Economy & Development

The Green Trend mobilisation and a possible new rift in Jamiat

As of late, the Green Trend movement has been reactivating its public and web-based activities. The movement has been established by former NDS director Amrullah Salih, together with former Minister of Interior Hanif Atmar, one of the two most prominent high-ranking government officials marginalised by President Karzai as – what many people believe – concessions […]

Guest Blog: Modernisation Stress – Kabul and Mazar Revisited

During his tenth trip to Afghanistan since 2003 dedicated to research on micro-social development and general political perceptions, after an interval of two and a half years, our guest blogger Michael Daxner(*) was ‘little surprised at the first glance – but at a closer look, much has changed’. Glimpses on social stratification, discussions about federalism, […]

Guest Blog: Mining the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’

The big Logar copper mine of Mes-e Aynak, with its Buddhist finds, epitomizes a dilemma many countries are facing: excavate your natural resources or protect your cultural heritage (and natural environment). In Afghanistan, after three decades of violent conflict, the latter is threatened to lose out in this competition. But as the country’s archeological sites, […]

Figure of the Day: US$ 100 m. (in destroyed orchards)

An Afghan government delegation has reported that ‘Afghan and foreign forces have caused more than US$ 100 million damage to fruit crops and homes during security operations in southern Kandahar province’. AAN’s senior analyst Thomas Ruttig remembers an episode last summer. When a young Afghan visited our office last summer and told us about US […]

Afghan Government Declares Kabul Smog Holiday

From tomorrow, 1 December, until the end of the Afghan year (20 March), Kabul will enjoy a proper, two-day weekend. Every Thursday, government offices will be closed and workers asked to stay at home. But it is not a social achievement – it is a smog-induced extra holiday, an attempt to give this polluted city […]

Afghan civil society launches Access to Information campaign

This morning a large number of Afghan civil society organisations and several media organisations used the media attention surrounding the Kabul conference to launch a campaign highlighting the need for access to information and calling for the necessary legislation to be drafted. The demand is an important one. The pervasive ambiguity, the lack of clarity […]

New Bureaucracies to Welcome ‘Upset Brothers’

Jobs, training, psychosocial counselling and block grants: A look at the Afghan government’s new ‘peace and reintegration’ plan to bring home the Taleban. By Kate Clark (with input from Thomas Ruttig) Reading the draft of the Afghan government’s programme for peace and reintegration is a surreal experience, starting with the opening and the first sentence’s […]

Afghanistan Bird Watch

The most underreported Afghan story of January 2010 already has been identified: One of the world rarest birds has been spotted in Badakhshan. Overshadowed by the coverage of the London conference, the BBCreported that scientists of the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society found specimen of the large-billed reed warbler (photo), one of the rarest birds on earth, during […]

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