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The Killid Group, August 16, 2015

Dread of war and unemployment

Results of an informal poll by Killid show security and joblessness are people’s biggest concerns

By Samad Ali Nawazesh

Mohammad Naser, Kabul, who considers himself an activist, blames the national unity government for all the present problems. “Problems increased in all areas – for instance security, lack of employment, poor health and social services – as soon as the government came into being. I don’t think anyone is satisfied with this government,” he says.

Saboor Nezami from Mazar-e-Sharif thinks poverty and unemployment together with insecurity have created a “dangerous situation” for people.

Yunus Negah who has grown up in the Afghan capital says, “Our big problem is that our government is seeking legality in Islamabad, London, Tehran, Riyadh and Washington.” He urges the government to turn its back on foreign embassies and concentrate on people’s welfare.

Unemployed day labourers gather in kabul in the hope of getting work
Unemployed day labourers gather in kabul in the hope of getting work. (Photo: Antonio Olmos Antonio Olmos/Observer)

Meanwhile, Samiaullah from Nangarhar fears the government does not have a “proper” strategy even to tackle the immense problems. “I don’t have any hope for my future because the government doesn’t have a programme to ensure security. Instead we are trapped in a dangerous game where innocent people are killed every day,” he says. There has been a spurt in deadly attacks on government targets and in civilian areas since the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar on July 29.

Hasibullah Asim from Kabul recites lines from a poem by the great 13th century Iranian poet Saadi Shirazi: “If you don’t feel the pain of others your name cannot be that of a human being.” “No one can feign indifference to the security situation where everyday someone becomes a victim of suicide attacks,” he adds. At least 50 people have been killed and more than 600 injured in a series of suicide bombings and blasts including three in Kabul on a single day. No one took responsibility for the bloodiest: the early morning truck bomb explosion outside an Afghan army compound that is close to residential areas and a market area in Kabul’s Shah Shaheed neighbourhood on Aug 7. More than 15 people were killed and at least 300 injured.

Some 40 percent of the respondents said they were seriously concerned about their future and that of their families. Insecurity and unemployment were identified as the main concerns. The leaders of the national unity government should give up squabbling between themselves and pay more attention to the unity and security of people.

Looking to leave

Fardin who is from Herat says, “I am an educated youth holding a licentiate degree with enough energy to work and concern for the current situation in the country. However, there is no work and insecurity is increasing daily. I wonder if I should stay here or migrate and pass the rest of my life away from my family.”

Yunus Negah who says he’s “very dissatisfied with his life” wants the government to focus on solving the problems of people. “My main demand from the leaders of the government of national unity is that they should trust the people. If they spend 80 percent of their time on satisfying Pakistan, US and Taleban they can at least spend 10 percent on solving the problems of people,” he says.

Hasibullah Asim from Kabul says the leaders of the national unity government should keep promises made during the election campaign. “They should focus on national issues and national interests so people can trust them,” he appeals.

Samiaullah thinks it is differences between the two – President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah – that have exacerbated the situation. “Not only have they not kept their promises, differences between them have worsened the security situation. The powerful and wealthy go abroad and poor people become victims,” he observes.

People continue to put their faith in the democratic government. Ezatullah Husaini says he would much rather there is a government than no government at all.

Work opportunities

Sadat Ghaznawi, the president’s advisor for religious affairs, says he fears the lack of opportunities is forcing the young to leave in large numbers. “I see groups of students and jobless youths leave the country with so much hate (in their hearts). If we ask them where they are going, they just say what should we do? I am depressed by the situation. How can I accept that this generation is migrating because of compulsion?”

Sakhi Rezayee, a student, is considering leaving the country. “Two of my friends left their studies, and when I asked them why they said there is no point since we cannot hope to find work, and so it would be better to save the money of our families and find a way to migrate,” he says.

Wali Amiri mentions the fear of abduction for ransom among people who have work. “Youths who have jobs live in fear,” he says, “My brother who works for a good salary in Islam Qala custom office when he was abducted along with his five colleagues and was freed due to mediation of local elders linked with Taleban. He left his job due to fear and he is now jobless.”

Category: Poverty - Views: 8357