Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Regional Relations

This priority area covers AAN’s reporting on Afghanistan’s relations within its neighbourhood, with reporting so far focused mainly on Iran, Pakistan and the Central Asian republics.

Before Pakistan’s Election: “The democratic process needs more time”

Thomas Ruttig

Simultaneous with the publication of our new briefing paper about the Pakistani parliamentary election next week, we publish a blog based on an email interview with its author, Ann Wilkens, a former Swedish Ambassador to Pakistan and Afghanistan. She says that the election may result in a shift from centre-left to centre-right although its outcome […]

Regional Relations Read more

Afghanistan’s vain attempts at wooing Pakistani Islamists for peace

Borhan Osman

The recent assertion by Pakistan’s chief cleric, Tahir Ashrafi, about the permissibility of Taleban’s suicide attacks was completely the opposite of what Afghanistan had been looking for. Indeed, Kabul has had difficulties in mobilising religious leaders to speak against suicide attacks. A long sought conference of ulama from Afghanistan and Pakistan aimed at delegitimising militancy […]

Regional Relations Read more

An Afghan-Pakistani Strategic Agreement: Side-steps, Back Steps and New Steps

Gran Hewad

It was a story that never really broke: for the first time, a leading Afghan politician has accepted a draft document of a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between Afghanistan and Pakistan. But as a part of attempts to strengthen regional integration and cooperation, such an agreement is on the agenda again. And, as usual, it […]

Regional Relations Read more

A Potential Afghan Spill-Over: How Real Are Central Asian Fears?

S Reza Kazemi

Afghanistan is bracing itself for its transition. Most foreign troops will be gone by 2014 and Afghanistan’s already controversial elections have been fixed for early April that year while peace with the armed opposition remains elusive. Afghan domestic politics aside, how is the transition in Afghanistan perceived in its northern neighbourhood, which is under-explored, compared […]

Regional Relations Read more

Shelling at the Durand Line: Popular outrage building up

Gran Hewad

For the second year in a row, Pakistan is shelling Afghanistan’s eastern provinces, especially Kunar. The issue has recently become politically explosive, with calls for an army of volunteers to man the border and two key ministers being dismissed (on 4 August) over their failure to stop the shelling. Ordinary Afghans expect their government to […]

Regional Relations Read more

Afghan Politicking after the Rebellion in Tajik Badakhshan (amended)

Thomas Ruttig

After a week of fighting, events in Tajikistan’s part of Badakhshan are quietening down. While a lot has been made in some media outlets of a possible cross-border Taleban link, events seem to have their background in the drug economy rather. On the Afghan side of the border politicking as a side-effect of the events […]

Regional Relations Read more

Clashes in Eastern Tajikistan – with Afghan Participation?

Thomas Ruttig

Local media speak of ‘unprecedented violence’, after Tajik security forces have started a ‘special operation’ against what the government in Dushanbe calls an ‘armed, illegal group involved in drug trafficking and also tobacco smuggling and the trafficking of minerals’, following the murder of a high-ranking security official. Interestingly, it has claimed there were Afghan citizens […]

Regional Relations Read more

Upcoming Regional Co-operation Conference on Afghanistan: A Primer

S Reza Kazemi

Regional co-operation on Afghanistan has so far remained by and large confined to meeting rooms and conference halls. One of these gatherings is set to take place in Kabul on 14 June 2012. The ‘Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Kabul’ is focused on ‘The Istanbul Process: A New Agenda for Regional Co-operation.’ The Afghan […]

Regional Relations Read more

The Abbottabad Files: ‘Guests’ and ‘brothers’ at the AfPak border

Thomas Ruttig

Just around the first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s killing by US Special Operations Forces, the US government decided to release 17 al-Qaeda documents(1) that were found in his last refuge in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. 17 out of 6,000 seized documents is not much, and it is open how representative this selection is […]

Regional Relations Read more

Guest Blog: Karzai and the ‘Imran Khan Factor’ in Pakistan

Malaiz Chopan-Daud

There is little understanding of Pakistan and its internal dynamics in Afghanistan. A recent example is the visit of President Hamed Karzai to Pakistan last week, during which he met with Pakistani leaders – not only those from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) but also a number of other prominent politicians: the leaders of […]

Regional Relations Read more

The Emperor’s New Clothes: The leaked NATO report on the Taleban

Kate Clark

The BBC and The Times have obtained a classified NATO assessment of the Taleban. The leaked report, which has made headline news, has informed us that NATO thinks Pakistan is supporting the Taleban, that the Taleban are defiant and enjoy widespread support, that Afghans frequently prefer them to their corrupt government and that Afghan government […]

Regional Relations Read more

Guest Blog: Afghanistan’s post-2014 relation crisis

Akmal Dawi

As the year 2011 nears its end and analysts all over the world write their end-of-year reviews, Afghan journalist Akmal Dawi discusses Afghanistan’s regional relations. He finds Kabul at odds with many regional capitals, for reasons that are beyond its control, and wonders what kind of hostile post-2014 neighbourhood Afghanistan may find itself in. President […]

Regional Relations Read more