Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

Reviewing prisoners after the peace jirga

Kate Clark

AAN has learned that a new committee to review security prisoners – as called for by the peace jirga and decreed by the president on 5 June – has been set up and has held its first meetings. Member and spokesperson for the committee, Professor Nasrullah Stanekzai, told AAN the committee was currently getting lists […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 2: Protecting the Innocent?

Kate Clark

An unknown number of Afghans are being held in custody suspected of being Taleban or convicted of insurgency-related crimes. Complaints about wrongful arrest, detention without trial, torture and a justice system where influence and money count for more than guilt or innocence are rife – and, of course, not limited to security prisoners. President Karzai’s […]

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Freeing the Prisoners Blog 1: Letting the Guilty Go Free?

Kate Clark

When the Afghan intelligence boss, Amrullah Saleh, said he could not, in all conscience, carry on in his post if it entailed “negotiating with suicide bombers” he became the first person to take a principled, stand against the way Afghan policy on the Taleban is developing. Saleh is particularly opposed to freeing Taleban prisoners. Yet […]

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More on the resignation of Atmar and Saleh – and who might replace them

Kate Clark

The repercussions of the sacking/resignation of two of the president’s three top security officials on Sunday are still sinking in, along with the President’s decree that the status of Taleban prisoners must be reviewed. These major changes on security follow his proclaimed success in demonstrating ‘national unity’ at the peace jirga. Despite the tent being […]

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PEACE JIRGA BLOG 8: The Afghan jungle’s big beasts and ‘lively debate’

Kate Clark

The peace jirga has left the older generation of factional leaders nicely split: a few (Sayyaf, Rabbani, Mujadddidi) have been honoured by the president and treated like long-lost brothers by the world’s diplomats; others (Dostum, Mohaqiq, Abdullah) are sitting, Achilles-like, sulking in their tents; while just a couple from the 80s generation of mujahideen stalwarts […]

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PEACE JIRGA BLOG 4: Who’s come to town… and who’s staying away

Kate Clark

The peace jirga has begun today without President Karzai’s main rival in last year’s presidential elections, Dr Abdullah, who has announced that he and his supporters are not attending. Abdullah’s party comrade, head of Jamiat-e Islami and former president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, however, looks set to chair the jirga – a move which is seen as […]

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PEACE JIRGA BLOG 3: Preparing the Delegates

Kate Clark

The long-anticipated and twice-delayed ‘consultative peace jirga’ is about to happen. Delegates from across Afghanistan have been arriving in Kabul and the press corps of the world is arriving to report on them. Journalists are here in such numbers that AAN is wondering if there will be more reporters than delegates. Diplomats are also excited […]

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Afghan Journalists Push into Parliament

Kate Clark

With the release of the names of candidates for the parliamentary elections, AAN has been excitedly pouring over the candidates’ list. The former journalists among us – myself and Thomas – were pleased to see a high number of our colleagues putting themselves forward for public office – at least twelve for Kabul alone – […]

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Drugs, plots and stockpiles: Afghanistan’s failing poppy crop

Kate Clark

A mysterious desease is spreading through Afghanistan’s poppy fields: Is it a secret counter-narcotics operation or simply caused by nature? And what do ‘the markets say’? Answers given by Kate Clark, AAN Senior Analyst ‘Reports of a “mysterious” fungus that has damaged opium poppy crops in Afghanistan have hit international headlines’ writes a breathless commentator […]

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“Oh let it rain, let it rain on the fields, let it drench the head scarf of my beloved”

Kate Clark

Going to Bamian and Yakaolang brings up a lot of memories and shows how times have changed since Taleban times. An AAN ‘travel blog’, by Kate Clark, currently a Senior Analyst with AAN. Getting out of Kabul for me usually means heading to the hot and dusty south or south east to report on the […]

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New Bureaucracies to Welcome ‘Upset Brothers’

Kate Clark

Jobs, training, psychosocial counselling and block grants: A look at the Afghan government’s new ‘peace and reintegration’ plan to bring home the Taleban. By Kate Clark (with input from Thomas Ruttig) Reading the draft of the Afghan government’s programme for peace and reintegration is a surreal experience, starting with the opening and the first sentence’s […]

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PEACE JIRGA BLOG 2: Peace Jirga goes to Washington: whose opinions count on reconciling Taliban?

Kate Clark

‘Peace Jirga goes to Washington,’ was the headline in Payam-e Mujahid newspaper this week. The headline sums up how politics have been on hold in Afghanistan since President Karzai was invited to Washington and also, very succinctly, where the power of decision-making in Afghanistan lies. By Kate Clark, currently engaged as Senior Analyst with AAN. […]

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