from FaithWorld:

Ayman al-Zawahri: Suburban doctor who became chief of al Qaeda

June 16, 2011

(Ayman al-Zawahri speaks from an unknown location, in this still image taken from video uploaded on a social media website June 8, 2011/Reuters TV)

from FaithWorld:

Family, Taliban scare off actresses in Afghan film industry

June 14, 2011

(Afghan film actress Nafisa Nafis puts on make-up at the sets of a television series directed by Saba Sahar in Kabul June 7, 2011/Ahmad Masood)

from Photographers' Blog:

One last time in Afghanistan

June 13, 2011

One of the responsibilities of Reuters picture coverage in Washington, besides the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department, is the Pentagon. As the top-level cabinet secretaries travel overseas, Reuters, along with other agencies The Associated Press, Agence France Press and Getty Images cover these trips on a rotational basis.

from FaithWorld:

Q+A: Women’s rights in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban

June 13, 2011

(Afghan men and women teachers attend their graduation ceremony in Kabul March 30, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

from FaithWorld:

How will Afghan women fare if Kabul and the Taliban reconcile?

June 13, 2011

(Schoolgirls listen to a speech by Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a ceremony marking the start of the school year at Amani High School in Kabul March 23, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

from Bernd Debusmann:

U.S. nation-building in the wrong place?

By Bernd Debusmann
June 10, 2011

America's costly efforts at nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq came under intense scrutiny this month in critical reports and a gloomy Senate hearing that prompted a memorable assertion. "If there is any nation in the world that really needs nation-building right now, it is the United States."

from FaithWorld:

Women brave social barriers to join Afghan police force

June 9, 2011

(Afghan policewomen search women at a polling station in Herat, western Afghanistan September 18, 2010/Raheb Homavandi)

from FaithWorld:

In Kabul’s only synagogue, Afghan merchants open up shop

June 1, 2011

(An Afghan woman clad in burqa and her daughter walks past a restaurant built inside part of the only synagogue building in Kabul, June 1, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

from India Insight:

India no angel in dangerous neighbourhood

By Reuters Staff
May 26, 2011

By Annie Banerji

Perhaps the finger-pointing at neighbouring Pakistan and the talk of Afghan militancy destabilising the region that New Delhi so often rolls out should be reconsidered. The neighbourhood may well be dangerous, but India is no model pupil.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Taliban talks – a necessary but not sufficient condition for peace

May 20, 2011

We have known for months that the United States has begun direct talks with representatives of the Taliban. And as I wrote in this story, the death of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. raid on May 2 should make it easier for the Taliban to break with al Qaeda, a fundamental requirement for including them in any eventual political settlement in Afghanistan. But lest anyone should think these talks, combined with bin Laden's death, would somehow produce an early end to the Afghan war,  it is important to remember that engaging with the Taliban is only a necessary but far from sufficient condition for a political settlement.