(Washington, DC--1 March 2002) RFE/RL today doubled the number of hours per day of its Radio Free Afghanistan programs in Dari and Pashtu, from three to six hours. RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine hailed the increase as "another indication of the commitment of RFE/RL and its sister organizations in US international broadcasting to help build a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan through the medium of news and information."
Radio Free Afghanistan's programming in Dari can now be heard from 1300-1400 UTC (8:00AM-9:00AM EST), with repeats at 1800-1830 UTC (1:00PM-1:30PM EST), 1930-2000 UTC (2:30PM-3:00PM EST) and 0400-0500 UTC (11:00PM-midnight EST), while broadcasts in the Pashtu language will air from 1200-1300 UTC (7:00AM-8:00AM EST) with repeats at 1700-1800 UTC (noon-1:00PM EST) and 0300-0400 UTC (10:00PM-11:00PM EST). The programs are broadcast to Afghanistan via shortwave and on a joint RFE/RL-Voice of America mediumwave broadcast stream administered by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the U.S. agency that oversees American international broadcasting. Live and on-demand RealAudio of the Dari and Pashto broadcasts to Afghanistan is available on RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan website, located at www.rferl.org/bd/af/
RFE/RL operated a "Radio Free Afghanistan" service broadcasting in Dari and Pashto from 1985 until 1993, when the services were closed as part of an overall restructuring of RFE/RL operations following the end of the Cold War. Legislation approved by the U.S. Congress in December 2001 appropriated funds to resume the Afghan broadcasts as part of the post-September 11 U.S. war on terrorism.