Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

S Reza Kazemi

Little Leagues, Great Hopes: Afghan grassroots football kicks off

S Reza Kazemi

Afghanistan’s football premier league and its national team have received tremendous attention inside and outside the country, particularly after the national team’s victory in the 2013 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship. Children’s football, on the other hand, has gone largely unnoticed – although experts say that an Afghan team has the chance to even […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Over-promising, Under-delivering: The Outcome of the Afghanistan Conference in Kazakhstan

S Reza Kazemi

The third Afghanistan-focussed ‘Heart of Asia’, also known as Istanbul Process, ministerial conference came to an end on 26 April 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. At least three issues stood out: (1) the growing importance the Afghan government attaches to the regional initiative towards and after 2014, (2) the major conflicts involving some of the prominent […]

International Engagement Read more

Afghanistan Conference in Kazakhstan: Will the ‘Heart of Asia’ Start Throbbing?

S Reza Kazemi

The ‘Heart of Asia’ process that was launched in November 2011 in Turkey aims to galvanise regional co-operation for security and development in Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbourhood. Approximately a year and a half has passed, with a hard-to-track number of conferences and meetings. The latest is to take place on 26 April […]

International Engagement Read more

The ‘Afghanistan 1400’ Movement: Changing Youth Politics in Afghanistan?

S Reza Kazemi

Afghanistan 1400, a new civic-political youth organisation, recently declared its existence in what is, in practice, a scattered and largely manipulated youth landscape in Afghanistan. Established by a number of highly educated and diverse young people, the group pursues an ambitious and forward-looking agenda of contributing to the emergence of a ‘prosperous and democratic Afghanistan’ […]

Political Landscape Read more

A Potential Afghan Spill-Over: How Real Are Central Asian Fears?

S Reza Kazemi

Afghanistan is bracing itself for its transition. Most foreign troops will be gone by 2014 and Afghanistan’s already controversial elections have been fixed for early April that year while peace with the armed opposition remains elusive. Afghan domestic politics aside, how is the transition in Afghanistan perceived in its northern neighbourhood, which is under-explored, compared […]

Regional Relations Read more

On the Roof of the World: The Last Kyrgyz in Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi

At most 2,000 individuals, pastoralists living for centuries in the harsh environment of Afghanistan’s north-easternmost Pamir region, are the last remaining ethnic Kyrgyz in Afghanistan. As a part of its nationalist discourse, post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan has been vocally politicking, but not doing much in practice, for the return of these Kyrgyz ‘brethren’ to their titular homeland, […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghans in Kyrgyzstan: Fleeing Home and Facing New Uncertainty

S Reza Kazemi

Migrants, refugees, students and business people – these are the major groups of Afghans living in nearby Kyrgyzstan. Of late, new asylum-seekers have been joining them, fleeing Afghanistan’s uncertain future with the coming withdrawal of NATO troops and using the country as a transit stop on their routes to North America, Western Europe or Russia. […]

Migration Read more

Karzai’s Decree to Combat Corruption: Cause for Cautious Optimism?

S Reza Kazemi

Afghan President Hamed Karzai’s recent executive decree focussing on (but not only) the fight against corruption, which partly came as a reaction to debates at the recent international Afghanistan conference in Tokyo, sparked mixed reactions from Afghan parliamentarians, activists, experts and people at large. AAN’s researcher S. Reza Kazemi takes a closer look at the […]

Political Landscape Read more

Kabuli Youth in Ramazan Nights: A Passion for Futsal and More

S Reza Kazemi

Under the growing fog of war in Afghanistan – ISAF just reported an increase of violence by 11 per cent – the Afghan youth are struggling to live normally and gain visibility nationally, let alone internationally. During the current month of Ramazan, futsal (1) outdoors and indoors has become particularly popular among a significant part […]

Context and Culture Read more

The Challenge of Effectiveness: ‘Pro-Peace’ Ulama in Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi

A number of ulama, or religious scholars, from Afghanistan and outside, recently renewed their resolve to promote Islam as a religion of ‘moderation, tolerance, peace and cooperation’ and to work towards a ‘just and sustainable peace’ in Afghanistan. They are part of what is called the ‘Project for Islamic Co-operation for a Peaceful Future in […]

Political Landscape Read more

Split Unity: Afghanistan’s controversial Youth Peace Jirga

S Reza Kazemi

Jirgas have traditionally been get-togethers for the old in Afghanistan, but in early July 2012 (1), some 1,700 young people gathered for a multi-day ‘National Youth Peace Jirga’. At a time when the official peace efforts of the US and Afghan governments seem to have halted, notwithstanding the recent ‘academic’ meetings in Paris and Kyoto […]

Political Landscape Read more

Upcoming Regional Co-operation Conference on Afghanistan: A Primer

S Reza Kazemi

Regional co-operation on Afghanistan has so far remained by and large confined to meeting rooms and conference halls. One of these gatherings is set to take place in Kabul on 14 June 2012. The ‘Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Kabul’ is focused on ‘The Istanbul Process: A New Agenda for Regional Co-operation.’ The Afghan […]

Regional Relations Read more