And the winner is…

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Photo courtesy Sanwal Tariq (Facebook)

The entire world watches on and waits with bated breath for the results of ANTM (Afghanistan’s next top man) and three main contenders have emerged as the leading candidates in what is to be Afghanistan’s first democratic transition. We have the people’s champion, Abdullah Abdullah, “with a name so nice, you have to say it twice”. Contesting against him is the good doctor Ashraf Ghani, who will seemingly use debate and logical arguments to thwart the Taliban (we all know how well that works). And the third horse is the one being backed by the outgoing president, the ‘king’s man’, Mr Zalimai Rasoul.

Our people’s champion is a well-known politician, who is well received by the Afghani public, judging from the 31% of the votes he got in the presidential elections of 2009. While he is experienced in international diplomacy, and as Foreign Minister was responsible for broadening ties with the global community, his plans to tackle terrorism and fix the security situation in the country are still a mystery. He has advised the Taliban to change their ways if they are to be brought into the fold of the rest of society through dialogue, which is like telling a dog to stop using its nose to formulate likes and dislikes.  His election campaign is centered around putting the lid on corruption in the country.

The doctor is an academic and an intellectual, and is famous for his economic acumen alongside his self-imposed exile during the Taliban years. Believed to be temperamental and on occasion, volatile, it remains to be seen whether he is as inconsistent as his potential predecessor Karzai. For the good of Afghanistan and the world at large, it is hoped that he is not.

The last frontrunner, is our king’s man and is seemingly experienced in issues of national security. Whether he manages to break free from the yoke of the old government and all of its failings still remains to be seen.

It must not be forgotten that amid all this, the BSA hangs in the balance, and the next President will decide whether US troops are to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Whichever candidate is selected, it is imperative that Afghanistan is not left on its own with untrained security forces to fight the battle-hardened Taliban. But with the way things stand, one man’s decision will decide the outcome of the drawn-out war on terror, and we can only hope that Afghanistan chooses the right man for the job.

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32 responses »

  1. Love that you managed to make it humorous. “With a name so nice, you’ve got to say it twice” hahah. After all its such a crucial and perhaps fate – altering time in the global arena. Its also the perfect way to concisely let the public know who are the contenders and where they stand. Well done.

  2. I love your take on this. People seldom speak of candidates for who they really are, and this is so witty, that even a person so out of the loop like me enjoyed reading it. I love your humorous writing style (the Game of Thrones reference is a winner!) and what makes it more interesting is that you’ve addressed the problem head on and made it very informative.

  3. Haha. Love the hint of humour! Definitely need some considering how serious things get around here. Afghanistan’s Next Top Man; Gots’ta be me. Haha.

    Well done!

  4. You know i’d prefer Abdullah Abdullah, got more affiliation with that name hahah. Although highly played down, a decent election took place which was closely observed by Pakistan since its vital to our post-US days in Afghanistan.

  5. I commend your dedication towards writing about something that could have potentially knocked me out faster than a sleeping pill. :p Good job, that was pretty funny. Also love the Taliban/dog analogy. Here’s to hoping they don’t locate you and send you a video holding your cat hostage tomorrow.

  6. Unlike Afghanistan, this makes a lot of sense. Like how you’ve introduced the candidates. The last paragraph is perhaps the most important one; puts things in context.

  7. These elections have little meaning if the US is to withdraw completely. A new President of Kabul hardly improves the situation. A consensus within Afghanistan is needed before the state can assume full responsibility.

    • True, but that doesn’t mean that the elections mean nothing. A new leader can decide where to take the US-Afghan nexus in the future.

  8. Considering the present situation in Afghanistan, these elections could have a positive impact on the internal situation. Depends on the context though. Love how you made this so humorous!

    • Thanks! I wish I shared your optimism though. In my opinion, things will probably just get worse as the year comes to an end.

  9. Really like how you’ve included an analysis on a topic that receives very little reception here and yet holds very real ramifications for all of us in a manner that is palatable and yet not lacking in substance.
    As mentioned in one of the comments above, I too hope no ill befalls your cat. 🙂

  10. Hopefully, the next candidate can step up their game and have security tightened at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The last thing we need is more Taliban filtering into our country like a plague. 10/10, would read again!

    • Yeah hopefully. But sadly the problem goes both ways. Pakistan needs to gain control of its borders as well, for if not Afghanistan, terrorists use out borders to infiltrate India and Iran, and in return they infiltrate ours.

  11. If all articles on current affairs were as witty and piquant as this one, my life would’ve been so easy right now.

  12. Good stuff, hoping that the newly elected leader will not suffer the same fate as Najibullah did when the Soviets pulled out =/. Lets hope for the best.

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