Guest Blog: Karzai and the ‘Imran Khan Factor’ in Pakistan

There is little understanding of Pakistan and its internal dynamics in Afghanistan. A recent example is the visit of President Hamed Karzai to Pakistan last week, during which he met with Pakistani leaders – not only those from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) but also a number of other prominent politicians: the leaders of […]

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 […]

The Thin Red Durand Line

The air-strikes that hit two Pakistani check-posts on the border between Mohmand Agency and Kunar province, killing 24 (some sources still report 25 or 26) Pakistani security forces and injuring a dozen more, have triggered, as expected, a strong reaction from the Pakistani authorities. As of now, Pakistan, ISAF and the Afghan military have very […]

Pakistan: There Is Also Good News

Disturbing news is coming out of Pakistan at such a pace that one item tends to crowd out the other. For example, how much of a mark have the millions of flood-stricken, homeless people in the Indus delta left on the international media scene? Even in Pakistan itself, their fate is not prominent any more. […]

Thinking out loud about peace, talks and tensions

In the weeks after Rabbani’s death by deceit and in the days after President Karzai’s oblique announcement of a new peace strategy, Afghans are trying to make sense of a complicated and murky situation. They are thinking out loud and what they say illustrates the complexity and the confusion, the diverging view points and the […]

The government’s new peace strategy: Who to talk to?

After the Rabbani assassination, the Afghan government has made it clear that it intends to revise its peace strategy. It has however been very short on the details of what this might look like, other than that it needs to revolve around ‘talking to Pakistan’. The change comes in the midst of deteriorating relations with […]

Conflicts in the East, part II

Coalition’s concerns arising from the increasingly aggressive and assertive behaviour of insurgent groups, or from their very identity and international connections, are not limited to Loya Paktia and the locally dominant Haqqani network. Following Petraeus’s guidelines and moving further East, one arrives in what has sometimes been termed Loy Nangrahar (Nangrahar, Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan – […]

Ghorband – A Valley Once Friendly

In May, we have been reporting about the deteriorating security situation in Eastern Afghanistan. There, it appears, an ‘insurgency corridor’ has been emerging, through which insurgents ‘will be able to move unhindered from the Pakistani border to Laghman, and from there into Kapisa and Kabul provinces’*. The killing of the Bamian Provincial Council (PC) chairman […]

Fire at the Durand Line

Since mid-June, warming relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have run into serious trouble again. Pakistan accuses Afghanistan (and ISAF) of doing nothing to stop militants from attacking Pakistani border posts and villages, Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of shelling villages in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, killing civilians and causing hundreds of families to flee. AAN Advisory Board […]

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