Pakistan and Durand Line. Former President Karzai recently said that Pakistani leadership wanted recognition of the imposed international border called the Durand Line in exchange for better relations with Afghanistan. Read a news report by Khaama Press, March 1, 2016.
Russia Seeking Role in Afghanistan. "More than two decades after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Moscow is once again seeking to play a major role in the country by boosting military and economic cooperation with Kabul." Read more in "Russia's new role in Afghanistan", Deutsche Welle, March 2, 2016.
Peace Talks? Move Along . . . Nothing to See Here. It appears that all the talk about talking about an end to the conflict is just that . . . just a lot of talk. Read more in "Afghan Taliban refuse peace talks with government", Associated Press, March 5, 2016. See also "Afghan Peace Talks Face Uncertainty", Voice of America, March 4, 2016. And one more "Paying High Price for Peace: The Afghan High Peace Council Quagmire", Eurasia Review, March 5, 2016.
Curbing the Afghan Refugee Influx. The northern European nations started out welcoming refugees of all sorts (Syrian, Afghan, African, etc.) but they were soon overwhelmed - and now the tune has changed. Read more in "Rolling Up the Welcome Mat" Berlin Moves to Curb Afghan Refugees Influx", Spiegel Online International, March 2, 2016.
Young Boys as Refugees. There is a rise in the number of young Afghan boys who are now in Europe. Read more in "Afghan Boys: the New Face of Europe's Migrant Crisis", Associated Press, March 3, 2016.
UK Says Afghanistan "Safe". A United Kingdom court has ruled that Afghanistan is now safe enough to resume deportations of Afghan.
State Dept Fixes Blunder On SIV Visa. Some Afghan interpreters received a reprieve when the Department of State fixed a mistake in the government's management of a special visa program for Afghan interpreters. Some former interpreters had found out their applications had been denied through a faulty interpretation (or was it intentional?) by the State Department of a recent Congressional law. Read more in "State Department Fixes Unfair Visa Change", The New York Times, March 1, 2016.
Movie Review - "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot". Tina Feys new movie about a TV reporter on her first international assignment is getting mostly positive reviews. Read "Q. and A. With Tina Fey: Live Form Kabul, It's a Feminist Comedy", The New York Times, March 4, 2016.
Agricultural Research. Ongoing research on wheat and other crops in research farms across Afghanistan is contributing to better harvests and improved welfare among farmers. Read more in "Agricultural Research Gives Farmers a New Lease on Life", The World Bank, March 2, 2016.
Gender Stuff. The United Nations has released its 2015 report entitled The World's Women 2015: Trends and Statistics.
More on TAPI. "Afghanistan is preparing to start work on the key Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline project." The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum will be implementing the project. Of course, 735 kilometers of the pipeline will pass through Afghanistan . . . so what is the security plan? There is none other than some schemes and dreams on the part of the MoI and MoD. Read more in "Afghanistan Prepares to Start Work on TAPI", Tolo News, March 2, 2016.
India-Iran-Afghanistan Trilateral Transit Corridor. Afghanistan is attempting to revitalize its economy with a number of regional initiatives to revitalize trade and commerce. Of course, a huge factor is the establishment of security and stability in Afghanistan. Read more in "India-Iran-Afghanistan transit corridor talks in progress", Economic Times (India), March 2, 2016.