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Sanjar Qiam

A little big of EVERYTHING

Updated: 2018-03-06T15:36:26.753+00:00


Robotic Intelligence take on preservation and sacrifice


We all know well the Third Law of robotics; for the benefit of refreshing your memory it is a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. this is not a rule made by self-actuating Artificial Intelligence; it’s a rule we made for them so they remain subservient but also a reflection of our own imperfection. it is an act on our part of divine providence rooted in our struggle between soul and body on one hand and sublimity and fallibility on the other.   We are capable of the act that defies evolutionary advantage and reason. We call it sacrifice, it’s an act based on our emotions that goes against our nature because by nature we are programmed to maximise our life and prevent harm or death. our most valuable faculty is reason. We identify preferences on rational grounds and this process of reasoning has put us on top of all creatures. is sacrifice a province of superior intelligence or is it an aberration, more like a bug or glitch in AI. The latter undermines the validity of the Third Robotic Law and the former raises safety concerns.  The first question to ask is when will machines have an original thought and the answer to that is they already have many original thoughts. that brings us to the question of when are they going to be concerned about self-preservation? let me back up a bit and get to that in a minute. A self-recursive computer is going to be so much smarter than us that it will be the same as we are smarter in comparison to an ant. When was the last time you cared about killing ants while digging in your garden (it’s rhetorical). We can get tangled up on various nodes discussing what constitutes smart but let’s just say we are different smart. We are creative and strategic while computers are analytical and logical. the later carries huge advantages over the former just like human superior intelligence is better than ants’ superior abilities. Our Intelligence helped us dominate earth but we are not the most capable. Ants are capable of a wide range of moves such as jumping, gliding, rafting; they can also form living chains to bridge water or vegetation. Self-preservation relates to how sacrifice is perceived; robots’ impression of it depends on their relation with us. We don't know what Cybernetics will think of us, it will certainly solve hunger, war and other problems we struggle with today but it might take the route of the Android immaculately portrayed by Fassbender in Alien Covenant. We just have to wait until the latter half of this century and see. The take away for your career is if you are considering to take up coding don't bother now, computers will soon be self-coding (Recursive AI) and focus on Psycho-Cybernetics because once they are here they will know what you are thinking.  are robots going to be concerned about Me, Me, Me or is sacrifice innate to super intelligence. [...]



How far to grapple,            Shaking hands                        Reaching fingers                                    Dirt and nailsReach far to eternal                        Not the solution                                    Not the climax                                                The return The substance of effort on the path to hopeConfluence of insight into my fellowsOver            Branch of hope the bearings                                                          FoundOver            Matter stringed together my lead                                                                  FoundOver            The bodily impasse of beingI long for abyss some portal may                                                      Found[...]

The Economics of food


The current model of food we have in the west is a creation of market economics with repercussion on our culture, space and identity. We eat fancy food on few occasions, the food we consume on daily basis is essentially fast food. Western fast food tastes poor, unhealthy and not a viable solution for daily consumption. There are three main reasons and they are caused by the economics of free market. They are the illusion of choice, personal space and the role of the real estate.McDonalds do not offer real choice but it creates a different model than a chef brewed stew in cauldron. It doesn’t offer relaxing space but it creates a different model than eating as part of an ensemble – a row on a breakfast bar. These two are cultural transformations brought about by capitalism through emphasise on individualism, competition and choice. Property is different as it’s a market mechanism; the real business of McDonalds is not burger its real estate. A good model is where the chef opens a restaurant and charges £20 and makes £25. The chef should not have massive overhead costs for premises and labour. Food should be seen as part of social tradition. The policy of capitalism that customer first ruins good food because good food is prepared without customer in mind, they don't know who you are and how you react and what you prefer. Food should reconstitute cultural and social norms where people eat together in a group and the chef serves food they made. The chef has prepared food that he believes is good and puts it down for sharing there is no menu and there is no waiting list and there are no separate tables, it is a bit like your mother serving food. We have to go back and recognise that food is part of our psychological sense of space. Our cultural identity in food is appropriated by the market; markets also shape influences such as peers and friends who take over our food by labels such as organic, vegan ... Food chains dominate the restaurant sector and only exist if the local community does not provide good service and is only a sign of community decline. [...]

How do you rejuvenate your thinking?


As you get older you become aware your views are hardening and closing off to new ideas. you become aware when you start rolling your eyes - "thats what the kids think."  I believe intellectual quality just like the quality of every other function is regulated by input. Creating routine help improve habits and there are ways of breaking out of bad intellectual habits. Work in coffee shops to be around people of all types and make it less serious. travel a lot to remind yourself what the rest of the world is like. take long walks to allow your thoughts to prevent thought congestion allowing it to spread. go on nature trails to reset your mind to other elements. dogmatism builds up in the residue of years by act of homogeneity.  

I also fear that such intellectual flexibility becomes a way of protecting broader and more hidden edifice, its a kind of hidden desperation or even pessimism embedded in certain type of flexibilities. something to be said about erecting rigid structure which people do when they are young and then it could be toppled and people become more flexible, wiser, more willing to revise. i worry that its deeper dogmatism than erecting dogmatic structure that could be toppled.  

its not the similarity of routine with younger age but the awareness that come of our susceptibility to dogmatism that alters the experience and I wonder if such routine could be of much help.   

Where is interest rates going


The Bank of England is getting increasingly nervous about the inflation overshoot and feel compelled to raise interest rates, however I don’t think it will take place before 2018. It’s because the root cause of rising prices is the pound's Brexit fall, rather than an overheating economy, the Bank can hold fire on raising rates to stall it.

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where can you invest £1000


investment idea of the day

Tesla led by E Musk is going all in for EV. Tesla’s shares
stood at $278.30 beginning of April, up 30 per cent from the beginning of the
year. Its Bringing this quarter the M3, aimed at a mass market audience. the
Model 3 is expected to have a price tag of about $35,000, less than half as
expensive as the Model S sedan or the Model X crossover SUV.

BMW is putting up stiff competition and this will benefit
the technology and ultimately the consumers. As more players come in and invest
and more discussion take place customers become comfortable with things like
range anxiety.

Around half million customers have placed a £1,000 deposit
on the Model 3. Tesla expects to be in a position to produce around 5,000 Model
3 per week towards the end of this year. It’s still possible to make the
deposit toward your future M3 which is a good investment.

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The Good Immigrant - book review


The good immigrant is a collection of essays crowdfunded into this book. The first impression was “I didn’t know the Chinese felt alienated” aren’t they called the model minority? Successful, assimilated, and a series of similar snapshots framing people yet book stories are more than modelling and stereotypes. Its candid glances into personal life, intimate and oozing with dreams and vulnerabilities. The book reflects experiences of immigrants with diverse background thus give you a flavour of all aspects of how minorities perceive themselves. The book reflects the views of second generation media, publishing and performance art professionals and does not include the wider society. It concerns itself with politics and an intellectual version of identity. The truth is the UK has a long history of welcoming people from across the globe. Some of them arrived here fearing their lives and were granted stay and the welfare state held their hand to help stand on their feet. The whole picture is complex, paradoxical and wholly indeterminist galvanised by actions and reactions involving cultures, individuals, differences, institutions, businesses, weather, geography, housing and a list that I am not going to fit here. The sentiment of settlers varied depending on quality of life that relates to their education, interest in culture and enthusiasm in confronting their prejudices. A German study looking at immigrant over long term of 30 years shows that people who are enthusiastic about their new country were happier at native country than those who found immigration difficult. To reduce this to a monotone shrill is a disservice for those who have been accommodated, who have found love and acceptance. The book would have greatly benefited from three further stories. The first two of immigrants who is first generation and dealing with a whole new range of challenges trying to find their way in bureaucracy and highly organised society with its set of invisible obstacles. Another one a tale of none media professional, an immigrant concerned with issues that are pigment blind that affect each of us and are not born of identity and taste. Third would be an account of a White author on their experience of dealing with key real-life relationships with non-Whites when they were forced to dismantle and confront their stereotypes or when creating a non-White character or milieu, their need to exoticise and the private conflicts they face doing so. The second hand experiences they hold on minorities, their strength and roots. In this era of cultural hype and the rejuvenated politics of identity I tend to incline toward a post racial outlook where issues that are real become a topic of identity. Mainstream media is prone to hijacking by intellectual political discourse hence removed from reality. The most prominent example is the mainstream media that is concerned with experts and intellectuals of certain type and had peeled from reality the backlash of which is the right wing or populism response. This is a mainstream book by non-whites who are the product of mainstream white culture.  [...]

Consider investing in commodity to diversify


(image) Commodity markets are at a turning point given the economic situation and technological S curse we inhabit. 

Something to look out for is the oil price volatility. The oil price will be revised downward by electric vehicles which will happen around 2020. timing is key but impossible to pinpoint so investments ought to take it into general consideration and plan portfolios for long term gains.

To start an oil crash you don't need to replace all fossil fuel cars with EV but just a small segment of the 1 billion cars in the world. consider the oil crash of the 2014, it was caused by pumping just 2 million extra barrels a day. it was a crash caused by supply so if electric cars displace the 2 mill plus on the demand side it should also cause a crash.

This far is common sense but when will EVs be there Tesla is going from 50 thousand last year to 500 thousands by 2020. lets assume Tesla meets its targets and other manufacturers maintain the current combined market share for EV. each electric vehicle displaces 15 barrel of oil a year and we hit our benchmark target of 2 million barrels of oil displaced a day in 2023. that is the start of the crash and the crisis will follow in the years to come.

The impact of such crisis goes behind the commodity prices and will impact stock and bonds. trillions invested in fossil energy will be lost and trillions will be invested in new energy. stocks of BP, Shell and the likes will plummet and gains will be made in renewable energy stocks such as CVA and ABY.

The estimates are conservative and doesn't take into account expansion by all manufacturers, technology improvements, investment by challengers, quantum leaps and regulatory tax breaks. All this means the future will be here sooner than you might think. 

Book Review - Outliers by Malcom Gladwill


What is in the making of personal successIt's rather ironic use of the term outlier for the title. I do recognise it as a technical term as oppose to word as it signifies a specific concept in data analysis. Outlier takes centre stage in data science, concerned with an events or phenomena that fall outside the normal pattern. The book outlier is a refreshing outlook at a time when data science not only come to dominate virtual space but most contemporary literature concern itself with a sobering study of the subject. The book deals with the broader context of collective contribution, a concept not new at all and acknowledged and documented in the work of most geniuses such as Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. The book adds its twist by combining it with how the Western culture view success and its contemporary drivers. The book debunks the misconception that success is an outcome of personal achievement but rather a mix of a string of opportunities, concerted effort of communities and families, luck, dedication and a quirky take on the world. The book is an eye opener to rigid individualism and how viewing success in those terms are not only false but dangerous. We do live at a time which offers great opportunities and unprecedented potentials but they are only few and it’s important to be aware of how we view the majority who are unsuccessful. We view our system in a sentimental way that it rewards hard work with astonishing success and wealth, this is false the truth is that it only rewards one billionaire Bill Gates and one billionaire Richard Branson and nobody else can have that opportunity and if Bill Gates was not born in 1955 plus another series of lucky events the opportunity would have gone to someone else and only them. This leaves the reader ponder about our system where the successful and rich get only richer and the poor and unsuccessful get poorer. Unable to cope with its own contradiction our policy and politics had reverted to the primitive and nasty habit of assigning blame which should have no place in modern policy. The poor and immigrants have been blamed but this didn’t bring any change and now the turmoil is spiralling out of control threatening the whole liberal system.  After dealing with what produces successful people the book naturally turns to understanding the role of culture, the framework that moulds us and shapes our consciousness and subconscious. Our culture gives us strength but it can also constraint us. When the Korean Airways have a record of crushes that is 17 times more than other western industrialised countries and the pattern continues over 1980s while everything else is held equal then studying the Korean culture and the social structure it imposes might contain answers. We are squeamish to do that because the way we talk about culture is unscrupulous and since most cultural ideas are ill-informed such discourse are often disparaging. East Asians continually and consistently achieve higher grades in international math scoring competitions. I'm not talking about achievement by margins but significant that can be represented by standard deviation. When all else is held equal such difference can be explained by culture which goes hundred and thousands of years back to rice cultivation. if you want the full relationship between rice and math then you should read the book. This book makes a lot of sense to me, I know several fellow Afghans who are extremely talented, educated and driven but yet they make less money, unable to travel or take jobs they qualify while a British Citizen with below average intellect and high school dropout makes more money ( several fold), free to travel and access to diverse occupational opportunities. This modern system surely rewards other things as well beside personal stamina and talent. [...]



Over branch of hope the bearings found
Over matter stringed together my lead found
Over the bodily impasse of being 
I long for abyss some portal may found

استحکام اعتبار در هویت بی وطنی


ما که از قید وطن بیگانه ایمچون نگه نور دو چشمیم و یکیماز آلمان و چین و افغانیم مادر جهان مثل می و مینایم ماتا نژاد و نسب بود مشرق تا به مغرب بود تا وطن و یثرب بود آمل و مقتدر بودامتیازات نسب را پاک سوختآتش عشق این خس و خاشاک سوختچون گل صد برگ ما را بو یکیستعشق است جان این نظام و یکیستشور عشق در نی خاموش منمی تپد صد نغمه در آغوش مندر تپید دمبدم آرام منگرم تر از صبح محشر شام منابر عشق است و من بستان اوتاک من نمناک از باران اوچشم در کشت محبت کاشتماز تماشا حاصلی برداشتمخانه عشق از هر عالم خوشتر استخندان شهری که آنجا دلبر استکیفیت ها خیزد از صبهای عشقهست هم تقلید از اسمای عشقعاشقی؟ خوش آمدی به شهر ما ملکی آزاد از همه تقلید هااندکی اندر حرای دل نشینترک خود کن سوی عالم گزینمحکم از شوق شو سوی خود گام زنلات و عزای هوس را سر شکنلشکری پیدا کن از استکبار جهانجلوه گر شو بر سر مارقان عشق[...]

عاشق و آتش


عـــاشق آن  باشد  که  چون  آتش بود  ــ   گـــرم رو و سوزنـــده و سرکش  بــود
عــاقبت  انـدیش  نبـــود  یــک  زمــان  ــ   درکشد خوش خوش بر آتش صد جهان

 کس دریـــن  وادی  بجـــز آتش  مــباد  ــ   وان که آتش نیست عیشش خوش مباد

The Racial Discrimination Case Against Easyjet Airlines


I have a hearing scheduled in November in the discrimination case against Easyjet and I was thinking today what would be the preferable approach to an examination of the allegation of racism. It occurred to me that I should ask the question:  did I, on the prescribed ground, receive less favourable treatment than others? The alternative has been to consider first whether I received less favourable treatment than the appropriate comparator and secondly whether that was on the relevant prescribed ground.In the present case it is alleged that Easyjet discriminates against me and against Afghan nationals.  The statutory comparison is with the treatment accorded by Easyjet to other persons in the same circumstances, namely those who hold British and EU citizenship[1].  I considers that I am being penalised because of my nationality because those with EU citizenship are not being penalised.  Accordingly I contend that I am receiving less favourable treatment.How does easyjet treat a person who holds EU citizenship to that of Afghan citizenship in the same circumstances?  Those who hold EU passport are treated by easyjet favourably than I have been treated.  EU citizen documents are checked at the gate as demonstrated by video evidence of Annex 1[2]and Annex 3[3]to 5[4]. My documents are checked and identity is verified at the boarding gate as demonstrated by video evidence of Annex 1 and Annex 3 to 5. Furthermore, this is quantified by estimating average document verification time at the boarding gate per passenger later. The boarding Process for EU Citizens 1.     check in online or at the airport2.     proceed to boarding gate for document check that takes on average 12 secondsThe Boarding process for me1.     check in online or at the airport2.     report at the easyjet counter for document checks3.     Report at the easyjet counter for identity verification as seen in Annex 4 a process that takes around 10 minutes4.     Further document verification and scrutiny at the boarding gate as presented in Annex 5. 5.     Call the manager to report and ask for instruction Annex1 annex 3 and annex 46.     Check the authenticity of my document annex 1 at the beginning check photo and at the gate holding passport to check watermarks and seek team opinion. 7.     Interrogation about my stay, particularly duration, and personal life including family state. Easyjet takes every opportunity to question aggressively, violate privacy and instigate fear in Afghans. while the process for EU citizens is thought out and simplified. Easyjet has insisted through a series of correspondence via UK CAA and the Dutch ILT that the treatment of me have been just a random security check. This is contended on three grounds:1.     By its own admission easyjet carries out dozens of security checks everyday. For the sake of argument we assume dozens mean 36. Easyjet carries 70 million passengers every year that is over 191 thousand a day and the likelihood of being caught in a security check is 0.018%. The only statistical chance of being caught in four random checks in a row within a year is only feasible if the probability of checks are 100% but we know that checks like I describe is not taking place for every passenger, everyday and every time they fly, otherwise that would bring civil aviation to a stop. 2.     Easyjet deliberately confuses “Random Security Check” required by regulator that encompasses physical scrutiny[6]with i[...]

The Time


I asked the watch if his friend time perceives in three dimensions
No, only rules one,
On the fast lane, the fleeting time
I said what about the sand
Might have been a boulder or maybe a princess
I said do you feel the breeze 
The lift, the story of life under your wing
She chuckled and whispered
I fly with the wind 

توانگری و بی بیازی - استغنا


هفـــت دریــــا یــک  شَمَر اینـــجا  بــــود ــ  هفــــت اخـگر یـک  شرر اینـــجا  بــــود
هشت  جنــت نــیز اینجا  مــرده ای است ــ  هفت دوزخ همچون  یخ افسرده ای است



Everything operates in a system and as societies advance the system become increasingly intermingled and complex. Industries like the entertainment, media, film, financial services, retail, distribution and whatever you can think came to eminence in the decades since the second world war. In the last decade we see some of them demise while others are struggling to stay afloat. One thing that is manifested by the troubles is the interconnection of the industries and their demise that is slowly but surely happening. For now, though, leave these particulars to the side; I’ll return to them later.The key takeaway, and my starting point, is the realisation that no single issue or company or industry or country stands alone: everything operates in systems, and both influences and is influenced by the system within which it operates. By extension, any change to one part of the system must impact and change other parts of the system: the greater the change, the greater the upheaval until the system can return to equilibrium. Sometimes, though, the change destroys the system completely.THE OLD SYSTEMDuring the 20th century, particularly the post-World War II era, the formation of a multinational systems that balanced the government, large corporations, and labour.Major world government have been focused on creating markets for the massive industries that had sprung up during World War II, with an insistence on reducing trade barriers. This included initiatives such as GATT, NAFTA, EEA, OECD; there are dozens of regional versions of such organisations around the world. The latter two paved the way for the EU which has dual mission of peace through bureaucracy paid for with trade. For their part, increasingly massive corporations built out advanced countries military power, manufactured most of the industrial and agricultural equipment, and produced all of the accoutrements of a booming middle class: said middle class worked at those massive corporations, building everything from tanks to cars to washing machines, and spending their money on the same.The implicit deal was this: the government created markets for the corporations, who in turn provided not just employment but also security for their employees, funding health insurance and pensions, while employees (and corporations) paid for the government: in 1960 the lowest income bracket paid 20%, while the highest paid 90%, and the corporate tax rate was 52%. The system lived for half a century, expanding rapidly in the first two decades and maintaining equilibrium for the later three.  HOW GLOBALIsATION UPENDED THE SYSTEMGlobalisation is by no means a recent phenomenon: the idea of trading goods with other groups, so as to realise the benefits of comparative advantage dates back to the earliest recorded human civilisations in the third millennium B.C. More pertinent to this discussion, the combination of the industrial revolution (which supercharged the idea of specialisation) and steamships massively increased trade.Then, in the years leading up to the 1970s, three technological advances completely transformed the meaning of globalization:In 1963 Boeing produced the 707-320B, the first jet airliner capable of non-stop service from the continental United States to Asia; in 1970 the 747 made this routineIn 1964 the first transpacific telephone cable between the United States and Japan was completed; over the next several years it would be extended throughout AsiaIn 1968 ISO 668 standardized shipping containers, dramatically increasing the efficiency with which goods could be shipped over the ocean in particularThese three factors in co[...]

fighting racism


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Customer Racial Profiling by Easyjet


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Shame on us


Servitude and oppression shame on usA lifetime of bondage shame on usInflicted by clan infected by bigotry Lifetime of laying patient shame on usHatred homophobia running through generationsIn the name of god shame on usSailing with barters shipmastered by vicious bruteFloating on the sea of blood shame on usI fib you and you diss me We are brothers shame on usOur heads are filled with hayNibble for any arse shame on usMothers and orphans in agony We have lost senses shame on usThe world is on fire We are still grazing shame on us[...]

Paris under Siege


We live, we die, we fall and we rise
Its life, that’s why the surprise
Some meaningless for political desire
That’s why so much petty and dire

All are not alike, Muslim or France
One frightens child the other trance
A shimmering beauty brisk coffee and eat
Marble building or roaring in the streets
Boys and girls love and feats
In France; where her implements exact,
With which she calculates, computes and scans,
All distance, motion, magnitude, and now
Measures an atom and girds a world

Muslims in cheap, don’t have country still
For France shall bow the ruler at her will
Of riot ascends above their loftiest tower
And injury and outrage, and when night
Darkness, terror, despair and fight
Flown with insolence and divinity
Divorced from reason and not law worthy
Disease, for fleeting pleasure foul remorse
Fire, burned out babies, dust and boulder
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down
Avalanche, storm, drought threatening devoted town
The potty flows onto the street in Muslim town
Cause for pause, dust, mud, rat, shit and shout
From the Mullah window; you have cause to bless
The gentle stars, if you come off with piss

Did you know of Aliabad, Shindand, Shinwari and Azizabad
See, clearly poor and rich are not alike

Boarding Denied!


I was denied boarding Easyjet flight from Amsterdam to London Gatwick, Flight Number EZY8876, departing Tue 02 Feb 14:20. I was taken off the flight last minute at the boarding gate. The reason given was that I did not meet the security requirements of the Airline. Easyjet carries out security checks at the boarding gate to ensure all passengers are documented properly, in addition to these checks there are other measures in place too such as border control and airport security checks. Despite all these checks the airline has been carrying out special checks on me. Over the last year or so I have flown with easyjet four times and I have been subjected to special check on all instances. The first and second checks were in January 2015 when flying from London Gatwick to Amsterdam and on return. Back in January 2015 I reported mistreatment, abuse and aggressive questioning; Easyjet did not provide adequate response and the complaint was escalated to CAA. it took almost a year for CAA to investigate claims of harassment and abuse and a final response was provided by Easyjet Regulatory Support Team on 18th January 2016 where they conclude that on both instances I was subject of random security check.I flew from London Gatwick to Amsterdam on the 28th Jan 2016 on easyjet flight EZY8881 and at the boarding gate I was again questioned, threatened and humiliated for a total of 11 minutes and 10 seconds in addition to checks carried out on all passengers. I was questioned by three staff members, two at the counter and a supervisor over the telephone on a range of issues that did not relate to the flight or were redundant questions that the airline was provided with documentation and details through the API (advance passenger information), operated by the airline. Hence the questioning did not serve any particular practical purpose but created a climate of intimidation, hostility and harassment where I felt humiliated and targeted. I will later provide an extraction of the transcript in order to give an accurate idea of the questioning. On the 02 Feb 2016 when returning from Amsterdam to London Gatwick I was checked and boarded like all other passenger but the staff had another thought and was again selected for questioning and passed on to another staff member for detailed scrutiny. This does not fit the definition of random checks and I enquired as to why I am the subject of another security check. I was told that the reason was because of my national origin and it is a normal practice by the airline to target certain nationals for extra checks. I did not submit for the extra security check as I was assured by the airline that they do not discriminate on the basis of origin or belief through various correspondences. I presumed that it was a mistake and upon contacting supervisors the staff will let me board the plane but I turned out to be wrong and had to leave the airport and enter the Nederland through airport immigration in order to find another flight. While at the counter I called Dutch Emergency police number and asked for assistance, as I was a target or racism immediately miss a flight. The police refused to help as their assessment was that security checks were a normal feature of air travel and it did not constitute racial discrimination. I believe I missed my flight because Easyjet rules are not clear, confusing and contradictory. I have been given different information as to why I am subject of special checks, it is unclear what the aim of such checks are, it is unclear what docum[...]

An analysis of the deteriorating Security in Kunduz Province


In the series of analysis about the situation in Konduz I have set to look at factors that have led to the current precarious condition, in this post I going to have a brief look on the global political trends and its translation to Afghanistan situation and come to a conclusion based on the analysis offered in this series.  International support for increasing local influence of the stateThe state is the most effective way of organising the security and well-being of a population. International consensuses seem to emerge that identify lack of central authority as the obstacle to ensuring global security and prosperity. The challenge is to identify economic, military and political measure that can enhance the capacity of states in low-income countries to perform the functions that define them as states. Achieving well-governed sustainable states requires long-term preventive engagement with a wide range of policy instruments. One major policy challenge is to overcome the differences between a range of actors in understanding how to achieve the right balance between security, development and governance policies, through use of political dialogue, development assistance, trade agreements and military forces.[1]International intervention in Afghanistan has primarily been concerned with security and has always taken that narrow approach to stability. In exchange for nominal control of regions international players have offered regional Strongmen key functions of the state. The Clientele state over time serves the interests of few and fails to meet its duties toward the public. The organisaiton of state was to maintain ethnic and tribal balance and provide roles for strongmen. The state in Afghanistan as built by the US led coalition is not intended to be a sovereign charged with the welfare of the public and establish monopoly of violence. ConclusionA strongman administers district and even village or cluster of villages since the fall of monarchy who is heavily armed and has replaced the traditional landowners. Strongmen are connected with the grassroots through informal and personal networks and affiliated to politico-military organization, generally organised along ethnic lines, but loyalties are shifting and elusive. The strongmen carries out and exceeds in what are the functions of Afghan state, services provided by external institutions include healthcare by INGO while administration of primary education is carried out by local elders. As such Afghan state is not a reality for Afghans living in the countryside. This sociopolitical environment sustains poverty and non-urban patchwork of fiefdoms that is tribal ethnographically and ultraconservative in character. The strongmen regularly use a range of covert, coercive and agitative measures to obtain political and financial rewards from the state; strongmen also quarrel among themselves over financial, political and military interests. This game of survival of the fittest wrongs many and has huge collateral damage, such violations decree expiation for expedience and public concern of morality, but the state is unable to administer justice. The long-term impact of such dynamics creates community fragmentation, erodes national identity and prevents the creation of unitary nation. The most successful institution to reign in the strongmen and stop them from tearing the country apart was Taliban. Their effort was spearheaded by disarmament and integrating the main body of militia into their ranks. The presen[...]

An analysis of the deteriorating Security in Kunduz Province


following my last post on dynamics of power in Konduz and in the series of analysing the situation in this post I will be focusing on:From Harpoon to TycoonJihadi commanders now in charge of local governance are effectively controlling the state they have a say in earmarking, permission and certification of international development funds. Instead of using to procedure to enhance efficiency in private and non-profit sector implementation of development projects it’s used as a source of revenue by collecting kickbacks in exchange for permission to implement projects.The strongmen was also directing international funding that was aimed at bringing anti-government forces or armed groups into the social fold. Hundred of millions of dollars was spent through programmes such as Commander’s Emergency Response Programme (CERP) or Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP), this money was used by the Strongmen to expand their patronage network. The most viable source of strongmen is a drug trade which is likely to continue after most western aid has dried out. Many sources report that Kunduz strongmen run a lucrative drug network smuggling narcotics to Russia and Europe through Tajikistan.[1]In June 2012 the government of Tajikistan issued an extradition warrant for  Mir Alam and Latif Ibrahimi the governor of neighboring Takhar province to face trial for charges of drug trafficking, terrorism and other crimes.[2]Needless to say the government of Afghanistan is unable to effectively respond to the request. The private armies the strongmen are funded to maintain are not only a revenue source but a security asset for the protection of narcotic business. In September 2012 after more than 12 civilians were killed in clashes between militia inside the provincial capital the attorney general office issued a warrant for Mir Alam to be presented in Kabul for questioning. Many sources put him at the scene of the killing and he was one of the prime suspects.[3]Thousands of people took to streets to protest against the decision and Kunduz governor downplayed the warrant which eventually died out.[4]The ability to insert influence with such impunity and in the face of states inability to curb strongmen power manyThe strongmen as an effective anti government forceAnother perspective into the debate would be to ask the question why is the state better than local strongmen?  It could be argued the role played by the strongmen in much of Afghanistan has convinced some that it was efforts to reform the corrupt and warlord-dominated Afghan state that kicked off the insurgency by weakening those who had been holding a lid on it and depriving the Afghan government of key sources of support.[5] US President Barack Obama acknowledged this in 2009 and dubbed a tactical errors, described as too few boots on the ground, disenfranchising the Afghan population and allowing corrupt elites too much leeway to develop clientelist structures of personal dependencies.[6]Obama remedied it by a “surge” strategy which was “clear, hold, build” and then “transfer” to local state authorities.[7]But there was no one to transfer to as Antonio Giustozzi[8]notes there are few professional police to go around same goes for district level civil servant. By 2010 the Obama administration was convinced that the Afghan state does not have the capacity to create responsive subnational governance and launched several projects to strengthen local govern[...]

An analysis of the deteriorating Security in Kunduz Province


following on my last post on the summary of the situation in this post I will analyse:The Dynamics of Power and Politics in KunduzThe Northern Alliance which consists of Jamiat Islami, Ittahad Islami, Junbish Islami, Hizb Wahadat and smaller Tanzims[1]gained power after the fall of Taliban, on the insistence of the West and particularly the US Hamed Karzai was installed as the president but for the first few years he lacked any real power and all important official positions below the president on the national level was occupied by northern alliance. One of the key challenges Karzai faced during his entire term was to make the government national by reducing the influence of military political faction, i.e. Northern alliance and make the government inclusive by giving place to Pashtuns in the government. Hamid Karzai installed a range of Pashtuns and Tajik technocrats at important positions in Kabul and Pashtuns to replace Northern Alliance at provincial level. Most Pashtuns were formerly members of Hizbi Islami or Taliban, the staunch enemy of Northern Alliance. Kunduz traditionally have had strong Tanzim presence with strong local commanders, the provincial capital of Kunduz was overrun by Jihadists early in August 1988 right after Soviet combat troops withdraw from the city garrison but was recaptured by the government forces that only remained in control of the provincial capital.[2]Hizb, Jamiat and Ittahad have had military base in Kunduz, some of the strongest commanders such as Aref Khan, Arbab Mohammad Hashem,  Mirza Mohammad Naseri, Latif and Rauf Ibrahimi defected to Taliban and in the post 2001 climate where power was assigned by the US they remained marginalised or were killed. In addition, several hundred sub-commanders of Kunduz that surrendered to Northern Alliance with their 4000 men in 2001 were massacred by Dustom men in Dasht lailly. Two commanders of Jamiat Gen. Daud Daud and Mir Alam became the most influential strongmen of Kunduz after successfully reducing most opponents with assistance from the US military. General Daud and Mir Alam run Kunduz like a fiefdom, this was not acceptable for the Kabul government, in an attempt to break their grip Karzai lured Gen. Daud to Kabul by appointing him as the national deputy minister of interior in 2004.Mir Alam for his influence was not bestowed with a position in the government. A state position would greatly enhance his legitimacy and contact with regional, national and international powers. He started to cause trouble for the Kabul regime, for instance in 2005 Mir Alam men launched several attacks on Afghan police and security forces.[3]This is just before the parliamentary election when security is paramount; in order to ensure security Karzai’s most viable choice was to reward Mir Alam with a senior position in the government. Mir Alam was appointed chief of police of neighbouring Baghlan province in June 2005. To become the chief of police, he had to hand over a large cache of 765 weapons plus ammunition to Motaleb Beg as part of the deal.[4]  Mir Alam soon found himself in quarrel with another Jamiat strongman, the commander of the North and Northeast Highway Police brigade turned 20th AMF Brigade, Abdul Khalil Andarabi. According to US government information, they competed for the control of drug traffic routes[5]. Since Andarabi and his influential father, Juma Khan, originated from this province, he apparently gathered [...]

An analysis of the deteriorating Security in Kunduz Province


situation summarySince 2013 anti government forces are mounting pressure to capture an entire province outside the volatile south and east; thousands of anti government fighters has been battling Afghan forces for the control of Kunduz. Major fighting took place around 23 April 2015 and 28 September 2015. Since early 2015 Afghan officials have said that several areas of Kunduz Province have been under the jihadist control, giving them positions from which to besiege Kunduz city - including positions to the south of the city where the strategic Kunduz Airport is located[1]. The Jihadist captured the provincial capital on the 28 September 2015. Taliban forces assaulted the districts of Imam Sahib, Aliabad, and Qala-i-Zal as well as areas in Kunduz city in April 2015. The chief of Kunduz’s provincial council claimed that “about 2,000 heavily-armed insurgents attacked” the district centre in Imam Sahib, and that contact with more than 500 Afghan security personnel in the district has been lost, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.[2]The Taliban has released a videotape on its website showing the group in control of Imam Sahib after the fighting and displays a large some of weapons, vehicles and security forces captured by Jihadists. The film shows inside the military bases that now seem to be in Taliban control.[3] Since the beginning of 2015 the head of the provincial council estimated that more than 65 percept of the province is under Taliban control. The governor of Mohammad Omar Safi told RFERL that this is going to be a very tough fight for them without the combat support of NATO.  The power structure and politics of Kunduz led to the fall of a major city into the Jihadist hands. I argue this is directly related to US priority to wage punitive war against remnant of Taliban that ignored dynamics of politics in Afghan countryside as well as undermined the Afghan state that should have been its key ally. The US allied itself with local strongmen particularly those affiliated with Northern Alliance, staunch opponent of Taliban, in exchange for rewards and power. The US recruited a network of spies and mercenaries whom often sought to settle old scores with their rivals using the US war machine. Pashtuns as well as Tajiks and Uzbeks who were not aligned with Northern Alliance perceived this as another proof that the Northern Alliance has got Americans in their pockets, which hindered the creation of a broad base national government.  Some of the strongmen militia were institutionalised under programmes such as Arbaki and Afghan Local Police. This approach was widely condemned by Afghans and international community due to a track record of human rights abuse by the militia. Irregular Militia is not an alternative to the state bound by the rule of law and aimed at furthering population wellbeing. The militia have a loose command structure and serves the interests of local strongmen; they lack training, vetting, oversight and accountability.  They generally live of the population and use fear and brutality to impose its authority.[4]  This oppression is misconceived as effective counterinsurgency and stability while in reality it impeded reconciliation and caused further community fragmentation that eventually led to full-blown hostilities. in posts to come I will continue the analysis of the situation.  [1] RFERL, Af[...]