Sad But True: The State of Afghanistan

Posted on August 14, 2010 in GlobeScope

By Shashank Saurav:

Sad But True is a heavy metal song recorded by the very popular band Metallica. In essence it describes how a guy is controlled by his evil puppet which signifies the fact that many times the devil inside a person takes possession of his sanity; this is indeed sad but the inevitable truth of this world too. What I am referring to is the pathetic as well as deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. The puppet in this case is Taliban and the victim is the Afghan public.

Most recently, I believe you must have come across the news item which reported a middle aged pregnant woman being gruesomely killed by three gunshots in her head. She was a widow and was flogged 200 times before being murdered in cold-blood in full public view. The accusation against her being that she had committed adultery. However the fact that there was no substantial proof incriminating her and that she was denied the right to contest this grossly inhuman decision highlight the sad but true reality of Afghanistan.

Quite similar was the situation of the 18 year old girl whose photo appeared in Time Magazine, with her face devoid of ears and nose. The girl, who had fled from the hell hole where her in-laws abused her continuously, was tracked down by her husband who managed to cut off her ears and nose, and took them back as souvenirs of his shameless act. The fact that these perpetrators of crime haven’t been brought to justice despite this act receiving international attention, shows the extent to which malaise and malignity against young women who seek a better life has spread in Afghanistan.

Even in the absence of a government run by the Taliban, Afghan women suffer from religious extremism. We cannot imagine the illimitable sufferings and harassments these women endure throughout their lives. From 1996 to 2001 when the Taliban government was in command not only were they denied their basic human rights but were also treated like animals. Although with timely help and resources from America the situation has improved considerably, but nonetheless, the condition of women here is even worse than in third world countries. Still the fact that so many schools have been started and the girls are attending classes with gusto is admirable. However this is simply an oasis in the middle of a desert surrounded by sands of rigorous beliefs and immoral vile practices of the Taliban.

It is difficult to judge the position of USA in Afghanistan. On the one hand they are trying to bring stability and peace in this land caught in war and turmoil while on the other — reports of their constant conflicts and disagreements with the local populace keep on emerging. However this article isn’t a tool to berate or adulate the efforts of US. What is of vital importance is the attitude of the UN and its member nations. Will they ignore this like Iran-Palestine tussle or South and North Korea hostilities or will they do something to curb this growing animosity against both the government and the US?

UN is known for finding a diplomatic solution to even the most complex of international problems. In most cases a diplomatic route only delays the inevitable but now, I believe this is the need of the hour. The country is torn asunder by war and the people have already born too much to survive another decade of violence. The foundation for peace has to be laid down by the UN in order to ensure that the inhabitants of Afghanistan can lead a normal life.

At the same time Diplomatic solutions must be put forward with an iron fist so that the harbingers of violence and those opposing peace can be dealt with firmly. Such a proposition seems difficult to implement but if even a few powerful nations join hands, significant progress can be made.

Image: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/762469–sleepwalking-away-from-afghanistan

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  • Arastu

    A good description of the present situation in Afghanistan. The only thing this description missed though, was the history/context in which a major part of it all started. I quote from Wikipedia:

    “The origins of al-Qaeda as a network inspiring terrorism around the world and training operatives can be traced to the Soviet war in Afghanistan (December 1979 – February 1989). The United States viewed the conflict in Afghanistan, with the Afghan Marxists and allied Soviet troops on one side and the native Afghan mujahideen on the other, as a blatant case of Soviet expansionism and aggression. The U.S. channelled funds through Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency to the native Afghan mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation in a CIA program called Operation Cyclone.”

    The US created and fuelled a monster to use them against their enemy and then their ally became their greatest enemy.

    YAYAVER

    Check this interview with the Jere Van Dyk who is a journalist and author who has focused much of his writing on Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the early 1980s, working as a correspondent for The New York Times, Van Dyk lived with the mujahideen in Afghanistan as they fought against the Soviet Army, an experience that was recapped in his Pulitzer Prize-nominated articles. 20 years later, he returned to Afghanistan to report on the U.S.-led war, only to be captured and held by the Taliban for 45 days in 2008.

    http://bigthink.com/jerevandyk

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