This past weekend, after 20 years of banishment, Hekmatyar reappeared in eastern Afghanistan in the province of Laghman. Early images and videos show a lineup of Afghan men in military uniform and turban kissing Hekmatyar's hands. Whether it is a sign of allegiance to the returned warlord or a sign of respect to the so-called Warrior of God, remains to be determined.
The defence minister made the remarks when he was in India.
We cannot continue to hide from the truth. We broke them; we owe them. No amount of re-framing will change that fact. If these veterans made it home from a war, then we should be able to stop them being further casualties.
It's horrifying to think that our soldiers are prone to an array of violence on the battlefield, but it's now clear there's widespread violence within the army's own ranks. A cycle of systematic abuse exists and nothing's being done to stop it.
Zabi had been doing this job -- working with foreign journalists -- for almost 15 years, and he was used to the rhythm and requirements of our work. He was astute, often one step ahead of us, and knew how to trouble-shoot a shoot if an element of a story fell through. There was always someone he knew or could call to help us out of a jam.
The attack was the signal for a carefully laid Taliban ambush. Villagers scattered in all directions as the platoon came under withering fire from across the river, but amazingly there were no other casualties. Kevin called in for a dustoff chopper and ordered that smoke grenades be popped to mark our position but they landed too far away, so Kevin helped hustle my 200-pound carcass over a hundred metres to the chopper, where my Canadian stretcher had to be shoehorned into the American Black Hawk.
As a matter of fact, it could take decades, if not more. Canada pulled out of Afghanistan too early and I believe the same will happen in Iraq. Although the mission is completely different, our contribution to training troops remains almost identical.
The collapse of talks aimed at producing a truce between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates has rekindled fears of ethnic unrest in the war-torn nation, according to a recent Reuters report. But if truth be told, Afghanistan has little chance of stabilizing politically or seeing significant economic progress with or without the power-sharing deal that was being brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
As we mark World Refugee Day, the latest figures indicate that more than 50-million human beings alive today have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Whether they're refugees, asylum-seekers, or people displaced within their own countries, these individuals had no choice but to leave the places they once held so dear.
May 9th is a Day of Honour. Two RCAF fly-pasts and a military parade, which will salute the PM. A moment of silence, with the inevitable TV close-up of the PM. Afghanistan veterans saluting the PM. Disabled veterans presenting a flag to the PM. So who is really being honoured?