Latest from Fazelminallah Qazizai
We Afghans are used to waiting around because of the incompetence and arrogance of our officials. We are accustomed to being abused and treated as second-class citizens by our own governments. But in all my life I had never seen a hell like this.
The new generation of Taliban are a product of their times: more open to the prospect of gradual social change than their forebears, yet politically more militant. Many of them played important roles in a war that killed tens of thousands of Afghans but, as they point out, they too lost friends and family along the way.
The Taliban’s advances in the north near Tajikistan were a critical part of the story of how Afghanistan fell to the group. Fazelminallah Qazizai speaks to the drone unit that decapitated rival forces and enabled the insurgents rapid advance.
The Taliban sensed an opportunity. Eager to win more public support for their insurgency and desperate to prevent the Islamic State from making further inroads into their territory, they decided to escalate the fight against the group.
In the coming weeks, as the Taliban try to form a new government, they will have to find ways to reconcile the competing interests of the different factions they are trying to court to give their rule legitimacy. It remains to be seen, however, if they have the capacity to enforce discipline within their own ranks.
With just under five months to go until U.S. withdrawal, as Afghans brace for postwar uncertainty, an Afghan journalist visits the Taliban's new emirate in Helmand, the land the U.S. failed to tame.
For locals on both sides of the frontier, the distinction between what is local and what is foreign has never been clear. Houses, mosques, farms and even graveyards have one entrance in Afghanistan and the other in Pakistan. People on both sides often belong to the same tribes and have resisted such artificial delimitations.