Archives

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (16): Signs of fraud in Zabul

In largely Taleban-controlled Zabul province, there are considerable discrepancies between the reported turnout and what was observed on the ground. After a very quiet campaign and fighting near the provincial capital and in all districts on election day, it was not a surprise to see very few voters in the polling centres in Qalat city. […]

One Land, Two Rules (8): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected insurgent-controlled Zurmat district

The Taleban’s military dominance in Zurmat district of Paktia province has allowed them to assert their will over how government and NGO-provided public services are delivered. Their motivation varies from ideological control (education and media) to revenue generation (taxes on telecommunications and public infrastructure projects). In this district, the Taleban have expanded into tax collection […]

Past as Prologue? What the parliamentary election results tell us about the September presidential election

To better understand the influences that will shape the outcome of the upcoming presidential election, guest author Scott Worden (with input from Colin Cookman)* analyses recent voter registration patterns, as well as voting patterns from the last parliamentary election, in October 2018. He found large differences between provinces and regions – in security conditions, rates […]

The Two Faces of the Fatemiyun (II): The women behind the fighters

Existing studies on the Fatemiyun have focused on the Afghan men fighting for the Iran-backed government in Syria. The women behind the fighters – wives, mothers and sisters – have remained invisible, despite the fact that many fighters decided to go to Syria with family concerns in mind. Based on interviews with ten women in […]

The Two Faces of the Fatemiyun (I): Revisiting the male fighters

Over the last eight years, thousands of Afghan men and some boys have fought on the side of the Iran-supported Assad government in Syria as members of the Fatemiyun group. Although they are sent to Syria from Iran and supported by the Iranian government, Tehran describes the group as “self-motivated.” This dispatch, which is the […]

Why the Taleban Should Read the Afghan Constitution

As talks between the US and the Taleban move forward, we are starting to see the contours and obstacles to peace in Afghanistan. One of the possible obstacles to reaching an agreement is the Taleban’s view that Afghanistan’s current constitution is unsuitable and unacceptable. Ghizaal Haress, a prominent Afghan lawyer and a member of the […]