Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

16 Years of Afghanistan After 9/11

It has been 16 years since the 9/11 attack that was carried out by a group of Al-Qaeda terrorists in the United States (US). Following the attack, US sought to retaliate and reached to Afghanistan to topple down the government of Taliban that supported and protected the Al-Qaeda militants. The war was not a difficult one for US as Taliban were soon defeated and a so-called democratic government was established in Afghanistan. However, the circumstances that followed the war did not favor the people of Afghanistan though they had to give so many sacrifices; nevertheless, they were not able to achieve the society that they had started to dream about. 16 years after the incident of 9/11 and more than 15 years after the establishment of a democratic government, the situation of peace and security seems gloomy. The terrorism and terrorist networks are very much active, whereas the so-called democratic government is not able to achieve socio-political stability. 
There are many doubts, and the opinions regarding the current situation in Afghanistan are very shaky. Especially, in the last some months the situation seems ambiguous as to where the country is leading and what would be the future of socio-political scenario in the region. Though, since the downfall of Taliban there have been major contributions on the part of international community to help our country out of instability and in that regard billion of dollars have moved in, especially from US, the major issues still remain with major concerns. There are many serious minds that doubt the future of the peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
As a matter of fact, the administrative, development and security sectors in Afghanistan still remain immature and underdeveloped. It is comprehensible that these sectors take long time for their improvement, but the level of the improvement so far made is not in accordance to the energy and resources being utilized. One of the biggest hurdles in this regard has been the lack of transparency in the utilization of the resources, mostly provided as aid by the international community. The wave of corruption has uprooted the weak foundations of the development projects and possibilities of better outcomes have diminished to a great extent.
There are three basic sectors which require special attention. They include incapacity of the government to provide good governance. 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 corruption. These institutions have been further adding to the troubles of the common people instead of solving their problems.
The real purpose of a democratic system is to reach to the common people of the society and provide them facilities on their door steps. 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.
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. The international security forces have withdrawn and the responsibilities of security are on the shoulders of Afghan security forces. As far as the capacity of Afghan forces to guarantee secure life for 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 as far as security arrangements are concerned.
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, especially after the current aggressive approach of Taliban and Daesh.
On the other hand, the fragmented 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.
Though the current aggressive policy laid forward by US may help in subduing Taliban to a certain extent but to solve the issue properly the US must stop subordinating programming to counter-insurgency objectives, devise better mechanisms to monitor implementation, adequately address corruption and wastage of aid funds. On the other hand, 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.