In the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, drones are well known for their military uses, whether for surveillance or air strikes. They have even won literary acclaim, with the recent publication of a thriller by an author writing under the pseudonym Doa, whose title, “Pukhtu primo” is a clear allusion to this part of the world.
The terrorist attacks of 13 November in Paris have triggered much emotion in Kabul. As early as the Saturday morning, numerous personalities contacted the Embassy to express their solidarity and a lengthy procession of visitors started, which would last around two weeks.
The little town of Istalif is located about fifty kilometers north of Kabul. The idyllic appearance of the village and its verdant gardens hide the cracks that we were soon to discover.
Less than a fortnight after the municipal elections in France, the Afghans were in turn called to the ballot boxes on 5 April for two elections: like in France, these included local elections. But they also included the first round of the presidential elections.
A few days ago, I was contacted by a journalist who was preparing an article on Embassies located in "high-risk" countries and who wanted to substantiate her story with a true account of life in such circumstances. As her title, she used a sentence which I had uttered: “Being in Kabul is like living in a submarine”. How could that image of a submarine have crossed my mind?
During a working session with the political chancery team, we discussed the various cooperation projects that the Embassy was running : could we come up with an initiative that the general public would view as symbolic of the importance of human rights? The idea of a prize was mentioned : it should be linked to women’s rights.