Exclusive for the Daily Outlook
On the occasion of the inauguration of the second year of Afghan National Assembly, Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan referring to suggestions for a federal system in the country said, "Afghanistan is not a country where new systems and structures should be tested every so often." In fact, in the last three decades Afghanistan has become a political laboratory in which different formulas have been tested.
Both the Afghan governments and foreign powers applied their formulas at the cost of Afghans and Afghanistan for their own vested interests. The USSR exported communism to Afghanistan which trapped young Afghan zealots and they became communist and staunch supporters of the ideology.
The inexperienced communists failed to understand the tribal and religious nature of Afghan society. The bloody SOUR revolution of 1978 brought the communists to power. The Afghan communists (Khalq and Parcham) followed the policies of Vladimir IIyich Lenin in Afghan society; the hallmark of this policy was to diminish the opposition by force and brutality. The leaders of Afghan communists were divided on ethnic basis, as well as, there were clash of personalities amongst them. KGB played its pivotal role to keep them divided.
Eventually, the formula to make Afghanistan a pro WARSA communist state miserably failed. The policy of torture and killing swelled the ranks of the opposition. The followers and supporters of Ekhwan-ul-Muslemeen in Afghanistan were few before the SOUR revolution, but due to barbaric policies of communists, a large number of people joined the Mujahedeen.
The resistance groups or the Mujahedeen in Pakistan were not united. Their supporters, West, Muslims countries and intelligence agencies applied their formulas and kept them divided between fundamentalist and moderate parties. The four main fundamentalist parties were Hizb-e-Islami (Hikmatyar), Hizb-e-Islami (Khalis), Jamiat-e-Islami (Rabbani), and Ittehad-e-Islami.
Other category of resistance parties called as "moderate' included Mahazi-Milli-e-Islami, Jabha-i-Nijat-i-Milli, and Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami. The people of Afghanistan supported the mujahedeen despite their weaknesses. The people were hopeful that they will win the war and an era of peace and progress would usher in Afghanistan. The foreign supporters of the resistance forces had their own interests and designs.
They used the resistance to achieve their own goal of defeating the communism, which they have been striving for, since Second World War. After Russia's withdrawal, the West left Afghanistan for the bloody 'Buzkashi' of the neighbors. The neighbors with the help of their puppets started to march on Kabul which resulted into a bloody civil war in which thousands of innocent Afghans lost their precious lives and properties. The mujahedeen groups and parties drained all the pride which they had achieved during the jihad against the Russians.
As the mujahedeen formula was fading away, another group, Taliban came on the scene of Afghan politics. The black and white turban Taliban, with the coordinated and well-planned attack defeated the warlords and cleared the checkpoints and brought calm and stability to their areas under their control. As a new power, initially Taliban had the support of people because they were fed up of the situation. The Taliban ranks were filled up with alien faces, Arabs, Chechens, Uzbeks, Punjabis and Pashtuns of the tribal areas.
The Arabs were outnumbering the others. Taliban implemented Sharia Law in Afghanistan and made Afghanistan as the kingdom of Yaghistan (Rebel's state). Taliban failed to win the hearts and minds of the people and the support of international community. They ruled the country with iron fist and made the people to obey them using Islam as a tool for their suppression. This formula also failed to heal the miseries of the people.
After the tragic incident of 9/11 and the refusal of Taliban to handover Osama Bin Ladin, the America with the full support of international community invaded Afghanistan. Taliban were blown away in a few weeks. Afghan people welcomed whole heartedly the American and the international community and were hopeful that an era of peace, development, progress and democracy would flourish in Afghanistan. But to their despair, the super powers had their own designs. They came to Afghanistan for their own interests not for the interests of Afghanistan.
They followed polices which suited their interests. The Americans were in the hunt for Al-Qaeda activists; the British were securing and safeguarding their forces while the Europeans were scarifying their solders for the American interests rather than the interests of Afghans and Afghanistan.
The Afghan government under Hamid Karzi and its allies were without any vision. They were waiting for the foreigners to decide what should be done and what should be the faith and destiny of this country. They failed to come up with the expectations and lost a golden opportunity to make Afghanistan a peaceful and stable state.
Karzia and the Northern Alliance were busy in their dirty politics of getting more power, ministries and money. They were in competition of building the skyscrapers in Kabul. The corrupt leaders were and are trying to find new ways and means of corruption.
The foreigners had lion's share in this process. The retired and outdated advisors were imported from abroad and were given the salaries which they never dreamt of. No seriousness was shown for organizing a cohesive, motivated and disciplined Afghan army. Instead, they were taking steps for the short term goals.
The international community and Afghan government failed to work for state and institution building in Afghanistan. A war ravaged country like Afghanistan needed a long-term policy not that of short-term. The secret pacts are not the solution to the problem of Afghanistan. Such kind of pacts will prolong the sufferings of the people and will grow mistrust of the neighbors.
Afghans were hopeful that the democracy formula will succeed in Afghanistan but due to engineered presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections, the real representatives of the people were not allowed to come to forefront. Instead, the warlords, opium traders and the money holders dominated the Afghan Parliament and provincial assemblies.
The opposition i.e. Taliban and Hekmatyar are also without a vision and program. Taliban are well trained in killing and suicide bombings not in governing the country. In their seven years rule they used Islam as a tool to suppress people. Taliban failed to give a plane and formula for the future of the country. Taliban and Al-Queada alliance is not the formula which suits the interest of Afghanistan.
In last three decades all the formulas ended up with death and destruction of Afghanistan. Those formulas failed because they were imported from abroad. Afghanistan needs a fresh start, a start in which the interests of Afghans and Afghanistan should come first. A start in which the decisions be in the hands of real Afghan representatives. Such a formula should be applied in which all ethnic groups be given their due share. The power should be given to patriotic and well educated and true representatives of Afghans.
It should be people's choice whether to choose parliamentary system or presidential system of government. The foreign dictations should be resisted whole-heartedly. Our leaders and parties should not beg to foreigners to change the system, rather they should convince the people of this great country for a positive change.
The role of neighbors and international players should be decided by Afghans. The international community should stand by the Afghans and not by the interests of some powers. The neighbors and the international community should understand that peaceful Afghanistan is in the interests of all.
To achieve that, the role of United Nation is crucial and important. For a better and peaceful Afghanistan, all the stake holders should take a collective and compromise decision under United Nation asepses in which the interests of Afghanistan are to be the first and the foremost. The Afghan government, opposition, International community and the neighbors should understand that the only way out of this turmoil is ballot not the barrel of the guns.