Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: February 2024

The Silent Erosion of Afghanistan’s Urban Middle Class: A Neglected Crisis 

The Diplomat, 24 February 2024 An interesting analysis by Lutfi Rahimi, of Biruni Institute, looking at an indeed overlooked crisis in the wake of the Taleban’s second rise to power. Based on 200 interviews, he comes to the conclusion that of Afghanistan’s urban middle class “had to cope with radical institutional changes and persistent economic […]

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The Pastures of Heaven: An update of Kuchi-Hazara disputes as spring approaches  

Fabrizio Foschini Rama Mirzada

The central highlands of the Hazarajat are gearing up for a third year of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) managing one of the most polarising land conflicts in the country, that between Hazara villagers and Pashtun nomads, the Kuchis. The re-establishment of the IEA in 2021 allowed the Kuchis to return, after 40 years, […]

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Enquete-Kommission Afghanistan: Schluss mit der Schönfärberei

nd, 22 February 2024 AAN’s Thomas Ruttig looks at the new interim report of German parliament’s enquiry (enquete) commission on Afghanistan in this article for this left-leaning Berlin-based daily. The report looks relatively critical on the country’s contribution to the 2001-21 mission (“strategically failed”) but still contains enough traces of whitewashing, in order to trying […]

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Afghanistan: Archaeological sites ‘bulldozed for looting’

BBC, 22 February 2024 Based on satellite images, researchers at the University of Chicago have found that dozens of archaeological sites have been bulldozed a new pattern in the Balkh region from 2018 onwards to allow systematic looting. The teams says 162 ancient settlements were “devastated at an astonishing rate of one a week” between […]

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UN-Gipfel zu Afghanistan: Taliban zieren sich

Tageszeitung, 18 February 2024 AAN’s Thomas Ruttig reports about the hickups before the second Doha special envoy meetings on Afghanistan, particularly Taleban demands leading to their no-show (in German).

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The Contest for a Special Envoy: Will the meeting in Doha yield a shift in the world’s engagement with the Emirate? 

Roxanna Shapour

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host a second meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the capital of Qatar, Doha, on 18-19 February 2024. Unlike the last gathering in May 2023, the Emirate has also been invited, although it has not yet confirmed that it will send a delegation. The two-day meeting is expected […]

International Engagement Read more
Bostan Karim (L) and Abdul Zahir (C), two former prisoners held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, arrive at Kabul airport in Kabul airport. Photo: AFP, 12 February 2024

Home at Last: After more than 20 years, two former inmates of Guantanamo reach Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Two more Afghan former inmates of the United States’ Guantanamo detention camp have finally returned home after more than two decades incarcerated or in exile. Abdul Zahir from Logar was detained by US forces and rendered to Guantanamo in July 2002, while Bostan Karim from Paktia was arrested by Pakistan a month later and handed […]

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Afghan opium’s big high

El País (English), 13 February 2024 In this article in one of the leading Spanish dailies reporting that the price of opium poppy in Afghanistan has reached its highest level in two decades following two years of a Taleban ban in its cultivation and its social consequences, AAN is quoted: “The ban has deprived millions of […]

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“A Disaster for the Foreseeable Future”: Afghanistan’s Healthcare Crisis

Human Rights Watch, 12 February 2024 Here the report main findings: The report also provides data about Afghanistan’s health-system-related aid dependency. In 2019, healthcare costs in Afghanistan amounted to $2.8 billion, 20 percent of which was provided by donors, and only about 3 percent by the government. Out-of-pocket spending by Afghans on health accounted for […]

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China moving into Afghanistan for oil, natural gas, and lithium

Washington Examiner, 6 February 2024 This article reports a recent SIGAR report saying that “China is sliding in[to Afghanistan after the US withdrawal] with its eyes on the war-torn country’s natural resources” and “being welcomed with open arms by the ruling Taliban government.” It also quotes from a recent AAN report by Thomas Ruttig, cited in the […]

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The Daily Hustle: Mission impossible – the quest for passports and visas in Afghanistan

AAN Team Roxanna Shapour

Afghans who got onto evacuation lists may have the chance to go to Europe or North America, if they can get passports and visas for Pakistan. Their first dilemma is whether to go; it is not easy leaving one’s homeland. But there is a second dilemma – whether to spend savings or go into debt to get the […]

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Three years since Kabul fell: Is it time to recognise the Taliban?

TRT World, 2 February 2024 In this article, discussing the title-giving question, several experts give their opinion. This is what AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted with: “As long as the Taliban do not show in practice that they respect human rights for all Afghans, including those who disagree with them on certain or many issues, […]

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