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Fri, 3 February 2006
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Latest news from IRIN Asia

PAKISTAN: Gulf support for quake relief remains high

MUZAFFARABAD, 3 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Sajad Ahmad, 12, found himself an only child after his brother was killed in the earthquake that devastated northern Pakistan last October. With no shoes to protect him from the freezing mud all around, he queues patiently, along with thousands of others, at a Saudi Arabian-funded feeding centre in the Bala Noor Shah camp in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir. Full report

CENTRAL ASIA: Weekly news wrap

ANKARA, 3 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - A Kazakh opposition youth leader in police custody on embezzlement charges claimed that he was beaten and abused by investigators, rights groups reported on Thursday. Makhambet Abzhan, leader of the Union of Patriotic Youth of Kazakhstan (UPYK), complained in a letter to prosecutors that he had also been threatened with torture and subjected to verbal abuse, the Kazakh-based International Bureau for Human Rights (IBHR) said.Full report

TAJIKISTAN: NGO calls for health reform in prisons

DUSHANBE, 3 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - An international NGO in Tajikistan has called on the ex-Soviet state to speed up reform of the penal system while taking steps to reduce infectious disease rates in prison. Full report

PAKISTAN: Focus on the conflict in Balochistan

QUETTA, 2 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - An apparent air of calm hangs over the sleepy city of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's largest province, Balochistan, lying to the southwest and bordering Iran and Afghanistan. Full report

PAKISTAN: Free transport scheme popular among quake survivors

BALAKOT, 2 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Thousands of quake survivors from remote mountain villages are benefiting from a new free bus service started by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) along the banks of the River Kunhar. The river runs through the quake-ravaged Balakot valley in the Mansehra district of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP).Full report

AFGHANISTAN: Government to have greater control over aid pledged in London

KABUL, 2 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - The Afghan government looks set to have more control over aid worth US $10.5 billion pledged at the London donor conference for the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged country, officials said on Thursday.Full report

KYRGYZSTAN: NGOs accuse government of smear campaign

BISHKEK, 2 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Kyrgyzstan, particularly those funded from abroad, report increasing pressure on their activities under the government of newly installed President Kurmanbek Bakiev, most notably through some state media which, which they say, portray them as agents of the West.Full report

NEPAL: The conflict's dangerous impact on health services

NEPAL, 2 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - The three-day journey for 52-year-old Maniram Rai and his wife was almost too much to bear. In agony with stomach pains and a high fever, Raiís condition worsened after walking all the way from Lekharka village in the remote, hilly Bhojpur district, to reach the Nepali city of Dharan.Full report

NEPAL: Decades of damage to education

NEPAL, 2 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - The decision in late November 2005 by Nepalís Maoist rebels to form an alliance with the main political parties against King Gyanendra, has met with muted enthusiasm from many Nepalis, in particular teachers and school students who say that even if peace does come to the Himalayan kingdom, it will take years for Nepal to put its education sector right again. Full report

NEPAL: Food insecurity and market access in contested districts

KATHMANDU, 2 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - Food shortages during the pre-harvest seasons of March and August have been part of life in rural Nepal for decades. Since the start of the Maoist insurgency in 1996, analysts have been concerned about the impact of the conflict on a rural population that already lives near or below the global poverty threshold. Full report


Year in Brief and Review

TURKMENISTAN: Year in Brief 2005 - A Chronology of key events

IRAN: Year in Review 2005

IRIN Asia Focuses & Interviews

NEPAL: Interview with United Nations Resident Representative in Nepal, Matthew Kahane

NEPAL: Interview with human rights activist, Subodh Pyakhurel

NEPAL: Interview with the editor of the Nepali Times, Kunda Dixit

NEPAL: Interview with the Royal Nepalese Army's former spokesman, Brigadier-General Deepak Gurung

NEPAL: Testimony by a victim of Maoist torture

Related Internet Links

Afghanistan Online

The ICRC in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Reconstruction

Afghanistan Information Management Service

Conflict Prevention Initiative portal on Central Asia

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