Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Afghanistan’s Historical Glories and Disgrace

A number of factions engaged in civil unrests pursued various objectives. Streams of blood were shed and people’s rights and freedoms were violated within more than three decades of war. Contrary to merciless killings with sinister aims behind, some cherished high hopes, freedom and peace for the country. Afghanistan passed a rocky road throughout the history. 
Afghan nation suffered under several regimes which ruled the country under the mask of religion. Not only the Taliban’s founding father Mullah Mohammad Omar but a number of Afghan kings titled themselves “Amir-ul-Momineen” (the commander of the faithful) in order to introduce a religious legitimacy for their regimes. This bombastic title was handed down from one king to the next and finally the late Mullah Omar pronounced himself a spiritual leader with this title.
No wonder, Afghan nation fought bravely against the former Soviet Union and countless lives were sacrificed in this holy war (Jihad). People, regardless of their race and color, became an iron fist against the Soviet Union and inflicted strong blow upon it. The nation fought with the intention of safeguarding their faith, ethical code and moral values. Although streams of blood were shed, the national morale and determination did not decline. Afghans sought to inject virtue and religiosity in the spirit of society at the cost of their lives. Hence, they earned a glorious history. However, despite the national glory, a spate of ugly incidents occurred in the post-jihad period and put an irreplaceable loss in the country.
It goes without saying that civil unrests put strong impact on human rights. That is to say, human rights’ sudden and unnatural ups and downs was on the basis of political changes and constant changes of regimes. For instance, those who cherished parochial mindsets, curtailed the rights and freedoms of men and women across the country and tailored them on the basis of their own mentalities. Women were treated with humiliation and were restricted within four walls. Their social, political and cultural role were denied by dictatorial regimes and despotic kings who had no legitimacy. People suffered indescribable pains and sufferings. During Nadir Shah’s kingdom, life turned extremely cheap. Breathing a word against his regime ensued torture, prison or death. Similarly, King Abdul Rahman discriminated people on the grounds of their racial and linguistic backgrounds.
To sum up, the history of Afghanistan has two aspects: positive and negative. The positive and glorious aspect of Afghanistan is the historical wars against invaders mainly the former Soviet Union. The world’s jaw dropped with the sacrifices made by Afghan nation for protecting national values and religious tenets. People carried out a unique jihad in spite of the fact that they lacked arms, whereas enemies were the super power of the time. Afghans did not lose their morale and fought tooth and nail and gained upper hand.
However, civil unrest, which is the dark aspect of the history, put the glory of jihad under question. In other words, this conflict was a strong blow to holy war and its outcomes. Now people shed the blood of one another for self-interests rather than national values. There was neither a unanimous agreement nor a certain agenda for establishing a government. Warring parties that made sacrifices for safeguarding national values jeopardized the same national values claiming lion’s share in jihad and sought more prominent role in government, which was never founded.
Political upheavals resulted in great changes in human rights in Afghanistan. For instance, during the regime of emir Amanullah Khan, the first Afghan Constitution (Nezam-nama-ye-asasi) was adopted in 1301 by Loya Jirga (Grand National Assembly). This constitution divided the power of the government into legislative, executive and judicial branches. This entitled women to take active part in social, cultural and political arenas and in government’s body. He brought notable reforms in women’s rights which provoked a backlash from the religious figures, since Afghanistan was not ripe for that sudden reformation. In short, Amanullah intended to change the traditional society of Afghanistan over right, which was out of question. Moreover, King Zahir Shah is remembered for the last decade of his kingdom which is titled “the decade of democracy/ the decade of constitution”. He also entitled women equal with men and protected their rights and freedoms.
However, some dictatorial regimes left no room for women’s rights and freedoms and the Taliban regime is the worst example. Their view and treatment are crystal clear for the world. However, in the post-Taliban Afghanistan, women gained equal rights and liberty with men once more although being hampered by many obstacles. In brief, to view sudden changes of human rights in Afghanistan, history is a full-length mirror which reflect all the facts
It is evident that the current Constitution supports human rights, UN’s charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which is a milestone in national history.