After 10 years of war, peace eludes Afghanistan
KABUL (PAN): As Afghanistan marked 10 years since the US invasion on Friday, political analysts said more than 140,000 foreign troops under International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command had failed to bring peace and security to the country.
State institutions had ceased to exist in Afghanistan a decade back, with people having forgotten the rule of law, political commentator Wahid Muzhda told Pajhwok Afghan News.
A semi-democratic political dispensation, freedom of expression and approval of the Constitution are some of the incumbent government's achievements, he said.
"We are witness to the fact that foreigners can't restore peace in Afghanistan, where the Soviet Union had to suffer a humiliating defeat. During the past decade, soldiers from 48 nations have been unable to maintain security in the country," he added.
Ex-jihadi commander Eng. Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai accused the NATO-led troops of failing to respect Afghans' culture and religion. "Foreigners had come here with a commitment to fighting terrorists. Unfortunately, they have been worse than terrorists," he deplored.
A day earlier, hundreds of Kabul residents took to the streets, calling for the the withdrawal of international troops. The protestors chanted "Death to America and its Afghan puppets" and set alight the American flag at the end of their peaceful march through the city centre.
The 2001 Bonn Conference, in which the real representatives of Afghans did not participate, was at the root of Afghanistan’s woes, he believed. He did acknowledge the execution of some reconstruction projects.
Afghans were optimistic that the presence of international forces would help end their plight, but their hope turned out to be elusive, said a former diplomat, Ahmad Saeedi.
He underlined the need for an effective strategy to resolve the problems of ordinary Afghans, including better and responsible governance, as well as an end to foreign interference.
On the other hand, the Taliban said the US troops had proved over the past 10 years that they were an occupation force. American slogans of democracy, cooperation and peacekeeping were hollow, the rebel movement claimed.
In a statement, the militants denounced Americans as a ruthless people. "Looking at the past 10 years, international troops faced defeat in Afghanistan and would have to leave soon."
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