AFGHANISTAN

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan, China trade meeting planned in bid to boost trade


A meeting between Afghan and Chinese officials, investors and experts will be held within the next two months in Kabul to discuss ways to boost trade between the two nations, the Afghanistan and China... More

Will the US withdraw from Afghanistan?


In recent days, Afghanistan has experienced some hopeful moments. A three-day Taliban ceasefire to coincide with the Eid holiday resulted in an unprecedented respite from a war that has ravaged the nation for nearly... More

Is China bringing peace to Afghanistan?


On June 9, the Taliban ordered its fighters to “stop offensive operations against Afghan forces for the first three days of Eid-al-Fitr” this week. Its announcement came just days after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani... More

Marines in Afghanistan will get assist from MQ-9 Reaper drones


General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems has received a $39.6 million contract to provide MQ-9 Reapers to a Marine advisory unit in Afghanistan for air overwatch and reconnaissance, according to Pentagon announcements. The Reapers, the first Group 5... More

The Taliban has successfully built a parallel state in many parts of...


For those who imagine that Taliban control in some regions of Afghanistan consists mainly of men being beaten for failing to pray and girls being forced to stay home from school, a new report... More

US ready to facilitate talks between govt and Taliban


The US continues to remain reluctant to hold direct talks with the Taliban but Washington does however appear to be optimistic about the prospect of peace following the successful three-day ceasefire between the Afghan... More

Why Afghan peace negotiations are imminent


On June 7, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made the surprising announcement of a ceasefire with the Taliban, to be effective from June 12-19. It was a bold decision but fraught with risk. It was... More

Afghan Taliban kill 30 soldiers in first major attack since Eid ceasefire


Taliban militants killed 30 Afghan soldiers and captured a military base in the western province of Badghis on Wednesday, the provincial governor said, their first major attack since a ceasefire for the Eid al-Fitr... More

Resumption of Afghan peace talks on the cards


After a break of almost three years, direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are expected to resume soon, officials and diplomatic sources in knowledge of the development said on Tuesday. Preliminary talks... More

Afghan officials hold security talks with Pakistan spy chief 


A high-powered Afghan security delegation visited neighboring Pakistan on Tuesday for official talks on how to jointly push peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan. Haneef Atmar, the Afghan national security advisor, led the team, which... More

US ready to discuss role of international troops with Taliban: Pompeo


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the Trump administration is ready to discuss with the Taliban the role of US and international forces in Afghanistan if they participate in peace talks. Encouraged... More

TTP chief killing: Strategic turn between Pak- Afghan-US relationship


A notorious terrorist head Mullah Fazlullah was killed in a US drone attack. Afghanistan Ministry of defence , security and intelligence sources confirmed his killing.   Mullah Fazlullah of outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was appointed... More

Pentagon’s new helicopter for Afghans lacks lift of old Russian ones


The US Army’s Black Hawk helicopters are less capable for some missions conducted by Afghanistan’s Air Force than the Russian-made ones they’re replacing, according to the Pentagon’s inspector general. It’s a setback six years after... More

Kabul upbeat about Afghan Pakistan action plan


Afghan government leaders are optimistic about the implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) and that it will help to ease tension between Kabul and Islamabad. The Presidential Palace said the... More

Taliban assure Afghans of bright future once US ‘invaders’ leave


The Taliban told “American invaders” to leave Afghanistan in an announcement marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, assured the people of a bright future under Islamic rule and said it had... More

Afghan Taliban decry radio tower bombing as attack on free speech


The Afghan Taliban denounced “American occupying forces” for attacking their Voice of Shariah Radio station in the central province of Ghazni, but the United States denied the charge and said Afghan air force planes... More

Gen Qamar, Prez Ghani discuss ‘action plan for peace’


Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held crucial talks in Kabul on Tuesday to revive the moribund reconciliation process. The daylong visit by Gen Bajwa, who was accompanied by... More

Suicide bomber kills 13, including women, outside Afghan ministry


A suicide bomber killed 13 people and wounded more 25 during rush hour on Monday at the entrance to Afghanistan’s rural rehabilitation and development ministry in Kabul as workers were leaving for home, government... More

US officials question their state’s Af-Pak narrative


Nearly four days before Pak-Afghan officials met in Islamabad to continue their revived dialogue under the Afghan Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS), most in the local and foreign media missed a... More

Afghan gov’t welcomes Taliban ceasefire


Hours after the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire, the Presidential Palace and High Peace Council were among the first to welcome the decision, saying the Kabul administration appreciates any move which ends bloodshed in... More

China’s leader proposes SCO-Afghanistan contact group


China’s President Xi Jinping has said that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member nations should focus on the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group in order to help facilitate peace and reconstruction in the war-weary country. “We need to... More

COLUMN

Never give in

The last few months have been quite difficult for the Dubai-based Abraaj Group. At the beginning of the yearan initial trickle of newsfiltered through that something was amiss at the premier investment firm specializing in private equity investments in the MENSA region. Atorrent of revelations followedin Feb this year... More

Asad Pong Pong Vai and the rise of alternate media 

Some may not know the person who goes live on YouTube and Facebook with the unusual moniker Asad Pong Pong Vai (brother). While many of the formal media /bhadrolok crowd would sneer at him, he has followers running into thousands.  He is not a cult media figure but a... More

BJP scuttled Kashmir government to sharpen Hindu-Muslim divide ahead of crucial...

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s decision to withdraw from its coalition with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and scuttle the three-year old government has been taken with an eye on the Indian State and parliamentary elections to be held later this year and in 2019. The... More

In ongoing trade war India & China turn tables on US

China has fired back and India has threatened to follow suit in a spiralling trade conflict with the US that may finally reshape the contours of global economy. President Donald Trump's threat to take on Chinese goods in US market has been more than reciprocated by Beijing which has announced... More

Myanmar struggles to find a new Rakhine strategy

Myanmar finds itself in a new international quagmire as it attempts to redefine its solutions for reconciliation in Rakhine. In the past, Myanmar found itself in the middle of a tug of war, between the West and the East, as the US, UK and Europe imposed punitive sanctions in... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

The PDP-BJP coalition was an unnatural and opportunistic alliance

The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. The BJP pulled out of the coalition government and the other partner, the PDP, had no choice but to resign. Only a few weeks ago I had poured out my... More

India’s pivot to Eurasia

Sandwiched between U.S. President Donald Trump’s acrimonious public exchanges with other leaders at the G-7 (group of seven industrialised countries) summit (June 7-8) and the headline-hogging U.S.-North Korea summit (June 12), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao, China (June 9-10) attracted little international attention. It was the... More

Diplomatic damp squib

It is all but forgotten that the Korean War (1950-53) was brought to an armistice only after India agreed to make itself available to chair the UN Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission that determined which of the North Korean soldiers in Allied custody, and which of the South Koreans being... More

SCO nurtures Sino-Indian relations

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed their willingness to lend momentum to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), with Xi offering  to work with India and other member states to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit and promote sound and stable development of the... More

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READER'S VIEW

Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More