Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

A Ban, a Resolution and a Meeting: A look at the May 2023 meeting in Doha and the reactions to it

Kate Clark Roxanna Shapour

The 1-2 May 2023 gathering in Doha, hosted by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, brought together the representatives of 21 countries – the five permanent members of the Security Council, major donors and regional players, plus the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. They spent two days talking about how to engage with […]

International Engagement Read more

The May 2023 Doha meeting: How should the outside world deal with the Taleban?

Kate Clark

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is due to host a two-day meeting on Afghanistan with foreign envoys, beginning tomorrow, 1 May 2023, in the capital of Qatar, Doha. The Taleban have not been invited. AAN understands from sources from invited countries that the idea for the meeting emerged from visits to Kabul in January by […]

International Engagement Read more

Bans on Women Working, Then and Now: The dilemmas of delivering humanitarian aid during the first and second Islamic Emirates

Kate Clark

Anyone who lived in Afghanistan during the first Islamic Emirate will find the current stand-off between the Taleban and NGOs – and now the United Nations – over the issue of women working familiar. There is the same clashing of principles: the Emirate’s position that women must largely be kept inside the home to avoid […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

What Do The Taleban Spend Afghanistan’s Money On? Government expenditure under the Islamic Emirate

Kate Clark Roxanna Shapour

When the Taleban captured power in 2021, they moved swiftly to take over domestic revenue collection, adopting Ministry of Finance systems for taxes and customs. As insurgents, they had been diligent tax collectors and brought a wealth of experience in collecting money from people, but little in spending it – outside the war effort. Since […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

A Worsening “Human Rights Crisis”: New hard-hitting report from UN Special Rapporteur

Kate Clark

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennett, has said the Islamic Emirate is increasingly flouting “fundamental freedoms, including the rights of peaceful assembly and association, expression and the rights to life and protection against ill-treatment” and is “ruling Afghanistan through fear and repressive policies.” He also said […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
An Afghan girl carries a thermos and packed lunch out to family members working in a field in Bati Kot district in Nangrahar province. Photo: Shafiullah KAKAR/AFP

What We Were Writing, What You Were Reading in 2022: Reports about economic struggle and loss of rights

Kate Clark

2022 was the year in which the new reality of Islamic Emirate rule bedded down, following the precipitous collapse of the Islamic Republic in 2021. In that year, our reports and, even more so, the attention of our readers was dominated by trying to make sense of the war, the change of regime and failure […]

Context and Culture Read more
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 […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
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 […]

Special Reports Read more

UN Human Rights Rapporteur 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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
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 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more