Seventy-year-old Mohamad Arif still earns a living in the streets of Kabul. He prepares all kind of documents for those who cannot read or write – in other words, the majority of people in this country of 30.5 million people.
When, all of a sudden, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) emerged on the scene and in a matter of days occupied large swathes of mainly Sunni-inhabited parts of Iraq and Syria, including Iraq’s second city Mosul and Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and called itself the Islamic State, many people, not least Western politicians and intelligence services, were taken by surprise.
Nasrin Mohamadi, a mother of four, has promised herself never to set foot in an Afghan public hospital again. After her first experience in a maternity ward, she has lost all faith in the state’s healthcare system.
"Of course I'm scared, but what else can I possibly do?" asks Ahmed, a middle-aged man seated on the carpeted floor of a hotel located on the southern edge of Afghanistan. He is bound for Iran, but he still has no idea when or how he’ll cross the border.
"The smell of faeces and urine isolates them completely. Their husbands abandon them and they become stigmatised forever” – Dr Pashtoon Kohistani barely needs two lines to sum up the drama of those women affected by obstetric fistula.
A knife fight late Tuesday among several auditors at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) still inspecting the results of the presidential elections held in mid-June could be the stab in the back for what has been a painful election process.
With its lush valleys and well-watered plains, Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province produces plenty of food for the local population, including 10 million tons of wheat every year. So why are the people of this bountiful mountainous region going hungry?
A supertanker sails a long way, they say, between the time the helmsman sets a new course and the moment when the vessel fully responds.
U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday stressed multilateralism over militarism in what was billed as a major foreign policy address and a rebuttal to an ever-louder chorus of criticism, mostly by Republicans and neo-conservatives, that his tenure has been marked by weakness and retreat.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced Tuesday his intention to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
Blaming Afghan refugees for a surge in crime, Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has placed restrictions on the movement of those who do not possess legal documents to stay in the country.
About a third of the voters in the Afghanistan presidential election were women. That still gives Afghan women a say in running the country, as never before.
Every night in his sleep, Rizwan Ahmed sees his sons being killed. “When he wakes up, he starts crying. He realises they are dead and it was the nightmare he has been having,” says Dr. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the psychiatrist treating him.
As foreign forces withdraw slowly from Afghanistan, they leave behind a vulnerable band of people who were their ears and guides on the ground. These people who served as interpreters, face a life of threats and uncertainties. Many have been killed.
The Afghanistan presidential election is turning out to be a tale of two narratives. The more positive and democratic one could be winning the day.