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Afghan civil society: Critical issues paid little attention

24 Nov 2020 - 20:16
24 Nov 2020 - 20:16

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan civil society on Tuesday called on the government and the international community to ask some serious questions with regard to the unsuccessful state-building effort in Afghanistan.

The civil society issued the call in a press statement following a gathering to discuss the Afghanistan Partnership Framework (APF), and Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework II (ANPDF) on the occasion of a donor conference in Geneva.

Sayed Ikram Afzali, Executive Director of Integrity Watch, said there were several critical issues that were not given adequate attention by the Afghan political leadership and often by international community, leading to an extremely fragile state despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent in the last almost two decades.

He said, “We need to break with the past” and explained, “We need to fix the gaps in the “checks and balances” among the three organs of the state.”

He added that the Constitution must be upheld by the government in letter and spirit and “we must avoid providing lip service and cosmetic solutions to challenges the state faces including corruption and a weak rule of law.

Abdullah Ahmadi, Coordinator for Civil Society Joint Working Group (CSJWG), stated, “when finalizing the APF and the ANPDF it is essential to address these issues and the failures in a fundamental way.”

Ahmadi added that ensuring independence of rule of law, oversight, and regulatory institutions is key to the development of functioning and corruption-free state.

Abdul Wadood Afghan, Co-Chair of Open Government Partnership,  said it was not enough to agree on the big picture and broad indicators as was the case in the earlier conference such as the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan.

Sebghatullah Karimi, Coordinator for Infrastructure Transparency Initiative (CoST), stated that the Afghan government and its international partners prioritize short-term and quick-impact projects over long-term and sustainable infrastructure projects in energy, transport, mining, and telecom sectors— a major reason the fundamental conditions for economic development are not created in Afghanistan.

He added, “After two decades, Afghanistan does not have strong, professional and responsive governance institutions in the infrastructure sector and this is the collective failure of the Afghan government and its international partners.”

pr/ma

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