Afghanistan’s parliament fails to pass women’s rights legislation 05/18/13 - GlobalPost: Afghanistan’s parliament has blocked women’s rights legislation approved by President Hamid Karzai in 2009, claiming that it is un-Islamic. The Elimination of Violence Against Women Law, or EVAL, which requires parliamentary support to pass, aims to prevent violence against women, child marriages, and forced marriages.
Twin blasts kill 9, wounds 55 in Afghanistan’s Kandahar 05/17/13 - Xinhua: At least nine people were killed and more than 55 others wounded Friday evening when two back-to-back explosions rocked Kandahar city, capital of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, a provincial government spokesman said. “The initial reports said that three police officers and six civilians had died and over 55 wounded in two explosions which took place in Hyno area of the city Friday evening,”...
Afghanistan’s minister accuses MPs of smuggling, nepotism and 05/16/13 - The Daily Beast: The impeachment of Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal, on charges of accusing M.P.s of smuggling, began like any other. Zakhilwal patiently listened to members of Parliament ask their questions—about budget cuts, nepotism in his ministry, and tax evasion by large companies.
Child refugees flee war in Afghanistan 05/16/13 - CBS News: As the U.S. military continues its exodus from Afghanistan, the long war has caused another exodus few know about in the U.S. Thousands of mostly teenage boys have fled their war-torn country to embark on a 10,000-mile trek to Europe that most will not complete -- many because they die along the route. Anderson Cooper reports on one of the largest child migrations in modern times on 60 MINUTES, Sunday, May 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Bomb kills 15 in Kabul, including children 05/16/13 - The Associated Press: A suicide car bombing tore through a U.S. convoy during rush hour in the Afghan capital on Thursday, killing at least 15 people, including six U.S. military advisers and two children, officials said. U.S. soldiers rushed to the scene to help, including some wearing only T-shirts or shorts under their body armor.
The Frontier Post
Afghan Analysts Network
The evolving Taleban: Changes in the insurgencys DNA 05/19/13 - Understanding the dynamics and complexity of the Taleban insurgency has generally proved difficult for outsiders, but it is now becoming clearer how fast the Taleban has evolved in recent years. The movements command structure has seen profound change - partly in response to the US wiping out whole layers of the old, mid-level insurgent leadership through capture-or-kill operations, but also because of direct interference by Pakistans intelligence apparatus. As of yet, the old Emirate command structure remains active in the Talebans southern heartland, but the east, Loya Paktia and the north have all seen the impact of Pakistani efforts to select and promote its own proxies within the Taleban, men who have been given special training and, frequently, Pakistani citizenship. This appears to be an attempt to change the Talebans DNA says new AAN analyst, Claudio Franco, who has studied the insurgency for the last decade. In his first blog for AAN, he presents two case studies of the new breed of operative and describes how they threaten, not only the old Emirate leadership, but also any attempt to find peace through reconciliation.
Damage Avoided, for Now? The very short debate about the EVAW law 05/18/13 - It took only 20 minutes on Saturday morning for the parliamentary debate on the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) law to get heated and for the Speaker to abruptly stop discussion. He sent the EVAW law back to the Joint Commission of the Parliament, which is responsible for preparing draft laws, for more detailed study. Conservative MPs had stood up and condemned the entire EVAW law, calling it ungodly and against Sharia Law. In the circumstances, womens rights activists were relieved that what they had called a risky game has ended without a lot more damage to the law. AANs Christine Roehrs and Ehsan Qaane report.
Moving East in the North: Transitioned Faryab and the Taleban 05/17/13 - It took little more than seven months to turn Faryab from a province with a worrisome security situation into a province under constant attack. Since the Norwegian Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Faryab closed in September 2012, the security situation has quickly deteriorated. These days, Faryab is one of the main targets of the Talebans spring offensive. On the very first day of the offensive, the insurgents launched their biggest attack so far in the country, with several hundred fighters sweeping the Afghan Local Police (ALP) out of important positions in two districts. Clashes between national security forces and insurgents are continuing on a daily basis and the regular Afghan forces seem unable to make a lasting impact. AANs Obaid Ali updates an earlier report on a province perceived as a gateway to the north of the country and how the Taleban are targeting strategically valuable locations.
On a Knifes Edge: The looming parliamentary debate about the Elimination of Violence against Women law 05/16/13 - The Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women (the EVAW law) was celebrated as a major step forward for womens rights in Afghanistan when it was issued per presidential decree three years ago. It is now on the parliaments agenda for debate. This is not necessarily good news for womens rights, however, since a conservative majority in the house might water the law down or abolish it altogether. AANs Christine Roehrs and Sari Kouvo take a closer look at the looming parliamentary debate and the politics of womens rights activism (with input by Ehsan Qaane and Wazhma Samandary).
Trouble at the Goshta Gate: New tensions and old wounds along the Durand Line 05/14/13 - For almost two weeks now, tensions have been running high again at the Durand Line, the Afghan-Pakistani border not recognised by Kabul officials. Afghan troops have removed Pakistani border installations they perceived to be on their territory, security forces from both sides have exchanged fire and both governments have filed protests. Among Afghans, the issue of the Durand Line and Pakistans role as the countrys arch-enemy is the big unifier. Thomas Ruttig, a senior analyst with AAN, summarises recent events and looks at how an unjust colonial border was drawn and how it continues to fan emotions among Afghans more than 100 years later.
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