Afghan Biographies

Exodus of Afghans in full swing

Subject Exodus of Afghans in full swing

The western countries are quitting Afghanistan. So do wealthy Afghan businessmen. And they are followed by young well educated Afghan people. All don’t want to take the risk to stay in a country which is governed by an incompetent and corrupt Government, which will sooner or later fall into the hands of the fundamentalist Taliban, who will be the next rulers.

Western countries are leaving Afghanistan and are happy to be relieved of the heavy financial burden of their engagement in Afghanistan. They are tired to support the hapless Karzai Government, which was the one of their own choice. Afghan business and money is moving to Dubai and elsewhere.

Armed conflict, widespread poverty, and a lack of opportunity have forced millions of Afghans to leave in search of better lives abroad. According to a recent report by the United Nations, one in four refugees in the world is from Afghanistan. The UN statistics indicate that the number of Afghans who applied for political asylum worldwide has increased by some 30 percent in the past two years.

Thousands of young men from rural villages migrate to neighboring Iran and Pakistan to find jobs. And ten thousands of educated young men and women are leaving Afghanistan for Europe, Australia and North America. City dwellers and educated professionals mostly consider farther destinations. Soon there will be lack of qualified people for the Afghan state administration. They don’t see any future for themselves in Afghanistan because they can't get any job without connections or paying bribes.

The young people know, that both the Karzai camp and the political opposition – the Mujahedin “parties” that emerged from the Northern Alliance, the Taliban’s main pre-2001 adversary – have the least to gain from a political deal that ends in power-sharing with the insurgents. Not used to sharing but prone to monopolizing power and resources, they would definitely have to give up positions if other actors were added to the current setup. Their respective positions vis-a-vis the Taliban have additionally been undermined by a loss of the
moral high ground and political legitimacy.

Diplomats have quit and also Members of the Afghan Parliament. The bleak future after 2014 seems to be clear for those who have voted with their feet leaving Afghanistan.

The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, pretends to have but in fact has not neither Afghanistan’s external nor internal politics really under control. His power is essentially a patronage network based on economic power reinforced by quasi-militias and a central government that increasingly behaved like just another faction instead of unifying the country, and thus increasingly lost legitimacy.

The only option left over for him to be listened during his last month in power until elections in 2014 to is to make noise and to raise his voice internationally or regionally and to create obstacles for unwanted developing external political processes which he can delay but not stop.

So Karzai has developed as an expert in muddling through and building national and international Potemkin villages. The Russian phrase “Potemkin villages” is today used, typically in politics and economics, to describe any construction (literal or figurative) built solely to deceive others into thinking that some situation is better than it really is.


Released 2013-08-25