People from different parts of the country have welcomed the first peaceful transfer of power since Taliban’s ouster from power in 2001, hoping the unity government would complete the Karzai administration’s unfinished agenda.
On Monday, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was sworn in as new president, replacing Hamid Karzai after 13-year rule that saw a lot of progress in areas of education, politics, rule of law, women’s right and healthcare. Dr. Abdullah took oath as chief executive.
The masses, viewing the new government’s inauguration as a giant stride toward stability, expressed optimism the democratic process would continue uninterrupted, key state institutions would be strengthened, reforms enforced and elemental civic amenities made available.
Obaidullah, a shopkeeper in Kabul, told Pajhwok Afghan News he wanted the new Afghan president to bring peace to the country. The wheel of economy spins only when there is stability, according to him.
The desire for peace was evident across the board, said Abdul Rahim Asbat, a furniture dealer in the capital. He would like to see transparency in government offices and rule of law in the country, arguing violations of law spawned chaos.
A female teacher in downtown Kabul, Aaqila, reminded Ahmadzai of his campaign commitments. She hoped all those promises would be kept.
The officials involved in corruption and narcotics trade pursued their own interests during the previous government, she recalled, saying the Afghans needed a government that cared for the people.
Hailing from northern Balkh province, Law student Muhammad Aziz wanted the president to introduce reforms at the provincial level. Many of the achievements over the past decade had no effect in Balkh, he explained.
Muhammad Ali, a resident of Nehr-i-Shak district, believed as long as the new president did not eradicate corruption, his plans would not come to fruition. The president should ensure jobs for all and launch development projects,
Sultan Mir, belonging to in eastern Nuristan province, proposed equal focus on the even-handed development of all parts of the country.
Paroon elder Abdul Karim complained they faced a shortage of food items during the winter. He asked the unity government to improve the road network to ensure uninterrupted supplies.
In southern Zabul province, Muhammad Nabi stressed the need for jobs, asking Ahmadzai to enhance inter provincial harmony and remove discrimination.
“We have seen a lot of bloodshed over the past few decades, said Maiwand, a native of southern Kandahar province. The new president should strive for peace and bring militants to the negotiation table.
Similar sentiments were expressed by dwellers of Ghazni province. Muhammad Ibrahim suggested an end to nepotism.
People of central Bamyan province welcomed the peaceful transfer of power. Abdul Hadi, a teacher, urged the handling of state affairs in the best possible way.
In neighboring Ghor province, social activist Abdul Qayyum suggested the selection of a Cabinet of competent technocrats would be the first test of the unity government.
Eid Mohammad, a hawker in the capital of Ghor province, asked the president to improve security and fight corruption. “Police tease us; they don’t allow us to sell goods in the bazaar to earn a living for our families. We want the next government to pay attention to us.” On the other hand, he added, rebels harassed, tortured and killed people.
In Herat City, Yahya Foladi said: “We have several demands, but two are most important: security and fast-track economic development.” He asked Ashraf Ghani to prioritise economic and security improvements.
“As from its name, the national unity government should ensure unity among Afghans, stand together for the development and security of the country,” remarked Nazir Ayubi.
A citizen of Maimana, the capital of Faryab province, was happy with the new government’s inauguration. The set-up represented all ethnic groups, including Uzbeks, noted Abdul Jalil, who said they faced many problems due to discriminations.
A university student in Maimana, Fida Mohammad Rozba was optimistic about the new government led by Ghani, an educated person who could better deal with problems of the country. He asked for more foreign investments.