The fear of leaving behind a legacy of defiance

Sunday, 24 December 2017 03:48 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 207 times

he “ sovereign islands of power” and presence of strongmen, who are not committed to, and defiant against, central government decisions, are the main obstacle to reforms, and are considered  as a major problem for the country after war and corruption. These very elements are in full control of the country’s revenue resources, and they threaten to resort to violence and topple the government whenever their interests are endangered. In tough times, they always team up with people with whom they have shared interests, and try to portray they have public support and that the government will face a reaction from the people if they are dismissed. 

 

Besides Afghan governments, the international community is also to blame for the existence of “islands of power” in addition to other problems in the country. Using the pretext that they don’t interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, foreigners mostly don’t encounter with these strongmen who have amassed massive wealth from the resources provided by foreigners, whereas it is crystal clear to what extent the West, particularly the United States, has a free hand in Afghan politics. 

 

As a recent example, the governor of northern Balkh province challenged the central government after his dismissal. Speaking to his supporters on Saturday, he reiterated that no one, including the president, had the authority to fire him. His relatively long speech was beset with warnings and threats that bring the rule of the central government under serious questions. Such warnings are not expected from a governor even when there is no central government. There is always difference of opinions between members of coalition governments; however, such disagreements should not reach a level, where an official challenges the constitutional powers of the president in very clear terms. The president’s responsibility is greater than anyone in such circumstances, because he has to exert his constitutional powers. 

The Presidential Palace, which has seriously undermined the country’s national sovereignty for being unable to enforce its decisions, should not weaken the standing of the government. It has to defend its decision by any means possible through political dialogue or pressures. After three years of work, the president should have now realized the consequences of deals and political compromise instead of respecting laws. Thus, he has to prioritize rule of law and prevent the strongmen and bullies to defy government decisions, thereby precluding the issue from becoming a wrong practice for future governments like the national unity government.

 

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