The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai by a Taliban gunman has shocked Pakistan and led to some extraordinary writing in the press on how Islamic radicalism is enabled. On the back foot for years, liberals are getting a new hearing against extremist religious parties, the powerful military, and a populist anti-US politician.
Since the Soviet occupation, Islamist fighters have used poetry to express their passions, doubts, and determination. 'The Poetry of the Taliban' was released in the US this week.
Afghanistan's President Karzai encouraged the Taliban to disarm and join the political process. His police, meanwhile, have been blaming the group for the public execution of a woman.
Taliban commander's comments, in interview with Afghan expert Michael Semple, suggest that Taliban might be ready for negotiation. But are the Taliban unified enough to act as one?
Parwan Province, home of NATO's massive Bagram Air Field, had been thought secure. This weekend, it hosted a Taliban-style public execution of a woman for adultery.
While America’s adversaries in Afghanistan and Iran cannot actually pull key strings to choose the next US president, election year politics ends up giving them some leverage.
If Western audiences are inspired by the film "Shawshank Redemption" about a solo prison escape, then Taliban sympathizers must surely be heartened by today's spectacular escape of some 500 inmates from a Kandahar prison through a 1,180-foot-long tunnel. But while character Andy Dufresne had to dig out of Shawshank prison without any assistance, the Taliban prisoners are suspected of having help from guards. This is not the first jail break that has set back the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nor is it even the first escape from this specific prison. Here's a short list of recent prison breaks (and one near-escape) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many Afghans do not realize that US pastor Terry Jones, who held a Quran burning last month, heads a small church whose beliefs are not widely shared, thus fueling anti-foreigner sentiment that benefits the Taliban.
A Pakistani Taliban spokesman said the Christmas Day attack targeted the Salarzai tribe, which has allied itself with the government and formed an anti-Taliban militia.
Four militants attacked the United Nations compound in Herat, Afghanistan Saturday in the most serious incident on a UN facility since the Oct. 2009 attack on a Kabul guesthouse that killed several employees.