Ghani: Work on construction of 21 water dams to start in near future

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said Saturday that the government is expected to start work on the construction of 21 water dams in the near future amid efforts to boost the agriculture sector of the country which is largely dependent on foreign exports.

Speaking during a gathering focused on agriculture in capital Kabul, President Ghani expressed concerns regarding the balance of imports and exports in the country, saying Afghanistan was once an exporter of wheat but the currently imports millions of tons of wheat on annual basis.

President Ghani further added that the government is focused on expanding the exports of the country in a bid to reduce the imports of products from outside the country, insisting on necessary steps to be taken in order to increase the agricultural productivity.

Emphasizing on a joint cooperation among all ministries to improve the agriculture sector, President Ghani said the sector should be turned into a profession to the Afghans considering that majority of the Afghans involved in the sector on a traditional level.

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Afghanistan: Economic devastation rivals security woes

Taliban gains underscore President Ghani’s tumultuous year in office, but the economy is also weighing the country down.

Kabul, Afghanistan – It’s hardly been a stellar first year in office for President Ashraf Ghani.

Security is quickly deteriorating, a stagnant economy has resulted in sky high unemployment, and tens of thousands of citizens are fleeing the country in search of a better life.

The president’s first day on September 29, 2014 was spent at a school talking with students about their future. Later he visited wounded soldiers in Kabul’s military hospital to lend support. He even listened to prisoners voice complaints at the Pul-e-Charkhi maximum-security prison.

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President Ghani: ISIS ecology (continuation)

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammed Ashraf Ghani interviewed with World Apart Network on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 20th of July 2015. The first part of the interview you can read here.

OB: Welcome back to Worlds Apart where we are discussing Afghanistan and Asian integration with the President of Afghanistan, Mohammed Ashraf Ghani. Mr President, let me switch gears a little bit. Your academic background, as you mentioned, is in anthropology, which in its broadest sense is the science about humans and human societies. How relevant do you find your academic experience to your current occupation, and have you ever changed fields? Because I think a case could be made that world politics is a prime example of cultural anthropology in action.
MAG: No, I have learned many new fields, I have never changed my field. And I practice it on a daily basis. Because the discipline has given me the capability to hear, to listen, and not to impose the categories of thought. Its greatest advantage to me is the ability to listen very carefully – listening is in very short supply. And then to be able to take an idea and express it 20 different ways, because the idiom of the interlocutor requires that understanding. And we’re all in discursive, symbolic fields, and we need to be able to communicate through symbols that are mutually understandable, not mutually incomprehensible.

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President Ghani: ISIS ecology

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammed Ashraf Ghani interviewed with World Apart Network on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 20th of July 2015.

Oksana Boyko: The War on Terror unleashed the terrors of war on South Asia and the Middle East, with the goal of eliminating extremism. But more than a decade and a half later, that extremism has morphed into something almost unrecognizable, threatening the very structures of borders, states and the regional order. How does one fight an enemy that combines the worst of medieval thinking with the best of modern technology? Well, to discuss that, I’m now joined by the President of Afghanistan, Mohammed Ashraf Ghani. Mr President, it’s a great honour to have you on the show, thank you very much.

Mohammed Ashraf Ghani: It’s a pleasure to be with you, thank you for having me.
OB:Mr President, we are speaking on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and one of the issues that was discussed here at length is the growth of the so-called Islamic State, or Daesh as Americans refer to it. And the issue of how you call them is interesting, because it’s a choice between the extremists’ self-aggrandizing spin, the Islamic State, or the American, rather derogatory spin. Doesn’t this framing limit how we conceptualize this challenge, and how we ultimately deal with it?
MAG: Well, first of all, we need to make three distinctions. One is an ecology. Terrorism is a system now. Morally, it’s an aberration, sociologically it’s a systemic phenomenon. Second, it is a morphology. If Al-Qaeda was terrorism version one, Daesh is terrorism version six. It’s a fast-changing phenomenon, and one needs to grasp it in its own terms, not imposed categories from outside. Third, there’s a pathology. It’s brutal. The form of brutality is increasing. But it’s also the theatre of terror. Its actions are designed to overwhelm, to strike fear and to frighten. All these need to be taken together as a system. What enables it? The weakness of the state system, the lack of coherence in the national system. Terrorism as an organization and as network is fast, it’s rapid, it’s decisive. The response to it is fragmented, partial and episodic.

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