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Afghanistan edging towards crisis irrespective of election

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AT-KABUL: Pundits and commentators have taken umbrage at ongoing perplexing and negative circumstances in Afghanistan and confided in a periodical session of the Rana Think Tank that crisis in Afghanistan is inexorable whether or not elections are held.

They pointed out susceptibility of election process to fraud and incapacity of government to counter it, raising prospects of continued turmoil and doubts that election will have no effect on it.

“Situation is worsening steadily, dragging the country towards crisis, and a rigged election will not change these circumstances,” said university lecturer Danish Bakhtyari. He raised possibility of two theories; election will either be held on its stipulated time or postponed for a belated time, giving the government of national unity a chance to continue its grip on power.

“If election is held, it apparently will not be transparent and all-inclusive, which would lead us toward crisis,” he opined, warning that election devoid of transparency and all-inclusivity will be devoid of legitimacy and prone to spawn political instability.

He argued that security is an overriding factor in election and should precede it. “With little control over vast swathes of land, government can never engineer election security, much lessrun free and fair election,” he opined.

He also delivered critique over “flawed infrastructure” in electoral bodies and cast shadow on independence of Independent Election Commission.

He was also opposed to a prolonged stint of incumbent government, saying none has the authority to sanction lengthening of the government if election fails.

He blamed foreigners – the U.S. in particular – for laying foundation of a weak government without consulting the Afghan nation, which runs counter to all democratic values. He proposed two remedies for current crisis; a third Bonn conference, or a traditional Loya Jirga convention, so that all spectrums of Afghan nation could converge and discuss establishing an interim government and hold elections later.

“Public trust on election has faded, so has their willingness to participate,” said Head of the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan Rafiullah Niazi, arguing that foreign interference in election made the situation more complicated.

He said that foreigners assist Afghanistan economically and militarily because of their own interests. “This war is not our war; it is an imposed war, to which only Afghans bleed,” he said, arguing that “other countries are in hostility Afghanistan because of its alliance with the U.S.

“U.S. and NATO will leave Afghanistan when they see their cause no longer fulfilled here,” he said. “As a result, hostility and animosity will have prolonged.”

“If we seek a justifiable reason for presence of foreign forces, there is none but disbursement of military expenditures of Afghanistan with pretext of their presence. They pay expenses of our armed forces to have their own war fought and their cause served,” he said, “We were never part of this war. And if they stop funneling their money, we are ready to fund our army with less but own money.”

Another member of Rana Think Thank Abdul Satar Pordili said that instead of election, Afghan people can bring in power a prominent figure through a national consensus, to undertake responsibility and accountability before people. “If election is once against held in an atmosphere of fraud, the country will not only lead towards crisis, but towards annihilation,” he opined.

Ex-governor of Kabul Abdul Jabar Taqwa said that nowhere is safe now. “Terrorists can even find their way into ministry of interior. So, how could a secure and nationwide election be possible?” he said, proposing a traditional Loya Jirga be convened to seek a trajectory for the ongoing crisis.