Protests against Afghan govt enter 10th day

Afghan protesters shout slogans during a protest in Faryab Province, Afghanistan, in this July 4, 2018 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 July 2018
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Protests against Afghan govt enter 10th day

  • The protests began in the northwest Faryab province on July 3 after the government arrested an ethnic Uzbek factional commander, Nizamuddin Qaisari
  • Prices have gone up already, and if this isn’t dealt with there will be further increases

KABUL: Protesters have shut down three border crossings and a number of election offices in northern Afghanistan as anti-government protests entered their 10th day on Friday, officials and locals said.
The closure of the border crossings has led to substantial price hikes in many parts of the country, with more than 2,000 trucks loaded with goods being blocked by protesters.
This comes amid ethnic tensions, deep rifts within the government, more frequent attacks by the Taliban, and long-delayed parliamentary elections scheduled for October.
The protests began in the northwest Faryab province on July 3 after the government arrested an ethnic Uzbek factional commander, Nizamuddin Qaisari, who serves as a police officer and is loyal to exiled First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum.
Protesters attacked government institutions, and demonstrations soon spread to other Uzbek-populated parts of the north. They closed down election offices in three provinces, as Dostum had demanded if the government did not free Qaisari, local officials said.
“These (closed) border crossings are important in terms of exports and imports,” Siyamuddin Psarlai, director of public relations at the Afghan Chamber of Commerce, told Arab News.
“Traders have incurred a loss of $5-$7 million as a result of this. Prices have gone up already, and if this isn’t dealt with there will be further increases.”
Protesters also briefly closed various roads in the north, and blocked the main highway that links Kabul and much of the south and east of the country through the Salang tunnel.


Spokesman says Pakistan’s ex-PM jail conditions deplorable

Updated 22 min 32 sec ago
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Spokesman says Pakistan’s ex-PM jail conditions deplorable

  • Analysts say cricket star and opposition candidate Imran Khan enjoys the backing of military, which has ruled Pakistan directly and indirectly for most of its 71-year history.
  • The spokesman for the Pakistan Muslim League party said the party will win the vote if the elections are not rigged.

ISLAMABAD: A spokesman for the political party of Pakistan’s jailed ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says the former leader is being held in deplorable conditions as he awaits the outcome of his appeal over a 10-year sentence on corruption charges.
Pervaiz Rashid, of the Pakistan Muslim League, says he visited Sharif in jail on Thursday.
His statement comes amid increasing political tensions ahead of Pakistan’s parliamentary elections next week.
Analysts say cricket star and opposition candidate Imran Khan enjoys the backing of military, which has ruled Pakistan directly and indirectly for most of its 71-year history.
Rashid says the Pakistan Muslim League party will win the vote if the elections are not rigged.
Sharif, who was ousted from office by the country’s Supreme Court last July, faces several trials on corruption charges.