Musharraf – Karzai Forum

What follows is someone’s summary of the public statements by Musharraf and Karzai after their conference on September 7. Note that Musharraf spoke for 70 minutes — it must have been a huge drain on the attention span of those present. Karzai spoke for 15 minutes only. There are many interesting details here, reflecting the ways that the two leaders see the world. Musharraf offers to help build a railway from Quetta to Kandahar. A rail system in Afghanistan is inevitable; will it really materialize now? And for it to come into Kandahar, where it is much easier and from where it can continue on to Herat [not Kabul] will be much easier and of course from there into the ex-Soviet Central Asian states, mainly Turkmenistan? — that will shift the transport focus from Kabul to Kandahar. A road to Jalalabad will be on the way to Kabul, but a railroad will be much more difficult and expensive. Musharraf also renounces support for the Taliban. And for Al Qaeda. We’ll see.

Musharraf – Karzai Forum

Ø Afghanis and Pakistanis need each other more than ever before – there is no other option.
Ø There is a need to turn our region into a Tiger economy and this can only happen in the environment of peace and stability.
Ø We need to establish an economic zone in Central Asia /South Asia. Pakistan is willing to help in the following areas:
o Railway link between Quetta and Kandahar
o Jalalabad – Peshawar Road
o Health Sector
Ø He acknowledged Pakistani support of the Mujahideen and then the Taleban (up until 9/11). Pakistan had a need to support the Taleban.
Ø Pakistan no longer sees the Taleban representing the Pashtoons.
Ø We have to somehow forget the past and look to the future.
Ø Pakistan’s historical ties to Afghanistan ie Jihad, refugees etc
Ø Afghans continue to blame the Pakistanis for their woes. He is saddened by this accusation as this is not true.
Ø Pakistan would be a fool to support the Taleban as they totally oppose the Talebanisation of their country (like Afghanistan)
Ø No doubts that Al Qaeda / Taleban are active in Pakistan. As they are in Afghanistan.
Ø Pakistan is against terrorism as
a) it will help in the Talebanisation of Pakistan
b) it goes against its `coalition’ agenda and
c) it will decrease the likelihood of economic development (or economic zone mentioned above).
Ø Pakistan has limitations in controlling/clamping down on these groups because of a lack of
a) capacity and
b) capability.
Ø Afghans should not doubt the intentions of Pakistan.
Ø Don’t blame us for what is going inside of Afghanistan.
Ø Pakistan is willing to wire the border areas (an experience that has worked well between India and Pakistan)
Ø The people of Pakistan too blame Afghanistan for
a) internal Pakistani strife
b) Baloochistan
c) training camps inside of Afghanistan and
d) foreign powers attempting to destabilise Pakistan (meaning India).
Ø Both nations should stop this blame game.
Ø We need to fight terrorism together.
Ø We need to remain united in this fight (blaming each other will lead to defeat)
Ø We need to look at each other’s allegations and then eliminate them.
Ø Pakistan acknowledges that there are hundreds of Al Qaeda (foreign) members operating out of Pakistan’s major cities ie Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi etc. Already many have been arrested and locked up (some kicked out of the country).
Ø The Taleban are different as:
o They have roots
o They have command structures
o They have better organisation
Ø There are three types of Taleban:
o Moderate religious types (extremists but not terrorists)
o Hard core Taleban
o Charsi Taleban (thugs who are now Talebs) – `Charsi’ means hashish smoker
Ø Tactics are adopted to win battles while strategies are utilised to win wars
Ø Pakistan favours talking to the moderate Pashtoons (in order to get them onside so that they fight the Taleban) while isolating the more extremist elements within the group. Pakistan’s strategy will entail:
o Defeating the Taleban militarily
o Bolstering its civil administrations in the hot spots
o Raise agency councils through tribal chiefs (or Maliks)
o Massive economic development projects
o Political solutions – cited the recent appointment of General Orakzai (briefly mentioned that locals are tired of fighting in Wazirstan)
Ø Recent agreement (in Wazirstan) entails:
o The expulsion of foreigners from these regions.
o No training camps
o No Taleban infiltration into Afghanistan
Ø Longer term strategy should be to find the root causes of terrorism
Ø Short term strategies will include:
o Curtailing the use of loud speakers that spread hate
o Stopping hate literature ie night letters
o Having a comprehensive Islamic curriculum at school
o Reforming the Madrassa system.

Ø Afghans remain appreciative of Pakistan’s hospitality during the Jihad years
Ø Our intention is to have a peaceful and brotherly relations with our Pakistani neighbours
Ø Afghans will never allow foreign elements or regimes to use the Afghan soil for anti Pakistani activity (or incursions into Pakistan)
Ø The Taleban don’t represent the Pashtoons – on both sides of the border
Ø Afghans are happy about the deal between the Pakistani gov.’t and N. Wazirstan Taleban – in particular as it may stop Taleban incursions into Afghanistan.
Ø Recognition of the need for stronger ties between the two countries.
Ø We are hurt by extremist activity.
Ø We are seeking Pakistan’s assistance as a brother.

Hakim Taniwal

September 11, 2006

The memory of losses on this date five years ago is now overlaid with grief and shame at what our leaders did with the goodwill the world had for us at that moment. In Iran they had vigils in memory of the people lost in the World Trade Center, and all across the world there was broad sympathy for what our country had experienced. Now it is gone. Not only our wealth and the lives of many brave Americans (not to mention the many innocent civilians) but also the world’s sympathy, trust, and respect have been squandered. God help us.

On September 10 Hakim Taniwal, governor of Paktia province in Afghanistan was killed by a suicide bomber. I met him when he was involved in the Afghan Writers Union in Peshawar. He was a sociologist and used his knowledge to write
about the Afghanistan situation in critiques of the Afghanistan Communist regime, mostly in Pushtu. He was one of the few scholars who did not leave the area for better opportunities elsewhere. He stayed, along with several other scholars, to represent the war effort as a scholar.

The times were different when I knew him. The Soviets were pulling out their troops and the Afghanistan peoples were exultant. But the mujahedin organizations were on the verge of fighting each other, creating such confusion and grief that the Taliban defeat of the mujahedin would be welcomed a few years later, in the mid-1990s. Taniwal went to Australia in disgust. When Karzai was made provisional head of the Afghanistan government in 2002 he turned to Taniwal as well as other progressives to help him. Taniwal served the new government as governor of Khost, then as Minister of Mines, and in the present post – replacing a particularly culpable “warlord” – in Paktia.

There have been 47 suicide bombings in Afghanistan this year. The name of the one who killed Taniwal is unknown to those on the government’s side, but there is no doubt that his name is known and valorized somewhere, probably just across the border in Waziristan. Somewhere there is a place where the pictures of “martyrs” are displayed and their stories told as great exploits in the name of God; videos made by them before their deaths are available. They will be shown to another generation of young men eager to serve God. From this “hero” they will learn how they can give their best, their all for God.

Hakim Taniwal
Published: September 12, 2006 (The Herald)

Governor Hakim Taniwal, who died aged 63 on September 10 in a suicide bombing outside his office in Gardez, Paktia, was very different from the caricature of a rugged Afghan tribal leader.

A sociology professor, educated in Germany and fluent in five languages, Dr Taniwal was a gentle Afghan intellectual with the courage to instil order and spearhead development in the lawless Paktia province, bordering Pakistan.

You and President programme in Kabul

Few of you will want to read through all of this, but there are some interesting
things about it. Note the language shifts, the female presenter, and the kinds
of issues that are raised with the president. That such a program goes on in a
part of the world where this kind of open dialogue has long been impossible
indicates something of the changes taking place. But of course, as you will
easily see, much remains the same… RLC Subject: You and President programme
Date: Jun 4, 2005
– Part one: You and President programme
Radio Afghanistan (in Dari and Pashto)
June 3, 2005 1330 gmt
Kabul, Afghanistan

[Female presenter in Pashto] Dear listeners, peace be upon you. My
colleague, Lotfollah Rashid, and I, Nafisa Latifi, are at your
service to present you the You and President Programme of this week.
We hope you will stay with us until the end of the programme.

[Male presenter in Dari] Esteemed Karzai has answered the questions
of a number the residents of Kabul this week. We draw your attention
to these questions and answers.

Esteemed Karzai’s latest visit to the United State of America and the
signing of the strategic partnership between Afghanistan and America
were the topic of discussions among the people as well as on the
Afghan and foreign media. The first question of this week is also
about this issue. Let’s listen together.

[A man in Dari] Mr Karzai, peace and blessings be upon you. May name
is Mohammad Arif Ebrat, head of a charity organization. My question
is that when you were in America, the Afghan mass media reported that
one of the provisions in the agreement was granting freedom of action
to the American forces in Afghanistan. However, after your return,
you told a news conference that these operations would be coordinated
with you [Afghan government]. Can you clarify this?

[Male presenter in Dari] The second question is on the same issue.
Let’s listen to it and then to the answer to both of the questions.

[A man in Dari] Mr Karzai, peace and blessing be upon you. My name is
Fahim, a citizen of the city of Kabul. You seemed very happy at a
news conference on your return from America. We wish you happiness,
but we are anxious to know the reason behind your happiness. For
instance, is there anything in the agreement that has made you happy?

[Hamed Karzai in Dari] In the name of God, the Merciful, the
Compassionate. Dear brother Mohammad Aref Ebrat, may peace and
blessings of God be upon you. You asked a very important question.
The reason we ask for long-term cooperation with America and other
countries, particularly America, Europe and the United Nations, as we
have made it clear several times in the past also, is that
Afghanistan is at a very sensitive stage and is moving towards
stability and a better system. This is not possible without the
cooperation of the international community.

Luckily, we achieved what we expected from our visit. We agreed and
signed a joint declaration. This declaration has a provision with
regard to the freedom of actions of the forces of the United States
of America and the coalition forces. I am reading the sentence in the
joint declaration. This declaration has been published in press and
magazines. Please read it and then you can ask questions on any point
of it. In the third page of the joint declaration it says: The US and
coalition forces will have the freedom of action on the basis of
consultation and agreed regulations. This means that they should
consult our representatives and after agreements, they can carry out
operations. This was our wish which has been accomplished. For this
purpose, joint delegations comprising officials from the Afghan
Defence Ministry, US Defence Department, Afghan and US security
organs as well as the coalition forces, will be formed. They will
discuss all issues pertaining operations in detail in order to make
regulation, reach mutual agreement and then carry out operations.

With regard to the question of our brother, Fahim Khan, who said that
I seemed very happy during my news conference after returning from
America. Yes, I was very happy indeed, and I have reason to be happy.
When we visited America and whenever we visit any country, we see the
Afghan flag being hoisted on their government buildings during our
visits. We see Afghanistan’s flag being hoisted on their parliament
buildings and other places. This is what makes us happy. It is an
issue of protocol. Every country has to do this when a president or
prime minister of that country visits a host country. The reason for
my happiness this time was that when we went from Washington to
another American state, called Nebraska, some 3,000 or 3,500 km away,
and then from the capital of Nebraska we went to an agricultural
area, a village where about 3,000 people lived, I saw the people were
holding Afghanistan’s flags on the way to that district. People
including, children, women, elderly people and young people, were
holding and waving Afghanistan’s flag. Some of them were standing in
groups in front of their houses and some were standing on the roofs
of their houses. The fact that Afghanistan was known in a remote
village there and the villagers holding Afghan flags made us very

You also asked question about other issues in the agreement. I was
happy about the agreement as well. We achieved what we wanted. For
instance, we reached an agreement about military operations that
there should be mutual agreement about operations between us and the
coalition forces. We agreed on the issue of our prisoners. The
agreement says that [Afghan] prisoners will be handed our to
Afghanistan when Afghanistan improves its prison systems. We will
definitely do this to get our prisoners back. Other major issues have
been included in this joint declaration which will improve the
situation in Afghanistan.

I will read some of the points to you. In the first page of the
declaration it says: This partnership should strengthen peaceful and
fruitful relations between Afghanistan and its neighbours. This
strategic cooperation is not against any third country.

In another section, it states: This cooperation is a basis for our
joint efforts to coordinate the fight against international terrorism
and extremists’ violence, to promote stability and prosperity in the
region and to remain steadfast in supporting Afghanistan to
annihilate narcotics.

In another section, it says: This cooperation is based on both
countries’ constitutions and their commitments towards the UN charter
and conventions and other international agreements.

In another section, it states: Afghanistan’s historical role as a
bridge between Central Asia and South Asia should be revived to turn
regional rivalry into economic and political cooperation.

In another section, it says: Cooperation between Afghanistan and its
neighbours should be improved and interference in the internal
affairs of Afghanistan should be prevented. This issue is of
significant importance to us because Afghanistan has been destroyed
by foreign interference. Our houses were destroyed and our people
were martyred over the last 30 years. So in this declaration,
commitment has been made to help protect Afghanistan against foreign
interference and make it a strong country that stands on its own feet
in the region, so that it can live in cooperation and understanding
with its neighbours.

There are several other issues in the declaration which are of
importance to us. This declaration has been published. Please find it
and read it and then ask questions if you have any.

Part Two: You and President programme
Radio Afghanistan (in Dari and Pashto)
June 3, 2005 1330 gmt
Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamed Karzai has said that the killing of a religious scholar
in Kandaharand the subsequent suicide bomb attack during a ceremony to honour
his memory were part ofa Taleban plan to “create greater chaos and tension”, and
they were partially successfulin achieving this. However, he believes this
violence is a sign of their weakness andfailure and predicts that if the Afghan
people are vigilant, the parliamentary electionwill pass off peacefully.
Speaking during a question and answer programme on Afghan Radio,he also stressed
the grand assembly he held before going to the USA was purelyconsultative, and
any treaty will have to be approved by parliament. The following is thetext of
part two of the You and the President programme aired on Radio Afghanistan on
3June, subheadings inserted editorially:

[Female presenter in Pashto] The forthcoming parliamentary elections, the
securitysituation and how the parliamentary election process is going is one of
the issues ofconcern for our countrymen. One of this week’s questions concerns
this issue. Let’s listentogether.


[Male in Dari] My name is Abdolghafur, from Laghman Province. My question is
about theparliamentary elections. Has the government taken any measures
regarding the parliamentaryelections so that they can be held in a peaceful

[Hamed Karzai in Dari] Dear brother, Abdolghafur Khan. Yes, we have made
specialarrangements for the parliamentary election. Luckily, more than 6,000 of
our sisters andbrothers have registered as candidates for the national assembly
and for provincial anddistrict councils. God willing, our elections will be held
in the best way possible.Special measures have been taken for this purpose.

The enemies of Afghanistan and terrorists will try to harm us to create
terror, but justas they failed during the presidential election, they will fail
during the parliamentaryelection as well. The people of Afghanistan will hold
elections and will appointrespectable representatives to the assembly. In this
way, Afghanistan will accomplish thefinal stage of creating its national
institutions. Consequently, Afghanistan will have anindependent system and will
advance towards a better and more stable future.

Need for vigilance

However, I must tell you that in the coming three months, ahead of the
elections, all thepeople of Afghanistan must remain very vigilant. All Afghan
people should be vigilant andcareful. We must not allow the enemies of
Afghanistan to harm our children, our mosques,our religious scholars or our
school students. They will do their best to harm us duringthese three months
because it will be their final effort. They know that the parliamentaryelections
will completely remove them from the scene. Therefore, we must be very
careful.If we see anything suspicious and we feel they are planting a bomb or
want to attack, wemust immediately inform the police or other authorities to
prevent such incidents. We mustbe watchful.

Kandahar attacks sign of “failure and weakness”

They are failures, and their latest activities show signs of their failure and
weakness.Yesterday, or the day before yesterday, we saw that those who serve
others in the name ofthe Taleban and who operate against their country, or bring
in foreigners to destroy theircountry, killed a very prominent religious
scholar, Mawlawi Fayaz. He came from apatriotic family of Afghanistan. They had
an objective behind this attack and thatobjective was to deprive Afghanistan of
such a personality.

Also, it was natural that the governor of Kandahar and elders of Kandahar
tribes wouldparticipate in the mourning ceremony for Mawlawi Fayaz. They
prepared a foreigner to harmall the elders and leaders of Kandahar. It was a
major plan. They wanted to create greaterchaos and tension in the country. They
succeeded to some extent in their plan. Theymartyred Mawlawi Fayaz, and then
martyred the security commander of Kabul, Gen Akram. Iknew him from the times of
jihad. He was one of the best mojahed. He was a close colleagueof mine during
the resistance against the Taleban. May God bless him and may the Almightygrant
patience to his family.

But these people do not know that their actions reveal their non-Islamic face,
their cruelface, and their violence against the poor Muslim people of
Afghanistan, against religionand the mosque. Their action was for the sake of
strangers, to destroy Afghanistan and toprevent Afghanistan from standing on its
own feet so that foreigners and strangers cancome and rule and oppress our
people again. God willing, they will fail. Signs of theirfailures are clear.
Since they cannot do anything else, they have started killing people,which is a
sign of their failure.

Consultative meeting and ties with USA

[Male presenter in Dari] Recently, the Afghan state summoned a council of
elders andleaders of the country in the capital to ascertain the people’s view
regarding thecontinuing presence of foreign troops. Some people have expressed
disagreement with thisand have said that those who took part in this council
were not real representatives ofthe people.

Mr Khalid Shenwari, the third person with a question on today’s programme, has
asked MrKarzai about this issue.

[Male in Pashto] My name is Khalid Shenwari, and I am speaking from Jalalabad
[capital ofeastern Nangarhar Province]. My question for Mr Karzai is that he
summoned representativesof the Loya Jerga from all parts of Afghanistan to
decide on whether we should have USforces in Afghanistan and on allowing them
permanent bases. My question is thatrepresentatives of the Constitutional Loya
Jerga only had the authority to adopt theconstitution, and they were not
authorized to decide on any other important issues. Thisissue requires another
Loya Jerga. Will the decision of these representatives have anylegal basis?

[Hamed Karzai in Pashto] Dear brother Khalid Shenwari, peace and the blessings
of God be upon you. The grand gathering of Afghans that I summoned before my
visit to the USA was for consultation with the Afghan nation on an important
national issue. You are right, it was not a decision-making gathering, but rather
a consultative gathering. I just wanted to know the opinion of the people. Prior
to that, I had discussed this issue with people who came from the provinces and
had sought their views. But I had not held a gathering which would include all
provinces, Loya Jerga representatives, tribal leaders and elders. So Iwanted to
get a clear picture of the opinion of all Afghan people as to whether we
needsuch cooperation with America or not. If we need it, I should go and talk to
them, and ifit is not needed, than I should not raise this issue.

When the gathering was held, most elders and leaders said, yes, Afghanistan
needs to have such cooperation with the world, and particularly with American.
But they said that if this cooperation should take the form of an agreement, it
should be left to parliament to endorse it. Our constitution also stipulates
this. So I discussed this with the US government, and we issued a joint
declaration on strategic cooperation between our two countries, which means
permanent economic, security and political cooperation. Different Afghan and
American commissions will further improve on this. They will evaluate it
and, when they reach an agreement, it will be presented to parliament. Parliament
will either accept it or amend it.

fwd: Afghanistan : A Digital Silk Road

Technological changes are pretty good indicators of where things are going in the long run. This is an encouraging development, assuming that the security situation allows it.

Afghanistan : A Digital Silk Road
by Carolyn O’Hara contributing editor
May 7, 2005
Before the fall of the Taliban in November 2001, 27 million Afghan citizens had to make due with approximately 20,000 working telephone lines. Domestic connections were spotty, while only a handful of expensive satellite phones could dial internationally. Today, through the extraordinary efforts of the Afghan Wireless Communication Company and its parent company, Telephone Systems International (TSI), more than 300,000 citizens subscribe to the Afghan wireless network, with coverage in twenty cities and an additional twenty cities slated for service by the end of the summer.

The development of the Afghan wireless network has been the mission of Ehsan Bayat, an Afghan-American who fled Afghanistan in 1980. Observing the need for a comprehensive communications network in Afghanistan, Bayat partnered his United States-based company, TSI, with the Afghan Ministry of Communications to launch a wireless network that Bayat hopes will be “the digital artery of our nation, allowing communication, commerce, and electronic exchanges to flow easily among all Afghans.”
This digital network “leaves no part of Afghanistan untouched,” according to Bayat, who adds “by the end of the summer, we will have three-quarters of the nation covered.” The speed with which TSI and Afghan Wireless have been able to build the mobile network has made it the provider of choice for government agencies and businesses, especially in and around Kabul. Afghan Wireless provided the communications support for the Loya Jirga meetings that formed the interim Afghan administration, and opened Kabul’s first-ever public Internet cafe in 2002. The police and fire departments in Kabul have received free telephones for emergency service support.
Demand for private service has been much greater than anticipated, but TSI has consistently devoted more resources to accommodate demand, while simultaneously expanding service throughout the country. By December 2002, the service provided by the network was sophisticated enough that during a three-day holiday period, 300,000 calls, many of them international, were successfully connected. “When a mother thanks me for connecting her with her daughter or son,” says Bayat, “that makes it all worthwhile.”

Bayat emphasizes that this desire to communicate, both with other Afghans and with the outside world, will propel Afghanistan through its rebuilding and development. It was crucial that the ability to communicate be one of the first infrastructure problems addressed by the new government. This is “a moment signifying renewal as well as change,” says Bayat. “Underpinning all of [our] new-found freedoms is the freedom to communicate. The power of people talking with one another and sharing information … [will be] one of the fastest ways
to help Afghanistan develop.”

Building on his success with the wireless network, Bayat will launch television and radio stations simultaneously in mid-June this year. Ariana Television Network (ATN) will be broadcast by the most powerful television transmitter in the country, and, in a field of competitors that show primarily programs from abroad, ATN will
provide more local content than any other Afghan television station. “The main difference is that we’ll try to get maximum local content and try to be as educational as possible,” says Bayat. “It
will be like a PBS.”

The television station already employs more than 50 Afghans, who have created at least three months of programming ready to air. Live news will be broadcast several times a day in Dari and Pashtu, the two
official languages, and documentary features on warlordism, poppy production, crime, and the upcoming parliamentary elections are being produced.

Bayat is also keen to develop cultural and educational programs for children traumatized by years of war and displacement. “One of the things we’ve lost during the last 25 years of war has been the cultural heritage of Afghanistan,” says Bayat. “We have been refugees, here and abroad. We need to reignite the interest in
Afghanistan before the war, and bring back Afghan culture and traditions.”

Afghanistan is uniquely placed to become the hub of a “digital Silk Road,” according to Bayat. The network of trade routes known as the Silk Road, which crossed Afghanistan and linked the people and
traditions of Asia and Europe, created the first global exchange of knowledge, goods, and culture. Data traffic is creating a digital trade path that passes once again through Afghanistan. The acute penetration of wireless technology in Afghanistan, and the reach of its media, will be an advantage in the region as communication
systems are integrated. “Once you start with 21st-century technology [like wireless], there is a greater potential for becoming the hub of technology and communications for countries around you,” says Bayat. “That’s why we’re building a backbone system in Afghanistan, not just for us, but for the whole region.”

The larger goal behind these communications and media ventures is building democracy, Bayat insists. “I’m afraid of politics,” he chuckles, but “promoting democracy is the goal that I have. It means having free and independent radio and television. We are in the crossroads of Asia, but right now we need better communications, transportation and electricity. And I will do whatever possible to help.”

fwd: Human Rights Watch: Afghanistan: Violence Surges

Spring is the time for war in Afghanistan. RLCPlease see my “concerns” page:
My blog: Message:

Subject: Human Rights Watch: Afghanistan: Violence Surges
Date: May 25, 2005
–> Afghanistan: Violence Surges
> 23 May 2005 17:00:26 GMT
> Source: Human Rights Watch
> (New York, May 24, 2005) — Afghanistan’s security situation has
deterioratedsignificantly in recent weeks, with a spate of political killings,
violent protests, andattacks on humanitarian workers, Human Rights Watch said
today. The instability comes asPresident Hamid Karzai visits the United States
this week. The recent violence includesthe assassination of a parliamentary
candidate in Ghazni two weeks ago, the murder ofthree female aid workers, the
kidnapping of an aid worker in Kabul, and clashes betweenarmed factions in the
northern province of Maimana.
> “May was a terrible month for Afghanistan,” said John Sifton, Afghanistan
researcher forHuman Rights Watch. “President Karzai needs more than a handshake
from Washington. Heneeds concrete assistance from the United States and its
allies to improve security.”
> Over three years have passed since NATO member states undertook to provide
internationalsecurity forces in Afghanistan and expand the International
Security Assistance Force(ISAF), yet to date NATO forces have only deployed to a
handful of regional centersoutside of Kabul.
> Human Rights Watch called on the United States to lead efforts to accelerate
thedeployment of additional international security forces to remote provinces,
and increasethe number of international human rights monitors and election
monitors for parliamentaryelections scheduled to take place in September.
> “Current troop levels are a fraction of what has been deployed in other
post-conflictsettings,” said Sifton. “And there are simply not enough human
rights monitors andelection observers.”
> Examples of violence in May include:
> May 18-19, 2005: Eleven Afghan employees of a Washington-based agricultural
company wereshot and killed in Zabul province in two separate incidents.
> May 18, 2005: An Afghan television presenter, Shaima Rezayee, 24, was shot in
the head ather Kabul home. In March, Rezayee was fired from her position at a
Kabul independenttelevision station, Tolo TV, after several clerics in Kabul
said her show was”anti-Islamic,” and should be taken off the air.
> May 16, 2005: Armed men kidnapped CARE International worker Clementina
Cantoni, a32-year-old Italian woman, from a car in Kabul.
> May 15-16, 2005: Five people were reported wounded, and one killed, when
violence eruptedbetween supporters of rival warlords in a district in Faryab
province, in the north ofAfghanistan.
> May 11, 2005: Akhtar Mohammad Tolwak, a parliamentary candidate and former
delegate toAfghanistan’s two loya jirgas, was killed while driving near Diyak
District in the east ofGhazni province, along with his driver.
> May 9-13, 2005: Sixteen protesters were killed by police and army troops
during violentdemonstrations against a Newsweek report of U.S. interrogators
desecrating a copy of theKoran during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. Riots
occurred in several Afghan cities,including Jalalabad, Ghazni, Kabul, and
Maimana, during which some protesters set fire andloot government and U.N.
> May 7, 2005: A suicide bomber set off a bomb in a Kabul internet café, killing
two Afghancivilians and a Burmese engineer working for the United Nations.
> May 5, 2005 – Armed men attempted to kidnap three foreign World Bank employees
in Kabul.
> May 2-6, 2005: Fighting between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed Afghan
military killed tenAfghan army troops and scores of militants, according to the
U.S. military.
> April 30 – May 1: During a protest in Herat by several hundred supporters of
former Heratgovernor Ismail Khan, police shoot several civilians, killing an old
man, a 36-year oldwoman and her 11-year-old daughter.
> —
> Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam
> Independent Development Consultant
> Kabul
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