July 27th, 2010
07:43 AM ET

Opinion: Afghanistan needs more than conferences

Editor’s Note: Abbas Daiyar began his blog, Kabul Perspective, last year to look at issues in Kabul and around the world. He has worked with newspapers in Pakistan and reported for news agencies in the past and is now a member of the editorial board of the independent Daily Outlook Afghanistan newspaper in Kabul. The opinions expressed in this guest blog are solely those of Abbas Daiyar.

The one-day Kabul Conference concluded last week with reiteration of promises made by the international community. There was nothing very new - except the fact that insurgents could not succeed in firing any rockets that day in Kabul, contrary to previous such events. Though the conference was given much coverage in the international media, Kabulis didn’t have any expectations about the meeting. Heavy security prevented any untoward incident and foiled some plans by those arrested a day before the conference. FULL POST

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Filed under: Kabul conference • Karzai • Voices • Your View
July 22nd, 2010
03:31 PM ET

Suspects detained in foiled attack on Kabul conference

Several Taliban insurgents were captured this week in connection with a foiled attack on an international donor conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, the military said.

The man who allegedly planned the attack was detained Wednesday night, said a statement from NATO's International Security Assistance Force Thursday. A Taliban sub-commander and several other suspected militants were detained earlier in the week.

Spokesman Col. Rafael Torres said combined NATO and Afghan forces were successful in preventing attacks on the aid meeting, which was attended by representatives of nations around the world including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Filed under: Kabul conference
July 20th, 2010
07:57 AM ET

Karzai at Kabul Conference: Security handover by 2014

Afghanistan is "determined" to be responsible for its own security operations by 2014, President Hamid Karzai told an international donors conference in Kabul Tuesday.

Karzai said that Afghanistan will work with NATO and other nations on a transition for security by that date.

"I am committed to having the ability by 2014 to reach the level of strength and ability and capacity in our own forces to provide for our own security," Karzai said at a joint news conference with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the end of the conference. FULL POST

Filed under: Kabul conference • Karzai
July 19th, 2010
03:30 PM ET

Clinton meets with Karzai ahead of major conference

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry (at right, above) at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Monday. Clinton, who announced earlier a major aid package to Pakistan, arrived in Afghanistan's capital for Tuesday's Kabul Conference.

The Afghan government and the United Nations will be chairing the conference. Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, foreign ministers and top officials from more 70 countries and organizations will be attending the meeting, described as the first conference of its kind in Afghanistan.

It is the latest step in what Western and Afghan officials call the Kabul process – the transition to more Afghan responsibility for running the nation. Earlier this year, two other high-profile meetings dealt with the issue – an international conference in London, England, last January and a "peace jirga," a meeting of tribal and religious leaders in June.

Filed under: Kabul conference • Karzai
July 16th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

Will Afghan women's rights be bargained away?

On a recent afternoon I visited with a Kabul girls' high school principal, whose office looks out on a beautiful and blooming garden. Trained in mathematics, she works 12 hours a day at a school that teaches more than 4,000 girls in three shifts each day.

She smiled with pride as she pointed to a shiny gold championship cup her students brought home from a recent sports tournament. But her mood shifted instantly when I asked about their future.

"We are living day by day in Afghanistan," she said. "Let's see what comes; let's see if they have a chance. Let's see what happens with security."

She and other Afghans will be watching Tuesday when a bevy of international donors descend upon their capital to discuss the Afghan government's plan to achieve peace and stability for its citizens. Women leaders are struggling for more than symbolic representation at the Kabul Conference, which will cover topics including agricultural development, economic empowerment, governance and security.

The most talked-about topic not on the official agenda: Talks with the Taliban.

Read the full commentary from Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Filed under: Kabul conference • Taliban • Voices • Women's issues • Your View