After a long war of three decades, flowers of hope blossomed all around and thus many people returned to their homeland with a hope of peace, prosperity and honor and dignity of living in one’s own country. In the initial two years of this democratic government, peace in the country was the most ideal and thus a lot many people returned bringing an end to the life of refuge in Pakistan, Iran and many other countries of the world. This also provided the most suitable conditions for the growth of trade and business activities. As the foreign aid was flowing in very generously so numerous projects were in progress and thus opportunities for jobs were also unlimited. In such circumstances, returning to Afghanistan became the priority of many Afghans who were residing in either Pakistan or Iran.
A philosopher and a historian, who is not very well-known publicly, also paid visit to Afghanistan in those days. He travelled to the different corners of the country and closely observed the true situation of the country with his own eyes. His journey was more like an educational trip in which he studied the foreign friends, the economic activities and more importantly, the general feeling and conduct of common Afghan.
When he returned to Pakistan after three months, we thronged around him and asked him to share his findings as we were desperately waiting to get the analysis of the country from the eyes of a scholar. He came up with mixed opinions. He was of the view that countries are run by the people and if you want to see the future of a country, you must observe the present condition of its people. These were some of his findings:
• Although people had suffered a lot from decades-long war and disturbance that were caused by ethnic and racial divides, people were still divided among different groups. Especially, ministries and other government powers were divided on the basis of ethnic groups and these groups blamed each other of inequalities and discriminations.
• Starting from a minor government worker to the top government officials, everyone was interested in his own benefits and thus bribery and departmental corruption was on a sharp rise. One could have never got his legal work done from government offices without making the officers happy.
• Although International community was providing with sufficient funds for the betterment of Afghan people, majority of these funds were wasted in corruption. Both on the government and private sector, projects were suggested in which not more than 20% of the funds were spent on the actual project while rest of the funds were eaten away by the so-called project developers. The officials responsible for issuing and controlling these projects were also involved in mass corruption in these projects.
• All the international powers of the world were trying their level best to bring this country of strategic importance under their influence and thus a great international game was in progress in the country. For these foreign powers, their benefits and aims were dearer than the general peace and establishment of the country.
• This thing should also be not forgotten that these foreign powers could have never excelled their game without the aid of in-house associates so there is no need of blaming the foreign powers who have turned Afghanistan into a battlefield where they are battling for their own objectives.
• Government officials, tribal leaders, militants, local militia chiefs and almost every member of society make their move preferring their own benefits and thus this country seems to be of no one and appears to be left as an orphan.
His findings shocked us all and we again got much concerned about the future of the country. Coming years proved that our fears were, more or less, correct on their place and the hopes that were pinned with the government and the country were not duly met.
It is said that people get leaders according to their own conduct and character. If people are honest, hardworking, sincere with the country and have noble characters, they also get leaders who are honest and patriotic. It is a general practice that we are very active in complaining of our leaders with all their corruption and selfishness. It is natural that until and unless we don’t change ourselves, we will not get better leaders.
Similarly, it would be irrational if we expect that government would be running in every street and corner of the country and will do each and everything for us. No doubt government must do its duty but at the same time, the intrinsic responsibility of every citizen of the country will do the actual job in making the dream of a prosperous society a reality.
The fact that conditions of a country will not change until and unless all its members show self-responsibility and honesty in solving the problems of the country is evident from this reality as well that 40 developed countries have come to Afghanistan with all their forces, financial assistance and all the scientific skills and technology but if still the condition of Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be improving then it is due to the people of the country and not due to the weakness of these foreign allies.
It is also said that if the present setup in which all the major forces of the country are assisting in the construction and rebuilding of the country, did not succeed, then no worldly power will be able to bring peace and prosperity in this country.
It should not be forgotten that foreign aid will not be always flowing and at the end, we will be left all on our own and we will have to manage our problems with our own resources. Thus it is the call of time that today’s plethora of aids and resources should be used in a sensible.
But with all these, there are definitely present some hopeful factors. As mentioned in one of my earlier articles, there is present a silent working class that is doing its duty honestly and dutifully and doesn’t look for any kind of reward or appreciation in return. This majority class of our society will leave its permanent prints on all the fields of life.
It’s said that no nation has changed only by talking and thus we will have to take some practical steps if we want our country to be included among the developed countries. Every individual Afghan will have to realize his duty and always give preference to the country comparing to his own interests.
Changing the public is a tough task but this task is also achievable with education. Thus our educational institutes will play a vital role in changing the people and thus fate of the country.