Afghanistan’s Never-Ending Election Multiplies Causes for Concern (Post)

A relatively orderly and peaceful first-round election in Afghanistan this year saw an almost 60% voter turnout in defiance of Taliban threats, symbolizing Afghans’ determination to unite in the interest of peace and stability. The democratic process appeared to have united the country’s factions. However, a second round of election, made necessary b… Read More

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Ethnic Divisions Mar Afghanistan’s Second-Round Elections (Post)

The Afghan election, which started with enormous enthusiasm from Afghan voters, the government and the international community, has turned sour. It is now marred with disputes centred on ethnic (mainly Pashtun/Tajik) divisions, splitting the country along ethnic lines and driving it towards a 1990s civil war scenario. With the disputes around allege… Read More

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The June 14 Elections Confirm Afghans’ Verdict Against the Taliban (Post)

On the June 14 election day, Afghans again delivered an anti-Taliban verdict. Despite the strong Taliban offensive preceding the day, 7 million Afghans (60% of registered voters) cast their votes. True, the euphoria that dominated the first round was absent; yet Afghans turned up in numbers as large as before. The voter turnout represents a second refere… Read More

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Is Afghanistan Set to Elect a Truly National President? (Post)

Afghanistan is getting ready to go to a second round of polls on June 14. The fairly peaceful first round (despite some irregularities and scattered violence in the outlying provinces) symbolized Afghans’ interest in supporting a democratic process to elect a leader for security building, peace and development. While 60% of Afghans cast their votes for t… Read More

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Afghanistan’s Future: The Elections and Beyond (Event)

SIMA SAMAR, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. Presented by CIPS. Free. In English. Registration is not required. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Room change: FSS 8003 Dr. Sima Samar is Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. A doctor by training, she spent a decade in exile in Pakis… Read More

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Afghanistan’s 2014 Election: A Referendum Against the Taliban (Post)

April 5 was the day of Afghanistan’s historic election, a milestone in its history. I saw men and women, young and old, lined up in the rain-damped city to vote from dawn to dusk, exercising their democratic rights.  In 50 years of residence in Canada, I have not seen Canadians voting in such large numbers in perfect weather and safety conditions. Perhaps deve… Read More

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Pre-Election Reflections from Kabul (Post)

On April 5, the people of Afghanistan will vote in their third national election since 2001—a hundred million-dollar effort financed by international donors. The air is filled with anticipation and hope, albeit tempered with grave concerns held by both the international community and Afghans about the spiraling insecurity engulfing the country. In th… Read More

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An Ex-CIDA Officer’s Reflections on Afghanistan: Looking Back, Looking Forward (Post)

The departure of Canadian troops from Afghanistan does not mark the end of Canadian aid to that country. To move forward, however, Canada must accept the strategic mistakes of the past and record the lessons learned, not only to avoid the same pitfalls but to address public accountability requirements. The following reflections are intended to show why th… Read More

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The Truth About Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan (Post)

Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan officially ends this month. It began in 2001 with the dispatch of a small number of special operations troops to oust the Taliban and punish al-Qaeda militants in wake of the 9/11 attacks, and grew to include the deployment of a battle group to secure the southern province of Kandahar between 2006 and 2011. At its peak… Read More

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