Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Reports

Reports – previously known as dispatches – are the flagship of the AAN website and our main type of publication. AAN reports are based on extensive desk and field research and provide timely and in-depth information and analysis.

Police and NDS Torture: One in three security detainees tortured, despite long-term downward trend

Kate Clark

UNAMA and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have released their latest report on the treatment of conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan. They found only the slightest reduction in the reporting of torture and ill-treatment since 2017-18, with torture still being used against 30 per cent – or one in […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

A Sufi Lodge, a Leaning Minaret and a Polymath’s Shrine: A look at recent efforts to preserve – and appreciate – historical Herat

S Reza Kazemi

Herat, the oasis town in the far northwest of Afghanistan, has been a flourishing Sufi and cultural centre at various points along its long, chequered history. Based on observations, conversations and a literature review, and illustrated by photos, AAN researcher Reza Kazemi takes a look at the city’s rich heritage through three memorials: a tenth-century […]

Context and Culture Read more

Living with the Taleban (3): Local experiences in Dasht-e Archi district, Kunduz province

Bilal Sediqi

In our third study exploring Taleban rule in territories under their control, AAN looks at Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province. The intra-Afghan talks in Doha may presage an Afghan state with key positions held by the Taleban. At the very least, the pattern of the Taleban controlling particular localities is likely to continue. In this […]

War and Peace Read more

AAN Obituary: Muhammad Azam Rahnaward Zaryab, pioneering Afghan writer and guardian of the Persian language

Thomas Ruttig

One of Afghanistan’s most influential and prolific writers died in a Kabul hospital 40 days ago on 11 December 2020. Born in Kabul in 1944, Zaryab wrote some of the first modern Afghan novels, and his contributions to Afghanistan’s literature inspired a new generation of Afghan writers. In Afghanistan’s post-Taleban media scene, the celebrated author […]

Context and Culture Read more

Living with the Taleban (2): Local experiences in Nad Ali district, Helmand province

AAN Guests

What is it like to live in an area controlled by the Taleban? How does their rule affect your life and can you influence what they do? To answer these questions, we embarked on a research project scrutinising three districts in depth, looking at the local dynamics of citizen/Taleban interactions, the structure of Taleban government and whether local […]

War and Peace Read more

AAN’s most-read dispatches in 2020: Cannabis, Bollywood, Bride Prices… and War

Kate Clark

2020 was a year when our readers wanted to read about the war and efforts to find peace and Afghanistan’s culture and history. Reports scrutinising the Doha talks and mapping the conflict appeared in our twenty most-read publications last year, along with others looking at Afghanistan’s history, its relationship with Bollywood and practices around getting married and […]

Context and Culture Read more
mountains

Shrinking, Thinning, Retreating: Afghan glaciers under threat from climate change

Jelena Bjelica

Lying high up in Afghanistan’s highest mountains, hidden from most human eyes, are almost 4,000 glaciers, according to the first comprehensive Afghan glacier database. These glaciers are of critical importance for Afghans for supplying water for drinking and irrigation. Yet research shows Afghanistan’s glaciers are melting. Almost 14 per cent of the total area of […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Intra-Afghan Talks (1): Rules of procedure agreed, but still no agenda as talks resume

Ali Yawar Adili

The second round of intra-Afghan negotiations – as they are officially called – is scheduled to begin in two days time, on 5 January 2021, in Doha. The first round ended on 14 December after three months of talks. During that time, the teams managed only to agree on the rules of procedure for the […]

War and Peace Read more

From Tazi to Afghan Hound… from hunter’s friend to silken-haired pet

Kate Clark

Winter is the time when Afghan hunters go up into the snowy mountains with their dogs, known as tazis. These are lean, graceful creatures who use speed and keen sight to catch their prey. To the outside world, they became known as the ‘Afghan hound’ after officers in the British colonial army brought individual dogs to London a […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghan Exodus: Migrants in Turkey left to fend for themselves

Christine Roehrs Khadija Hossaini

For Afghans seeking refuge or a new life in Europe, Turkey used to be a major migration transit hub. With routes through Turkey largely shut down after a refugee pact with the European Union in 2016, the country is now permanently hosting millions of refugees and migrants – among them possibly hundreds of thousands of […]

Migration Read more

AAN Obituary: Doctor, general, minister, trailblazer Suhaila Sediq (1938-2020)

Thomas Ruttig

General Dr Suhaila Sediq, one of two female ministers in the first post-Taleban government, died on 4 December 2020 from complications of a second Covid-19 infection. Sediq who had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years died in the same hospital she ran for over a quarter of a century until she was appointed Minister […]

Political Landscape Read more
new cabinet

Afghanistan’s New ­– But Still Incomplete Cabinet: No end yet to acting ministers

Ali Yawar Adili Rohullah Sorush

The Lower House of Afghanistan’s parliament, the Wolesi Jirga, has confirmed 20 out of 25 cabinet nominees proposed by the government and rejected the remaining five. The confirmation of the cabinet nominees comes more than a year after the presidential election, almost nine months after President Ashraf Ghani’s inauguration and almost seven months since the […]

Political Landscape Read more