Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

A girl harvests cotton in Dawlatabad District, Balkh province. The Taleban have rolled out new taxes on agricultural production. This represents a massive transfer of resources from the rural economy to the state, money which till now the Emirate has not accounted for. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 28 October 2021.

New AAN Special Report: “Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state”

Kate Clark AAN Team

On 15 August 2021, much in Afghanistan was overturned or radically altered. The insurgents became the rulers and the old elites fled. Afghanistan’s relationship with the rest of the world ruptured and the country became poorer overnight. It also went from being a state where the administration was reliant on foreign donors and military support […]

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Head of customs for the Hairatan border crossing in Balkh province, Abdul Sattar Rashid (second left), with other Taleban on the Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge.
The Taleban moved swiftly to organise and regularise the collection of customs and taxes as they took power in 2021. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 27 October 2021

New AAN Special Report: “Taxing the Afghan Nation: What the Taleban’s pursuit of domestic revenues means for citizens, the economy and the state”

Kate Clark

As insurgents, the Taleban taxed farmers, businesses and NGOs in areas under their control, using the money to fund their war effort. On taking power in August 2021, they swiftly moved to collect taxes in the whole of the country. That serious-minded pursuit of domestic revenue collection is both a practice carried over from the […]

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UN Human Rights warns of Afghanistan’s descent into authoritarianism

Kate Clark

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan has released his first report to the UN’s Human Rights Council. The situation in the country has deteriorated, Richard Bennett said, “to the point where the human rights crisis matches Afghanistan’s humanitarian and financial crises.” He holds the Taleban responsible for the worsening of […]

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A still file image from a video released by al-Qaeda’s media arm as-Sahab and obtained on 8 June 2011 courtesy of the Site Intelligence Group shows the now late Aiman al-Zawahri in characteristic finger-wagging mode as he gives a eulogy for slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a video released on jihadist forums. Photo: Site Intelligence Group/AFP.

Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Kabul: What might be the repercussions for the Taleban and Afghanistan?

Kate Clark

President Joe Biden has announced the killing of the leader of al-Qaeda, Aiman al-Zawahri, in a drone strike. Zawahri was central to the founding of al-Qaeda, the intellectual and organisational force behind the group, key to the decision to attack US targets in east Africa, the Gulf, New York and Washington DC, and deputy and […]

War and Peace Read more

Arbitrary Power and a Loss of Fundamental Freedoms: A look at UNAMA’s first major human rights report since the Taleban takeover

Kate Clark

UNAMA has published its first major report on human rights in Afghanistan since the Taleban came to power on 15 August 2021. It covers a multitude of issues, including detentions, torture and extrajudicial killings, the rights of women and girls and civilian casualties. One recurring theme is the arbitrary way the new administration often works […]

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Asadullah Harun Gul released from Guantanamo and in Qatar, where he was met by the Taleban officials, finally on his way home. Photo: Bakhtar News Agency

Free at Last: The Afghan, Harun Gul, is released from Guantanamo after 15 years

Kate Clark

One of the last two remaining Afghans held in Guantanamo Bay, Asadullah Harun Gul, has been released after his lawyers threatened the United States government with contempt of court. A judge had ruled in November 2021 that the government was holding him unlawfully and must release him. A month earlier, a review board at Guantanamo […]

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“We need to breathe too”: Women across Afghanistan navigate the Taleban’s hijab ruling

Kate Clark Sayeda Rahimi

It has been three weeks since the Taleban announced a new order, prescribing a strict dress code for women, that they should not leave the house without real need and if they do, should wear what is termed ‘sharia hijab’, with face covered entirely, or except for the eyes. The order made a woman’s ‘guardian’ […]

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opium 2022

The New Taleban’s Opium Ban: The same political strategy 20 years on?

Jelena Bjelica Kate Clark

Seven and a half months after they took power in Afghanistan, the Taleban have officially banned opium. Observers had been waiting to see if they would implement their promise to ban narcotics made shortly after they captured Kabul. The ban has come at the beginning of the opium harvest and at a time when Afghans […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

A Pledging Conference for Afghanistan… But what about beyond the humanitarian?

Roxanna Shapour Kate Clark

The United Kingdom, Germany, Qatar and the United Nations are co-hosting a virtual, ministerial-level, international, pledging summit for Afghanistan, today. It aims to raise USD 4.4 billion for lifesaving humanitarian support to 22.1 million Afghans who are at “immediate and catastrophic levels of need.” Afghanistan’s Taleban government, in power since August 2021 but not recognised […]

International Engagement Read more

War Crimes Trial Begins in the Netherlands: Former commander at Pul-e Charkhi faces justice

Kate Clark

The trial of an Afghan man suspected of committing war crimes in Afghanistan in the 1980s will start today in the Netherlands. Abdul Razaq Arif is believed to have served in leadership positions in the Pul-e Charkhi prison from 1983 to 1990 and is being charged with being an accessory to or allowing inhuman treatment and […]

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Who Gets to Go to School? (2) The Taleban and education through time

S Reza Kazemi Kate Clark

In trying to understand Taleban policy on state education, especially for girls, our first report heard from people around the country. They painted a picture of primary schools for boys and girls, and boys’ secondary schools having generally re-opened after the Taleban captured power on 15 August, but of girls’ secondary schools opening only very patchily. […]

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Who Gets to Go to School? (1): What people told us about education since the Taleban took over

Kate Clark AAN Team

Taleban policy towards women and girls is one of the prisms through which the movement has been studied – and judged – ever since the Taleban first came to power in the mid-nineties. A touchstone for many Afghans and outside observers was whether, after capturing power nationally in August 2021, they would allow girls to […]

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