How Peace Between Afghanistan and the Taliban Foundered [and Norway’s peace diplomacy]

The New York Times, 26 December 2016 Mujib Mashal has located the Norwegian diplomat, a former missionary in Pakistan, who told him how he built relations of trust to Pakistani and Afghan clerics, among them Taleban, and opened up a channel for Norway’s peace diplomacy that attempted to bring about direct Kabul-Taleban talks and peace […]

Paktika Girls Deprived Of An Education

Tolonews, 18 November 2016 An eye-opening report about the real picture of girls education in Afghanistan: While the provincial authorities of Paktika admit that not a single girl has finished class 12 since 2001, they promise tht the first ones will do so this year. But civil society activists doubt even this: “We could not find […]

Scenes from Ashton Carter’s trip to Afghanistan

The Economist, 9 December 2016 The weekly’s columnist “Lexington” has accompanied outgoing US secretary of defence Ashton Carter on his last journey to South Asia, including Afghanistan. An extremely interesting read. For example here: For any reporter who visited Afghanistan at the height of the war, it is startling to hear how America’s objectives have […]

Study Finds Hindus, Sikhs Have No Place In Afghan Legal System ‎

Tolo News, 19 November 2016 A study by Kabul-based Pursesh Study and Research Organization shows that Hindus living in Afghanistan have been discriminated against and that their rights are not entrenched in the country’s constitution. According to the study, the Hindus’ rights are being violated in a number of ways including that regarding the confiscation of their […]

In October, over 3,000 Afghans killed and wounded

Pajhwok, 14 November 2016 Kabul-based news agency Pajhwok – that has started to regularly report its own war casualty figures from Afghanistan – has published the October 2016 figures: “As many as 3,285 people have been killed and wounded in 193 attacks across Afghanistan last month, showing a 35 percent increase in assaults and 83 […]

Taliban Envoy Breaks Silence to Urge Group to Reshape Itself and Consider Peace

New York Times, 31 October 2016 The Times has spoken with the Taleban’s former chief negotiator and head of their political commission Sayed Muhammad Tayeb Agha – who is still influential among the more politically inclined insurgents – who has not only broken with nearly 15 years of public silence but also the so far seemingly unambiguous Taleban […]

International Criminal Court Poised to Open Investigation into War Crimes in Afghanistan

Foreign Policy, 31 October 2016 The prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is ready to initiate a full investigation of a range of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including some by U.S. personnel, according to several knowledgeable sources. The article has no new information on the ICC-Afghan relationship but information […]

What America’s new war looks like in Afghanistan’s most violent province

Washington Post, 16 October 2016 550-strong US Task Force Forge is back in Camp Shorab in Helmand, with its motto: “Holding the Helmand Line,” supported by Task Force Lethal — an American unit made up of an infantry battalion, medical-evacuation helicopters and gunships, stationed at Camp Dwyer. It had started in February 2015 “as seven advisers and four […]