Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

pakistan

The Fall of Nimruz: A symbolic or economic game-changer?

Fabrizio Foschini

With the fall of five provincial capitals in three days – Zaranj in Nimruz, Sheberghan in Jowzjan, Sarepul, Kunduz and Taloqan in Takhar –, the Taleban switched pace. After an unexpected and highly successful sweep of rural districts in many parts of Afghanistan yielded particularly astounding results in areas considered ‘difficult’ for them, such as […]

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Covid-19 in Afghanistan (9): Into the third wave

Thomas Ruttig Rohullah Sorush

Afghanistan has entered the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic amid an unprecedented rise in confirmed cases. Doctors in various provinces detected signs of the impending new wave soon after the start of the Afghan new year (21 March), but the government only imposed contact restrictions on 28 May and enlisted religious scholars to urge […]

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Helmand peace marchers in front of the Russian embassy. Photo: People's Peace Movement/2018

A Troika of Four: Looking back at the March 2021 Afghanistan meeting in Moscow

Thomas Ruttig

The ‘extended troika’ meeting in Moscow on 18 March did not spark a significant new impulse in the search for peace in Afghanistan. Instead, it followed a well-known pattern. Foreign powers offered platitudes about an ‘Afghan-led, Afghan-owned’ peace process, again, while they insist on setting the timeline themselves and handpick those who are to be […]

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“Another Bonn-style conference”: A new plan to ‘fix’ the war and enable US troops to leave

Thomas Ruttig

The United States envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has floated the possibility of a ‘new Bonn’ conference that could cancel or sideline the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha. ‘Bonn 2’ appears to have been discussed in some allied capitals and various Afghan leaders, although it is unclear how much buy-in the proposal has from them. […]

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Hit from Many Sides (2): The demise of ISKP in Kunar

Obaid Ali Khalid Gharanai

One year ago, the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State – called Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) – lost its last territorial base in Afghanistan in Kunar province. This followed a first severe defeat in their major stronghold in the country, in Nangrahar province in late 2019. No open ISKP presence is left in Kunar […]

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Citizens, Finally, But No Place to Settle: The Magats, one of Afghanistan’s most marginalised minorities

Khadija Hossaini Thomas Ruttig

The Magats – a small ethnic group most frequently called ‘Jogi’ by others, a term often considered derogatory by them – have been living in Afghanistan for more than a century. Until recently, they were stateless but have now started a struggle for legal recognition and acknowledgement of their identity. The first successes, such as registration […]

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Covid-19 in Afghanistan (1): No large outbreak yet in the country

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan has so far been moderately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer than 100 people testing positive and four confirmed fatalities. There are strong indications that these cases may have been seeded by the outbreak in neighbouring Iran, via Afghans who returned from that country. AAN’s Thomas Ruttig has compiled an overview of what […]

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Cover of "Directorate S: The CIA and America’s secret wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016" written by: Steve Coll

“The US’s Greatest Strategic Failure”: Steve Coll on the CIA and the ISI

Ann Wilkens

“Directorate S” is Steve Coll’s second major study of the CIA’s role in recent Afghan wars. While “Ghost Wars” chronicled the years 1979-2001, “Directorate S” – referring to a subdivision of Pakistan’s inter-services intelligence directorate that covers Afghanistan – takes up the story in 2001 and follows it through to 2016. AAN Advisory Board member […]

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One of the refugee families who returned from Pakistan to Afghanistan in 2017. Last year, some 57,000 people returned. This year, a far bigger, forced exodus is feared. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2017, Nangrahar.

Still Caught in Regional Tensions? The uncertain destiny of Afghan refugees in Pakistan

Jelena Bjelica Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

As this dispatch was finalised, the Pakistan government had not made any last-minute extension to the ‘Proof of Registration’ identity cards for Afghan refugees residing in the country. Those cards were due to run out on 31 January 2018. Without an extension, a huge number of people could be forced to go back to Afghanistan […]

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Satellite image of Bahramcha crossing point located in Helmand’s remote Dishu district. Photo: Google Maps

Jihadi Commuters: How the Taleban cross the Durand Line

Borhan Osman Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Taleban use Pakistan as a sanctuary: most of the movement’s leaders are settled there and it is the movement’s preferred place for training, meeting and as a rear base. It is also the prime destination for ‘rest and recuperation’ (R&R) and the rehabilitation of wounded fighters. But how do the Taleban move between the […]

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Map: Major Ethnic Groups of Pakistan in 1980, Source: Wikipedia

The Crowded-Out Conflict: Pakistan’s Balochistan in its fifth round of insurgency

Ann Wilkens

In the international discussion on Pakistan´s many problems, the low-level conflict in its Balochistan province does not get much attention. The issue of nuclear arms, for instance, is considered more immediately frightening; Balochistan is just the area where these arms are tested. But the province is also the arena for a long-standing, complex and multi-faceted […]

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The Refugee Dilemma: Afghans in Pakistan between expulsion and failing aid schemes

Christine Roehrs

Nearly 52,000 Afghans living in Pakistan have, within the past ten weeks, packed their belongings and crossed the border back into Afghanistan – more than twice as many as in the whole 12 months of 2014. This started after an attack of Pakistani Taleban on a public army school in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on […]

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