Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Poppy Cultivation Reaches Record Levels

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 …

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Afghanistan: A Great Game That All Sides Can Win

Two questions have increasingly taken centre-stage in discussions about what might happen in Afghanistan after United States withdrawal in 2014. One, if it will become a proxy battlefield for India and Pakistan, the two big South Asian rivals, and two, if anything can be done to prevent this. William Dalrymple, for instance, wrote in an essay for Brookings Institution this …

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The Many Faces of Kayani Effect: An Indian View

Pakistan’s powerful Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has announced that he will retire after a six-year term in office on November 29. While plenty has been written about him in the Pakistani media, the Indian media has failed to assess his tenure, despite knowing that he singularly ran his country’s security policy for India. Most of what …

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Pakistani Sharif’s American Voyage

Nawaz Sharif’s team would have been relieved at the timely resolution of the fiscal impasse in US, allowing his visit to take place in somewhat normal circumstances. However, the message is clear: in the era of fiscal constraints, civilian aid and military assistance will get more limited in the future and will likely be connected to dealing with the extremists. …

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Why Deadlock in US-Afghan Security Pact Talks?

Negotiations between Afghanistan and the United States over a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) have reached a crucial stage as the two sides are wrangling over key terms of the pact that would allow presence of US forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014. American officials have renewed warnings that the delay in reaching a timely agreement on the future status of the …

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Tugging At The Heart Strings

  About half a kilometer (.3 miles) from Karachi’s famous Banaras Chowk, to the left side of Banaras Nullah, stands a tiny old shop. The exterior is far from impressive; the interior even less so. A small space has been cleared out on the floor to provide seating; two old exhaust fans are tied to the roof in place of …

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Understanding The Terrorism Tripod

  Capital suggestion Insurgency cannot do without physical terrain – terrain that insurgents can call home. Insurgents cannot do without safe sanctuaries – safe havens to plan and to train. Physical terrain of their own is the first and the foremost prerequisite. Two others – along with physical terrain – that complete the terrorist-insurgent cycle are: money and manpower. In …

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Land Disputes Add to Afghanistan’s Security Woes

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 …

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Post-2014 Afghanistan

Pakistan’s pivot to Central Asia Without doubt, all major stakeholders are now worried about the post 2014 Afghanistan. As the date of US withdrawal approaches quickly, many of the variables connected to the smooth transition are far from resolved. Meanwhile, the attention of western nations is increasingly diverted towards the affairs of Syria and Iran. Some of the interconnected factors …

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Threats And Pakistan’s New Counter Terrorism Strategy

About a week ago, without the usual international attention, Pakistan miraculously achieved a milestone that has proved to be elusive since the war against terror erupted in 2001. With the US slated to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, the new government has achieved consensus on a strategy to fight the extremists. This is after realizing that the bullet train cannot …

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