Islamic Republic of Afghanistan : News & Discussions

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
8,572
4,385
Afghanistan awards 50 MW of hybrid solar projects
The Afghani Ministry of Energy and Water has awarded a contract to China’s Shuangdeng Group for the construction of a 40-MW hybrid solar park in the landlocked country.

The Chinese energy storage systems supplier has secured the USD-59.7-million (EUR-50.7m) contract following a competitive selection. Under its terms, it will build the 40-MW facility at the Hisar-e-Shahi Industrial Park in Nangarhar province, Mercom Capital reports.

Meanwhile, Indian solar module manufacturer Waaree Energies has received an award notification for the design, procrement and installation of a 10-MW solar hybrid plant in Khost province. According to the Ministry's website, local contractors and agencies can object to the award to Waaree Energies by May 27. In case there is no opposition, the contract will be awarded to the Indian firm.

Afghanistan is turning to solar power to meet its rising energy demand as it is currently highly dependent on foreign imports. Its renewable energy potential, mainly solar, is estimated at over 300,000 MW, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
https://renewablesnow.com/news/afghanistan-awards-50-mw-of-hybrid-solar-projects-613419/
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pundrick

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
8,572
4,385
Twitter hails India's sporting gesture toward Afghan team
Afghanistan may have lost their inaugural test match to India today, however the host, in an amazing show of sportsmanship, invited the Afghan players to pose with them with the trophy after the conclusion of the match.

Earlier today, Afghanistan cricket team, playing its career's first test match, was overwhelmed by a formidable Indian side. India won by an innings and 262 runs.

Following the presentation ceremony, India cricketers invited their Afghan counterparts to pose for the trophy together.

Social media was all praise for the "beautiful" gesture of the Indian cricket team.

"Super spirit," one Twitter user applauded the gesture of the Indian cricket team.

"Proud of you India...Way to go Afghanistan," another Twitter user wrote as he posted the video of Indian cricket team inviting the Afghan team to pose for the photograph.

"A gentleman's game indeed," Twitter was buzzing with the photograph of both sides posing with the trophy together.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We are so proud of our Blue Tigers. Great pic," one Twitter user wrote.

"This is what we stand for," another Twitter user congratulated Team India for winning the match and for its sportsmanship.
Twitter hails India's sporting gesture toward Afghan team' - Times of India
 

Kvasir

Well-Known member
Jul 16, 2018
137
308
Norway
Rare (and current) picture of the Norwegian Special Operations Advisory Team in Kabul. This unit is made of up naval special forces (MJK). SOAT trains the Afghan General Command of Police Special Unit CRU222 and assists with counter-terrorism activities and direct action within the country including during the Kabul International Hotel siege earlier this year where it provided direct support to Afghan and international partners.



Very rarely do you see SOAT and CRU222 in the field together, but this picture, from March 31, 2018 shows just that.



CRU222 is Afghanistan's top-tier special forces unit.









Again some pictures of CRU222 in-field with their Norwegian advisers. These photos were taken during the Kabul International Hotel siege.


 
Last edited:

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
8,572
4,385
India-backed Afghan dam to put Pakistan under pressure
India and Pakistan’s discord over water will now spill over to Afghanistan as well with Delhi ready to help the Afghan government build a dam on the Kabul river basin.

India at a meeting last week agreed to support the Afghan government build the Shahtoot dam near Kabul, a project which is not likely to go down well with Pakistan and its new dispensation. Islamabad had reservations against all India-funded projects in the landlocked Afghanistan and claims that this dam will restrict the flow of water to Pakistan.

New Delhi has embarked on the new project more than two years after completing the Salma dam at Herat Province in western Afghanistan -- the last in a series of major infrastructure projects it had supported to help the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country since 2001.

India’s decision to support the construction of the Shahtoot dam was formally conveyed to Afghanistan when senior officials of the two governments met in Kabul last week for the second meeting of Joint Working Group on Development Cooperation (JWG-DC), persons familiar with the matter indicated to ET.

The Kabul river originates from Sanglakh Range of Hindu Kush mountain and flows through Kabul, Surobi and Jalalabad in Afghanistan before flowing into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan. The Shahtoot dam is proposed to be built in on a tributary of Kabul river in Chahar Asiab district near the capital of Afghanistan.

New Delhi’s plan to support Kabul build the Shahtoot dam is likely to trigger protest in Pakistan, which has since long been jittery about India’s role in the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

Islamabad believes that the proposed dam, as well as other similar projects on the Kabul river and its tributaries in Afghanistan, will squeeze the flow of water to Pakistan.

Pakistan has been nudging Afghanistan to sign a bilateral treaty on the sharing of water of Kabul river and its tributaries, but it has not yet received a positive response from the Afghan government, which fears that such a treaty might make it difficult for it to go ahead with its plan to build irrigation and hydro-electric projects on the Kabul river basin, hinted Afghan government officials.
India-backed Afghan dam to put Pakistan under pressure
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashwin

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
8,572
4,385
Modi, Ghani to discuss the new government in Pakistan
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani will arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday for a day-long visit where he will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources say there could be discussions between the two leaders on the new government in Pakistan in a more "restricted format". The visit comes just days after Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was in Kabul for his first foreign call. Security has been one of the biggest aspects of conversations and of concern for Afghanistan in the recent past with an upsurge in violence.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had last week visited Kabul to extend an invitation to Ghani on behalf of Modi to visit India. President Ghani will hold talks with Prime Minister Modi in the afternoon and then will attend a civic reception hosted by the India Foundation, a think tank. He will leave for Kabul soon after.

Speaking to India Today Afghan Ambassador to India Dr. Shaida Abdali said, "Afghanistan is going through a very critical time; therefore, the Afghan govt needs to conduct strategic consultations with its strategic partners. India is a leading strategic partner of Afghanistan in the region. The visit of the Afghan President is aimed at engaging India on issues of strategic interests and concerns to both of us."

India may seek details or any leads on the seven Indians who were abducted by the Taliban in May this year. There has been no news of there whereabouts since. Indian mission in Kabul has been in constant touch with the Afghan authorities regarding this matter.

Sources tell India Today that the focus of discussions will focus on security aspect given that the Ghani administration is faced with its own internal problems, recently evident with the resignation of National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar and his deputy. Taliban would be focus of the discussion, with President Ghani apprising PM Modi of the reconciliation efforts. Regional and global security regarding the fight against terrorism also would be part of the discussions.

The two sides would also discuss the developmental partnership with focus on small high-impact projects. Both sides would review the entire gamut of the strategic partnership between the two nations. India continues to maintain that peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan have to be "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".
US and important stakeholder in Afghanistan has started talks with the Taliban. U.S. envoy Alice Wells is expected to hold a second round of talks with Taliban representatives in Doha.
Modi, Ghani to discuss the new government in Pakistan
 

BlackOpsIndia

Team StratFront
Dec 1, 2017
3,056
3,776
127.0.0.1
I barely read his articles, he is too hawkish for my taste that in his writings he forgets pragmatism and what we can actually do without end up paying too much but I see he is saying similar things I said (not that am equating myself with him) but almost everyone keeping an eye on Afghanistan can sense the desperation in Trump so much so that he offered them power sharing! effectively weakening his bargaining position.

Taliban can now wait, increase pressure and extract a better deal. As I said he will be lucky if he get away with just power sharing. Had it been some seasoned negotiator and not this clown the last thing they would have offered is main streaming and not killing them. Trump screwed this big time.
 

Himanshu

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
912
1,498
New Delhi
indopacfront.blogspot.com
  • Informative
Reactions: Pundrick and R!cK

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
8,572
4,385
India to participate in Friday's Moscow talks with Taliban
India ending speculations would participate at the non-official level for the Moscow format of talks in the Russian capital on Friday where representatives of the Taliban will be present.

"We are aware that the Russian Federation is hosting a meeting in Moscow on 9 November on Afghanistan. India supports all efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan that will preserve unity and plurality, and bring security, stability and prosperity to the country. India's consistent policy has been that such efforts should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled and with participation of the Government of Afghanistan," MEA spokesperson noted.

"Our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level," the spokesperson informed putting to rest all speculations regarding India's presence at the meet where Taliban leaders will be present.

The USA which is holding separate talks with Taliban under the Doha process is sending observer to the Moscow format meet.

For the second time, Russia is attempting to bring regional powers together while discovering ways for establishing peace in war-torn Afghanistan. The first such meeting, proposed for September 4 of this year, was called off at the last moment after the Afghan government pulled out, describing its involvement in the Moscow meeting as "unnecessary" as the Taliban had "disrespected internationally-sanctioned principles and rejected the message of peace and direct negotiations."

But, this time, the Afghan government has sent four members of its High Peace Council to attend the meet. Russia has reaffirmed its position that there is no alternative to a political settlement, the need for active coordinated work among the neighboring countries, and agreements with the regional partners of Afghanistan.

“Taliban political envoys will attend the meeting but the participation does not mean they will hold talks with anyone. This is a meeting to debate the current situation in Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

“The meeting will discuss the end of American invasion, identify problems and deliberate on regional peace,” Mujahid said in a brief statement.
India to participate in Friday's Moscow talks with Taliban
 
  • Like
Reactions: R!cK

Himanshu

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
912
1,498
New Delhi
indopacfront.blogspot.com
Afghanistan’s Economic Gain and Loss from “National Air Corridor Program”


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with Indian President Narendra Modi on December 1, 2014 (Narendra Modi)

Afghanistan's National Air Corridor Program may not be sustainable, and gaining access to the Karachi port should be a priority for the Afghan government.

Afghanistan has long been suffering from what Paul Collier describes in his book The Bottom Billion as a “landlocked trap”—a landlocked situation with bad neighbors. Afghanistan’s lack of direct access to the sea and a capricious political relationship with neighboring Pakistan has marginalized the country from the international trade network, thereby hampering economic growth, surging unemployment, and proliferating poverty.

In recent years, Afghanistan has experienced a sharp decline in economic growth. The GDP growth substantially dwindled from 14.5 percent in 2012 to 2.6 percent in 2017, resulting in staggering 40 percent unemployment and 36 percent poverty rates. Its trade deficit, spurred by an extremely low export volume (6 percent of the GDP in absolute terms), has been growing substantially—jumping from 31.6% of GDP in 2016 to 33.6 percent of GDP in 2017.

Pakistan has remained Afghanistan’s largest trade and transit partner for decades. The aggregate trade between the two countries peaked at $2.7 billion during 2014-15. Afghan traders have used Pakistan as a route to access the gigantic Indian market. However, in the past few years, due to a turbulent political relationship between the South Asian neighbors, Pakistan has imposed several superfluous regulatory barriers to trade and shut down the Chaman and Torkham borders on multiple occasions. Such policies plummeted Pakistan’s trade relationship with Afghanistan—reducing the bilateral trade to $500 million—and impeded Afghan traders’ access to the Indian market. Thus, it was imperative for the Afghan government to diversify its trading partners and abrogate Pakistan’s intrusive impact on trade with India.

In June 2017, the Afghan government launched the “Afghanistan-India Air Corridor” as a pilot project to facilitate trade between Kabul and New Delhi via air freight. “Our goal is to change Afghanistan to an exporter country. Unless we are an exporter country, poverty and instability will not be eliminated”, said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during the launching ceremony. Since then, Afghanistan has exported 3,318 metric tons (MT) of goods through 155 flights to the Indian capital. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported a 28 percent increase in Afghan exports from 2016 to 2017, crediting it largely to the initiation of the air corridor program with India.

Following the success of the first air corridor project, the Afghan government expanded it at an impressive rate to several other countries, framing it as “National Air Corridor Program”. So far, the program has facilitated export of 3,643 MT of goods worth $63 million through 244 flights to international markets, including India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, European Union, Kazakhstan, and UAE. These include perishable and non-perishable goods, such as dry fruits, fresh fruits, medical herbs, handicrafts, and carpets. As a result, Afghanistan’s air exports have grown from $230 million in 2015 to $391 million in 2017, marking a 70 percent increase in two years, according to SIGAR.

On Nov 07, 2018, Afghanistan opened a new air corridor with China dispatching 20 tons of pine nuts (worth $500,000) to Shanghai. During the inauguration ceremony, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said, “Pine nut, pistachio and cumin are the hidden treasures of Afghanistan, and the government is committed to bring out its full potential via trade corridors.” It is estimated that Afghanistan will export approximately 2,000 MT of pine nuts to the Chinese market annually. The Afghan government also signed an MOU with the Turkish Airline to transport other commercial merchandises, such as vegetables, rugs, minerals, handicrafts, and animal products, to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.

Export via air corridor carries some financial costs for the Afghan government, on the other hand. In an attempt to make air transportation more affordable for the businesses and make Afghan products competitive in the international markets, the government provides 80 percent subsidy in the shipment costs, aggregating to $2 million to date. However, the air corridor program is still nascent. As it expands and larger amounts of merchandises are exported, the financial burden on the government could be overwhelmingly high. For instance, Ajmal Ahmady, President Ashraf Ghani’s senior economic advisor, recently tweeted, “We estimate the value of pine nuts to be ~$10k/MT in Kabul and ~$20k/MT in China. This means the total value for 22MTs is $440k (using end market prices). By comparison, shipping costs are relatively low at ~$3k/MT, or $66k for all 22MTs”. With the current subsidy rate, the government would need to contribute more than $17.5 million annually merely for 2,000 MT export of pine nuts to China.

Though the National Air Corridor Program is a “win-win” option for both the government and private sector at the status quo by offering faster, more secure, and more reliable mode of shipment in the immediate term, it might not be a viable alternative in the long term due to the high cost of air freight. The US government recently exempted the development of the Chabahar port from the new sanctions imposed on Iran under the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012. Thus, in the long term, Chabahar port will open a new transit route for the Afghan businesses to transport goods to India and other international markets via sea route. The Afghan government should also leverage Pakistan’s recent commitments to ease trade and transit for Afghan traders. Hence, providing Afghan businesses with access to the Karachi port should be a priority for the Afghan government.

India seeks more joint projects with China in Afghanistan

(MENAFN - Pajhwok Afghan News) KABUL (Pajhwok): India on Monday said it would like to pursue more joint projects with China in war-torn Afghanistan as the first batch of 10 Afghan diplomats being jointly trained by both countries started their training programme in New Delhi, according to a media report.

The Afghan diplomats, who underwent training in New Delhi from October 15-26, began a 10-day training stint at the China Foreign Affairs University on Monday, The Economic Times said.

This is the first joint programme being undertaken in Afghanistan by India and China. It was part of an understanding at the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping held in April in China's Wuhan city.

For China, which shares a border with Afghanistan, this is a rare initiative as it closely coordinates its Afghan policy with Pakistan. Kabul has been accusing Islamabad of backing the Taliban's frequent violent attacks destabilising the country.
..

Addressing the inaugural session of the China training programme, India's Deputy Ambassador in Beijing, Acquino Vimal said "We are hopeful that in the months to come we will be able to identify more specific projects which can be jointly done by the government of India and government of China for the benefit of Afghanistan as desired by the government and people of Afghanistan".

Vimal said India, which is committed to Afghanistan's efforts to emerge as a united, peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation, has committed USD 3 billion for its development in the last 17 years.

"India and Afghanistan are close neighbours as well as strategic and development partners. All efforts of India as a development partner of Afghanistan have been based on the priorities set by the government and people of Afghanistan. This has been our fundamental basis for any development partnership," an Indian Embassy press release quoted him as saying.

India's development programmes in Afghanistan focus particularly in the areas of building infrastructure, development of human resources, enhancing connectivity and promoting trade and investment links, he said.

Most of these major development projects have been completed over the years," he said.

Since 2017, the next generation of new development partnership has been launched in Afghanistan through high impact community development projects in all the provinces of Afghanistan, he said.

"I am happy to inform that through our scholarship and training programme, more than 3,500 Afghan diplomats are being trained in India every year," he said.
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: R!cK

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
8,572
4,385
China, India begin phase II of training programme of Afghan diplomats
The second phase of training programme of 10 Afghan diplomats in Beijing began on Monday as part of the joint project by India and China. In the 1st phase the Afghan diplomats were trained at the Foreign Service Institute in Delhi from 15th to 26th October.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Chief of Mission of Indian embassy in Bejing Dr Acquino Vimal said," India is firmly committed in Afghanistan’s efforts to emerge as a united, peaceful, secure, stable, inclusive and economically vibrant nation. India and Afghanistan are close neighbours as well as strategic and development partners."

He added that all the efforts of India as the development partner of Afghanistan has been based on the "priorities set by Government and the people of Afghanistan and this has been our fundamental basis for any development partnership."

Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Beijing Mardan Ali Qasemi & Hou Yanqi ,DDG, Department of Asian Affairs, MFA of China were also present during the occasion. Through its scholarship and training programme India trains 3500 Afghan diplomats every year.

In last 17 years, India has committed a grant of US$3 billion for the development of Afghanistan. Since 2017, the next generation of new development partnership has been launched with the Government of Afghanistan through high impact community development projects in all the provinces of Afghanistan.

The Indian Deputy Chief of Mission said, "We are hopeful that in the months to come we will be able to identify more specific projects which can be jointly done by Government of India and Government of China for the benefit of Afghanistan as desired by the government and people of Afghanistan."

India has also been developing number of infrastructure projects in Afghanistan with the Afghan Parliament in Kabul and India Afghan Friendship dam in Herat being constructed with New Delhi's help. Indian PM Modi has visited Afghanistan 2 times since taking over in 2014.

The joint training of diplomats was one of the major outcome of Wuhan infomral summit between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this year. Since then PM Modi and Chinese President have met on the sidelines of BRICS and SCO Summit. They will be meeting again on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Argentina. This will be the 4th meeting between the 2 leaders this year.
China, India begin phase II of training programme of Afghan diplomats
 

Himanshu

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
912
1,498
New Delhi
indopacfront.blogspot.com
Two More Attack Helicopters From India By March, Another Two By July, Says Afghanistan's NSA - Sniwire News

(APR): You don’t want to talk about specifics, but those 4 Mi-25s. We have been told that there are efforts to procure another four from Belarus and give them to you. How far has that project progressed?

(HB): We will receive the first of those two in March hopefully. It’s just a process that’s taking time. The other two in June or July. It’s just a matter of preparation. They will arrive soon.


 

Neo

Member
Jul 30, 2018
74
52
Amsterdam
We must drop some mother of all bombs on Afghans to be worthy of his praise.
We must drop some mother of all bombs on Afghans to be worthy of his praise.

Does anyone care to be worthy of praise by this joker? No one including his major allies in and outside America takes him serious. I wonder he takes himself seri
ously and know what he wants.

Last year on january 1st he had a major outburst against Pakistan. Eleven months later he came begging for our help to get Taliban to talk to him. :ROFLMAO:
 

Arvind

The PoKeMon
Moderator
Dec 1, 2017
1,393
995
India
Does anyone care to be worthy of praise by this joker? No one including his major allies in and outside America takes him serious. I wonder he takes himself seri
ously and know what he wants.

Last year on january 1st he had a major outburst against Pakistan. Eleven months later he came begging for our help to get Taliban to talk to him. :ROFLMAO:

Whats your take on Taliban? Should they be back at power in Afg?