KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): A number of youth in northern Kunduz province complain of rising unemployment, warning of leaving the country or joining Taliban ranks if job opportunities are not created for them.
Abdul Sattar Shamal, Kunduz representative in Youth Parliament, told Pajhwok Afghan News the number of unemployed young people had risen in recent years, while the government had failed to provide them jobs.
“There has been no work for youth and students continue graduating from universities. Also there is no factory in the province. The unemployed youth are a huge challenge.”
He claimed unemployment was resulting in youth’s involvement in illicit acts such as kidnapping, mugging or joining Taliban ranks.
Youth constitutes the major part of a community’s active and influential populace. But unemployment has been a huge challenge to youth in recent years.
In 2001 in the presence of international forces, hundreds of organisations and military or other companies started functioning in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan youth were employed then on high salaries.
But with the pullout of foreign forces in 2014, the employment situation worsened as thousands lost their jobs and it was difficult for them to find other openings having the same privileges.
Sher Aghan, another younger person, also grumbled about unemployment. There were many educated youth in the province, but no work opportunities existed there, he charged.
He expressed concern over the lack of job opportunities and administrative corruption, particularly in the appointment of youth. “If a post is announced or a test conducted, the whole process is cosmetic. An individual is already selected.
“People who don’t have money or the right connections in an organisation, they always remain unemployed. It is a very big challenge to youth,” he said.
He asked government leaders to create jobs for youth, otherwise they would be obliged either to leave the country or join the militants.
Waheeduallah Rahmani, Kunduz peace council secretary, agreed unemployment had become a serious issue as the fighters exploiting the situation by luring them into their ranks. “The government should do something in this regard.”
Youth affairs officials at the information and culture department verified BA degree-holders had joined the Taliban to support their families due to growing unemployment.
Abdul Ghafoor Hotak, youth affairs director, said: “Unfortunately, unemployment is increasing day by day; there is insecurity in Kunduz and the Taliban are hiring most of our youth.”
He said unemployment and issues stemmed from it had caused some youth to suffer from psychological and mental illness. “If the government doesn’t pay serious heed to the problem, more of youth will join insurgents.”
Currently 750 jobless educated youth, including 12th grade graduates and those with bachelor and master degrees and PhDs, were registered with them, he revealed. Hotak explained the figures did not cover unemployed young people who had not been registered yet.