KABUL â Afghanistanâs parliament failed to pass a law on Saturday banning violence against women, a severe blow to progress made in womenâs rights in the conservative Muslim country since the Islamist Taliban was toppled over a decade ago.
President Hamid Karzai approved the law by decree in 2009 and parliamentâs endorsement was required. But a rift between conservative and more secular members of the assembly resulted in debate being deferred to a later date.
Religious members objected to at least eight articles in the legislation, including keeping the legal age for women to marry at 16, the existence of shelters for domestic abuse victims and the halving of the number of wives permitted to two.
âToday, the parliamentarians who oppose womenâs development, womenâs rights and the success of womenâŚ made their voices loud and clear,â Fawzia Koofi, head of parliamentâs womenâs commission, told Reuters.
Women have won back the hard-fought right to education and work since the Taliban was toppled 12 years ago, but there are fears...
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BBC News â Mr Sharif was twice prime minister in the 1990s and both times he made genuine efforts to make peace with India but was thwarted at every step by an aggressive and uncompromising army which eventually launched the war in Kargil in disputed Kashmir in 1999 that led to a military debacle and also a coup against his government.
Mr Sharif clearly understands that Pakistanâs traditional allies in the West, immersed in a global recession, are unlikely to offer Islamabad much in the way of a bailout. However, India can play a major role in reviving Pakistanâs bankrupt economy as a potential investor.
This time around, the army â faced with an apparent collapse of the state â is also more amenable to the idea of improving relations with India, but army chief Gen Pervez Kayani still baulks at the idea of Indian factories and investment taking root in Pakistan.
However, Pakistan has little choice and Sharif even less so, as avenues to rescue the economy close one by one. Gen Kayani is also due to step down at the end of the year and a new army chief may well be able to put the years of acrimony between Mr Sharif and the army to an end.
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News -Â Afghanistan â Afghan National Security Advisor for President Karzia Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta while visiting Goshta district, said that several options are at hand to equip Afghan security forces and the government cannot wait for support from international community in this regard.
It is time for Afghan forces to be equipped like the forces of some neighbouring countries, Dr Spanta said.
âWe cannot wait for international community. We are thankful to international community. They have supported us a lot but current equipment are not enough to defend the countryâs borders. We are working on all options to equip our forces,â Dr Spanta said.
Meanwhile, Afghan Border Police (ABP) in Goshta District of eastern Nangarhar province said that they are on standby in the last several days.
Afghan Government has deployed additional army forces to the area to back border police.
Afghan border police who have exchanged fire twice with the Pakistani military in the past two weeks, are saying that they face lack of military resources and equipment.
âPakistani military owns tanks and artilleries but we have only mortars and 82 mm artillery, in spite of...
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NPR â May 8, 2013 â In Afghanistan, where most people are illiterate and live in areas without paved roads or regular electricity, a state-of-the-art smart-chip ID card may seem extravagant. But the government believes it can help with everything from census data to voter registration to health care.
The format of the proposed card, however, is fueling debate over ethnicity and identity at a time when anxiety is already high over the drawdown of NATO troops.
Each citizenâs ethnicity will be embedded in the electronic data in the new ID, or âe-taskera,â rather than printed on the face of the card. Mohammad Alam Ezedayar, an Afghan senator, was among politicians who debated the issue recently. He doesnât think the new card goes far enough.
âItâs the right of all Afghans to have their ethnicity listed on the card,â he says. âEthnicity is mentioned in the constitution and in the national anthem, so it should be on the card too.â
Ezedayar says that previous ID cards, or taskeras, had a personâs identity printed on them. He says the new e-taskera should, too. He and other prominent politicians from minority...
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