There is a strange paradox about the exit of NATO and American forces after 2014. Generally it was believed that majority of Afghans are in favor of this and it was thought as their most-desired demand.
Perhaps of all the bizarre and grim developments in Afghanistan over the last few days the one that takes the cake is President Hamid Karzai’s press conference on Saturday. After holding Pakistan responsible for the border clashes on the Mohmand Agency-Nangarhar portion of the Pak-Afghan border, he called upon the Taliban to fight Afghanistan’s enemies rather than destroying their own country.
The country in focus in 'the war against terrorism' has been Afghanistan, as Al-Qaida – the responsible terrorist organization – was fully supported by the Taliban and was given refuge in Afghanistan.
It is great to hear that an Afghan woman is among four winners of this year’s Courage in Journalism Awards announced by a Washington-based media organization on Friday, May 03. The achievement is really huge, considering the status of women in the Afghanistan and the attitude of society towards them. Nonetheless, it remains a fact that Afghanistan, like any other country, has many talented women who can play their role in earning a reputable name for the country and introducing the necessary positive changes within the society. Unfortunately, the circumstances and the misconducts of our political and so-called religious leaders have made the situation unsuitable for such individuals and they are not able to utilize their talents and help themselves and their society appropriately.
It is thought that war against terrorism in Afghanistan has now reached to its final phase and would soon be concluded with the end of the transition period; this is, at least, what is thought by US, NATO and Afghan presidential office. Though it is easy to conclude that the war against terrorism that was initiated by US has reached to final phase, it is very difficult to suggest that it has been concluded, as some of the major issues still remain unresolved.
Afghanistan has been a hospitable land, hosting a large number of expeditions to unusual power seekers.
More than a third of Afghanistan's total opium production now takes place in Helmand and Kandahar. The rise in production has been due to high prices for last few years and harvest has now spread to areas which were previously poppy-free. It further says poppy cultivation is not only expected to expand in areas where it already existed in 2012 but also in new areas or in areas where poppy cultivation was stopped. Villages with a low level of security and those which had not received agricultural assistance in the previous year were significantly more likely to grow poppy in 2013.
The 2013 UN Opium Risk Assessment report on Afghanistan has revealed that the menace of poppy production has not decreased in Afghanistan; it has been on record high in third consecutive year. The report is really concerning and Afghan authorities need to concentrate on the issue in order to curb the situation, which already seems to have gone out of control. The report also revealed that there has been increase in the production in the areas that were previously free of poppy cultivation.
A group of Britain Parliament members released a report, saying that peace deal should be made before the withdrawal of foreign security forces. The report says that in lack of peace deal, civil and communal war once again would be sparked. No doubt, a peace talk is essential and civilians and officials alike understand the importance of such deal. What has made the reconciliation worrisome is the cost the Afghans should pay for it.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in cooperation with Ministry of Counter Narcotics, Afghanistan released their Afghanistan opium risk assessment for 2013. Expectedly, the risk assessment paints a bleak prospect for 2013 writes Gaurav Kumar