Afghan President Under Siege as Violence, Joblessness Persists by Pamela Constable - Washington Post
An ominous rumble of discontent is sweeping Afghanistan, driven by a mixture of anxiety, anger, frustration and political opportunism.
In the past two months, a mélange of new opposition groups has emerged, some with noble-sounding names and reformist agendas, led by an improbable assortment of tribal leaders, ethnic militia bosses, disaffected public appointees and young professionals. Even an old communist general has joined the fray with a new, pointedly non-leftist party called “The Homeland Movement.”
Their demands include individual grievances, and several of the more controversial leaders have grabbed most of the attention. But their broader message is remarkably similar: the government of President Ashraf Ghani has failed to protect the public and provide jobs. The president has overreached his executive powers and excluded diverse points of view. He must act now, produce meaningful reforms and legitimize his fractured, teetering government — or else.
The object of this barrage is a cerebral, single-minded man of 68 who spends 18-hour days reading policy reports, holding team meetings, addressing conferences and huddling with aides, seemingly determined to power through the latest crisis as his troubled government nears three years in office. Ghani’s aides insist the real impetus behind much of the opposition is a mix of anxiety among traditional leaders who are losing power in a modernizing state, and a broader opposition to reform from those who have long benefited from systemic public corruption…