Will we get justice? That is the question many Afghans are asking as their war-ravaged country heads for presidential polls in April. For, the list of candidates includes several warlords who have been accused of heinous crimes and who are yet to be brought to justice.
Afghanistan’s 30 million people are deeply divided over whether President Hamid Karzai should sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Washington that will allow U.S. military operations to continue in the conflict-ravaged country after NATO forces leave in 2014.
“My relatives and I tried many times, again and again, to find out what happened to my father. I searched constantly for 35 years, without success. Just a few days ago, I found out from the ‘death list’ that my father had been executed.”
The dusty cemetery in Saracha village hosts three new graves: small hills of soil shielding the bodies of Sahebullah, Wasihullah and Amanullah, three of the five boys and young men killed by an ISAF-NATO airstrike on late Friday, Oct. 4.
The threat to the stability of the Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan arises not so much from outside as from within. And the one thing that is eating into its edifice is the malaise called corruption.
What happens after 2014? That is the question people on Afghanistan’s streets are asking as the deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops draws near.
While United States President Barack Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai scramble to solidify a peace process ahead of the 2014 withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, fears that the Taliban will use the drawdown to seize power hang like a dark cloud over civil society.
Another kind of war, less explosive than bombs and more subtle than night raids, is taking place in the Central Asian country of Afghanistan: a war of cultural influence. Its means are financial sponsorships and other support for cultural and artistic events.
More than a decade after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is still in the midst of an irregular war. Talking peace is difficult because no one quite knows who to talk to.
It is customary to focus on the amount of money the international community offers Afghanistan: the higher the sum and the longer the commitment, the lower the risk of further destabilisation. And so the 16 billion dollars pledged by the donors for the next four years at the Tokyo conference earlier this month has been widely welcomed. But such aid may not be quite the virtue it seems.
Afghanistan’s international donors will gather on Sunday in Tokyo for a conference at which they are expected to pledge economic aid, and ensure their assistance level will be maintained after withdrawal of ISAF-NATO troops, in 2014. But Afghan people and civil society groups working in the country say much of the aid is being directed the wrong way.
Though the current global economic and financial crises are undoubtedly devastating much of the world, they present the perfect opportunity for remodeling our economic system, according to participants at the ninth annual Terra Futura (Future Earth) exhibition of ‘good practices’ in social, economic and environmental sustainability held here from May 25-27.