Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Traditional Loya Jirga 3: lacklustre political theatre (amended)

Kate Clark

The Traditional Loya Jirga (TLJ) is over, after a drab last day in which President Karzai got his public backing for signing a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with the United States. However, it was clear to all watching the proceedings on television that the discussion had hardly been lively and the results tightly controlled. The […]

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Traditional Loya Jirga 2: Not Sellers of the nation – but lions! (amended)

Kate Clark

President Hamed Karzai flew in by helicopter the few kilometres from his palace to the site of the ‘Traditional Loya Jirga’. He said later in his speech that he had been impressed to see just how much Kabul had grown and developed. He arrived to give the opening speech of the jirga to the two […]

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Traditional Loya Jirga 1: Why the Jirga?

Kate Clark

More than two thousand delegates have gathered in Kabul for the ‘Traditional Loya Jirga’. Business in the Afghan capital has stopped, the major east-west arteries have been blocked, check points set up all over and at least some of those living near the site itself are in lock-down. The jirga is to discuss two items: […]

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2001 Ten Years On (1): How the Taleban fled Kabul (amended)

Kate Clark

It is ten years since Taleban-controlled Kabul fell to the Northern Alliance after just five weeks of US bombing. AAN’s Kate Clark, then the BBC correspondent, had been expelled from Kabul in March 2001 over reporting on the Taleban’s destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamyan and had spent eight months based in Islamabad. She […]

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Two Eid messages from the Warring Leaders

Kate Clark

Both General Allen, overall ISAF commander, and Mulla Omar, supreme Taleban leader, have issued messages of felicitations to Afghans for Eid ul-Adha. They make interesting reading. Allen, in a message which rivals Omar’s in terms of Islamic references, appeals to the Taleban to stop fighting and urges the Afghan people to continue standing ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ with […]

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War of the Narratives: Words, Stories…and Killing

Kate Clark

It has been a bad week for the international military, but – according to the Pentagon – it has also been a good six months. On 28 October 2011, ISAF suffered its worst attack in Kabul ever, with 13 people* killed in a suicide attack, along with four Afghan civilians, 2 of whom were children. […]

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Pakistan, Taleban, America and the vacillations of the Afghan president

Kate Clark

President Karzai’s offer to back Pakistan if it ever came under attack from America was breath-taking. ‘God forbid,’ he told GEO TV during a visit to Islamabad, ‘if a war breaks between Pakistan and America, we will side [with] Pakistan. We are your brother.’ It was not just the scenario of an American-funded, trained and […]

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Counting victories and losses: the war of stats

Kate Clark

In the last week, there has been a lot of discussion about what sort and how many Taleban are getting killed and captured, how many attacks the Taleban are launching and who, indeed, is ‘winning’ the war. Is ISAF beating the Taleban back or has it been exaggerating its claims? Kate Clark has been trying […]

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Death of Rabbani (5): Where is the evidence?

Kate Clark

Three weeks after the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the Afghan authorities appear to have found out astonishingly little about who ordered and carried out this plot. As part of a new tranche of documents and testimony from the investigation, the Afghan intelligence agency, the NDS, has released videoed testimony from Hamidullah, the go-between who introduced […]

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NDS Torture: UN Report Makes Bleak Reading

Kate Clark

UNAMA has released a major report on torture in National Directorate of Security (NDS) and police detention. For those of us who have worked on war crimes investigations post-1978, it makes desolate reading. The places of torture and many of the methods are familiar from testimony from victims of previous governments, including the Taleban’s. What […]

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Death of Rabbani (4): Former Taleban Director of Ariana Airlines was the key go-between

Kate Clark

Details of the identities of two of the men involved in the plot to kill former president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, have been given to AAN by a person close to the Afghan government. These fresh details ultimately came from Rahmatullah Wahidyar, the member of the High Peace Council who was the conduit for the killer to […]

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The Death of Rabbani (3): Emerging details

Kate Clark

Details about the assassination of Burhannudin Rabbani are trickling in, raising many questions. It is still unclear whether this was a Taleban authorised hit, a Taleban ‘rogue operation’ or the work of another group. At the funeral, President Karzai said ‘the blood of the martyr and other martyrs of freedom requires us to continue our […]

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