Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 20th, 2017

China – A Model of Peace and Prosperity for Afghanistan

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China – A Model of Peace and Prosperity for Afghanistan

All nations seek to live a free and peaceful life. A civil society, if not a utopia, where individuals are able to exercise their rights and liberty is the ambition of human societies. Despite this fact, people are discriminated on the basis of their race, sex, color, and creed. Radical ideology and lack of religious tolerance are the main reasons behind the persistent violence and violation of human rights, which are widespread in Afghanistan, too.
Afghanistan will have to learn living a peaceful life from multiethnic societies. Let us view the multiethnic and multilingual society of China. China is officially composed of 56 ethnic groups, i.e., 55 minorities plus the Han majority. The laws and Constitution of People’s Republic of China (PRC) guarantee equal rights to all ethnic groups in China and help promote ethnic minority groups’ economic and cultural development. Ethnic minorities are represented in the National People’s Congress as well as governments at the provincial and prefectural levels. Some ethnic minorities in China live in what are described as ethnic autonomous areas. These “regional autonomies” guarantee ethnic minorities the freedom to use and develop their ethnic languages, and to maintain their own cultural and social customs. In addition, the PRC government has provided preferential economic development and aid to areas where ethnic minorities live. Additionally, the Chinese government has allowed and encouraged the involvement of ethnic minority participation in the party.
In the long course of historical evolution, people of all ethnic groups in China have maintained close contacts, developed interdependently, communicated and fused with one another, and stood together through weal and woe, forming today’s unified multi-ethnic Chinese nation, and promoting the development of the nation and social progress. In other words, Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, following the guideline of unity among all ethnic groups for common prosperity and drawing on China’s historical experience and the useful practices of other countries, always with a view to China’s actual situation, the Chinese government carved out a path for the successful solution to ethnic issues and exercised the ethnic policy featuring equality, unity, regional ethnic autonomy, and common prosperity for all ethnic groups. In brief, China has fostered the unity and harmonious coexistence of all ethnic groups who are striving with one mind for economic development, political stability, cultural prosperity and social harmony.
Based on China’s Constitution, freedom and rights of the person are inviolable. The Constitution and laws of China stipulate that the state respects and safeguards human rights. Violation of the freedom of the person of citizens of any ethnic group is proscribed. China, which has joined the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, prohibits discriminations on the grounds of race, color, faith, and gender. Hence, all ethnic groups live a peaceful life in China, it was what I was really impressed by on my trip to Beijing City of China for attending the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building-Measures in Asia (CICA) in 28 June.  
Afghanistan’s Constitution also prohibits discriminations and emphasizes equal rights for all ethnic groups living within this territory. It is stated in the Constitution’s preamble that the state will “form a civil society void of oppression, atrocity, discrimination as well as violence, based on rule of law, social justice, protecting integrity and human rights, and attaining peoples’ freedoms and fundamental rights.”
In the post-Taliban Afghanistan, democracy and human rights were debated hotly and people voted for selecting their representatives and the president. Afghans hoped to exercise their rights without fear. However, the violation of people’s rights continues and traditional mindsets and radical ideology inflict sufferings upon the nation. In brief, stating equal rights for citizens and conducting election, without implementing the law, will not build democracy.
First, Afghan government needs to broaden the horizon of all ethnic groups through spreading awareness and underlining the spirit of brotherhood. Since Afghanistan is a religious society, religious preachers will have to enlighten the true message of religion and uncover the ugly face of sectarianism and religious radicalism. In villages, where traditional culture is strongly practiced, religion is misinterpreted through the Taliban’s pawns and radical elements.
Unity among all ethnic groups for common prosperity is a dire need for Afghan nation. The bogus claim of radical elements must not weaken our faith in brotherhood. Both Afghan state and nation should learn from China how to support stability and coexistence in this multiethnic society. If we do not adopt a role model for living a peaceful life, violence and violation of human rights will linger on. It is not only China, any peaceful multiethnic countries will teach us the lesson of peace and stability. It is we to keep our eyes open and transcend ethnic tendencies for peace and prosperity.
Moreover, the government has to enforce the law and exert it on all people equally regardless of their ethnicity, political status, etc. Strict implementation of law and tight security are one of the cornerstones of China’s prosperity. So, Afghan officials are hoped to do their best for the betterment of the nation and country.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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