Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Taking Advantage of Improving Optimism

Among prevailing insecurity and ambiguities about the future, survey shows that Afghan people are more optimistic about the future this year as compared to the previous year. As per the Asia Foundation’s 13th annual public opinion survey of the Afghan people, optimism has risen marginally from 29.3 to 32.8 percent. The survey reveals that the reasons for hope among Afghans are due to the rebuilding of the country (51 percent) and improved security (50.6 percent). 
Report also finds out that “this year’s general increase in reported optimism applies to all ethnic groups, with the exception of Uzbeks. Pashtuns are the most optimistic about the direction of the country (40.6 percent), compared to Tajiks (29.3 percent), and Hazaras (26.2 percent). The proportion of Uzbeks who say the country is moving in the right direction has fallen since last year, from 29.0 percent to 25.8 percent”. Though optimism has improved, the reasons remain unknown. Moreover, there are still some considerable concerns about security, economic stability and governance. The report shows that concerns relating to security or crime top the list at 69.5 percent, followed by economic concerns at 39.9 percent, and governance issues at 36.9 percent. 
It remains evident that there are many fronts where Afghan government needs to deliver more so that people get rid of difficulties and problem and become more and more confident about the performance of the government.
As far as the security of the country is concerned, a lot of work needs to be done. Since Taliban and Daesh insurgents have posed myriads of security challenges in different parts of the country, it has become difficult to keep the country secure. Insofar as the capacities of Afghan forces to guarantee secure life for Afghan people, there are grey patches. Unless there are speedy development in the capacity building, training and professionalism of Afghan forces, the eyebrows will remain tense and the prevailing conditions may thrive.
Furthermore, the political reconciliation with Taliban that is expected to find out some political solution to the issues in the country in order to lead to peace is also suffering from lack of clarity and commitment. There are reports that suggest that talks have restarted between Afghan authorities and Taliban leadership; however, such reports have made headlines on various occasions but that have never resulted in fruitful outcomes. On the other hand, Taliban leadership has not shown readiness for the peace process. In addition, the factions existing within Taliban also differ in their views regarding any peace deal and this makes the process difficult by introducing the intricacy as to whether which faction should be considered as the true representative to Taliban, and what should be done with the other factions who opt to go against any sort of peace process.
Then there is the issue of corruption. In fact, most of the support and assistance that have been provided to Afghanistan for its development and betterment have been gulped by corruption. Many of the other issues that Afghanistan face are directly linked with this issue; as a matter of fact, they are the outcome of this serious problem. Corruption has incapacitated Afghan institutions, denied development in different sectors and disheartens those who have the potential and the skills to bring about positive changes.
The incapacity of the Afghan government to provide good governance is another matter of great concern. Good governance relates to the conduct of the public institutions regarding the public affairs in such a way so as to guarantee wellbeing, prosperity and definitely human rights. But instead our public institutions have been dominated by incapacity and dormancy. These institutions have been further adding to the troubles of the common people instead of solving their problems. They have been vehemently dominated by the individuals in authority. The institutionalization process has been very weak and institutions serve the authoritative people on the top of bureaucratic hierarchy.
The real purpose of a democratic system is to reach to the common people of the society and provide them facilities on their doorsteps. Further, the so-called democratic system in our country has not been able to represent the people of Afghanistan as a whole. The diverse Afghan society has not been able to be compensated in the system that has been trying to keep the central government stronger. The political system, wherein more authority should be given to the provinces, can provide better representation to all the ethnic groups in the country and can favor the general will but such a setup has not been appreciated the way it should have been. Even the key institutions like legislature, judiciary and executive have not risen to the task. They, instead of serving the country, seem to be fanning the flames of controversies. The government that should be the leading force towards a democratic setup, itself seems to be running after authority, not democratic principles.
In order to address the socio-political and security concerns appropriately and develop better legitimacy and acceptance of the government, there has to be immense efforts made on the part of government and other authoritative institutions in the country. Moreover, to further improve the optimism of the people about the future of the country as a whole, the services must be directed to the issues that are faced by common Afghan people.