Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Afghanistan at a critical juncture, experts say

Afghanistan has reached the “tipping point,” according to ex-finance minister Ashraf Gahni Ahmadzai, given that the Taliban has gained partial control of four major provinces in the south and Afghans are losing faith in the international community, freelance journalist Massoumeh Torfeh reported via BBC News Monday.

Ahmadzai says that Afghans do not want the Taliban to regain power, but stresses that U.N. agencies and other international organizations must be more efficient in providing relief to safeguard against the prospect of stronger Taliban influence.

Other experts such as Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s former foreign minister, share Ahmadzai’s sentiment and recommend that President Hamid Karzai and the international community make efforts to secure employment and housing for all Afghans. If these problems aren’t addressed, the fear is that many more Afghans will turn to the Taliban in hopes of a quick solution. Indeed, Abdullah cautions that this may be “the last chance” for authorities.

Hanjörg Kretschmer, the head of European Commission delegation in Afghanistan, also agrees this is a crucial time in Afghanistan, but doesn’t believe that this is the last chance for the international community to improve efforts. “After the last chance there are always many other chances to tackle challenges ahead,” Kretschmer says.

For the full article, click here.


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