It was a decade ago that the US was attacked on its soil for the first time in its history. The identity of the assailants was not ambiguous to the Americans and hence within a matter of a few weeks, merciless retaliation with full force came in the form of bombing Afghanistan to avenge for the unforgiving act committed by the perpetrators and their affiliates ruling over the mountains of Afghanistan. The results were very quick and promising. The old conservative Taliban system modeled in Afghanistan by the ultra-conservative clerics and their Arab donors was soon seen packing and seeking new protection sites. For the people who had seen these changes coming over night, replacing a weak but brutal system came the superpower with promises of unlimited freedom, unlimited support and monetary assistance. From security to banking, education, law, planting of a democratic system to building a well-trained Afghan Army and the list goes on. In fact, from the most general to the most specific, the Americans and their western allies have been deeply involved in the affairs of Afghanistan thenceforth.
The dream of building Kabul back couldn’t materialize the faster people had dreamt of. The process still goes on day and night. Kabul’s streets still remain dusty as was observed by the writer in the Kite Runner. Tall buildings, which used not to be a feature of pre-American invasion of Afghanistan, can be seen springing up all around the city. Yet the muddy houses, dusty roads, ill-designed streets and forceful occupation of public land by individuals remain sharp reminders that the most significant change will always remain to be the Social Change. Without a change in the overall attitude of the people, development will remain vulnerable to uncertainty. In the case of Kabul, the majority of Kabulis still remain underprivileged though some have earned millions in the recent years. The social set up remains at awe with more people getting involved in businesses that are illegal and immoral. However, the good news is that the process has brought change in the mindset of the overall population with everyone now having a determination to achieve something. Youths remain optimistic. Though at times unfortunate incidences put their optimism and confidence to question but the level of energy and determination could be seen glowing. Afghanistan is now moving towards a new identity from a war weary, war –torn nation to a reconstructed and rebuilt nation. But the transition is always painful and takes time. Social change is supposed to take time. But it sometimes worries the young democracy that the length of time that the social change needs shouldn’t put the nation at a confused cross-roads.
Not everything is going positive for Afghanistan but not everything is going negative as well. The balance appears to be achieved. Security forces are building up, strengthening their positions and being trained to have the capacity to be reckoned upon. The economy is growing slowly and gradually. More Afghans can see a promising future for themselves. Education has improved substantially. Reconstruction goes on with full speed on all fronts and hopefully the dusty roads will turn to flying ones and the conservative spirit to a progressive spirit.