Political Landscape

The ‘Ankara Coalition’: Opposition from within the government

Over the past two years, the National Unity Government (NUG) has been challenged by internal power struggles, protest movements and now an ‘opposition’ coalition made up of influential officials from within. It is the first time, however, that leaders of three mainstream political parties from three major ethnic groups have joined forces – at least […]

From ‘Traditionalist’ Islam to ‘Modern’ Islamist Nationalism: A new AAN report about ideology in the Afghan Taleban

The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab […]

AAN Q&A: Tents and Bullets – the crackdown on the Kabul protests

The last of at least seven tents that protestors had set up in Kabul – after the horrific 31 May bomb attack and in protest against police brutality used during a march they organised on 2 June 2017 – has been removed. Afghan police forces dismantled it late in the evening of Monday, 19 June […]

Hekmatyar’s Return to Kabul: Background reading by AAN

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the notorious leader of Hezb-e Islami, returned to Kabul today. After several years of on-and-off talks, between the Afghan government and envoys of the party’s leader-in-hiding, a deal allowing his return was finally signed in September 2016. Several months of negotiations on the finer details of the deal’s implementation followed. An overview of AAN’s past […]

Moving Out of Shamshatu: Hezb-e Islami’s refugee followers between hope of return and doubts about the peace deal

Shamshatu refugee camp, headquarters of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islami in Pakistan since the 1980s, is increasingly empty. Many residents, including a number of important Hezb leaders, have left for Afghanistan, encouraged to return by the peace agreement signed by Hekmatyar and President Ashraf Ghani in September 2016. The deal paved the way for the return […]

What to Watch? Key issues to follow in Afghanistan in 2017

As in most years, the feeling in January 2017 is that this will be another crucial year for Afghanistan. The AAN team has identified several key themes that we think it important to follow this year. They range from crises in the Afghan government and how changes in global politics, particularly the change of administration […]

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