Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: November 2012

The Ulama Council: paid to win public minds – but do they?

Borhan Osman

The largest religious body in Afghanistan is the National Ulama Council, which was set up by President Karzai almost a decade ago. The president’s hope, expressed at the time, was that the council – with its 3,000 members from across the country, all of whom receive government salaries – would help him win political support […]

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As NATO Nears Exit, Construction Dries Up

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As NATO Nears Exit, Construction Dries Up A curse or a blessing? According to the executive manager of the Afghan Builders Association, the number of construction companies in Afghanistan had fallen to at most 3,000, compared with 10,000 at one time, and there was a ’30 to 40 percent drop in investment in construction this […]

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On the Roof of the World: The Last Kyrgyz in Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi

At most 2,000 individuals, pastoralists living for centuries in the harsh environment of Afghanistan’s north-easternmost Pamir region, are the last remaining ethnic Kyrgyz in Afghanistan. As a part of its nationalist discourse, post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan has been vocally politicking, but not doing much in practice, for the return of these Kyrgyz ‘brethren’ to their titular homeland, […]

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Questions abound as Afghans ponder 2014 elections

AAN Team

dpa/Gulf Times, 2 November 2012 The German news agency quotes from Thomas Ruttig’s AAN blog about the Afghan elections: the expected shortcomings of the 2014 elections ‘reflect on how poorly … the post-Taliban political process has been implemented and how weak the state of Afghan governance and democracy still remains’ and that the existing 17mn […]

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Torture claims halt MoD transfers to Afghan jails

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‘A determined attempt by the [British] Ministry of Defence to transfer insurgents to Afghan jails was blocked by the high court on Friday after it heard evidence that they would be handed over to a notorious torturer and alleged killer’, the British daily reports. ‘ The court heard how the Foreign Office minister Lady Warsi […]

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U.S. Finds Graft by Favored Afghan Leader

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Wall Street Journal, 2 November 2012 Some astonishing revelations: The man the US military once thought ‘the best hope for securing Nangarhar province’ (and, as some had the impression, a good president, as well) has been found to be involved in evil things: he ‘has been freeing suspected insurgents, running an open extortion scheme and […]

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Taliban can run for the Afghan presidency

AAN Team

Deutsche Welle (English), 2 November 2012 Ain his election date blog, Thomas Ruttig is quoted here as saying that inviting the Taliban to run in elections was nothing really new and that the same offer had been made to the militants earlier. The Taliban, he said, had not accepted the offer. Ruttig hoped that this […]

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Afghanistan’s next election: Heavy lifting ahead

AAN Team

Economist (blog), 1 November 2012 The Economist’s Banyan blog with a first reaction to the announcement of the Afghan presidential election date links to Thomas Ruttig’s AAN earlier blog on voter registration.

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A thin line between insurgency and local politics in Badakhshan

Fabrizio Foschini

The competition between strongmen in Badakhshan until recently took place mainly at the local level – commanders would vie with each other for the control of poppy cultivation and trafficking or mine extraction. Patronage from the centre, from the Badakhshi politicians in Kabul, had also been a vital component of these struggles, but until recently […]

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