Tag: Kabul

Bracing for Attacks on Ashura: Extra security measures for Shia mourners

The Afghan government is arming local civilians and strengthening the police presence across the country to try to protect Shia Muslim places of worship in the run-up to Ashura. The commemoration will take place this Sunday (1 October 2017). With these last-minute measures, the government is reacting to demands from the community and criticism that […]

The New Kabul ‘Green Belt’ Security Plan: More Security for Whom?

Following the devastating 31 May 2017 bomb attack in the Afghan capital, President Ashraf Ghani commissioned his security experts to develop a new security plan for Kabul. Although apparently not officially approved or fully funded yet, the plan called the ‘Zarghun Belt’ (Green Belt) was announced in mid-August. Jelena Bjelica and Kate Clark (with input […]

A Black Week in Kabul: Terror and protests

It has been an incredibly difficult week for Kabul. In four days, over a hundred people were killed and several hundreds injured – most of them in a massive terrorist attack in central Kabul on 31 May 2017. Two days later, as angry protests threatened to become violent, the police opened fire killing and injuring […]

Power to the People (2): The TUTAP protests

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 […]

The ‘Zabul Seven’ Protests: Who speaks for the victims?

On 11 November 2015, Kabul witnessed probably one of the largest demonstrations in recent history. The trigger was the slaughter of seven Hazara travellers who had been taken hostage in Zabul province about a month ago. The demonstration, which continued well into the night, became an amalgam of emotions and agendas: grief and horror over […]

“But This Gang Of Ministers Could Neither Fly Nor Swim Properly”: Memoirs from 1920s Afghanistan (Book Review)

In 1927, a tumultuous time for Afghanistan as King Amanullah attempted comprehensive social reforms, an Indian teacher, Syed Mujtaba Ali, came to Kabul. His travelogue, “In A Land Far From Home”, published in India in 1948, very entertainingly reports on Kabul during those days, recalling encounters on the street as well as with the Afghan […]

The Triple Attack in Kabul: A message? If so, to whom?

Kabul is facing the aftermath of yet another suicide attack, this time at the entrance to the airport where early reports suggested 21 people were killed or injured. People in the capital were already in shock from the bloody events of 7 August: three attacks in 24 hours that killed more than 50 people and […]