Afghanistan

Afghanistan Turns a Political Corner

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.

Misgivings Rise Over Afghan Poll

“If Abdullah will become president, the will of [the] Afghan people will be respected. Otherwise – especially if Zalmai Rassoul will be indicated as the winner – a new conflict will start and our country will become more insecure.” The remark by Abdullah Abdullah supporter Qazi Sadullah Abu Aman is typical of the uncertainties and accusations rising as election day draws close on Saturday.

Afghans Set to Vote on Ethnic Lines

Ethnicities will come to the fore in the Afghan elections due Saturday this week, even though it appears that the young are beginning to break away from such loyalties.

Past Crimes Haunt Afghan Progress

As Afghanistan heads for presidential elections Apr. 5, people are asking if the country’s massive legacy of human rights violations will be swept under the carpet yet again by the new government.

Burned, Bombed, Beaten – Education Under Attack Worldwide

There was a time when images from war zones featured only battlefields and barracks. As warfare moved into the 20th century, pictures of embattled urban centres and rural guerilla outposts began to make the rounds.

Hagel Urges Less Money for U.S. Army, More for Special Forces

Signalling a somewhat more modest global U.S. military posture, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel Monday called for sharp reductions in the size of the U.S. Army, the service that has borne the brunt of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan over the past dozen years.

USAID Unveils Five-Year Plan in Afghanistan

Even as most international military forces are slated to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, USAID, the foreign aid arm of the U.S. government, is emphasising its sustained commitment to developing Afghanistan’s economy after the withdrawal.

Nowhere to Come In From the Cold

As the temperature dips to zero degrees Celsius, a chill has set into the lives of people like 44-year-old Rasool Khan at the Jalozai camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Pakistan. Huddled in tiny tents, with just a plastic sheet over their heads and no heat, they pass sleepless nights in the bitter cold.

As Afghan Pullout Looms, U.S. Urged to Rethink Pakistan Ties

With the 2014 deadline for a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in sight, analysts here are urging Washington policymakers to drop the term ‘Af-Pak’ and recognise the importance of Pakistan beyond its implications for Afghanistan.

Playing Cricket, Praying for Peace

Afghanistan is rediscovering the joy of cricket. It is seen as a tool of progress, a means of entertainment, and a way to wean youth away from violence in a country that has been ravaged by conflict for more than 30 years.

2014: Solutions to Ten Conflicts

There are conflicts old and new crying for solution and reconciliation, not violence, with reasonable, realistic ways out.

Gates Conceals Real Story of “Gaming” Obama on Afghan War

Criticism in the memoirs of former secretary of defence Robert M. Gates of President Barack Obama’s lack of commitment to the Afghan War strategy of his administration has generated a Washington debate about whether Obama was sufficiently supportive of the war.

Afghans Want Justice Before Elections

Will we get justice? That is the question many Afghans are asking as their war-ravaged country heads for presidential polls in April. For, the list of candidates includes several warlords who have been accused of heinous crimes and who are yet to be brought to justice.

U.N. Advice to Aid Worker: Write Last Will Before Leaving Home

When Anoja Wijeyesekera, an aid worker with the U.N. children's agency UNICEF, received her new assignment in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan back in 1997, her appointment letter arrived with a "survival manual" and chilling instructions: write your last will before leaving home.

When NATO Leaves Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s 30 million people are deeply divided over whether President Hamid Karzai should sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Washington that will allow U.S. military operations to continue in the conflict-ravaged country after NATO forces leave in 2014.

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