Afghanistan's Youth: The Losers Under Any Government

During the amazing first first round of the presidential election, the people of Afghanistan showed to the world and proved to themselves what they are made of. Now, however, with no presidential candidate having gained 50 percent of the votes, Afghanistan faces a second round.

In spite of reported corruption in the campaigns and fraud at the polls by the machines of most of the candidates, I am relatively satisfied -- I might say actually happy -- with the results. The election was an eye-opener because in a way it proved to a lot of people who have taken this nation hostage for so long that they are not the only game in town. The people of Afghanistan demonstrated that they possess enough political acumen to know who will be good for them and who will be looking out only for the good of himself.

It's also true that Afghanistan is not the only country in the world going through an election, and not even the only one going through a second round. But what concerns me is how this election process and the final results will affect the 68 percent of the population who are this nation's future: the country's young people.

After all, this election is going to a second round despite the efforts of all the presidential nominees who attended many lavish lunches and dinners and late night meetings at the houses of various influential people, yet somehow could not agree upon a coalition roster of fewer candidates to increase the likelihood of a winning ticket in the first round and make the decision easier for this poor country and its people. Instead, by failing to compromise or take into consideration the great national expense of money and time to be consumed by repeated elections, they insured that the country would be left not only without a president but without a government of any sort. That's because the term of the government of President Hamid Karzai ended on schedule on first jawza 1393 -- that's May 23, 2014 -- and there is no elected government ready to take its place.

As for the country's economy, well, what can I say? You need only to talk to the people, ordinary people, shop keepers, students, businessmen, office workers, anyone you meet in the street. They will tell you that nothing is moving in Afghanistan, that nothing has moved in the past two months. Government programs, parliamentary affairs, trade and commerce, development projects, donors activities, the normal life and work of the international community, everything is at a standstill, and now we will continue in the same way for another two months -- and this time we will be without any legitimate government at all.

Now I worry. I see the young people everywhere with their beautiful faces full of hope, intelligent and bright, most of them a lot more knowledgeable and smart (I am not saying experienced) than a lot of people highly placed in the expiring government. They are all waiting, hoping, expecting, and maybe dreaming of the role some of them might play with a bright and shiny, brand new Afghan government.

Unfortunately for them and for all the sidelined young men and women of Afghanistan, they will have to wait much longer, maybe for many years. For even after a second round of voting, when the newly chosen president forms his government, I believe there will not be a single post left anywhere in all the agencies, offices, bureaus, systems, and ministries to be established by any one of our esteemed candidates that has not already been given away, promised and/or divided among them and their supporters. Mine is not the only heart broken by this reality.