The Afghan war and the feeling of abandonment

The conflict with the Taliban looks unlikely to end any time soon. Afghans are losing hope their situation will improve.

The shadow governor of Taliban and his deputy were killed during an operation in Kandahar
The 2001 US invasion dramatically changed the way Afghans live in a way they could not have imagined [EPA]

It is difficult waiting for bad news to do your work.

I have been a journalist in Afghanistan for more than 15 years, reporting on many different subjects. Sometimes the news is happy and sometimes upsetting.

I have always loved my job. Every day brings a new challenge, new subjects, and new people to meet.

The 2001 US invasion has dramatically changed the way Afghans live in a way they could not have imagined.

Young people started getting educated. For a lucky few, it meant political power. For others, wealth came in different ways, not abnormal in a war-torn country: drug money, corruption, military contracts, property and even professional work.

Many others lost everything: their lives, family members, homes, social status and even their own body parts.

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But I don’t think I’ve ever seen people as disappointed as they are today.

Wherever you go, the subjects of the conversations are related to the attacks and how to get out of the country.

Very few are optimistic about the future.

People are concerned about whether they’ll be next or whether their family members will be safe.

As an Afghan journalist, it feels like all you are doing is waiting for the next Taliban attack or the response to the next attack.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a new chapter in the fight against the Taliban. He said there’ll be no mercy.

The government will implement outstanding death-penalty decisions that have been pending for years.

The Taliban has threatened retaliation if their captives are executed. Whatever happens, Afghan civilians will pay the highest price.

In the meantime, the attacks continue. More than 40 Taliban members were killed in a failed attempt to seize the city of Kunduz last month.

Many here feel the international community has lost interest in the country and that Afghan blood doesn’t matter any more.

The feeling of abandonment is snatching away any hope people had. It’s a feeling palpable across the country.

Source: Al Jazeera