Interviews

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Mega development schemes should be executed instead of small projects in different districts of southern Kandahar province under the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) -- a flagship uplift plan of the government. 
Provincial Council Chairman Haji Syed Jan Khakrezwal says he has raised the issue at meetings with NSP officials and village council members. He underlined the imperative of deriving maximum benefits from the important programme. 

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The head of provincial council for northern Balkh province on Tuesday said local governance in the province was faced with problems but efforts were on to introduce substantial reforms.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Mohammad Ibrahim Khairandish accused the education and public health departments of negligence and blamed security organs for interfering in some legal issues.
He said that around 300 persons visit the provincial council in connection of their cases daily.

A year passed from the Afghan presidential elections, but yet the government is lagging. More than half of the government is acting. Peace talk is deadlocked, insecurity has increased and even expended from south and east to the northern and western provinces. Unemployment and poverty is at its peak. Government reform and development projects are barren. Institutions have been weakened and the casualties of Afghan National Security Forces increased.

KABUL (Pajhwok): First deputy chief executive officer, Eng. Mohammad Khan, says the national unity government has achieved little since its formation six months ago, calling on the two leaders to end this problem at the earliest.
Khan told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview on Saturday that the unity government was a new experiment in Afghanistan and the region and a rare example seen in the world.

 

 

 

KABUL (Pajhwok): Rural development minister-designate Eng. Nasir Ahmad Durrani on Thursday said he would create a department to maintain transparency in the ministry’s affairs.

KABUL (Pajhwok): A former minister on Sunday urged President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to keep sustained focus on social welfare and job-generating programmes for the sake of Afghanistan’s development.
Ex-minister of social welfare Amina Afzali, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, claimed significant achievements had been made in the social welfare field during her tenure.

BAMYAN (Pajhwok): Tayyeba Khawari, first female headed provincial council in central Bamyan province, said on Thursday that women had been playing a highly significant role in Afghanistan and she would prove that women could perform their duties efficiently as men.
Khawari was sworn-in as Bamyan provincial council head last week by winning five out of nine votes.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, she believed women could deliver more than their current symbolic roles in Afghan society.

KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): The new provincial council chief on Thursday vowed to take solid steps towards improving security, bringing reforms to government entities, fighting corruption and resuming development activities in southern Kandahar province.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Haji Syed Jan Khakrezwal said the numerical strength of Kandahar provincial council members had been increased this time and all the members would work hard to carry forward their affairs in more effectively way than the past.

KABUL (Pajhwok): Hezb-i-Mahaz-i-Milli Islami leader Syed Hamid Gilani on Saturday suggested the armed opposition should also be included in the national unity process.

Speaking exclusively to Pajhwok Afghan News, Gilani said the unity government, led by President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, had been formed and stability was among the administration’s top priorities.

Referring to the creation of the Chief Executive Officer position, the politician said the step had been taken in the larger national interest as a strong foundation to guarantee national unity.

 
 MAIDAN SHAHAR (Pajhwok): A woman candidate from central Maidan Wardak province on Tuesday regretted running for provincial council elections.   
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan, Halima Askari said:  “Due to the electoral deadlock and the concomitant feuding, I repent contesting the elections.”
The presidential election impasse had also forced a delay in provincial council results, which should have been announced much earlier, she remarked.   

 
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Powerful tribal leader Haji Din Mohammad on Thursday urged the presidential candidates to put aside their differences to end the electoral crisis, saying Afghanistan was passing through a critical juncture.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Din Mohammad said the prolonged crisis threatened the country’s security and economic situation. He warned the candidates would be held responsible if the situation worsened further.

 
KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential advisor on tribal and border affairs Shahzada Massoud on Wednesday said Afghanistan was home to jirgas and the election crisis should have been resolved through an intra-Afghan understanding.
The election crisis deepened after presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah rejected preliminary results from the June 14 presidential runoff and declared himself the winner.
Before the results that put presidential runner Ashraf Ghani in the lead, Abdullah had accused Ghani and President Karzai of massively rigging the polls.

 
KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Mohammad Jawaz Khan kept secret the demise of his ailing daughter to let villagers stream to polling centres.
A day before the election, Khan, a resident of Warjali area of Thanai district of Khost, had attended a gathering of villagers to discuss the election. The gathering was called by influential tribal elder Abdul Ghaffar.
After consultations, the participants decided they would actively participate in the June 14 runoff election.

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): President Hamid Karzai’s brother Mahmoud Karzai on Monday said he would support a presidential candidate with a forward-looking policy and programme for Afghanistan’s future in the looming runoff.
Mahmoud, a leading businessman and developer, had supported Zalmai Rassoul, a former foreign minister, in the first round of the presidential elections on April 5.
But Rassoul, who finished third, has now joined forces with frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah. Mahmoud’s brother Qayyum Karzai dropped out of the race and endorsed Rassoul days before the ballot.

 
SHARAN (Pajhwok): Local officials in southeastern Paktika province said on Wednesday they were fully ready if the election headed for the second round.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Paktika police chief, Maj. Gen. Nabi Jan Mulakhel, said the April, 5 presidential and provincial council polls were held in a peaceful environment in Paktika, with all polling centres opened.  
Afghan forces played leading role to ensure security on Election Day, but the role of Afghan Local Police (ALP) was of great importance and commendable, he added.  

 
TARINKOT (Pajhwok): Officials in central Uruzgan province on Wednesday said tight security measures had been put in place around polling stations for the April 5 presidential and provincial elections.
Police chief, Brig Gen. Matiullah Khan, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, said the number of security posts had been increased in the areas where polling stations were located.

 
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): A female provincial council runner in southern Kandahar province on Tuesday said she was ready to serve her people despite security problems and traditional restrictions.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Serena Faizi complained that she was unable to run freely her election campaign and convey her views to the masses.

 
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Presidential contender Gul Agha Sherzai on Monday said he was in talks with a number of rival candidates on forming an election alliance and the outcome would be known soon.
 “We are in negotiations with Abdul Rahim Wardak, Hidayat Amin Arsala, Qutbuddin Hilal and others to make an alliance. I will not quit in anyone’s favour,” Sherzai told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview.

 
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): The Nad Ali district chief in southern Helmand province on Thursday said the security situation in his town had improved after a security operation that enabled security forces to protect polling stations and prevent poppy cultivation.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Mohammad Ibrahim said residents of the district were no longer required to travel to the provincial capital, Lashkargah, for resolving their problems.

KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential contender Abdul Qayyum Karzai has pledged to make Afghanistan an economic hub of the region, build close trade ties with neighbouring countries if he is elected in the April vote. 

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, he discussed a wide range of issues such as economic development, Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States and the slow-moving peace process.

War alone could not ensure peace and stability, he said, adding his government would be dominated by competent individuals from different ethnic groups.

 
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The governor said on Thursday people would not be able to cast their votes at 18 of the total 72 polling stations designated in eastern Nuristan province due to escalating insecurity.
Mohammad Tamim Nuristani told Pajhwok Afghan News some polling stations in a number of districts would remain closed on the election day (April 5).

KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential contender Hidayat Amin Arsala says good governance, rule of law and speedy dispensation of justice tend to discourage the scourge of growing militancy and instability in Afghanistan.<--break->

 

KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential contender Hidayat Amin Arsala says good governance, rule of law and speedy dispensation of justice tend to discourage the scourge of growing militancy and instability in Afghanistan.

KABUL (Pajhwok): Sardar Mohammad Nader Naeem, the presidential contender says if he is elected as president he will eliminate the menace of corruption, ensure rule of law and push forward the nascent peace process.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the presidential hopeful assured he would equally treat all Afghans and withdraw extra ordinary privileges enjoyed by some influential.

KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential contender Mohammad Shafiq Gul Agha Sherzai has warned if the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is not signed and foreign troops leave, Afghanistan will once again emerge as a terrorist sanctuary.

“Afghanistan will turn into a terrorist safe haven again if foreign forces leave the country,” Sherzai said, insisting that the security pact with the US was in the supreme national interest.

 

KABUL (PAN): Presidential contender Abdur Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, blaming the government for what he called inconsistent policies to control terrorism and ensure economic growth, says he will work out effective policies to tackle challenges. 

 
FAIZABAD (PAN): Badakhshan Governor Dr Shah Wali Adib has said the election date set for April 5 is not a proper time because most people in the northeastern province will be unable to reach polling stations due to heavy snows.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Adib said most Badakhshan residents had been issued with voter cards and they were interested in participating in the presidential and provincial elections.

KABUL (PAN): Presidential contender Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has promised to strictly implement rule of law in the country and present the nation with performance of his governance after every six months if he wins the ballots.

“I will designate as many as 15,000 individuals, including elders, Ulamas, and youngsters to closely monitor the perfor

KABUL (PAN): Presidential contender Daud Sultanzoyi has said he will implement country’s law irrespective of one’s social standing and hold well-off accountable if he wins the upcoming elections.

KABUL (PAN): Key opposition leader Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has termed President Hamid Karzai’s new conditions for signing a vitally important security deal with the US until after next year’s elections as impractical and personal.

KABUL (PAN): Identifying durable peace and tranquility in Afghanistan as his top priorities, presidential candidate Qutbuddin Hilal has said there will be no pre-conditions for holding reconciliation talks with the Taliban and Hezb-i-Islami if he wins the upcoming ballot.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Hilal alleged concrete steps had not been taken over the past decade to ensure lasting peace and tranquility in the country.

 
JALALABAD (PAN): Owing to security concerns, mobile voter registration teams could not be dispatched to 10 districts in eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Monday.

 
ASADABAD (PAN): The governor of eastern Kunar province on Saturday refused to confirm the death or presence of a Pakistani Taliban leader in his province.
Shujaul Mulk Jalala was speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News two days after a media report said a fugitive Pakistani Taliban leader, Mullah Fazlullah, had been killed during a clash with Afghan insurgents in Kunar which borders Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal region.

 
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): Afghan Local Police (ALP) General Director Gen. Ali Shah Ahmadzai on Monday acknowledged some groups opposed the force that was poised to play a crucial role during next year’s elections.

 
GARDEZ (PAN): An Afghan military commander on Monday claimed a group of Pakistani Taliban tasked with carrying out attacks in central Logar province had been eliminated.
The Afghan National Army’s 203rd Thunder Military Corps commander, Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, told local and foreign journalists the group had been sent to Logar by the Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.

 
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Incidents of rape and self-immolation among women have been on the increase in northern Sar-i-Pul province, an official said on Thursday.

HARANA (PAN): The mayor on Tuesday said the reconstruction process in the capital of southeastern Paktika province had been stepped up in order to facilitate residents.Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, Syed Obaidullah Sadat said Sharan, whose residents previously faced a lot of problems, had recently been granted urban status.

 
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): A senior Afghan military official said on Wednesday foreign troops were preparing to leave southern provinces, where they had so far transferred 188 military bases to local counterparts.

 
KABUL (PAN): The Badghis governor on Monday said his administration would resolve the problems of clean drinking water supply and electricity through importing power from Turkmenistan.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Ahmadullah Alizai listed ensuring security, combating corruption and smuggling, implementing reconstruction schemes and improving education as his priorities for Badghis.

 
GARDEZ (PAN): An Afghan military commander on Monday claimed a group of Pakistani Taliban tasked with carrying out attacks in central Logar province had been eliminated.
The Afghan National Army’s 203rd Thunder Military Corps commander, Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali, told local and foreign journalists the group had been sent to Logar by the Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.

 
KABUL (PAN): The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Tuesday said foreign soldiers had exited more than 700 military bases ahead of their withdrawal from the country in 2014.

 
CHARIKAR (PAN): Parwan Governor Abdul Basir Salangi has said it is difficult to combat the drug trade in the central province because some police officials are involved in the illicit commerce.
“Drug trade is common in Charikar and other parts of the province. I ask security officials at every meeting to do more to prevent the business,” Salangi told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive conversation.

 
TALUQAN (PAN): Violence against women has increased in northern Takhar province, where 180 cases were registered over the past four months, compared to 100 incidents during the same period last year, an official says.
Takhar Women’s Affairs director Razm Ara Hawash told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview that her department was deeply concerned about the increasing incidents of violence against the gender.

JALALABAD (PAN): Wolesi Jirga Secretary Syed Ikram has said rumours about a possible delay or change in next year’s election schedule are being spread by the country’s enemies.

 
ASADABAD (PAN): The new governor of eastern Kunar province has pledged to fight corruption in government departments and reconcile militants who have waged insurgency due to their mistreatment at the hands of officials.
Shujaul Malk Jalala, a former presidential advisor, who once associated with Sibghatullah Mujaddadi’s Milli Nijat jihadi faction, assumed charge last week as the governor of Kunar, replacing Fazlullah Wahidi.

KABUL (PAN): Marjan, 50, the only female member of the provincial council in central Uruzgan province, says it was her long resistance against the Taliban that translated into her election as member of the council.
Despite numerous challenges and attempts on her life by the Taliban, Marjan was able to be elected as the council member after she attracted the attention of tribal elders who proposed her to run for a provincial council seat.

 
BAMYAN CITY (PAN): The newly-appointed governor for central Daikundi province, Abdul Haq Shafaq, on Wednesday said Afghan security forces needed access to more facilities and advanced weapons to effectively keep the Taliban at bay.
Shafaq, who replaced Qurban Ali Uruzgani, has previously served as the governor of Faryab and Samangan provinces.

 
JALALABAD (PAN): Several women’s welfare NGOs are operating in eastern Nangarhar province without coordination with the Women’s Affairs Department, an official said on Monday.
A number of NGOs were getting funds from donors, but did not inform the department regarding their activities, Women’s Affair Director Anisa Imrani Pajhwok Afghan News in an exclusive interview.

 
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Roads measuring 40 kilometres were built in southern Kandahar City since last year, but nearly 300-km roads still need to be paved, the mayor said on Sunday.
Mohammad Omar Omar told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview the city population had reached 1.5 million individuals and the number of police districts increased to 15 from 10.

 
QALAT (PAN): A senior information and culture official on Monday warned around 18 ancient sites, mostly shrines of saints, were on the verge of irreparable loss and destruction in southern Zabul province.
Information and Culture Director Abdul Muqim Afghan told Pajhwok Afghan News he had identified a number of historic sites that were on the verge of vanishing because of mismanagement and neglect.

QALAT (PAN): Authorities in southern Zabul province, complaining of a shortage of qualified public health staff, say nurses are working instead of doctors at hospitals in three districts.  
The 21 healthcare centres operational across the province could not meet people’s needs due to a shortage of skilled doctors, Public Health director, Dr. Lal Mohammad Tokhi said.

 
QALAT (PAN): Up to 25 schools, previously closed for security reasons, have reopened over the past one year in southern Zabul province, where another 133 schools remain shut due to a lack of interest by the residents concerned, a senior education official said on Friday.

 
LASHKARGAH (PAN): A Wolesi Jirga member on Wednesday said lower house members influenced 80 percent of appointments to government posts, a practice that violated merit and fair play.    

 
JALALABAD (PAN): Nuristan governor Tamim Nuristani on Saturday acknowledged that no mega development project could be executed in the eastern province since last year, accusing the Ministry of Finance of refusing to release funds in this regard, despite President Hamid Karzai's directives.

jALALABAD (PAN): Halted development activities, rampant land-grab and endemic administrative corruption have made the life of the people miserable in eastern Nangarhar province, the Senate chairman said on Monday.

 
JALALABAD (PAN): Several government departments in eastern Nangarhar province owe more than 800 million afghanis ($15 million) to the Afghanistan Bareshna Shirkat in unpaid electricity bills, an official said on Monday.
“Some departments have cleared their bills, but others are yet to pay any heed to outstanding dues,” Water and Energy Director Mohibur Rahman Momand said in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News.

 
PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): Taliban members, pretending to be local policemen, have embarked on robberies and extortion in areas where the NATO-backed force has been deployed, the governor of central Logar province alleged on Sunday.

 
JALALABAD (PAN): A 20-year-old woman on Sunday got divorce from her husband through the court of appeals in eastern Nangarhar province.
The court verdict came amid reports that the woman, Diwa, had invited the wrath of a judge by refusing to marry him in return for a verdict in her favour.
The judge has been secretly taped by a journalist, allegedly demanding a $2,000 bribe or a marriage from Diwa seeking his help in her divorce case.

 
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): In addition to the Taliban, illegal armed groups are a threat to security in northern Afghanistan, the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) head said on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Gen. Abdul Manan said dozens of illegal armed groups in the north destabilised the region, paving the way for drug and weapons trafficking.

 
KHOST CITY (PAN): Dozens of tribal disputes over property ownership have been resolved over the past two years in the southeastern Khost province, a senior official claimed on Sunday.
At least 30 disputes over ownership of mountains, deserts, forests and cultivable land were settled by a joint commission having representatives of government institutions, civil society and tribal elders, the Khost governor said.

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Northern Sar-i-Pul police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Rauf Taj, says restoring public confidence in the force is his priority number one.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Gen. Taj called the lack of people’s trust in police a major problem in the province.
The police chief, who took up the post 23 days back, believes the situation may be a result of police’s misbehavior with members of the general public.

 
LASHKARGAH (PAN): The security conditions of Khanshen district in southern Helmand province has improved, but reconstruction works is missing, says an official.
Haji Shah Mehmood Mir district chief told Pajhwok Afghan News that they are facing shortage of police personnel but with good cooperation they managed to improve security in the area.

BAMYAN CITY (PAN): Governor of central Bamyan province Habiba Surabi -- the only woman to hold this position in Afghanistan -- has described asphalting of roads and supply of electricity to thousands of families as her major achievements.Belonging to southern Ghazni province, she graduated from the Pharmacy Faculty of the Kabul University.

 
JALALABAD (PAN): The Afghan National Army (ANA) is ready to respond to cross-border attacks from Pakistan if the central government authorised it, a military commander in the eastern zone said on Saturday.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the 201st Selab Military Corps commander warned they would explore other options if negotiations on the issue failed to yield the desired results.

JALALABAD (PAN): A key member of the Afghan Millat Party and the Minister of Commerce and Industries, Dr. Anwarul Haq Ahadi, on Saturday said some political parties have launched efforts at creating a pre-election national consensus to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.

 
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Abject poverty and unemployment have strengthened the insurgency in the Kajaki district of southern Helmand province, the town's administrative head said on Monday.
"If residents are provided with jobs, they will be kept from joining the insurgents," Mullah Abdul Raziq Mazlumyar told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview.

 
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Abject poverty and unemployment have strengthened the insurgency in the Kajaki district of southern Helmand province, the town's administrative head said on Monday.
"If residents are provided with jobs, they will be kept from joining the insurgents," Mullah Abdul Raziq Mazlumyar told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview.

JALALABAD (PAN): About 162 insurgents suffered causalities during 35 military operation conducted by Afghan forces in eastern Laghman province last year, an official said on Tuesday.
Eighty-six militants were killed and 76 others wounded during offensives that led to the capture of 158 individuals in connection with different crimes.

 
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): An anti-corruption official in the northern zone on Saturday alleged the menace of administrative graft was widespread in Balkh province.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption (HOOAC) head for the northern zone identified land-grab incidents as one of the worst manifestations of graft.

 
JALALABAD (PAN): Pakistani has been aiding insurgents in eastern Nangarhar province directly and indirectly, a senior police official alleged on Sunday.
Deputy police chief, Col. Masoom Hashimi, told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview that Pakistani intelligence agencies and other forces had lately increased their assistance to fighters in the province.

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): The gap between residents of Charbulak district in northern Balkh province and the government has narrowed, claims the district chief, citing the establishment of a local police force and efforts at reconstruction.
Zabihullah Zahid, who took over as the district’s administrative head two and a half month ago, told Pajhwok Afghan News on Monday insecurity and a long-lasting halt to development activities had been reasons behind the gap.

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Former Junbish-i-Millie Islami Afghanistan leader Syed Noorullah Sadat, denying joining the National Front of Afghanistan (NFA), has said he has been elected by the party's executive board and no one could fire him.
Sadat was among nine party members disowned by the Junbish founder, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, at a gathering at his Shiberghan residence three days back.

 
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Former Junbish-i-Millie Islami Afghanistan leader Syed Noorullah Sadat, denying joining the National Front of Afghanistan (NFA), has said he has been elected by the party's executive board and no one could fire him.
Sadat was among nine party members disowned by the Junbish founder, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, at a gathering at his Shiberghan residence three days back.

Ghazni (PAN): A leader of the anti-Taliban public uprising in the Maqur district of southern Ghazni province on Monday claimed they had cleared most areas of insurgents.
Fed up with atrocities unleashed on them by the militants, residents of Maqur district took up arms against them four months ago, said Syed Ali, who leads the uprising.

GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The High Peace Council secretary for southern Ghazni province on Monday said the Taliban, not interested in peace in the country, wanted to harm Pashtun tribes.
They invited the fighters to join peace, they threatened the people with death, Khalil Hotak told Pajhwok Afghan News.

GHAZNI CITY (PAN): Governor Musa Khan Akbarzada on Tuesday said key development projects would be launched in southern Ghazni province soon after the Wolesi Jirga approved the annual budget.
Basic preparations for the schemes had already been completed and work was expected to start by April 20, Akbarzada during an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News.

KABUL (PAN): Marjan, 50, the only female member of the provincial council in central Uruzgan province, says it was her long resistance against the Taliban that translated into her election as member of the council.
Despite numerous challenges and attempts on her life by the Taliban, Marjan was able to be elected as the council member after she attracted the attention of tribal elders who proposed her to run for a provincial council seat.

 KABUL (PAN): Independent Election Commission (IEC) Secretary Ziaul Haq Amarkhel on Saturday urged parliament to approve an amended electoral law as soon as possible because any delay would negatively affect the poll process.

KABUL (PAN): Afghan Hindus demand of the future president to pay attention to their problems, besides making efforts to stabilize the country's security and economic situation.
"We are also residents of this country and have problems. I call on the next president to concentrate on resolving our problems," Autam Singh Dilsoz, a perfume seller, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The 44-year-old father of five children said he stays in Kabul, but his family is living in India as he lacks a house in the capital city.

KABUL (PAN): Mohammad Alam, an 85-year-old blind man who went to a voter registration centre with the help of his 12-year-old grandchild, is impatiently waiting for Election Day to cast his vote.
The octogenarian, who was not issued with a voter registration card during the previous elections, is keen to exercise his franchise this time around. He described the August 20 elections as a milestone in determining the country's future.

KABUL (PAN): Afghan Hindus demand of the future president to pay attention to their problems, besides making efforts to stabilize the country's security and economic situation. "We are also residents of this country and have problems. I call on the next president to concentrate on resolving our problems," Autam Singh Dilsoz, a perfume seller, told Pajhwok Afghan News. The 44-year-old father of five children said he stays in Kabul, but his family is living in India as he lacks a house in the capital city.

KABUL (PAN): Mohammad Alam, an 85-year-old blind man who went to a voter registration centre with the help of his 12-year-old grandchild, is impatiently waiting for Election Day to cast his vote.

KABUL (PAN): Presidential candidate Gul Ahmad Yama has said providing jobs to 10 million people and bringing international forces under the government's control are among his priorities. Running for the presidency as an independent candidate, he told Pajhwok Afghan News in an interview he did not have any problem with the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan, but wanted the troops to be directly controlled by the Afghan government.

KABUL (PAN): Presidential candidate Abdul Ghafoor Zoori says he does not recognise the Durand Line and, if elected to the top office, he will resolve the issue by seeking the intervention of the international community. In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Zoori explained Afghanistan had no problem with any country except Pakistan. The only spat with the neighbouring country was the status of the British-era frontier, he said. Similarly, Zoori stressed that Afghan areas that became part of Pakistan following the imposition of the Durand Line must be returned to his country.

KABUL (PAN): Presidential candidate Hidayat Amin Arsala has opposed the introduction of federal system in the country and said it would not create even a single complete institution. In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Arsala said he would continue the existing system if elected as president of Afghanistan in the upcoming presidential elections. Referring to the Constitution of the country, he said law-making was not as a simple job to be changed after every two or three years. Supporters of the federal system could not work for the benefit of Afghanistan, he added.

KABUL (PAN): Presidential candidate Dr. Ghulam Farooq Nijrabi says he has not yet started electioneering because he doubts transparency in the August 20 polls. "I can't win the election and the one already chosen will be the president of Afghanistan, just as has happened in the past," the Istiqlal Party chief alleged. In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Nijrabi insisted the election process was shorn of all credibility. But he would not reveal who had already been picked and by whom.

KABUL (PAN): Independent presidential candidate Ghulam Muhammad Rigi has said he will expose and punish all those people who embezzled international aids, if he is elected as president in the upcoming elections. In an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News Rigi said he will held accountable those responsible for misusing the foreign aids. Ghulam Muhammad Rigi was born in 1947 in Anar Dara district of western Farah province. He has baccalaureate degree.

KABUL (PAN): Presidential hopeful Mullah Abdul Salam Rocketi promised to declare general amnesty for Taliban fighters and disgruntled elements to bring peace to the war devastated country of Afghanistan if he wins in the August 20 elections. "I will assure that Taliban fighters will not be prosecuted, he said. They will be appointed to official posts and their children will be able to get an education." Rocketi said that "the current crisis and lack of a competent administration encouraged me to announce my candidacy.

KABUL (PAN): Presidential candidate Muhammad Hakim Torsan has said that efforts for strengthening security, pushing forward peace process, reconciliation with the Taliban and giving general amnesty to all rebel forces were an integral part of his agenda, he will implement if he wins the presidential race.

KABUL (PAN): Zabihullah Nuristani, who is running as an independent candidate in the August 20 presidential race, attributes insecurity to excessive poverty and economic constrains confronting the nation. "If I win in the elections, I will grant 25 acres of land to each poor family during the first year of my tenure as president in order to dry up the roots of insecurity," Nuristani told Pajhwok Afghan News in an interview. He believed most of the people had taken arms due to economic problems which was the major reason behind the prevailing insecurity in the country.

KABUL (PAN): Muhammad Akbar Orya, a presidential candidate, has promised to implement the Constitution in letter and spirit if he wins the August 20 vote.

KABUL (PAN): Eng Muhammad Hashim Tawfiqi, an independent presidential candidate, has said he would purge Afghanistan of poppies and corruption within three years, if elected to the top slot in the elections slated for the 20th of this month.
In an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News the presidential hopeful said the current government has failed to eradicate poppy due to its 'inability'.
"My set-up will be free of administrative corruption so eliminating poppy cultivation will require a short period of time," he argued.