Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Panjshir

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (9): Into the third wave

Thomas Ruttig Rohullah Sorush

Afghanistan has entered the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic amid an unprecedented rise in confirmed cases. Doctors in various provinces detected signs of the impending new wave soon after the start of the Afghan new year (21 March), but the government only imposed contact restrictions on 28 May and enlisted religious scholars to urge […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (26): A Q&A about the ongoing election stalemate

Ali Yawar Adili

The aftermath of Afghanistan’s 2019 presidential election has now dragged on for 72 days. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has missed two dates for the announcement of preliminary results and is 50 days behind its original election timetable. The commission has not decided yet when it will announce the results. Meanwhile, the IEC’s audit and […]

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Lizards far from home. Some of the specimens brought back from Afghanistan in 1972 and now part of the Belgrade collection of lizards from Afghanistan at the Siniša Stanković Institute for Biological Research at the University of Belgrade. Photo: Jelena Bjelica

Lizards of Afghanistan: An unknown collection discovered in Serbia

Jelena Bjelica

In the summer of 1972, Serbian ornithologist Voislav Vasić travelled to Afghanistan and brought back a collection of lizards. It was a favour to a herpetologist (specialist in reptiles and amphibians) colleague. The collection, practically forgotten since has been rediscovered and re-examined by a Czech herpetologist Daniel Jablonski who published a paper with Serbian colleagues […]

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The Myth of ‘Afghan Black’ (2): The cultural history of hashish consumption in Afghanistan

Fabrizio Foschini Jelena Bjelica Obaid Ali

Hashish or chars is a fairly common substance in Afghanistan. Its use, without ever attaining the levels of mass consumption that characterise other lightly-intoxicating substances in other war-torn countries, like the chewing of qat in Yemen or Somalia, for example, has remained relatively widespread. This does not mean that it is condoned by society: hashish-users, known as […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (13): New voter registry too good to be true

Scott Warden

One of the main goals of Afghanistan launching a new voter registration process – a key provision of the 2014 National Unity Government Agreement – was to more accurately match the number of ballot papers to the number of voters in any given area. It was hoped this would reduce the opportunities for ballot stuffing. […]

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The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (12): Good news and bad news about district numbers

Thomas Ruttig

Afghan authorities have solved one of the most long-standing and consequential problems in the country‘s complex election system: the number of districts. It is 387. This is pending a final decision by parliament, as there are some so-called ‘temporary’ districts that could boost the number. If parliament takes this issue up, however, there is a […]

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“Atta for President” Again? The struggle for the Afghan presidency and Jamiat’s leadership

Thomas Ruttig

This year’s Nawruz, the Persian New Year on 21 March 2017, also heralded the beginning of the positioning for Afghanistan’s next presidential election, although due only in two years’ time. Atta Muhammad Nur, the powerful governor of Balkh province, used the popular holiday to announce that he will run in 2019. He kept open, however, […]

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A group of people seated around the table, headed by president Ghani.

Parliament Kicks Out Ministers Again: A multi-dimensional power struggle

Thomas Ruttig

The Afghan parliament’s lower house has sacked seven ministers in a new wave of interpellations (estizah). It is not clear who instigated the estizah motions, MPs themselves or Palace intrigue, or who will come out as the winner (the president has told the ministers to stay in their posts and called on the Supreme Court […]

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A Perfect (Snow) Storm: What can be done against avalanche damage in Afghanistan

Ikramuddin Bahram

After an exceptional dry winter, snow finally arrived in Kabul and the northern and central provinces. However, the sheer amounts of what should have been a blessing for farmers, turned into a catastrophe for some communities living in these areas, as the snowfall triggered a series of avalanches, claiming the lives of almost 300 people. […]

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Elections 2014 (35): A delay, an audit and a change of tone

Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert

The Independent Electoral Commission’s delay of the preliminary results of the presidential run-off, from 2 to 7 July 2014, and its decision to audit almost 2000 polling stations that show possible signs of ballot stuffing, seems to have signalled a change in the electoral mood. Whereas days before the commission still showed signs of intending […]

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Finishing the unfinished election (2): Panjshir and Kapisa

Martine van Bijlert

Not all provinces show signs of a very uneven rate of disqualification between the presidential en provincial council elections, like we saw in Helmand Khost or Farah. Take for instance Panjshir. In Panjshir the number of votes excluded in the presidential and provincial council elections were more or less comparable: 4,750 out of 44,850 votes […]

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