Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Afghan Jihad Frozen in Time? A visit to Hezb-i Islami in the field

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The Diplomat, 25 April 2017

This article on a visit to a Hezb-e Islami front in the mountains in Shigal, Kunar – “a remote place in an already remote province in an already remote country” – quotes Thomas Ruttig of “the renown Afghanistan Analysts Network” on how Hezb-e Islami has evolved over the years:

According to Thomas Ruttig, Co-Director of the renown Afghanistan Analysts Network, since 2001 Hezbi-i Islami has only been militarily relevant in certain regions and has in the past several years been virtually absent from the Afghan battlefield. (…)

In this regard, Ruttig mentioned that there is indeed “a difference between the classic urban-islamist-intellectual part of Hezb-i Islami and the ‘fronts’ in rural areas,” adding that, at least historically and in eastern Afghanistan, there has sometimes been a cooperation between foot soldiers of Hezb-i Islami and the Taliban. This of course raises questions as to how well such foot soldiers can be included into a modern democratic system.