In Afghanistan, Businesses Plan Their Own Exits

#1
Afghanistans private sector (legal and the other one) readys for departure

I remember right at the beginning when the Talib were a dust cloud heading towards the ISI safe havens in Pakistan, all the hopes of a population delighted to be rid of them were encouraged, by w*nkers like me who really should have known better, to believe that things were really going to change and the West led by the US, would step in and rebuild Afghanistan as they had with Germany and Japan.

Because that was the obviously smart thing to do when you are engaged in a war of civilisations (or lack of).

Instead they wandered off because they 'didn't do Nation building' and left the first few crucial years when the whole population was with us, in the hands of the worst elements of the international development industry. In thrall to whatever is fashionable right now using Afghanistan to prove their own pet theories on how societies should look. Roads bad (proven not to aid communities!) electricity generation bad (unless carbon neutral wind or solar), real manufacturing jobs (err what? Like a barista? ), lesbian outreach (good!), human rights advocates ( essential!), internet workshops (Yeah!) rebuilding agriculture (err, you mean like farming? Anyone been on a farm? Let's form some committees to help us with this one) and so on.

A concerted effort to turn a shattered 12th century society into Vermont in just a few years without the nasty unfashionable hard graft of serious planning, infrastructure and creating real well-paying jobs to bind society together.

Trying to recapture those lost years has by and large been futile and has compounded the stupendous waste of blood and treasure.

There have been achievements especially in educating Women but they will be leaving, again the Afghan diaspora will be highly literate and no doubt do well where ever they end up.

If only AQ had not killed Ahmad Shah Massoud just prior to 9/11 it would have all been so different.


America may be struggling to come up with a viable exit plan for Afghanistan, but Abdul Wasay Manani is sure of his.

The broad-set Afghan butcher spent the past seven years trucking cattle in from the Pakistan border and building a thriving business for himself and his family, serving up some of the best hamburgers in Kabul for the embassies and expatriates and their barbecues.


But this month, Mr. Manani, 38, flew to India for 14 days to scout out a new business, and a new home, ready to leave Afghanistan and everything he worked to build here, just in case things fall apart when most Americans and other foreign troops leave in 2014. “If the Taliban come like last time, ordering people around with whips, I can’t stay here,” he said. “I have to leave this country to keep my family safe.”


Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, chief executive of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, said the head of one of the country’s four big cellphone companies had told him that he planned to take his investments out of the country after 2014.

The only Western bank operating here said on Wednesday that it would be leaving....... Fewer foreign companies are seeking to do business here, and those already here are downsizing and putting off new investments. And there are businessmen like Mr. Manani who already have a foot out the door, working actively toward a Plan B for life and business outside Afghanistan.

“Every businessman is just thinking about how to move from here, about how to be safe,” Mr. Manani said.....He grew up in the north of Afghanistan and fought in the bitter civil war of the 1990s. There is no way he wants to relive that experience, he said. “I don’t have the energy to take the gun again and start fighting,” he said. “That’s why I am looking for a way out.”
In full

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/w...er-troop-withdrawal.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp
 
#2
The same kind of thinking applies here in the west from our leaders. the exception being our lives are not on the line day after day. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and committees.
Thank you for being so succinct. I suspect we will be seeing somany articles and documentries on how it all went wrong in the next few years but I doubt any will be as to the point.
 
#3
Well if you'd seen what the Muhj did to Kabul following the Soviet retreat you'd be off on your toes as well.

Urban Afghanistan has in the past reached quiet high levels of sophistication only to be torn down by the usual enraged mob of bearded hicks. I read a quote recently by a Pakistani businessman, he was skeptical about modernizing the rural Pashtuns, said first you'd need to get them out of the bronze age and into the iron age. It's not very romantic mentally being stuck in something like the knuckle dragging age of Homer. Even the tribes are not cohesive, most feuds are within extended families. There are parallels with the chaos of Somalian clans, that squabbling ethnicity isn't just hostile to foreign occupation it's liable to violently dismantle any Pashtun attempt at creating a nation state. More orderly Muslims, who submit not just to God but to their rulers, call this state Fitna and are right to fear it.
 
#4
An, so it's Massoud on those pictures.

I always thought it was Bob Marley.
 
#5
Well if you'd seen what the Muhj did to Kabul following the Soviet retreat you'd be off on your toes as well.

Urban Afghanistan has in the past reached quiet high levels of sophistication only to be torn down by the usual enraged mob of bearded hicks.
Yes wired to self destruct
I read a quote recently by a Pakistani businessman, he was skeptical about modernizing the rural Pashtuns, said first you'd need to get them out of the bronze age and into the iron age.
Now for certain areas that is exactly right, but Afghanistan is far from just the Pashtun.
 

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