AFGHANISTAN DAILY NEWS BULLETIN 11/27/2013
Compiled by the embassy of afghanistan in canada
In this Bulletin:
- Taliban kill six literacy workers in Afghanistan: officials
- Afghan president softens some demands on deal with US but won't commit to immediate signing
- VIDEO: US general: 'We are on a positive path' in Afghanistan
- Obama team ponders no troops in Afghanistan after '14
- Pakistan chooses moderate to take over as army chief
- Rules of engagement limit the actions of U.S. troops and drones in Afghanistan
- Roya Mahboob: Bringing Freedom to Afghanistan's Entrepreneurs
[Disclaimer: The content of this news bulletin does not necessarily reflect the view or policy of the Afghan Government, unless specifically stated as such. The collection of articles and commentaries from Afghan and international news sources is provided for informational purposes, and accuracy of the news is the responsibility of the original source.]
Taliban kill six literacy workers in Afghanistan: officials
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (Reuters) 27 nOV 2013-- Taliban militants gunned down and killed six people in Afghanistan working on a government-backed literacy project in the northern province of Faryab, officials said on Wednesday.
The insurgent group is stepping up attacks on state workers ahead of presidential elections due in April 2014, fanning security concerns as foreign troops prepare to withdraw from the country by the end of next year.
"They were travelling this morning to observe a literacy project when the Taliban stopped their car and shot them," said provincial police chief Nabi Jan Mullahkhil.
The victims worked for a French aid group involved in the project, and just one of the seven workers gunned down survived, the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development said.
Afghan president softens some demands on deal with US but won't commit to immediate signing
BY PATRICK QUINN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, NOVEMBER 27, 2013-KABUL - Afghanistan's president on Wednesday softened some of his demands on a security agreement with the United States governing the future of American troops in the country— even as concerns grew among Afghans and the country's military, which would be hard hit if his failure to sign leads to a U.S. withdrawal.
However, President Hamid Karzai still refused to commit to signing the Bilateral Security Agreement before the end of the year, a timeline that Washington says must be met to give time to prepare for American troops to remain in the country after 2014, when most foreign forces are set to withdraw.
VIDEO: US general: 'We are on a positive path' in Afghanistan
The US-Afghan deal is on shaky ground now that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is upping the ante and making new demands. An Afghanistan commander said his forces are still dependent on U.S. Gen. James McConville, who commands about 10,000 troops in eastern Afghanistan. But no U.S.-Afghan deal may mean McConville’s troops and the Afghan soldiers are in limbo. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.
Obama team ponders no troops in Afghanistan after '14
The Obama administration says there may be no residual force in Afghanistan after 2014 unless President Hamid Karzai signs a new security agreement sooner rather than later.
Karzai, who met Monday with national security adviser Susan Rice, wants additions to the proposed agreement, and says he will not sign it until after the Afghan elections in April.
In a statement, the Obama administration said Rice told Karzai that, "without a prompt signature, the U.S. would have no choice but to initiate planning for a post-2014 future in which there would be no U.S. or NATO troop presence in Afghanistan."
The U.S. and allies will end combat operations in Afghanistan after 2014, but are considering the maintenance of a residual force to help train Afghan forces and perform counterterrorism operations.
Pakistan chooses moderate to take over as army chief
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) ) 27 NOV 2013 - Pakistan named a career infantry officer considered a moderate as army chief on Wednesday as the country fights a Taliban insurgency and seeks accord with the United States on how to stabilize neighboring Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that Lieutenant-General Raheel Sharif, brother of a war hero, would take charge of the world's sixth-largest army, with a formal handover from General Ashfaq Kayani on Friday.
The new army chief is not related to the prime minister.
The announcement comes as tension with arch-rival India over disputed Kashmir is rising and as the United States seeks Pakistan's help in bringing peace to Afghanistan ahead of the withdrawal of most Western forces there next year.
The army chief is arguably the most powerful person in Pakistan, with the military having ruled the country for more than half its 66-year history since independence from Britain.
Nawaz Sharif has declared he wanted to disentangle the military from politics but the military is unlikely to relinquish its hold at such a sensitive time.
Rules of engagement limit the actions of U.S. troops and drones in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON TIMES, 27 NOV 2013- Say dwellings now virtual safe havens for terrorists
The new U.S.-Afghanistan security agreement adds restrictions on already bureaucratic rules of engagement for American troops by making Afghan dwellings virtual safe havens for the enemy, combat veterans say.
The rules of engagement place the burden on U.S. air and ground troops to confirm with certainty that a Taliban fighter is armed before they can fire — even if they are 100 percent sure the target is the enemy. In some cases, aerial gunships have been denied permission to fire even though they reported that targets on the move were armed.
The proposed Bilateral Security Agreement announced Wednesday by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Secretary of State John F. Kerry all but prohibits U.S. troops from entering dwellings during combat. President Obama made the vow directly to Mr. Karzai.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/26/rules-of-engagement-bind-us-troops-actions-in-afgh/#ixzz2lrlNOLqk
Roya Mahboob: Bringing Freedom to Afghanistan's Entrepreneurs
The digital age is bringing creative empowerment and financial independence to women and youth in Afghanistan, priming them to become the nation's future entrepreneurs.
In the 13th century, the Venetian merchant Marco Polo traveled the Silk Road, a trading route that connected China and Europe via Central Asia. Because branches of the Silk Road traversed what is now Afghanistan, my country became a crossroads of world trade at that time.
More than 700 years later, in 2011, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the“new Silk Road initiative,” a U.S.-led international strategy to help build overland trade in Central and South Asia. The goal was to boost economic development and social stability in our part of the world by once again establishing Afghanistan as a regional market hub. Both visions of the Silk Road focused on physical commerce. But what Marco Polo couldn’t imagine--and what Clinton apparently didn’t envision--is that the Internet can become the Digital Silk Road for the people of Central Asia.
Political and Media Officer
Embassy of Afghanistan in Canada