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Editorial: Death of democracy

The Afghan leaders officially signed the death warrant of Afghan democracy by administering unprecedented dual inauguration ceremonies, separated by just a thin wall. Despite efforts by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the election standoff and the lingering row over its results culminated in producing two presidents for Afghanistan as Ashraf Ghani took an oath as president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah followed suit. Afghanistan officially enters into the presidential crisis as Khalilzad’s reported marathon overnight negotiations fizzled out. From Sunday morning until midnight, Khalilzad was said to have been working at full throttle and drawing on his shuttle diplomacy to make the rival leaders agree on a power-sharing deal and step down from conducting two oath-taking ceremonies. Apparently, Abdullah was offered 40 percent of cabinet slots in the new administration by Ghani but he scorned the offer and wanted to become prime minister. On the other hand, had it happened, a power-sharing deal would not have been feasible or acceptable to Afghans because they have witnessed the fiasco of the National Unity Government (NUG) and they have seen how these two leaders have been at loggerheads ever since the NUG came into existence. Moreover, if there is going to be a political dispensation brokered through dialogue, what’s the purpose of risking Afghans’ lives by conducting election in the first place? The crisis caused by these thirsty-for-power leaders has divided the nation and would result in severe consequences for Afghanistan from multi-facets. Two men claiming to be president have once again returned Afghanistan to the dark ages of 18th and 19th centuries when there was nothing but anarchy and lawlessness. This means the history just keeps repeating itself in Afghanistan as nobody learns from it. As Afghanistan has now entered an unchartered territory of parallel states, the peace process is inevitably going to scuttle. To one’s surprise, during his inauguration as president for a second term, Ghani promised issuing a decree on freeing Taliban prisoners while a few days back, he refused to do so; however, it seems Khalilzad’s intervention was not in vain after all. It means that the strings of the current presidential crisis appears to be pulled by foreigners and that the presidential façade would be resolved only if the American overlords will it. The crisis will be diffused by none other than American intervention and we will witness a power-sharing dispensation once again. But these shameful endeavors by the rival foes weakened Kabul administration and signified how the incumbent administration submits to foreigners’ will – something providing all the more reason to the Taliban to reject negotiations with such a crisis-marred dispensation and exploit this turmoil to the fullest. At the end of day, one can say Afghan leaders aren’t committed to the interests of this soil whatsoever and are merely serving foreign interests.

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