Political Landscape

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 […]

The Battle between Law and Force: Scattered political power and deteriorating security test Herat’s dynamism

Herat – the affluent and vibrant city in western Afghanistan – is going through a ‘scattering’ of political power and a deterioration in security. While Ismail Khan, the self-styled ‘amir of the west’, is still the preeminent figure, political power is no longer concentrated only in his hands, and the new actors are behaving differently […]

Update on Afghanistan’s Electoral Process: Electoral deadlock broken – for now

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process, a major part of the National Unity Government’s programme, has been slow and painful with its high stakes and divided government positions. But over the last few months two significant hurdles have been taken: the new electoral law has finally been passed, and the new electoral commissions have been appointed. Although […]

Post-Presidential Karzai: Still a challenge to the NUG?

Hamid Karzai may have handed over the reigns of power in September 2014, but his influence on Afghanistan’s politics did not end. His calls for a Loya Jirga, as the National Unity Government approached its two-year anniversary, represented a danger to that government. However, political groups and influential individuals, even those who had previously been […]

The Politics of Opposition: A challenge to the National Unity Government?

The failure to implement its own agreement and the continuing rift within the National Unity Government have created an opportunity for political opposition groups across the spectrum to voice their criticism of the government. In the past, Afghanistan’s political opposition has been made up of various councils and fronts, often associated with prominent powerbrokers and […]

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