Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

Year of Peace, Democracy and Development

The 1398 solar year has been named as the year of Peace, Democracy and Development by President Ghani.
The reason behind it, is that peace talks between the US Representative Khalilzad and Taliban envoy is underway to put an end to the 40 year conflict in the country.
In this article we would highlight some important aspects and interlinks between these three crucial concepts.
Immanuel Kant the German philosopher introduced the theory of “perpetual peace” in the field of academics in the year 1795. This theory states that a state can only ensure peace only if its civil constitution is “republic” and the consent of the citizens are required in matters of war and peace. Naturally the citizens are opposing to declare war, while favoring to ensuring sustainable peace.
In the entire history of Afghanistan, transfer of power between the Afghan leaders has never been peacefully and it has been through violent means, which has resulted in regime change or a total collapse of the state in anarchy. The first instance of peaceful transfer of power was only in the year 2014, when power was transfer from former President Hamid Karzai to the current President Ashraf Ghani.
The current democratic setup in Afghanistan which was established in 2002 has prevented the repeat of the violent struggle for power and representation of the 1990s which was resulted in a bloody civil war, but violence is not stopped in the country. Taliban are avenging violence against the state since 2001, when their theocratic regime was toppled by the International Coalition Forces. Although this model has the capacity to accommodate different views and diverse identities. As a responsible and democratic state the Afghan government has left the doors open to all the groups to participate in dialogue and negotiation to resolve differences peacefully, at the same time it has also use legitimate force to protect citizens from harm in the last 17 years.
Afghanistan needs an immediate push for peace and development to end suffering and put the Afghan people on a path to progress. Afghanistan faces a major and the Government has to pursue both an inclusive peace process and economic growth against the backdrop of an intensifying insurgency.
To ensure peace in Afghanistan the neighboring countries shall be warranted that their own stake is recognized in the process, while at the same time recognizing that the Taliban can be a part of the country’s long-term future. In fact, Afghanistan, its neighbors and international community shall make peace their new and absolute imperative. In fact, Afghanistan’s most important battle ahead, is the one for a lasting peace.
Afghanistan as a state can survive if it is strong and democratic. When survival of the state is at stake, it is the ideas that may save the country from falling apart. The crux of this idea which has been proposed for the survival of Afghanistan is the continuity of the current model which is democratic and its source of its legitimacy being drawn from the Afghan People, and the functionalist approach to foreign policy of the current Afghan government which is to maintain peace though cooperation and common interest of all countries in the region, while currently the mechanism to maintain peace in the region is through arms race and deterrence.
As the research shows that poor democracies surpass poor autocracies on nearly every economic measure of consequence. Studies offer evidences that democracies are more stable: they are less likely to fall into armed civil conflict, experience humanitarian catastrophes, or breed international terrorists than are authoritarian countries.
Afghanistan’s economic and development forecast is informed by the prospects for achieving peace and reconciliation. Peace enables Afghanistan to maintain its national security, strengthen government control over territory, and combat the spread of terrorism, to invest in professionalizing and increasing the effectiveness of the armed services. It enables the government to provide a better future for Afghan people and their families. By restoring peace in Afghanistan, we will have confidence in a state that is well-governed through laws and institutions, provides a voice for the people to hold their government accountable, and delivers quality services. Furthermore, peace enables the government to secure the nation’s future by conscientiously stewarding natural resources and investing in our children’s health and education.
In a nutshell, we call on the Afghan Government, together with the international community, to work hand-in-hand to make a discernible change in the lives of all Afghans by reaching to a sustainable peace so they feel the upward lift of economic and social progress. And in this endeavor, it is necessary to incorporate social welfare dimensions of development in the development policies of the country, indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and girls’ education, on which democracies dramatically excel.