Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

what are the Internal Factors of the Conflict in Afghanistan?


 what are the Internal Factors of the Conflict in  Afghanistan?

Yesterday, the second vice president, Moh Sarwar Danish, said in a gathering that the Taliban rejected Qur’an and Sunnah as basis for intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha. Though, earlier, they justified their war on the basis of Quranic concepts such defensive Jehad against foreign aggressors and establishment of Islamic Government but their current position and past actions have clearly showed that they are not committed to the above sacred concepts. If we look at past two decades, their action and position were entirely in paradox to their mottoes. Frequently, they have been blamed for attacks on religious centers, religious scholars, children, women worshipers, fasters, destruction of public properties and drug smuggling. On  one hand, they talk about the establishment of the Islamic government, on the other hand, they reject the Qur’an and Sunnah as basis for intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha.  On one hand, they talk about defensive war, on the other hand, they attack on Afghans while exclude foreigners with praying for health and victory of their leaders.
In fact, it is not the first time that the Taliban ignore Quran and Sunnah as the basis for their political action and decision. In 2018, more than 2,000 Afghan religious scholars gathered in Kabul to examine the status of ongoing war and conflicts in Afghanistan from Islamic viewpoint. After some discussions they unanimously outlawed the current war in a collective faithwa. The religious scholars stressed in their statement that war in its all forms are forbidden under the Islamic law and it is nothing except shedding the blood of Muslims whereas the real victims are innocent Afghan men, women, and children. In same year, there were other similar gatherings in Pakistan and Indonesian to discuss the roots and reasons of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and to find a durable peace solution for the conflicts of this war-torn country. The Islamic scholars of three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia, had issued collective and successive declaration on the war and peace in Afghanistan, in which they promulgated their opposition against the terrorism stressing on ending war and bringing peace in Afghanistan.
Given the above points, what are the Internal Factors of the Conflict in Afghanistan? In response to this question, it is obvious that  the usual concepts such as “religious war” “defense war” cannot explain the nature of ongoing war and conflicts in Afghanistan. It is also obvious that the conflicts of Afghanistan has largely imposed by external factors and Taliban is nothing more than weapons against Afghan people.  this article aiming to focus on internal dimension of the conflicts from theoretical perspective explained by political scholars. Theoretically, there are several factors about internal dimension of the conflicts. The first theory is psychological theory which is linked to human deprivation. Human deprivation itself is divided to three categories: decrimental deprivation, aspirational deprivation, and progressive deprivation. In decrimental deprivation, the human expectation is stable but its political and economic abilities are decreased and so they become unsatisfied. In aspirational deprivation, the human expectations are increased but their abilities are stable. In progressive deprivation, the human expectations are increased but their abilities are decreased. According to political theorists, all three cases can cause political riots  and insurgencies while the third case is more threatening  and more applicable in Afghanistan. So, psychologically, the responsibility of political leader is to preserve the balance between public expectations and abilities.
The next theory which explains the root cause of internal rebellion is sociological factor. This theory is based on functionality and accountability of the ruling system. According to this theory, the people support political system as long as it ensures social and economical orders and fulfill their needs. So, as soon as the political system loses its functionality, it will also lose its legitimacy leading to social and political uprising. As the level of legitimacy depends on level of public satisfaction, it will intensify when the elites of the ruling system shows continued weaknesses against public will and demand. If we look at internal conflicts in Afghanistan, a large number of youths have joined Taliban fighters because of poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately, the government institution has been successful in creating job opportunities in the country. it is said that around 82% of the youths are suffering from joblessness in the country; at least it was to ministry of labor and socials affairs to seek employment opportunities in foreign labor markets as other do. 
The last theory which explain the internal conflicts is power sharing conflicts theory. The power sharing conflicts happens when a group or groups of political people try to have monopolistic domination on a country. These kinds of political trend will not only cause public dissatisfaction but also identity and security crises.  In this case, the political conflicts intensify when the political factors combined with sociological and psychological factors. In the other word, if the government could not provide equal opportunities among citizens and if it could not fulfill the social and economical demand of the people, they will become angry and join the opposition groups or establish new opposing groups. Accordingly, the ruling system will face more political challenges when it loses balance of political power. The balance of political power between/amongst various groups can cause civil war but imbalance of power will pave the way for domination of powerful group. In such cases, the opposing groups will show more bravery to lunch political maneuver attract on people for the purpose of reaching power or checkmate the political rivals. In any case, the domination of powerful group will not lead to political stability because there would be always a hidden potential to challenge the government. So, given the multi-ethnic feature of Afghanistan, the national oneness and integrity would always be vulnerable unless we have a functional, just and pluralistic system in the country.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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