PACT News

24th April 2014

News

The Behsood bridge, spanning along the Kabul River is a vital route connecting several areas of Afghanistan
The Behsood bridge, spanning along the Kabul...

Bridges are no longer sacrosanct

There was a traveller recently on the road from Kandahar to Kabul - a relatively new road, built by Turkish engineers in the last decade. In fact, the road is a rebuilt version of the original road, built by American engineers in the time of King Zahir Shah. But the original road was destroyed, mainly by heavy Soviet tanks plying on the road during the 1980s.

Top stories

  • The first entry gate Kajuri to North Waziristan - a tribal agency that has been targetted with drone attacks on militants hiding in the region

    Drone attacks in Waziristan: FCR by USA

    Prior to the 9/11 attacks, very few people knew about the tribal areas of north-western Pakistan, as very little news came out of the region and even less gained international attention. However, since the attacks, the tribal regions have been under the spotlight, not just of various international powers, but also of the international media.

  • Many Kunar residents who fear for safety from the recent rocket attacks have moved to As'ad Abad to live with relatives or rent homes

    Mystery Missile Attacks Exact a Heavy Toll

    It has been on record for the last three months that the border regions of Kunar province of Afghanistan are under missile attack. While it appears that these attacks are coming from the Pakistan side, this cannot be confirmed. Although the matter has become a huge issue for the government in Kabul, there has been no statement - either confirmation or denial of the attacks from Pakistan's side.

  • Market stalls may be busy, but for many wanting to carry out big business ventures, the deteriorating security situation has left them vulnerable to attack

    Threats to Business

    Afghans have always been famed as prodigious businessmen. An Afghan will make a whole in a mountain in order to forge a way to do trade. But even such intrepid businessmen have difficulty contending with the problems in the way of business nowadays.

  • Former squash champion, Qamar Zaman spoke to PACT Radio about how sport can be further promoted in the region

    A Sorry Show in the Olympics

    Though there was much rejoicing in Afghanistan that the country had secured one more medal in this year’s Olympic games than Pakistan, one bronze medal does not constitute a very impressive tally. Our own border regions did not secure a single medal.

  • Conflicting reports on a path to peace

    The last two weeks have been claim and counter-claim from both the Afghan and Pakistani governments regarding a reported meeting of Afghan officials with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a close relative of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar and widely considered to be number two in the Taliban movement. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is currently in jail in Pakistan. It is generally held that his very arrest in 2010 was because he was negotiating with the Afghan government.

Media gallery

Akhtar Munz
Akhtar Munz

Analysis and special features

  • The tribal tradition of Panah gives refuge, but its recent abuses have left some Pashtoons feeling like refugees in their own land

    How Pashtoons became refugees in their own land

    Back in the 1980s, a meeting was held among local people in Akora Khattak. Basically, the theme of the meeting was that with the influx of Afghan refugees we - the local community - have become a minority in our own town. As a minority, we are also eligible for some of the aid which comes in for the refugee community.

  • Bacha Khan, who did so much for unity amongst Pashtoons, failed to contribute to unity between mullahs and nationalists

    Reconciliation of Patriotism and Piety

    I often had the pleasure of sitting with Abdul Ghani Khan, the elder son of Bacha Khan. He told me once how his father first put him into a madrassah, wishing to make him into a great Islamic scholar. "Then, when the religious scholars got rid of Amir Amanullah Khan," - the date was 1929 so Ghani must have been about 15 years old - "my father took me out of the madrassah, saying that he would never let his son study with mullahs again."

  • It is not only the rivers of Bhutan that resemble those of Swat. The architecture in Bhutan is also traditional, as it was in Swat before 1970

    Bhutan: A Second Swat

    As one who called Swat home for 40 years, between 1970 and 2010, my first impression on visiting Bhutan was how strikingly similar it was in physical appearance to Swat. My first sight of the striking traditional architecture and trout-filled streams of the Himalayan kingdom brought to mind the pinewood fragrance of the bazaars, the turquoise brilliance of the river of what was then an independent Swati state, ceded to Pakistan the same year that I arrived.

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