Feb 24, 2010

The legacy of the London Conference: the UN and Taliban impunity

On January 28, 2010, during the London Conference on Afghanistan—which was intended to focus on security issues—President Hamid Karzai presented a list of top Taliban figures who are on the UN’s black list. For the last few years, Karzai has been pleading with the UN and the US to remove these Taliban leaders' names from the list in order to pave the way for negotiations. Karzai's position has led to widespread criticism from civil society and human rights organizations inside Afghanistan, and has raised concern globally. Continue reading...

Feb 19, 2010

Warlord Carries out Brutal Public Flogging in Ghor Province

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Do you remember last year in April 2009, the Guardian published a video of a 17-year-old girl's flogging by the Taliban in Swat Valley? Another incident just happened a few days ago in Dolina district in Ghor province, central Afghanistan. Ghor is one of the poorest provinces in central Afghanistan, and Dolina district has been a safe haven for illegal armed groups, which have committed these kinds of brutal acts before. The video, released on February 18, shows a man with a white turban flogging a woman who is submissively standing against 40 lashes. Continue reading...

Feb 16, 2010

Can a military draft work in Afghanistan?

During his visit to Germany, Hamid Karzai has stated that his government will consider instituting mandatory national military service. Afghanistan lacks a strong national apparatus for nation building where people from different ethnic background can share and learn from each other. Such an institution has been one of Afghanistan’s most fundamental needs over the last few years. Despite this, compulsory military service would be impossible to implement. Continue reading...

Feb 14, 2010

The Last Nail In The Coffin For Taliban

Today, there is a huge operation going on in Marjah in Helmand. There is some good news from Helmand that NATO and ANA have been successful in their mission. Until now more than 20 members of Taliban have been killed and two NATO soldiers also have been killed.

One thing makes me concern that civilians have been prevented by Taliban to evacuate the city. Marjah is the last and the most important stronghold of the Taliban in southern Afghansitan. Most of the insurgency activities were directed from Marjah. Unlike the previous operation this will be affective. NATO and ANA forces will stay there to secure the area after the Taliban whipped out. The Operation Moshtrak (together) is a good answer to those Taliban who rejected to negotiate with government. However, there is nothing has been left to be done by the US and Afghan government. Hopefully this operation will be the last nail in coffin for Taliban.

Also, today is a Valentine Day, a decent day in which people exchange flowers, cards and loving sentiment to a beloved one. I assume there are many others like me a dateless man. However, being a dateless on this day can evoke loneliness feeling for many but unlike others for me as a newcomer in this country, it is different. But I hope the oasis for lonely will be end soon for everyone.

Feb 9, 2010

Is God a Perpetrator?

Disaster always goes after the most vulnerable population in our planet. A recent earthquake in Haiti that killed 150,000 and still Haiti’s government says that the figure could double. Afghanistan has been always exposed to various natural disasters. Yesterday, after a heavy snow fall, there have been a series of avalanches on highways between Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif. According to local news at the scene, 60 bodies are discovered and number of death is increasing. According to New York Times, "NATO and Afghan National Army helicopters joined in the rescue effort. Some 2,500 people were recovered from their stranded cars and 1.5 miles of roadway were cleared Tuesday, leaving another mile still buried when work finished Tuesday night."

Now, you might think about it for a while. Is it a human rights issue? Is earthquake in Haiti a human rights issue? Human rights are defined as someone commits and perpetrates a crime against humanity. If this is a human rights issue, who is the perpetrator? If God is the perpetrator, can we bring him to justice and jail him because of his savagery and cruelty?

I want to come back and probe deep into this question later but let me know what you think.
Religious people have different answer to it.

Feb 8, 2010

It is time to listen to the Afghan people

A few hours before the start of the Afghanistan summit in London on January 28th five former senior members of the Taliban who occupied key positions in the Taliban government between 1996 and 2001, were removed from the UN blacklist. This move spurred widespread criticism inside Afghanistan that was barely acknowledged in the western media. Prior to the London conference, several Afghan civil society organizations and intellectuals protested against the action. They warned that by removing the names from the list, they were effectively forgiving them for their crimes. Continue reading...