They parted ways but not without a smile, and a friendly squeeze of the arm. The atmosphere was relaxed. “Give me a Kalashnikov,” said the Talib. And without complaining, the policeman took the gun from his shoulder and handed it to the Talib.
The rest of the video showed a larger group of policemen and Taliban chatting and milling around together amid what seems to have been a larger handing over of weapons. This surreally sociable encounter between what are meant to be enemy parties took place in Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan recently. A Taliban fighter filmed it and sent it to the BBC.… Seguir leyendo »
The BBC’s Afghan desk recently asked the three leading candidates of the presidential election the following question: “What would you do, if you were to lose the election?” All three – Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, – came up with the standard response: “We would respect the people’s verdict.” In other words, Afghanistan is now a democracy ruled by the will of the people. Such humble words delivered with humility are just what’s expected from politicians of developing countries whose survival relies mainly on foreign aid. In the motto of the benevolent international community: no ballot, no aid. Or in the case of Afghanistan, no pots of paint flown specially from Dubai to decorate the president’s office.… Seguir leyendo »
We were a generation that had never known happiness, spending most of our lives on the run, knocking on door after door. Our shoes were hand-outs from our neighbours, our dreams secondhand. We watched others support their presidential candidates, and then vote for them in terrifying excitement. But we didn’t know what it felt like to elect your own president. We had become used to envying others for what they had. We had never owned anything.
Written in Dari, these were the words of the poet Reza Mohammadi, summing up the feelings of an entire generation about the forthcoming elections in Afghanistan.… Seguir leyendo »
When the Taliban arrived in a village in Farah in May, the village elders approached them and asked them to leave. They told the Taliban that if the fighters stayed, the foreigners would bomb their village. The Taliban said: “We are fighting and dying for Islam and so should you. Why should you be spared death? Is your blood redder than ours?”
And so the foreign planes came, dropped their bombs and, according to locals, killed more than 100 civilians. “What could we do?” said a local man to the BBC’s Afghan service. “The Talibs were young men with guns and grenades.… Seguir leyendo »