Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Do We Need to Modify the System or Destroy it?

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Do We Need to Modify the System  or Destroy it?

On the eve of Istanbul Summit, the debate over the destiny of the current political system has become a hot topic in Afghanistan. The national and international actors are successively proposing their suggestions for how to change the system. Undoubtedly, these plans without touching the root factors of the crisis cannot provide a clear perspective for the future, rather these show our weak historical experience, and that we still have not learned good lessons from the past history. In past one century, we have experienced tense of political systems while none could lead to peace and stability because we have destroyed our past achievements, instead of building on them. Now, on the eve of Istanbul Summit, once again we are going to repeat the same failed experience. Hence, if the current proposals and plans are led to the abolishment of the current system without preserving its major principles, once again it would be the same old tradition that is the interruption historical line of politics in Afghanistan.
During the last 300 years of Afghanistan’s political history, the country’s policy has continued to be broken and interrupted with the transfer of power, and the new system and government instead of resuming the same path and achievements has adopted a new way. This method is more visible in the last hundred years of the twentieth century. The government of Amanullah was overthrown by Habibullah Kalkani with all its positive and negative programs but he himself could not create any program. After that when Nader Shah came to power, he took a different path from the time of Amanullah; For example, the constitution of Amanullah was repealed and replaced with a new law in which the king was given absolute power. Thus, all other modern plans and strategies of Amanullah in the field of politics, education, public participation and economy were nullified and revoked by Nader Shah.
After Nadershah, Mohammad Zahir Shah brought some good changes which eventually led to the establishment of a political system based on democracy. Regardless of talking about how perfect this democracy was or was not, it was much better than the previous authoritarian systems. In fact, it was considered a great step towards peace, stability, and a pluralistic system. During that period, the people of Afghanistan experienced a free and successful life, but soon it was abolished by Dawood Khan. Instead of building on the past achievements, he devised a new plan: a republican system. The self-proclaimed republic of Dawood Khan lasted five years; he drafted another constitution with banning the activities of political parties, stopping media publication, dissolved the Shura Council, and eventually dismantled the young democracy which was achieved after long sufferings. Dawood khan fully disrupted the existing the political order of that time but he could not establish a new order in country to continue peace and political stability in the country. Eventually, his self-centered policy at a national level with his ill-considered actions in foreign policy led to his downfall.
After Dawood Khan’s Government, similar experience was repeated during communist governments, Mujahideen government, Taliban government, and lastly the current system. With this long historical failed experiences, it becomes clear that changes of system are equal to returning to the past and backwardness, but continuality of the system can be corrected over the process of time. Now, on the eve of the Istanbul Summit, we should note that these relative changes and freedom have been materialized after a long historical journey; dozens of writers, intellectuals, and political activists have lost their sweet lives that now we can breathe in a relative democratic atmosphere. Therefore, instead of changing the system, correction of the system through the recognized mechanism, is in the interest of the country. for example, during Amanullah if the people instead of revolting against the government, forced him to respect religious beliefs and also convince him to respect the way people dress, today we would not have been in this position. Accordingly, if the people supported Zahir Sha to continue his political and economic programs with little corrections, now Afghanistan would not have been in the current critical conditions.
Undoubtedly, the current government has some weakness and the officials also confess its flaws in many cases but these points are not good reasons to destroy everything and restart from Zero. In fact, the new government plan is an impartial and logical plan to cross the current deadlock through a fair, free, and transparent election. Recently, the Afghan National Security Advisor, Hamdullah Mohib said that President Ghani would not run as a candidate in the early election proposed by the government to reach a political deal with the Taliban as part of the reconciliation process. Mr. Mohib stressed that President Ghani would return the power to an “elected leader”.  Now, if the Taliban are really ready for peace, this is a good mechanism while the current president is no more nominated as a candidate in the proposed elections.
In short, the abolishment of the system is not in the interest of the country, but the correction system yes. Therefore, the US, international community and regional countries should support the government plan, or at least they should uphold the main principles of the republic system in the country. The international community should note that the current generation of Afghanistan has grown up in a democratic atmosphere where they have had access to the freedom of media, freedom of expression, human rights, election, and other democratic values. So, if the outcome of the Istanbul result destroys these values, it would not lead to a lasting peace in the country. 

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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