Dazed bring you a website devoted to bringing you good news from the war-torn opium capital of the world
Everyone knows that things out in Afghanistan are going terribly – or are they? We always hear the bad news: "soldiers train policeman who turn sides and kill them" or "child blown up by roadside bomb". No one wonders about the "good news" because we all assume that there isn’t any. Well, the website Good Afghan News proves us wrong, detailing improvements across the board. The site celebrates sports victories, new schools and hospitals being built, better conditions for women, and even archaeological marvels. People such as Abdullah Qazi, the man who created goodafghannews.com, are playing an important role in helping the general public to feel better about Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Dazd Digital: What motivated you to set up the 'Good News From Afghanistan' website? What do you hope to gain?
Abdullah Qazi: I had been thinking of a doing a site like this for about a year before I actually created it, but I just couldn't find the time. I finally decided to make it a priority because people really need to know that a lot of good things are happening in Afghanistan. Sure, you find sprinkles of good news here and there, but they don't get the attention they need because they are usually in the same newspaper that's carrying three or four other articles telling people how bad things are in Afghanistan. This site is different in that we only focus on the good news.
DD: What do you think of the situation in Afghanistan?
Abdullah Qazi: It's sad and frustrating at times, but it is heading in the right direction. As I state on the website, there is so much development happening in the country – politically, economically, socially and even environmentally. The school system is being continuously improved, with more schools being built and more people getting access to an education. In fact, more girls are attending school today than ever before in the history of Afghanistan. People have to be patient, and not abandon Afghanistan. We definitely cannot go back to how it was under the Taliban, because the days of Taliban rule were the worst in Afghan history. Let's put it this way, the Germans had the Nazis, the Cambodians had Pol Pot and Afghanistan has the Taliban. The purpose of the Taliban is to destroy an independent and free Afghanistan. They were sent by Pakistan's ISI with that objective, and they almost accomplished that in 2001.
DD: What is your opinion on each conflicting power? What do you think of their tactics?
Abdullah Qazi: US and Nato? They are supported by the majority of Afghan people, however, they need to do better in terms of avoiding civilian deaths and focus more on building the infrastructure in the country. I am also one of those believers that if there were more jobs and opportunities, there would be less young men wanting to join the Taliban. They also need to focus on Pakistan's
double-game. They need to stop the ISI from secretly supporting the Taliban and shut down these so called religious schools in Pakistan which are used to recruit more soldiers for the Taliban.
Afghan government? Much better than the Taliban but very corrupt. More pressure needs to be put on the government to stop the corruption at all levels. President Karzai must also get more aggressive with the Taliban. These "peace talks" will end up nowhere, and are a waste of time. They also make normal Afghans feel less confident about a victory against the Taliban. The Afghan people must also step up and do more for their country. Not everything can be done by foreigners for us. I am specifically talking about our well off Afghans who live in the West. They must not forget their country.
Taliban? Evil. Period. They are an evil militia, I refer to them to as the "Devil's Militia" because their job is to simply destroy Afghanistan. The Taliban cover themselves in Islam's flag, but in reality, they want to destroy Islam and Afghanistan. I don't see them as Muslims at all. Their leadership is composed of sell-outs to Islam and Afghanistan and most of their foot soldiers are simply ignorant and brainwashed, like followers of a cult.
DD: Where do you believe that the roots of the problem lie? What should be improved?
Abdullah Qazi: Pakistan, Pakistan and again, Pakistan, specifically, the ISI. The ISI wants Afghanistan as almost another province of Pakistan – completely under their control. For this war to be successful, one of the things that must happen is that the ISI must be stopped from financing, militarily helping, and creating more members for the Taliban. The so called religious schools or "madrassahs" that breed future Talibs must be shut down and brought under the control of people who follow real Islam, not this backwards garbage that the Taliban follow and shamelessly dare to call Islam. Islam is not about blowing up innocent women and children and executing people.
DD: If left alone, do you believe that Afghanistan could solve its problems?
Abdullah Qazi: If abandoned now, the Taliban and their Pakistani masters will take over Afghanistan and turn it into hell on earth. You will see massacres of minorities, and destruction of what has been so painfully gained in the last nine years. Women will be enslaved once again, and the Taliban will take revenge against those who have opposed them all these years with brutal force. Back in the late 1990s, the Taliban did just that to one particular ethnic group called the Hazaras. Thousands were brutally massacred – men, women and children. They were put in mass graves. These are the facts.