Author Archives: Kate Clark

About Kate Clark

Protecting Beauty: Shah Foladi – a new conservation area for Afghanistan

Afghanistan has a new protected conservation area – the Shah Foladi: 2,700 square kilometres on the north side of the Koh-e Baba range of the Hindu Kush in Bamyan province. This mix of irrigated valleys, upland rangeland and high peaks is important for wildlife (270 species of birds, including many seasonal migrants, and many flowering […]

Banning the Banned from Travel: Taleban Five still in Qatar

There has been a spate of stories about the end of the travel ban on the five Taleban detainees released from Guantanamo Bay a year ago and exchanged for the United States soldier Bowe Bergdahl. US politicians and media have been speculating on what impact the five might have on the insurgency if they came […]

Stanakzai Goes from Peace to War: For Afghanistan, finally a defence minister?

The national unity government is making its fourth attempt to appoint a minister of defence. On 24 May 2015, the presidential palace announced the nomination of Masum Stanakzai who has been the head of the Joint Secretariat of the High Peace Council and Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation Programme since 2009. Members of Parliament will still need […]

Afghanistan (almost) has a cabinet: MPs confirm all candidate ministers

Members of parliament have endorsed all sixteen candidates put forward by Afghanistan’s national unity government. This means that, six months into its term, the country has an almost complete cabinet – only the defence minister is still missing. This is the MPs’ second such vote. The first, on 28 January 2015, saw only a third […]

Photographer in Jail: An example of arbitrary Afghan ‘justice’

President Ghani’s spokesman has told AAN that jailed Afghan photographer Najib Musafer will be released from Pul-e Charkhi, although he gave no date. Musafer took a photograph of girls parading in an Education Day ceremony seven years ago and sold it to a production company which turned it into an image advertising Etisalat telephones. One […]

“An attempt to wipe out history”: The destruction of the Bamian Buddha colossi in 2001

On 26 February 2001, the leader of the Afghan Taleban movement, Mullah Muhammad Omar, ordered from his headquarters in Kandahar that “all statues and non-Islamic shrines in the different areas of the Islamic Emirate must be broken” because they were worshipped by people of non-Islamic religious beliefs and were therefore ‘idols.’ This kind of worship, […]

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