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
Retiring Pakistan army chief set for key role By Syed Fazl-e-Haider KARACHI – General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, one of Pakistan’s most powerful men, has announced his retirement from the post of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on November 29. With one stroke on Sunday, General Kiani put to rest speculation in the media that he would try to extend his three-year term for a third time. Some reports, however, claim that Kiani is lobbying to keep a key defense role. Kiani is prepared to accept a position as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), currently a largely ceremonial … Continue reading General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani – Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC)
Karzai trapped in no-man’s land By M K Bhadrakumar Afghan President Hamid Karzai has made his first political move a week after the assassination of the head of the Afghan High Peace Council and former president, Burhanuddin Rabbani. Following a meeting in Kabul that included tribal elders, legislative chairmen, cabinet ministers, former mujahideen commanders and his two vice presidents, Karzai’s office issued a statement on Wednesday admitting that a question mark should be on the Taliban’s capacity to take independent decisions, implying they were merely a Pakistani proxy. The statement suggested that Karzai no more regards the Taliban as his … Continue reading Is Karzai trapped?