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Afghanistan

Mountains of dried fruit and cakes, golden saffron, pistachios and tea. Afghans are making ready for days of feasting, marking the end of Ramzan with traditions that have survived nearly 40 years of tormented conflict.

 
 

One of the first lessons I learnt on arrival in Afghanistan three years ago was that this beautiful country with remarkably resilient people is also one where you can easily find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time – often with fatal results.

 
 

The spotlight is on the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to see if it can rescue its reputation and help those it is supposed to serve.

 

But was it really CAS? Within the fighter/attack community, the narrative of seasoned aviators who’ve “been there, done that” tout that airpower did not really perform CAS at all.

 

Fierce fighting between Afghan National Security Forces and the Islamic State fighters (also known as Daesh) is underway in Kot district of eastern Nangarhar province.

 

The leader of Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), a faction that fuels Afghanistan’s insurgency, has withdrawn from peace talks after raising the hopes of the Afghan government that an agreement was near. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, HIG’s leader, has toyed with the Afghan government in the past.

 
 

The law enforcement agencies are focused on elimination of the insurgent groups and garnering support of the international community. Most of the security policies revolve around defeat of the Taliban, Haqqani Network, al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Islamic State—popular as Daesh in the country.

 
At the height of the 19th century Great Game between an imperialist Britain and an expansionist Czarist Russia, Rudyard Kipling, the way-farer bard, had coined the handy slogan of ‘the White man’s burden.  
 

On a bright day in downtown Kabul, Jagtar Singh Laghmani was in his traditional herb shop when a man turned up, drew a knife and told him to convert to Islam or he would cut his throat. Only bystanders and other shopkeepers saved his life.

 
 

Regional stability is at stake as Pakistan has adopted aggressive policy towards Afghanistan while the United Nations failed to put pressure on Islamabad to cooperate with Kabul on key issues. 

 


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