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Afghanistan water sources use by neighboring countries

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(Last Updated On: September 16, 2015)

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The fears of a security breakdown in Afghanistan boil the larger possibility of an economic collapse. The country’s revenues seem abysmal, and the mismanagement of billions of dollars in aid has turned it entirely dependent on foreign donations and the presence of foreign troops.

With Afghanistan being largely an agricultural country, investment in the water sector should have been a natural priority for sustainable economic development. Yet, that is not the case. In the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, a framework for allocating international aid, water does not figure as a core development sector. Only 5 percent of development has gone into the water sector during the past decade.

The Ministry of Water and Energy says that Afghanistan water resources reaches to 57 billion cubic meters which the most parts of it use by neighboring countries.

Along the Afghanistan’s borders, villagers see their water flow into the neighboring countries without being able to use it for their own local fields. The scarcity of water has led to tensions between tribes and villages.

The ministry if water declared that the continuation of insecurity caused Afghanistan fails to effectively use its water from the construction of dams and other projects.

Officials in the ministry noted that the residents of the country must cooperate with the government in providing the security of water and electricity projects.

“The construction of dams takes long time and in some cases the works have not been done properly and on time. In addition, the main problem is insecurity that cause the projects face a deadlock,” Ali Ahmad Osmani, minister of Water and Energy said.

One of Afghanistan’s missed opportunities in the last decade was its failure to legislate a comprehensive water law. Existing law does not define water rights.

Land owners are also owners of water and landless farmers have no rights to water. The water management institutions are highly ineffective.

The lack of a database of natural resources and the limited ability of the government to collect data is another challenge and a major obstacle to planning and development.

Afghanistan has a population of 29 million, with 79% of the population living in rural areas. Only 27% of its population has access to improved water sources, and it goes down to 20% in rural areas, the lowest percentage in the world.

The numbers get even worse when you look at the percentage of people with access to improved sanitation facilities. With the numbers at 5% nationwide, and only 1% in rural areas, Afghanistan again ranks the worst in the world.

In Kabul, the capital, with a population of 6 million, 80% of the people lack access to safe drinking water, and 95% lack access to improved sanitation facilities.

Analysts say that reaching the safe driniking water is another challenges of Afghanistan residents which the people are suffering from.

Water is a collective issue for Afghanistan and its neighbors. Any solution should therefore be multinational. Nations involved in Afghanistan, in particular US-led forces, should avoid politicizing this problem as it is so vital to the future of Afghanistan and the region as a whole.

Investment decisions should be based not on efforts to deprive neighboring countries of water but on avoiding waste and improving utilization of resources.

Without regional cooperation, Afghanistan will be faced with deeper and unresolvable challenges that will be even more difficult to solve after most international forces leave in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wang Yi meets Pakistan’s FM, calls for inclusive political system in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday in Beijing to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

According to a statement issued by China’s Foreign Ministry, the two sides stressed the need to establish a comprehensive political structure and protect the rights of women and children in Afghanistan.

Pakistan media reported they agreed that peace and stability in Afghanistan is vital for regional development and prosperity.

They called upon the Afghan interim government to develop a broad-based and inclusive political structure, adopt moderate and sound internal and external policies, and protect the rights of women and children.

The statement meanwhile noted they also called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to prevent Afghanistan from posing a threat to its neighboring countries.

Meanwhile, the IEA stated that it has all the conditions of global legitimacy and governs the entire country. It called on neighboring countries, the region and the world to expand their interactions and cooperation with the new Afghan government instead of worrying about the situation in Afghanistan.

“In our country, a system has been established that supports all the people of the country and provides security, and has completed all the international standards that are necessary for legitimacy, and now it is time for all countries in the region and the world to come forward and start formal interactions and make progress on political, economic and humanitarian issues,” an IEA official said.

Both sides meanwhile called on the international community to help avert a humanitarian crisis and to honor the pledges it made on Afghanistan’s economic reconstruction and future development.

“We must build our government in such a way that the same pressure and punishments on the Afghan people and the attack on the Afghan people and the Afghan land are eliminated and the Afghan people live their lives with dignity with other countries of the world,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, leader of the Afghanistan Solidarity Movement.

The Chinese and Pakistani foreign ministers also agreed to expand the China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan in consultation with the IEA.

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India shouldn’t retain ties with Afghanistan’s previous rulers, says IEA

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

India should sever all ties with the former Ashraf Ghani government and establish ties with Afghanistan based on national and mutual interests, said Suhail Shaheen, head of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) political office in Doha.

In an exclusive interview with India’s ThePrint news organization, Shaheen said India should seek to have deeper ties with the people of Afghanistan and should reopen its embassy in Kabul.

He said that the IEA was committed to providing full security to Indian diplomats.

“We have announced time and again that it is our commitment to provide security to all diplomats working in Kabul. It is our responsibility and we have proved that. There are many embassies working in Kabul and we have provided full security to them. That also includes India if they want to open their embassy”, Shaheen told ThePrint.

He also said India is welcome to complete projects in Afghanistan or initiate new ones.

However, he said India should “not have relations and base all their relations on the individual lens of those officials of the former Kabul administration who are now in western countries living along with their families.”

India shut down its embassy in Kabul in August 2021 when the IEA took over Kabul. Prior to that, India had also closed down its consulates in Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar, Herat, and Jalalabad.

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A number of exiled politicians show interest in IEA’s contact commission

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

A day after the official launch and announcement of planned talks with exiled politicians and military personnel, a number of well-known figures from the previous government say they are ready to sit at the negotiating table, but before that the IEA must make sure that all tribes of Afghanistan are included in the country’s future system.

The presence of men and women from all ethnic groups in Afghanistan in the future political system is one of the basic conditions of these exiled politicians.

“We are ready for negotiations. I cannot say everything on TV, but whatever the result is of negotiations and the understanding, we will be committed to it, but one thing is to accept the general principle. We have to take into account the vote of the people, whether men or women, and all the tribes and all ethnicities and religions present in Afghanistan should consider themselves the owners of this country,” said Muhammad Mohaqiq, leader of the People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan.

Experts also say however that a number of politicians will not accept the plan that was prepared for the return of these personalities.

According to them, the work of the commission will be difficult without the presence of people outside the IEA.

“People in this commission, other than the Taliban (IEA ) should be included in this commission in order to gain the trust of the people. It’s one-sided, people no longer believe in the commission, and it cuts political participation to the farthest, which is not a good result,” said Moien Gul Samkanai, chairman of Rights and Justice Party.

The plan, which was unveiled on Saturday by the IEA’s contact commission, does not say whether it will provide the opportunity for political figures to return to politics or participate in government, but only that their lives and property will be safe, and their legitimate demands will to be accepted.

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