Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Ballot or Bullet: Which one we Must Choose!

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Ballot or Bullet: Which one we Must Choose!

There was great hope after 2002 in Afghanistan. Taliban felling down from power, construction of roads, schools and clinics started everywhere as well as more jobs have been created.  End of internal conflicts signaled across the country, beginning of new era of widely enjoyed improvements in economic welfare, prosperity and peace achieved through greater harmony of interest and cooperation between government, traditional leaders and neighboring countries. However after 2014 the situation is changed, the country progress stopped, the state turned to more negative sphere and seemed walking back day by day, the new phase of insecurity, none employment, violence against women, insurgent attacks on civilians, and more kinds of violinist groups and fighters appeared in society. In a way that today, educated Afghans cannot decide what to do!  Either leave their homelands for seeking a better life!  Nor stay in their country and bear a tough situation to uncertain time!  Really, it is hard to decide!  The fact is most of the sufferable people are the poorest citizens as they are the victims of forty years war in Afghanistan. 
Unfortunately, four decades of internal conflicts produced multitude of traditional leaders and commanders in every part of the country. These self-permanent leaders and powerful commanders somehow are part of problems and in some way are the apparatuses for solving the problems.  The difficulty is, establishing a working government interrupted by abusive power holders continuously in Afghanistan.  As usual, warlords maintain their control through violence, patronage, corruption, and members’ backing. There was an opportunity to change fundamentally this tribal system after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, but regrettably, the international community have chosen the approach of inclusive government. They paid lip service to the importance of good governance in Afghanistan; the reality is that co-opting violent warlords to avoid any further instability was at the heart of the plan.   Actually, it was a big mistake of the international community in Boon Conference.  Instead of rebuilding institutions, and focusing on the rule of law, transparency, accountability and human dignity -  the world concentrated on peace building by distribution of power among the traditional leaders who had been marginalized by Taliban regime.  As the result during the nineteen years, the traditional leaders have made themselves as the most powerful officials. Furthermore, turning to majority rule - democratic government understood as a common way to end the fractional war and it is the Afghan dream too. To achieve the dream, Afghans men and women participated in 2019 presidential election aimed to support democracy and reject suppression government in Afghanistan.  It is about two decades that Afghans practice democracy in their country with the support of international community. The good news is Afghans got the chance to use ballot instead of bullet!  From long time ago, Afghan intellectuals wishing is to find an opportunity in their homelands to vote and elect their president - one day.  However, after the independent election commission announced Ghani as winner of Afghanistan presidential election. Some hours later Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah declared his own ″victory” in the polls and announced making an “Inclusive Government.″ Currently Afghans have two options; accepting ballot or taking bullet.  Seriously, the new cabinet must have concentration on state building.  As the first step, it needs political shaking. For the reason that, people want transparency, good government, development, economy, jobs and justice. Therefore, the present government is under pressure of international community and the citizens, so it must be serious and responsible to do some thoughtful reforms and have to respond to the needs and must listen to demands of all 34 million Afghans. Logically, there is a need to institute a working government in Afghanistan otherwise all two decades efforts and investment will fail no more chance to success. However, since the present election can cut some local power officials hands for further abusing. The election result is rejected; let the country go to crises again. From another hand, foreign embassies in Kabul, world leaders and diplomats have been, for the most part, silent about the announced election results.  Afghan intellectuals cannot find any reason why the international community are silent.
In addition, now the pollution of water and fishing is one of the approach and gun for being in political field again.   Traditional leaders sabotage the election result and spread poison on public opinions as a proverb says, “Pollute water then go fishing” they want to keep their positions, guards, luxury life and obtaining their own interests. Actually, they are eager of power, because they have been controlling Afghanistan for almost three decades still they are insisting to be in power!
Afghan civil society little incentive to stand up to opposing team, especially if they believe that those party have the upper hand. Afghan citizens hope that the international community shall manage the situation smoothly. According to experience of the years 1989, a possible civil war between the ethnics signals in future. It seems they have already started mobilizing their communities in order to safeguard them against the possible actions. Hence, if the crises not calm down soon, there are some cautions that the traditional leaders are readying for a potential civil war.  We should not forget that abusing of illiterate people is an approach that power leaders can apply to achieve their interest. Unfortunately, many are illiterate in Afghanistan. The consequences of illiteracy are many and harmful in several respects as well as affecting illiterate individuals, themselves in their daily lives often jeopardizing their future.  As well as poverty, unemployment are the two main sources for further instability in Afghanistan.
Lastly, intellectual Afghans are not happy from the fragile situation, while they cannot do anything, they suggest that.   Nowadays the crises do not have any advantageous for the new government.   Since, the peace talks is in Afghan playground.  Disagreement can be a weakness point of the government on the table of intra-Afghan negotiation.  Local cooperation is the strength point of the government on national issues. The past lessons tell us that military solution is not achievable in Afghanistan. Instead, political settlement is more affective to stop ongoing war.  Therefore, it would be better to launch negotiation with the opposing groups based on the country’s national interest.

Dawlat Bakhtiari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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