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Call for Abstracts ll: Deadline 31st May

We want to let go of nourishing well-known historically established narratives about the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan by deconstructing ‘regional tales’ and open new windows but re-imagining past, present and future differently. We therefore invite writers from Afghanistan and Pakistan to contribute with texts that are imaginative and reflect and develop own ideas how new forms of relationships could look like in the future. We are looking for short stories, essays, commentaries or poetry.

Call for Abstracts! Deadline Extended to 17th of July, 2016

Attempting to look beyond established parameters of perception about the other in neighborly relations, we are calling for abstracts for a research on the identification of the conflict of interests between relevant stakeholders in Afghanistan and Pakistan. What are the enhancing, what are the mitigating factors and who are the important actors, when it comes to the prevailing mistrust regarding trans-boundary waters and energy projects between the two countries? Deadline 17th July 2016.

Vision Workshop: Regional Green Dialogs Network

Within the framework of the project “Regional Civil Society Engagement in Green Dialogs. Promoting Peace and Stability through Equitable Resource Management”, the offices of Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Pakistan and Afghanistan successfully conducted a Vision Workshop for a seed group of the Regional Green Dialogs Network. The workshop aimed at increasing mutual understanding and developing a joint vision and a plan for future action. Intellectuals, experts and activits from both countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan) participated in the event and reflected on how to promote peace and stability in the region through equitable natural resource management, especially looking into water and energy.

Regional Civil Society Engagment in Green Dialogs

Since its formation in 2014 the National Unity Government of Afghanistan has in different occasions, expressed its commitment to share the benefits of Afghanistan’s geographic centrality through regional cooperation - particularly economic integration - with its neighbors and countries beyond the immediate neighborhood.

A century of Afghan-German Friendship

Today, the 100th year’s of Afghan- German relationship celebrated in Afghanistan. The good relation of Afghan-German goes back to 1916s with the establishment of initial contacts between the governments of the German Reich and the Emirate of Afghanistan.

From Transition to Transformation - Women, Peace & Security

The Transformation Decade seeks to consolidate the outcomes of Transition and ensure that Afghanistan achieves the goal of being functional and democratic governance with rule of law, women and human rights protection, economically independence, and socially stable.

Youth in Transition

Internal displacement has been on the rise in Afghanistan. Though no longer in first place, Afghanistan is also among the top three countries of origin for asylum seekers worldwide (75,273 in 63 countries, with Turkey and Germany being the top two recipient countries).

By Susanne Schmeidl

Project Background: Regional Green Dialogs

The relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan remains fragile. Our project “Regional Civil Society Engagement in Green Dialogs” seeks to shift the discussion from its primer focus on security aspects towards shared interests by managing natural resources equitably.

The Challenge of Becoming Invisible: Understanding Women’s Security in Kabul

Kabul women have two main fears when moving through public spaces: suicide bombers and harassment. Although the risks associated with harassment are less severe than those of a suicide attack, the everyday threat of harassment creates considerable anxiety amongst women. As part of the safety audit, women were asked how they would feel when confronted with various situations when walking down the street

By Samuel Hall

Natural Resources and Conflict in Afghanistan: Conclusions from Seven Cases in Ten Provinces

In Afghanistan, natural resources and conflict have a intimate and complex relationship. In conflict assessment surveys, access to natural resources have been consistently reported as the cause for more than half of local level conflict incidents in Afghanistan. In particular, access to land and access to water are regularly cited by communities across Afghanistan as two top two causes of conflict.

Missing in Transition?: Why a focus on military hand-over alone misses the point in Loya Paktia

In July 2011, ISAF officially handed over seven areas to Afghan National Security Forces, beginning a process to gradually transition all security responsibility from international to Afghan leadership. Twenty areas have now been formally transitioned to the Afghan National Security Force, which is, “part of the unfolding plan for all NATO combat troops to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.”

Ending the War in Afghanistan: Towards a negotiated settlement

The need for a peace process in Afghanistan is clearer with each passing month. Despite many positive changes, ten years of international involvement has been accompanied by mounting violence and escalation by NATO forces and the Taliban, and victory for either government or insurgents seems unlikely.

A Trip to Taliban Stronghold

For a long time, security along the Gultapa road in Northern Afghanistan made the area difficult to access. Afghan journalist Noor ul Ain from the Dari language daily 8 am recently travelled along this road and found the situation much improved. Yet, in his trip it became evident: What people are still in need for is development – schools, healthcare and governmental services that make it not only a secure place for now but that open prospects to the people in that area.

Why more women are needed than invited

On Wednesday, June 2, the long-announced Peace Jirga starts in Kabul. 1600 delegates from all over Afghanistan will come together to discuss whether and how peace can be achieved. People are unsure what to expect from a gathering on which even a day before it is happening neither participants nor agenda have been made public. More easy than to know who will be attending the Jirga is to know who will not be there: The armed opposition has not been invited, the political opposition declares its boycott and women have only reluctantly been included.  

Press Release

The Human Rights Research & Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC) wants the Government of Afghanistan to respect the principles of justice and human rights, which they have sworn to uphold before the Afghan nation, in the discussions and decisions of the National Consultative Peace Jirga and not trample the aforementioned principles.

Publications

Transboundary Basin Management under conditions of Latent Conflict: A Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Disciplinary Approach towards the Kabul River Basin

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Keeping in view the long-time security-centred nature of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations, Kabul River Basin, a highly significant geographical and thematic area of concern, requires immediate attention of authorities. However, the issue remains virtually absent from the script of inter-state relations and diplomacy. The key proposition in this study is that if the transboundary basin management discourse about the Kabul River Basin can be changed from water-sharing to benefit-sharing across the water, food, and energy sectors, the social conditions and political will needed for long-term state-to-state engagement can be created without jeopardizing the lives and livelihoods of basin-dependent communities during the intervening period.

Water, Peace, and Security for All: The Potential for Peace building in Afghanistan’s Hydropolitics

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In terms of having water resources, Afghanistan has a considerable advantage in comparison to its neighbors. However, war and other various factors have limited the country’s ability to make use of these resources. Water infrastructure—including dams, water storage tanks, irrigation and water supply networks, hydrometric stations and metrology systems, and sewage and sanitation systems—is limited and inefficient.

Cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan Civil Society Organizations for Prevention of Crisis

In recent years, the role and position of civil society organizations in dealing with local and regional crises are seen considering a new approach that requires finding common grounds, exchange of ideas and cooperation among civil society organizations functional in that specific region. Afghanistan and Pakistan have had complex and at times fragile political and security relations and in the meanwhile the two countries are tied in an unavoidable and undeniable trade and economic interdependency.

Blue Diplomacy: Transboundary Water Governance from a Foreign Policy Lens

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Water quantity and quality are deteriorating and the struggle among all common water users is likely to intensify. This may become even more visible in river basins that cross political boundaries of different countries. History reveals that in many situations, this mutual need may bring strategic cooperation rather than open conflict, and lead to peaceful solutions to water disputes. Over the last 67 years, we have witnessed only 37 severe water disputes globally, in comparison to 295 water cooperation treaties (UN Water 2008: 3).

Foreign, Peace and Security Policies