02/13/2013 | Leave a comment 1 March, 2001 By: Dr. Noor Ali March 1, 2000 To Her Excellency Ms. Madeleine Albright Secretary of State State Department 2021 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20520 SUBJECT: THE SPECIAL MODEL OF PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT FOR AFGHANISTAN Ms. Secretary, Following the papers/letters I have already submitted to your good selves and to your predecessor on the Afghan people’s tragedy. Keeping in view that the plans or programs so far conceived and tried out by the U.S. and UN to resolve Afghanistan’s conflict have absolutely failed, Bearing in mind that Afghanistan is exorbitantly a “failed state” for which the U.S.-led international community is directly and absolutely liable, Assuming that the said community will eventually behave responsibly in realizing the necessity of designing a provisional government system fit for the country, Considering that the purported government will be a transitionary style of political administration aimed at culminating, as soon as possible, to full democratic regime acceptable to the Afghan people, Acknowledging that the task of conceiving and designing such a government is extremely arduous calling for the contribution and/or participation of almost all the concerned and interested parties, Volunteering independently to initiate contributing in the fulfillment of the task, I am hereby outlining and proposing an especial model of provisional government which believably would be fit for meeting the peculiar requisites of the Afghan national collectivity by remaking and reassembling the various pieces and bids of the completely shattered Afghan national state and society. I. – Singularities of the Political Conditions Facing Afghanistan The current political conditions in Afghanistan are comparatively unique. The uniqueness of these conditions inevitably have a crucial bearing on the nature of the needed provisional government which consequently would be equally unique in many respects including those of its legitimacy, legality, and longevity. A. Afghan Provisional Government and Its Legitimacy As Communism is irreversibly on the decline and other styles of authoritarianism are under increasing public protestations through mass demonstrations of people’s dissatisfaction, few Afghans are prepared today to admit restoring in Afghanistan any of the regimes the country experienced in the past. In the opinion of the overwhelming majority of Afghan nationals, the supreme principle of political power legitimacy is democracy. On the other hand, the plight of the Afghan people has been characterized reiteratedly-but unwarrantedly-as being ethnically based. Yet the reality of the Afghan ethnic relationship cannot be unraveled and dealt with properly but by an appropriate democratic approach securing to all Afghan citizens, without any discrimination, the privileges of fundamental democratic rights including the right for self-determination at national and sub-national levels. The Afghan provisional government must therefore be-like other interim governments elsewhere-based on the firm commitment to pave the way to a democratic style of governance relying on fair and freely contested elections. It follows that no provisional government can be legitimate in Afghanistan unless it enjoys among the majority of Afghans the necessary credibility about its ability and sincerity to honor this commitment. Unfortunately none of the aspirants for leadership within the circle of the Afghan warring factions has any clear and up-to-date political ideology. All of them are eagerly and inflexibly determined to take on the absolute power indefinitely without any check and balance and without any responsibility and accountability to the Afghan people. In fact they do not believe there is a need for democracy in Afghanistan. They do not commit themselves genuinely to facilitate the country’s transition to a democratic political order. The promise or pledge of any Afghan provisional government made of the warring factions’ leaders for democratic change of regime would not be trusted by members of any stratum of the Afghan society. Such a government will therefore be devoid of the needed legitimacy. B. Afghan Provisional Government and its Legality In order for the contemplated transitional government to succeed to bring about in Afghanistan a democratic system of political power fit for the country, the existence of an effective state apparatus with appropriate state institutions is indispensable. Such a state apparatus, while ensuring continuity in the normal conduct of the country’s public affairs, would take necessary steps towards transition to democracy by legalizing all the required freedoms including those of assembly, of association for political parties, of access to media and of organizing competitive elections. Unfortunately again, the requisite state organizations, institutions, laws and regulations-permitting and enabling the potential candidates for power to enter freely into electoral competition-have no chance to be instituted or promulgated in Afghanistan. They will not be tolerated by any of the present power holders in the country. Any provisional government made of such power holders would therefore be lacking the needed legality as well. Furthermore it is worthy of noting that the state in its modern meaning is almost absent in Afghanistan. As a matter of fact: a. There is no authority monopolizing the control and the use of means of violence; there are a host of centers using coercive forces independently and irresponsibly. b. The territory over which each power center is exerting coercive force is by no means delimitated; it is ever changing either by military gain and loss or by shifting allegiance of local warlords or commanders. c. None of these territories, whatever its size in precentage of the total area of Afghanistan, can be identified with the Afghan nation; since 1992 Afghan ntiaonl state does not exist any longer. d. The sovereign power or the final and absolute authority for Afghan political community is not situated within the community. It is placed in the hands of several rival alien states. Taking advantage of the Afghan people’s helplessness for self-determination, every involved alien state is fighting-through its Afghan proxies-for installing in the Afghan capital its own “friendly government,” banishing and relegating the aspirations and preferences of Afghans themselves. e. Constitution, as the basic rules of the game of political process securing the existence of the state through the rule of law, is reduced to nothing, more than ever. f. The bureaucratic public administration of the country-which used to be conducted according to fixed rules and procedures, within clearly established hierarchy, in line with clearly demarcated responsibility, by professional and experienced civil servants acting as occupiers of particular public offices rather than in their personal capacity-has been wrecked and ravaged. g. The rulers are ruling exclusively through their personal power to coerce. They do not care about the assent of the people to their rules. Such rules cannot be construed by any means as expressing the sovereign will of the people. They are rather representing the usurpation of the people’s fundamental rights and freedoms-aimed at extinguishing Afghan national culture, crushing Afghan nationalism, erasing Afghan history, and barring Afghan refugees from returning to their home country voluntarily-in accordance with the objectives of the rulers’ foreign masters. h. Last but not least, the Afghan citizenship, the foundation of the Afghan political community-bestowing in principle upon all Afghan individuals equal rights and duties, liberties and constrains, power and responsibility-has been seriously and unprecedentedly damaged and deformed. These are some of the outstanding traits of the pseudo-state and its relationship with society in Afghanistan ever since the U.S.-made and foreign-based warring factions and warlords have taken over the power in the country. It is obvious that within the context of such a state and society no provisional government may be formed which could be provided with the demanded legitimacy, legality, and credibility for leading the country on the path to democracy with durable peace and stability. II. Lesson of Experience The illegitimacy, illegality, and unfeasibility of any model of provisional government made of Afghan warring factions’ leaders is not perceived inferentially only. Empirical experiences conducted by the United Nations in various parts of the world also are evidencing that such a government is manifestly impossibly to be established. Out of different types of provisional governments the UN has conceived and implemented-as per the classification and description of Yossi Shain and Juan J. Linz -the following are relevant and are therefore briefly examined here below. Power Sharing Provisional Government, under which a nondemocratic incumbent government and the democratic opposition share the governmental departments’ portfolios until elections are held. Incumbent Caretaker Government, in which the members of a nondemocratic elite assumes the role of the provisional government until a democratically elected one takes over the power. International Provisional Government, whereby the organization of the United Nations gets itself involved in managing the affairs of the state so as to lead and achieve the process of its democratization. A. Outlook for a Power Sharing Style of Provisional Government in Afghanistan The incumbents and oppositions in the present Afghanistan do not mean power holders and power seekers. They differ from each other rather militarily and territorially than politically or ideologically. They rule over different proportions and constituencies of the country despotically and autocratically, striving to eliminate each other violently. They are deploying their maximum of effort to accede to absolute and perpetual power exclusively without caring for the interests, rights or aspirations of any Afghan people’s communities. That is, the incumbents and oppositions in Afghanistan are far from being the organized political manifestations of Afghan social groups. They are not behaving responsibly as political representatives of any Afghan social classes. They are foreign based warring adversaries representing rather the interests of the involved foreign powers than those of the Afghan people. Their inter-relationships, being the reflection of those rife among the involved foreign states, are irremediably mistrustful and irreconcilably antagonistic. The idea of a transitional political arrangement aimed at fixing the rules and duration of the transition to a democratic system of government is stranger and unacceptable to them, because none of them may be looking forward to retaining any position of power in the future democracy. They instinctively prefer the continuation of the status quo than to participate in any interim political order. They are therefore absolutely incapable to coalesce to form an effective power sharing government. B. Prospect for an Afghan Care Taker Government Model This model of political government is aimed at holding elections on a specific date in order to achieve the envisioned change of regime as promptly as possible. It may succeed provided: (i) its duration and scope are limited, and (ii) the nondemocratic incumbents are more able and better placed than the democratic opposition to keep functioning the state apparatus in order to maintain law and order. Regrettably in Afghanistan neither the incumbents nor the oppositions are democratic. None of them are viewed by others as reliable and trustworthy to lead any authentic democratic transition. The suspicion about possible manipulation of the electorate and falsification of the election results are so deeply seated in their mind that the very concept of an incumbent-led provisional government would be a priori rejected by the oppositions. C. Project of Afghan Transitional Political Order Based on International Provisional Government Model In order to have an idea about this model of provisional government, it is helpful to glance at the case studies of Namibia and Cambodia. In Namibia it was in 1976 that the UN embarked on the process of bringing to an end the illegal foreign (South African) domination and the ensuing instability by setting up in the country a special UN mission called the United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG). The group had been mainly in charge of organizing and supervising the required elections for the institution of a constituent assembly. The determination and the coordinated actions of the by-then superpowers forced South Africa to comply with the terms of the United Nations resolutions aimed at realizing Namibia’s independence. The UNTAG succeeded in accomplishing its tasks by surmounting almost all the problems it encountered. The bureaucracy the government of South Africa had installed therein cooperated genuinely. Consequently the planned elections were held in early November 1989 and certified by UNTAG as fair and free. The contemplated constituent assembly, instituted on November 21, drafted and adopted the first democratic constitution of the country. The same had been declared effective on March 21, 1990, the day on which the United Nations proclaimed Namibia independent. The Cambodian case originated with the sanguinary war between Vietnam and China-based Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979 followed by eleven years of Vietnamese occupation and then by four years of Cambodian interfaction fighting until the United Nations intervened in a move to bring about a peaceful settlement and a democratic transition in the country. The UN engagement in the Cambodian conflict had been unprecedently ambitious. It included the deployment of a sizable army, police officers, and civilian administrators for active participation in running the affairs of the state. It had been focused mostly on establishing rules, regulations, and procedures for holding fair and free elections, resettling refugees, disarming the rival factions and re-employing tens of thousands of former fighters. The pursuit of a better international image and/or economic interests motivated the involved regional powers-Vietnam, China, the former USSR, Australia, and Japan-to assist in returning peace and stability in Cambodia through international involvement and guarantee. In 1989 Vietnam withdrew its occupation forces. In 1991, the government of Hun Sen (the incumbent) and the three rival rebel factions-Norodom Sihanook, Son Sann, and Khmer Rouge-signed a UN-mediated peace treaty calling upon all the factions to disarm, form political parties, compete in the elections to be organized and supervised by the United Nations, and help establish in the country a political system based on pluralist liberal democracy. However in fact the Khmer Rouge refused to disarm their troops, resumed and intensified their campaign of violence, intimidated the parties standing in the elections, and frightened millions of registered voters from voting centers. Despite these hindrances and adversities the UN succeeded in performing-with the support and enthusiasm of the people-almost all its assignments by and large satisfactorily. The elections were held May 23-27, 1993 peacefully with a very high turn out (over 90%). The Royalist Party of Prince Norodom Ranariaddh (a son of Norodom Sihanook) received 58 of 120 seats in the Constituent Assembly; the Party of Hun Sen won 51 seats; that of Son Sann gained 10 seats; Khmer Rouge harvested none, i.e., the Cambodian people’s lack of confidence. Are the models of the International Provisional Governments the UN experimented with in Namibia and Cambodia applicable to Afghanistan? Unfortunately but frankly the answer is straight away no, because: 1. In the resolution of the Namibian and Cambodian crisis, the essential role had been played by the international superpowers (USA and USSR) as well as the involved regional powers. The success achieved by the UN had been in fact the effect of the concerned international and regional powers’ backing. The United Nations had been able to accomplish its mission because both categories of involved foreign powers were supporting it financially as well as militarily and politically with determination and efficacy. Unhappily, with regard to the Afghan conflict, the approach of the relevant members of the present U.S.-led international community is entirely antithetical to what is required for its settlement. The government of the United States-one of the main parties liable for the Afghan people’s tragedy-is evading its political and financial responsibilities. It is exerting influence on the United Nations to make its reports and pass its resolutions on Afghanistan according to her own stand to stay away from the U.S.-made Afghan quagmire leaving its direct and indirect regional allies to fight each other in Afghanistan over Afghanistan’s national sovereignty through their Afghan proxies. As far as the other main party implicated in Afghanistan’s misfortune, i.e., the Federation of Russia-the heir at law of the former Soviet Union-is concerned, it seems very pleased with the continuation of the Afghan crisis allowing it to postpone indefinitely the payment of war damages and to take revenge on Afghans ironically through Afghanistan’s bloody instability stemming from America’s Afghan policy. Obviously under such unfavorable international conditions it is impossible for the United Nations to initiate in Afghanistan any interim governmental authority along the lines of the International Provisional Government models it experimented with in Namibia or Cambodia. 2. Another crucial condition for the successful implementation of International Provisional Government Model is the existence of appropriate and adequate state institutional facilities. In Namibia the cooperation extended to the UN personnel by the public services the government of South Africa had built played a vital role in the success achieved by UNTAG. In Cambodia, the presence of the incumbent government’s state organizations and services-bolstered, supplemented, and supervised by UNTAC-contributed significantly to the accomplishment of the UN’s mission. Without the existence of a functional domestic administrative infrastructure neither the UNTAG nor the UNTAC could assume properly their responsibilities. But in Afghanistan such an infrastructure is totally absent. Ever since the U.S.-made and foreign-based warring factions and warlords stormed Kabul (1992), the Afghan state has turned literally to a failed one. The country is therefore far from being able to accommodate any style of hitherto known International Provisional Governments. 3. The realization of the UN plan based on the International Provisional Government requires also that every rival faction or party had built-up, beforehand, its own social basis of eligibility in order to have good prospects for coming out of the UN-monitored elections as a winner. Otherwise, and particularly because of involvement in human rights violations, as had been the case for Khmer Rouge’s Pol Pot in Cambodia, the involved factional leaders will oppose forcibly the plan by making use of all available means-including the intimidation and terrorization of electors-to undermine the process of the electoral contestation. In the light of the United Nations’ experience in Cambodia, one may figure out that, if among the Cambodian aspirants for power there was another contestant who also behaved like Pol Pot, the UN mission would be doomed to failure. Yet in Afghanistan every warring faction’s leaders-imposed by the U.S. government upon the Afghan people-is more or less a Pol Pot in his own way. The International Provisional Government Models the UN implemented in Namibia and Cambodia have therefore no room in Afghanistan. 4. The materialization of the UN plan, founded on the International Provisional Model of Government, calls equally for the warring factions’ militia to be disarmed so as to facilitate the formation of an effective UN-backed National Transitional Government Authority with unified and centralized armed forces, civil administration, and law and order enforcement services. However, in Afghanistan it is impossible to satisfy this condition as well. As explained in my previous letters the armed forces the factions leaders have at their disposal are aimed not only at fighting for defeating each other, they are performing at the same time the crucial role of their bodyguards. Without such guards they will be socially subject to a free fall due to which their social status will be reduced to that of an ordinary sort of man. Experience has proved that none of the Afghan warring faction leaders can afford, in terms of his personal safety, to live like an ordinary inhabitant of the country. They have developed reciprocally so much hatred and mistrust that they do not miss the first opportunity to finish off each other physically. On the other hand they are deeply and openly implicated in human rights violations; they cannot save their skins without being protected by their own respective private armed forces; they are not able to rely, for long and in the open, on the protection provided by others. 5. The Provisional Governments with UN-involvement, like those experimented with in Namibia and Cambodia, demand that the parties to the conflict communicate so as to accommodate each other and reach a compromise. Yet the mentality of communicating, accommodating and compromising is absolutely absent among Afghan warring factions’ leaders. They were originally selected by Washington, in agreement with its regional allies, on the grounds of their divisiveness so as to be controlled and conducted in strict compliance with its own policy and objectives and not anything else. Thereafter the faction leaders’ antagonistic relationships went on ever worsingly to the extent that today in the mind of every one of them the solution to the Afghan problem is nothing but the sheer elimination of the others. The difference between the options each faction leader is facing is not the one existing between the prerogatives of a cabinet minister and those of the prime minister in a developing country such as Afghanistan. The real options he has before him are between the status of an autocratic tyrant and that of a subjugated politician if not an exiled or imprisoned or executed one. This is the reason for which none of the leaders is admitting bona fidely to unite with members of oppositions to form a meaningful coalition provisional government unless he is reassured to have under his direct control all the ministerial positions of coercive forces including defense, police, and gendarmeries. 6. The International Provisional Government Model calls at the same time for the deployment of an appropriate size of UN army including police officers along with a requisite number of civilian administrators. But under the prevailing Afghan political and military conditions such UN involvement in Afghanistan will not be but counterproductive. If the UN expeditionary forces are deployed as reinforcement of any given Afghan faction, it would automatically mean siding with that faction leading to further complication of the overall situation in Afghanistan and in the region. In the event it stays neutral, then it would either be compelled to stay idle or to go on fighting against all the factions in an attempt to defeat all of them at once. In the former case the UN forces will not perform any function, in the latter it will certainly fail. 7. The International Provisional Government Model demands additionally that the involved regional powers concur to end the conflict without undue delay. Regrettably in Afghanistan this demand also is far from being satisfied. In view of her geopolitical configuration and relationship among her neighboring countries, the sine qua non condition of peace and stability in Afghanistan is her historical international status of independence along with her foreign policy of strict nonalignment. Any departure from that line of foreign policy will upset the balance of power among the neighboring states and lead to political turmoil in the regions. However the U.S. government’s regional allies, the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, are impudently complotting for converting Afghanistan into a country primarily aligned to themselves. This impudence is apparently ensuing from the tacit authorization they have received from Washington in reward for their financial and bureaucratico-managerial collaboration during the Afghan War of Resistance against the former Soviet Union. The intervention of the U.S. Administration into the Afghan War of resistance had been planned and carried out in alliance with its aforesaid regional allies in the absence of anybody or entity duly representing the people of Afghanistan. The objective of the alliance had seemingly been threefold: (i.) The specific objective of the United States to defeat the former Soviet Union by shedding the blood of millions of Afghans while disregarding the prime and dire need of the Afghan people itself to recover its independence, to live in peace, and to cure its injuries. (ii.) The special design of Pakistan to bring Afghanistan under the temporal authority of Islamabad. (iii.) The particular aim of Saudi Arabia to introduce Wahabism into Afghanistan so as to place the country under the spiritual control of Riyadh. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union, the actions and reactions and rivalry between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and the rest of the regional powers on the other, burst open bloodily, blocking the way for the Afghan national state to reemerge, and to members of the Afghan class of intelligentsia to return home in order to form an effective Afghan national government. The continuation of the rivalry among the involved regional states and its corollary of absence of responsible government in Kabul led unavoidably to further complication of the situation. Parallel to the interference of the entangled foreign states, foreign private and religious authorities also engaged in interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan for their own enterprises and purposes which are profiled as follows: a. Throughout the Afghan War of Resistance, huge amounts of cash and noncash resources from Western and Arab sources were being poured into Pakistan for Afghanistan. A substantial part of these resources had believably been embezzled first by the Pakistan government and then by thousands of Pakistani military officers and civil officials who thus became multimillionaires. But after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces, the main source of these resources dried out. As getting rich through the Afghan conflict became a precedent, a routine and a way of life for many Pakistani government employees, alternative source of income had to be sought. The vertiginous expansion of poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and the appalling rise in the exportation of heroin from Afghanistan appeared as being the best substitute for the lost sources of receivables. This highly lucrative and multiparties business arrangement constitutes ipso facto a significant inducement to all the participants, including the relevant members of Pakistani governmental authorities, to strive for obstructing the ascendancy of any legitimate Afghan government-including an international provisional one-behaving responsibly to the Afghan people and to the international community. b. The enduring instability in Afghanistan has turned the county into a sanctuary for many Arab and non-Arab militantists and terrorist activists. They are using the Afghan territory and its poppy cultivation economy as basis for recruiting, training and deploying hundreds of terrorists and thousand of militants with far-reaching effects resonating in far distant areas. They are conducting their operations in close relation with Pakistani fundamentalist Islamic groups who are thence putting up a fierce resistance to the rise of any accountable and responsible interim government-whether of national or of international character-leading to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. c. It seems that part of the wealth myriad of Pakistanis accumulated during the Afghan War of Resistance has been invested in the construction of thousand of modern residential properties, mainly in Peshawar area of the North West Frontier province of Pakistan. Most of these properties have been rented to relatively well-off Afghan refugees including those who are recipients of regular remittances from their close relatives living in Europe and North America. It is obvious that the settlement of the Afghan quandary will occasion the return in mass of Afghans to their homeland and thereby to a sharp devaluation of their eventually vacated present dwelling places. It goes without saying that the owners of these places are not missing any opportunity to exercise their influence, by one way or another, to ensure the endurance of the Afghan conflict barring the refugees from returning voluntarily to their home country. From the foregoing one may easily conclude that there is no parallel between the international and regional conditions surrounding Afghanistan and those that surrounded Namibia and Cambodia. The latter enabled the United Nations to succeed to bring in peace and stability. The former are forcing the UN to fail. There is, therefore, a need for the conception and inception of a Special International Provisional Government Model corresponding better to the special circumstances encompassing Afghanistan. The uniqueness of the Afghan case is calling for a unique type of International Provisional Government. III. Proposed Special International Provisional Government Model for Afghanistan (SIPGA) No system of International Provisional Government may be fit for Afghanistan unless it is capable of addressing the root causes of Afghanistan’s predicament which are Shattered Afghan national state Alienated Afghan national sovereignty Ravaged Afghan Economy Annihilated Afghan traditional system of political power legitimacy Therefore the mission of the SIPGA would be fourfold: To recreate Afghanistan’s national statehood To recover Afghanistan’s national sovereignty To rebuild Afghanistan’s economy To prepare the ground for the Afghan people for self-determination-at national and provincial levels-leading to the institution of a new system of legitimate political power in the country. However, the second and third missions are inherent in the first one; all three may be therefore dealt with simultaneously. The mission of the SIPGA would therefore be To recreate Afghanistan’s national statehood To smooth the Afghan people’s way to self-determination to establish the style of government of their own choice. In Namibia and Cambodia, the United Nations had to tackle only the issue of change of regime in using the locally available state institutional facilities. In Afghanistan this is not applicable. Here the UN’s responsibility would be much vaster and deeper. It would consist mainly of the following: – To help establish in Afghanistan a Special International Provisional Government (SIPGA) fit for its purposes. – To assist the established SIPGA to build the necessary infrastructural facilities and state institutional services so as to be conducive to the recreation of Afghanistan’s national state. – To use, in cooperation with SIPGA, the thus built-up facilities and services in order to provide the Afghan people with the required opportunity to choose freely the mode of government it prefers. A. The Establishment of SIPGA The setting up of the sought provisional government would comprise two stages: (i.) Selection of its leader. (ii.) Accession of the selected leader to the pedestal of power. 1. Selection of the SIPGA Leader and the Issue of His Legitimacy-Ineffectiveness of Loya Gerga and Relative Effectiveness of Elections Combined with Opinion Polls. Given the immensity and the fateful responsibility of the envisaged Special International Provisional Government, its leader-hereafter also called Afghan National Leader-cannot be made known but by the free will of the Afghan people. Without a proper national consultation the Afghan National Leader cannot be selected legitimately. In Namibia and Cambodia the duty of the International Provisional Government was to secure for both the Namibian and Cambodian people a permanent representative system of government. In Afghanistan this duty cannot be fulfilled unless somehow the International Pprovisional Government itself is a representative one. This means that the selected SIPGA leader needs to be believed by the majority of the Afghan people as being elected by the Afghan people. However, under the current political conditions of the country, while the democratic selection of the Afghan National Leader directly by means of conventional elections is prima facie not easy, his indirect election through the Afghan Traditional Assembly or Loya Gerga is utterly impossible. For, the legitimizing effect of the assembly was ensuing from the traditional legitimate power of Afghan urban and rural notables and elders founded on their territorially-based personal merits, charisma, prestige, and popularity. As such, they were considered as representing the interests and aspirations of the peoples residing in their respective territories. In other words, members of any Loya Gerga convened formerly to decide upon the national issue at stake were not chosen through universal suffrage or franchise. The choice was rather made by co-optation among objectively acknowledged eligible notables and elders of each constituency who had been therefore recognized beforehand as being qualified for representing the constituency’s inhabitants. Instead of going into election competition, the qualified candidates were setting for co-optation. The proceeding of the co-optation were recorded in a legal (Sharia) document and authenticated by the local judge and governor, which in turn was endorsed by the provincial government and reendorsed by the relevant department of the ministry of interior. It was after the completion of these legalization and authentication procedures that the document was deemed as the incontestable credential for the co-opted candidate to have access to the Gerga hall and to participate in the Gerga debate. Yet since 1992, the Afghan social class of notables and elders have been eradicated from the Afghan political arena and replaced by the U.S.-imposed warlords and weapon holders. Furthermore, the state institutional facilities including law and order enforcement services-convening the Gerga meeting, conducting its proceedings, and enforcing its decisions-have been wiped out from the scene of the Afghan polity and substituted with the U.S.-made and foreign-based warring factions and factionalism. As far as Afghans refugees outside Afghanistan are concerned, they are far from being-as in the Afghan traditional society-elitistic communities. There is no group of acknowledged co-optable elders and notables among the members of any Afghan community abroad, representing their views and preferences appropriately. It follows that there is no objective basis to choose objectively the Loya Gerga members representing Afghans living outside Afghanistan either. Consequently, the choosing of members of Loya Gerga-to be held within or without Afghanistan-will be made in a completely unrepresentative, arbitrary, subjective, and biased manner entailing interminable contestations and controversies. Moreover, because of the involved arbitrariness, subjectiveness, and biasedness, more than one Loya Gerga meeting may be convened at the same time but by different groups of hosts or organizers and with opposite conclusions. As to which Gerga meeting’s conclusions would supersede the others, nobody will be in a position to determine. That is, owing to the sweeping social and political disruption that has taken place in Afghanistan, the Loya Gerga or the Afghan Traditional National Assembly has virtually lost its legitimizing effect. No Loya Gerga meeting may be convened authentically in the country. It cannot be conducive to the selection of the Afghan National Leader legitimately. Its decisions will be neither acceptable to the majority of Afghans nor enforceable. In the view of many of them it will represent a new stratagem for the continuation of the international conspiracy against the Afghan people’ right for self-determination, prolonging further the instability and bloodshed in Afghanistan. To select democratically the legitimate Afghan National Leader is therefore facing serious obstacles. In an effort to surmount the obstacles, I would like to refer to the present human geography of Afghanistan and submit the following proposal. Out of approximately 15 million Afghans, nearly 10 million are dwelling inside Afghanistan; they are made up mostly of apolitical strata of the Afghan society living as hostages in the hands of irresponsible and tyrannic U.S.-made warlords. The balance, almost 5 million, are in diaspora all over the world; they include the most articulated Afghan political elite groups; they may be viewed as being members of leading classes in the Afghan political community; their voices could be construed as the voices of the Afghan national collectivity; constituting approximately 90% of politically mindful potential voters, their votes would therefore represent those of the Afghan people as a whole. Assuming that some legislative or presidential elections were held in Afghanistan under normal conditions with almost all Afghans living inside the country, the choice(s) of the part of the population corresponding to today’s Afghans in diaspora would be determinative of those of the totality of the country’s inhabitants. The rest of the people either will not participate in the elections or will be led by the leading part of the population. This is to say that a regular election competition organized and supervised by the United Nations among Afghans living in exile may by itself be conducive to the identification of the Afghan National Leader in a democratic manner. But this does not imply that the preferences of Afghans inside Afghanistan will be ignored; their voices could be collected through well-designed and properly conducted opinion polls if not through customary election centers. Besides, the elected Afghan National Leader would not afford to rule Afghanistan autocratically. He would govern the country within the framework of a pre-agreed system of legality checked and balanced by the organization of the United Nations so as to protect the rights of all Afghan individuals and communities, with due regard to human rights and the rights of the minorities. Thus in combining a set of mutually complementary measures, the UN would be capable of selecting democratically the SIPGA Leader who will be regarded as legitimate by almost all the concerned parties to the point of satisfaction if not to that of perfection. Indeed to set up SIPGA through the election of its Leader in the way just outlined is costly. However, if the U.S.-led international community wants to behave responsibly, it should not balk at meeting the expenditures that the election of SIPGA’s Leader would require. For one thing, the issue of legitimacy constitutes the heart of the Afghan dilemma. The U.S.-made and foreign-based Afghan warring faction leaders are ruling in Afghanistan coercively and oppressively with the support of the involved foreign countries but without the slightest consent of the Afghan people whatsoever. Their powers are therefore illegitimate. Each faction leader is fighting his opponents because of his belief that the latter are illegitimate, without, however, being aware that he also is illegitimate. He is founding his legitimacy on the illegitimacy of his adversaries and vice versa. In order for the International Community to break up this vicious circle, it has to do the necessary in order to bring about in the country a legitimate national leader relying on and responsible to the Afghan people, no matter what would be the financial cost. Otherwise the armed confrontation among the Afghan warring factions, and its antecedents, the rivalries among the involved regional powers, will never be over. 2. Accession of the Elected Afghan National Leader to the Pedestal of Power a. The responsibility of the International Community The process of accession of SIPGA Leader to the seat of effective power inside Afghanistan would be even more complicated, arduous, and hazardous than that of his election. Nevertheless it is strongly believed that he will be able to take over such a power bloodlessly on the condition that the international community meet its responsibility by undertaking and implementing an effectual plan of action, a model of which could be the following: (i.) The UN Secretariat designates a team to organize and to conduct the election and the opinion polls referred to above. (ii.) Should everything be in order, the team declares both the national consultations fair and free. (iii.) The UN Security Council passes a resolution endorsing the outcome of the Afghan universal suffrage, recognizing the elected contender, the SIPGA Leader, as Afghanistan’s legitimate head of state, pledging to support him effectively, both politically and financially. (iv.) The five permanent members of the Security Council sanction the Security Council’s resolution jointly and bindingly declaring their firm determination to enforce it coordinately and steadily. (v.) The UN Secretariat sets up a Standing Committee made up of responsible representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council to be in charge of enforcing the Council’s resolution. (vi.) The Standing Committee demand the involved regional powers (a) to stop supporting their respective favorite Afghan warring faction leaders; (ß) to call back their proxies so as to be accommodated with dignity; (?) to arrange for the armaments and other military facilities in the latter’s possession to be handed over the elected Afghan head of state’s government authorities. (vii.) The Standing Committee promulgates the specific types of sanctions to be imposed upon the states that might contravene its above-mentioned demands. (viii.) The Standing Committee determines the pertaining international prosecutions to which any Afghan or non-Afghan charged in Afghanistan with human rights violations, genocide, and crimes against humanity shall be liable. (ix.) The Standing Committee establishes the required international financing consortium with the contribution of relevant states so as to meet the financial need of SIPGA, adequately. (x.) The Standing Committee makes the necessary arrangements to restore Afghanistan’s non-aligned international status. (xi.) The UN Secretariat assists the elected SIPGA Leader to found his political party- Afghanistan’s Liberation Movement (ALM); to call upon Afghans to join it; to form his government; and to nominate his ambassadors and representatives to the main capitals of the world as well as to international organizations including the Organization of the United Nations. Afghanistan is enduring an inexpressible suffering for more than two decades because of the open armed aggression of the former USSR and the unrequested, illegal and inappropriate armed intervention of the United States. There is no predicament, plight, misery or misfortune facing the country which does not originate, derive, ensue, or emanate from these two devastating foreign involvements. It is, therefore, the legal obligation of the U.S.- led International Community to come forward to repair the aftermath of the involved aggression and intervention. The elected SIPGA Leader would be able to take over the power provided the International Community abrogates the undue and illegal privileges or extraterritorial rights America has conferred upon its regional allies. The effrontery with which these are interfering with the internal affairs of Afghanistan is not incidental. It is based on the prerogatives the U.S. government bestowed upon them. In doing so, Washington has engendered an unprecedented rivalry among Afghanistan’s neighboring countries over Afghanistan’s future and fate. Each regional state is striving to use the Afghan land-inter alia-for its national security purpose. However, what one state sees as a defensive step to protect his security interest, others see as an aggressive threat to their own security concerns. The outcome is twelve years of agonizing proxy war in Afghanistan because of which the country as a whole has fallen to ruin economically, socially and politically. The solution to the Afghan conflict depends, therefore, primarily on the conception and enforcement of a plan of actions-like the once outlined above-invalidating the undue privileges of the U.S. regional allies by returning the fate of the Afghan people to the Afghan people through the Afghan people’s elected Leader. In mediating between the involved regional states or their proxies, the U.S. and the UN are in fact upholding the validity of such privileges, to the satisfaction of U.S. allies but to the detriment of the settlement of the Afghan crisis. b. The Role of Afghans in the Diaspora I am confident that Afghans living abroad would respond positively to the appeal of the SIPGA Leader. They will join Afghanistan’s Liberation Movement (ALM) by thousands provided, however, that the proposed UN Standing Committee for Afghanistan caters decently to the basic needs-including health and education-of their families on the basis of the cost of living in places where they are residing. The adherents of the Movement will be exclusively Afghan nationals, including former Afghan military/police/gendarmerie officers, civil servants, medical doctors, lawyers, bankers, engineers, agronomists, traders, industrialists, accountants, nurses, clerks, etc. As long as the SIPGA does not have the situation in Afghanistan under his effective control, no non-Afghan UN staff would be employed in the Operation of Afghanistan’s liberation inside Afghanistan. UN expatriate staff would be employed in high numbers in a later stage when the statehood recreation of the country would have made adequate headway. The realities of Afghanistan are such that the risk of life inherent in its salvation is very high, immediate, and visible. Only Afghans may afford to face it. Expecting non-Afghans to run such a risk is not realistic. Accordingly, the International Community will not be requested to mount any military peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. Such a force would not be in a position to accomplish any mission. History has placed this mission upon those Afghans of medium and upper classes that are presently residing outside Afghanistan and are still fit for the job. During the decade of the eighties Afghan plebeian mass espoused martyrdom to rescue the “U.S.-led free world” from the threat of communism. Now Afghan patricians-elite and semi-elite-ought to embrace a similar fate to liberate the orphans and the widows of the martyrs from the tyranny of the U.S.-made and foreign-based Afghan tyrants. c. Engaging and Accommodating but Not Confronting Undertaking the mission of liberating Afghanistan exclusively by Afghans does not mean that SIPGA would mount an armed force made exclusively of Afghans to take over the power by force and then to proceed to carry out its assignments. Such a force does not seems desirable either. Like the UN peacekeeping force it will be unproductive if not counterproductive. The troops or soldiers of the said armed force-about 20,000 men strong-as well as its officers, professionals, and supporting staff will not be conscripted persons or draftees. They will be free people, the recruitment of which from outside Afghanistan will not be easy. Recruiting them from inside the country will unavoidably result in an uni-ethical or uni-provincial armed force fraught with social, political, and military consequences. Furthermore, maintaining a regular and properly disciplined army, in a territory where law and order enforcement power is not centralized and monopolized in a single center, is impossible. Desertions of soldiers with paid salaries and possessed weaponeries will be daily routine. The recreation of Afghanistan’s national armed forces will be an integrated part of the recreation of Afghanistan’s national statehood. National defense and national law and order services will go side-by-side, one supporting and sustaining the other. Recreating one without bringing about almost simultaneously the other is unpractical. Moreover, the very concept of a military force is somewhat inconsistent with SIPGA’s mission. By getting into Afghanistan under the protection of an escorting armed force, SIPGA would depend more on the involved military unit than on the people that would have elected it. In a society like the Afghan one, such an armed force will be hard to please. It will be very difficult to prevent its servicemen, from the simple soldiers to its chief commander, to behave hegemonically, arrogantly, and abusively. SIPGA will thus be viewed by the majority of the people as a new foreign-based armed faction aimed at replacing or opposing the existing ones rather than as a national government in charge of liberating the country from the yoke of the U.S. regional allies and their proxies. Consequently, SIPGA, members of ALM, and Afghans living inside Afghanistan would have to work together in order to recreate Afghanistan’s national state and to design a new system of legitimacy of political power for the country. Setting aside the Afghan warring faction leaders and their close entourages, the Afghans residing inside Afghanistan may be divided into two categories: the field commanders and the rest, i.e., the apolitical masses. Though the first category constitutes a very tenuous upper layer of the present Afghan society, dealing with them seems much more difficult and crucial that with the masses. Nevertheless, there is a sharp difference between a field commander and a foreign-based warring faction leader. The latter is fighting on behalf of a foreign state to the death to take over exclusively the supreme power; the former is combating on behalf of a warring faction leader in return for a cash payment in order to survive. He is a combatant entrepreneur entering with a faction leader into a verbal contract, on the basis of which he hires a number of combatant laborers, the riflemen, to defend a delimited territory, for a fixed period of time, against the assaults of the faction leader’s rivals. But should he and his riflemen be offered non-combating, more regular and more attractive, alternative job opportunities, they do not hesitate to shift employers at once and to live on the income of the newly acquired jobs more safely and more honorably. This is a fundamental assumption representing one of the most important cornerstones of the SIPGA project. The project may be materialized provided all foreign elements and influences the U.S. has introduced into Afghanistan be removed and the project executives and implementors are genuinely supported to reclaim Afghanistan’s sovereignty in relying exclusively upon the Afghan elements of the Afghan society. The political, social, and economic realities in Afghanistan are such that the day the UN announces the outcome of the proposed elections and opinion polls, and the International Community proclaims its full political and financial support for the elected Afghan National Leader, hundreds of field commanders and others will rush to contact him and call upon him offering him their services and cooperation for the fulfillment of SIPGA’s mission. These contacts and visits would prompt SIPGA to mount fact-finding missions into Afghanistan and to the neighboring countries harboring the bulk of Afghan refugees. Protracted negotiations would be conducted and detailed understandings would be reached. The transfer of the SIPGA into Afghanistan would be programmed and performed accordingly. Following its transference into Afghanistan, the Afghan provisional government would endeavor to integrate all the field commanders and their riflemen and the general public into the process of Afghanistan’s statehood recreation and economic reconstruction. The integration will be aimed-among other things-at ensuring social promotion and dignity reinstatement to members of all social groups and classes, including women, securing for the society at-large the badly needed durable political stability. Indeed, notwithstanding the assurances and reassurances of field commanders, the process of entering into Afghanistan and initiating the remaking of the country’s state institutions capable of providing the people with the requisite public services is for SIPGA members and employees rather a highly risky operation. The risk of being sabotaged, undermined, jeopardize, stabbed, murdered, assassinated and massacred cannot be overlooked. But the aims are after all achievable. The involved danger, hazards, peril, and risk must be faced and taken. They are worth enduring for the goals. Afghans are prepared to face the danger and to take the risk provided, however, that the International Community simultaneously takes in charge its own share of the burden. The courage, tenacity, and supreme sacrifice are to be adopted by Afghans. The correctness, justice, fairness, honesty, and responsibility are to be respected by the Community. The resolution of the Afghan crisis does not need any U.N. peacekeeping military force. But it does need an effective U.N. peacemaking politico-financial force to cut off the malicious alien hands from the internal affairs of Afghanistan, and to settle the Afghan people’s due so as to enable it to recreate from the scrap Afghanistan’s statehood, reconstruct its economy and rebuild its society. B. SIPGA and Recreation of Afghanistan’s National Statehood 1. Suggested Strategy In order for SIPGA to rebuild Afghanistan’s national state it would have, in the first place, to set up the necessary socio-political institutions so as to acquire a solid and extensive social basis. To that end it would select primarily in various districts (Naheeas) of the Capital (Kabul) the most respected, trusted, and experienced members of the local communities-through elections-to constitute the Consultative Council of the City (CCC). Outside Kabul, the provisional government would avoid challenging the powers of the locally-based field commanders and religious leaders. Conversely, it would make use of all possible means to get them motivated to collaborate in the political, administrative, economic and social reintegration of the country. For that purpose the most effectual method consists of linking the process of the sought reintegration with that of the country’s economic reconstruction. To ensure such a linkage the leading commanders in each province-except the foreign-based and the human rights violators-will be requested to assemble and organize into an institution that may be labeled the Consultative Council of the Province (CCP). Its basic purpose will be to disconnect the commanders from the weapon holders by employing the latter productively and converting the former’s personal power into an impersonalized, institutional and constructive one. A memorandum of understanding (MU) outlining the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the parties concerned will be concluded with CCC in Kabul and CCP in each province. It will be focused on ensuring peace, stability, security, and economic reconstruction, all over the country, with the participation and to the benefit of the inhabitants of all provinces, counties and districts in a balanced manner. Furthermore, members of every CCP will coopt their delegates to join in the Capital the coopted representatives of the CCC and the delegates designated by the SIPGA Leader to form the National Consultative Assembly of Afghanistan (NCA). The responsibilities of the NCA would include (i.) to enable SIPGA to be in close touch with the people; (ii.) to advise SIPGA on main policy issues; (iii.) to coordinate between CCPs, particularly in the field of their financial and economic plans and policies; (iv.) to ensure full economic and social interdependence among the various parts of Afghanistan through free enterprise, free trade, and free movement of goods, capital and services between all Afghan districts, counties, provinces and regions; (v.) to provide the country with the most appropriate system of national education and acculturation reinforcing the reintegration of the Afghan nation; (vi.) to participate in the drafting of the future Afghan Constitution. It should be pointed out, however, that the CCC as well as CCP and NCA would be provisional institutions like SIPGA itself. The duration of the former will depend on that of the latter. The term of their members will not exceed two years; at the end of their first term they might seek a second term, but on the basis of conventional fair and free elections. It is believed that in this manner the SIPGA would succeed in mobilizing the inhabitants of all Afghan constituencies to compete and cooperate in boosting the process of Afghan national state’s recreation, Afghan national community’s reintegration, and Afghan national economy’s reconstruction. Shortly after the precursor representatives of SIPGA would have concluded the required MU with CCC, the SIPGA Leader and its government members, along with the bulk of its military and civilian bureaucracy, and guards, might be able to get into Kabul. It is presumed that the Leader’s arrival at the Capital will bring into the City an atmosphere of hope for peace and expectation for job and prosperity. The inhabitants being unarmed, peaceable, and amicable will appreciate the move with a sense of relief. They will cooperate at least by not indulging in any act which could be deemed contrary to a peaceful social environment.