People in Despair Amid Difficult Times
By: Amin Kawa
The current situation in Afghanistan is truly tragic. Every choice has unfortunate consequences, leaving people stuck between two options, each with negative and irreversible outcomes. On one side is the oppressive and totalitarian rule of the Taliban, and on the other are ineffective and inexperienced politicians with no plans to rebuild and develop the country. The Taliban has created a situation where citizens spend nights in hunger and cold weather, as if they are sitting in the corner of a grave, instead of sleeping in warm beds. Without freedom of action and thought, the situation has become unbearable for those opposed to the Taliban, who are experiencing a living death. Former soldiers are missing, and there is no news on their whereabouts. Girls and women who protest are tortured in solitary cells of prisons by a regime that forbids them from revealing their faces and hands, yet they are arrested, interrogated, and tortured by men of the Taliban, who have no Sharia Mahram. This blatant contradiction in words and actions is only acceptable in the Taliban‘s system.
People under the rule of the Taliban are deprived of all their human rights and citizenship, and are not allowed to protest. Their only hope lies in the plans of political leaders and politicians who have squandered the past two decades in deceit and hostage–taking, instead of striving for a developed, dynamic, and democratic society. These politicians failed to anticipate the Taliban era, when their privacy would be violated and displayed in the most brutal manner, and did not even protect their own properties. They have not hesitated to use any means of trickery and deception to further their political interests, and have aided those who sought to monopolize and concentrate political, military, and economic power in the hands of one person. Furthermore, they have become the arm of those who do not believe in political pluralism and social justice, and view power as the exclusive domain of a certain individual or group. Many political leaders and politicians have enabled those in previous governments to become excessively self–aggrandizing, as exemplified by the actions and behavior of Ashraf Ghani, the former president, who was obsessed with his own exclusivity and despised others. However, politicians with such a background and current programs will not be able to help the street children, women, and men who spend their nights in cemeteries, parks, and bridges due to poverty and homelessness. They will not be able to transform the homes of the children of soldiers who lost their lives in the effort to restore security in the country. Nor will they be able to bring anything to the tables of widows who have to add soil to their dough in order to make bread for their children.
It is unlikely that the politicians in Afghanistan will take any action to improve the current situation, leaving the people in a state of despair. Adding to their distress are the tragedies that have occurred. The only way to move forward is for the people to take matters into their own hands. They should discuss the political and power dynamics of the country and not rely on fate to bring about change. They should act with wisdom and reason, taking into account the realities of their society. They should not view politics through a religious lens. They should create their own destiny and not allow someone else to make decisions for them. They should not accept that their fate is predetermined and cannot be changed.
Afghanistan is unfortunately embroiled in terrorism, extremism, and fundamentalism of various kinds. However, a way out of this situation can be found by thinking wisely and not creating false heroes. Making brave decisions and acting with wisdom is the only way to avoid disappointment. The path that leads to despair and destruction must be blocked, and as Sohrab Sepehr said, “Eyes must be washed, Things must be seen differently.” In other words, “words must be washed, words must be the wind, and Words must be the rain by themselves.” People should be able to choose which direction they want to take. Without a wise and collective effort, no progress can be made.