Ariaye is a renowned website which has been impartially reflecting the views, opinions, suggestions, proposals and constructive criticisms of all Afghani intellectuals, scholars, writers, journalists, teachers and bureaucrats from inside and outside Afghanistan during the course of its journalistic activities. They contributed enormously to our understanding of the situation in Afghanistan through writing commentaries, columns and articles to this site. They revealed people’s lives in the particulars and only by knowing the particulars we can understand the core of the problems and suggest the ways to resolve them. Likewise they have intermittently elaborated the major cause of the problem and standoff that the country is facing with and explained necessary measures to remove the obstacles and to pave the way for democracy, progress and rule of law in the country. The editorial board of the website believe that it is a good opportunity to put forward to you at this gathering the summary of the views and proposals of the people of Afghanistan including numerous high profile Afghan political and social analysts who are concerned for peace and stability and social justice in their country, the region and throughout the world.
Considering the overall process of changes and developments and in view of a specific historical, national and international situation, which have appeared and reshaped during the last three decades in Afghanistan, we can undoubtedly declare that:
At present taliban and their adherents, al Qaeda international terrorism opium dealers mafia international drug traffickers, are the major enemies of freedom, democracy, justice, social progress, peace and equal rights of the people of Afghanistan as a whole and of the ethnic and religious minorities in particular. Therefore, we need to accord high priority to the following steps as our first practical mission to achieve peace and tranquility, which eventually will pave the ground for the smooth transition of the country towards development and prosperity.
8Suppression of the danger posed by stubborn aggression, intervention and interference of taliban, al-Qaheda, international terrorism and Pakistani militias
8Elimination of opium cultivation and drug dealers throughout the country
8 Legal and peaceful containment of tribalism and chauvinistic tendency, mostly exercised in the present highest government hierarchy, which have inherited structurally from the past despotic colonial era. The present state structure of the government machinery is moving towards strengthening the domination of tribalism in pursuance of their ancestors’ policy of supremacy. Based on undeniably historical evidence the aristocratic, dictatorial royal dynasty and governments are mainly responsible for the present turmoil in Afghanistan. When in power they ruthlessly suppressed the majority of people, denied their rights, and plunged the country into the current turmoil. They were drowned in corruption and did not do any work for the nation. Irresponsibly continued their domination through suppression of people and elimination of those who challenged them. Additionally, they (past Mohammadzai-e- regimes and royal families) were mostly engaged in vendetta among themselves for power for a period of one and a half century.
8Furthermore, it is our essential and practical obligation to eventually foil and repel the overt and covert politico-military dictate of Pakistan. Necessary measures are required to stop the unequal and blatant interference of Pakistani military circles in the trade, economic and political process of our country.
For the achievement of these just and national aspirations, individuals, organised and unorganised forces, influential figures and dignitaries from all walks of life who are independent including learned representatives of various ethnic and religious groups in Afghanistan who are able to should put peacefully in place the following national and essential tasks as their daily slogan for the practical solution of their national problems.
1- Tens of newly emerged political parties exist in the country with a similar suffix and prefix attached to their national goal, platform and constitution. These parties should specify their political, organisational and leadership differences and subsequently on the bases of a common political and organisational vision, policy, standing, goals and strategies they can form coalitions, provisional and conditional unions. At an appropriate intellectual stipulation they can set up a stable united front for a strategic phase until a thorough political, organisational and leadership unity are attained and thus they can solve their tactical differences during their practical campaign.
2- The government should perform an active role in the movement against gender discrimination. This would allow the suffering women, forming half of our society, to feel themselves free forever from the patriotic miserliness of the present constitution of Afghanistan. Therefore, women as a creative power in society need a favourable condition so that they can equally benefit from their legal, social, political, cultural, economic and civil rights. Similarly they should be able to start their new historic movement towards equality free from every restriction, tribal superstitions and illegal gender discriminatory approaches in view of the human rights declaration. Only then, they will be able to actively participate in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process of society shoulder to shoulder with men. Consequently they can mobilise and lead the burden of social power in the interest of democratic forces, secularism and the active population who are for equity of rights of all ethnic and religious groups, people’s power and the rule of law.
3- As far as the civil division of Afghanistan is concerned it should be reviewed and restructured based on the population distribution, cultural, historical, ethnic and religious composition, economic growth rate, area, and other necessities of life required for citizens. Accordingly the authority needs to adopt necessary action to avoid of structural enlargement in the civil division of the country.
4- After necessary amendments in the constitution it is necessary to revise and amend the present name of Afghanistan in view of the national interest of the country. All citizens of Afghanistan should receive a national identity card unexceptionally without consideration of their racial tribal social and religious affiliations and ethnicity. A truly elected parliament or a referendum can consider the change of the country’s name after extensive debates and discussion on the matter at an appropriate time.
5- A contemporary and credible national identity card should be provided and distributed to unexceptionally to all citizens of Afghanistan based on the information of vital registration, of the department of statistics of the interior ministry or under supervision of a council composed of representatives of various ethnic groups and the united nations. Every citizen of Afghanistan should be registered, unexceptionally and without any prejudice, regardless of their social, tribal, ethnic affiliation and without any consideration of colour, race and so on and so forth.
6- A compulsory conscription act and a general disarmament act should be compiled, approved, signed and enforced which should be applicable on the entire citizens of Afghanistan without any exception and irrespective of their ethnic tribal and nomadic connection and place of residence.
7- People should raise their voice against the hostile decrees of kings, emirs of the bygone colonial period in relation to the illegal utilization of the pasture, which originally belong to the native residents of Hazarestan, Badakhshan, Ghazni, Ghor, Ghorband, and other areas of Afghanistan. They should stand up for their rights against functioning of the abolished decrees and resolutions. Those unjust decrees are currently the real cause of the past deeply rooted problems between the native people and nomadic settlers. Resettlement of the native people in their original place of residence should be fairly put in place.
8- Afghanistan should recognise its internationally accepted boundaries, in particular the disputed “colonial Durand frontier line”, and reciprocally Pakistani authorities ought to concede a free transit access route for Afghanistan to facilitate the transfer of her commercial goods via Pakistan. Hence this on-going setback between Afghanistan and Pakistan will be peacefully and legally resolved based on the international principles.
9- The Ministry of Struggle against Narcotic Drugs and the Ministry of Migration Tribes and Frontier Affairs along with their personnel and organisational structure should be merged with the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Department for National Security.
The abolition of these ceremonial ministries is more economical than their existence. The merge and reshuffle of these ministries narrow downs the current structural expansion and bureaucracy. Consequently it enhances their efficiency and effectiveness in performing their set tasks and facilitates the formation of an operative and organised frontier force.
10- We should continually support convention of an international peace conference on Afghanistan’s being non-military and permanently non-aligned with a right of having access to a free transit route for her commercial goods. This conference should be held with the active participation of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan including other members of ECO such as India, China, Federative of Russia and the countries which are members of Shankai treaty and NATO as well as the USA.
11- The task of national security should not be delivered to the so-called private, “security agencies”. There is a high risk of intrusion and infiltration of subversive and destructive elements related to the extremist elements of Hezb-e -Islami Ekmatyar and al-Qaheda activists for taking up the task. At present the high-ranking Hekmatyar devotees have surrounded President Karzi and occupied the key positions of the regime. According to reliable information released by certain analysts Kematyar elements are engineering a conspiracy, which might have catastrophic consequences for the future of peace and democracy in the country. Unfortunately Mr. Karzi seems reluctant to realise the fact that the adherents of Hekmatyar are looking for a suitable time to inflict a severe blow to his regime. It is better to take every possible precautionary measure to foil the plot.
12- Undoubtedly collection of reliable data on the population composition, distribution and structure of Afghanistan is an important element for the purpose of planning and policy formulation. Bearing in mind that it is equally important to realise that a census operation can only be conducted in a country where there is peace and security but not insurgency, chaos and uncertainty.
At present tens of thousands of civilians forced to flee their homes to escape the fighting in southern Afghanistan in recent months. Insecurity is heightening and worrying throughout the country including Kabul by passing every day. According to The Afghanistan Times, there is little sign of progress in the work of the NATO –led International Security Assistance Force. “The numbers of displaced people is growing daily, according to a US think tank the brooking Institution, Khalid Koster. According to a report last week by IRIN, a UN-backed news service, about 80,000 people had been only displaced this year in the three southern provinces, including Oruzgan. The foreign forces are struggling to restore security to a country one third of which the UN rates as “extremely risky” ”- (Sunday Age, Nov. 25, 2007).
Therefore under these circumstances the UN to conduct the national census in Afghanistan has allocated $ 27 million. The government is trying to conduct census in Afghanistan where thousand of mines are planted, fighting and hostility against the government officials are high. This simply is indicative of the fact that this government is totally out of touch about the people’s need. The conduct of the census has no outcome but just forged and fabricated data, which will be estimated in the name of census for implementation of heinous objectives. Those who are trying to pose as consultant and advisors for this census, which is absolutely impossible at the current situation, should be aware that their action would be counted as national treason. They realise that this is not the right time for census. They just want to fill up their pockets through spending the money allocated for census while they know well that the circumstances are much worse than the first census of 1979.
Currently, the taliban, al-Qaheda operatives and Gulbuddin notorious extremist proponents and enthusiasts are actively engaged in performing inhumane terroristic activities through the country. They defuse sporadic explosions and using suicide bombers. They are also extensively conducting engaged in combat operation, guerrilla warfare and subversive activities throughout the country.
The people should be well aware of the importance of census and get fully prepared for cooperation. At the present, it is totally nonsense to carry out census in Afghanistan. The present government machinery has plunged into deep corruption and the census is not targeted for the layout of a comprehensive national developmental plan and specification of priorities for the economic growth and progress of the country. There is sufficient evidence that during the last six years no action has been taken in the interest of the people who have been suffering in various forms for years.
Contrarily the current envisaged census is focussed for legitimatising the imposition of domination of one ethnic group over the others under the pretext of being the majority. People of Afghanistan are witness of how the election took place in favour of Mr. Karzi. It was subsequently extensively publicised as a step toward democracy and rule of law. It was similarly propagated that 10 million people, half of them women, voted for Karzi’s government. What a fraud and deception! The past six years action and programmes highlight that the problem of unemployment, corruption, embezzlement, nepotism, terrorism drug cultivation and trafficking, has unprecedentedly gone up. There has never been a terrible mismanagement in the past as in today’s government of Afghanistan. However most of Afghan governments in the past one-way or the other were foreign-installed regimes and dictated from outside.
13- Mr. Karzi is currently encountered to enormous problems more complicated than six years ago despite the hollow pledges and optimistic hopes offered by the international community, the defence and foreign secretaries and commanders of NATO and America as well as the leaders of USA, UK and European nations. Therefore, it is felt necessary, than ever before, to convene the Loya Jerga (National assembly) in order to seek reasonable and practicable ways to solve the obstacles, which exist in the current constitution of Afghanistan.
14- This assembly should create a constitution council or an authoritative and professional body for interpretation and explanation of principles and values in the constitution.
15- The organisational and structural form of the State of Afghanistan in the constitution should be amended and ratified as presidential governing body based on elected local, district, provincial, urban and national councils or alternatively as a parliamentary administrative form similar to the Republic of India. Consequently the circumstances would be favourably and equally provided for all representatives of our citizens, ethnic and religious groups in Afghanistan. They would, only then, be able to avail themselves of the opportunity in sharing the political power and in utilizing the material and cultural wealth of society fairly. Those who have been constantly benefiting through secret dealings with other parties should be restrained from abusing the current situation, which have been provided for them by the international community who are present in the name of peace of security and stability in Afghanistan.
16- The name of the deposed king, Zaher Shah that was inserted ludicrously in the Constitution of Afghanistan, as the father of nation should be omitted. The role of king Zaher in uniting the nation and bringing peace in the country is nil. Since his cousin Mohammad Daoud toppled him from power in a coup in 1973, he did not take a single step for saving the country from the on-going turmoil, as a result of which millions of people were killed, maimed and the country totally devastated. On the contrary, he opened a real estate, availed of the opportunity, and sold the lands and properties that his uncles, his father and he confiscated from people during his 40 years dictatorial and aristocratic regime. Subsequently under the name of the government’s acquisition of properties he prepared deeds and documents for himself and the royal family. Thus, as a great opportunist at the last moments of his life he deposited billions of dollars in foreign banks for his grandsons. However his cousin Mohammad Daoud declared those lands as state and national property.
Mohammad Zaher has done nothing for the country therefore he should not be portrayed as a symbol of national unity but should be as a cause of discord and disunity. During his forty years of ruling in Afghanistan in pursuance of his uncle, Mohammad Hashem Khan, he kept people in darkness. He could not even maintain unity among the royal family so how his name has been mentioned as the father of the nation. He was a notorious womaniser and hashish smoker while the people were living in miserable conditions.
The name of great leaders in the world such is Winston Churchill, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and George Washington is not written in the constitutions of their country. Why the name Zaher Shah should be in our constitution?
17- Finally, after the Loya Jergah approved reasonable democratic amendments in the constitution for the removal of historic barriers in it, a timetable for the withdrawal of NATO and foreign forces from Afghanistan should instantaneously be ascertained.
If Mr. Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, were not able to include the above democratic corrections and to deliver a democratic transformation in the structure of the government, it would be better to pass graciously on the heavy burden of national obligation to the international community. This seems the easiest way for his safety, the state and the people of Afghanistan. Otherwise with the repetition of the political games between the south, north, east and west this country once again, would be plunged into a prolong chaotic situation where thousands of people would be killed, the children, women and innocent people will be beheaded and maimed. Ultimately the struggle between the present vulnerable poles of power in the country, with each other trying to cling in power through resorting to force and conspiracy would neither bring a durable peace and stability in the country and nor a guarantee for those who wish to stay in power deceitfully.
Hoping for the convention of the general assembly of Afghanistan, and forging ahead towards the progress of an independent national state, national unity, and implementation of new values for equality of legal rights for both men and women.
We are looking forward to tending towards rational perceptions and sound perspectives, and achieving the depressed historic Afghans aspirations towards freedom, democracy, peace, progress, equity of rights among all social, ethnic and religious groups, tribes and clans of an independent, united, and indivisible Afghanistan.