September 19, 2017

Afghan Peace Process Hostage to Haqqanis?

Head of Afghan High Peace Council Hekmat Khalil Karzai (3rd from left) at a meeting in Kabul. (Photo via

Regardless of what Afghan leaders say the India-factor remains imposing in Kabul’s governance and security structures. It drives apprehensions — however misplaced — in Islamabad. Alleviating those apprehensions in a credible way would probably be the key to turn a leaf in Pak-Afghan relations. Read More »

Failing Afghanistan and the World

Packaging pomegranates in Afghanistan. (Photo by Canada in Afghanistan, Creative Commons License)

It's not too late for the United States to help get Afghanistan back on its feet. Read More »

Historical Baggage at Kabul Airport

A view of Kabul International AIrport. (Photo by k t, Creative Commons License)

A Pakistani parliamentarian’s experience at Kabul airport reveals the deep mistrust between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read More »

Afghanistan: New Negotiator

Afghanistan's new point man for peace negotiations with Taliban. (Photo via video stream)

Being a pragmatic politician, the new head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani is fully conscious of popular aspirations for stability in the country. Under no circumstance can he afford to allow a recurrence of tactical failures that often lead to strategic defeat. Read More »

Afghan Reconciliation Moving Forward?

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier renders a salute to Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi, ANA Chief of Staff, as Mohammadi address ANA soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Jan. 4, 2010. Gen. Mohammadi invited Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, Commander, NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan (NTM-A) to meet with ANA and coalition forces at various ANA posts throughout the region. Both generals received mission updates and feedback from ANA and coalition forces on training, quality of life and combating terrorism.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr., Released, Creative Commons License)

Will a failure of the reconciliation process in Afghanistan lead to fresh international fighting? Clearly, 15 years of insurgency has led the international community to conclude that force offers no solution. The vibes emerging out of the process appear to be positive and underscore that pragmatism is guiding the process. Read More »

A New Hotbed of Terror in Eastern Afghanistan

(Courtesy Google maps)

The ideological synergy among the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani terrorists in eastern Afghanistan represents a formidable threat, and demands extraordinary action by both Afghanistan and Pakistan to confront it. Read More »

Afghanistan Waste Exhibit A: Kajaki Dam

A U.S. solider, center, poses for the camera at the Kajaki dam in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Saturday, March 9, 2013. (Photo by Musadeq Sadeq/U.S. State Department, Creative Commons License)

A Senate subcommittee is looking at waste by a Pentagon task force. It would do well to review the reasons why a major hydroelectric power plant sits unfinished even after spending of more than 300 million dollars. Read More »

Untying the Afghan Knot

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As 2016 begins, leaders in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan should bury the hatchet, give up proxy wars, and give way to confidence instead of suspicion. They must share responsibilities and together defeat the enemies of peace and progress. Read More »

Fear and Hope in Kabul

Afghan National Army Soldier Monitors Outpost in Konar Province. (Photo by DVIDSHUB, Creative Commons License)

The relentless Taliban attacks and advances in Kunduz, Helmand, Ningarhar and the suicide bombing on a Nato base near Bagram on December 21 are making majority of Afghans uncertain about the future of the current National Unity Government. Read More »

‘Heart of Asia’ Heart Attack

Relations between President Ashraf Ghani and the NDS have remaied strained for a while. (Photo by U.S. Institute of Peace)

It is yet to be seen who wins out in the power struggle in Afghanistan after the resignation of the resignation of its powerful spy chief, which may make life difficult for the already beleaguered Ashraf Ghani Presidency. Read More »