Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Another Afghan summer brings with it renewed violence, chaos and disappointment

As another winter slowly recedes, giving way to what should be a green season of growth and plenty, many Afghans are filled only with despair and disappointment, the BBC News reported on June 13.

Doubt seems to plague every Afghan interviewed for the article. A Government official said he is confident of military victory, if only the Taliban were deprived of their strongholds in Pakistan. Without that significant change, he doubts he will see victory soon.

Urban residents readily welcome the changes promised to them after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. But nearly seven years on, it is impossible to ignore the new government’s inability to accomplish even the most basic of tasks.

“We are not asking for skyscrapers,” said Saqib Baghlani, a Kabul school teacher. “The demands of our people are simple.” Instead of clinics or roads, he points to the “millions of dollars going towards land cruisers and salaries,” adding “everyone is corrupt.”

Baghlani’s frustration and distrust are shared by many. Poor Afghans don’t understand why so many basic problems remain unsolved despite the billions of dollars of international aid flowing into the country.

Corruption is among the most pervasive problems in Afghanistan. Yet despite the promises from President Hamid Karzai, cabinet ministers and parliamentarians, corruption remains. It has come to the dangerous point where Afghans expect failure. “Every night I hear ministers and MPs talk about corruption,” laments Ajmal Haidary, a shopkeeper in West Kabul. “This is all talk.”

For the full article, click here.


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