The Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) on Thursday said it had cancelled all matches and agreements with Pakistan after the Afghan intelligence linked the Pakistani intelligence agency to the Kabul bombing that left 90 dead and 463 wounded. [...] Kabul and Islamabad had recently reached an agreement to play two friendly matches in Kabul and in Pakistan's Lahore city, besides two series of matches in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, and other agreements on sports.
The international community has poured billions of dollars into aid, services and protection for civilians in Afghanistan hoping that winning their support would help the fight against insurgents. But new research shows that strategy has an unintended consequence: villages where residents support the international forces are more likely to face attacks from the Taliban-led insurgency.
There are several apparent motives behind the Taliban’s outreach: to decrease misperceptions and concerns about the Taliban and strive to change international opinion, which is currently stacked against them; to get supports for the Taliban’s war against U.S. “occupation”; to negotiate prisoner swaps; and to discuss the Afghan peace process.
Afghanistan's first female rapper uses her lyrics to expose violence against women.
Taliban fighters posed for the camera, their shawls and bandannas covering their identities but not their jubilation, as they captured the main roundabout in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz early this month in what could have been called “operation hoist the flag and pull out a smartphone.” [...] In a country where social media use is becoming more and more vital, the Taliban are making sure to flood the information channels with their message.
Though the Taliban has relied on technology for over a decade in the name of propaganda and public relations, its relationship with social media has only taken root in the last few years, in parallel with the rise of ISIS. Just as terrorist organizations in the Middle East have made Facebook pages, Telegram channels, and Twitter accounts, the Taliban has expanded the breadth and depth of its outreach to the international community in general and the news media in particular.
A video game based on the 2014 Taliban school massacre in which at least 132 children were killed in Pakistan's northwest city of Peshawar has been withdrawn after triggering social media uproar and backlash. The game, "Pakistan Army Retribution", was released by the Punjab IT board on Google Play, and invited the player to step into the shoes of a soldier shooting Taliban attackers in a school's hallways.