MOSCOW - Over 60 percent of Afghan citizens feel their country is moving in the wrong direction, pointing at the lack of security as one of the most common reasons, Asia Foundation nonprofit international development organization said in a Tuesday poll. The “Survey of the Afghan People” is based on face-to-face interviews with 15,012 Afghan citizens representing various ethnic groups in 34 provinces. “This year, the proportion of Afghans who say the country is moving in the right direction is the same as last year (32.8pc). Likewise, there is effectively no difference between the number of Afghans this year who say the country is moving in wrong direction (61.3pc) and last year (61.2 pc),” the poll said.

The proportion of respondents who failed to give an answer also saw no significant change, growing from 5.3 percent in 2017 to 5.6 percent this year.

According to the poll, the most frequent reason for pessimism about the country’s future is insecurity, which was indicated by 73 percent of respondents, compared to 70 percent in 2017. About 38 percent of Afghan people expressed concerns over the national economy, 24 percent of whom specifically noted the high unemployment rate.

The survey also showed that 52 percent of respondents believed the country’s next parliamentary election would be fair and free, while the Afghans’ satisfaction with their democracy increased from 57 percent in 2017 to 61 percent this year.

The poll was conducted on July 6-27, a month following the three-day Eid-ul-Fitr ceasefire agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Afghanistan has long been in a state of turmoil, with the government fighting the Taliban radical movement, which has been holding vast territories in rural areas under its control and regularly launches offensives on big cities. The situation has been exacerbated by the activities of the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia), which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2015.