Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Unique Sacrifices Made for Obtaining Democracy

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Unique Sacrifices Made for Obtaining Democracy

Afghan nation passed a myriad of historical ups and downs and made great sacrifices to enjoy their rights and freedom without barrier. The civil unrests and bloody wars took their toll on Afghan men and women. People suffered severely under dictatorial regimes and their blood was spilt without an iota of mercy. The minority groups suffered on the grounds of their race, color and creed and the systematic discriminations marginalized them from political arena.
Moreover, Afghan nation fought battles against foreign colony to safeguard their territorial integrity, religious tenets, ethical code and national values and preferred an honorable death to degraded life. Afghanistan has a glorious history and the nation’s bravery and sacrifices brought great honor for the country. Despite this fact, the dark side of civil unrests and wars on the basis of political interests and ethnocentrism, which inflicted heavy casualties upon the individuals, outraged the collective conscience and had a damaging effect on national reputation. Both the bright and dark sides of our history should be an eye-opener for the nation so that the bloody scenario does not repeat.
To view the history, Afghan kings have ruled the country under the sacred halo of religion and called themselves the divine caliphs. They claimed to revive social norms and prevent from the erosion of religious tenets. Under such terms, however, they engaged in violence and bloodshed and pursued their self-interests. The kings’ wrath was deemed as divine wrath which could justify their acts of violence. This political chicanery was used as a mechanism to keep their regime steady. Their strict rule, mainly regarding women, was somewhat acceptable in the traditional society of Afghanistan.
The Taliban also gained foothold in Afghanistan and established their dictatorial regime under the same term. They claimed to spread the divine rule on the surface of earth and protect the faith of the public from moral corruption. The Taliban’s founder Mullah Muhammad Omar called himself “caliph” and alleged to set up a religious state – which should have been empty of violence.
Currently, the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) led by Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi declares to establish a government under religious sharia. More radical than the Taliban, they shed the blood of men and women and resort to inhuman acts and moral crimes flagrantly. The ISIL seeks to rule the people through the old mechanism and justify their acts of horror and terror through their self-made ideology. Ill-fatedly, Afghan nation is not immune to the ISIL group either as it has gained foothold in some parts of the country. The nation, which has largely sacrificed to pave the way for exercising their rights and freedom, has yet to get rid of insurgency and make sacrifices for obtaining peace and stability in the country.  
Since the individuals still lose their lives and fall victim to militancy to ensure democracy gaining democracy seems to be a pyrrhic victory for Afghan nation. In the post-Taliban Afghanistan, efforts were made to establish a democratic administration and high steps were taken in this regard. As a result, the constitution of Afghanistan was approved by Afghan Loya Jirga (Grand National Assembly), presidential and provincial elections were held, parliament was formed, the Independent Human Commission was founded and civil society activists ushered in voicing in favor of people’s rights and freedom. Based on the Constitution, which was approved by nation’s representatives, the men and women’s rights were considered equal and any kinds of discrimination of the basis of race, sex, color and creed were banned. The government vowed to “form a civil society void of oppression, atrocity, discrimination as well as violence, based on rule of law, social justice, protecting integrity and human rights, and attaining peoples' freedoms and fundamental rights”.
Despite the establishment of a democratic administration, the nascent democracy yet to be strengthened by implementation of law and counterinsurgency. In other words, Afghanistan is wrestling with two major challenges namely corruption, mainly within the government apparatus, and terrorism – they hamper the process of democratization. The law in Afghanistan is approved immaculately and to the international level, however, it is not implemented so. The legislative, judicial and executive powers are balanced and move to different directions. Afghanistan is still ranked as most corrupt countries – which is a great cause for concern and damage the country’s reputation seriously. Thus, corruption is a major barrier before the implementation of law and takes its toll on citizens.
Secondly, the Taliban seek to impose their warped mind on Afghan nation with the barrel of gun through outdate chicanery of caliphate and spill the blood of men and women for turning down their ideology. Since Afghan nation has grown far mature politically and radical ideology of the insurgents is no more acceptable, they resort to violence and bloodshed to put pressure on the public and government. The insurgency, indeed, slows down the flow of democracy and curtails the rights and dignity of Afghan nation. The old terms of caliphate and sultanate will not be in accord with the democratic structure of Afghan society – no matter if such terms still victimize the nation.
The government will have to deal with the two aforementioned challenges: First, the administrative corruption should be rooted out from the state’s machinery, which will catalyze the implementation of law. Secondly, the counterinsurgency is to be reinforced.   

Hujjattullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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