Afghanistan is witnessing growing ethnic tensions these days. Ethnic tensions on zone based election in Ghazni, decided as an ad hoc approach by the Afghanistan Independent Electoral Commission, and firing on the civilians in Faryan province who demanded the release of police chief of Qaisar district, Nizamuddin Qaisari are the most outstanding ethnic tensions testing the government’s conflict management nowadays.
There are many causes for ethnic conflicts in Afghanistan. However, the man causes are listed as below:
Tribalism is assumed as one of the causes of ethnic conflict in Afghanistan. According to social scholars, loyalty to ethnic groups has impeded true nationalism and unity in Afghanistan.
From the beginning of Modern Afghanistan till today, ethnic leaders have used ethnic biases to win power. And such mechanism of gaining power just has divided the citizens of the country along the ethnic lines. If we trace back the root of the conflicts we would reach to ethnic sentiments that have been fueled by selfish political motives.
Most of the conflicts that take place in the country begin from this ancient ethnic sentiments fueled by selfish political motives. Thus, tribalism in the course of history has divided the people and has fostered favoritism in Afghanistan.
Preferential treatment is another main cause of the conflict. It entails the action of those in power favoring their relatives and friends especially in appointing them to good positions in the public offices. Favoritism is a big source of conflict in Afghanistan, as some people in authority fall short to adhere to the rules strictly when it relates to their relatives and friends.
These authorities prefer their relatives and friends even when they are not qualified for government appointments, positions or carrying out contracts. The corrupt and inept leaders in Afghanistan are the outcomes of Favoritism.
Corruption and Inept Leadership
Corruption and unqualified leaders have intensified ethnic conflict in Afghanistan. Gross mismanagement of national and the international resources by unqualified leaders have impoverished and denied opportunities to majority of Afghans which has led to agitations by citizens.
With a simple glance at the list of the government employees one can conclude that clear inequality exists in the way Afghanistan shares its public positions and allocation of infrastructure projects among the provinces as well.
This is one of the other causes of ethnic conflict in Afghanistan. It is one of the main issues in any country and if resources are not distributed equally among the citizens it can cause conflicts. Marginalization of certain ethnic groups from accessing the resources not only fuels the tensions but keeps back the country from balanced development as well. Therefore, It prevents the country to use the full human and natural resources it has to ensure sustainable development.
Marginalization of Some Ethnic Groups in the Country
It is clear that some ethnic groups have been marginalized and this policy not only has severely undermined the social cohesion in the country but has motivated the ethnic conflicts too. Further, marginalization was one of the main causes of civil wars in Afghanistan during the 90s too.
Lack of vision
The above mentioned causes has impeded the governments to identify a vision to mobilize all the ethnic groups to fell commuted to it and find their interests ensured by such a vision. As a result, there is no ideal to inspire patriotism among citizens. In Afghanistan we need an ideal like the American dream to make the citizens to fight to uphold it.
In this article some causes of ethnic conflict were discussed. However, what counts is to provide some applicable solutions to prevent serious conflicts in the future that have the power to push the country to the civil war, if not addressed adequately by the government.
The main solutions to prevent future occurrence include ensuring balanced development of all parts of Afghanistan, and practice of justice and equity in public positions.
Indeed, the use of ethnic sentiments to cause division among the nation will lose its appeal when the government treats all its citizens equally. Conflicts have never done any good to us so let us prevent them and fight for peace and progress in our country.