Category Archives: Articles

Who will lead Afghanistan?

By Alex Glynn

Afghanistan?’ asked a panel of experts at the Frontline Club on 2 April, in an event in partnership with BBC World Service, that looked at the possible outcomes of the upcoming election.

There was a certain measured optimism in the response to this question from the panel and a general feeling that this election is one to get excited about. Chaired by BBC Broadcasting House’s Paddy O’Connell, the panel of experts were grilled on the candidates, the election process, the possibility of a second round and the challenges ahead. more…

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At last, a ray of hope for Afghanistan

Whatever the final outcome, voters in Afghanistan’s presidential election have delivered a powerful mandate.

Provisional results from the first round of Afghanistan’s presidential election look as if they will stand the test of tortuous fraud checks and complaint processes. Decisive margins make them robust. Although Abdullah Abdullah, who emerged in the lead, has raised serious concerns about fraud, the first round should leave him facing Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister, in a run-off. more…

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Talking to the Taliban after Karzai

Afghanistan’s presidential election a week ago has challenged any notion that the country is about to fall into the lap of the Taliban. Ahead of the vote on April 5, eight candidates vying to replace President Hamid Karzai traveled to all regions of the country, even undertaking walkabouts in provinces normally considered chronically insecure. They attracted thousands of supporters to their rallies and millions to polling…more…


The Taliban’s Qatar office is a positive step, but not a prologue to peace

The Taliban’s establishment of a negotiating team is welcome, but don’t expect their ‘talk and fight’ strategy to end anytime soon.

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The Afghan Taliban opened an office in Qatar on Tuesday to help restart talks on ending the 12-year-old war. Photograph: Mohammed Dabbous/Reuters

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Taliban commander: “I was relieved at the death of Osama”

“Mawlvi”, a veteran Taliban commander, shares insights into the movement’s thinking, relations with Pakistan and Hamid Karzai’s future, in this exclusive interview from behind Afghanistan’s “iron curtain”. more

How to export the principles of the peace process – IRISH TIMES

Could the Northern Ireland peace process help resolve divisions elsewhere? Five experts in conflict resolution believe so, as they tell read more

What Post-Qaddafi Libya Has to Learn From Afghanistan

What Post-Qaddafi Libya Has to Learn From Afghanistan

Sounds of celebration echoed from several quarters yesterday after Libya’s interim government announced the death of former leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. The European Union, members of which led the NATO campaign that contributed to Qaddafi’s ouster, said his death marked “the end of an era of despotism.” U.S. President Barack Obama said it brought to a close a “long and painful chapter for the people of Libya.” And for the revolutionary rebel forces that fought a grueling two-steps-forward,

Osama bin Laden’s death gives peace a chance in Afghanistan


The death of Osama bin Laden means the Taliban may be open to a 'new narrative' of the Afghan conflict. Photograph: Reuters

A new narrative of the Afghan conflict is now possible – and it relies on the US engaging with the Taliban in Pakistan.

Michael Semple

Article History Saturday 7 May 2011 14.00 BST

The Afghanistan conflict is a war of narrative par excellence in which every side fights for a cause unrecognisable to their foes,
based upon premises which those foes would find preposterous. For 30 years Osama bin Laden was an actor-scriptwriter in the story of the Afghan war. With him gone, the narratives of the conflict – what people are fighting for and why – are going to have to be overhauled. And this hiatus in the war might even present an opportunity for the emergence of a narrative of peace.