Afghans survey too good to be true
Survey claims 73 percent approval for government.
An Afghan survey funded by a US agency gives the Afghan government a whopping 73 percent approval rating among the population. Very few believe the results are credible.
Despite the survey's results, many Afghans still find daily life difficult, and view the current government as a modest improvement over the Taliban.
Experts acknowledge that significant progress has been made in areas such as education and healthcare, but that corruption and security concerns remain chronic problems for the government. Additionally, parliamentary elections continue to be tainted with allegations of fraud.
Even government officials appear surprised with the survey's results.
According to Ramazan Bashardost, a member of Parliament and former presidential candidate, "This is bigger than a white lie. Even Karzai himself is not happy with his government, and the poor guy often complaints to the media about the problems.
"It seems part of the illusion-weaving to get out of here, but reports like this are actually dangerous for us, and for the US security interests," he added.
The price tag of the survey is approximately $300,000 and was paid for by the US Agency for International Development. That agency has a number of supporters in Afghan government and the international community.
The survey's results are being published as plans move forward for the final withdrawal of US forces from the region which is scheduled to occur in 2014. Each province is being handed over to Afghan government in turn, and seven have already been handed over thus far.
Officials have tried to explain the results by saying they believe the numbers are high since many Afghans cannot envision a better alternative for their government.
They also believe that the nature of the survey, including the questions, and the people who were surveyed, have much to do with the results.
Those responsible for the survey have acknowledged that they did not obtain representative results from provinces where security was still a concern.
In any case, corruption, violence, and fraud continue to be rampant throughout Afghan society. While many Afghans appear to be happy without the Taliban, they are also only marginally happier with the current regime. Tired of conflict, they are at least grateful for the relative peace that has settled throughout much of the country.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Afghanistan, survey, US, Asia, politics
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