Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, February 15th, 2019

Challenges for Presidential Election Teams

The date for presidential election in Afghanistan has been announced; it is expected to be held on 20 of July, if there are no further delays. The presidential candidates have already registered themselves and different teams have been formed. For these teams, there are myriads of challenges in the days to come. It is imperative that these teams must understand these challenges and decide their campaigns and agenda as per the same. 
They need to understand that Afghanistan is standing at a very crucial juncture of its history. In fact, it is at a point that can decide whether the country will be able to stand on its own and move towards peace and tranquility, or whether it will be further pushed towards instability and chaos. At such a deciding time in its history, the leadership cannot be lethargic or indifferent. They have a challenging task ahead of them if they are interested in leading the country towards better future.
Currently, there are many concerns about the Afghan government; addressing them must be among the top agenda points of the candidates. These teams have to listen to the different voices in the country that are peace-loving and want a better future for Afghanistan in the form of better political system. Moreover, they can strengthen efforts so that strong foundations of a democratic setup are put in place. At the meantime, they can work on developing the political institutions and make them as much strong as possible as it is the institutions that make the evolution of political system towards stability and prosperity possible. This is possible if they are ready to adopt a flexible and democratic attitude towards different opinions regarding the political amendments in the country.
The most challenging task for the winning team will be controlling corruption. Corruption has penetrated deep within the country’s socio-political and socio-economic atmospheres and will keep on doing so unless proper attention is paid to it. The winning team will also require to adopt a strict policy regarding the poppy cultivation and smuggling that have not only debilitated the lives of Afghan people but has been fueling the terrorism to a large extent, as well.
The teams must layout a clear policy regarding the reconciliation process in the country. Ambiguity and indecision would not solve the issue easily. Even after the peace talks start, they are not going to end quickly. It would require a long process to finalize the talks with Taliban and then bringing them to the mainstream political system of the country. Therefore, all the teams must highlight how they are going to face these issues.
At the same time, the teams must decide how they are going to see the relations with the neighboring countries so that they should be improved. It is correct that neighboring countries have not fulfilled much as far as their responsibilities are concerned, yet they have to bring about innovations and flexibility and diplomatic prudence in their approach towards them.
They have to keep in consideration as well that as a result of decades of instability and socio-economic and political problems, the Afghan people have been suffering from myriads of problems. Though there have been certain improvements, some very concerning issues still exist that threaten the lives of the common people of Afghanistan. There are claims that changes have been brought within Afghan society; however, it should be noted that if the effectiveness of the changes have to be felt or observed, they should be observed by the changes in the lives of the common people. If there is any change in the condition of living of the common people as the outcome of the change; the change should be guarded for and even backed and supported vehemently. If not, either the claim must be discarded as wrong or the efforts should be improved to make the changes effective. And that is what Afghanistan needs to do – it has to improve its efforts to bring about necessary changes in the lives of the common people that have been jeopardized both by insecurity and lack of rudimentary requirements of life.  
People are not able to have access to health and other facilities of life. The development works to improve the standard of living of the common people are not carried out because of the security threats, thus the desired objectives are not attained in this regard. People, in some parts of the country, are not able to have access to education as well. Schools are shut by force and the school going children are irritated.
Within a democratic system, when people cast their vote and choose a government, they expect and expect rightly that they should be provided their basic requirements of life by the government. In the modern concept of state, protecting the basic rights of the people and providing them the requirements to live a better life are considered as the basic functions of a state. The newly elected government of Afghanistan, therefore, would need to make sure that the common people of Afghanistan are provided their basic requirements like food, cloth, shelter and security and other important requirements of life like education, health facilities, job opportunities and other facilities.