NATO, Afghan authorities or the Pakistani government.

It was unclear whether the bodies of those killed in Wednesday's drone strike would be brought to Pakistan for burial.

Islamabad has for years has asked Washington and Kabul to take action against Fazlullah and other Pakistani Taliban, who are believed to be hiding in neighboring Afghanistan and who cross the porous Afghan-Pakistan border to launch attacks inside Pakistan.

Kabul, for its part, has long complained that Islamabad is not taking enough action against militants who use Pakistani soil to launch attacks against U.S., NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

In recent months, President Donald Trump's cranked up pressure on Pakistan to act against militants by suspending key security assistance to the country. Pakistan denies providing sanctuary to militants and says it has carried out several military operations in the country's tribal regions and elsewhere to kill or arrest militants.

Fazlullah's is the son-in-law of a Sufi Mohammad, a radical anti-U.S. cleric who was recently freed by Pakistan. The cleric, imprisoned in Pakistan in 2009, was released in January from a prison in the northwestern city of Peshawar, following a court order for his release on health grounds earlier that month.
 

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Kabul Suicide Attack: Death toll rises to 32

suicide bomber blew himself up near a shrine in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 32 people and wounding dozens, as the Afghan capital celebrated the Nawruz holiday marking the start of the Persian new year.

The explosion underlined the threat to the city from militant attacks, despite government promises to tighten security in the wake of an attack in central Kabul that killed around 100 people in January.

Militant group Islamic State, which has claimed several previous attacks on Shi'ite targets, claimed responsibility, saying the attack specifically targeted Shi'ites celebrating Nawruz, its Amaq news agency said.
 

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Four Malayali IS recruits, child killed in US bombing in Afghanistan

KOZHIKODU/KASARGODE: Four Keralites including a child are feared dead in a drone attack by US in an Islamic State - stronghold area inAfghanistan. According to Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behera, the state police on Friday received unconfirmed reports on the death of the four Malayalees. “We are verifying the details. It's really hard to confirm the reports. We received the details through unconfirmed channels,” Behera told 'Express'.

As per reports, those killed in the attack were Padna natives Shihas, his wife Ajmala, their child and Thrikkaripur native Muhammad Mansad. Ajmala was pregnant when she along with the others were reported missing from Kerala in 2016. The deceased were part of the group of Malayalees led by Abdullah Rashid which left for Syria from Kasargod to join IS.

Police officers said the family members of the deceased earlier used to get messages from the missing persons through Telegram app. “We will be collecting details from the family members to confirm whether they have received any information confirming the deaths,” officers added.
 
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India to Deliver 4 More Helicopter Gunships to Afghanistan

India will finance the delivery of four attack helicopters by Belarus to Afghanistan.

India has agreed to underwrite the sale of four refurbished Mi-24 helicopters from Belarus to Afghanistan last month, the Afghan Ambassador to India, Shaida Mohammed Abdali, said in an interview with Hindustan Times in late March.

“We recently were able to sign a trilateral MoU…India will be paying for the four Mi-24s (which will be delivered) in the next few months,” the ambassador said. “All the four helicopters (will be) paid (for) by India,” he said. “Afghanistan will have ready helicopters that will be used in the coming season.”

The helicopters are expected to be delivered in the coming weeks. This marks the second time that India has agreed to transfer lethal military equipment to Afghanistan. New Delhi completed the delivery of four Mi-25 (Mi-24D) helicopters and three HAL Cheetah light utility helicopters to the Afghan Air Force (AAF) in December 2016.


Yet, as I noted in January, the seven Indian-supplied helicopters, in addition to five Mi-35 helicopter gunships, supplied by the Czech Republic in 2008, have been grounded due to a lack of spare parts for the last couple of months.

The United States and other NATO member countries are prohibited from purchasing Russian-made military hardware–including the parts needed to repair the Mi-24s–given the Western-imposed sanctions on Russia following the illegal seizure of Crimea and the Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

Consequently, the U.S. government has repeatedly requested Indian military assistance to the AAF since 2014. As a result, Indian Ministry of Defense “dispatched a team of aviation experts to Kabul in 2016 to assess the needs of the AAF. The experts concluded that it would cost about $50 million to procure spare parts and make repairs on 11 grounded Mi-35 helicopters and seven military transport aircraft.”

As I noted in January, Russia has also been offering assistance to the government in Kabul :

Russia has purportedly already agreed to take over maintenance of the Indian-supplied Mi-25s and M-17 transport helicopters. Russia might also supply Afghanistan with an unknown number of Mi-35 (possibly the M or “Hind E” variant) attack helicopters (See: “Russia to Sell Modern Attack Helicopters to Afghanistan”).

However, it goeswithout saying that United States remains the AAFs most important partner when it comes to boosting the service’s combat power and overall capability:

The AAF is in the process of inducting 159 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. It will also take delivery of 150 new MD530 F Cayuse Warrior light attack helicoptersby 2022 bringing the total number of MD530 Fs operated by the ANSDF to almost 180.

The U.S. Air Force has also spent $427 million under its so-called Light Air Support/A-29 Afghanistan Program to supply the AAF with 20 Embraer/Sierra Nevada Corporation A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft by the end of 2018.

“A Pentagon plan calls for an increase of the AAF from currently 124 aircraft up to 259, and from 8,000 personnel to 12,000,” I reported in September 2017. “The AAF is expected to receive $7 billion in support over the next four years, according to a senior U.S. military officer.”