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Afghan president's coalition plan carries high risks

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Subject

Evolving Afghan alliances.

Significance

Manoeuvring for parliamentary elections expected in 2018 and a presidential ballot the following year is already under way. President Ashraf Ghani is courting powerful northern regional governor Atta Mohammed Noor and veteran insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to form a coalition, while his disgruntled former allies are in discussions about uniting against him.

Impacts

  • The return of Hekmatyar will give Pakistan direct leverage in Kabul.
  • The United States may welcome a reduction in Iranian and Russian influence.
  • Hekmatyar has few combatants left to bring over to the government side.
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