An Afghan view

Burhanuddin Rabbani was the President of Afghanistan from 1992 – 96.  After the fall of the Taliban regime, he served temporarily as President from Nov to Dec 20, 2011, until the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn chose Hamid Karzai for that position. He was assassinated in his home in Kabul on September 20, 2011 by a suicide bomber. One of his sons, Shuja, a former Deputy Director General of the Financial Supervision Department of Da Afghanistan Bank (the central bank of Afghanistan), was in his father’s house at the time of the assassination. He posted the following on his FACEBOOK page today (September 29):

Afghan elections buzz is on full swing. Twitter wars have begun, social media propaganda is on full scale, ethnic cards are being thrown at your face, and I couldn’t be bothered to get involved. I never voted, I don’t intend to vote, but if you believe in democracy, then go ahead and rock your vote and I wish you all the very best!

All I can say to the youth is that if you’re not happy with the choice of the future President of #Afghanistan, remember that not enough of you voted. If the votes are rigged like last time, maybe you should join Anonymous and start a revolution. Or maybe not. Maybe you should just leave the country for dreams of a better life and never return. Some say the next President has to be someone who is given the “stamp of approval” by President Karzai. Remember that President Karzai is not some Godfather. Power was given to him and power can be just as easily taken back from him. Pashtun or Tajik, it doesn’t matter because as a nation, we’ve never really had respect for any of the Presidents or Heads of State so why play the ethnic game?

At times, I really do think we’re in denial about living in two-countries-in-one like the Iraqi Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq. But dare I mention anything on officially separating Afghanistan’s North from the South and drawing official borders and pay whatever price it takes to get ourselves the peace we’re looking for, I’m bound to be labelled a racist, a fascist, a slave of Pakistan, a slave of Iran, a slave of USA, this, that, and everything in-between.

If you want to call me names, go for it. Go ahead and label me. It’s just another label. I’ve lived my whole life hearing all kinds of criticisms thrown at us. From freedom-fighting Mujahidin heroes to warlords and war criminals, I’ve heard it all before. In the end, when you’re done wasting your time and energy, I’ll still be here – just like all the others before me. Afghanistan is a strange country: from the weakest to the strongest of leaders, we’ve never given our leaders the respect they deserve.

If the youth of Afghanistan is waiting for an Afghani Nelson Mandela, guess what? It will never happen. Learn from what you’ve had before, make best use of what you have today, and create your own tomorrow. And when Afghanistan becomes a civilized country, that’s when I’ll decide to return. If not, I’m pretty sure I’m not missing anything and I make no apologies for it.

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About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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