Era of political instability and its impact on youth
By Farahnaz Rahmani-Political stability and peace-building are among the key concerns of today’s Afghan people, but also the areas they are most disappointed about. In recent years, the people’s belief about the progression of society towards peace and political stability has been severely damaged.
The belief in a united country did not arise instantly at one single time, but was built over many years and only gradually reached to its most intense level with the passage of centuries. Afghanistan’s independence era is a remarkable example that renewed people’s hopes for a peaceful country again.
The role of youth in defeating the Soviet Red Army, is a key example of the way that Afghan youth have always felt responsible for the peace, stability, sovereignty and independence of the country and its people and have always been actively involved in the defense of Afghanistan’s internal and external values.
The fall of the Taliban regime, the withdrawal of al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and the announcement of the interim government at the Bonn Conference revived the Afghan people’s belief in the country’s political stability. The international community’s support for Afghanistan’s development, strengthening good governance and strengthening various sectors has increased the young generation’s hopes of a peaceful Afghanistan once again and as a result, they have never overlooked their responsibilities to the community. As a socially aware segment of the Afghan population, the young generations have done their best to strengthen their capacities. They pursued higher education, entered international competitions and achieved much in fields such as technology, science, art and sports. Not only this, but they have also participated in the enrichment of various sectors in government.
In this process, not only boys and young men, but also girls and young women became active in different areas. The participation of women in the education sector and their movement towards employment and office building has increased the hope for stability, growth and development of the community.
But despite all these efforts, why does nothing change in Afghanistan? The problem is that operations by terrorist groups such as the Taliban and ISIS have reduced the community’s hopes of development and welfare. The efforts of the youth are being destroyed before they make an impact. Young people cannot see the results of their long struggles, and some have even died hoping to see their wishes come true.
The terrorist attacks on universities, the targeting of female students through spraying acid in their faces, the sexual harassment of female university students, and other acts of this kind indicate that young people no longer see signs of progress in their country. They are beginning to lose their belief in future improvement and the attainment of stability, development and peace within society.
The frustration of the youth has frequently caused them to migrate to Europe on many occasions: once under the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviets, once again during the Taliban era and this time under the aegis of the national unity government. This time, it is the emigration of young, active and educated forces from Afghanistan and this has caused huge disappointment for the people. Although the only option for young people was to migrate in order to escape from assassination, panic and prevailing society. Emigration, leaving families, leaving school, leaving careers and joining foreign societies isn’t an easy decision but it is often the only choice. By accepting the difficulty of this choice and, most of all, the waste of many years of time and energy, they eventually merged with new societies. Emigration is not an easy task- meaning that youth have spent their precious lifetimes working hard towards the goal of improving Afghanistan, but unfortunately they could not benefit from the results of their efforts.
In recent years, young people have played a key role in electoral processes to determine their fate. Their political participation showed another reason for their optimism for peace, nation-building, development and social justice. But now that Afghanistan is on the brink of parliamentary elections, the young generation’s enthusiasm for participation in the process of political affairs has reduced sharply. This situation is evidence of the desperation and disappointed hopes for political stability and security in the country.
Suicide attacks, the massacre of people and the loss of a large number of elite and knowledgeable young people in media and journalism have increased the degree of frustration within the existing political situation. Youth’s spirits have been so severely affected that they even lost their long-awaited expectation of obtaining electronic Identification Cards whose distribution process has begun recently. Youth consider political stability, security, attention to developmental and justice policies as the basic conditions for society to move towards enlightenment, civilization and prosperity. While considering the ongoing dilemma in the present situation, the achievement of a flourishing and civil society is no longer expected.
The writer is master’s degree student in International Relations at Istanbul Aydin University