Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Free ride prescription is not sustainable dose of solution to economy of Afghanistan

Afghanistan has a lot of economic potentials including mines, agriculture and commercial potentials for economic growth of the country. In terms of mines and underground treasures such as iron, gas, oil, copper and so on. .. We are rich and the mines of Afghanistan are unique in the region .Geographically, Afghanistan is also known as heart of Asia, which could be the best and shortest trade route among Asian countries and also best job creating centers for Afghan and even regional level. Agriculturally, Afghanistan has a good land and enough water resources that can feed more than a hundred million people.  Nevertheless, the economy of the country is faced with many problems that can only be resolvable through long-term policies. Currently, Afghanistan is extremely dependent to foreign aid and international community for fulfillment of its basic needs such as counter terrorists, government personnel salaries, construction of infrastructures and so on.

One of the most serious damages to the Afghan economy is over-reliance on foreign aid and international community.
The international community, especially the United States of America has contributed millions of dollars to Afghanistan and the latest commitment was $ 16 billion at the London Conference . Thus, the counter terrorists have also cost around a trillion dollars .The financial resources of all this assistance and military expenditures are taken from taxes paid by citizens of the donor country while their military forces also involved in the country . For example, the taxes and donation which are paid by European citizens are relatively spent on the development of Afghanistan's public economy . So, the truth of the Afghan economy is that it is not necessarily based on national production and the efforts of economic institutions, but rather on foreign aid .

In the economics, the benefits which are obtained without any trouble are called free rides . In economy of Afghanistan, the free riding is based on international funding rather than being based on domestic productivities or real sectors of the economy . The free ride economy is a kind of artificial and untrue economy which caused some unsustainable improvements. Now the main question is how the "Free rides" or artificial economy is effective for the development of Afghan economy? And how harmful can it be ? The post-war Afghan economy looks like a baby that has a long way to walk on its own, but as a child, it cannot handle its own tasks as needs to a supervisor to provide the basic tools needed for it.

In the second stage after childhood is teenage step. During this time, although the individual can provide his or her basic needs, they still need to guidance and advice of the elders and experts in order to follow the right way of life .During this time, one must carefully consult about all aspects of lives so as not to go astray and ruin all of his life and those around him . Following this stage is third step which called is maturity step covering both economic and also social relations . At this stage, the person is a complete and independent individual who is capable for managing his social and economic life.

So, each stage has its own requirements, capacity and opportunity for it progress or retrogresses . In the first step, it needs all kinds of the help and support; in the second stage, it needs only a part of the assistance; in the full maturity stage, it will be fully independent . Based on this, in the longer run, we cannot rely on foreign aid to do our daily tasks and domestic needs, especially in situations where the global economy is on eve of an unprecedented downturn. most countries in the world are struggling with economic hardship and they are also under pressure of public requirements of their own country and people .

In spite of all the challenges and problems in the national level, the government must undertake some basic measures and plans to rebuild the economy of the country. Thus, it seems necessary to gradually reduce its economic dependence on foreign countries otherwise after withdrawal of donor countries and sudden stoppage of their aid we will face severe economic problems that may result in insecurity and social unrest in the country. On the one hand, these aids can be the real cause of political dependencies and a pretext for interferences of regional countries; the more economical dependent, the more political dependent. In other words, providing military, economic, educational and other assistance to the country can leverage pressure on government policies. Therefore, having a self-relying economic and political infrastructure can make country stronger and more independent . However, it never means that Afghanistan does not need to international relation; it means a meaningful relation is the only way to rescue the war-torn country.

Based on this, before the stoppage of foreign aids, Afghanistan will have to make a lot of efforts to meet its economic needs. Unfortunately, because of the current corruption and weak management, this is not likely to reach this goal in the near future. The Afghan government and other political elites should understand that international aid is neither a good economic prescription and nor it will be endless. So, availing the current opportunity, we need to replace the existing economic resources and opportunities to a stronger and self-relying economy.
At end it must be emphasized that current the economic challenges which results in social and security is the biggest challenge of the country.  The government must take serious measures to address these problems in order to achieve self-sufficiency and finally stand on its own feet. As long as we cannot overcome on the economic challenges we cannot overcome other challenges .