Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

AAN Live: Reading between the lines of Bonn 2

The Bonn 2 conference was huge – with 100 delegations, it was quantitatively the biggest ever on Afghanistan. Yet expectations had grown progressively more limited over the past few months and the speeches, this morning, from the main protagonists delivered few surprises. President Karzai was particularly bland, repeating again his ‘continued’ commitment to fighting corruption […]

Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn (2): A Day of Messaging

The discussion about a possible peace process that would include the Taleban dominated the discussions on day 2 of the Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn on Saturday. While it became obvious that the Afghan organisations still have to do some homework, they professionally reacted to a smear campaign at home declaring that they do […]

Afghan Civil Society Forum in Bonn (1): Occupy the JCMB?

The tone makes the music, we say here in Germany – ie: it is not only what you say but how you say it. Despite plenty of efforts by the organisers, four German political foundations, to make the 34 elected Afghan delegates to the Bonn Civil Society Forum feel comfortable there were a number of […]

Innovative Jirga-ism 2 or: The rule of bending the law

The 2030 jirga delegates have come into town now, and their sessions are to start today (Wednesday). Interestingly enough, it had been unclear until recently, at least to some people, how exactly the event was called they are to attend. This has repercussions to which authorities the meeting will have exactly – an issue still […]

The upcoming jirga: an agenda with possible backdoors

Less than two weeks to go to the opening of the long-awaited Traditional Loya Jirga. This meeting of 2030 delegates from all 34 provinces will discuss the strategic US-Afghan agreement and the future approach to reconciliation with the Taleban. About the rest – from its composition to its exact agenda and its authority – there […]

Right and Justice Party launched, as ‘reformist opposition’

This is the most serious addition to Afghanistan’s political party scene since years: After 14 months of preparations and a two-day conference of its 420 founders on Tuesday and Wednesday, Hezb-e Haq wa Edalat (Right and Justice Party) officially ‘declared its existence’, as you do such things in Afghanistan, today, 3 November, in Kabul. With […]

Jamiat after Rabbani: The competition for the top job

The murder of Ustad Rabbani also made one of Afghanistan’s oldest parties, Jamiat-e Islami, leaderless. For more than three and half decades, the Ustad had stood at its top. His killing came as the party had started considering internal reforms. This process has now accelerated, pushed by the need to fill the party’s top vacancy. […]

BREAKING NEWS: Double Rainbow over Kabul

Rain in Kabul is always good news. But it also has an aesthetic component: Before the backdrop of the mountains around the city, it creates the most beautiful rainbows. This inspired AAN’s Thomas Ruttig and Fabrizio Foschini to muse about a few rain-related issues. The heavy shower that went down over Afghanistan’s usually dust-covered capital […]

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