Saturday, September 18, 2010


I'm quietly worried about the elections, and have just read 300 UN staff have been ordered to leave Afghanistan. I'm not quite sure what this is going to mean for the people who live there and are getting ready to vote. I asked someone who is there at the moment for their thoughts about what might happen post election and when the world pulls out of that tattered country.

I don't want to use their words but to summarise he doesn't think it is going to be pretty. The South is the heart of the insurgency and the Afghan army and government are not strong enough to beat the insurgents.

The other thing to consider in the mix of all this is Pakistan. It doesn't take much reading to find articles citing evidence of their involvement with the insurgents. A report released by the London School of Economics said Pakistan is not only provides funding, training and sanctuary to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but is also represented on the movement's leadership council, known as the Quetta shura. The Pakistani Government denies this, but the reality is they use Afghanistan as a buffer from India, and have done for about 20 years. Madness.

As an outsider, it is hard to fathom that this is ever going to ever change. But imagine living there, living through this war and the oppression of the Taliban. Imagine being a candidate at risk of abduction, or to be threatened as you exercise your right to vote. Makes all the fuss about the treatment of our former Prime Minister, and the hullabaloo about our recent election a little trivial doesn't it?

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