2014 marks a decisive political moment in the tortuous history of this worn-ravaged country, which is slated to hold Presidential and Provincial Council elections on April 5, 2014.

So far, preparations for the April 2014 polls have been plagued with difficulties and growing concerns over the ability of the Afghan state bodies to guarantee a fair and transparent electoral process.

In particular, the candidacy by individuals implicated in serious human rights abuses continue to raise questions about the legitimacy of vetting processes, thus increasing cynicism among potential voters.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), candidates in the presidential race include “former military and militia commanders implicated in serious rights abuses, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.”

Given the presence of such disputable candidates accused of heinous crimes, many Afghans still wonder whether their country will ever have a future as a rights-respecting country.

hugo chavez

A great man, the staunchest supporter of laborers, a model for the national democratic movement in Latin America, and a man whose resistance in the face of hardships and aggressor forces remains exemplary, has left the world. Hugo Chavez, the famous Venezuelan leader who had a long battle with cancer, said goodbye for good on March 6, 2013. His death left millions of his compatriots and all the progressive and anti-colonial forces of the world, in utter shock and grief. But his difficult life left many lessons for the oppressed people.

Nobody’s death in the past few decades has caused this much sorrow and pain everywhere. More than two million people in Caracas waited in long queues so they could meet ‘Commander Chavez’ one last time and pay homage to him. The images relayed by news outlets show the poor people of Venezuela, weeping and mourning while embracing photos of Chavez. If these images have been painful, they also show what deep a place he had in his people's hearts. Several other Latin American countries are also mourning his death and have declared an official mourning period. His death has made headlines around the world in the past few days. Defenders of justice all over the world have expressed their sadness at the loss of this wise leader of the twenty-first century.

American soldier kill afghans

Recently, I came across a very inspiring poem in Dari by Arzhang, which depicts the current harsh situation of my country. In a land where a mother is forced to sell her child for Afs. 2000 (US$ 40) to save the life of her other children from hunger and cold winter; the artists are busy to praise their lover’s eyes and lips, but I am hopeful a day will come when this child will raise to save other children from being sold and sing the songs of freedom. I would like to dedicate the translation of this poem to the sold nameless child.

Word Naked

I am badly wounded

The wound which can be healed

To strive for freedom

In sparkle for independence


mujahedeen the precursors of the taliban

Afghanistan is a country ripped and tarnished by a perennial and calamitous war throughout its history. Afghans haven’t sighed in relief, as the horror of war has plagued them all along. The tragedies that have ensued throughout the exacting history of Afghanistan have been caused by mere misunderstandings, conceit, Machiavellian politics, the arbitrary construction of difference and the likes of them. For example, the demise of the so-called communist regime was followed by a treacherous and barbaric period of war-lordism in the 90s. The country was ripped and divided into a number of fiefdoms reigned along ethnic lines. War-lords such as Hekmatyar, Masood, Mazari, Dustom and the likes of them, allegedly took on them to represent Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazars, Uzbeks etc. The abstraction of ethnic difference took a concrete feature as language, dialects and localities were used as the main denominators of unity and harmony by the so-called leaders. These differences created a perpetual schism amongst us and we still suffer from its venomous and deadly consequences.


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