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Editorial: Seizing the chance for peace

We are a poor and battered nation, having bumpy roads to peace and prosperity – we have to go through it till to get our country out of current miseries starting from ongoing war to poverty and from corruption to improving the economy. We need to work hard to get rid of these nuisances. But it doesn’t mean we are a drowsy nation. A lot has changed since the so-called peace after the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001. Afghanistan has come a long way since then, driving some of the fastest progress in the world. Key development outcomes include reduced infant mortality – improve education enrolment, expanded access to electricity, and most importantly the practice of electing the president through a democratic process of election. However, our elections are always marred with frauds, but still our votes are electing our new leader not weapon. Without the support of the international community, none of this would have been possible. Their support was and will be key to the development of Afghanistan. Yet, the achievements Afghanistan has made are fragile. Continued aid is vital to sustain progress and protect hard-won development gains in the nearly 20 years. Unsure whether the international support remains steadfast as current aid levels would expire at the end of 2020. The event comes at a critical time as ongoing peace negotiations between Afghan government and Taliban members offer hope. The scope of cooperation is utterly depending on these talks. International evidence shows that peace is more likely to hold in the context of a growing economy, reliable public services, strong governance, and institutions. The success of the peace talks in Doha is crucial for all future development. Donors now think of a condition-based support, taking progress of Afghan peace talks into account from which to specify their ranges of aid. Continued international support can help ensure that the new economic and development opportunities arising from a political settlement can be fully realized in which Afghanistan can make real progress towards self-sufficiency. In these challenging times, there is hope that both sides (Afghan government and Taliban group) show commitment to reach a political settlement through the current peace process. They have to seize this opportunity to stand by each other to secure a better future for the war-hit people of Afghanistan. Blame game benefits no sides but to cause cuts in the level of international aid in a country where over 70 percent of the population are under the poverty line.

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