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Uncertainty shrouds Afghanistan’s future

By: Shoaib Shirzai

Afghanistan went through its worst during past several years with dramatic political changes since 2014 that cast a shadow on future of Afghan people. The most challenging of them all was the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan after which the Taliban took over Afghanistan. The pullout per se caused a spike in level of conflict across the country over the past year as the Taliban and other groups mark their presence with suicide bombers and car bombs all over the country, growing numbers of attacks that target civilians, government and non-governmental organizations.

But 2014 presidential elections were also replete with fraud and laid the foundation of a controversial government. Its preliminary results triggered widespread accusations of fraud which dragged on the elections for months, which ultimately prompted John Kerry, United States Secretary of State, to mediate the negotiations between the two final candidates, Ghani and Abdullah. After painstaking negotiations, the two candidates formed a National Unity Government  based on 50-50 power sharing agreement. While, Ashraf Ghani became the President of Afghanistan and Abdullah Abdullah the Chief Executive, which reduced confidence in government authority and legitimacy. Its result was deterioration of security, plight of poverty, rise of food and fuel prices and unemployment which reduced people’s purchasing power, rise of crime and kidnappings.

The other major change was the increased level of conflict and the long-drawn out political processes, which have created uncertainty as to whether international society will stand by its promises of long-term assistance, while Afghanistan is completely dependent on international aid to pay the salaries of government workers, including the army and police. accordingly, many Afghans are considering whether they or at least their children should remain in a country that has been at war since many years and where the future is so uncertain.

The last and huge change was 15th August 2021 when President Ghani and his close aides fled Afghanistan to Uzbekistan and then to UAE with the Taliban on Kabul doorsteps. Few hours later Taliban captured Kabul, Presidential Palace and all Afghanistan. On 17th August, the Taliban announced that they were actively working to form a government that would be announced over the coming days. For the Taliban, the biggest challenge remains being able to transform from an insurgent group into a political and administrative body that can manage so complex and diverse a nation as Afghanistan. The big uncertainty for Afghan nation is unemployment, increasing of the food prices closing of the girl’s schools, many more problems that they are facing and they are living in uncertain situation.  

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