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Feature: The Curse of Leadership in Afghanistan

Political controversy continues in Afghanistan after the announcement of last year’s presidential election, and the political situation in the country is deteriorating in many ways. In the meantime, the economic situation is getting worse and may keep the same trend for some time in the near future. The cessation of global economic aid, decline in financial activities, the coronavirus crisis, and rising food prices could create uncontrollable chaos and instability.
This difficult situation requires the political leaders, especially the two leading candidates in the presidential election, to remain committed to the interests of the people, the country and political ethics, and to know that in the current situation, the nation’s main priority is bread, security and survival. Undoubtedly, the behavior and stance of Afghan political leaders, especially at the present time, can be best described by the Persian proverb – ‘goat is worried about its life while butcher about the fat’.
Undoubtedly, Afghanistan is facing a serious threat in the form of corona pandemic, terrorism and proxy war, but worse is the indifferent attitude of the country’s leaders to tackle these issues. Their inwardness and inattention to the current impasse have forced people to turn their backs on leaders and become frustrated with them.
Everyone can witness the way coronavirus has endangered the physical and mental health and economic confidence of the people. They can also observe that the poverty is rampant and rising steadily on the graphs, further complicating the economic, intellectual and cultural lives of the people. On the other hand, the threat of terrorism is increasing and Afghanistan’s international supporters are more demotivated than ever before. Even they have been forced to reduce their financial aid to Afghanistan by $ 1 billion so as to increase pressure on Afghanistan’s political leaders but in vain as ultimately this pressure has to be faced by the people of Afghanistan in the form of reduced support and assistance for their troubles.
Unfortunately, even experiencing the endless suffering of the people, Afghanistan’s political leaders are engaged in bargaining over their political interests. Nothing is happening to alleviate poverty in the country, to wipe orphans’ tears, to remove the threat of terrorism, or to solve the problem of thousands of people, but to make Ghani and Abdullah satiated. In fact, that has always been the case in Afghanistan. The ruling elite has only satiated its own self-centered incentives. It has made sure that it remains blessed with all the wealth and facilities, even at the cost of lives of the poor people. Therefore, it has paved the way for fraud and corruption and filled its belly with the food meant to reach the hungry mouths of millions of the children in the country.
The ruling elite like Ghani and Abdullah, whose bellies are full, and businesses running can never fear poverty and the hardships of the people, they can never care about any sort of cut off in financial aid. Among Ghani’s team, there are people like Amrullah Saleh, who has the hallucination that empty hopes can overcome poverty. He dreams that the Helmand, Panjshir, and Kabul rivers will never dry and the Baba, Hindu Kush and Safid Kuh mountains will always remain liberated whether there is any economic assistance or not. But he fails to explain that how these rivers and mountains carryout practical measures to fill the stomach of the hungry and quench the thirst of the thirsty.
The political elite in Afghanistan considers hypocrisy as politics. While the simplest definition of politics is the conscious and scientific planning of a country’s affairs, which is to establish a transparent relationship between the government and the people in the domestic arena and to regulate the relations between nations and governments in the international arena to acquire legitimacy and strength through healthy economic cooperation.
People are discouraged and heartbroken more than ever when they can see their leaders and even president practicing hypocrisy instead of providing service to the people. The current government, as a matter of fact, does not enjoy any sort of legitimacy, as it has neither the votes of the people, nor the support of prominent political leaders. Even international community and Taliban, who have come to terms with each other, consider this government legitimate. So, the government has not been able to become an institution that can unite people to face the political issues or the ongoing corona pandemic; rather, it has further generated divisions and conflicts.
(Sahar News)

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