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Is it time to institutionalize democracy in Afghanistan?

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28.May

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Over the past centuries, even before the end of the monarchy and the advent of some form of democracy in Afghanistan, what has seriously undermined stability and state building in the country has been the absence of mechanisms allowing a peaceful transfer of power.

Today, at this crucial moment in history, if the Afghans managed to institutionalize democracy in the true sense of the word and if we adhere to the principle of peaceful transfer of power, the era of peace and stability will not remain too far away.

Given the geostrategic location of this landlocked country, often caught in the middle of rival global powers, the national perils to peace must be explored from a historical perspective.

Bitter rivalries between the heirs of power, as well as between aspiring leaders and groups, have more than once undermined the fundamental foundations of the Afghan state throughout its turbulent history.

Turning a blind eye to this urgent issue would likely perpetuate a repetition of this vicious cycle of death and destruction. This is not an academic question of limited interest, but an urgent need of the current times, as Taliban insurgents and various functional groups and parties zealously seek ways to seize power whatever the means, the consequences and, above all, the will of the Afghan people.

As a country synonymous with security risks and socio-political problems, Afghanistan can live these times with responsibility and dignity in order to save its future generations from the scourges of war.

Having held several historic presidential elections in a relatively peaceful environment (by Afghan standards), the country has faced many difficult phases over the past two decades that any nascent democracy fears to face; This does not, however, legitimize a bloody destruction of the entire governmental structure.

For the Afghan political elite and insurgent leaders, as well as regional actors, it is high time to demonstrate responsible maturity and let the culture of peaceful transfer of power become the norm.

Let us not forget that from being a frontline state in the struggle between the forces of the so-called “free world” and the evil forces of communism in the 1980s, Afghanistan has now practically become the frontline state in the global fight against extremism and terrorism.

Therefore, given the fragility of the Afghan state, escaping moral responsibility is also not an option for an international community that has already invested generously here.

Picture: Central Asian peoples

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