As far as cautionary tales go, this one is worth noting: Afghans celebrate all their modern-age anniversaries of liberation, except one. The day of victory over the British in 1919 is commemorated in August. The fall of Najibullah’s Kremlin-backed regime in April 1992 is marked as well. The exception is the 2001 ouster of the Taliban from Kabul by the US-led coalition.
The assassination of Burhanuddin Rabani will have minimal impact on Afghanistan's peace process. What it will do is weaken President Hamid Karzai’s administration through the alienation of Afghanistan’s influential Tajik minority.
A mere 30 kilometers from Kabul, Aynak is a strategic spot, well connected to the capital, but hidden in the folds of the surrounding hills. In 1999, al Qaeda identified Aynak as the place where four young men would train for the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC. Today, Anyak is again emerging as a pivotal spot, a place where the past, present and future are colliding.
When the United Nations released its mid-year review of civilian deaths in July, arguing that 80 percent were caused by anti-government elements, there was a loud protest by Taliban leaders. Pointing to their own code of conduct, they refuted the assertion.
The killing of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghan President Ahmed Karzai, was a shocking development -- even for Afghanistan, a country steeped in tragedy. But experts are unsure whether it will have a lasting impact on political developments.
Go looking for Wahidullah Shahrani and chances are you’ll find him at an investor conference promoting Afghanistan as an ideal opportunity for global mining companies. By most accounts the minister of mines is an effective salesman. Yet, as investor interest grows, there are doubts about whether Afghanistan has the capacity to make the most of an expected surge in mining-related revenue.
Almost lost amid an unfolding banking scandal in Afghanistan, a confrontation between President Hamid Karzai and the country’s parliament is coming to a head, threatening to paralyze the government at a crucial juncture.
The stage is just a couple of large dining tables covered with white cotton sheets pushed together at one end of the room. The “commandant,” played by a young woman, has an elfin face and shy smile behind oversized dark glasses.