Welcome to my Kabul-based crime blog. I will post analyses of real life crimes that highlight the connections between crime and politics in Afghanistan. I will also link to articles that shine a light on the dark side of life in the Afghan capital.

In addition to this I will also review both contemporary and vintage crime fiction mostly revolving around random books I am able to buy or find. As ever I welcome your comments and analysis.

DTK Molise.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Night Letters

Nangarhar - 03 Jul 2010 - BATI KOWT District: On the night of 3-4 Jul 2010, Anti-Government Insurgents posted 'night letters'* ordering local civilians to stop working with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), Goverment of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA), and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). 

The letters contained an ultimatum, stating that the local community had seven days to cease their co-operation with the government and security forces otherwise they would face “strong consequences”.  So continues the daily reality of intimidation and violence for people living in the countryside of Afghanistan. 

Life simply does not continue for those trying to live a life outside of politics.  Violence and crime litter the landscape like dust or flies.  Until these political problems are solved people will continue to live under the threat of mafia-style tactics like 'night letters' - a suitably shady, if obfuscatory, term for what in other countries would be called outright threats.

*'Night letters' are an unsigned leaflet distributed clandestinely that explain and threaten political opponents. These letters have been a political tactic of insurgencies and underground movements for many years and have been taken up by the Taliban to threaten those who are seen to work with the government and their allies.  Declan Welsh, of the Guardian, wrote an article about these letters in 2004: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/19/afghanistan.declanwalsh


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  2. Hey there, like your blog and have just signed on to follow it. I am very keen on crime fiction written in unusual locations and I reckon Kabul qualifies as an unusual location. Good luck with your writing.

    I have written an as yet unpublished manuscript for a crime novel set in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the nineties. I am keen to put a link to your site on my new blog http://pulpcurry.wordpress.com/ and would be happy for you to do the same time time.


  3. @Blue Riders - Thanks for your post. Please tell your friends if you like the blog.

    @Andrew - Thanks for your post. I have added a couple of lengthy comments on your site. Keep me informed of your latest activities. I have enjoyed all of your blogs so far and especially liked being introduced to Australian crime fiction and neo-noirs. Cheers!