latest rumor update 20171221:
Rumors say U.S. Forces will in 2018 go after the sanctuaries of Taliban in Pakistan by use of drones and other means. Second is to put individuals involved in support of the Haqqani network and the Taliban and others on a list where they can’t do business as usual or travel to the West. Third is to increase economic pressure on Pakistan in terms of bilateral assistance, making more assistance conditional, and have other allies -- Europeans, Japanese -- make their assistance conditional. And even international help -- IMF, World Bank, where the U.S. and the West have considerable influence -- to be conditional. A newly border fence along with Afghanistan's Paktika province border and Angoor Adda in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal district. Then there is the Indian issue, which will be used smartly. If Pakistan doesn’t change, there will be a greater role for archrival India, a greater burden-sharing in Afghanistan. The U.S. makes a plan as to when from this diplomatic engagement it shifts to a coercive approach where for six months, then try this and if it doesn’t work then the U.S. shift to the other.(20171221)
It is rumored the Afghan Special Security Forces conducted 2,628 operations, but only 453 of these missions were conducted independently, and 456 were airstrikes, according to insiders. That means Afghan forces were only able to carry out 17 percent of their missions independently.
From June 1 to Nov. 24, U.S. troops assigned to Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan enabled or advised 2,175 ground operations and 261 kinetic strikes in support of the Afghan Special Security Forces.(20171217)
It is rumored that Pakistan Intelligence Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has decided to continue the support for the Taliban and Daesh till the end of 2018. ISI with the backing of GHQ in Rawalpindi hopes to bring the NUG to collapse before the 2018 elections in Afghanistan.
No wonder that the Pentagon said certain militant and terror groups including the Taliban and Haqqani network still have freedom of action inside the Pakistani soil. Until now no fundamental changes were seen in the way Pakistan deals with terrorist safe-havens in its territory.
Therefore the Department of Defense will be a part of a whole-of-government, regional strategy to isolate the Taliban from sources of Pakistani support and to mitigate any malign influence from Pakistans actors.
Pakistan was an ally of convenience during the Cold War, but the country’s main objective to compete with India has never been an American objective. Therefore, American and Pakistani interests in the region don’t really coincide.
The problem is that the Pakistani military also sustains the very Taliban who it tells the Americans it will help fight. They are the arsonist and also want to be part of the fire brigade.(20171216)
Only rumor? Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) noted 56.8 percent of the country’s 407 districts are under government control or influence as of August, 2017. The assessment shows a 15 percent decrease in territory held by Kabul in 2015 when SIGAR began analyzing district control data. As of August 2017, there were 54 districts [13.3 percent] under insurgent control  or influence , an increase of nine districts over the last six months. 11.4 percent of the country’s population, or 3.7 million Afghans, now live in districts under insurgent control or influence. That’s a 700,000-person increase over the last six months. 30 percent or 122 Afghan districts are contested, and the statistic remained mostly unchanged.(20170102)
It is rumored that the ANDSF are at a critical point in the fight against the insurgency. The plan to modify the force structure and develop into a more agile and lethal force is underway, but 2017 is a year of setting conditions to build momentum. Can ANDSF weather the storm from the insurgency and deny the Taliban strategic victories on the battlefield, fight ISIS-K, grow and train the ASSF, conduct planning to realign forces within the MoD and MoI, and posture itself to become a more offensive force in 2018 ? More than 2,500 people were killed and wounded in 169 attacks across Afghanistan in October 2017, indicating a 39 percent increase in casualties compared to September 2017.
There are rumors that the „educated youth brain drain“ in Afghanistan is speeding up. Insecurities in many parts of the country have also made many youth leave their country for foreign and neighboring countries. A number of youth who have completed their higher education are in very bad situation in the country . They are now facing lack of opportunities to find employment, an issue which can lead Afghan youth to various life challenges. The main reasons causing deviation of Afghan youth today is inattention of the government to them. It is rumored that a large number of graduated and literate youth are part of drug-addicts and the number is increasing day by day.
When a female young pays for her education for years, but cannot find a job after graduation, it is rumored, that she might choose absurd ways in order to get married. Moreover, youth can be smoothly deceived by propagandas of terrorist and extremist groups and join such groups due to employment and un-implementation of justice in government. This turbulent situation and inattention of the government can pave the way to enemies of Afghanistan to recruit Afghan youth suffering from unemployment as youth might go to anywhere to maintain life expenses. Besides, all know that unemployment of youth can increase graph of criminal crimes in the country. No youth no future.(20170531)
No rumor but fact: ANDSF lost nearly 7,000 personnel while battling the Taliban 2016. About 6,785 Afghan soldiers and police personnel were killed while another 11,777 were wounded in the first 11 months of 2016. Chief Afghan presidential advisor Homayun Qayoumi has acknowledged unprecedented losses insurgents inflicted last year (2016) in Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, or ANDSF.
But two key rumors rear the heads — a tottering government of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai beset by numerous political problems and secondly, a renewed threat by Taliban which has found fresh oxygen from apparent political endorsement by Pakistan.
It is also rumored Ghani’s government is in deep trouble and there is talk in Kabul of a “jirga” (tribal council meeting) that could look for a political alternative, though destabilising the dispensation in the current precarious scenario could be a recipe for disaster.
What is of perhaps greater concern is the rumor of a new apparent re-alignment of powers in the region which would adversely impact India and Afghanistan, while giving an upper hand to the Taliban and their sponsors in Pakistan. While the US has been absorbed in domestic politics, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan have made common cause by raising the spectre of Daesh/IS in Afghanistan, trying to create an opening to begin political negotiations with the Taliban as a “friendly force” to keep out Daesh.
It’s a return to the ‘good-terrorists-bad-terrorists’ narrative, so skillfully played by Pakistan in the region. The Daesh in Afghanistan, like the Taliban, have their roots in Pakistan. And Pakistan is an obstacle before establishing a strong central government in Afghanistan: Pakistan is able to cut the U.S. ground and air connection ways to Afghanistan, the ways which play vital role to US forces presence in the country.(20170306)
Sar-e-Chowk, the place to take the Afghan pulse
Once upon a time in Kabul, there was only one roundabout, an unrivalled space for commerce and conversation. All roads led to the roundabout and so did the news. During the 16th Century reign of the Mogul Emperor Babur it was known as the "navel of Kabul". Afghans met at this point, from across Kabul and across the country. In the late 19th Century, writes Afghan historian Asif Ahang, "the clever King Amir Abdul Rahman Khan used to check what the people said on the roundabout before executing any decision".
Rumor Int is tricky. “RumINT” can be true or not true, but actually that applies to many other forms of intelligence. Our view is that RumINT should be passively listened too, and logged, because just occasionally it turns out to be true and it turns out that it was just uncorroborated real intelligence. Some of the best bits of intelligence start out in life as a simple rumor. Just because something isn’t yet corroborated doesn’t mean its not worthwhile listening too and considering.
RUMINT 2016 and earlier:
It is rumored that the Taliban are on the rise. Given the recent uptick in insurgent attacks on the Afghan capital Kabul and with the number of districts controlled or contested by the Taliban on the rise, the answer is self-evident: absolutely. Indeed, the situation in Kunduz leading up to the fall of the provincial capital in many ways mirrors the present state of the country as a whole. As in Kunduz circa 2015, ANSF retain control over major urban centers and key infrastructure, but struggle to pacify rural areas where support for the Taliban remains strong. Local militias and police presently—and in many cases tenuously and corruptly—secure many of those areas, leaving them vulnerable to the insurgency. Meanwhile, political uncertainty and instability are pervasive, and the rise of the Islamic State has once again rendered Afghanistan a strategic backburner to Iraq (and, of course, to Syria). Many warning signs, in other words, are already in place.(20161010)
Abdullah's camp out of the government?
It is rumored that key allies of Afghanistan's chief executive are threatening to withdraw their support for the government unless the country's president meets their camp's key demands.
They are seeking sweeping reforms and want Ghani to stop "micro-managing" the government and "consolidating personal power.“ They say Ghani is marginalizing Abdullah in the decision-making process.
Abdullah said late on August 11, 2016 that Ghani did not deserve to govern as he had failed to work collaboratively or to enact electoral reforms. "The government is paralyzed and ministers do not have the chance to speak," Abdullah said in televised remarks. "[Ghani] provides a one-hour lecture but he should listen to the ministers for 15 minutes. If someone is not patient and does not have tolerance, he does not deserve the presidency."
Fresh questions are coming up about the stability of the coalition formed in 2014 after both Ghani and Abdullah claimed victory in a presidential election. Ghani is said to be arrogant, does not have tolerance and is out of touch with the deteriorating situation in the country. Dr Abdullah accused Dr Ghani of making decisions unilaterally and of failing to consult him on appointments. Abdullah insisted that “if someone does not have the patience for discussion, then he is not fit for the presidency, either.’’ Abdullah is known among his colleagues as someone who believes in teamwork and has a lot of patience to listen and engage in critical thinking, whilst Ghani is known to have little patience for deliberations and given his background as an expressive lecturer, acts more professorial than politician.
This comes at a particularly sensitive time, as the government has yet to officially confirm Abdullah's position past a September 2016 deadline that had been set for doing so, or to clear up the problems that plagued the last election.
The growing political crisis within the Afghan National Unity Government is compounding the ongoing security and economic crises in the country. President Ashraf Ghani sees himself as a saviour destined and determined to restore the Ghilzai Pashtuns’ lost political mastery against the Durrani Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns. Ghani’s strategy has been sidelining his electoral rival Abdullah Abdullah, favouring Ghilzai Pashtuns in political life by using the means of patronage and charm-offensive of the West.
Taliban insurgents have also made considerable gains in recent month in different parts of the country. Government forces have suffered heavy casualties since taking over full responsibility for security after most foreign troops withdrew at the end of 2014.
Was U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper telling rumors to a Senate committee Tuesday, Feb. 02, 2016, when he said the Kabul government faces persistent hurdles to political stability, including eroding political cohesion, assertions of authority by local powerbrokers, financial shortfalls, and countrywide, sustained attacks by the Taliban. And that the Afghan government will confront larger and more divisive issues later in 2016, including the implementation of election reforms and long-delayed parliamentary elections. Clapper told the Senate committee he thinks the Taliban position has consistently been not to negotiate. “The pre-condition they always describe is the removal of foreign forces (from Afghanistan) and I do not see them changing that position,” he said.
Clapper added “We assess that fighting in 2016 will be more intense than 2015, continuing a decade-long trend of deteriorating security that will compound these challenges.“ And: “Kabul will be unable to effectively address its dire economic situation or begin to curb its dependence on foreign aid until it first contains the insurgency, which is steadily chipping away at Afghanistan’s security,” he said.(20160209)
Only rumors? Afghanistan’s Government is imploding slowly and is perhaps on the verge of collapse. It is rumored that Afghan Interior Minister Noor-ul-Haq Olomi has offered his resignation to President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai after mounting criticism of the worsening security situation over recent months. The resignation offer, which had not yet been accepted, deals a further blow to Ghani's struggling government, which is without a permanent defence minister and which recently lost the head of its intelligence service just as the Taliban has stepped up its insurgency. It is also rumored that Rashid Abdul Dostum is considering to resign. It also highlights the deep fractures in the national unity government which gave Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, the two rival candidates in the disputed election of 2014, a share in power. According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Islamist insurgents now control more territory than at any time since 2001, when the Taliban was driven from power by U.S.-led forces in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York. At the same time, the government has been hobbled by political infighting. It is rumored that the Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai Administration is cleverly manipulating Afghan media not to present the bleak and negative development in Afghanistan.(20160206) And Kabul city has been without power for 13 days - almost two weeks that Afghan security forces have been trying to push back Taliban militants from the area where they blew up a power pylon. Officials from Da Breshna Sherkat (DABS) said that they do not know when they will be able to rebuild the pylon.(20160208) Conflicts have intensified after the establishment of the National Unity Government (NUG) and the next fighting season is already being deemed a game changer for the survival of Afghanistan.
Rumint 2015 and earlier:
It is rumored that Pakistan always wanted NDS Chief Rahmatullah Nabil to go and it happened. President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai angrily rejected suggestions that Nabil's resignation was prompted by pressure from Pakistani officials to get rid of a man who made no secret of his hostility towards them. It is not the first time, that Pakistan interfered in Afghanistan’s security sector. Former NDS Chief Amrullah Saleh's departure was a blow to the Afghan spy service. He throughout had been in league with Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to destabilise Pakistan but had been ousted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Saleh has threatened his leadership that he would bring the peace fragility back in the region to the previous level since he was refused a free hand to play the Indian game in the region. Amrullah has been brought up and groomed by the Indian intelligence organisation and he had been involved in anti-Pakhtun activities throughout his career.(20151211)
It is rumored that since April 2015 the number of Afghans who want to flee their country, citing worsening economic and security conditions, has soared, despite pleas by President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and CEO Abdullah Abdullah to stay and rebuild their nation. The number of applications for new passports has increased dramatically in recent months. In Kabul hundreds of men and women arriving early each morning to line up outside the city’s only passport office. Applicants now wait 40 days to receive their document. Roughly 10,000 people a day apply for passports, and most of them want to leave the country. Of the 12 million potential work-force in the country, 65 percent (7 million) are jobless. Up to 3 million Afghans are drug addicts. Insecurity, corruption and joblessness are the main reasons forcing youth to seek refuge in drugs.The brain drain goes on. (20150927)
It is rumored that not only President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is not satisfied with the poor performance of some male and female Ministers. Neither are the Afghan people who are more and more tired and frustrated of the endless waiting for improvement of their life.
Now it materialized what many observers of the previous political „heavy handed Minister search scene“ have predicted some month ago: Many of the the new cabinet members lack of administrative experience, job skills and competence. The NUG’s anticorruption drive reduces the income and the loyalty of ministerial officials considerably, because the overstaffed ministerial bureaucrats have no more incentive. Corruption under the Karzai regime was the grease to control Afghanistan’s multilayered economical, ethnical, religious, tribal problems and feuds.
Still very active Taliban and permanent security break downs are also fueling the slow melt down of the Ghani Abdullah Government. The medium-term economic outlook is not very favorable: growth will remain sluggish 2015 at 1.9 percent. Recent analysis shows that Afghanistan's economic revenue potential, even with considerably enhanced effort to reduce leakages and improve administration of the tax regime, is below 16 percent of GDP. This is grossly inadequate to finance its current level of spending which is at 36 percent of GDP and does not yet fully account for liabilities that are currently financed off-budget, especially in the security sector. It is rumored that Pakistan ante portas sits on the garden fence, watching and hoping Afghanistan will ruin itself and collapse without too much interference.(20150830)
It is rumored that the United Arab Emirate (UAE) has cancelled the work permits and visas of about 600 small and medium-sized Afghan business owners and issued them notices to close their businesses and leave the country within two weeks. This might be to prevent the ongoing exodus of capital from Afghanistan and to support the weak Afghan NUG Government. Thousands of Afghans have set up businesses in the UAE with billions of dollars of investment. And more are still arriving from Afghanistan. Others say the UAE links this issue to the Schia Huthi fighting in Yemen and has cancelled the visas of the 600 Afghans because they are relating to Schia Hazara tribe. Now, it is seen that from among 1.200 Afghan businessmen, the UAE wants to expel 600 of them.(201505012) Latest rumors say that many of the concerned Afghan business men are doing business in and from UAE without adequate license, without work permit and without proper visa.(20150518)
It is rumored in Kabul that the Ghani/Abdullah Government is adjusting regional foreign relations. Top priority now is Pakistan while India is dramatically loosing importance for Kabul. The driving force behind this new development is Ghani. Ghani has scaled down symbolic contacts with India to reassure Islamabad. It is said that this new foreign relations strategy is seen critical by the Abdullah camp. They fear to get outmaneuvered by a consolidated Pakistan-Pashtun quarter. (20150219)
Barna Karimi is rumored to have not only some troubles with the reliability of his educational and academic credentials especially from the Universty of Phoenix. Another tiny problem he might have to explain. How come date of birth on the Afghan ID Card Oct 13, 1974 and according to a US criminal searching background website, it is June 13, 1973.
It is rumored that President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai Dec. 27, 2014 in a choleric reaction fired Maria Bashir , the prosecutor general for western Herat province, whithout public explanation. She was honoured at a ceremony in the United States to mark international women's day on March 8, 2011. She is the country's most senior female prosecutor. She called President Ghani’s decision “unjust”. She further added that it is still not clear to her that why she was suddenly dismissed. (20150120)
It is certainly a rumor: "The international affairs commission at the House of Representatives has said a close aide to the President (Ashraf Ghani) is promising MPs money for votes," said Abdul Qader Zazay, the Chairman of the International Affairs Commission.(20150119)
It is rumored that President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's nominee as Minister of Higher Education Mrs. Khatera Afghan has problems with her age. In her passport (below) she is 33, in her ID-Card 38. To be eligible according to the constitution she has to be 35 years old......if the below documents are genuine.....
It is rumored in Diplomatic circles that several western-afghan Expats having their families in western countries make tricky deals to keep dual citizenship. They are returning their western passport to the Ambassadors of the concerned countries. The Ambassadors put the passport into their personal safe in the embassy and safeguard it. The Afghan expat receives a written document, that he/she applied for being released from the concerned citizenship and further action has been arranged. The process is dragging on. No one really cares about follow up. In fact the dual citizenship has never been given up in the sense of the concerned laws. A concerned Ambassador was rumored to have commented on this: „We have to protect our people. Afghanistan is very special!“(20150119)
In Kabul it is very much rumored that nearly half (13 or even more out of 27) of the nominated cabinet members hold foreign passports or have dual citizenship. (Haidari, Kakar, Khairi, Barna Karimi, General Karimi, Maiwandi, Mahjur, Naderi, Olumi, Popal, Rabbani, Saba, Saigal, Sediq (Da Afghanistan Bank) and some others) One out of the 27 is said to be on a most wanted list of Interpol. (20150117)
It is rumored that President Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah have agreed on nine seats in the New Cabinet for Pashtun, eight for Tajik, three for Hazara, two for Uzbek and one for Sadat ethnicities. Also, one seat has been considered for Hindu community.(20150106)
Rumint 2014 and earlier:
Rumor? Afghan National Security Force ANSF Post-2014 not able to keep up facilities
In a report released Dec 08, 2014 by the US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction SIGAR, John F. Sopko, reports that Afghanistan will likely be incapable of fiscally sustaining the ANSF after 2014. However, the report adds that even under the most optimistic economic growth scenarios, the Afghan government will not be able to fully fund its forces by 2024.
According to SIGAR, while overall budget expenses in Afghanistan were $5.4 billion in 2013, the country’s government’s domestic annual revenues were only about $2 billion, less than half of the total expenditures.
SIGAR notes that ISAF is refusing to make public the current status of ANSF's capability to fight the insurgency as it has done in the past. SIGAR maintains that there is no evidence that the public release of aggregated data on ANSF capabilities has or could deliver any tactical benefit to Afghan insurgents and argues that the classification does a disservice to the interests of informed national debate.
Fact is that the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) likely will not be able to keep up its facilities after 2014 due to inadequate troop levels and quality (literacy), and not-ready-for-primetime budgeting, procurement and logistics systems. And fact is also that the Taleban will not stop fighting before the last foreign soldier has left Afghanistan.
More than only rumors: After an pre inauguration imbroglio, when Dr. Abdullah Abdullah threatened to boycott the inauguration ceremony on Monday Sep 29, 2014, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was finally sworn in as President with his running mates as first vice president, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum (Uzbek) and as second vice president, Sarwar Danish (Hazara). And just a day before the inauguration day the problems started: There were scuffles between the electoral camps of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai over office space in ARG presidential palace. Unconfirmed reports suggest that armed supporters of Dr. Abdullah have taken over the former First Vice president’s office (from Mohammad Yunis Qanooni) and were insisting that the office will be handed over to Dr. Abdullah on Monday Sep 29, 2014. Abdullahs representatives and those of Ghani’s running mate as first vice president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, got into a scuffle over office space in the Arg when Dostum’s representatives arrived on Sunday Sept 28, 2014. Abdullah’s staff when Dostum’s staff arrived cleared the office space out for Dostum from northern Afghanistan whose heavily armed followers, wearing civilian clothes, have been much in evidence in Kabul lately.(20140929)
There are strong rumors in Arg Palace that Ashraf Ghani will be the next President of Afghanistan. Other rumors in Kabul say even the recount of ballots was manipulated in favour of Ghani by IEC officials. (20140904)
It is rumored that the formation of a transitional government in Afghanistan is being mulled by the USA and others to help the country safely pass through its current crisis. An interim government should be installed if the final results from the April 5 vote are feared causing political differences and if President Karzai should quit before the winner of the presidential elections is determined. Even a partition of Afghanistan is under discussion. Khorasan might also be a sensible solution to the present problems. (20140830)
It is rumored in Arg Palace that the present electoral problem has been caused by President Karzai, who first seemed to be siding with Abdullah, and seems to have given him some reassurances before the elections that if he won he would continue to support his presidency. And now Karzai seems to have switched to support Ashraf Ghani. In that instance it seems that if anybody has carried out the rigging, the rigging has been carried out by the state machinery of President Karzai. And if it has been done in favor of Ashraf Ghani, then it is very clearly showing that Karzai is supporting Ashraf Ghani rather than Abdullah. This, of course, really undermines the principles of a free and fair election.(20140630)
It is again heavily rumored that Ziaulhaq Amarkhil (and his assistants) the secretariat head of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC), has perpetrated “Industrial-scale” fraud in favor of presidential contender Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the second round of election. Dr. Abdullah’s team was provided with phone intercepts and other information by NDS about Amarkhil’s phone communication, that purports to show his involvement in organizing fraud ahead of the June 14 runoff. Due to pressure by President Karzai, Amarkhil stepped down. Karzai sacrificed Amarkhil as part of an effort to broker a compromise between Abdullah and Ghani.(20140623)
It is heavily rumored in Kabul that the USA is supporting Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with money and other means while Hamid Karzai and his Government is giving extended support with money and Government ressources to Abdullah Abdullah in the next round of presidential election on 20140614. Consequently US controlled Daud Sultanzoy, who contested the April 5 presidential polls, announced support to Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the runoff. Jamil Karzai, a cousin of President Hamid Karzai and former member of the parliament endorsed Abdullah Abdullah for the second round of election.(20140521)
Rumors from Arg Palace say that President Karzai will back Presidential Candidate Dr. Abdullah in a run off between Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani. Therefore Karzai advised Dr. Zalmai Rassool to back Dr. Abdullah. President Karzai feels it is easier for him to "play" with Abdullah than with Ghani after the election because Karzai is keen to play a decisive political role under a new Afghan President.(20140511)
The campaign teams of presidential candidates Zalmai Rassoul and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai traded blows this week, both accusing each other of receiving illegal financial and political support from government officials. Wahid Omar, a member of Zalmai Rassoul's presidential campaign, publicly accused the Afghan Minister of Finance Zakhilwal and Afghanistan Investment Supporting Agency (AISA) of working for presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.(20140320)
Rumors in Kabul say that Zalmai Rassool the presidential pick of Hamid Karzai has no own funds to spend on his election campaign. It is all coming from the Government. Gul Agha Sherzai is the only candidate who dared openly to accuse the government of supporting presidential runner Zalmai Rassoul in the April 5 elections. All the other candidates till now were talking about it, but did not spell out Rassool´s name.(20140318) Now Ashraf Ghani complained also about governmental support for Rassul. (20140320)
According to rumors in Kabul presidential election will be manipulated by the Hamid Karzai Government that Zalmai Rassool will bag most votes.The other two leading contenders are widely believed to include former Foreign Ministers Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani. The other candidates will drop out or get a irrelevant number of votes. It is rumored presidential runner Qutbuddin Hilal will pull out of the race in favour of Zalmai Rasul.(20140317)
It is rumored that Hamid Karzai has problems to find a successor for late First Vicepresident Fahim. The potential Tajik candidates know, that Vicepresidentship will last a few weeks only because of the Presidential Elections on April 5 2014. To take over this job under Hamid Karzai´s tenure which will be terminated within a few weeks is not a attractive. However, political analysts believe that the current Afghan defense minister Bismillah Mohammadi might be appointed as successor of Marshal Fahim. Other candidates are Ata Mohammad Noor governor of northern Balkh province, Afghan parliament member Younus Qanooni, Afghan high peace council chief Salahuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Wali Massoud, brother of Ahmad Shah Massoud.(20140316)
Rumors in Kabul say that Fahims death was no surprise for the political set up in Kabul because of his longer period of non curable declining health condition. However his demise left a political power vacuum in the former Northern Alliance and weakened Abdullah Abdullah, which Hamid Karzai tries to explorate. His more or less openly supported candidate Zalmay Rasoul will be backed by many other Pashtun contenders for the Presidential election on April 5th 2014. Presidential candidate Gul Agha Sherzai on 20140310 said he was in talks with a number of rival candidates on forming an election alliance and the outcome would be known soon. “We are in negotiations with Abdul Rahim Wardak, Hidayat Amin Arsala, Qutbuddin Hilal and others to make an alliance. I will not quit in anyone’s favour,” Sherzai said. In fact it is rumored that Hamid Karzai and his staff in Arg Palace are negotiating in backroom deals the "price" for support of the other Pashtun contenders for Karzais pick Zalmai Rasool. Till now only Ashraf Ghani, Sayyaff and Nadir are still reluctant to join the pro Rasoul front because they want to poker for a better benefit for themselvs. It is rumored that in the end supported by massive rigging in favor of Pashtun Rassool the looser will be Tajik Abdullah Abdullah. (20140310)
It is rumored, that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his helpers have prepared state organized rigging to ensure that Zalmai Rasool (a royalist) will be elected President in the first run of the Presidental Election on April 5 2014. Some activities on this behalf went smooth others did not. A 170-person Jirga should choose between the Pashtun- American and brother of Hamid Karzai, Qayoum Karzai or the Pashtun candidate Zalmai Rassoul. The majority of Jirga representatives chose to back Qayoum Karzai as a Presidential candidate. However, this decision was said to be in conflict with the wishes of President Karzai, who met with members of the Jirga on 20140222 morning. Reportedly, President Karzai has not accepted the decision of the group and has asked the two candidates to resolve the matter in favor of Zalmai Rasool before his return from a trip to Sri Lanka next week.
Abdul Qayoum Karzai and a number of Jirga members announced on 20140228 afternoon that Karzai will continue his presidential campaign. Supposedly, the decision was based on the propositions of 187 Jirga members. Two weeks ago, 187 Pashtun tribal elders from all over Afghanistan gathered in Kabul to work on forming an alliance in favor of Zalmay Rassoul and Qayum Karzai to give in of the other. "It would have been best if the candidates were united. Since we did not reach a decision, the Jirga ended," Jirga Deputy Muhammad Ameen Waqad said.(20140228)
It is rumored that organized by ARG Palace three more of the 11 candidates were also considering throwing their weight behind Zalmai Rasoul: Dawoud Soltanzoy, Gul Agha Sherzai and Rahim Wardak are these three.
IECC and IEC are under full control of Hamid Karzai. No foreigners allowed to countercheck the election process and the results. The Young Activists for Reform and Change (YARC), an amalgam of 35 organizations and civil society groups, on 20140202 accused the Government of interfering in the election process. A YARC’s member, Ehsanullah Hekmat Ahmadzai, alleged at a news conference in Kabul that President Karzai had been partial, alleging that Government funds and machinery were being used to support Zalmai Rassoul, one of the 11 presidential runners. The activist claimed that some elders and parliamentarians had directly and indirectly suggested Karzai to back Rassoul. It is rumored that the Karzai´s Media Center in ARG Palace has printed posters for Rassool. The Media Center is equipped with the latest state of art printing machinery. Concerns mount over possible vote fraud because Zalmai Rasool is not only rumored to be heavily backed by the Presidential Palace and government officials who utilise official resources in favour of Rasool. (20140223)
The danger in Afghanistan is rumored to be more explosive than you think. The January 17 assault on the La Taverna du Liban in the upmarket Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood with 21 killed among them the Libanese owner of the restaurant Kamal Hamade and 13 internationals has been claimed by Taliban militants. The UN staff, who were killed in the Taliban attack on the La Taverna du Liban restaurant on 17 January 2014, included Vadim Nazarov (Russian Federation), a Senior Political Officer (UNAMA); Basra Hassan (United States), a Nutrition Specialist with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Dr. Nasreen Khan (Pakistan), a Health Specialist with UNICEF; and Wabel Abdallah (Lebanon), the Resident Representative of an UN-affiliated specialized agency, the International Monetary Fund (IMF); apparently Basra Farah, sister of a prominent Somalian novelist, Nuruddin Farah; a Danish member of the EUPOL mission and her British security guard, Simon Chase; another Brit, Dharmender Phangurha (Del) Singh, who was due to stand in elections to the European Parliament in the spring and, along with a Malaysian victim of the incident, Gnanathurai (Gnana) Nagarajah, who had been working with the advisory firm Adam Smith International as an adviser; two Canadians, Martin Glazer and Peter McSheffrey; and two Americans, Alexandros Petersen, Mrs. Alexis Kamerman, a Chicago native and student development specialist who also worked for the American University of Afghanistan, was one of the three Americans who died in the attack. BBC’s Bilal Sarwary named one on Twitter as a friend of his, Haji Amin, a 22 year old trader, who, it seems was killed along with his wife of seven months. They were buried today. Three Afghan guards are also believed to be among the dead.The assault it is rumored was based on intelligence provided by Afghan security to the Taliban. An other rumor said even President Karzai is worried. It is rumored that earlier this week Karzai demanded immunity (a US greencard) as on of multiple conditions to sign the bilateral security agreement.(20140119)
RUMINT 2013 and earlier
It is rumored that Jawed Kohistani should have said that Karzai has specific preconditions for signing the BSA that includes his security should be maintained by special forces after the end of his term in office; Should have a special place in the next government; his corruption related dossiers should not be assessed; his favorable candidate should be supported [by the US] and the US and Europe should let the government engineer the next spring’s votes.(20131219)
It is rumored that Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani has resigned from his position in a bid to participate in the upcoming presidential elections. Wahidullah Shahrani is the among the three Afghan ministers who have resigned to run for 2014 presidential elections. His resignation was announced along with the trade and commerce minister, Anwar-ul-haq Ahadi. Previously, Afghan foreign affairs minister, Dr. Zalmai Rasoul resigned from his position to participate in the elections. In the meantime, reports suggest that Azizullah Ludin, head of the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption has also resigned from his position to run for presidential elections.(20131006)
It is rumored, that after failing to reach an agreement with Atta Mohammad Noor, Salahuddin Rabbani and Yunus Qanuni to run as his first deputy in next year’s election, Zalmai Rassoul is now trying to approach Hazara and Uzbek politicians to run as his deputies. A source claimed that the Noor, Rabbani and Qanuni had set such conditions which were against the national interests.(20130930)
So far 65 people, including 62 males and 3 females, received special information packages for the presidential vote.(20130926)
It is rumored that Abdul Qayoum Karzai is the fourth potential nominee for the presidential election, and followed by Dr. Abdull Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Only one candidate has formally registered his name for the presidential election so far. Bismillah Sher is an Afghan businessman and has nominated himself for 2014 elections.(20130926)
Nearly 60 people obtained presidential candidate information packages. Zalmai Rassoul, Sayed Ishaq Gailani and Qudbuddin Hilal obtained the packages recently. Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf and his two running mates, Mohammad Ismael Khan and Noor Akbari, is rumored to announce his candidacy. Former Defence Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, is rumored trying to pick his vice presidential teammates and will also shortly announce his candidacy.
According to rumors, Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, leader of Hezb-e-Wahdat Islami (Islamic Unity Party) of Afghanistan, and a senior member of the national front of Afghanistan has resigned from Afghan parliament due to elections activities for the forthcoming presidential run-off, scheduled April 2014. Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal has been nominated for the first vice-president position. Arghandiwal is one of the promiment members of Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic Party of Afghanistan), and is currently leading the council of Islamic party of Afghanistan. Negotiations are in progress with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah regarding his nomination as second vice-president, however, they have not reached to an agreement so far. Others rumors say all the members of the Afghanistan Electoral Alliance, except Junbesh-e-Milli has agreed on the candidacy of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah for Presidency, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal for the post of First Vice-President and Hajji Muhammad Muhaqeq for the post of Second Vice-President in the next year's election. (20130923)
And on the seventh day of the registration of nominees for the forthcoming presidential vote, the leader of the Wefaq-e-Milli, Bismillah Sher, along with his vice presidential running mates, Abdul Karim Ahmadyar and Sultan Hameed Sultani, filed forms to run. (20130923)
A source within the Independent Election Commission (IEC) rumored, so far, representatives of Abdul Qayoum Karzai, brother of President Karzai, and Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, Commerce Minister, have received informational forms for upcoming presidential candidacy. The source also added that Abdul Qayoum Karzai quit Zalmay Khalilzad’s political coalition because of some election issues. It was said that Mahmood Karzai had advised his brother, Qayoum Karzai, to quit the coalition because he feared that the coalition would possibly introduce another potential presidential candidate other than Qayoum Karzai.(20130914)
Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, also a likely presidential hopeful, has offered Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor the post of first vice-president in return for supporting his team in the upcoming presidential elections. (20130912) Signs are increasing that Foreign Minister Dr Zalmai Rassul might be the candidate President Hamed Karzai supports in the 5 April 2014 presidential election. According to Azadi Radio, Karzai told Russian President Vladimir Putin - when meeting him on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the Kyrghyz capital Bishkek on 13 September 2013 - that “one [possible] presidential candidate is with us in the room”. Shortly after, ToloNews reported that in that meeting Karzai had called Rassul a “probable candidate” in the upcoming election.
The National Front and Jamiat-e Islami party said that the government offered Balkh governor, Atta Mohammad Noor, to run in the forthcoming presidential poll as Zalmai Rassoul’s First Vice and offered Haji Mohammad Muhaqiq as his Second Vice.(20130910)
It is rumored that the current foreign minister, Zalmai Rassul, emerges as Karzai’s favoured successor candidate. Zarar Ahmad Muqbel, a former interior and current minister of counter-narcotics, and Sadeq Mudaber, currently the head of the Office of Administrative Affairs – a Tajik Jamiati and a Hazara – might become his running mates for the posts of first and second vice president, respectively.(20130905)
The National Coalition of Afghanistan (NCA) revealed on 20130814 that a meeting was held at the Presidential Palace last week, under the chairmanship of President Hamid Karzai, in which Abdurrab Rasoul Sayyaf was put forth as the favored candidate for next spring's election. The meeting was attended by Marshal Fahim, First Vice-President; Atta Muhammad Noor, Governor of Balkh province; Abdurrab Rasoul Sayyaf, head of Dawat-e-Islami Party; and Muhammad Ismail Khan, Minister of Water and Energy. President Karzai took the opportunity to endorse Sayyaf and encourage those present at the meeting to extend their support for him as well. All except Noor are said to have agreed to extend support to Sayyaf for a presidential bid. President Hamid Karzai is not backing any particular candidate for the April 5 presidential election, his spokesman said on 20130815.(20130815)
There are rumors that Qayoum Karzai, who is currently in Kabul, has not conclusively decided whether he will run in the presidential vote 2014. He has not got sufficient Pashtun supporters. (20130619)
It is rumored that key political parties agreed to field Anwarul Haq Ahadi, the Commerce and Industries Minister, as their joint candidate in 2014 presidential elections. Privy to a meeting held 20130614 at the residence of Haji Mohammad Muhaqqiq, the Wahdat Party leader. Uzbek General Dostum was not present at the meeting but he endorsed the decision over the phone. Besides Mohaqqiq, the meeting was also attended by the Economy Minister, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, former Interior Minister, Hanif Atmar, and Anwarul Haq Ahadi. Wolesi Jirga member Faizullah Zaki spoke on behalf of Dostum. After being confirmed as the consensus candidate, Ahadi, the head of the Afghan Social Democratic Party (Afghan Mellat), entered talks with other political groups and tribal elders to muster their support. It is said Ahadi and Atmar met again on 20130615. The the choice of Ahadi would not be made public or confirmed for another month in order to first engage other groups and build momentum. The leader of the HIA denied taking part in the meeting.(20130619)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's older brother Qayum Karzai will run in 2014 presidential election as an independent candidate. It is rumored Qayum will announce his candidacy soon and will have the backing of the Movement for the Support of the People, which is dominated by the country's powerful Pashtun ethnic group. It is not yet clear the president would support his bid, although it would guarantee he would not be investigated for mismanagement or corruption during his time as leader. Qayum's decision to run without his powerful brother's backing could indicate a family rift. Across his two terms as president he has had a rocky relationship with many of his close family members. (20130526)
It is rumored, that Karzai wants one of his loyalists as the IEC Head. The names making rounds include Presidential Chief of Staff Karim Khuram and National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta, both are nearest to President Karzai. Their appointment could mean hijacked fraud elections with crisis and chaos to follow.(20130506)
Rumor: Former Khost governor, Arsala Jamal had been appointed as the governor for southern Logar province and Iqbal Azizi as Kunar governor. (20130417)
It is rumored that President Karzai planned to appoint either Daoud Ali Najafi, former chairperson of the IEC’s secretariat, Dr Ahmad Moshahid, Chairman of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission, the Chief Justice Abdul Salaam Azimi or Abdul Karim Khuram the Chief of Staff of President’s Office as the new head of the Independent Election Commission. The President had offered Fazel Ahmad Manawi to become the Chief of Justice or Attorney-General.(20130410)
Karzai’s ex-chief of staff Omar Dawoodzai is said to run for president (20130322)
There is a rumor that Afghanistan’s current ambassador to Islamabad, Mohammad Omar Daudzai, will be the apparent nominee of the ruling team for the 2014 presidential polls. The HPC chair, Salahuddin Rabbani and the current head of the Office of Administrative Affairs and Council of Ministers Secretariat, Sadeq Mudaber, may be nominated as Daudzai’s Vice Presidential candidates. (20120220)
In accordance with the law, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief Fazal Ahmad Manawi will have to quit his position in a month. He has been leading the IEC for four years; his replacement will be appointed by President Karzai and that selection will be voted on by the Lower House of Parliament. It is said that President Karzai has two nominees, Dr Habiba Sarabi, the governor of Bamyan, and the deputy HPC chair, Attaullah Ludin.(20130212)
2012 RUMINT (Rumor-Intelligence) or Sar-e Chowk
Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad (Pashtun), is rumored to nominate himself· to run for presidency. It is also rumored that, based on an agreement in Dubai, Balkh Governor, Atta Mohammad Noor (Tajik), will be his nominee as First Vice President and Senator Ehsanullah Bayat (Schia Tajik) his Second Vice President.(20120109) On Jan 27, 2013 however Atta Mohammad Noor rejected rumours that he would be Zalmai Khalilzad’s running mate in the 2014 presidential election.
It is rumored that most Afghans and experienced observers say a plausible scenario upon the large-scale departure of international troops in 2014 is either disintegration into civil conflict or a de facto division of power along ethnic lines, with a Pakistan-backed Pashtun bloc in the south and east lining up against one or more northern non-Pashtun blocs that might well gain military support from India and Uzbekistan, if not Iran. Recent signs indicate that many key players are already rushing to consolidate their positions within this framework, already operating, for all intents and purposes, in a post-2014 world.(20121107)
Sayed Ishaq Gailani, a Wolesi Jirga Member, is rumored to have said that President Karzai had been trying to convene a Loya Jirga (grand assembly) to bring some changes to the Constitution and then to create a parliamentary system in the country, through which he could pave the ground for himself to become the country’s prime minister.(20121008)
Officials of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) said that based on President Karzai’s decree number 45, the directorate is planning to replace 129 district chiefs with professional officials in addition to replacing 20 deputy governors of provinces.(20120924)
Other unconfirmed reports of Karzai's leadership shake-up say that the current Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad Omer Daoudzai will be appointed the head of Administrative Affairs and the Council of Ministers, replacing the current head Sadiq Mudaber who will be appointed head of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission.(20120920)
It is rumored that President Hamid Karzai on 20120919 reshuffled some governors and sacked a number of others. According to the rumors Maidan Wardak Governor Halim Fidayee has been transferred in his current capacity to Baghlan province. He is replaced by ex-Wolesi Jirga member Majid Khan. Naeem Khan Baloch had been named as new governor of southern Helmand province. Abdul Jabbar Taqwa and Sarwar Subat have been appointed as governors of Kabul and Nimroz provinces. Karzai has sacked governors Karim Bahawi, Gulab Mangal, Iqbal Azizi and Munshi Majid Khan.(20120919)
Afghanistan's next President: Here are some of the political rumor prospects mentioned by U.S., European and Afghan analysts: Farooq Wardak, a Pashtun who is education minister, perhaps Karzai´s first choice; Hanif Atmar, a Pashtun former interior minister; Ashraf Ghani, a Pashtun former finance minister who is now helping manage transition efforts; Amrullah Saleh, a Tajik former intelligence chief; Atta Mohammad Noor, the popular Tajik governor of Balkh province; Shukria Barakzai, a Pashtun member of parliament who speaks out on women’s issues; and Ramazan Bashardost, a Hazara former planning minister who campaigns against corruption. It is rumored also that Hamid Gilani, Pashtun, son of Pir Ahmad Gilani, is mulling to stand for the next Presidential elections.(20120903)
Qayum Karzai, President Karzai´s multi-millionaire older brother who presently dominates most of Afghanistan’s security, construction, and transportation sectors, might succeed him.(20120612)
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Ex Minister of Foreign Affairs and Yunous Qanooni, Ex Minister of Interior, both Tajiks, are rumored to stand in the next Presidential elections. Only two people have formally announced that they intend to run for the presidency at this point: Ali Ahmad Jalali, a former Minister of Interior in the Karzai administration and Fawzia Koofi, the current and first female deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s parliament. Mr. Jalali is Pashtun but Ms. Koofi is Tajik.
It is told at Sar-e Chowk that Haji Azizullah Din Mohammad will become Minister of Border Affairs and will replace Asadullah Khalid who is earmarked to be the next NDS Chief. (20120903)
Rumors are swirling that besides carrying out a large reshuffling of his cabinet President Karzai will also replace 18 provincial governors. Mohammad Arif Noorzai is said to become the Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs.(20120830)
It is heavyly rumored that ARG is mulling a plan to reintroduce disqualified Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi in a top security-related role. (20120827. Ex Interior Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi would be nominated as the new defense minister, replacing Abdul Rahim Wardak.. (20120829)
Deputy Interior Minister Mushtaba Patang will be nominated as the new interior minister. (290829)
Karzai has dismissed his intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabeel, although it has not officially been announced. He will be appointed as an Ambassador later. It is rumored that Nabil was dismissed after he went to Tajikistan for a break without the permission of Karzai. There are also rumors that Karzai will introduce to parliament Asadullah Khalid as the new NDS chief.(20120829)
Ghulam Gilani Popal will become head Local Governances Directorate, Abdul Karim Khuram Head of Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan, Fazl Ahmad Manawi Attorney General, Ibrahim Spinzada