Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

External Publication: Afghanistan’s Post-Liberal Peace: between external intervention and local efforts

Martine van Bijlert

In: “​ Post-Liberal Peace Transitions Between Peace Formation and State Formation”​, Oliver P. Richmond, Sandra Pogodda (eds), Edinburgh University Press Publication date: January 2016

External publications Read more
Sample of E-Tazkera (Source: Pajhwok)

The Troubled History of the E-tazkera (Part 2): Technical stumbling blocks

Jelena Bjelica Martine van Bijlert

The introduction of electronic ID cards – or e-tazkera – in Afghanistan remains haunted by delays, obstacles and poor planning. Although CEO Dr Abdullah approved the e-tazkera pilot phase on 3 August 2015, the process has yet to begin. Since then, President Ghani has questioned the very feasibility of this oft-delayed project, while main donors […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Protest in eastern Nangarhar province in September 2015 for inclusion of words of Afghan and Islam in new electronic national identity cards. (Pajhwok/Zeerak Fahim)

The Troubled History of the E-tazkera (Part 1): Political upheaval

Jelena Bjelica Martine van Bijlert

There is a fairly broad consensus among Afghans and donors alike that the introduction of an electronic ID card – or e-tazkera – would be a good thing; it would provide accurate population data, standardised ID documents and the possibility of, in the case of elections, drawing up reliable voter lists. The project, however, has […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The IEC Announces 2016 Election Date – but what about electoral reform?

Martine van Bijlert

In a brief press conference on Monday 18 January 2016, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the date for Afghanistan’s next vote: 15 October 2016. But the preparations for the elections – for the lower house of parliament and, for the first time, district councils – are complicated by ongoing controversies over the legitimacy of the […]

Political Landscape Read more
Caption: Convicted Kabul Bank shareholder Khalil Ferozi is treated as a guest of honor during the 4 November 2014 stone-laying ceremony for Kabul's Smart City, where he signs an MoU with the ministry of urban development. Source: ministry of urban development.

The Afghan Government and th­e ‘Smart City’ Debacle: Who out-smarted whom?

Martine van Bijlert

The Afghan government, much to its chagrin, has found itself embroiled in a controversy that has direct links to the 2010 Kabul Bank scandal. On 4 November 2015, a small group of high-level government officials presided over the stone-laying ceremony of a new and ambitious township called Smart City. What was meant as a good […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
The large Zabul Seven protests in Kabul, 11 November 2015. Photo: Pajhwok.

The ‘Zabul Seven’ Protests: Who speaks for the victims?

Martine van Bijlert

On 11 November 2015, Kabul witnessed probably one of the largest demonstrations in recent history. The trigger was the slaughter of seven Hazara travellers who had been taken hostage in Zabul province about a month ago. The demonstration, which continued well into the night, became an amalgam of emotions and agendas: grief and horror over […]

War and Peace Read more

Trouble in Khas Uruzgan: Insults, assaults, a siege and an airlift

Martine van Bijlert

After three months of near non-stop fighting in Khas Uruzgan, a mixed Pashtun-Hazara district in northeast Uruzgan, the Taleban decimated the district’s Afghan Local Police (ALP) and forced most of the other security forces back into the district centre. The attack was not just part of a wider, concerted effort by the Taleban to put […]

War and Peace Read more

Elections in Hibernation: Afghanistan’s stalled electoral reform

Ehsan Qaane Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan’s electoral reform process has been bogged down for months. While the National Unity Government agreement called for the “immediate establishment” of an Electoral Reform Commission, it took the president five months just to sign the necessary decree. Now, three months later, the commission has still not started its work and it looks like the original […]

Political Landscape Read more

Electoral Reform, or rather: Who will control Afghanistan’s next election?

Martine van Bijlert

President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah, in the September 2014 agreement, agreed to electoral reforms “to ensure that future elections are credible.” The details of these reforms, when they should take place and who should design them are, however, proving contentious. Meanwhile, parliament has been working on relevant laws, while commissioners of the Independent […]

Political Landscape Read more
Balloons for the cabinet inauguration are still available. Photo: Martine van Bijlert.

After the Rollercoaster Comes What? Afghanistan in 2015

Martine van Bijlert

2014 was a rollercoaster of a year. The transition was completed. It did not tear the country apart or fragment the security forces, but it sometimes felt close. Afghanistan now stands at the beginning of the optimistically named Decade of Transformation. The country has a new leadership, both fuelled by confidence and ambition and bogged […]

International Engagement Read more
Portraits of Ghani and Abdullah. Photo c/o Tolonews.

The National Unity Government’s Elusive Cabinet

Martine van Bijlert

On day seventy-two of Afghanistan’s national unity government, the new cabinet still looks to be weeks away, with the country’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) locked in protracted discussions over who to appoint and how that should be decided. The composition of the cabinet will be a first, crucial test of what Afghanistan’s new […]

Political Landscape Read more