Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Managing Internal and External Relations

Afghanistan's success and development into a peaceful and stable democracy largely hinges on effective management of its internal and external relations. A failure in this regard will lead to reversal of the current democratic consolidation process. Recently, Afghan government seems to be doing well to forge long-term partnerships with western and regional powers, which will help the country in economic development as well as in military and political areas until Afghanistan reaches to a point when it is able to stand on its feet and begin to wane off the international aid.

For instance, the government has signed a strategic agreement with India, which will contribute to new regional architecture to the advantage of Afghanistan as it continues to rely on foreign assistance to survive, and needs to create areas of interests for more regional and international powers in addition to the traditional neighbors that, unfortunately, have not shunned and avoided interfering and meddling in internal affairs of the country even illegitimately and intrusively when they wrongly saw their interests in such interferences.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has newly announced that Afghan government would soon sign one long-term partnership agreement with France. In addition, it is expected to go for inking similar agreements of long term cooperation with NATO, US, EU and Britain as well.

These countries have been actively assisting Afghanistan both militarily and financially over the last ten years. These ongoing bids to secure long-term support from powerful countries based on forward-looking policies will bring the country out of isolation of lacking any strong regional and international allies and partners.

In the meanwhile, Afghanistan needs to gain the expertise, knowledge and techniques of delivering good governance to continue to achieve political development as good governance is growingly becoming constitutive of political development, a state of development of institutions, attitudes and values.

It is the first time that Afghanistan is experiencing a democratic government and is still in need of learning from the experiences of these partner countries that have achieved certain level of political development. These western and regional countries will definitely be able to deliver these expertise, knowledge and techniques.

Afghanistan should continue to improve rule of law, human rights and develop a vibrant civil society to make the process of political development irreversible. It will not be able to maintain the process on its own. Afghan government is yet to develop its capacity to do problem-solving and to be able to mobilize and allocate resources effectively and efficiently in a just and balanced fashion.

Afghan government still struggles with expanding and establishing its writ in remote areas of the country in order to replace the tribal structures that continue to hold people hostage to tribal cruel and unfair values. Long-term powerful regional and international partners will help Afghanistan achieve these goals and travel this path successfully. But Afghan government is yet become effective enough to manage the internal relations.

A failure in this regard will lead to the country to remain vulnerable and prone to outside meddlesome connections, which have already cost Afghanistan extremely. The last ten years begot changes to some old ethnic relational stereotypes and also brought about some new social changes of cross-cutting class cleavages but there still continues to be the fear of tensions emanating from ethnic cleavages.

There still exclusion policies pursued by some political groups and actors in the country and the fear of being excluded definitely affects and influences the actions of some others. It is not possible to eliminate the pluralism and diversity but it is possible to relinquish the old stereotypes of international relations by recognizing representation as a mechanism for maintaining the support of different ethnic groups for the system and government.