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Cover Stories Series 2011> Antiterrorism Post 9.11> Video
UPDATED: September 13, 2011
Impact of the September 11 Attacks on Afghans


The September 11 attacks was planned from Afghanistan, sparking the U.S.-led invasion of the country. But what has the decade of September 11 meant for Afghans?

Kabul, a city that has seen its share of violence in the three decades Afghanistan has been at war. Today it is bustling with life, creating opportunity for millions of well-educated young Afghans.

Mujibullah, Property Developer, said, "We are pleased with our lives. Compared to the time of the Taliban, we are happy. But of course the security situation and our living standards could be improved."

The relative calm and stability in the city has made it a safe haven for Afghans escaping the fighting that's raging on in the countryside.

Zar Jan, Displaced Farmer, said, "My life hasn't changed at all. Neither the government nor the foreigners care about people like me. We struggle from day to day."

Question: So nothing has improved in your life in the past decade?

"No. Nothing. Apart from being forced to flee my village because of the fighting."

But a lot has changed in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Seven million children now attend school, 64 percent of the country's population now has access to basic healthcare, and the Afghan economy has grown by a staggering 700 percent since 2002. But the biggest achievement has been in women's rights, says Shukria Barakzai, one of the top women's rights activists and parliamentarians.

But, the development in Afghanistan is not sustainable, according to the Afghans we spoke to.

Akbar Khan, Universtiy Lecturer, said, "The minute the foreigners leave, we will go back to living in the same misery like we did when the Taliban were in power."

The U.S.-led alliance in Afghanistan has announced it will withdraw all combat troops by 2014. This announcement has raised fear of yet another bloody civil war in Afghanistan.

Ten years, and tens of thousands of lost lives later, the Taliban-led insurgents are stronger than ever. Fear is that possible peace talks with the Taliban, will result in a setback in the positive developments in Afghanistan. But the country's most vocal opposition politician says the Taliban will not be able to roll back the positive achievements in the past decades.

Daud Sultanzoy, Opposition Politician, said, "Nations should not be sidelined for the interests of political organizations, groups or paramilitary groups. If those groups are truly intending to serve the national interest, they should be under the umbrella of national interest, not the other way around. If the Taliban are planning to bring puritanical Islamic regime of the fifth and sixth century, that is impossible."

(CNTV.cn September 12, 2011)

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