SDW Webcast on Afghanistan

United States is Worried about its Assets in Afghanistan

By Qaisar Abbas

Michael Kugelman, Wilson Center’s Deputy Director on South Asia, has said the United States is worried about its assets in Afghanistan. “Although the Taliban have changed according to the new circumstances, their ideological base is the same,” he also remarked.  

Participating in a virtual panel discussion on Afghanistan, organized by South Asia Democracy Watch (SDW), he said Afghanistan faces three significant challenges. First, citizens face a monumental human crisis of starvation, poverty, and a lack of security. Almost 90 percent of citizens live in poverty, and 45 percent face food shortages.

Taliban being an insurgent group lacks administrative skills, and as a result, the country has the crisis of governance and day-to-day running of the government.

In addition, they are facing insurgencies from rival terrorist groups, including the Islamic State, and the chances are that other groups might emerge in the near future.

Yasamin Afghan, a Kabul-based social activist and journalist who currently lives in Europe commented that the Taliban are presenting a better image of themselves in major cities as a public relations strategy, but they are committing atrocities elsewhere. For example, they have publicly hanged former security force members and killed Bano Nigar, a female police officer.

For Yasamin, The Taliban have not changed, and the majority of the Afghan citizens oppose them. “My country has become a prison for its citizens, and the world is not doing anything,” she lamented.

Participating in the discussion, Afghan-American attorney Shekeba Murad based in Washington DC, said the Afghan immigrants in the US are facing immense problems. They don’t have enough financial support to start a new life, and their families are in trouble.

Mathew Hoh, who has worked in Afghanistan as a Department of State expert and later resigned in protest of the prolonged war, said war is not a solution for political problems. He also suggested using media outlets to reach out to political leaders and Americans to oppose the war.  

Aftab Siddiqui, the SDW board member, moderated the panel discussion.

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