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Editorial: Condition-based aids

Since the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001, the international community’s financial support has been the bedrock of progress in Afghanistan, with tangible impacts in the lives of millions of war-hit Afghans. Sans multi-donor countries support, including the World Bank’s International Development Association, the fragile development at the status quo would have not been possible. But the years of financial aids and military presence, failed to bring peace in the country. It is a tragedy of epic proportions that 20 years after the Bonn conference, the Afghan leaders are still concerned of war. For over four decades, the Afghans have endured bloodshed in an imposed war. Knowing the fact that military approach to building peace has failed, and the presence of foreign troops also a lingering problem, this time donor countries took a realistic approach, which is a condition-based support. Donor countries in the Geneva Conference pledged billions of dollars in aid in quash to the success of the ongoing peace talks. Redoubling of efforts towards an immediate, unconditional ceasefire, inclusive peace process in a bid to save lives, are the key demands. Afghanistan can’t step forward toward peace, development and self-reliance with continuation of war. It’s more than welcoming to see the donor countries have come to understanding the fact that the peace process must be strengthened and both sides should be pressured to reach a framework for a political settlement. Pessimistically, the pledged aids would be affected if the peace process failed to bear any result. It’s good condition. Now there’s no way to walk away from building peace and stability. The Afghan government and the Taliban group must understand that the foreign aids could be stopped or to be suspended anytime if they did not reach a political arrangement to end the war. This is the most proper demand, especially for the ordinary Afghans who have been bearing the burden of this deadly war on a daily basis. Even the children are not spared as on average five children are killed or maimed every single day for the past 15 years. Continued high levels of violence, particularly the recent heinous attacks on civilians, including students are the open example of this monstrous violence. This is the best chance for the Afghan government and the Taliban group to create a conducive environment and carry the peace negotiations in the most trusted mode in Doha to fulfill the long-held aspirations of the Afghan people for peace. Failure to fight against the endemic corruption, transparency in spending the pledged money and the lack of good governance are other key elements that could possibly cut the aids.

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