Most the Afghans are studying with caution the US President Barack Obama’s recent interview aired Sunday 19th March 09 on CBS television, where he said “Washington must have an "exit strategy" in Afghanistan even as it expands its military, diplomatic and economic fight against a Taliban insurgency.” However, the Afghan intellectual community is very much worried about the creation of a NEW, most controversial, post of the Prime minister, They are of the opinion that, instead the existing presidential system should be reformed.
As a matter of fact, the Afghan society has already been divided , ethnically , linguistically, religiously and ideologically by the previous occupation forces of ex-Soviet Union(Dec.1979 – Feb.1990) and now by the existing occupation forces of US + NATO.
Actually this was the very condemnable and failed Bonn agreement of 2002, where the fate of the Afghan nation was given to a junta of the war criminals and drug Mafia. These elements are still active in the sensitive posts of Mr. Karzai’s government and working as Mafia of drug dealers with the help of internal and international smugglers.
One of the fruits of the Bonn agreement the Afghans have been achieved was the division of the presidential office of the country among the ethnic groups. Instead giving these posts to the most eligible and technocrat people of the Afghan society, it were divide among the ethnic groups and were given to Pashtoon as president , and Tajek and Hazara as first and second deputy respectively. This combination has been proved as a failed experience. For the last seven years, it is unique in the history of the mankind to say , this junta of the presidential deputies have worked as the opposition leaders to the government and to the president itself. The international media and most of the international observers are of the opinion that , those whom are working in the present setup are totally corrupted and involved in a kind of the criminal activities.
Now, if the Obama’s administration wants to create a new post of the Prime minister and put someone as prime minister from one of the ethnicities or from the existing people of the corrupt regime, that would be more problematic and will help the insurgency to spill over in all the provinces.
The US and its allies in Afghanistan should think about , who to make the existing institutions strong . They also should think about the peace strategy. Instead of creating post for rivalries among the two high ups (I.e., president and prime minister) and dividing the Afghan society , they should start negotiations with the opposition parties already fighting for their own goals.
The Afghan nation is in dire need for the peace and security , and this goal cannot be achieved by the strategies the US wants to work on. If they decided to implement their own views ,then that will be another mistake the US and allies are going to commit in the Afghan strategy.
The recent statement of President Obama of "exit strategy" well be very helpful if the administration start negotiations with the rivals(I.e., the Taliban under Mullah Mohammad Umar and Hezbe Islami under the ex-prime minister Eng. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar) . The division of these groups under the title of moderates and… will not be workable. Because those who have vowed to fight against the international forces, are the real people with whom the administration have to talk and not under any other name else i.e. moderates .
The proposals published by these groups are very much the same where they say:
1-"Withdrawal of foreign forces and definite timetable for their withdrawal. Withdrawal is to begin with the relocation of foreign troops into their bases
Second step would be the initiation of the complete withdrawal of foreign troops including their secret and police services, mercenaries, and counsellors.
2-At the same time a provisional Afghan government is to be set up
without interference from foreign countries. It is to consist of personalities of proven integrity acceptable to all Afghans.
3-Even before elections there must take place an internal Afghan reconciliation. Internal Afghan reconciliation is very important for the reestablishment of unity and trust.
4-The provisional government will create a commission charged
with the preparation of general, free and secret elections. Such elections can take place after the withdrawal of foreign troops only, because free elections are not possible in the presence of foreign guns, tanks, and bombers. Nor in any direct or indirect foreign interference permissible, be it financially or via media.
5-These elections will result in a government accepted be the entire Afghan people and without need of foreign military protection.
6-As Afghan we are convinced that we can ourselves guarantee our security. If others are worried in this respect, we are ready to accept security forces from member countries of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), except forces from neighbouring countries.
Afghanistan is not in need of foreign soldiers, mercenaries, and secret services. Rather Afghanistan needs physicians and hospitals, teachers and schools, professors and universities, engineers, tractors and building equipment. Prerequisites for a free and just Afghan society are first of all: Bread, water, health, education, and housing.
Necessary steps for creating confidence between the negotiators:
1-Military de-escalation and humanization of the conflict.
2-Release of prisoners.
3-Afghans assurance that they will endanger neither their neighbours nor the world at large.
4- assurances by our negotiations partners that they will not interfere in internal affairs of Afghanistan.
A peaceful , sovereign and independent Afghanistan will maintain political , economic and cultural relations with all states of the international community , relation characterized by friendship , mutual respect and esteem. "
The upper mentioned proposals are discussable and we are sure that if the US administration continued its dialogue which, according to some circles, has already began will give positive results.
With hope for Peace and security to our homeland and to the rest of the world.
The writer is:
Chief of Peace and Reconciliation council.
Ex-.spokesman For Afghan Prime Minister,
Ex Acting Minister for Cultural Ministry,
Ex spokesman for Hezbe- Islami (political organization),
Ex Chief of Afghan News Agency (for both electronic and print media).