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CFC Afghanistan Review 27NOV12

CFC Afghanistan Review 27NOV12

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Comprehensive Information on Complex Crises
Afghanistan Review
27 November 2012Week 48
Economic DevelopmentGovernance & Rule of LawSecurity & Force ProtectionSocial & Strategic InfrastructureThe Civil-Military Fusion Centre(CFC) is an information and knowledge management organisa-tion focused on improving civil-military interaction, facilitatinginformation sharing and enhancingsituational awareness through theCimicWeb portal and our weeklyand monthly publications.CFC products are based upon and link to open-source informationfrom a wide variety of organisations,research centres and media outlets.However, the CFC does not endorseand cannot necessarily guaranteethe accuracy or objectivity of thesesources.
CFC publications are inde-pendently produced by DeskOfficers and do not reflectNATO or ISAF policies or posi-tions of any other organisation.
The CFC is part of NATO Allied Command Operations.For further information, contact:
Afghanistan Team Leader
The Afghanistan Team
This document provides an overview of developments in Afghanistan from 13
26 November 2012, withhyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on thetopics below or other issues pertaining to events in Afghanistan, contact the members of the AfghanistanTeam, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org/cmo/afg. 
Economic Development
Steven A. Zyck
he annual opium survey of Afghanistan found that the amount of land planted with pop-pies increased by twenty per cent this year but that the total amount of production actu-ally fell by a third due to crop disease and harsh weather, according to
The Guardian
.The survey, which was conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC), found that Afghans planted more land with poppies this year due to the high marketprice for opium. In addition, some Afghans turned to poppy cultivation out of concern that theywill need cash or poppy resin
which can easily be transported and sold
in the event that se-curity deteriorates in Afghanistan as greater numbers of foreign troops withdraw
. “People are
still hedging for an insecure future, so there is lots of speculation. Prices quietened in recent
months but still are double what the normal economic price should be,” according Jean
-LucLemahieu, head of UNODC in Afghanistan. Lemahieu further indicated that poppy prices willlikely remain high in the coming years, thus encouraging more farmers to begin growing thecrop.The economic impact of the on-going transition process also continued to receive media atten-tion. Afghan and Afghan-American businesspeople are beginning toremove assets from Af-ghanistan as 2014 approaches, according to
CBS News
. Similarly,
Pajhwok Afghan News
 ported that Afghanistan’s Central Bank has identified
at least USD 3 billion which has beensmuggled illegally out of Afghanistan over an unspecified period of time. Both
Voice of America (VOA) News
claim that the issue of smuggling has led to the devaluation 
of Afghanistan’s currency, the afghani.
says that Afghanistan’s Attorney General’s
Office (AGO) is considering prosecuting moneychangers and traders to try and prevent furthercapital flight.The latest Asia Foundation
“Survey of the Afghan People” found that Afghans are increasingly
concerned about the economy,according to the US
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
. Of those Afghans surveyed,
27% said that unemployment is Afghanistan’s largest problem, su
Highlighted Topics
Clicking the links in this list will take you to the appropriate section.
Land planted with poppies increases by 20% and production fells by a third.
Businesspeople start to remove assets from Afghanistan as 2014 approaches.
Pakistani authorities last week released a group of Taliban prisoners. 
Election officials will be reshuffled at the provincial level to prevent possible fraud.
The US an Afghanistan launch talks on their Bilateral Security Agreement. 
Sectarian fights leave one student dead and 28 others wounded in Kabul universities.
Construction sector suffers the upcoming withdrawal of foreign troops.
Afghan women use mobile phones to become literate.
27 November 2012 Page 2
passed only by insecurity (28%) and closely followed by corruption (25%). Andrew Wilder, director of Afghanistan and Pakistan pro-grammes at the United States Institute of Peace, told
: “We’ll see a sharp reduction in foreign aid as troops decrease, so we’ll see adrop in those sectors as well. If I were an Afghan, I’d be concerned about jobs moving forward.”A number of articles regarding Kabul Bank, Afghanistan’s embattled lender, also em
The New York Times
reported that the trialof more than twenty people involved in the Kabul Bank crisis began in Kabul on 14 November. Defendant
s include the bank’s former 
chairman, Sherkhan Farnood, and its former chief executive, Khalilluah Frozi, both of whom testified early in the trial. Farnood andFrozi both reportedly attempted to place the majority of the blame on the other for the loss of USD 900 million from Kabul Bank. Ac-cording to
Tolo News
, Farnood also made accusations against Hassan Fahim, the brother of Afghani
stan’s First Vice Pr 
esident; Far-nood says that Fahim took USD 178 million from the bank. Meanwhile, Frozi implicated Mahmoud Karzai, a partial owner of thebank and a brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The New York Times
noted that the outcomes of the Kabul Bank trial may have
lasting implications for foreign donors’ willingness to finance the Afghan government. A number of representatives of the int
ernation-al community told
The New York Times
that donors may withhold funding for the Afghan government in the years ahead if the trial isnot perceived as credible and if key figures in the banking scandal are not held accountable. One un-
named official stated: “This is
absolutely one of the two or three big-picture issues in Afghanistan today, along with the security and civilian transition. If this pro-
cess is not credible, it puts into question a lot of the international commitments made to Afghanistan going forward.”
In closely related news, Noorullah Delawari, the head of Afghanistan’s Central Bank, says that New Kabul Ba
which was estab-
lished to oversee some of Kabul Banks’s remaining assets and functions – 
will be sold through a competitive bidding process,accord- ing to
Tolo News
. “Myself and the head of the Finance Ministry’s Treasury department went to Dubai to seek foreign interest in NewKabul Bank. We provided all sort of information and conditions to officials in Dubai,” Delawari told reporters. New Kabul Ban
k isfully owned by the Afghan government after Kabul Bank was placed in receivership in 2010 following a massive government bailoutvalued at around USD 850 million.A number of other economic development issues, which are summarised below, emerged during the past two weeks.
Some in Afghanistan are concerned that US sanctions against Iran could imperil 
,much of which comesfrom Iran, according to
VOA News
. Afghan Deputy Commerce Minister Muzamel Shinwari stated: “Now when the fuel is comingunder the sanctions, it is creating a bigger problem for us […] And if we stop bringing it from Iran, it will create an econo
mic cri-sis in the co
untry, which will lead to the political crisis, which will lead to unrest in the region.”
A consortium of companies led by the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is hoping to win the rights to the Shaida deposit in Af-ghanistan, which is estimated to contain 4.34 million tonnes of copper,according to
 India Times
. The consortium says that theyhave received positive feedback from Afghan officials. The winning bidder will reportedly be announced by March 2013.
The United Nations organised a conference in Mazar-e Sharif on improving trade linkages between Afghanistan and the Central Asian republics, according to
. Participants proposed the creation of a trade centre in northern Afghanistan which wouldfocus on linkages with Central Asia. Balkh 
 province’s governor, Atta Mohammad Noor, said that Balkh would be an ideal loc
a-tion for such a centre.
Officials with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAI
L) tell
that saffron is replacing opi-um poppies in some parts of  Nangarhar province. MAIL recently implemented a pilot saffron cultivation project in fourteen dis- tricts in Nangarhar. Farmers reportedly stand to earn USD 1,200 per acre of saffron as opposed to only USD 400 per acre of opi-um poppies.
According to
Tolo News
, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience in Singapore that the US government is “focused
on shoring up 
,because we know that, without that, stability and security will certainly be elusive”.
Clinton stated that regional economic cooperation and the re-establishment of the ancient Silk Road are key parts of the US gov-
ernment’s economic development
efforts in Afghanistan and its region.
Governance & Rule of Law
Stefanie Nijssen
Deputy Minister of Hajj Daee-ul-Haq Abed has told a gathering of lawmakers and members of civil society thatsome parts of Afghanistan
s Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law are not in accordance with Islamic law and will therefore not be enforced by religious leaders and clerics, reports
Tolo News
. Abed did not elaborate on what particu-lar parts of the law go against Islam but his comments drew heavy criticism from lawmakers, who threatened the ministry with legalaction if the law was not enforced. The EVAW law was enacted in 2009 but its enforcement and implementation were noted to beweak at best. This comes as the Afghanistan Independent Research Commission reported that violence against women increased by 28per cent during the first seven months of this year, states
 Ariana News
.A number of Afghan lawmakers have put together a draft law specifically aimed at outlining punishments for those found guilty of  child rape, says
Tolo News
. Lawmakers have also called on justice institutions to apply
law to those who are convicted of rap-ing children, adding that the only solution to bring down the climbing rate of reported child rapes is to enforce the law and instil harshpenalties. This comes as UN officials expressed concern about the increasing incidence of  child abuse in northern Afghanistan.
27 November 2012 Page 3
In what is considered a good-faith gesture, Pakistani authorities last week released a group of Taliban prisoners,writes US
 NationalPublic Radio
. The prisoners release came at the end of a three-day meeting in Islamabad between Pakistani officials and a delegationfrom the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC). Reporting on the number of released Taliban members is inconsistent. While the
 noted a total of nine prisoners were released,
Press Trust of India
is reporting that four additional Taliban members were freed ahead of the HPC visit as a confidence-building measure. While the HPC did not identify the freed prisoners, an Afghan official familiarwith the peace process gave the
 Associated Press
a list of eightnames; the nint
h Taliban member’s identity is unknown (
see Figure 1
).Upon return to Kabul, the HPC delegation said that the Pakistan govern-ment would also consider freeing Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the for- mer head of 
the Taliban’s
political and military affairs,
reported.The decision to release Taliban prisoners has reportedly prompted mem-bers of the Taliban leadership council, known as
Quetta Shura
Tolo News
. Meanwhile, Human Rights
Watch has spoken out against HPC chief Salahuddin Rabbani’s a
n-nouncement that Taliban officials who join peace negotiations with theAfghan government willreceive immunity from prosecution and will have their names removed from the UN sanctions, states
 Asian News International
.President Hamid Karzai has ordered Afghan forces to take control of Bagram detention facility in Parwan province after accusing US officials of violating an agreement to hand over the facility to Afghan control, says an official statement obtained by
The New York Times
. The movecomes after what President Karzai said was the expiration of a two-month grace period agreed with the US government. According to thestatement, US forces are reportedly violating earlier agreements by con-tinuing to house newly captured prisoners, some of whom are allegedlydeemed innocent. However, US officials say the established agreement isnot authoritative in the handling of new prisoners captured by US forces.It is not clear whether there will be any immediate practical change incontrol of the facility, which holds up to 3,000 prisoners.The United Nations has voiced grave concern over what it called the sudden execution of fourteen prisoners in Kabul over the past few days, states
Pajhwok Afghan News
. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said:
Under international law andAfghanistan
s own treaty obligations, the death penalty must be reserved for the most serious crimes and only applied after the mostrigorous judicial process.
Pillay said Afghanistan
s justice system relied primarily on confessions, some of which are obtainedthrough torture. President Karzai signed off  on the executions, which happened in two phases, earlier last week, officials tell
. The prisoners were convicted of crimes including murder, rape, kidnapping and treason. Meanwhile, an Afghan soldier foundguilty in the killing of five French troops in Kapisa province in January may be amongst a third group of criminals that President Kar- zai has approved for execution, reports
A military court earlier rejected an appeal by Afghan army soldier Abdul Sabor who was sentenced to death for the insider attack, an official told
 Agence France-Presse
.In related news, twenty prisoners that had been sentenced to serve long prison terms in Bagram and Pol-i-Charkhi detention facilitieswere released on court orders on 21 November, writes
 Ariana News
. The release follows harsh criticisms from human rights organisa-tions, which had asserted that the Afghan government had been deficient in its judicial responsibilities by issuing maximum punish-ment to all who had been accused of having association with armed opposition groups.The
 Meshrano Jirga
, or upper house of parliament, has rejected a proposition that would see members of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) be appointed by the President based on the recommendations of anew special panel, states
. This new panel would include lawmakers and a representative from both the Supreme Court andcivil society. Also controversial within the law is the inclusion of two foreign experts on the ECC who would be appointed by thepresident on the recommendation of the panel. The proposition for the panel was included as part of a new law on the composition,duties and powers of the IEC and ECC which had already been approved by the
Wolesi Jirga
, or lower house, last month. While thedraft law on IEC and ECC authority is currently under review by the
 Meshrano Jirga
, a draft electoral law has not yet made it to par-liament and is still waiting to be vetted by the Ministry of Justice.A number of other articles related to governance and rule of law appeared this past week, including those summarised below.
Three members of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) in Nuristan province reportedly robbed a bank ,provincial governor Moham- mad Tamim Nuristani told
Khaama Press
. The ALP members, who were charged with protecting the bank, took AFN 10-13 mil-lion (USD 192-250,000). Two of the robbers have been apprehended, but the third is still at-large. Meanwhile, police forces havealso reportedly arrested five individuals on suspicion of attacking a branch of the Afghanistan Central Bank in Nangarhar prov- ince, states a separate
Khaama Press
Figure 1. Identities of released Taliban prisoners
Name Role in the Taliban
Nooruddin Turabi Former Taliban justice ministerJahangirwalSpecial Assistant to Talibanleader Mullah OmarQutub Taliban leaderAbdul SalaamFormer Taliban governor of Baghlan provinceMaulvi Matiullah
Taliban’s director of the cu
s-toms house in KabulMahamad
Taliban’s former governor of 
Kunduz provinceAyed SaduddinAghaFormer Taliban commanderAllah Dad
Taliban’s former deputy min
is-ter of communication

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