Consult with me on Maven
Consult with me on Maven

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Crisis of Transfer of Power in Afghanistan and the Deal Brokered by United States/ John Kerry

The unofficial results of Afghan Presidential elections has created a serious crisis that threatens to undo the great leap made through holding of Elections in Afghanistan. The crisis was the result of non-acceptance of the unofficial results by the losing candidate, Abdullah Abdullah. The threats of a new Civil War became real; though dimmed now, are still present. John Kerry of United States intervened along with United Nations to save the day. They have come up with a solution providing for audit of the elections by ISAF, acceptance of the results after the audit and a power sharing formula. This has also created a reaction in certain quarters, arguing why US is forcing the winner to share power with the loser? There may be some genuine anguish among the sympathizers of the winner, but there is also a section that sees in this a peaceful resolution and transfer of power, thus their interests in continued violence in Afghanistan are hurt.

US has done a great service to Afghanistan by intervening at this juncture. In Democratic Politics such compromises are normal. Look at Pakistan, why MQM is being wooed by all governments whether it was PPP or now PMLN. They don’t need their votes n center or Sindh but still neither removed MQM governor, Why? The alternate was a civil war. The compromise that US has brokered is not ideal but is much better than the alternate which would have been a Civil War in Afghanistan. Some Governors of Abdullah Camp had announced they would forcibly take over Presidential Palace. This is not good but democracy will come slowly and gradually. More than Ashraf Ghani or Abdullah, Afghanistan needs a peaceful transfer of power and continuation of the democratic system. Opposing something just because Americans have done it, is not a very mature approach. Even in Pakistan Saudi Arabia is known to broker deals when there is apolitical impasse. A Stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakhtuns everywhere. Any way its not a Pakhtun versus Non Pakhtun issue in Afghanistan as is portrayed by certain circles in Pakistan and elsewhere. Abdullah has Pakhtun supporters and Ashraf Ghani has even more non Pakhtun supporters, Rasheed Dostum and Ahmad Shah Masood's family stands by Ashraf Ghani while Zalmay Rasul stands by Abdullah.

There are still dangers that even this compromise may not work. It will be sad day. I am only trying to say criticizing it because it has been brokered by US or because it is a compromise is not good. It has its weaknesses and is fr from ideal but peace is more important than any ideal legalistic solution. As an ordinary Pakhtun, I see compromises made for the sake of peace in my daily life. When two parties (even, rather specially if they are family) have a dispute and they cannot resolve it themselves, within the family, then others do get involved. Mostly, they would go for a compromise solution, even at the cost of not giving all that is due strictly legally to one of the parties. Many were relying on violence during Election Day and non-participation of people in elections, even hoping elections would not be held. When those expectations failed, they started hoping results will not be accepted by one of the parties and hoped for a Civil War. This compromise dims the chances of such wishes. At this moment, I believe, peaceful transition of power will go a long way in the long journey of establishing true democratic institutions and traditions in Afghanistan. A stable Democratic Afghanistan is the only real guarantee against foreign intervention in Afghanistan. I also believe an interference free, stable and democratic Afghanistan, is in the interest of Pakhtuns, whether in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

Just think who benefits from inter ethnic Civil War in Afghanistan; who gets the continued opportunity to intervene in Afghanistan. By contrast, who suffers; who is isolated; and who loses space to intervene in Afghanistan if there is stability in Afghanistan?

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