Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fabrizio Foschini

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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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 […]

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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 […]

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A New Round of Anti-Sherzai Protests In Nangarhar

Fabrizio Foschini Obaid Ali

In a five day-long protest in the Nangarhar provincial centre of Jalalabad, thousands of demonstrators have demanded the immediate dismissal of governor Gul Agha Sherzai for alleged involvement in corruption, embezzlement of development funds, illegal land grabs and for failing to protect Afghan territory from Pakistani inroads. The protestors were led, among others, by MP […]

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A War of Attrition in Farah Province

Fabrizio Foschini

With the withdrawal of foreign troops taking place countrywide, it is inevitable that not all provinces fare the same, given the differences in insurgents’ and government’s degree of attention. Farah, a province where transition was scheduled late by all standards, has experienced a serious deterioration in security, even before the transition was over. The second […]

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When and Why to Catch a TTP Leader: Faqir Muhammad’s Arrest

Fabrizio Foschini

The capture last week of a prominent Pakistani militant in the Afghan province of Nangrahar by Afghan police and intelligence has made a sensation in both countries, being widely interpreted as a positive step for diplomatic relations and cooperation. But it also led to controversial commentaries by some observers. The presence inside Afghanistan of Pakistani […]

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Striking at Kabul, in 2013: the attack on the traffic police HQ

Fabrizio Foschini

Just before dawn, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) premises on the Deh Mazang roundabout in West Kabul came under attack. After a massive car bomb detonated in front of the building, an insurgent commando of five men tried to enter the traffic police headquarters. Two of them eventually made their way inside, and holed […]

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No More Complaints? The ECC’s Uncertain Fate

Fabrizio Foschini

The cabinet of ministers is finally sending its draft electoral law to parliament, and a preview of its content is already proving a bombshell. According to the draft, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) is to be replaced by a special court appointed by the Supreme Court. Waiting to see what the future of the ECC […]

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Guns, Girls and Grizzled Warriors: Ismail Khan’s mujahedin council project in the West

Fabrizio Foschini

The phenomenon of Afghan strongmen visiting their home provinces and delivering fiery speeches to their ‘traditional’ constituencies is all but new. Still, it has intensified as of late, as the transition process is said to progress and the next presidential election approaches. The most recent rendition given by the Minister of Water and Energy, Ismail […]

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A thin line between insurgency and local politics in Badakhshan

Fabrizio Foschini

The competition between strongmen in Badakhshan until recently took place mainly at the local level – commanders would vie with each other for the control of poppy cultivation and trafficking or mine extraction. Patronage from the centre, from the Badakhshi politicians in Kabul, had also been a vital component of these struggles, but until recently […]

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Conservatism by Default: Badakhshan’s Jamiat after Ustad Rabbani

Fabrizio Foschini

Politics in Badakhshan sometimes seem to follow a separate course than Afghanistan’s mainstream, as is the case in other peripheral areas. Powerbrokers in this remote province – usually former jihadi commanders, most of them linked to the Jamiat-e Islami party – are struggling for control of trafficking and extracting resources from the province and appear […]

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