Residents of Kabul city on Sunday criticized Afghan political leaders who remain locked in a standoff while the people are faced with “difficult times” in the country because of COVID-19.
The people say they are struggling “to find food for survival," but the leaders “worsen the situation” instead of finding solutions.
“We don’t know what they (leaders) want. People are faced with misfortune. The coronavirus has broken out around the world. People want them to compromise,” said Ahmad Fahim, a resident of Kabul city.
“We respect them (leaders) when they maintain unity and avoid differences, otherwise we don’t want both of them,” said Riaz Uddin Noori, another resident of Kabul city.
The people also blamed government officials for the spread of the coronavirus, war, unemployment and poverty.
“They don’t think about the nation, they think about their positions. Every day youths become martyred, they don’t think about that,” said Abdul Sami, an Imam of a mosque.
Saifurrahman, a business owner, said that the businesses are facing a loss of customers and investments have also decreased.
“People are strained and only buy food, nothing else. Our business has decreased,” said Saifurrahman.
“The high-profile political leaders should think about the people. Without any doubt, people are concerned about the political crisis rather than than the coronavirus. The crisis also cut international aid,” said Mansoor Hadayat, an economic affairs analyst.
A planned $1 billion cut in US aid to Afghanistan would come from funds for the Afghan security forces, according to three US sources, as reported by Reuters. This would undercut both Kabul's ability to fight the Taliban and its leverage to negotiate a peace deal with them, said experts.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the reduction of aid on March 23 and threatened to slash the same amount next year to try to force Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah to end a feud that has held up stall US-led peace-making efforts in Afghanistan.