Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, January 19th, 2020

Why Political Tolerance Matters

After passing tow months Afghan Independent Election Commission has not been able to announce presidential elections primary results. Deep disagreements between the State Builder and the Stability and Moderate election teams has put the IEC on the cross road of uncertainty. In addition to this, what makes Afghan elections problematic is lack of organizational memory, weak electoral bodies, and low capacity electoral commissions, ethnicization of politics and lack of political tolerance in the country. As the presidential primary results may soon be announced, the stability and moderate Team staged a demonstration in Kabul on Friday November 29, and they are going to stage demonstrations across other parts of the country, it is vital the politicians of the team remind the people to observe the law and avoid any acts that exacerbate ethnic tensions.
Underdevelopment and wide spread poverty, corruption and weak social cohesion are the products of ethnicization of politics in Afghanistan that has created a culture of political intolerance in the country. Such political system in the past has created the win at all costs political culture that has turned us into killers and destroyers. Indeed, the only solution to this unhealthy development is tolerance by both the political and ethnic leaders. In this way we can put an end to this system and can develop democratically in order the common sense prevail.
As a result, Afghan political office holders, representatives of civil society and ethnic leaders shall avoid amplifying ethnic tension in the country and shall focus on how they can create a culture of political tolerance and peace building.  We shall come together to begin stopping the violence at the community level, which can be a great starting point. Thus, we need to do better than just achieving tolerance; we need to truly care for each other. Afghan citizens who stand for political tolerance and peace do not do this because they are from the same ethnic group, or because they share a common religion.  They believe the lives of everyone are sacred and deserve to be respected and valued.
Democratic Governance Ensures Political Tolerance
Afghanistan shall continue its efforts to strengthen democratic governance. Effective and enduring democratic government requires broad public support for basic democratic orientations. Chief among these are political participation and political tolerance, which traditionally have been viewed as closely linked: virtually everyone agrees that democracy works best when people actively engage in political life and when they do not exclude others from doing the same. Afghan governance background shows that certain ethnic groups have systematically been excluded from the political participation. Therefore, the current political mistrust and intolerance is the product of non-democratic political systems in the past in Afghanistan.
Political tolerance of ordinary citizens matters for real politics because political tolerance expands the liberty of individual citizens. It involves taking key democratic principles like support for civil liberties and political rights and applying them in practice to disliked groups. As political tolerance and freedom are connected those who feel free to express themselves politically are more likely to be tolerant of others and live in more tolerant communities. Ultimately, the importance of mass political tolerance in Afghanistan is that it establishes a culture of tolerance that seems to enlarge individual political liberty in many important ways. Political tolerance enables all Afghan ethnic and political groups to participate in political processes; they can elect and be elected equally.  The last but not the least, political tolerance ensures the citizens of Afghanistan to live in peace and harmony. As a result, Afghan politicians must not incite political violence through inciting ethnic conflicts to gain their personal interests, as they have frequently done in the past.