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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Afghanistan Today

OpinionAfghanistan Today
By: Dawood Khan

The takeover of Afghanistan on the 15th of August 2021 created a vacuum. If the vacuum is not filled soon, it will take the country back to the period of the nineties i.e., extreme brutality and repressive regime. With the exit of the US, the Taliban got control of the whole country. Even today, the world is in wait-and-watch mode. No country has accepted the government of the Taliban as legitimate so far. Should it continue, several crises will emerge in the country e.g., oppression and economic downfall. Although countries are hesitant to accept the Taliban as legal controllers; however, their existence is real without any doubt. Therefore, to bring stability to the region, the world must accept them.

Afghanistan has a huge populace, and the larger chunk consists of youth. They are a major source of earning for the families they dwell in. During the presence of the US in the country, the currency (Afghani) had better value. It is notable that after the devaluation of the currency, more than fifty percent of the population is living below the poverty line. If the graph follows the same trend, as many as 97% of people will be living in poverty by mid-2022, according to the United Nations Development Programs (UNDP). When the source of earning is minimized in a country, the results are evident in the crippling conditions of the citizens of that country. Such instances are getting common in Afghanistan. For example, people in Kabul have replaced three meals a day with two per day. As per the Asian Development Bank, the poverty rate was less than 47.3% in 2020. Therefore, it is prudent that the countries – big powers in particular – not only accept but recognize the new regime. The result will make the country and youth economically unstable.

In developed states, education and health are not a burden on their citizens. And these two sectors are the most important requirement of human beings. These two departments are in poor condition due to wars in the country. To be a stable nation, Afghanistan is in dire need of support from the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. To strengthen the health sector, doctors play a vital role. To produce doctors, education plays a role of a cornerstone. So, if the people do not possess the potential of having three meals a day, it is unwise to think that the two mentioned sectors should flourish. Hence, all the countries ought to extend a helping hand to the country of Afghanistan.

Before the exit of the US, 75% percent of the annual budget of Afghanistan was aid extended to them by other countries. This support will not be continued should the world not accept the novel regime of Afghanistan. The new regime has repeatedly announced that they would keep a vigilant eye on human rights – women in particular, education for any gender and the protection of minorities indiscriminately. As of today, it marks five months of the Taliban regime, and they are yet to get recognition. Ultimately, the poor citizens are facing the brunt.

If the world continues to not recognise the Taliban, it will again give birth to the issues the world has been trying to eliminate. If the economic crisis prevails in a country, the citizens are compelled to find ways for getting something for the families whether they are legitimate or not. In the case of Afghanistan, there is another chance of refugees’ influx. During the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, three million people (according to the UNHCR report) came to seek refuge in Pakistan. Their generations continue to live in Pakistan even today. Pakistan is the only country to give refuge for such a long time. This time again Pakistan will be hosting the refuge if there is an influx.

Stability in Afghanistan is directly proportional to stability in Pakistan, the region, and the world. To make the world stable, it is necessary to make Afghanistan stable. The new version of the Taliban is wiser and more diplomatic than before, according to the speeches of the incumbent leaders. The goal of every country should be a contribution towards peace. In this regard, they ought to accept them politically, resolve the misconceptions and adopt mid-way approaches in the form of dialogues and talks. If the world fails to do so willingly or unwillingly, Afghanistan will fall deeper in the crisis which is against the concept of humanity. Since day one, Pakistan has been stressing that dialogue is the only solution and continues to say even now.

The writer is a Final-year Civil Engineering Student at UET Taxila. He can be reached at [email protected]

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