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Writen in Dari by:
Mohammad Youssof
Qawwam Ahrari
Consist of 400 opinions,Articles, and Reports about Amir Ismail Khan. This book is avaiable in most Book shops of Herat in Afghanistan.

Dust of the Saints:
A Journey to Herat in Time of War

Writen in English by:
Radek Sikorski
a polish politician and writer. you can purchase a copy of this book from www.Amazom.com
by ordering online.

Power Minister Leaves for Germany

Bakhtar News Agency - Kabul- 24 Nov 2005 At the head of a delegation the Minister for Water and Power M. Esmail Khan left here for Germany yesterday to participate in the 2nd International conference on the development, expansion and capability of new and replicable energies to be held in Bonn, Nov 26-30. Power Ministers of most world countries will participate in the conference.

It must be said that production of power from solar and wind energies have been a common phenomena since 15 years. According to Esmail Khan he will try to attract assistance for the construction of new power mills in this country. The Minister will also visit Britain to meet officials of Caster Group Company currently assisting Afghanistan in this sector of the Afghan economy.

Power Energy Increases in Kabul

Bakhtar News Agency - Kabul- 24 Nov 2005 Power will be increased in Kabul during the next two days, the Water and Power Minister, Mohammad Esmael Khan said. Power within the next two days in Kabul will increase by 23 Mgw.The Minister said that with activation of the aforementioned circuit 75% of people will benefit from electricity. “We hope efforts made by engineers and workers in activating the circuit around the clock, shortages of power in Kabul will be reduced to 25% soon.

Iran and Afghanistan sign three agreements

Iran News Jan 27, 2005, 07:36 Iran and Afghanistan signed three cooperation documents here on Wednesday, emphasizing the need to further develop and expand the two Islamic countries' bilateral ties. The cooperation documents were signed by the two countries' concerned ministers in the presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran's President Mohammad Khatami and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. The cooperation documents signed on Wednesday include providing electricity for Afghan cities, opening of Dogharoun- Herat road, and constructing more border police stations. The electricity cooperation document was signed by Iran's Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf and his Afghan counterpart Haaj Mohammad Esmailkhan. Dogharoun-Herat road opening pact was signed between the caretaker of Iran's Roads and Transportation Ministry Mohammad Rahmati and Afghanistan's Public Interests Minister Sohrab-Ali Safari. The 123 kilometer Dogharoun-Herat road would be officially opened Thursday in a ceremony to be attended by the two countries' Presidents. The border police stations pact, too, was signed by Iran's Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari and his Afghan counterpart Ali-Ahmad Jalali.

President Hamid Karzai has appointed an election commission

AOP News Friday, January 21, 2005 : President Hamid Karzai has appointed an election commission to organize the country's forthcoming elections, Afghanistan Television reported. "I approve the formation of an independent commission to organize and monitor any kind of elections and refer to general votes in the country," Karzai stated in a 19 January decree. Besmellah Besmel has been appointed chairman of the Independent Elections' Commisssion and Mohammad Ayyub Asil its deputy chairman. The members of the commission are: Mastura Stanekzai, Same'ollah Taza, Abdul Hakim Morad, Keshen Singh, Honaryar, Najla Ayyubi and Mo'mena Yari. The commission's first task is to organize Afghanistan's parliamentary elections scheduled for April or May. Before the parliamentary election can be held Karzai has to set the electoral district boundaries, a decision that is dependent on knowing the number of people living in each area. The country will not have a scientific census, rather it will rely on statistically-based estimates -- something that could lead to disagreements between various ethnic groups who have overstated their numbers. AT

ADB to help Afghanistan develop solar energy

AFP(MANILA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua)) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Tuesday said that it would help Afghanistan develop solar energy technologies in isolated rural areas, through a technical assistance (TA) grant approved for 750,000 US dollars. The ADB said in a statement that the TA will demonstrate how solar energy could be used to enhance the quality of life for low-income communities living in remote villages with no prospects forgrid electricity, and how a community-based approach could lead tothe success of such programs. According to the ADB, the solar radiation in Afghanistan averages about 6.5 kilowatt-hours per square meter per day, and the sky is sunny for about 300 days a year.

"The potential for solar energy development is huge, not only generating electricity but also for water pumping for water supplyand small scale irrigation, provision of potable water, hot water for homes, hospitals and other buildings," says Ali Azimi, an ADB Senior Environment Specialist and mission leader for the project. "Solar energy could also contribute significantly to progress in education, health, agriculture and other income generating activities to reduce poverty," he said. More than 80 percent of the population live in Afghanistan rural areas and depend on traditional fuels for cooking and water heating, and kerosene for lighting, which have an adverse impact on forests and watersheds. Most of Afghanistan's 25 million people have no access to modern forms of energy, such as electricity, gas and liquid fuels.

The ADB said that the lighting provided by solar energy could be used in the running of literacy and other courses in the evenings that would benefit children and adults working in the fields during the day. Solar-powered pumps would provide irrigation for agricultural production, in which 85 percent of Afghans are engaged.

"The project will serve as a valuable demonstration of the roleof renewable energy as a vital means for reducing poverty and creating sustainable livelihood in low-income, remote communities across the country," Azimi added. Enditem

Ex-warlord 'I.K.' is OK with Afghans

By Kevin Dougherty, Stars and Stripes Mideast edition
Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Kevin Dougherty /
An Afghan girl dressed in a ceremonial costume was among a group of young girls performing for the crowd prior to former warlord Ismail Khan's return to Herat. Khan, who heads the Ministry of Water and Electricity, came to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid with his family, many of whom greeted him upon his plane landing at Herat Airport in western Afghanistan.

Kevin Dougherty /
Former warlord Ismail Khan received a thunderous reception at Herat Airport in western Afghanistan.

Kevin Dougherty /
Afghan girls dressed in ceremonial costumes sing in support of local hero Ismail Khan at Herat Airport in western Afghanistan.

HERAT, Afghanistan — The heart of Herat came home to a hero’s welcome Tuesday, with upward of 2,000 people and a small detachment of U.S. soldiers on hand to greet him.

“When he left for Kabul two months ago,” Col. Randy Smith said of the send-off for Ismail Khan, “the crowd treated him like he was a rock star.”

Smith, head of the Regional Command Area Group-West, had planned to drive south to Shindand with Maj. Gen. Abdul Wahahab Walizada, who commands the Afghan National Army’s 207th Corps. The two wanted to check the progress of some new Afghan recruits and their U.S. trainers.

But when word spread Monday night that Khan was returning to Herat to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid, Walizada had to back out. While Khan has some detractors in western Afghanistan, he remains the most popular figure on this side of the country.

“You can see the crowd outside the airport,” Afghan army Brig. Gen. Fazil Ahmad Sayar, the corps’ chief of staff said through an interpreter. “They are ready for I.K.”

That’s how people in the region refer to Khan, a former warlord who, after some reluctance, agreed to support the transitional government. Khan now runs the Ministry of Water and Electricity in Kabul.

Smith and his men didn’t come to provide security; the ANA was taking care of that. They came to support Walizada, and possibly meet Khan.

A company of 120 Afghan soldiers managed to keep well-wishers at bay, allowing them to crowd around the perimeter of the tarmac.

Several of them clutched portraits and bumper stickers of their magnetic leader, a man who helped to drive the former Soviet Union out of Afghanistan.

“Long life for I.K.,” one young follower repeatedly shouted as he led a group chant.

Off to the side stood a dozen young girls dressed in ceremonial outfits. They sang traditional Afghan songs, while elder women clad in burkas stood by like nervous stage mothers.

When Khan’s airplane landed and taxied up to the terminal, the men swarmed it. Confetti flew and the men jostled to get a better view. Before long, Khan was riding in a motorcade heading to his house for a weekend of celebration.

“I am hopeful for Afghanistan,” Sayar said. “We are looking for a new generation to take the lead.”

On this day, however, the youth were no match for a star named Khan.

No Dual Nationalities for Afghan Cabinet
By PAUL HAVEN, Associated Press
AOP: Today's Afghan News. Tuesday, December 21, 2004 KABUL, Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai will demand that all members of his future Cabinet renounce their citizenship in any other country, despite a constitutional loophole that would have allowed him to appoint them on an interim basis, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Many of Afghanistan's political elite have acquired U.S. or British nationality while living abroad during more than two decades of near constant warfare. Some have been reluctant to give up their status, earning criticism that the move reveals a lack of faith in Afghanistan's future.

Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani, a popular figure in the West, and Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali are the most prominent current Cabinet members who would be effected should Karzai choose to keep them on. Both are U.S. citizens.

The Constitution passed earlier this year allows Karzai to appoint dual nationals to the Cabinet, but gives parliament the right to dismiss them. That could have given the Afghan leader a loophole since parliament will not be voted into existence for at least six months.

But Karzai's spokesman said Tuesday that the leader he has no intention of using the loophole. He is expected to announce his Cabinet in the next week.

"The president has now decided that all members of the future Cabinet will have only one nationality, so ministers who have dual citizenship will have to renounce their citizenship in any second country," said Jawed Ludin, the presidential spokesman.

Ludin also said Karzai would honor a constitutional requirement that all ministers hold at least a university degree. That rule would eliminate people such as Public Works Minsiter Gul Agha Sherzai, a southern Pashtun strongman who was governor of Kandahar but lacks any formal education. It would also make it harder for Karzai to use Cabinet posts to appease regional warlords, a common practice he has employed so far to keep this nation's fragile ethnic fabric from fraying.

"The important thing, as far as the president is concerned, is the fact that the constitution of Afghanistan should be applied," Ludin said of the education requirement. He added that "higher education will be a strict precondition of becoming a Cabinet member."

One high-ranking official with knowledge of Karzai's thinking said the rules mean that the new Cabinet will "consist of a lot of new faces. A lot of professionals."

He said strongmen who lack the education for a Cabinet post will be given sub-Cabinet roles so they can participate and not feel sidelined.

"One of the achievements of President Karzai has been to gradually move Afghanistan toward democracy and sideline those who stand in the way, but without violence," the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Karzai became Afghanistan's first popularly elected president in October and was sworn in two weeks ago in a ceremony attended by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Minister Donald H. Rumsfeld.

The choices Karzai makes for his new Cabinet are being closely watched as a sign of what direction he will take in dealing with the country's myriad problems. Karzai's aides have insisted no warlords will be in the new Cabinet. But many of the faction leaders who were tainted by their role in Afghanistan's brutal civil wars and still hold sway over remote provinces were prominent at the president's inauguration two weeks ago.

There also are questions over whether any Taliban-linked figures might be chosen as government ministers as a way of bringing some less radical elements of the rebel forces back into the fold.

Ludin reiterated a longstanding government proposal of amnesty for any rank-and-file Taliban that lays down his arms. The proposal is not open to Taliban leader Mullah Omar or his inner circle. No prominent rebels are known to have taken the government up on the offer.

Afghanistan's Youth General Assembly manifesto
Amir Mohammad Ismail's letter to Radek Sikorski
Herat's Conference manifesto
Saghar's Conference manifesto
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