Category: Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Elections: Now What?

The Independent Election Commission held an arduous total of two (2) voting results announcements before they decided to take a well deserved break? The first event on Tuesday was pretty much a disaster and then yesterday independent candidate Ramazan Bashardost…

Neck and Neck?

Urgent Update: I finally made it into the NY Times….in someone else’s photo…in the far lower left. The Afghan Independent Election Commission had a pathetic press conference today. The figures for the votes for the candidates counted thus far didn’t…

Raiders of the Lost Ballots

Went out to the Independent Election Commission warehouse out on Jalalabad road today to watch the ballots for Kabul Province come in via faded, clattering Pakistani lorries. Being ramadan, work went by at a snail’s pace. A few men and…

Post-Election Blues

I’m suddenly feeling down. The adrenalin rush has worn off and the couple other journos I was socializing with have all left. I imagine today’s Safi flight to Dubai was packed with Westerners fleeing temporarily directionless politics and the discipline…

Select, Elect,….but Protect?

Yesterday’s elections in Kabul went off with  a few hitches but at least they went. People, mostly men, turned out in numbers that were substantial considering the threat this society is under. Within Kabul’s city limits, there was only one…

Abdullah Abdullah!

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah had a rally of several thousand supporters in Kabul today, primarily Tajiks from the Panjshir Valley and Shomali Plain. The scene was one of rapt intensity as throngs of people, mostly teenage boys, pressed up against the…

Bird’s Eye View of FOB Ghazni

We weren’t told we’d be refueling at an 82nd Airborne Forward Operating Base. Even seeing a base like this without an ISAF accreditation or being “embedded” (a concept I loathe) is highly unusual. The American soldiers who refueled us didn’t…

Theories of Relativity

Travel through the world’s developing layers is all relative. As I was leaving Abu Dhabi last night, I said to my friend that the U.A.E. will look like the West in the rearview mirror of his Lexus in comparison to…

Baitullah Mehsud Dead?

Pakistani English-language newspaper Dawn is reporting on the possible death of Baitullah Mehsud in Wednesday’s missile strike which is believed to have killed one of his wives. Mehsud’s demise would mean an uncertain fate for the future of the TTP…

Syriana

I am posted up at my friend Arif’s place villa here in Abu Dhabi for a few very hot days. I spent yesterday getting my Afghan visa in 41 Celsius heat which was no easy task seeing as the embassy…

Pakistan’s Troubled Frontier

On April 15th, Jamestown hosted and exhaustive conference on the subject of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province and its Federally Administered Tribal Areas. There’s too much else to include for the number of people gathered and the all the topics covered under…

BBC Radio Appearance

I participated in a World Have Your Say debate hosted by Madeline Morris on BBC World Service with guests Zahid Hussain, Times of London correspondent and author of Frontline Pakistan:The Struggle with Militant Islam, Walid Phares author of The Confrontation:Winning…

Pakistan’s Confused Militants

I was sitting with my family in an Indian restaurant in Queens, New York at our annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner as my eye occasionally darted up to the screen overhead with images of Mumbai’s Taj Hotel smoldering on a Hindi-language satellite…