Wednesday, October 07, 2015 Local time: 02:57

Top Stories

  • People flee amid ongoing fighting between government forces and Taliban militants, in Kunduz, on October 6.

    Taliban Threatening Key Northeastern Afghan Province

    As government forces struggle to defend key districts in a northeastern Afghan province, former anti-Taliban commanders are rallying fighters to defend Badakhshan against insurgent onslaught.

  • <span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;">A suspected militant being held by Afghan security forces in Kunduz.</span>

    Photogallery Kunduz After The Fighting

    A week after the Taliban overran Kunduz, the fate of the strategic provincial capital in northern Afghanistan is far from clear as the Taliban and government forces continue to engage in periodic gunbattles. The estimated 300,000 Kunduz residents have paid a high price for violence in the city.

  • Central Asian militants boasting with their trophies in Kunduz.

    Kunduz Heralds The Creation Of A Bastion For Central Asian Instability

    The fall of a provincial capital in northern Afghanistan brings home the threats posed by the rapid rise of the Taliban and its international militant allies to Central Asian nations.

About Gandhara

Gandhara, an ancient region comprising parts of today's Afghanistan and Pakistan, inspires this page, which provides foreign policy audiences with reporting, analysis and commentary direct from our local correspondents in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the aim of promoting peace in the region. 


Kunduz Governor Reappears, Vows To Spill His 'Last Drop Of Blood' Fighting Taliban

The governor of Kunduz Province, whose whereabouts have been unknown to journalists in Kabul for the last two days, has reappeared in Kabul and is vowing to spill his "last drop of blood" to recapture his provincial capital.

Veteran Observer Dissects Taliban Kunduz Victory

A seasoned observer says the Taliban capture of a provincial capital in Afghanistan aims to replenish its arsenal.


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Taliban Suicide Attackers Strike Afghan Capitali
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a night time suicide bombing on the Afghan capital Kabul on October 5. (RFE/RL's Afghan Service)

Video Taliban Suicide Attackers Strike Afghan Capital

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a night time suicide bombing on the Afghan capital Kabul on October 5. (RFE/RL's Afghan Service)

Video Pakistan's Pashtuns Protest Discrimination Over ID Cards

Protesters demanded the Pakistan government issue all Pashtuns with national ID cards which are needed for voting and obtaining as a passport. (RFE/RL's Pakistan Service)

Video 'Chaos' Reigns At Berlin Migrant Center

Immigration officials in Berlin are struggling to cope with a twenty-fold increase in migrants and refugees.

Video U.S. Commanders Pledge Support To Afghan Allies

At an event marking the changing of leadership of the Combined Security Transition Command, U.S. generals pledged continuing support to Afghan security forces, saying they would not allow the Taliban to gain ground.

Video Afghan Protesters Blame Government For Kunduz Violence

Demonstrators in the Afghan capital, Kabul, accused government officials of mishandling the security situation in the city of Kunduz, which was overrun by Taliban militants three days earlier.


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  • Human rights organizations say Kuchis are the poorest and most marginalized group in Afghanistan.
  • Over the centuries the Kuchi nomads, whose numbers are estimated from 300,000 to 3 million, have pursued a migratory life, herding caravans of sheep, goats, and camels around the country.
  • The Kuchis migrated from warmer lowlands in winter to mountain pastures in summer. They played an important part in the economy by producing meat and fabrics used for making carpets. 
  • But many Kuchis have relocated to settled areas because of war, drought, and dwindling access to land. ​Only around one-third still lead nomadic lives. 
  • The Kuchis are identified by their black tents, colorful clothes, and flocks of animals.
  • In their search for permanent residence, the Kuchis have come into conflict with local authorities and rival ethnic groups who say the newcomers are encroaching on their lands.
  • Depleted natural resources, such as water, and lingering ethnic tensions have led to fierce clashes between Kuchi herders and members of the Hazara ethnic group in the last few years. Scores have been killed and wounded on both sides.
  • Some Kuchi families have settled in Pul-e Charkhi, outside Kabul. 
  • Under the Afghan Constitution, the government is required to allocate permanent land for the Kuchis and help integrate them into settled areas. 
  • Ten of the 249 seats in the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan national parliament, have been allocated to Kuchis. The government also has a department, the Independent Directorate of Kuchi Affairs, to handle Kuchi issues.

Afghanistan's Kuchi Nomads Forced To Settle

Years of war and drought have increasingly forced Afghanistan's Kuchis, a nomadic tribal group, to abandon their traditional lifestyle and relocate to settled areas.

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Informed Comment

  • Afghan troops during a military operation in the northern Faryab province in August.

    How To Address Afghanistan's Quagmire

    A former senior adviser to three International Security Assistance Force commanders offers advice on how to arrest and reverse the growing predicament in Afghanistan. More

Debating Room

Afghan Forces fighting militants in northeastern Kunduz province in April.

Afghanistan's Central Asian Security Spillover

RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk, assembled a panel to discuss recent developments in northern Afghanistan and what Central Asia could do to help the Afghan government and military. More

More Articles


Press Room

October 01, 2015

RFE/RLive: The Capture of Kunduz

In its biggest victory in 15 years, Taliban militants captured the city of Kunduz on Monday - sending shockwaves throughout the country. Afghan forces, backed by U.S. airstrikes, quickly reclaimed the town, but what does this mean for an already fragile Afghanistan?