April 24, 2017

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 »

In Afghanistan, Victory Comes From Sports, Not War

Thousands of Afghans celebrated their national football team's victory against India in Nepal, a rare sight in a country that has endured decades long war. (Photo off video stream)

Celebrations erupted across Afghanistan last week after the country’s nascent national team won the South Asian Football Federation Asian Championship in Kathmandu, Nepal, beating regional giant India 2-0. The jubilations show that Afghans, like any other nation, cherish the normal pursuits of present-day life:  peace, happiness and national preeminence. Cricket is another major sport that Afghans are fast becoming passionate about ... Read More »

Will Release of Top Taliban Leader Restore Peace?

(Photo by Helmand Blog, Creative Commons License)

As a remarkable sign of Pakistan’s new phase of cooperation with the Afghan peace process, Islamabad is to release Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a prominent Taliban leader who was in prison in Pakistan since he was captured in 2010. The Afghan government has long urged for release of Baradar as he is considered a moderate and pro-peace figure among the ... Read More »

How South Asia Can Benefit from Central Asian Energy Boom?

Long oil train on its way to Russia transporting oil from Kazakhstan. (Photo by Duccio Aiazzi, Creative Commons License)

In a rare assembly of representatives of governments of countries in South and Central Asia, parliaments and the private sector as well as experts from China, the US and Europe sat in Islamabad on September 1 and 2 to discuss not the security challenge but the energy promise that the region offers. Read More »