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Old 01-02-2013   #1
davidbfpo
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Default What 2012 has meant for Afghanistan

A end of year commentary by Ahmed Rashid, for the BBC. It could easily fit in a thread on Afghanistan and Pakistan. His focus is on not on the combat, sorry insurgency, rather the complicated talking and thinking amongst interested parties:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20817266

He opens with:
Quote:
After nearly a year of tense relations between all the major players in Afghanistan, there was at the end of 2012 a flurry of diplomatic activity that once again raised expectations for peace....

The renewed hope centred around a dramatic shift by Pakistan's military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which for the first time implemented measures which could prod the Taliban to open a dialogue with Kabul.

The ISI had spent the year jailing up to 100 Taliban leaders and fighters for daring to talk to the Kabul regime, the Americans or the UN.

But by December the ISI had freed 19 of them and promised to free all the rest, including the Taliban No 2, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
If there is one incident to illustrate the fraught relationship between two key parties, the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani ISI is this:
Quote:
Meanwhile, Taliban relations with their main sponsor Pakistan also declined considerably.
The Taliban were shocked to discover in February that senior leader and former Defence Minister Mullah Obaidullah Akhund had died of a heart attack in a Pakistani prison in March 2010, and that the ISI had withheld the news.
He ends with:
Quote:
....ultimately it will be the Afghans who will decide upon their own future and work towards a peaceful resolution.
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Old 01-03-2013   #2
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Default The West Should 'Change Its Approach to Failing States'

Another Ahmed Rashid piece, this time an interview by Der Spiegel and a one line intro:
Quote:
the West's model for development is fundamentally flawed and must be changed.
Link:http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-874034.html

The most startling sentences refers to education in Afghanistan improving after the Taliban were ousted. I wonder do ISAF / GIRoA include the children who attend these schools?
Quote:
The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) has for the past fifteen years managed three hundred schools in an area of Afghanistan that is under Taliban control. The Swedes have to deal with the Taliban on an almost daily basis so the schools can be kept open for boys and girls.
A little look at SCA's website found:
Quote:
..educates 125.000 students at 54 model schools, 71 girls annexes and 1.500 community based schools.
Link:http://www.swedishcommittee.org/
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