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Editorial: Bye 2017—best of luck in 2018

Year 2017 ended with mix results—happiness and sadness—also some achievements and drawbacks to the National Unity Government. Political frication was also here within the government—it was at boiling point. We have long road to reach the required progress. But the hard-earned gains of the past 16 years in the areas of security, good governance, practicing democracy, and development are worth of appreciation. But there was also backwardness in these years, where security, beside economy is fragile. Brain drains and poverty have been on the raise. The Taliban and Daesh extremist groups making grounds. Looking at ground realties, we still need international support until we firmly stand on our own feet. In war against terror, there is need of regional consensus, because a country-insurgency strategy requires successful delivering support, professional training, and weapons to the Afghan security forces. Most importantly, not to support those terrorist groups fighting the Afghan and foreign forces. Not all of them, but some regional countries, especially Pakistan at first row has been supporting and exporting militants. Last year, the Afghan army and police forces continued to fight what is a regional and global war against terrorism and organized crimes. No denying to the fact that it has long been clear that the conflict in our motherland is an imposed one. Moreover, the government striving hard to reach economy self-sufficiency, in which 2017 was a good start. Regional connectivity and business relations with neighboring and regional countries noted at success point. At the same time, it would not be wrong to say 2017 was deadly for Afghan masses. Several bloody attacks took place in which security forces and civilians martyred, and wounded. Taliban insurgents, and Islamic State (IS), widely known as Daesh in the country took precious lives of innocent Afghans. Taliban carried out deadly attacks against our security forces, but Daesh targeted civilians in the most sacred places such as mosques, shrines and funeral ceremonies. Both the terrorist outfits are hell-bent on killing civilians alongside security forces. The deadliest one was truck bombing at Zanbaq Square, in which more than 500 Kabul residents martyred and wounded. Furthermore, the counter-narcotics campaign was another challenge for the government to deal with. The Taliban alone make some $200 million off the illicit drug business. To deal with uncertainty, the Afghan government welcomed and supported new US strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia. The strategy’s full implementation will help address the challenges of narco-terrorism. The plus point is that unlike 2016 and 2015, when Afghan forces defensively fought to prevent the fall of provincial and district centers to the Taliban, in 2017, they have go on full-scale offensive against the Taliban, the Haqqani Network and Daesh terrorists. Unfortunately, the menace is still alive. The unity government and our regional and international allies are in dire need to exercise offensive and result-oriented strategies against terror sponsor states to reach joint harmony by dismantling the joint enemies. Endemic corruption is also here with eating our infrastructures on daily basis. Without good governance and rule of law, fighting corruption is impossible. Corruption weakens the country’s nascent state and empowers the enemies. If say it is the mother of all threats to our country’s stability and sustainable development, would not be exaggeration. Can’t cover all the ups and downs, but 2017 was very lethal. Now the year (2017) ended, and the Afghan government and the masses looking toward 2018 with hope of peace and economic development. Everyone, from Afghan government to international community must learn a lesson from 2017 and restrain from repeating blunders. In sports we gained huge success, and we also participated in intellectual gatherings abroad and returned home with medals and achievements. We take 2018 a year to end the imposed conflict and restoration of durable peace to our motherland. We hope and pray 2018 will be a productive year with putting full stops to the prolong sufferings of the Afghan masses by ensuring a new era of peace, stability and development.

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