Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Vacuum for the Spirit of Democracy

The establishment of democratic administration in post-Taliban Afghanistan was believed to alleviate the challenges, mainly the militancy and terrorism. Afghan nation embraced democracy as their eyes sparkled with hope and optimism and wished to live in a society void of horror and terror. Democracy was considered the panacea for their chronic wounds that were bleeding as a result of bloody wars lingered throughout the history. Democracy, which is simply defined “the government of the people, for the people and by the people”, would let the nation to exercise their rights and liberty without barriers.
The approval of Constitution, which included the citizens’ rights to life, liberty and estate and excluded discriminations and distinctions on the grounds of race, color and sex, filled Afghan nation with greater sense of hope. Citizens’ “natural” and “inviolable” rights and dignity were stated in the Constitution and the government has committed itself to protect the nation’s rights and liberty in the best possible way. Indeed, an ideal democratic society is a society where there are equal rights and opportunities to everyone. There must not be any discrimination against man and woman i.e. there must prevail gender equality. Men and women should get equal opportunities in every field such as in political field, economical field and so on.
A democratic nation should have its political situation stable. It is very important for maintaining democracy. Peace is maintained only through stable political condition. A party should not have monopoly in a democratic nation. There must be cooperation among every party group and work for the welfare of the nation in a united way. Corruption is discouraged.  It is through political stability a nation gets pathway for its economical success.
It is an undeniable fact that Afghan nation made great sacrifices and left dark days of war, violence and civil unrest to obtain democracy. Our history witnessed indescribable cruelty and harm inflicted upon Afghans under despotic regimes, mainly the Taliban’s regime and millions of lives were lost to protect the rights and dignity of the nation.
The post-Taliban Afghanistan has made significant progress towards rebuilding its political system and institutions. Political participation – especially among women – is growing. Afghanistan’s 2014 elections saw historic turnout, and the inauguration of President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani marked the country’s first democratic transfer of power. These accomplishments are the result of work and investments by Afghans and international partners.
Since 2001, Afghanistan has adopted a new constitution; organized presidential, parliamentary, and provincial council elections; established ministries to deliver services to the people and developed a vibrant media and civil society. According to The Asia Foundation’s 2014 Survey of the Afghan People, more than 75 percent of Afghans rate the performance of the national government as somewhat or very good.   
Afghanistan’s 2014 elections saw record voter participation, including the highest female turnout in Afghanistan’s history – with over 38 percent of the vote coming from women. Despite threats of violence, Afghans turned out in courageous and historic numbers to cast ballots in presidential and provincial council elections.
A vibrant and independent media is critical to a healthy democracy, and according to The Asia Foundation’s 2014 Survey of the Afghan People, Afghans have strong confidence in their media. Afghan civil society organizations have also emerged as vocal, persistent, and influential stakeholders. During the 2014 elections, Afghan organizations fielded twice as many observers as they did in the 2009 elections, providing independent oversight of the entire election process.
However with all the said achievements, there are many barriers before the nascent democracy and it seems to decline in one way or another. Terrorism is a major setback before democracy. The Taliban have intensified their attacks which led to the increase of civilian casualties within the two past years. Furthermore, a number of the Taliban members pledge allegiance to the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group that gained foothold in the country and aggravated the security situation. Currently, the escalated militancy, which undermines the inchoate democracy in Afghanistan, is a great cause for concerns.
Moreover, a number of challenges in government’s machinery also interrupt the flow of democracy. Seemingly, there is a trust issue between the heads of the National Unity Government and sometimes this leaks out to the media. It should be noted that if a sense of mistrust arouses among the authorities, the opportunists will fish in troubled waters. Moreover, a gap between state and nation will emerge and this will lead to a tension in the country that will take its toll on the nation.

To strengthen the bases of democracy and safeguard the historical sacrifices and martyrs’ blood and to pay homage to the wars against invaders, the authorities will have to nurture a sense of brotherhood and unity. To bridge the gap between state and nation, the authorities, especially the unity government should seek to form a society void of violence and bloodshed in its real meaning and protect the nation’s rights and liberty as they have committed themselves. The true spirit of democracy should be established in Afghanistan to decrease the challenges. For combating terrorism, a strong morale among the soldiers is needed and it is the high-ranking authorities to instill this morale through devoted services, unifying the nation and spreading a feeling of brotherhood and patriotism among the nation irrespective of their race and color.