Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (4): A precarious interplay between war and epidemic

S Reza Kazemi Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Afghans are now being killed by both the continuing war and Covid-19. The epidemic has ground much of life to a halt – with the notable exception of the fighting. In this report, AAN researchers Reza Kazemi and Fazal Muzhary (with input from Kate Clark) look at the interplay between war and disease. They provide […]

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Nad Ali desert

One Land, Two Rules (10): Three case studies on Taleban sales of state land

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

As the Taleban have expanded their areas of control around the country, anecdotal reports have been popping up of Taleban commissions and commanders in several provinces selling state land. However, a closer look into the three most prominent examples – Helmand, Uruzgan and Takhar – reveals a murkier picture than media reports and claims by government […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (25): contradictory figures and low turnout in Kandahar

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Kandahar’s turnout looks like it will be less than half the national average, pending finalisation of the numbers. There are many possible reasons for this, chief among them fraud, with limited reporting but plenty of anecdotal evidence of ballot stuffing and other irregularities. But Kandaharis also seem to have been deterred by the low level […]

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A volleyball in Mirai town during Eid in October 2012. Many people came to the district town that year after the 2012 uprising against the Taleban re-opened Andar district centre after three years. The peace was not to last: political interference and bloody violence were soon to follow. (Photo Fazal Muzhary)

One Land, Two Rules (7): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Andar district in Ghazni province

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Andar district in southern Ghazni province, which has had a shadow Taleban administration since 2007, has been under virtually complete Taleban control since October 2018. The Afghan government continues to provide education and health services despite the fact that all of Andar’s government offices have relocated to Ghazni city, while the Taleban supervise their work. […]

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One of the three civilian cars that were destroyed in a night raid on 30 November 2018 in Alizai village of Andar district. Photo: Author/2018

Unheeded Warnings (2): Ghazni city as vulnerable to Taleban as before

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Taleban may have been pushed back out of Ghazni city after their five-day siege in August, but they have continued to expand into new territory around the city. They now have full control of eight districts in Ghazni province. They control the Ghazni-Paktika highway and continue to put pressure on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. In […]

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Normally, this area would be bustling, with second-hand clothes and shoes sold from handcarts. During the August attack on Ghazni city, as many as 73 handcarts, all loaded with merchandise were burnt, according to a government fact-finding team. A month after the attack, this area, on the west bank of the River Jalga in the heart of the city, was still deserted. (Fazl Muzhary/AAN 2018)

Unheeded Warnings (1): Looking back at the Taleban attack on Ghazni

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Four months after the Taleban captured large parts of the strategic and historic city of Ghazni during a five-day siege in August 2018, local people live in fear of a new onslaught. While the Taleban were ultimately pushed out – or withdrew – from the city, they remain in the suburbs and have extended their […]

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How to Set up a ‘Good ALP’: The experience of Yahyakhel district, Paktika and how it became more peaceful

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Kate Clark

Yahyakhel district in Paktika province was once as pro-Taleban as it is now pro-government. The turning point came in 2011/2012, with the formation of a tribal militia, which was soon formalised into an Afghan Local Police (ALP) unit. Unlike many other ALP units, it has enjoyed local popular support and control. It has not abused […]

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Voters queue at Ali Baba High School in the provincial capital Parun, Paktika. Photo: Fazal Muzhary, October 2018.

The 2018 Election Observed (4) in Paktika: Pre-election fraud and relatively peaceful polling

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Where Paktika has been famous for ballot stuffing and mass proxy voting in previous elections, locals claim that this election was very different. A softer Taleban stance and a new slate of candidates, they say, allowed for more extensive campaigning. And the new electoral measures prevented rigging which, as a result, the electorate – including […]

Political Landscape Read more

Uprising, ALP and Taleban in Andar: The arc of government failure  

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Kate Clark

The Taleban look to be preparing for a new onslaught on Andar district centre. The name ‘Andar’ is still full of political resonance, gained in the summer of 2012 when the Taleban were suddenly and swiftly pushed out of a large part of the district. That counter-insurgency in an insurgent stronghold was styled the ‘Andar […]

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Satellite image of Bahramcha crossing point located in Helmand’s remote Dishu district. Photo: Google Maps

Jihadi Commuters: How the Taleban cross the Durand Line

Borhan Osman Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Taleban use Pakistan as a sanctuary: most of the movement’s leaders are settled there and it is the movement’s preferred place for training, meeting and as a rear base. It is also the prime destination for ‘rest and recuperation’ (R&R) and the rehabilitation of wounded fighters. But how do the Taleban move between the […]

Regional Relations Read more

At the End of a Long Curve: The fall of Janikhel

Fazl Rahman Muzhary Thomas Ruttig

The temporary capture of Janikhel district centre by Taleban forces in late July 2017 stands out in the relatively static, mountainous and geographically and tribally fractured region of eastern Paktia and Khost. There, most district centres continue to be in government hands, while many areas outside of them are more or less under Taleban control. […]

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Daily wage labourers chatting with each other while waiting for jobs. As the number of returnees from Pakistan has increased, the chances of getting work has gone down. Some labourers told AAN that they had been waiting for weeks to get a single day’s work.

Resettling Nearly Half a Million Afghans in Nangrahar: The consequences of the mass return of refugees

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Most of the 600,000 Afghans who returned from Pakistan last year chose to settle in the eastern border province of Nangrahar. This has put considerable strain on both health and education services. There has also been a boom in property prices, which has exacerbated land grabbing, already a major source of conflict in the province. […]

Migration Read more