Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wild horses couldn't keep me away !

Hamid Karzai's inauguration in Kabul was attended by 40 foreign dignitaries and a large crowd of Afghan Nationals. The city itself was quiet. a public holiday was declared. I watched some of the ceremony itself on Afghan TV. Nothing untoward has happened so far.

The BBC reported on the day. I also read some of the comments on the BBC discussion: Can this be a new beginning? So many were negative and written by people I can only presume have not got a clue about how things are here in Kabul. So I made the following contribution to the debate:

I am from UK but currently visiting Kabul. So far the Afghans I have spoken to seem pleased with the inauguration. One said that all the wild animals had been running wild in the zoo. Now most have been put back in cages. It takes time for any system of government to develop. Karzai is in between the rock and a hard place. Western preconceptions of what democracy should look like in a place like Afghanistan and militant commanders ready to run wild again. Give the man (and country) a chance.
There is a dignity about people here in Afghanistan and I discern a real desire to build the nation and restore normality (whatever that means). Karzai's Govt must make this work. The alternatives are unimaginable.
But even if the wild animals are loose again, the humanitarian work and Nation building needs to continue.

Wild horses couldn't keep me away from this place!


MullanaNasruddin said...

I discovered that my comment was not included in the debate and that I was too late ot past it agian (this debate is now closed) . maybe iut was too positive. Most comments were against Karzai's presidency.

John said...

Nothing to do with kebabs and hot nan then?
Poverty and unemployment are now being blamed for the conflict, so the need is to persist with economic and social development

colindarling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
colindarling said...

I fear much of the comment on Afghanistan in the British media is ill-informed, and driven by concerns that are very much located in the UK, and from within a world view and culture that rooted in Western democratic ideals is impossibly different from the current situation in Afghanistan.

Newsreaders continue to refer to citizens of Afghanistan as Afghanis (the unit of currency) instead of Afghans. But maybe I am wrong and either word can be used. That is not what I was taught when I visited - my teachers said it was offensive to make that mistake.

Is there a good reason for the perpetuation of this error? It seems to symbolise the failure to make the effort to comprehend this land of hard beautiful.

MullanaNasruddin said...

I agree Colin That is what I also learned and it pains me every time I hear my Afghan brothers and sisters called Afghanis!
So many people who have not even visited the country speak forcebly and authoritatively about it - as if they have any idea ......
If you have visited then you know that everything and nothing is true, that is said about the country.
Afghanistan needs time to heal