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BBCSAaia25May07

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Afghan paper says Taleban military backbone broken

BBC MONITORING SOUTH ASIA, Fri 25 May 2007

Published by KABDAF

 

Afghanistan is presently in a better situation in terms of security

and military progress. The Taleban who used to pose a threat to

security and stability in Afghanistan over the past years are not

that operational anymore and have faced military defeat.

 

The murder of a number of senior Taleban commanders, especially

Mullah Dadollah, broke the backbone of the Taleban, weakened their

military morale and shattered their military structure. They have

become confused; hence they carry out suicide attacks in different

parts of the country killing innocent people. A number of people,

who allegedly had become optimistic about the Taleban, are no more

optimistic about them. People now increasingly hate the Taleban and

the way they act.

 

With the security and military successes, the Afghan government also

needs to become active in terms of policy and political diplomacy

and take maximum advantage of the current internally and

internationally available social and political condition.

 

Political reconstruction is a vital requirement of the government of

Afghanistan. The government should make use of the national talents

and brains of this country for improving its political and social

performance. The government has to keep a close eye on the

performance of its administrations. If it is understood that some

ministers, judicial authorities and other officials are not capable

of discharging their duties in efficient manner, the government

should take measures to replace them with competent ones. If no

monitoring and evaluation is conducted, even the active and

proficient officials will become lazy and sluggish let alone the

incapable and incompetent ones. If the policy of termination and

transfer due to bad or no performance is applied to various layers

of governmental posts, the spirit of responsibility and

accountability will be enlivened and every authority will try to

discharge his/her duties in the best possible way so he/she may not

face such destiny.

 

The recent decision of Wolasi Jerga the lower house of parliament

on disqualification of the foreign interior and refugee ministers

shocked the rest of the cabinet and warned them that they could

also face the same destiny if they neglect their obligations. This

policy should be implemented in full extent.

 

Apart from the capital, the provinces, districts and villages are

also of a particular importance. If the administrations of the

above mentioned divisions are managed properly, chances are that

Afghanistan will be released from the current problems. Once the

government is made from inside, its regional and international

policies will also become alright. Only then we will have a

successful government and the people will be contented with its

performance.

 

Source: Daily Afghanistan, Kabul, in Dari and Pashto 23 May 07.


 

Afghan governors, elders call for more troops in southeast

BBC MONITORING SOUTH ASIA, Fri 25 May 2007

Published by PAJHWO Afghan independent Pajhwok news agency website

 

Gardez, 25 May: Governors and tribal elders from the southeastern

zone have demanded more troops for the region to ensure security.

 

The demand was unanimously made during a meeting attended by

governors of Paktia, Paktika, Khost and Ghazni provinces, tribal

elders, clerics and members of the provincial councils and Wolasi

Jerga from the four provinces.

 

The participants said the central government should increase the

number of police and military personnel as well as provide militias

for the four provinces to ensure security in the region.

 

At the same time, the government should also take concrete measures

to end administrative corruption in governmental departments,

demanded the elders and religious scholars.

 

Addressing the gathering, Paktia Governor Rahmatollah Rahmat said

maintenance of lasting peace and security was impossible until the

government create a militia force in that region.

 

Member of the Wolasi Jerga Padshah Khan Zadran said the provincial

governments were not releasing information about insecurity in their

respective provinces.

 

That was the main reason behind the increasing incidents of violence

and lawlessness in that region, he believed.

 

"You are keeping a mum if there is an incident of violence to show

the central government that there was complete peace in that

province," said Zadran while directly addressing the governors and

provincial officials.

 

This was the reason that the central government was not sending more

troops to those provinces, he argued.

 

Khost Governor Arsala Jamal said that besides provision of more

security personnel for the provinces, the government should

concentrate on the border areas as well.

 

Munir Mangal, deputy interior minister, urged upon the people of the

four provinces to help their respective governments in maintenance

of peace and security.

 

The meeting has been called in the backdrop of border clashes with

Pakistani troops, who reportedly used heavy weapons, in the Aryub

Zazai district of the southeastern Paktia province during the

previous two weeks.

 

Source: Pajhwok Afghan News website, Kabul, in English 1340 gmt 25 

May 07.


 

Afghan article says government is rapidly losing popularity

BBC MONITORING SOUTH ASIA, Fri 25 May 2007

Published by KABDAF

 

Contrary to expectations the year 1386 [Afghan year started March

2007] did not begin well for the Afghan government. Although the

government had already started to lose power, authority and

popularity last year, the process is going ahead with much greater

speed this year. I think that the Afghan government is currently in

the worst ever position in terms of domestic and international

policies as well as popularity and influence among the people and

this is because of its weak performance in various fields. Six

years ago, the people thought that after receiving international

aid, the political and security situation would improve in

Afghanistan and the economic and cultural infrastructure would be

rebuilt and the ground would be prepared for soliciting national

income. People thought that the old administrative system would be

replaced by modern system and national and political influence and

order would be ensured throughout the country. But now, despite all

their expectations, the people see that not only the government is

unable to improve the security, political and economical situation,

but also it is unable to sustain whatever it has achieved over the

past years. This thought or concern, which is very consistent with

the current realities, has disappointed the public's expectations

from the government as an independent body, deepening the gap

between the people and the government.

 

In an overall assessment, if we study the government's performance

and its response to the peripheral events, we reach the conclusion

that the government's performance has weakened compared to the

previous years and it is no longer capable of developing and

implementing major strategies.

 

The government has failed to succeed in any of the below fields over

the past one and half year.

 

1. (Passage omitted:  General comments on security) War, suicide

attacks and explosions on the one hand and formation of political

fronts and competition for power on the other, have overshadowed

the reconstruction and state building process over the past and the

current year and government resources are spent on useless affairs

that do not have any positive impact on people's life. The

astonishing point is that while appearing in the press or the audio

and visual media, some experts and analysts justify such excessive

expenses as necessary for various reasons they forget that no one

can hide the reality and that it has been proved many times and in

many places that such expenses do not bring about any constructive

conclusions but increase people's problems and waste government

resources.

 

2. Administrative corruption, as a dangerous and evil phenomenon,

has existed in Afghanistan for many years, spoiling the

administrative order, and promoting bureaucracy in administration.

Bureaucracy and administrative corruption is so common in

Afghanistan that no work is done through lawful channels. All work

is done by using power and money outside of legal administrative

procedures and in a short time.

 

3. The counter-narcotics process was assumed to be a high priority

of the Afghan government and the foreign donors since the

establishment of the interim government and a lot of money was

spent for this purpose but so far there has been no significant

outcome in this respect but particular individuals and groups have

benefited from the process.

 

Despite all these problems, our people seem to be making efforts day

and night to cope with the difficulties and remove the problems.

Obviously their efforts alone cannot be fruitful and change the

situation in a positive way. For this reason, the government needs

to refrain from destructive policies and pay full attention to

tackling problems which cause suffering to our oppressed people.

 

When the people see that NGOs solicit donors' aid by recruiting a

few translators but do not spend even 10 % of the money on

reconstruction; when people's viewpoints are ignored in

reconstruction programmes and a low quality output is delivered to

the people and when an ordinary employee or manager understands

that more than $3,000 is paid for a person called advisor just for

being able to communicate in English and without having anything

special to offer, how can the people remain interested in the

government?

 

Source: Daily Afghanistan, Kabul, in Dari and Pashto 23 May 07.


 

Illogical pay scales hinder Afghan reconstruction - newspaper

BBC MONITORING SOUTH ASIA, Fri 25 May 2007

 

Published by ANIS Afghan state-run newspaper Anis

 

It has been quite a long time since the government announced that

the salaries of government employees were going to increase from

4,000 AFA (81 dollars) to 40,000 AFA, according to their grades and

ranks. The question is - when will these words change from bills

into law and when will the law be implemented and cover all

governmental employees? Or, what negative effect will such words

have on price rises?

 

These are questions that do not need to be discussed since everybody

knows the answers. Also, the question - "Will administrative

reforms and the civil service commission be able to implement this

programme successfully and recruit expert, committed and

experienced people to relevant posts?" is a question for which we

will find an answer in the future.

 

What I want to draw the authorities' attention to is the question -

"Is the only way to pay an appropriate salary to adjust it in

accordance with grades and ranks? Or are there alternative ways of

encouraging and activating current capacity in the country in

accordance with their expertise?" Of course there are some

alternatives and efforts will be made to give an explanatory answer

to this question.

 

Basically, the point is that the only problem that challenges

reconstruction is the lack of capacity in government. When

ministers are asked why they were not able to spend their

development budget and why they have not been successful in their

duties; they always claim a lack, or at least a shortage of

capacity in their ministries. On the other hand, a large amount of

money is paid to foreign consultants who are supposed to guide and

give advice to the Afghan authorities because, as our authorities

claim, there is no expert in our country who could fill the slot

like a foreign expert.

 

It is obvious that if a person has expertise in a field and if he is

recruited to a job relevant to his expertise; he will have a greater

capacity than others and his expertise will earn him a higher

salary than others, because it is not something inherent or innate

but acquired by making a lot of effort and spending time and money.

Therefore, we can say that every educated person has capacity and

every high-capacity person is entitled to get paid on the basis of

the level of his capacity or expertise.

 

A scholar writes in this respect: "Do you pay secretaries less than

engineers because you love engineers more than secretaries, or

because secretaries do not like sweets?" This sentence implies that

an engineer should be a paid higher wage because he has spent more

money and time acquiring his expertise.

 

Thus, the answer to the previously mentioned question is that an

alternative way to determine the level of a government employees'

salary is on the basis of professionalism, expertise and an

educational degree, rather than regulating it on the basis of

grades and ranks, so that our educated people can believe that

expertise means education, having the skills relevant to the job,

knowledge and experience. Unfortunately today, expertise means

yellow hair, blue eyes, white skin and having foreign citizenship;

while expertise for an Afghan citizen means having learnt English

and few computer programmes, none of which can be helpful for

reconstruction and change in our country.

 

In order to prove the above claim, I would like to draw your and the

authorities' attention to some real and very interesting figures

about the professional salary of educated people in a country where

seventy per cent of the population is illiterate: The salary for

someone with a baccalaureate is 8 AFA and 15 AFA for graduates and

20 AFA for those with a masters degree, and 25 AFA for those with a

PhD. Thus, the average monthly professional privilege of an

educated person of our country is 16.25 AFA, equivalent to 0.32 US

dollars.

 

Those who are in charge of determining salaries, do not consider the

fact that an expert spends a lifetime on his or her education and

that the government has spent a lot of resources on them becoming

experts; hence he has a higher capacity on the basis of which he

deserves to be paid a high salary. How can we expect capacity and

functionality from a doctor who receives 1 AFA per month for each

year of his education? It seems as if they completed their studies

just to avoid being among the 72 per cent of illiterates and to be

included among the 28 per cent of literate people.

 

Considering the above, we reach to the conclusion that if we do not

give value and proper privilege to Afghan experts, we will not have

the functional capacities that could prove effective in resolving

the problems of our administrations.

 

Source: Anis, Kabul, in Pashto 22 May 07.


 

Afghan MPs disapprove of Musharraf's remarks on Taleban talks

BBC MONITORING SOUTH ASIA, Fri 25 May 2007

Published by ARIATV Afghan independent Ariana TV

 

(Presenter) Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has said that the

Afghan government should hold talks with the Taleban as part of its

strategy to restore peace. In his interview with a Canadian paper,

Musharraf had stated that the Afghan government only focuses on

military against the Taleban. A number of MPs, however, believe

these remarks are an obvious interference in the Afghan affairs,

saying that it is only up to the Afghan government to make such a

decision. Abdol Wakil Naibi is reporting:

 

(Correspondent) In his interview with a Canadian newspaper,

Musharraf had said that restoring security and peace through

military measures is impossible in Afghanistan and, therefore, the

Afghan government should hold talks with the Taleban as part of its

strategy to put an end to insecurity. He had asserted that the

focus has only been on military measures in Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, MP Haji Mohammad Mohaqeq says the Afghan government

is able to make a decision independently and no-one is allowed to

interfere in the country's internal affairs.

 

Abdol Sattar Khawasi, the parliament's secretary, describes

Musharraf's remarks a clear interference, but emphasizes talks

should be held with the government opponents.

 

(MP, not named, in Pashto) All Afghan citizens should join hands to

build their homeland. The Afghanistan's problem cannot be resolved

if Hekmatyar is invited (to the peace talks) or not, or Mullah Omar

is invited or not; or the Taleban are divided into extremist and

moderate groups. There is no difference between the black and

white, we are all Afghans and share the same nationality and we are

all responsible before our homeland. We all should carry out our

duties irrespective of our differences.

 

(Correspondent) In addition, Musharraf has claimed that Pakistan is

the only country which has a concrete strategy against terrorism

and has mobilized its political, military and economic powers to

achieve success in this field. This comes at the time when the

Afghan government and the international community has blamed

Pakistan several times for supporting and sheltering the government

opponents and not fighting honestly against terrorists and

Al-Qa'idah along the Durand Line. They believe that the Pakistani

government, particularly its intelligence service or ISI, back the

government opponents, who have expanded their operations in

Afghanistan.

 

On the other hand, US officials have accused Pakistan of abusing the

US financial aid under the pretext of fighting terrorists along the

borders with Afghanistan.

 

It is said that Pakistan receives 1bn dollars from the USA annually

for its anti-terror project, but it uses the money for

strengthening its stand against India rather than fighting

terrorists on the Afghan-Pakistan borders.

 

Source: Ariana TV, Kabul, in Dari 1530 gmt 24 May 07.


 

Casualties reported after clashes in Afghan south

BBC MONITORING SOUTH ASIA, Fri 25 May 2007

 

Published by AIPP Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency

 

Kandahar, 25 May: Government forces have clashed with the Taleban.

 

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official in Zabol

Province confirmed this report to Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) this

afternoon, saying: "A clash erupted between the national army and

the Taleban in Daichupan District of (the southern) Zabol Province

this morning (25 May 07). Three to four Taleban were killed and

national army forces did not sustain any casualties."

 

Spokesman for the Taleban Qari Mohammad Yosuf Ahmadi, told AIP over

the telephone from an undisclosed location at midday today that a

clash had erupted between the national army and the Taleban in the

Landi area of Daichupan District of Zabol Province at 0800 hours

(local time) this morning, killing six national army soldiers." He

did not give any more details.

 

Source: Afghan Islamic Press news agency, Peshawar, in Pashto 1121

 

gmt 25 May 07.


 

Afghan MPs accuse Iran of supporting Taleban

BBC MONITORING SOUTH ASIA, Fri 25 May 2007

Published by JOWAI Afghan independent Aina TV

 

Presenter:  Following the remarks by Angela Billings, the

spokesperson for the peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan

(spokesperson for NATO) about Iranian government support for the

opponents of the Afghan government, a number of members of the

parliamentary International Affairs Committee has also accused Iran

of providing the insurgent Taleban with weapons.

 

(Correspondent) Addressing a news conference yesterday (23 May 07), the

spokesperson for the peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan accused the

Iranian government of supporting the insurgent Taleban and the

opponents of the Afghan government.

 

Afterwards, Ahmad Behzad, a member of the parliamentary

International Affairs Committee, backed the remarks by Angela

Billings in an exclusive interview with Aina TV:

 

(Ahmad Behzad) Mr Ahmadinezhad, the Iranian president, had said some

time earlier that they were ready to help the people of Afghanistan

put an end to the invasion of their country by America. This

demonstrates the demands of the Iranians to create problems for the

international antiterror forces in Afghanistan. These remarks

demonstrate the clear interference of the Iranian security forces

in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

 

(Correspondent) Soltan Ahmad Bahin, the spokesman for the Ministry

of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, said that the Ministry of

Foreign Affairs will investigate this issue carefully. He demanded

that the good ties between Iran and Afghanistan be protected.

 

(Soltan Ahmad Bahin) We will study this report seriously, but the

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan wants the continuation of fraternal

ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 

(Correspondent)  Right now, the Iranian government is under political

and economic pressure from the United States of America and the UN

Security Council, because of its nuclear programmes, which Iranian

officials say is to do with nuclear technology.

 

According to political analysts, if the world community manages to

prove Iran's support for the insurgent Taleban, this could be

considered as another tool America and the UN can use to increase

pressure on this country.

 

Source: Aina TV, Kabul, in Dari 1530 gmt 24 May 07.


 

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