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Politics South and Central Asia

Complications Ahead for Afghanistan’s Election Reform

With the Afghan presidential election scheduled for April 2014, just three months after U.S. troops begin withdrawing from the Afghan combat mission, reforms to the previously highly flawed Afghan electoral

Politics South and Central Asia

Ramadan shows religious freedom deficit in Central Asia

The holy month of Ramadan puts in sharp relief the challenges to religious freedom by secular governments in the former Soviet Central Asian republics. Most notably, this year in Uzbekistan,

Politics South and Central Asia

Balochistan Talks May Release Local Resource Wealth

Over the past month, Pakistan’s long-term, slow-burning Balochistan conflict has seen both continued violence and new rhetoric about possible peace deals. The newly elected provincial chief, Abdul Malik, a Baloch

Economics Middle East/North Africa

Working Class Iranians Demand Labor Reforms

Last week, several hundred unemployed, underemployed, and underpaid steelworkers demonstrated in Tehran outside of the Iranian parliament. In the wake of the election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani many working

Politics South and Central Asia

5 Challenges for Russia on Sochi Winter Olympics

With the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics only half a year away, the games are facing a number of challenges from organizations within the Russian Federation, as well as from foreign

Security South and Central Asia

Afghanistan’s Opium has Regional Repercussions

Attempts to rid the Afghan economy of its reliance on opium production and smuggling have largely failed due to corruption and the lack of equally profitable alternatives. However, the opium

Security South and Central Asia

Air Base Closure Reshapes Kyrgyzstan-Russia Relations

Last week, Kyrgyzstan announced that it will not renew its agreement with the United States that allowed NATO to use the Manas Air Base as a transit center for military

Politics South and Central Asia

Azerbaijan Opposition Seeks Western Assistance

Last week, the European Parliament condemned Azerbaijan’s continued detention of opposition member Ilgar Mammadov, while current opposition leader Rustam Ibragimbekov traveled to Washington DC to seek support from the US

Economics South and Central Asia

Kashmir’s Silk Industry Struggles

Despite recent attempts to revive Kashmir’s silk production, the centuries old industry is slowly dying. Kashmir sericulture, or silkworm farming, is a casualty of changing regulations, regional political tensions and

Economics South and Central Asia

Tajikistan vulnerable due to remittance dependence

Tajikistan is possibly the most remittance-reliant country in the world, thanks in large part to the more than one million Tajiks who have migrated from the poorest nation in the