Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Justice Promotes the Legitimacy of a Government

There is a direct link between justice and legitimacy. Even if a country does not have many resources, it can survive if there is justice prevailing in it. People can go through difficult times if they believe that their government is just and the system is able to strive justly for their wellbeing. However, if there is no justice within a society, excess of resources would end up creating an imbalanced society. In the presence of injustice the society would tend to become highly polarized. Moreover, crimes, corruption and many other social evils are directly linked to the unavailability of justice and the societies that have strived to maintain true justice have, in fact, set themselves on the way to a prosperous future. While the countries, which have neglected it, have fallen to the depths of troubles and instability.
At the same time, the people of a country are attached to a country that prioritizes justice and accept the authority of the government that practices it. Finding law and order consistent for every one and treating every one as per merit, gives people confidence in the system and they start belonging to it and ultimately strive to play a positive role within the society. However, if they find that the justice system is biased and favor a certain group of people, they will definitely become neglected and alienated from the system and will, resultantly, follow a path that may be illegal or even unjust.
Afghanistan is also one of the countries that is lacking justice in its system. The people are not treated the way they deserve and the justice has, in fact, become the will of the rich. The ruling class, along with the elite and the authoritative individuals can easily take advantage of the law and order system or totally surpass it; while the poor people have to be treated in the most terrible way. Therefore, the government seems to be losing its legitimacy. The government authorities and institutions are not believed and in most of the cases they are not even accepted as having the right to rule. There are certain parts of the country where the people still consider Taliban as the legitimate rulers. These are the parts where the government has not been able to penetrate through the miseries of the people. The government services in these parts of the country are almost non-existent. Therefore, the people have lost any appreciation of the government’s role.
It remains a fact that the justice system in Afghanistan for some of the rural parts of the country are either non-functional or they are very slow. People mostly do not go to the law or the formal system for solving their matters as they have to wait for a long time before they can get their cases solved and their rights given. That is one of the reasons that the tribal setup has existed and has provided the background for Taliban to function. In such a setup Taliban with their speedy way of providing their own form of justice come to action and, at the same time, earn the support and the favor of the people. In certain ways, Taliban in those areas have more legitimacy and support than the government institutions. 
Moreover, terrorism and terrorists have further debilitated the justice system. Insecurity and clashes have created a situation wherein the powerful can easily escape the law and order. There are many war crimes that go unnoticed or if they are noticed, they are not pursued properly. The national mechanism to control such crimes has not been strengthened, while the international pressure has not resulted in enough action. Therefore, the situation has remained grim.       
Afghanistan is passing through a very crucial juncture in its history. It has to make sure that it survives through it. And, for that to happen, it must guard justice. Definitely, the support and assistance of the international organizations can be helpful and the country needs to cooperate with them in that regard. However, the pursuit of justice by the government itself is also very much crucial. There should be efforts on the national level to strengthen the institutions that may guard justice, promote it and protect it. Without national efforts for strengthening Afghanistan itself to fight against injustice and establish strong and independent law and order system, it would be very difficult to imagine that the country would be able to fight the prevailing injustice successfully.  
Afghan government needs to understand that no state in the world can maintain its integrity and order if it does not possess and guard justice. Justice is the requirement to maintain law and order and reduce crimes from a society. If a state fails to establish strong institutions that can practice and provide justice, it is bound to be filled with instability, corruption and illegitimacy.