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Afghanistan
The leader of a fledgling women's militia in northern Afghanistan says dozens of volunteers have joined the fight since a handful of women recently took up arms to rebuff a Taliban attack on their community.  
 

With so much riding on American support, Afghanistan is waiting anxiously to see if President-elect Donald Trump matches his maverick image and reverses policy or keeps to a path that has cost billions and committed thousands of troops to propping up a fragile ally.

 
Afghanistan will reportedly take in more than 1.5 million Afghan refugees by the end of the year, challenging the government at a time when Kabul is already struggling against resurgent Taliban militants and an emerging Islamic State group (IS).  
 

Afghans know that change of faces seldom results in policies shift at government level. The nation which is worst victim of terrorism and foreign imposed war has experienced this. From former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to current premier Nawaz Sharif, Afghans have not seen any shift in Islamabad’s policies toward Kabul. Strategic depth has been kept alive by all the heads of the neighboring states. Therefore, Afghan people had not pinned hopes on any of the two US presidential nominees. They also believed that terming any of the candidates as favorite would be interference in affairs of a sovereign state.

 
One thing we have seemingly forgotten, however, is the war in Afghanistan; a conflict that began fifteen years ago and currently stands as the longest conflict in American history. Yet, it seems the war we engaged in and fought in to avenge the 9/11 attack has slipped from the consciousness of our political debate and public attention.  
 

The Panjshir Valley, about 50 miles north of Kabul, has been one of the safest places in this country. But a growing number of inhabitants fear the Taliban’s recent resurgence could bring violence to their quiet region.

 

Afghan government has been working with donor countries and organizations to explore solutions to the country’s many pressing needs. Most of the efforts are visible on papers. Situation on the ground is presenting a gloomy picture as writ of the government is limited to major cities. Poorly drawn development strategies and endemic corruption are other reasons behind snail-paced progress which are often faced by setbacks. 

 
Thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans and coalition partners have paid the ultimate sacrifice trying to stabilize Afghanistan and to prevent the return of the Pakistan sponsored Taliban. A key reason why the war has protracted is a failure to know the enemy.  
 
There is one country in the world that is now taking in more Afghan migrants than all the countries in Europe and South Asia put together this year. That would be Afghanistan itself.
 

Afghanistan was ranked 166 out of 168 countries on Transparency International’s corruption perception 2015 index. Government has often become a self-serving means of enriching the political class. Several politicians have built up business empires that overshadow any attempts to bring about positive change to people’s lives. The political elites have ethnocentric agendas, exacerbate tribal rivalries and political intolerance, erode political will, and increase impunity for the powerful.

 


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Addressing entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, and academics December 7 at the Carnegie India Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru, India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar underscored the need to harness the power of technological change for faster economic development.
 
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The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others of their ilk not only destabilise Pakistan and make it one of the world's most dangerous places but also threaten neighbouring Afghanistan and India -- and even far...

 
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