AFGHANISTAN

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan president Invites Pakistan PM to visit Kabul


Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani on Saturday (Mar 17) met with a Pakistani delegation led by Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua and discussed the Afghan government’s peace offer to the Taliban, the Presidential... More

Afghan security leaders under fire over spike in casualty toll


Serious concerns have been raised over the spike in deaths on the battlefield of security forces after reports indicated that in the past two weeks over 170 ANSF members were killed around the country In... More

Tashkent conference on Afghanistan to be held on March 26-27


An international conference on Afghanistan is set to be held on March 26-27 in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday (Mar 15). Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, Ministry spokeswoman... More

Iranian FM accuses US of supporting Daesh in Afghanistan


Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused the United States of supporting Daesh in Afghanistan to fuel regional terrorism and threaten neighboring countries. Speaking in Islamabad while on a three-day visit to Pakistan, Zarif... More

America’s “Game Changer” approach for victory in Afghanistan


The US Defense Secretary, James Mattis, stated “victory in Afghanistan is still possible — not necessarily on the battlefield but in facilitating Taliban reconciliation with the Afghan government”, during his unannounced visit to Afghanistan... More

Taliban stops short of rejecting Afghan president’s peace plan


The Taliban 's muted response to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer of peace talks last month reflects an internal debate over the merits of engaging with a government that the group has long viewed... More

US Defence Secretary makes surprise Kabul Visit, holds talks with President, CEO


US Defense Secretary James Mattis held discussions with President Ashraf Ghani during his trip to Kabul on Tuesday (March 13). In a message of gratitude to the US for its efforts in Afghanistan, Ghani also... More

Orbital ATK contracted to provide AC-208 armed ISR aircraft to Afghanistan


The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Orbital ATK a sole-source contract to deliver AC-208 armed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft to Afghanistan. The ‘pseudo’ Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract, announced on 9 March,... More

Taleban capture Afghanistan district in fresh setback for US-backed security forces


The Taleban captured a district in western Afghanistan on Monday (March 12), officials said, as security continues to deteriorate in the besieged province of Farah. The fall of the district, Anardarah, came days after Afghan... More

Afghan security forces suffer heavy losses in Taliban ambush


Around 15 security force members, including eight Special Forces, were killed on Friday night in Bala Blok district in Farah province, provincial council members said Saturday (March 10). Head of Farah provincial council Farid Bakhtawar... More

At least nine killed in suicide attack in Afghanistan’s Capital


There has been no immediate claim of responsibility following reports of an alleged suicide attack near a mosque in the city of Kabul as Afghanistan continues to suffer in the fight against terrorists such... More

$7.5 billion pipeline has surprise patrons: Taliban


After decades of talks, Afghanistan finally broke ground last month on a $7.5 billion gas pipeline that will run through areas controlled by the Taliban. Even more surprising: The militant group is backing the... More

Kazakhstan grants US access to ports for Afghanistan


Kazakhstan’s lawmakers approved an agreement allowing the United States to use two of the nation’s Caspian Sea ports as transit points for shipping nonmilitary material to Afghanistan. By gaining access to the ports of Aktau... More

US trainers in Afghanistan to offer new type of training to local...


A brigade of seasoned American soldiers has arrived in Afghanistan in recent days on a much-trumpeted mission to offer a new type of training — as well as motivation — to beleaguered Afghan partners. Pentagon... More

US urges Taliban to consider Kabul’s offer for peace talks


The United States (US) on Monday called on the Taliban to consider an offer for peace talks extended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Ghani at an international conference in Kabul last week unveiled a plan... More

Afghan govt working to form Territorial Army


Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry on Monday (March 5) said that an order by President Ashraf Ghani on the formation of a territorial army has been issued based on which over 36,000 recruits will be hired... More

Golden opportunity for peace in Afghanistan


A golden opportunity for peace has emerged in Afghanistan in the wake of President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to recognise the Afghan Taliban as a political movement. The Afghan leader has also dangled before... More

Fiber-optic line will run alongside TAPI


A fiber optic cable line streaming an internet connection from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and onward to India is expected to be implemented alongside Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI), said Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communication and IT (MCIT)... More

Afghanistan offers joint intelligence probe on Daesh activities


Afghanistan has extended an offer of joint intelligence and security investigation to countries who have been concerned about the threat posed by Daesh. National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar presented the offer during second Kabul... More

Average rainfall down by 30% in Afghanistan


The Afghanistan Meteorological Department says the average rainfall across the country this year is 30 percent down against previous years. Although showers are expected through March until April, the department said the amount of rain... More

Peace in Afghanistan prerequisite for regional security: Iranian Commander


Iran's Air Force Commander Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi said the establishment of peace in war-ravaged Afghanistan could play a key role in enhancing peace and security in the region. “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes... 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