Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Peace in Afghanistan Context

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Peace in Afghanistan Context

war and violence caused bottomless tragedy and huge negative impacts on society and individuals throughout the history in a way that finding an approach for reintegration, economic growth and sustainable peace across the nations need more attention. Therefore, men pay much interest in peace from the ancient time until now. Afghanistan is one of the countries that experienced forty years of fractional war and ethnic conflicts.  At the time, it is one of the fragile countries in South Asia.  Decades of civil war and internal conflicts caused a huge cost on economy and instigated high level of distrust among the populations and key political actors.
Peace is the most pleasant word in Afghanistan’s literary context. So far many charming sentences were written, statements delivered, enhancement activities and seminars held, textbooks printed, many resources have been invested on peace building which included the establishment of High Peace Council. From 2002 till present peace has been discussed, pondered upon, taught and studied in many ways and many aspects and today peace is the greatest and highest goal.  Every Afghan, including the rich, the poor, men and women, wishes to achieve personally and expects to be settled in the country soon.
To understand the issue, it is necessary to know the true meaning of peace. Peace is used in different meanings. Literally, the term peace is derived from the original Latin word “pax”, which means a pact, a control or an agreement to end war or any dispute and conflict between two people, two states or two hostile groups of people.  Peace can be a state of harmony or the absence of hostility as well as a non-violent way of life. To understand the meaning of peace scholarly, it is crucial to view the scholars’ opinions and interpretations. Emphasizing on law and order, Albert Einstein said, “Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order – in short, of government.”  Martin Luther King, a famous human rights activist, believes that peace means social justice as he states that “true peace is not merely the absence of tension: It is the presence of justice.” According to Dalai Lama, peace is respecting of human rights, freedoms, and human dignity. He said, “Peace, in the sense of the absence of war is of little value…peace can only last where human rights are respected, where people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.” In addition, Baruch Spinoza, one of the famous philosophers, gave his point of view on peace that “peace was not an absence of war; it was a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence and justice.” Meanwhile, Jawaharlal Nehru stated, “Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.” To ponder on the scholars’ opinions, peace is classified into two types: Internal peace and external peace. Internal peace also called “inner peace” basically means peace of mind or soul. It is a state of calm, serenity and tranquility of mind that arises due to having no sufferings or mental disturbances such as worry, anxiety, greed, desire, hatred, ill-will, delusion, and other defilements. Internal peace is peace within oneself; it is derived from practicing or training of mind of an individual. Internal peace is essential; it is generally regarded as true peace and as a real foundation of peace in society or peace in the world.
Also the scholars’ interpretations clearly shows that internal peace influences external peace. It is like a big building, which has to be grounded or constructed by the first brick strongly. Peace is also built likewise; it means we need to start peace building from the foundation.  If we wish to have a long-lasting peace in Afghanistan, it should be grounded on the real internal peace of Afghans’ hearts.  We need to clean our hearts from gender discrimination, prejudice, and segregation; we need to create an environment where every one’s rights are respected liberty and tolerance practiced.  . We need to realize the real cause of war and peace in Afghanistan, which includes injustice, inequality and discrimination. As the famous statement of UNESCO reminds us “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”
External peace is peace that occurs in society, nations and the world; it is a normal state of society, countries and the world. It is a state of peaceful co-existence of people as well as open-mindedness, In order to see external peace clearly, we can describe its negative and positive sense as follows; Negative sense: war, hostility, agitation, social disorder, disturbances, social injustice, social inequality, violence, violation of human rights, riot, terrorism, ecological imbalance.  Positive sense: a state of social harmony, social justice, social equality, friendship or friendly relation, concord, public order and security, respect for human rights and ecological balance.
Finally, from their own views, peace is a presence of more other good things like virtue, justice, order, good law, good government, good relationship, well-being, freedom, respect for human rights, security and  absence of violence.  Looking at the houses, streets, lanes of Kabul city and its inhabitants’ behaviors gives concrete evidences on how the peace building functions in Afghanistan. Moreover, it shows how the Afghans’ hearts are supportive and gift kindness to each other. While kind hearts are distinguished as the bricks of peace.  Furthermore, peace is well-functioning government, sound business environment, low levels of corruption, acceptance of the rights of others, high levels of human capital, good relations with neighbors, free flow of information, and equitable distribution of resources of the country.  If we focus on the state of mind, peace is calm, serenity, tranquility or peacefulness of mind. If we refer to the state of a place or an atmosphere, peace means quietness and silence. 

Dawlat Bakhtiari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at Dawlat2002@gmail.com

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