Recently some high-ranking Afghan politicians who live in exile have spoken about the decentralization of power within Afghanistan’s political system believing it may lead the country to a stability.
Mohammad Sarwar Danish, the former Afghan Vice-President who live in New Zealand has recently announced establishment of a political movement with an aim to fight for the federalization of Afghanistan. Danish believes that in a federal system, the power distribution will be fair and satisfactory among different ethnic and religious groups in Afghanistan.
Abdul Rashid Dostum, the political leader of Uzbek tribe in Afghanistan has also spoken about change in the political system of Afghanistan as a solution to reaching peace. Speaking with a number of media outlets and journalists, Dostum has also supported the idea of federalization in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Karim Khalili, the leader of Wahdat political party and a prominent Hazara political figure has also released a statement through his official Facebook account, supporting the idea of federalization. The idea of federalization in Afghanistan was one of the aims of Abdul Ali Mazari, the late leader of Wahdat Party and he used to believe it could be a fair solution for the issues of Afghanistan, Khalili said in a statement.
Afghanistan’s political system has been ‘centralized’ in the course of history from absolute kingdom to constitutional monarchy, republic and now the Taliban who has not officially declared a specific political system.
The question still remains that whether a change in the political platform of Afghanistan from a full ‘centralized’ system to a ‘decentralized’ system or federalization of the country can help to end the ethnic and religious conflicts in Afghanistan or not? There has so far been no consensus among the Afghan politicians on the subject, except very few of them who have recently broken the silence in exile.
In the meantime, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, a prominent Pashtun political figure who used to play key roles in he last 20 years in Afghanistan, is now leading a new political movement along with Masoom Istanikzai, the former chief negotiators for the Afghan peace process. Atmar believes that decentralization of power in Afghanistan would help, but in a TV interview he strictly opposed federalization calling it ‘feudalism’.
In an interview with BBC, Mohammad Hanif Atmar said that neither accepting the Taliban’s rule and nor fighting with them militarily is the will of Afghan people. Atmar said he believes the option of ‘negotiations’ must be considered for farming an inclusive government in Afghanistan.
This comes as a two-year old peace process between the former Afghan government and the Taliban failed in August 2021. A number of Taliban political leaders housed in Doha, Qatar were negotiating with a team of negotiators from the Afghan government and other Afghan politicians for nearly two years.
A senior official from the former State Ministry for Peace who does not want to be named in this report said that the peace negotiations in Doha had no tangible results as the Taliban were confident about a military take over and they were not serious about negotiations.
The conflict between Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the chair of High Council for National Reconciliation was as extensive as there was a serious need of negotiators between to help them communicate, the source from the former State Ministry for Peace told Khaama Press.
There was a little chance of farming an inclusive government with both the participation of Taliban and other political players which was lost as President fled at once and the Taliban took over the power, the source said.
On the other had, the world is putting pressure on the Taliban to farm an inclusive government inviting other ethnic and religious groups to the government leadership, but the Taliban has not yet shown a green light. The Taliban is acting asa Defacto administration as no country in the world has so far recognized them and nor they have obtained an internal legitimacy.
But, the world has to still deal with the Taliban in order to avoid a serious humanitarian crisis in an aid-driven country that is facing serious economic crisis. International aids are now facilitated only by the United Nations as the majority of the Embassies, Diplomatic Missions and International Agencies do not have physical presence in Afghanistan.