Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: February 2011

The Destruction of the Bamian Buddhas (2)

Thomas Ruttig

28 February 2000: The Taleban want to destroy all non-Islamic images of human beings in Afghanistan as ‘idols’. With this decision, they threaten the rich cultural heritage of their country. International experts react with horror. A contemporary article by Thomas Ruttig. The Quran bans all displays of human images because Allah – as the God […]

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The Destruction of the Bamian Buddhas (1)

Thomas Ruttig

Together with the systematic exclusion of women from almost all spheres of social life, public executions in stadiums and massacres of minority groups that had resisted their takeover of certain parts of the country, it was the iconoclastic destruction of the two ancient Buddhist statues in early March 2001 which shaped the world’s image of […]

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Watching the government and waiting for the fighting season

Martine van Bijlert

While the Washington Whispers asks where the news on Afghanistan has gone (it’s not there because it is all good* in case you were wondering), and Parliament suddenly elects a speaker after weeks of intrigue, and the Special Court continues to reopen ballot boxes to see what they might find, and diplomats shake their heads […]

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How the Taliban Lost Its Swagger

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Newsweek, 27 February 2011 Interesting article quoting Taleban who are dusgisted with Taleban abuses and worried about the breakdown of discipline: “We were playing with the lives of people. We killed and harmed innocents, just as the infidel Americans do.” and “In the 16 years of the Taliban’s military and political life, this is our […]

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Low pay, big risks for fuel haulers in Afghan war

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AP, 27 February 2011 A peek inside the world of fuel trucking. AP’s Kathy Gannon and Anja Niedringhaus ride with a fuel truck from Quetta to Kandahar.

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The Wolesi Jirga has a Speaker (amended)

Gran Hewad

After a seemingly unending process, almost unexpectedly, the Wolesi jirga has a speaker, with today’s election of Haji Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, an Uzbek as desired. AAN’s Gran Hewad and coleagues try to shed light on his background and the way he has been (s)elected. The Wolesi Jirga has finally found its speaker, one month and […]

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Khalil Lula and His Friends or: Bad Dari spoken

Thomas Ruttig

It has been a while that I have been collecting examples of how Afghan names and toponyms are often not only misspelled but almost violated in the media. For me, this reflects an utter superficiality because many journalists do not seem to care much about whom or what they speak about (and have no clue […]

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Willing, able and Uzbek: the Wolesi Jirga looks for a minority speaker

Fabrizio Foschini

Yesterday’s parliament session did not just add to an already long list of failures to solve the impasse over the speaker’s election, it additionally cast a gloomy communitarian shadow on the Lower House. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini reports about the (non)outcome of a parliamentary morning abruptly ended by an ethnically-polarized, politically-motivated strife. It had not started […]

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Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Free-for-All

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Global Post, 24 February 2011 Jean MacKenzie’s account of the ‘gender bias, ethnic tensions, and political divisions [that] all came to a head in an ugly incident’ involving a female Pashtun parliamentarian and Haji Mohaqeq, leader of a Hazara faction in parliament – with some additional facts to AAN’s blog ‘Willing, able and Uzbek’.

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A Taleban ‘Shock and Awe’ Campaign

Fabrizio Foschini

The recent string of attacks, seemingly aimed at hitting in the heart of Afghan cities in a spectacular and murderous manner, continues. Starting from the battle at the Kandahar central police station on 12 February, in a ten-day span four more attacks – unlike the former aimed at soft, largely civilian targets – hit population […]

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Even the Upper House does not listen to the President

Obaid Ali

In an unusual development in present-day Afghanistan, the Meshrano Jirga (also called Senate, the upper house of the Parliament) achieved a fully operative status. The recent introduction of the appointed senators by President Karzai, although delayed, has made it one of the few state institutions with no missing, expired or unapproved (acting) members. It even […]

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The Start of Impunity: the killing of Dr Abdul Rahman

Kate Clark

Everyone has their watershed moments when alarm bells started ringing over the post-2001 political settlement in Afghanistan. For AAN’s senior analyst, Kate Clark, one pivotal moment took place nine years ago in February 2002, when the minister for civil aviation, Dr Abdul Rahman, was murdered in public at Kabul airport. The newly deployed ISAF did […]

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