Good news from Afghanistan, Part 2
In today’s Chrenkoff and Opinion Journal. Here are a few highlights,
Upcoming elections, with women having the right to vote: “The Afghanis are growing increasingly optimistic about the future of their country and approving of its current political direction.” Religious “scholars also called on people to support the government, and on religious leaders in towns and villages to encourage Afghanis to participate in the disarmament programme.”
Society: “The pace of return to Afghanistan remains strong, with thousands of refugees going back daily. So far this year, we’ve seen some 450,000 refugees repatriate.” Women are allowed to work, to walk in public, to study, and to participate in civic life.
Reconstruction: There’s now an Afghan International Chamber of Commerce
Humanitarian aid: Turkey, the Coalition Forces, Operation Shoe Fly, several NGOs, and Afghanis living in the West are contributing to the reconstruction.
Security: “For the Coalition troops things seem a lot calmer than in Iraq”.
The governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are also signing a Memorandum of Understanding targeted at controlling the illegal drug trade across the region’s borders. And Great Britain is providing Afghanistan with 100 million pounds funding to help combat drug cultivation and trafficking.
The UN-backed Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme continues across the country.
Arthur concludes his article by saying, “Let’s never forget that none of this would have been possible without the United States and allies who two and half years ago helped to bring peace and freedom to the long-suffering people of Afghanistan. Let’s hope that, with the world’s help, the Afghanis will now make the most of it.”