Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Welcome Russia: Afghans are waiting with love

By Hanan Habibzai 
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev who well knows how much the Russian army is hated by the Afghans, through this knowledge tried to advise the Russian leadership not to venture into Afghanistan to support NATO on the ground. This was done because one that Russians had already suffered a defeat at the hands of the Afghans and secondly because countless Afghans were killed that rendered a large population either disabled or deprived of their bread earners.
When I heard this News that Russia will redeploy its military in Afghanistan I was taken aback. It reminded me of the atrocities that my family went through during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1980s. Several members of my family lost their lives at the hands of the Soviet troops, those who survived are still suffering the pain and agony given by The Red Army. No Afghan is willing to accept this return for multiple reasons, rather the hate the very idea of their return to Afghanistan. I have disabled orphans (who are young now) and widows within my family, and in the same village. So for Gorbachev knows the hatred Russian military may face in Afghanistan, if they return again.
”The military victory in Afghanistan is impossible, he said, the US had no alternative but to withdraw its forces if it wanted to avoid another Vietnam.”
Gorbachev was speaking to BBC. As soviet leader, he pulled his troops out of Afghanistan more than 21 years ago after a 10-year war.
Russia has agreed to return to the war in Afghanistan at the request of the Western countries which helped the mujahedin to drive its forces out of the country 21 years ago.  According to the Independent News paper, Moscow is engaged in training the Afghan army and counter-narcotics troops and has agreed in principle to supply NATO with helicopters for use in Afghanistan. A number of aircraft have already been sold to Poland, a member of the US-led coalition, for use in the conflict. Now NATO is in talks with the Russians over direct supplies of more helicopters, training the pilots, and allowing arms and ammunition to be transported through Russian territory as an alternative to a Pakistani route which has come under repeated Taliban attack. A groundbreaking agreement with Russia on the issue is likely to be announced at the NATO summit next month in Lisbon, which is due to be attended by President Dmitry Medvedev.
It is not only my family and tribe, hundred of thousands Afghan will come forward and react to the military return of Russians.
‘Our country is suffering since USSR invaded Afghanistan. It is nothing else but a reminder of hard time to Afghans. Russian military presence in Afghanistan will drive more Afghans to support the Taliban fighters and this will be considered as new opportunity to take revenge from Russians. The sons of those who were killed by soviet forces in 1980s can now carry the gun and fight.” A Kandahar resident Hamidullah was sharing his concerns via phone.
Afghanistan turned to be a violent country following Russian invasion:
The Soviet War in Afghanistan was a ten year conflict that involved the full military might of the USSR, supporting the Marxist government of Afghanistan.
On 27 December 1979, 700 Soviet troops dressed in Afghan uniforms, including KGB and GRU special force officers from the Alpha Group and Zenith Group, occupied major governmental, military and media buildings in Kabul, including their primary target—the Tajbeg Presidential Palace by killing President Hafizullah Amin. This was a complete shock and aw action that momentarily had the entire Afghan people in a state of shock. Well this state was not to last for long, soon the people recovered and the resistance began.
The mujahedeen or the liberators who were scattered but soon got into some unified actions. They found support from a number of countries including the USA, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and other Muslim nations through the context of the Cold War.
The initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979 under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The final troop withdrawal started on 15 May, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Soviet Union Military withdrawal led to the collapse of USSR. ”I am very concerned, we’re only half way down the road from a totalitarian regime to democracy and freedom. And the battle continues. There are still many people in our society who fear democracy and would prefer a totalitarian regime.”   Gorbachev added during the interview with BBC.
Afghan institutions have been destroyed:
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan destroyed the country but badly failed to crush the will of the people. This war that was waged against the people of Afghanistan who were ill equipped and no modern training but through their sheer determination and resilience came back on the Soviets. But like the nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Afghanistan is also living with the war wounds and injuries. That trauma had yet to die then came the Americans with their Daisy Cutters and carpet bombing. We have never had any respite from these wars that have been thrust upon us after creating a media hype for the ulterior designs of the West.
We would never forget what the invaders did to us. This wound will remain fresh, afghans are known for their long term enmity and never forget to revenge their blood. This invitation extended to the Russians by the Americans has further developed more hatred against them.
The widows who lost their bread earners and life partners during soviet occupation are still alive and suffering the sorrow but with a brave face. They prepare their children to avenge the blood of their fathers.
Its estimated that about 2 million afghans died during the war, a greater number became disabled. 5 to 10 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran; that means about one third of the prewar population of the country. Another 2 million Afghans were displaced within the country. In the 1980s, half of all refugees in the world were Afghan.
Irrigation systems, crucial to agriculture in Afghanistan’s arid climate were destroyed by  aerial bombing and strafing  by the Soviet forces. In the worst year of the war, 1985, well over half of all the farmers who remained in Afghanistan had their fields bombed, and over one quarter had their irrigation systems destroyed and their livestock  shot by Soviet or Afghan government troops. According to a survey conducted by Swedish relief experts the population of second largest Afghan city, Kandahar, was reduced from 200,000 before the war to no more than 25,000 inhabitants, following a months-long campaign of carpet bombing and bulldozing by the Soviets and Afghan communist soldiers in 1987.
Land mines killed another 25,000 Afghans during the war and some 10–15 million land mines were planted mostly by the Soviets and some government forces, were left scattered throughout the countryside. A great deal of damage was done to the civilian children population by land mines. A 2005 report estimated 3–4% of the Afghan population was disabled due to Soviet era land mines. In the city of Quetta, a survey of refugee women and children taken shortly after the Soviet withdrawal found over 80% of the children refugees unregistered and child mortality at 31%. Of children who survived, 67% were severely malnourished who with  increasing age were finding it more difficult to cope with the deficiencies.
Soviet losses in Afghanistan:
The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453. Soviet Army formations, units, and HQ elements lost 13,833, KGB sub-units lost 572, MVD formations lost 28, and other ministries and departments lost 20 men. During this period 417 servicemen were missing in action or taken prisoner; 119 of these were later freed, of whom 97 returned to the USSR and 22 went to other countries, the rest were killed by their captors.
There were close to 150,000 troops deployed by the soviets. 53,753, or 11.44 percent, were wounded, injured, or sustained concussion and 415,932 (88.56 percent) fell sick. A high proportion of casualties were those who fell ill. This was because of local climatic and sanitary conditions, which were such that acute infections spread rapidly among the troops. There were 115,308 cases of infectious hepatitis, 31,080 of typhoid fever, and 140,665 of other diseases. Of the 11,654 who were discharged from the army after being wounded, maimed, or contracting serious diseases, 92 percent, or 10,751 men, were left disabled. After the war ended, the Soviet Union published figures of dead Soviet soldiers: the total was 13,836 men, an average of 1,512 men a year. According to updated figures, the Soviet army lost 14,427, the KGB lost 576, with 28 people dead and missing.
A lesson of 1980s: Russians are very familiar with Afghan psychology. They knew that the return would be very hard for those who lost their sweethearts during the USSR occupation of Afghanistan.
They knew that, a military return of USSR will increase the insurgency that will lead to worsening security situation. Many Afghan expected Russian current regime to apology for what Soviet Union did in Afghanistan but instead a second invasion will result a high price for invaders.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Iranian woman turned Afghan MP

By Hanan Habibzai

An Iranian woman will play a role of an Afghan MP in the next Parliament. A copy of an Iranian National ID card has been released recently evidents Farishta Amini an Iranian national who nominated herself from Nemroz province southwest of Afghanistan,near Iran's border.

She got enough votes to gain a set in the next parliament.

Iran has influential role within Hamid Karzai regime,a serious concern for western countries funding Afghanistan's current political and military process.

 It is not clear how she been allowed to be a parliamentary candidate but it is obvious that Iran has momentous and enormous  influence inside Afghan government.

Iranian dominant regime in Afghanistan will dismiss the interests of western allies and other key neighbors who keep close ties with United States and the European countries.

Monday, 18 October 2010

official circles in Afghanistan dominated by Iranian influence

By Hanan Habibzai
The presence of Iranian diplomat in a key international meeting raised concerns over Iran’s controversial role in Afghanistan.
It is first time, an Iranian representative attending a meeting on Afghanistan’s development issues organised by an international group.
‘’Iran will attempt to influence international strategies, if it regularly allowed attending such meetings ‘’ A Kabul University student Qadimullah Masoomi expressed his concerns.
According to The New York Times, the move welcomed Monday by both the American and international officials.
Iranian high ranking diplomat Ali Qanezadeh was also present at a briefing by Gen.David H Petraeus on NATO’s strategy for transition in Afghanistan.
Double game:
At the meantime some sources within Hamid Karzai government are thinking that Iran is aiding the Taliban.
They say several Iranian citizens have been held in Afghanistan for supporting the Taliban.
‘’Iran can not see the American presence in Afghanistan and that’s why continuingly interfering Afghanistan’’.  Mr Masoomi added.
Some officials in western Afghanistan claimed that Iran is training "a huge number of political opponents of the Karzai government in a refugee camp in Iran called Shamsabad.
Iran claims sympathy with Afghanistan but many Afghans are accusing the western neighbour perusing its own agendas in Afghanistan to increase their influence across the country for gaining certain interests.
Local population in Western Afghanistan expressed concerns over Iran’s widespread influence in the area.They urged, it is the right time for US to move its authority toward Afghan border with Iran.
During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980s Russian ambassador to Afghanistan considered as a key foreign diplomat in Kabul who had enormous influence on internal and foreign Afghan policy and decisions.
After the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Iran succeeded to gain the same role Russian diplomat was playing in Afghanistan.
Iranian ambassador was quick to increase its dominant lengths within Afghan government and extend its authority to remove or employ key security and civilian officials across Karzai’s government.
Iran gradually more invests on Afghan media and no one can speak freely against Iran in the streets of Kabul.
Few months ago, Iran succeeded to pressurise media and imposed ban through Afghan attorney general on a private TV channel Amroz, a critic of Iranian regime.
Iran’s religious leaders are extremely influential in the region and their views are particularly dominant in Shiite areas. Maintaining this influence is the key to Iran’s expansion plans, Iraq is a route to Surya, Lebanon, Palestine and even Israel.
Iran has effectively created a tunnel for itself through across the Middle East, supplying and arming extreme groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.
The success of its plans will eventually lead to the destabilisation of Sunnite Yemen and Saudi Arabia, creating the power vacuum Iran wants in Central Asia.
What does all this mean? A small mistake by the US in its Middle East policy could result in the country upping the pace of its plans. An Iranian dominated Middle East would pose a major threat to the West, Afghanistan, Israel and even Pakistan.
To put it simply, if America leaves Afghanistan, Iran will step in to increase its influence in the Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries through that region. Already Iran has its claws in Afghanistan.
It provides financial and political support to the religious Shiite minority, while thwarting the religious worship if the Sunnite minority in Tehran.
The Sunnites who dare to have their own religious centres face detention, whereas Iran spends millions of dollars to build a dominant Shiite religious centre in the heart of Kabul.
The majority Pashtuns in Afghanistan fear that their religion and power will be in danger in an Iran-controlled Afghanistan.
Iranian influence in the region will almost certainly destroy international efforts for peace efforts in the entire region. Iran’s hand can also be seen in Afghanistan’s neighbour Tajikistan where its influence is widespread.
Talks on how to tackle Iranian agendas should include discussion of the issue I have raised. Ignoring the creeping hand of Iran will disturb peace efforts not just in Afghanistan, but across the entire region.

Intelligence agency forced journalist Mujadadi to be informer before arresting him

Radio station director Hojatullah Mujadadi is currently the only journalist detained in Afghanistan. Although President Hamid Karzai ordered his release, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), an Afghan intelligence agency, is still holding him in appalling conditions, without allowing him the right to be defended by a lawyer. His arrests violates Afghan law, under which all cases involving journalists should be handled by the Media Commission.
Reporters Without Borders has an audio recording that clearly show that the NDS wanted to silence Mujadadi. Irritated by his independent reporting in the northeastern province of Kapisa, where he has been Radio Kapisa FM’s director for the past several months, the security forces found a way to arrest and charge him last month. The recording also sheds light on the disturbing methods used by the NDS to recruit journalists as informers.
In the audio recording made by Reporters Without Borders last May, Mujadadi said he had been summoned several times for questioning by NDS officials, who asked him to fill out a cooperation agreement form. According to Mujadadi, this would have meant agreeing to be a government spy. He was also asked to provide information about his contacts and to make detailed reports.
“Yes, this form was called the ‘Cooperation Form’ and if I had filled it out, I would have become an NDS member in addition to being a journalist,” Mujadadi says in this recording. “I was supposed to spy for them.”
Mujadadi’s revelations conclusively demonstrate that the NDS tries to turn independent journalists into informers. We urge the relevant authorities, including the interior minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, to put a stop to such practices.
It is disturbing that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) accepts the use of such methods by the NDS, its partner in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. The ISAF public information services never issued a correction to a statement in which they wrongly reported that Mujadadi was released in last September.
Mujadadi was arrested on 18 September at a voting station in Kapisa province that was being visited by the provincial governor. In recent months, he had reported being threatened by both the governor and NDS officials because of his independent coverage of events in the province including the case of the France 3 TV crew that was abducted there last December.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Karzai government is unable to deliver basic services

By Hanan Habibzai 

Hamid Karzai's government is unable to deliver basic services ,such as security,food and shelters. Intangibility is growing by every day and Widespread concerns increasingly reflect hopelessness and shed nervousness for public safety.
Increasing corruption in Afghanistan is contribuitng to increased porverty and a serious neglect of human rights in the country. 
The majority of Afghans live in poverty despite the fact that some $35bn (£23bn) of aid was poured into the country between 2002 and 2009.
The world community is focusing too much on military efforts and too little on long-term development. The office of the UN human rights commissioner highlighted the concerns in its report March this year.
widespread corruption further limits access to services for a large proportion of the population.blaming Afghan officials of advancing their own interests at the expense of the general public. Farther more Afghan population remained careless.
The United nation reported  that Afghanistan is still suffering the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world and the third highest rate of child mortality.
Only 23% of the population have access to safe drinking water and only 24% above the age of 15 can read and write.
'' And basically the main conclusion is that the abuse of power is the key driver of poverty in Afghanistan, vested interests frequently shape the public agenda whether in relations to law, policy or the allocation of resources" A top UN official said.
In Afghanistan ,the law and order is severely abused by key officials, judicial system is deeply soiled in corruption and the criminal law is only practicable against poor people who don't have a connection with key officials either unable to pay huge bribes.Afghanistan is dominated by widespread injustice and human rights abuses. 

Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Road to Kabul - Afghanistan

Afghanistan is still suffering in result of Russian invasion in the 1980

Almost three decades since Russian invaded Afghanistan,they finally defeated by brave Afghans bu my country is still suffering in the result
Afghanistan hit the world's headlines in 1979. Afghanistan seemed to perfectly summarize the Cold War. From the west's point of view, Berlin, Korea, Hungary and Cuba had shown the way communism wanted to proceed. Afghanistan was a continuation of this. 

In Christmas 1979, Russian paratroopers landed in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The country was already in the grip of a civil war. The prime minister, Hazifullah Amin, tried to sweep aside Muslim tradition within the nation and he wanted a more western slant to Afghanistan. This outraged the majority of those in Afghanistan as a strong tradition of Muslim belief was common in the country. 

Thousands of Muslim leaders had been arrested and many more had fled the capital and gone to the mountains to escape Amin's police. Amin also lead a communist based government - a belief that rejects religion and this was another reason for such obvious discontent with his government. 

Thousands of Afghanistan Muslims joined the Mujahideen - a guerilla force on a holy mission for Allah. They wanted the overthrow of the Amin government. The Mujahideen declared a jihad - a holy war - on the supporters of Amin. This was also extended to the Russians who were now in Afghanistan trying to maintain the power of the Amin government. 

 On December 27th, 1979, Amin was shot by the Russians and he was replaced by Babrak Karmal. Russian were already invited by Karmal His position as head of the Afghan government depended entirely on the fact that he needed Russian military support to keep him in power. Many Afghan soldiers had deserted to the Mujahedeen and the Kamal government needed 85,000 Russian soldiers to keep him in power.

The Mujahideen proved to be a formidable opponent. They were equipped with old rifles but had a knowledge of the mountains around Kabal and the weather conditions that would be encountered there. The Russians resorted to using napalm, poison gas and helicopter gun ships against the Mujahedeen - but they experienced exactly the same military scenario the Americans had done in Vietnam. 

By 1982, the Mujahideen controlled 75% of Afghanistan despite fighting the might of the world's second most powerful military power. Young conscript Russian soldiers were no match against men fuelled by their religious belief. Though the Russian army had a reputation, the war in Afghanistan showed the world just how poor it was outside of military displays. Army boots lasted no more than 10 days before falling to bits in the harsh environment of the Afghanistan mountains. Many Russian soldiers deserted to the Mujahideen. Russian tanks were of little use in the mountain passes. 

The United Nations had condemned the invasion as early as January 1980 but a Security Council motion calling for the withdrawal of Russian forces had been Russia. 

America put a ban on the export of grain to Russia, ended the SALT talks taking place then and boycotted the Olympic Games due to be held in Moscow in 1980. Other than that, America did nothing. Why ? They knew that Russia had got itself into their own Vietnam and it also provided American Intelligence with an opportunity to acquire any new Russian military hardware that could be used in Afghanistan. Mujhadeen fighters were given access to American surface-to-air missiles - though not through direct sales by America. 

Mikhail Gorbachev took Russia out of the Afghanistan fiasco when he realised what many Russian leaders had been too scared to admit in public - that Russia could not win the war and the cost of maintaining such a vast force in Afghanistan was crippling Russia's already weak economy. 

By the end of the 1980's, the Mujahideen was at war with itself in Afghanistan with hard line Taliban fighters taking a stronger grip over the whole nation and imposing very strict Muslim law on the Afghanistan population. 


Zbignev Bzezhinski in an interview to French Le Nouvel Observateur said: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujaheddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, Dec. 24, 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it On July 3, 1979 US President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul...We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would. The day the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war... 

The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan was indeed Vietnam-like in its brutality, killing nearly two million Afghans and helping to tear apart a country that in 1979 had relatively little religious fanaticism and was making advances in the status of women. In the upheaval, Afghanistan became a base for terrorists. 

When Ronald Reagan came to office in 1981, he maintained the Carter emphasis on the Persian Gulf-Arabian Peninsula sector that followed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. But his approach to the Middle East and its problems derived from a set of assumptions that were quite different from the initial assumptions of the Carter administration and were much closer to the assumptions after the Afghanistan invasion. Reagan held that the fundamental threat to peace and stability in the region was not the Arab-Israeli conflict but the Soviet Union and its policies. It was therefore important to restore American capability and credibility which could be facilitated by building up American forces to deal with the region. Unlike Carter, he assumed that the main focus of American interests and concern in the Middle East was the Persian Gulf sector, including Afghanistan which could pose a direct threat to the security of the Gulf. Reagan's policy toward Afghanistan maintained that while the United States would employ no military forces of its own, given, in part, that it was unable to secure the support of its allies, it would nonetheless provide aid to the Afghan rebels to pressure the Soviet Union to withdraw its forces. 

On March 1982 Reagan gave a speech, in which he proclaimed March 21st to be an Afghanistan Day throughought the United States. 

In many ways, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the United States’ subsequent support of the mujahidin resistance was another round of the Afghan “Great Game.” The “Great Game” portrays Central Asia, and specifically Afghanistan, as the region where “international superpower struggles” occur. 

The mujahidin were a mix of Afghan resistance fighters, Afghan refugees who had crossed into Pakistan at the onset of the Soviet invasion and later been recruited to fight the Soviet infidels, and Islamists and Muslims from other Arab nations who answered the international call to jihad against the Soviets. Contrary to popular myth, most of the mujahidin were not Islamic radicals, but rather a group of loosely allied Afghan tribes. Two main portions of the mujahidin, however, were Islamic fundamentalists. 

The mujahidin received significant financial and military support from various nations and individuals. The United States supported the mujahidin primarily through the CIA. This was controversial because the mujahidin clearly were not any more accepting of American modernity and culture then they were of the Soviet modernity. But, compared to the risks of the Soviet threat, "the relatively new threat of Islamic fundamentalism" was inconsequential, and "fighting communism was still first and foremost in the minds of U.S. policymakers" (Hartman). This was dictated by the Cold War world geopolitical code – defeating communism was part of the daily U.S. foreign policy routine on the global scale. Consequently, "The U.S. ignored the threat of Islamism and used it as a bulwark against communism and revolution" in Afghanistan. 

A key warlord to lead peace council

By Hanan Habibzai

Powerful warlord, Burhanuddin Rabbani, was appointed on Sunday to lead a delegation tasked with starting peace talks with Taliban.
A cleric like many of the Taliban, but an ethnic Tajik like many of their opponents.
He and his party has no interest to the returning of Taliban, he fought against the Taliban and  there would be little trust on so called reconciliation efforts under him.
He was once the leader of a rebel party during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, and served as president in the 1990s when mujahideen factions waged a war for control of power and killed tens of thousands of civilians in capital Kabul and other part of Afghanistan. His gorilla regime ended with the Taliban's rise to power in the 1996.
Rabbani subsequently became the political leader of the alliance of Afghan factions, with the help of the foreign countries and United States, overthrew the largely Pashtun Taliban in 2001. After the fall of Taliban regime, the key foes in Northern Alliance under Rabbani accused by international human rights groups being violent against humanity and massacred thousands.  
''The Taliban has no trust on any of those warlords who are belonging to Northern Alliance and fought under American-led coalition force against them .'' Said Jan Mohammad ,a Kabul residence. 

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Barack Obama names Tom Donilon national security adviser

Tom Donilon – a sceptic on Afghanistan troop increase – gets top job following resignation of General James Jones
Ewen MacAskill in Washington 
US commanders will come under greater pressure to begin withdrawing significant numbers of troops from Afghanistan next July after the appointment today of a new White House national security adviser, Tom Donilon.
He takes over from General James Jones, whose resignation after less than two years was announced today by Obama. Donilon is expected to be much more forceful than Jones as Obama's main adviser on foreign affairs and defence.
Donilon, with no military background, is much more political than Jones and sided with the vice-president, Joe Biden, in pushing for as early an exit from Afghanistan as possible and was reluctant to accede to the generals' insistence on sending an extra 30,000 troops this year.
His stance will put him at odds with the US commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, who took over this summer and is reluctant to begin withdrawing significant numbers of US troops until it is clear that progress has been made.
Obama, making the announcement today, stood by Jones in the Rose Garden and praised him as a friend and "a steady voice." Jones responded by praising Obama for turning round America's image in the world so quickly.
But behind the cordial words, the relationship is strained. CNN reported "friends'' of Jones saying he felt he had been pushed out and that this was the final indignity imposed on him by the Obama administration. The departure of Jones and other senior White House staff provides Obama with a chance to reshape his policies. Although Jones's resignation was widely expected, it is the most controversial of the departures so far.
He has long been out of synch with Obama's inner circle, figures such as the chief White House adviser, David Axelrod, the former White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and Donilon, who was Jones's deputy.
The New York Times reported that Jones's resignation – planned for next year – was accelerated because of indiscreet comments by Jones in Bob Woodward's book, Obama's Wars, published last month that details the internal debate in the White House over sending an extra 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan.
The Obama team has long prided itself on its discipline and lack of leaking to the press, and was unhappy with the portrayal of in-fighting rather than the picture it wanted of Obama being thoughtful and then decisive.
In the debate, Donilon emerged one of the sceptics, sceptical about sending the extra troops. Woodward wrote that the Pentagon disliked Donilon and quoted the defence secretary, Robert Gates, telling Jones that Donilon would be "a disaster" if he became national security adviser.
Gates, at a Pentagon briefing, insisted he had a good relationship with Donilon "contrary to what you might have read". Jones too, in his comments at the Rose Garden, tried to play down differences, describing Donilon as "my team-mate and friend".
Woodward's book said that Jones regarded Donilon as a disloyal deputy. Jones became a victim of a whispering campaign among White House staff after Obama had been in office only six months, with claims that he took a narrow definition of his job, worked minimal hours and was being bypassed on major policy issues.
After an intense policy debate among his top policy advisers last year, Obama agreed to a request by his generals to send the extra 30,000 troops to the 90,000 already there but insisted they accept the July deadline for the start of withdrawal.
Donilon, who is expected to take up his new job before the end of the month, is a foreign policy wonk who wants to see the US put Iraq and Afghanistan behind it and focus instead on issues such as the coming crisis over Iran's alleged attempts to secure a nuclear weapons capability and on the challenge posed by the growing strength of China.
Among those who have left or are about to leave the White House team are key members of the economics team, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag and Christina Romer. The White House has attributed the departures mainly to exhaustion.
Gates has signalled he intends to stand down next year as will the head of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Afghanistan will faces wheat crisis upcoming winter

By Hanan Habibzai

Afghanistan is among the most vulnerable countries in the world for food supply, according to the Food Security Risk Index 2010, compiled with the UN's World Food Programme.The country, one of the world's poorest, faces a shortfall of 700,000 tonnes of wheat.

Afghanistan's agriculture system has been destroyed during the war and destruction and most of the farmers don't have access to the farming stuff and enough water.

Recently Karzai government said Afghanistan has enough wheat and there would be 15% tax on importing more wheat from foriegn countries specially Russia.

now Russia faces drought as well as Pakistan flood disaster will take Afghanistan to a famine. How will Karzai government deal with 20 Million people face poverty in Afghanistan. Upcoming winter would be full of crisis? It is a big concern

Key Afghan governor has been killed

By Hanan Habibzai 

Kundoz governor Mohammad Omar was among 15 others killed when early Friday a heavy bomb targeted him at a mosque in Afghanistan's northern province of Takhar.

More then 20 other were wounded.
The province of Kunduz ,a part of northern Afghanistan, was most troubled by Taliban insurgents but  governor had some serious tension with key high ranking officials in Kabul,sources said. 

Newly appointed security chief for northern provinces General Daud Daud criticized governor Omar time to time and they had some disagreement in order to handle the situation. 

He repeatedly said that insurgency is widely increasing across Kundoz province and called for security attentions. 

Local population accusing him carrying out military operations that targeted local civilians. 

''Governor Omar requested air strickes on fuel tankers seized by a small group of suspected Taliban militants on September 2009 which killed 163 ordinary Afghans ,most of them were children and aged people. '' Said Mirza Gul ,a local residence. 

Afghanistan: Land of Injustice and Warlords

Justice means peace,peace means freedom,war means violence and violence is crime. Peace can be restored only by the prosecution of war criminals in Afghanistan.

By Hanan Habibzai  

Nearly two weeks ago, some eight Aid Workers were put to death; this has further made the life insecure in Afghanistan where peace and development are most desired. Such wanton killings only further destabilise the country and the region.
Today Afghanistan is home to the US and NATO forces who landed here for some hidden agendas but the declared objectives were to bring peace and development to Afghanistan, that’s not only a distant dream but its totally ignored.
These foreign forces have patronised their warlords who are working through them to firm their grip over the country but they are getting a strong resistance from the people all over the country. Northern Allience’s Qasim Fahimand Karim Khalili the first and second deputies of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his chief of army staff  Abdul Rashid Dostum have become the instruments of warlordism and  criminal activities.

Concerns about the security of aid workers:
They massacred thousands of Taliban prisoners just after the fall of Taliban regime in late 2001. So far, the remnants of those prisoners who have been brutally massacred have now appeared as key part of remerged Taliban fighters and they are fighting to bring the mass murderers to the so called justice.
Even though, killing and kidnapping is an everyday business in Afghanistan but the recent killing of foreign aid workers not only hurt international allies of the war torn country but the needy Afghans were also deprived of relief aid and other facilities as a consequence of such killings.
Foreign aid workers have suffered enormous causality, since US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, but the bloody ambush remind again that apart from the Taliban there is another gangster group who trying to keep Afghanistan an insecure state.
It is true that the mountains of Afghanistan have been occupied by the Taliban but international military operations are under way against them to mark an end to the activities of the Taliban and its allies but none have succeeded to silence or oust the Taliban.
The most dreadful foes are the warlords who are committing atrocity under the patronage of the strong officials and often perpetrate such offences without any fear. Such warlords have their strong holds where no one can enter without their permission and that costs money and obedience where no logic applies. This warlord culture is pushing the people towards the Taliban who are gaining strength by the day.  The powerful warlords have direct ties with Iran, India, Russia and other foreign countries encouraging their interests in Afghanistan.
After the fall of Taliban regime in 2001 when US-led troops went to Afghanistan, they backed a government formed by war criminals that are not loyal to humanity. The same people who were in power after the fall of last communist regime of Afghanistan in 1990.
As soon as they held the power a civil war took place in the streets of Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands innocents were killed. They looted the cities and the villages, bribery became the order of the day, illegal taxes are just to demand and the poor have no option but to pay. Yet they do the same under official circumstances.
On entering the house, they found a woman who was chained and was subjected to rape at the will and desire of the warlord worker. Taliban recovered the woman and later took the criminal into custody, held an open trial and punished them within no time.  This quick justice gave a fresh breath to all the oppressed, suppressed and voiceless people of the area who welcomed the Taliban.The atrocities led to Taliban appear on the scene. The triggering incident was that in Kandahar, a favourite of a warlord had abducted and confined a woman in his house whom he would rape every day. One day Taliban were passing in front of that house when they heard the screams of a woman seeking help.
In 1995 and they destroyed the warlords and war criminals and brought peace and justice to the area. Henceforth, Taliban were welcomed where ever they went and they established their rule over Afghanistan without any fight accept for the Northern Alliance who were being backed by the outside powers like Russia, India, Iran etc.
Later in 2001, when the US invaded Afghanistan, they brought the same warlords into power who once again resorted to their old methods of harass, loot and kill. By any chance, these warlords were not the alternative of the Taliban but once again the people are suffering but for few and the voices of the suppressed people are further suppressed under the US and NATO.
Only Justice can bring peace in Afghanistan:
Peace cannot come without Justice, which means the prosecution of war criminals and warlords in Afghanistan. Similarly like the prosecution of Radovan Karadzic. The same experience will mark the end of business to crime and dirty work in Afghanistan too.
The genocide committed by Bosnian Serbs under Mr Karadzic in 1992-1995 finally took him to the justice.After his arrest the former Serb Leader appeared in Hague.   His tribunal was debut for war crime in Afghanistan.The impression of war crimes is an idea new to Afghanistan. All Afghan people are looking for justice for their offenders.
Most recently Liberia’s former President Charles Taylor has appeared in Hague. The charges associated to his role in the bloodshed of neighbouring Sierra Leone where he apparently supported rebels responsible for widespread atrocities.
Afghanistan’s violent foes should also be brought under similar legal circumstances to avoid crime against humanity in Afghanistan. The only way remains which can take the country back to peace. They have killed hundred of thousands innocent during 1990s as well as after the fall of Taliban regime.

Afghanistan faces of state terrorism:
The widespread corruption and drug business is link with their work that is at its highest level.Lack of justice turned the criminals across Afghanistan very impudence and they are getting around with no fear of legal prosecution because the judicial system is hugely dominated by warlords and corrupt officials.
In early December 2003 when a Pakistani engineer became the first victim of violence in Ghanzi province, the Afghan Interior Minister of the time Ali Ahmad Jalali urged the killers were not connected to the Taliban.
Five armed men were arrested in connection with the attack on road constructor but few months later the suspected attackers had been freed.  The justice has been ignored.
Now, seven years later, the number of foreign aid workers dead in Afghanistan reached to its highest total. The recent killing of a group of aid workers in Badkhshan brought the number to 154. A figure published in June this year shown the number of foreign aid workers killed in Afghanistan 146.
This is a high cost foreign aid agencies are paying in Afghanistan. Including Afghan population, the key victims of injustice are aid workers, journalists and investors.
On June 7, 2008 a Journalist Abdul Samad Rohani was abducted from the heart of Lashkar Gah, the main city of Helmand province where Afghan government’s control is strong. His dead body was then left in a nearby cemetery.
Few days before his killing Rohani had discovered a secret jail run by Helmand police in Nawa district; this became the reason for his elimination by the Police. The initial impression was that Rohani had been abducted by the Taliban and killed but the truth came out when Helmand Governor Gulab Mangal stated in June this year that the journalist was kidnapped and killed by Afghan Security Officials. Declaring ‘’I’m unable to arrest the killers’’.
Rohani 25, was the oldest son of a family of seven children. He was married and he left behind two widows and two children daughter Zahra and son, Amran.
On November 1, 2008 another similar killing proved the government of Hamid Karzai involved in the series of killings and kidnapping civilian figure.  Mohammad Ashraf Dustukhel a trader has been assassinated just a few meters from a key police check point near Afghan Presidential Palace and Ministry of Defence. Interior ministry’s record shows that sixteen police officer were present in check point in the same time. Despite continuing calls for justice his family was unsuccessful to bring the killers to the court.
Now, shall we think ahead who might commit the massacre of aid workers?
Badkhshan’s armed groups:
However, the atrocity has been attributing to Taliban but local support for Taliban militancy is very trifling in Badkhshan, north of the country, the Northern Alliance rules that area.
The people loyal to different Northern Alliance’s faction are still carrying illegal arms and some of them have been employed in the Police Force, this has given them the power to act as they wish and subdue the people and make them respond to their demands no matter what. Some of these people are made carriers of drugs and some are deployed to kill and harass others.
The province is very far from the control of law and order. Badkhshan is located near Tajikistan a very easy region for traffickers to transport drug to Central Asia and to Russia. The traffickers need an insecure region to allow drug industry to secure the illegal business.
The pure sacrifices of foreign nationals are happen because of injustice promoted by the warlords holding Afghanistan’s official power. Aid workers and Afghan civilians are paying the high price.
Only the removal of key warlords and gangsters within current Afghan government can decrease illegal armed activities. It will improve Afghanistan’s security for local population as well as for aid workers. The justice should be restored.
Without Pakistan, real peace cannot be achieved in the region, same time its also imperative to involve Taliban in the peace process and open the doors to them without any discrimination.

This article first publish in Veterans Today