English | دری | پشتؤ
Quick News :
. . .
Political Candidate’s Aides Die in Afghanistan Attack

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two aides to an Afghan presidential candidate were fatally shot in the relatively secure city of Herat in western Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said, raising questions about the prospects of a peaceful election one day before the official start of the campaign.

The attack occurred around 6:30 p.m. when gunmen fired on a vehicle outside the campaign office in Herat, according to police officials and a spokesman for the candidate. The assault killed Faiz Zada Hamdard, a campaign manager for the candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, and the driver of the vehicle, Shujauddin, 19, the nephew of a well-known jihadi commander who goes by a single name like many Afghans.

By late Saturday, the police had detained several suspects, officials said.

A spokesman for Mr. Abdullah, an ophthalmologist who first ran for president in 2009, said Mr. Hamdard had been threatened by phone and in person for his work on the campaign, and questioned the ability of Afghan security forces to protect candidates and their aides.

“This was a saddening news, which deeply hurt us all,” said Sayed Fazel Sancharaki, the spokesman. “We see it as a great loss, and Mr. Abdullah Abdullah requests that the security organizations seriously investigate this incident.”

The attack comes at a difficult time for Afghanistan, as it prepares for its first democratic transfer of power. The election, set for April 5, is to determine the successor to President Hamid Karzai, who is scheduled to step down after serving two terms.

The election is viewed as a crucial milestone for the nation, which must confront fears about security and fraud as well as the withdrawal of most, if not all, Western forces. Mr. Abdullah is one of 11 candidates vying to succeed Mr. Karzai.

The death of Mr. Hamdard is a blow to Mr. Abdullah’s campaign. He was a longtime staff member of Mr. Abdullah’s political organization, the National Coalition of Afghanistan, and served the candidate during his previous bid for the presidency. In his latest role, he was the head of one of Mr. Abdullah’s 12 campaign offices in Herat Province.

Mr. Abdullah, partial to turtleneck sweaters and tailored jackets, is a well-known figure in Afghan politics, having come in behind Mr. Karzai in the 2009 elections, which were widely considered fraudulent. He is seen this time around as one of the favorites. Early polling has suggested that he could very well garner the most votes in a first round, though probably not enough to avoid a runoff.

Born of a Pashtun father and Tajik mother, Mr. Abdullah was part of the resistance to both Soviet and Taliban rule and was an early member of the government formed after the American intervention. He was Mr. Karzai’s foreign minister for five years before becoming one of the Karzai government’s fiercest critics.

Monitors Worry About Runoff Fraud

A number of Afghan election monitoring groups have warned that the runoff round of this year's presidential race could face increased fraud on the part of candidates so long as the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) have staff members supporting one or the other candidate and engaging in fraud themselves. more......

Regional Experts Develop Common Vision for Future Afghanistan
Around 60 regional multidisciplinary and leading experts and specialists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the Central Asian Republics, China, India, Russia and Turkey presented a common view on the future of Afghanistan in Kabul through the launch of the “Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability.”click here..

Meeting a Young Dr. Abdullah

It had been a long journey into the Hindu Kush mountains, starting in the Northwest of Pakistan in the summer of 1987. We began by secretly crossing the border into Afghanistan, trekking through Nuristan and finally making it over half a dozen 10,000-foot mountains to the Panjshir Valley. There, I   more......

Abdullah Abdullah Moves Toward Center of Afghan Power


KABUL, Afghanistan — AFTER decades roaming the margins of power — as a close aide to the revered resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, as a foreign minister and later as Afghanistan’s perennial opposition leader — Abdullah Abdullah may finally be arriving at the center of it all.Since his electoral loss to President Hamid Karzai in 2009, Mr. Abdullah, who is of mixed Pashtun and Tajik ethnicity, has widened his political base, having used persuasion and energy to forge alliances built  more......

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah: In His Own Words
I was born about fifty years ago in this house (pointing to his father’s house located in Kart-e-Parwan, Kabul). My father Ghulam Muhayuddin was from Kandahar province and my mother was from Panjshir. Before moving to Kart-e-Parwan my parents lived in the De Afghanan area of Kabul more......

The Afghan Election  The Man Who Could Upset Karzai

In Afghanistan's presidential race, the top challenger to President Karzai is former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah

View all Videos