Baztab News

Russia hosts talks between Taliban and Afghan peace council

Russia hosts talks between Taliban and Afghan peace council

09 Nov 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Meeting furthers Kremlin’s drive to be seen as international broker of peace Russia has hosted talks with Taliban delegates and members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, as the Kremlin seeks a role as peace broker between Islamist rebels and the US-backed government in Kabul.The meeting on Friday demonstrated Moscow’s renewed aspirations in Afghanistan almost 30 years after the Soviet Union withdrew its battered forces from there. Related: Konstantin Kilimnik: elusive Russian with ties to Manafort faces fresh Mueller scrutiny Continue reading...

'I did it for every single girl': the first Afghan woman to scale Mount Noshaq

'I did it for every single girl': the first Afghan woman to scale Mount Noshaq

09 Nov 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Conquering Afghanistan’s highest peak was once unthinkable for Hanifa Yousoufi. Then she joined a climbing group, braving frostbite and the Taliban to strike a blow for gender equalityIn a quiet corner of Kabul, a dozen young women welcome their friend back from the summit of Afghanistan’s highest mountain. Like many Afghan women, Hanifa Yousoufi had always been made to believe, growing up, that she shouldn’t go to school or play sport. Yet the 24-year-old has become the first Afghan woman to climb Mount Noshaq.The young women gathered here are among the 70-strong cohort meeting six days a week to learn the art of climbing, something many never imagined they would have a chance to do. Related: 'I want to empower Afghan women': female prosecutor on a lonely mission Continue reading...

Fight or flight: the veterans at war with PTSD - video

08 Nov 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

One hundred years on from the end of the first world war, a group of veterans in Dorset are torn between their pride in their military careers and their anger over the lack of psychological support provided to them by the Ministry of Defence. With many feeling abandoned and left to battle significant mental health issues such as PTSD alone, former soldier Andy Price decides to take matters into his own hands, launching the Veteran’s Hub, a peer-to-peer support network for veterans and their families. Over the course of a year, the Guardian's Richard Sprenger follows Andy on his journey Continue reading...

Utah mayor killed in Afghanistan while serving with the national guard

Utah mayor killed in Afghanistan while serving with the national guard

04 Nov 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Brent Taylor died in ‘insider attack’ in Kabul – another US service member is being treated for wounds, officials saidThe mayor of a Utah city was killed in an attack in Afghanistan while he was serving with the state’s national guard, the Salt Lake Tribune and other media reported. Related: Afghanistan: US service member killed in 'apparent insider attack' Continue reading...

Afghanistan: US service member killed in 'apparent insider attack'

Afghanistan: US service member killed in 'apparent insider attack'

03 Nov 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Another was wounded in the incident in Kabul, Nato-led Resolute Support mission saidA member of the US armed forces was killed and another was wounded on Saturday in an apparent insider attack in the Afghan capital Kabul, the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said. Related: Pentagon confirms US general shot in Afghanistan Taliban attack Continue reading...

Pakistan's 'father of the Taliban' killed in knife attack

Pakistan's 'father of the Taliban' killed in knife attack

02 Nov 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Maulana Samiul Haq killed at his home in Rawalpindi, his son saysThe prominent Pakistani cleric Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the “father of the Taliban”, has been killed in a knife attack at his home in Rawalpindi.Haq’s son, Hamidul Haq, said his father was killed on Friday. Continue reading...

'There is no need for women to work': Afghan TV show takes on patriarchy | Ruchi Kumar

'There is no need for women to work': Afghan TV show takes on patriarchy | Ruchi Kumar

31 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Inspired by hit US series Ugly Betty, Roya follows the fortunes of a 20-year-old, single, educated woman and her challenges joining the workforce in post-Taliban KabulRoya wants to take a job in a local media company, but her father and brother aren’t keen. “What is the need for a young girl to work outside?” asks her father, seated on a toushak, the traditional Afghan low-seating cushions, sipping the customary post-dinner chai. Her brother chimes in with an answer. “There is no need for women to work,” he says.And so begins the pilot episode of a series that is set to air on prime-time Afghan television in November. Continue reading...

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Monday US briefing: Europeans demand details of Khashoggi death

Monday US briefing: Europeans demand details of Khashoggi death

22 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Kavanaugh lobbied for judge handling his ethics complaints ... Anti-Muslim rhetoric ‘widespread’ ahead of midterms ... Guardian launches ‘Atlanta Week’Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s headlines. If you’d like to receive this briefing by email, sign up here.Asking questions and disclosing the answers, or lack of them, is the fundamental responsibility, and contribution, of journalists to their communities. Those who rule by fear, and fear to explain their rule, fear questions. Continue reading...

Pentagon confirms US general shot in Afghanistan Taliban attack

Pentagon confirms US general shot in Afghanistan Taliban attack

21 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Brig Gen Jeffrey Smiley wounded at Kandahar compoundTwo senior provincial officials assassinated The Pentagon has confirmed that a US general was shot and wounded in a Taliban attack that killed two Afghan leaders in Kandahar province this week. Related: Afghanistan postpones Kandahar elections after police chief killed Continue reading...

Afghans go to polls amid violence and corruption claims

Afghans go to polls amid violence and corruption claims

20 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Three police officers killed in Kabul and problems reported with biometric systemVoters in Afghanistan are heading to the polls in parliamentary elections overshadowed by chaotic organisation and allegations of corruption, and violence that has forced a postponement of the vote in the southern province of Kandahar.Several security incidents marred polling day, with three police officers killed and at least eight people wounded in explosions in Kabul. There were clashes between Taliban fighters and members the security forces in at least three provinces. Continue reading...

Kandahar election may be suspended after police chief's killing

Kandahar election may be suspended after police chief's killing

19 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Election commissioners recommend suspension after Abdul Raziq shot deadAfghan election commissioners have recommended suspending Saturday’s parliamentary election in the southern province of Kandahar following the assassination of the powerful local police chief.The recommendation, which must be approved by the national security council before taking effect, deals a severe blow to the election process, which was already bedevilled by security threats as well as technical and organisational problems. Continue reading...

Top Afghan police chief killed in Kandahar shooting

Top Afghan police chief killed in Kandahar shooting

18 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Taliban claim responsibility for killing General Abdul Raziq inside governor’s compound The most important power broker in southern Afghanistan has been shot dead just days before parliamentary elections, along with at least one other top official, leaving a gaping power vacuum in the Taliban’s birthplace.A bodyguard opened fire at a top level meeting in Kandahar province on Thursday, killing the head of police Abdul Raziq, and the province’s spy chief. The Kandahar governor Zalmai Wesa was also shot. His condition was unclear. Continue reading...

Don't go to dangerous countries – unless the UK is deporting you

Don't go to dangerous countries – unless the UK is deporting you

12 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Hundreds of people are being returned to places the Foreign Office advises against visiting Related: Home Office agrees to inquiry into immigrant abuse allegations The British government routinely deports people to countries deemed too dangerous to visit by its own Foreign Office. Related: Immigration detention: 'It's basically a death sentence' – the Story podcast Continue reading...

Afghan women still jailed alongside murderers for 'failing' virginity test | Fariba Housaini

Afghan women still jailed alongside murderers for 'failing' virginity test | Fariba Housaini

09 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Despite a public health policy outlawing the test, women continue to be subjected to this degrading ordeal, which can lead to arrest and imprisonmentSeven months ago, 18-year-old Bahara* was imprisoned for failing a test that she should never have had to undergo.Bahara had run away from home to meet a man she had been in a relationship with. They had never met, but were in contact through calls and messages. That night, when they met for the first time, he raped her. But when she reported the rape to the police, instead of support, she was taken to hospital to undergo a virginity test – a practice that was banned in Afghanistan in 2016.Fariba Housaini is a member of Sahar Speaks, a programme providing training, mentoring and publishing opportunities for Afghan female journalists Continue reading...

Heavy price paid for war in Afghanistan | Letters

Heavy price paid for war in Afghanistan | Letters

05 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

The 17-year war has been a costly disaster, deepening the country’s crisis and helping to spread violence across the region and beyond, say actors including Mark Rylance, MPs including Imran Hussain, and other campaignersThis weekend marks the 17th anniversary of the US coalition’s invasion of Afghanistan, triggering a war that has lasted four times as long as the first world war.Some 3,546 Nato soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, 456 of whom were British, while a conservative estimate suggests 217,000 Afghans have died as a direct result of the fighting. Continue reading...

A Thousand Girls Like Me review – a brave woman refuses to bow down

A Thousand Girls Like Me review – a brave woman refuses to bow down

05 Oct 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

An extraordinary film follows Khatera, an Afghan woman trying to bring her rapist father to justice. The details are gruelling, but she shinesHolding back tears, a woman relives the trauma of sexual assault, live on national television. A disbelieving man grills her about why she didn’t report the attack sooner. No, it’s not Washington. The extraordinary woman at the centre of this harrowing documentary is 7,000 miles away in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is Khatera, a pregnant 23-year-old who has been repeatedly raped and beaten by her father; he is the father of her daughter and unborn baby. And actually, Khatera did report him, to 13 religious leaders. One said he’d have her father stoned to death if the Taliban returned to power. Eleven told her to pray. The 13th advised her to tell her story on television.The film follows Khatera’s fight against Afghanistan’s corrupt legal system to bring her father to justice. After receiving death threats from her uncles, she is forced into hiding with her mother and daughter. When their new landlord discovers her identity, he throws them out. The judge prosecuting her father accuses her of lying – the film’s most wrenching scene. Her own brothers blame her for bringing shame on the family. If her father is acquitted, Khatera herself may be arrested for having children illegitimately. Everything is against her; all the power is with the men. And yet she won’t give up. Continue reading...

War took a heavy toll on her family. Now she is fighting … for Afghan democracy

War took a heavy toll on her family. Now she is fighting … for Afghan democracy

30 Sep 2018 The Guardian The Guardian

Zakia Wardak is part of a wave of young politicians prepared to fight powerful vested interests at the ballot box – despite all the dangersZakia Wardak’s family has been fractured and diminished by long decades of war in Afghanistan. Soviet forces killed her father four decades ago, Americans seized and tortured her husband two decades later and her brother was murdered in the capital this past summer.Yet, somehow, she has not abandoned hope. Relatives abroad begged her to join them after the latest killing. Instead, convinced that Afghanistan can still change, that the peaceful country of her childhood memories can be reclaimed, she has taken a tentative step into the dangerous, notoriously corrupt arena of Afghan politics, running for a seat in parliament. Related: 'Isis will be looking for targets': guns and fear mark Afghan Ashura Continue reading...