Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Peaceful Life – A Dream that Will Come True


Peaceful Life – A Dream that Will Come True

To form a civil and democratic society where all individuals are able to live a violence-free and peaceful life, Afghans need to exercise tolerance and strengthen the spirit of brotherhood. If discrimination on the basis of one’s race and color prevails in the country, no one can heave a sigh of relief.
The issue of peace will be resolved if Afghanistan pursues unity. That is to say, Afghan officials need to win the trust and support of people. Currently, there seems a tall wall of mistrust between state and nation which roots in distrust in the government’s machinery. The gap between political factions or figures and harsh rhetoric has triggered a sense of public suspicion in the country. For example, the recent controversy over the appointment of provincial governor of Balkh province between the former governor Atta Muhammad Noor and presidential palace filled the social media with political satire. The officials’ well-intentioned narrative could not allay the public suspicion. Secondly, paying more credit to the leader of Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) Gulbuddin Hekmatyar – who has a dark background – than the former political associates of the palace is also not acceptable for the public. Sidelining high-ranking officials from the government’s structure will widen the gap and aggravate the public mistrust. Thus, officials need to eliminate the wall of mistrust between state and nation through embracing one another with open arms.
The second issue which undermines unity is spreading propaganda about one ethnic group or another, especially in the social media. A number of individuals from many ethnic groups still view one from the lens of ethnicity and propagandize against one another in the social media. They underestimate the issue of being one nation regardless of our diversities, which is natural in all countries. In short, ethnic sensitivity is still practiced in the country. The endless controversy over the electronic ID card indicates this sensitivity very well. Scores of people view themselves from the glass of ethnicity rather than nationality, which will threaten national unity.
Negative perception on the basis of one’s ethnicity will leave the room for tensions. After all, the militants are most likely to fish in the troubled waters. Since the militants are very adroit in propagandizing against a group or party, they will fill the vacuum left by lack of unity in our social and political life. It is self-explanatory that the militants loyal to the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) pursue the policy of dismantling unity through stoking ethnic tension and sectarian violence. In other words, the militants target people on the grounds of their race and color to sow the seeds of discord among people. If Afghans do not stop painting everything with the brush of ethnicity, militancy will continue unabated.
The lack of spirit of brotherhood is easily noticeable in the country. We do not feel the pain and anguish of our fellow human and compatriots. For instance, in one corner of the country or city, a number of people mourn the death of their family members who were killed by the militants, but in the next corner, our radios and televisions air joyful music which will add insult to the injury of the victims’ families. But we are supposed to heal the wounds of our people through sharing our feelings and heart-to-heart exchanges. When one is dying before our eyes, our only claim to fame is to take a photo of it and post it in the social media rather than helping them in the right moment. If we are not mindful of all these self-destructive practices, we will not have a peaceful life.
To seek a peaceful coexistence, we are in dire need of strengthening the spirit of brotherhood and accepting our diversities. We have to be tied together with the bond of single nationality regardless of our racial, religious, and political backgrounds. Humanity carries meaning when we share our delight and sorrow, our pain and comfort, and all our emotional tendencies. We are one nation and have to maintain our unity, support our common interests, and campaign against our common enemies, which do not necessarily mean militants, but poverty, corruption, etc.
To sum up, reaching a democratic and civil society is possible on the condition that there shall be no sense of distrust between our officials and no wall of suspicion between state and nation. Both officials and locals will have to pursue common goals and national interests. In fact, viewing one another from the narrow glass of ethnicity is highly destructive. We are stepping in the new era and need to forget the past hostilities which rooted in our narrow mindedness. We belong to the new era and should think in a more open way.

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

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