AFGHANISTAN

AFGHANISTAN

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

Australian soldiers accused of war crimes while serving in Afghanistan


Australian defence minister Marise Payne has defended the work of special forces in complex and chaotic environments while insisting the government is seriously examining claims soldiers may have committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Senator Payne’s... More

COLUMN

India faces tough choices as the US sanctions Iran

For the Indian policy makers, one of the crucial questions today is of how to walk a balancing act between the US, their prime strategic ally, and Iran, their traditional regional ally and, of course, third biggest supplier of oil.  The question has become even more significant ever since... More

Writing on the Wall

Even a cursory analysis of the three Nawaz Sharif sackings as PM reveals one constant sordid fact, his incurring penchant to listen to a bunch of “unelectable advisors” who constantly feed his already inflated ego about his supposed omni-potency. The 1993 sacking did him wonders, turning an Establishment “puppet... More

Something is broken in Bangladesh: Will it heal?

There is something scared about the relationship between a University, its teachers and students. It is built on trust, obligation, mutual affection and much more. Its as if the teacher is the parent, the campus is the home. A relationship is inherently therefore written into this unwritten contract. It was... More

Myanmar minister’s mission impossible

Myanmar’s new finance minister, Soe Win is determined to revitalize the government’s economic policies and ensure their effective implementation, according to government insiders. Although he has only been in his post for less than two months, there are significant signs that with him at the helm, the government’s commitment... More

The Wuhan spirit of cooperation picks up

The informal Modi-Xi summit at Wuhan had decided to provide “strategic guidance” to their militaries to manage and defuse troop confrontations along the 4057 km Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two leaders asserted that during patrolling, the two armies should stick to existing protocols and mechanisms. These range... More

EDITOR'S CHOICE

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... 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... 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... More

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

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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