Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Afghanistan and the Globe: A Young Afghan’s View

By Noorullah Ahmadzai
University of Kabul, YATA Afghanistan

Everyone knows that Afghanistan has been in war for the last three decades. During this time, different governments have come and they have ruled over the Afghan community. These rulers have taken the Afghan community to the current situation which now exists in the country and in the globe. The security challenge of how to bring peace in the country and region was a big threat to all the governments, but some governments during this time created instability not only in Afghanistan but in the globe.

During this time, the international community realized that Afghanistan is in a serious situation and constantly under terrorist attacks, which is not only threat to Afghan society but to the world also. Due to this the international community with assistance from the UN came to Afghanistan to launch an operation against the insurgents in Afghanistan territory and in the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the current arena Afghanistan is on the frontline of the global sphere, and its future is is now important for the Afghan government and the international community because we need to have a peaceful Afghanistan in the region to tackle down the insurgents in the region that are a threat not only to Afghanistan but to the world.

Many programs and operations have been conducted during this period of time in Afghanistan, and it is still going on. At the commencement of NATO in Afghanistan, there was hope that the Afghan government and international community could bring peace and stability to the country and lead the development process of the country, which is still hanging. Today, there is less government intervention in the security and development process of the country. The Afghan government is still struggling to strengthen the National Police and Army to give a hand to NATO and ISAF forces to lead operations in Afghanistan.

Up to now, the international community has hardly worked on the training of National Police and Army in order to be in a position to combat against terrorism in the long run. A lack of assistance from the neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan, is a problem for the Afghan government because they are not positively assisting operations in the region. Still there is a joint commission between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US, but they did not reach the root cause of the problems. The government is in a very serious situation in the security and development processes. The development process is not going as the international community planned.

Still, though, NATO and the international community are working hard to quicken the process of reconstruction in the country that will bring some changes in the area. However, due to the security problems, all of the programs are hanging. Most of the programs that are under the strategic plan in the southern part of the country are in bad condition. There is much less improvement in the life of ordinary Afghans there. Due to this insecure environment, international assistance cannot reach the region effectively. Insurgents are active in the southern part of the country, and they are conducting their operations not only against NATO, ISAF, and Afghan Police, but also against humanitarian assistance organizations and civilians. In such attacks, there are huge casualties and the tactics that they are using include suicide bombings which cannot be stopped.

Concern about security is very important to NATO and the Peace Keeping troops because without security, the NATO reconstruction team cannot work actively in the development process of the country. Unemployment of the community is another issue for the Afghan government, but the question is how to provide such programs that can engage the unemployed community. As of now, the Afghan government realizes that unemployment will also create a path for the terrorists to engage these people in such activities.

Huge poverty in the country is a challenging part for the government and international community as they try to find how to eradicate this hazard from the country. This needs well-managed programs and policies that can be implemented efficiently. The government and NATO forces have to involve the community in the development process. Once they engage in this process, they can easily offer helping hands to the government institutions and the international community, and develop ways on how to lead these programs and how to keep them secure from insurgents.

Public awareness and the involvement of society in the peace and stability of the country is very important because Afghanistan is a combination of societies that can accept support based on their involvement. This involvement is very missing at the moment in government institutions. Government is still not in a position to link the community with government institutions, but once this coordination occurs then it will be very easy for the government to tackle issues with the assistance from the community.

We and the international community understand that in some parts of the country, the community of people are involved in terrorist activities and provide assistance to insurgents. We and the international community need to find out where these insurgents are getting their support and how they are managing their operations inside of Afghanistan. If NATO, ISAF, the international community and the Afghan government do not take serious action against this, then there will be a continuous war against terrorism in the region, and there will be huge losses not only to the Afghan government, but to the international community as well. By not dealing with these issues, soon the terrorist attacks against the rest world will increase quickly.

Public awareness is another challenging part to the government of Afghanistan. There are few awareness campaigns that can motivate the society against illegal activities and fight against them. One part of the international community assistance has to be public awareness. This is very important in tackling the security issue. This public awareness can work in very important sectors including security, eradication of illegal narcotics, and development projects.

These concentrated areas are interrelated and have to be managed in such a way that the government and the international community can provide an end solution to it. Coming to the point of the reconstruction area, the US government and NATO are actively involved in the reconstruction process of the country, especially NATO Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which are operating in most provinces of the country. But, they are not present in all provinces of the country, especially the southern part of the country that needs reconstruction and stability more than the other parts of the country.

Education is another challenging issue to government, mostly because insurgents are against the construction of schools. Through international community assistance, the Afghan government constructed thousands of schools. But due to the security issues, most of them in the southern part of the country were ruined by the terrorists and insurgents. Afghanistan needs a well-educated society to combat all of these challenges and to find solutions to these problems themselves. We suffer a great deal from the missmanagement of programs and do not have the capacity to handle such a crisis in the country.

To come up with solutions there is a need for strong assistance from the international community and outside organizations (like NISA, ATA, YATA, NATO, UN, USAID, DFID, etc) and with the Afghan community to provide guidance and help in finding the solutions for such problems. It will be a great opportunity for the young Afghan leaders to learn about the international community and their assistance and seek help from them in the management of these crises. These young Afghans will be the future leaders of the country that need the assistance of you people. Give a hand to Afghans and shape their lives. This is possible if you can give a helping hand to us.

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