It’s time to end America’s war in Afghanistan

A child born on this date in 2001 – just before the terrorist attacks of 9/11 – is old enough to be fighting today in the war in Afghanistan. This week – almost 17 years after the war... More

No peace in Afghanistan if foreign occupation continues: Taliban leader

The leader of the Taliban says there will be no peace in Afghanistan as long as the foreign “occupation” continues, reiterating the group’s position that the 17-year war can only be brought to an end through direct... More

Taliban, Indonesian officials hold talks on Afghan peace

A delegation of Taliban visited Indonesia on August 12-15 and held talks with Indonesian sneior officials over the Afghan peace process and withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, Taliban’s Qatar office confirmed in a statement. Accoridng to the... More

New US training unit in Afghanistan faces old problems

Captain Joe Fontana, a team leader with the US army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, is part of a new unit but he is working on problems that have been stubbornly familiar to American military advisers in... More

US talks directly to the Taliban in a twist to the Afghan...

Around July 23, reports emerged that US officials and Taliban representatives held talks in Doha, Qatar. Intriguingly, Afghan government representatives were absent, though both Washington and Kabul have stated that this meeting was held in close consultation... More

Ghazni might be safe but the Afghan Government is surely falling?

A gunfight ensued in Kabul for over seven hours on Thursday after gunmen attacked a training center of Afghanistan’s intelligence service in Kabul. No civilians were harmed, reportedly. But the fact that these attacks are taking place... More

Afghan govt slammed over spike in attacks

Residents and analysts across the country have slammed government over what they say is its inability to provide security to the people of the country. This comes in the wake of a string of deadly attacks against civilians... More

Taliban attack in Ghazni complicates peace talks

The five-day siege of the southern Afghan province of Ghazni officially came to an end on Tuesday afternoon. But while Afghan forces had reportedly started clearance operations, unconfirmed reports suggested there were ongoing battles in some districts. The... More

Taliban forces overrun military base, key highway in endless Afghan war

Taliban forces overran an army base in the Ghormach district of the Faryab province, killing some 17 soldiers, according to a Defense Ministry spokesperson, and capturing 40, according to a local MP cited by Channel News Asia. Faryab's... More

‘System of greed, control’ drives US’ relentless occupation of Afghanistan

The US-led coalition in Afghanistan finished its combat mission in December 2014, marking the formal end of the longest war in American history. Since then, US troops have remained in the country acting in a supervisory role,... More

Kabul and ‘Resolute Support’ sign to boost telecom services

The Afghan government and the NATO-led ‘Resolute Support’ mission signed on 11 August a memorandum of understanding (MOU) designed to enhance telecommunication services across Afghanistan. “The Afghan National Defense Security Forces depend on a more reliable and... More

Assaults by Taliban raise questions about US plan for peace

A year after the Trump administration introduced its strategy for Afghanistan, the Taliban are asserting themselves on the battlefield even as U.S. officials talk up hopes for peace. That’s raising questions about the viability of the American... More

Taliban crosses the Rubicon with Tashkent meeting

The Taliban, against the backdrop of tightening Uzbek-Afghan relations, last week paid a landmark visit to Tashkent, heralding new regional stature for the militant group. The Uzbek Foreign Ministry on Saturday released a terse statement confirming the visit... More

The Taliban’s mini Tet Offensive in Afghanistan

The Taliban have skillfully surprised the Afghan government and NATO’s military commanders in Afghanistan by overrunning the city of Ghazni, a strategic population center on the main highway linking Kabul to the west and southwest of the... More

More British troops are being sent to Afghanistan – to appease Trump

Four hundred and forty British troops are about to leave for Afghanistan to help fight the Taliban. Could someone explain why? It is now four years since British troops “left” that country, after 13 long years and... More

80 Afghan forces killed in Ghazni battle

At least 80 Afghan security force members have been killed during three days of intense fighting with the Taliban in the strategically important city of Ghazni. Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, a provincial council member, said according to initial reports... More

Afghanistan and the issue of transnational conspiracy

The deplorable statistics of drug addicted people in Afghanistan exceeded one million and the poppy growth almost doubled, since the international community call for counter-narcotics. The most outrageous in this context is, that one third of the... More

Afghanistan takes control of Its own airspace

The Independent Civil Aviation Authority of Afghanistan on Thursday assumed full control of Afghanistan's airspace after almost 26 years. Presidential Palace said in a statement that a new radar system was inaugurated in the presence of President Ashraf... More

Reasons for hope amid Afghanistan’s endless war

Afghanistan is one country with two stories, told side by side. As talk of Afghan peace accords grows stronger, both of these realities must figure into the way forward. In the first story, Afghanistan is a country of... More

US reportedly deploys more troops to Afghanistan, but for what purpose?

More US forces have been deployed in the Afghan province of Farah to train government troops in the use of modern weapons, the Afghan news agency Khaama reported, citing Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman Mohammad Radmanish. While the... More

Afghan leader confirms US official met Taliban in Qatar

In its first official reaction to contacts for peace between the U.S. and the Taliban, the Afghan government on Monday acknowledged the contacts, but rejected the idea of ceding any land to the Taliban. "The Afghan government is... More


India’s multi alignment challenge 

This is clearly the big diplomatic season for India and its travel-driven Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe's visit to India (Aug 21-24) is a hugely important event, coming as it does after PM Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping defused the long military stand-off at Doklam through informal summits and after... More

To forge their peace, Afghan Taliban wage their war

While the latest Taliban attack on the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan has led many in the West, especially the mainstream media, to conclude that no peace talks with the Taliban can bring peace, these analysis seem to have completely missed the whole points of talks as they are going on: the Taliban are... More

Has digital media changed politics in Bangladesh?

Political nostalgia in Bangladesh centres around public and street agitations. It begins with the language movement of 1952 which defined the basic parameters of national aspiration. The next station of political memory is the 1962 student’s movement against Gen. Ayub Khan’s martial law regime imposed in 1958. It ended in 1969 with the most glorified... More

Accountability begins at home

A democratic form of government being accountable to the people, the elected representatives are accountable to the people who elect them. Our enduring constant crisis in governance stems from our inept and corrupt rulers trampling the essential pillars of good governance, rule of law and accountability. This gives rise to unbridled and widespread corruption,... More

Bangladesh: A social media driven state?

It’s not easy to have a calm conversation in Bangladesh. Everyone is rushing to make a comment, observe and abuse. Or make a counter to all that. Anything that requires critical thought is discarded and the instant reaction is the most common form of response. In a society not unduly famous for pondering, Bangladesh... More


Bleak times for freedom of expression, whether emergency or not

Its time to stop the nitpicking. All that hair-splitting about whether what we are witnessing in India today is classical fascism or not – stop it. The argument that this is not like the Emergency of 1975 – completely irrelevant. Those bookish notions belong to seminar rooms and academic discussions, where high-minded... More

India’s social-media ‘lynch mobs’ pose growing threat

Social-media platforms are often criticized for their susceptibility to toxic dialogue and vicious attacks. It is a problem that India knows well. Just ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, whose recent vilification by members and supporters of her own ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a case in point. Swaraj has developed a... More

The new trade order

Since the start of the year, U.S. President Donald Trump has lashed out at allies and adversaries alike on trade. Often, as with India, the U.S. has pushed for enhanced security cooperation at the same time it declared trade relations a national security threat. The belligerence has left many baffled. Some pointers A first... More

One day does not an election make

The much-awaited Gazipur city election is over, the “we-knew-it-from-before” polls results are upon us, the “impartiality” of the police and the “neutrality” of the civil administration have once again been demonstrated, the never-too-late-to-follow “certificate” of the Election Commission has been delivered and, of course, our democracy now stands “strengthened”. As some would have... More



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 formed, this will... More