Today is Worlds Peace Day which is also called International Day of Peace and it occurs annually on September 21st. The day is marked by many nations across the world including Afghanistan. Seminars and workshops are held by government and national and international NGO's to throw light over the significance of peace in the context of Afghanistan. But for common Afghans, peace day is just like other days. Many of them are unaware of the day and as usual get busy earning livelihood on which they wholly and solely depend. But it, of course, does not mean they are not supporters of peace.
At times when Afghanistan is suffering the worst consequences of decades of war, the World Peace Day holds significant importance for this country. Today, Afghans are in dire need of peace. They are the people who know the real meaning and importance of peace as they have been suffering war in its worst forms. Afghans want peace, no doubt but as we are moving ahead in Afghanistan things get worse.
In order to bring peace to Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai administration launched its so-called peace reconciliation program in the beginning of 2010 to bring Taliban back to normal Afghan society. In the same year the High Peace Council was formed to facilitate peace talks with Taliban.
Former President of Afghanistan, Burhan–ud-Din Rabbani was appointed as chairman of the High Peace Council. But just a day before the World Peace Day, on 20th September, Rabbani got killed in his own home by a suicide bomber who had concealed explosive material in his turban – a new tactic by Taliban that also killed Mayor of Kandahar city and head of Afghanistan Cleric Council in Kandahar a few months ago.
Not only the head of peace council himself is no more alive but also the performance of the council has been insignificant in the last two years. There have been serious criticisms over the Karzai-administration-initiated peace reconciliation program because Taliban's insurgency has gone multiplying. The Taliban, both in action and in words, have rejected peace talks with Karzai administration. To them, the current government in Afghanistan is a puppet of United States with which there is no possibility of talks.
Political instability and economic vulnerability have reached their climax while security is at its worst. After thirty years of bloodshed, the people of Afghanistan are travelling towards a vague destination. Uncertainty prevails in the country as the condition goes opposite to what the countries backing Afghanistan under the banner of international community have promised – peace and prosperity.
Will peace come to the life of Afghans one day? Although that is what Afghans ask themselves and each other every day, on the international peace day one feels eager to know the answer of this question. No one can give a clear cut answer to this question. For Afghanistan, peace is confined to the deceptive promises of western and Afghan politicians only and in practice there is nothing.
Since 2001, with every year ending in Afghanistan the figures of civilian and military deaths have had a record increase. Every year is bloodier than its preceding one both for Afghanistan and its foreign backers.
Soldiers die because they do or die, why should the civilians die? The figures of civilian deaths pertaining to the first half of current year have had a 15 percent increase as compared to the same period in the previous year. Experts expect the security condition to further deteriorate in 2012 and will continue to deteriorating every year at least in the second decade of this century.
The growing graph of civilian casualties caused majorly by Taliban raids have been a matter of great concern for Afghans. Regretfully, the government of Afghanistan has not been able to take any major steps to counter the continued killings of innocent Afghans – except condemnations.
Our destination is still vague despite a decade long international military and civil campaign. The security to get worse with each passing year is questioning the roles and functions of security forces, Afghan government and its international allies. This has up to a major extent defamed the counterinsurgency war led by United States and has greatly increased the concerns of Afghans.
Insurgents' planned attacks that include suicide/roadside bombings, target killings, direct clashes with security forces and kidnapping continue. Taliban are responsible for the lingering violence in our country – no doubt. But the government can also be held equally responsible as it has completely failed to counter the growth of insurgency. The government seems to have trapped in the net of its own domestic and foreign policies.
For Afghans, life is turning violent as they are not only pressed by bad security but by economic problems. Our dependency on foreign countries' financial aids continues to rise while our government has failed to come up with alternatives that could bring us out of the economic vulnerability. Over 90 percent of our government development and operational expenditures are paid from the funds Afghanistan receives from international donor countries.
Concerns over economy have become manifold as the international community has started withdrawing from Afghanistan. Financial aids to Afghanistan will not remain as is and will shrink with the diminishing role of western countries in the coming years - putting Afghanistan into more economic troubles. The fact that Afghanistan is economically extremely vulnerable will push this country towards severe financial crises beyond the year 2014.
Worst security and economic condition have turned life in Afghanistan to move towards a completely vague destination and peace seems to be never coming. Afghanistan will continue to reverse towards its nineties, if proper and timely measures are not taken by the international community.