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Editorial: Embarrassed NUG

The National Unity Government (NUG) is embarrassed because it has no plan to deal with insecurity, unemployment, corruption and mismanagement. That’s why most of the statements are contradictory. Earlier, the top leader of the country was claiming that the Islamic State fighters were on the run. However, on Monday he said that Afghanistan was threatened by the Islamic State, Taliban and al-Qaeda. Governments with no solutions often resort to statements which contradict their earlier claims. Now the leaders should make it clear that whether Islamic State, known here as Daesh, is on the run or threatens the country.

President Ashraf Ghani in the curtain-raiser meeting here in the capital city said that security and development are key priorities of the NUG. Fighting corruption, terrorism and reforms in the judiciary were underlined as other priorities of the government. At the same time, the president acknowledged that poverty has increased from 46 percent to 49 percent. Three percent increase in just one year, 2013-14. He termed withdrawal of foreign troops from the country as major factor behind increase in poverty rate. On the other hand, he thanked finance minister for increase in revenue and securing donations.

Such statements of top officials not only disappoint public but also unveil the barren strategies of the government. To garner support of the international community, Afghan authorities present a gloomy picture. They stress on military and financial assistance in meetings with representatives of the donor nations. However, when the leaders speak to public, they claim improved security, launching of scores of developmental projects and reforms in various governmental organizations. This is a clear sign of confusion and embarrassment. Resignations, firing and hiring of officials is another indicator that the NUG is caught between the rock and deep blue sea. Neither security nor development seems to be priority of the government because militants have presence in one-third of the country. As far as development is concerned, Afghan people see only ruins and mass immigration to foreign countries. The capital city becomes ocean when it rains. Freedom of expression has become a pleasant myth.

Likewise, reforms are far from sight. Poor people can only dream of justice. Fundamental rights and extra-constitutional facilities are enjoyed only by the elite class. The militants have not succeeded in toppling the government because people believe in democracy. However, the insurgents succeeded in damaging reputation of the government. The NUG can find more rivals in liberal circle than militants.

For security improvement and development the NUG shall turn to public while bridging the trust deficit. Without public support the government cannot hold the ground for long as it has no other option but to convene Loya Jirga before completion of its second year to sanction the power-sharing deal. Looking at performance of the leaders, it is easy to predict future of the NUG.

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