AFGHANISTAN

AFGHANISTAN

Blast at election center in Afghan capital kills 57


A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a voter registration center in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday (Apr 22), killing at least 57 people and injuring more than 100, in the most serious... More

Afghanistan-Turkey to hold trade talks


A joint economic forum between Afghanistan and Turkey is being planned, possibly for May, said Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Economy, Fatih Metin. According to him, the plan is for discussions to be held on the... More

NSA asks China to help establish a ‘Mountain Brigade’


Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Haneef Atmar has wrapped up a three-day official visit to China where he held talks with a number of high-ranking officials, including China’s Vice President Wang Qishan. Atmar also met... More

Afghans interested more than ever to learn Chinese


The number of Chinese language fans has increased unprecedently as university students say it will boost relations between Afghanistan and China. Youths from Kabul learn the language in private schools and meanwhile students learn it... More

US military focus shifts from Iraq, Syria to Afghanistan, bombing report shows


The United States dropped more weapons on Afghanistan in March 2018 than it did in Syria and Iraq that month, a first since the commencement of the 2014 US anti-Daesh campaign in Iraq and... More

Afghanistan’s 30-year pipe dream could bring power, industry


Afghanistan is pressing ahead with plans to turn natural gas from an $8-billion pipeline into economic development, with projects ranging from fertilizer plants to power generation, but first it needs to start construction. The TAPI... More

China factor in Afghan peace


The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Li Baodong, speaking at Tashkent Peace Conference on Afghanistan, extended China’s support to the inclusive political reconciliation process in Afghanistan. He said China saw Afghanistan as an important partner... More

Taliban turns down Afghan President’s offer to take part in elections


The Taliban radical movement has rejected the offer of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to participate in Afghanistan’s parliamentary and local elections, TOLO broadcaster reported. The Taliban  slammed the upcoming elections, saying that only those who... More

Border clashes threaten Pak-Afghan thaw


Pakistan and Afghanistan began efforts to defuse tensions after cross-border skirmishes on Sunday left at least 2 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers martyred and many others wounded. The incident – happened along the border with Afghanistan in... More

Pakistani soldiers killed in fire from Afghanistan


Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in cross-border fire from Afghanistan while working on a fence intended to cover nearly all of the disputed 2,500km border separating the countries, the Pakistani military said on Sunday... More

Afghans register to vote in long-delayed elections amid violence


Afghanistan over the weekend began registering voters across the war-torn country as it seeks to ensure that long-delayed legislative elections in October are seen as credible and fraud-free. Over the next two months, authorities hope... More

Parliamentary polls might be delayed: Afghanistan’s new CEC


A day after he was appointed as the new head of the Independent Election Commission, Gula Jan Abdulbadi Sayyad said there is the possibility parliamentary and district council elections could be delayed for a... More

UNAMA again records high levels of civilian casualties in Afghanistan


The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Thursday reported that during the first three months of 2018, anti-government elements caused 1,500 civilian casualties - a six percent increase from the same period last... More

Pakistan-Afghanistan new dialogue mechanism raises hope for tension-free ties


A recent decision by Pakistan and Afghanistan to operationalize a new mechanism for dialogue have raised hopes for bilateral comprehensive engagement on key issues including actions against irreconcilable elements in both countries. During Pakistani Prime... More

Fight between security forces, Taliban in Afghanistan leaves 17 killed


At least 17 individuals have been killed in a clash between the Afghan forces and the Taliban in the western Herat province. The members of the Afghan security forces, killed in the fight, include a... More

US, Afghan forces target Taliban narcotics-production facilities


US and Afghan forces have targeted 11 Taliban-linked, drug-production facilities in Afghanistan’s western provinces of Farah and Nimruz, the NATO-led ‘Resolute Support’ mission announced in a 7 April statement. The precision air strikes, which were... More

Former Afghan president says only Russia can help Afghanistan


Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a television interview over the weekend that the US is responsible for the death of Afghans and is behind the Afghan crisis and that only Russia can... More

Afghan-Pakistani cross-border terrorism cuts both ways


Reports about Afghan Taliban safe havens on Pakistani soil are abundant and such refuges are seen as crucial for the militants’ ability to sustain their insurgency inside Afghanistan. What is often overlooked is that... More

Taliban won’t bow to Pakistan, says Zaeef


Former Taliban ambassador in Islamabad Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef said Pakistan has 'increased pressure' on the Taliban to join the reconciliation process but the insurgents will not bow to this, Pakistan’s Daily Times reported. "Pakistan... More

Afghanistan, Pakistan to take action against militants


Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to take action against fugitives and the irreconcilable militants under a bilateral agreement for regional peace and security, the Pakistan Foreign Office said on Sunday. In a statement, it said... More

Turkey asks Taliban to take advantage of peace offer


Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Turkey strongly supports the Afghan government’s efforts for peace in the country, and called on the Taliban to take advantage of the opportunity and engage in... More

COLUMN

On India’s attempts to woo Russia-EEU into economic union

While the US has been cultivating India as its major ally in the region in what the US officials have tacitly called ‘containment’ of China, prospects of this cultivation have become brighter ever since the recent out-break of trade-war between the US and China. While Indian and US interests strongly... More

Comey’s book and Pakistan’s leaders

James Brien Comey Jr served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for four years till fired by President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017. Trump initially claimed this was because of Comey's mishandling of the investigation into the private email of Hillary Clinton. The overriding perception... More

UN says Nasheed’s trial was flawed, but Maldivian govt maintains it...

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which went into the trial of former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed had listed the flaws in it and asked the Maldivian government to release him to enable him to contest the September 2018 Presidential election. But the government on Sunday rejected the UNHRC’s observations and recommendations... More

Bangladesh election 2018: is there a Sino-Indian stake?

It’s pretty odd to think that Bangladesh elections should be of any interest to China and India given the complete lack of its strategic value. However, Bangladesh maybe becoming a reluctant pawn of sorts in a regional ‘great game’. China’s rising influence in the region and India’s relative decline in what... More

Tripura’s new pitch for Geo-Economics

Biplab Deb is a BJP chief minister with a difference. In a 40-minute interview with this writer last week, he did not mention even once any of the usual saffron agenda -- Ram Mandir, beef, illegal migration from Bangladesh. "My agenda is development, development, development all the way," he... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

Iran to team up with China on nuke development if Trump...

As US President Donald Trump decides whether to reauthorize the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has long wanted to exit or renegotiate, Iranian authorities have announced they will be getting help with their nuclear program from China. "Some negotiations have been held on mutual cooperation and building small nuclear... More

Pinarayi and Gadkari link up on development

The American think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, had featured a riveting ‘curtain-raiser’ to the 2014 poll in India entitled Does Good Economics Mean Good Politics In India? The essay appeared in December 2013 and I’d carefully stored it in my archives, as a fairly prescient analysis of... More

Mutual respect is the key

I will not reach any deal that would go against the national interest of Nepal,” K P Sharma Oli, the prime minister of Nepal, reportedly assured parliamentarians in Kathmandu earlier this week, before heading out to India. That such questions should be asked and answered is a definitive sign... More

Reviving Nepal’s independent foreign policy

The long political transition in Nepal has come to an end with the successful completion of local, provincial and federal elections. A new phase of history beckons Nepal as it has adopted federalism under the new constitution promulgated in 2015. The achievement of economic prosperity has now been prioritized... 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