After being postponed twice before, 12.5 million Afghanis will now finally select their new leader. I’m particularly delighted by the fact that nearly 12% of the candidates contesting the elections are women. Of course they would have to survive the constant threats of religious extremists, but nevertheless, it’s a small step in the right direction. If one woman candidate can brave facing the camera to give an interview, 100 other women can walk the streets of Afghanistan without any worry. After 3 decades of gory violence and conservative social laws, Afghanistan finally ‘Jaag raha hai’.
No one says that the new government will transform the whole country with a swish of a wand, but yes, minor step-by-step reforms can ensure a promising future for the people of Afghanistan and perhaps even the dusk of global terrorism.
Of course, corruption, poverty, conservatism and terrorism are issues that the new government would have to address…however I think, that one of their major challenges would not only be to impart the right education, but also to retain those who have been educated. With the west presenting more opportunities for growth, the new Afghanistan is bound to suffer from the so-called ‘brain drain’. It is necessary for Afghanistan to have educated citizens who have a vision for their country…or else, no amount of policies could ever change the situation.
I’m not sure how the new government is going to deal with the thousands of Afghan refugees in Pakistan either. Whatever little is left of the Taliban can probably be eliminated, but their religious ideologies need to be eliminated from the minds of millions of Afghanis, who may be tempted to re-implement them even at the slightest instigation. Mr.Bush, your missiles and violent policies won’t work here anymore. FUNDS, HONESTY and IMPLEMENTATION are the key words here. The UNO especially has to work with the government.
Economic, religious and social issues are definitely a concern. However one more area, which Afghanistan needs to work on, in order to have more qualitative citizens, is ‘health services’. God, this country has one of the highest child mortality rates and death rates in general !!!!! Family planning is almost non-existent, but in a way the poor health services make up for the high birth rates.
The new government does indeed face the Herculean task of building an ideal, prosperous and peaceful country. If this works out the way we all hope it would, then maybe 10-20 years down the line, we wouldn’t have to worry about plane hijackings or bomb blasts or any other terrorist activity. Lets just hope for now, that inspite of the murder of 7 candidates, the polls go on as peacefully as possible and hopefully people wont crack up at the last minute due to the threats by the Taliban and the warlords. Who knows ?? Probably in a couple of years, we'll be buying quality products off the rack which would say " Made in Afghanistan".