I’ve been catching up on the news while I was away.
When you hear a continuous stream of it day after day it all starts to merge together; reading a week’s events all at once after a break has a different feel.
So, this was the week that was in Afghanistan:
The continued violent erosion of life.
The Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentences of some 100 prisoners.
Twice the number of recorded NGO security incidents over the first quarter of 2008 than the same period last year, and a substantial increase in civilian deaths.
The hugely popular Indian soap operas are banned from the airwaves (a ban so far defied by most television stations. I’ve been meaning to write about these for ages now, perhaps I should hurry up while it’s still relevant.)
A government committee drafts a bill that would ban men having long, ‘girlish’ hair, wearing fashionable jeans and t-shirts, unrelated men and women talking together on the streets, women from wearing make-up, ban playing billiards and other ‘Taliban-esque’ decrees.
Pakistan kicks out more Afghan refugees, bulldozing the Jalozai refugee camp.
School buildings across Afghanistan continue to be attacked.
NATO forces accidentally airdrop rocket propelled grenades and food supplies to the Taliban. Oops.
And listen to this excellent radio programme about Badakshan from the BBC.
I don’t have time to put links in for all of the above, but most of these stories can be found here or elsewhere.
I’m sure there has been some good news as well; it must just have passed me by. The press releases from UN, NATO, governments and NGOs are too boringly self-congratulatory and, one suspects, mendacious to want to read.