Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Dancing to Power: Getting an Afghan presidential ticket together

Gran Hewad Kate Clark

With less than a week to go before the deadline for registering the three-person tickets for next April’s presidential elections, still no major candidate has registered (although one, Ashraf Ghani, has resigned from his government position, a clear indication that he intends to run) and Dr Abdullah has just announced that he will register tomorrow, 1 […]

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Death List Published: Families of disappeared end a 30 year wait for news

Kate Clark

This week some Afghan families have finally been able to hold a fateha (mourning ceremony) for fathers, brothers and sons who disappeared more than thirty years ago. Evidence of the fate of their relatives came with the publication by the Dutch prosecutor’s office of a list of almost 5000 people killed during the first 20 […]

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The Release of Mullah Baradar: What’s next for negotiations?

Kate Clark

It has been reported that Pakistan has released the most senior Taleban it had in its custody, Mullah Abdul-Ghani Baradar. At the time of his arrest in Karachi in 2010, Baradar was the effective number two in the movement and de facto operational chief of the insurgency. Both the Pakistani and Afghan governments have said […]

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Dismantling Human Rights in Afghanistan: The AIHRC facing a possible downgrading of status

Kate Clark Sari Kouvo

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) “has been until now”, said Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), “a critical, credible institution.” That ‘until now’ is significant: Pillay was visiting Afghanistan partly to discuss the risk to the Commission of losing its ‘A status’ when it comes up for international […]

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The Sane Heartland of Afghanistan: a visit to Ghor’s Lal wa Sarjangal district

Kate Clark

Ghor is currently the subject of a series of dispatches by AAN’s Obaid Ali in which he describes the province’s multitudinous problems, not just threats from the Taleban, but also a host of other armed militias, their leaders entangled with the government, fighting each other and predating on the people. The one recurring bright spot […]

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War Intensifies with More Civilian Casualties: the half-yearly UNAMA report

Kate Clark

UNAMA’s six monthly report on how civilians are faring in the war (Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict) shows a reversal in last year’s trend of fewer civilian casualties. Comparing the first half of 2013 with the first half of 2012, a fifth more civilians were killed or injured in the fighting. […]

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The ‘Other Guantanamo’ 6: Afghans still struggling for sovereignty at Bagram

Kate Clark

It is exactly four months since the US military officially handed over its detention facility on Bagram Airbase to the Afghan Ministry of Defence. Whatever agreement was made between the two governments, it has never been made public. However, from speaking to detainees who have been released since the handover, AAN has been able to […]

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Targeted Killing in Takhar: Family of a victim takes UK government to court

Kate Clark

A case of civilian casualties originally researched by AAN has found its way to the High Court in London. A bank worker from rural Takhar, Habib Rahman, who lost five close relatives in a targeting killing during the 2010 Afghan election campaign, is challenging the legality of the alleged involvement of a British civilian police […]

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Who Played Havoc with the Qatar Talks? Five possible scenarios to explain the mess

Borhan Osman Kate Clark

The bizarre turn of events following the opening of the Taleban office in Doha has led many to wonder whether the affair could have been deliberately sabotaged. Was it possible it had just been badly handled? So rapidly did the optimism about potential talks give way to bewilderment at their suspension, and the Taleban’s re-appearance […]

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Winding Down or in for the Long Haul? The emergence of a new US counter-terrorism strategy

Kate Clark

The great behemoth of US counter-terrorism strategy is shifting. President Barack Obama has said he wants to end the war, not just in Afghanistan, but also, ultimately against al-Qaida. Congress has also been making its first attempts to claw back some of the unprecedented powers it gave the president to wage war when, just after […]

International Engagement Read more

Talking to the Taliban: A British perspective

Kate Clark

The deputy commander of ISAF and most senior British soldier in Afghanistan, General Nick Carter, has told The Guardian that, ‘the west should have tried talking to the Taliban a decade ago, after they had just been toppled from power’. AAN Senior Analyst, Kate Clark, who witnessed many of the events of that time, not […]

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The Taleban in Qatar (2): Biographies – core and constellation (Amended with more details)

Kate Clark

The very public cutting of a red ribbon marking the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar on 18 June 2013 and the videoed raising of their flag allowed the world to see, for the first time in many years, a public face for the clandestine insurgent group. It has also allowed an initial assessment […]

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