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Afghan scribe bats for strong ties with India

Guwahati: India and Afghanistan have maintained historically close ties fruitful for both nations. But political disturbances in Pakistan, located in between, poses difficulties for the Indo-Afghan bilateral relationship, observed senior Afghan radio journalist Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar while interacting with city based scribes on Sunday (3 March). He was participating in Guwahati Press Club's 'Meet the Press' programme through video conferencing from Kabul.

However, these difficulties are short lived and both the friendly nations soon revert to business as usual. Regarding the present Indo-Pak standoff and the volatile situation in Kashmir, Khalvatgar asserted that the Indian government has legitimate rights to defend their territory and people. This is why New Delhi has drawn support from various countries, said the young scribe academically qualified in international relations.

Terming Afghanistan itself as a victim of terror, Khalvatgar urged all progressive forces worldwide to unite against terrorism that has emerged as a curse to the human race. Persistent conflicts fuelled by terrorism can ruin a nation, and Khalvatgar's native country today represents a classic example of this malady. Speaking about the woeful condition of education and health sectors in Afghanistan, Khalvatgar said that many young Afghans now prefer to go to India for pursuing higher and professional education. Moreover many patients from Afghanistan, primarily suffering from hypertension, blood sugar, liver ailment and various cancers opt for treatment at Indian hospitals. Indian film actors and Bollywood fare as well as Hindi tele-serials continue to be popular among Afghans, Khalvatgar informed, adding that large sections of rural women remain glued to their TV sets running dubbed versions of Indian entertainment serials in local languages.

Fluent in Persian, Pashto and English languages, the author-journalist also revealed that many Afghan residents perceive India as a fairytale land where women usually pursue higher education to hold powerful positions in government and the corporate world. Khalvatgar also appreciated the latest initiative to open a trade route between Afghanistan and India through Chabahar port of friendly nation Iran (bypassing Pakistan) that re-establishes the importance of Kabul as an international business centre in the present era.

Nevertheless, he disclosed that the turmoil in Pakistan has severely affected the ongoing peace process between Taliban and the US administration. Radical Islamists are not interested in talking to the Afghan government in Kabul, whereas India has always championed negotiations, he said.

Speaking of New Delhi’s developmental initiatives in Afghanistan which have generated huge goodwill there, Khalvatgar pointed out that Afghanistan is the second-largest recipient of aid from India after Bhutan. Hundreds of community development projects are being run by Indian agencies in various sectors like education, health, rural development, agriculture etc.

Having studied professional journalism in Europe, USA, Turkey, Sri Lanka and India, Khalvatgar has also authored ‘Islam and Globalization’, ‘Provincial Councils and National Cooperation’ and ‘Ethics on Social Media’. He has been an active member of media law working groups, journalists’ ethical codes and access to information law in Afghanistan.

Despite numerous threats to media persons, Khalvatgar claimed, Afghanistan still supports a good deal of journalism in comparison to neighboring countries. Media may not have a direct strategy for peace and conflict resolution, but the Afghan media fraternity significantly contributes to various peace building efforts in the country, he affirmed.

However, mainstream journalism across the globe has been facing major challenges from social/alternate media. People now look for internet-fed outlets for prompt news coverage while they also prefer newspapers and news channels for in-depth and analytical inputs. Even amidst fake news hogging headlines, social media continues to be a great influence on public opinion, said Khalvatgar as he signed off.

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Another jolt for NEUFC

28 Oct 2016 - 10:14pm | AT News

Atletico de Kolkata hit back in spectacular fashion to floor NorthEast United FC 2-1 in an entertaining Hero Indian Super League battle at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, on Friday.

 


NorthEast United seemed destined to stay at the top of the table when Emiliano Alfaro provided the hosts with a first-half lead. But Atletico de Kolkata struck back in the second session with goals from marquee player Helder Postiga and Juan Belencoso in the 82nd minute.

 


The win took Atletico de Kolkata to the top with 12 points at the end of their first-leg matches while NorthEast United have to settle for the third spot with 10 points after losing their last two matches at home.

 

 


Both teams surprised their fans with changes to the line-up. While NorthEast United left out Romaric and Nicolas Velez from the starting line-up due to injuries, the visitors surprised many by leaving the hardworking Iain Hume on the bench. Marquee player Helder Postiga made a return to the side but could only make it to the bench at the start.

 

 


NorthEast United started well and should have been ahead in the fifth minute when Arnab Mondal and goalkeeper Debjit Majumder were involved in confusion but Alfaro could not capitalise.

 

 


Alfaro was a constant danger as his pace was troubling rival defenders. He tried to win a penalty when he collided into the goalkeeper but the referee simply waved play on. 

 

 


The Uruguayan striker could not be denied his chance to enter his name in the scorers list in the 39th minute. It was a perfect team-goal and started with a throw-in. Nirmal Chhetri controlled the ball on the right, played a nice one-two with Katsumi Yusa and then whipped a delightful ball across the face of goal where Alfaro made no mistake with his header.

 

 


In the second session, Atletico de Kolkata made changes, bringing in Postiga for Sameehg Doutie. The former Portugal striker showed remarkable touch to create panic in the rival defence whenever he had the ball and finally managed to score the equaliser in the 63rd minute. A cross from Lalrindika Ralte was perfect for Postiga who beat his NorthEast counterpart, Didier Zokoro, to head home the equaliser.

 

 


NorthEast United were forced into a double substitution in the 77th minute after goalkeeper Subrata Paul picked up an injury. The home team had to make two changes to balance the foreign-domestic player combination and within minutes Atletico de Kolkata scored the winner.

 

 


Postiga’s shot from distance in the 82nd minute was deflected and it fell for Ralte, whose cross from across the face of goal saw Belencoso tap it inside an empty goal with NorthEast United defence nowhere to be seen.

Gogoi meeting Sonia

25 Aug 2015 - 9:56am | AT News

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday to discuss the political situation after Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma confirmed hi entry into BJP.

He is also likely to meet Vice president Rahul Gandhi along with other top AICC leaders.

 

Railway Budget 2016-17

25 Feb 2016 - 6:33pm | AT News

Keeping in view the various odds; revenue growth in 2015-16 below the target and set up of the 7th Pay Committee burden looming large, Railway Budget 2016-17, is an attempt to put the Railways back on track, with focus on long term measures. Though there is no clarity with regards to projected generation of additional non tariff revenue, fortunately there are no negatives and populist measure in the Budget.

As the long term and mid term which was put in place in his last budget, are kept intact, its quite challenging for the Railway Minister to come out with a reasonably good budget.Focus on Rail connectivity in the North East Region is reiterated, which would be welcomed by the people of the Region. Announcement of 44 new projects increased outlays for improving the Infrastructure augur well not only for the Railways but also for the Indian Economy as well.

 

R.S Joshi, Chairman
Federation of Industries and Commerce of North East Region (FINER)