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Editorial: Hope is alive

There is no denying to the stark reality that Afghan government is caught between devil and the deep blue see as it had failed to meet public expectations. Civilian and security forces’ casualties had increased as compared to the past year, though the official reports still to appear on the surface. If the reports were finalized and made public, these will not be encouraging. The Taliban and its affiliate militant groups still have the ability to carry out terror attacks in major cities. The directionless peace process is at halt. The Taliban have emerged as a parallel government after visit of its delegation to Islamabad where important issues were discussed, by passing the Afghan government.

At the same time, economic indicators are discouraging, though the government claimed increased in revenues. Poor economic policies, power shortage and insecurity are the major factors which is diminishing domestic purchasing power. Many companies across the countries had announced job cuts. It is strange to notice that the government is claiming of improved economy but the streets famous for shopping are losing color. Consumers prefer to buy used items due to economic constraints or low wages. It had forced many to leave the country for industrial countries. The brain drain has hit the national economy hard. The economic growth had been slowed down by the mass immigration of talented Afghans.

On political front the situation is far more worst than what is said and believed. From farmers to teachers and lawmakers, most of them are criticizing the government for its failure to address the outstanding challenges which had not only crippled the national economy but also the social life. Corruption and mismanagement are the major reasons which sparked this severe criticism across the country—from the parliament to streets.

However, the hope has not died yet because liberal forces are challenging the taboos. Educated youth are pondering over ways to deal with the problems on their own as they have lost trust over the government. Protest of a 24 years old resident of Paktia, Khan Wali Adil, is a good epitome to look at the igniting hope among the young generation. He erected a sit-in camp in the capital city near the parliament house to protest against the forced marriages of girls and women to settle disputes. His protest is also about empowerment of women. He wants to see girls educated and free so they could choose their own destination. People, especially young men and women, are real power. They can change what is preventing the country from competing with the modern world.

Others shall also support cause of Wali Adil because preventing girls from education and forcing them into marriage is a national issue. It is responsibility of all and sundry to play their role in resolving the problem through mass public awareness.

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