Sanjeev's Feed
Jun 27, 2012

Afghanistan wants its cultural heroes back

KABUL (Reuters) – - Interred a quarter century ago in Pakistan, the remains of Afghan poet Ustad Khalilullah Khalili now lie in a forlorn corner of Kabul University, brought here to be reburied so that no one else can lay claim to the revered poet-philosopher.

He has no epitaph; only a few wilted bouquets lie at the grave of Afghanistan’s most prominent 20th century poet. Three policemen guard the site.

Jun 27, 2012

Feature: Afghanistan wants its cultural heroes back

KABUL (Reuters) – - Interred a quarter century ago in Pakistan, the remains of Afghan poet Ustad Khalilullah Khalili now lie in a forlorn corner of Kabul University, brought here to be reburied so that no one else can lay claim to the revered poet-philosopher.

He has no epitaph; only a few wilted bouquets lie at the grave of Afghanistan’s most prominent 20th century poet. Three policemen guard the site.

Jun 22, 2012

Afghan forces need reading lessons before security transfer

KABUL (Reuters) – A third of Afghan national security forces are taking basic lessons in reading and counting as NATO commanders accelerate their training ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign troops in 2014, the coalition has said.

More than 95 percent of recruits in the Afghan national army and police are functionally illiterate, having never been to school, so are sent on a beginner’s course to teach them how to write their name and count to 1,000 in their mother tongue.

Jun 20, 2012

Afghans slow to warm to their stable currency

KABUL (Reuters) – Abdullah Kakar, an employee in the agriculture department in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, converts most of his wages into Pakistani rupees each month except for a small amount to pay his electric bill, school fees and top up his phone card.

Everything else he pays for in the Pakistani currency, from tomatoes to the rent for his house, like millions of people in a swathe of provinces stretching from Nangarhar in the east down to Zabul and Kandahar in the south.

Jun 19, 2012

Afghanistan needs $7 billion aid after Western pullout

KABUL (Reuters) – - Afghanistan will need $6-7 billion a year in aid over the next decade to help grow the economy, the head of the central bank said on Tuesday, on top of a $4.1 billion bill for security forces to keep the peace once foreign troops leave in 2014.

In the run-up to a conference with donors in Tokyo, the government repeated a long-standing call for foreign assistance to be routed through Afghan government entities rather than international organizations, governor Noorullah Delawari said.

Jun 17, 2012

Taliban praise India for resisting Afghan entanglement

KABUL (Reuters) – - India has done well to resist U.S. calls for greater involvement in Afghanistan, the Taliban said in a rare direct comment about one of the strongest opponents of the hardline Islamist group that was ousted from power in 2001.

The Taliban also said they won’t let Afghanistan be used as a base against another country, addressing fears in New Delhi that Pakistan-based anti-India militants may become more emboldened if the Taliban return to power.

Jun 14, 2012

UK, Iran foreign ministers hold first talks since embassy attack

KABUL (Reuters) – British Foreign Minister William Hague met his Iranian counterpart on Thursday on the margins of a conference in Kabul, the highest level diplomatic contact since the storming of the British embassy in Tehran late last year.

The British Foreign Office said the meeting with Ali Akbar Salehi took place at the Iranian’s request and the two sides discussed Iran’s nuclear negotiations as well as the situation in Syria.

Jun 10, 2012

Afghan arsonists seek to enforce truancy from school

KABUL (Reuters) – Standing at a narrow half-open school gate, two boys in school uniform conduct body searches on fellow pupils and visitors. Another two sit at a table to take down details of comings and goings in a register.

Arson and poison attacks on schools across Afghanistan, mostly against those teaching girls, have forced students to defend themselves, an extra-curricular activity imposed by the government which blames the Taliban for the violence.

Jun 9, 2012

Veiled suicide bomber kills four French soldiers in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) – A suicide bomber dressed in a burqa blew himself up near a French patrol in Afghanistan on Saturday, killing four soldiers and wounding five, one of the deadliest attacks on the French contingent in months, as the Taliban step up a spring offensive.

The attack occurred in the mountainous Kapisa province in the east of the country, an area mainly patrolled by a French force under NATO command.

Jun 8, 2012

NATO says sorry for killing civilians in Afghan raid

KABUL (Reuters) – The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan apologized on Friday for killing civilians, including women and children gathering for a wedding, in an air strike this week that has stoked Afghan anger against foreign forces in the country.

NATO previously said the coalition and Afghan forces called for the air strike after they came under fire during an operation to capture a Taliban commander in the Baraki Barak district of Logar province.