On Thursday, Afghanistan’s national cricket team played India in a Test match, a form of the game — taking place over five seven-hour days — reserved for a select group of nations. In cricket’s near 150-year history of international fixtures, only 11 countries have competed at that level; Afghanistan becomes the 12 th. The achievement marks another high point in a remarkable ascent: Emerging from refugee camps in Pakistan and only officially formed in 1995, Afghanistan’s cricket team has surmounted obstacles unknown to most athletes — terrorism, displacement, war — and with flair and panache that have won admirers the world over,writes Sidharth Monga in New York Times.
The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a ceasefire with Taliban insurgents on Thursday until June 20, coinciding with the end of the Islamic fasting season.But he added that fighting against other militant groups such as Islamic State will continue.
Ghani made the announcement in a televised address.
For the first time since its inception, the South Asian University will be handing out PhD Degrees to 6 of its scholars – one each from Afghanistan and Bangladesh and 4 from India, said Dr.Sasanka Perera from Sri Lanka, who is the Vice President of the university, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology.
In India, the Modi Government “celebrates” curtailment of the freedom of the press through coinages like “news traders” and “presstitutes”. Its supporters troll Government’s critics in the media as Swati Chaturvedi points out in her book ‘I Am A Troll’. In Pakistan ,the single most dangerous place for journalists is the capital, Islamabad, writes P.K.Balachandran in DailyFT.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Association (FCA) of Sri Lanka has “strongly condemned” the “cowardly killing” of ten journalists by terrorists in Afghanistan. In a release issued on Tuesday, the FCA said that it was deeply shocked by the attacks and urged the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice at the earliest.
One of the BBC’s reporters in Afghanistan Ahmad Shah, has been killed in an attack in the eastern Khost province, the international broadcaster said.He was killed on the same day a coordinated double suicide bombing in the capital, Kabul, killed 25 people, including at least nine other journalists.
But there is no more hope. Life seems to be even more difficult than under the Taliban because of the insecurity. I don’t dare to take my children for a walk. I have five and they spend their time cooped up inside the house. Every morning as I go to the office and every evening when I return home, all I think of are cars that can be booby-trapped, or of suicide bombers coming out of a crowd.
At least 21 people were killed, including Agence France-Presse chief photographer Shah Marai and three other journalists, when two suicide blasts ripped through Kabul on Monday. The second explosion came minutes after the first targeted reporters at the scene, police spokesperson Kabul Hashmat Stanikzai told AFP. “The bomber disguised himself as a journalist and detonated himself among the crowd.”
In a significant move to end the frosty relations between India and China, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to undertake a joint India-China economic project in Afghanistan at their first informal summit in Wuhan, official sources said.
Pakistan provides shelter to the largest number of refugees in the world, says the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). As per an UNHCR report, Pakistan is hosting as many as 1.45 million refugees from Afghanistan.