Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, June 1st, 2020

Violence Against Women Remains as a Big Issue

February 10,2020

Living free from violence is a human right, yet millions of women and girls suffer disproportionately from violence both in peace and in war, at the hands of the state, in the home and community...

The Fragility of Democracy in Afghanistan

February 09,2020

The nascent democracy, emerged in the post-Taliban administration with the endorsement of the democratic constitution, is highly vulnerable. Afghans believed that democracy ...

Further Haggling at the Negotiating Table

February 08,2020

After several rounds of talks held between the Taliban and US representatives in Qatar, the draft agreement is still controversial. If the Taliban could bring down their expectations ...

Reaching a Deal or Deadlock

February 06,2020

Peace talks carry increasing significance for Afghan people, who have frequently urged the Taliban to stop violence and negotiate with the Kabul administration...

What Peace Deal Afghans Expect

February 05,2020

Afghan Peace process is one of the most crucial issues of the country. Currently, the main unresolved issues according to the Secretary of the State of the US are showing ...

Violence Against Women by Women

February 04,2020

In the traditional structure of Afghan society, the bulk of the violence Afghan women suffer is believed to be imposed by themselves. Within the families, Afghan women adopt offensive ...

What If There is no Peace in Peace Talks?

February 03,2020

Although it was believed that the US and Taliban would sign a peace agreement within few weeks, there appears to be no breakthrough in the talks. Washington has urged the Taliban to reduce violence and declare ...

The Economic Plight of Kabul Citizens

February 02,2020

The wintertime compounds the hardships of poor women and children in Kabul city. They live in crumbled houses and slums. These people who earn their bread and butter by begging ...

No Effective Mechanism for Combating Corruption

February 01,2020

The Transparency International’s report on the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2019 shows that Afghanistan still ranks as the world’s most corrupt countries. ...

Afghans Sustained Heavy Casualties Last Year

January 30,2020

Civilian casualties continued unabated despite the ongoing talks between the Taliban and US representatives in the Qatari capital of Doha. Afghan non-combatants bore the brunt of violence within the past few years. All warring factions were engaged ...

Democracy – A Hard-Gained Achievement for Afghans

January 29,2020

Afghanistan has passed numerous ups and downs throughout the history for democratization. Following the 18th century, as democracy burgeoned in some parts of the world; Afghan nation ...

Crime – A Widespread Practice

January 28,2020

Every society experiences crime and corruption; however, the magnitude of this phenomenon depends on cultural factors, on the economy and above all, on the law and order situation in a society. On the one hand ...

Declaration of Ceasefire – A Bone of Contention

January 27,2020

As the Taliban and US’ representatives are reaching close to a deal, the rift between the Afghan government and political leaders has grown wider. Political factions seem to disapprove of the negotiating team formed by the Ghani administration and welcome Taliban’s agreement on reduction of violence. Calling reduction of violence “ambiguous”, the Kabul administration has urged the Taliban to declare ceasefire. That is, Kabul asks for declaration of ceasefire before intra-Afghan dialogue; nonetheless, political leaders believe that intra-Afghan talks would pave the ground for truce. The Taliban agreed to scale down their military operations but refused to declare ceasefire. With the lack of national consensus and growing rift between high-ranking political figures and the government, the intra-Afghan dialogue appears to be very controversial. Political figures will be in pursuit of their political positions in the government, in which the Taliban are supposed to be integrated. Afghans are apprehensive about two issues: First the intra-Afghan dialogue will be ...

Intolerance – The Main Reason Behind Fratricide

January 26,2020

There is a fascinating little story that is preserved for us in Greek literature about Ulysses and the Sirens. The Sirens had the ability to sing so sweetly that sailors could not resist steering toward their island. Many ships were lured upon the rocks, and men forgot home, duty, and honor as they flung themselves into the sea to be embraced by arms that drew them down to death. Ulysses, determined not to be lured by the Sirens, first decided to tie himself tightly to the mast of his boat, and his crew stuffed their ears with wax. But finally he and his crew learned a better way to save themselves: they took on board the beautiful singer Orpheus whose melodies were sweeter than the music of the Sirens. When Orpheus sang, who bothered to listen to the Sirens? “So we must ...

Knowledge without Virtue

January 25,2020

Education is the key to the future: You’ve heard it a million times, and it’s not wrong. Educated people have higher wages and lower unemployment rates, and better-educated countries grow faster and innovate more than other countries. But going to college is not enough. You also have to study the right subjects,” these words are spoken by Alex Tabarrok. Education and learning are tools of empowerment; they matter. They enable analytical thinking, innovation, and adaptability. True education and learning are essential elements of 21st century society for every individual, every beginning and lifelong learner. Education and learning bring zest to life, for as writer and educator Edith Hamilton indicated, “To be able to be caught up into the world of thought – that is being educated.” The annual rush for admissions to schools and universities in our society is a satisfying matter. Thousands join every year and many graduate from these educational centers. The younger generation, both males and females, want education. The ambitions of the students fill one with great hope. Moreover, private universities are expanding every year. Thus, a vast ...

The Tortuous Path of Counter-Terrorism

January 23,2020

The war on terror was launched in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attack on World Trade Center complex in New York City. US forces took a military action as a backlash against the Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies. The operation was very serious that the Taliban could hardly find sanctuaries inside the country. The Tora Bora, which was allegedly used as Taliban’s sanctuary, was under heavy bombardments. Ultimately, the Taliban regime was overthrown. It was only the start of the long story. The Taliban reactionaries resurfaced with radically religious beliefs to launch jihad against the foreign troops in Afghanistan. They regrouped as an insurgency movement to the American-backed Karzai administration and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Militancy broke out seriously leading to human casualties – including Afghan civilians – and the country was moved towards higher instability. Gradually, the country retrogressed to the time of Taliban’s regime. Violence, bloodshed and terrorist acts were making the ...

What Does the Violence Reduction Mean?

January 22,2020

This is several times that the top government officials rejected the Taliban’s violence reduction plan with its probable agreement with the United States. In recent days, the second vice president repeatedly reacted against the Taliban’s violence reduction plan calling it as deception of the international community and escape from actual peace program. A few days ago, the Pakistani foreign minister had also mentioned the Taliban’s violence reduction plan with adding that the violence reduction is a positive step towards peace in Afghanistan. A number of Afghanistan’s supporters had also welcomed the plan to reduce violence at a meeting in Qatar last week. But the Afghan government has insisted that a ceasefire should be announced before beginning inter-Afghan talks instead of violence reduction plan. According to the second vice-president, the Taliban want to escape from actual peace with deceiving the international community. Given the above action and reactions, the key question is what does violence reduction really mean? This question is important because a new terminology entered in political literature of Afghanistan which is really fresh in literacy of peace and war of the country. In clearer term, the “violence reduction” does not have an understandable meaning and it neither can be clearly defined while if we ...

Rise of Poverty and its Dark Prospective in Afghanistan

January 21,2020

Beside multiple social and political issues, poverty is one of the top chronic problems which increasingly give birth to a large series of other social and political problems in the country. According to a recent report quoted from the Ministry of Economy, more than 55 percent of Afghan people live under poverty line. Similarly, the other institutions’ reports indicate that the situation of poverty has not only declined in 2019 but also shows a slight increase. For example, based on the Asian Development Bank’s report the level of poverty was 54% in 2018 but it has slightly increased in the current year. However, the differences are largely linked to the decrease of international aid. Any-why, beside natural disasters, insecurity, migration, violence and addiction, Afghanistan is faced with increasing poverty challenge. This issue seems more serious when it is deemed as a root factor for many social and ...

Concerns Grow over Women’s Rights and Liberties

January 20,2020

With the likely return of the Taliban militants, after reaching a peace agreement with their US interlocutors and the Afghan government, and potential for radicalism, concerns over the violation of women’s rights and liberties increase. It appears that the Taliban are not willing to change their mindset towards women. The Taliban’s chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar said that the Taliban’s view towards women had not changed. “We accept all the rights that God has granted to women.” It indicates that the Taliban still seek to impose their radical interpretation of the Islamic Sharia on people. Religious terminology from the Taliban’s lens is hardly reconcilable with democratic principles. And with the return of the Taliban’s fundamental figures and clerics, the rights and liberties of women will be at stake. The potential for radicalism in the country will contribute to the Taliban’s misogynistic ...

Reduction of Violence and Rejection of Ceasefire

January 19,2020

Taliban has agreed on reduction of violence amid signing the agreement about a withdrawal of foreign forces. In order to know what it means for Afghans we shall go through the process and what has been achieved so far. What has Taliban Gained? Taliban has been the winner of the peace talks so far; their status from a terrorist group in the perception of the regional countries and international community has changed to a legitimate group that is fighting against those who have occupied Afghanistan and the government of Afghanistan as the agent of the invaders. Their leader travels freely in different countries now. Afghan government in a bid to show its goodwill freed a number of high ranking Taliban leaders including Anas Haqqani. In addition to this, many Taliban commanders and members have freed by government to show the political willingness of Afghan government for reaching a settlement in the ...

Citizens Concerned about Rising Crime

January 18,2020

There is almost no one who has not fallen victim to street crime in large cities, mainly in Kabul. The crime rate has increased to a great extent in Kabul City and citizens fear being mugged while walking on the streets in broad daylight. The criminal activities in Kabul include theft, robbery, burglary, mugging, and murder. A number of people are mugged in Kabul streets on day-to-day basis and the muggers escape easily. Many of the criminals carry pistols and knives and simply hurt their victims who resist against them. Some victims are reported dead and wounded while resisting to keep their properties. Snatching mobile phones and women’s purses is very common on the streets. For example, few months back, my sister and I were walking in a busy street of Kabul, two motorcyclists snatched her purse while passing us. We could do nothing. Darkness in streets, as a result of lack of electric power, has made people more vulnerable to street crimes and mugging. Criminals extort citizens’ money and properties at gunpoint in ...

Human Rights Prone to Increasing Regional Tension

January 16,2020

Following the US-Iran tension, the fear of increasing instability in the region has mounted. Regional stakeholders are concerned about the escalating tension and its horrible consequences. The region has been jeopardized after the emergence of the self-proclaimed ISIL group, Syria’s conflict, and Saudi Arabia’s attacks on Yemen. As a result of the three aforementioned incidents, the rights and liberties of civilians and soldiers were violated on a large scale. A countless number of people were killed and discriminated on the grounds of their caste, color, and creed. Scores of women were raped by ISIL fighters simply for following a certain faith. The malnourished Yemeni children still make the headlines around the world and refugees from war-torn countries suffer severely in camps. To one’s unmitigated chagrin, the Middle East conflict has brought about untold sorrows to men, women and children. The outpouring of pain and suffering inflicted on war victims outrage the collective ...

The Fragility of Peace Talks

January 15,2020

Despite the prolonged talks between the US representatives and the Taliban, intra-Afghan dialogue has not been ushered in since the Taliban refused to hold talks with the Kabul administration. The prospect for US-Taliban peace deal has increased, which is most likely to result in intra-Afghan dialogue. The Taliban interlocutors urged them on multiple occasions to reduce violence and declare a ceasefire. Recently, the Kabul government has called on the Taliban to declare truce saying that reduction of violence, accepted by the Taliban, is neither practical nor promising. The Taliban seem to have accepted reduction of violence in the wake of the cold climate, which restrict their operations and fighting capacity. In 2019, the Taliban declared their spring offensive despite the persistent call for reduction of violence. The Taliban’s decision making is based on their fighters’ security, political ramifications, and religious suitability. They are unlikely to have decided for declaration of ceasefire after consulting their top leaders in ...

The Challenges of Free Market in Afghanistan

January 14,2020

According to article 10 of constitution of Afghanistan, the economic system of the country is defined as free market system. Though there is no absolute concept in social science, including economy, it has caused an absolute interpretation from free market system so far as every destructive economic behavior is justified on the basis of free market system reflected in the law. When we talk to some of the officials why the prices of basic goods are suddenly doubled in winter seasons, they justify their silence based on article 10 of the national law as if the injustice and economic oppression is allowed by law in Afghanistan. Undoubtedly, the law also does not allow injustice and economic oppression which is going on under name of free market. Even if we look in the origin countries of free market system, no one believe in absolute interpretation of free market system or else it can be used as a weapon against social and political security of any countrie, especially under developed countries such as ...

‘If You’re Not at the Table, You’re on the Menu’

January 13,2020

The active engagement of Afghan women in the peace talks will be highly crucial since the rights and liberties of women are one of the issues discussed at the table. The Taliban hold radical mindset towards women, who are concerned about the outcome of the ongoing talks between the Taliban and US representatives. Afghan women reiterated their inclusion in the talks on multiple occasions and were concerned that the Taliban would continue their radical mindset towards them. Following the collapse of the Taliban regime, the Afghan constitution was approved based on democratic principles and recognized equal rights and liberties for both men and women. Meanwhile, international organizations and Independent Human Rights Commission also advocated the rights ...

The Persistent Challenges of Kabul, the Capital City of Afghanistan

January 12,2020

In recent years, Kabul population growth has been considered as one of the fastest growing populations in the world, increasing from few hundred thousand populations to estimated seven million people. Therefore, it facing multiple challenges including: water shortages, social crimes, unmapped city, air-pollution, environmental challenges, over traffics, overpopulation, poverty, and unemployment and so on. This article is aiming to provide a brief picture of main the challenges hoping to draw attentions of thinkers and actors for solving chronic challenges of this important city. As pointed out, the first main problem of Kabul city is water shortage due to various ...

The Main Factors of Development and Modernization

January 11,2020

There are various definitions about modernization and development but mainly it refers to deep changes in human thinking, behavior, mentality and way of social and political life. When a society is modernized, it will experience many psychological, social, cultural, economic and political changes. In the other word, when we talk about modernization, it means there are some old and traditional things or system which does not work or function properly; therefore needs to replace with a new system that works properly. Based on this, when a society is modernized, the human energies are coherently focused on how to exploit the social and natural environment for reaching human purposes. The main features of a modernized society include: having independent government, high level of urban life, high level of literacy, high level of human motivation, high level of industrialization, high level of educational services for all, high level of freedom of expression ...

Peace Talks Prone to Escalating Tension in the Region

January 09,2020

It is feared that the US-Taliban ongoing talks in the Qatari capital of Doha will be vulnerable after the escalating tension between Iran and the United States following the US killing of Qassem Suleimani, the powerful commander of Iran’s Quds Force. US officials are concerned about the vulnerability of the Afghan peace process and its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran sought to undermine the process. Some feared that the Taliban will be handed more sophisticated weaponry if peace talks reach a stalemate. A former Afghan intelligence chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, said on Twitter that it would be “no surprise” if such missile technology made its way into Taliban hands if a peace deal were to fall through.

Achieving Sustainable Development

January 08,2020

We live in “the global village” where human societies share organic relations. When a country sustains economic recession, prosperity is harmed everywhere. When a person suffers from a new flu, all are at risk. When nuclear weapon is pursued by one nation, all nations are susceptible to the risk of nuclear attack. When violent extremists spill the blood of individuals in one corner of the world, the entire globe is affected mentally and emotionally. And when innocents are slaughtered in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, the public conscience is outraged. That is what it means we live in “the global village” and share ...

Population Growth a Major Impediment to Economic Growth

January 07,2020

Population growth is one of the major barriers to development in developing countries. Nearly all developing countries are struggling with these phenomena. The population . . .

Gender Equality Ensures a Vibrant Society

January 06,2020

Equality between men and women is one of the core values of the Afghanistan constitution. This value has been enshrined in Afghan legal and political frameworks. Based on the Afghanistan constitution, Afghan government is committed to breaking the vicious cycle of gender discrimination through developing gender responsive polices in different sectors. Afghan government has taken different measures and a range of activities aimed at empowering girls and women, protecting their rights, transforming their lives and strengthening their voices as drivers of sustainable development. Afghan government wants to take further measures to ensure empowerment of Afghan ...

Taliban Show no Concern about Civilian Casualties

January 05,2020

Afghan nation and state as well as the international community have been concerned about the civilian casualties in Afghanistan, inflicted by the Taliban militants within almost two decades. Although the Afghan government and ordinary people have called on the Taliban militants on multiple occasions to reduce violence, the Taliban continued their deadly attacks. Taliban leaders and military commanders said that military imperatives take precedence. The Taliban are unlikely to take precautions to protect civilians and their assets if doing so would inhibit their ability to achieve their military objectives ...

The ‘Afghanistan Papers’ Unfold Roadblocks to Counterterrorism

January 04,2020

The focus of discussion between the Taliban and US representatives at the negotiating table in the Qatari capital of Doha will be reduction of violence that could lead to a ceasefire and intra-Afghan dialogue. The Taliban negotiators consult with their top leadership in Pakistan whether or not to declare ceasefire. It appears that the issue of ceasefire has been controversial between the Taliban leaders and their military commanders. It is said that the Peshawar Shura, which has the largest number of Taliban leaders, had made a positive decision on the ceasefire. However, the Quetta Shura, which is mostly military, had different views on the ceasefire. Former members of the Taliban hope that the views of the group’s politicians and militaries will be coordinated. Recently, the AP has reported that the Taliban’s ruling council agreed Sunday to a transient ceasefire ...

No True Democracy Unless Women’s Voices Heard

January 02,2020

The rights and freedoms of women have been a highly controversial subjects during Afghan kings, communist regimes, Mujahidin, and the Taliban regime. Afghan women have been vulnerable to social and political changes and their rights have passed many ups and downs with the changes of regimes. In the post-Taliban Afghanistan, with the establishment of nascent democracy, women’s rights and dignity are still debated hotly. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghan women have made significant advances in rights ...

Afghans Hope for Peace in 2020

January 01,2020

Despite the public hope, the year 2019 has been replete with a myriad of challenges for Afghan people. Afghan civilians bore the brunt of violence and conflict and Afghan soldiers also sustained heavy casualties. Neither the US and Taliban negotiators reached an agreement nor the Taliban were pressured to start negotiations with the Afghan government. With the beginning of each year, Afghans hope that peace talks will bear the desired result, which would lead to the establishment of peace and stability, however their ...