April 22, 2013 |
BRUSSELS -- Secretary of State John F. Kerry is to host a meeting of top Afghan and Pakistani leaders here this week in hopes of breathing new life into flagging Afghan peace efforts. The meeting set for Wednesday is to bring together Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his defense minister, Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. A State Department official described the encounter as part of a series of three-way meetings that occur regularly at a lower level.
April 8, 2010 |
In an apparent capitulation to international pressure, the government of President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday announced the removal of two top election officials who were implicated in widespread fraud in last summer's balloting for president. The legal framework for coming parliamentary elections has been a key point of contention between Karzai and Western governments. Karzai has resisted demands for what diplomats called "root-and-branch" reform of Afghanistan's electoral system before the vote, which is set for September.
April 26, 2012
Weary as Americans are of the war in Afghanistan, it has been obvious for some time that the United States would continue to play a role in that country after Afghan forces assume full control of security in 2014. So it isn't surprising that Washington and Kabul have reached a draft "strategic partnership" agreement under which the U.S. will continue providing military, economic and other aid to Afghanistan for another decade. In principle, a continuing relationship is perfectly defensible, but it needs to be circumscribed to prevent a re-escalation ofU.S.
February 13, 2012 |
Six months ago, in a moving ceremony during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, President Hamid Karzai went on Afghan television to pardon about two dozen young boys, the youngest only 8 years old, who had been caught trying to carry out suicide attacks. On Monday, authorities in Kandahar province reported that two of the children, 10-year-olds, had been rearrested last week, apparently intending again to carry out bombings. Provincial spokesman Zalmay Ayubi said the boys each had a vest full of explosives when they were detained along with three adults suspected of being militants, and that they told intelligence officers they had been recruited for suicide missions.
October 16, 2010 |
As a person who spends her time immersed in the Middle Ages, I would ordinarily be the first to point out how irrelevant this pastime is to modern society. There is very little reason to tweet or blog about people who have been dead for 600 years. However, the recent revelation that large numbers of President Hamid Karzai's relations have taken over positions of power in Afghanistan has encouraged me to believe that, for once, my preoccupation might be pertinent. For some time now, it has been obvious to me that the political model that best illustrates the philosophy and practice of the Afghan government is a medieval court.
August 22, 2010 |
The young lovers didn't stand a chance. In a desolate field on the edge of their village in northern Afghanistan, hundreds of men, stones in hand, closed in to carry out the mullah's death sentence, handed down after the pair eloped against the wishes of their families. "It was an act of great cruelty," said Mutasem Khan, an uncle of Abdul Qayuum, the 28-year-old man who was stoned to death this month in Kunduz province along with the village woman he had wooed, identified only as 19-year-old Siddiqa.
October 27, 2009
Tons of explosives, suicide bombers in coordinated attacks and triple-digit death tolls. The wreckage at the Iraqi Justice Ministry and Baghdad's provincial council headquarters this week, like the devastation at the Foreign and Finance ministries in August, is a reminder that foreign powers cannot impose peace on a divided nation. Two years after a U.S. troop "surge" helped tamp down Iraq's sectarian war, the bloodletting illustrates why military advances must be accompanied by a steady march of political progress.
April 6, 2010 |
President Hamid Karzai's latest anti-Western outburst has triggered unease and dismay among Afghan lawmakers and some in the diplomatic community in Afghanistan. On Saturday, the Afghan leader told members of parliament that Western meddling in Afghan political affairs was helping the Taliban movement, because it fueled a public perception that the insurgency is a legitimate struggle against foreign occupation. Karzai then added -- apparently speaking rhetorically, according to several lawmakers who were present at the closed-door talks -- that if that were the case, he would join the Taliban himself.
June 23, 2010
It's out with the new and in with the old in Afghanistan. President Obama jettisoned Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan for disparaging the civilian leadership of the country and war effort, turning instead to Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia. In Petraeus, the president has a known quantity, a seasoned military leader who sharpened his counterinsurgency teeth in the Iraq war and has a proven record of working with Washington.
November 28, 2009 |
The governor of a violent southern province in Afghanistan escaped assassination Friday, even as President Hamid Karzai renewed his calls to insurgents to lay down their weapons. Kandahar Gov. Tooryalai Wesa was on his way to prayers on the first day of Eid al-Adha, the main Muslim holiday of the year, when a remote-controlled bomb exploded under his convoy. Wesa was uninjured, but a policeman helping guard him was hurt, the governor's office said. The province is home to Afghanistan's second-largest city, also called Kandahar, which is the country's southern hub and a key battleground.