Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

Commemoration in the Basement: Kabul’s hidden war victims museum (2)

Thomas Ruttig

With the Afghanistan Centre for Memories and Dialogue, a new museum dedicated to the victims of the Afghan wars of the last four decades and their families has opened in Kabul in February this year. It was initially supposed to be housed in the capital’s landmark Behzad cinema but now is confined to a provisional […]

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From Sufi Sheikh to President: Historic mujahedin leader Mujaddedi passes away

Thomas Ruttig

With Sebghatullah Mujaddedi, another of the historic leaders of the mujahedin parties, which fought the Soviet occupation (1979-89), has died. Mujaddedi belonged to a famous family of Sufi leaders and for this spiritual position, he was widely known simply as with the honorific ‘Hazrat Saheb’ in Afghanistan. Having been severely ill for some time, Mujaddedi […]

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“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”: First steps in Afghan peace negotiations

Thomas Ruttig

With the US-Taleban negotiations in Doha actually addressing how to end the Afghan war, and with first progress being made in the form of an agreed draft framework, Afghanistan seems to be slowly inching beyond the impasse of only ‘talks about talks.’ With this, a peace process has possibly left the starting blocks, but only […]

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AAN obituary: Ludwig Adamec, the Afghanistan Encyclopedian (1924-2019)

Thomas Ruttig

Professor Ludwig W Adamec was the author of “The Who is Who of Afghanistan” – a book every student of Afghanistan will have encountered early in her or his career. Printed in 1975, and updated several times since then, it is nothing less than one of the standard works of Afghan studies. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig […]

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A Tomb in Kabul: The Fate of the Last Amir of Bukhara and his country’s relations with Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig Vladimir N Plastun

In addition to the last Amir of Bukhara’s former garden, on which we reported some days ago, there is another landmark in Kabul that reminds us of this unlucky ruler – his tomb at the Shuhada-ye Salehin cemetery. The Amir, Muhammad Alem Khan, died in Kabul in 1944 and remains buried in Afghanistan despite his […]

Regional Relations Read more

“Förstå Afghanistan“: AAN contributed to Swedish Committee’s Afghanistan reader

Thomas Ruttig

The new “Förstå Afghanistan“ (Understanding Afghanistan) reader by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SAK) is out. It covers everything from Afghanistan’s history, its people, state and culture to Afghan-Swedish relations (in Swedish). It has an extensive reading list and scores of good photos. The book’s three dozen contributors include renowned Afghan, Swedish and other authors, […]

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Getting to the Steering Wheel: President Ghani’s new set of peace proposals

Thomas Ruttig

President Ashraf Ghani updated peace plan, presented at the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan on 28 November, the 13th international Afghanistan conference since 2001, built on the February 2018 Kabul Process proposals. Ghani foresees a five-phase approach to consultations and five years of implementation. At the same time, these proposals represent an attempt to reassert the Afghan government’s […]

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The 2018 Election Observed (5) in Nuristan: Disfranchisement and lack of data

Jelena Bjelica Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

Organising elections in Nuristan, one of the most remote, under-served and unknown provinces, presents a severe challenge. Most villages are far from their nearest district centre and all of the districts are under some degree of Taleban control or influence. In two districts – Mandol and Du-Ab – people were fully deprived of their right […]

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The 2018 Election Observed (1) in Zurmat, Paktia: Real voting only in the district centre

Pakteen Khan Thomas Ruttig

Zurmat district in Paktia province is almost completely under Taleban control. The parliamentary elections were held there only on a tiny island of government control. Turnout was very low on the first election day and limited to the district centre – another example of Afghanistan’s emerging rural-urban voting divide. On day two, attempts of ballot stuffing […]

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A voter in Paktika province being ‘biometrically verified’. Across the country, the new procedure caused problems and delays (Photo: Fazal Muzhary)

Election Day One (Evening Update): Voter determination and technical shambles

AAN Team Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

In our first update of the day, AAN reported on the mixed turnout – far higher in the cities and other secure places and lower in districts where the Taleban could close roads and prevent voting. Those determined to vote faced not only Taleban violence, but also many technical problems and late-opening polling centres. In […]

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Voters queue in Nili, provincial capital of Daikundi. Photo: Ehsan Qaane

Election Day One: A rural-urban divide emerging

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s third post-Taleban parliamentary elections have started slowly, with a lot of technical chaos and significant fighting in a number of provinces. Polling hours have now been extended. Even in many areas of Kabul, polling centres had not opened by 9:30am. There are widespread reports of a lack of polling material, electoral staff being unfamiliar […]

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The Killing of Razeq: Removing the Taleban’s strongest foe in Kandahar, an indirect hit at elections

Thomas Ruttig

An attack in Kandahar city has left the province’s governor, NDS chief and police commander, the unrivalled strongman of southern Afghanistan, General Abdul Razeq, dead. The commander of United States and NATO forces, General Scott Austin Miller who had just been meeting the three, was unharmed. The attack mimics earlier assassinations of officials and strongmen. […]

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