KABUL: Afghanistan’s fledging air force yesterday took delivery of its first two C-130 cargo planes in a boost for the country’s military capability as the Nato coalition starts to withdraw. The C-130 planes, given by the US, will be used to airlift troops and supplies as national security forces take on the battle against the Taliban. As part of its exit strategy from the 12-year war, the US is helping develop the Afghan Air Force. The C-130 planes will be flown by Afghan and Nato pilots for the first two years until training of Afghan forces is complete. Two other C-130s are due to be delivered next year.
Pakistan to launch 3G
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Information Technology Secretary Ikhlaq Tarrar has said the 3G system for cellular users will be launched in the first quarter of 2014. He said the country will hire services of an international consultant for the auction of 3G licences, which will be issued in a transparent manner. He said the country had 30 megahertz space which would be sold in three blocs of 10 megahertz each. He said there are five mobile phone operators now but the number could come down to four and authorities can make four instead of three blocks.
11 rebels killed in Afghanistan
Kabul: Eleven Taliban militants were killed in joint operations by Afghan security forces and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours. The Interior Ministry said forces carried out operations in Nangarhar, Kapisa, Baghlan, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Zabul, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Herat, Helmand, Laghman, Faryab, Oruzgan and Paktia provinces. Two rebels were wounded, eight arrested and large quantities of heavy and light weapons seized during the operations, the ministry added.
Dar to attend WB-IMF meet
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar left for Washington yesterday to attend the annual World Bank-IMF meetings this week, as top economic managers from around the world gather in Washington for a series of discussions. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is leading a Pakistani delegation to the meeting and this would be his first visit to Washington after assuming the charge of Finance Minister of a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, ministry sources said.
Suicide attack kills three cops
Kabul: A suicide bomb attack left at least three Afghan police officers dead in southern Helmand province yesterday. A government official said the incident took place in Greshk district around 9am, after the bomber detonated explosives kept in a vehicle. A spokesman for the provincial police department, Shah Muhammad Ashna, said the bomber targeted a vehicle of police forces. Four civilians were injured, he added. The Taliban claimed responsibility. Helmand is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where militants are active. They carry out suicide attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and officials. agencies