Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 25th, 2020

Core Values and National Integration

Afghanistan   as a geo-political entity with diverse ethnic, language and religious groups is faced with terrorism, ethnic and religious crises that threaten the survival of the nation. Sociologists hold that Afghanistan is bedeviled by myriad problems which, despite its mineral riches, inhibit its development.  Historical analyses indicates that people of diverse historical and cultural backgrounds migrated and settled in different parts of the territories now referred to as Afghanistan. As a result Afghanistan has witnessed ethnic based agitations and politics in the course of its history. This has strengthened the ethnic bias and intolerance that exist among people from different parts of the nation. In such society, people hate each other, they fear each other, and they do not know each other because they can’t communicate with each other due to structural ethnic barriers. They are separated strategically by power elite that arrogate powers to it and retain such power by upholding the principle of divide and rule.  In Afghanistan, the practice of ethnic politics has sustained the belief that each of the ethnic groups must struggle for its own share of the national resources. Today, the emergence and growth of ethnic militias as well as the Taliban and ISIS insurgency constitute great threat to the stability and unity of the nation. 
The socio-political background pointed above and almost the little emphasis placed on core-national-values in Afghanistan are mainly responsible for the unpatriotic, disunity, inter and intra-ethnic and religious violence that characterize the nation.  The predominant value system of wealth and material acquisition, ethnic, tribal and religious loyalty are fundamental obstacles to national integration and survival of Afghanistan as a nation. This is the reason why sociologists argue that a community populated with people without appropriate positive value will not survive. In such a context educational system only contributes to nourishing the ethnic and religious core values, and as such, it instead of producing thinking and objective human beings, has produced many fearful and uncritical citizens who are also selfish and indifference to public affairs in the Afghan society. 
Therefore, Afghanistan cannot attain national integration that could foster expected development and national transformations except Afghans acquire and demonstrate required values and traits. According to research findings conducted by Isola, value development is the major factor in national development. Afghanistan not grounded in non-perishable values will not make progress. Thus, Afghanistan needs urgent innovative value orientation initiatives that can enable the development of core values as well as civic and political ideals in its citizens. It is against this background we examine the development of core-values as means of promoting national integration in the country.    
Core Values required for National Integration in Afghanistan
Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate attitudes or actions. Values describe the personal qualities we choose to embody to guide our actions; the sort of person we want to be; the manner in which we treat ourselves and others, and our interaction with the world around us. They provide the general guidelines for conduct. So, values determine where people put most of their energy, what they work for and the way they go about that which they do.
Core values are the fundamental beliefs and selected standards of behavior that are central to developing a stable and progressive nation. According to sociologists core values are the acceptable, right and cherished pattern of behavior that is capable of enhancing national integration and unity. 
The Afghan dream of national integration, peace and development can only come to reality with the internalization of the core values enshrined in the National Anthem and constitutions which reflect the national value of honesty, obedience, loyalty, cooperation and patriotism. And to create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice, protection of human dignity, protection of human rights, realization of democracy, and to ensure national unity and equality among all.
In a nutshell, if Afghanistan is going to continue as a unified nation, the development of core values in the Afghan citizens is a vital task. The Afghan leaders and followers must attain the values that would facilitate them to put the interest of the nation first before those of self, social, religious, political and ethnic groupings.