Deputy Bureau Chief, Afghanistan
Emma's Feed
Dec 1, 2010
Dec 1, 2010
Nov 30, 2010

Afghan officials free top Taliban fighters

KABUL, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Afghan security forces are freeing captured senior Taliban for payment or political motives, with President Hamid Karzai and his powerful brother among those authorising and requesting releases.

The practice is so systemic that the Taliban have a committee focused on getting their fighters out of jail. It undermines the deterrent effect of arrest and the potential of the prisoner population as a card to play in peace talks, analysts say.

Nov 30, 2010

Exclusive: Afghan officials free top Taliban fighters

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan security forces are freeing captured senior Taliban for payment or political motives, with President Hamid Karzai and his powerful brother among those authorising and requesting releases.

The practice is so systemic that the Taliban have a committee focused on getting their fighters out of jail. It undermines the deterrent effect of arrest and the potential of the prisoner population as a card to play in peace talks, analysts say.

Nov 29, 2010

Corrected – Leaked cables won’t strain Afghan-U.S. ties – Karzai

KABUL (Reuters) – Leaked diplomatic cables that describe Afghan President Hamid Karzai as “extremely weak” and his brother as a corrupt drug trafficker won’t strain ties with Washington, Karzai’s spokesman said on Monday.

The secret messages from Kabul to Washington also allege that a former vice-president fled the country with over $50 million (32 million pounds) in cash, cables and media reports about the cache of documents say.

Nov 29, 2010

Leaked cables won’t strain Afghan-U.S. ties: Karzai

KABUL (Reuters) – Leaked diplomatic cables that describe President Hamid Karzai as “extremely weak” and his brother as a corrupt drugs trafficker won’t strain ties with Washington, Karzai’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

The secret messages from Kabul to Washington also allege that a former vice-president fled the country with over $50 million in cash, cables and media reports about the cache of documents say.

Nov 24, 2010

Afghan opposition says new parliament can check Karzai

KABUL (Reuters) – A loose coalition of Afghan lawmakers who oppose Afghan president Hamid Karzai have won enough seats in a new parliament to place some checks on presidential power, a senior opposition figure said on Wednesday.

Abdullah Abdullah, an ophthalmologist who was Karzai’s main rival in presidential elections last year, said more than 90 candidates who had pledged their support to his movement had won seats, although he declined to give an exact number.

Nov 18, 2010

Afghan timeline seen fraying under military pressure

KABUL (Reuters) – A top NATO official’s warning that the alliance may miss a 2014 deadline for handing over control of Afghan security exposed a gulf between political timelines and complex military reality just before a major summit on the war.

Afghanistan will top the agenda at a NATO summit in Lisbon this week, where world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama will gather to plan their troops’ exit from an increasingly unpopular war.

Nov 5, 2010
via Afghan Journal

The Afghan media surge — highlighting unpaid salaries

Photo

US and NATO forces in Afghanistan recently sent out a news release apparently highlighting that teachers in a school supported by international troops were going unpaid for weeks, or even months.That wasn’t the headline of course — we were told “Uruzgan teachers to begin receiving salaries” but just three paragraphs in was the news that the school reopened on September 23.And the six teachers shouldn’t expect their modest 5,000 Afghanis (just over $100) salary for at least another few weeks it added — mentioning only that pay would arrive “in the coming weeks”.

The military are sending out far more news releases than just a few months ago, with even relatively small operations highlighted, more frequent updates on major operations, and more reports on aid projects and ventures like a children’s day in Bamiyan province. Recent headlines include: “Coalition and Afghan Border Police living on the edge” ,  “Female engagement team builds bridges into Afghan society” , “Afghan National Army honoured at concert” and “Afghan masons ‘build’ sustainability through concrete training”.

Oct 31, 2010

Analysis: Why the military plays down vital Afghan battle

KABUL (Reuters) – The battle for Kandahar, its importance played down even before it began, has been eclipsed in the media and in Washington by a focus on corruption and peace talks, but its outcome is crucial to the wider Afghan war.

Operation Dragon Strike is the first major attempt since 2001 to regain control of a city that is the Taliban’s spiritual home. This autumn may be the last time that the NATO-led alliance has sufficient boots on the ground to try the push.

    • About Emma

      "I moved to Afghanistan in late 2010 after nearly six years reporting from China, initially covering energy issues and more recently writing about political and general news. I have also worked in Spain and Britain."
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