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Momentaufnahme von Afghanistan: Die Sicht der Experten

NATO Review asked four prominent Afghans how they saw the country faring in their specialist areas. Here they give their views on the country’s elections, priorities, women’s rights and fight against corruption.

Afghanistan: and after 2014?

Afghanistan faces a key year in 2014.

The drawdown of international troops

will be in its final stages.

The country will

elect a new president.

And Afghanistan's fragile democracy

will take its first unaided steps.

We ask Afghan experts how they see

the crucial year panning out.

We look at elections.

Can they be truly free and fair?

We ask about the peace process

and what the Taliban's role will be.

How do women see

2014 in Afghanistan?

Is it a year to consolidate gains made

or to worry about losing them?

How will Afghanistan fare in

its perennial battle against corruption

and will this battle

be crucial to the country's future?

In 2002,

when we were conducting elections

for the emergency

Loyal Jirga commission,

there was a requirement

for the Jirga to have one female,

at least one female delegate

who met the criteria

of reading and writing and to be able

to participate in the Jirga.

And in the whole of Uruzgan we could

not find one with those criteria.

And we were literally

having a UN chopper

flying from one district to another.

We were told that in Deh Rahod

there is a midwife worker in a clinic,

that she may meet the criteria.

We literally flew there,

we talked to her, we put her

on a chopper with a family member,

and we flew her back

to Tarin Kowt and then to Kabul.

Last year I went to Uruzgan

and the Governor called

the elders and everybody else

in the Governors Hall

and then there was

a group of females coming in.

The first row was filled

by the male participants,

so they insisted that part

of that first row was evacuated...

left empty for them, so for them

to be seated in the front row.

I said: Wow, that's great. And then

they spoke in front of these elders.

The culture of democracy, do you feel

that that has been engrained

in the mindset of Afghans now?

Look at the 2009 and 2010 elections.

The Taliban was posting threats.

They were killing polling workers,

they said that anybody

who participated in the elections

would be a target and would

be killed. But despite all that risk,

people knowing

that they were going to get killed

if they were found by the Taliban,

they went,

they stood in the queues and voted.

That is a strong message

that they are

for a democratic path to continue

and so they risked their lives

to stay on those queues.

Democracy is

not only about elections.

People are so much longing

for justice, for good governance.

These are essential parts

of democratic states.

Freedom of expression.

You look in Afghanistan and people

speak to the face of the president.

The media speaks openly,

criticizing the president

and government officials.

These are what they cherish

of a democratic environment

and therefore,

they want to see that continue.

Yes, there are setbacks,

there are some disappointments,

the fraudulent votes and the election

that had troubles and irregularities,

but those could be dealt with.

Could you explain how you feel

that the Taliban will be involved

in the peace process,

both leading up to 2014 and beyond?

The Taliban cannot be

a destiny for Afghanistan people.

Yes, they can be

involved in government,

but under Afghanistan constitution

and under the achievements

during these ten years

that Afghanistan people have done.

And in terms of post 2014,

assuming that some

peace process can succeed,

what's most important

in keeping the peace?

Is it the economy,

is it fighting corruption, is it security?

Which elements

do you feel are most important?

The engagement of Afghanistan

people in all policymaking,

especially social and civil society

and ordinary people of Afghanistan

to be engaged

in the policymaking process.

Rule of law is the most important part

that Afghanistan people need

and implementation of justice

can guarantee peace

and stability in Afghanistan.

So you don't feel

that the economic side will be

as important as the rule of law?

You know,

all these things are like a chain,

but if you have rule of law,

so the capital can be safe

and we can be sure that if people

spend their money in Afghanistan,

and they have money, they will be

willing to bring their money

and to do their businesses.

But without nobody will be willing

to bring their money to Afghanistan.

This is the big problem

of Afghanistan, that if you...

We don't have rule of law in for the

moment, or at least it is very weak.

But, if we improve this part,

so the other part can be,

under this part, can be guaranteed.

How would you characterize

the advances made by women

in Afghanistan

since the fall of the Taliban?

We have 69 women in parliament,

so we will go beyond the quarter

that was enshrined

in the constitution.

We also have women

in the executive branch to work.

But I always highlight the absence

of women in the Supreme Court,

which is of course the third part

of the branch of power, is...

Their absence is a challenge.

This absence can sometimes...

has the potential to make

the role of women symbolic,

if we do not pay

more attention to that.

But, generally speaking,

now you have women not only

in the government, in the parliament.

They are present in the civil society,

they are very vibrant there as well.

Of course, what we have, we are

not satisfied with. We want more.

And for that purpose,

we do criticize most of the time.

That doesn't mean,

we haven't achieved anything.

And we do appreciate

what we've achieved.

Exactly, 2014 clearly

there's going to be the drawdown

of the international community's

troops and security apparatus.

How worried are you

that there will be a rollback

of some of these achievements?

- In one way we want to worry

because that is something

very important for our future.

But on the other hand,

the Afghanistan that we have today

is different from ten years back

and the people

of Afghanistan today...

The achievements

that they have been having so far

make them more vibrant

and make them to raise their voice

and to strongly state that

we do not want to lose what we have.

If they are present in that stage,

they can raise their voices strongly

and I'm hoping that

their presence is not just symbolic,

just for the sake

of their physical presence,

but they should be able

to raise their voices strongly

and have a space

for shaping and building

Afghanistan after 2014.

When the drawdown

of the international security force

is taking place

in the last throes in 2014,

Afghanistan will be missing

several things after that.

Will they miss

more the presence of the troops

or the money that came with them?

I think in the last ten years Afghan

people established close relation

with the international community

and the troops because,

in the last ten years, there were

more troops and diplomats, like...

It’s vice versa in other countries,

but here, people have established

a kind of deep relation

with the soldiers in the society,

if it was in rural areas,

if it was in big cities.

But meanwhile, because Afghanistan,

as one of the poorest countries

in the world,

still will need assistance and aid

from the international community.

But I think the Afghan people

right now they are not concerned

about having more money

or having more aid.

They are concerned about

the relation they have established

and they want to keep that up.

And that's why we are witnessing

Afghanistan and other European

and American countries’ partnerships

and partnership between

Afghanistan and France and the UK

and other allied countries.

It shows that there is

interest on both sides

to have a relation physically

with the countries and allies

who have served in Afghanistan.

And also there is interest,

because Afghanistan is very poor,

to have long-term partnerships

and gain more

international support and assistance.

You're specifically involved

with the fight against corruption

and corruption can be written

on a grand scale in Afghanistan

with drugs, the organized crime

and within the government

and business structures.

What happens to Afghanistan if you

lose that fight against corruption?

After security, the major issue for

Afghan... Afghanistan is corruption.

I'm optimistic that we will win

the fight against corruption

and as we have won the war against

terror in Afghanistan because...

I'm saying this because currently

people in Afghanistan are confident

that they will win the war

and the fight against corruption

because the major issue for us

ten years back was fighting terrorism,

now it's fighting corruption. So we

have succeeded fighting terrorism.

However, there are

security challenges in Afghanistan,

but as you can witness from talking

that currently there's no more

talking about making government,

but it's about a good government.

There's no more talking

about building an army,

building a police,

there's discussion about quality,

because it's beyond numbers.

Afghanistan: and after 2014?

Afghanistan faces a key year in 2014.

The drawdown of international troops

will be in its final stages.

The country will

elect a new president.

And Afghanistan's fragile democracy

will take its first unaided steps.

We ask Afghan experts how they see

the crucial year panning out.

We look at elections.

Can they be truly free and fair?

We ask about the peace process

and what the Taliban's role will be.

How do women see

2014 in Afghanistan?

Is it a year to consolidate gains made

or to worry about losing them?

How will Afghanistan fare in

its perennial battle against corruption

and will this battle

be crucial to the country's future?

In 2002,

when we were conducting elections

for the emergency

Loyal Jirga commission,

there was a requirement

for the Jirga to have one female,

at least one female delegate

who met the criteria

of reading and writing and to be able

to participate in the Jirga.

And in the whole of Uruzgan we could

not find one with those criteria.

And we were literally

having a UN chopper

flying from one district to another.

We were told that in Deh Rahod

there is a midwife worker in a clinic,

that she may meet the criteria.

We literally flew there,

we talked to her, we put her

on a chopper with a family member,

and we flew her back

to Tarin Kowt and then to Kabul.

Last year I went to Uruzgan

and the Governor called

the elders and everybody else

in the Governors Hall

and then there was

a group of females coming in.

The first row was filled

by the male participants,

so they insisted that part

of that first row was evacuated...

left empty for them, so for them

to be seated in the front row.

I said: Wow, that's great. And then

they spoke in front of these elders.

The culture of democracy, do you feel

that that has been engrained

in the mindset of Afghans now?

Look at the 2009 and 2010 elections.

The Taliban was posting threats.

They were killing polling workers,

they said that anybody

who participated in the elections

would be a target and would

be killed. But despite all that risk,

people knowing

that they were going to get killed

if they were found by the Taliban,

they went,

they stood in the queues and voted.

That is a strong message

that they are

for a democratic path to continue

and so they risked their lives

to stay on those queues.

Democracy is

not only about elections.

People are so much longing

for justice, for good governance.

These are essential parts

of democratic states.

Freedom of expression.

You look in Afghanistan and people

speak to the face of the president.

The media speaks openly,

criticizing the president

and government officials.

These are what they cherish

of a democratic environment

and therefore,

they want to see that continue.

Yes, there are setbacks,

there are some disappointments,

the fraudulent votes and the election

that had troubles and irregularities,

but those could be dealt with.

Could you explain how you feel

that the Taliban will be involved

in the peace process,

both leading up to 2014 and beyond?

The Taliban cannot be

a destiny for Afghanistan people.

Yes, they can be

involved in government,

but under Afghanistan constitution

and under the achievements

during these ten years

that Afghanistan people have done.

And in terms of post 2014,

assuming that some

peace process can succeed,

what's most important

in keeping the peace?

Is it the economy,

is it fighting corruption, is it security?

Which elements

do you feel are most important?

The engagement of Afghanistan

people in all policymaking,

especially social and civil society

and ordinary people of Afghanistan

to be engaged

in the policymaking process.

Rule of law is the most important part

that Afghanistan people need

and implementation of justice

can guarantee peace

and stability in Afghanistan.

So you don't feel

that the economic side will be

as important as the rule of law?

You know,

all these things are like a chain,

but if you have rule of law,

so the capital can be safe

and we can be sure that if people

spend their money in Afghanistan,

and they have money, they will be

willing to bring their money

and to do their businesses.

But without nobody will be willing

to bring their money to Afghanistan.

This is the big problem

of Afghanistan, that if you...

We don't have rule of law in for the

moment, or at least it is very weak.

But, if we improve this part,

so the other part can be,

under this part, can be guaranteed.

How would you characterize

the advances made by women

in Afghanistan

since the fall of the Taliban?

We have 69 women in parliament,

so we will go beyond the quarter

that was enshrined

in the constitution.

We also have women

in the executive branch to work.

But I always highlight the absence

of women in the Supreme Court,

which is of course the third part

of the branch of power, is...

Their absence is a challenge.

This absence can sometimes...

has the potential to make

the role of women symbolic,

if we do not pay

more attention to that.

But, generally speaking,

now you have women not only

in the government, in the parliament.

They are present in the civil society,

they are very vibrant there as well.

Of course, what we have, we are

not satisfied with. We want more.

And for that purpose,

we do criticize most of the time.

That doesn't mean,

we haven't achieved anything.

And we do appreciate

what we've achieved.

Exactly, 2014 clearly

there's going to be the drawdown

of the international community's

troops and security apparatus.

How worried are you

that there will be a rollback

of some of these achievements?

- In one way we want to worry

because that is something

very important for our future.

But on the other hand,

the Afghanistan that we have today

is different from ten years back

and the people

of Afghanistan today...

The achievements

that they have been having so far

make them more vibrant

and make them to raise their voice

and to strongly state that

we do not want to lose what we have.

If they are present in that stage,

they can raise their voices strongly

and I'm hoping that

their presence is not just symbolic,

just for the sake

of their physical presence,

but they should be able

to raise their voices strongly

and have a space

for shaping and building

Afghanistan after 2014.

When the drawdown

of the international security force

is taking place

in the last throes in 2014,

Afghanistan will be missing

several things after that.

Will they miss

more the presence of the troops

or the money that came with them?

I think in the last ten years Afghan

people established close relation

with the international community

and the troops because,

in the last ten years, there were

more troops and diplomats, like...

It’s vice versa in other countries,

but here, people have established

a kind of deep relation

with the soldiers in the society,

if it was in rural areas,

if it was in big cities.

But meanwhile, because Afghanistan,

as one of the poorest countries

in the world,

still will need assistance and aid

from the international community.

But I think the Afghan people

right now they are not concerned

about having more money

or having more aid.

They are concerned about

the relation they have established

and they want to keep that up.

And that's why we are witnessing

Afghanistan and other European

and American countries’ partnerships

and partnership between

Afghanistan and France and the UK

and other allied countries.

It shows that there is

interest on both sides

to have a relation physically

with the countries and allies

who have served in Afghanistan.

And also there is interest,

because Afghanistan is very poor,

to have long-term partnerships

and gain more

international support and assistance.

You're specifically involved

with the fight against corruption

and corruption can be written

on a grand scale in Afghanistan

with drugs, the organized crime

and within the government

and business structures.

What happens to Afghanistan if you

lose that fight against corruption?

After security, the major issue for

Afghan... Afghanistan is corruption.

I'm optimistic that we will win

the fight against corruption

and as we have won the war against

terror in Afghanistan because...

I'm saying this because currently

people in Afghanistan are confident

that they will win the war

and the fight against corruption

because the major issue for us

ten years back was fighting terrorism,

now it's fighting corruption. So we

have succeeded fighting terrorism.

However, there are

security challenges in Afghanistan,

but as you can witness from talking

that currently there's no more

talking about making government,

but it's about a good government.

There's no more talking

about building an army,

building a police,

there's discussion about quality,

because it's beyond numbers.

How much progress have elections made in Afghanistan?

Ahmad Nader Nadery

Chairman, Free and fair election foundation of Afghanistan

In 2002, we were conducting elections for the emergency Loyal Jirga commission, and I was part of the commission. There was a requirement for the Jirga to have at least one female delegate who met the criteria of reading and writing and to be able to participate in the Jirga. And in the whole of Uruzgan we could not find one with those criteria. And we were literally having a UN chopper flying from one district to another district. We were told that in Deh Rahod there is a midwife worker in a clinic that may meet the criteria. We literally flew there, talked to her, put her on a chopper with a family member, and flew her back to Tarin Kowt and then to Kabul.

Last year I went back to Uruzgan and the Governor called the elders and everybody else in the Governors Hall and there was a group of females coming in. The first row was filled by the male participants, but they insisted that part of that first row was evacuated, left empty for the women, for them to be seated in the front row. I said: Wow, that’s great. And then these women stood up and spoke in front of the elders.

What matters to Afghans now?

Saeed Niazi Mohammad Sharif

Director, Civil society development centre and nominee for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize

Rule of law is the most important part that Afghanistan people need and implementation of justice can guarantee peace and stability in Afghanistan. You know, all these things are like a chain. If you have rule of law, capital can be safe and we can be sure that if some people spend their money in Afghanistan, and they have money, they will be willing to bring their money and to do their businesses.

But if we don’t have rule of law, nobody will be willing to bring their money to Afghanistan. This is the big problem of Afghanistan. We don’t have rule of law in Afghanistan for the moment, or at least it is very weak. But, if we improve this part, so the other part – under this part – can be guaranteed.

How are women faring?

Ms Farkhunda Zahra Naderi

Afghan Member of Parliament

We have 69 women in the parliament, which means that we will go beyond the quota that was enshrined in the constitution. We also have women in the executive branch to work. But I always highlight the fact that the absence of women in the Supreme Court, which is of course the third part of the branch of power, is… their absence is a challenge. This absence has the potential to make the role of women symbolic, if we do not pay more attention to that.

But, generally speaking, now you have women not only in the government, in the parliament. You have women’s presence in the civil society, there they are very vibrant as well. Of course, what we have, we are not satisfied with. We want more. And for that purpose, we do criticise sometimes or most of the time. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have any achievements. We do appreciate the achievements that we have.

How important is the fight against corruption?

Mohammad Shafiq Hamdam

Chairman, Afghan Anti-Corruption Network

After security, the major issue for Afghanistan is corruption. I’m optimistic that we will win the fight against corruption as we have won the war against terror in Afghanistan. I’m saying this because currently people in Afghanistan are confident that they will win the war and also that they will win the fight against corruption. The major issue for us ten years back it was fighting terrorism, but now it’s fighting corruption. So we have succeeded fighting terrorism.

However, there are some security challenges in Afghanistan, but as you can witness from debate, that currently there’s no more talking about making government, building government, but it’s about a good government. There’s not any more talking about building an army, building a police, there’s discussion about quality, because it’s beyond numbers.

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