Events that shaped 2012 will define the year ahead as well which is full of promise as well as uncertainty. Thus Afghanistan may see progress in terms of weaving and strengthening of strategic partnerships at the regional and international level in 2013 as much as it did in the year gone by. There is likely to be progress in peace negotiations with the Taliban though the talks will see many ups and downs, pitfalls and hiccups but may just about sustain even though there may be no final outcome in 2013. The fourth and fifth phase of security transition will also be on stream though there is likely to be heavy pressure on the Afghan security forces and interjections, delays and setbacks in the East and the South are apparent. In case there is a, “rush for the exit,” so to say by various constituents of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2013, the situation may slide rapidly. Some areas will continue to be under the control of Taliban particularly those astride the Durand Line as much will also depend on how Pakistan tackles the challenges in the tribal areas. Thus border coordination between Afghanistan and Pakistan will be important and the ISAF could act as a facilitator particularly with the coordination mechanisms that are already in place in terms of headquarters and communications. Violence may see a marginal drop though the Afghan security forces are likely to bear the brunt of terrorist attacks primarily roadside IEDs and bombs targeting convoys, military and police commanders district governors and mostly the common folk of the country who have suffered over the past many decades. Insider attacks are likely to remain a challenge even though the numbers may come down if the measures undertaken in 2012 are effectively implemented else a slide can be anticipated.

    Internally the parliament and the executive will have the usual round of tiffs with ministers being questioned and some will even be sacked. Mostly the political maneouvrings in 2013 will focus on the forthcoming Presidential and provincial elections in 2014 with many candidates throwing their hat in the ring. Much will depend on how strong the Afghan elections bodies emerge with a degree of autonomy from the executive and over watch of the international community. All in all 2013 will follow the general trajectory of 2012 unless wild cards as a sudden reduction of ISAF support or elimination of a key leader upsets the normal course. For comprehensive Paper entitled-AFGHANISTAN SURVEY 2012 – OUTLOOK 2013 email


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