By Irfanullah Mateen
Before 9/11, there were two Governments in Afghanistan – Islamic Emirate under the control of the Taliban and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ruled by Mujahedeen. Most countries in the world were recognizing the regime of Mujahedeen except a few Arab countries and Pakistan were supporting Islamic Emirate and had diplomatic relationships with them. After 9/11, when the Taliban didn’t hand over Osama Bin Laden (the head of Al-Qaida) to the US who was accused of the attack on the world trade centers, the USA and the Allies invaded Afghanistan and annihilated the Govt. of the Taliban and established a new Govt. under the leadership of Ex-President, Hamid Karzai. At that time, most of the Taliban fled to Pakistan and started regrouping there; from where started attacks on the International Coalition Forces and Afghan Security Forces in the Southern areas of Afghanistan bordered with Pakistan.
After the end of 2nd term of the presidency of Hamid Karzai, elections were carried out in Afghanistan but unfortunately, the runner up candidate rejected the results of the election and the Govt. of National Unity (NUG) came into existence upon the suggestion of Dr. Ashraf Ghani.
Dr. Ashraf Ghani was declared as president of Afghanistan and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah as the CEO. Each of them had the authority to introduce 50% of the Ministers and Governors along with other key positions in Afghanistan. At the beginning of the NUG, 72% of the total areas of Afghanistan were under the control of Govt., 7% under the control of the Taliban, and the remaining 21% contested. During NUG, Afghan Govt. started losing control of the areas under its influence. They either fell into the hands of the Taliban or remained contested. According to SIGAR, till the end of 2018 areas under the control of Afghan Govt. came down to 52% while the contested areas and the areas under the control of the Taliban raised to 48%. The fatalities of Afghan security forces also increased. As per the report of Brookings Institute, the fatalities of Afghan Security forces from the 21st march 2004 till September 2014 were 21,008 but from the beginning of 2015 till the end of 2019, Approx. 45000 members of Afghan Security Forces had been martyred, according to Dr. Ashraf Ghani. I believe, the main reasons for this increase are the end of US and NATO combat operations in Afghanistan (although they continued to provide aerial support to Afghan security forces) and early retirement of experienced upper ranked security officials. Even the NUG was witness to the fall of some provinces for a short period of time to the hands of the Taliban. The poverty rate during NUG dramatically increased. According to the Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey (ALCS) the poverty rate raised from 38% (2011-2012) to 55% in 2016-2017 which bounced to 90%, according to President Dr. Ashraf Ghani.
After the completion of NUG in 2019, elections were carried out again. This time the number of voters were historically low which was a clear indication of the failure of National Unity Government. After the announcement of the result of elections, Dr. Ashraf Ghani was declared the winner but his rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah rejected the results and declared himself as a winner and called out for the formation of a parallel Govt. in northern Afghanistan. But upon the mediation of Ex-President Hamid Karzai, Abdul Rab Rasool Sayaf (a Jihadi Leader) and Zalmay Khalilzad (Special Envoy of USA), both Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah agreed to share the Govt. same as NUG with a minor difference that this time Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was appointed as the Chairman of Higher Council for National Rehabilitation (HCNR) instead of CEO besides appointing 50% of Ministers and Governors.
Now, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah appointed most of the Governors of Northern Afghanistan. Does this mean that there will be no intervention of central Govt. in those provinces? Does this mean that security forces in these provinces will not be liable to the central Govt.? Does this mean that there will be no jurisdiction of central Govt. in those provinces? If the answer to all these questions is “No”, then why President Ashraf Ghani has requested the people of Panjsher and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to expel Keram-ud-din Keram who is accused of sexual harassments, instead of giving an order to law enforcement departments for his arrest? The Govt. has to give a proper explanation to the people of Afghanistan. Since Afghanistan is a united country with a central Govt. and not the era before 2000 that had two Govts. In place, every person involved in this situation is responsible for the people of this country.