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A glimpse of past two decades in Afghanistan

By Rafiullah Anwari

After the fall of the Taliban government in 2001 and establishment of a republic government in Afghanistan, many people received the change with much euphoria as they were liberated from years of persecution and finally achieved freedom.

During the early days since Taliban ouster when Hamid Karzai became president, there was a modicum of normalcy and universal peace across Afghanistan as the country started growing and there was a significant improvement in people’s livelihoods.

People say that during the early days of Karzai’s rule, economy had flourished so vastly that every household could easily afford a good life. During Karzai’s second term as president, the country witnessed many ups and downs; the Taliban movement resumed its activities after five years and security situation started deteriorating. The country witnessed many explosions, suicide attacks and armed clashes.

After Karzai’s second term in office ended, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai won elections in 2014 after a hectic election against his rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Ghani had promised to eradicate corruption and make Afghanistan a prosperous and free country. During his presidency, not only did corruption not decrease, but also chaos, war and bloodshed increased in the country. Ashraf Ghani could not fulfill his promises.

In 2019, he was elected President of Afghanistan for the second time after months of electoral conflict and controversy with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Unfortunately, Ghani was more unsuccessful this time than his previous term, marking one of the dark periods of the country’s history; Unemployment, corruption, economic crisis, chaos, kidnappings, crime, targeted killings, explosions and suicide attacks and other social problems reached their peak.

It was in 2020 that the Taliban entered into talks with the United States in Qatar to find a solution to Afghanistan’s longest-running war. Behind the scenes of the agreement between the two, no one knew what was agreed upon as even the Afghan government was sidelined from the US-Taliban dialogue and was unaware of all the decisions that were made between the two sides.

It was in the months of July and August that the rapid fall of provinces began in succession, paving the way for the Taliban to take over and take control of Afghanistan. So much so that even in one day, two or three provinces fell into the hands of Taliban without a fight or even a single bullet fired.

The fall of provinces continued until Ashraf Ghani left Kabul on August 15, 2021. People anticipated the start of a war in Kabul but not a single bullet was fired except celebratory fires by the Taliban after they captured Kabul after soldiers laid down their weapons and left their posts in fear.

Fear dominated Kabul that day as thieves invaded the streets and stole and looted as much as they could. Many people were ransacked and lost their properties until the Taliban entered Kabul and thieves and looters took refuge in their hiding places for fear of them.

It is now more than ten months since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Although the Taliban leaders occasionally harp on about security, peace and stability in the country, but we still witnessed many bombings and attacks. The major problem that affected the people is the economic crisis, which has ever galloped. Unemployment, non-payment of salaries and billions of dollars in frozen assets are other problems facing millions.

Another important issue that has attracted the attention of the world is that girls’ secondary schools remain shut. Since the Taliban came to power, the gates of girls’ schools above sixth grade have been closed, and this issue has provoked widespread reactions not only in Afghanistan, but all over the world.

A comprehensive government will be successful and accepted by the nation when it acts in accordance with the wishes of its citizens. The eradication of unemployment and reopening of girls’ schools are issues that the current ruling government must pay close attention to. Otherwise, not only will the people detach from this way of governing, but this will also deprive people of their rights and demands of international community.

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