Arts and Entertainment Khaled Hosseini: his interests in this novel are the human and the personal

After 'The Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' sold 38 million copies, the author had to dig deep for No3. He's struck pay dirt again

Karzai rules out sacking corrupt Afghan ministers

President promises to tackle criminality during second term – as he takes office flanked by drug-trafficking and war crimes suspects

UN chief defends dismissal of official

Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, has defended his sacking of a top UN official who accused the organisation of turning a blind eye to fraud in the Afghan elections. Mr Ban denied that the UN's handling of the poll had tainted its credibility and advised Abdullah Abdullah, the defeated presidential challenger, to "let bygones be bygones".

Robert Fisk: America is performing its familiar role of propping up a dictator

As in Vietnam, Karzai is going to rule over an equally tiny island of corruption

Brown tells Karzai to tackle corruption

Gordon Brown warned Hamid Karzai today that he needed to tackle corruption in Afghan politics to keep international support.

Victory (for a crooked, corrupt and discredited government)

The election in Afghanistan has turned into a disaster for all who promoted it. Hamid Karzai has been declared re-elected as President of the country for the next five years though his allies inside and outside Afghanistan know that he owes his success to open fraud. Instead of increasing his government's legitimacy, the poll has further de-legitimised it.

Lukewarm response as Karzai 'wins' run-off vote

Tepid compliments greet announcement of win by controversial election commission close to the President

Leading article: A strategy in urgent need of an overhaul

Afghanistan and Pakistan are a lethal and volatile mess

Afghan election officials declare Karzai president - again

Afghanistan's election commission proclaimed President Hamid Karzai the victor of the country's tumultuous ballot today, cancelling a planned runoff and ending a political crisis that began with a fraud-marred first round two and a half months ago.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon makes surprise Afghan visit

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today as international pressure mounted for a quick resolution to the country's electoral turmoil.

Afghan chaos as Abdullah pulls out of election

Dilemma for Washington as second round becomes a one-horse race for Karzai

Kim Sengupta: President did the deals that made him a winner anyway

The scene was evocative, Abdullah Abdullah making his stand against corruption in front of hundreds of grizzled old warriors and tribal chiefs. The setting was the huge tent built for the loya jirga after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, an apt symbol of a new beginning as the former comrade of the great Mujaheddin commander Ahmed Shah Masood threw down a gauntlet for a possible future challenge to Hamid Karzai for the leadership of Afghanistan.

Leading article: Karzai is burying our hopes of ever leaving Afghanistan

Failure to hold run-off poll weakens president's claim to legitimacy

Abdullah withdraws from Afghan elections

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has quit an election run-off today after accusing the government of not meeting his demands for a fair vote, but said he was not calling for a boycott.

Abdullah to call for Afghan poll boycott

Last-minute talks under way to salvage run-off elections as President's rival threatens to withdraw

Rumours grow that Abdullah will quit election

Kabul was awash with rumours that Abdullah Abdullah could be on the point of pulling out of the second round of the Afghan elections. They have been organised after President Hamid Karzai was deprived of victory following allegations of widespread fraud.

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