Situation at a Glance

Note that this article was first published in the New York Times and if you reproduce this article you must retain this notice.

Afghanistan has made remarkable progress since the fall of the Taliban government in 2001. Under the Taliban regime life was really hard in different aspects. We didn't have our personal freedom, media wasn't free and there wasn't such a thing as freedom of speech. Especially life was really hard for the women - they were banned from education and work outside their houses.

After the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington the United States of America decided to oust the Taliban regime because they refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden. When the U.S. Army started their attacks on the Taliban, the Afghan people were very hopeful for a better future, because they were very tired of the hardline regime. And once the Taliban regime was ousted, better days started coming for the Afghans and it's getting better every day. Schools opened for girls and boys, women started working outside their houses and started taking part in the political field. Our media have been incredibly promoted. Many foreign companies have invested and created job opportunities for thousands of Afghan citizens. So around 85% of the Afghan people support the United States of America for overthrowing the Taliban regime because they were tired of it and they wanted a change. Now life has been changed for most Afghans and they are enjoying their lives compared to the hardline regime.

Afghans think that the U.S and coalition troops should be in Afghanistan until our own army and police force are able to handle security on their own. In my opinion the Afghan forces will need 3 more years to be able to handle security on their own. Recently the wages of our armed force have been increased which is a good sign and more young men will be encouraged to join the army.

We support the presence of the coalition forces in Afghanistan at the moment but our people have different opinions about permanent bases. Some people think after our own army can handle security on its own we don't need the foreign troops. But some people think their presence will guarantee a peaceful future. Sometimes coalition forces mistakenly target civilians and this makes every Afghan upset and they hope that the coalition troops carry out their operations with caution and before they attack any village they must confirm before they target the area because some people give wrong reports due to their personal enmity. If such mistakes continue it will decrease the popularity of the coalition troops among the Afghan people. Democracy is the most important thing for every country. We also want to have democracy in our country. Freedom is the right of every single human and every Afghan loves to live in peace and freedom so we hope next year will be the year of peace and we will be able to defeat the enemies of peace in the southern and eastern provinces too, and our people in those areas will also live in peace and freedom.

UPDATE: Here and here are some polls with some of these details.


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