Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

Al-Hajj Delbar Nazari - Minister of Women’s Affairs of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Tired of the Estezah? Minister for Women’s Affairs survives vote of no confidence

Thomas Ruttig

The Minister for Women’s Affairs, Delbar Nazari, has narrowly survived a vote of no confidence in parliament earlier this month. This is the latest in a long series of such motions against ministers that have become a means of carrying out political confrontations by proxy in parliament since a long time. MPs, however, seem to […]

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The TUTAP kerosene lamp memorial in the centre of Bamyan. Photo: Jelena Bjelica.

Power to the People (3): Perspectives from Bamyan

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The TUTAP commission established by President Ghani following massive protests recently decided in favour of the Salang route for a north-south power line. The commission ruled further that Bamyan should get its own 220KV power line by 2019. This is a balanced solution in the midst of crisis, meant to temper ethnic tensions that arose […]

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HIG leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Photo: website of Shahadat daily.

Almost Signed? The peace agreement with Hezb-e Islami

Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

On 18 May 2016, two delegations representing respectively the insurgent faction of Hezb-e Islami-ye Afghanistan and the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) initialled a draft peace agreement that should end Hezb’s armed struggle. The status of the document – and whether it may still be subject to changes – is not fully clear, but there is […]

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Power transmission line in Balkh province. Photo: Jelena Bjelica (2011).

Power to the People (2): The TUTAP protests

Thomas Ruttig

When protesters interrupted President Ashraf Ghani’s speech in London three times on 13 May 2016, the heated controversy surrounding the route of TUTAP, a main electricity grid initiative, received even international attention. In Afghanistan, the tensions have been simmering since January 2016 when Hazara members of the government started trying to prevent a potential rerouting of […]

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On 10 May 2016, the care takers for the positions of the head of NDS (Stanakzai, centre) and the Minister of Defense (Abdullah Khan, left) were introduced by CEO Dr Abdullah, they are still awaiting the vote of confidence by the parliament. (Source: Tolonews)

Old Names for the NDS and Defence Ministry: NUG proposes Stanakzai and Abdullah Khan, again.

Thomas Ruttig

The National Unity Government (NUG) has finally moved to fill the last two vacant key posts in the national cabinet, those of defence minister and head of the intelligence agency. In the climate of mistrust between its two camps, it was not easy to identify mutually acceptable candidates – and, so, the names are neither […]

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Afghan parliament will vote on 9 April about a new interior minister, among others, after the previous one, Nur-ul-Haq Ulumi (here on a 2005 election poster in Kandahar) stepped down. Photo: Thomas Ruttig.

Filling NUG Vacancies: Parliament to vote on Interior Minister and Attorney General

Ehsan Qaane Salima Ahmadi Thomas Ruttig

With two international conferences that will decide about future support levels for Afghanistan at the horizon, and a surprisingly high number of key positions still held by caretakers or politically vulnerable individuals, the NUG has moved to fill two posts that are central to the government’s key undertakings: Interior Minister, which plays an important role […]

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A view of the quadrilateral talks in Kabul. Source: Etilaat-e Ruz.

In Search of a Peace Process: A ‘new’ HPC and an ultimatum for the Taleban

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US – the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) – are pushing to open a new chapter in the ongoing search for a peace process for Afghanistan. The group has now met for the fourth time, although direct talks with the Taleban have yet to begin. Earlier this week, it issued an […]

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Kandahar's Red Mosque, said to have been Mullah Omar's favourite one. Foto: Thomas Ruttig (2005).

The New Taleban Deputy Leaders: Is there an obvious successor to Akhtar Mansur?

Thomas Ruttig

Reports of the alleged killing of new Taleban leader Akhtar Mansur in December 2015 as well as his subsequent disappearance from public view have raised the question as to who might be next-in-line and whether there exists an internal, legitimate mechanism for succession. This question is all the more pressing given the continuing, albeit dwindling, […]

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Road to Achin, one of the districts with a Daesh presence. Photo: AAN (2015).

External AAN Publication: Daesh and Taleban in Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

Oxford Analytica Daily Brief, 17 November 2015 Thomas Ruttig, “Afghan Taliban Contain Islamic States’ Regional Reach” Reported clashes between Islamic State group’s (ISG) fighters and Afghan security forces, and the appearance of ISG-style black flags, have raised concerns about the ISG threat in Afghanistan. However, many of the alleged sightings of ISG fighters are vague […]

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Interior of the new inaugurated Wolesi Jirga hall of Afghan Parliament (Photo Credit: Wolesi Jirga Website 2015)

New Building, Old MPs: A guide to the Afghan parliament

Salima Ahmadi Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s parliament has relocated to a new building of Indian construction in Kabul. Moreover, a date has finally been set for the next parliamentary elections. With the parliament’s term extended until the elections, it has another year of sessions, which raises the issue of its very legality. AAN researcher Salima Ahmadi (with contributions from senior […]

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Former NDS Chief Rahmatullah Nabil at a press conference in October 2015 Source: PAJHWOK/Fayaz Omar

Political Cleavages over Pakistan: The NDS chief’s farewell

Thomas Ruttig

Rahmatullah Nabil, the chief of the country’s intelligence service, submitted his resignation on 10 December 2015. This now leaves two of the Afghan government’s four major security positions filled by acting officials (the second vacancy, for more than a year, is the defence minister’s position). Nabil’s position had presumably become untenable, after he publicly criticised […]

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Harakat meeting commemorating Mullah Omar, Kabul, July 2015. The speaker is party leader Mawlawi Qalamuddin. Photo: Pajhwok.

A Bridge for the Taleban? Harakat, a former mujahedin party, leaps back into action

Thomas Ruttig

Harakat-e Inqilab-e Islami, one of the formerly most important mujahedin parties (tanzim) that had kept a low profile after 2001, is more visibly returning to the Afghan political scene. With a publicity campaign, it is presenting itself as the party of the religious scholars, with a history distinct from other Muslim Brotherhood-inspired tanzim, and offers itself […]

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