Category Archives: Blogs

Response to academic questionnaire on the ‘Afghan Solution’

1) what factors do you think have contributed the most to the resurgence of the Taliban? How?

  • The exclusion of the Taliban Movement from the 2001 peace settlement and the persecution of members of the Movement in the immediate aftermath of the toppling of their regime.
  • The ideological commitment of the supporters of the Taliban Movement and the

Knowing the Taliban from verse and talk

Reflections on Publication of Poetry of the Taliban, by Alex Strick and Felix Kuehn

“Evening, the twilight arrives slowly with its lap full of red flowers;

Pink rays are spreading over the blush of sky.”

Talking about offices


Suddenly everyone is talking about offices – whether the Afghan Taliban Movement should have a political office, where it should be located and what the office should be used for.

Before examining the potential for agreement on a political office, a reality check is in order. For the moment, all parties to the Afghan conflict seem to regard war-fighting as default mode and there is little chance of that changing any time soon. Of course, the point of reconciliation efforts is to find a way out of that impasse.

Why the Buddhas of Bamian were destroyed?

It would have been possible to save the Bamian Buddhas from destruction. But it was not an important enough issue for the western powers to intervene over. And the outsiders who did consider the Buddhas important were not prepared to contemplate the kind of intervention that might have worked. The Buddhas were abandoned, argues our guest blogger Michael Semple(*) who has been in the midst of these events.

Peace is too important to fake

On 25 to 27 January 2011 ASDHA of Barcelona brought Afghan government and civil society representatives together with international analysts to debate whether there should be negotiations with the Taliban Movement.

For a few moments confusion reigned as silent protesters pushed their way to the front of a Barcelona conference hall where an

Parliamentary elections and political responsibility

The crisis over the parliamentary election results has arisen from failure of national policy making. But Afghanistan requires a functional parliament, as this is the one elected national body through which Afghans of all communities can participate in the political process.  If there ever is a deal to end the Afghan conflict, parliamentary backing will be important in making it stick. But a parliament whose own credentials are dubious can neither confer legitimacy to peace deals nor conduct its routine business of