Author Archives: Obaid Ali

About Obaid Ali

Pupils as Pawns: Plundered education in Ghor

Empty classrooms, fake girls’ schools, teachers’ salaries siphoned off by warlords: in Ghor province in Afghanistan’s west, the shadows of strongmen loom large and schools, too, have become pawns in the power struggle between rival factions. AAN’s Obaid Ali has visited this remote, poor and conflict-ridden province and – in this second of three dispatches […]

A Slow Start: Afghan voter registration in urban centres first

On 25 May 2013, voter registration for the 2014 presidential election officially kicked off throughout Afghanistan. Female registration has been slow, even though the process is for the moment limited to the provincial capitals. Also general turn-out has been quite low and the process has proven to be cumbersome. It is however still very early […]

Moving East in the North: Transitioned Faryab and the Taleban

It took little more than seven months to turn Faryab from a province with a worrisome security situation into a province under constant attack. Since the Norwegian Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Faryab closed in September 2012, the security situation has quickly deteriorated. These days, Faryab is one of the main targets of the Taleban’s […]

A New Round of Anti-Sherzai Protests In Nangarhar

In a five day-long protest in the Nangarhar provincial centre of Jalalabad, thousands of demonstrators have demanded the immediate dismissal of governor Gul Agha Sherzai for alleged involvement in corruption, embezzlement of development funds, illegal land grabs and for failing to protect Afghan territory from Pakistani inroads. The protestors were led, among others, by MP […]

Budget Through, Impeachments Pending: Wolesi Jirga Went into Winter Recess

At the third go, the Lower House of parliament finally approved the government’s general budget for the Afghan year 1392 (March 2012 to March 2013) on 20 January 2013. The so-called qatia report – the final account for the previous fiscal year – however, revealed that many ministries had again failed to spend a significant […]

E-tazkera: relieving pre-election tension or adding to the confusion?

One of the ideas to prevent fraud and ensure fairness in future elections is the accelerated introduction of electronic identity cards to Afghanistan. According to the Ministry of Interior it will take at least a decade until all Afghans have the planned new identity cards, but proponents of the e-tazkera believe the project can still […]

A Taleban Foothold in the North: Faryab fighting up after transition

While the attention of the Afghan government and the media is focused on major battles in the south of the country, the Taleban are making further headway in a northern region after the closure of the Norwegian PRT in September. In Faryab province, the Taleban have already established footholds in far-flung mountainous areas and are […]

Kanda and Backyard Pools: Faryabi Ways of Coping with Water Shortages

Only 27 per cent of Afghanistan’s population has access to safe water sources, according to the government in Kabul. Faryab, a province in the country’s north, is an example of where access to potable water causes major problems for the inhabitants. Storing water for dry periods has always been a challenge there. Now problems have […]

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