Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
Nai, Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan says that, compared to the six first months of 2018, violence against the journalists has fallen by 50% in the country.
Speaking in a news conference in Kabul on Monday, Abdul Mujeeb Khalwatgar, Executive Director of Nai, in first six months of 2019, 35 cases of violence against journalists and media were recorded by Nai which includes 5 cases of murder, 6 injures, 17 cases of threats and insults, 3 cases of attacks on media, 3 cases of beating, and 1 case of IED explosion.
He added that: “in comparison with the first six months of 2018, we have witnessed 50.1% decline of violence. In the first six months of the last year, 71 cases of violence have been registered and this figure reduced to 35 cases this year and murder cases decreased 61% compared to last year. In the first six months of 2018, 13 cases of murder were recorded, and in first six months of 2019, 5 cases of murder were registered. Journalist injuries have decreased by 51% compare to last year.”
Nai added that based on the registered documents in this office, assault cases of reporters declined 84% as compared to last year. In the first six months of last year, 19 assault cases of journalist were reported and only 3 cases were registered in the first 6 months of current year.
Threats and insult of Journalists decreased by 16%, in the first six months of last year, 16 cases of insult and threats were reported which decreased 17% than first six months of this year, as per this report.
Nai added that 35 cases of violence have been recorded in the first six months of 2019, which declined 46% compared to last year.
Khalwatgar attributed the reasons of decline of violence against journalists to decrease of suicide and explosive attacks and also careful work of the media. He added that, in many cases, the media do not send the journalists for live coverage of suicide attacks and explosions.
“Still when journalists are threatened or have no access to information, means that the government has done nothing in this regard. If we witness the decrease of violence against journalists is based on reasons that the government has no role in that,” he said. He added that, if in some cases we witnessed an increase of the violence, it was directly related to government. “
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock has announced that, according to a survey of the Agricultural Statistics and Market Information Systems Department of the ministry, Afghanistan’s wheat crop harvest will increase by more than 42% compare to last year.
Speaking to a news conference in Kabul on Monday, Abkar Rustami said that, according to predictions and surveys of Central Statistics Organization and ministry of agriculture which works in cooperation with FAO and WFP organizations, the increase of wheat corp production will prevent the import of wheat worth $400 million and this figure will add value to trade balance in the country.
He added that the factors which contributed to the increase of wheat crops production in the country this year are sufficient rainfall, timely distribution of fertilizers and modified eggs, irrigating thousands of hectares of new land, increase of the cultivation area, providing free tractors for livestock farming and the training farmers by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Last year as per direction of Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, in addition with construction of 235 irrigation networks and expansion of thousands of hectares of irrigated areas, 20 thousand tons of Urea fertilizer and 10 thousand tons of modified eggs has been distributed for the first time and the right time to the farmers, according to Rustami.
He noted that, based on survey of the Ministry of Agriculture and Central Statistic Organization, “during the current year, the agricultural and livestock areas and the area under cultivation of wheat have increased, and the country’s total wheat production has been estimated more than 5.1 million tons which there is an increase of 1.52 million ton than last year, and compare to the past 13 years, the highest wheat production is expected in the country in the current year. ”
According to the spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture, Afghanistan’s demand for wheat is about six million metric tons in the current year, and according to statistics, wheat shortages will be about 900 thousand tons this year.
Upon the directives of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, some new investments in the form of deposits and direct investments in Pakistan worth a total of $3 billion were announced by Qatar.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the Qatari support comes to underscore the deep relations between the two countries and peoples.
Al-Thani added that by announcing this new investment package on Monday, the size of the Qatari-Pakistani economic partnership will amount to $9 billion, and on this occasion, the State of Qatar affirms its aspiration for further development in the relations between the two countries and peoples at all political, economic, sports, cultural and other levels.
Pakistan’s economy has been facing many problems for a long time. Recently, it got a bailout from the IMF and also monetary loan from the World Bank, apart from the investment and monetary help by countries like China.
Security officials have reported that five-members of a family were killed by Taliban in Badakhshan province.
Speaking to Reporterly on Monday, Badakhshan Police Command spokesman, Sanaullah Rohani said that, Taliban shot five-members of a family who were residents of Jurm district of the province.
Rohani added that, the members of this family were killed by Taliban in Khastak area after accusing them of cooperating with Government.
Women were also among the individuals killed in this incident, as per Badakhshan Police Command spokesman.
The Turkey Maarif Foundation inaugurated a girls’ high school in Kandahar province.
In a ceremony with participation of Turkey’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Director of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency in Kabul, officials of Maarif and Hayatullah Hayat the Kandahar governor a girls’ school was inaugurated in the province, Kandahar provincial press office said in a statement.
The school was opened in Aino Mina of Kandahar city.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kandahar Governor Hayatullah Hayat said that Turkey Maarif Foundation “fulfilled its promise” to people of Kandahar adding that the school will play a significant role and contribution to education in the region.
While pointing to the important role of Turkish women in the growth of his country, Turkish ambassador to Kabul said:” we want to share our experiences with our Afghan sisters.”
He also emphasized that, Turkey will soon provide the ground in which students can take Kankor preparation course in the province.
Officials of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce have announced the opening of Kabul-Sharjah air-corridor in UAE.
Ajmal Ahmady, Acting Industry and Commerce Minister tweeted on Monday that: “in continuation of opening of Afghan air-corridors with the world, we opened the Kabul-Sharjah air-corridor.”
Ahmady added that in the first flight through the air-corridor, more than 2 tons of fresh apricots and fresh plums were transferred to Sharjah.
Since the start of new air-corridor, more than 7,000 tons of goods have been exported to different corner of the world in 630 flights, according to Ahmadi.
The Taliban have announced that if the media do not stop what they call anti-Taliban “propaganda” within a week, the media will be targeted by the group in the capital as well as provinces.
A number of media outlets are launching commercial advertisement against the group and also publish special contact numbers of security departments which must be stopped, The Taliban Military Commission said in a statement on Monday.
The Taliban’s statement states that if all local radio stations (FM and non-FM), TVs and the rest of the media do not stop this activity within a week, they will be targeted.
The Afghan government and the media have not responded to this statement of Taliban.
ARG, presidential palace said in a statement that Mr Pekka Kosonen, the new ambassador of Finland to Afghanistan presented their Letter of Credential to President Ghani.
The President accepted the credentials of the new Finnish Ambassador Pekka Kosonen in the presence of Salahuddin Rabbani, Acting Foreign Minister on Sunday afternoon, presidential palace press office said in a statement.
According to the presidential palace, president Ashraf Ghani and new Finnish Ambassador have discussed about the expansion of ties between the two countries in various areas.
While expressing his pleasure with the beginning of his mission in Afghanistan at the ceremony, the new Finnish Ambassador has emphasized on his efforts to expand the relations between Afghanistan and Finland.
One of the world’s most prestigious centres of Islamic learning has issued a fatwa against child marriage, saying marriage should be based on the consent of both parties and “particularly the young woman”.
The deputy grand imam of al-Azhar, considered by some Muslims to be the highest authority of Islamic jurisprudence, hammered out the document with his team and young activists at the first African summit on child marriage and female genital mutilation, which took place in Senegal this week, as reported by UN Women.
Child marriages are illegal but widespread in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s minimum age of marriage for girls is 16 or 15 well below the internationally recommended standard of 18.
These unions mainly happen in rural areas, especially along the borders with Pakistan.
Child marriages are usually aimed at strengthening ties with rival families and tribes, as part of deals or to settle debts and disputes. Poor families often end up selling daughters for large dowries from wealthy people and the husbands are usually much older.
The decisions to sell off girls for marriage are made by men, and wives, mothers, sisters and the girls themselves having little or no say.
Nearly a tenth of Afghan adolescent females (aged 15–19) give birth every year as a consequence of early marriage and lack of access to reproductive health information and services as per UNFPA.