در جهان معاصردانشمندان علوم سیاسی تحقیقات فراوان علمی در باره سوالات زیر و جواب به انها انجام داده اند. همانطوریکه در دنیای اکادمیک این سوالات ذهن دانشمندان علوم سیاسی را بطرف خود جلب کرده، در حوزه عمومی افکار عامه در جوامع جنگ زده هم تمایل فراوانی به این گفتگو دارد. این سوالات به شرح ذیل میباشد:
جنگ های داخلی چه گونه خاتمه میابد؟
چرا ختم جنگ های داخلی از طریق گفتگوهای مسالمت امیزمشکل تر بنظر می اید تا جنگ بین دولتین؟
چه نوع رابطه ای بین طروق ختم جنگ، تاثیر ان بالای روند اعمار صلح و چشم انداز صلح بلند مدت وجود دارد؟
برای صلح پایدار ایا ختم جنگ از راه توافقات الزامی است یا ترجیعی ؟
ایا توافقات صلح بر گشت جنگ در دراز مدت را محتمل مسازد؟
دقیقآ میانجیگر جنگ چه کمکی می تواند در ختم جنگ و در اجرای توافق نامه صلح بین طرفین انجام دهد؟
چرا بعضی توافقات صلح موفقیت امیز است در حالیکه بعضی توافقات ناکارامد و ناموفق؟
درحالیکه برای هیچکدام ازین سوالات جواب صریح و قاطعی وجود ندارد، اما هرکس بر حسب حال، تجربه، مشاهدات و تحقیقات اکادمیک به بحث پیرامون انها پرداخته است. .ما هم بحث خود در باره جنگ افغانسان وموضوعات فوق ادامه میدهیم .قضیه افغانستان به لحاظ پیچده گی های داخلی، منطقه و جهانی که دارد مستلزم تحقیقات وسیع و همه جانبه ای میباشد که از حوصله یک مقاله خارج است. پس برای سهولت و توضیح بهتریکی از سوالات فوق را انتخاب و در اطراف ان به صحبت میپردازیم. بنظرم این سوال که چه نوع رابطه ای بین طروق ختم جنگ، تاثیر ان بالای روند اعمار صلح وجود دارد با قضیه افغانستان خالی از دلچسپی نخواهد بود.
برای وضاحت بشتر از تعریف جنگ اغاز میکنیم. به گفته ای دانشمندان علوم سیاسی منجمله رابرت هریسن واگنر معتقد است که “جنگ رقابتی است که گروپ های منظم با استفاده از سلاح تخریبی در جهت کشتن، معلول کردن و تخریب جایداد همدیگر وارد عمل میشوند”. اما این تعریف هنوز هم جامع نیست چون هر رقابتی و لو که استفاده از قوا قهریه هم توسط یک طرف رقابت بکار گرفته شود مرسومآ جنگ شمرده نمی شود، مکر اینکه طرف مقابل نه تنها به مقاوت بپردازد، بلکه انقدر وتاوقتی مقابلتآ خشونت را بکار گیرد که تلفات قابل ملاحظه ای از طرف و یا طرفین درگیر بوجود اید. پس جنگ نتیجه عمل صرف یک طرف درگیر نیست، ولازم هم نیست که توسط یکی از شرکت کنندگان در نظر گرفته شده باشد.
از توصیح بیشترپیرامون تعریف جنگ میگزریم چون تعاریف فوق مشمول جنگ بین دولتین است ، اما مصداق داخلی هم دارد خصوصآ زمانیکه مردم اعتماد خود به دولت از دست میدهند و به مقابل دولت منازعات مسلحانه را اغاز می نمایند .در افغانستان هم به نحوی یک منازعه مسلحانه از چهل سال پیش در کشورشروع شده که اغلبآ خود افغان ها در تعریف ان وحدت نظر ندارند. از طرفی هم صاحبنظران و محقیقین خارجی زمانی انرا جنگ ایدیالوژی(دین و کمونیسزم) گاهی جنگ داخلی ( بین گروپ های مختلف اما داری یک اندیشه) و زمانی هم جنگ مدنی یا قومی نامیدند. آما از نظر خود افغان ها ایدیالوژی و قوم را میتوان به عنوان یکی از عوامل بروز و تداوم جنگ ها ذکر کرد، اما بطور قطع وهیچگاهی نمیتوان به عنوان عنصر و عامل تعین کننده جنگ ها به حساب اورد، بلکه مردم افغانستان عامل اصلی جنگ را روبط بین المللی حاکم بر جهان میداننند.. به همین ترتیب جنگ فعلی هم تعریف ناشده باقی مانده و دولت کابل پالیسی معینی در قبال منازعه مسلحانه جاری ندارد، به لحاظ اینکه طرف مقابل درگیر جنگ را گاهی تروریست، گاهی مخالفین مسلح و گاهی هم شورشی میخواند که اصولآ هر کدام ازین نام گزاری ها مستلزم یک استراتیژی جداگانه ومیعنی است که دولت کابل فاقد انها است . پس بسیاری معتقد اند که دولت بخواهد و یا نخواهد در یک جنگ داخلی قرار دارد که پیشینه چهل ساله دارد.
درباره اینکه جنگ چیست و چگونه اغاز میشود خیلی بیشتر تحلیل و نوشته اند تا که صلح.. از نظر فکری، عقیدتی وعاطفی مذاکرات برای صلح دلهره های خود دارد، از جمله سوال اینکه چگونه کسانی که دوستان، اقارب و خانواده های همدیگر را کشته میتوان صلح و توافق کرد که باز پهلوی هم زند ه گی کنند؟. چگونه میشود به هم اعتماد کرد و روی مسایل اجتماعی واقتصادی کار کرد تا یک سیستم کار امد سیاسی را بوجود اورد ؟ با وجود حیاتی بودن این سوالات از طرفی جنگ هم نتوانسته مشکلاتی را که در نظر داشته حل و فصل کند، و از طرف دیگر دوام ان هم بر ابعاد و عمق فاجعه روزانه می افزاید. پس چه بایدکرد؟ در حوزه علمی و اکادمیک دانشمندان علوم سیاسی با حفظ و در نظر داشت شرایط لازم و کافی هرجامعه سه طریق مختلف را برای ختم هر جنگی پشنهادمیکنند که عبارت اند از:
الف :غلبه و سرکوب قاطع و نهائی نظامی یک طرف درگیر بر طرف دیگر.
ب :حل و فصل صلح امیز: این روش شامل؛ مشارکت در قدرت سیاسی ، خودمختاری منطقه ای، فدرالیزم، تقسیم و تجزیه محل منازعه، می باشد.
ج : اتش بس دوامدار.
مجریان جنگ چهل ساله افغانستان در بکار برد هر سه روش ابتکارات فراوانی، از طرح اتش بس یک جانبه توسط داکتر نجیب الله گرفته تا پیروزی قاطع و نهایی نظامی در دو بار، اول پیروزی مجاهدین بر حزب وطن در سال۱۹۹۲ و بار دوم پیروزی نظامی شورای ائتلاف شمال به کمک متحدین بین اللملی اش در ۲۰۰۱ بر طالبان . ولی پیروزی قاطع نظامی طوریکه محقیق علوم سیاسی بر ان باور دارند، در افغانستان رهی را به ابادی نکشاد..چون پیروزی قاطع نظامی به ختم جنگ و صلح پایدار نیانجامید، بلکه به از سرگیری دور تازه ای از جنگ ها منجر شد که چشم انداز صلح را بیشتر از پیش به خطر انداخت. از پیروزی قاطع نظامی در جنگ که بگذرم به روش دیگرختم جنگ که عبارت است راه حل صلح امیز میرسیم.. درین باب خوشبختانه که شرایط کافی و لازم برای تجزیه،تقسیم وجدائی سرزمین افغانستان وجود نداشت، پس برای حل وفصل صلح امیز تنها سیاست تشریک قدرت سیاسی مورد استفاده قرار گرفت. این سیاست به نحوی در اواخر دهه ۱۹۸۰ توسط حکومت داکتر نجیب الله پشنهاد شد، اما نظر به دلایلی جنبه عملی نیافت ولی بعدآ درسال ۲۰۰۱ بعد از غلبه نظامی قاطع شورای ائتلاف شمال با همکاری حامیان بین المللی اش بر طالبان سیاست تشریک قدرت سیاسی به شکل ناقص و نا منظم مورد استفاده قرار گرفت.
تشریک قدرت سیاسی در افغانستان منجر به بی کفایتی رژیم کابل شد، چون دولت هیچگاهی موفق نشد تا در مسایل مهم مثلآ امنیت ،فساد، فقر، نابرابری ها ی سیاسی، اجتماعی و اقتصادی برنامه ریزی های ملی داشته باشد. این پروسه از همان روز های اول در سال ۲۰۰۱ بدلایل بیشمار خاص ذیل چشم انداز روشنی نداشت.
اول: یکی ازین دلایل بر میگردد به ترکیب نا متجانس شورای ائتلاف شمال که ترکیبی است از بعضی تنظیم های جهادی، شورای نظار، بعضی شبهه نظامی های مربوط به حزب سابق وطن، جنگ سالاران، بعضی از قاچاقچیان مواد مخدره و دلال های سیاسی. از انجاییکه هر کدام ازین گروه ها و اشخاص اجندای خاص خود را دارند، همکاری با یکدیگر به متاع نایابی تبدیل شده که دسترسی به ان هر روز مشکل تر تا جائیکه شاید به
ناممکنات بدل شود.
دوم :دو بازیگر اصلی در پروسه بعد از طالبان؛ ایالات متحده امریکا و دولت افغانستان با دو اجندای مختلف وارد کارزار شدند. به گفته استری شهورکی کار شناس امور افغانستان، ایالات متحده امریکا با برنامه ای مبارزه علیه تروریزم که قلع و قمع رژیم طالبان و نابودی القاعده از الویت هایش بود، دست به مداخله نظامی زد . در سایه این مداخله دولت علیل و بی تجربه حامد کرزی و شرکایش طبل دولت سازی را بنواختن گرفتند. از انجائیکه جنگ بآ القاعده در افغانستان و عراق شدت گرفت برنامه دولت سازی در افغانستان در گرداب ان فرو رفت و در عمل هر دو اجندا انطور که اتظار میرفت نتائج مطلوب ببار نیاورد . چنانچه شاهدیم که با وجود سرمایه گزاری های سرشار مالی و جانی ار طرف هر دو متحد استرتیژیک باستثنای نابودی القاعده نه امریکا انقدر در قلع و قمع طالبان موفق بوده و نه هم رژیم کابل در امر دولت سازی چون تروریزم بشتر از هر وقت دیگردر منطقه فعال است و دولت افغانستان از هر وقت دیگر در دو قرن اخیر علیل تراست .
سوم : برنامه گفتگو با طالبان از بی بر نامه گی دولت به سوء تغذی دچار شد. دولت از همان روز های اول حضور مجدد طالبان در میدان های نبرد با استفاده از بازی موش و گربه به کمک همکاران بین المللی خود گاهی به تهاجم علیه مواضع طالبان پرداخت و گاهی هم مدعی پیوستن و تسلیمی بدون قید و سرط طالبان به پروسه صلحی که وجود نداشت، شد. ولی بر عکس این بی بر نامه گی و چشم انداز پروسه دولت سازی و عدم اعتماد شرکای قدرت در کابل طالبان را روزمره برای مقابله در مقابل حکومت مصمم تر ساخت.
چهارم: یکی از راز های موفقیت امیزدر پروسه تشریک قدرت سیاسی که دولت کاملآ در ان ناموفق بوده است،اهمیت دادن به نقش نهاد ها و ساختار های غیر دولتی است. در افغانستان قدرتمند ترین این نوع نهاد ها، لویه جرگه و انجمن های فرهنگی و کلتوری بوده است که در سیزده سال گذشته متاسفانه از نقش انجمن های فرهنگی کاملآ چشم پوشی و در تدویرلویه جرگه ها هم دخالت های انحصاری دولت که منجر به راه یابی عناصر فاصد، استفاده جو، مغرض باندازه ای از اهمیت، اعتبار و کار ائی لویه جرگه کاسته که تصامیم اش هیچگاهی مورد پسند عامه قرار نگرفت
پنجم: دونالد ریچارد عالم سیاسی هفت فرض عمده را برای موفقیت تشریک قدرت سیاسی الزامی میداند که باستثنای فرض اخیر درین پاراگراف انهم ناقص در قضیه افغانستان هیچکدام از فرایض دیگر که عبارت تسلط نخبگان، فرهنگ همدیگر پذیری بین گروه ها، تعهد صادقانه، رابطه سالم با مردم، رونق اقتصادی برابر برای همه اقوام، جمعیت شناسی پایدار، و روابط سازنده با جا معه بین المللی، وجود نداشت.
سوای مشکلات در جبهه دولت، وضع در جبهه مقاومت هم دلگرم کننده نیست .چون “سند یکای مقاومت” که متشکل است از حزب اسلامی برهبری حکمتیار، شبکه حقانی و طالبان که هر یک اهداف و خواسته های متفاوت را دنبال میکنند. حزب اسلامی به رهبری حکمتیارمعروف به عشق در کیش شخصیت خود ، حقانی یک گروپ محلی قبیله ای که هیچ علاقه و دلچسپی به برنامه در سطح ملی ندارد، ‘طالبان’ . طالبان هم که پیشتر از نام و مقامی در جهت فعالیت های ضد دولتی تامین امنیت، محو فساد و اشاعه عدالت در بین روستائیان تهی دست محبوب بودند، حالا بیشتریک برچسب یا نام تجاری تبدیل شده که حتی رهزنان، قطاع الطریق ها ، باند های تبهکار و قاچاقچیان مواد مخدره هریک از بر چسب طالبان بشکل بی ریویه استفاده کرده که دیگر محال بتوان طالبان را از غیر طالبان جدا کرد .
حرف کوتاه، انچه تا ایجا گفته امدیم میرساند که شرایط لازم و کافی برای صلح پایدار انطوریکه ایدیالوژی لیبرالیزم غربی حکم میکند در جامعه سنتی افغانی مورد کار برد ندارد. پس شرایط لازم و کافی برای صلح پایدار را باید به همت دسته جمعی روشنفکران چپ ، راست و میانه در لایه های ارزش اجتماعی افغان ها جستجو کرد
So Afghanistan has a Government of National Unity (GNU). Indeed, it has had one for over 100 days now in the aftermath of a protracted election, mired by fraud, violence, and subsequent indeterminate run-off. There is much we do not know of what exactly constitutes GNU in Afghanistan and understandably, considering that it is still at its infancy. Moreover, speculating on its sustainability and effectiveness is also rather immature. Perhaps putting the Afghan GNU in a comparative perspective can shed some light on what prospects await. The fundamental question to pursue is whether Afghan GNU is another ad hoc arrangement or a permanent feature that will be embedded in our political landscape?
GNU as a power-sharing resolution
The concept of GNU as applied to Afghanistan and many other countries is most vehemently defended by Arend Lijphart who coined the term ‘consociational democracy’1. It is a democratic model that prescribes power-sharing as a remedy to emerging political conflict. I have previously alluded to the fact that Afghanistan is founded on power-sharing and has exercised consociational democracy at its informal sector2 for ages. However, the consociational democracy as prescribed by Lijphart and the power-sharing mechanism that is implemented in Afghanistan is quite foreign.
The model advocated by Lijphart consists of four fundamental principles: a shared executive; mutual veto power to all social groups; proportional representation in government; and federalism. It is too early to say whether all these principles are to be executed in Afghanistan. It is clear that GNU is ushered out of the failure of the majoritarian form of democracy also known as the ‘winner take all’ as was illustrated in the case of Afghanistan.
On the surface this inclusive power-sharing model seems to imply a ‘win-win’ situation for all parties concerned in a divided society. There is a general consensus on what results out of power-sharing mechanism and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) project description is most noteworthy in the context of Afghanistan as they define power-sharing to be an “institutional arrangements designed to reduce the threat of conflict by giving all the belligerents in positive cooperation arrangements and a set of mutual guarantees of security and basic interests”3.
Over hundred days later, looking at the situation in Afghanistan it can hardly be argued that the power-sharing mechanism achieved any of the above objectives. Yes, the power-sharing reduced the threat of conflict between the two candidates camps. Certainly institutional arrangement is still being laid for their cooperation in order that both camps can achieve guarantees of security and interests. But if we are to consider power-sharing mechanism as a fundamental feature of consociational democracy, we must ask, what about the people? Surely, such a democratic model does consider the fate of the people and the PRIO description must account that in Afghanistan the power-sharing has exacerbated the conflict; the belligerents have been powerless or reluctant to have positive cooperation; and the mutual guarantees of security and interest of the people is viciously undermined.
Perhaps it is unfair to put the power-sharing objective in this greater context, for it was a narrow resolution proposal to an election dispute and mandated to create a Government of National Unity consisting of those who participated in the election process. This democratic model required first to share power amongst the stakeholders of the last decades and then discuss peace with the insurgents. I doubt Lijphart or any other political analyst believes that democracy precedes peace. Notwithstanding the utter fallacy, lets pick out recent examples around the world in order to better learn where do we stand.
On 27 December 2007 Kenyans went to the polls to elect between the incumbent Mwai Kibaki representing the Party of National Unity and presidential candidate Raila Odinga leading the Orange Democratic Movement party. Three days later the Electoral Commission of Kenya announced that the president Kibaki had won the race which immediately triggered country-wide protest by the supporters of Odinga claiming fraud and various other irregularities. The protests turned into riots and amalgamated to sectarian violence resulting in over 600,000 in internally displaced and 1500 death4. The situation propelled the “International Community” to get involved and diffuse the situation. A group of distinguished African leaders formed a panel presided by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who suggested that a re-election or recount would further inflate the conflict. It was necessary to get out of this crisis and to move forward Annan profusely argued; it was imperative to form a Government of National Unity.
Under pressure internally by the heavily operating NGO industry as well as the fear of isolation regionally and internationally, President Kibaki agreed to the formation of the GNU. After two months of deliberations, the leaders of both parties signed an agreement of coalition government (the Grand Coalition) that consisted of a whole new political power structure. The Executive power was divided between Kibaki who retained the presidential post and creating a new executive post of Prime Minister for Odinga whose capacity was to coordinate and supervise the affairs of the government5. It took another two month and much political maneuverings between the new Prime Minister and the President on the formation of a government. There was intense negotiation on who to appoint and how to share the cabinet posts. The result was an abhorrently unprecedented cabinet.
In March 2008 Zimbabwe held its tripartite presidential election that was marred by the same fraud allegations as in Kenya. The result for the first round of the election was declared on 2 May 2008 with presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change at 47.9% and the incumbent Robert Mugabe coming second with 43.3%. Since neither candidate had obtained the required 50% threshold, a run-off election was scheduled for 27 June 2008. The time period before the run-off was taken as an opportunity by President Mugabe to use all state apparatus to batter the opposition supporters with immense violence resulting in over 80 dead and hundreds missing. As a result of Mugabe’s reign of terror, Tsvangirai withdrew and Mugabe won the race with over 85.5% vote. The illegitimacy of the run-off compelled the South African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to step in and propose power-sharing mechanism through a Government of National Unity.
With the looming economic crisis and the appalled public perception, all parties reluctantly came to the table and an intensive dialogue ensued with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding and Global Political Agreement (GPA). Similar to Kenya, the GPA constituted division of executive power, coalition government and a new political power structure. Mugabe retained the presidential post with his two vice presidents and Tsvangirai became Prime Minister with his own two deputy Prime Ministers.
Soon the asymmetrical distribution of power became evident as Mugabe gave all the executive authority to the Cabinet that he controlled while the (Council of Ministers) that was chaired by the prime minister was toothless. Despite obtaining legitimacy for the GPA through the constitutional amendment in February 2009, It was nonetheless largely violated by expanding the size of the cabinet to 41 ministers instead of the GPA stipulated 31 and 19 deputies instead of the original agreement of 15 deputies and adding an extra 10 resident ministers known as provincial Governors. This generally dysfunctional cabinet became the largest in Zimbabwe history.
The result of the GNU in Kenya and Zimbabwe
It is very apparent that the GNU had immediate short term benefits as peace and stability was restored in both cases. Threats of violence evaporated as soon as the parties shook hand and took part in the infamous photo-ops with third party mediators. This resulted in mass optimism and scenes of jubilation across the parties. In the case of Kenya, the donor “confidence” was gradually restored resulting in relative economic stability. In the case of Zimbabwe the decades old economic crisis was not so easy to tackle but the GNU did manage to save the economy from the brink of collapse. These short term economic gains did not translate at the political front. Power-sharing mechanism became in actuality a stringent power-dividing line where an inclusive or government of unity was in name only. Political persecution persisted, security sector reform never materialized. There was gross lack of consensus on pivotal issues and GNU was thereafter operating very much in a neo-patrimonial fashion6
The regional context that led to the creation of GNU in both countries is also worthy of consideration. It is safe to say that without the regional/international interference, the GNU would have not been mediated by internal actors or peacefully resolved by the parties themselves. Therefore the conflicting role of domestic and extraterritorial interest is abundantly clear. In the case of Kenya, the African Union, United Nation, United States, Britain and Germany played significant role in mitigating the GNU. In the case of Zimbabwe, South Africa played crucial role in the creation of the GNU. In short, GNU was not an outcome of grassroots activism but was born out of external interest in the aftermath of an election disputes7.
It is necessary to touch on the whole concept of power-sharing. The very term power-sharing is frankly misleading and more appropriately should be regarding as power-dividing. The mechanism is foundationally an elite pact; that is a beneficial contract among the political elites who carve out strategically the power dynamics. Division of power is conceived within realist terms and where power does not exist, it becomes necessary to create it. It is therefore not surprising that cabinets of the GNU are invariably large with Zimbabwe having 64 cabinet ministers and deputy ministers and Kenya having a staggering 96 member cabinet8.
The role of the masses is also significant in the sustainability of the GNU. In both countries, the people welcomed GNU with great expectations but it was short lived as the performance of the GNU was less than satisfactory. This is most poignantly evident in Kenya where over 70% of the people were confident in the formation of the GNU only to six month later a staggering 77% believe that the government is not working9. The same lack of confidence was shared by the people in Zimbabwe although not so drastically as in Kenya.
It is evident that there are similarities and stark differences between the GNU in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. The fundamental context that Afghanistan should be measured is the peace democracy nexus. Peace and democracy are not substitutes and should be pursued simultaneously. however in fragile states it is a trade-off that is often made in times of crisis. While history has shown that it is possible to have peace without democracy, it is seldom the case where democracy reigns without peace. In the case of both African countries, GNU was engineered as a response to demand for peace and conflict prevention. In Afghanistan however, power-sharing under GNU was imposed from above by an international third party with the sole purpose of upholding democratic value of “peaceful power transition”.
While in Kenya and Zimbabwe, it was an incumbent president desperately seeking to hold on to power, in Afghanistan both candidates were “fresh faces” outside the government and operating in the outskirt of the political landscape. But there was an incumbent and it certainly was not the outgoing president Karzai. Indeed, the incumbent was an ideological system that has managed to survive over the last 13 years but was internally hollow, externally under armed opposition and overwhelmingly illegitimate. This ideological system is none other than the prevailing neo-patrimonialism, which is externally manufactured into democracy and sugarcoated in most bitter neo-liberal design. How did this system translate on the ground? Extreme Poverty, Vast Insecurity, Social Injustice, Cultural Degradation and Religious Defamation.
Despite such dire reality, this ideological facade was adamant to remain in power and in fact both candidates run on the “fundamental achievements” of the last decade. And after an election year consisting of much of the campaign jargon, vote/fraud, run-off and nationally degrading Kerry visits, democracy was restored. The process of forming the National Unity government became underway and is still under process. It must be said that this system was never under threat ideologically. Yes it is internally hollow and without foreign Aid unsustainable but much of the internal bickering were echoes for power-dividing. Externally, the Taliban were an armed opposition with the short-sighted goal to topple the regime and their previous reign in power was no frame of reference. The only area of concern was the legitimacy factor that Karzai government under the emblem of liberal democracy was increasingly being questioned across the country. No matter how fiercely the people detested the status quo, they failed to conceive of a viable alternative. Therefore, they hang on to the slightest hope of a better tomorrow despite the impossible odds.
This newly formed GNU has failed to realize that it is a product of national despair but since inauguration has jumped on the bandwagon of the same old neo-liberal rhetoric of false promise, prosperity, and progress. Tragically missing the fundamental P that the nation is desperately yearning for: peace. No, a public relation visit to a neighbouring country’s military apparatus is not a concrete long term peace strategy. It is not surprising therefore that now 100 days into the GNU in Afghanistan, we are witnessing a mounting insurgency and a growing dissatisfied populous.
There is still a chance for the newly formed GNU to steer the nation out of the storm. It requires first and foremost to unshackle itself from the politically ineffective, socially unjustifiable and culturally incompatible neo-liberal agenda and construct an Afghan owned and implemented policy of conflict transformation that is envisioning long term peace. The lessons of Kenya and Zimbabwe should be a reminder that power-sharing mechanism under Government of National Unity are often signed on the basis of short term objectives at the expense of long term goals. Therefore, the notion of GNU in Afghanistan becoming a permanent feature of its political landscape is dependant on the fundamental idea of laying an afghan seed of peace in foresight; peace not to last in months or years but decades and dare say centuries.
1tijphort, A., 1977. Democrocy in plural societies: A comparative exploration. New Haven: Yole Universily Press. Foro more succinct formulotion, see his ‘The power-shoring approoch’, in Montville, J.V., ed. 1990. Conflict and peace-malting in multiethnic societies. Lexinglon, KY: D.C. Heath, 490-509.
2Afghanistan: Peace is in its Social Foundation. https://afghanocentricism.com/
3PRIO Project on Power-slioring ogreemenls,negoliolions and peace processes,http://www.prio.no/CSCW/Researchcnd-Publicotlons/Pro¡ect?o¡d=65122 lAccessedll December2014].
4Masunungure Eldred, and Mutasa Florence. 2011. The Nexus Between Disputed Elections and Governments of National Unity in Africa. Africa Insight. Vol 41. no.1
5Acting together for Kenyo: Agreement on the principles of partnership of the coalition government. 28 Februory 2008, Noirobi.
6Masunungure Eldred, and Mutasa Florence. 2011. The Nexus Between Disputed Elections and Governments of National Unity in Africa. Africa Insight. Vol 41. no.1
7Adusei. Lord A., 2010. Power shoring: An ugly porodigm shift in Africon politics. Modern Ghana News, 25 December. Avoiloble ot http://www.modernghona.com/news/309930/1/power-sharingon-ugiy-paradigm-shtft-in-ofrican-po.html [Accessed I December 2014]
8 Ayittey, G,, 2010. An Africon solution: Solving the aisis of failed states. Horvord /nierno/ionoi Review, 14 April. Avalloble ol http://hrr.horvord.edu/refugees/ an<ofrtcan-solution
9 Konyingo, 2009,p.l2
To the military pundits, the political analysts and the liberal sensationalists, it is maddening to suggest that peace to Afghanistan can be found by searching at the very fabric of its social composition. Afghanistan as we have come to know it is at best a much complicated ‘work in progress’ or as expressed more vividly; a land doomed to a perpetual war that is fueled by illicit drug trade.
Such a preconceived foundational belief does not account for the historical fact that in the last two and half millennium twenty five times various ruling dynasties ; the Greek, the Arabs, Turks, Persians, White Huns, Scythians, Parthians, Indians, three times the British, the Soviet Union and currently the United States and its allies have invaded this country. It is the last three Empires involvement in the last two centuries that have left the most devastating impact. While the British and Russians in their departure left the nation in social, economic and political catastrophe, it seems very likely that the US and its NATO allies are in the process of following their predecessors path.
Indeed, we are witnessing today an Afghanistan that is on the verge of erupting in inter-communal and intera-communal conflicts with a central government clueless to prevent despite its recent desperate rhetoric of ‘bringing peace at any cost’. Being positioned in such a geopolitical crossroad, Afghanistan has always been destined to be at the center of regional power struggle. With the advent of the Soviet invasion, this small Asian country became bigger than a piece in the regional power dynamics. Seldom it could have been taught, that it was destined to one day become a scramble for international intelligence. For this is the state of the affairs today: a growing insurgency that is mounting attacks at unprecedented level often at the behest of the intelligence agencies, a Western coalition in a desperate countdown to leave, an unprecedented consensus among the neighbors and regional power (Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China and India) on what future begets and a two-tier Afghan government incapable to even appoint a cabinet and oblivious to the current condition.
This alarmist call should not be misconstrued for pessimistic view for an inevitable reckoning. Surely anyone familiar with Afghanistan is aware of the fact that the treacherous history has developed most resilient character in a people that has overcome obstacles much greater. To understand how this nation has survived such a wretched history, we must look at its social foundation that has resisted debacles much greater. It is precisely in here that we can find the remedy for its current crisis. But to look at its social foundation, we must do away with the liberal prism and take an Afghanocentric approach.
The modern afghan state of the last two and half century has been an embodiment of its traditional upbringing. Despite its light experiment with economic modernization in the first part of the last century, it has remained a society in which ordinary people–and that means most people–do earn their daily bread by the sweat of their brow. It is still a vastly rural inhabited and the recent urbanization has not produced an urban social class. The populous power still lies in the countryside of this mountainous nation. And this rural region still functions on the basis of its traditional social structure and committed to its traditional values.
There is a scholarly consensus that while the rest of the world succumbed to two World Wars, Afghanistan endured a relatively peaceful half a century. Certainly the fact that from 1929-1978, Afghanistan was one of the most secure and peaceful countries in the heart of Asia was more to do with the fact of not being colonized like much of the rest of the Global South than being a non-aligned nation. This timely autonomy allowed Afghan authority to maintain peace and security both within the country, and with its neighbors. The Afghan state not only managed to avoid war with its neighbors but also internally Afghanistan was relatively free of mass atrocities and other forms of violence against its own citizens. This peace and stable governance was the norm all but until the country was invaded by the Soviet Union.
Credit for this era of peace and security is greatly due to the Afghan people’s strong traditions and rich social structure, which were integral parts of every Afghan’s daily life. There has been two forms of organizational power structure in Afghanistan; the formal and informal power structures which have historically subordinated and complimented each other. The formal organizational power structure was based on territorial layers of state administration; the Centre, the Provinces and the Sub-province which called (Markaz, Valayat and Volaswali). The informal organizational power structure and its relation with the people has never appeared on any administration chart but has been the foundation for a strong and effective mechanism that handled the relationship between the society and state.
From time immemorial, prominent elders from various ethnic groups would congregate in informal assemblies to discuss their social, religious, political and financial issues. Subsequently these informal gatherings developed into local and national assemblies recognized by the state at its creation. These organizational power structure called community committee (parish ), or Majles Kalan Hia Deh here-on to be referred to as Majles, existed in each and every village and their numbers remained to be more than 50,000 in modern Afghanistan between 1800 to 1979. Its origin goes back to millennium; much prior to what we have come to know as a nation-state with definite boundary.
The character of the Majles was framed in a communal basis. Regardless of the number of residence and the size of the village, each village had a committee composed of three permanent members:
- chief of village who was elected by the villagers through contested local election,
- Mullah or clergy of the village who was appointed by the chief of the village and chief of the tribe in the village
the chief of qhawm who was elected by the villagers to the Majlis.
The members of the committee met upon request either by the villagers or by the government on rather frequent basis. The meetings with the villagers consisted of debating events of the village and discussing government policies. In the Majlis, the conventions are held in a consociational democratic manner and if there is a conflict of interest, it is resolved at such a grassroots level. In this committee of three members each have a designated role that is comprised of such:
The mullah is responsible for the village’s educational curriculum and also dealing with civil disputes and minor criminal offences, often presiding as the judge.
The chief of the village has the executive role comprised of enforcement of the decisions taken by the Majlis as well as communicating with the government centres with the consent of the villagers on passing laws at the provincial or national levels.
The Chief of Qhawm has the duty bestowed upon by the discretionary power of the Majles to assist and facilitate the work of the central government apparatus; such as tax collection, labour recruitment for government projects, military service and intra-villages interaction in the area of water irrigation, grazing management, road construction, national security and implementation of various other public good projects. To coordinate work across particular field, the Majles forms smaller administrative units called Mir Abb, ordally, Mughtaseb and Jama Dar with broader informal job description. These units may set up to oversee the particular problems at operational level in the area of water management, security management and public relations. These units respectively have some appointed villagers to assist them for the implementation of water, security and communications activities. The units provide upon request, transparent reports to the Majles.
Since the central government is heavily dependent on agriculture tax revenue and free labor forces for its provincial and national expenditures which is mainly coming from the land owners and ordinary villagers, the central government maintains good relations with this informal organizational power structure as an economic and human resource “gateway”. Therefore, the central government’s approach is seldom from position of authority and rarely is there administrative interference in the affairs of the local communities directly. If the central government deems necessary to penetrate its power, the sound approach is initiating a dialogue through this informal organizational power structure. It becomes evident that throughout the history these informal organizational structure collectively had played a crucial role in the politics of the country and in many occasions were considered as “King Makers and King Breakers”.
This organization and relationship never appears on the official state administration charts, but to understand the functioning of power control in the country, it is important to study it very carefully. It is an independent organizational power structure, representing a form of grass root consensual and representational democracy. Thus, having said all that, one can argue that not only in the case of failing or failed states and the collapsed state this sort of informal organizational power structures are very vital, but also in case of relative functioning states, it helps the promotion and consolidation of democracy. Some of the core tenets of democracy are vividly present at this level such as participation, elections and volunteerism.
This informal structure is playing the function of a civil society. Being at the foundation of Afghan society means that it has never received the much needed recognition it receives. It is fundamentally different from the modern western oriented civil societies that operate within a stringent NGO industry framework. Therefore, the very term civil society has come to embody the last decades NGO industry in Afghanistan and seldom do we acknowledge that Afghanistan has had a strong vibrant civil society at its core that has operated in an informal structure.
The dynamics between the formal and informal structure of afghan society has functioned in a power distributive and power sharing mechanism. The power distribution mechanism could also be defined as “negotiated state” where the local informal organizational structure and formal state organizations are exercising a real power sharing in the country. In this model of power sharing neither informal nor formal organization had dominance over one another and both organizational authority were exerted in almost with equal weight to maintain peace and stability in the country.
Unfortunately, this traditional makeups, which dominated the social structure in Afghanistan, was dismantled by the Soviet invasion in 1979. The Kabul government under the Soviet advisement attacked the traditional local leaders so they could be replaced by ones loyal to the Soviet cause. At the same time, the local setting radically became under attack by the Mujahidin. The Mujahidin demanded an effective and constant leadership on the part of the military elements involved in the fighting. In the rural area the size and the scope of war and fighting against the Soviet Union was no longer a part-time job to be done by the traditional local leaders at one’s own convenience, but required a full-time commitment. As the demand could not be fulfilled by the traditional clan elders, consequently the role of clan’s leaders was weakened by strong Mujahedin military commanders. These Mujahedin commanders, who were typically mid-level commanders or warlords, soon began to dominate local populations with their military conquests3.
When the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan in February 1989, President Dr. Najibullah formalized a peace building and national reconciliation policy that largely was focusing to deal with those military commanders. In Dr. Najib’s well known peace initiative focused on the weighted role of prominent traditional leaders for the traditional conflict resolution/management. The initiative however led to further fragmentation of the society and the Kabul government only had managed to build a short term patrimonialist relation. The peace-building and national reconciliation policy led to further proliferate the sectarian and ethnic divisions within the regime as well as within the resistance groups that ultimately resulted in localization of political, military and economic power in the hands of war entrepreneurs. The general breakdown of state in 1979 through to the 1980s encouraged many local groups to assert their independence. This political and military localization made both the regime and the Mujaheddin resistance disinterested to any sort of reconciliation or compromise.
Fragmented Mujaheddin faction assumed power following the collapse of the communist regime and state-building was further subjugated due to the general lack of modern and traditional institutional capacity. Afghanistan had no historical record of being controlled or run by religious leaders. The formation of the Islamic state during the 1990s, by clergies, was an unusual practice in the country. With no experience, it is not surprising that these Islamic parties and their leaders were not familiar with the ingredients needed for an Islamic state’s policies or practices. The most important ingredient missing in the Mujaheddin efforts in state-building was the ignorance of the traditional and lack of foundational bureaucratic capacities. However, to maintain power, rather than build capacity these desperate political leaders again relied on ethno-linguistic differences to divide, distract, and manipulate civilians.
Similarly, since 2001, after the fall of the Taliban regime, the state-building efforts in Afghanistan are proving to be a more complicated task than was originally expected. In the debate about peace-building and state-building practices in Afghanistan, amongst experts, analysts, and commentators, there are theoretical and operational disagreements regarding key issues. Some analysts argue that the present Afghan government cannot extend its judicial writ beyond Kabul and is dependent heavily upon North American Treaty Organization (NATO) forces for defense. In the words of Malou Innocent; powerful patronage networks in Kabul’s administration have factionalized the Afghan National civil services, and reduced the effectiveness of public services. For instance, in an interview a veteran Afghan security official stated: “People in the army and police are fighting for their factions, not the country.”
In the absence of central control, the government of Afghanistan remains only in name an authority. Therefore, practically and by definition ; the inability to produce durable instrument of surveillance, provide basic welfare services, failure to provide resources, and lack of a social contract, are examples of ill-functioning state and this characterizes the situation in Afghanistan. An Oxfam survey in 2008 in Afghanistan has revealed that the vast majority of Afghans problems have local causes, and more than 55% people turn to local informal institutions such as Jirga or Shura to resolve their problems. Oxfam also confirms that little work has been done with local institutions to enhance their capabilities to promote peace. Peace initiatives at community level strengthen community cohesion, reduce violence, and enhance resistance to militants.
The Oxfam findings support the argument that the gap between liberal agenda and feasibility on the ground in Afghanistan can be filled by hiring the traditional mechanism for success to build the state. With all think-tanks, scholars, and political pundits focused on finding peace within a liberal discourse and have hitherto failed , it is perhaps necessary to look at informal Afghan social structure that is founded on dialogue, peace, and power-sharing. The image that currently resonates with Afghanistan is one of War and Terror, it is necessary to be reminded that such imagery is the product of the last 3 decades whereas Afghanistan has been a nation state in a relative peace for over two centuries.
Mohammad Dawod / Suhrob Ahmad
این شبکه ارتباطی با باور به نقش ارزنده ساختار ها، ارزش ها و سنن افغانی و ادغام انها به پروسه شور و مشورت های سیاسی درجهت دستیابی به صلح پایدار در افغانستا ن راه اندازی گردیده. هدف این تلاش نه مشتق شده ازنوع گتمان و مباحثات اروپا محورانه و نه هم از بلند پروازی های تاریخ گذشته ” تمدن بزرک”. هدف این نهاد در بهترین حالت نه تلاش مبالغه امیزی است در جهت اعمار اعتماد به نفس افغانی و نه هم برای ترکش ترکیب غنامند قومی این سرزمین. چون جهان بینی رایج در واکنش به ایدئولوژی ناسازگار نژاد محورانه لیبرال غربی بر ان است که مکانیزم جاری برای حل صلح امیز مسله افغانستا ن بطور اشکارا ناکارامد از اب برامد. پس تفکروتلاش های افغان معابانه اصل اساسی است که میتوان برای متحد ساختن ملت و از طریق اتکای بنفس دسته جمعی روشنفکران در ختم منازعه و تامین صلح پایدار در کشور بکارگرفت.
It is an idea that only by integrating Afghan Agency, Value and Tradition into the political deliberation and institutions of Afghanistan can peace be achieved. It is not derived from a Eurocentric discourse nor aspires to a romantic historical past of a “great civilization”. it is neither a futile attempt to at best build afghan ‘self-esteem’ nor at worst to balkanize the rich ethnic composition of the land. It is a Worldview in response to the western ethnocentric Liberal ideology that is incompatible and evidently an ineffective mechanism for peaceful resolution. Afghanocentricity is at its core a fundamental belief that the only mechanism to unify and uplift this nation is through collective intellectual self-reliance.