The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
Opinion

How should we embrace the year 1403?

By: Saleem Kakar

We have reached the end of the year 1402 and are embarking on the journey into 1403. Reflecting on the past year of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) unveils a nuanced outlook of accomplishments and obstacles. On a positive note, the government has made significant headway in countering the cultivation and trade of narcotics. It has also bolstered security nationwide while sustaining economic momentum given the sanctions imposed by the United States with its assets still frozen. Besides, the officials and spokespersons for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have made consecutive promises on propelling key infrastructure projects forward – a promise that needs to be fulfilled. In fact, these achievements underscore a level of dedication in tackling the pressing issues confronting the Afghan people. I firmly believe that the core responsibility of a government is to be accountable and responsive to its citizens. Therefore, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is responsible for delivering essential services to each Afghan individual and safeguarding their fundamental Islamic rights such as the right to life, the right to health, the right to education, the right to fair treatment and unbiased trial, and the right to adequate standard of living. Indeed, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is responsible for upholding the welfare and rights of Afghans, ensuring a just and equitable society for all. Therefore, it is widely believed that when a government is not responsive to the needs and concerns of its citizens, it will lead to widespread dissatisfaction, social disappointment, and political instability. I have heard from many Afghans that they will rely on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan if it addresses issues such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, and economic opportunities. When these needs are ignored or neglected, it creates frustration and disillusionment among the people in the long-term, leading to mistrust, brain-drain, immigration, and potential political upheaval. Ultimately, a government that is not held accountable and fails to be responsive jeopardizes its own stability and risks losing the support and confidence of its people. On the other hand, when a government fails to uphold its responsibilities of being accountable and responsive to the needs of its citizens, it will result in a myriad of negative consequences that impact both the government and the society it governs. Many thinkers argue that lack of accountability will lead to corruption, mismanagement of public resources, and a lack of transparency within government. Therefore, without mechanisms in place to hold government officials accountable for their actions and decisions, there is a higher risk of mismanagement, bribery, and misuse of public funds, which erodes trust in the government and undermines its legitimacy in the long-term. Nevertheless, there remains abundant room for improvement, particularly in fulfilling the fundamental responsibilities of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan towards all Afghans. One pivotal area that demands attention is the cultivation of diverse industries to broaden the economic landscape and generate more employment opportunities for Afghan people. This strategic diversification holds the potential to reduce dependency on select sectors and foster greater economic resilience and stability at large. Besides, as the new year dawns, hundreds of thousands of young girls are eagerly anticipating the reopening of schools. Therefore, the government must prioritize education for both genders as a paramount imperative, ensuring quality access to education for girls by instituting the educational model envisioned by the government. I believe that failure to do so may lead the helpless Afghan people to seek alternative avenues for their children’s education which will pave ways for foreign and/or Western institutions to jump in to navigate the young Afghan girls toward their own aim, posing long-lasting risks both for the sincere Afghan families and the government. In fact, investing substantially in education not only empowers individuals but also serves as a catalyst for long-term national development and stability. Ensuring equitable access to quality education across all societal strata is indispensable for nurturing a skilled workforce, fostering social progress, and fortifying governmental stability. In a nutshell, education serves as a critical foundation for personal development, empowerment, and participation in societal progress Additionally, the agricultural sector, a linchpin of Afghanistan’s economy and livelihoods, requires robust support from the government. This entails furnishing essential resources and aid to farmers, promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and augmenting market accessibility for agricultural goods. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan must proactively engage in securing the agricultural sector’s livelihood for the Afghan people, rather than relying solely on foreign donations and/or funds from NonGovernment International Organizations (INGOs). Therefore, a determined effort to invest in and enhance the agricultural sector is imperative for the sustainability of the people’s livelihood and the government’s stability. Moreover, fostering an enabling environment for domestic investment is pivotal for fostering economic growth, as demonstrated by China’s postSoviet strategy, catapulting it to the world’s second-largest economy. Implementing policies that incentivize domestic investors across various sectors fosters innovation, motivates job creation, and bolsters economic resilience. Furthermore, the government must further prioritize boosting industrialization aimed at helping the government stand on its own feet by developing domestic products and bolstering exports, rather than solely depending on tax collection from Afghan people. I feel that cultivating competitive products for export markets will attract foreign exchange, create employment opportunities, and contribute significantly to overall economic expansion and stability. Additionally, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan must turn an active ear to listen to the voices of all Afghans because if the people, elders, youth, community leaders and professional cadres are disregarded, it creates a disconnect that can lead to a breakdown in trust and accountability. One significant consequence of people’s voices going unnoticed is a loss of legitimacy and credibility for the government or the top leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. In any form of government, the voices of the people are crucial for informing policies, decisions, and priorities. I feel that ignoring these voices will result in policies that are out of touch with reality, ineffective in addressing real challenges, and ultimately lead to dissatisfaction among the communities. This loss of trust will weaken the relations between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and Afghans, undermining stability, and governance effectiveness. In conclusion, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has undoubtedly achieved notable progress in certain areas, marking crucial progress forward over the past years. These achievements are particularly evident in specific domains such as countering narcotics, enhancing security, sustaining economic activity, and initiating key infrastructure projects. However, despite these accomplishments, the challenges facing the Afghan people are multifaceted and complex, requiring continuous and focused efforts from the government. To effectively address these challenges and secure the wellbeing and prosperity of the people, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan must prioritize sustained endeavors and strategic initiatives. This involves a comprehensive approach that encompasses various aspects such as economic development, social welfare, education, healthcare, security, and governance. By adopting a strategic vision and implementing targeted initiatives, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will be able to navigate the complexities of the current landscape and work towards ensuring a brighter future for Afghanistan in the long-term.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.