AFGHANISTAN

CIA closing bases in Afghanistan as it shifts focus amid military drawdown

Kabul (DNA) The CIA has begun closing clandestine bases in Afghanistan, marking the start of a drawdown from a region that transformed the agency from an intelligence service struggling to emerge from the Cold War to a counterterrorism force with its own prisons, paramilitary teams and armed Predator drones.

Afghan demands customs duty for U.S containers

Islamabad ( Special Report+DNA ) The Afghan government's customs agency is demanding $70 million in fines for U.S. shipping containers that do not have validated customs forms.The Washington Post quotes U.S. military officials as saying the dispute has halted the flow of U.S. military equipment across Afghanistan's borders and forced the military to rely more heavily on air transport.

They said this change has drastically increased the cost of the U.S. troop withdrawal and, if left unresolved, the situation could raise the cost of the drawdown by hundreds of millions of dollars.

The coming civil war in Afghanistan

KABUL, March 17 (DNA): By the end of this summer, the 30,000 U.S. troops "surged" into Afghanistan by President Barack Obama's administration will have returned home.

And according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the remaining 68,000 American soldiers could end their combat role in Afghanistan by mid-2013, more than a year ahead of the White House's deadline for leaving the country.

NATO WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN

PESHAWAR: 10 FEB 2013} The first phase of Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan began on Sunday with the journey of 25 containers entering Pakistan from Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

Security sources confirmed that the Nato withdrawal had initiated adding that a convoy of 25 containers with military hardware, was provided with routine security for its journey from Torkham to Karachi via the motorway.

Custom officials had also confirmed that several containers of the Nato consignment were examined and cleared after they had crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

26 Taliban freed so far: FO Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, JAN 04 (Staff Reporter+DNA) – The foreign office spokesman said on Friday as many as 26 Taliban have been freed so far. The spokesman denied the impression as if Mulla Baradar had also been freed.

In weekly briefing the spokesman further said Pakistan has time and again conveyed its displeasure over the drone attacks and consider these attack violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

TTP ready to negotiate, but not disarm

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION; DEC 29- 2012- While the Awami National Party, a coalition partner of the government, is pushing for decisive action against militants, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said on Friday it is willing to negotiate peace but disarmament is out of the question.

“We believe in dialogue but it should not be frivolous. Asking us to lay down arms is a joke,” said TTP chief Hamikullah Mehsud in a 40-minute video message made available to the media.

TALIBAN DEMAND NEW CONSTITUTION

PARIS; DEC 23- Afghanistan’s Taliban has called for a new constitution as a pre-condition for joining the nation’s fledgling peace process, according to a declaration issued by representatives at a landmark meeting in France.

Use of Afghan soil to launch attacks against Pakistan would not be permitted.

ISLAMABAD, NOV 30 (Staff Reporter+DNA) - Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul on Friday agreed to work jointly against terrorism and increase cooperation in order to deal with terrorism and other mutual challenges faced by the two countries.

Khar said stability in Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan and added that Pakistan would continue to support the Afghan people as it had done in the past. She said Pakistan would assist Afghanistan in increasing its educational and trade sectors.

Pakistan ready to help Afghanistan in tech field

ISLAMABAD, OCT 18 (PR+DNA) -Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mohammad Sadiq, said that Pakistan is ready to extend technical assistance to Afghanistan for promoting and strengthening its gem stone and marble industry.

Britain, Pak back bid for Afghan peace

KABUL- 19 JULY 2012- Afghan efforts to negotiate with the Taliban need Islamabad's help if they are to be successful, the leaders of Afghanistan, Britain and Pakistan emphasised Thursday, following three-way talks in Kabul.

British leader David Cameron and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Pakistan's new Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf for the first time, as British and NATO combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in 18 months' time.

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