Dispatches

Karzai struggles against foreign detentions – state releases Taleban?

In the last weeks of his presidency, President Hamed Karzai has again been trying to eradicate the last traces of foreign involvement in detentions, sending a commission to investigate the so-called Tor Jail, an American interrogation facility on Bagram airbase, and reactivating the Afghan Review Board, which had been sifting detainees transferred by the US […]

Elections 2014 (51): Finally, a deal, but not yet democracy

After more than three months of audits and behind-the-scenes negotiation, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah signed a deal today to set up a government of national unity. The election ‘result’ was announced a couple of hours later, but the Independent Election Commission (IEC) declined to give any figures. It had been clear, all along, that […]

Elections 2014 (49): Still deadlock, make or break

It has become difficult to write about the Afghan elections, not because nothing happens, but because it rarely amounts to anything significant enough to move things on. There are talks between the candidates, press conferences with little news, an audit nearing completion, phone calls from the American president, rumours and unease. The optimism of the […]

Elections 2014 (47): Audit enters its final precarious phase

While the two teams are trying to revive the political negotiations, the electoral audit is both nearing its end –with around 95 per cent of the ballot boxes reviewed– and moving into its most critical phase: deciding on the findings and arriving at a new result. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has already convened five […]

Taleban Closing in on the City: The next round of the tug-of-war over Kunduz

Within the past two months, the Taleban have managed to secure additional territory around the provincial capital of Kunduz and have been closing in on the city itself. They also gained nearly full control over several districts of the province. On 12 August and then again around 22 August, the ANSF conducted operations. Authorities claimed […]

Book Excerpt: Scenes of Afghan History – Hamed Karzai before 2001

As many influential Pashtuns, in the country and the diaspora, the Karzai family – and Hamed Karzai himself – offered support to the Taleban after they emerged in 1994 but were rejected by the movement’s leadership. They turned against them and – after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 – made overtures to the ‘Northern Alliance’ […]

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