Mar 26, 2011

Afghanistan the land of dead: SOCIETY of Afghanistan 4/10

NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance, CRS 2006 

More than 57,000 members of the National Police, Highway Police, and Border Police have completed basic training programs at U.S. facilities. Over 12,000 have also completed more advanced training courses in specialized areas such as fire arms, crowd control, investigative techniques, and domestic violence.
The Afghan police lack equipment, though the international community is providing equipment. Corruption is a particular problem among the force. The Karzai administration has implemented reforms and increased pay for police officers.

The Afghan foreign minister in July 2006 highlighted the enormous challenges facing the Afghan police:

A simple example: In the Sangin district in Kandahar [province], there live more than 40,000 people, but we have 41 policemen with three very outmoded Russian jeeps, while the terrorists who come from the other side [of the border] to attack drive [Toyota] Landcruisers, Japanese cars [equipped] with climate control.

Under the Bonn Agreement, a modern style judiciary was envisaged:
The judicial power of Afghanistan shall be independent and shall be vested in a
Supreme Court of Afghanistan, and such other courts as may be established by the Interim Administration. The Interim Administration shall establish, with the assistance of the United Nations, a Judicial Commission to rebuild the domestic justice system in accordance with Islamic principles, international standards, the rule of law and Afghan legal traditions.

The Afghan constitution establishes that, ‘‘In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.’’
Other articles of the constitution are the presumption of innocence until convicted by an authorized court; that prosecution, arrest, and punishment of a person cannot affect another person; that no act is considered a crime unless determined by a law adopted prior to the date the offense was committed; that punishment contrary to human dignity is prohibited; that evidence obtained by means of compulsion is invalid; and that a person arrested has the right to a defense. The constitution also lays the framework for the judiciary as an independent branch of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The justice system is weak, lacking basic infrastructure and qualified personnel.
In particular, many of the appointed judicial officials are Islamic scholars rather
than judicially trained. The Supreme Court was headed by a chief justice who is a
noted religious conservative (though, after international pressure, he was removed
in 2006).
Corruption and pressure from local warlords is considered to be wide spread. Conditions for prisoners in Afghan jails is grim.25 Amnesty International has raised questions over the Karzai administration’s adherence to internationally accepted standards of human rights, including death sentences passed after allegedly deficient trials. Amnesty International in 2006 wrote, Flaws in the administration of justice remained a key source of human rights violations, especially in rural areas. All stages of the legal process were hampered by corruption, the influence of armed groups, lack of oversight mechanisms, non-payment of salaries and inadequate infrastructure. Detainees continued to be held unlawfully for prolonged periods and denied a fair trial. There were reports of inhumane conditions in prisons

After the 1979 Soviet invasion, Afghanistan was a satellite of the communist bloc. Western countries, including the United States, maintained small diplomatic missions in Kabul during the Soviet occupation, but most were closed during the civil war of the 1990s.
The Taliban had little interest in pursuing a foreign policy, except to provide sanctuary to a number of terrorist movements, which earned opprobrium of the international community. Taliban attempts to occupy Afghanistan’s seat at the United Nations and Organization of the Islamic Conference were unsuccessful.
Since the establishment of the Karzai government, the Afghan government has begun a proactive policy to strengthen and consolidate its relations with the international community.
Afghanistan is an active member of the international community and has embassies in 39 countries.
In December 2002, the six nations that border AfghanistanPakistan, Iran,China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan—signed a ‘‘Good Neighbor’’declaration, in which they pledged to respect Afghanistan’s independence and territorial integrity. Since then Afghanistan has pursued regional cooperation.

According to the Afghan foreign ministry, In an increasingly interdependent world, we see regional cooperation as the best venue to reduce tension, resolve conflict, and to succeed in the competitive markets in our global village. Individual nation-states can only survive and prosper only by integrating into regional cooperation mechanisms. The model of the European Union is an encouraging and inspiring one. In our view, replicating the experience of the EU in our region is a huge challenge but not an impossible task.

Afghanistan has a 137-kilometer border with Uzbekistan, but there is only one route between the countries, the ‘‘Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge.’’ In the late-1990s Uzbekistan provided sanctuary for anti-Taliban forces, while Afghanistan provided a base for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. In 2005 an agreement was signed between Iran, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan to build a highway across Afghanistan, linking Uzbekistan with the Persian Gulf.

Afghanistan shares a 750-kilometer border with Turkmenistan. There have been discussions of a gas pipeline across Afghanistan, as oil- and gas-rich Turkmenistan seeks alternative outlets for its resources other than those through Russia.


Tajikistan has a 1,200-kilometer border with Afghanistan, and Afghanistan has a sizeable minority population of ethnic Tajiks (who comprise roughly 25 percent of the Afghan population). Tajikistan is one of the major drug smuggling routes from Afghanistan to western Europe

Iran has a 900-kilometer border with Afghanistan. Iran was opposed to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and during the 1980s Iran supported mujahedin groups. The Iranians provided support for anti-Taliban forces in the civil war as part of their support for the Shia minority (which the Taliban persecuted).
Iran gave tacit support for the U.S.-led actions against the Taliban in 2001, despite enmity between the United States and Tehran. A number of bilateral trade agreements between Iran and Afghanistan were signed in 2003. To facilitate this trade further, there have been negotiations to construct better road and rail links between the two countries.

The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is some 2,600 kilometers long and runs through extremely rugged terrain. Historically, the Pashtun tribes lived on both sides of the frontier, which was only established when Sir Mortimer Durand established the line in 1893. Afghan governments have challenged the legitimacy of the Durand line.32 From 1978 Pakistan was the refuge of the anti-Soviet mujahedin, and large numbers of Afghan refugees settled in Pakistan in that year.
In the refugee camps and towns of the Pakistan ‘‘tribal areas’’ of the North West frontier, many Afghan refugees were educated at Islamic schools or madrassa, which were often supported by Saudi Arabia and taught an extremist form of Islam.
Following the ousting of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan, Pakistan saw Afghanistan as an opportunity to gain a client state and provide ‘‘strategic depth’’in its rivalry with India.33 The Pakistan directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence provided assistance to the Taliban, and Pakistani Islamist volunteers went to Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban.
Pakistan’s strategy of support for the Taliban collapsed in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks.
After appeals by Pakistan to the Taliban to cooperate with U.S. demands to hand over Osama bin Laden, the Musharraf regime chose to assist the United States.
There is considerable criticism of Pakistan by the Karzai administration, which blames Pakistan for failing to root out Taliban and Al Qaeda havens in Pakistan and for failing to prevent insurgents from crossing the border. The Taliban has been able to regroup from safe houses located inside Pakistani territory. The upsurge in fighting in southern Afghanistan in 2006 was blamed on Pakistan by Afghan officials.34 The inability of the Pakistani government to assert control over the Pashtun tribal areas of Pakistan have led to the Taliban gaining effective control of the local administration and acting as a secure base for Taliban incursions into Afghanistan (BBC News, March 5, 2007).
According to the U.S. director of National Security in 2007, ‘‘Long-term prospects for eliminating the Taliban threat appear dim, so long as the sanctuary remains in Pakistan and there are no encouraging signs that Pakistan is eliminating it’’ (Director of National Intelligence to Senate Armed Services Committee Annual Threat Assessment, February 2007).

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