Elaine Unterhalter, UCL In August 2021 the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, and since then secondary education for girls in the country has been banned. However, there have been reports of clandestine girls’ schools operating despite the ban. Teenage girls … Continue reading The history of secret education for girls in Afghanistan – and its use as a political symbol
Mathew Guest, Durham University This autumn’s Brazilian presidential election offers a glimpse of how 21st century populist leaders are using religion to enthuse their support base. The incumbent, right-wing firebrand Jair Bolsonaro, rose to power in 2018 with support from … Continue reading Brazil: how populist politicians use religion to help them win
NU Chairman Invites Indian Ambassador to Strengthen Peace within the Indo-Pacific Region Continue reading The ‘Ashoka Approach’ and Indonesian Leadership
Kambaiz Rafi, UCL and Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham In late August 2021, the US completed its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, ending a 20-year occupation. The Taliban retook the country with shocking speed. The Islamic fundamentalist political group was … Continue reading What’s next for Afghanistan? Two experts make predictions
Sippi Azarbaijani Moghaddam, University of St Andrews It was April 1995, and I was preparing to travel to Afghanistan for my first volunteer post with a UK charity. I had travelled to London to meet the Afghanistan director for the … Continue reading What my 20 years in Afghanistan taught me about the Taliban – and how the west consistently underestimates them
It was a typical Kabul morning. Malik Ashgar Square was already bumper-to-bumper with Corolla taxis, green police jeeps, honking minivans, and angry motorcyclists. There were boys sellingphone cards and men waving wads of cash for exchange, all weaving their way around the vehicles amid exhaust fumes. At the gate of the Lycee Esteqial, one of the country’s most prestigious schools, students were kicking around a soccer ball. At the Ministry of Education, a weathered old Soviet-style building opposite the school, a line of employees spilled out onto the street. I was crossing the square, heading for the ministry, when I saw the suicide … Continue reading How the US created, and lost, Afghan war
AP SOURCES By DEB RIECHMANN This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The nearly five-year effort to free the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan is scattered among numerous federal agencies with a loosely organized group of people working on it mostly part time, according to two members of Congress and military officials involved in the effort. An ever-shrinking U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has re-focused attention on efforts to bring home Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. (AP Photo/U.S. Army) This image made from video released … Continue reading Work to Free Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Disorganised!
Mutasim confirmed to be missing in the UAE. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan on Monday officially confirmed that a senior Taliban leader, Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, who had started dialogue with Kabul-backed negotiators in Dubai, has been missing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After a mysterious silence for nearly two weeks, the Afghan Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed that Mutasim is missing. “The Afghan government confirms that Agha Jan Mutasim has disappeared in the UAE and we are talking to UAE senior officials to determine his fate,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Shakaib Mustaghni said in Kabul. “The talks, unfortunately, have … Continue reading Taliban leader goes missing in UAE
Tolerance is a fine thing. However, there are limits that any sane society must prescribe, and the presence of autonomous, unaccountable entities that in all likelihood present a danger to the lives of citizens and the security of the state cannot be tolerated. Recently reports have emerged that in the event that peace talks fail, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) allies at religious seminaries in and around the capital, Islamabad, are ready to support the terrorists and help attacks on the city. The TTP strategic aim of inculcating fear in people is well served by these reports. However, these fears are not … Continue reading Tolerance for Terrorists?
Militants want ban on laughter, crying, says Chinese governor REUTERS The governor of China’s Xinjiang region. — Photo by Reuters BEIJING: The governor of China’s restive region of Xinjiang wrote on Monday that Islamist militants were trying to ban laughter at weddings and crying at funerals, as he appealed to people to stamp out the “tumour” of extremism. Xinjiang has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on militants and separatists. Exiles and many rights groups say the real cause of the unrest is China’s heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language … Continue reading Mullahs trying to ban laughter?