Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fabrizio Foschini

The Mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Durrani in Kandahar, where the Cloak was initially meant to be hosted. Photo: Fabrizio Foschini

Under the Cloak of History: The Kherqa-ye Sharif from Faizabad to Kandahar

Bette Dam Fabrizio Foschini

These are hard times for holy shrines in many Muslim countries. Often targeted by fundamentalist militants who reject practices of popular religious devotion as un-Islamic, many ancient and famous ziarats have been destroyed or damaged. The last on the list seems to have been the tomb of Yunus (Jonah) near Mosul, Iraq, reportedly blown up […]

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The Other Transfer of Power: Fahim’s death and Massud’s succession

Fabrizio Foschini

Until the elections of 5 April, the demise of Marshal Mohammed Qasim Fahim constituted the single major political event of 2014 in Afghanistan. His death directly affects the internal politics of a large group of Afghans: all those living in the north-eastern quadrant of the country. Tracing the political ascent of Fahim and assessing the […]

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Elections 2014 (6): Two types of security in the Shomali

Fabrizio Foschini

The Shomali plain is the plateau spanning north of Kabul to the Salang. A fertile and comparatively rich area of the country, it also features strong political-armed networks dating back to the mujaheddin time. Fabrizio Foschini came back from observing the election in the Shomali with mixed feelings. The success achieved by Afghan security forces […]

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Changing of the Guards: Is the APPF program coming to an end?

Fabrizio Foschini

In 2014, the performance of the Afghan National Army (ANA) will be under intense scrutiny. However, it is also high time for another key element of the Afghan security set up to be evaluated: the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF). The 20,000 men strong, state run security program in the past two years has – with […]

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From Alexander the Great to Ahmad Shah Massud: A social history of the pakol

Fabrizio Foschini

The flat, woollen, rolled-up hat called a pakol is nowadays one of the undisputed symbols of Afghanistan. But how such a humble garment, stemming from the remotest corners of the Hindu Kush mountains, made it to international appreciation on par with lavish silky chapans and majestic four-meter-long lungis, remains somewhat of a mystery. AAN’s Fabrizio […]

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A Lost Opportunity? Hindus and Sikhs do not get a reserved seat in parliament

Fabrizio Foschini

On 14 December 2013, the Wolesi Jirga (WJ), the lower house of the Afghan parliament, rejected the presidential decree adding a reserved seat among its ranks for the Hindu and Sikh minorities. The debate showed a divided house, but the vote rewarded those pitted against this facilitation for the tiny minority. However, the tone and arguments used […]

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Discussing ‘The Social Wandering’ of the Afghan Kuchis

Fabrizio Foschini

A new report by AAN, ‘The Social Wandering of the Afghan Kuchis,’ explores both the transformations that Afghan nomads have undergone in recent decades and their current, changing position in Afghan society. Decades of insecurity, drought and economic competition have led an increasing number of Kuchis to settle close to urban centers. There, they have […]

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The Social Wandering of the Afghan Kuchis: Changing patterns, perceptions and politics of an Afghan community

Fabrizio Foschini

The latest AAN report, ‘The Social Wandering of the Afghan Kuchis: changing patterns, perceptions and politics of an Afghan community,’ by Fabrizio Foschini, explores the major impact of changing social, economic and political conditions on the Kuchi community over recent years and its consequences for their position in Afghan society. Afghan nomads have always aroused […]

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The Other Fold of the Turban: Afghanistan’s Hindus and Sikhs

Fabrizio Foschini

Recent efforts to reserve a seat in the Wolesi Jirga (the lower house of the parliament) for the Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan have rekindled some interest in this tiny religious minority. Included in the draft of the electoral law, the issue was rejected by the parliament in July, but has been re-enforced on 3 […]

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Land Grabs (2): Deh Sabz, the new and the old

Fabrizio Foschini

Kuchi nomads on their way to becoming sedentary and foreign and local investors planning a prestigious Kabul New City development project end up competing for the same piece of land. A recent, dramatic fire fight between the Kabul police and the armed supporters of a Kuchi leader in Deh Sabz sounded like an alarm bell […]

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Back to Stopgap Appointments? The story behind the replacement of Herat’s governor

Fabrizio Foschini

Among the recent batch of governors’ changes, that of Herat’s Daud Shah Saba was probably the most conspicuous. Saba, a technocrat, had found himself in a confrontation with supporters of the pre-eminent local strongman, Minister for Energy and Water, Ismail Khan, and this conflict eventually led him to resign. So what is now in store […]

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Too Cocky for Parliament’s Taste? Interior Minister voted out

Fabrizio Foschini

In a sudden turn of events – especially for a very hot and demanding day of Ramazan – the minister of interior, Mujtaba Patang, has been voted out of his position by the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the parliament. The reasons given were: deterioration of security on highways, the charges of corruption that […]

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