We saw many important events. The trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan and England and the agreement on achieving peace in the coming six months was among the events. The analysts are of the opinion that if all the parties involved in war are committed in bringing peace in Afghanistan then peace can be achieve in such a short time. The basic problem is that those who call for peace are not convinced, hence, as a result of such agreement the peace process cannot be effective. On the one hand, some of the analysts are of the view that High Peace council which is a sole body acceptable to the Afghan government for peace is not able to successfully advance the peace process. Because, as a neutral body, it is not acceptable to armed oppositions. Hence, for the advancement of peace process there is need for a neutral mediator created which should be acceptable to all parties involved in the conflict. While on the other hand, some analysts view the protraction of presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan which were a hurdle in the way of peace before can also lead the process to failure in the future.
This Publication is set of news and analysis that is prepared and published by the Centre of Strategic and Regional Studies to keep various institutions and authorities accurately and timely aware of the current political, economic and social news and analysis.
Peace and Harmony:
Is “Peace within Six months” possible?
Misbahullah Abdul Baqi
The trilateral meeting between Afghanistan, Pakistan and England ended with the declaration that Afghanistan and Pakistan will try to bring peace within six months to come. The question arises here is that whether bringing peace in Afghanistan possible within short period of time? Or Are both sides sincere in bringing peace or not? In this regard I want to mention few points for dear readers:
1: In fact achieving and consolidating peace and stability in Afghanistan are needs and desires of Afghanistan, Pakistan and all the nations of the world. As a result of achieving peace stability, all the unrests faced and sacrifices made in this regard by other nations particularly by Pakistan will fade away.
2 : If all of the parties involved (such as USA, Pakistan, Iran, Afghan government, opposing militants in general and Taliban in particular) in the conflict are convinced that the peace must be brought to Afghanistan, this great task can be attained in a short period of time. Now, if we examine each parties positions of whether are they really prepared for bringing peace or not? After getting answer to this question we can identify to what extent the above mentioned declaration is serious and to what extent we can be hopeful to it.
3: Examining the current situation shows that the parties involved in the issue are still not ready to cease their previous held positions and desist from their interests. In fact, the previous held positions based on their interests are the reasons for the continuity of the current situation. Until the reasons exist conflict persists.
4: The current consensus can be based on agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan titled (Roadmap for reconciliation process from 2012-2015) circulated by the media. Reviewing the agreement and the current declaration reveals that the Afghan government is victim of imbalanced interactions. Because Afghanistan occasionally forgets Pakistan’s role in the peace process and sometimes considers Pakistan as a sole effective player in establishing peace. Although, Pakistan is one of effective players who can play an important role in achieving peace but people must not be overtaken by too much optimism considering Pakistan as the sole player for bringing peace if she desires.
Now, we come to the question whether parties involved in the case are ready to cease from their previous positions which are reasons for the conflict in Afghanistan. Briefly, we can say that no sign of change can be seen in the positions held but if changes do come, Afghan crises will end on same day.
United States has economic, political and security interests in the region and these interests demands for the US military presence in the region. This presence will prolong the war in the region by provoking neighbouring states, regional powers and Taliban to resist the military presence. America must be convinced that their physical presence in the region will produce problems. Thus, USA must withdraw its military forces from Afghanistan and must terminate any kind of presence in the country. Later, US must help Afghanistan to achieve success and stand on its own feet which will end all the threats faced by America from the region.
Until and unless Pakistan does not liberate its policy towards Afghanistan from being Indian-oriented and view Afghanistan as a free, sovereign and united country and as long as Pakistan does not relate the peace process in Afghanistan with historical and border disputes, it is hard to see any change to occur in Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan. Because Pakistan has always tried to relate the peace process with Afghan-India relations and as much their relations get stronger as much it negatively affected Pakistan’s behavior. Pakistan has always tried to take advantage of the current opportunity to solve all historical border issues which remains for years. Whereas these issues can be solved through negotiations only when Afghanistan establishes sustainable government and becomes war-free country. On the other hand, Pakistan has always tried to have good relations with all parties, this also has negative impact on the peace process. Pakistan must deal with Afghanistan as one nation which can reduce many problems. Also, Pakistan has always worried that the US presence in Afghanistan can jeopardize Pakistan’s nuclear program and might worsen the issues in Baluchistan province. Even though, some of the politicians are of the view that perpetuation of war in Afghanistan is due to insecurity and problems in Pakistan. Now, a question arises “whether all mentioned positions changed?” the agreement of one or two person is not effective rather in such cases in which peoples of Pakistan see them as national interest needs fundamental changes that such problems be addressed which as a result positions are changed and ways for peace and sustainability are paved.
Iran is also a major and effective factor in the case of Afghanistan. Iran has economic, security and religious interests in Afghanistan. Iran is fearful of US military presence in Afghanistan, and wants at all cost to make US to withdraw by flaring up the war and insecurity in Afghanistan. Also, Pakistan and Iran considers Afghanistan as the market to sale their product and Iran wants to support a government which could be under its direct influence. Is Iran’s such position changed? Has Iran came to a conclusion that war is not at their interest? If such position is not changes, can peace be possible in a short time?
4: Afghan Government
From the statements of the government particularly of Mr. Hamid Karzai can conclude that the call for peace is used as an instrument for continuity of his government. On the one hand, they want the reconciliation process with Taliban to be under their full control, on the other hand, do not want dialogue that leads to real peace. For this reason they linked the High Council for Peace with the institution which was created for reintegration, so that the council could not work to bring peace. In order to tell Americans that elections will be useless in absence of national consensus. Hence, the current administration should continue till the national consensus is achieved and all the parties be prepared for participation in elections, for the same reason a process naming “National Uprisings” was also launched. It’s not only Karzai but also many other circles within the government who think that peace process is not in their interest and don’t want the process to succeed. Now, another question arises whether Karzai and other circles have changed their position? Do they sacrifice their own interest so that nation become calm and peaceful? If these views are changed, hence, peace can be achieved. Otherwise not only in six months but even in six years peace will not be possible.
5: Armed Resistance
Accordingly, armed wings considers the presence of foreign troops as essential to their tasks. Are foreign forces ready to leave Afghanistan? Besides, their other major problem is that they are not satisfied that Afghanistan is country common to all Afghans and that all afghans govern their country jointly, and the country’s representation be only entrusted to whom majority have trust. However, they want to govern Afghanistan solely by themselves. Hence, with this logic achieving peace and stability seems difficult.
In sum, Peace can simply be achieved if all the stakeholders apprehend the problems of Afghan people and leave their interests behind that are hurdles in the way of peace, otherwise, peace would be just a dream which will not come true.
In this regard chairman of the center of strategic and regional studies, Dr. Abdul Baqi Amin believes:
Peace negotiations would be fruitful when there is a real mediator group for peace, the High Peace Council which represents government of Afghanistan in peace negotiations has lost its stature, it no longer remains as a neutral organ therefore this organization has no visible achievements and is not accepted by opponents of Afghan government, if the government wants to have successful peace talks with opponents they must form a real Peace Council which should be trusted by all parties in Afghanistan then it could present better solutions for peace, neutrality would help this council to do fair deal with all parties in Afghanistan other important quality of this organization it should be consist of sympathetic, pious and Patriotic Afghans and their goal should be to present a better solution to the current situation of Afghanistan and I think if we honestly want real peace this would be the first step towards peace.
Another point I should mention is the deadline for Taliban to be agreed for peace this is unrealistic because it is proved when a party is totally disagree how it is possible agree by giving a deadline. Pakistan doesn’t have the ability to force Taliban to accept what they don’t want. Taliban wanted to have office in Qatar to be out of reach and dominance of Pakistan. England and Pakistan how they could make Taliban to accept peace which is not according to conditions of Taliban, I think this is just a dream nothing else. Political leaders of this country should wake up and see the situation with realistic glasses take the right position about the situations.
Putting pressure on opponents is not a solution for problems of this country, there should be revision in message and preconditions of peace, forming a neutral Peace Council is the solution.
We in Centre of Strategic and Regional Studies are ready to solve and mediate as neutral body to end this peace deadlock, this would be a honor for us to plays this important role for our nation.
In an interview with Mr. Waheed Mujhda a political analyst, he told us in this regard:
Mr. Karzai after Paris meeting; stance against negotiations and mutual understanding the reason is that representatives of Taliban and Political Opposition of the government of Afghanistan in that meeting had the opportunity to exchange views about important issues of Afghanistan they determined some important and fundamental issues and there is almost synoptic view among all parties in case of negotiations they will reach to an agreement.
The first issue was the constitution of Afghanistan in case of necessity it should be modified and the difference was that Taliban said it was the constitution made by invader we must make new constitution. And another issue that was discussed there was occupation of Afghanistan Taliban said that the existence of invaders and occupation of Afghanistan is the root reason of war in Afghanistan but opposite party insisted that war in Afghanistan is the reason of occupation and both parties agreed one of them must put down.
Another issue, that Afghanistan is an Islamic country and Islamic law should be dominant and no one should oppose this law but interpretation of Islamic law was different and Taliban said important section of Islamic laws (Farth) are not implemented in Afghanistan except very less important. And the other issue was creation of provisional government Mr. Karzai should strand and give up on time a proper and just election should take place.
Other issue was presence of law in Afghanistan, there should be national army, national secret agency, and national police should exist it is our necessity but these institution should be led by reliable and trustful people of Afghanistan. The negotiating party knew that which kind of government Taliban wants and this is possible to compromise with Taliban.
By knowing this Mr. Karzai anguished about situation and told nobody can talk for negotiation with those who are armed resistance and opponents of Afghan government the negotiators and the government wants everything in their monopoly.
Strategic alliance with Norway
Afghan President Hamid Karzai during his visit to Norway signed long-term strategic alliance with this country. This document is the base of political, economic and security relations of Kabul and Norway. In addition of strategic alliance with the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, Australia and France, Norway is the eighth country with which the Afghan Government has signed the long-term strategic alliance this would be basis of relations between Afghanistan and Norway.
Reason for Increasing Corruption is due to the Government’s lack of Political will
UN: Afghans bribed $4 billion in last year
Thursday, February 7, 2013
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) announced that Afghans have paid $3.9 billion of bribe last year.
The amount of bribe paid in 2010 was $2.5 million, as announced.
This amount is twice the amount of Afghanistan’s domestic revenue and quadrant the aid pledged by the International Community at a Conference in Tokyo.
In 2010, the amount paid in bribe was $2.5 billion considered as 20 percent of Gross National Income (GNI).
This report which was published in Kabul on Thursday underlined that the extent of amount paid in bribe in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012 has increased by 40 percent.
The report states that despite the increasing amount of bribe, bribe voters in the country have declined since 2009.
Details of bribery in Afghanistan
Total bribery in the year 2012 in Afghanistan is double of National income. Afghanistan national income was two billion dollars this year
Half of the Afghans bribed this year.
Bribing education and training staff has increased than the staffs of the other part of Afghan Government this year.
Bribe in Police has declined ten percent compared to 2009.
Most of the bribe in Afghanistan is paid to the judicial, customs and local institutions.
68 percent of the participants in a survey said that small amount of bribe is not accepted by the civil authorities staffs.
Afghan villagers make up 51 percent of total bribe voters.
53 percent men and 47 percent women are among the bribe voters this year.
Cash forms 75 percent of the total bribe in 2012.
UN announced that half of the Afghan population to get public services in state institutions are compelled to pay bribe, while the amount paid in private sector is 30 percent.
The amount of bribe received in private sector is $600 million which makes 15 percent of the total bribe paid in Afghanistan.
According to the report, 71% of the people in western Afghanistan, North East 60%, South 40% and 39% center have bribed public institutions.
The report adds that bribery in education and learning sector has increased unprecedentedly and the number of Afghans who bribe teachers has increased from 16 percent in 2009 to 51 percent in 2012.
The report adds though corruption is considered as a major problem by Afghans, however, this process has become a norm in their lives.
68 percent of the people interviewed consider bribing the government officials as financial assistance is acceptable to them, whereas this number in 2009 was 42 percent.
67 percent of the interviewed consider recruiting public officials on the basis of family relationships is acceptable while this number was 42 percent in 2009.
Earlier, Hamid Karzai in the international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany had promised to his allies and international supporters to take serious measures to combat corruption in his country.
Also in July of last year’s conference in Tokyo, the donor nations conditioned their further assistance to Afghanistan with the effective combat against corruption by the government.
Afghan president several times in the past, has accused foreigners of corruption.