English | دری | پشتؤ
 
Quick News :
. . .
Syria matters, but watch out for Afghanistan

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 - The nature of demonstrations depend on the country and they are caused for different reasons, depending on the country. My knowledge about demonstrations and their consequences is limited, but I can speak on the case of Afghanistan and how dangerous a simple demonstration can be there.

Demonstrations there are dangerous for a very simple reason; crowd-control is difficult due to a lack of security and burgeoning instability.

The last presidential election, in 2009, disappointed many who believed Afghanistan was entering a new phase. According to international observers and local politicians, President Karzai’s supporters orchestrated a campaign of fraud to ensure a win for Karzai.

The ensuing anger was uncontrollable and the United States administration and the United Nations proposed a second election run, this time with Karzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah who supposedly collected more votes than Karzai.

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of National Coalition of Afghanistan and a nationally known figure who had been at the center of Afghan politics for some time, was faced with a very difficult decision. He had to choose between allowing people to protest against the election’s outcome or remain silent and dismiss his own right to victory.

We cannot forget Afghanistan and let it be become terrorist safe haven again

Just after the contested election, I asked Dr. Abdullah if he planned to ask his supporters in the big cities to protest against Karzai’s win. He answered that in a country like Afghanistan, demonstrations and protests can lead to nation-wide chaos, which is very dangerous, and he did not want to become president by any price.

He was quite right. In a country where many people have guns at home and security is already very fragile, a massive demonstration can be considered the forerunner of national disorder and dysfunction in the government.

The Americans, upset by the contested election, found that a second election would be very difficult due to issues of financing the operation, ensuring security and the lack of guarantees that Karzai and his supporters would not manipulate the vote.

The U.S. government agreed to recognize Karzai as the next president of Afghanistan and convinced tribal leaders and influential people to accept Karzai as the president for the sake of their nation.

In the past five years the U.S. administration had difficulties reaching out to Karzai to continue the joint task forces’ fight against terrorism and, of course, corruption in his government.

Now, five years later people are having doubts about Karzai’s real aim and are unsure of whether to believe if he is serious about conducting a fair and honest election on April 8, 2014. He can’t run for office again, but his brother Qaum Karzi is running and it is hard to believe that he won’t support his brother at the election. But there is an essential point here, which makes this election different and quite important, not only for Afghans but for the whole world. This time, Americans and Western powers cannot interfere as mediators to fix the problem and prevent clashes between different factions.

Americans are pulling out by the end of 2014 and their involvement in this nation would be limited and if Karzai repeats his 2009 mistake and cheating, his opponents would act differently and wouldn’t accept any more excuses. Afghanistan could soon slide into a horrible civil war if we don’t pay attention to them at the right time.

Americans and Western powers may want to leave Afghanistan this year, but we are still here and we live close by. The Syrian crisis is our concern and it spun out of control because we did not pay it due attention. Considering this, it is now time we take note of what is going on in Afghanistan. Regional powers must engage themselves to fill the power vacuum in the absence of the U.S. and NATO forces.

We cannot forget Afghanistan and let it be become terrorist safe haven again. As important as the Syrian crisis will be this year, regional countries should also observe the presidential election in Afghanistan. This year is not only the year of Syria, it is the year of Afghanistan too.

7 Jan 2014

TODAY'S WORD
Monitors Worry About Runoff Fraud
 

A number of Afghan election monitoring groups have warned that the runoff round of this year's presidential race could face increased fraud on the part of candidates so long as the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) have staff members supporting one or the other candidate and engaging in fraud themselves. more......

DIALOGUE
Regional Experts Develop Common Vision for Future Afghanistan
Around 60 regional multidisciplinary and leading experts and specialists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the Central Asian Republics, China, India, Russia and Turkey presented a common view on the future of Afghanistan in Kabul through the launch of the “Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability.”click here..
Archive
Articles

Meeting a Young Dr. Abdullah

 
It had been a long journey into the Hindu Kush mountains, starting in the Northwest of Pakistan in the summer of 1987. We began by secretly crossing the border into Afghanistan, trekking through Nuristan and finally making it over half a dozen 10,000-foot mountains to the Panjshir Valley. There, I   more......
 


Abdullah Abdullah Moves Toward Center of Afghan Power

 

KABUL, Afghanistan — AFTER decades roaming the margins of power — as a close aide to the revered resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, as a foreign minister and later as Afghanistan’s perennial opposition leader — Abdullah Abdullah may finally be arriving at the center of it all.Since his electoral loss to President Hamid Karzai in 2009, Mr. Abdullah, who is of mixed Pashtun and Tajik ethnicity, has widened his political base, having used persuasion and energy to forge alliances built  more......

Archive
Biography
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah: In His Own Words
 
I was born about fifty years ago in this house (pointing to his father’s house located in Kart-e-Parwan, Kabul). My father Ghulam Muhayuddin was from Kandahar province and my mother was from Panjshir. Before moving to Kart-e-Parwan my parents lived in the De Afghanan area of Kabul more......
Archive
VIDEO GALLERY

The Afghan Election  The Man Who Could Upset Karzai

In Afghanistan's presidential race, the top challenger to President Karzai is former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah

View all Videos