Naser Koshan

Causes of Political Frustration and Social Disparity in Afghanistan


Afghanistan being labeled a democratic state by the west post 9/11 is certainly struggling in maintaining the legitimacy of its democratic doctrine and living up to expectations of the assisting states donating for the reconstruction of its civil and democratic institutions.  Certainly, we do not have any other option than coming with bright colors in terms of embracing a dynamic democracy, tangible social and economic reforms. (Isolation is no longer an option)

No doubt, tribal traditions and paradoxical cultural values have always played a crucial role in our society and more often these customs are contrary to the inevitable changes required to direct the country to a prosperous, self-sufficient statehood, where in one hand, the great majority of the Afghans residing in the suburbs are extremely sensitive about their way of life and typical traditions, while on the other hand, the urban dwellers are more keen and open to modernization and democratic values.

Historically, Afghanistan for the first time welcomed modernization during the reign of king Amanuallah khan, unfortunately it did not last for a reasonable time frame as the unnecessary interference of the religious elite and negative propagandas against him at that particular time finally resulted in his overthrowing and exile. He was the first modern Afghan king who did his best in bringing crucial economical and social reforms in the Afghan society and was keenly in favor of moving Afghanistan closer to a very sustainable economic development and awakening citizenship such as reflected in current western states.

After King Amanuallah khan, the political turmoil of the recent history was born and continues to be a prime problem of the country yet to the current time. We certainly have had a great number of political theorists who are pretty good in analyzing the world affairs while not being able to diagnose the real cancer of political anarchy within our system which has existed for several decades now.

In essence, Afghanistan despite having spent 3 decades in internal conflicts has managed to prove that the ordinary citizens of this country is in favor of peace and economic growth, Politics is not a new phenomenon in Afghan society, political debates have always surrounded the environment of a typical Afghan family, be it a family reunion or friends gathering.

We in Afghanistan need a pragmatic, reformist and target achieving leader who is capable of questioning his/her sub - authorities for their work and has the punctuality and consistency in dealing with national matters on a rational basis. A statesman who is capable of thinking beyond the hatred phenomenon of ethnicity, race, gender and organize a professional hard working team around him/her.  Our main problem is that despite experiencing dictatorship, communist movements and Islamic radicalism we have always blamed the systems while the people presenting the above mentioned systems did not have the merit to create the fundamentals for a prosperous and developed Afghanistan for a foreseeable future.

Currently, we can observe that states with either sound Islamic governments, communist regimes or democratic systems have been tested futile for certain countries while at the same time, we can point to countries with the same systems deeply sank in socio-political crises, as a result, no such system can be effective within a particular country unless the people running the system are well acquainted with the way that particular given system really functions.

For example, India with central federal government with autonomous states in their internal affairs is the biggest democracy in the world, where as Pakistan the country next to it with the same federal system is a safe haven for Islamic radicals from all over the world and has experienced several coups by the army generals in its recent history. Or China with a one partly ruling communist state is believed to become the next economic superpower in the world and is doing quite well compared to North Korea with the same one party system struggling with a very high rate of unemployment and economic downfall since its independence.

U.S. being the front liner both in political and economical terms in the world has itself experienced the devastating civil conflicts between the South and the North, but prudently acted timely in ending that crisis and moved forward. How can we forget the European states experiences who have proved that countries are not destined to live in poverty and conflict forever and there is always room for embracing better opportunities and moving towards sustainable peace and democracy.

In conclusion, political instability is indeed a circulating cycle which has happened in most of the countries at least for a short given period of time and as soon as it is tackled with effective political management it vanished, but most importantly the time that a certain country remains in political turmoil and instability really depends on the prudence and merit of its politicians and state decision makers. As in case of Afghanistan, we have still failed to address this issue on a serious note.


Author: Naser Koshan

Washington, U.S.


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