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ED: Three decades after Soviet drawdown

The former Soviet Union pulled its troops out of Afghanistan on February 15, 1989 after a nearly 11 years of a costly war. The war affected all sectors in Afghanistan and damaged or destroyed the infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed, injured and millions more fled towns and rural areas that had turned to battlefields, taking refuge to Iran, Pakistan and European countries. The cost of the war was heavier for the communist system in the Soviet Union as it collapsed in result, and Moscow lost lots of its territories. Some 15,000 Soviet troops were killed and tens of thousands more injured. The people tired of war, were looking for a bright horizon after the Soviet troops withdrew. They hoped that the peace of the 1960s would again cover their country and the mujahideen groups could lead Afghanistan by establishing an inclusive government. But the enemies in our neighboring, regional and even farther states interfered and prevented Afghanistan from heading towards stability. They started a horrific war through their proxies in involved groups that the Soviet era was forgotten. The four-year long war changed Afghanistan in general and Kabul city in particular to a ruin. Nothing was left to show it was the capital of the country. Moreover, the dark era of the Taliban insurgents kept the country in a standstill. The group banned educational activities with their own interpretation from Islam. Women stayed at homes and the doors of schools and higher education institutions were closed. After the 9/11 incident that attracted the world’s attention to Afghanistan, people once again became hopeful in a peaceful future especially when the US invasion toppled the extremist regime. The first dream of the people was peace which was not fulfilled. The US-led international coalition unfortunately failed to help Afghans make a peaceful life as they were shouting slogans for, prior to sending troops to the country. The foreign soldiers and weapons followed the path that the Soviet troops had passed by killing people and destroying the farmlands and mud-built houses. They never went to seek the bases and roots of terrorism and did not speak about the economic arteries of terrorist groups. Now after 17 years, our home is still burning and our people are being killed for an unknown war, a war that Afghans are not involved in and never want it to be continued. But still more troops and weapons are sent here to keep the war ablaze for political goals in the region.

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