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Which is more corrupt: Afghanistan or America?

By Michael Hirsh Karzai cash payments highlight a growing friction as Afghans blame NATO for their poor reputation. None of President Hamid Karzai's top advisers knew that he had been receiving tens of millions of dollars in secret cash from the CIA, Afghanistan's senior anticorruption official said, and he added that he did not believe the Afghan leader's claim that he had been giving the agency regular re ...

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Islamabad’s Future Role in Afghanistan

As new elected rulers are coming to the power in Islamabad, the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan is quite uncertain. Despite the assurances from the victor Pakistan Muslim League (n),  Afghanistan is suspicious of the new government that would rule Pakistan for another term. Celebrating the landslide victory in the general election held on Saturday, Pakistan Muslim League (n) leader Nawaz Sahrif p ...

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Durand Line: The Bone of Contention

Amid tensions over the border clashes between Afghan and Pakistani forces in the eastern province of Nangarhar, President Hamid Karzai said that he never would accept the Durand Line, stressing that no other future ruler of Afghanistan can accept the borderline. In harsh remarks, the president accused Pakistanis of undermining the government of Afghanistan, aiming to deprive the Afghans of having a stable s ...

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Pakistan’s Role in Afghan Peace Efforts

Despite the fact that the talks between Afghan and Pakistani officials in Brussels had no tangible results, the Afghan government is pushing for Pakistan’s cooperation with the Afghan peace process. Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul said on Friday that Afghanistan needs political support of outside stakeholders, particularly Pakistan, in the Afghan peace process. Speaking at the Heart of Asia Conferenc ...

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New Body for Seeking Peace with Taliban

Lawmakers in the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the parliament, agreed on Saturday to create a commission for seeking mechanisms of peace in the country. The lawmakers agreed to the establishment of the new peace commission after many of the MPs bitterly criticized the Afghan High Peace Council (HPC), calling its peace efforts as ineffective. The decision is considered as the first of its kind by the parl ...

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Taliban Still Justify Violence

High Peace Council’s officials say that many of senior leaders of the Taliban are willing to talk for peace with the government of Afghanistan, and the group’s leaders find it difficult to justify continuation of the ongoing violence. Top HPC official Masom Stanikzay told a BBC correspondent it was difficult for Taliban leaders to open support peace efforts, because, in the past, many of them lost their liv ...

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The Increasing Tensions in Pak-Afghan Ties

The developments related to relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan is indicating that the bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries is increasingly straining. According to National Directorate for Security (NDS) officials, a bomb plot to blow up Salma Dam was planned in Quetta city of Baluchistan with the help of Pakistan’s intelligence agency. In another case, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign ...

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President Karzai’s Qatar Visit

President Hamid Karzai traveled to Qatar on Saturday for peace talks with Taliban representatives and negotiations with Qatari government on opening a political bureau for the militant group. The trip is seen as a major move by the Afghan government for directly persuading the Taliban to come to negotiation table. Aimal Faizi, a spokesman of the Taliban said the delegation would discuss with Qatari governme ...

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UN Optimism over Karzai’s Qatar Trip

As the US forces are preparing for complete withdrawal of combat forces by end of 2014, the efforts for securing a peace deal with the Taliban is getting momentum. According to the reports, President Hamid Karzai will soon head to Qatar, where he will discuss the opening of Taliban political office with Qatari government. Ahead of President Karzai’s important trip to Qatar, the United Nations expressed opti ...

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Brokering peace deal

Opposition parties announce to broker a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government. A foreign news agency on Monday reported that Afghan political parties sitting outside the parliament had established contacts with Taliban leaders to end the ongoing conflict before withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. The move is also aimed to reach a consensus and ensure peaceful elections next yea ...

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The Evolving UN-Taliban Negotiations

UN officials say they believe that the Taliban are willing to have dialogue on human rights issues. Neelab Mubarez, a spokesman of the UNAMA in Kabul said that the Taliban signaled positively on UN call to talk on human rights and preventing civilian casualties. The Taliban are accused of violating human rights and the principles of international laws. Previously, a UN report on civilian casualties in Afgha ...

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Afghan Peace Efforts: Tensions between Kabul and Washington

In a major address about the state of the Afghan women, President Karzai said there were ‘daily negotiations’ going on between the Taliban and the United States. The president also condemned yesterday’s Taliban attacks, accusing the Taliban of working in concert with the US to convince the people that Afghanistan will need presence of foreign forces After the US-led NATO forces leave the country by 2014. In ...

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A Taliban Split in the Making

As the efforts are continuing to reconcile the Taliban and other insurgent groups, a prominent Taliban leader, Mullah Agha Jan Motasim hints at turning the insurgents’ leaders to law-abiding politicians through establishing a legitimate political party. Perhaps it was surprising for all, as no one expected a Taliban leader to openly talk about founding political party and showing readiness for denouncing vi ...

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Pakistani Clerics Promote Hate and Extremism

A top Pakistani cleric’s comments on suicide attacks in Afghanistan met with anger and condemnation from The Afghanistan Ulema Council (AUC) and some analysts. Pakistan’s Ulema Council Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi called the suicide attacks in Afghanistan permissible and that the Pakistani Ulema Council would never condemn the Taliban atrocities in Afghanistan. The Pakistani cleric told BBC correspondent i ...

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Afghan-India Ties and Restless Islamabad

Spokesperson of the Afghan Foreign Ministry, Janan Mosazai outlined worries of Islamabad about strengthening relations between Kabul and New Delhi and advised Pakistani authorities not to worry about India’s presence in Afghanistan. While addressing concerns of Pakistan he said that the Karzai-administration and future-government would not let anyone to use Afghan soil against its neighboring countries. Tho ...

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Pakistan’s Cooperation Usher Success for Peace

By signaling full support to the Afghan peace initiative, Pakistan is making a real gesture towards success of peace and negotiations with the Afghan Taliban. The country has taken bold steps, at least to this stage, to ensure full cooperation with the Afghan government in promoting the peace efforts and bringing the insurgents on negotiation table. A top Pakistani official announced that the country would ...

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London Summit and the Durand Line

Diplomacy is a scene for deals and compromises. The people expect their politicians to make that compromises for interest of the people and in line with national interests. The same is expected in the case of Afghan president Hamid Karzai. He went to London for a trilateral meeting with the head of the United Kingdom, and Pakistan. The London summit meeting was aimed at reaching at a mutual roadmap on peace ...

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London Summit and Glimpse of Hope for Peace

The US and NATO forces are preparing to exit Afghanistan as the war is still raging and there is no prospect for a peace deal with Taliban in near future. The government of Afghanistan is struggling to find a way for talking with the Taliban and other insurgent groups over initiation of peace dialogue which ends the bloody chapter of more than a decade of war in the country. Afghan, British and Pakistani le ...

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The Af-Pak-UK Trilateral Summit

President Hamid Karzai on Saturday went to London to attend the third trilateral summit of leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and UK. According to reports, peace talks with the Afghan insurgent groups and security cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan would dominate the meeting. The previous rounds of the talks were held in Kabul and New York. The second meeting, held in New York, proposed signing a st ...

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Masked Plotters

It is a well established fact that foreigners would not spare Afghanistan but the dilemma is that it is denied by the government officials from time to time. The country has become a hub of proxy wars, where neighboring and western countries try to take down their rivals, no matter how many Afghans die, because their own national interests are sacred for them. Preference to personal interests over national ...

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