Just about over the First Hill: Pakistan’s Release of Afghan Taleban

The release of a number of Afghan Taleban by Pakistan, as announced on 14 November, may prove crucial for an urgently needed breakthrough on a political settlement in Afghanistan. It is also the first big personal success for Rabbani Junior at the helm of the Afghan High Peace Council. But too much optimism would be […]

On the Roof of the World: The Last Kyrgyz in Afghanistan

At most 2,000 individuals, pastoralists living for centuries in the harsh environment of Afghanistan’s north-easternmost Pamir region, are the last remaining ethnic Kyrgyz in Afghanistan. As a part of its nationalist discourse, post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan has been vocally politicking, but not doing much in practice, for the return of these Kyrgyz ‘brethren’ to their titular homeland, […]

Education in times of waseta: the example of Badakhshan

It is common wisdom that teachers are among the most important sections of Afghan society, as far as reconstructing the country goes. Also, almost everybody agrees that they are among the most underpaid and unempowered classes in Afghanistan. On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, celebrated today in Afghanistan, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini, who has just […]

The Haqqani Network Blacklisted: From US Asset to Special Foe

Earlier this month, the US government blacklisted the Haqqani network, labelling it a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’. Leaving aside the pros and cons of this decision, which have been fairly widely discussed, AAN co-director Thomas Ruttig looks at other questions: why did the blacklisting happen so late and why is the network singled out from the […]

Filling the Power Ministries: Biographies of the four candidates

Parliament was about to start scrutinising President Karzai’s nominations for three of the most powerful positions in government, plus one less significant ministry yesterday (Tuesday). But the nominees did not make into the Wolesi Jirga because the MPs demanded that they must be accompanied by either the President or one of his deputies in person.(1) […]

On the borders: Where do the attacks in Nimruz come from?

The recent multiple suicide attacks that hit Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province – with possibly one of the single biggest losses of lives in the Afghan conflict – received relatively small attention by the international media. Of course, both the global media and public are in a slack period regarding news from Afghanistan. The […]

Afghan Politicking after the Rebellion in Tajik Badakhshan (amended)

After a week of fighting, events in Tajikistan’s part of Badakhshan are quietening down. While a lot has been made in some media outlets of a possible cross-border Taleban link, events seem to have their background in the drug economy rather. On the Afghan side of the border politicking as a side-effect of the events […]

The Takhar attack and Targeted Killings: the Legal Challenge

An Afghan bank worker from rural Takhar, Habib Rahman, is taking the British government to court over Britain’s participation in drawing up and executing the US military’s ‘kill list’ which singles out alleged insurgents for targeted killing. Rahman lost his father-in-law, Zabet Amanullah, and several other close relatives in September 2010 when an air strike […]

Clashes in Eastern Tajikistan – with Afghan Participation?

Local media speak of ‘unprecedented violence’, after Tajik security forces have started a ‘special operation’ against what the government in Dushanbe calls an ‘armed, illegal group involved in drug trafficking and also tobacco smuggling and the trafficking of minerals’, following the murder of a high-ranking security official. Interestingly, it has claimed there were Afghan citizens […]

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