Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fabrizio Foschini

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 […]

International Engagement Read more

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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

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 […]

Special Reports Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

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 […]

Political Landscape Read more

Police and Thieves in Ishkashim: Local residents react to flaws and abuses

Fabrizio Foschini

When a robber who had been detained by villagers in a remote district of Badakhshan escaped police custody overnight on Saturday, local residents blamed police connivance. Exasperated, they took to the streets, demanding the arrest of the runaway and the removal of the district chief of police and governor. Surprisingly, they won the day. Yet, […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

A Giant Arch, a Secret Garden, a Dragon and Myriads of Mud-Coloured Frogs: Our summer travel tips for Bamyan Province

Fabrizio Foschini

Bamyan is one of the most famous places in Afghanistan and has, in the last 12 years, probably received a greater share of visitors than aid. Travelling Bamyan is a treat and a must for everyone, Afghan or foreigner, who is able to arrange transport there – which is not always easy. The start of […]

Context and Culture Read more

War Doves: The Afghan sport of pigeon flying

Fabrizio Foschini

It is a familiar sight in Kabul’s springtime skies: pigeons flying in thick flocks, circling and dipping, reacting to a man on a rooftop waving a stick. Kaftar bazi or the Play of Pigeons is an Afghan national sport – one of the calmer sort. This doesn’t mean it isn’t highly competitive. AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini […]

Context and Culture Read more