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Celebration of the Afghanistan Independence Day discussed at the Spokesperson’s Security Coordination Meeting
The Spokesperson Security Information Coordination Meeting was conducted at GMIC on 16 Aug 2017. At the meeting, Mr. Feroz Bashari, Deputy Director of GMIC discussed the Kabul Security Plan and its media coverage in detail to the participants. He said that the Kabul Security Plan was explained through a joint Press Conference by Kabul Governor, Mayor, Chief of Police and CEO of CRIDA and was well covered by the national and international media. MG Waziri, MoD Spokesperson also explained the government plans and programs regarding the Celebration of the Afghanistan 98th Independence Day on 19 August 2017.
MG Waziri stated that a commission has been formed regarding the celebration of the Afghanistan Independence Day to manage it in a better way, which includes specific committees on Security, cultural, protocol & procurement. He also assured that the Afghanistan Independence Day will be celebrated at the other provinces and political offices of Afghanistan abroad.  We assure the residents to participate in these programs without any fear.
At the ending of the meeting, it was decided that the government spokesperson should coordinate to raise awareness regarding the Kabul Security Plan as well as regarding the preparation for Celebrating the Afghan Independence Day through media.
Kabul Security Plan Unveiled
Based on the Kabul New Security Plan, ensuring security for the diplomatic area in Kabul is of the priorities. The plan will expand to cover the entire city and districts of Kabul and then to the neighboring provinces. MoI and other related agencies have started to implement the plan after it was approved by the president.
General Salim Ehsas, Assistant Deputy Minister of Interior and Acting Kabul Chief of Police during a joint Press Conference with Kabul Governor, Mayor and CEO of CRIDA on 15 Aug, 2017 at GMIC said: “26 checkpoints have been placed around diplomatic areas in Kabul so far, 10 mobile checkpoints have been considered in the routes connected to it and the high-tonnage vehicles are directed through specified roads to deliver the required services.”
Mobile checkpoints and scanners installed around the diplomatic areas in Kabul will be extended to other areas. MoI is planning regular vehicle and motorcycle patrol around the city, added Gen. Ehsas.
He continued that four entrance gates to Kabul are equipped with scanning machines to screen the vehicles and it will be also extended to other areas of Kabul. Checkpoints that deemed unnecessary have been removed from across Kabul city and main checkpoints have been enhanced. He stated as per the instruction of the President, a 500-personnel battalion has been included in this security plan to manage the demonstrations in the city.
Mr. Abdullah Habibzai, Kabul Mayor who plays a role in the Kabul New Security Plan said that Kabul Municipality has its plans to support improving security in Kabul that includes Kabul Traffic Management, Construction of the Roads, Improving Public Transportation Systems as well as Kabul Address Enhancement to digitize the addresses. A Joint Board is also formed with the aim to improve traffic in Kabul city, he added.
Mr. Alham Omar Hotaki, CEO of the Capital Region Independent Development Authority (CRIDA) as another stakeholder in the Kabul New Security Plan said: “CRIDA has come up with a plan for alternative road for Wazir Akbar Khan main road. However, Wazir Akbar Khan road would not be closed until construction of the alternative road.” He added that the alternative road is planned to be constructed through Bibi Mehro, Qala Khayat, Qala Nazer and Qala Musa areas. Families who lose their houses due to the construction of new roads will get new apartments in the same area. However, he stressed that construction of the road and destruction of homes will not begin until the residents get the key of the apartments.
The Kabul New Security Plan includes short term and midterm activities that will require three to four months to be implemented, added Gen. Ehsas.

The Nature of War Has Changed
Op-ed by: Shah Hussain Murtazawi
Acting Presidential Spokesperson

There are hot controversies, discussions and analysis on security situation in social media and media every day. But comparative evaluation of the current situation with that of three years ago indicates that the nature of the war has changed. During 2015 and 2016, Afghan security forces fought seven stages of war. Over the same period of time, at one phase all six corps of the Afghan army were at war. When president Ghani went to attend Brussels conference, Kunduz fell to Taliban and upon his arrival, the president spent five consecutive nights at the MoD together with the generals at the ministry to manage the war and retake Kunduz. Those difficult and tough days are gone now. Some of the corps had suffered human and materials costs while others were entangled in a long-term war.
Over the past two years, President Ghani has been striving to convince the international community to continue their support and aid, and was busy managing the imposed war on the other. When president Ghani assumed power, the world began to withdraw from Afghanistan. Moreover, he inherited a ruined legacy in regards to foreign policy. In the U.S. there were discussions over the number of U.S. troops they considered to deploy at the American Embassy. However, the presidents discussing, putting efforts together and widely counseling, helped this partnership remain in a sustained, defined and strategic manner. Continuous discussions tied with tolerance and patience can ensure Afghanistan’s strategic interests. Such discussions were on the table both in the former and current U.S. administration. Known faces in the White House are in contact with the national unity government leaders, especially President Ashraf Ghani. Most of the military and leadership cadres in the U.S. are well aware of and informed about circumstances, geography and the convoluted war that is ongoing. They also have their own comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the situation. The decisions that are being made undoubtedly will have serious implications for security, countering terrorism and capacity building for ANDSF. The time being noteworthy point is the fact that all the evaluations and discussion are focused on increasing the amount of aid. In other words, it is being debated whether or not the aids should be increased. In the past, however, this was not the case. In the past they were debating to what level should the aids be decreased and they were even talking about keeping around 800 troops at the American embassy.
Over 30 counties have same problems as Afghanistan is facing, but there is no consensus for these countries, like Afghanistan. It is unpredictable and unbelievable which Afghanistan is still attracting international’s attention after 16 years. Afghanistan still has its international commitments for US$ 30 billion. Intentional consensus and long term commitments are prominent achievements for Afghanistan. Protecting these achievements is very important for the people and government. This is the reason why the enemies are trying to target embassies of friendly countries in Afghanistan. Wazir Akbar Khan would have changed to slaughterhouse for diplomats, unless over 8 ANP scarified themselves during Kabul massive truck explosion, at Zanbaq square. Our enemies want to empty Kabul from embassies like the 70s, no embassy to be open. Their concentration to target embassies in Afghanistan, demonstrate the sign of changing the nature of the war in the country; while targeting civilians is another sign to prove that the nature of the war is changing in Afghanistan. Nobody is safe, all individuals, worshipers, civilians, children, women and elders changed to be the main target for terrorists. A series of suicide attacks took place in Kabul, Herat, Sar-e-Pul and …. shows this assertion. Terrorist networks want to create fear and panic atmosphere for people through carrying out brutal and bloody assassinations; on the other hand they want to show up the war as political game. The aim behind targeting followers of specific sect and race is their double game play. The main reason that enemies chose new approach is their failure and defeat in battlefield by ANDSF; as enemies could not succeed to control any geography in Afghanistan in the 2017. This year, two waves of attacks by enemies took place in compare to two years ago; while the Taliban could carry out seven waves of attack in this season of the year two years ago.
The enemies in their new approach targeted some remote and mountainous points in the country. Taiwara district in Ghor, Kohistan in Faryab and Sayad and Janikhail districts were among the districts that have been fallen to their hands over the recent weeks and then retaken. Attacking on the Taiwara district in Ghor, the enemies wanted to create a strong corridor, but they failed.  The enemies were strongly defeated after three to a week time in all the areas they launched attacks on.
Reforms at MoD leadership, retirement of over 135 Generals as well as reforms at procurement section of MoD has prepared new opportunities to better capacity and abilities to fight. The president is one of the few limited political faces who meet ANDSF from their leadership to the soldiers, seeking around their challenges and comments. He finds issues during his meetings with the low level individuals at ANDSF which might not be possible to find through official sources in years.
Next steps are to reform MoI. Border Police and ANCOP would be merged to ANA. Police will get more training and taughts to implement the law.
Unfortunately, some political figures have concentrated their entire efforts to influence this part of the ANDSF; in a way that the national identity of police has been even reduced to local level. Our NDSF should be non-political, national and professional and along with the change in nature of the war, they should also obtain special capacities. Or else, fighting such massive fight and change in the nature of the war would be tough for them. 

MOD Press Briefing Readouts - 15-08-2017
MG Dawlat Waziri Spokesperson for MOD
Executive Summary MOD Press Briefing:

Opening Statement
By Major General Waziri

Over the past 24 hours, ANDSF has conducted successful operations in a number of provinces fighting the enemies with an aim to protect people.  21 ANDSF offensive operations are going on in 15 provinces. Commando Units have conducted 18 operations in a number of provinces and also two night raids have been conducted. As a result of these operations:
-    In Jani Khail district of Paktia: Over 31 Taliban insurgents were killed, 14 Taliban wounded and 3 others detained.
-    In Deh Yak district of Ghazni: Two Taliban militants were killed, and one wounded.
-    In Shah Joy & Shamlzai districts of Zabul province: Around 20 Taliban insurgents were killed, 15 others wounded and 10 various types of weapons destroyed.
-    In Srobi district of Kabul: Two terrorists were killed and 3 others wounded.
-    In Mirza Walang of Sar-e-Pul: Over 33 Taliban terrorists including two key commanders of them were killed, and 10 other Taliban militants were wounded.
-    In Ghormach district of Faryab: Around 10 Taliban militants were killed.
In addition, ANA air wings carried out 96 logistic flights, and 13 air strikes to hit Taliban and destroy their hideouts. On the other hand, ANA engineering team found and disabled 42 IEDs.
In past 24 hours, in total 98 Taliban militants including 2 key commanders of them were killed, 43 Taliban wounded, and 3 other Taliban detained due to several joint clearance operations carried out by ANDSF throughout Afghanistan.
Our operation against the enemies is going on in Mirzawolang area of Sayaad district in Sar e Pul province which resulted heavy losses to the enemy. We will not stop the operation till the enemies are completely eradicated
President Ashraf Ghani during a ceremony introducing MOI new acting minister emphasized on fighting corruption and brining reforms saying that the four year security plan will create a good management in MOI and tasks division at security institutions. President Ghani also added that reforms in all three security institutions in not optional, but a national obligation and duty and shall be implemented.  He also stressed that politicians shall not interfere in security sector.
Q/A Session
•    Reporter: Russia wants America to leave Afghanistan because America misuses Afghanistan & they are defeated by insurgents because war is still going on in Afghanistan, what do you say?
o    MG Waziri: Afghanistan is where terrorists are active and trying to occupy provinces which are impossible and Afghanistan needs help of regional countries to support ANDSF and demolish Taliban groups. We want Russia to support us because our enemies are one and our targets are to bring peace.
•    Reporter: Why 400-bed (Hospital) is not taking serious the patients? And why ministry of defense is not paying for the patients though it is their responsibility? As a solider had objected and he was saying that we our own have to pay our charges in 400-Bister and the problem is that we are compel to buy our medicines from outside and we cannot find them in the Bazar?
o    MG Waziri: We had a meeting and discussed about the problem then we asked seriously the director of finance to handle the budget of drugs & all payments.
•    Reporter: Yesterday President Ashraf Ghani asked the MoI & MoD to stop security forces that are interfering in politics. What do you say about it?
o    MG Waziri: We have worked a lot on this regard as more than 90% are stopped but only some percentages have remained and president Ghani is asking about something truth which we have to recognize and stop this percentages.
•    Reporter: What is going on in Janekhail district & Ghurmach? What have you done in here till now?
o    MG Waziri: Everything is ok in Janekhail & Taliban has lots of causalities and we had air strikes by NATO. ANDSF are planning to make check points and battalions so that in the future it does not fall to Taliban.

Coordination Meeting with Media and News Agencies
Mr. Haroon Chakhansuri, Deputy Chief of Staff - Strategic Communications and Media, Office of the President, met with the media in-charges at GMIC on 15 Aug 2017. At the meeting, the media representatives shared their concerns and challenges regarding the tax payment, penalties, license extension and broadcasting frequency issues and asked the government to support resolving it.
Mr. Chakhansuri, hearing the concerns said that the government is ready to support them and these challenges should be categorized to make it easy for taking steps towards. Addressing the media challenges requires deep discussions and clarity and should be resolved based on the relevant laws and regulations. The government is committed to freedom of speech and media activities and is ready to support them to resolve the challenges, he added.


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