July 22, 2017

Spozhmai; the Minor Suicide Bomber

War has traumatized Afghan children for over three decades but they were never used as human bombs. (Photo by 101st CAB, Wings of Destiny, Creative Commons License)

During their rule, the Taliban had banned female education but now they have gone one step forward, utilizing children including girls for launching suicide attacks. This sickening trend continues, although such disgusting acts have no place in the principles of Islam.   On Monday (jan 6), police officials in Helmand province said they had detained a ten-year-old girl wearing suicide ... Read More »

Reality of Afghan-Pakistan Covert War

A US Army/Afghan Army post near Pakistan border. (Photo by Zoriah, Creative Commons License)

When American special forces plucked the second in command of the Pakistani Taliban from the hands of Afghan officials this October, they laid bare the extent of a largely covert war between Afghanistan and Pakistan that has been going on for several years. With a drawdown – perhaps even to zero – of U.S. troops from Afghanistan next year, the ... Read More »

Widening Trust Deficit Between U.S. And Karzai

President Hamid Karzai with Secretary of State John Kerry in Kabul. (Photo by U.S Embassy Kabul Afghanistan)

America is in its year-end holiday mode, while a potentially explosive situation is building up in faraway Afghanistan. President Barack Obama is on a fortnight-long family vacation in Hawaii. Holidaying elsewhere are his Secretary of State John Kerry and some other big guns of his administration. Clearly, one of their top priorities on return to Washington will be to bring ... Read More »

Afghanistan-US Long-term Partnership: What’s at Stake?

President Karzai has been dragging his feet on signing the BSA. (by World Economic Forum, Creative Commons License)

With President Karzai’s persistence in his refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the US, the opponents of the agreement are finding a louder voice in opposing the much crucial security agreement between Kabul and Washington. In recent weeks, as the standoff over a timely signing of the security pact has continued, the militant groups have lauded ... Read More »

Afghanistan’s Poppy Cultivation Reaches Record Levels

Now 19 of the country’s 34 provinces are opium growers, and overall production was up by almost half. (United Nations photo)

The recent United Nations study and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Counter Narcotics about a sharp increase in opium cultivation once again sets people to sigh in utter frustration. The Afghanistan Opium Survey for 2013 of the United Nations projects that the land area used for opium cultivation reached a historic high in 2013 of 516,000 acres, a 36 percent increase from ... Read More »

Ensuring the Future of Afghan Women

In Herat, Afghanistan, women line up to collect bags of split chick pea, wheat, and cooking oil being distributed by the UN World Food Program (WFP). (Photo by United Nations)

Ahead of two major transition processes – the 2014 NATO withdrawal and the forthcoming presidential elections – in the country, there are increasing concerns on the future of women’s rights in Afghanistan. While a recent report by the World Economic Forum on global gender gap indicated a considerable improvement on decreasing the gap between genders in most of countries across ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Changing Relations with Afghanistan

A Pakistani post near the border with Afghanistan. (Photo by by Talk Radio News Service, Creative Commons License)

Recently, the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met US President Barack Obama and discussed certain issues related to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. One of the notable statements by the Pakistani Prime Minister about Afghanistan, said, “I have assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai that we wish neither to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, nor do we have any favorites.” He also ... Read More »

Land Disputes Add to Afghanistan’s Security Woes

Semi-nomadic Kuchis say they are getting pushed off their rangeland with land rights still not clearly established in Afghanistan.
(Photo by Bethany Matta/IRIN)

Fifty years ago, Dost Mohammad’s grandfather had 1,000 sheep grazing on the family’s plot of land on the outskirts of Kunduz City, Afghanistan. The family’s livestock numbers have since decreased significantly, but then, so has the size of their land. “We keep getting pushed further and further back,” said Mohammad. “We’re also having problems bringing our sheep to Badakshan. We ... Read More »

Pakistani, Afghan Media Doubt Baradar’s Impact on Peace

(Photo via Afghanistan Times)

The release of former Taliban second-in-command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar by Pakistan may have heightened the expectations of peace in Islamabad and Kabul. But the news media in the two countries is showing more skepticism than optimism. Pakistan released the Mullah, in his 40s, on Saturday, September 21, on the eve of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United ... Read More »

Afghanistan’s Evolving Election Scenario

Two dispensable men: Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf at a World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008. (Photo by World Economic Forum)

Nominations for the Afghan presidency opened on September 16, 2013 and with this milestone the country formally entered the pre-election period. Over the next seven months Afghanistan will be turned into one great reality TV show, watched by the world, while the candidates practice our unique brand of politics. In the run up to nominations, the alternating announcements of electoral ... Read More »