News Analysis |
Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, a candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections, was assassinated when a bomb planted under his office chair exploded resulting in the death of 3 more persons. The toll has reached a total of 10 candidates so far killed in different events of violence.
The responsibility for all the deaths has been taken by the Afghan Taliban who has ordered the people to boycott the parliamentary elections commencing this week. “Such brutal acts of the terrorists and their supporters cannot weaken people’s trust in the peaceful and democratic processes,” President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement condemning the attack.
The issues regarding the economy and security need to be addressed or else the legislative bodies would be nothing more than the rubber stamp.
The election has been postponed in the past given the fragile security situation of the country. After a delay of nearly 30 years, Afghan people will be going out to vote their favorite candidate amidst chaos and precarious situation. Even after the delay under discussion, the security situation instead of improving has actually deteriorated multiple folds.
As per a NATO report, 56.3 percent of Afghanistan’s districts are under government control or influence. A full 30 percent of districts, the report stated, was contested territory, meaning they were “controlled by neither the Afghan government nor the insurgent” as of May 15, 2018. In July, Taliban overran two districts in eastern Afghanistan and in August, Afghanistan’s 12th largest city, Ghazni, was the site of heavy fighting.
The Undeterred Women of Afghanistan
The parliamentary elections also mark the participation of more than 400 female candidates. The threat in the patriarchal society of Afghanistan is more intense where the girl schools have been reported to be blown up by the extremists. 10 candidates assonated so far has one woman as well.
An attack in the rally of a woman candidate last week resulted in the death of 22 people wounding another 35. Despite the threats which are even more substantial for the women candidate, they have been resolute in their stance to stand against the oppression which they are subjected to.
“Elections in my country are not just about victory or defeat,” said Dewa Niazi, a 26-year-old candidate from the eastern province of Nangarhar, who holds a degree in computer science from India. “It is about launching a small-scale war. I can get killed, injured or abducted.”
Impeded Progressive Growth
Holding elections in a war zone is a challenge in its own and even the simple exercise, despite all the technical flaws, deserves appreciation. But looking at the bigger picture, the future still looks oblique. The United States is looking for plausible ways to move out of Afghanistan whereas, evident from the political and security predictors, the Afghan political administration is not self-sustainable.
The process of complete withdrawal of foreign troops is still going to take at least 3-4 years since the dialogue process is stalled due to the deadlock between both sides.
Though rehabilitation of a war-torn country is a gradual process, the post-exit strategy has not been revealed by the United States of America so far. Simply injecting the funds into the corrupt system alongside providing the training support for the Afghan security forces has proven itself as a failed strategy so far.
For the state of Afghanistan to be sovereign in all understandable definitions of international relations, it must have a strong economy, stable security, and authoritative legislative bodies. The parliamentary elections are simply a contributing factor for the third section of the complete equation. The issues regarding the economy and security need to be addressed or else the legislative bodies would be nothing more than the rubber stamp.
The process of complete withdrawal of foreign troops is still going to take at least 3-4 years since the dialogue process is stalled due to the deadlock between both sides. It would just be a matter of time for the insurgents to run over the crippled security and political structure of the country once the final foreign soldier is airlifted.