Afghan Youth Are Not Equally Happy, Lacking Peace And Opportunities For Many – OpEd
The vast majority of the Afghanistan habitants are young people under 25 years of age which account for about 63.7 percent of the overall populace in the country, according to UNFPA. During the military role in the past decade, the youth also made up most of the government force which fought the Taliban face to face. Today, those Afghan youth are not happy, as a result of lacking peace and opportunities. Many of them need jobs, education, and healthcare support. Even more, they are lacking real peace now that the Taliban regime are in power; as many of them are from poor villages.
The issue is that the Taliban don’t want them and neither do the youth (former Afghani force) want to share their resume with them — it would be a sign of betrayal to the democratic government of former President Karzai and Ashraf Ghani. Clearly, there is a lack of peace and opportunities for this particular youth group which has yet to be realized. However, inside the country, today the same process is used to hire and train youth, but this time, by the opposition force, the Taliban. So, what is the difference between previous democratic power and the current power; the Taliban?
From my recent visit to Afghanistan in 2022, I had the opportunity to meet and sit down with both youth groups. I was informed when I asked about the living situation and I got two different views; the Taliban youth are happy and enjoys the power that they have attained. And on the contrary, the Afghan pro democratic youths, remain jobless, and without security.
For how long more will the bloodshed continue? There is no peace in the interim in Afghanistan and there would certainly be no peace in the afterwards, since internally Afghans are divided by the political shape; it is the Islamist and democratic movements which gives pleasure for a period of time and then changes. As a result, many Afghans youth are not happy as they are lacking peace and opportunities in particular, voicing for the pro-democratic youths which were part of the U.S. combat role against the Taliban in Afghanistan. This particular vulnerable youth group needs protection from the Taliban force in all respective human rights fields like education, jobs, and healthcare.
Happily, the international human rights protocol allows for direct support to these youths and protection from the Taliban force; however, it needs to be realized now not delayed any further. The main issue is that there needs to be action and without action there is no peace and opportunities.
Meladul Haq Ahmadzai, is an Afghan-Canadian who is a postgraduate researcher in Global Health at the University of Manchester. He lives in Ottawa, Canada. He is also the CEO of Taleam Systems.