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Life as One of the Most Persecuted Ethnic Groups on the Planet

Imagine that you live in Afghanistan. Your ancestors have lived there for hundreds of years, but you are a minority. In fact, you are a minority two times over, because the religion you practice is different from the one most people practice, and the way you look is different from the way most people look. In the 1890's, Emir Abdur Rahman comes along. He is a king who reserves special scorn for your people, ...

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Choosing sides in Afghanistan

Max Boot U.S. neutrality in the country's next presidential election is a nice ideal — it's just not possible. Hamid Karzai has been president of Afghanistan for a long time — since the end of 2001, when he was installed by a U.S.-led alliance. At the time, he seemed a charming, English-speaking leader with a colorful wardrobe who could craft a democratic, post-Taliban state. Today Karzai is perceived, at l ...

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A Charge Sheet

One of my friends told this story so I would like to tell it in his words using first person pronoun, “I used to go to office in taxi. As my salary was limited, so I used to take the public taxi or van of my route just like thousands of the citizens of Kabul. Anyhow, this public taxi was mostly not a good experience as there used to be many problems. First, one had to wait for a taxi and usually it lasted f ...

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Fight Without NATO

Kathy Gannon This year's fighting season is testing ground for Afghan security forces without NATO help. Abdul Malik and his fellow Afghan soldiers were driving across the arid and volatile south when their armoured personnel carrier struck a roadside bomb. Malik found himself outside the vehicle, dazed but aware of his three comrades nearby. One had a serious head wound. Help came quickly: U.S. helicopters ...

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For Women in Afghanistan, one Failure Offers Fresh Hope

Lianne Gutcher Fawzia Koofi, an Afghan female politician, took a lot of flak last week after she insisted on tabling in parliament a debate on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law. Predictably, the debate didn't go well. President Hamid Karzai passed the law by presidential decree in 2010. While its implementation is uneven, it is nonetheless considered to be a substantial advance for women' ...

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Afghanistan’s Troubled Transition

Jacob Stokes One word sums up the current preoccupation in Afghanistan: in Dari it’s “inteqal”; in English, "transition.” For both Afghans and the international community, transition remains a necessary process, healthy even, but fraught with uncertainty. Three pillars undergird the international transition effort in Afghanistan: security, governance and development. Following a recent NATO-sponsored trip t ...

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Keeping the Hope Alive

I went to him to take his views about starting a new business. He was the man of the field and thus I was hoping that he would come up with some unique ideas in this regard. When we were seated and tea was served, I came to the matter of business. I explained him the different details of the business and showed him the relevant documents. His impression was very disappointing and at one pointed I regretted ...

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Proposed Law to Protect Afghan Women Faces Backlash

A proposed law to protect Afghan women and girls from abuses such as child marriage, bride barter and spousal abuse has created a furor in the past week, exposing a generational and religious struggle that persists in this traditional Muslim society despite a decade of Western-backed democracy and a constitution that enshrines women’s rights. The drama erupted when a female legislator brought the bill befor ...

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A Foreign Policy of Mission Creep

Gordon N. Bardos In an eye-opening article in these spaces a few weeks ago, James Joyner cited the words of an American general in Afghanistan who, in reciting his troops’ successes in Helmand province, noted that "Roads have been paved and markets secured, allowing commerce to grow in places like Marja, Nad Ali and Lashkar Gah . . ." Both the general and his troops undoubtedly performed the mission their c ...

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Fighting for Reforms: Students’ Hunger Strike in Kabul

The chronic irregularities and lasting racial discrimination in the university classes against students in Kabul University last Monday led in students’ hunger strikes. Hundreds of students of the faculty of social science of Kabul University in a collective move in front of the Afghan parliament building went on hunger strike on last Monday calling justice and reforms in the education sectors. And yesterda ...

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What is Happening in our Schools

The scenes are pathetic; be it inside the schools or outside. Students are the ominous figures of indiscipline, lack of manners and frightening combination of all the symptoms that arise from personal and behavioral deviations and drawbacks. Majority of them are badly dressed, have hairstyle not appropriate for students, never have the required books and educational materials in their bags or some do not ha ...

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‘In Iran Just As Well as In Afghanistan, in Actual Fact, Words Defy Tyranny’

Atiq Rahimi Curator Reading Koran on Roof of Library, Mauritania The power of words a library curator reading in Mauritania. Photograph: Remi Benali/ Remi Benali/Corbis In a major book of Persian literature called Memorial of the Saints, written in the 13th century, the great poet Farid Ud-din Attar explains that, one day, a young disciple asked his master what the power of wise men was. "Speech", the maste ...

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The Strengthening Ties between Afghanistan and India

As the 2014 gets closer, there seems significant events are emerging. Apart from the political transition next year in Kabul, the security transition is going to be completed by 2014 and the very majority of the international military forces are set to be withdrawn by next year. Meanwhile, there seems change is emerging in relations between Afghanistan and the regional states, so in the following paragraphs ...

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Against the Laws of Nature

Taliban’s regime is taken differently by different people. Some people liked it because it was the most peaceful time in three decades of Afghan war when people had nothing to worry about like thieves, robbers, dacoits, warlords and others. All these threatening factors either had been finished or were much afraid of the severe punishment of Taliban to carry out their activities. Their strict rules were als ...

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Kabul-New Delhi Cooperation Benefits the Region

Amid multiple conflicting issues and hostile views that have historically marked the relations among the hostile states of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan In south Asia with enduring distrust and contentions, on October 04, 2011 Afghanistan and India signed a strategic partnership agreement. The partnership pact simply invigorated the lasting rivalry into a new game in South Asia region that mainly involves ...

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Rights of Women in Afghanistan

There is a quotation which says rights are snatched not given this proverb suits the 3rd world countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and so many more. One of the main crises which Afghanistan has been facing is neglecting the true value and worth of a woman. This stratum of our community has always been underestimated and mistreated. It is a bitter truth that in this democratic and civilized era our women ...

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A Blessed Bound!

Scene is of a big wedding hall which is full of guests. In the center lies the beautifully decorated stage where a grand but empty chair is waiting for the bridegroom. The hall is divided into two portions; one bigger portion for males and the adjoining one for the females. There are many factors that tell us about the wealth and affluence of both the sides like the grand wedding hall, number of guests exce ...

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Effort to Strengthen an Afghan Law on Women May Backfire

Even with some legal protections in place, Afghan women, and sometimes even little girls, can be sold to pay family debts. In the country’s vast rural areas, just talking to a man who is not a close relative can be punishable by death. And in some places, girls are routinely married at puberty. And now, preserving any protections long-term appears to be in question, as the country’s tiny women’s rights move ...

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Why Afghanistan is Nervous about the US Troop Withdrawal

By Howard Lafranchi By December 2014 the Afghan National Security Forces that have been built by the US and NATO will be left to largely stand on their own. Afghanistan is suffering a crisis of confidence – and given what’s on the horizon, it's not so difficult to see why. Next year is shaping up to be a perfect storm of security, political, and economic transition. And many Afghans, from shopkeepers to mem ...

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People of Heart

People of heart are the monuments of humility and modesty who are devoted to a spiritual life, determined to stay away from all the material and spiritual dirt, always vigilant to corporeal desires of the body and ready to struggle with such evils as hatred, resentment, greed, jealousy, selfishness and lust. With their vision, faith, and deeds, people of heart are integrated heroes of spirituality. Their pr ...

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