Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Afghans Determined to Protect Democratic Order and Civil Society

After the fall of Taliban regime in late 2001, Afghanistan was able to write and approve a new constitution to establish an "order based on the people's will and democracy" and form a "civil society free from oppression, atrocity, discrimination and violence." Ten years later, this order and civil society are being threatened by the extremist militants that ideologically do not subscribe to such an "order" and "civil society" and want to impose their own ideology-driven and discriminate order and run the country based on their own pleasure, which serve foreign interests. But there appears to be a strong will among Afghan people to protect, safeguard and institutionalize the order and civil society. This is who Afghans are now.

In fact, this is because they do not want to return to the dark days of the past whose indicators were oppression, atrocity, discrimination, violence and violation of human rights. The death of Osama Bin Laden has provided a new opportunity for Afghan people and their international partners and allies to increase pressure on the Al-Qaeda-linked and affiliated militants here in Afghanistan. Although killing of Bin Laden is a turning-point in the fight against terrorism, more needs to be done to make sure that Afghanistan will not be used as safe haven for lunatic fringes once again, and to ensure Afghans that they will not be left alone again.

The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, in latest statement has said that the Taliban have one option- that is- to break with Al-Qaeda and join the peace process offered by Afghan government. Officials from NATO member states have said that their goal was not just to kill Osama Bin Laden but rather to build a strong democratic and peaceful prosperous Afghanistan. Internally, on Thursday, May 05, 2011, former chief of Afghan National Intelligence, Amrullah Saleh, asked President Hamid Karzai not to make a "false identity" for the Taliban militants and do not make peace a position of weakness. Both Afghan politicians and people believe that it is time to put more pressure on the Taliban to embrace an open society free from discrimination, violence and with justice for all. In fact, it is high time to turn the situation around. Any misstep at this critical juncture will have catastrophic consequences for Afghanistan and international community alike.