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Election Campaigns and Rule of Law

Provincial election candidates started a one-month official campaign on Tuesday, only a month to the upcoming election which is due to be held on April 5. Officials at the Electoral Complaints Commission asked the candidates to observe the rules and campaign in a way that would institutionalize and strengthen democratic principles in Afghanistan. The provincial election campaign starts as the campaign of th ...

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President Karzai’s Renewed Anti-US Rhetoric

President Karzai once again criticized the United States in a harsh tone, saying that The latest remarks are considered a renewal of his refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the US despite that it was approved by the Loya Jirga last year. Karzai’s move in intensifying the already tense relations of Afghanistan and the United States seems to be intentional with certain pur ...

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Kandahar Prison Breakout

The officials say that 12 Taliban prisoners have escaped from Kandahar prison by using a letter with fake sign from Afghan National Directorate of Security. According to the officials, two of the prisoners are again arrested while others remain unaccounted. The prison breakout in Kandahar comes at a time when there are serious concerns about Afghan forces ability to take the lead role in the fight against t ...

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How Real Is the Zero-option?

The White House has directed the Pentagon to have adequate plans in place to enable the US completely withdraw forces from Afghanistan if Kabul and Washington fail to sign the bilateral security agreement. Echoing the move by Washington, NATO member countries also agreed to start considering a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan by end of this year. However, NATO officials have also said that they prefer t ...

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The Jirga of Kandahari Elders

Since last week, dozens of tribal elders from Kandahar Province have been negotiating behind closed-door Jirga (grand assembly) to pick a consensus nominate for the presidential race. The Jirga, which has become nicknamed as the Jirga of the Kandaharis, is to choose between Abdul Qayoum Karzai, a brother to President Hamid Karzai, and Zalmay Rasoul, former foreign minister and also a close ally of the Presi ...

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Deadly Revenge for Dubai Talks

In a deadly attack on Afghan security forces in Kunar Province, the Taliban militant killed at least 21 soldiers and abducted eight other, the reports say. This is one of the biggest blows to the Afghan National Security Forces, which has taken the lead in fighting against the insurgency in one last year. According to the reports, hundreds of Taliban fighters had taken part in the assault against a small gr ...

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China’s Role in Post-2014 Afghanistan

China has pledged to support Afghanistan in various, particularly training and equipping the ANSF, after NATO withdrawal after 2014. While NATO and the US forces are preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan, the government of Afghanistan is increasingly interested in expanding relations with regional powers such as Russia and China. Conversely, both Moscow and Beijing are concerned about the future of Afghani ...

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The Killing of Former Taliban Official

Mullah Abdul Raqib Takhari’s assassination in Peshawar was not the first incident of its kind which has turned into a new puzzle in the complicated war and peace efforts in Afghanistan – and Pakistan. In one recent year, more Taliban senior officials in Quetta and Peshawar have been killed by unknown attackers. Last year, Nasiruddin Haqqani, the son of the leader of the Haqqani network was assassinated in t ...

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Redoubling Efforts for Securing the Election

With the election looming, the most significant threat to the process seems to be the worsening security despite assurances given by the officials. Recently, Afghan security agencies assured that security has been provided for a number of ballot stations which were initially considered as insecure. The officials have assured that the police and army forces will be capable of providing security for the elect ...

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Two Withdrawals from Afghanistan

At the anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan 25 years ago, now many Afghans are wondering how another withdrawal of a foreign military occur and how the future will unfold for the war-stricken country. Will the history repeat itself? There are much similarities as well as differences between Afghanistan 25 years ago and Afghanistan in 2014. Given the differences and similarities, there are a ...

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A Right Measure Taken by the ECC

In a rightly punitive action against candidates violating electoral rules, the Electoral Complaints Commission referred presidential candidate Daud Sultanzoi to the General Attorney Office and issued a 50,000 AFs fine against Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, another presidential candidate. The ECC officials said Mr. Sultanzoy has threatened a private TV channel’s reporter, and thus, has been referred to the judicial ...

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President Karzai’s Turkey Trip

President Hamid Karzai has paid a surprise visit to Turkey, where he is set to meet Turkish and Pakistani officials. According to the reports, a high-profile delegation is accompanying President Karzai in Turkey. The meeting that would be held among Afghan, Pakistani and Turkish officials in Ankara is seemingly aimed at exploring how to promote cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad over the shared securit ...

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US Commitment to Afghan Economic Transition

In a new generous aid package to Afghanistan, the United States has proposed about 300 million dollars to boost Afghanistan’s economy as the US-led forces are withdrawing from the country. According to the reports, the aid package tops to $300 million over five years for Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize the economy and strengthen Afghanistan’s financial institutions. The announcement of the aid package ...

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Civilian Casualties on the Peak

For another consecutive year, the United Nations reported a rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan. According the UNAMA report, which released on Saturday, civilian casualties in Afghanistan during 2013 have risen 14 percent with around 3000 people killed and more than five thousands wounded during last year. According to the report, the Taliban and other insurgent groups are responsible for most of the ...

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The Role of Women in the Upcoming Elections

Ahead of another election in Afghanistan, the role of the women in taking part for shaping the future of the country is once again highlighted. Civil organizations and activists campaigning for women’s rights have organized a ‘national conference of women’ with the aim to review to role and participation of women in the upcoming elections. Afghanistan once again needs active participation of the women in th ...

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The Irrelevant NATO Status of Forces’ Agreement

President Hamid Karzai intends to pursue talks on an agreement with the NATO paving the way for the alliance to plan a post-2014 presence in Afghanistan. According to the reports, Karzai has decided at a meeting of the Afghan National Security Council that the agreement with NATO should be quickly finalized, the government said. Karzai’s call on NATO to speed up the negotiations on ‘Status of Forces’ comes ...

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A Momentous Day for the Election Process

On Sunday, the presidential candidates officially started a two-month campaigning amidst sentiments of hopes and concerns to the future of the country. A handful of the candidates began their campaigning with lavish parties and speeches to their followers while activities of many other candidates were not very visible on the first day of the election campaigning. The electoral campaigns began with the first ...

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Kicking off the Election Campaigns

The presidential candidates are to formally kick-off their election campaigns on Sunday. With the beginning of the election campaigns, the process of presidential elections enters a crucial phase during which the candidates will promote their programs and sell their agenda to the people. The campaign season comes at a time when the country is experiencing a hard time as the country is entering an uncertain ...

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Afghan-US Relations in Nosedive Collapse

At a critical juncture of time for the Afghan war, the relation between the government of Afghanistan and the United States is in nosedive deterioration with the Afghan government resolved to confront the US by releasing Taliban prisoners and alleging false claims against the United States. The New York Times reported that the commission for investigation of NATO aerial strikes in Parwan province has provid ...

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Potential Terrorists Must Remain Behind Bars

Amidst controversies over release of Taliban prisoners, US military published documents illustrating backgrounds of dozens of Taliban prisoners who are deemed as dangerous by US officials. According to the records of the Taliban prisoners, some of them had been directly involved in terrorist attacks against NATO and Afghan forces while some others have been proved guilty during investigations by US military ...

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