Civil Society Open Letter
We, as members of Afghan civil society and the general Afghan population, wish to present our condolences to the friends and family members of those who lost their precious lives in the horrifying incident in New York on 9/11.
We fully share the sorrow and pain you have been going through and no one can feel it better than Afghans who are losing loved ones or family members every day. Unfortunately, each day Afghans are going through the same terror of 9/11 and we strongly believe that standing shoulder-to-shoulder we are together much stronger.
After this heartbreaking incident, the world, with leadership from the United States, realized the problems Afghans were going through. They started the global war against terror and to assist Afghans to rebuild their country and obtain basic rights. Based on our new constitution, today state institutions are shaping up to provide basic services for our citizen, more than six million children are going to school, women were deprived of their basic human rights and were stoned to death and now we see women engaged in the development process of the country as politicians, entrepreneurs, activists, academics and human rights defenders. For the first time in the country’s history, Afghans are connected to the world through several free TV and radio channels. Before, almost the entire country was deprived of electricity and water and was living in complete darkness, Afghans are also now beginning to access safe drinking water and electricity.
Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go. Despite all the achievements, Afghanistan is still one of the countries of the world rated worst in terms of corruption, maternal and infant mortality, and above all the war zone for on-going internal and external conflicts. Even now mothers cannot be sure their children will return home safely; women are still victims of violence committed by families and communities. Afghans live with the fear that warlords are still in power and with the passage of time they have become stronger which is a serious threat for human rights, justice and democracy. These warlords are still misusing government facilities, giving full support for local insurgencies and fighting amongst each other for power and control – exactly as in the years before 9/11.
We are confident that neither the Americans nor Afghans want the current development and efforts to be in vain. We therefore strongly recommend that the United States continue this partnership and does not leave Afghanistan to be used as a hub by terrorist and extremists who are the main enemies of the people of America and humanity in general. We as members of Afghan society believe that the withdrawal of foreign troops before the strengthening and equipping of Afghan security forces, and the three branches of the government and civil society will not only challenge the achievements and current development process, but will also encourage regional interventions, fueling insurgencies costing more lives of not only Afghan but also many around the world. Our message is clear – Lets not leave in 2014 and return in 2020 to fight those who may have organized many other incidents such 9/11.
We strongly believe that Americans will not forget us and will encourage their policy makers and government for sustaining this partnership, not matter how much it is being challenged by internal and external players! In peace and solidarity