Dispatches

Murad’s War: An Afghan face to the Syrian conflict

In Syria, the Assad regime is running out of soldiers and is increasingly relying on mercenaries. Many are Shiites – Lebanese Hezbollah militiamen, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis and Yemenis. But no group is represented to the degree that the Afghan Hazara are. AAN guest author Christoph Reuter (*) has met two of them – recruited in […]

AAN Paper: Afghanistan’s new generation of Islamic activists

Since the fall of the Taleban, Afghanistan has gone through a great deal of changes. The efforts to establish a democratic and pluralistic political system, the hugely improved access to the rest of the world through media and telecommunication, the emergence of a middle class as a result of a growing economy and the influx […]

Elections in Hibernation: Afghanistan’s stalled electoral reform

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process has been bogged down for months. While the National Unity Government agreement called for the “immediate establishment” of an Electoral Reform Commission, it took the president five months just to sign the necessary decree. Now, three months later, the commission has still not started its work and it looks like the original […]

Hamstrung by Translation: How to analyse Afghanistan in an Afghan language?

The most efficient languages to write about Afghan politics and society ought to be the two main languages of the country, Dari and Pashto. No foreign language can capture the various concepts native to Afghanistan as intricately as native speakers’ own languages do, for example in the case of Pashtunwali customs. However, the local languages […]

Bamyan, First Ever Cultural Capital of South Asia: A big party, but what else?

Five months late and almost half-way through its crucial year, Bamyan has finally been inaugurated as the 2015 South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) cultural capital, the organisation’s first ever. Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh, Second Deputy Chief Executive Muhammad Mohaqeq and Minister of Information and Culture Bari Jahani were among the guests who […]

The Failed Pilot Test: Kunduz’ local governance crisis

The fighting in Kunduz is only one side of the problem. Also issues not related to security are in disarray. Health care, education, agriculture, reconstruction – all are on hold and do not receive much attention from the newly established top level of local authorities. This, AAN guest author Bethany Matta argues, has much to […]

Banning the Banned from Travel: Taleban Five still in Qatar

There has been a spate of stories about the end of the travel ban on the five Taleban detainees released from Guantanamo Bay a year ago and exchanged for the United States soldier Bowe Bergdahl. US politicians and media have been speculating on what impact the five might have on the insurgency if they came […]

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