Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, January 25th, 2020

Challenges Widen the Gap between State and Nation


Challenges Widen the Gap between State and Nation

Despite the peace talks held between the US representatives and the Taliban in Qatar, Taliban insurgents have intensified their attacks against Kabul government, which indicates their lukewarm response to the peace process.
With the recent unmitigated insurgency, there seems no light at the end of the tunnel and the pain and suffering of the public continue unabated. As a result of growing challenges under the National Unity Government, the rift between state and nation has been widened.
It is believed that the Taliban seek to sabotage the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections and demonstrate their power through intensifying their attacks against Kabul government. They have held out against the olive branch offered by the government and signaled their preparation for sitting around the table with US representatives. But it is understandable that peace and war will not go together. If the Taliban does not come to the table with genuine intention, peace talks will be no more than a political game.
Worst of all, the so-called Independent Election Commission has decided to deprive Ghazni province from participating to upcoming elections, which will be held about three years later than its legal period, in the wake of Taliban’s attacks against the province.
Constitutionally, the elections should be “free, general, secret and direct” but depriving the residents of Ghazni province from their suffrage will be a slap on the face of democracy and flagrant violation of the Constitution for not conducting free, fair and general elections. Meanwhile, the government will accept, through this decision, that it is not able to ensure citizens’ security.
Excluding Ghazni from election is the worst-case scenario for the residents, who on the one hand have sustained heavy casualties by the militants and on the other hand deprived of their suffrage by the government.
The challenges have mushroomed under the NUG despite the mouth-watering promises made by President Ghani and CEO Abdulllah Abdullah during their presidential campaigns. In other words, the current government could not reduce the challenges such as insecurity, corruption, narcotic drug, poverty, unemployment and economic crisis. Therefore, people are suffering in the worst possible way.
To strengthen democracy, Kabul government has to conduct free, fair and general elections and ensure citizens’ security rather than depriving people from their suffrage, which is against Constitutional and democratic principle. The war is going on in many provinces and the solution is to stop war rather than stopping elections. Hence, the government is responsible to conduct elections across the country and do not deprive a single citizen from participating the election.
It should be noted that a number of people have already refused to register for voting in the elections as they believe that their vote will make no change similar to that of the 14 presidential election. That is, they lost their confidence and trust in the government since they still suffer as a result of insecurity. Now the government should bridge the gap rather than widening it through conducting free, fair and general elections.
To win the public support, the government needs to win the heart and mind of the people and implement Constitution and other national laws strictly. In other words, violation of national laws by a handful of people, including warlords and government officials, is one of the major challenges in the country. Implementing law will mitigate both corruption and insurgency to a considerable extent. For example, if those officials who neglect their legal duties or break the law by getting bribery are brought to justice, they will do their best to fulfill their responsibilities in the future. But Afghanistan still remains on the top list of the most corrupt countries. Does government have any answers this question?
Being unable to ensure the citizens’ safety, conducting a fair, free and general election, fighting corruption and terrorism, the government will also lose its reputation at international level and may lose the support of its international allies. That is, Afghan government has not only made big promises to the nation but also to its international allies, but none have been fulfilled so far. The challenges such as poverty, unemployment, corruption, narcotic drug, insecurity have not only not alleviated but also aggravated. The citizens’ dissatisfaction with NUG has reached its peak due to the growing challenges. If this trend continues, the situation will be highly critical.
To address the challenges and regain its reputation at national and international levels, the government will have to stop the empty talks and take more concrete step. As elections are in the pipeline, the government should prioritize security situation so as to conduct fair, free and general election based on national laws, without leaving a single province or district behind, this is the very responsibility of the government.

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

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