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Editorial: Political environment

Disagreement among political groups and leaders on the policies is not a rare thing. Differences among the parties and policymakers on the mechanism regarding resolving the outstanding challenges add to the beauty of democracy. Differences of opinion on issues of national importance shall not been seen as a divider but multiplier. It helps the governments to look at a complete picture. Therefore, democratic states give due importance to every opinion. Democratic forces encourage healthy criticism. Elected leaders always respect the mandate. They are not afraid of losing power because they know public will put weight behind them if they were on the right path as we have seen recently in Turkey when people flooded the streets to support democracy.

Afghanistan is no exception when it comes to practicing democracy. The country is already democratic because the culture of jirga or public council is as old as the hills. No one has the ultimate power in the jirga system. Interests of the community are always preferred in the council meetings. Individuals or chieftains do not possess the ultimate power. The power is vested in the local communities. In Afghanistan, even the Constitution has been approved and amended by the Loya Jirga. Therefore, the country is relatively more democratic than other countries.

However, the recent statements of the Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani have been seen as a great threat to the unstable national unity government. If the two leaders have the element of patience then it is a minor issue. There should always be debate on how to develop the country and solve the major challenges. Such debates will strengthen foundation of the democracy. Deviation from policy path on which the two leaders agreed could result in collapse of the unity government. A great deal hangs on consensus in the halls of power on key issues such as electoral reforms and amendment in the Constitution to carve out the prime minister position.

The government will come under crippling pressure from several directions if the leaders failed to build consensus and respect opinions of each other. They shall not act like skeptics but let the healthy criticism to flow in. It is a key to survival of the current government which is seemed to live on the edge of violence. Failures of the leaders to deliver on their promises have kept back the political system from becoming a mature and functioning democratic entity.

At this critical juncture, only patience and dialogues can rescue the government and the country from crisis. Therefore, both the president and the chief executive should engage in dialogues to fulfill their promises which they had made in presidential campaigns. We shall promote a tolerant political environment.


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