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Photos: A Glimpse of Afghanistan Before and During a Historic Election [UPDATED]

An Afghan roadside vendor hangs scarves next to political leaflets on a wall in Kabul on April 4, 2014. Some 12 million Afghans will go to the polls on April 5 to elect a new president. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)
Current AffairsMultimedia

In pictures: Afghanistan gears up for its third presidential election since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Incumbent Hamid Karzai, who has held office since 2004, will step down to make room for a new head of state.

Afghanistan Literally Can't Afford to Hold an Election That Isn't Free and Fair

Afghan election employee, Forouzan Barez checks the plastic boxes containing election material at a warehouse prior to transportation to the polling centers, in the northwestern city of Herat on April 3, 2014. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)
Current AffairsPolicy

Because a key condition for the continuation of international aid to Afghanistan is a comprehensive, transparent and credible vote, Saturday's election takes on even greater importance.

What Do Afghanistan's 'Generation America' Think of Their Country's Future?

Supporters run to get a spot near the stage at an election rally for presidential candidate Abudullah Abdullah on the outskirts of Kabul on April 2, 2014, the last day of campaigning by Afghanistan's presidential candidates. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)
Current AffairsPolicy

Foreign soldiers may be heading home, and several international organizations are fleeing the pre-election violence, but there's no shortage of hope and optimism among Afghanistan's young people.

Yes, the Afghanistan Election is Important — But So is the Day After

Afghan men crowd a field at a political rally during a campaign stop by presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul in Bamiyan on April 1, 2014. (Hashmatullah/AFP/Getty Images)
Current AffairsPolicy

A member of Asia Society's Afghanistan Young Leaders Initiative reminds readers that Afghanistan's April 5 election is "only a means to an end — a stable, peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous Afghanistan."

Asia 21 Young Leaders Help Make History at Afghanistan Presidential Debate

L to R: Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah, Qayum Karzai, Abdul Rahim Wardak, Zalmai Rassoul and Ashraf Ghani take part in a debate at Tolo TV station in Kabul on February 4, 2014. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Afghanistan's first-ever presidential debate was televised by Tolo News, which is headed by two executives with Asia Society ties.

Interview: Gurcharan Das on Dharma, Capitalism and India's 'Robber Baron' Phase

Gurcharan Das. (BBC World Service/Flickr)
Business

The author and former India chief for Procter & Gamble shares his vision for India's future ahead of his December 5 appearance at Asia Society New York.

Video: Election Ushers in 'New Model' of Democracy for Pakistan

Policy

Asia Society Senior Advisor Hassan Abbas tells CNN that although Nawaz Sharif won the prime ministership for the third time in his career, the election showed progress in Pakistan's democratic system.

Expert: Pakistan Election Outcome Hinges on Voter Turnout, Safety

Punjab police wait for the arrival of Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML) party, during the final day of campaigning at an election rally in Lahore, Pakistan on May 09, 2013. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
Policy

Asia Society Senior Advisor Hassan Abbas says former Pakistan cricket star Imran Khan could win this weekend's election if voters come out in large numbers.

Coups, Kashmir and Clerics: Is Pakistan Headed for Delayed Elections?

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar addresses Asia Society in New York on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. (Elsa Ruiz/Asia Society)
Policy

Asia Society Associate Fellow Faiysal Alikhan says due to tensions roiling the country "it seems unlikely" that Pakistan's historic elections later this year will be held as scheduled.

Pakistan's Moment is Near — but Will Anyone Care?

Supporters of Pakistani cleric Tahir-ul Qadri gather at a protest rally in Islamabad after the government ignored his ultimatum to disband parliament on January 15, 2013. (Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images)
Policy

Asia Society Senior Advisor Hassan Abbas says Pakistan's election slated for later this year is crucial for the country's progress, though many in Pakistan are skeptical.