by Sergei Medrea (06/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The inauguration ceremony of the ambitious Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project took place on June 5, 2013 in Lebap province of Turkmenistan. It marked the official launch of the construction of the 400 kilometer railway that will connect gas-rich Turkmenistan with neighboring Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Tajik president Emomali Rahmon attended the ceremony on the invitation of Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov.
by Naveed Ahmad (06/12/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai is a shrewd politician, even more so as his term in office nears completion and uncertainty prevails. After a spate of words with Pakistan following a border skirmish, he left for India to seek military assistance against aggressive neighboring troops. For a change, Islamabad kept its cool and welcomed China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who was also flying in after a “handshake across the Himalayas” in New Delhi. As for Karzai, it was not his first flight to India for military hardware or training. However, his action is largely seen as aimed to pressure Pakistan’s newly elected leaders prior to the exit of NATO forces in 2014.
by Richard Weitz (02/20/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
NATO’s mission in Afghanistan is reaching its home stretch. On February 10, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) held what will likely be its last command transition, with John Allen handing over command to fellow U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, who will now lead the international effort to train and assist the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and to help achieve NATO’s other objectives in the region.
PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN BEYOND 2014
by Rizwan Zeb (the 02/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Pakistan understands and realizes that a stable Afghanistan is key to its own stability. A number of issues are of crucial importance for the improvement of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations: the Durand line, the return of Afghan refugees, the Indian presence in Afghanistan, and the implementation of various pipeline projects transporting Central Asian oil and gas through Gwadar. Above all, Pakistan wants a stable and friendly Afghanistan which does not pose a threat or allow any other state to use its territory against Pakistan. After 2014, will Pakistan and Afghanistan develop a neighborly relationship or will Afghanistan become another theatre for India-Pakistan rivalry?
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.