Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Highlighting Key Issues

It is of immense importance for Afghanistan that it should highlight its key issues and make efforts in the right directions. Ambiguity and uncertainty in the ranks of high officials and leaderships regarding the actual problems would not help the country at all. It is imperative to point out the top priority matters and then design strategy to deal with them. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case in our country. The leadership, itself, is lost in uncertainties and if there are some issues that they think are important, they do not see eye to eye with one another regarding their details and their solution.
Currently, some of the issues that seem urgent and that require special attention are the deteriorating security situation, the doubtful reconciliation process with Taliban, increasing corruption and challenging governance issues. Afghan leadership needs to prioritize these issues, build a consensus on them and design a proper strategy to deal with them; otherwise, it would be very difficult for the country to go through the prevailing instability and uncertainty with success.
As far as the security of the country is concerned, there have been many improvements but a lot of work still needs to be done. Since the international security forces have withdrawn and the responsibilities of security are on the shoulders of Afghan forces, they have faced serious challenges to keep the country secure. Insofar as the capacity of Afghan forces to guarantee security of the Afghan people, there are grey patches. Unless there are speedy development in the capacity building, training and professionalism of Afghan forces, the eyebrows will remain tense and the prevailing conditions may thrive.
Further, the political reconciliation with Taliban that is expected to find out some political solution to the issues in the country in order to lead to peace is also suffering from lack of clarity and commitment. There are reports that suggest that talks have restarted between Afghan authorities and Taliban leadership in Qatar, however, such reports have made headlines on various occasions but that have never resulted in fruitful outcomes. On the other hand new Taliban leadership has not shown readiness for the peace process. In addition, the factions existing within Taliban also differ in their views regarding any peace deal and this makes the process difficult by introducing the intricacy as to whether which faction should be considered as the true representative to Taliban, and what should be done with the other factions who opt to go against any sort of peace process.
Then there is the issue of corruption. In fact, most of the support and assistance that have been provided to Afghanistan for its development and betterment have been gulped by corruption. Many of the other issues that Afghanistan face are directly linked with this issue; as a matter of fact, they are the outcome of this serious problem. Corruption has incapacitated Afghan institutions, denied development to different sectors and dishearten those who have the potential and the skills to bring about positive changes.
The incapacity of the Afghan government to provide good governance is another matter of great concern. Good governance relates to the conduct of the public institutions regarding the public affairs in such a way so as to guarantee well being, prosperity and definitely human rights. But instead our public institutions have been dominated by incapacity and dormancy. These institutions have been further adding to the troubles of the common people instead of solving their problems. They have been vehemently dominated by the individuals in authority. The institutionalization process has been very weak and institutions serve the authoritative people on the top of bureaucratic hierarchy.
The real purpose of a democratic system is to reach to the common people of the society and provide them facilities on their doorsteps. Further, the so-called democratic system in our country has not been able to represent the people of Afghanistan as a whole. The diverse Afghan society has not been able to be compensated in the system that has been trying to keep the central government stronger. The political system, wherein more authority should be given to the provinces, can provide better representation to all the ethnic groups in the country and can favor the general will but such a setup has not been appreciated the way it should have been. Even the key institutions like legislature, judiciary and executive have not risen to the task. They, instead of serving the country, seem to be fanning the flames of controversies. The government that should be the leading force towards a democratic setup, itself seems to be running after authority, not democratic principles. The parliament, which represents the elected members, is not given its due authority.
The impact of international assistance will remain limited unless donors, particularly the largest, the U.S., stop subordinating programming to counter-insurgency objectives, devise better mechanisms to monitor implementation, adequately address corruption and wastage of aid funds. In order to address the socio-political and security concerns appropriately there has to be immense effort made on the part of government and other authoritative institutions in the country. Above all, this effort should be directed towards the wellbeing of all the people of Afghanistan.